Balanced Vegan Approach

Since I’ve tossed out extremes in my vegan diet, I’m clearly doing better digestion system wise and my blood sugar is mostly very stable.  If I go REALLY long without eating, I can get a little shaky, but, in general, I can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and be fine.  And, I’m off all supplements/meds to get my normally stubborn digestive tract to do its job!  That is a big benefit.  But, just when you think you’re doing great you find out you aren’t perfect.  I happened upon this video today by Christiane Northrup, who I trust a lot.

http://www.learn.hayhouseu.com/fabulousfemalebody-video2-reversechronicdisease?utm_medium=email

In the video where she talks about the evils of sugar, she mentions that 2 hours after eating your blood sugar shouldn’t be above 120 and your fasting sugar should be under 80.  Now, I’ve not been checking my sugar all the time anymore, but most of the time I’m under 100 fasting and have been thrilled with that…but usually not under 80 unless my dinner was MUCH lower carb.  I’ve been doing a pretty high fat, moderate carb, moderate protein ratio.  My fasting numbers are usually in the 80s-90s.  I really don’t know what my 2 hours post meal numbers have been, although if history is any lesson…I’m sure less than 130.  On very high carb, very low fat, lower protein 2 hours post meals I’d be anywhere from 140-256.

I guess I shouldn’t stress about hitting some “perfect” number since my numbers are definitely way better…despite immense stress after being mugged/attacked on January 7th and losing ALL of my ID along with access to money and having to re-key my car to the tune of $1,229.  I got injured in the fight (yes, I fought back) and have not been sleeping well along with having Acute Stress Disorder issues since.  Stress and lack of sleep do NOT help blood sugar regulation.  So, I shouldn’t really go by any of my numbers right now…but…at least they’ve not gone back into the wrong direction.

Another added benefit is that the edema I’ve had in my left ankle and foot for many months is suddenly almost totally gone!  Whoop!

Veganly,

Atheria

Overly Restrictive Vegan Diets

This is a follow-up video rant to my previous post advocating a moderate, well-rounded vegan diet.  I have come to the point where I feel all of these extreme versions of veganism/plant based eating are detrimental, not only to people’s health (long term) but also turn carnivores off from going vegan.  I think many of the diets are triggers for eating disorders too.

Sorry about all the “Ummms” as I hadn’t prepared exactly what I was going to say and just talked off the cuff.

Happy 2017!  Get on with living!

Atheria

Moderation for 2017

new-years-eve-1832124_960_720

I have not made new year’s resolutions for the past few years, but I’m making at least one for 2017.  As you can see from the picture, stopping champagne is NOT my resolution!  LOL

My resolution is MODERATION in 2017.  I posted something a while back about the Buddhist “Middle Way” and need to revisit that.  For most of the past week+ I stuck to a very low fat McDougall diet…and although I did okay blood sugar wise, I noticed myself becoming not only increasingly bored with my dry, tasteless food, but obsessed with not eating fat.  When you start worrying about lipstick containing oil, there’s a problem.  I found myself having to say no to more social events because, “There will be nothing for me to eat that is gluten free, vegan, and fat free.”  I also noticed bad breath, which is a sign of ketosis…or your body feeding on itself to survive.  I had cut my protein intake dramatically by quitting my vegan protein powder and nuts/seeds and the bad breath could have meant that I wasn’t getting enough.  Yes, I know that it’s supposedly very hard to not get enough protein, but, when you watch calories like I do and don’t eat 2,000-3,000 per day…some of the protein you do consume actually gets burned as fuel instead of being used for your body’s maintenance and repair.  So, in theory, you should eat a bit extra protein.

Also, my IBS with idioathic constipation does NOT like really low fat diets.  And, from what I’ve read via online chat boards, I’m not the only one who dries out internally and externally when fats are dramatically cut from the diet.  My intuition tells me that plant fats just can’t be horrible for you.  (Also, as a vata dominant person — see prior post — low fat is contrary to my constitution.)  And Dr. Gregor recently mentioned that even a fatty whole foods vegan diet helps fend off heart disease (vs. a diet that contains meat, cheese, and eggs). — I’m not saying that he recommends high fat, in general…but simply said that some studies are showing a higher fat plant based diet also helps the heart, like the low fat plant based diets do.

I’m a Libra, and as the sign of the scales, I have often swung to extremes in an effort to find balance.  The one conclusion I’ve come to for me, personally, is that extremes just aren’t good long term.  Eventually, all raw, all cooked, no fat, high fat, low carb, super high carb, etc. diets backfire.  Something eventually goes wrong, be it hair and eyelash loss, digestive woes, blood sugar freaking out, lack of energy, etc.  So, for 2017 I’m going to eat a well-rounded, gluten free (don’t have a choice on the darn no gluten thing) vegan diet and stop obsessing about macronutrients.  I’m tired of feeling overly restricted.  I’m tired of having to carry lots of food with me because no restaurant would ever have anything I could eat.  I’m tired of things going wrong.  Now, something that I did discover years ago when my hypoglycemia was quite bad, is that I can tolerate supposedly bad foods IF I only eat a little of them.  But, that brings me back to moderation!  I do better with modest sized meals more often.  It doesn’t cause my blood sugar to spike super high and then plummet (or, more recently, stay too high for hours).  I will say that I’m to the point now where I often can get away with just 3 meals a day.  At one point, I had to eat 6-8 times a day.  That was sucky!  I did get a little shaky yesterday before dinner when I hadn’t had an afternoon snack, but I think that was due to the free grande soy milk cappuccino I got at Starbucks which was higher in caffeine than I normally ingest in the mid afternoon.  And, the soy milk contained some sugar.  But, for quite a while now, I’ve been able to eat lunch and then not eat again until dinner and be totally fine.

I would like to add, since so many hypoglycemics have digestive woes, that taking probiotics and strong elemental magnesium have indeed been helping.  Don’t take the magnesium, though, if you have IBS with the opposite problem as me.  High doses of elemental magnesium WILL make you run to the bathroom!

I was a little worried that my fasting blood sugar would go up high now that I’ve put fats back into my diet mixed with carbs, but I was pleasantly surprised to be 73 this morning despite an almond butter sandwich before bed!

I’m going to be more gentle with myself and my body this year.  Hopefully, 2017 will be MUCH better than 2016!  This has been an upsetting year in many ways.

Happy, healthy, new year!

Atheria

 

Type 2 Diabetes and Fat

Today is day #1 of me cutting fat back out of my diet after quite a lot of days eating added oils and naturally fatty foods because of my “IBS with idiopathic constipation” that I have suffered with since I was born.  Literally…since birth.  As a child I had constipation so bad the MDs had me on mineral oil and Senokot.  The inguinal hernia that first appeared in 1999 and then disappeared until 2012 (I think my intestines managed to slip behind my abdominal muscle wall just enough that they were held into place for 13 years.) causing me to have surgery in September 2012…the surgeon blamed on decades of straining to go poo.  I added lots of fat back into my diet, mixed with “elemental magnesium” to get my darn body to go!  Anyway, that has worked, but…my fasting blood sugar numbers are rising because of the fat.  UGH!  I just LOVE this juggling game…NOT.

I just found this video of Jane Esselstyn SIMPLY explaining why high fat diets are not good for people with diabetes (and…hypoglycemia, since hypoglycemia is a precursor to diabetes).  Sometimes we need a childlike explanation to really GET it.  (Side note:  Her husband, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, formerly Bill Clinton’s doctor, once called me to try to help me with my blood sugar issues on the vegan diet.)

Please watch this short video via VegSource and learn how the body works…despite what paleo/Atkins people tell you.  Here’s the link again:  http://www.vegsource.com/news/2015/03/t2-diabetes-cured-by-healthy-eating—jane-esselstyn-rn590.html

Happy vegan holidays,

Atheria

 

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