Divorcing macronutrient restriction has done some wonderful things for me in the last year since I fully embraced it. For starters, I have a much more relaxed relationship with food. I feel like a participant in society again.
My mental and emotional health is back to peak form as well. Unless I fail to get good sleep or really depart from the quality of my diet in favor of low-quality sweets with refined sugar, my mood stays very stable, and I’m about as rational as an insane and irrational guy can possibly be.
My sleep quality has improved. No more 1-2 nights per week up till 2 am in a complete state of restlessness.
Body and breath odor is much better. Bowels are great. Allergenicity to pet dander is slowly but noticeably decreasing. I actually slept last night with a cat on my bed without wheezing. Skin is the best it has been since the early low-carb honeymoon that lasted for just a few short months.
But nothing has been more shockingly amazing than the complete disappearance of heartburn. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t written about this in greater detail. I guess I expected it to return, but it hasn’t. I could certainly eat every bite on the plate in the photo above and have no problems whatsoever.
I actually had some serious indigestion problems. Those problems began around 2005-2006 while eating a scant diet focused around raw foods. I ate tons of raw nuts and seeds, avocado, a little raw cheese, lots of raw fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, raw honey, extra virgin coconut oil, and even some quinoa sprouts (dude, that is SO not fit for human consumption). I didn’t seem to have problems until I started my summer as a Wilderness Ranger hiking 50 miles per week and doing heavy labor on such fare. Then, trouble started brewing right away.
I noticed it more clearly because the simple act of drinking water was the biggest aggravator of my indigestion. Water! Digestive wuss for sure.
In the summer of ?07 I did an about face and switched to Schwarzbein with religious fervor. Heartburn was minimal in the beginning stages, which took place in March and April of that year ? but lo and behold, once I started heavy duty exercise again, the heartburn quickly returned. Once again, water was my nemesis, and while reading the work of some of the most oddly-named and biggest digestive pussies on earth ? Konstantin Monastyrsky and Aajonus Vonderplanitz, even I started to convince myself that water? That’s right WATER! Was a digestive liability. Of course, I’m not the first to have some food intolerance that led to bashing that substance based on some historical or evolutionary basis.
?It must be the water. It couldn’t possibly be ME that’s the problem!
That’s why, sorry JT, I’m not a believer in ?finding out what works best for you. That type of investigation is a great way to determine what you don’t tolerate so you can start to wonder why and do something to fix it. It’s this constraining mindset that really holds people back.
I saw an extreme version of this primitive mindset as I read Datis Kharrazian’s Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? on the beach, in which Kharrazian says that if you feel sleepy after a meal, you have exceeded your body’s carbohydrate tolerance and will never be able to eat that many carbohydrates again. Actually sillypants, you can get over post-meal sleepiness within weeks (or in my case days) and begin to turn the tides of insulin resistance in that time period as well. That’s a separate side tangent though. Video-worthy perhaps.
Seriously though, I couldn’t drink so much as a sip of water within 3 hours of eating a meal without inducing major heartburn. I thought maybe it had something to do with a bacterial infection I might’ve picked up from drinking untreated stream water (I drank about 100 gallons per summer).
Anyway, while reading Kharrazian’s book I came across a tidbit of information about metabolism and heartburn. Seems like the metabolism has control over the hormone gastrin, which controls the secretion of HCL for digestion.
When on a restricted diet, I kept Sherlock Holmes-ing my meals to figure out what I could eat, what I could and couldn’t mix together, what my meal spacing needed to be, when and how much water I could drink and so on to keep my symptoms of heartburn down. This is a vicious cycle for sure, entering into a game of whack-a-mole in which the pace of the game keeps speeding up. Combining this with lots of metabolically-destructive overexercising (30 hours of cardio per week), the indigestion got worse and worse. Even on totally opposite diets ? one low-carb/high-fat/very low sugar vs. super high sugar, near vegetarian, high-carb, my heartburn was the same.
Then I decided to just say ‘screw that? and started eating pizza and what not. I quit thinking about macronutrients other than making sure to get a lot of all of them and eat until I didn’t desire another bite. That was almost exactly one year ago. My heartburn problem that lasted for 3 years and got ominously worse with each passing diet switcheroo went away in about 72 hours. It has not returned.
I can now eat absolutely anything and everything. I can overeat. I can drink a whole quart of ice water with a 1,500 calorie meal. Heartburn? Not in the slightest. Yet, eating a chicken leg with a slice of toast and slab of butter was enough to totally upset my stomach upon drinking as much as 2 ounces of water afterwards just 1 short year ago.
Digestion-wise, I have undoubtedly become the Henry Bieler ?adrenal type? with flying colors:
?As digestion and detoxication of food poisons depend greatly upon oxidation in the liver and intestines, it follows that the typical adrenal type, with his perfect oxidation, has thorough digestion. In fact, he may and often does boast that he can eat any and all kinds of food without discomfort? He can dine on the most impossible food combinations imaginable with no evil results??
Anyone else have a similar experience?