I love science. Ever since I was a little kid and I did my first science project. I took two groups of my my mom's basil plants. I yelled at one group and for the other group, I played classical music. I was amazed when the plants I yelled at withered up and died. We made pesto with the ones that got the classical music.
I get some flack on my Facebook page for not being “scientific” enough. Guess what, folks? I'm not a scientist. Never claimed to be. I like reading about science, and I like pontificating about it on my blog. But I ain't no scientist. I'm a blogger.
One of the things I love about Matt Stone's 180 Degree Health blog is that he is not afraid to test different theories. He is interested in actual physical tangible results. Me, too. What's the use of a bunch of scientific theories if they don't work in real life.
Every time I post ANYTHING about Matt Stone on my Facebook page, I get slammed six ways to Sunday. People seem to really hate that guy.
I try not to make knee-jerk assumptions about people or ideas. I try to be open-minded and explore different things. Because you know what? Science is all about asking questions. And it's all about being open to what the answers might be.
Love him or hate him, I think he's on to something.
Healing Hormones and Hypoglycemia
As many of you know, I've been recovering from low adrenal and thyroid function for the past few years. It wasn't until a few months ago that I realized that it was hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that was at the root of a lot of my health problems. I figured out (thanks to Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure)
Last night I read this on Matt's blog:
The hardest time for most people to hold on to their salt and sugar is from about 10am to lunch. Because of this, you might note that eating foods with a high water content causes greater sugar crashes. When I was on the full program, eating a breakfast of say, oatmeal with juice and a big slice of watermelon and then trying to drink the water and lemonade? Fuhgeddaboudit! I would be peeing every 15 minutes with urine solute well below 0.5 brix – and feeling cold and flat.
Enter the pancake… Eating pancakes, waffles, muffins, banana bread, fried eggs, cookies, fruit pie – without much food with a higher water content such as milk, juice, and fruit? Now that's what I'm talkin' bout. These foods will make you much warmer and keep your sugars from crashing. I think one of the greatest benefits of processed foods like this isn't even that they are more digestible but the fact that the water content is lower. This is a godsend for those who are really in a low metabolism rut, as even the smallest amount of fluid from food or drink beyond the bare minimum requirement to stay hydrated can cause some pretty violent crashing. Even having breakfast cereal with milk can be too much fluid for some.
I write this as I chew on the most delicious PB & J EVER. Made with my homemade sourdough bread baked this morning. Oh my word, is this good. Our new Slovakian nanny squeals with joy every time she comes in the morning to find freshly baked bread. She says the bread in America sucks and she's absolutely right. It does. I can't believe it's taken me this long to become a bread baker. But that's another blog post…
Yeah, I'm washing it down with a glass of raw milk. If I had some olive oil potato chips, I'd be eating those too (they never last very long in our house).
For breakfast, I had half of a freshly baked whole wheat sourdough bagel with cream cheese, plus some eggs scrambled in butter.
Hypoglycemia and Hormones
Here is what really struck me about what Matt wrote. He says that drinking too much liquid (whether it be raw milk or water or juice) can actually cause our blood sugar to crash and cause our hormones to bottom out.
I've been tracking my temperature for the past several months (and YES I will be writing a post about how to do this in the near future). It was around October that I decided to start eating a LOT more. I pretty much doubled my food intake. I used to eat just two meals a day, and the meals were small. I just wasn't that hungry! (I've since realized that it was zinc and magnesium deficiency that thwarted my hunger pangs.)
I've gained a little bit of weight but not much. I can still fit in my jeans. The thing is, I'm not trying to lose weight right now. I'm trying to heal my hormones. When my hormones get healthy, weight will not be an issue. Because our hormones control our metabolism.
What's really, really great about this is the fact that my temperature is REALLY coming up! I'm averaging about 98.2 nowadays (this is an average of 3 temperatures taken 3 hours apart during the day). I'm just starting to also take my basal body temperature and that's been around 97.8 the past few days (Matt says that's GOOD!).
I've been eating a traditional diet for four years now and my temps have never been this high. But I've been eating a pretty low-carb diet since 2007. It's only recently that I threw caution to the wind and started RRARFing (Matt's method of Rehabilitative Rest and Agressive Re-Feeding).
Of course, there's a whole lot of things I'm doing right now. I've been taking maca and herbal infusions and cod liver oil… but I'll be honest — I'm very forgetful and I don't take them the majority of the time. I'm also sleeping on an earthing mat and sleeping in total darkness.
I truly think EATING MORE has been the number one thing that is helping my hormones return to normal (Or actually, let's not shoot for normal. As Dr. Rind says, let's shoot for OPTIMAL.)
Grains, Blood Sugar and Body Temperature
But what really struck me about what Matt wrote in his post yesterday was that eating low-water foods (such as “pancakes, waffles, muffins, banana bread, fried eggs, cookies, fruit pie”) helps to bring your blood sugar up.
It occurred to me that I've seen the biggest jump up in my temperature in the past couple weeks. I was still dropping down to the high 97s a few weeks ago.
What have I done differently lately?
I'm getting ready for my online cooking class, Healthy Whole Grains. I've been testing recipes morning, noon and night. Pizza, cookies, biscotti, bread, waffles, pancakes, muffins… you name it, that's what I'm eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mostly whole grains, but some white flour as well. And all of it is sprouted or soaked or made with sourdough. And yeah, I'm eating eggs and meat and soup and other things, too. And I'm eating lots of starches, too, like potatoes and tapioca pudding. Not a lot of veggies although I do like sauerkraut and I have an occasional salad. Fruit here and there as a snack.
I'm not going to make any proclamations here or tell you that everyone should eat whole grains every day. The truth is, not everyone should. Some people with a damaged gut need to stay off grains for a period of time. Sometimes even for life. (Although I think the percentage of people who can never eat grains again is very small.)
But I do believe that gluten is not the enemy that a lot of people make it out to be. Antibiotics, chlorinated water, the birth control pill, unfermented grains, nuts and seeds — those are the things that damage your gut and make gluten hard to digest. But properly prepared grains are not the enemy.
I have much more to say on this topic but I can't do it justice in this post.
All I can say is this is working for me, and I'm curious to see where it will take me.
Dinner with The Stone and the LA FitExpo
I'm going to have dinner with Matt Stone and a group of other bloggers tomorrow night in Los Angeles. I'll be posting photos on my Facebook page so stay tuned.
Matt's going to sell me one of his refractometers so I can start monitoring my blood sugar.
We're speaking at the LA FitExpo on Sunday — if you're in the area, come see us! I have 3 FREE passes I can leave for you at Will Call. If you want in, comment below.
What Do You Think?
Share your comments below. And all you Matt haters, watch your language. This is a family blog.
Photo credit: 98.6 by zamburak, on Flickr
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