Aug 19 2007, 04:58 PM
Everyone hates taking measurements at first, just because it is, as Kiss the fiddler says, "reality". But the truth is, it quickly becomes one of the most uplifting things to do to monitor your weight loss and body changes. At the end of your measurements, you can tally up the total number of inches/cms lost...and it's always an encouraging number.
I am a firm believer in the fact that health can't be restored without a complete reckoning of your whole self: that means, you must be able to "look under every rock" about your life for the things which may make you susceptible to illness, including behaviours which end up defeating you physically and emotionally. We're complete organisms, it's impossible to pretend that the emotional and mental and spiritual realities we contend with don't have a physiological effect on our bodies (in fact, it's scientifically ridiculous to think they don't have an effect, when they've been well documented). If that means you have to face realities about yourself on all levels, then you will have to do that before your health can be restored. So: acknowledge the insecurities...and then work towards finding a way to feel more secure, to develop confidence. It can't hurt, and it can certainly only help.
Octi, I'm not sure dairy products do cause inflammation on the whole. They may in some people, if there is an allergy, and that indicates an overwall susceptibility to disease and a lack of immune system efficiency that should be addressed and corrected. The problem with dairy and allergy stems from the fact that our dairy foods are now so altered from the way our bodies are designed to digest them properly that they cause all kinds of problems. Basically we're trying to digest a food which has been denatured, all the enzymes, microorganisms, and fats we need to effectively digest the dairy products we eat have been destroyed, so anytime dairy is consumed in this pasteurized and homogenized/defatted state we're consuming it at the expense of our bodies' nutrients. Hence the sensitivies and allergies we see, which always increase as our resistence becomes depleted.
This is why I always stress raw dairy as a food source over altered dairy. Not only are the necessary components for health present and fully available to us (because the food is still "living"), the nutrients stored in that food source actually nourish us instead of deplete us. So the inflammation issue (which would arise in allergies to the milk) would be moot.
In fact, raw dairy butter is an excellent food for people who suffer from inflammation...but it's hard (not impossible) to find in North America.
But if you really can't stand dairy products at all, then don't eat them! They're not supposed to be a punishment.
Okay: the detox issue===for me, this is a holdover to the time when doctors killed their patients by "bleeding" them whenever they faced any kind of health challenge. The basis for the idea of "detoxing" comes from the idea of "materia peccans"...that the body is riddled with some kind of "evil material" which must be purged before health can be restored.
I think its the wrong approach (I believe it was George Washington who died because he had a flu that was treated via bloodletting...the idea being the materia peccans caused his illness and had to be purged from the body by drawing out the blood that carried it).
I don't believe there is a "materia peccans" that must be flushed out, as our bodies are extremely capable of detoxifying themselves by processing and eliminating all wastes. I think you can encourage your body to be extra-efficient in doing this by altering the diet on occasion or going on fasts, but the purging/enema/colonics/detox regimes currently in vogue go beyond this into forcing the body to give up some imagined evil essence.
My own take, though: when you change your diet, in any way, outcome of the dietary change always makes you feel better (this is an old "truism" of chinese medicine and of ayurveda==both systems have thousands of years of empirical observation to attest to this). If you begin to suffer from a cold, or any kind of discharge (a runny nose, sneezing, etc) it's usually a good sign that the body's just revving up it's systems so that it functions optimally. I don't think the diet is the only thing affecting this change, kiss the fiddler, as you're busy with the added stresses of work demands which exposes you to a number of physical stressors. This is your body's way of saying "You must take the time to rest so that I can recuperate and be healthy".
Aug 19 2007, 08:02 PM
Fiddle, chacha, you make good points about the measurement-taking. I'll do it! I just have to get a measuring tape first. I think it will ultimately be good, because if I'm going to monitor progress objectively anyway--which I certainly think is a good move-- then this is a good complement to simple weigh-ins on the scale, which won't reflect changes in body composition overall. Maybe I'll skip the photos for now, though, since they're A.) not as objective and B.) scarier
Plus, I'm staying at a friend's house for a while til I get a new place, so I don't want him to walk in on me taking nakie pics on my webcam!
Ok, so, I've read almost the entire Schwarzbein book, and the only things I'm not buying entirely are that A.) cardio exercise should be minimal or nonexistent, and B.) being on birth control is bad. While I'm choosing to stay on the pill because for me, the benefits far outweigh the (admittedly real) risks, I will go ahead and give the no-cardio stuff a try.... because I have to! I'm going on vacation for 3 weeks and will have no access to cardio equipment anyway, so it's a prime time to try out her plan and give it an honest effort. It's not too far from how I normally live and eat, except that I'll be making more of an effort to avoid sugar, and probably be eating more fat and protein as well (I'm usually more carb-heavy). Of course, my control over my diet will be shaped by the travel as well...
Oh, BTW, I'm totally in agreement with you chacha on the mind/body connection. I've just started therapy with a psychoanalyst who seems to be quite good, and I think tht will have nothing but positive impacts on my physical health as well.
And, thanks for your take on dairy and inflammation. I should clarify that what I've read is not that dairy on the whole causes inflammation, but only dairy high in saturated fat. Does that change your take at all?
Fiddle, how is the SPP going? (easier to type SPP than "Schwarzbein Principle Program!)
Aug 20 2007, 06:59 AM
I don't buy into the whole saturated fat = bad. In fact, the one thing I know actually shuts inflammation down is fat. If it isn't the cholesterol our bodies make in every cell to address inflammation directly, it's the fat you need to have in the diet which actually heal inflammation of all kinds. We've really been sold a huge lie about dietary fats in all our foods and medical "science" is taking decades too long to catch up to what nutritionists, biochemists, and cutting edge medical researchers have known for a long, long time now. Low fat/altered fat foods and diets are deadly.
But that being said, if you're talking about the kind of commercial dairy that's forced on North American consumers now, the homogenized and pasteurized kind, yes, the fats in that kind of dairy are denatured and they are harmful. In fact, there have been many studies linking homogenized milk foods with heart disease directly. Doing without the real, good fats we're meant to have in our food is not good (especially where inflammation is concerned); consuming the "fake/denatured/rancid/hydrogenated/trans" fats is especially not good.
Again I stress: raw milk. Organic raw milk if you can source it--full fat cheeses, yogurts and other fermented dairy foods, rich butter and cream with all the fat as it should be...these are some of the healthiest foods around and some of the most healing as well (especially the saturated fat--loaded organic butter made from the raw cream of pasture-fed cows). The butter especially contains a nutrient that's almost impossible to find in any other food, called "X-factor", which maximizes the nutrient absorption of the critical nutrients such as the natural vitamin D and A content in the butter itself. I think scientists are just beginning to understand the relationship between these naturally produced and synthesized nutrients and the way the their lack coincides with high cancer, diabetes, and heart disease rates.
So eat the stuff and be healthy!
Also: one note on the Schwarzbein diet and the pill--I'm another person who "gets" why women choose to use the birth control pill (although I hate that it's the choice that's available. We deserve so much better) so I never demand people stop using it if they see me, I merely point out there will be complications. THAT BEING SAID....the Schwarzbein diet is really a way of guiding the body back into a kind of healthy hormone balance. The pill, unfortunately, imposes it's own hormonal state on the body which will never coincide with the one Schwarzbein is trying to help you restore. Why? Because the daily intake of hormones in each pill is millions of times more hormone than your body would ever produce in its functions. Each dose of the pill will literally flood the body with specific hormones while it's trying to restore its own flow and balance of ALL the hormones in the body, and that would make what your body's trying to do impossible.
On the surface, that seems unimportant, but remember: if you're altering the hormone balance in the body on a daily basis with the pill, then it will be very difficult to lose weight on the Schwarzbein diet. As well, if the alterations you make using the Schwarzbein diet do actually take an effect despite the pill use (some people's body's are extremely resilient and healthy, so this does happen), I'd be worried that the pill would not be establishing the hormonal state you must be in in order to avoid pregnancy. In other words, if the diet's effective, your risk of becoming pregnant, even though you're on the pill, goes up dramatically. So do be cautious.
Aug 20 2007, 11:03 AM
Yes, I agree. Everything is connected.
medications - cymbalta and levothyroxin
environment - live under the smoke of the western montana fire season, have wonderful access to hiking and the great outdoors
stress - being a firefighter, my marriage, wanting to become pregnant, finances (duh), my past, lonliness
physical - overweight and then some, fibromyalgia, hypothyroid, DES daughter, infertility, migraines, tired all the time, sleep stuff, abuse and torture survivor, otherwise able and willing
emotional - severe depression, addict in recovery, depressed, lonely, depressed
sprirtual - I try to believe that the universe is on my side
Things I'm doing to mitigate and improve my life:
medications - gaining awareness
environment - waiting for winter
stress - trying to manage my energy in a more positive manner. doing jobs at the fire department that don't require me to go out for long periods of time, utilizing the self care techniques I know, going to counseling, trying to build a business with my sis (it's fun and it gets me out some)
physical - eating well, taking good supplements, trying to budget my energy, getting on a regular sleep schedule, going to counseling
emotional - taking cymbalta, eating well, going to counseling, working with sis
spiritual - try to keep believing. send prayers up with the smoke
I'm frustrated. I so much want to be healthy. It seems like one thing I'm doing undoes other things. For example, my meds. I know that the meds I'm on have a deep effect on my body at a hormonal level. I feel stuck. I don't know what to do. For me, it seems like the antidepressant is essential to my staying alive. Alive is important. Alive is good - I try to think alive is good. I want to be healthy. I want to have the energy to do the basic things that need to be done and have some left over to enjoy live. I want to live without being in constant pain. I want to be happy. I want to be pregnant. I want to enjoy my body, not feel as if it's letting me down. I do understand that I am connected to my body. I struggle. It feels like so much. I don't know where to start really, so I'm starting with my diet. I'm hoping that this new way of eating will help my body become healthier and I will be able to address some of these other issues. I know that I can't simply isolate one issue without affecting everything else. It would be so easy that way, wouldn't it? Anyway, it all seems so complicated. I'm trying. I'm frustrated. I want to know it can be done. I'm ready.
Aug 20 2007, 02:52 PM
Oh, Fiddle, of course you can do this! Of course you can restore your health. Try not to be frustrated and think that every little thing learned along the way points out "mistakes"...try to see them as more information you can use to make the changes you need to make.
I think the Schwarzbein diet is a good one for you, particularly because you list thyroid problems among your health history anyway. You have had some hormonal and glandular difficulties already. If you're interested in coming off your meds safely, you can do so but it can't be done "cold turkey", as you know. You need to find another approach to remedying the problem so that the meds are no longer necessary. I say "another" because the approach taken by conventional medicine does not even consider the possibility of living med free: "cure" or "treatment" always consists of managing the disease with ongoing drug use. And that's what you no longer want.
I have a bias, you know it: I've had a lot of success treating people who suffer from depression and various hormonal imbalance difficulties. Heck, ALL my patients come to see me because they have tried conventional medicine and want out. Many can't stand the medicines, or the medicines no longer work, or the medicines cause side effects which require more medicines to treat and they are terrified of going on even more meds. I've helped many patients off medications they were told they would need for life. So it is possible to achieve this with alternative medicines. I have to say, however, that I don't think nutrition is the most expedient way to accomplish this and in some cases it has some severe limitations. The most effective results I've ever had for getting patients off meds have all been in finding the right homeopathic medicines for those individual patients.
And I've always, always, always done this while the patient was under the close supervision of their prescribing MDs. This way they're "safe", the MD sees with his/her own eyes that the drug is no longer necessary and must be stopped, and (most satisfyingly) they have to admit that homeopathy works (and have to tell their patients to "Keep doing whatever you're doing, because whatever it is, it's working").
Other people I know have also been able to address similar problems using modalities like Traditional Chinese Medicine, Herbal medicine, and even Ayurveda (which I know little about, but I'm learning).
So alternative medicines (under the care of a qualified practitioner of those modalities) might be something for you to consider as well as the nutritional changes you're making.
Now, I'm not anywhere near where you are, I'm sure, but I can send out some resources for you so you can read up on alternatives, and send some referral sites so you can locate a good practitioner close to where you are. Never undertake to treat this stuff on your own as it does take training and attention and objectivity--you'll need to find a good practitioner you can work with who can manage your case all the way back to full health.
Don't let this get you down! Of course it's a big task....but it's nowhere near as big as your ability to handle it well.
Aug 20 2007, 03:56 PM
Thank you for your encouragement. Your support has been a godsend. I'd be happy to read info you steer me toward. Do you know and trust any homeopaths in western MT? I have a new MD. I've just seen him once. He suggested that he and I work together doing something he calls Functional Medicine. He said we can talk more about it next time I see him which will be in Nov. Between now and then, I will read more about this functional medicine.
Anyway, thank you for believing in me. It feels good that you believe in my ability. I hope you're right.
Aug 20 2007, 04:58 PM
Yippee! I may have found a place to get fresh raw milk! It's illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption in my state. Well, I need it for my 'pets'. And, I think almond butter may be one of my new favorite foods. I almost can't get enough of it.
Aug 21 2007, 06:04 AM
I'm so glad you like the almond butter, and you're damn right I think you can do it. I just want to remind you of Octi's experience, as the woman no longer needs a wheelchair because she decided she was going to get rid of it a while back.
It seems like a big battle--because change is always a big battle, whether we undertake it ourselves or find it forced on us. But, really, what else is there?
Also: there is one homeopath (actually a Naturopath who's got the right credentials to practice homeopathy) who's in Great Falls MT. I could write to colleagues and find out what they know, if you like, and if you're in the area. Let me know if you want some basic info on exactly what the heck these medical systems are about and I'll send you some links.
It's "illegal" to sell raw milk in the province where I live, too, but not illegal to sell shares in either the cow giving the milk or the farm on which the dairy is located. People "buy" a cowshare or farmshare and that makes the milk produced their own property. What they then do with their own cow's milk is, legally, still up to them alone.
Hilariously, just this past spring, the RCMP recently spent over $200,000 to "crack down" on a raw milk farmer who's been selling cowshares and supplying much of north Toronto and Richmond Hill with fresh raw milk for almost 30 years. The most renowned chefs in the city (whose restaurants consistently end up recommended on international "best places to eat" lists) and Mary Enig, one of the world's most respected lipidologists and nutritionists, held a press conference demanding that the RCMP leave this guy alone as well as his customers, and advocating for access to fresh raw milk for everyone, for health reasons. After almost two months of holding this guy's farm hostage, but pressing no charges whatsoever, they stopped harrassing him.
The whole foolishness fell apart when the federal Health Minister was approached about changing the laws to ban raw milk access completely, but an intrepid reporter published the news that the good old Health Minister and his whole family have been farm shareholders in this very farmer's operation for over 20 years--something they started when his youngest son was diagnosed as a toddler, with severe allergies to all kinds of things and foods in his environment. The kid ate the raw milk daily and thrived, the whole family preferred the raw milk, the guy's kids have all grown but he and his wife have no plans to stop buying and consuming the raw milk. Ha ha! Funny. It was lovely seeing the Health minister declare publically that the raw milk certainly played a big role in restoring his son's health, and they weren't ever going to buy the stuff in the market again.
Funnier still was the "outrage" the Dairy board publically launched against the Health Minister and against this little farmer after that declaration. My fave interview included a reporter who asked the head of the milk marketing board why, exactly, he felt raw milk was so unhealthy. When the spokesperson prattled on about how everyone knows it causes salmonella poisoning yadda yadda, the reporter asked, "Do you know of any of the millions of milk farmers who actually turn over all the milk they produce on their farms just to wait for you to pasteurize it, so they can buy it back from the market?" When the stunned spokesperson couldn't reply, the reporter asked, "How is it we never hear of any of these families developing sickness from drinking their own farms' fresh raw milk?" And it was all caught and shown on the six o'clock news.
That one interview made up for quite a lot of shitty journalism, as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, my long-winded point is that the food's been vital to human beings for over 800 years, and people have benefitted from it in its raw state ever since that time. Those who know about its benefits have done whatever possible to restore that access, and as people become more educated about their food choices, it should become even easier to find.
Aug 21 2007, 09:46 PM
ulg im so fustrated and need to vent. ive gained so much weight and i dont know why. i eat healthy, ive been vegan for 8 years, i dont own a car, walk everywhere but i'm still gaining weight. ive been trying, with the portion control, but still havent lost anything. im even getting stretchmarks on my hips and havent gone through childbirth and im only 25. im even more fustrated at myself because ive always been a firm believer that as long as im eating healthy and excersizing reglarly, it doesnt matter what my weight is, but its really getting to me. im short, and natural large breasted and hipped so ill never be skinny, but wtf is with this. okay... /endrant
oh ps, i drink beer, almost everynight, but i dont think thats it. or im going to make myself think that not it lol.
Aug 22 2007, 07:57 AM
OMG, your raw milk stories made me mad and made me laugh. I'm still looking for a raw milk source here.
I'm beginning to wonder if this diet is good for me. Although I'm noticing a couple positive things (my farts don't smell as bad, I'm enjoying eating), I'm noticing a couple other things that worry me. One is that my pee smells bad. I don't know quite else how to describe it, just bad. And my back hurt earlier this week like my kidney was bruised or pissed. It made it hard to function. Oh, and I'm having more headaches. Plus, my body feels like I'm fatter. The scale doesn't say so but I'm convinced. Maybe I'm just seeing things. I don't know. . . My wife is seeing changes already in terms of weight lost. Granted, she has 100 pounds to lose but still, I think I should be seeing something - increased energy, weight loss, decrease in my pain, fewer headaches - something. Ugh.
uh, i know it's not what you want to hear, but maybe your beer is beginning to catch up to you. lots of carbs in beer. Good to hear you're walking everywhere. Exercise is something I need to improve on. Kudos to you for that.
Aug 22 2007, 09:15 AM
re: getting frustrated with slow progress, a friend of mine said something the other day that i'm trying to keep in mind with my own health.
she's taking care of her sick mother, and said something about how she'd rather have a reform than a revolution. something that is positive and slow and gradual has a better chance of lasting than sudden, dramatic, sweeping change. my own progress with my health is frustratingly slow, but the past 8 or 9 months has been the first time i've improved in years (my health had been declining before that)...i'll take any improvement i can get, and work to try to help it along in all the big and little ways i can.
my diet bugs me though...because i'm disabled on a limited budget, i get food from meals on wheels. i get lots of extra milk and fruit and OJ instead of prepared meals, since their entrees are vile and unhealthy. i'd been hoping to try raw milk, but it doesn't seem to be within my budget these days. someday!
those are great raw milk stories, chacha...
tankgirl, what about trying to be more moderate with beer to start out? little adjustments to your lifestyle can add up, and help you feel better...
Aug 22 2007, 09:46 AM
Tankgirl, you're not gonna like what I have to say.
If you've been a vegan for 8 years and gained weight, then your body is reacting to your diet as if it were undernourished.
Hence, the surprising weight gain.
If the majority of your diet is processed soy food (TVP, soy based "meats", etc), then that's another big factor in your weight gain.
The grains and pulses you're using as another diet staple are not providing adequate nutrition for your body. I'm inclined to suspect the effects of the beer, but I have an awful suspicion it may be the only source of essential B vitamins you're getting! So I won't.
It's a tough diet and not a traditional one (seems our generation or so--no earlier, really, than the 1960's) is the only group of human beings who've ever eaten "Vegan". Traditionally, cultures who've eaten mostly vegetable foods have always included some portion of animal food (even if it was only when pregnancy was desired, and healthy childbirth was the desired result). Going completely without them all the time has really not been done successfully in human history. I think there's good reason for that, as vegetable foods can be extremely nourishing but they cannot supply all the necessary nutrients by themselves. For one thing, there just isn't enough protein in the vegan diet to provide for the adequate stores of amino acids your body must maintain for optimum body function; and for another thing, many people would find the carb-rich aspect of the diet a little too difficult for the body to bear. If you've got a family health history of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, or cancer, then the diet is risky in that it predisposes gland dysfunction simply because of the amount of carbohydrate foods. The lack of fats in the diet is another massive problem: without them, and especially without certain animal fats, healthy nutrient absorption is not really possible.
I know there's a moral reason for wanting to follow a Vegan diet, and it can be done safely, but it really looks like you need to add a lot of fat to the diet, and supplement vigorously with amino acids you can't get from your foods, as well as B vitamins to help you regulate your weight. Consider that the moral concerns regarding meat production can be effectively addressed even while eating animal foods, so Veganism is not the only option.
I know, I know, I'll fuck off about it, if you'll just consider that I'm not trying to berate here, just offer some insight from my own experience and training. Do consider, however, that I'm the only one here who hasn't berated you on the beer! So, in your thoughts about me, be kind.
Kiss the Fiddler, I wonder: are you taking a potassium supplement while you're on this diet? You should be. It's vital to supporting kidney function. You should be urinating quite a bit with this diet, especially at the beginning. Try 99g. potassium pills, 4 pills a day, and see if that doesn't make a difference.
Also, you may be experiencing the effects of the new foods in your urine. Lots of foods alter the scent of urine. Think about asparagus, for example. Still: the potassium's necessary.
Here's a site where you might be able to locate some real milk sources near you:http://www.realmilk.com/where.html
Annelise, I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to have some raw milk cheese, in your case. It's a little easier to get than the actual real milk, but it's still a good option.
I think supplementing with nutrients you can't get in your food might go a long way to helping with weight loss and health restoration, too. But slow and steady always wins the course, and over time you might be surprised how well things go along. Good luck!
Aug 22 2007, 03:41 PM
So, after feeling like I was peeing fire, I went to MD. Indeed, I have a uti.
Tomorrow will be better. Up the yogurt intake. Yum.
Aug 22 2007, 04:19 PM
Sorry to hear that, Fiddler! Can you also drink unsweetened cranberry juice and water? It really does help.
But, the potassium requirement is still important if you're eating more proteins...
Aug 22 2007, 05:36 PM
im vegan more for health reasons and taste reasons. ive never had milk products, because im lactose intolerant. im not a huge fan of eggs after an unfortunate incident i had with them when i was younger and food poisoning, and meat, ive just never liked it, ive always skipped it growing up and only took a few bites of the meat portion of my dinner to make my parents happy. iva had a feeling that my vegan diet was wearing on me. im not much of a soy eater either. i really just eat vegies and grains. to give you a good overview of what i normally have been eating ill give you an example of my normal meals.
breakfast (which i JUST started eating a month ago) i usually eat kashi go lean with soymilk
lunch, i eat lentil or tomato soup and a granola bar for a snack
dinner i make a lot of rice veggies and beans, or chili or a potato and veggie dish.
i do get b vitamins, but i have a hard time with iron and i always have since i was an omnivore.
yah i know the beer thing is a big part of it, but a few years ago i started drinking soda again and i quit soda completely about 4-5 months ago and started drinking way more water.
ulg its just been really fustrating, im trying to excersize more and improve on my pasta intake but im still gaining weight. another problem im having is getting an actual schedual down for eating, because i heard that if you dont, your metabolism can get way out of wack.
Aug 22 2007, 07:56 PM
I don't think the beer's a big issue....if we're talking about moderation. Beer, wine, alcohol of all kinds is fine in any diet as long as most of the diet is in balance with the body's requirements and there isn't a direct impulse for overindulgence.
If you're overindulging in beer (or other alcohol), then you are very likely deficient in B vitamins from that sign alone.
The iron deficiency is yet another sign: you can't process iron properly without B vitamins: too much or too little can both become major problems and each situation has its effect on weight gain and loss. You might want to consider some really serious supplementation with B vitamins (Please get some!!! Good ones--consider B12 injections or at least a daily drop supplement.)
There are an awful lot of carbohydrates and sugars in your diet, and not much protein, except for the carb-rich beans. Lactose intolerance is largely a result of the denatured fats or eliminated fats in our commercial dairy foods now...full fat milk, cheese and cream in their raw states rarely bother people who have had previous difficulties with dairy foods. Also, the cultured versions of raw dairy seem to be a huge benefit as well.
The soy milk is a problem because it's goitrogenic--it affects the function of the thyroid gland negatively. But soy in the form of tofu, especially if it's tofu like it's been made in Asia for the last 600 years (fermented) is a good source of protein which isn't too rich in carbs. Miso is also another great option for protein and enzymes aswell. Nuts are also good, especially the fat rich ones--and I would definitely beg you to eat doses of organic coconut oil at every meal. Green veggies, berry fruits and fruits low in carbohydrates and rich with antioxidants are really needed in your diet as well. As for the pasta: stay away from it, and try eating grains like wild rice instead. Again, pasta's high refined carbohydrate content is tantamount to eating a lot of sugar--eventually this wreaks havoc on your pancreas because of the crazy demand this creates for insulin amounts in the blood. Enough of this and you get hypoglycemia; enough hypoglycemia and you get diabetes. Not good, and also not necessary.
Until you get some serious fat and protein in your diet and cut out the carbs and sugars, there is no amount of exercise which will help you lose weight unless you really starve yourself, which isn't recommended (it destroys your own body's balance anyway, and slows your metabolism even further... you'll gain weight back in scads).
It's not YOU who's failing here, it's the diet! A few adjustments and you'll find the whole issue of weight loss much easier to contend with.
Aug 22 2007, 08:53 PM
thank you chacha, thats really helpful. i do have a daily influx of b12, i eat b12 enriched nutritional yeast everyday.
Aug 23 2007, 12:08 PM
have you tried goat cheese, tankgirl? my roommate was lactose intolerant but could eat goat dairy products--there's something different about their composition.
Aug 24 2007, 04:20 AM
Most goat cheeses sold here are full fat, plus they're often made with milks that are raw(a lot of it is imported from France and Greece and Macedonia...these are not pasteurized for the most part). They are another option for those who haven't been able to digest dairy, but not everyone likes the goat/lamb "smell" or taste".
Tankgirl, I just thought of a few other suggestions, but I don't know if you stear clear of things like lactofermented vegetables. Lactofermented pickles, sauerkraut (to eat with other foods, as a kind of sour salad), kimchee....all really great foods for boosting nutritient absorption. The tofu and miso suggestions are also examples of fermented foods, but adding more could give you variety and a lot more real food "bang" in terms of nutrients you actually end up using.
Almond milk? There's a kind which comes from Italy that's lightly sweetened. I see it once every few months in the grocery store which imports foods from overseas, and it's pricey but so worth it. High protein, gorgeously fragrant, and sweet--you can drink small amounts of it or make a frozen granita out of it for a cool dessert, or even warm it up and have it as a hot drink.
Also: explore some different oils besides olive oil and coconut oil, such as hazelnut oil and walnut oil for making sauces and dressings; avocado oil for dipping veggies and breads. You can also grind up nuts to make pastes and sauces. These are great on veggies, pasta, rices...a ground up walnut paste, thinned with pure walnut oil, makes an amazing sauce for rice or pasta.
Some of the "ancient" grain foods, like quinoa, amaranth, and spelt pastas and breads...all in moderation of course, but all of these grains have much more protein than commercial wheat products, including the misleadingly labelled "whole wheat" products.
One other thing to really help with getting more nutrients from your foods: do you soak your beans and grains before you cook them?
If you start with dry beans and pulses, soak them overnight in enough water to cover them. Add about a teaspoon or so of whey liquid to the water to eliminate the phytic acid from the beans. You'll be able to derive all the nutrients --all the protein and mineral content--and seriosly remove the problem of digestion difficulty (you know, the gas people get from eating legumes and beans in general). Phytic acid blocks nutrient absorption almost completely so you get almost no benefit from these foods. They're a staple in your diet, so they should be giving you a lot more nourishment.
Same goes with grains: if you cook things like millet, oats, grains you might make for breakfast foods or for entree dishes (for eg, this pearl barley risotto: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001560.html
) soak them for a few hours in the whey with water, or use a bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in the water.
Aug 24 2007, 10:41 AM
I'm so confused. I've been on this diet (Schwarzbein) for what? two weeks? I've been sure I'm gaining weight on it. I've been eating fats. That tells my head that I'll gain weight. And, I've been feeling fatter. My fat is maybe less firm, squishier. I don't know. I notice fat pouches in places I didn't notice them before. Like under my arms (the under arm fat boob). So I bravely stepped on the scale, knowing that the number would be higher than it was when I started. Huh? I've lost four pounds! It blows my mind. I don't understand it but I'll take it. Not sure why I think my body is fatter. Dunno . . .
Aug 25 2007, 04:11 AM
Well, that's another reason why taking measurements is a good idea--it familiarizes you with what your body really looks like, it's real shape and size. We all have a "picture" of ourselves in our mind's eye that either idealizes our appearance or criticises it severely, but real measurements put things in perspective. Coming to terms with the body as it actually is takes the Alice-in- Wonderland feel out of this whole process.
And that Alice-in-Wonderland feel--if you don't know to expect it when you're changing your diet and your body changes as well, that can really throw you.
ps: if you think the eating fat equals gaining weight idea is hard to believe, you should see what happens when you eat coconut oil every meal. Fat comes off very well doing that, provided you're eating real food. It's nice to see with your own eyes how false a lot of the "diet" claims actually are.
Aug 27 2007, 07:40 AM
Ok, I've added coconut oil and potassium to my day. I'm over the UTI and the bronchitis is clearing up.
I still have things like ice cream and choc syrup and cookies in my house. They're such huge temptations. I think I'll throw them away. Hmmm. . . a house without ice cream. How will I be able to sleep?
Grocery shopping has become fun on this diet. I get to buy all sorts of veggies and they're pretty. One thing I notice is that we're not throwing away much food. We used to be so wasteful. On this diet, we eat it all. And, we've started a compost pile for the veggie trimmings and scraps and peels.
Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good. My attitude is picking up. My mood is not too dark. This is alright . . .
Aug 27 2007, 06:33 PM
crap...why can I reply but not start a topic?
Aug 28 2007, 02:14 PM
*You can't start a new topic because you don't have enough posts. Chances are, whatever you want to know can be answered somewhere else, so don't go making lots of new posts just to start a topic.
I saw you asked a question about old issues in the community forum, so there's no need to start a new topic for that.*
I am so frustrated! I'm completely able to eat right and exercise, and I have no trouble getting motivated lately, but I have been sick all summer. Almost every second weekend I had some sort of cold that knocked me out for 3-5 days. Now I've had what my doctor thought was a sinus infection for two and half weeks. I'm still super congested and in the last 5 days I've developed a cough that is killing me.
This is so annoying because I keep getting really excited about making a serious go at regular exercise and I keep getting knocked on my ass because I'm sick all the time. And what's even worse, is that I feel almost fine now, but I'm so congested and cough-y that if I start to exercise, within 5 minutes I have to stop because I'm coughing so hard. Gah!
Aug 28 2007, 02:35 PM
Erin, I know what you mean. I got a workout dvd over the weekend, and was only able to get thru half of it today because I started coughing up a lung! Bleh.
Aug 28 2007, 03:50 PM
I hear you both! I've been on this new diet for what? a couple few weeks now? And I've been nothing but sick. I'm feeling better ow but am soooooooooooooo tired. Yup, the coughing sucks. It's the end of a long and hard fire season here. Lots of smoke settled into my lungs. Now I'm coughing it all out. But hey, that's a good way to get started on my abs! hahaha
Aug 29 2007, 02:29 PM
Y'know what the really stupid thing is? I currently have two doctors, but they're both new because I'm going to see which one I like better. I've seen one, and I'm seeing the other for the first time in two weeks. Today I called the one I've seen to get an appointment but he's out this week. I called the other one and they said she can't see me until after my first appointment. So I have two freaking doctors and I can't see either one of them!
I actually am feeling better today though. I slept through the night without a cough attack but this morning at work I had an embarrassingly bad one.
I'd rather be sick this week though, because next week I start class again.
Oh well, I have a good workout DVD that has a 20 minute work out on it so I'm going to try and do at least that tonight.
Aug 29 2007, 07:02 PM
Wow - so much great info floating around on this thread lately!
Sorry I've been pretty MIA. I've been working on getting the next issue of Girlistic Magazine ready. It goes online on Saturday and it's all about....dun dun dun....FOOD and FEMINISM! Our fave subjects. I'll let y'all know when it goes up.
Meanwhile I have to vent a bit. I think that the food craving part of my PMS has been coming after I start my period. Well, I call them pseudo periods now because ever since I lost weight, I barely have periods. But for the last three days it's like I can't keep my hands off food!! I even ate two snickers bars today and I am pretty strict about only having a little refined sugar on the weekends. It's pretty bad. I've just totally lost control the last few days AND I've skipped my workouts. Ugh. Makes me feel guilty but at the same time, I just say fuck-it.
The part that makes me want to vent, though, is that this last weekend I went to a triathlon and saw all these women with amazing bodies that I aspire be like - I mean really wonderfully toned and muscular. Just amazing. And so I get all motivated to work harder to get my body in shape for next year's triathlon, and BAM, that day I start my period and go on this binge thing. Ugh....it's not the first time, but I hate it when I just can't stop eating everything! I guess it's a lot better than not eating enough. Tonight I'll get back on track and control myself, and tomorrow get my increasingly flabby ass back on my bike and go for a nice long ride!
Anyway - thanks for being here for me to vent to. And Chachaheels - you're full of info!! Thanks!!!!
Aug 30 2007, 11:46 PM
Ok, seriously. I've been sick ever since I started this diet. If it's not one thing, it's another. Now I have bronchitis form all the smoke from the wildfires. Totally sucks. And I'm frustrated. I'm absolutely positive that I'm gaining weight. This is not working for me. Grrr. . . . I'm eating more carbs than the diet calls for. 15 grams of carbs a mean and 7 grams per snack simply isn't enough to fuel my day, even if all i do is putter around my house. Anyway. . . I just want to be healthy, damn it. I know I complain alot. Sometimes a girl just needs to gripe. You don't have to listen.
Aug 31 2007, 04:32 AM
Hey Jaymi! You're welcome! (Usually people tell me I'm full of, well, other things). Anywhoo: let's see if I can be of some help to all this griping.
If you're finding yourself eating more during your periods, try and be aware of the type of foods you are craving. If you're reaching for sugary foods, like milk chocolates, wines/beer/alcohol, crackers/chips, bread-y starchy foods, then I would go and have your thyroid checked out by an endocrinologist. A sluggish thyroid will make you crave sugar because of the potent stimulation in the form of concentrated energy white sugar provides. If you've been on a calorie restricted diet for a long period of time and lost a lot of weight, that would be my first suspicion.
It also points to a need for B vitamins, so that's what I'd stock up on next: a form of methylcobalamin B12 in a sublingual tablet or drop formulation; injections if the need is severe (I suspect there might be a problem with anemia from what you say about your current period, after weight loss). Another combination B vitamin formula should go along with the B12 supplementation...there's a good one on the market made by New Chapter that you should be able to find at a good health food store, it's called B Food Complex. They will help a great deal.
To stabilize things hormonally and to counteract the effects of the slowing thyroid on other glands in the body, please consider supplementing with essential fatty acids. You need the right omega 3 and 6 fats--fish oils AND oil of evening primrose, plus Cod Liver Oil. I like using a 3 and 6 combination made from really good fats, available practically everywhere, called Efamol Efalex. Cod Liver Oil can be had in capsules, get a really pure, nordic waters fish oil that's rich in natural vitamins A and D and take these fats every day. They will make a world of difference.
Then, acknowledge that during your period, you will need more food, more rest, more comfort (another reason you're reaching for starchy foods). If it makes you feel good to be active during your period, plan on doing exercises which are less punishing--but just do more of them, in other words, spend an hour on them a day during this time as opposed to half an hour. Women have always done this traditionally, I don't know why we think NOT doing it is a good idea. It's like we're completely ignoring what we need here. Factor in these needs, plan on resting more and eating more foods that you like (healthier foods which hit the spot but don't give you tons of junky ingredients) which will also fill those needs but not wreak havoc on your life.
It's really important, and here's why:
long term dieting with calorie restrictions....which leads to what might be a slowing of your overall metabolism....compounded by cravings for the sugary foods you now want (cravings indicate a physiological need, by the way, they have NOTHING to do with "willpower")....will lead you to extensive weight gain.
Yeah, that's what calorie restricted diets do, and its the reason all the "diet" businesses thrive. Eating less at this point will only advance this outcome. Paying attention to what's actually happening, and not trying to shut it all down by blaming it on your lack of ability to "control" yourself, will get you out of that cycle. Good luck!
Fiddler, I know I don't have to listen, but that's no fun.
Of course you're sick. You've been fighting wildfires now for weeks, and the diet is something you've undertaken under this stressful time. But, in reality, all times are stressful and made moreso by dieting. Give yourself a break.
You're eating more carbs because there isn't enough carbs for you at this point--so plan on eating more fats and proteins per meal and snack instead. Then: you must get better from your work induced illnesses.
Fiddler and Erinjane, to help speed recovery from that bronchitis, I would suggest using a Biochemical Tissue Salt. These are wonderful mineral remedies that act a little bit like supplements, but much more like a medicine in the body, and you can find them at any good health food store. A very important Biochemical tissue salt for second stage infections, particularly of the lungs and blood, is the salt known as #5, Kali Muriaticum (prepared from Potassium Chloride). This is the mineral your body needs to eliminate the waste products from the infection. If you take this tissue salt four times a day, four pillules at a time (they dissolve under the tongue immediately) to get rid of the bronchitis and after effects of smoke inhalation, you'll feel much better more quickly. Use them until the bronchitis is gone, then use Tissue salt #7, Kali Sulf (made from potassium sulphate). Take these the same way for a couple of weeks once the phlegmyness has stopped and the infection has cleared. It will help support the liver's own detoxification process and aid in restoring the damaged cells and tissue following the infection.
Want help with the sugar/carb thing? The tissue salt known as #11, Natrum Sulf, helps the body metabolize sugars and carbohydrates (among other things...but this is the major one). It's also a great remedy to have on hand as first aid for frostbite, just as a handy aside. I would take these twice a day, four pillules per dose, to help with the whole carb craving problem while you're doing this regime.
All the tissue salts work well in a 6X potency for our purposes, you can find them easily, they're not expensive and they work amazingly well. They even taste pleasantly sweet.
Aug 31 2007, 06:59 PM
Dropping in for a second to say the new issue of Girlistic Magazine is online now - all about feminism & food! I even put an article in there that I wrote up thanks to this very thread. You can read it at http://www.girlistic.com/magazine.htm.
Chacha - I wish I knew you when I was planning the issue because I'd have LOVED for you to contribute. Thanks for all the advice. Luckily, I'm back under control now. I'll think about everything you said when it's that time of month in September. I appreciate how generous you are with info.
Talk to you all soon!!
Aug 31 2007, 08:45 PM
Ok, so live and learn. I went to the fair today - been planning on this trip to the fair for months. I ate lots of fair food and had a great time. But I'm noticing something. The more sweets and crap and carbs I ate, the more my body hurt. Lesson: Eat crap, experience fibro full blast. I'm really seeing how too many carbs can jump start the inflammatory process. Hmmm. . . Good to know.
Sep 4 2007, 10:05 AM
more bitching - may i bitch here?
I'm so frustrated. I'm trying so hard. And I'm so f-ing sick all the time. It's bullsh!t. Something is not right. I get every single little bug that happens my way. What in the hell is going on? Ugh!!!! After spending a night puking and yesterday sleeping, I feel about halfway human today. I'm trying hard at this Schwarzbein thing. I'm paying close attention to what I eat (with the exception of the fair). I'm starting to exercise, even though it's still smokey here. I'm pushing myself to be active. I'm trying hard to act less depressed on the pretense that if I act it, then maybe I'll somehow learn to be less depressed. All it's doing is wearing me out. I'm so frustrated. I really don't know what to do.
Sep 4 2007, 01:25 PM
Hi everyone. I'm new to posting on bust and I come to this thread seeking motivation and commiseration. I tried to button my jeans the other day and couldn't. And I used to run and now I don't. These are things that need to change...
Sep 4 2007, 03:13 PM
Geez kiss, I know just what you mean. I seemed to be getting better last week, but this morning I woke up stuffed up, leaking green phlegm, and coughing more again. I didn't bother making a doctors appointment because I thought I was getting better, but I'm going to have to see if I can get in Tomorrow or Thursday. This is ridiculous. It's been almost 4 weeks.
On a positive note, the past 5 days have been really great. I finished my office job last week, so now I have no excuse to use the car and I feel so much better already. I've been biking and walking everywhere and eating right and I just feel fantastic (aside from the stuffed up head). I'm hoping to get in a short ride tonight if my class ends early (it normally ends at 9).
Sep 5 2007, 09:15 PM
I took my stepdaughter hiking yesterday which was good, but then I just finished a big hamburger from the drive-in down the street for dinner, which was less good. Hmmm. It tasted good though. Fiddler, what is the Schwarzbein thing? I'm trying to watch what I eat too, and get less high fructose corn syrup and alcohol. I've been trying to do whole foods for a while.
Sep 5 2007, 10:03 PM
the Schwarzbein Principle by Diana Schwarzbein is a way of eating (and a book that tells you how) that supposedly supports your body so that your body can heal itself. I'm struggling with it because I crave carbsd sooooooooooo much. I think my adrenal glands are fried and that's why I'm having such a hard time with this way of eating.
good job on the hike.
Sep 6 2007, 08:11 AM
Mmmm...carbs. Thanks fiddler, I'm off to wikipedia...
Sep 6 2007, 10:01 AM
I'm freaking CRAVING carbs. I dream about carbs. I can taste them out of the blue. It's driving me up a f-ing wall. Aaargh.
Sep 6 2007, 03:34 PM
Here are some things you can take and do to eliminate carb cravings:
1. Eat some carbs from foods like tomatoes, berries of all kinds, leafy greens (such as salads, loaded with dressing. Good dressing. And things like bacon, if you like bacon. Look: a caesar salad with tons of really great fresh dressing, real bacon sliced thinly, and parmiggiano reggiano or blue cheese to your heart's desire). Or make a mixed green salad and create a ranch dressing. Have 1/2 a slice of bread with this--you can toast it and use it as croutons, or eat it with your salad. As well, eat some carbs in the form green veggies (eg. asparagus, green beans steamed and served with butter and sliced almonds); or eat some of the high protein "alternative" grains: amaranth, spelt, quinoa, millet, barley. All of these are now available as pastas and flours, so you can make things with them if you like.
2. Natrum Sulfuricum Tissue Salts, as I wrote about below
3. Chromium Picolinate tablets, taken as a regular supplement
4. Holy Basil capsules, like the Holy Basil pills made by New Chapter
5. Gymnema Sylvestre works for some people, but it should only be used under the supervision of an herbalist
(all the above 4 things aid in sugar metabolism in the cells and tissues of the body. Basil in particular helps to regulate blood sugar so that the need for carbs will stabilize. The New Chapter herb formulation of Holy Basil is a safe one to use without the supervision of an herbalist, otherwise I wouldn't recommend you treat anything with herbs over the counter), Gymnema S. helps to curb the craving for sugar and sweet foods, and indirectly helps to keep blood sugar levels low.
If your adrenals are shot, you should be supplementing with essential fatty acids (flax seed oil or, better still, fish oil, plus evening primrose oil), Cod Liver Oil, and Coconut oil. B vitamins are vital to help give the adrenals a break and restore their former efficiency. I'd also like to see you take some glandular extracts to help with this problem, but that REALLY should not be taken over the counter. And I don't know how you'd feel taking glandular extracts from bovine or porcine sources, as that's where they are sourced. They do work extremely well, however.
But Fiddler, I can't imagine there is NO excitement whatsoever from firefighting...that alone could overtax the adrenals just because of what it can do to the nervous system. I know the burning season does die down at some point but it's important to stay away from as many excitatants and stimulants as possible if you want your adrenals to get healthy again.
Sep 6 2007, 05:21 PM
Thank you for your suggestions. I've added coconut oil to just about every meal. I love the texture of it and it tastes so yummy. And I've almost completely cut caffeine and tea out of my day. I still use my asthma inhalers which have a little bit of a stimulant effect but overall, I've cut my stimulant chemicals WAY down.
My sweetie has a N.D. who just gave her dessicated adrenals. Is that what you were talking about? She says they taste real bad. Anyway, I'm on my period which is part of why I'm craving carbs so hard. I always do. On the up side, my skin is so much better than it ever has been. I have not one zit! Something is changing.
It is frustrating how slowly things change. I do very much appreciate your support. Thank you.
p.s. Fire season is pretty much over I hope. Today at least, the air is clear. The wind is blowing and there are actually clouds in the sky. A few days ago, water fell from the sky with no helicopter! Yup, it rained!
Sep 6 2007, 06:28 PM
it really is frustrating how slow things can be, but change adds up, and it's so very worth it. sometimes you just have to persevere and know that you're strong enough to handle this, however frustrated you may feel--and then one day you'll be able to look back and see enormous positive change.
i've been having improvemnt, and then a setback this past weekend, and it's so difficult to keep it all in perspective sometiems. frustration can really weigh on you but if you're working to improve, it can and will happen.
i hope i don't sound too full of crap but it's stuff i have to remind myself of a whole lot--it's stuff we all know, but sometimes it's good to hear it from someone else, for me anyway.
Sep 6 2007, 06:40 PM
i'm so plateau-ing.
no weight loss, a delicate balance of exercise keeping me from weight gain. i try to eat healthy, watch intake etc, but what's concerning to me is that on the days where i am a little more strict (and by strict, i mean keeping full with fruits, veggies, protein, and minimal carbs), i am usually STARVING despite being physically unable to eat more; does that make sense? i've been waking up at like 3 in the morning hungry out of my mind, or the next morning/day. i'm a vegetarian, and i never thought the whole 'protein keeps you from craving carbs' worked. if its not real carbs, my body knows. if it's not a honking loaf of bread, my body knows.
but yeah, i don't know if i have a questions in there really. i think it's more of a rant. but i just want to say i want to drop some lbs and the whole less intake, burn more axiom is not working for me! anyone got some ephedra?
Sep 6 2007, 09:51 PM
catlady, I totally hear you. I'm veg too and I can't eat enough to not be hungry often (except when I'm never hungry, who knows). I get up almost every night at some point and eat a snack. I'm careful to make it a healthy snack but they're not usually balanced. Usually plain whole milk yogurt or whole milk cottage cheese for my middle of the night snack. Protein is still hard for me because for most of my life, my diet simply didn't have much of it. Now, I eat tofu for two meals a day and lots of veggies and about two or three pieces of fruit each day. I also eat lots of nuts and cheese. I miss bread. I miss sweet things, candy, cookies, etc. I miss ice cream. I've been a carb junkie forever (except when I was a practicing anorexic and not eating anything). Gees, my poor body. No wonder healing takes time. Anyway, I'm rambling. I mostly wanted you to know that I hear you.
Sep 7 2007, 04:42 AM
The whole weight loss/weight gain theory that all you need to do to lose weight forever is decrease the calories going in and increase the calories going out is complete nonsense.
It doesn't hold up scientifically, and it never will. If it did, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Dr. Berrnstein, Liposuction surgeons, Bariatric doctors, and all the weaselly carion businesses making a fortune out of this fallacy would all be financially bankrupt completely.
If you are sticking to your diet and unable to eat more and yet feel starved, and frustrated by the fact that there is no weight loss taking place it is very likely because you are deficient in essential nutrients. Very, very often, the nutrients craved are fats more than any other macronutrient. We've been lied to quite effectively about saturated fats, animal fats, and plain old amounts of fats we need in our diets for a number of decades now, and the result is greater "obesity" and greater chronic disease (in the deepest organs and even as deep as in our bones) than ever.
That deep feeling of extreme hunger isn't just your imagination, it's real. If it isn't addressed carefully it usually drives people to eat whatever they can, in whatever quantity they can manage. To add greater insult to injury, the fact that the deficiencies still aren't met, compounded by the fact that the caloric restrictions put in place have caused the "starvation" problem to come up, only creates a bigger problem: unaddressed deficiency, effectively stagnant metabolism, and now far more foods being eaten which still don't address the issue of need. Weight comes back on much more quickly while the body acts as if it's still starving to death, and a decrease in the amount of calories taken in will do nothing to reverse this process: in fact, it will intensify it.
Most people have come to gain weight because of some very real deficiencies.
"Obesity" is actually a disease of deficiency, not of overconsumption.
If your making an effort to lose weight you will be more successful if your diet includes all the nutrients you need. Most regimes will not ensure you proceed with this in mind (because the vast majority of them are still based on a low-fat, reduced calorie plan....which will not work for the vast majority of people).
What everyone needs to have:
essential fatty acids--these are the omega 3's and 6's and even 9's everyone's been talking about. Sources of omega 3's are: flax seed oil for vegetarians and vegans (you need a tablespoon per day); or fish oils, specifically from cold water, deep water fish (the fish oils are actually superior food for your body than the flax seed, so if you do eat meat opt for the fish oil instead). Specific fatty acid chain omega 6's are necessary in order to ensure that the body's hormone and prostaglandin production becomes and remains efficient. While it's nice that oils like olive oil and sunflower oil all have omega 6 fatty acid chains, neither of these fats will allow for prostaglandin production: borage oil and oil of evening primrose are two fats that actually do optimize the production of these hormones and hormone-like substances. Oil of evening primrose has an added effectiveness in stabilizing the reproductive system for women (yes, it can help your body to produce prostaglandins which address inflammation, cramping, irregular menstrual cycles); borage oil is equally good but seems to work better for men.
Diet-creators will usually look at these nutrients as an extra 3 calories per teaspoon (so you're looking at an extra 9 to 30 calories a day) of fat and question your insistence on them. But again, that's because they're perspective is unsound.
Vitamins C, A, E, and Selenium
Vitamin C does not have to cost a lot of money, all you need for effective absorption is the ascorbate molecule. Powdered vitamin C from sago palm is a good source, vitamin C from Rosehips is also good. You don't have to spend a lot on this vitamin despite what your health food store staff tell you. You just need to take enough: minimum of 1000mg/day.
Vitamin A--should be sourced from animal fats, as these are the optimum and safest sources. Vitamin A from Cod liver oil is prefered. Synthetic vitamin A's can be dangerous and can't be used in quantities sufficient for your daily dietary needs.
Vitamin E--should take 400 i.u.'s to 800 i.u.'s per day. Ideally, this should also come from a natural source, like wheat germ which has not been rancidified to produce the oil. There is a lot of talk about what kind of tocopherols are actually benign and which are not so good, but that seems to make buying a vitamin E supplement go from being a $10 expense to a 300 dollar one, to no one's benefit. One made from mixed tocopherols, from a good, fresh natural source is best.
Selenium: should actually be in any food grown in the earth, but we've depleted soils of selenium for so long now that it just isn't there.
You can get all of these in an "ACES" formula, which can make taking these nutrients all that much easier.
B vitamins: yes, of course, and you need all of them particularly if you are cutting out the starchy, grain foods from your diet, as these foods are typically a source of (rather poor quality) B vitamins.
B12 methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin, 1000mcg/daily--drops or sublingual tablets are best
then a combined B vitamin form which features thiamin, niacin, inositol, choline, and lipotropic factors, among other B's.
Acidophilus and Bifidus or human micro flora live cultures: take a formulation with at least 5 billion live organisms per day AND try and eat raw milk cheeses, cream, and butter, as well as yogurt with live cultures. Vegans should find a non-dairy source, such as the human micro flora live culture supplements (like the Genestra HMF line).
Lactofermented foods: add them to your diet. They rarely contain calories, but you will need the lactofermented element to boost nutrient absorption. If you can't stand these foods or can't find them easily, there is a product made by A. Vogel called Molkosan (you can find it in health food stores carrying this line of products from Europe)...you take it by mixing it with water to make a drink. These foods can make all the difference in keeping weight off and restoring full health to the body, but if you can't get them, this supplement will supply the same thing.
Also: kombucha (a lactofermented mushroom drink) can be an option for vegans.
Fats we need to have:
those not processed by heat/bleaching/deodorizing, and the use of hexane...so in other words, eliminate all oils made to stay "stable" on a shelf indefinitely.
Corn oil, Wessen Oil, Mazzola oil....do not ingest these.
Canola oil should also be avoided because it is all, without exception, a genetically modified form of rapeseed, which is an oil our bodies cannot safely ingest. Yes, it's a crop which was never good for us, genetically modified in order to create a huge profitable industry. Never eat this.
Good quality fats:
cold press process (mechanical extraction only) fats...such as extra virgin, first cold pressing olive oil (subsequent pressings of the olives are no longer purely mechanical, and the oils have to be extracted using chemicals.
Expeller pressed seed and nut oils--eg. walnut, hazelnut, avocado, sesame, almond, and especially coconut oil, which is actually thermogenic, etc. Read the labels to ensure processing has never been done at high heat or via the use of extraction or "stabilization" chemicals. If you have the opportunity to purchase organic versions, you're best off doing so.
Butter and lard are always better for you than margarine, and all other hydrogenated fats (which are all, without exception, "trans fats", even though the legal definition of trans fats has now become so limited all junk foods can now claim not to include any. Yet they've changed nothing about the way those foods are produced, including ingredients).
Fats found in dairy foods, meats, fish, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Cod Liver Oil. Get the purified nordic sea oil variety, which you can take in capsules. It has the highest amounts of natural vitamin A and D, in the best form possible (well, actually, eating liver is one of the best forms possible, but most people can't wrap their minds around eating organ meats anymore).
Vitamin D: we're just beginning to comprehend the link between sunlight exposure, our ability/inability to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight (or, effectively ingest very high quantities of vitamin D from animal food sources if sunlight exposure has to be limited) and diseases such as diabetes, depression, heart disease, and obesity. Vitamin D is absolutely necessary, but beware: foods that have been "enriched" with vitamin D, or vitamin D from sources other than ourselves or real animal foods, are not good sources.
The best source: sun exposure, at least 15 minutes a day (yes, tanning, not burning, is actually good for you. But that means sun exposure so that melanin is produced--not day long exposure to the point where skin burns). Don't wear sunblock during the sun exposure for vitamin D but time yourself...five or ten minutes at first until you have some melanin in your skin....then extend your time out. A tan is the best and safest protection against sun exposure and our purpose here is to generate vitamin D synthesis in our bodies, not to prove a point about sunscreen. If you can get out every day to do this and you're in a sunny climate, great: if you're not, and it's dark much of the year, a supplement of vitamin D from a source like Cod Liver Oil is best.
There are other supplements which must be taken if particular health concerns are being reversed...but these are most of the basics we should all have in any weight loss plan.
Sep 7 2007, 05:03 PM
you have a vast wealth of knowledge. thanks for sharing it. I have a question about oils. You mentioned not using corn or canola oils. What about vegetable oil? What would you recommend besides cold pressed olive oil etc?
Sep 7 2007, 07:31 PM
The one thing to watch out for whenever you are considering oils is really rancidity. Most commercial oils (uncluding, unfortunately, the generically named vegetable oils) are processed using extremely high heat, deodorants, stabilizers and preservatives, bleaches, poisonous chemicals like hexane, and oils with questionable source materials (safflower, sunflower, cottonseed oils, for example; some of these oils block absorption of other nutrients and actually end up depleting important sustenance from the body). These oils are just as dangerous as the infamous "trans" fats, because they are processed for shelf life and not for nutritional value. The expeller pressed or mechanically pressed oils, pressed without chemicals and pressed without heat, are often the very best forms of oil for making culinary uses.
Choosing oils gets easier if you consider the source materials and how the oils are extracted. Heat can destroy fats and make them burn or become unstable. It often polymerizes them (turns them into plastic-like substances) or simply rancidifies them. Rancid fats are spoiled and they will compromise your health because they also cannot provide you with the foods you must have in order for your body to function properly.
That being said, you can look up a variety of oils: sesame, avocado, nut oils, olive oils, grapeseed oil, pumpkin seed oil, etc. etc. etc. but determine how you can best use them for full nutrient value based on how you intend to use them. For frying, you may want to consider oils with higher "smoking" points, such as coconut oil (the most stable oil of them all) olive oil, lard, butter (for flavouring oils you'll use for frying), sesame oil; for salads, you can choose from a huge variety of oils that will taste best and remain stable at room temperature or colder. Some examples include flax seed oil, avocado oil, hazelnut/almond/walnut oils, avocado oil, etc. Some oils should never be heated (such as flax seed oil); others can stand a bit of heat and can be used to fry foods lightly, or to make baked goods.
Hope this helps. I find a lot of useful information about fats in general, and about good cooking fats in particular, from the weston a. price foundation's website (at www.westonaprice.org). It's got a handy search engine that links you to all kinds of articles which will always include the information you're looking for.
Sep 8 2007, 11:17 AM
Sep 8 2007, 08:09 PM
You're welcome, MissLadyJ.
Sep 9 2007, 02:17 PM
Okay - I just discovered heaven.
I'm a chocolate fiend and have been struggling with not eating it after every meal. I decided that I'd do a sort of detox and not have any refined sugar (i.e. my chocolates) during the month of September. After the first two days I was prowling the kitchen and scratching my head about how to satisfy my craving without breaking my rule. I ran out of cocoa powder and so couldn't make my fall-back hot chocolate with honey. Then I found a way where I can get what I want without any guilt. ZIP-O!
I figured out that my chocolate protein powder when mixed with hot unsweetened almond milk is actually a decadent hot chocolate. It tastes better than what I make from scratch out of cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, etc. And since my powder doesn't use any artificial sweetners or sugar, it's within the rule! I get my chocolate fix AND am getting 32 grams of protein! It feels so good when I finally discover a way to please both my tongue and my tummy.
Just thought I'd share that so that anyone else who wants a healthy treat can try it.