So my tests have come back. Among other things, there doesn’t seem to be an endocrine reason for my fatigue or weight gain. My thyroid and adrenal glands are fine.
The doctor says “bad genes”. I say “you’re full of crap”.
So I’m looking at diet. We’ll add exercise when I’m not so tired all of the time.
I’ve already cut out high fructose corn syrup out of everything. The trash can has been full the last two weeks. I’ve cleaned out the house and the pantry in the garage. The last thing to go through is the freezer.
And I’ve added some supplements to my diet. I’m trying to take my potassium more often. I still tested low. And I’ve added folic acid, Rhodiola Rosea and Ashwagandha. I’m trying to reduce my stress and inflammation. And I’m taking Omega supplements, more on that later.
Speaking of inflammation, I had no idea what it was. I figured swelling from injury. Not so. You can have ‘secret inflammation’ for several reasons. Like eating crap like HFCS or other not so good chemicals. Or from stress. Stress itself can be based on chemical stresses to your body (like HFCS), physical stresses like pain from injury or mental stresses like worrying a lot. Gee, three for three! So it’s not enough to reduce my stress in all three categories. I also need to reduce my inflammation.
Thankfully, the list of things that cause inflammation is relatively short:
• Poor diet–mostly sugar, refined flours, processed foods, and inflammatory fats such as trans and saturated fats
• Lack of exercise
• Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasites
• Hidden allergens from food or the environment
• Toxins such as mercury and pesticides
• Mold toxins and allergens
There are some overlaps.
Here’s what Dr. Hyman recommends:
1. Whole Foods — Eat a whole foods, high-fiber, plant-based diet, which is inherently anti-inflammatory. That means choosing unprocessed, unrefined, whole, fresh, real foods, not those full of sugar and trans fats and low in powerful anti-inflammatory plant chemicals called phytonutrients.
2. Healthy Fats — Give yourself an oil change by eating healthy monounsaturated fats in olive oil, nuts and avocadoes, and getting more omega-3 fats from small fish like sardines, herring, sable, and wild salmon.
3. Regular Exercise — Mounting evidence tells us that regular exercise reduces inflammation. It also improves immune function, strengthens your cardiovascular systems, corrects and prevents insulin resistance, and is key for improving your mood and erasing the effects of stress. In fact, regular exercise is one among a small handful of lifestyle changes that correlates with improved health in virtually ALL of the scientific literature. So get moving already!
4. Relax — Learn how to engage your vagus nerve by actively relaxing. This powerful nerve relaxes your whole body and lowers inflammation when you practice yoga or meditation, breathe deeply, or even take a hot bath.
5. Avoid Allergens — If you have food allergies, find out what you’re allergic to and get stop eating those foods–gluten and dairy are two common culprits.
6. Heal Your Gut — Take probiotics to help your digestion and improve the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut, which reduces inflammation.
And here’s what Dr. Kornfeld recommends:
1. The primary pathway of inflammation is built primarily from Omega 3 fatty acids. Taking supplements rich in these natural nutrients assists the body in having a more profound primary inflammatory response and at the same time, it minimizes the chronic inflammation responsible for pain and suffering. (Nordic Naturals – 1000 mg 3x a day containing a minimum of 300 mg EPA and 200 mg DHA)
2. Taking supplements rich in plant enzymes such as bromelain assist the body as catalysts for the repair of our cells. Taken on an empty stomach, these enzymes can break down the byproducts of inflammation thus clearing the way for cellular repair. (Bromelain Plus 6 – 250-500mg 3x a day)
3. Efficient inflammation depends on a healthy immune system. 70% of the cells of our immune system are found in the gastrointestinal tract. These cells are fed by short chain fatty acids (that do not exist in nature), which are the result of fermentation of complex carbohydrates — whole grains, vegetables, beans — by the friendly bacteria (probiotics) of our intestinal lining. So it is essential for anyone suffering with inflammation to take an ample supply of probiotics on a daily basis. (Theralac Probiotic – 20 billion CFU daily)
4. Consuming a diet low in Omega 6-rich foods like meat, dairy, baked goods, flour products, and grains (basically the standard American diet), is also helpful when looking to relieve inflammation. Although Omega 6 fatty acids are essential in any diet because they are the building blocks of chronic inflammation (which helps the body protect itself when it can’t repair itself efficiently), it will cause the immune system to bypass primary inflammation and default into chronic inflammation, when consumed in excess.
5. Since we require water to serve as the vehicle for all chemical reactions in the body as well as to flush out toxins, proper hydration becomes paramount (the daily requirement varies from individual to individual, consult your physician for what’s right for you). I am not talking about dehydrating liquids such as caffeinated beverages and alcohol, but rather, clean, fresh water preferably filtered, distilled, or from a reliable spring.
Interestingly, we used to get Omega 3s from cows and chickens…when they ate grasses and seeds and more natural diet. Now that they’re caged and corn fed, not so much. So if you’re going to eat beef, eat grass fed and finished. And if you’re going to eat chickens, look for cage free and natural fed if you can. Does it cost more? You betcha. But…as opposed to a doctor’s bill and deteriorating health it’s a bargain.
Now I’m already doing quite a bit. I ate my first salmon two weeks ago. I’ve thrown out all of the HFCS crap. And I’ve replaced my flours with whole grain stone ground flours (higher in omegas 3s) and I’ll be using more Stevia and Agave Nectar which have a much lower glucose level. I’m replace my morning 1% chocolate milk with YoPlus+ which has probiotics. I originally did it not because of the probiotics, but because it is the only yogurt at Vons that doesn’t have HFCS. Good enough. I just wish they had more flavors than vanilla and berry. I’m taking Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea to try to control my stress and inflammation. And I’ve started taking 100 mg ibuprofen for the inflammation. (If you’re wondering where you can get it…it’s children’s chewable ibuprofen.)
I am going to reduce my (cane sugar) soda to one can/bottle a day and drink water the other meal. I am also going to try to drink more water. I know dehydration has been a chronic problem of mine. When you can’t go to the bathroom whenever you want, you learn to limit your liquid intake. I teach. You can’t just leave the classroom to go pee anytime you want. Sometimes I have to go four hours without a break. Yes, really.
Now, about those Omegas. I bought two bottles of Omega 3-6-9 at CVS on sale when I decided to try them as a supplement. Now I read…less 6, more 3. Well, I’ve only been taking one a day. Seems I should be taking 3 a day. So, I’ll buy a bottle of Omega 3 only and take those for the two other meals. Problem solved. Except for the burping. I hate burping fish oil.
I bought a bread machine on eBay and will be making my first whole grain loaf on Sunday morning. I hope to bake bread every Sunday morning. Two loaves. One for me and one for my parents. That will be for the week. If it doesn’t last, tough. No bread until the following Sunday. Yes, I can do it with my mixer. I’ve done it before. But I just don’t have the energy to go through the mixing, rising, kneading, rising, shaping baking stuff right now. Maybe when I’ve lost 30 lbs.For now the machine will have to do.
I’m also going to experiment with Quinoa Sushi. I’ve never made sushi and want to learn. So I’ll be using quinoa instead of white rice.I’ll be doing bento boxes for lunch. School starts next week.
Maybe if I can lose about 15-20 lbs my energy will go up enough for me to do a little walking. Or….ride my new most beautiful bike in the world.
And now off shopping. I’m going to make bread and pesto tomorrow. And maybe an apple/celery salad.