Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Another Diet and Health Update

A couple months ago, I posted my results after two months on the Matt Stone's Diet Recovery program. Since people keep asking how things are going, I thought a detailed blog post was in order.  It has been two months since the last update.
  
Month 3
During the 3rd month I wanted to really slow down the weight gain, so I cut back the ice cream a bit.  Previously, I was eating it twice a day (which REALLY helped me to maintain steady energy levels), so I dropped this back to only eating it once a day at breakfast.  I had a bit more exercise this month and observed that it can really have a detrimental effect on my body temps.  I continued to manage my mild joint pain by eating a mostly GAPS-legal diet (probably about 95%), with the exceptions being potatoes once or thrice a week and homemade popcorn occasionally.

Not-so-good progress
  • Waking body temperatures are a good indicator of the state of the body's metabolism, so I've been tracking my temps to see how I am progressing on restoring metabolism (which is one of the main premises of the Diet Recovery program). Back in February, my waking body temperatures plummeted after a high-intensity burpee workout. In the first half of the March, my temps stayed low, and then fell even further after I spent a week working hard physically to build a chicken coop (but it sure was a fun week for me and the kids).  
  • Unlike the previous two months when I had normal menstrual cycles, my menstrual cycle in March dropped to only 23 days with very little bleeding.  This is a sign that my hormones are out of whack (and this should be helped by restoring my metabolism).
  • My energy levels were more variable once again, with some very low energy (lethargy) spells.  This is a problem I've been struggling with for over a year.  Overall, my energy levels in March were still much better than before I started the Diet Recovery program, but they were worse than the previous month.
Good progress
  • Weight gain was only a few pounds.  This brought the total gain since January to around 10-12 pounds. 
  • Protandim (an herbal supplement) was recommended to me by someone from our local WAP group, who had very good results with using it to help his adrenal/thyroid problems (it even got him off his thyroid meds).  I don't normally take any supplements; just my fermented cod liver oil and dessicated liver pills. But I figured I may as well try the Protandim to see.  I was surprised to note that my constipation and heartburn improved (better than they've been in years, and even better than when I saw good improvements from RRARFing on lots of potatoes/starches).  I also noticed that my hands and feet seem even toastier (and sometimes REALLY warm) since I started taking it.  
  • Once I started taking Protandim, my waking body temps started creeping up, even though I had decreased my ice cream consumption (high-fat ice cream is a huge metabolism booster). 
Month 4
During the 4th month, I wanted to stop the weight gain as I was not comfortable with gaining weight month after month (and my jeans were now too tight).  I continued eating a mostly GAPS-legal diet, although I increased my consumption of non-GAPS foods a bit during this month (still at least 90-95% GAPS, though). I continued to take a nap every day.  I started to do more yoga and walking. I continued to take Protandim.

I also changed my eating habits a bit after reading Geneen Roth's "Women Food and God".  I started paying more attention to my body's fullness cues, rather than just eating meals mindlessly. I was amazed to see that I get full much earlier than I've ever noticed, and have started to reduce the amount of food I put on my plate to correspond to how much my body actually wants to eat. I also started trying to really listen to what my body was telling me about what it wanted to eat, rather than what I thought I should eat. (This is something Matt Stone and Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride advocate as well.)  Rather than making myself eat some "healthy" scrambled eggs with breakfast, I've been listening to my body's cues, which have led to eating lots of grain-free cookies, and much less ice cream. I've noticed that first thing in the day, my body wants sweet carb foods, like cookies, and then later around mid-morning my body wants a savory meal.  My body also wants to eat more frequently, with smaller meals. 

I stopped checking my weight so frequently in April (which is another thing Matt Stone recommends), and vowed to only check it after the month was over. I've noticed previously that I tend to gain weight when I keep checking it frequently, but I am usually more stable or will even lose weight if I don't check it so frequently. 

Not-so-good progress
  • I avoided vigorous exercise for a few weeks, during which time my body temperatures started to come up into the normal range. I then did a slow-motion strength training regime (only about 20 minutes long).  Once again, my temperatures plummeted from working out.
  • Still having some energy problems, although my energy levels were better this month than in March.
Good progress
  • My temperatures recovered about a week after my strength training workout, and have continued to stay in the normal range for the last couple weeks!  This is a huge step for me, as it indicates that my metabolism is recovering.  
  • My moods have been much more stable when my temperatures are in the normal range.
  • I am able to do moderate yoga workouts and walk a mile or two without having any negative effect on my temperatures. 
  • My menstrual cycle in April was only 25 days long with very little bleeding.  I was glad to see the number of days increased slightly this month. 
  • I did not gain any weight, and actually lost a pound or two!! 
Looking Ahead
I feel like I have turned a corner in restoring my metabolism!  I am hopeful that this will help with my chronic heartburn and energy problems. I'm going to avoid doing any strength or interval workouts for the next few weeks and then see if I can slowly reintroduce these workouts without having a detrimental effect on my temperatures and metabolism.  In the mean time, I will keep up with yoga and walking.  I'll also keep taking Protandim, as that seems to really help my body progress in healing.

It has been very a interesting process of learning to trust my body instead of my mind in determining what I will eat.  I've been enjoying having more freedom with food, and will continue to listen to my body's cues on what to eat and how much to eat.  I will also only allow myself to check my weight once a month, rather than obsessing over what number appears every few days. 

Have you made any changes to your diet?  What were the results?

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I have some similar symptoms as you, but not the weight gain. Are you still nursing? I am asking as this may keep you from getting fully back to normal in terms of establishing a hormonal balance, at least this was my experience. In the past few months I have experienced for the first time in my life short menstrual cycles (20-25 days)and had no idea why. After we took a 2 week vacation in Florida and spending quite a bit of time outside on the beach and resting a lot, I noticed my menstrual cycle becoming normal again (28 days), despite the fact that I ate a very non-GAPS diet.
I was also wondering whether you have considered taking some thyroid hormones (natural one or bio-identical) as you seem to display classic thyroid symptoms. About 8 months postpartum I developed auto-immune thyroiditis and I took natural thyroid hormones for 2 months only to treat it, which I think gave a metabolism boost in my body. I discovered that I had this because I gained 10 pounds in a month, which was very unusual for me and after previously loosing my pregnancy weight. Sleep is also super-critical in healing thyroid/adrenal issues but a big problem is that sleep is not of good quality, exactly because of thyroid/adrenal issues. Even with a nap, you may not sleep enough. I found that 10 hours a day of sleep are necessary to heal the thyroid, but this amount is impractical for most people, and especially for mothers of small children.
I hope you can figure out soon how to establish a perfect hormonal balance in your body and keep up writing nice and helpful blogs that many of us enjoy reading tremendously.

Mrs.Logan said...

I'm getting desperate. I'm 3 months pregnant, and ever since last November my energy level has totally plummeted, so that I can't do my regular chores without getting so exhausted that I have to stop and sit on the sofa, possibly never to regain my strength that day. I know that this lack of energy is really NOT normal, but everyone I talk to (doctors) and my parents and husband are telling me that this is a normal part of aging and to cut myself some slack. I'm 32. Really? I have to give over to not being able to care for my family well because I'm "getting old"?

I can't afford Matt Stone's book, its just not ever going to make it to the priority list. My energy is getting so low that I can barely comprehend conversations and the things I read anymore. This is not normal aging or the result of having 5 kids.

GAPS diet seemed to make things worse for me... So I gave it up. The energy came back for a bit after a relaxing (aka sleeping nearly all the time, doing nothing, but getting sun and not even cooking)trip to FLorida in February. Returning home resulted in energy for a few weeks, but its totally gone now.

Do you have any thoughts for me? Places I can look into to read about? Ideas that come to mind? I'm desperate these days. Anything you could suggest would help me.

Sarah Smith said...

Yes, I am still nursing, and I can't get much sleep since my son has some sleep issues (he wakes every 1-2 hours; we're working with a homeopath on this). I also am awake in the middle of the night for 1-3 hours most nights (this developed when I was pregnant with my son). I think these are the reasons that Matt Stone's RRARF program did not really work well for me in a short time (he says 30 days, but that clearly won't work for me while I'm nursing and having a hard time getting enough sleep). My menstrual cycle was never less than 28 days until about 8 months ago, when it started getting shorter and shorter, which is what led me to start really researching adrenal issues and then into Matt's program. I agree with you that I may not be able to be fully recovered until I stop nursing, but unfortunately that isn't even on my radar yet (nursing is the one thing that helps my son go to sleep, so I'm not even thinking of weaning until his sleep pattern gets better).

I haven't tried any thyroid hormones yet. So far, the protandim seems to be really helping in that regard, but I may have to try something else in the future. I'm not sure I'd want to try anything hormonal until I'm done nursing, though.

Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Mrs. Logan,
I agree with you that feeling so tired is not normal! I'm 33, and have experienced the same problems, and it does not seem right at such a young age. From the research I've done, my problems seem to be related to adrenal fatigue/thyroid issues (which initially got much better on GAPS, but then got worse and worse over time). I think my problems got worse from unintentionally eating low-carb for so long on GAPS. This is what led me to try out Matt's RRARF program. While it may not fully help you recover since you are pregnant (which is a huge drain on the body), you still might feel somewhat better from trying the RRARF program. He describes it in a FREE ebook here:
http://www.180degreehealth.com/uploads/eBooks/Rrarf.pdf

Do you eat plenty of fat, protein, and carbs, or do you tend to lean more towards low fat/low carb/etc? I've noticed I need way more carbs than I would normally eat on the GAPS diet. Oh, one thing that may sound counterintuitive, but I think could really help you: eat LOTS of ice cream! I make homemade, but if you need storebought instead, I would recommend Haagen Daz. Ice cream can really help to boost the energy levels and mental clarity, and I think it is especially nourishing for you when you are pregnant and nursing. Have you seen this post that shows how ice cream and breastmilk are amazingly similar in nutrient composition?
http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2012/01/could-ice-cream-be-superfood.html

Dawn said...

Mrs. Logan,

I've officially had thyroid and adrenal problems for about four years now, but symptoms since puberty when I look back. I think food and toxins are often to blame, but it is difficult to reverse thyroid damage. I would really encourage you to consider getting several tests to evaluate your adrenal and thyroid function because thyroid status can affect the intelligence of your baby. In my area, they only check the TSH (which is actually pituitary hormone) in the prenatal testing. You may have to persist to find a doctor who will order more than the TSH thyroid test -- or order on your own (see below). Most MDs, including endocrinologists seem to be unwilling. I have found several web sites to be very helpful (no affiliation).

stopthethyroidmadness.com (symptoms, lab value guidance, treatment, finding a good doctor)
canaryclub.org (order your own tests)
http://www.adrenalsweb.org/

Dawn said...

Hi Sarah,

Thankfully thyroid hormone does not cross into breast milk. I've nursed two children while taking natural dessicated thyroid.

I've thought about taking Protandim. You may be interested in the UndergroundWellness.com podcast about it. I think it was sometime in spring of 2011. For one, it has milk thistle in it which supports the liver as it converts your storage T4 thyroid hormone into the active T3 hormone (that gives you "energy"). And Ashwaganda (see below) is an adaptogen which supports the adrenals in a number of ways.

http://www.adrenalsweb.org/isocort-and-glandulars.php

Mrs.Logan said...

Thanks Sarah for the e-book link. I searched around on his site before and couldn't find any free info on the RRARFing.

In the very beginning of GAPS I did feel alot better, then in a month or so I crashed big time. I think I do tend to low carb, especially on GAPS, not really intentionally, but I did try to limit my honey (as I felt sugar was bad). I am sure I didn't eat enough squashy stuff. I love Haagen Daz and I plan to buy some tonight, I'm willing to try it. I make my own ice cream at home, but it never comes out right. I have to use my blendtec to do it, and it's always milkshake like.

Thanks for the link to the icecream thing, I had read that one before, and thought about eating the ice cream. But again, my fear of sugar... I have had a massive addiction to sugar, so I get really nervous introducing it. But if I keep up the probiotics it should keep the sugar fiending at bay.

For a couple weeks during the first trimester I was really sick (totally normal for me) my husband suggested a slice of cake before bed. WOW that did wonders for me, but I gained 5 pounds. Since I have such large babies (last one was 10.11) I am afraid to gain too much weight while pregnant. The last baby really wreaked havoc in the birth canal and I want more kiddos... hopefully I'll have the energy to care for them.

I've read loads on thyroid and adrenals, and I think that is somehow affecting me, but no doctor has been able to see a problem with the thyroid. I know a local woman who has seen a local endocrinologist who actually does the RIGHT tests, so I hope to go see him soon. I'd like to be able to tell my husband and father that indeed, there is something wrong, I'm not just "lazy" "old" or "overwhelmed by kids" for no reason. That would really help them feel they could support me better.

Thanks for getting back to me. I'm almost too tired to seek out the info I need anymore.

Mrs. Logan

Tara said...

Hi Mrs. Logan,
I am dealing with adrenal issues myself and am also pregnant and thought I'd add a couple of things. I understand the concern about sugar, but I've found in pregnancy I've had to allow myself enough honey and fruit. We need it at this time! There's alot of work going on in there, and we need enough fuel for the job (and of course that doesn't mean *just* honey and fruit, but also good fats, protein, etc). This isn't a refined sugar binge; it just means allowing ourselves the freedom to have a bit of honey and some servings of fruit - and yes, as you said, keeping up the probiotic intake. Also, I've personally found that when I try to do something to treat the thyroid, I actually feel worse; I've come to understand that this is because when adrenal issues exist, they need to be dealt with...otherwise trying to treat the thyroid seems to not help. And regarding doctors and testing, if at all possible, I'd recommend that you see a naturopath or someone like that who will do something besides the standard test and prescribing Synthroid. I have spent alot of time frustrated by those who, as you mentioned, don't understand or just look at some numbers on paper and don't hear what I'm telling them about my poor daily functioning. And really, that kind of frustration is just more exhausting for us! Now that I'm seeing a naturopath, she has given me homeopathic drops for adrenal support that are safe to use during pregnancy (not all natural remedies are safe during pregnancy, but there are some things that can be used safely - including some acupuncture points). In my experience, conventional doctors do not understand these adrenal issues - they only recognize the extreme conditions which have official names. So even when they run tests, they can declare us "normal" even though we know that this level of functioning is NOT normal! So I think you'd feel more supported and helped if you are able to locate a natural practitioner who has a better understanding of these things. But I think you're on the right track by wanting to nourish your body with good food; our bodies need those nutrients (especially while pregnant!) and those good choices day after day will only help!

Mrs.Logan said...

Yes my "tests" keep coming back "normal" too. But there isn't a good naturopath near me. I would have to travel 3 hours. With 5 kids that seems just too overwhelming, so I'm looking to feel better before I try hauling myself and the kids down there. Unfortunately I just went to the store and bought refined sugar and flour in a "pastry" form, hoping to feel a little better. Now I'm thinking I should have just tried to wrangle up the energy to make something with sprouted flour and real butter, eggs, and unrefined sugar... I just don't have the energy.

I do think I am doing better. Even though my energy has given out, my teeth are no longer sensitive, and the chronic rot seems to have stalled out. I used to get aches and swelling in the gums when I ate the least bit of refined sugar or flour, but now, I can tolerate some and feel ok.

I need to keep eating traditional healthy foods, and not limit my honeys and fruits I guess. That's way better than eating refined flour cake and ice cream (unless its homemade). Fermented Cod Liver Oil and HV Butter Oil really helped me, but I can't convince my husband of it, and it's pricey stuff.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Tara said...

I know it feels daunting, as we want to make wonderful goodies in the kitchen and don't have energy for it. So I've been looking for ways to eat simpler things that don't involve as much work or cleanup; I feel like I don't eat enough variety because I have the same go-to things every day since I don't have energy to make more "fancy" dishes. So sometimes I don't want to have to clean the blender...so instead of a smoothie, I eat the fruit in a bowl with some kefir over it (and if you start with frozen blueberries, the kefir sort of freezes on the berries - a nice treat!)...could also sprinkle on some coconut and/or nuts, a smidge of honey or stevia, etc. The dishes go into the dishwasher, no blender to clean up! I've also been eating alot of salad with chicken, cheese, and apple on it and simple homemade dressing (can be as simple as olive oil and balsamic or apple cider vinegar, or a honey mustard made from honey, dijon, olive oil). Pretty simple to grab those few salad ingredients out of the fridge - and some days that's all the energy I have to spare! And the good thing is, the real foods (even the honey/sugar) won't do the damage that the sugar/flour will do and actually could make you feel better, unlike the sugar/flour. :)

Keep key ingredients on hand, if you can - coconut milk, shredded coconut, apples, frozen fruit and veggies, chicken/beef, cheese, etc. I'm also relying more on frozen veggies because I don't have the energy to stand in the kitchen and peel, slice, etc, like I did prior to pregnancy. That's why the ready-to-eat lettuce in containers is so appealing these days! If you can keep a few staples on hand, you'll at least be getting real food, even if it's not as gourmet as you might otherwise like it to be. I guess what I'm saying is this: instead of seeing the options as 1) make something with sprouted flour, etc, or 2) get the storebought pastry, maybe there's a middle ground between those two. Maybe you don't have the energy to bake something... but that's okay, just eat something simpler to prepare! Eat an apple and nut butter/coconut butter, etc. I don't know what your dietary restrictions are, so I'm just saying things based on stuff I might eat! :)

Another way I'm simplifying is eating more kefir instead of yogurt, since it's so much simpler to prepare. Have you made kefir? So simple. I use goat milk...and if I don't get around to straining the grains out when the time is up (totally simple, but maybe I'm just tired and don't want to bother), I just stick the whole jar in the fridge and strain it another day. Just doing what I can.

One other thing... I'm wondering if it might work for you to go see the naturopath once for an initial visit, and then perhaps he/she would be willing to work with you by phone/email after that. Perhaps you could have any labwork done closer to home. Of course, for things like acupuncture this wouldn't work, but for an initial assessment and to begin some treatments like homeopathy or supplements, maybe it would work? Just a thought. :) Sorry this is so long; just hoping it might help. I know it's rough to feel so bad.

Sarah Smith said...

I try to minimize the dirty dishes, too. For kefir, rather than straining it, I have found it works great to use a plastic fork to just scoop out the grains. They are usually floating at the top in the cream. This saves lots of time and dishes (my grains are farirly large, though, so this may or may not work for you depending on the size of your grains).

Another way I save on dirty dishes is to make lots at one time. For instance, I'll make 2 batches of ice cream and a large family smoothie all in a row so I don't have to wash out the blender after each one. Start with vanilla ice cream, then while that is setting up in the ice cream maker, I'll make a batch of ice cream that has frozen berries in it (and this turns out cold and thick enough that I can just transfer it straight to the fridge without even putting it into the ice cream maker). Then I'll make a large smoothie for the family. Or even just make an extra large smoothie and put most of it in jars to drink over the next few days.

I also make double-batches of baked goods on the weekend when my husband can help in keeping the kids happy. Double muffins, double clafoutis, etc. The muffins freeze great, and it doesn't take much more time at all to double or triple the recipes (so long as you have a nice big bowl to work with).

As for storebought goodies, I only do Haagen Daz. The flours in baked goods would give me too many problems, but I haven't noticed any reactions at all to the simple flavors of Haagen Daz (they only have about 5 ingredients, and no weird ingredients except for the refined sugar).

I like the tips for just eating simpler foods, too, Tara.

One other thing I've done when hit with an extremely low-energy moment is to just eat straight honey. One nice spoonful straight from the jar works wonders.

It is great that everyone is so willing to take the time to give suggestions on this! I hope this helps some, Mrs. Logan!

Susan said...

Mrs. Logan- As someone who has been house-bound from adrenal issues for three years now, I certainly can understand your frustration. Healing from adrenal/thyroid issues takes time and that can be upsetting when you are watching the rest of the world carry on with their life while you can hardly peel yourself off the sofa.

In this time, I have tried it all. I have probably spent enough on supplements to buy a new car! Each one I hoped would be the thing that got me moving again. None worked, and if they did, it was to a small degree. When I learned about Matt and the RRARF program, I figured I might as well try it because nothing else was working. At first, it was difficult because for so long everything I read and everyhing I was told was to avoid sugar and carbs. I was probably only living on 45 grams of carbs a day. So when Matt suggested that living on such a small dose can really damage things, it made sense. I know our bodies need protein, fats and carbs to make new cells and perhaps I really had done some damage. So I started eating and eating and that wasn't easy to do the first couple of days, but once I had some sourdough toast with organic jelly, I wanted more. By the end of the week, the carbs were warming me up and they tasted good, too.

Don't get me wrong: This hasn't been an instant cure. I started Matt's program in January and my healing has been slow. My fanny is now big enough to use it as a night stand and my belly looks like I am pregnant, HOWEVER, no matter how much I hate this blubber, I cannot dispute that things are happening in my body. My temperature is coming up, my last 2 periods were not only lighter, but easier as far as cramps go. The menstrual migraines have been non-existant since I started carb loading. I know many people give up on Matt when the weight comes on, and I've wanted too as well, but I see changes and that is what I am clinging to. I still feel like crap most days, but I realize that, in retrospect, that I have suffered from adrenal issues my entire adult life, so it will take time to heal. But I also have some HUGE financial stress going on that is hard to deal with although I do try to spend time in prayer and meditation to calm myself as much as possible.

Do not be afraid of the weight gain. You are not only trying to heal yourself, but you are in the process of making a life. It is imperative you feed and feed your body right now because I read that when a woman is pregnant and her adrenals are weak, her body will steal what it needs from the baby!!! Which means the baby will be born with weak adrenals!! I am almost certain I did this to my daughter and I believe my mother did this to me. Of course, we didn't know better then, but now we do. If eating and resting and eating and resting will ensure that your baby is born healthy and strong, isn't is worth some weight gain??

Now, go eat! I find a spoonful of organic blackstrap molasses does give me a lift to get some things done around the house, and it is good for you too, with all those minerals. Please take care of yourself and best wishes for a healthy, happy pregnancy! Blessings!!

Mary Voogt said...

Thanks for the update, Sarah. I was going to do something similar myself very soon. But I still have a little experimenting to do before I come to conclusions/write it up. I'm crossing my fingers that I may have finally figured out what truly works and doesn't work for me. If so, I will be so happy. I'll be on the Mary diet...not any prescribed, one size fits all kind of diet. You eat what makes you feel good...that's what I think eating for health means :) I stopped the RRARFing too. I still eat ice cream many days. But I've realized the grains just aren't working. Without changing much else besides mostly cutting grains out again my weight has dropped 2 lbs., and I feel way less bloated and puffy. Now if I could just get more sleep ;) I'm going to do a sleep challenge for myself next week. I'm going to plan really well so that I minimize the work I have to do for meals, errands that need to be run, etc. and try to get to bed earlier and sleep a little longer (if my son will allow). And see how it makes me feel. I think my body is never able to do what it should over night - recover/restore/etc. since I don't get long enough stretches of sleep. I'm excited to try it out. I hope your son improves soon and your own sleep issues do as well so you can both get the rest you need.

I just started yoga and walk daily as well! Loving the yoga!!

As a side note I mostly eat homemade ice cream. But I was also eating some Breyers "natural" vanilla...realized it has tara gum. And I think that is causing me major problems. I won't pay the price for HD. So homemade it is at all times I guess. I just need to find a good source for more cream. I go through ours so quickly!

Mrs.Logan said...

Today I had a good day. I ate about 1/4 cup HD last night before bed, and took my vitamins. I went to bed at 9:30, just a little later than I had wanted to, but I was reading the Matt Stone RRARFing thing.

This morning I only needed one cup of coffee, which I had with another 1/4 cup HD. (Which is about all I can stand to eat, its so sweet!) I then ate a real breakfast with the kiddos, natural/organic sausage, half a store bought apple turnover (not as tasty as I imagined it would be)... and somehow I worked in some organic heavy cream.
Then a mother's helper showed up. The first I have had. This was a girl from a large family, with LOADS of energy, who knew what to do, and how to get it done, and had no chip on her shoulder, just willing to work! She helped me get loads done in about an hour, and then I just sat on the sofa for another hour and a half. She taught the preschool while I rested. I rested, guilt free... it was much more restful.
I managed to make a salad and steak for lunch, which I ate enough of, along with all the raw milk I cared for. Somewhere in there I "thought about food" so I ate some, a slice of sourdough with real butter, and some raw milk.
We went to buy more raw milk, and then I sent the kids outside to run off energy, while the mother's helper and I cleaned up some things that have really been stressing me out.
Then I rested again while she worked. Guilt free!
I made a "quick" dinner of lamb chops on the griddle, and green beans, and "mushroom barley pilaf", which my 9 year old actually made.
I ate till full. Barely seemed like it should be "enough" food... I think I must have been cutting calories or something lately. Then I served myself a 1/4 cup of HD and sat on the sofa. Been here ever since. I plan to finish up hubby's clothes for a spontaneous work trip he takes tomorrow, and then hit the sack around 9. I also plan to sleep in till 7:30 if I can.
Tomorrow, the Lord blessed me with another mother's helper for the afternoon. RELIEF, I am so grateful.
I had time this morning for my devotionals, at least SOME time, and that is nice. Lots of days the kids interrupt me.
I like the idea of making simpler meals, but I feel like I already cook simple, and I don't know how to be more simple, without being "convenience food", and stay in my budget. But spring is here, so soon there will be more veggies available, yay.
I like the blackstrap molasses, I put it in a cup of hot water and drink it like a specialty drink. YUM.
I'm going to try the RRARFing thing, but be sure I don't binge on refined products. Someone mentioned not knowing my dietary restrictions, the only thing I try not to eat is refined junk, and preservatives etc. I try to eat nourishing Traditions style when I have the energy, and I have a daughter on full GAPS, who I have to take into consideration... I'm doing a piss poor job of feeding her enough healthy stuff, and I really need some more energy so I can devote more time to helping her gut heal.

Thanks for all the help!

Sarah Smith said...

I'm glad you had a good day! Sounds like you do tons, even with the energy problems. A mother's helper sounds like a real blessing!!

Anonymous said...

Hi

Please can you shared how much weight have you gained during from January. I know it does not sounds good but for many women it is hard to admit that they have to gain weight to heel their body.

Sarah Smith said...

Total gain since Jan was 10-12 pounds. Mostly in Jan and Feb, with a little more in March, and then a slight decrease in April.

Lauren said...

I scoop equal amounts of honey and butter/ghee, so I'm getting sugar and fat, and slowing the GI spike. Big babies sounds like insulin dysregulation, so I can understand Mrs. Logan's trepidation there. It's a fine line to walk, getting enough but not triggering insulin issues. If I come across any preg-friendly insulin sensitising tricks, I'll post back

Lauren said...

Yay for good days! Have you tried "bulletproof coffee"? It's the "new big thing" for paleos - put coffee and butter in a blender and whizz. It should come out like cappuccino (no floaty bits of butter!) and apparently it makes you feel, well, bulletproof. Robb Wolf calls coffee "getting cash at the adrenal ATM", but I know a lot of people can't get going without that "loan" so perhaps adding fat would help? The alternative is double or whipping cream. http://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/

Mrs.Logan said...

I actually put about a teaspoon of coconut oil in each cup of coffee. It does help. I don't do refined sugar in it either.

Three exhausting days in a row, today I feel unappreciated and sad. Ready to sleep for a week.

Sarah Smith said...

I'm sorry to hear it. Hang in there. This too shall pass.

Counting Moments said...

I was very please to stumble on your blog this morning. I have recently begun to make similar changes for my health and just started a blog (countonlymoments.blogspot.com) to go along with it. I'll be following your progress!

Sarah Smith said...

Welcome, Counting Moments!

Dawn said...

If you have any virgin coconut oil in your pantry, you could try eating a spoonful several times a day, up to about 1/4 cup. Because it is made of medium-chain fatty acids, it is converted into energy and not stored as fat. I believe it was Dr. Ray Peat who believed that it has a thyroid boosting effect -- mild, but noticeable.

The tests you should get for the thyroid are TSH (your results should be lower than 2.5), Free T3 (should be high in the range) and Free T4 (should be mid-range). Unfortunately the lab range for TSH is archaic, and often goes up to 5.5, making you appear "normal" when you are not. There are also the TPO and TGab thyroid antibody tests to determine if your body is attacking itself.

Amanda said...

Hi, Sarah! This is such an interesting post! I, too, am trying to figure out what's out of whack with my body. I have been doing the GAPS for a little over a year now and have had tremendous results in regards to energy and my gut. I suspect I am also having adrenal/thyroid issues that need additional assistance to get back to normal. My body can definitely NOT handle any grains right now, or complex carbs, so I am stuck on GAPS for at least another year. My husband and I are TTC, but with my hormones so crazy, it's been very difficult (we only conceived once and miscarried last October). I am only 26 (had major health issues for years that were not addressed), but was thinking of trying your recommendation of Protandim for the thyroid/adrenal issues. I was confused when I went to their site and read that it was an anti-aging product. Could you share with me how this is supposed to help with thyroid/adrenal issues? I want to make sure I am purchasing the correct thing. Thanks! And, thanks for all your blogging! I learn so much!

Sarah Smith said...

The Protandim is a NRF2 activator, which means that it helps your cells rebuild quicker and reduces oxidative stress. This also makes it work for anti-aging, but for me the main benefit I'm going for is the thyroid/adrenal issues (which are also helped by the same processes). The milk thistle in Protandim supports liver finction (which is often impaired along with the adrenals) and the ashwaganda has a particularly good effect for the adrenals as well.

Natalia said...

Sarah, I haven't checked your blog for couple of months and I am so glad I did today.
My son is currently 13 months and is nursing like a champ. I have lost all, but 4 lbs of the pregnancy weight at 8 months point, then the weight stabilized for about four months. At that time I discovered GAPS and started it in the end of March, did 2 weeks of Intro with my son; we both got very constipated so we stopped at stage 4 and moved to Full GAPS. In the last month my weight just started going up. I thought that maybe high fat diet wasn't for me after all, but now I think my hormones are to blame. I don't sleep well at night as my son has some sleep issues (for two months in a row I was able to get only 3-4 hours a night), I am exhausted all the time and feel hungry even if my stomach is full. I actually get full really fast with a small meal, but that doesn't curb my appetite.
My MD ran some standard tests and they were all "normal".
Do you have any advice on how to confirm the adrenal/thyroid issues? Body temp, any specific tests?

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Natalia,
Checking your waking temperature is a great way to see how your thyroid is doing. For your temp to be "normal", it would be 97.8-98.2 in your underarm right after waking up (or add 0.5 degrees for oral, or a whole degree for ear temps). That should give you an idea of how you are. If your temps are low, then your thyroid is probably not working so well (and adrenal issues tend to go with that). The first three days of your period are the most accurate; your temps will tend to go up a bit after ovulation.

These are some posts that might be relevant (I'm assuming you may have missed them in the last few months):
http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2012/01/could-ice-cream-be-superfood.html

http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2012/02/book-review-diet-recovery.html


http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2012/03/my-diet-update-and-results-from-diet.html

I have had to really let go of some of my dietary restrictions to start seeing improvement in my waking temps. Been eating much more ice cream and cookies (of the GAPS-legal variety), and that really seems to help my energy levels.

http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2012/02/strawberry-ice-cream-gaps-legal-primal.html

http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2012/04/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies_13.html

I hope this helps!

Sarah Smith said...

Oh, and in regards to wanting to eat even when you are full: I only have that problem when I am not following my body's cues on what to eat. For instance, if my body is telling me to eat something sweet for breakfast and I force down scrambled eggs and veggies instead, then I will keep feeling the urge to eat anyway. I have found it very helpful to try carefully to ask my body what it wants to eat and go with it (even if it does not seem the "best" choice). This seems to really help my weight, my moods, and my overall health.

Natalia said...

Sarah, Thank you so much for your help! I started taking my temps this morning and at 6:30 am it was 94.8F. I guess my thyroid is dead. It went up to 97F at 9:30am though. I am gonna ask my MD to run the tests.
I am tying to listen to my body, but with all the rules and GAPS it gets difficult sometimes to keep up. Broth, ferments, fat, etc.... My stomach can't handle it all.
Thank you again for a wonderful blog and taking time to respond to comments!

Natalia said...

Btw, I still don't have my period after I had a baby (he's 13 months now). Does it have any effect on my temps?

Sarah Smith said...

My temps used to be that low too (and even lower sometimes), so be patient and you can get them back up to being in the normal range. Mine are now normal for about 2.5 weeks of every cycle, but they are still a little low for one week (temps are lower at the beginning of the cycle, but then they go up for ovulation and post-ovulation).

Definitely check a few days of temps, as they can vary a bit depending on what time it is, how well you slept, etc. Your doc may or may not be able to tell anything from blood tests, as it depends on exactly which thyroid hormones are out of whack. I personally would not take the synthetic thyroid medicine that doc's usually prescribe, as I prefer to try to heal the body (whereas my understanding is that with synthetic thyroid, your body does not need to make it's own, so you can become dependent on the synthetic hormone); I may be wrong but that is how I understand it.

If you are still nursing lots, and especially if you are nursing lots and co-sleeping, it is normal for it to take quite a while for your period to return. Mine started after both kids around 18 months after birth. And no, that shouldn't make your temps lower (but it does mean your temps won't follow the normal pattern of slightly lower and then higher after ovulation).