Thursday, March 28, 2013

More Food Thoughts

Swanning around on the web this evening I happened to run across several articles that are directly related to my own  post.  So here are some other people's thoughts on diets in general and the Paleo diet specifically.

Mark's Daily Apple on cheating on a diet:

"Part of the problem is a misplaced fascination with the transgressive. Somehow cheating ourselves is the ultimate gratification. We mistake indulgence for decadence, discipline for deprivation. Healthy behaviors are assigned the boring, white-hat, “moral” role in our culture. Being healthy is about hard work and choosing health is about saying “no.” At least that’s the message we get. On the other side of the spectrum is the Mountain Dew adventure and Doritos-inspired hilarity that could fill our days – if we were only so bold and rebellious."

Read more:

Interesting article on food addiction on Primal Docs blog:
The Dark Side of Food Addiction by Emily Deans, MD

"In my experience there are two sorts of people. Those who can’t bear to be cut off from any particular foods and would rather count calories, and these folks love their fit bits and food scales and weight watchers apps. Then there are those who couldn’t be bothered, who find calorie counting a horrible nuisance, and prefer to avoid certain types of foods. In reality most people who maintain their weight in the modern foodscape are probably one of these sorts of people. Elderly women who’ve been thin their whole lives tell me how they never have dessert, or if they do, they share it with three other people at the table. Almost everyone is restricting in some way, but if they are doing it successfully, they are utilizing a way that complements their personality and hormonal profile, so they don’t feel deprived."

Right now baked goods are my crack.  It used to be chocolate and sugar but after a year and a half of 80% Paleo I'm so over sugar.  I even find certain fruits unpalatable due to their sweetness, such as persimmons and medjool dates.  ICK!  But a muffin, a loaf of fresh bread or even a bowl of pasta, come to me baby!!  This is what I'm currently struggling with.  While I do have some after effects of eating a sandwich, it isn't severe enough to put me off for months like it used to.  But I digress....

I haven't read this entire article but here is a piece in the New York Times about food addiction:
The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food by Michael Moss

"The public and the food companies have known for decades now — or at the very least since this meeting — that sugary, salty, fatty foods are not good for us in the quantities that we consume them. So why are the diabetes and obesity and hypertension numbers still spiraling out of control? It’s not just a matter of poor willpower on the part of the consumer and a give-the-people-what-they-want attitude on the part of the food manufacturers. What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive. "

This article is the food industry equivalent of big tobacco's cigarette addiction coverup and exposure.

If the Times article is too long here is CBS's 60 Minutes expose on food chemistry and the creation of food addiction, The Flavorists produced by Ruth Streeter:

Food Thoughts

I just gave up on a weird argument that I was having with a nutritionist that I've followed for a couple of years.  As off kilter as our argument was, it got me thinking.  This is also why I like a good argument er discussion, it gets me thinking.

You'll have to bear with me since my brain is quite fogged today and I haven't worked through all of my arguments yet.

Her basic premise on food is that all food is good food.  There is no bad food.  While I understand that she is trying to divorce strict rules and denial from what should be the pleasurable undertaking of nourishing your body, all food is NOT created equal.  100 calories of Doritos does not equal 100 calories of grass fed steak.  While it won't kill you to eat Doritos once in a while, it is quite possible that a steady diet of them will at least cause problems if not kill you outright.

We are in the middle of a food war.  Food corporations are using science to make their food addictive much like the tobacco companies did with cigarettes   They add various chemicals and compounds to their food, not to make it healthier for us but so that we will crave more and buy more of their product.  Is it any wonder why people like me distrust any food that comes in a box with a full marketing campaign behind it?

I turned to Paleo because of my health.  It was a diet recommended by one of the well respected CFS/ME doctors, Dr. Myhill.   To me it makes sense to eat food that is as close to the way nature intended it as possible.  Stuff that hasn't been chemically manipulated in a lab.  It can be argued that cooking chemically manipulates the food but now we are getting a little nitpicky.  I don't want food that has been developed in a test tube for profit rather than the nutritional good of mankind.

Now don't get me wrong.  I'm NOT saying that all modern things are evil and that we have to live like we did in the age of cavemen.  What I am saying is that for the most part I will only eat food that has been raised and nurtured in the manner that is in accordance with nature.  Cows are ruminant animals which do best eating grasses not jelly beans and GMO corn.  The chemical profile of the meat from a conventionally raised cow and grass fed cow are significantly different.  And guess what, the grass fed cow's nutritional profile is better suited for human consumption.  So, even 100 calories of grass fed steak is NOT the equivalent of 100 calories of feedlot steak.

Yes, these statements are all backed by actual science studies but I'm too buggered to find them right now. I'm afraid I'm going to have to leave it to you to come up with the research.  Just be reassured it is out there.  Many many apologies to the science community from which I came.  You did teach me better than this.  I'm usually very good about citing sources but I'm just too messed up to do it right now.

I have found improvements in many of my symptoms from eating like this.  I have been cheating a lot lately and yes I've been paying a price for it in fogged thinking and joint pain.  There is a direct link between what I eat and how I feel.  I'm so sick that it is very obvious that there is a link.  The bit I don't get is why I keep cheating.  But this is the psychological side of nutrition not the physiologic side.

The Bulletproof Executive put out a great chart that I love that shows various foods on a scale of best to worst.  As much as I would love to go along with the illusion that all food is created equal it isn't.  It is a HUGE myth.  We can only eat so much food in a day.  I wish to make my calories have as many good nutrients in them as possible so I have a better chance of recovery and overall health.  Yes, I cheat.  I did tonight.  I had a steak bomb from a local subshop.  It was delicious but I know I will pay for it physically.  I'm not perfect but I'm trying.

addendum: I was booted from the nutritionist's Facebook page.  Sigh.  Can't even have a good argument these days without everyone getting into a snit.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Problems Posting

I'm having problems with blogger lately.  I'm having trouble posting comments and replies to comments.  Please don't be offended if yours hasn't appeared or if I haven't replied.  I don't have the brain power to figure out what is wrong.  I'm hoping it resolves itself on its own.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Coffee vs CFS

I LOVE coffee.  I have always LOVED coffee.  The Paleo diet and the autoimmune diet and PWCFS all recommend ditching coffee.  By experimenting with it over the last half year, I have found it to be a double edge sword.

I managed to switch to tea last year.  Then my kid moved back in and he is a coffee addict.  I started with small single cups.  Now I am drinking 3+ cups a day.  I have noticed a couple of things.

My blood sugar tends to crash a few hours after drinking the stuff.  However, it clears the CFS cobwebs out of my head and lets me function more normally for a few hours and occasionally the entire day.

I think I have figured out the blood sugar crash thing: caffeine is an appetite suppressant   If I drink coffee before I eat anything, then I'm not hungry for a long time or I only eat small amounts of food.  For me this is bad, since a few hours later my blood sugar will nosedive from lack of food. This leads to all sorts of nasty side effects including but not limited to nausea and a nasty case of the grumpies.

Ideally, if I had any willpower I would switch back to tea.  But, that isn't going to happen.  I LOVE coffee.  So here is my compromise.  I will continue to drink coffee however I must be mindful to eat as well.  I must have a large protein heavy breakfast preferably prior to the cup of coffee.  I think I have to treat coffee as the dessert course to my meal instead of the traditional starter course.

Monday, March 11, 2013


I can NOT begin to express in words the isolation that comes with being this sick for this long.  People in the US are encouraged to hang out with others that are healthy, uplifting, upbeat, active, etc.  We are supposed to go out and DO things together.  We aren't supposed to hang out with people that are old and/or sick.  Those people are used up.  They have outlived their usefulness and couldn't possibly have anything to contribute to us as human beings.

I thought I had some to terms with this.  I thought I was okay with staying at home and being on my own.  But, I'm learning slowly, as this drags on, that I'm not.  I'm not okay with spending months in the house only seeing my son, my husband, my son's girlfriend, my doctors and the vendors at the farmer's market.  I'm not okay with my chiropractor knowing me better than my own brother.  I'm not okay with knowing more about the trip the IV nurse just went on than the trip my sister took.  I'm not okay with seeing my doctor more often than my friends.

The last time family was here was three months ago.  The last time a friend was here was last summer.  The last time I watched a movie with a friend in my OWN house was several years ago.  I haven't seen one with a friend outside the house since before being sick.  The only time I saw friends on a regular basis last year was when I commandeered them to drive me to doctor appointments.  This was the only time I had contact with them.  Within three years I have had exactly six visits from friends that were purely for social reasons.  The count might double if you include people stopping by to pick something up and staying for a chat.  Normally I'm okay with it.  Being extremely introverted helps.  Being extremely sick helps.

But today.  Today.  I'm in tears.  I was recently reminded that my skating buddies have moved on without me.  I just read an article about the abandonment of the old in retirement communities.  I just wrote a Facebook post about dealing with the changes in my life since getting sick.  And then I saw this video:

And I'm in tears.  To think that people would do this for us.  To think that people that don't know us, that were never our friends would do this for us.  I am astonished.  And in tears.  It doesn't take much to help those of us that are housebound.  Just call once in a while.  Stop in once in a while.  Bring over a coffee or tea.   Or take us for a virtual walk.  I would LOVE that!  I miss being outside so much.  I miss being active.  I miss being with people.  The internet helps but it isn't the same as real human contact.  As human beings, we need it to thrive.  The biggest loss for me being sick is the loss of human contact.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Coincidentally (a little too coincident if you ask me) there has been quite a bit published in both the journals and in the patient forums regarding gut health and CFS lately.

A group in Australia has done poop transplants on CFS patients and had a 70% success rate (undefined in the free abstract) and a 53% extended remission rate (again undefined in the free abstract available).

The GI microbiome and its role in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A summary of bacteriotherapy

Dr. Hornig has been looking into the gut/CFS connection as well.  She has already discovered problems in the guts of autistic kids which would explain why the GAPS diet works for some of them.

Infection, Autoimmunity and PANDA’s: Dr. Hornig on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at Dr. Klimas’ NSU Conference

There is also a study on guts health in CFS patients about to be published by Sanjay Shukla.

Here is Dr. Teitelbaum's take on CFS and SIBO.

Where am I going with all of this?  Well I have continued my decline.  I'm back to being on the couch unable to read, drive or even ride in the car short distances without having severe symptoms.  The B12 shots and the Equalibrant aren't the cause of my miraculous recovery since I'm still taking them and I'm back to my shitty old self.

Today I got my test results back from Dr. Komaroff and a chronic bacterial infection is indicated by my blood work.  He is suggesting I go to an infectious disease specialist.  My treating CFS doc Dr. W.  also thinks my miraculous recovery was due to bacterial infection of my guts.  Then suddenly all this stuff shows up on the interwebs about SIBO.  Coincidence!?!  Weird if you ask me.  So I've emailed my primary doc asking if he will send me to my infectious disease doc over at Tufts or just start treating me for SIBO.  There are two treatments for it: 1) Xafaxin and/or 2) Paleo and/or GAPS diet.  Another coincidence!?!  I think I'll do both.  I'll go on the Xafaxin since my insurance covers it and start GAPS.  I had planned on doing GAPS about a year ago but was too sick to actually go through with it.  If I can get a head start with the antibiotics then I'll be able to cook again and start with GAPS and end up on Paleo.

I'm groaning at this.  I've been eating wheat products again because I've been craving them.  My son and I sneak out the house while hubs is sleeping and go get roast beef sandwiches at 1am since we are both night owls.  It has become a social ritual with us.  We also go out for breakfast at two in the afternoon when we get up and go on random coffee runs.  We have bonded over coffee and donuts.  This all leads to toast, muffins, donuts and sandwiches. None of which I'll be able to eat on GAPS or Paleo.  I won't be able to cheat for a long time.  At least months if not a year or two.  Since I am so limited in what I can do physically, food has become our social time.  The time to get Mom out of the house for an hour or two.  I will have to look hard for new rituals to replace these.  Things we can do together where I won't be as tempted to eat cheat foods.  Perhaps even stuff we can do together that doesn't involve food.  If my head clears up we can always go for car rides together.  He loves driving around.  

I. Am. Dreading.  The.  Diet!!!!  This is going to SUCK!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013