Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm Back

Hello, World!

It's been a l-0-n-g time, but I decided to come back to this blog.

I thought I would steer it toward a little more personal vent, that being my health & fitness.

Late last year, my mom insisted that I go to a naturopath to try and work through some hormone imbalance issues. This had transpired out of her disbelief that I could be doing Crossfit 4x/week, Pilates on Sundays, and generally something outdoors-related on Saturdays (hiking, skiing, kayaking, whatever the season called for), and still be fat around my gut.

I ate Paleo. Nothing changed externally, although once I gave up grains, my stomach sure felt a lot better.

Naturopath #1 did about $1000 worth of ancillary tests - stool samples (ugh), blood, & saliva tests. These confirmed an elevated cortisol level, an elevated fasting glucose level, and high cholesterol. Awesome. They then wanted to start me on a 6 week "fasting" diet composed of these hideous medical shakes used for people with IBS, which cost about $150-200. The shakes are basically made of rice flour + a bunch of vitamins so you don't get malnutrition, and then you add fiber so you actually go to the bathroom. I looked at her fiber source and said, "I am allergic to flax seeds". This naturopath hadn't done her homework, since I had provided her with a complete dietary profile from a trusted food allergy testing company. Also, I am convinced that large amount of rice flour would not have done me any favors. In addition to the fasting, I would be required to visit their office weekly, to "assess progress", at $150 per office visit, plus the cost of any ancillary tests. Besides that, they were crappy at drawing blood from me. Did I mention none of this was covered by insurance? Yeah, out-of-pocket. All of it.

Naturopath #1 was out.

I next visited another naturopath, this one requiring me to travel to Portland, about 3 hours south of Seattle.

This naturopath looked at all my test results, my gym attendance record over the past year, looked at me, and said, "Have you ever considered that this is how you are supposed to look? Maybe take a look at your ancestors...". Honey, my ancestors were all skinny. Unacceptable! At least she told me I could tell her to go to hell and she wouldn't mind. :)

Fast-forward to Fran, my old trainer who recently opened up her own gym in south Seattle.

Her recommendations? Lower the Crossfit to 3x / week. Rest enough, eat strict Paleo, and go super-low carb. In preparation to meet with her, I'd eaten for two weeks at less than 100 g carbohydrate / day. I use Fitday (www.fitday.com) to track my diet.

Where I'm at now? Less than 60 g carbohydrates per day. This really restricts things, folks, but it is (surprisingly) feasible.

The secret? I eat lots and lots of meat and fat. Like, 50-60% of my calories come from fat. Good fats, though - not french fries or doughnuts. Fats like nuts, olive & nut oils, coconut oil & milk, and fat inherent in meats. I eat almost all grass-fed meat products. Organic vegetables & fruits. My sister was amazed to hear my diet. (And she's always been the skinny one!)

What am I avoiding? Dairy. Grains (for sure). Root vegetables, because they have an incredible amount of sugar in them. (Consider, after all, that root vegetables evolved as energy storage devices for plants).

What do I cheat with? Super high quality bourgeoisie dark chocolate. I actually drink a little more wine than I was drinking in the past 6 months; by "more" I mean I drink maybe 3 -4 glasses a week now, and enjoy it thoroughly. I do put 1 tsp of agave syrup into my morning coconut milk latte.

I bought myself a Sodastream water carbonator, and enjoy acting like I'm drinking something "fun" when it's really just carbonated water with a citrus slice in it, or some flavoring extract like vanilla or orange.


I'm going back to Fran in a month, so we'll see how things progress!

In the meantime, I've got some bacon I need to go heat up in the microwave...

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