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.
- 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.
- 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).
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.
- 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.
- 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!!
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?