Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dietetic Internship

For the past year, I have been waiting to see if I get accepted to a dietetic internship so that I can finally become a registered dietitian. I graduated from school 2 years ago. I worked as a dietitian assistant right after. I applied and was rejected last year. I applied again and I was finally matched! I am so, so happy. This is such a relief. It's awesomeness.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox

    Day 9 of my 21 day sugar detox, courtesy of Diane Sanfilippo. I  actually don't have her book because it was stolen by a family member, who I was letting "borrow" it in order to get recipe ideas. But, I know the ins and outs of Paleo by heart, so I don't really need it. ( I just want it for my collection that makes me look smart to other Paleo-addicts, even though I don't personally know any). Off topic, I was at Barnes and Nobel and in the Diet and Health section it was totally over run with all the new paleo books. Woo hoo! I felt proud of all the scientists that I don't really know, but if I did we would be best friends.
   My detox, I am going strict paleo here. I am not having butter or cream, beans or cheese, or any wheat cheats (bites here and there). This doesn't mean that I am perfect. I am buying sweets (ice cream at Whole Foods, chocolate at the Chocolate Factory), but I am not eating them. Yesterday we got ice cream "to share" at Whole Foods and then my husband comes out with a muffin, so he didn't even eat the ice cream. I had 2 spoons of it and then I threw it out. Yes, it's wasting, but it's already wasted when I spent money on it. Not when I eat it. So maybe not strictly the sugar detox, but I think that I can have a bite here and there  and the fact that I don't want more is progress. With the Chocolate Factory, my daughter dropped my truffle on the floor before I ever got a bite and then I let her eat the other one.
     After about 4 days of no sugar (not having honey or syrup either, and not baking paleo desserts), I really wanted it. It was a withdrawal feeling. Now, I don't feel that. We were even at someone's house for a BBQ and there were good desserts, and I abstained and had fruit. And now that I think of it, she didn't have bread there.
I want to do the sugar detox, because I think I am prone to insulin resistance. I am not going to the doctor because what will they tell me? I think that if I lay off the sugar and focus on nutrient density, it will have a balancing effect and improve my health. Although it is very had to find anything on Salicylate Intolerance, Sarah Ballantyne from  The Paleo Mom, talks about in her new book that salicylate intolerance is linked to omega 3 and zinc deficiency. Since, I started eating organ meats, and leaving out grains, I have felt that I can tolerate high salicylate containing foods better. I haven't gone all out and had eggplant, but Indian Spices didn't bother me the last 2 times I had them (:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Gluten!

    What is gluten intolerance? Is it the same thing as celiac disease? If you test negative for celiac, does that mean it doesn't bother you? According the Chris Kresser in Your Personal Paleo Code, and the science that he gets this from, gluten is one of the defense mechanisms of wheat, barley and rye, which acts as a toxin to the animal that eats it. In the first century the Greek Physician Aretaeus described celiac disease (it's not a new fad, despite what people try to make it out to be) and it was in 1950 when Willem Dicke proved that gluten causes celiac disease.

     If you are diagnosed with celiac disease you are having an autoimmune reaction caused by wheat that attacks the villi of your gut lining. This damages your ability to absorb nutrients and this chronic inflammation can lead to other conditions such as cancer.This can be diagnosed with a blood test.
    The problem is, what if you have symptoms of a sensitivity to wheat products but you do not test positive for celiac disease? Should you continue to eat gluten? Well, there is a condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). This just means that there is a reaction to the gluten, it is just not in the villi of the small intestines and your body is not making the one antibody that is tested for. It is making others....
      Celiac and NCGS are not limited to the gut lining. Gluten can cause symptoms through out the body such as headache, fatigue, joint pain, numbness or tingling, and dermatitis. Also people who have celiac disease may not experience any symptoms.
     The reason I am wondering about celiac disease, is because I didn't test positive for the blood test, but I have been debating if gluten has an effect on me. Because I am trying to adopt the "Paleo" lifestyle, I was trying to never have gluten again. It's not enough not to make wheat products at home, I've been debating giving up wheat products altogether. No pieces of bread or bites of cookies. I was thinking that having it once in a while, despite the warnings from Paleo scientists like Loren Cordain or Chris Kresser, was okay for me. Well, last week I decided to start my 21 day sugar detox. (I want to lay of the sugar from Paleo sources such as honey and dates and all the paleo treats, even if I am not eating straight up white sugar). On Sunday, (the day before my detox) I thought let's go to our favorite vegan restaurant ( the antithesis of paleo lol) and have some wheat products. I didn't order sugar, but I ordered my favorite seitan wings. I love them more than chicken wings. And I promised myself that this was the last time, because the Sugar Detox doesn't allow gluten products or anything that is not the strictest paleo. Seitan wings are basically made out of pure gluten, probably some salt and buffalo sauce. OMG, that night and the next morning I had the worst indigestion and heart burn. And I only get heart burn when pregnant and this was worse than that. Coincidentally, this is what happened last time I had these, and the time before, and every time that I've ever had them. So, 20th time is the charm, maybe it's not a coincidence. My daughter also loves these gluten masterpieces. I asked her how she felt that morning and she said fine but her stomach was gurgilly.
    Whatever gluten is or isn't doing to me, causing indigestion isn't a good sign. It tells me something is wrong. I have officially decided to give up gluten. I will give in to the Paleo cult and I will become a loyal follower from here on out. I also know from salicylate sensitivity that just because you don't feel the effects in small amounts (when I eat a high amount of salicylate) doesn't mean the small amounts aren't adding up and causing chronic low grade inflammation that is quietly damaging your body (ulcerative colitis) until it's not so quiet anymore. Even if I don't feel anything from that piece of bread or bite of cookie, doesn't mean it is not having an inflammatory effect that I will feel another way (eczema, joint pain) and not ever connect it with the gluten. There is a lot if evidence about the damage gluten does and you can do a simple Pubmed search and read some articles. You can also read the books by Chris Kresser, Sarah Ballantyne, and Loren Cordain, who are all exceptional scientists and check their sources.
    

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Paleo Books!

I have a list of books I want to start reading. They include The Wahl's Protocol, The Paleo Approach, and The 21 Day Sugar Detox. The Wahl's Protocol, is about treating M.S. and autoimmune disease with a nutrient dense diet. It really makes me think about how we eat foods that only offer "calories" and nothing else. Think about it, if you wake up and have a muffin. You ate 500 calories of sugar, flour and corn or soy oil products. There may be 5 cooked, sugared blueberries in it. Then you have a turkey sandwich for lunch, so you get some bread, some factory farmed turkey breast with no fat or anything else with a piece of lettuce and tomato on it. For dinner, you might have some chicken breast (no fat or nutrients either), some salad with soy product salad dressing all over, maybe a roll and a side of some cooked vegetables (possibly from a can, yuck).
I put this meal plan up because with the exception of the muffin, people will eat like this and think it is healthy. Right? The turkey sandwich and chicken breast are low-fat. There were some vegetables thrown in. Hey, the bread might have been whole wheat. The muffin could easily be replaced with skim milk and raisin bran. But guess what? If you eat this way, you are not getting all the nutrients that you need to be healthy. On top of that, you could be having a lot of other issues from eating the wheat and the sugar and not even know it.
Why do some people develop M.S., some people develop diabetes, some people get IBD? This has to do with genetics. However, having a diet that is inflammatory, that does not supply the nutrients for our immune system to work properly, for our digestive system to work properly, does not help and according to the podcast that  I listened to on Balanced Bites, she believes that the genes that contribute to disease can actually be turned on when the body is in this undernourished, inflamed state. So, I gotta read this book so I can know more.
I want to read The Paleo Approach, by Sarah Ballantyne, because she discusses auto-immune disease and how to make a paleo diet work for it. For example, some things that are paleo can still be a problem for people with autoimmune disease (and gosh there are so many autoimmune diseases). This reminds me of my whole salicylate issue. Tomato, zucchini, eggplant, turmeric, ginger, are all supposed to be healthy, yet I cannot touch them. On top of that, I cannot eat large quantities of other fruits like peaches, mangoes, pineapples, oranges, because the load of salicylate becomes too much for me to handle. So, the approach of modifying the diet to fit your individual needs, really speaks to me.
I want to read the 21 Day Sugar Detox because it is by Diane Sanfillippo and I love her podcasts with Liz Wolfe and they are so informative on health and nutrition. Therefor, her book should be really good.
I will get to all these books. Right now, I am reading Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe. This book isn't a science book it is an easy read that is funny. It does provide a lot if information and I think it will interest people who don't obsess over nutrition and don't read these books as a regular pastime.
I am also trying to study pre-Western medicine. You know that medicine that human kind developed over thousands of years. But, for some reason we decided only the "advances" of the past 50 years matter. I do agree, well from what the media provides us information on, that we have made advances. I am told it is true that we don't have certain diseases anymore, like measles, mumps and rubella. (Thanks to the controversial vaccines) However, we have more cancer, we have more heart disease, and obesity is out of control. I don't think modern medicine has a solution to this. The solutions that are being given are drugs, and this is because they make pharmaceutical companies billions upon billions of dollars, while people are still sick and fat. I think the solution lies in changing diet and life style. Anyway, I still want to know what other healing practices there are, so I am starting with reading The Canon by Avicenna or Ibn Sina, which was his real name. This book is the translation and commentary from the original Arabic. It is only from the first book of  The Canon, but that is enough for now. It was a medical text for hundreds of years all over the world. His name was changed in Europe to Avicenna, to sound less "Islamic", because they hated Muslims, but wanted to use his medicine, because it actually worked. This book is hard to read, but some of the points it makes are so amazing that I push through it. More on that when I finish.
So, this is how I am spending my time right now. I really need to read a comical, romantic trashy novel as well. Sometimes, too much science is just too much science.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Decaf coffee and my kitchen investigation

http://www.tea-happiness.com/2011/04/i-love-coffee.html
  
  Hello. Okay, so I have had horrible headaches and bouts of nausea for the past week. Also, my skin was breaking out the way it does when I eat foods high in salicylic acid. I eat a low salicylate diet because I can't handle that stuff, so I was really confused as to what the heck is going on. Therefore, the scientist in me (or else the bored housewife) decided to do some investigating of my kitchen. What was different about it? For real, when ever you suddenly feel unwell with vague symptoms that don't present with a fever or typical signs of a stomach bug or cold, explore your fridge and cupboards.You just might find the culprit. Anyway, back to my point.
     After my investigation, I decided that the high salicylate foods that never bothered me before in modest amounts (almonds, peaches, cinnamon) must be the issue, because I was eating my favorite peach cobbler turned peach cake (recipe coming soon, as soon as I make it again, so I can get a nice pic up)everyday. And I was wrong. First of all, I've been eating that just fine for months and second I wasn't eating it and I was sick for 3 more days. So, I thought what the heck is new in my kitchen and I found it. It was my coffee. I had this awesome organic decaf coffee that I loved. So, I was drinking a cup in the morning and a cup at night. I have no concept of the effects of caffeine. I've never felt it through drinking tea or eating chocolate. Caffeinated coffee makes me feel like I'm gonna die, so whatever caffeine effect is there is blunted out by  my inability to move for 6 hours. I'm just saying, I don't get how people drink 6 cups of coffee a day to function. Back to my topic. Off topic just one more time, my daughter just brought me the 1/8th of a cup of juice she squeezed from a blood orange and it is so good. Okay, coffee is very high in salicylic acid. I once thought I had a brain tumor a while back ( I love how every time I feel sick I think it's a tumor but I have no intention of actually verbalizing that to a doctor). Well, and I'm ashamed to say, I did this kitchen investigation then, so why is it coming up again? I discovered that the change I made since the headaches started was I joined Gevalia  and was drinking a cup of coffee every morning. I stopped that and was fine.
     Through the Salicylate Sensitivity website (God bless the maker of this website), I learned that while  coffee is very high in salicylate, decaf is low. The decaffeinating process removes the salicylate as well! Yay! However, apparently it does not do so in water-process decaffeinating methods. This amazing new coffee is decaffeinated through a water process.  And this my friends is why I was mysteriously sick for a week
     What the heck is the decaffeinating process anyway if it removes salicylic acid with the caffeine? According to Wikipedia there are a few different methods. The water method consists of soaking the coffee beans in water. Other methods use chemicals, such as benzene, dichloromethane, or ethyl acetate. These are chemicals you don't really want to be consuming. Benzene is a known carcinogen that is in gasoline and well everything else, so it seems. I am now reconsidering my decaf coffee. I spend all this extra money to eat organic fruits and grass-fed meats and use vinegar and baking soda to do my cleaning and then I drink a substance of beans that were soaked in benzene :(

Friday, February 28, 2014

Balanced Bites

     I just discovered these podcasts on the site Balanced Bites by Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe a few weeks ago and I love them. I recommend that everyone I know listen to this episode," Calories, Do They Matter?" , episode 128. It has convinced me to buy her book, Eat the Yolks. So, I'm excited for that. But with this episode, I really enjoyed the entire calorie conversation. It is something I realized about 15 years ago, when I learned this whole calories in = calories out nonsense was maybe not true. I couldn't get away from it though, because everyone said it was true. I think that this is an idea pushed by people who do not need to count calories.... She makes a real nice point of how come we accept this theory to be fact when it works, but we ignore the implication when it doesn't work. This makes me wonder, do we think all overweight people are a bunch of liars when a patient tells the doctor or the dietitian, " I don't really eat that much" or "I counted my calories for 2 weeks at 1200 calories a day and I didn't lose anything"? I think at some point the medical community needs to take into account what people are saying. And maybe then, they will be able to realize that it is not the law of thermodynamics, of calories in equals calories out. The body is a more complex system and we have hormones that are determining how those calories are used.
     I liked that they talked about the set point theory in the podcast. I had read about this theory about 8 years ago, before I ever heard about paleo. Basically, your body wants to stay at a set point weight. There are different things that determine what that weight is and hence a lot of research is being done trying to identify these factors. However, the body wants to keep a stable weight, and does a pretty good job doing so. Things can happen that change the set point to a higher or lower weight and then people can feel pretty stuck in that weight.  And I don't remember the author's name or even the name of the book, but his solution to overcoming your body's" set point" was to eat a highly micro nutrient (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients) dense diet based on whole foods and to get rid of all the processed foods, especially the foods that hide in the health food isle (all those low-fat, fat-free, 100 calorie packs kinda stuff). He also said to take out grains, with the exception of oatmeal, where he sited research talking about the insulin response to oatmeal vs other grains. I don't remember him talking about inflammation, which I've learned a lot about in recent years.
For me this book was really eye opening, because it was the first time I thought that there is a difference between the lean cuisine dinners I ate frequently and the dinners I cooked up from scratch. It made me see food differently and I went to school to study nutrition not too long after.
     In the podcast for Balanced Bites, in relation to the set point theory, they are talking about how calories don't really matter. Thank you! I am glad other people are saying it. Counting calories never did a darn thing for me. I have been trying to get away from calorie counting in my own life and I'm not sure if I still held that calorie dogma in posts on this blog. But it is a dogma that we have been fed and people cannot get away from it Anyway, I digress, in the podcast, they talk about how we need to pay attention to the micornutrients and the quality of our food. When people are eating nothing but low quality food that has very little vitamins and minerals and a ton of calories from sugar, than #1 a person will eat more because their body is not satisfied from this food, and #2 this food will affect their hormone balance and cause excess weight gain. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how many calories a label says is in that food. If a person just cuts down and that food but does not get the right amount of micronutrients that their body needs to function, they won't necessarily lose any weight. And that's when you go to the doctor and say," What's wrong? I am eating 1200 calories a day and I am recording every bite I take and I am eating low fat food and I don't eat candy, but I am losing nothing". And because the doctor has no answer to this, he or she will say that you are not really eating as much as you say. You are overestimating your portions or you are not exercising enough. Honestly, I think this calorie nonsense breeds eating disorders. People get obsessed with counting calories in and calories out and the point of food, which is to nourish the body, is completely lost. I'm sure there are other factors for eating disorders, but this doesn't help.
      I really liked this podcast. They have a lot of interesting topics that they speak about. It seems like more and more people are getting on board with eating real foods and forgetting this low-fat, prepackaged nonsense we are told to eat by commercials. Maybe there will be an upswing when in comes to health in this country.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cross Fit?

I am currently in a small group training class twice a week. However, my favorite trainer will be on maternity leave for a few months. I love my training class and unless I am running or swimming or doing a cycle class, I have no idea what to do with myself at the gym. I know lots of exercises. I have workout books and lots of links online, but I get so much more out of being in the class with people I know and the trainer that really motivates me.
Everything I hear about Cross Fit, tells me that this is the atmosphere I would like. But here are some of the issues that make me hesitant:
People I know who have tried it say they felt lost and behind. Of course, any exercise you do makes you feel out of whack the first few times. People say they get injured, because they were not shown proper form. That speed was more important than form.
I also cannot get anyone to go with me, and since I am such an introverted person, I'm afraid I would feel too self conscious.
The reasons I really want to try it:
The people who Cross Fit look amazing
Cross Fit Games - I would never do it, but it's cool to know that people who do this actually are top notch athletes.
I'm still on the fence, but I'm gonna harass people I know, until I find someone to go with me. I have never had a workout buddy. Everyone, I know really sucks. For real, who the hell just makes the conscious decision not to exercise.