Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Information and an Update

So we've made if for yesterday and today without both grains and sugar. Is it having a result? Well, it's probably too soon to know much, but I do know this, I made it through yesterday and today without a nap, that's pretty cool, especially since John hardly slept last night at all and consequently neither did we, and we've spent all day in Columbia and John is napping right now, so I could be asleep if I wanted to, but well I'm tired, but just not so very tired that a nap is a must. So, so far so good!

Today I was getting ready to give books back to the library and decided that I needed to flip through Good Calories Bad Calories and came across some information that was too helpful to return the book yet. First let me give you the author's conclusions listed in his epilogue and then some thoughts of my own from what I read as I glanced through the book today. I will tell you upfront that this is no pleasure read, it is heavily footnoted, it is full of facts, quotes, and documents to fill out the author's research.

As I emerge from this research, though, certain conclusions seem inescapable to me, based on the existing knowledge:
1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease, or any other chronic disease of civilization.
2. The problem is the carbohydrates, their effect on insulin secretion, and thus the hormonal regulation of homeostasis -- the entire harmonic ensemble of the human body. The more easily digestible and refined the carbohydrates, the greater the effect on our health, weight, and well-being.
3. Sugars -- sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup specifically -- are particularly harmful, probably because the combination of fructose and glucose simultaneously elevates insulin levels while overloading the liver with carbohydrates.
4. Through their direct effect on insulin and blood sugar, refined carbohydrates, starches, and sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease and diabetes. They are the most likely dietary causes of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and the other chronic diseases of civilization.
5. Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating, and not sedentary behavior.
6. Consuming excess calories does not cause us to grow fatter, any more than it causes a child to grow taller. Expending more energy than we consume does not lead to long-term weight loss; it leads to hunger.
7. Fattening and obesity are caused by an imbalance -- a disequilibrium -- in the hormonal regulation of adipose tissue and fat metabolism. Fat synthesis and storage exceed the mobilization of fat from the adipose tissue, and its subsequent oxidation. We become leaner when hormone regulation of the fat tissue reverses this balance.
8. Insulin is the primary regulator of fat storage. When insulin levels are elevated -- either chronically or after a meal -- we accumulate fate in our fat tissue. When insulin levels fall, we release fat from our fat tissue and use it for fuel.
9. By stimulating insulin secretion, carbohydrates make us fat and ultimately cause obesity. The fewer carbohydrates we consume, the leaner we will be.
10. By driving fat accumulation, carbohydrates also increase hunger and decrease the amount of energy we expend in metabolism and physical activity.

This author also discusses what we have evolved to eat as does the author of Primal Blueprint I have said before that this doesn't bother me, and for the most part it doesn't, if they were religious authors writing for my church I would be appalled and offended, but they are not and so they can only write and interpret their findings through their own lens on life and that is, sad for them, evolution. As for me I know that God is my creator and redeemer, and I am free in this life to use research discovered by evolutionists to better manage my health.

I have always thought that being fat was my fault, surely some of it is, but maybe, just maybe the info I received all along was wrong. Armed with this new info I look forward to going forward and seeing what happens.

Monday, April 25, 2011

30 Day Challenge

I have quickly grown weary of hearing people talk about how old they are and then looking and finding that they are my age, or some even younger. I am raising a 7yo, one who will likely need a few more years in the nest than others and who needs me to be very active in his life to make sure that he does finally get to leave the nest, in a good way and for all good reasons, not that other people don't need to do the same, but this is what I need to do. Lately I have been hearing my friends talk about their diets, my friends have great influence over me, not because of peer pressure, but rather because I travel in an e-pack that does a lot of research into anything and everything that they are involved in and come to conclusions based on way way more than just emotion. I followed these friends when they were discussing Nourishing Traditions and it helped, but it still didn't help enough. Mark and I are still both achy and tired more than we would have liked and we have other issues going on that lead me to believe that trying a Paleo - Primal Blueprint - Perfect Health Diet, kind of approach is at least worth trying and taking seriously. I don't personally care what someone's opinion of what cave men ate or didn't eat was, I don't care whether we evolved (we didn't) to eat certain things and frankly I don't really even care what we were created to eat (creation is broken, as are we), I also know full well that we will die, no matter what we eat, how we exercise or anything else eventually we will all die, no 'right' food will fix that. What I really care about is just how crappy we both feel. At this point we are often taking ibuprofen to deal with aches and pains that we did nothing to get, I have always reacted to carbs badly, which is why so many foods around our house are called coma foods, and Mark has had GI issues that have plagued him his whole life and no matter what we have tried over the years we have not been able to make them significantly better. At the bottom of all this we just want to feel better, and we want to figure out what diet works for us and for our house, and then eventually move John onto a blenderized diet of the same. I don't think that I will post here daily about how this is going, I might, who knows, but I will post occasionally and I will definitely post at the end of 30 days.

For the record the 30 days are going to be a mix of the paleo/primal people. Grain free, sugar free, but we are still going to have milk, I don't think that milk is our issue and we have such a nice clean source of raw milk that I hate to even think of giving it up. We want to add in exercise, and will, one of the most encouraging things that I read from friends who are going down this road is that they actually feel good enough that they want to exercise, that's been a while, and I'm really looking forward to this part. Any amazing recipes we find I will post here and other than that we'll just see what happens, we couldn't possibly feel worse than we have been.