My digestive system has mutinied!

I admit defeat!  I freaking give up!  Bruce Lee was very cool, but I give up!

defeat

I am SO freaking sick and tired of helping one issue via a certain diet only to have that way of eating disagree with something else I’m dealing with!  My blood sugar has clearly come back down to where it should be by McDougalling, but my temperamental entire digestive tract that’s been a problem since birth (literally since birth) has gotten immensely worse.  Right now I’m in pain and look 5 months pregnant.  My IBS has clearly flaired up and by taking magnesium or Aloe Lax to help “go”….I end up going too much.  I’ve got severe and painful gas and have to run to the loo on a regular basis.  Everything hurts.  I look terrible.  And….I started craving fats so bad last night I couldn’t take it anymore and ate some sunflower seed butter.  I feel constantly hungry but unsatisfied.  I could probably eat 10,000 calories (but I won’t as it is still hard to keep from gaining when you eat all this starch no matter what “they” say) and still feel hungry.  I’m tired of thinking about food all the time.  I just want to get on with things!

Someone on the McDougall chat board mentioned Ayurveda to me and I definitely need to read more about what Vatas should eat.  I did dabble in it a while back and didn’t follow all the recommendations, but had clear improvement.  I do know that Vatas need FATS…warm, high fat, sweet food!  Of course, that may be an issue with my damn blood sugar.  But right now, I’ve got to get my stomach and intestines to calm down from this major flair up.  Ayurvedic medicine has been around for a LONG time so it must be worthwhile.  As I type this, I’ve not got heartburn too.  Lovely…(as I burp up acid).  It’s time for me to take an individual/personalized approach and listen to what my annoying body wants.  Forget all the diet gurus.  I am reading a book by the wonderful Thich Nhat Hanh right now where he mentions that humans are the only species who run to doctors when there’s any sign of a problem.  The animal kingdom fasts and rests and allows its body to self heal.  The body is intelligent if we give it a chance.  It would be a good idea for me to fast for a few days to “reset” but I don’t know that I can do that with my blood sugar.  What I can do is stop taking things to fix constipation that actually end up throwing off my system in the opposite direction, try what ancient Ayurveda suggests for Vatas….AND….as Thich says, practice mindfulness and tune into my body to see what it’s trying to say….to listen to its cry for help.  There is definitely some mind/body stuff going on too.

I literally got zero sleep last night because my innards were making such loud noises.  I’m not kidding.  That was the 2nd night of strange noises emanating from deep within my gut.:-/ That, mixed with a spirit in the kitchen slamming cabinet doors didn’t help.  But that’s for my other blog.

I just found this and HOLY MOLY it’s me!  They should have my photo here!  http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/doshas/vata.html#gsc.tab=0 Right down to the part where although I love apples and pears, they tend to hurt my stomach!

Sigh,

Atheria the WAY out of balance Vata

I’m convinced! Cut the fat!

This guy is a Ph.D. type one diabetic who developed diabetes randomly at age 22.  He is a low fat raw vegan and intelligently great!  Watch the video linked on his main page that explains that fruit is NOT evil for diabetics (and I’m assuming hypoglycemics).  www.mangomannutrition.com – Dad, have mom watch this video and read his blogs!

Calorie Density: The #1 Reason Why People Abandon Plant-Based Diets

Why many who try to be vegan fail…and how to gain/lose weight as a vegan depending on what you need to do.

About Me

Once again, watch the video and read his story.

EVERYTHING IN MY BEING SAYS HIGH FAT/LOW CARB IS NOT NATURAL!  I hung out with beautiful, strong horses today and they do not load up on added oils and protein.  They eat hay and grass (and dirt…..but that was odd)!  I feel like shit on high fat/low carb.  I have zero energy and end up with chest pain.  It is NOT sustainable for me.  I freaked out yesterday morning when I checked my fasting blood sugar and it was diabetic again.  I’d been eating a HIGH fat diet with lower carbs.  I immediately cut my fat intake drastically (no sunflower butter, peanut butter, and tons of coconut oil) and my fasting number was fabulous at 87 this morning.  I dropped dramatically in just 24 hours!  The human body responds quickly when you do the right thing.  I simply refuse to end up an insulin dependent diabetic with side effects.  I am doing a mixture of raw and cooked food right now, but I may end up totally raw.  I am hoping that cooked food doesn’t lower the success rate.  I think fats are the devil if you have insulin resistance, and not cooked vs. raw…..but time will tell.

Years ago when I was a smug know-it-all, Dr. John McDougall warned me that the amount of fat I was eating would come back to bite me in the ass.  Well, I just looked at my ass, and yep, a piece of it is gone.

Back to low fat for good,
Atheria

Ah ha! The liver CAN be an issue!

I just watched the most intelligent and rational video about the psychology and physiology of eating that I’ve seen in ages!  This interview with Dr. Doug Lisle is definitely worth watching in its entirety.  Specific to hypoglycemia, fast forward to about 30 minutes in.
 
 
When my endocrine system blew 6 years ago, for a long time I suspected my liver was more of the problem than my pancreas (especially because the meal that caused my system to blow was mostly wine with potatoes and for years afterward I couldn’t tolerate even a sip of booze)…and Doug Lisle mentions that!  He says that hypoglycemia is usually caused by a liver with issues that isn’t releasing glycogen like it’s supposed to in order to keep the blood sugar up.  He mentions this one woman with severe hypoglycemia for many years who only got better after a series of week long fasts to clean out her liver, etc.
 
I love Doug’s explanation as to why so many meat eaters get so horrendously hostile and insulting when they find out someone is vegan.  I agree with his view of their psychology 100%.  And, as someone who is a fat addict/fat craver, his explanation as to why people crave dense, fatty food makes total sense.  Really, this interview is great!
 
Because panic attacks and anxiety go hand in hand with low blood sugar attacks and hypoglycemia, this interview with Dr. Doug Lisle is also worth watching.  When I became hypoglycemic in November 2010, the severe low blood sugar attacks I initially had actually triggered me to develop a panic disorder that became debilitating.  He gives some simple great suggestions about how to blunt a panic attack and explains why panic attack symptoms happen from a historical (survival) perspective.  You can skip ahead to about 16 minutes in to see the beginning of his interview.  Dr. John McDougall talks at the very beginning.  The sucky thing is that once you’ve had a panic attack, you are more prone to have others.
 
 
I’m watching a bunch of videos about eating high carb, low fat to cure diabetes and am now worrying that I may be causing more damage with my current high fat diet that could be just masking my sugar metabolism issues instead of fixing the problem.
 
Hmmmm…
Atheria

Not hypoglycemic anymore?

Since I’ve not updated this blog in a while, I thought I should say something.🙂

I have gone through some big changes lately, including moving back to magical New Mexico for the 3rd time…which was very stressful.  I didn’t get an apartment lined up until the last minute!  The good news is that I landed a quality job after many months of unemployment in Denver, Colorado and love living in a small town in northern New Mexico.  Besides the rushed relocation being stressful (especially when I thought I might end up homeless) I started my new job last Monday and that has caused stress because there is SOOOOO much to learn and I hate not knowing how to do things, etc.  The stress caused me to drop some weight I shouldn’t have dropped, although I’m gradually getting my weight back up to my normal number.  Because of that, I have been veering off my mostly fruit, raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, and soy protein diet here and there to get extra calories in.  I have been eating some hummus (I loooooove hummus and it puts on weight quickly), sweet potatoes, etc. and I’ve been adding a lot of fat to my food.  My current craving is coconut oil.

I haven’t been checking my blood sugar on a regular basis because I’m trying to conserve pricey glucose test strips, but my blood sugar has felt mostly very stable with no lows.  Actually, I think I’ve truly “outgrown” hypoglycemia.  Of course, that may truly mean that I’m definitely trending toward diabetes now.  Not sure that’s a good thing, but I do HATE low blood sugar attacks…so maybe in a weird way it is.  I have noticed that if I eat a lot of carbohydrate without fat, my blood sugar goes too high and stays high for hours.  If I eat a lot of fat with my carbohydrate now (wasn’t always like this earlier in my body’s progress) it prevents my blood sugar from going up as high.  I have veered off low carb as I end up feeling a bit depleted, and eat moderate carb now most of the time….and a lot of fat via nut and seed butters, peanut butter, and oil.

For those with digestive issues like me, I have noticed that my gut does better without beans, grains, and tubers.  My intestines prefer fruits and veggies…mostly raw.  Brussels sprouts were on sale yesterday, so I stocked up!  I’m a Brussels sprouts addict, so I’ll be eating more cooked veggies with my other stuff until the sale ends.  LOL

Of course, as I type this I’m watching a VegSource video on YouTube and am feeling guilty about all the fat I’m eating.  UH OH.🙂

I really don’t know if what happened to me 6 years ago this month was related to perimenopausal hormone changes or what, but now at 50 with my hormones changing more, it IS possible that THAT’S why my hypoglycemia struggle has gotten so much better.  If you Google “perimenopause hypoglycemia” you will find that it’s a real issue.  There is a reason why women’s blood sugar tends to get more unstable around period time.  Some of my worst low blood sugar attacks occurred the day before my period hit.

I can even tolerate some alcohol now, although I usually stick with just one drink and don’t usually drink something high in sugar.  The only time my blood sugar gets wonky is if I have more than one alcoholic beverage.  But, I had a high sugar margarita a week ago and was okay.  I hadn’t had a margarita in eons and miss them!  But, I won’t make my old faves of margaritas, cosmos, lemon drops, appletinis, etc. the norm.

Hope you all are doing well!

In light,

Atheria

Lower carb, high fat vegan success

salt

Salt…my new friend.

I wanted to give an update on how I’m doing and what I’m doing.  I’ve been sticking to a mostly raw food diet with the exception of one dose of vegan protein powder in the morning and most of my nut and seed butters are roasted.  I’ve discovered just how sensitive I am to carbs now, which sucks!  I was doing good with only 1-2 pieces of fruit per day in terms of my blood sugar, but started to feel carb deprived, so I increased it up to 4 pieces a day, but my numbers started going up. (insert frown here)

The past couple of days I’ve only eaten one piece of fruit in the morning, and the rest of the day has been TONS of nut or seed butters, salads, and avocados.  I choose not to count coffee, tea, and whiskey.  HA HA!  (If I do have a drink, I aim for low sugar booze and only have one.  Don’t worry, I’m not an alcoholic.)  My sugar has been fabulously stable and I can go long periods of time without food.  Plus, I can eat more calories but have my weight remain stable, which is great!  My digestive tract, which is notoriously horrible, is clearly on the mend too.

Now, what did happen was that I have been having some dizzy spells…black spots in my vision and all…and felt like I was going to pass out a few times.  It happened in Sprouts again yesterday.  When I had to go to a doctor a few weeks ago, my blood pressure was only 96 over something, but it wasn’t until my sister asked me how much sodium I’m currently eating that I realized…UH OH…not much!  The only salt I’ve been getting is in the nut and seed butters, and when I tabulated, that’s only about 700-800 mgs per day.  My sister said there are articles on the importance of eating 2300-3000 mgs of sodium per day when on a low carb diet.  It’s so easy to accidentally not eat enough sodium when you’re living on vegetables, protein powder, fruit, nuts, and seeds.  So, I’ve started adding salty wheat free tamari to my salads and already feel the difference.  I’m not aiming for 3000 mgs as that seems too high and sodium leaches calcium from bones really bad, but I’m aiming for around 2000 mgs.

An added bonus to all these greens I’m eating is that my fingernails are growing like weeds…and I think my hair is growing a little faster than its slow normal.

Carb wise, I don’t count exactly and just ballpark it, but I seem to be eating less than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day…probably in the 90s, maybe 80s.  That seems to be my current sweet spot (pardon the pun).  Granted, my body often changes its mind, so a month from now that could be different.  But, my fasting blood sugar was a great 85 yesterday.

Take care,

Atheria

How heat and cold affect blood sugar

My sister just sent me this INTERESTING article on how saunas, steam rooms, and hot baths affect blood sugar and metabolism.  Many years ago I spent an evening with Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw (Life Extension) and they told me how being cold raises metabolism a lot.

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2016/07/29/hot-bath-blood-sugar.aspx

Heat/Cold-ly,

Atheria

Anxiety and Hypoglycemia 

I just wanted to quickly share this Facebook post and linked article about the connection between hypoglycemia and anxiety/panic disorders.

Facebook Post

Anxiety and Hypoglycemia Improvement

I actually developed a severe panic disorder that almost became agoraphobia because of my hypoglycemia that hit in 2010.  When my endocrine system blew, for a while I was having such severe and horribly scary low blood sugar attacks, I became petrified I’d have an attack.  Of course, sometimes my anxiety would get so bad it actually would throw my blood sugar off due to stress.  My triggers were remote places not near hospitals,  or feeling trapped in any way where (in my mind) I could die of an attack because food wasn’t accessible or I couldn’t get to medical care fast enough.  I’m MUCH better now, but do occasionally feel twinges of anxiety in remote places or if stuck in a traffic jam, etc.  Keeping snacks in my car and purse help me feel safe.  But the biggest help was getting my hypoglycemia under control via diet so that I didn’t have to fear low blood sugar attacks. 

My only disagreement with the doctor in the article is her assertion that meat/eggs/cheese are needed.  You can eat higher protein and still be vegan. 

Be well,

Atheria

I can’t do yoga after every meal!

Today is the end of day 4 of me strictly McDougalling because I stubbornly refuse to accept that carbohydrate filled NATURAL foods that God created can be detrimental.  There’s that, and the fact that i just love starches.  I want SO much to believe that Drs. McDougall, Barnard, Esselstyn, etc. are right about fat being the cause of blood sugar problems, not sugars/carbs!  And I’ve read wonderful success stories!

So what is my status?  It’s been weird.  But my body is always weird!  My fasting blood sugar has been good (under 100) but I was still too high 2 hours after lunch (253 range…that has come down to the 170s to 180s range) while my post dinner numbers have been (until today) really good…like 115 to 120s.  I was puzzled as to why my lunch readings were so much higher than my dinner readings.  I was eating the same things!  Last night, it suddenly dawned on me that on a typical day, I do my bone building 50-55 minute yoga routine after dinner.  I wondered if my nightly yoga, even though it’s not exactly aerobic, was bringing my blood sugar down into a healthy range?  I’ve gotten SO many other benefits from yoga (regaining bone density, stoppping anxiety/panic attacks/gaining muscle), could it also correct diabetes?!  Well, as fate would have it, because I drove to Aspen today (FABULOUS PLACE!) I had to do my daily (a.k.a. obsessive) before dinner instead of after dinner.  So, this was my opportunity to test my theory!  I ate around 6:35 p.m. in my car during the 3+ hours drive home and was sedentary except for cursing at other slow drivers.  When I checked my blood sugar around 8:35 p.m. just as I got back to Denver, sure enough, I was high at 187!  I was 174 after lunch today.  My nightly, post dinner yoga routine is what has made my evening blood sugar readings so much better!  But, I cannot do 50-55 minutes of yoga every time I eat!  That means I may have to accept the fact that high carb, low fat just isn’t going to work for me.  Years ago, when my hypoglycemia was at its worst, my diabetes counselor at work made me pour oil on everything I ate to slow down my digestion to stop me from spiking.  But, that just concerns me long term.  And I don’t want to gain 100 lbs.!  That being said, at age 49 it’s getting harder to keep weight off no matter what I do anyway.  I’ve only been eating 1400-1500 (maybe…probably not even that high) calories of fat free, natural, whole vegan food and still the needle on my scale wants to creep up.

I think I’m just going to stop eating altogether and just drink black coffee.  It’d be easier.  Just kidding.  I think.

I should also note that eating VERY low fat/high starch is not agreeing with my temperamental digestive system.  But, I have felt “clearer” for lack of another way to say it.  I don’t feel sludgy like I do when I’m eating a ton of nut/seed butters, avocados, olive oils, etc.

Going back to yoga helping bring blood sugar down, there was a study I read a couple of years ago that had diabetics take a simple 10 minute walk after each meal and there was dramatic improvement in their blood sugar levels.  Once again, exercise is important for health and longevity.

When I stick to lower carb/high fat, my fasting blood sugar sometimes isn’t as good (but not horribly above 100) as when I’m eating high carb/very low fat, but my post meal numbers are clearly better…like perfect (under 120…and sometimes under 110, with the rare under 100).  But, I also end up feeling carb depleted.  It’s such a fine line to walk!  I need carbs, but not too much or too little!

I seriously don’t know what the heck to eat tomorrow.:-/ Although I’m glad I’ve stopped spiking up into the mid 200s, I’m not happy that I’m stuck in the still too high 170s-180s after eating carby, boring, meals with no fat.

But, yes, yoga is awesome!

Atheria

Don’t blenderize your food!

blender

Electric Blender

On Good Morning America this morning they did a comparison test with some people about if drinking smoothies affects blood sugar and hunger differently than just eating the whole food in its natural state.  They had people eat the exact same ingredients on 2 different days and check their blood sugar every 15 minutes for 2 hours afterward.  As Dr. McDougall has said, the more processed a food the more glycemic it is.  People’s blood sugar jumped way up on the smoothy and then plummeted bad…making them starving 2 hours later.  Whole foods didn’t do that and the way the nutritionist described it is that the fiber in whole foods acts like “mesh” to slow down the digestion, not spiking blood sugar.

Right now I’m still eating “veganpaleo” and doing pretty darn good.  My food is predominantly raw too.  But gosh I’m missing more carbs!  I freaked out last night and ate 2 small bananas with sunflower seed butter before bed even though I wasn’t hungry, and my fasting blood sugar this a.m. was a little high at 108.  That’s not awful by any means, but it is technically pre-diabetic.  The bananas probably did it, but I’m not 100% sure.  The odd thing I’ve noticed (comparing how I respond on lchf vs. hclf) is that when on high carb/low fat, although my blood sugar spikes bad after eating…my fasting numbers tend to be better than when I’m eating low carb/high fat.  But, when I stick to my fatty salads, my post meal blood sugar readings come out great.  So I’m better fasting-wise on one plan and better post meal on the other!  Needless to say, I cannot do both.  I really think it would be easier to just not eat.:-/

Blood sugarly yours,

Atheria

I refuse to become diabetic!

sad-face-images-8

Some people don’t believe that hypoglycemia CAN progress and become diabetes, but I have witnessed it in my own family with my mother.  The simple difference between the two is that where a hypoglycemic’s blood sugar shoots up high and then plummets fast…making the person feel sick, a diabetic’s blood sugar shoots up too high and stays there.  Over time, a hypoglycemic’s pancreas can burn out due to exhaustion…and TA DA!  You’re diabetic!

I now know why I’ve felt so much better for months now…in terms of not needing to eat as often and not having low blood sugar issues.  It’s because I’m starting to run high.  That is not what I was hoping for!  There were some signs 6-8 months ago, but I chose to pretend not to see them.  But after about 1.5-2 weeks on my high raw, lower carb, fatty diet lately…I started to feel carbohydrate depleted, so I tested something on Wednesday that backfired big time.  I really wanted to test McDougall, Barnard, Esselstyn, etc.’s theories that it’s a high fat diet that causes blood sugar issues, not carbohydrates.  Since I was feeling carb deficient, for breakfast I had my soy protein powder with some fruit (not much, actually), and then for lunch (since I did want to stay high raw) I tested 2 bananas, 1 nectarine, half of a large tomato, and some romaine lettuce.  I did’t eat 10 bananas like some Raw Til 4 or 801010 people do because I did want to be cautious.  Clearly, it was not a good idea.  My blood sugar an hour later was 256!  Then, another hour and 10 minutes later still up to 248.  Not good.  So, I drank a cup of black coffee to help bring my sugar down and took a 2 mile walk in 95 degree weather.  That wasn’t a good idea either.  All of a sudden, before I made it home, I started to feel light-headed and my legs felt weak.  By the time I got home, I felt shaky too.  By then, it was just before dinner time.  I checked my sugar and it had plummeted to 78.  I was trying to hold out for another 30 minutes before eating, but a few minutes later my blood sugar was down to 68.  I ended up needing to pop 2 glucose tablets to boost me back up while making dinner.  I ate a low carb dinner of vegetables with A LOT of peanut butter and it straightened me out and I felt better.

Now some friends have responded saying that what I ate for lunch would throw anyone off…but…that’s not the case.  Other people really DO do fine with 10 pieces of fruit.  And, it’s not just fruit.  Months ago when I was McDougalling, I happened to check my fasting blood sugar one morning and it was 140 or something.  Right now I’m checking my blood sugar often just to see how I’m responding to different foods, and it’s clear that I need to limit ALL carbohydrates, not just fruit.  I met a nurse who works with diabetics last night and she said I need to limit carbs to 30 at a meal, and 15-20 at snacks, but that is hard for a vegan.  Everything has carbs!  Heck, a 1/4 cup of sunflower seed butter (yes, I regularly eat that much) has 16 grams.  I eat that much for the protein content of about 14-16 grams.  Being as limiting as I could for lunch today, I think I got about 39 grams of carbs.  I feel good though, gotta say.  I should have checked my sugar 2 hours later but forgot.  I can tell I feel stable though.  My sister keeps pushing the Primal Diet on me, but I’m not giving up being vegan.  I’m just going to do the best I can limiting….but not EXTREMELY limiting…..carbs.  If I cut carbs too much I risk having zero energy and low blood sugar too.  It’s a total, annoying juggling match!  Right now I’m aiming for The Zone.  I should eat for every meal what I ate today for lunch because I feel good.  That would get rather boring though.  I had half a large tomato, some romaine lettuce, half an avocado, mustard, a pitiful 1/3 cup of rice, and 1/4 cup of sunflower seed butter.

I’ve also downloaded a couple of apps to test out for tracking. (Logging food is SO tedious.) One is Calorie, Carb & Fat Counter by Virtuagym and one is mySugr Diabetes Logbook.

Trying to see the glass half full, I don’t need to eat as often anymore…so my food bills should go down.:-/ I can easily eat lunch and then not eat again until 6:30 p.m.  But having an “indulgence” being eating HALF a banana is freaking annoying!  I am NOT happy right now.  My digestive system is indeed doing better without tons of cooked starchy stuff.  That is a plus too.  I need to remind myself of the positives right now.

Feeling deprived,

Atheria