Wednesday, May 31, 2006

So far, so good (and a slight epiphany!)

Foods Eaten: instant decaf coffee; 35% cream (not organic); brie cheese; eggs; unsalted butter; egg yolks; lard; salted butter; veal stock; duck fat
Cal: 2038 Fat: 193 g Carb: 13 g Fibre: 0 g Protein: 65 g
Weight: 155.5 lbs

I don't want to jump the gun, but I seem to be doing ok with dairy so far, even with the Brie cheese I ate yesterday and again this morning. I had 2 ounces each time. I know amines take a while to kick in, but it's my hope that the very very low carbs will help with my irritability factor. I was a bit cranky last night, but I chalk it up to the fact that not only did I have to drive in traffic to the laundromat, where I did 2 large loads of laundry, but we're also experiencing a heat wave right now that has the humidex listing as 42 degrees Celsius, which, honestly, would make even the happiest person want to stomp all over a litter of fluffy little kittens. Did I mention that we only have a crappy fan and a 40-year old window air conditioner that makes a sound like a jet taking off and just pisses out warm air? Yeah.

So anyway, I'm actually in good spirits this morning, partially because this office building is air conditioned, if not overly so (I'm wearing a sweater right now and considering the weather outside, that is just plain obscene), and partially because I just feel good generally. It was nice having my little ice coffee with heavy cream and hunk of Brie cheese for breakfast this morning. I felt positively French.

I've been reading Homo Optimus (I've finished Optimal Nutrition) and it's funny... the more I read it, the more I want to just embrace it as a whole. That Kwasniewski really knows how to rally the troops. If you ignore all the crazy religious stuff, what he talks about is totally scientifically sound and is, refreshingly, backed up with copious amounts of actual research and not just regurgitated science-propaganda. It even has me questioning Failsafe, as according to Kwasniewski, the Optimal Diet should take care of everything... food intolerances, chemical pathways, hormones... the whole shebang.*

Honestly, most of what he recommends naturally excludes most salicylates, anyway. He doesn't recommend very many vegetables and the ones he does include in his recipes are generally pretty failsafe (cabbage, potatoes, etc.). The one place where he deviates madly from failsafe is with amines. He seems to favour the amine-iest meats, offal and cheeses. Easier to break down by the body or hazardous crazy-makers? I'm not sure. I'm thinking that within the walls of the optimal diet, your body should be able to handle amines way more efficiently because of the lack of chemicals and salicylates. We'll see. Perhaps I'll be able to handle amines much better now that I've cut out msg, preservatives, colours and most veggies.

The interesting thing that I've discovered is that I think that AHOA has something wrong when it comes to the 'weight loss' ratio. I kept reading on their site that for weight loss, one should reduce fat intake to 1.5 - 2 g per every gram of protein because the body will be aggressively burning off its own fat supply, which supplements the missing fat in the ratio. But now that I'm reading the book, that is not the end of it. It's not just as simple as a reduction of fat and certainly doesn't mean a reduction in calories. AHOA (and Kwasniewski) talks about how after the first stage of being on the diet that protein requirements will fall and one should only eat 0.7 g of protein per kg of ideal body weight. However, Kwasniewski also consistently talks about never having to count calories or anything - that one should only keep one's ratio in mind and that the human body will always know how much food is appropriate and one should just listen to the body. So the idea is that one should just adjust the ratio for each meal to reflect 0.7 : 3.5 : 0.8 (or, in effect, 1 : 3 to 5 : 1 to 1.2) and then one should just eat until one is satisfied, as often as one's body feels it's necessary. The same applies for the weight loss ratio. One should adjust the ratio to reflect 1 : 1.5 to 2 : 0.5 and then eat until satisfied. Not counting calories. I mean all you have to look at is the menus he has provided for his patients at Arkadia and you'll see that even his sick obese patients where not encouraged to cut calories in any way, even though they were probably barely moving and very fat with very low metabolisms.

So, this new weight loss ratio results in the stated reduction in fat and a slight reduction of carbohydrate, but also, it means an increase in protein. Kwasniewski says the quantity of food and calories should not decrease and that one should never be hungry, which definitely indicates an increase in protein if the fat is to be decreased. You can't force the 'lack of appetite' that supposedly comes along with ON, which is what I was trying to do. I kept hearing people say that eventually you won't need to eat more than once or twice a day and that protein should be kept at a minimum, so I kept trying to jump to that stage without actually being ready for it. My hunger never really dropped because I think I reduced protein and calories too quickly. I tried for the weight loss ratio and the reduced protein ratio (and then tried to reduce calories) all at the same time, which is ridiculous and nowhere is it stated in the books that you should do that. That is not Optimal Nutrition as Kwasniewski describes it. I think I was trying to be too efficient and ended up sabotaging myself.

Right now, I'm just trying to do it right. It's time I actually followed this diet properly, if I'm claiming to be on it. I always worried about not limiting calories because I've been concerned that my hunger will take over and I'll gain weight, but if Kwasniewski's right, I should be able to just listen to my body and will slowly lose the weight I need to lose. I'm trying to just stick to the proper 'weight loss' ratio - including the increased protein - and then eat as much as I feel I need. Last night I was feeling very hungry at around 9:30 or 10 pm and trying to resist eating, but then decided that I should just eat something - not enough to stuff myself, of course, but enough so that my thyroid didn't start to get sluggish from being hungry all the time.

We'll see. Too bad the books aren't a bit more detailed in that department - it would erase a hell of a lot of confusion. I think that Kwasniewski likes to be a bit mysterious, though. He likes the idea of people arguing over what they think he means by this or that, just like Rabbis argue over different parts of the Torah!

*Edited in January 2008 to add: Notice that I'm questioning Failsafe, feeling good on dairy and aminey foods all because it's in the middle of summer and I'm able to tolerate those things better!

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