Sunday, April 30, 2006

Still busy

Barely have time to post anything. Didn't eat well today - well, not too bad, except for about 1/2 cup of candied nuts in the afternoon because I didn't have any other food around. They were coated in some caramelized sugar (possibly brown sugar which isn't failsafe) and cinnamon (also not failsafe). I mostly ate cashews but there were some pecans in there too. Ugh. Feel bloated now.


Saturday, April 29, 2006


This weekend has been insane - I am writing this after the fact.

The dairy trial didn't go well. I had to work all weekend at a trade show and am exhausted. I spent all Saturday night crying from stress, etc. Pretty sure the dairy had a role in that. Also had a horrible headache all day Friday. Oh and my period started up again on Friday, too.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dairy Trial Continued...

Well, I wanted to see how long I could go until I started to really get hungry after having my creamy milk this morning. I ate breakfast at 9 am, then ran out and bought the cream at 10:30 and drank some of that just before 11 am. I felt fine, if not completely satisfied (drinking cream or milk always makes me just want to drink more for some reason - I am never really satiated). I stopped myself, though and went on with my day.

Went out for a very brisk walk at lunch and halfway through started to get a pounding headache. Once I got back to work and sat down again, the headache disappeared.

Around 3 pm, started getting quite hungry and a bit weak. Couldn't wait any longer and had another glass of cream at 3:30pm, due to some weird hypo symptoms (head rushes, blurry vision, anxiety).

I'm not jumping to conclusions, as I sometimes get these hypo symptoms even without dairy being involved. I did, afterall, go almost 5 hours without food, which is never a very good idea for me. The real test will be after today is done and I can observe symptoms over the next 2 or 3 days. This is the first time I've really had dairy and purposely avoided grains at the same time, so hopefully nothing horrible will happen and I will be able to reintroduce it. The hypoglycemia is very annoying and plays havoc with my mood, but if it means being able to eat dairy in moderation on occasion, I may have to live with it.

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Creamy milk = yum. I just had a mixture that consisted of 1/2 cup of half and half cream (10%), mixed with 1/4 cup whipping cream (35%) and some cold water. It was a little less flavourful than whole milk (probably because of the water diluting the taste), but still totally yummy. I do think that my hypoglycemic reactions can sometimes be partially psychological - I find when I'm kept busy and don't have a chance to think about food, I can go much longer without eating than I can if I'm bored and have lots of time to imagine myself getting hungry. Today's trick will be sorting the real hunger out from the imagined hunger. I went for another 45 min. walk at lunch yesterday and will be going on one today as well. They are a great way to take my mind off food and nutrition and stress.

I am working all weekend at a trade show - very long days - and will have to do some planning tonight regarding how and what I will bring with me to eat. Hard boiled eggs are good to bring, as well as some stir-fried meat and cabbage in butter which I should probably be able to heat up while I'm there. This is when I start to miss grains, since I can't make my very portable Optimal Pancakes anymore. I suppose I could make them with mashed potato instead of flour, but they won't hold together very well that way. We'll see. When eating on the go, it's even harder to get the right amount of fat into your diet.

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Dairy Trial

I've decided to do my dairy trial today. I'm feeling fine physically and emotionally so I think today is the day. The organic cream that I buy (it's called Organic Meadows) is a bit curious. There's nothing on the ingredient list but 'organic cream', but for some reason it lists the carbohydrate content as being 2 g per tablespoon, which is twice as high as the regular processed cream, even. I have no idea why it lists it as being so high. Particularly when the half and half cream (10%) of the same brand lists the carb content as only 1 g per tablespoon. So... strange. I'll count the carbs that it says on the package, but I have a feeling it's a typo.

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Mmm protein

I finally received my copies of Optimal Nutrition and Homo Optimus in the mail yesterday. I'm still waiting for the molybdenum... what's the point if it takes this long to arrive??

Anyway, I haven't started reading the books yet (that's for this weekend), but I do recall seeing the following on the ON site in regard to weight loss ratios:

The main exception from that rule is the state of obesity. In such a case, the proportion between protein and fat should be changed to 1 : 2 in the initial period of 3-4 weeks (by the increase in protein and the reduction in a fat intake), in order to stimulate the catabolism of the stored fat. The amount of carbohydrate should be kept low, preferably at no more then 50 g/day. Subsequently, when the weight loss is well on the way, the amounts of protein and fat can be adjusted to the ideal proportion.

I find it interesting that it says that the ratios change by an increase in protein and reduction of fat, but doesn't say how much to increase the protein by. The implication is that one should not necessarily reduce calories, but just change the protein amount as well as the accompanying ratio.

Here's more:

There are many approaches to weight loss, new ones are invented all the time but the number of obese people continually increases. What then is the opinion of science regarding the effectiveness of these methods? Every dramatic reduction of food quantity markedly accelerates ageing, particularly of blood vessels. In the obese people treated with a diet containing 1200-1500 kcal and forced to exercise, the cloudiness of serum (hyperlipidaemia) increased even further. Low-calorie diets are ineffective in the permanent treatment of obesity. Low-fat diets cause an increase in lipid production, depression and overall exhaustion.The treatment of obesity with fasting is totally ineffective. The final result always failure. Fasting causes apathy, the lowering of the perception of morality, the lowering of mental abilities, asocial and egoistical behaviour. The dropping of the fast produces an improvement in mental numbness. Based on experiments with isotopes, it was shown that fasting, diuretic drugs or products derived from the thyroid gland cause loss of water and lean body mass with minimal, if at all, loss of fat.

It's funny, as crazy as his description of what happens to you when you fast is, I have definitely shown signs of all those symptoms: lowered mental abilities, antisocial behaviour... etc.

Now I've been eating a diet of approximately 1400 - 1500 calories per day with some (slight) success in reducing weight. This is also, however, the level of calories I was eating when my body decided to start gaining (prior to introducing the high fat element of LCHF). Only by increasing my fat intake was I able to stop the weight gain. I've tried eating within the proper ON ratios and not lost any weight that way - I've maintained just fine, but not actually lost weight. I have only been on the diet for just under a year, however, so I don't even know if I was on it long enough for my body to start the weight loss process.

I certainly don't want to negatively affect my blood vessels or my thyroid by cutting calories, but I don't see myself losing weight at 1800 to 2300 calories a day. I'm not supposed to use the weight loss ratio for more than 3-4 weeks. On top of that, I am not even obese. I am only about 20 - 30 lbs overweight. I'm sure Dr. Kwasniewski would not recommend that ratio for me at all, let alone for the 3 to 4 weeks. He'd probably suggest that the regular ratio will produce results all on its own. I wonder if you only get really great weight loss results if you go from a high carb diet to ON, like most people do, rather than from a different low carb diet to ON, like I did. I think if you don't have that initial water loss that comes from the introduction of low carb, your results aren't nearly as dramatic.

I'd better get reading to try to answer some of these questions.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Foods Eaten: Eggs; clarified butter; canned pear in syrup, drained and rinsed; chicken; Napa cabbage; celery; leeks; garlic; instant decaf coffee (whoops).
Calories: 1436 Fat: 119 g Carb: 28 g Fibre: 4 g Protein: 69 g

Well, I feel better today. My face is still slightly inflamed. Last night, I had an epsom salts bath, plus I applied my homemade cream to my face, concentrating on the inflamed areas and today the irritation pales in comparison to yesterday. I had some calcium and potassium to balance all the magnesium. My mood is fine and physically I feel fine again. My spots are reducing a bit. I find the cream really helps with those too. They just shrivel up!

I find it hightly disturbing that I can go to a restaurant, pick out all the food myself and watch the cooks make the food I'm eating and still have such a drastic reaction. What the hell was in that food?? Were the vegetables or meat treated with some kind of preservative? The meat was actually shaved in frozen form and the frozen shavings were piled into a big serving dish that you serve yourself from. If it were thawing and being refrozen, it would all stick together and be hard to remove from the dish, but it wasn't at all. It seemed (and tasted) very very fresh. I really think the culprit was the grill because the reaction was very much an MSG-type reaction (only 1000 times worse than I'm used to) and the grill is the only place my food could have come in contact with anything of the sort.

I'd love to go out for a walk today at lunch to try and rid my body of some more toxins through exercise, but I have a busy day ahead of me. We'll see.

Oh, and my period has disappeared again... (?!?!?!)

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Foods Eaten: Eggs; egg yolks; clarified butter; canned pear in syrup, drained; celery; chicken; lamb; celery; Napa cabbage; green onions; bean sprouts; canola oil; garlic; sweet corn; cashews
Calories: 1655 Fat: 126 g Carb: 58 g Fibre: 10 g Protein: 84 g
Weight: 152.5 lbs

Oh my. My boss took me out for lunch today (something I always dread, although it's a nice gesture). We went to a Mongolian restaurant, which, at first I thought would be great, as you just go from station to station picking out veggies and meat and sauces and they fire it all up on a big hot grill for you. Well, I picked only failsafe veg, plus lamb and chicken and did not put any sauce on. I know they didn't put any sauce on either because I saw them making it. However, right now my face is totally inflamed and my eyes are very very itchy!! My rosacea is out of control and my skin, which was almost flawless this morning, is now all nubbly and red and hot. The corners of my nose are painful and red and I now have three spots on my chin, instead of just the one that was there this morning. This is horrible! I also feeling very much like I did last time I had MSG (headachy, bloated, spacey)... so strange. They cleaned off the griddle with big scrapers and with water between each person's food went on the grill, but is it possible that there were traces of additives left on the grill that infused my food? I had no idea I was THAT sensitive. Ugh. I feel awful.

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When I woke up this morning, I discovered I had my period! This is incredibly unexpected, not because it's not the right time for it to come (it's a bit early at only 3-1/2 weeks since my last one), but because I've had absolutely no warning in the form of PMS. This morning, I woke up a bit bloated and tender and 1-1/2 lbs heavier, but last night when I went to sleep, it was like any other night. In fact, my stomach seemed flatter than usual (partly from losing a bit of weight recently). And I've been in a very good mood lately, which is highly unusual around my period. I have one tiny little spot on my chin that was not there last night. Hmm - this is refreshing!

My last three periods have been incredibly light and short and I have a sneaking suspicion that this time I won't be so lucky. It's already heavy and I'm only on day one!


Monday, April 24, 2006

Oh. My. God.

Foods Eaten: Eggs; clarified butter; canned pear in syrup, drained and rinsed; egg yolks; chicken; chicken fat; Napa cabbage; Brussels sprouts; celery; leeks
Calories: 1461 Fat: 124 g Carb: 25 g Fibre: 4 g Protein: 66 g
Weight: 151 lbs

I am an idiot. I think I've just figured something out (that really shouldn't have taken this long).

The day before I gave up dairy, I went out shopping with A. and some friends. One of the places we went is a store called "Honest Ed's", which is this bargain basement store that sells everything at very very cheap prices. I hadn't been in there for years, so I thougth 'what the hell' and had a look around. There, I found 2 pairs of shoes that only cost $15.00 a pair (which is disgustingly cheap). So I got them, they were shockingly comfortable and everything was dandy. We will come back to this later in my story.

Over the course of the next week, I started noticing at work that there was a horrible smell in my office. Sort of a cross between burning plastic and rubber. I could not identify the source of the smell because it would come and go - some days it wasn't there at all. It was around this time that my mood started to really deteriorate, despite the fact that I had given up dairy. I gave up grains eventually, too and finally, my mood began to improve again about a week ago.

This morning, I left the house and got into my car and suddenly, the horrible pong hit me again - I frantically started sniffing around and realised it was THE SHOES that had been the smell! These cheap shoes were reeking up my life without me even noticing and because they were on my feet (not close to my nose) and sometimes I was walking outside or in a more open environment where the smell would just be swept away. I've tested some of my coworkers, asking them if they can smell any chemical smell in the air... none of them can. The only reason I can is probably because my sense of smell is so acute right now. The chemicals were probably seeping through my socks and right into my feet.

So then I thought about it for a minute. I haven't worn either of those pairs of shoes at all in the last week and a half or so. I recently started wearing lighter shoes because the weather has improved, but today, it was much colder out, so I put them on again. Now I'm sitting in my office, stuck wearing these horribly stinky chemical shoes. I wish I had a window I could open. God I'm stupid... Maybe it wasn't grains that was my problem, but the shoes!! Or a combination? Once I'm totally clean from today's shoe-wearing and from the few little indiscretions over the weekend, I'll do a wheat trial again and see what happens. Not that I'll make it a habit to have grains (due to all the other crap in them), but would be nice to be able to have a touch of flour on occasion.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006


Foods Eaten: Eggs; rye bread; butter; potatoes; clarified butter; chicken fat; chicken; Napa cabbage; celery; leeks; garlic; egg yolks
Calories: 1377 Fat: 108 g Carb: 45 g Fibre: 7 g Protein: 64 g
Weight: 151.5 lbs

Funny how I've somehow, accidentally or purposely, exercised in some way or another every day for the past week. All in the form of walking around, so nothing terribly strenuous, but still. Today I went on a long hike through the country (for about an hour) and it was taxing, but very very nice. And I feel pretty nice today, despite the fact that I drank a bit of alcohol last night (which usually stimulates my hunger tremendously) and also had a couple of non-failsafe things: 1 oz roasted cashews, plus an ounce of raw ones, which is too much; fast food French fries (only a few, but still... they were probably covered in chemical preservatives; a cigarette (eek); a few crumbs of chocolate cake. None of these were a huge deal in and of themselves, but together they may add up to something, especially the cigarette.

Today, it continued, since I still in a stranger's home until around noon. Luckily, they tried to be very accomodating and had a daughter who couldn't eat wheat or dairy, so they gave me a piece of wheat-free, yeast-free dark rye toast with my eggs. I looked at the package later and realised it contained an organic sourdough starter, which is no good. Later in the evening, I had terrible gastro-issues - that rye bread just tore right through me and gave me considerable cramping, to boot.

Like I said, though, I feel good still. We'll see if it lasts. Shockingly, the weight loss is going very well, so far.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006


Foods Eaten: Clarified butter; eggs; peeled pear; cashews (both raw and roasted); Napa cabbage; celery; leeks; garlic; chicken fat; chicken (skinless); Scotch; potatoes
Calories: 1834 Fat: 148 g Carb: 61 g Fibre: 8 g Protein: 58 g
Weight: 152 lbs

Today I'm going to Peterborough to see a show that some friends of mine are playing. Unfortunately, we're staying with some friends' parents while we're there, so the food thing will be awkward - I'll bring food in a cooler and hopefully they'll understand.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Odds and Sods

Foods Eaten: Potatoes; egg yolks; egg; clarified butter; Napa cabbage; leeks; celery; chicken fat; chicken
Calories: 1448 Fat: 125 g Carb: 29 g Fibre: 2 g Protein:55 g
Weight: 152 lbs

Well, last night I certainly wasn't as deliriously happy as I had been during the day. I started to get a bit snarky around 7 pm and remained so for the duration of the evening. It may have been an amine reaction from the chicken skin or it could have been that I was hungry and hypoglycemic. I did start to get a headache in the afternoon which does spell amines, (plus, I've had horrible heartburn since yesterday afternoon, too) but I was very weak and hungry in the evening, which spells hypo. I've been trying to reduce calories and have been in a bit of a state of deprivation lately, especially in the evenings when the calorie-reduction catches up with me. I ate a small lunch around 2:00 pm and didn't have a chance to make anything for dinner until 7:15 or so. That may not seem like a long time to your average person, but with my reactive hypoglycemia still in effect, 5 hours without food can be enough to still send me into a tailspin. I even went 6 hours between breakfast and lunch and didn't feel as icky.

I am still totally confused by this hypoglycemia. It simply shouldn't be there anymore. I eliminated dairy because I suspected it was making my situation worse (and dairy has never given me a real sense of satiation anyway), but I really expected that my hypoglycemia would have gone away by now. Honestly, I haven't been testing my blood sugar lately - I'm just going by symptoms - so I'm not actually positive that my blood sugar is dipping too low. I have a very good feeling that it is, though, from all the classic symptoms I've been having.

For instance, right now (11:15 am) I am feeling hunger pains, even though I ate breakfast at 8:45 am. Considering the breakfast contained 4 egg yolks, 2 tbsp of clarified butter and only 1/3 cup of potato, I shouldn't be hungry. There was plenty of fat in that meal. If anything, I used up more than a third of the calories I allot myself in a day, which is troublesome because it indicates that I will be hungry all day long. Is it the potato?? My God, I've already given up grains and dairy... am I supposed to give up potato too??

What the crap is going on here? What on earth am I supposed to eat? Am I just not supposed to have starches or sugars of any kind? I certainly can't load up on vegetables, instead, because of all the bullsh*t in them. And just not eating any carbs is incredibly difficult on the long haul. I get depressed when I don't eat any carbs and I find my weight loss slows down without that occasional boost of serotonin. Plus, I get nauseated at the thought of food if there's absolutely no carbohydrate involved - especially eggs. Lately I've been mixing in a tiny bit of mashed potato into my eggs before scrambling so that the texture isn't quite so... eggy and sickatating. I don't usually find eggs gross - only when I'm forced to eat them all the time, like I am now. The great thing about potatoes and eggs is that they soak up fat like nobody's business, unlike, say... chicken, which will just swim around in the fat. Aside from eating chicken swimming in fat with a spoon (ugghhhh), there's no way to get all the fat necessary to keep my ratios appropriate. The egg yolk and potato mixture, on the other hand, absorb the fat and make it easier to get it down. But eggs alone make me gag lately. Oh who knows!

I'm sick of experimenting. I just want to be able to stick with what I've been doing but not feel hungry all the time. 1400 calories isn't exactly at the 'starving yourself' level, so I shouldn't feel so hungry. I'm a little dumbfounded here.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006


Foods Eaten: Potatoes; egg yolks; clarified butter; chicken; chicken fat; Brussels sprouts
Calories: 1461 Fat: 125 g Carb: 44 g Fibre: 8 g Protein: 49 g
Weight:152.5 lbs

Taste is the ability to respond to dissolved molecules and ions called tastants.
Humans detect taste with taste receptor cells. These are clustered in taste buds. Each taste bud has a pore that opens out to the surface of the tongue enabling molecules and ions taken into the mouth to reach the receptor cells inside. There are five primary taste sensations:


Properties of the taste system
- A single taste bud contains 50–100 taste cells representing all 5 taste sensations (so the classic textbook pictures showing separate taste areas on the tongue are wrong).
- Each taste cell has receptors on its apical surface. These are transmembrane proteins which bind to the molecules and ions that give rise to the 5 taste sensations.
- Although a single taste cell may have representatives of several types of receptor, one type may be more active than the others on that cell. And, no single taste cell contains receptors for both bitter and sweet tastants.

- Each taste receptor cell is connected, through an ATP-releasing synapse, to a sensory neuron leading back to the brain.
- However, a single sensory neuron can be connected to several taste cells in each of several different taste buds.
- The sensation of taste — like all sensations — resides in the brain.

With salty substances (e.g., table salt, NaCl), the receptor is an ion channel that allows sodium ions (Na+) to enter directly into the cell. This depolarizes it allowing calcium ions (Ca2+) to enter triggering the release of ATP at the synapse to the attached sensory neuron and generating an action potential in it.

In lab animals, and perhaps in humans, the hormone aldosterone increases the number of these salt receptors. This makes good biological sense:

- The main function of aldosterone is to maintain normal sodium levels in the body.
- An increased sensitivity to sodium in its food would help an animal suffering from sodium deficiency (often a problem for ungulates, like cattle and deer).

Several types of receptors may be involved in detecting the protons (H+) liberated by sour substances (acids).
In one type, the protons block potassium channels thus interrupting the normal outflow of K+ that creates the resting potential of the cell. The resting potential of the cell is reduced and if this reaches threshold, an action potential is generated in the attached sensory neuron.


Sweet substances (like table sugar — sucrose) bind to G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) at the cell surface.
- Each receptor contains 2 subunits designated T1R2 and T1R3 and is
- coupled to G proteins.
- The complex of G proteins has been named
gustducin because of its similarity in structure and action to the transducin that plays such an essential role in rod vision.
- Activation of gustducin triggers a cascade of intracellular reactions:
--- activation of adenylyl cyclase
--- formation of
cyclic AMP (cAMP)
--- the closing of K+ channels that leads to depolarization of the cell.
- The mechanism is similar to that used by our odor receptors.

The hormone leptin inhibits sweet cells by opening their K+ channels. This hyperpolarizes the cell making the generation of action potentials more difficult. Could leptin, which is secreted by fat cells, be a signal to cut down on sweets?

The binding of substances with a bitter taste, e.g., quinine, phenyl thiocarbamide [PTC], also takes place on G-protein-coupled receptors that are coupled to gustducin. In this case, however, cyclic AMP acts to release calcium ions from the endoplasmic reticulum, which triggers the release of neurotransmitter at the synapse to the sensory neuron. Humans have at least two dozen genes ("T2Rs") encoding different bitter receptors. However, each taste cell responsive to bitter expresses many of these genes. (This is in sharp contrast to the system in olfaction where a single odor-detecting cell expresses only a single type of odor receptor.) Despite this — and still unexplained — a single taste cell seems to respond to certain bitter-tasting molecules in preference to others. The sensation of taste — like all sensations — resides in the brain. Transgenic mice that
- express T2Rs in cells that normally express T1Rs (sweet) respond to bitter substances as though they were sweet;
- express a receptor for a tasteless substance in cells that normally express T2Rs (bitter) are repelled by the tasteless compound.

So it is the activation of hard-wired neurons that determines the sensation of taste, not the molecules nor the receptors themselves.

Umami is the response to salts of glutamic acid — like monosodium glutamate (MSG) a flavor enhancer used in many processed foods and in many Asian dishes. Processed meats and cheeses (proteins) also contain glutamate. The binding of amino acids, including glutamic acid, takes place on G-protein-coupled receptors that are coupled to heterodimers of protein subunits designated T1R1 and T1R3. Another umami receptor (at least in the rat's tongue) is a modified version of the glutamate receptors found at excitatory synapses in the brain.

Perhaps umami isn't just a response to glutamic acid, but also to amines and especially purines.



I finished Safe last night. It was very paced and quite fascinating, but there were definite implications that the main character and all the other environmentally ill characters had shadings of mental illness. It certainly appeared that way to me, even as someone who suffers from chemical intolerances, herself. The truth is, some people probably see reactions in their body and, if they're sensitive mentally, can develop such severe stress reactions from them that the reactions bring on seizures or can even imitate anaphylaxis. Then they're convinced that they're allergic to everything. Although, by no means would I say that for certain. Perhaps there are people who are that allergic and that intolerant. We'll see - as pollution increases and additives become more and more ubiquitous, people are going to get sicker and sicker.


Feeling so effing good

Oh my God, do I feel fantastic today. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I am so chipper, I could practically float away on a cloud. YAY! It's about bloody time I started to feel better. It could be the good weather having an effect, too, but I don't really care.

Last night I even went out for a 45-minute brisk walk with A. at about 9:30 and it was even nice and warm and breezy at that late hour. I don't really think the walk did much for calorie burning - maybe 150 calories maximum. It mainly just gave me a feeling of well-being and lots of much needed energy. It also took my mind off food, as I was really hungry and carb-craving yesterday, especially in the evening. Probably because the night before I had a whole peeled pear in the evening, on an empty stomach, which is far more fruit than I usually have in one sitting and I never have it on an empty stomach. It was a mistake, but at least my mood didn't suffer - just my hunger levels. I imagine that walk was also effective as a cleansing method and helped to excrete some toxins. It must have, because I still feel great today. One of my co-workers suggested a walk today at lunch, which is even better because I'll get some vitamin D.

I did eat some chicken skin last night, but so far, no ill-effects. I hope I don't have any reactions because I love chicken skin. I removed the skin from some thighs that I had bought and planned on roasting and decided to render the fat out for later use. I was left with these incredibly crispy nuggets of skin that just couldn't go uneaten. A little salt... mmmmmmm.... I ate four thighs-worth! By the time they were rendered, they were just tiny little bits, anyway. Oh well!

The meat, I roasted and froze in 3-oz portions so I can whip one out for dinner any particular night over the next week. I was always intimidated by the amines, but figure if I just freeze it right away and it eat within a week, I'm good. It's a hell of a lot easier than dealing with frozen raw meat (which I hate) and it's nicer than worrying about the developing amines on meat while it sits raw or cooked in the fridge. Also, this way I don't have to cook from scratch every night of the week. After cooking all day at work, sometimes it gets to be a bit much. The best before date on the chicken said it was good for another 4 days, so I reckon it had been packed that day. There's no real way to tell with supermarket meat, but so far I've had good results with chicken (and lamb) from my supermarket. It's beef that's been trouble for me.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Foods Eaten: Potatoes; clarified butter; eggs; egg yolks; Brussels sprouts; chicken (with skin - eep!); chicken fat
Calories: 1492 Fat: 127 g Carb: 43 g Fibre: 8 g Protein: 54 g
Weight: 153.5 lbs

I have never known what it's like to be slim.

Well, that's not true. I have a vague recollection of being pretty normal between the ages of 0 and 4. But even then, I remember my parents talking, disapprovingly, about what a gigantic appetite I had and my mother forcing skim milk (not 2%, but zero fat skim milk) on me and my brother and never allowing me to put butter or sugar on anything because I'd "get fat". Or demands that I make sure to leave some food on my plate 'for Miss Manners'. She even had a little doll that she called 'Miss Manners' and she'd put in on the dinner table next to my plate. It was a little plush red devil-shaped pin cushion with long hair, long eyelashes and a pitch fork. How strangely appropriate. My mum had been a chubby child (and suffered from eating disorders all her life) and there was no way she would end up with fat children. Nice try, Mum. Both of your kids ended up, not just chubby, but obese by early teenage-hood. I love my mother dearly, but if you're interested in f**king up your child, that's a really good way to go about it.

And for a long time, I resented all of that. I still do really. But I especially resented, not my parents, but the fact that I never got to enjoy a 'young' body. You know... tight elastic skin, perky breasts, slim smooth thighs and bum. My body looked like a 50 year-old's when I was 15. And then when I lost weight, things didn't improve all that much. I was blessed with big honking chunks of loose hanging skin. My skin has improved with time as my body has adjusted to the new weight and it's definitely improved since going on ON and supplying my body with the appropriate amount of fat to 'bounce back', if you will. I actually spent money on a personal trainer for just under a year in the hopes that constant exercise and resistance training would cure my loose skin, but nope. I may as well have saved my money.

I do find when my weight drops to about 145 lbs, my cellulite on my thighs starts to diminish a bit, so I do have hope that my body still has the potential to bounce back. I mean I'm only 28 for Christ's sake - I should still have plenty of tone to my skin. More recently, I took to drinking bone broths to try and get some more collagen in my diet in the hopes that it might improve my skin tone, but I had to give them up when I started trying to avoid amines... I can only imagine how full of amines (not to mention free glutamates) a beef or chicken stock would be, considering it cooks for 10 hours.

I shouldn't give up on my ability to lose weight, but I know a lot of people, if they had never had the chance to feel slim, would lose faith that they're actually capable of getting there. I do question it. I wonder if I'm meant to be overweight forever - if there's something written into my DNA and something... something... be it food intolerance, or my thyroid, or my hormones will always stand in the way of my being slim. Like an internal saboteur of some kind. I refuse to buy into what everyone keeps saying - "You're slim already! Don't be so hard on yourself! You've already lost so much weight! Just eat the ice cream/muffin/double chocolate sundae! You don't need to lose anymore weight! Not everyone is meant to be 120 lbs. Maybe you're meant to be a bit curvier. You look fine.

I don't want to look fine. I want to look great. If I were 10 lbs overweight, I'd understand. But according to the BMI charts, I'm not even within normal range. I'm overweight, plain and simple. There's no reason why I should have to settle for being overweight. Sure I'm not obese, but I am over 150 lbs and only 5"4'!! And meanwhile, the people who are saying all this are not overweight. In fact, they talk about being overweight or having gained weight or needing to lose weight all the time. Why the hell is it OK for me to be fat and not them? People are so ridiculous, sometimes. I just want to look like a 28 year-old - is that so much to ask?

This sounds whiney, I know. Apologies. Go ahead! Say it! "Annabelle... Life isn't fair!".

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Working from home

Foods Eaten: Eggs; clarified butter; Brussels sprouts; egg yolks; peeled pear
Calories: 1388 Fat: 124 g Carb: 34 g Fibre: 7 g Protein: 47 g
Weight: 154 lbs

Wow, I thought that working from home today would be slightly more relaxing than a usual office day, but I was mistaken. I've been run off my feet with all this work. Meh, it's nice to be busy. :)

Anyhoo, I'm feeling rather chipper today. I guess whatever I was excreting over the last week has been excrot and now I feel a bit more... back to myself. Wow, it's incredible... the emotional effect of all this crap has on me is so much more drastic than anything else. There were times this week when I felt downright horrible. Worse even than when I was eating amines and salicylates regularly. I guess once your body is rid of all the garbage, it doesn't much like having any garbage sneak back in.

A. decided that I should see the movie Safe last night, starring Julianne Moore. We only got through an hour of it before it got too late, but we'll continue it tonight. It's about a woman with Environmental Illness, (much like Anthony Edwards' character had on Northern Exposure). Now, luckily, A. seemed to have great sympathy for the main character and wasn't poking fun at me. I'll say more about this movie once I finish watching it.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Epsom Salt Cream

Foods Eaten: Eggs; egg yolks; clarified butter; cabbage; rutabaga
Calories: 1713 Fat: 161 g Carb: 32 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 45 g
Weight: 153.5 lbs

I made my own epsom salt cream last night. What brought this on was that I realised the offending party in my recent bad mood may have been from scented candles that I've been around a lot lately (and I was around last night again), plus I had a run-in with some salicylate -containing foods that I couldn't avoid last night, so I decided a bit of a cleanse was in order. So last night I had a big glass of bicarb, applied the epsom cream, popped some calcium citrate and some potassium and went to bed. This morning my skin is as soft as can be and I feel better. In fact, my skin, which had recently broken out with 5 pimples (which is quite rare for me) looks much better. I did have a bit of a rush to the bathroom this morning (from the magnesium, I'm sure). If the bad mood comes back, I'll just repeat the process today.

My recipe for the Epsom cream:

4 tbsp Epsom salts
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp glycerin
1 small tub (215 g) vaseline

In a saucepan, dissolve the salts in the water over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in glycerin, then vaseline, until smooth and homogenous (this will take a bit of patience). The mixture will be very runny. Pour into a jar (or back into the vaseline tub, but you'll have some extra because of the added ingredients) and let cool. This cream takes a long time to soak in and feels a bit gnarly, actually, but when it finally does soak in, it feels awesome.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

What the hell was wrong with me last night?

Foods Eaten: Eggs; egg yolks; clarified butter; cashews; decaf espresso; rutabagas; lamb (not failsafe - marinated in olive oil and oregano, etc.); cabbage; vodka
Calories: 1858 Fat: 158 g Carb: 28 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 57 g Alcohol: 19 g
Weight:153.5 lbs

I feel better today. I have no idea what crawled up my ass last night. It was not pretty. I felt horrible, emotionally. I haven't felt that defeated in a while. Well, whatever... on to other things:

I feel like maybe it's time to try and reduce calories a bit. I feel like I'm feeling ready to do it now. I'll keep having metabolism-boosting days to stimulate my thyroid, but I definitely need to start losing some weight. I'm starting to feel like a real heiffer!

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Saturday, April 15, 2006


Foods Eaten: Eggs; egg yolks; clarified butter; cashews; 3 French fries; rutabaga
Calories: 1537 Fat: 149 g Carb: 16 g Fibre: 1 g Protein: 41 g
Weight:154 lbs

I'm just having one of those nights. You know... one of those nights where you, when suddenly attacked by a case of good will, invite your family over for dinner the next night, including your partner's mother. But then you realise too late that the 24-hour grocery store is closed - and will be closed all day tomorrow- because it's Easter Sunday (starting Saturday evening, apparently). The kind of night where you go to try on the pants you just bought 3 hours ago and the beaded belt that comes with them snaps and beads go flying all over your bedroom. The kind of night when your cat decides that the scattering of the beads was really meant for her as entertainment and scatters them further, in a fit of joy. The kind of night when your face is still inflamed from the weird allergic reaction you had earlier that day. The kind of night where you look in the mirror and instead of seeing your own reflection, you see a spotty, blotchy 30-lb overweight woman who is only 28 but somehow suddenly looks about 48. The kind of night when your tinnitus is acting up, BIG TIME. The kind of night when you aren't hungry, but try to force down some eggs and feel like yacking because of it? The kind of night when your partner is trying to help but you keep snapping at him anyway because even the most sweet and helpful person is about as welcome and as useful as having a second a**hole.

You know... the kind of night when you just want to punch a hole in the wall, but it's your wall and you'll just have to pay to repair it, anyway.

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Strange Reaction

I can't say my mood has been stellar in the last two weeks. Today I had moments of cheerfulness and luckily my hunger has been fine today. But I did have one very strange symptom.

I took a shower earlier today and when I got out, my face was totally inflamed and red and my nose itched tremendously (this happened once to me before when I was on holidays in Cuba and spent a couple of hours in a moldy dance studio). The creases between my nose and cheeks are still red, itchy and painful. My nose is slightly runny as well - kind of like when you're just getting over a cold and your nose is still running and raw from constantly blowing it.

Could my soap have come in contact with A's in the shower and this is just a contact dermititis? Or am I reacting to a food or a chemical? I did trial garlic yesterday. I also used a non-failsafe cleaner on the bathroom again yesterday because I ran out of the vinegar/water solution I had been using.



Friday, April 14, 2006


Foods Eaten: Eggs; egg yolks; clarified butter; cashews; cabbage; rutabaga; garlic; decaf instant coffee
Calories: 1807 Fat: 171 g Carb: 32 g Fibre: 4 g Protein: 46 g
Weight: 153 lbs (but I woke up very late and weighed myself after a long fast)

Made a nice Spanish tortilla for dinner with cubed rutabaga and used a bit of garlic this time. It's failsafe, but I haven't tried it yet, so we'll see if I have a reaction to it.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Cranky Pants

Foods Eaten: Eggs; egg yolks; clarified butter; peeled pear; cashews; lamb; cabbage; rutabaga
Calories: 1764 Fat: 168 g Carb: 27 g Fibre: 4 g Protein: 46 g
Weight: 154.5 lbs

That's what I am. A cranky pants. Have been since coming home from work. I'm not feeling hungry, either, so I don't think it's hypoglycemia-related. Weird. I don't like it and considering it's a long weekend, I'd prefer to be in a better mood for it. I do feel some career-related stress right now, but I don't feel this level of irritability is warrented. Hmph.

After reading Emma's post on molybdenum, I now feel extra pissed off at the health food store lady. ARRRRRRR. I resorted to ordering some liquid molybdenum drops online that will cost me a bundle, due to shipping. Something that should be $8, is ending up costing me much much more.

F*&^ing hell.


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Homocysteine and Insulin Resistance

Check out this link:

I find it interesting that the implication in this article is that increased insulin levels may have a correlation and indeed a negative impact on homocysteine levels because of the findings of the study of obese children. This may be true, but it doesn't jive entirely. I have done everything humanly possible to improve my insulin sensitivity through diet and have only had marginal results. I still suffer from occasional hypoglycemia and still have significant fat stores around my abdomen - both of which definitely point to raised insulin - but my diet is, in every way, picture-perfect in terms of macronutrient ratios and overall carbohydrate load, so it's not like my raised insulin levels are stemming from my diet. But I had never thought to check out my homocysteine levels or tried to improve my methylation before now.

Could it be that increased homocysteine levels and improper methylation cycles can cause raised insulin levels and decreased insulin sensitivity and not the other way around? Or perhaps they each contribute to the other? I'm sure they are two factors that are synergistic and certainly not isolated conditions that have no effect on each other. Either way, I'm hoping that improved methylation will improve my insulin levels and my attempts at getting rid of my excess belly fat. If it does happen, we'll know that this methylation business is more than it's cracked up to be and that these studies may have it backwards.

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A New Day

I feel good. It's a new day and I feel fresh. Hopefully, this is a positive sign. As I stated yesterday, I caved in and started taking methyl donors. I say 'caved in' because I really should have waited until I was totally 'clean' of reactions before I started trialling something new, but I just couldn't resist trying something that may make me feel better. Plus, I'm taking a substantial number of methyl donors now, so I should know pretty soon if they're not a good idea. My regimen includes the following:

- a sublingual tablet called Homocysteine Formula (by a company called SISU), which includes methylcobalamin, folate and B6 in a decent ratio. This was the only form of methylcobalamin at my health food store that didn't have a bunch of junk added to it, such as polyols and 'cherry flavour'. Luckily the added vitamins are also methylation-supportive and I needed them anyway. 1 tablet, 3 times daily.
-1 tsp of Trimethyl Glycine (a.k.a. Betaine or TMG)
- 2 tablets of L-Methionine, which comes with added B6
- Zinc is a supporting element in methylation and I was not meeting my RDA, so I'm taking a small dose (15 mg) and have stopped experiencing nausea from it. Yay.
- Ascorbic acid, buffered with sodium bicarbonate
- potassium salts
- Okinawan Coral (for calcium, magnesium and Vit. D)

I tried to get molybdenum, but they didn't have a supplement that didn't come as a multivitamin. The lady at the store just looked at me like I had just fallen off the stupid idiot truck and said "You don't need a pill of molybdenum all by itself. Your RNI is only about 15 mcg and you'll find it in any of these multivitamins."


Hmmm, funny how I just can't get away from supplements. Seems like I'm always either their biggest supporter, or feeling like I'm too dependent on them and feeling as if they may be 'not good' for me. I'm thinking, however, that I've just been focusing on the wrong ones. If I am predisposed genetically to undermethylation, then I will have to take them forever. But yeah, suddenly having to spend $50 on supps when I thought I was done with them (and already have a cupboard full of them, which are now no longer applicable), seems like a bit of a cruel joke! Especially if I find out that they are contraindicated for whatever ails me. Let's hope everything works out and I don't have to toss them out. Ha ha, maybe if they don't work out, I can ship them to Emma! Along with some liquid glycerine shampoo.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Have I lost my way?

Foods Eaten: Clarified butter; eggs; egg yolks; peeled pear; cashews; lamb; cabbage; rutabaga; potassium salts; ascorbic acid; sodium bicarbonate; coral supplement; zinc supplement (to meet RDA); L-Methionine; TMG; Methylcobalamin; B6; Folic acid
Calories: 1729 Fat: 166 g Carb: 24 g Fibre: 3 g Protein: 44 g
Weight: 154.5 lbs

It occurs to me that Failsafe and even ON combined with Failsafe is not the be-all and end-all. There are so many other factors that can interfere with your own personal good nutrition. I figured that since I was still sticking to the basic principles of Failsafe and ON, that I should be OK. But really, I wasn't OK.

When I decided to give up dairy, I filled the carbohydrate-void with grains (flour mostly, but more recently oats). That would have been fine if I had been reacting well to grains before I gave up dairy, but the truth is, I have no idea how I was reacting to grains before because I never included them! The milk I was drinking was providing too many carbs and I had only trialled potatoes up to that point. So here I was, giving up one suspicious element and just throwing a different one in the mix. Thanks Emma, for noticing this!

So out go the grains. I never really felt like I should be having them anyway, since my Atkins "programming" had made me feel guilty every time I ate them. I'll miss them, I assure you, but for right now it's too important that I eliminate them until I sort things out.

So let's recap, shall we? No salicylates (fruit and veg), no amines (aged proteins, chocolate... etc.), no dairy (self-imposed due to cravings, possible hypoglycemic reactions and tell-tale dairy sensitivity symptoms, such as pale skin and undereye circles) and no grains. Part of me feels like this is absurd. But then I always feel slightly absurd. My partner suggested I was developing Howard Hughes-ian paranoia last night. I tried to assure him that it has always been there and that I'm actually doing much better now that I feel like I'm discovering why I'm such a mental case. It's a chicken/egg situation in many ways.

So the only remaining question marks (for now) are regarding supplements. Last night, I prematurely started on a copper-reducing cocktail of supplements that now I question after Emma's enlightening methylation post. I don't know if I should just go back to having nothing, or if I should just eliminate the ones specific to copper-reduction, since some of them are really methyl donors and may be helpful for me. [Edit: Impatiently, I picked some methyl donors up from the store and started them this evening. I figure if I'll know if I'm reacting to them pretty quickly.]

I feel pretty good today, by the way. And my weight is back down to the ever-faithful 154.5 lbs. Hilarious. Didn't get hungry until about 11 am again this morning. Had a bite of deliciously ripe pear instead of the oats or the flour. Yum.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Foods Eaten: Ascorbic acid; sodium bicarbonate; eggs; egg yolks; clarified butter; oats; cabbage; potato; zinc citrate; B12; B6; Folate; selenium; manganese
Calories: 1775 Fat: 174 g Carb: 20 g Fibre: 4 g Protein:43 g
Weight:155.5 lbs

I'm pretty sure I do things backwards. And I'm pretty sure that because of this, I have developed an unhealthy reliance on Fitday.

On Saturday, my computer broke. Turns out it was the motherboard. I went to turn it on to do something and the screen just remained black. This happened in the morning. It was at this point that I realised something about myself: I don't know how to eat anymore. I do not eat food, then record it in fitday to find out how much I've eaten, like most people would... I record foods in fitday - first - to equal my desired ratios for that day, then proceed to eat those things. It is really not a good way to do things... Because when your computer breaks, you're suddenly helpless and have no idea what to eat.

I don't know why I do this. Actually, yes I do. I have a large appetite, even now after being on ON for this long. It may just be that I don't trust myself since my binge disorder days and I'm scared of how much I'll eat. I don't feel I can properly judge when to say 'enough'. So, in order to prevent myself from overeating, I plan out my daily meals, make just enough to fill those needs and then eat it all. I never make enough to supply leftovers, unless I make a double-batch, in which case I divide the food exactly in half, using a scale, and then pack up the leftovers in advance so there's no chance I'll eat them. I don't remember what it's like to just eat until I'm satisfied without first knowing exactly how much I'm allowed to eat. These are obsessive eating disorder traits... I aware of that. I still carry those crazy qualities with me.

I'd see a dietitian about this problem, but unfortunately, most dietitians don't know nearly enough about nutrition to suit my needs. I'd see a psychiatrist, but I'm not sure that's the answer either. Most of them have been mistakenly taught, in the same way that dietitians and medical doctors have, that fat is bad, saturated fat is even worse and if I want to lose weight and avoid illness, I should eat a varied diet of complex, slow-release carbohydrates, lots of lean proteins and limit fat intake to less than 25% of total calories, but including lots of 'healthy' fats, from nuts and canola oil. How can you not eat any fat, but eat lots of healthy fat at the same time? Oh, and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, while you're at it. Can you believe that malarchy? If that worked, I'd be a leggy supermodel by now. Unfortunately, I'm a stubby-legged, pot-bellied, paranoid lady who has to eat everything in a circle (I eat around the edges of everything, working in towards the centre and yes I KNOW THAT'S WEIRD! You can add that to my long list of food idiosyncrasies).

I'm not exactly sure how to deal with this. I've been like this since before ON and fitday, only I handled it differently. I just counted calories diligently and never allowed myself more than a certain number per meal. I would eyeball the calories (I became a walking calorie counter over time). The only problem is I don't like to eyeball calories, fat, protein and carbs and ratios, as it's much more difficult than just plain calories and I'm much more likely to make a mistake and eat too much. That's why Fitday was a Godsend for me - it did all that work for me!

But now I feel like I've crippled myself with Fitday. And I'm not sure how to bounce back, exactly...

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Dairy Trial

I think it's about time for that dairy trial I was talking about. Maybe tomorrow I will drink a whole pint of cream (or close to the whole thing) throughout the day, along with some eggs for protein and we'll see how I react. I'll be sure to stick to my ratios as best as possible, to eliminate the possibility that a deviation in my macronutrient ratio affecting the results. The cream will make it harder to stick as low carb as I have been for the last two days, but I'll stick to below 60 grams of carb. [Edit: I've decided against this since I'm not entirely well from other reactions yet.]

I actually feel better now than I did earlier. I got a little worked up earlier - not sure why. I haven't even eaten lunch yet and I still feel OK. About an hour after I last posted, I got a small surge of energy and felt like I could carry on a bit better. Thank God!

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Not Again!

So I ate breakfast a little late this morning - about 11:20 am. Had a scramble with lots of butter and a spoonful of porridge. I'm taking a small spoonful - hardly any carbs ingested. And now, about an hour later, I feel so incredibly exhausted. Completely and utterly knackered. I could fall asleep right in my chair. This is a bad sign, as it's usually how I feel at the beginning of a hypoglycemic reaction. What follows this feeling is a strange tightness in my chest and extreme restlessness, followed by shakiness, slightly blurred vision, cravings for caffeine (which I have not been indulging in any way for a while now), followed by hunger, irritability and a feeling of desperation. I'll probably have lunch somewhere in the middle of this cycle, which will just 'reboot' the cycle all over again and delay the more unpleasant symptoms until later this afternoon (usually when I get home from work, just in time to see my sweetheart, where I sometimes end up tearing him a new a**hole for no reason).

I felt quite hypoglycemic yesterday in the afternoon, too.

I was really on an upswing for a while there and things have just not been the same since two Saturdays ago. I don't know if perhaps I'm being exposed to something... or maybe the detox following that meal two Saturdays ago has been incredibly long. Or maybe this is all part of the original detox and I'm just not seeing the forest for the trees. Or perhaps this is a delayed reaction to giving up dairy, or more recently decaf coffee, since I've started to suspect it too. Or perhaps I have another deeper underlying problem that was temporarily relieved from yet another change in diet but is now rebounding.

Or maybe I'm just imagining the whole f%#$ing thing.

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So I decided to add zinc to my very small group of supplements. I figure it can't really hurt and on the off chance that I'm overloaded with copper, it will certainly help. I've heard it gets worse before it gets better, though, so we'll just see.

The unfortunate side is that zinc makes me feel intensely nauseated about 20 to 30 minutes after I take it and the feeling lasts for about 30 to 45 minutes. Last night, like clockwork, I felt incredibly sick, just after taking it and had to lie very still for a little while until it settled down. I'll have to see if there's another form of zinc that's easier on my stomach. I'm currently taking zinc gluconate. Maybe I'll try chloride or sulphate.

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Weight Gain

Weight this morning: 155.5 lbs.

Gack! This is what always happens to me. I gain weight for absolutely no reason. Yes, I know it's only a pound in two days, but the weight should be going in the other direction. Down. Not up. Down.

I could puke. Honestly. P.u.k.e.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Job interview

Foods Eaten: Ascorbic acid (oodles); clarified butter; eggs; egg yolks; oats; cabbage; coral calcium; zinc
Calories: 1846 Fat: 179 g Carb: 23 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 46 g
Weight: 155 lbs (bah!)

I have an interview tomorrow morning and I'm nervous!!

I trialled oats today (not very much; only 2 tbsp dry oats), to see if I have any particular reaction to them. We'll see. Feeling good so far.


Methylation and Metal-Metabolism

Right now Emma is posting on under and over-methylation and its effects on food intolerance and epilepsy. Her posts, here, here, here and here have been fascinating and have prompted me to do a bit of googling of my own.

From what I can tell, the symptoms for under-methylators and over-methylators are disagreed upon. William Walsh, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Pfeiffer Treatment Center says that the symptoms are as follows:

Undermethylation: This condition is innate & is characterized by low levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, high whole blood histamine and elevated absolute basophils. This population has a high incidence of seasonal allergies, OCD tendencies, perfectionism, high libido, sparse body hair, and several other characteristics. They usually respond well to methionine, SAMe, calcium, magnesium, omega-3 essential oils (DHA & EPA), B-6, inositol, and vitamins A, C, and E. They should avoid supplements containing folic acid. In severe cases involving psychosis, the dominant symptom is usually delusional thinking rather than hallucinations. They tend to speak very little & may sit motionless for extended periods. They may appear outwardly calm, but suffer from extreme internal anxiety. Other symptoms include good tolerance to cold, but poor tolerance to heat, nausea, low pain threshold, slender build, excessive saliva, hyperactivity, frequent infections, seasonal allergies, phobias, high metabolism, perspiration, warm skin, headaches, myalgia... etc.

Overmethylation: This condition is the biochemical opposite of undermethylation. It is characterized by elevated levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, low whole blood histamine, and low absolute basophils. This population is characterized by the following typical symptoms: Absence of seasonal, inhalent allergies, but a multitude of chemical or food sensitivities, high anxiety which is evident to all, low libido, obsessions but not compulsions, tendency for paranoia and auditory hallucinations, underachievement as a child, heavy body hair, hyperactivity, "nervous" legs, and grandiosity. They usually respond well to folic acid, B-12, niacinamide, DMAE, choline, manganese, zinc, omega-3 essential oils (DHA and EPA) and vitamins C and E, but should avoid supplements of methionine, SAMe, inositol, TMG and DMG. Other symptoms include good pain tolerance, low libido, absence of seasonal allergies, OCD, depression, tinnitus, restless legs syndrome, artistic/music interests/abilities, intolerance to Prozac and other SSRI's... etc.

The lists go on and on. This site questions some of the Pfeiffer Treatment Center's findings because they seem illogical. The food sensitivities part is curious, as it goes against much of what Emma has researched and the research that Enzyme Stuff mentions. I, myself, have no idea what any of it means, largely because I suffer from many symptoms that appear in both categories (lack of seasonal allergies but many food and chemical sensitivities, I used to have an abnormally high libido when I was younger, but now have next to none, horrible tolerance to cold, very high pain threshold, depression, anxiety, irritability, phobia, have gone through periods of very frequent infections, overweight, obsessive, childhood underachievement, tinnitus... etc. That list goes on and on too.

One thing I've come across in my web research is a third, common cause of some of my symptoms that actually fits the bill more accurately than either of the other two: copper imbalance/metal metabolism imbalance.

"Metal-Metabolism: A common problem in ADHD behavior disorders and hormonal depression is a physical inability to control copper, zinc, manganese and other trace metals in the body due to improper functioning of metallothionein, a small protein synthesized in the liver and kidney in response to the presence of some metal ions, including zinc, mercury, cadmium and copper. It binds the metal ions tightly and is important both in ion transport and in detoxification. These patients are often deficient in zinc and manganese, the amino acids cysteine and serine, and vitamin B-6. They are commonly overloaded in copper, lead and cadmium. They must avoid supplements and enriched foods containing copper. In addition we recommend they drink bottled water and limit use of swimming pools and jacuzzis treated with copper sulfate anti-algae agents. Foods to be limited due to high copper content include shellfish, chocolate and carob. Elevated copper levels are associated with hormonal imbalances and a classic symptom is intolerance to estrogen. Biochemical treatment focuses on stimulation of metallothionein using zinc, manganese, cysteine, serine and vitamin B-6."

Apparently, the symptoms of this imbalance, aside from estrogen intolerance and horrible pms symptoms are: acne, eczema, sensitive skin, sunburn, headaches, poor immune function, white spots under the fingernails, mood swings, sulphite sensitivity, fatigue, irritability, foggy brain, hypoglycemia, headaches, tender calf muscles, difficulty falling asleep...etc. many of which I have. The birth control pill can cause high levels of copper and will exacerbate the estrogen symptoms.

Do I have copper toxicity? Who knows! More on this soon.

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It seems stress has been rampant this week for many people I know, including me. It was a horrible week for me and my reactions have not been good, despite my best efforts. It's been enough to really discourage me. But really, stress is a very powerful force and I can't ignore its effects on me. Perhaps stress has a negative effect on the excretion of toxins, so my body's been hanging on to things that would otherwise would have been flushed out.

I've decided to not judge this past week too harshly as circumstances were not optimal. I'll just start fresh today.


Sunday, April 09, 2006


Foods Eaten: Egg yolks; rice flour; clarified butter; cabbage; egg
Calories: 1862 Fat: 180 g Carb: 23 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 46 g
Weight: 154.5 lbs

On a completely un-nutrition update, I just bought a new laptop computer. My old computer kacked yesterday and I took it in to get repaired, but I'm long overdue for a new machine, so I decided to go ahead and buy a new one and I'll give the old thing to my brother, who has no computer. See? It all works out.

Today is my first day cutting down on carbs. I'm going to try to stick to around 20 to 30 g. We'll just see how it goes.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Epsom Salts

Foods Eaten: Optimal pancakes (egg yolks; eggs; unbleached flour; salt; clarified butter); lard; clarified butter; potatoes; decaf coffee; ascorbic acid; sodium bicarbonate; coral supplement
Calories: 2250 Fat: 189 g Carb: 89 g Fibre: 4 g Protein: 54 g
Weight 154.5 lbs

Just had an epsom salts bath and I feel much calmer and more relaxed. My headache is still there, but not as pronounced.

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Optimal Diet Ratios

Emma's post today about ON ratios is prompting me to pontificate about my own ratios.

When I started ON, I began with ratios of about 60 to 70 g protein: 210 to 230 g fat: 40 to 50 g carbohydrate (excluding fibre). I started dropping weight right away. Then I stalled. Then I tried reducing my fat a bit. Then I gained. This, of course, made me convinced that dropping the fat was a big mistake and I just couldn't get my head around the ON 'weight loss' ratio, as dropping the fat, for me, had made me put on pounds, not lose them.

It's now, later on, that I see that small fluctuations in my ratios were not the problem. My diet was still full of salicylates and amines. I was eating coconut frequently and regularly had aged cheese, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, kale and asparagus... never ate potatoes or flour. I suppose Atkins had affected my opinion of these foods too much and I just didn't 'buy' the fact that they were the preferred form of carbate.

I was totally dumbfounded as to why I'd lose 3 lbs in a week, then gain them all back overnight for absolutely no reason. Needless to say, it was incredibly demoralising. I would blame minor fluctuations in my ratios... Maybe the protein/fat/carb is too high/low! I would blame a fluctuation as small as 2 or 3 grams as the culprit of a 3 lb. gain, which I now realise is totally ridiculous. I tried every incarnation of protein:fat:carb within the allowed limits, and even sometimes went outside those limits in the hopes it would trigger some consistent weight loss.

These changes in diet, especially when I would increase fat intake, would cause me to excrete more salicylates than usual, which would cause a temporary weight loss, followed by a chemical build-up, followed by weight gain, The weight fluctuations would worsen the mood that was already compromised by all the chemicals, so I was constantly miserable and paranoid about what I was eating.

I am definitely still struggling with my weight and my ON ratios. I do feel that, more important that anything else, consistency is the key. Changing my ratios every couple of days did not help and only caused me to obsess over them. I still do obsess, but am trying to resist tinkering with them. The fact that the reaction to the food I ate last saturday didn't even show up until 4 days after I had eaten it proves that even a one-meal deviation can cause ramifications well beyond what I had previously thought and totally explains why I have not lost the excess weight yet. I'm still having headaches and irritability from all that crappy food - why would my body be ready to bounce back weight-wise, yet? Still, I am discouraged all over again, sitting here at my old faithful 154.5 lbs, which is basically what I started out with before Failsafe.

Having said all that, I have decided to try reducing carbs a bit; I won't mess around with the protein and, if anything, I will keep fat high because I do feel my body still needs a great deal of healing. I had been sticking to the accepted 50 grams of carbohydrates, but now I wonder if that's just too high for my reactive hypoglycemia. I still experience hunger between meals and occasional irritability, which really shouldn't happen with the level of fat I eat. My protein is already quite low, as Homo Optimus apparently states that protein should be reduced to 0.7 g/kg of ideal body weight (which, for me, is 60 kg, according to my height) after the initial 3 months, or 'reconstruction' period, according to the AHOA. I would love to get a copy of Homo Optimus, but haven't been able to get my hands on it. I'm also mildly concerned about the quality of translation, which I've heard is a bit questionable.

More thought is still needed in this department - I'm just not sure which direction to go, or if I should just stick with what I've been doing. I'd started questioning dairy (which I'm still eliminating) and now I'm questioning wheat flour - not because I have any particular reaction to it, but because I have had a bad week and I'm looking to everything to try and explain why my body reacted so poorly (and for such an extended time) to this one indiscretion. Now I'm thinking... is it the flour in my pancakes? The 1 shortbread cookie I occasionally eat at night?

I can't possibly restrict my diet any more than I already have. I just can't do it.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Meat and Amines

Foods Eaten: Croissant; clarified butter; eggs; egg yolks; decaf instant coffee; green cabbage; lard; shortbread; potatoes
Calories: 1779 Fat: 154 g Carb: 58 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 47 g
Weight: 154.5 lbs

I've barely eaten meat lately. I've been on a real egg kick for the past week or two, mostly because I am worried about amines.

For some reason, I can handle the idea of avoiding salicylates, but amines are another story. I have mild paranoia about them and I'm not afraid to admit it. Amines seem... sneakier than salicylates. You can take a perfectly failsafe food, like beef or chicken, then accidentally age it too long or keep it half a day too long in the fridge before you get a chance to cook it and all of the sudden it's teeming with amines. And going to the grocery store every night to pick up fresh meat is just not practical, especially when I don't even know how long it's been sitting there in the butcher's case.

I think part of what makes me so paranoid is that I have the distinct impression that I am amine sensitive. If I weren't, I would be a little more easy-going about eating meat. I've definitely noticed a correlation between eating less-than-fresh meat with having horrible moodiness. And moodiness and depression is my biggest concern, lately. I find that being slightly overweight isn't even that big of an issue for me, as long as I'm feeling good inside. But combine the chubbiness with a little bit of amine-related depression or irritation and you get one unhappy girl.

Salicylates are almost easy to avoid as a low-carber, but amines are a nightmare for me.

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Dairy Trial

I'm thinking of doing a dairy trial. I'm not sure I'll do it yet, because I should probably wait until I'm 'clear' from whatever has been keeping me so at odds this week. I'm thinking when it comes time to do it, I'll buy a pint of cream and have it all in one day (the Food Intolerace Network suggests having lots of a trial food, several times throughout the day in order to get a proper dose, then returning to the elimination diet for the following two days while you wait for a possible reaction to appear). I wonder if I'm been free from dairy long enough to do a trial. The fact that I still crave it is a sign that I should wait. Maybe I'll wait one more week, then do it. God I miss dairy.

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I'm a bit confused. This week has been very hard for totally un-food reasons, but if I didn't know any better, it's almost as if I've been suffering really late for my indiscretion last Saturday with food. Remember last Saturday? I ate a big barbecue feast, including non-failsafe foods from every walk of life, plus dairy? Yeah, well I felt fine for 3 or 4 days afterward, but then started having a chronic headache. And irritability and total exhaustion... etc., etc.

Now, granted, I have had a very horrible week. These reactions could be stress-related. But they seemed very much like my food-related symptoms. Meh, I guess there's no way to know. I'm really tired right now, but aside from that, I'm feeling a bit better now.

My weight is still exactly as it was after the binge - it hasn't dropped back down, even by 1/2 a pound. It's really making me think - busting my diet is absolutely just not worth it, no matter how much of a great idea it seems at the time. I have to stop caving in to outside pressure. I never want the food all that much - I just feel I will disappoint people if I don't eat it. It's a constant struggle and one that will probably exist for my whole life. Even this morning - I had a meeting and one of my co-workers brought chocolate croissants from a really amazing patisserie nearby. Everyone took one. People don't buy it when you say you have food intolerances when it comes to chocolate croissants - they just think you're lying and on a diet. And then you get the dirty looks and the "oh come on!"s. So I ate it, subtly avoiding the chocolate. It was delicious. Hopefully there were no chemicals hidden within. I'm thinking that a patisserie wouldn't use too many preservatives, but you never know. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Headache Still!

Foods Eaten: decaf coffee; eggs; egg yolks; clarified butter; flour; haggis; chips (I'm pretty sure they were from fresh, unadulterated potato); cabbage; lard; coral supplement; ascorbic acid
Calories: 1847 Fat: 167 g Carb: 48 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 46 g
Weight:154.5 lbs

What is with this headache?? It comes and goes, but it never goes far. I haven't felt hungry today, but ate only out of necessity. I don't know what's causing this, considering I have such a very limited diet. I feel pretty discouraged. I'm so tired and just want to sleep sleep sleep. I think I will. Goodnight.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Foods Eaten: eggs; egg yolks; clarified butter; lard; potato flour; potatoes; chicken; coral supplement; ascorbic acid
Calories: 1640 Fat: 134 g Carb: 58 g Fibre: 4 g Protein: 54 g
Weight: 154.5 lbs

Today is a stressful one. I worked at a different location today for a client I'd never met, which is always nerve-wracking, especially come lunch time. I had to wash dishes with regular lemon-scented dish soap, so now my hands are raw and my head aches. I am also massively pissy.

My Uncle's visitation is tonight, as well. I'm happy that, at the very least, he didn't suffer for too long.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

This is one of those weeks...

Foods Eaten: Decaf coffee; eggs; egg yolks, clarified butter; flour; cabbage; lard; potato; coral supplement; ascorbic acid
Calories: 1848 Fat: 163 g Carb: 57 g Fibre: 6 g Protein: 48 g
Weight: 154.5 lbs

It's only Tuesday, but I can tell this week is going to be one of those weeks. I would love to crawl into a hole. What can ya do?

On top of it all, I'm still carrying the weight that I picked up on Saturday. Ugh.


Monday, April 03, 2006


Foods Eaten: Decaf coffee; egg; clarified butter; peeled pear; egg yolk; flour; cabbage; lard; potato; shortbread
Calories: 1997 Fat: 179 g Carb: 57 g Fibre: 7 g Protein: 46 g
Weight: 154.5 lbs

How have I gotten off this easy? I feel pretty good still. I mean, by no means do I feel perfect, but my mood is actually quite good, all things considered. One thing I noticed after my crazy meal is that I had a sore throat when I woke up - this seems to be a recurring theme. Perhaps that is one of my salicylate symptoms. I'm a bit runny-nosed today, but nothing serious. Definitely bloated and I seem to have put on an extra 1/2-pound. I did have lots of sodium bicarbonate yesterday, though, so that's not very surprising.

Perhaps because I still kept my fat intake very high, my body processed the chemicals better. Or maybe I'm not sensitive to as many things as I originally thought (although, from all the reactions I have had so far, that's probably just wishful thinking). I definitely had salicylates, I definitely had amines and I'm sure there were many additives in the foods I ate on Saturday. I even had dairy. Hmm... odd. Maybe it will hit me three days after the fact! Or maybe, like I said, I just got off easy this time...


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Feel OK so far...

Foods Eaten: Decaf coffee; optimal pancakes (egg yolks, eggs, clarified butter, flour, lard); clarified butter; cabbage; eggs; shortbread
Calories: 1924 Fat: 173 g Carb: 55 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 47 g
Weight: 154 lbs

So yeah, I was bad yesterday. But the circumstances were extenuating, so I'm in no mood to beat myself up about it. I'll just drink lots of bicarb and get back on track. I feel OK so far, other than the fact that I feel like I could sleep all day. No headache, no bad mood... yet. Thank God for small miracles. I'm sure I'll feel like hell just in time to go back to work tomorrow.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Portable Food

Ok, a quick note before I get ready to leave to pick up my family to see Uncle Jim. As any Optimal Nutrition follower knows, one of the hardest parts of our diet is that there is not much in the way of portable food. This was one of the things stressing me out yesterday. I'd be trapped out today, all day long, with no source of ON/Failsafe food (Failsafe being the bigger concern for me at the moment). It's still an issue, as my brother, who doesn't know about my diet(s), mentioned getting dinner together afterwards. He's never been approving of me being on any kind of diet, partly because he knows I've lost a lot of weight already, but mostly because he thinks women look better with lots of curves. He thinks I'm underweight right now. It's too bad there aren't more men like him in the world. However, his distaste for diets will most definitely carry over to the failsafe thing, regardless of whether or not it's about weight loss. He'll just think I'm being insane.

But I digress. I've just come up with a portable food, that's in perfect ON proportions. I just made for a day's worth of nourishment, so that, even if I eat nothing else today, I will have plenty to eat. If at dinner I end up being forced into something un-failsafe, that is another story - but at least I have an option. The fact is, I may cave in from stress and just eat whatever (which I have been known to do, especially in times of stress/family gathering/tragedy), but this gives me an 'out'.

Optimal Crepes

3 whole eggs
8 egg yolks
5 tbsp melted clarified butter (or 6 tbsp melted whole butter)
5 tbsp unbleached flour
2 tbsp water
big pinch salt
4 tbsp lard

Whisk everything but the lard together in a bowl to make a smooth batter; let stand for 10 minutes while your pan heats up. Heat a small cast iron crepe pan (I have a great little cast iron skillet that is so well-seasoned that the crepes just slide right out) over medium heat. Melt a slice of the lard in the pan. Pour batter into pan, in 3 tbsp quantities, to make small, easily managable crepes. Cook each crepe for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, until firm on the bottom, but still slightly runny on top. Flip over and cook for an additional minute. This will make a nice pale crepe. You will probably need to turn the heat down to just below medium as you make the crepes, as the pan will get hotter as you're cooking. Add more lard to pan as needed. Transfer crepes to a plate as you make them, let them cool and wrap up in parchment paper. I am keeping mine cold in a cooler so that amines don't become an issue, but you could likely keep these at room temperature for a long time without them turning if you're not amine-sensitive. They're really good!

Here's the nutritional information for 1 full recipe of my crepes (enough for a full day of food if divided throughout the day):

Calories: 1841
Fat: 170 g
Sat. Fat: 78 g
Poly: 24 g
Mono: 62 g
Carb: 34 g
Fibre: 1 g
Protein: 46 g

I will be having ascorbic acid and my calcium/mag supplement today since I'm eating zero vegetables and no dairy. Here's hoping it works out!

*****Edit the following day: Yeah, my heart was in the right place with the crepes, but things didn't work out quite as planned... My brother had planned out a restaurant and I went along for the ride. It was amazing, and I don't feel any particular ill-effects yet, other than just being drained and tired.

Foods Eaten (in retrospect): Optimal Pancakes; shortbread; BBQ ribs (not failsafe); BBQ chicken leg (not failsafe); baked beans (not failsafe); potatoes; coleslaw (not failsafe); potato bread (not sure what was in it); ice cream; coffee (regular); cream; ascorbic acid; calcium/magnesium supplement
Calories: 2676 Fat: 177 g Carb: 190 g Fibre: 14 g Protein: 91 g
Weight: 152.5 lbs

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