Why I Ditched Low Carb

by Ann Marie Michaels on February 10, 2012

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Low-Carb

Is your hair falling out? Do you gain weight just by looking at food? Do you have a low body temperature? Is your sex drive in the toilet?

Are you on a low carb diet?

You need to read this post.

When I woke up yesterday, I ate a bowl full of sliced apples and blueberries with some decaf coffee and raw milk. An hour or so later, I had a few homemade spelt banana muffins, a couple bites of scrambled eggs, and 1/2 piece of sprouted toast with butter and jam.

For lunch, I had a peanut butter and watermelon jelly sandwich (oh, boy, let me tell you about this watermelon jelly — do you have a few hours?) on sprouted bread with a couple glasses of coconut water plus some more blueberries and a few homemade corn tortilla chips.

For dinner, I ate a whole lot of homemade bean and cheese nachos with a couple glasses of wine — more than I normally drink, but it’s been a tough week.

I just entered it all into FitDay. (Yes, this is a sign of a crazy person. When FitDay is your friend.)

Maybe you should sit down. Ladies and gentleman, we’re looking at over 2,300 calories and over 300 grams of carbs.

And this is BEFORE I had that last muffin.

Holy insulin, Batman! I’m officially in Mark Sisson’s “Danger Zone”.

Oops — and I just ate another muffin.

Danger, Will Robinson!

What am I thinking?

If you’ve been eating low carb, restricting bread and pasta, avoiding fruit and anything sweet, and it’s working for you, that’s great!

But if you’re like me, and your health has been declining ever since you jumped on the low carb bandwagon, you may want to rethink this whole low carb fad.

Read on.

Why I Ditched Low Carb

This day is markedly different from how I used to eat. It’s a little less protein than I normally eat and a lot more alcohol. But otherwise it’s pretty on target.

I’ve dramatically upped the carbs in the past month or so. And amazing things are happening with my hormones.

My body temperature has shot up from the low 97s to averaging around 98.2 People, this is huge.

Not only is my temperature a lot higher, but it has also stabilized substantially. It used to be up and down every day ranging from all the way in the 96s up to the high 97s (I rarely got into the low 98s). In the past few weeks, it’s been averaging almost every day around 98.2. This is unheard of for me.

And you know what it means? It means my adrenals and my thyroid are getting better. According to Dr. Rind, you can tell by your temperature that your adrenals are getting better when your temperature stabilizes. A steady temperature day after day means strong, stable adrenals.

You can tell your thyroid is getting better when your temperature increases (That is, for hypothyroid or low thyroid. For hyperthyroid, you would want to see a decrease in temperature.) Like I said, I’ve never gotten up to the 98s, and never consistently.

Why I Ditched Low Carb

Why Track Your Temperature?

Dr. Rind and many other endocrine docs say that the temperature is the window into your hormones. As I explained above, by charting your temperature over several days, weeks or months, you can tell whether you have problems with your adrenal glands and/or thyroid.

It’s easy to start taking your temperature. You can either chart it every morning, before you get out of bed (basal body temperature) or you can take readings throughout the day and take an average.

I do both. I use a cheap Vicks SpeedRead Digital Thermometer. I bought a few on Amazon. One lives on my nightstand, one stays in the kitchen, and I carry one in my purse.

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I take my temperature before I get out of bed in the morning to get my basal body temperature.

Then I take my temperature 2-3 more times throughout the day (I aim for 3; sometimes it’s only once).

Then I track all of these numbers on graph paper. It’s pretty cool to get a visual of how you are doing.

And folks, since I increased my carbs, my temps look 1,000 times better.

And did I mention that I have not gained weight and my blood sugar is normal?

If you want to read more details about the improvements in my health since I increased my carbs, read my answer to question # 3 in this week’s Q & A post.

How Do I Know It Was the Carbs?

You may say, Oh yes, but what about all the supplements you’ve been taking? What about the earthing? What about reducing stress?

My stress level has been at an all-time high these past few weeks due to work stuff. I haven’t been sleeping on my earthing sheet a lot of nights because I end up sleeping with my daughter half the time. And I’ve been REALLY bad about my supplements lately. Just been super busy.

So yeah, it’s gotta be the carbs.

How I Developed My Fear of Carbs

For the past few years, I have been so paranoid about carbs that I would actually feel guilty for eating a piece of bread. I had this holier-than-thou attitude that grass-fed meat and coconut oil were better than a banana or mac and cheese or a bowl of rice, or other high-carb foods.

Where does this come from? Probably from blogs like Mark’s Daily Apple with his posts about The Asian Paradox (how rice makes you fat).

I love Mark Sisson. Seriously, he is the nicest guy. Right up there with Jimmy Moore of Livin’ La Vida Low Carb, whom I also adore. Lovely guys with great blogs that I enjoy reading.

But really? Asians don’t gain weight from eating rice all day because they “move frequently at a slow pace”. Huh? Does this sound like r e a c h i n g to you?

And it isn’t just Mark Sisson. It’s all the blogs out there with their carb-phobic, grain-free, gluten-hating focus. The “Gluten is Bad, Bacon is Rad” t-shirts you see all over Facebook. The constant posts about how lectins are the devil and how we need to keep our carbs to less than 50 grams per day.

Good Lord! How can one even eat a small stack of pancakes on 50 grams of carbs per day? One pancake equals about 15 carbs. Not to mention the maple syrup. Just eating a couple of innocent pancakes blows your allocation of carbs for the whole day! One sandwich on sprouted whole wheat bread uses up HALF your carbs for the day.

Paleo is the hottest trend going right now. I’ve got no issues with Paleo folks. If it works for you, more power to you!

But the fact is, this is a new trend. It may seem like an old way of eating since it harkens back to the Stone Age, but the fact is, we don’t really know what paleolithic man ate. There’s new evidence showing that hunters and gatherers were eating grains 100,000 years ago — 90,000 years earlier than we thought.

caveman like pizza!

Bottom line: Low carb paleo didn’t work for me and it actually harmed my health. The more I ate that way, the more my thyroid function slowed down, the worse my hormones got. (And please, no comments that I “didn’t do it right.” I know my body and my diet better than you. I live in this body and I see what goes in my mouth every single day.)

And I am trying to get pregnant again. It may be too late, since I’m 43, but I know women who had babies at 45 and 46. I think I may still have a shot and I really want to try.

My hormones being effed up is not something I can afford.

How Low Carb Can Be Harmful to Your Hormones

Just the other day, Chris Kresser did an interview with Chris Masterjohn on his podcast. You can go here to listen or read the transcript.

In the podcast, Chris Masterjohn said:

“I think that if you find that T3 or reverse T3 are out of whack, probably the best way to address that is to try increasing the carbohydrate intake — not necessarily meaning you have to go on a high-carbohydrate diet, but, you know, like, Paul Jaminet had sort of concluded at the end of that series that he still advocates a low-carbohydrate diet, but it’s possible to go too low for some people, and that’s when you might get deficiency in thyroid signaling.”

Chris Kresser responded:

“And I definitely see this, Chris, in my practice, and this is purely anecdotal, but I often get people who come to me who have been on a low-carb Paleo Diet, not for any particular reason, just because that was their understanding of the Paleo Diet, you know, as a low-carb approach. And then they’re suffering from the classic hypothyroid symptoms: Their hair is falling out, and their hands and feet are cold, outer third of the eyebrows thinning, you know, low metabolic symptoms. And then they start eating some more starch and starchy tubers and fruit and increase their carbohydrate intake; and in almost all cases, their symptoms improve significantly.

Want to Get Pregnant? Eat More Carbs!

Then Chris told a really fascinating story from Dr. Weston A. Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

Chris said:

He says: “For the Indians of the far North this reinforcement” — he’s talking about reinforcement of nutrition for pregnancy — “was accomplished by supplying special feedings of organs of animals. Among the Indians in the moose country near the Arctic circle a larger percentage of the children were born in June than in any other month. This was accomplished, I was told, by both parents eating liberally of the thyroid glands of the male moose as they came down from the high mountain areas for the mating season, at which time the large protuberances carrying the thyroids under the throat were greatly enlarged.” So, what he’s saying is when the moose were about to reproduce, they naturally went into a kind of hyperthyroid state where their thyroids were enlarged, and the people there would harvest the thyroid glands so that they could reproduce, and as a consequence, most of their children were born nine months after the moose mating season.

And what the indicates to me is — I mean, it’s difficult to interpret it because he doesn’t go into great detail, but I think what we might be seeing here is up in the Arctic circle — and these are the inland people, they’re not seacoast, so they probably don’t have a lot of iodine in the diet, they certainly don’t have a lot of carbohydrate in the diet. It seems like they, as part of their natural adaptation to their environment, they supplemented with thyroid hormone so that they could convert their cholesterol to sex hormones so that they could increase their fertility, and I think what we’re witnessing is perhaps a natural acknowledgement that under those certain conditions where you have an extremely carbohydrate-restricted diet, you may need supplemental thyroid hormone in order to maintain that fertility.

OK, does that blow your mind or what?

Folks, we are not living near the Arctic circle (well some of you may be, but I sure as heck am not). We have access to carbohydrates! We don’t need to kill moose and harvest their thyroid glands in order to get pregnant. We don’t need to take Armour thyroid or maca or sixteen other supplements. We can just eat some waffles! (I can almost hear the 180 Degree Health fans cheering right now.)

Note that Price said BOTH parents ate the thyroid gland. So this isn’t just about women’s fertility. If you are a man on a low carb or paleo diet and your testosterone is low or you lost your mojo, there’s a reason for that.

Paul Jaminet Concurs

This brought to my mind a post Paul Jaminet wrote a couple weeks ago on his Perfect Health Diet blog. He said that a higher carb diet is actually better for people who want to have children.

Jaminet writes:

For most people, I believe a slightly carb-restricted intake of 20-30% of calories is optimal. Most people are not currently seeking to have children or engaging in athletic competition. (Source)

In other words, if you want to have children, don’t eat low carb.

When it comes to thyroid health, Jaminet does not mince words:

“Eating more carbs raises T3 levels, and eating fewer carbs lowers T3 levels.”

Jaminet goes on to present his thoughts on appropriate carb intake, depending on an individual’s personal goals:

So a 30-40% carb diet is a neutral diet, which probably places minimal stress on the body.

A 40-50% diet is a carb-overfed diet, which probably promotes fertility and athleticism.

A 20-30% diet is a mildly carb-restricted diet, which probably promotes longevity.

Jaminet concludes his post with this sage statement:

Let everyone design the diet that is best for them. And there is room for difference of opinion about the optimal carb intake.

Here’s what I have to say to that: Bring on the pizza and nachos!

What If You’re On the GAPS Diet?

I wrote a post about this a few days ago: GAPS Diet Myths.

It is absolutely not necessary to be low carb on the GAPS Diet. If you do well on low carb and are on GAPS, then stick with it. But if you are experiencing hormonal problems, you may want to consider increasing your carbs.

I’ll write a post soon with some suggestions for how to increase your carbs on the GAPS Diet.

Share Your Thoughts In the Comments

Go ahead, throw doughnuts and potatoes at me. I know this post is going to piss a lot of people off.

How do I know? Because the amount of vitriol that I’ve endured in the past few weeks as I’ve explored this topic on my Facebook page has been off the hook!

Please feel free to share. This is an open forum and I always encourage open discourse. We are all learning, myself included. And I do very much appreciate all that you guys bring to the table. I learn so much from you!

Just please try to play nice.

And if you’ve got a similar story to share about how eating low carb threw your hormones out of whack, I’d love to hear it.

{ 678 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole Rice February 10, 2012 at 8:56 AM

So question- my understanding of Mat Stone’s take is – High everything diet, but only for 30 days. Then you come back down on the carbs. Is that a correct understanding of his take? Are you planing on following him, or continuing to stay high carb? Do you see your current carb intake as a short term goal while trying to get pregnant- or a planned (unless of course you learn something new in the future) way of life now? Thanks!

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Andrea February 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

I second Nicole’s question! Also, I just started upping my carbs and put on about four pounds. I’m a bit freaked out…will that go away?

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Matt Stone February 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM

You will gain at least 5 pounds instantly from the rise in glycogen and water as your carbohdyrate reserves increase. Not to worry. Some do gain considerable fat as well when returning to carbohdyrates until body temperature reaches the ideal level. I find it’s best to go ahead and gain the fat, so you can hurry up and feel better and start working your way back down to greater leanness.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:56 AM

@Andrea When I was doing carb cycling a la The Four Hour Body, I would always gain 3-4 pounds after my Binge Day. Then it would come off and I would lose even more the following week.

Of course then I stalled out on that diet and stopped losing weight so I gave it up.

Now I’m not focused on losing weight anymore. I just want to heal my hormones.

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Andrea February 10, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Thanks so much for the tips, Matt and Ann Marie! This is one diet that is actually FUN (-: It is such a GREAT feeling for me to get up and make myself pancakes or French toast, have a sourdough sandwich for lunch and then bean soup for dinner without the gnawing worry and feelings of guilt that I always experienced on GAPS (which I know now is not low carb) and my recent low carb weight loss diet (which only let me lose weight sooo slowly and then it came right back soon after) whenever I ate a food that wasn’t a meat, veggie, or fat. And I’m not freaking out when my kids eat carbs either…and they seem to be doing great, keeping away from the winter bugs going around. So, thanks so much for these posts, Ann Marie…I can hardly believe that such enjoyable eating will help me lose weight and gain energy, but at least trying will be pleasant!

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Matt Stone February 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

The idea is to increase calories more than anything else during metabolic recovery. But carbs are the most important. Afterwards, with great glucose metabolism, you’ll probably find that you feel and function much better on a carbohdyrate-based diet – meaning more than 50% of your calories. Paul Jaminet is right that there is no debate about the optimal carbohydrate intake – it should be more than 50% of calories to prolong the number of years you spend with an oxidative metabolism. Burning fat for fuel is one of the hallmarks of aging and insulin resistance. At the very least, people should be cycling carbohydrates – feasting on them occasionally. A full-time low-carb diet invariably leads to problems, most of which start to set in at about the 6-month mark.

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Paula February 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Matt, it is scary thinking about what the Hcg diet is doing to people!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM

What is that diet, Paula? I’ve heard about it but I don’t know what it is.

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Beth Stowers February 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I think the HCG diet might be the worst out of the bunch. I had lots of family who were/are doing this:

You take the HCG hormone (you make it when you’re pregnant) and it helps you to burn fat. I am not sure about all the particulars of the diet, but on most days, you eat only 500 calories, while the fat “melts away.” I think on the original diet, you can only eat a certain amount of apples, oranges, and broiled/baked chicken breast. There are some induction days too, I think.

That has got to be a metabolism-destroyer for sure. I never did it, because I don’t think you can eat a lot of fat while you’re on it and I LOVE eating fat. 😉

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Helen February 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

HCG is a hormone that prevents your bodies metabolism from crashing of from breaking down muscle for fuel. It’s want makes it okay to not eat for the first three months of pregnancy because you puke everythig up. It’s also what triggers your body to release calories so that you can build a viable placenta. This can take more than 3000 calories a day. The HCG diet gives you just enough hormone to trigger that fat burn response so that coupled with severe calorie restriction (although most definitely more than I ate a day in my first trimester) you can loose up to a pound or more a day of just fat. It’s supposed to be done under a doctors supervision and for no more than 40 days in a row with a calorie loading before and after. I did it with a doctor to get weigh under control so that I could get pregnant safely again. When I stopped the diet and tried to conceive it took 8 months to do so. Not quite infertility but enough time to make me worry that the hormone had messed with my body and made it harder to normalize for conception.

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Alex February 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

I’ve tried an HCG diet and it was a disaster. I got lured in it after watching Dr.Oz show. It’s such a hype right now. On this diet you don’t eat breakfast, you only allowed 500 cals a day. For lunch and dinner you eat 3oz of red meat or chicken or any lean meat, no visible fat, a serving of a single vegetable (could be as big as you want but has to be a single vegetable, f.e. spinach or lettuce or asparagus). You also allowed 1 apple per meal and 1 melba toast. That’s it. And you do injections or oral dose of HCG hormone that is supposed to release you fat stores. You pork the hell out for 2 first days and then stay on 500 cals for at least 21 days. With HCG you don’t feel hungry. that’s the trick. Otherwise, who could live on 500 cals?
Then you transition to a low-carb maintenance phase and stay on it for another 3 weeks without carbs. Then you can re-introduce carbs one at a time. The HCG said to reprogram your hypothalamus from storing fat to burning fat.
Well, I gained probably 10 lbs in first 2 days and then lost 22 lbs in 21 day, but I felt terrible. I was dizzy, had headaches, tremor… After 21 day, I started eating like crazy and gained it all back and then some more. Surprisingly, my 3 girlfriends tried it and did very well. They did not feel hungry or weak, and none of them gained back the weight they lost so far. Perhaps, it’s because i was hypothyroid already it did not work for me. This diet was invented by Dr. Simeonis back in 50th, and is said to reset your hormones by resetting your hypothalamus.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Wow that’s nuts. Sounds like a concentration camp starvation diet.

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Maryjane February 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

The HCG diet is NOT a concentration camp diet. I did it and lost 47 pounds, and have kept it off for over a year now — after 40 years of being overweight! I have helped many other people try the diet, and almost all of them have great success.
It’s true that I have now changed the way I eat due to my new-found knowledge about Real Food, thanks to WAPF and the food bloggers. I tell everyone who is thinking about doing HCG: “If you’re not willing to change the way you eat for the rest of your life, DON’T BOTHER with this diet.”
The problem with homeopathic HCG (which has recently been banned by the FDA, in their great wisdom — but that’s another story), is that most people who use it are not aware that it can be deactivated by close proximity to electromagnetic fields. So some people “fail” at the diet because their bottle of HCG has been “zapped”. I’ve seen it happen several times.
The HCG diet is not for everyone; but it DOES work. Almost everyone in my extended family has done it successfully, from 20-year-olds to 83-year-olds.

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Paula February 10, 2012 at 8:14 PM

that hormone is harvested off horses that are kept pregnant year round. They are stalled at all times and have a catheter in them to collect the urine from which the hormone is taken.
And I am not making this up. I know a lady that worked at one of the farms briefly.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM

@Paula Wow that is awful!

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Joni February 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM

@ Paula…i agree. 🙁 awful. it’s just as bad as the porcine prostaglandin inserts they use in hospitals to progress labor. It’s pig semen and they either insert it or have the women swallow it. sick!

Kathryn February 11, 2012 at 8:37 AM

hCG = HUMAN chorionic gonadotropin. It is harvested from the urine of pregnant women. The horse urine of which you speak is for the artificial hormones used in Premarin for hormone replacement therapy. Premarin has had a horrible response in many of the women using it.

Ann Marie, i’m not going to say nasty things (you seem to expect that?) to you for choosing to not eat low carb anymore. It obviously works for you (although i would be really careful with wheat and corn). We are all made differently.

The hCG diet has worked very well for me and many of my friends. I’ve used homeopathic hCG. NOTHING the doctors recommended was helping me to lose weight and it was very discouraging. Even with severely depleted thyroid function, hCG has allowed me to lose weight for the first time in over 12 years. It seems to be healing me in a number of ways. Several of my friends who have done this also have severely compromised health, and we have not only been able to lose but have remained healthy while doing it. It is a diet that has been around more than 50 years and the doc who created it did extensive research with it.

I won’t knock you for your choices. Please don’t knock mine.

Best wishes with your baby quest. There is a website (Pregnant over 40?) with thousands of stories of mamas over the age of 40, some over the age of 50 and long ago, (“My grandmother . . . “) long before medical intervention for pregnancy.

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I really don’t know anything about it which is why I asked.

I am glad it’s working for you.

Eric February 10, 2012 at 12:01 PM

“Burning fat for fuel is one of the hallmarks of aging and insulin resistance”.

Matt put it best there!!!! Think “8-year old kid, with high temps, high pulse, who burns sugar cleanly like there is no tomorrow”!!!!

Relying too much on fat oxidation is inefficient, not to mention detrimental to long-term health, for a host of reasons!!!!

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Lori February 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

@ Matt and Ann Marie

What do you do if you can no longer tolerate potatoes, and grains tear up your stomach? I was on a Candida diet, but I refused to give up potatoes or fruit, and my Candida did do okay. But now if I touch potatoes I get a stomach ache and feel bloated…the same with grains.

Any thoughts?

I’m starting to feel that the best thing is a balanced diet. I used to hate that idea thinking low carb is what everyone needs, but now I’m wondering if that’s the truth. But what does one do if those foods hurt you?

Thanks for your reply.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM

I did not give up grains or potatoes or fruit or honey when I was healing from my candida overgrowth. I just gave up gluten. However, I did eat the starches and sweets sparingly.

Are you on a good probiotic?

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Paula February 10, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Lori, are you taking a good magnesium too? High potassium foods often require extra magnesium to balance them out.

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Lori February 10, 2012 at 9:03 PM

@Paula,
Thanks for the tip.

I actually just started doing the magnesium oil that Ann Marie suggested. Now I have a supplement with another form of magnesium. What I’m realizing is that when you limit your diet, you also miss out on combinations like this.

Of course there are some foods that I can eat but I’m not that found of, so this is partly my fault.
Lori

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Lori February 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM

@Ann Marie,
Thanks for replying. No, but I’ve read enough of what you wrote and I’m going to order Biokult. I’ve been on it before. When I was working with a chiropractor, he had a weird idea that you get the Candida under control and then you take the probiotics. He always said it’s analogous to sending in civilians during a war. Maybe you understand the analogy, but I never did.

My point is that potatoes now upset my tummy. : ( Grains do to, but I’m going to experiment a little bit because honestly, I’m tired of my limited diet. I don’t limit my fruit, but I’m tired of fruit and animal protein and veges…I’m just tired of eating the same food over and over.

Lori

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Andrea February 11, 2012 at 5:42 AM

Actually Lori, your chiro may have been right. My daughter had SERIOUS candida to where she couldn’t absorb her food. i was dumping expensive probiotics down her and feeding her NO Sugar and few carbs with no results. She was too young to swallow pills, so I couldn’t giver her any killers. Then, my chiro gave her chewable lactic acid wafers to kill candida and balance her PH. He said the probiotics were just dying right away because the candida had acidified her system so much. Within 2 weeks, she was gaining weight and now she is doing great!

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Colin February 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM

You
re suggesting the same diet that got Western society into a mess in the first place!!! GRAINS, GRAINS, GRAINS!!! CARBS, CARBS, CARBS!!! Learn your history before you repeat it, pal.

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Amanda February 10, 2012 at 8:58 AM

I can’t wait to read your article on how to increase your carbs while on the GAPS diet. Prior to GAPS I had low temps in the 97s, sometimes even 96…. awhile back I started charting my temperature three times a day like you suggested and even printed off the chart from the website you linked, and after a year on GAPS I’m averaging 98.5 degrees, which is…. well, EXCELLENT – amazing improvement! I agree here with what you’re saying about carbs, and I can’t wait to be able to eat grains again. I was really worried that I had ruined my hormones with GAPS, as we are TTC, too, but since I started charting I can see that they’ve actually improved! I guess that just goes to show that the body needs different things at different times, and in general diets are a bit different for each person. Keep up the good work, Annemarie. Loved the webinar last night, too!

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Jean February 10, 2012 at 9:56 AM

That’s awesome that your temp increased on GAPS! Any idea what your carb intake is like? I wish I would have been charting my temps, but I only started recently and I’ve been on GAPS over a year. I do a low-carb version due to candida issues, but I definitely feel like I have more energy and even less thyroid issues (less hair loss, etc) on low carb.

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Amanda February 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Jean, I was the same way in the very beginning. I was almost no carbs. I was no fruit even! I had to for awhile in order to fight my own candida issues. Now it’s been a bit over a year and I’m still pretty strict, although I can eat fruit and honey, but my gut still cannot handle nuts or beans no matter what soaking I do. So, I’m probably still considered pretty low-card on the GAPS.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

@Amanda

That is EXCELLENT! Congratulations!

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Gabi February 10, 2012 at 7:47 PM

I believe that our hormones can be healed on GAPS…at least, the healing begins there for sure…because of the emphasis on saturated fats (fat makes hormones) and the detoxification…getting the junk out of our systems allows the endocrine system to work. Malevolent flora, heavy metals, low-fat, un-real foods (like soy), environmental toxins, drugs, etc. destroy our hormones as well as our overall health. Since the GAPS protocol restores health to our entire body (beginning in the gut, which is really a huge factor in our overall wellness), we would see improvements in problem areas, like the endocrine system. I’m so glad you are doing so well!! Cheers! g

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Gabi February 10, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Just wanted to add that years ago, I was vegan for 2-3 years…and it rendered me infertile and destroyed my hormones…all of them…thyroid, adrenals, sex hormones, etc. … I think veganism is awful for hormones and heart health, not to mention the rest… I ate really high carb, soy, and NO fat… I learned a LOT thru intense study and apprenticing after that journey. Eating a balanced diet of real, traditional foods is really important, of course emphasizing good fats… For those of us with gut dysbiosis, GAPS is the beginning of healing and a lifelong affair with all good foods!! 🙂

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Natalie February 11, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Thank you for your comment. This is good to know. I think it is good to have both sides share because I don’t want to be afraid to really decrease carbs if needed. I do think going TOO low is a problem for sure and I know I had less energy on low carb. I need to lose weight and I can only do limited exercise so I don’t know what to do!

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Amy Kidwell February 10, 2012 at 8:59 AM

I am grain-free and feel much better for it. I can tell when I’m eating the wrong things because my face feels puffy and I turn into a bitch. So, I was getting a little irritated at all your anti-grain free articles. I realized that this makes no sense. Everyone is an individual, and different things work for different people. Maybe I was mad because you weren’t writing articles that applied to me.
What I like about your blog is that it’s your journey. When you realize something, or learn more, or change, you say, “hey that wasn’t working so now I’m trying this.” That is cool. The ability to learn and change and grow is so awesome. In fact, two people I value in my life are my doctor and my vet, because they both have this ability. It’s hard when someone learns more and says they were mistaken before. I want to argue and say, “But you told me xyz, and now you’re saying the opposite!” But these are the kinds of people I want around. Otherwise I’d be listening to people who say, “This is what I learned once 30 years ago, and so it is the truth.” How awful and stunted.

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Andrea February 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM

She’s not saying eat grains…but eat CARBS and if grain free is working for you – Great! But it’s not ideal for others. Just realize that everyone’s ideal diet is different and don’t take personal offense at these articles. Better yet, don’t read them and spare yourself the anguish.

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Doctor Gibran February 10, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Exactly. Everyone is different so everyone’s ideal diet will be different. Diet extremes of grain-free, carbohydrate heavy, etc at the wrong time or for an extended period of time are what sends the body into imbalance and creates disease. I see this all the time clinically. Anything that can heal can also harm no matter how natural it is. Proper evaluation, diagnosis, and application of a specific-to-you treatment is the best thing you can do for your health.

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Bethany February 10, 2012 at 9:08 AM

This is so interesting. I have been low-carb paleo for about 2 years. I have NEVER had any issues with my thyroid…until just recently. My hair is falling out, I’m getting fat, I’m exhausted all the time, my temp is always right at 97, and recent blood work at my doctor showed hypothyroidism. I’ve added back in properly prepared grains & more fruit & potatoes (a couple months ago) just because I felt my body wanted them. It’s so interesting to see how upping carbs has helped your hormonal issues. Hopefully it will help me too.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

@Bethany Please keep me posted! Are you charting your temperature?

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Bethany February 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM

No I haven’t been, but I will definitely start. I’m really on the fence about starting a thyroid med from my doctor. I’m going to give it another month with the increased carbs & see how I do.

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Bonnie February 10, 2012 at 9:08 AM

For me, no grains is a must. I’ve done GAPS but I still find that if I don’t keep myself away from gluten I’ll feel badly and start to gain weight, not matter what other diet things I might do. I probably have an allergy (not celiac) to it and whatever is in gluten does a number on my hormone balance. If I’m not trying to lose weight, I do okay with rice and quinoa and potatoes. I think that everyone does have very different needs nutritionally–we all have different imbalances and foods are the first line of medicine. Unfortunately in our society we tend to eat what is fast and quickly tasty no matter what it does to us.

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Paula February 10, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Pssst, grains are not at stake here. Its more carbs!

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Renee K February 10, 2012 at 9:10 AM

We’re grain free because we’re doing GAPS for healing, but we don’t eat low carb.

I do have to wonder if all that toast, muffins, tortillas etc is good to have when trying to conceive. Could you perhaps be over feeding your candida, and wouldn’t conception be a good time to create a good gut flora?

I plan to move to a Nourishing Traditions diet and perhaps would try to conceive a baby on this diet but I’ve been pondering if GAPS with it’s low starch approach would be best for a healthy gut flora for any future children.

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meghan February 10, 2012 at 9:11 AM

No vitriol or anger from me 🙂 I’ve been wanting to ask this question for a few weeks now. I hope this is an appropriate place for it. I also don’t expect a definitive answer, just your opinion… Background: I started going low-carb/LCHF this past November, purely as a weight loss tool (for the record, I’ve lost 9 pounds, that was in the first 6 weeks, and I’ve been stagnant ever since). That eventually led me down the path to traditional eating, and that’s how we’ve been doing things since December. We have a ton of amazing farmers in our little area of Ontario, and I have access to “all the things!” that go with a traditional diet. About a month ago, I started to add a few carbs and starches back in, in the way of sourdough, potatoes once, sweet potatoes once, and tapioca or arrowroot to thicken gravy a few times. Each time I’ve done this (other than the Sourdough–I only had one “bad” reaction to that on a day where I ate three slices), I’ve had some digestion issues–nausea, stomach cramps, bloating, gas…tmi? All minor, but obviously a reaction that doesn’t occur with other foods. So, my question is…is that a good enough reason to go on the GAPS program? It is a huge undertaking/commitment, and my husband isn’t totally convinced at this point.

Addendum: I was diagnosed as a kid with allergies to wheat, milk, eggs and corn. I was also on a sugar restricted diet because I was a HYPER kid. We ate a pretty “traditional” diet when I was growing up. My mom preserved foods in season and we ate local and organic as much as possible. I was diagnosed with ADD at age 10, but took myself off ritalin in grade 10. When I had more control over what I ate as a teen and onward, I ate all the things I wasn’t supposed to with impunity, and had seemingly no reaction other than intensely bad acne (which I’m only now making the connection with. mom was right. d’oh.). The only thing I seem to react to as an adult is wheat, refined sugar and starch. So, back to the original question, does this sound like a GAPS type situation to you? I’m not anti-carb, but if I need to eliminate them to get my gut in shape, so be it.

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Carma February 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM

I can’t help thinking it all goes back (again!) to Weston A. Price-type eating. It’s all in the preparation. Carbs ARE bad … if they are modern, over-processed, under-nutrientized (can I make that word up?). Just like meat IS bad … if it is hormone-enriched, antiobiotic-enhanced, feedlot-raised cattle. But if you watch the quality of the food, then any and all of it is good: grains are fine if they are soaked, sprouted, or fermented; and meat is fine if it is free-range and grass-fed.

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liz February 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM

concur!

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Rick February 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM

WELL PUT!!! People get hung up on the carb, protein, fat stuff and forget these are all attached to food. 🙂 A slice of white wonder bread is carbs… and so is homemade sprouted wheat bread… they are not “equal” . McDonald’s meat is protein…. not the same as the grassfed hamburger I get from my local farmer.

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Aja February 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Maaaan, I should’ve read more comments before posting anything. Right on, people.

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Lori February 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

@ Rick and Carmen,
Good points. I just saw a video which shows how store bought Ramon noodles and gateraid is digested in comparison to homemade noodles with broth and some sort of homemade drink. The difference is amazing. Needless to say, the Ramon noodles didn’t really digest and they stayed blue because of the gateraid. Yucky stuff.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 4:26 PM

@Carma and Rick

Completely agree!

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Kathy (aka Mrs Dull) February 10, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Let me join the amen chorus 😉 Food quality is primary. To help balance the macro nutrients I think it helps to think of a traditional food culture and attempt to emulate the ratio of proteins, fats, and carbs in that food culture. This seems most likely to produce the best mix of micronutrients too.

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Alex Kombucha February 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Isn’t the answer to eat some of everything? It seems any extreme diet choice turns out to be a “bad idea” later. The pattern seems to be: Identify a problem, make extreme diet choices, see improvement, laud that choice as correct, then notice over time that extreme diet choices have led to imbalances in other things in the body, re-evaluate and make different choices, see improvement, laud that choice as correct, then notice over time that extreme diet choices have led to imbalances in other things in the body, etc etc etc.

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Denise February 10, 2012 at 7:03 PM

I concur! I’m tired of having something ‘wrong’. A wise friend once suggested to say before putting anything in your mouth: “Thank you for my medicine.” How beautiful is that? Perhaps our attitude of gratitude and seeing everything as gracing us is the best way.

Peace, Y’all.

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Blessed Homestead February 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

See now, I had the OPPOSITE effect. High carb, my hair was falling out, my hormones were shot, my skin was dry as a bone, my body temp was in the toilet. MODERATE carbs and proteins, high fat is what works for me. If I up the carbs too much, I have major issues. I prefer being grain free, but will eat legumes some, fruits, and enjoy fermented dairy, and cream in my tea, along with loads of butter when I can get it. Taters I have to be very careful with, corn is a problem. I think we all just need to become aware of our individual needs for THAT MOMENT IN TIME, our bodies are always changing, and it makes sense our dietary needs would shift as we go along as well. No one fad is the magic bullet for all time, and certainly not for all people.

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Gena February 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Blessed Homestead,
I’ve had a similar experience with high carb and find that lower carb works for me. I appreciate your comment, because it is so true about becoming aware of what our bodies are telling us at any given time, and that goes for more than just diet but rest and stress tolerance as well.

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Janelle February 10, 2012 at 9:29 AM

I love it that you have made these changes Ann Marie, I have become quite fond of Matt Stone, more than just about all other bloggers because he is so down to earth and is willing to make changes and not be ashamed if something didn’t work. You don’t find that too often on so many blogs that are about health. But he has gotten some flack for saying cereal can be just the thing people need to get their metabolism going! Coming from people who think processed food is the devil of course. As for me, I naturally gravitated towards higher carbs this summer into fall when we were trying to conceive and were able to on the second try! Although I wish I was watching my hubby’s diet as well because around conception he was saying his sex drive was lower than normal, but he has been having quite a bit of stress on the job. Its all a learning experience! I do want to get the most nutrition and have been indoctrinated on all things WAP but I still tend towards foods that increase my warmth this winter as I am the hypoglycemic type who gets the cold hands and feet.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Congrats, Janelle! That is fantastic!

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Cindy P February 10, 2012 at 9:32 AM

This is not a food-related comment, and I want you to know how very much I’ve enjoyed your blog – I’ve learned so much, and passed much of it on to my 6 children and 13 (soon to be 14) grandchildren. However, I try very hard to avoid profanity in the things I read (and see) – some is unavoidable, but media is one area I can choose. I was a little surprised to see the term “effing” in this post – I understand it is “shorthand” for a pretty offensive word, but I thought you might want to know that this makes the blog something I can’t recommend to my friends and family members, most of whom also steer clear of blogs containing profanity (even “shortened” forms like the one mentioned above. I know you don’t control the comments, but I’d be really grateful if you’d at least think about it – thanks for listening!

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Amy C. February 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Cindy… on this post I actually came to the same conclusion (before I saw your comment) and had decided to unsubscribe. “Effing” and a 4 letter p word in the last section are just content I’d rather not see when reading about health and recipes. I love and appreciate the substantive content of this blog, but I can choose media and there are a lot of other great WAPF-type blogs out there without the profanity. 🙂

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KJ February 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

The mild profanity is some of what keeps me reading. 🙂

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Alex Kombucha February 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM

lol

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 1:08 PM

@KJ Air kiss!

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amy davis February 11, 2012 at 6:29 AM

It’s not the word that bothered me so much, I hadn’t even seen it, actually (I had scrolled down to the comments before finishing the article). I don’t care for the use of such “faux” words; when most of us know what they mean – why not just say the word? It’s your response, more than anything, that disturbs me, Ann Marie. I agree; there are many other fine bloggers out there without the potty-mouth or the attitude, which is part of the problem in today’s society. I am unsubscribing. My adrenals will thank me.

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Lisa G February 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

If you don’t like what you see on TV, turn the channel. Profanity does not bother me. Heck ( whoops sorry) it makes it more real to me.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Effing is my way of restraining myself and not saying the actual word.

Sorry, but this is the way I talk.

Once again, I gotta be me.

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D. February 11, 2012 at 7:27 AM

People who think they are so pious make me sick. Don’t tell me for a minute that those folks haven’t felt like saying a profane word or two, occasionally. If they want to unsubscribe because you said pissed off or whatever, let them. They will just go elsewhere and spread their gospel. That’s gotta be stressful to be so right and proper all the time. And they wonder why they have digestion issues??

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Joan February 11, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Why such a violent reaction? (“make me sick”) If someone has personal convictions regarding profanity, why are you so angry? Maybe they have used or felt like using profanity in the past but have made a commitment to God not to engage in same. They don’t necessarily think they are so pious-usually it is quite the opposite.
BTW When one goes to unsubscribe, they are asked to note why they are leaving. That is what I found when I unsubscribed. Not for the profanity, but for the snarky responses regarding same. Oh, and I am neither stressed out nor do I have digestive issues.

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Kendahl @ Our Nourishing Roots February 11, 2012 at 11:25 AM

I like you the way you are AM 🙂 And anyone else, for that matter. Seriously. More love, people!

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Mali Korsten (The Korsten Chronicle) February 10, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I look forward to reading the upcoming GAPS post!

I’ve had adrenal fatigue since I was 15 (possibly longer, but that’s when a practitioner first noticed it) and although my TSH is apparently normal I have most of the symptoms of hypothyroid (including those little red spots, which I thought were inexplicable!). Since reading your posts I have made an effort to include more carbs in my GAPS intro diet, mainly in the form of squash, carrots, turnips and honey (I haven’t yet introduced fruit or juicing).

I have also been eating much more. I would estimate my calories come in somewhere around 3000! (I also haven’t gained weight from this increase).

I’ve learned a lot about my own health through reading your blog and am looking forward to updates on your healing progress!

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Jeanmarie February 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

This is blowing my mind! And after I spent so much money on Paleo and low-carb books! I have been trying to eat more Paleo so I can peel off a few pounds and clear up some skin problems, and I have always found that bread bloats me, but suddenly I’m eating more bread because I’m getting free bread from the food bank where I volunteer… and it seems to be ok. Hmmm. Maybe I’m fooling myself. I’m also eating a lot of my homemade bone stock, maybe that’s helping my digestion. I’m going to start keeping track of my temperature again. I used to do it years ago, and I was always low. Thanks for the reminder. I’m still contemplating doing GAPS.

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Julie February 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

What happened to your Tim Ferriss bandwagon? I thought you were endorsing his diet, which is low carb too, except for the binge day. What is your feedback on that?

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 10:53 AM

@Julie Yes that was when I was doing low carb.

I think his “carb cycling” approach works to lose weight, but I wonder if it made my hormones worse. Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. I don’t know.

I think it’s best, if you have hormonal issues, to work to heal the hormonal issues first instead of trying to lose weight.

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Nicole Rice February 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM

As a side note- I think that’s an easy statement to make when you are not drastically overweight. I’m sure the thought of gaining more weight- when the scale already looks overwhelming is what keeps some/many from giving Matt’s approach a shot.

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Kristi February 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Exactly! When you’re over 200 lbs and easily gain weight, then what do you do? Gain more? And don’t say what’s a few more lbs when you already weigh so much. Gaining more weight is what scares me the most.

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Rachel February 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Kristi:

Agreed!

I’m currently about 234 and have released 15 lbs or so since the first of the year. Just those few pounds being gone makes me feel lighter and more energetic (in addition to the fact that I’m now clean of sugar/sweets and grains, so less achey from that as well). I’d freak if they came back.

I say go get yourself check out, get the right tests, see if something is really wrong if you have any of the signs she describes.

My libido is suppressed when I eat sweets & grains and comes back with a vengeance when I’m High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb. And I don’t have any of the other symptoms described either.

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Joni February 11, 2012 at 2:22 PM

That’s where i’m at with the whole thing. “Scared to death, but saddling up anyway” (john wayne quote). I gained a considerable amount of weight once my adrenal crash happened. 30 lbs in two months. can’t lose it. I work out and was eating as close to WAPF as my budget would allow. I still drink raw milk, soak my grains/oats, eat organ meats, etc.. but have seen such a dramatic change in my temps after consulting with Matt, that I look at it like this. 3-5lbs on an already overweight woman is not likely noticeable vs. having cold hands/feet, no energy, sluggish metabolism, irritability, etc.. I am *feeling* better and my symptoms are going away for the FIRST time in over 5 years. I can’t tell you the hope that gives me.

No, I don’t have the extra weight to spare and Matt was very sensitive to that. BUT, if my temps are higher and my metabolism is higher, I’ll lose it and then some. Quality is much better than quantity right now. The thought of my body working properly again far out weighs my fear of gaining weight. I’ve already had to face that and live with it for so long now. It’s hard to feel beautiful and sexy in a body that is not “you”. The humbling (at times emotionally crippling) experience has truly caused me to develop my inward character and beauty. And above all, isn’t that what we all aim to shine through anyway?

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 3:21 PM

@Joni

3-5lbs on an already overweight woman is not likely noticeable vs. having cold hands/feet, no energy, sluggish metabolism, irritability, etc.. I am *feeling* better and my symptoms are going away for the FIRST time in over 5 years. I can’t tell you the hope that gives me.

Wow, very well said!

Love the John Wayne quote, too.

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Dian February 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Not wearing deodorant and increasing fat will help pregnancy happen

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Amanda Z February 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I tried going low carb for a while. I didn’t have the hair falling out and such, but I gained a ton of weight and had severely decreased energy. I was ready to see a doctor about thyroid or adrenal issues it was the only thing I could think of that fit my symptoms.

When I mentioned it to a real food nutritionist, her answer was “if you want to loose weight, ditch the grains altogether. If your energy is lagging you’re consuming too many grains and sugars.”

So I listened. My energy didn’t respond, my weight gain continued. And then I got pregnant (lucky, in light of some of the above information). Almost instantly the carbs and grains went back into my diet. I must have intuitively known I needed them, because I started craving rice and sandwiches and buckwheat pancakes. I felt so guilty – like I was going to hurt my baby by eating these things I wanted so badly.

Thanks for clearing up the confusion over low carb/no carb. It clearly did not work for me, and I’m going to walk away from the guilt of eating grains during pregnancy. This baby looooooooves buckwheat pancakes.

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Kristin February 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

“And then I got pregnant (lucky, in light of some of the above information). Almost instantly the carbs and grains went back into my diet. I must have intuitively known I needed them, because I started craving rice and sandwiches and buckwheat pancakes. I felt so guilty – like I was going to hurt my baby by eating these things I wanted so badly.”

This is so me right now!!! I went low carb. Didn’t lose the much hyped weight. Now I’m about 9 weeks along and have been craving carbs so bad. Sandwiches and rice and coconut pancakes. I’ve been giving in and feeling horrible about it. Even though I soak the rice and the bread is sprouted.

I think I’ll join you and eat the foods guilt free! Clearly our bodies are wanting it for a reason.

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sara r February 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

I’m with you ladies! As soon as I got pregnant I started craving fruit and carbs (okay..croissants! ) I know better than to overindulge, but I also am not kicking myself over eating more carbs right now.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Mmmm croissants!

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Kendahl @ Our Nourishing Roots February 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Um, amen on the croissants!

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Alex Kombucha February 10, 2012 at 12:04 PM

All this guilt over food is ridiculous. It makes me feel terrible for everyone who is searching so hard for the right combination. And so many people trying to make money by insisting they have the answer when they themselves are just experimenting doesn’t help matters much.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:05 PM

@Amanda

Haha how cute that the baby likes buckwheat pancakes!

My former nanny from Guatemala was nursing her baby when she worked for us. She said that whenever she would eat a piece of sprouted toast, her breast milk would come in.

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D. February 11, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Beer makes breast milk come in, too.

I have to say I agree with Alex Kombucha. People doing all this stressing over what to eat and not to eat seems a bit ridiculous when half the world is starving. It’s ok to try to make proper grains by soaking or whatever, but I see (just in this thread alone) too many people stressing over food and I don’t think that’s a good thing.

Maybe all of you should read the book Healthy At Every Size by Linda Bacon, Ph.D. I’ve read it twice, and even though I’m not overweight, I can see where people put way too much stock in how they look vs how they feel. That is truly a sad situation to be in, for sure. HAES does a beautiful job of clarifying several issues.

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Donna Schwenk February 10, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Low carb killed my adrenals glands. Your body is suppose to have your insulin rise after you eat, when it doesn’t your body perceives that something is wrong so it over stimulates your adrenals to compensate. I found I needed more minerals and B vitamins just to get through the day. Sprouted grains were a God send. Made me feel like a million bucks without the huge sugar rush. It has been many years off of low carb but things seem to get better and better. My thyroid which was damaged about 25 years ago and I have been on thyroid meds for years, suddenly got better after years of inactivity. My doctor was scratching his head and said,” it was very strange”. He said I am an anomaly and I don’t fit into any of his categories. He decreased my meds and told me to come back in a month. Month later no fluke. So cool I can’t stand it.

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Raluca Schachter February 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Ann Marie, as far as I know about you (from what you shared with me and within your posts) you ate high protein before and now you increased carbs, with some immediate benefits. You told me once you were a “mixed type” when you got tested for your Metabolic Type (still don’t know who you did this testing with and how, but it doesn’t really matter now actually…I just hope it was accurate..). It is my understanding that if you really were a mixed type like you said, you shouldn’t actually be eating neither high protein or high carb. And you should “mix” a variety of foods, as stated by the metabolic typing program.
I guess in the end, everybody chooses whatever they think it’s best for them and fits their requirements better.
But in my opinion, these are the premises that everybody should consider when choosing their diet:

One’s biochemical individuality dictates one’s needs for nutrition. Everybody has a unique biochemistry and so food and nutrients will behave very differently in people.Two (or more) people can have the same adverse symptom or health problem for virtually opposite biochemical reasons.

The basis for nutritional needs is based in one’s genes, not in some philosophy or belief.

How nutrients affect one’s body chemistry, depends on the dominant system in the body: autonomic, oxidative or endocrine.

What makes one “acidic” has been demonstrated to make another “alkaline”. This sort of paradoxical response can only be predicted accurately with Metabolic Typing.

Some metabolic functions operate more efficiently when more acid or alkaline. There is no ideal pH for anyone person or any one system when this is considered. No more so than an ideal diet can suit everyone.

The goal of nutrition is to optimize cellular metabolic efficiency. This is done by eating a diet that fits your unique metabolism and eliminating blocking factors (that can be anything from reactive foods, hormonal imbalances, gastrointestinal infestations, heavy metals contamination, etc).

Sorry if I took too much “space”, but I felt the need to “chime” in. I see so many people going back and forth trying SO many diets that are not right for their unique nutritional requirements…I hope the above will serve as some “food for thought” for anyone that’s interested to consider metabolic individuality when choosing their diet.

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Alex Kombucha February 10, 2012 at 12:05 PM

sanity from Donna. No big surprise there! 🙂

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Alex Kombucha February 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM

oops – I mean Raluca. Nice to meet you! 🙂

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Jeanmarie February 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Raluca, you make a lot of sense.

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T. February 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

“The basis for nutritional needs is based in one’s genes, not in some philosophy or belief.”

This sums it up very well! I wrote it down so I can remind myself that when read different blogs that seem to always contradict each other or change their opinion later. It can be so frustrating. I’ve gone back to just focusing on nourishing, traditional, real food in whatever combination makes me feel good and not worry about any carb, fat or calorie breakdowns. Ahhh, relief!

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Gena February 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

I had the opposite problem. Higher carb made me fat (almost 200# at 5’4″), fatigued, cold and crabby. Going grain, gluten, dairy & sugar free along with a specific nutritional regime formulated using hair tissue mineral analysis has made me a different person. I’m am more steady in my mood & energy, my PMS symptoms have gotten significantly better. And as a nice side effect I have lost almost 3 pant sizes, I haven’t worn a size 8/10 since my teens. I am done having children (6 of them) and am looking forward to a long life with them, so lower carb is for me right now but my children & husband are fed properly prepared grains as part of their diet. I really think everyone needs to experiment on themselves, we are so unique. PS I think Mark Sisson is fantastic, not because he is so fit, but because he abhors dogma (his wife is vegetarian & he puts sugar in his coffee) He seems to live a pretty peaceful life as well.

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Jean February 10, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Gena,

Can you tell us more about the hair tissue analysis you had done? Sounds intriguing.

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Gena February 10, 2012 at 7:45 PM

You can read about Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis here: http://www.arltma.com/HairAnalysis.htm. This is the lab that does mine. I also work with this gal: http://www.tvernonlac.com/healingchronicillness.html.

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Christine February 11, 2012 at 9:17 AM

I also just wrote a post about hair tissue mineral analysis, also called nutritional balancing here: http://www.butterbelle.ca/pam-killeen/the-hair-tells-the-tale-nutritional-balancing-explained/

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Amelia February 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM

My personal experience so far is more in line with Tiffany and Gena. While eating what I thought was a normal, balanced, mostly whole foods based diet according to intuitive eating principles, I steadily gained weight all the way up to 268 lbs. Although I wasn’t tracking during that 2 year period after I stopped dieting for good, I can tell you it was pretty high carb. Since I was eating intuitively, I ate what I gravitated towards which was pasta, cereal, bread, etc. I have always loved the stuff. Even though I wasn’t binging or eating excessive amounts (I was really proud of letting food just be food and not getting crazy about it), I kept gaining weight.

Fast forward a year and I’ve been doing a low-ish carb version of Paleo/Primal (love Mark Sisson!) and I have lost a total of 50 lbs so far. That isn’t even the best part! I no longer have psoriasis on my scalp (haven’t needed to use my “special” shampoo for the whole year), my energy levels are up tremendously, and it appears that my fertility has come back. During the two years of intuitive eating my husband and I were unable to conceive at all. Most recently, I suffered a very early miscarriage, which although painful and sad, it was amazing to me that I finally had gotten pregnant at all.

All of this said, I plan to keep doing what I’m doing for the foreseeable future. I think that I was so metabolically broken that such drastic measures were indeed needed for me to start healing and rebalancing my hormones, etc. I like this post because it lets me know what to watch out for in case things change for me. I am not so wedded to this approach that I would blindly follow it if my body starts to let me know that it needs something else. I am following Chris Kresser’s healthy baby code, which leaves the amount of carbs open but gives some direction on the quality of them. I’m not pregnant again yet, but when I do get there, I will probably add in a bit more fruit, sweet and regular potatoes, and possibly some white rice to up the carbs somewhat. My first priority is health for me and my future child, so I’ll keep doing what has been working spectacularly well for me as long as that remains the case. I will also keep tabs on your progress because it’s interesting to me and it also lets me know of an alternative approach. It’s always good to keep your mind open!

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Jenny February 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Thank you, Ann Marie, for this post. I am 40 years old and trying to conceive. I have been eating low carb for a while. I am always cold, especially my hands and feet. I had not thought that it could be the diet. I have renewed hope that maybe if I change my diet I might be able to have a baby! All the best to you in your journey.

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Margaret February 10, 2012 at 10:05 AM

I’m wondering if you can clarify this statement:

“We don’t need to take Armour thyroid or maca or sixteen other supplements. We can just eat some waffles!”

Is this advice for a person who has not been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, rather for someone who has some symptoms of a lower than normal functioning thyroid? I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and take a full replacement dose of Armour Thyroid. This is an autoimmune disease I have had for 15 years (since I was 17). According to my endo, my thyroid pretty much no longer functions. It was destroyed by antibodies. I don’t imagine you are telling me that I can skip the Armour thyroid and eat some waffles and all will be well. I guess my concern is that there will be a person reading this blog that has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and truly needs to take a replacement hormone, but they think that they can stop taking it and just eat more carbs. I can totally see how someone without thyroid disease can suppress thyroid function by going low carb and then bring it up again by increasing their carbs. I’m just not sure this holds true for someone with an autoimmune thyroid disease. Interestingly, on his website (http://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection ) Chris Kressler says that most people who have autoimmune thyroid disease are gluten intolerant and that is what is actually causing the thyroid problem. Which doesn’t mean go low-carb, just avoid gluten. I’m currently on GAPS trying to heal damage from gluten so I have appreciated your tips on how to get more carbs while on GAPS 🙂

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Erin (Pretty In Primal) February 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I also have some concerns about people bandying around thyroid info- if someone suspects hypothyroidism, the #1 thing they need to do is see a good functional medicine practitioner so they can identify why their thyroid is low: do they also have insulin resistance or estrogen dominance or receptor site resistance? Are they gluten intolerant (you don’t have to have any GI issues to have gluten intolerance)? Is it autoimmune (which it is for a majority in the US)?
There are so many causes of hypothyroidism and while some people’s may respond by a simple dietary change, something more complicated like Hashimoto’s needs a comprehensive program to address the immune system dysfunction, because Hashimoto’s is not a “thyroid” disease, it’s an immune system disease that just happens to target the thyroid (but also the brain, joints and heart, to name a few) and is likely to affect other body tissues over time or develop into additional autoimmune diseases, even if they thyroid is being treated (hence the difficulty in resolving all the symptoms with thyroid meds alone…)

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Ann February 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I have to agree here.

And since insulin resistance was mentioned by Erin, I also think it somewhat irresponsible to suggest that eating more carbs could be the answer for someone with a thyroid imbalance.

It’s become pretty clear over the past ten or so years that things like insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are all markers for a thyroid imbalance, hypothyroidism specifically. Eating MORE carbs is certainly NOT the answer here, and any naturopath or endocrinologist worth their salt is NOT going to suggest that either.

Insulin is the “fat storage hormone” and over-stimulation of insulin through the metabolism of excess carbs can be extremely damaging to many internal organs. It is diabetes in the making for certain. Especially for women moving into middle age, whose metabolic systems are beginning to flag as part of the aging process.

I would be careful ramping up on carbs at middle age, especially if you are trending from a lower-carb plan. A common understanding of nutritional science and common sense about metabolism tells me this could be a recipe for diabetes.

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MotherGinger February 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

I’m glad you clarified that GAPS does not at all have to be low-carb. Too many people blame GAPS for being low-carb, when that was their own decision.

At the same time, high carb is not for everyone. Most people with broken metabolisms (and that is far more of us than we think) need to be low carb for healing, and then can return to regular amounts of non-grain, non-processed carbs. Some of the very lucky can recover metabolisms and even guts to the point where they can tolerate properly prepared grains again. Not everyone can.

But there’s no way you can tell me the menu you posted above is nutrient-dense. If that is typical for you, you are woefully deficient in protein and fat-soluble vitamins. This is *not* a recipe for fertility. (And btw, try telling some Inuit about the “need” for carbs for fertility.) It actually sounds like a great day for a sugar addict.

Low carb is not for everyone, but it is a very important tool for those of us recovering from years of damage to our hormones & guts from SAD eating. High carb is not for everyone, either, even among those only eating “primal carbs” and with full health. An average of 50-150g carbs per day through most of the year (more in summer and early fall) doesn’t sound bad at all. It’s “low” by “6-11 servings of grains plus 5-9 servings of produce per day” USDA standards, but not by the standards of what is available and preparable in nature, not to mention human history.

Many problems attributed to low carb are actually from lack of emphasis on plenty – PLENTY – of broth, ferments, and organs. Others are from lack of attention to circadian rhythms, cortisol, steroid hormone status, or iron status. Still others are due to low carb being inappropriate for that person in that stage of his life – but it’s important to realize that that is not always the case.

Listen to your body.

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MotherGinger February 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Jaminet does NOT concur that you could eat waffles instead of organ meat (which is what thyroid is, after all. Armour has fillers; I’m not promoting that). He suggests “primal carbs” and for some, in certain contexts, rice.

I think your excitement at feeling better may be getting the best of your rational thinking right now. I’ll be interested to know how this is working for you two years from now.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM

I did not say that Jaminet said we should eat waffles.

I said I am going to eat waffles.

Whatever anyone else wants to eat is up to them.

Jaminet said that, too: “Let everyone design the diet that is best for them. And there is room for difference of opinion about the optimal carb intake.”

And by the way, I don’t agree with everything Jaminet says, either. There are plenty of cultures who have thrived on carbs other than rice and tapioca starch. I do not believe there is one perfect diet for anyone.

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MotherGinger February 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I’m just looking at how the phrases played out in the post, one after another. It does look, from how you wrote it, like there is a good possibility Jaminet supports your contention that gluten can help fertility.

Jaminet:…….””
CS: “yay! We don’t have to take Armour! We can just eat some waffles!”

The whole article could lead to some very ill conclusions if the reader takes the info only from what she reads here.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

@MotherGinger

I think my readers are smarter than that.

I differ with Jaminet in that I do not believe there is any reason to avoid gluten unless you have abnormal gut flora/leaky gut.

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Durga Fuller February 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Hashimotos Thyroiditis would be another imperative to going gluten-free.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

As I always say, some people need to be gluten-free and even grain-free for a period of time.

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Tracey R February 10, 2012 at 10:13 AM

I don’t think I’d be responding to your post the way I am right now if you hadn’t started out by saying low carb isn’t for everybody, then called it a “bandwagon” and a “fad”, and then ended by concluding that high carb *is* for everybody. The balance is in the middle.

Low carb *is* for me. My youngest, conceived when my husband and I were a month shy of 40, was a one-shot deal. We know that, because one or the other of us had been out of town for 5 weeks, with one little one day break in the middle of it. Before that, I’d lost 45 lbs. in one summer and kept it off. I’d gradually increased my carb intake to around 45 g./day–which is what you’re *supposed* to do: find your own limit. We were both eating low carb, Traditional Nutrition-style at the time (grassfed, organic stuff, but no grains, potatoes or sugars in any form; vegetables and fibrous fruits).

When I go over my own limit, I bloat up with water overnight. I feel like I have the flu. I can’t get good sleep. That will happen the very night I eat over my limit. Doesn’t matter if it’s sweet potatoes, hominy, sprouted rye bread, or plain wheat pasta, or an apple. Or cheese. Boom, I’m sloshing and sleepless.

Obviously you have a very high limit. The science out there says if you reduce your carbs to nearly none, and then gradually increase them by 5 g./week using a specific sequence of fibrous fruits, vegetables, nuts and cheeses, you will not only find your limit, but you’ll also discover foods that might trigger various symptoms that could have remained jumbled in an “all in” diet. From what I’ve seen, Paleo and Primal don’t do that, and while there is some science borrowed from low carb, the whole premise is based on what it is *thought* people ate pre-agriculture.

I’m very appreciative of so much your share, most recently your exploration of adrenal fatigue, which has convinced me to cut way back on coffee (I’ve never been too much on alcohol). It’s just you’re contradicting yourself in this article. It’s completely ok to say “This just didn’t work for me” without taking the tone it won’t work for anybody (regardless of saying “more power to you” at one point–the overall tone is low carb is bad).

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Tracey R February 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

This is actually what the original Atkins recommends. Some of the really good doctors besides Atkins who not only research but have plenty of field observation are Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, Dr. J. Bowden, Dr. Rosedale, and Dr. Richard Bernstein. There are several more, but reading the websites and blogs of these doctors is quite an education.

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EricsGirl February 10, 2012 at 7:50 PM

This bothers me too. I usually enjoy this blog but I’ve come to learn that, like many of us, AnnMarie is experimenting to find whats best for her. In the meantime there are posts that seem to indicate the panacea has been found for all these problems, only after a couple months it’s a totally new post contradicting the old post. I get it, it’s part of the learning journey, but I think you have to be careful with language. That’s fantastic that you’ve found something working for you better than what you were doing two months ago, and two months before that, but that doesn’t make it so for everyone. Calling low-carb a “fad” is going to put off those people who really thrive on low-carb diets. I think it’s great to share your experience with others which may help those who don’t thrive on low-carb, but it’s important to understand we’re all different and some of us will function well with different levels of carbohydrate. I feel like the posts where thing are said like, “If low carb is working for you, more power to you!”, are undermined by language calling paleo/low-carb a “fad”, “bandwagon”, etc. Just my two cents.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 8:57 PM

@EricsGirl

Sorry if you don’t like the way I write. I am a very passionate and enthusiastic person. That’s just my personality.

I do believe low carb is a fad. There are a LOT of people online these days saying that everyone should be low carb. I actually had a woman on Facebook tell me that the reason I can’t lose my belly fat is because I still eat grains.

I don’t care if calling it a fad puts people off. It’s what I think. I can’t please everybody so I don’t try to.

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EricsGirl February 10, 2012 at 10:17 PM

I don’t not like the way you write. If that were the case I wouldn’t follow your blog. I might disagree with you on occasion though! I’m merely trying to point out that calling low-carb or paleo a “fad” (which I think most would agree is derogatory), and insinuating they’re just temporarily in fashion is a bit myopic and totally discounts the very real experiences of those people who truly thrive on a lower carbohydrate way of eating.

I don’t doubt for one second it didn’t work well for you and I genuinely appreciate you sharing how you “righted your ship” so to speak, because I’m sure there are plenty of people who find themselves in the same position as you, metabolically.

You say “There are a LOT of people online these days saying that everyone should be low carb”, but it seems to me your are saying the exact opposite in a similarly dogmatic way. By saying low carb/paleo are just fads, you are essentially saying “no one should be on low carb”. I noticed on your Gaps Myths post you quoted Paul Jaminet in the following: “…supercentenarians generally eat low-carb, high-fat diets.” So were these people on this “fad” diet you speak of?

I just don’t think there’s room for dogma in this conversation. I don’t think it benefits anyone. Some people will thrive on very few carbs, and some will wilt like a flower on that very same diet. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and in my own home. It requires experimentation (like you are doing) and an open mind.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:10 PM

@Tracey R

“ended by concluding that high carb *is* for everybody.”

I don’t think I said that. I said that if low carb is working for someone, they should keep doing it.

I do NOT believe that high carb is for everybody.

The bandwagon comment is addressing the low carb craze that is proliferating on the internet. People have become terrified of carbs.

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Sandy February 10, 2012 at 10:21 AM

YEAH! I have suffered the “low thyroid” symptons, but bloodwork never reflects the same.
I’m going to try it. Thank you so much for sharing this. Mmmm, almost sounds too good to be true.

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Ann February 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

It probably is.

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D. February 11, 2012 at 8:11 AM

I wanna know why people rely so heavily on those bogus thyroid tests being performed at doctor’s offices all over the country? About 99% of the blood testing performed for any reason, not just thyroid, are so inaccurate as to be misleading in many ways.

Someone in a comment prior to mine here, mentioned a functional physician – that’s who you would really need to see in order to evaluate your proper body function. Thing is, your body changes from minute to minute, day to day, month to month (especially women). We have so many issues being blamed on foods which are probably more an issue of body imbalance or hormone imbalance, etc. Some can be corrected by foods, yes, but some cannot.

I’m just saying don’t rely too much on those tests, without taking the whole picture into account. I see so many people who are taking drugs for things which could be easily fixed by just listening to your body. If your thyroid is out of whack, there will be symptomatology and you probably don’t need blood testing to tell you that something needs to be done. Like iodine (which people are afraid of because of the modern medical industrial complex leading you down the garden path).

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Connie February 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM

I read often, but rarely comment. Just wanted to encourage you. I’m not a low-carb person. Just a real food person. I do TRY to properly prepare all our whole grains. I am 44 and expecting a baby in May. It can happen. I’ll be praying for you 🙂

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Connie, thank you!

Big hug!

xoxoxo

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Lori February 10, 2012 at 9:21 PM

@ Connie,
Congrats on your baby. I’m 41–almost 42–and trying to get pregnant. I love news like this! It gives me hope.
Lori

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Cranberry February 10, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Thanks for writing this post. I’ve been on-and-off paleo for the past several years, trying to rededicate myself to the diet each time only to find myself going nuts and feeling tired whenever I went low-carb. I would up my intake of fruit and sweet potatoes, and added white potatoes back into my diet, and felt much better. But always something would nag at the back of my mind that I needed to cut out the fruit and potatoes…and the cycle would start all over again.

I decided to listen to my body just before Christmas. I ate oatmeal, didn’t pass up a taste of dessert at holiday dinners, and let myself indulge in mom’s incredible sausage and bread stuffing at Christmas dinner. And I felt…wonderful. Satisfied by food for the first time in months, and not rushing to fill my cravings with more jerky or coconut milk or roasted meats.

I love all paleo foods, they are real foods and satisfying for the most part, but I found I was just not feeling great eating that way. I got pregnant shortly before Christmas with our third baby, and the usual morning sickness rendered most food unpalatable to me shortly after the New Year started. I ate a peanut butter sandwich and drank a glass of milk one day to calm my hunger, and I felt like I’d just had a 5-course meal at a fancy French restaurant. Clearly, if eating like that was satisfying me, I was doing something right.

Paleo hardcores would say I am doing the equivalent of soothing alcoholic shakes with a drink. I don’t know if it’s that serious. I just know that eating a high amount of carbs and including grains has satisfied my appetite for the first time in a long time. I use WAP real food principles to cook our food, no longer shy away from flour or thickeners when making sauces or browning meats, and am perfecting my long-abandoned sourdough baking skills.

The other night, I made a chicken stir-fry over white rice and used tapioca starch to thicken the sauce; usually I would just leave the sauce thin and watery because starch thickeners are “bad.” Well, it tasted of velvety smooth loveliness and coated the rice, chicken, and veggies perfectly. My husband said it was the best stir-fry I’ve made in a long time. Enough said.

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MotherGinger February 10, 2012 at 10:24 AM

BTW, my low thyroid symptoms started years before I went low carb, worsened in the waning years of “properly prepared grain” use, and finally have started to improve while following much of the advice on neurologist Jack Kruse’s blog: http://www.jackkruse.com. During this time, mostly b/c my gut simply can’t tolerate anything but non-starch veg carbs, I’ve been VLC, yet have many signs of improving thyroid & adrenal function.

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Katie February 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

While I think everyone should eat however they feel is best for their health, I don’t agree that people like Mark Sisson and many other primal/paleo bloggers are promoting a low carb diet…certainly not under 50 carbs a day for most people or for a long-term diet. It’s obviously lower carb than many average Americans, who wakes up to cereal, has a white bread sandwich for lunch, a 100 calorie pack of cookies for a snack, and a pasta dish for dinner – but for the average, decently fit, not super active person, 100-150 carbs a day allows for a substantial amount of fruits and vegetables that are fairly high in carbohydrates, and I personally believe are a much better/healthier way to eat those carbs in comparison to grains, regardless of how they’re prepared. As I’ve seen stated, paleo is a low toxin diet, not a low carb diet.

However, with all that said, I do agree that the idea that *some* people seem to have that healthy carbs should be avoided the say way high fructose corn syrup should be avoided, is just nonsense. Short term, low carb can be helpful for many people in repairing damaged bodies – long-term, in general not very healthy… most people should enjoy plenty of starchy vegetables and yummy fruits on a regular basis – and maybe even the occasional properly prepared grain…though that last one’s just not for me 🙂

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Susan February 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Of course I won’t throw my potato at you, Sweet Pea, because I plan on eating it!! With LOTS of butter!

Ann Marie, I just love you because, with your suggestions, I have made my biggest strides in recovery. But returning to carbs has been an absolute blessing from above!

I have struggled with my temps for years. At one point I was put on Cytomel to bring them back up. Which it did, but as soon any situation made me falter, my doctor upped my dose to bring them back up. I ended up being hyperthryoid, so he took me off cold turkey. I later found out that stopping thyroid meds that way can be deadly. Which didn’t surprise me because at that time I felt like I was dying. Needless to say my temps absolutely plummeted. In retrospect, I have suffered with adrenal issues for most of my life, but that situation started a complete down-fall that I am still trying to recover from today.

When I burned out to the point of total bedrest, my new doctor took me off everything. He told me to limit my carbs because it would be too energizing to my adrenals. No sugar, no fruit, no caffeine, no alcohol and especially, no wheat. He said it clogged the thyroid. I felt like it would have been easier to graze on the grass in my backyard. But I listened to what he said and was pretty much living a paleo lifestyle, although I didn’t know it then. While I finally got off of bedrest, I am still house-bound three years later.

I was so frustrated! I felt schlumpy, fat and like a potato. I couldn’t understand if I was eating so well, why wasn’t I getting better during those three years? Well, Ann Marie to the rescue!! When I read about upping my carbs to bring up my temps and feel better overall, it made total sense to me. I had no fear in giving it a whirl because I’ve got nothing to lose! So I set off to eat, and eat, and eat and this is what is happening to me 2 weeks in….

Have I gained weight? I don’t know. Before my adrenal crash I was a size 6 (when I was on Cytomel and hyperthyroid, I was a 2). I blew up to a 12 while on bedrest. So if I gain a few pounds from this experiment, although it will frustrate me, it won’t matter because I want to get well and have this weight fall off because my body and hormones are running as they should. It WILL happen and if eating like a pig will move that process along, then how fun is that? I wish I was on a cruise!!

What I have noticed is that within days, my temp was up. My BBT on day 6 was 98!! By 9 am I am even a bit over 98.6 and stay there all day….if I keep eating! I feel better (although the first few days I felt like crap, but I kept eating because I knew it was the physiological changes happening in my body). My energy is returning. I still play it slow because I don’t want to overwork my adrenals, but yesterday I went to three stores and then cooked for three hours. While that may not sound like a big deal to you, this is huge for me. Remember, I’ve gone days and weeks without being able to leave my house.

My family says I seem better and I look better. In only 2 weeks! I am going to ride this out and see what happens, but for now I am really impressed! And BTW Ann Marie, my husband wants to kiss you because since he has been having a bit of sugar before bed, he has slept the entire night through without having to pee. He says it has been years since he has had a solid 8 hours of sleep without having to pee. So awesome!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM

@Susan

Thank you for posting.

Your comment brings tears to my eyes. Tears of joy!

HOORAY for you!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are so many doctors out there giving terrible advice. I can’t believe he told you that wheat would “clog the thyroid”. WTF does that even mean!?!

And I laughed at this: “I felt like it would have been easier to graze on the grass in my backyard.” Gosh, I can relate to that so much. We limit and restrict and get so crazy with our diets that it seems so ridiculous and hard.

Eating should not be this much work! It should be fun and it should not make us stressed.

I’m so very pleased that you are feeling better. YAY shopping in three stores and cooking for three hours! So very wonderful!

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Beth Stowers February 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

One day, awhile back, I posted on FB about all the foods I couldn’t eat because of my low carb diet. My sister-in-law responded and asked me, “So what are you eating? Grass?” LOL

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 11:32 AM

@Beth Hahahaha!

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D. February 11, 2012 at 8:41 AM

@ Susan: I agree with your post, pretty much, except for the part where you’re talking about what “size” you were/are. When I was in high school in the late 60’s and early 70’s, most of the girls were a size 10 or 12. We were not fat or even plump. This was considered very normal and all the boys called us “healthy looking”. A girl who was a size 6 was absolutely Ethiopian. Ugly. Skinny. Bony. The boys/men did not want to be with a size 6 and they probably don’t now, either. Men like a body with curves, not bones. Ask them! Besides, curvaceous women are much more suited to bearing children. Don’t believe me? Search it on the web or read a book about body shapes. Those curves and even those padded hips are there for a reason girl.

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Susan February 11, 2012 at 11:16 AM

@ D- I live with an Italian man, so believe me, I get what you are saying. My point was that I had been a size 6 my entire life (except after pregnancy) and after my adrenals crashed I ballooned up in no time. It seemed like the fewer carbs I ate the worse I felt and the more weight that came on. It baffled me because I was no longer having a mocha and a muffin from Starbucks several times a week. I was no longer having my nightly cocktail. I wasn’t eating fruit, or pasta, or toast, or biscuits. It was meat and veggies, meat and veggies and enough water to fill a lake. I realized I wasn’t able to get up and exercise (heck, at one point I couldn’t even walk by myself, I was so weak) but I figured cutting out all the carbs would help my weight sustain itself. But every time I had to get dressed to go somewhere, the pants I had just bought for my new size, didn’t fit any more. Its a hard pill to swallow when you are accustomed to being a certain size all your life.

I’m trying to love my new curves. Right now it is the least of my worrries; I just want to feel better. That is why I’m not concerned about gaining weight for a while by carbing up. If It makes my hormones level out then I am all in. And I don’t need to worry about bearing children! I’ll be 47 in two months with a 17 year old at home. There are no babies in my future. But I agree with you, a woman with a little padding is so much hotter than someone stick thin like Angelina Jolie. She is a beautiful woman in desperate need of a burger!!

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Kathy (aka Mrs Dull) February 12, 2012 at 6:55 AM

Just wanted to add that a size 12 in the late 60’s is a completely different size than a size 12 now. Women who buy vintage clothes or sew from vintage patterns have to keep this difference in mind. Here’s a link to an article discussing the differences if anyone is interested. Vintage sizing vs. modern sizing

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Mary @ Homemade Dutch Apple Pie February 10, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I too did GAPS and was eating way too low carb. For the first 6m or so I felt great…then everything went downhill. I felt worse and worse and couldn’t figure out why. I was doing everything “right.” I have recently added some grains and starches back in. Huge improvement in my mental state. My OCD is a lot better. My anxiety is better. My mood overall is better. I have gained a few (much needed) pounds. Oddly enough I find that I tolerate wheat quite well, but not really starchy things like corn, potatoes and rice. I’m wondering if it’s a sugar/insulin thing. My digestion has really improved since adding grains/carbs back in. According to metabolic typing I’m a carb type…so I guess this makes sense. One of the major things I’ve noticed…my intense sugar/chocolate cravings that I had daily, especially when anxious or stressed, have almost totally vanished! I feel satisfied after I eat. And when I’m stressed I don’t even think about chocolate. Thank you for being so open and bold about your journey. It really helped me be brave enough to try something new. I thought GAPS would cure everything for me. I was wrong!

http://voogtrecipes.blogspot.com/2012/02/mood-brain-diet-my-current-status.html

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D. February 11, 2012 at 8:52 AM

I would be very suspect of all this metabolic typing stuff. You don’t need that in order to know what your body wants – it will crave what it needs (and wants). Seriously.

Also, I know nothing about the GAPS diet because I don’t follow that sort of thing, but it was mentioned somewhere in one of the comments above that GAPS is not low carb. I have no idea if it is or not, nor do I care, but someone better straighten this out with real excerpts from the book or something, otherwise you’re gonna have a whole bunch of misinformed people.

Most people KNOW what’s healthy. Butter is healthy, veggies are healthy, meat is healthy, raw milk and cream is healthy, eggs are healthy. It is the “health” of our foods we need to be careful of these days. Pastured chickens and their eggs, grass-fed beef, etc., are all good things. Some people cannot afford to eat that way and thus become discouraged and start eating out of a box or a can again. Even if you can’t afford “the best” of everything, you’re still better off with real veggies and some meat and butter of any kind, rather than resorting to the SAD plate. Maybe once they are used to eating REAL food, they will make a concerted effort to cut down on treat items and junk foods, and put their money towards better quality. But you can’t force people to do that. Telling them that eating an organic veggie is the only way to go is like telling them if they can’t afford organic they might as well give it up, so they go back to doing what they’ve always done because they feel defeated. Real food, no matter what quality you have to start with, is still better than food from a box or a can. It’s hilarious to go up and down the aisles at the grocery store and just TRY to find one item which doesn’t contain soy oil or soy lecithin. Nearly impossible. So those are not good choices.

I probably didn’t say this all quite right, but do you get my meaning?

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Maria February 10, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Is your BBT lower on average than the temps you cite? (you said you are averaging 98.2 but I am wondering if that’s a daytime temp). I currently chart my BBT but I don’t take temps later in the day… wondering if I should start!

Also, you indicate a stable temp is better, but I thought it was natural to see cyclical variation (rising after ovulation, high during the luteal phase, then dropping again…)? Can you comment? thanks!

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Paula February 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

She is referring to seeing a chart that does have proper hormonal shift at the right times, but is otherwise fairly smooth. With adrenal fatigue, you will always see jagged, mountain peaks all over the place, chart. Sometimes so bad, it is hard to see the thermal shifts when they do occur.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM

98.2 is my average daytime temp lately. I’d have to check but I think BBT averages around 97.9.

Stable temp is better but you will see a rise after ovulation. I’ll have to post a pic of my chart so you can see what I mean by stabilization.

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Jenn@ Leftover Queen February 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Here are my thoughts. Food has become a religion for many people based an faulty facts. Everyone is looking for the magic bullet, and there isn’t one. There is DNA, environmental factors, stress, physiology, lifestyle to look at in every single person. There is Paleo, Primal, The Blood Type Diet, the Dukan Diet, Slow Carb and everything in between and people are stressing themselves out so much about what to eat, how much of what and when to eat it. I have heard you should only have fruit in the morning before you eat anything. But that to reduce the insulin shock to your body sugars should be consumed with protein and fat. Or you should avoid sugar all together. The list is endless. The stress of this will kill you faster than carbs, dairy or whatever (provided that you don’t have an allergy). We have been discussing on my facebook wall a lot lately about the maligning of wheat and what I have begun to call the “Italian Paradox” people who eat copious amounts of white bread and pasta (no soaking, no sprouting, no fermenting of grains) while living very healthy lives with very little diabetes and heart disease, and some populations like the Sardinians have the highest rate of people living to be in their 100’s than anywhere else in the world! I personally am allergic to gluten and do better on less grains, but my husband is like you (he is also Italian) and his body does not do well on my kind of diet. We have tried. So I think people need to wake up to the fact that sometimes following these types of diets can be just as bad for us as “fad diets” because of the stress you put yourself through to maintain it. That is why I like WAPF, there is no cutting out any particular food group, so it is very balanced.

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Jenn@ Leftover Queen February 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Oh and I have also been trying to raise my body temps and have seen similar results as you have Ann Marie (different protocol, but still results!!) So congrats to you! I hope soon we can both be congratulating each other on conceiving!

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EricsGirl February 10, 2012 at 8:01 PM

I love your post, Jenn. I think we worry far too much. Of course, coming off of the SAD diet I was very ill. I started with WAPF which was a vast improvement but I have had to do some experimenting for further healing so I understand the need for searching out what we need as INDIVIDUALS. It’s no surprise to me that you and your husband thrive on different diets. I don’t think low carb is a fad/bandwagon/etc, I just think some people thrive better on it, and some people thrive better on higher carbs. We’re each so unique and it’s a journey. What’s working for AnnMarie may not work for someone else. It’s fantastic she shares her experience because someone may have the same issues she has, but I think the posts seem a bit dogmatic at times.

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Jenn@ Leftover Queen February 12, 2012 at 9:56 AM

I agree with you EricsGirl, and I am glad to hear that you are feeling better coming off the SAD diet. I think just in doing that people make VAST health improvements! Here’s to your health!

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Diana February 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Thank you for putting this out there. While you might expect to get a lot of flack for this post, I think you will get a lot of appreciation too.

I have had a similar experience with carbs. I have “classic insulin-resistance hormonal issues” and was always told it was because I was very overweight. Went low carb 3 years ago and lost 80 lbs. Well hormonal issues did not improve but got way WORSE!!!!! Plus I had new issues of depression, anxiety, fatigue. insomnia, and digestive problems! Low carb was a really bad idea for me even though I was very overweight and I kept carbs at 60g a day.

It has been 3 years of low carb for me, most of the time not rigidly but just trying to “be good” like you mention. If I up the carbs, even if it is still relatively low carb, I put on weight. I hadn’t really put 2 and 2 together until your recent posts. Not really sure what the heck to do now really??? On GAPS now, which has helped other things so looking into increasing carbs.

Thank you for bucking the trend and putting this out there.

PS: Had adrenals and thyroid checked out in consult by Rind and check out fine, he can’t make heads or tails of it.

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Rachel February 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I find that my sex drive actually comes back and then goes through the roof when I’m low-carb (40-120 grams a day, about 60 average)!!! To me, this says that grains & sugar have a dampening effect on my body. I know I’m a sugar addict, so I have to be careful. I also have 50+ lbs to lose (16 down so far, but really want to get down another 50 or so). When I get to goal, I plan on monitoring myself closely, but allow controlled amounts potatoes, rice, more fruit. I current eat some of these foods in small amounts each week (not daily).

Glad you feel better with more carbs/grains. I know they make me nuts (mood swings, bloating, weight gain, lack of interest in sex or being physically active, joint pain, compulsive overeating, and the list goes on).

Two years ago I was working with Matt Stone via email messages. I had lost a ton of weight (I since got pregnant and had a baby, hence my overweight now) and was struggling to stay below 180. I applied his carb suggestion and I gained 10 lbs in one week! I’d worked so hard and that was so disappointing. I know I was supposed to even out eventually, but it was mostly depressing and triggering (cravings, overeating, etc.). Oh well. I think what he says make sense, it just doesn’t seem to play out properly for me.

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Annie Dru February 10, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I’ve very much enjoyed reading it these past couple of years; it’s got me thinking about so many different subjects and really opened my eyes and my mind to new and exciting ideas, but honestly… THIS BLOG CAN MAKE ME DIZZY! That in and of itself doesn’t bother me too much, but…

Usually Ann Marie, I find your tone to be calm, cool and collected (even if your positions can be a bit all over the map as you experiment) and this lends credence to your writings. But lately I hear an edge to your cyber voice that’s slightly disturbing… almost desperate; so much so that it’s actually become a bit off-putting to me. I think this is unfortunate because you clearly have so much of value to share with us all; not the least of which is your willingness to bravely act as our collective guinea pig! (:

You’ve confessed to experiencing some pretty stressful times lately, and boy, can I ever relate! At the risk of coming off as ‘holier than thou’ may I make so bold as to humbly and lovingly remind you to just… breathe… as I’ve had to remind myself almost daily of late? Frankly, we’re both of an age where we’re creeping up on the ol’ Change of Life transition, and that’s bound to shake us up a bit, yes?

I’m coming to think that maybe manipulating ourselves into ‘balance’ isn’t going to mitigate symptoms that are probably very wisely provided by our designer to bring us closer to something that resembles a stand-still in this hyper-speed world we’re living in; so that we can soberly re-evaluate the first half of our lives before we start in on the second.

Speaking for myself, it’s so easy to let my passion for health and wellness become a decidedly unhealthy obsession… especially when I’m under pressure of either an internal or external nature. I just feel compelled to FIX IT!

But I do take comfort in the knowledge that… when the rubber meets the road, it won’t matter whether we eat high, medium or low on the carb food chain because… NONE OF US IS GETTING OUT OF HERE ALIVE! Right??? In the grand and cosmic scheme of things, how important can it all be?

Perhaps taking some time away from all the blogs, books, etc, and just allowing ourselves some ‘play outside like a kid time’ might do more to align our metabolisms and hormones than all the temperature taking, carb tallying, food journaling, supplement popping, kettle bell lifting and otherwise scarring the bejesus out of ourselves that we can fit in a 24 hour period! It certainly would be more fun.

Many blessings,

Annie

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

You’ve confessed to experiencing some pretty stressful times lately, and boy, can I ever relate! At the risk of coming off as ‘holier than thou’ may I make so bold as to humbly and lovingly remind you to just… breathe… as I’ve had to remind myself almost daily of late? Frankly, we’re both of an age where we’re creeping up on the ol’ Change of Life transition, and that’s bound to shake us up a bit, yes?

So in other words, you’re saying I’m hormonal?

As I always say, I gotta be me. Sorry if you don’t like it.

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Amy February 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I think this is great advice for all of us, Annie. I often find when I develop too much of an “edge” I need to step back and breathe. Trying to do it right now with my life actually…

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Kelly Scanlon February 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

There is a BIG difference between “low-carb” and Mark Sisson…which is more along the lines of what grains, even whole grains, do to the body in excess. Check out the website http://www.trackyourplaque.com by Dr. William Davis. There is plenty of scientific proof and reason to keep track of your insulin levels. Insulin resistance is a HUGE problem in this country, and its link to heart disease, diabetes etc. Although I hate to label how i eat, I naturally follow a “WAPF-paleo” lifestyle which is in no means low carb! Squash, sweet potatoes, veggies, fruits are plenty enough carbohydrates to fuel yourself on. Not to mention plenty of healthy fats. I am not saying this is for everyone, but for me, it keeps my blood sugar nice and stable, no ups and downs in hunger and I do not have to eat every 2 hours. Now if others can eat 5 muffins/toast/oatmeal etc in a day and have perfectly fine insulin levels that’s great, but for a majority of people, I do not believe we were designed to eat that way. But of course, just my opinion 🙂

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Kelly Scanlon February 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Let me also add… eating Paleo to lose weight may not be the right intention. I do not eat that way to lose weight, as I am at a perfectly fine weight. I feel as though people need to get out there and exercise, get active and fuel themselves appropriately. If you get in tune with your body, you will feel the subtle clues it gives you after you eat a particular food. The diet mentality is the problem…

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Julie February 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM

My husband and I did low carb last summer. I do think we benefited in eating more protein and wonderful vegetables but it is a hard lifestyle to maintain. I would catch myself dreaming about the good old days of bread,rice,fruit and feeling defeated if I indulged. Now I am reading a book called “The French Don’t Diet Plan” and am realizing we Americans can really swing widely in our food obsessions and beat ourselves up over not being able to last on diets. Basically the French eat slowly,savor the food and stop when they get full. Of course the food they eat is real and full of lovely richness,but they eat bagettes too. Maybe what is needed is to calm down,get out the good china,light the
candles, gather the family,give thanks and taste and enjoy the meal.

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D. February 11, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Sort of what Julia Childs used to say, I think. And I heartily agree. We need to take some time, slow down and give ourselves a break from all this food craziness. I read the book French Women Don’t Get Fat or something like that and it made a lot of sense. I’ve been trying to get my husband to eat more slowly and chew his food before he swallows (men!) and he thought I was nuts until he started adding a few pounds here and there and couldn’t figure out why. WHY is because he’s not a spring chicken anymore and doesn’t do nearly the amount of physical labor he used to do, so a few changes and slowing down were in order. I think we’d all benefit from a plan like that, huh?

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Zippy February 10, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Excellent article! I also agree with Jenn@Leftover Queen – we have gotten so stressed out about what we “should” eat that the stress over what we eat is probably killing us more than what we actually eat. I’ve gone from a vegetarian to a Paleo eater back to more omnivorish eating, cause I’m sick of trying to weed out what I’m not “supposed to” eat. I’m admittedly lazy, and it’s just basically a big pain in the butt to make “special foods” to accommodate whatever frickin’ diet I’m on at the time, and to figure out what I should be eating at any given time. It’s also difficult to make most diets work well on a the strict budget of a worker bee like myself. Besides, I love my bacon, my sweet potatoes, my butter, my (wheat) bread, my pizza, my cheese, my wine, and my dark chocolate, and I just can’t seem to find one diet that fits everything I love. Not that I’m gonna excessively eat all those things, but I think it’s important to balance practical, basic healthy eating with the things you love. And enjoy your life instead of fretting over whether you’re following some diet prescribed by some “expert” as the magic bullet to to cure everything that ails ya. Diet is important, but jeez louise, you want to have a life too!

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D. February 11, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Exactly. Well said, Zippy! And if we don’t indulge occasionally, what is life all about, right? Sometimes I think, as we age, our bodies reach a “set point” and maybe that’s where we’re supposed to be. Sometimes our bodies are pretty smart! My body weight hasn’t varied more than 5 pounds either way since I went through menopause (started that little trip about 8 years ago) and even though I’m plump, I feel good and that’s what matters to me. I’m healthy for the most part, so that’s a big plus, too.

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HollymMead February 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM

A few years ago my health was pitiful and I was about 40 or so pounds overweight due to my 39 years of living on the SAD, so I started a NO CARB diet since that seemed to be the weight-loss rage. I had Eat Fat/Lose Fat, but I thought it sounded crazy because all the gurus were going low fat/no carb. I did lose weight rapidly, but I was a hag. Miserable. Depressed. A total cranky-pants. I decided I was happier in poor health and that I could not possibly live like I was long-term. So, I switched to a traditional diet of good fats (about half if my daily calories come from good fats. . .lard, butter, coconut oil) and added carbs back in. The very hour I added carbs back in my mood soared. And I kept right on losing weight and I did not feel deprived; I felt great. Even now when I start to feel funky I realize I’ve been easing up on carbs and I stack up some sourdough pancakes, or bang out some pumpkin muffins (or some oh-so-luscious coconut flour brownies) and I’m back in the happy saddle again! I have no idea what the science is behind my experience, but I know that I have kept off that 40 pounds for over two years without fear of carbs or good fats. You just have to think that good, traditional foods are GOOD FOR YOU and if something is new and trendy, and our ancestors didn’t find wisdom in it, then you might be slow to jump on the bandwagon!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:12 PM

@HollymMead Wonderful! Thanks for sharing

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Nan February 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Thank you for the great post.
I originally went low-carb to counter hyperinsulinism, which I had for years due to a major sugar addiction. Keeping insulin levels lower helped but then I went too low-carb, bought into the Paleo diet big-time. What happened over time is I would try to stay low carb, but at least once a week I would end up going on uncontrollable binges – would try to keep them to nuts, nut butter (lower-carb items) but would make myself sick!
Then I would tell myself there is something wrong with me that i couldn’t stay on low carb consistently, and would just ‘try harder next time’, not realizing that the fault wasn’t with me but with the food plan I was trying to follow.
I had serious depression, hair falling out, no energy, painful joints, no libido, etc.
The best thing that ever happened to me was when I recently read The Schwarzbein Principle.- she explained that keeping insulin TOO LOW is as bad as too high! And the importance of balancing insulin and glucagon.
I have started balancing my meals the way she says, and having a carb at every meal – but I do measure/weigh the carb. I feel so much better, my mood is better, I have more energy, I can work out again, and my bingeing has completely stopped – but i have gained a little weight, which she says is normal if you have screwed up your metabolism. But she says it will even out in time.
I also read Jaminets’ book, and am basically doing a combination of their diet and Schwarzbein’s – they are very similar – I just don’t do the grains that Schwarzbein allows. At least not for now. I stick with the ‘safe starches’ that Jaminet names.
As someone recovering from a lifelong food and eating disorder, taking the balanced approach, giving my brain the fats it needs, having moderate protein, and including a measured portion of carb at every meal, is making a big difference. I am starting to think I might actually be able to feel like a normal person if I stick with this way of eating!
Thanks so much for a great post!

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MotherGinger February 10, 2012 at 11:16 AM

My binge eating finally ended doing a leptin reset a la jack kruse. For me, it’s very low carb, because I had a lot of weight to use and a lot of carb intolerance problems. Point being, I binged like you did on low carb, but binged a lot worse on high carb. Bingeing didn’t stop altogether until I fixed my leptin problem.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:14 PM

@Nan Yes reading Schwarzbein is part of what convinced me to eat a more balanced diet

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Pancit February 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM

When I was doing low carb / no grains, my anxiety disorder and panic disorder went away completely. I take no medications. After doing Paleo for a few months, I noticed that my eyes and mouth started feeling really dry. My eyes were so dry, I couldn’t wear my contact lenses. When I bought Dr. Jaminet’s book The Perfect Health Diet, I followed his recommendation of adding “safe starches” to my diet. I added sweet potatoes and rice in minimal amounts (although I tend to eat sweet potatoes more because I gain weight when I eat too much rice and my face gets super puffy). Lo and behold, my dry eyes and mouth went away. I agree that everyone is different. We are all on an individual journey. Some people need more carbs than others. Some people thrive on meat only. To each his own! Although I have added back grains (rice), I keep a close eye on my portions, as I have a family history of diabetes and also had gestational diabetes while prego with my three kids. I don’t consider it a free-for-all. I think the key is to xperiment with different food, and find the diet that’s optimal for you.

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Pancit February 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM

When I was doing low carb / no grains, my anxiety disorder and panic disorder went away completely. I take no medications. After doing Paleo for a few months, I noticed that my eyes and mouth started feeling really dry. My eyes were so dry, I couldn’t wear my contact lenses. When I bought Dr. Jaminet’s book The Perfect Health Diet, I followed his recommendation of adding “safe starches” to my diet. I added sweet potatoes and rice in minimal amounts (although I tend to eat sweet potatoes more because I gain weight when I eat too much rice and my face gets super puffy). Lo and behold, my dry eyes and mouth went away. I agree that everyone is different. We are all on an individual journey. Some people need more carbs than others. Some people thrive on meat only. To each his own! Although I have added back grains (rice), I keep a close eye on my portions, as I have a family history of diabetes and also had gestational diabetes while prego with my three kids. I don’t consider it a free-for-all. I think the key is to experiment with different food, and find the diet that’s optimal for you.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:15 PM

@Pancit Wow, interesting!

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Chad February 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Thanks so much for this article! Thanks to you I found Matt Stone a few weeks back. As a 32 year old male I’ve battled fatigue (mental & physical), depression, etc for the past 3-4 years…almost the exact same time I started eating paleo/low-carb. The worse I felt, the less carbs I ate…thinking this would help. Last Sunday I stood in the cereal isle of Whole Foods…I was so afraid the Paleo Police were going to arrest me on the spot! So this week I’ve had cereral for breakfast everyday, which hasn’t happened in close to forever. And guess what…I felt better! I think it also helped that for the 1st time in forever I was able to spend 10 minutes making, eating and cleaning up from breakfast instead of the normal 30 minutes for eggs, sausage, etc. Therefore I was able to actually leave for work on time without being totally stressed out. This past week has helped me see that I’ve become 100% addicted to stressing about food. At this point I wouldn’t even care if eating more “unhealthy” carbs (grains, tubers, etc) causes me to gain a couple pounds. I’ve spent so much time and money on grassfed, pastured, organic, fermented EVERYTHING in the last few years that I need a break! My thyroid, cortisol and temps are all very low and I’m excited to see what changes come in the next few weeks. Don’t listen to the haters. I don’t care who’s right about which diet is “perfect.” I just want to feel better. And I appriciate that like me, you’re willing to adjust what you “knew” was right (low carb is better) in order to bring positive change to your health. How can I hate on vegans for not looking at history/research if I’m not willing to change my perspective if/when needed? As the co-owner of a small business (with my wife), father of a 20-month old daughter and soon-to-be father of a son, I have better things to do with my life and energy than stress about whether or not Caveman Carl would permit me eating a pizza and drinking a beer (not her) with my wife on a Friday night. Thanks again and preach on!

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D. February 11, 2012 at 9:35 AM

@ Chad: Bravo! Truly a healthy way to look at life – and food.

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Shelley February 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Thanks for your posting on this. I too fair a lot better when I increase my carbs. I am 49 and very athletic. I found paleo late 2008 and decided for the next year to beat myself over the head with that stick. I actually got worse, (was having sub clinical hypo symptoms and AF) putting on weight and feeling worse. the thing they called the carb flu, if I only had 20-25 gms of carbs, I couldnt move my legs, I was so lethargic it was awful, except I dont think it was carb flu for me. Interestingly there were MANY middle aged women on MDA complaining of similar problems with the diet. My theory, its fine for a lot of younger women that havent had their hormones screwed up for one reason or another, but us older and hormonally fragile women, we need to tread carefully. I am still a bit wary of carbs but I do eat more ie 150gms or so a day without a problem and feel so much better. My reverse T3 kicked up about 18 months ago, so I am on a low dose of T3, which tbh, isnt doing enough BUT most of the time my basal body temp is above 98 since I started taking it and lately during ovulation and the last half of my cycle I will see 99. I still have a lot of damage, I have no control over my body comp, I used to have a lot of muscle definition till about 3 years ago, and even though I do my intervals and practice vigorous yoga I can no longer influence that to any degree. If I over eat just a tiny bit, I will gain weight no problem. Its a PITA but I have to accept that the adrenal/thyroid issues are going to take a while to heal. My sleep is way better now and I think that is because I eat more carbs. when I was higher protein, I was getting up to pee at 2am and sleeping a lot worse.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM

@Shelley

Thanks for sharing.

“My theory, its fine for a lot of younger women that havent had their hormones screwed up for one reason or another, but us older and hormonally fragile women, we need to tread carefully.”

Unless of course those younger women want to get pregnant. 🙂

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kate February 10, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Loved this post! – wondering how long it took after you upped the carbs before your temps jumped up? I’ve been GAPs for almost two years, bought in to the low carb stuff for awhile but ate high carb while I was pregnant ( I have a five week old now) I don’t know what my temps were while pregnant, but now they’re 97.7-98.3. I’m not restricting any macronutrients or calories, and have been easing off GAPs with potatoes and milk and the like.
Just my two cents on low carb versus high carb – I don’t think carbs have anything to do with the benefits people see on GAPs and paleo, I think it’s it’s just the removal of foods that one is not digesting.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:17 PM

@Kate

I doubled my caloric intake in October. I did start feeling somewhat better then but my temps didn’t come up a lot. Some, but not a lot.

I didn’t really go heavy on the carbs until January. I’ve been testing recipes for the grains class so I eat lots and lots of carbs. Since I upped the carbs in Jan, the temps have really come up and my period is starting to regulate.

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sheila g. February 11, 2012 at 7:37 AM

Which leads me to robert what the role of contraceptives might be in all of this – an artificially induced state of elevated sex hormones that could disguise the harmful effects of VLC diets…

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sheila g. February 11, 2012 at 7:39 AM

Imen “wonder” not “robert”

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sheila g. February 11, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Cheese & crow! Sorry for the typos!

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Christine February 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Well, I can say this much. Several years ago, I went low carb and lost 30 lbs. I eventually got tired of the diet and was missing my carbs so, I added them back in. I slowly gained the weight back. But, while I was low carbing, I also was intermittent fasting, and shouldn’t have been, because my hormones were already wonky. Fasting is ONLY for healthy people. So, I fear that going low carb and IF caused my adrenals and thyroid to fare even worse. I also was tired a lot. Fast forward a little bit and I tried GAPS for 3 months. I did eat lots of honey and fruit but was still on the couch every day with fatigue. Fast forward again, and I thought I would attempt a Whole30. I made it to 14 days before cracking and adding back in raw dairy only to feel immediately better, only to follow that with grains again. Everyday on the Whole30 I felt completely drained, tired and starving! I was eating and thinking about food all.the.time! And I was eating lots of fruit and sweet potatoes. It just wasn’t enough.

This past summer I thought, screw it! I’m not going to restrict myself and allow myself to eat whatever I want. Guess what? I felt fantastic! I had more energy and was exercising even! Despite exercising and feeling great, I still gained a little weight over the summer. Here’s another hint – stress will cause weight gain. Over analyzing what we eat, depriving ourselves, not enjoying our food, and denying cravings I believe is far worse for us.

I have been toying with RRARFing. I can say, that I do feel so much better when at least eating potatoes, rice, sprouted corn tortillas, and sourdough bread. I think people might think you are overdoing it with the carbs right now, but you are RRARFing, and that is meant to be done for only about 30 days. Also when you have been low carb for so long, your body is probably just trying to catch up. Same idea when you have been low-fat for so long, when you start eating fat again, its like your body can’t get enough at first!

One final thing. People really need to focus less on their weights and more on their health. You CANNOT lose weight if you are unhealthy and your hormones are out of whack. I have come to accept that fact (I don’t really like it though). Our hormones are responsible for storing and releasing fat. If they aren’t working properly, how can we expect to lose weight? Even *if* you could lose the weight, you still would be an unhealthy slim person!

I am off to make hot chocolate, a baked potato and tapioca pudding!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Hugs, Christine!

Hot chocolate sounds good. And my nanny just went to the store to buy some tapioca for pudding. Yum!

I could not agree more with this: “People really need to focus less on their weights and more on their health.”

And you’re right, I am RRARFING (although I’ve been working way too much and not getting enough rest — working on that). I think it’s true that if you’ve restricted a food group for too long, you might need to go overboard and eat more of it for a period of time in order to get some balance.

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Shelley February 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM

really good point on the I.F!! ITS ONLY FOR REALLY HEALTHY PEOPLE AND NO ONE REALLY EVER MENTIONS THAT. I was going to mention that but forgot. I did the same thing, paleo and I.F, twice a week for a month. I felt ok while I was doing it, it was easy in fact, but I know in retrospect it did some damage. I had been under stress for a couple of years, my adrenals were giving out and my thyroid was going under. The guys that advocate I.F Brad P, Mike OD etc, they need to be really clear about who should do I.F. I actually looked on line at the time to see if there were any contraindications about who shouldnt do it, and I didnt see any so I went ahead. In retrospect I should have known better.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM

@Shelley

Who are Brad P and Mike OD?

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Shelley February 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Brad Pilon and Mike O’Donnell. Both are paleo oriented, more so Brad, whom wrote a book about I.F without ONE mention about who should and shouldnt do it. I thought that was kind of irresponsible.

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Jen February 10, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I am glad you are feeling better and I wish you continued health!

I feel best on a traditonal foods (broth, organs, ferments) low-carb diet but I do provide potatoes, bananas, lentils, rice, and sprouted bread for my family. I would like to eat higher carb but when I do I feel blah and get sick more. I am still very fertile with thick hair and have healthy babies eating this way.

As Dr. Price found, there is a wide range of ways to eat and be well in the traditonal foods context!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Agreed! That is one reason I love WAPF – there is no one right way

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Beth Stowers February 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I just started eating a lot more carbs a few days ago, and so far, it’s been amazing. I was very apprehensive at first, but it’s been good.

I had been doing Paleo and was afraid to even eat a banana.

A few days ago, I was sitting on the couch, trying to think of what to do for dinner. I could barely move, I was so tired. I was freezing cold. An errand I really needed to do got me up and out the door. I got some burgers and fries at In N Out and when I got home, I had a lot more energy and was able to put my kids to bed for the night.

I’m eating carbs now! 🙂 And my energy has been a lot better. Hopefully, my hair will stop falling out and I can regulate my temps pretty soon.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM

@Beth

“I had been doing Paleo and was afraid to even eat a banana.”

Gosh I can SO relate to that! It’s crazy how we become, isn’t it? Afraid of fruit!!! LOL!

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debbie February 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM

The Cheese is so hot it’s melting away! LOVE that you are ready to come aboard the Hot Chicks Cruise ship with Matt and Chris Masterjohn as acting captains!
🙂 Carbs are just the best things aren’t they?
deb xo

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

LOL! You always make me laugh, Hagalicious!

I think you should be Julie the Cruise Director.

I’m off to do some sunbathing on the Lido Deck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icAwcByaNtY

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Kathleen Escalera February 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Interesting article – I have been going back and forth on the carbs issue too. However, I think there is another point that is maybe more important too, that hasn’t really been addressed here, and that is the GMO (genetically mondified organisms) issue. I have read that GMO’s cause a lot of health problems including infertility – and a lot of grains unfortunately are GMO …. if they weren’t genetically modified we would not be having so many problems with them- I frankly, do not avoid carbs, but I just want to make sure they are healthy carbs.

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Dana February 10, 2012 at 12:16 PM

You should change your blog’s name to “grain slave.” That is all I ever see you talk about anymore and it’s getting really tiresome.

I know, it’s your blog. I know, you write it and you can write what you want. But it’s confusing to new people when they come here going “all right! Finally someone understands my love of butter and raw milk and full-fat cheese and fatty meat,” but then all you talk about is how awesome pancakes are.

Especially when GRAIN IS NOT THE ONLY PLACE YOU GET CARBOHYDRATES.

And just as a data point, NO low-carb diet except maybe the zero-carbers REQUIRES you to stay under 50g a day. Atkins, as an example, allows you to re-introduce carbs a little at a time to see where your personal tolerance point is–in fact, *encourages* you to do so. (Does anyone ever *read* the Atkins book? It’s available at many public libraries–it wouldn’t cost you anything! I find them at Goodwill all the time for a buck! Sheesh, people!)

But at the end of the day, we’re primates. And while some primates are mostly vegetarian (mostly–they still eat bugs, which last I checked are *animals*), NO primate eats grain as a matter of habit, EXCEPT us–and among humans, it’s *only* the domesticated humans that do so *on a regular basis.* Any human group that’s running farms and building cities, in other words.

I mean, we *do* still have people in this world who have not left the Paleolithic Age. While we’re on the subject of those, it’s worth noting that the only “primitive” groups that eat large amounts of grain are those who have no choice but to sit still–the ones who have chosen horticulture as a lifeway, or the hunter-gatherers who cannot move outside a limited territory because farmers would kill them, such as you see all over the place in Africa and South America.

Still–yes, they eat fruit; yes, they eat tubers; NO, they do not have pancakes for breakfast every morning.

The arguments about lectins and glutens are VALID. You should already know from your real-food blogging that a lot of the damage food causes is not immediate, and that’s why it’s so insidious. People don’t make the mental association between their food and the resulting damage if they don’t get immediate feedback. You could be experiencing improvements in one direction but setbacks in another and you won’t know til you start getting sick.

Dr. Michael Eades has an answer to your complaint about hair loss, if you were ever interested enough to look it up. And I know plenty of low-carbers who *don’t* get the hormonal issues you cite. In fact their hormonal profiles *improve* (think an improvement or reversal of PCOS!). I don’t know what the difference is between them and you, but I *do* know it’s silly to think someone will go infertile or become unhealthy or die without a food that would only be available for a few months out of the year if you were a hunter-gatherer and couldn’t store it. Could be you have downregulated some enzyme past the point of no return. I have no idea, and you don’t know either.

By the way, Matt Stone looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy after six months on Weight Watchers. If I were a smart guy I’d emulate the almost-sixty-year-old who looks about two-thirds his stated age, instead. But that’s just me.

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Heather February 10, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Honestly, I tend to agree with this, harsh though your tone may be, Dana.

I became severely hypothyroid when I was eating lots of grains on a regular basis. I was starting to trend toward vegetarianism, so my soy consumption was up, but not horrifically so. I blame a lot of factors for my hypothyroidism, but low-carb is not one of them.

My hair is not falling out, nor is my sex drive in the toilet. Far from it. My hair is growing lush and lustrous, my sex drive is high, and while my temp has not yet risen above 97.7, that’s a function of my TSH not being quite where it should be yet.

I eat mostly Primally now, have lost a few pounds doing it, too, and I feel great! I don’t feel I eat especially low-carb, as I eat vegetables and fruit, and the occasional bit of white rice when I have sushi, a la Perfect Health diet. I use honey and maple syrup in moderation when I make my coconut and almond flour treats, so that sure isn’t low-carb.

Please understand, Ann Marie, that there is a big difference between grain-free and low-carb. If what you are doing works for you, then great! But it doesn’t work for me, and for plenty of others who have found the Paleo/Primal paradigm to work better.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:28 PM

@Heather Soy will absolutely cause hypothyroidism. Just getting off soy and stopping the vegetarian diet would very likely cause your hormones to improve.

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Heather February 11, 2012 at 5:48 AM

I stopped eating soy (except for tamari and miso on occasion) almost immediately upon diagnosis.

Guess what? No change. As I said, I don’t just blame soy. I blame flouridated water I’ve had since I was a kid. I blame the stress of a pregnancy and nursing upon a body that wasn’t nourished quite as well as it could have been. I blame years of stress and adrenal fatigue. Soy is just one piece of the puzzle.

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Diana February 10, 2012 at 12:44 PM

FYI: I was diagnosed with PCOS. Was told by MD and naturopath the way to go was low carb. Did it, lost loads of weight… Problem fixed?? NO WAY, I got much worse! Then I was diagnosed PCOS + Anxiety/Depression and they wanted to put me on drugs!

I know that lots of people out there want to intellectualize every argument but the truth is we don’t know SQUAT about what is really going inside the human body or about proper nutrition. (This coming from a total left brain here.) Human beings are quite arrogant to think we do. At least the traditional cultures learned how to eat properly by trial and error (never really knowing why). But we have lost most of that now. WAPF is trying to revive it and IMHO that is our best shot.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:29 PM

@Diana

At least the traditional cultures learned how to eat properly by trial and error (never really knowing why). But we have lost most of that now. WAPF is trying to revive it and IMHO that is our best shot.

I am in total agreement

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Rachel February 10, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Hi Dana,

Okay, so I wouldn’t have put it the way you did or use quite that tone (I hate confrontation!). But I agree with A LOT of what you say : ) (see my post above)

I’ve had binge eating disorders since I was a small child, which then led to me being very overweight as an adult. I binged on sugar and grains, usually in combo, and of course some fat thrown in cause that’s tasty (think mounds of sugar-cinammon-butter toast).

For me weight loss and sanity means restricted carbs: no sugar, no grains (except maybe a small portion of rice occasionally). I do have fruit or some sweet potato a few times a week, but in very small portion. I’m 5’9″ and currently 234. I want to get down to AT LEAST 185. Then I will allow myself fruit and “safe” starches more often and in slightly larger portions. But there is NO way I should be eating starch at every meal. I get CRAZY! Cravings, bloating, mood swings, totally falling off the healthy food wagon and munching on bread, ben & jerry’s, candy, all the time, full on binges, food obsessions, joint aches, low libido, and the list goes on and on and on.

My rules: no sugar/sweets, no grains, nothing refined/packaged/processed.

Occasional treats (especially once I’m under 200 lbs) : some raw honey here or there, Ethiopian food with teff flat bread, coconut flour pancakes with a small bit of high quality maple syrup, stuff like that.

Modern grains and gluten are just plain dangerous for many people and I know that includes me. And of course refined/processed junk is bad for most everyone as well. Occasional bites aren’t problematic, but what if you’re dealing with an eating disorder, like me?

High fat, moderate protein, low-carb, keeps me sane!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM

@Dana

I have not read your comment yet — just squinting at it with eyes half closed because I can sense that it is nasty.

This sentence stands out at me like a flashing neon light: “Matt Stone looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy after six months on Weight Watchers.”

Wow. I can’t believe you wrote that.

I said PLAY NICE, people. Do we remember what NICE means? It means don’t say nasty things.

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Amy February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Not sure if you’ve seen a recent picture, but Matt’s body composition looks pretty good to me. He gained weight earlier (like over a year ago) recovering from a poor diet.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Yeah I ate dinner with him two weeks ago and he looks fantastic.

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Jenny February 11, 2012 at 8:19 AM

Yeah … he looks pretty darn good to me, but not as sexy as my rockin’ awesome husband. 🙂

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Gabi February 10, 2012 at 6:31 PM

OUch, that comment from Dana seemed rather unkind…

One thing Dana said really prompted me to want to comment…I’ll go out on a limb here, AnnMarie, and suggest that I can likely take some of the “hater” heat off you with what I’m about to say…..

Not everyone in this forum is an evolutionist…some of us (I am making a wild guess that I’m not the only CHeeseslave reader with the following beliefs) don’t believe that humans are primates… Some of us actually believe we were created/designed and that food was also created…and that we are designed to eat all real foods. Ack, how crazy is that?! LOL

In my mind, real food isn’t the enemy…it’s what we’ve done to it, and to ourselves and our environment. Decades of “scientific” manipulation has changed pure food into something less than optimal for our digestion…and then we add insult to injury and put the commercial food industry in charge of the American diet, and voila…harmful “food” … Not to mention what pharma/vaccines have done… Honestly, most of us were born with compromised bodies…then they were made worse by the modern practices of food and “medicine.” And let’s not forget that traditional foods look different than what modern Americans are used to…when animal meats were consumed, the animal’s organs and fat were also consumed. We need to eat that way. But we haven’t for many decades, and we have the scourges of the modern food and drug industries, and their misinformation campaigns, to thank for our myriad ailments.

If we heal our bodies and their digestive capabilities, if we eschew industrial/fake food and drugs and other environmental toxins, and if we learn how to prepare nourishing foods, we should be able to continue to thrive while consuming variety.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:31 PM

@Gabi

I agree with you!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:26 PM

@Dana

I know, it’s your blog. I know, you write it and you can write what you want.

Yes! If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it.

Re: lectins, Dr. Kaayla Daniel writes:

“The biggest problem with lectins comes when people eat an insufficiently varied diet. In one study, rats put on rotation diets showed significantly less damage from lectins than rats fed soy proteins continuously. Because the rats did nearly as well with the rotation diet as they did on a steady diet of high quality, low-lectin feed, the take away message is for us to eat a richly varied diet and to reduce repeated exposure to all lectinrich legumes, especially soybeans and kidney beans.”

http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/plants-bite-back

I don’t know what the difference is between them and you, but I *do* know it’s silly to think someone will go infertile or become unhealthy or die without a food that would only be available for a few months out of the year if you were a hunter-gatherer and couldn’t store it.

Did you read my post? Did you read Masterjohn’s quote about the hunter-gatherers who had to eat thyroid glands in order to have babies?

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Jenny February 11, 2012 at 8:17 AM

I have PCOS, and I saw it improved on a WAPF diet that included plenty of soaked grains, beans and lentils. In recent years, after reading about paleo/primal and low-carb diets for PCOS (I know paleo doesn’t equal low-carb, but I’m talking specifically about the push for low-carb for PCOS, despite several studies that indicate macronutrient intake doesn’t affect androgen status), I dropped my carb intake, went grain-free/very low-grain and menstrual disturbances as well as other markers for PCOS increased for me in those years.
Recently, I returned to the diet I was eating when I first found real food and Iconsciously added properly prepared grains and more pulses back into my diet and have seen my cycles regulate, my sleep improve and my waist-to-hip ratio improve. I don’t know about weightloss, since I don’t own a scale and care more about how I feel, how my skin looks and other markers of health than weight.

My point is this: there really is no one-size-fits-all diet as evidenced by the number of people who do well on paleo, primal, WAPF, GAPS, vegetarian, high raw, low-carb, high-carb, middle-of-the-road diets. Most of the people whodo well on these diets are cutting out refined oils, refined grains and refined sugars. Those are the big ones. This petty squabbling over % of carbs or the specificities of traditional diets which were, by the way, hugely varied seems futile and myopic to me.

My point is this: we should eat real food, optimally prepared, strive for balance, and lead a physically active lifestyle. Beyond that, you’ve got to figure it out yourself – keeping in mind that anything that is fundamentally imbalanced is likely to cause swings in health whether they’re immediately obvious or latent.

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Kendahl @ Our Nourishing Roots February 11, 2012 at 12:07 PM

My point is this: there really is no one-size-fits-all diet as evidenced by the number of people who do well on paleo, primal, WAPF, GAPS, vegetarian, high raw, low-carb, high-carb, middle-of-the-road diets. Most of the people who do well on these diets are cutting out refined oils, refined grains and refined sugars. Those are the big ones. This petty squabbling over % of carbs or the specificities of traditional diets which were, by the way, hugely varied seems futile and myopic to me.

A-freaking-men. It’s such a grand balance, to figure out what will work for your own body. Let alone trying to get a black and white nutritional program that works for every person everywhere. Now that’s what I call myopic. We are all different, and that’s what I love about WAPF too. There are guidelines, but no magic bullet. Which is a challenge for each of us to figure out what is best. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s an opportunity to gain self-awareness and greater health.

Plus, the bottom line for me, more and more, is to live life, be happy, smile, enjoy my food, and live passionately. I got too dogmatic (mostly in my head) at the end of GAPS, but for the most part I was able to embrace it like a friend and take what was best from the diet. And now I’m taking more time to consider other perspectives, like how grains aren’t the devil and I can have them again. It’s easy to get sucked into judgements of “good” and “bad” foods. But they are just food. We can be friends 🙂

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM

A-freaking-men.

Please do not use that sort of “profanity-lite” on my blog.

Haha just kidding!

But they are just food. We can be friends 🙂

Agreed!

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Alana February 10, 2012 at 12:21 PM

This is really inspiring! I have also had many successes by adding more carbs to my diet. Meeting Matt Stone changed my life! It helped my digestion get better and my nervous system to feel calmer, and my hands to feel warmer, but reading this makes me think perhaps I have not added enough carbs. My temp is still the same in the morning at 96.8. I am going to up the carbs even more. I gained weight, but am mostly (not completely) unconcerned about this; just want to heal the hormones! Thanks for this great post!

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Mary February 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Hi Cheeseslave,

Thank you so much for this post. I am glad to read the information you shared because I do find it very hard – – – I would say almost stressful – – – to eat less than 30% carbs per day. Like you, I like Mark Sisson but I find it really difficult to be like him…especially as a 53 year old post-menopausal woman. LOL!!! (PS – I had a baby at 40…and my friend had a baby at 43…it will happen! 🙂 )

Also – there is a really great sentence in Sally Fallon’s NT book where she mentions that healthy diets of native people often averaged a daily intake of 40% carbs, 40% fats, and 20% protein. So that sounds good to me! 🙂

I like how you wrapped up your post with the comment from Jaminet. The bottom line is that everyone has to design a diet that suits their body the best. When you eat right for your body, you know it because you feel great.

Thanks so much for sharing all this wonderful info.

Have a great weekend.

Love,
Mary

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Hi, Mary!

40% carbs, 40% fats, and 20% protein sounds perfect to me, too!

But like Jaminet said, everyone’s different!

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Rick February 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Here is a great link for all of my fellow Weston A Price eerz.
http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/food-journals-of-wapf-board
It is the Board of Directors food log. What they eat and % of protein, carb, and fat.

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Kathy (aka Mrs Dull) February 10, 2012 at 6:14 PM

This is so cool! Thank you Rick!

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Paula February 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Seriously! Reading comprehension has gone by the wayside, that is for sure!
I can’t believe the things some people are “reading” in this post!

This post could be condensed as follows.
IF you eat low carb, AND you have low thyroid symptoms, THEN eat more carbs.
Assess, by taking you temps to see if it helps.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Thanks, Paula.

You’re right. That is what I said.

Oh, and, if low carb is working for you, then keep doing it!

🙂

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StacyR February 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I haven’t read through all the comments so I don’t know if this has been said BUT we are all big on the “What did people used to eat” mentality and Well- just look in the bible! There was a big focus on grains and that was a big part of their diets.

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Joan February 11, 2012 at 6:40 AM

Except when they were eating lamb, goat, and beef!

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sarah February 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Love this post. If everyone can learn to ditch the experts and listen to their bodies their health would improve. Everyone is different listen to your cravings and eat real, whole foods. That is all you need.

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Sally February 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

So, is the pizza and nachos that you’re eating still properly prepared? I mean you don’t start eating store bought doughnuts, which are made with processed flour and unhealthy oil, do you? Just want to make sure… I LOVE doughnuts, but haven’t eaten one in a few years… I try to eat nutrient dense traditionally prepared food per NT and was eating minimal carbs, because of all the carb back lash, but now I’ve been adding in more carbs, like homemade sourdough bread. My husband is turning 50 this year and has gained unwanted weight around his middle over the last year or so. I’ve been confused about what direction to take to help him get rid of this. Maybe he could benefit from more carbs?

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Paula February 10, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Sourdough baked donuts. mmmmmmm.
You can make a sweet sourdough recipe, that contains nutmeg for flavor. Then cut out the shapes you want. Bake after rising, then dip in butter right out of the oven then roll in a a mix of raw sugar and cin.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 6:41 PM

If we eat at home, yes. I make sourdough pizza crust and homemade sprouted corn flour nachos.

If we eat out, we get pizza occasionally and we don’t worry about it.

I don’t like storebought doughnuts at all anymore. Way too sweet!

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Shelli February 10, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I found this post very interesting. Here’s my story…In 2008 I was diagnosed hypothyroid and had gained just under 100 pounds. I tried everything I found to lose it, but nothing worked. I eventually found WAPF and followed Price’s dietary guidelines (I still do). While I did FEEL better, I saw no improvements. My temperature constantly averaged high 95-low 96, and my weight didn’t budge. I switched to dessicated thyroid and felt better still, but no change in my body.

Four and half months ago I tried Mark Sisson’s advice and started eating roughly 75 to 100 grams of carbs a day, with absolutely no grain for the first 30 days. I lost almost 10 pounds the first month. I tried eating wheat bread (traditionally prepared), and gained 2.5 pounds (not kidding). I went back to grain free and dropped it. I then experimented with rice (again, traditionally prepared). I didn’t gain, but I also didn’t lose near as much that week. Back to grain free the next week and my weight loss was back to my average (just over a pound a week).

Since going “primal” I’ve noticed my mood is much better, my joints don’t ache, my frequent headaches have stopped, my skin has cleared up and is not as dry as it was before, and my hair stopped falling out. My blood work has improved a great deal, and my thyroid scores have finally stabilized (whereas in the past I had to have a dosage increase annually). Oh, and I’ve lost 21 pounds and am still losing.

I eat carbs in the form of fruits and lots of vegetables, and occasionally I will eat rice or something made from rice flour (since it doesn’t seem to have such a negative impact on me) or something sweet, but I find that “primal” eating is really working for me. So, I was surprised that it had the opposite affect on you. I think this really goes to show that you have to learn your own body and figure out what works for it, despite what may or may not work for others. We’re not mass market, one-size-fits-all people.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Thanks for sharing, Shelli

I agree, we are all different!

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Lee Deavers February 10, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Thanks for: listening to your body, for being objective, and reporting your results. I think this is exactly what my wife and I were experiencing. I am excited for you– I know people and family who have had children at 43 and 45 without any complications.

Best Wishes,
Lee

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Genevieve February 10, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Hi Ann Marie,

I was excited to see your post! I’ve done the low-carb thing with GAPS and Bee’s Diet for about 1 year and they didn’t improve my overall health. (I know it works for some, not for me.) I also remember having very low temperatures on these diets.

I also feel that people are misinterpreting WAPF findings as a “low-carb” AND high-protein diet.This just isn’t true.There were many cultures that he studied that ate ample carbs and low protein.The thing is, when you cut out the carbs, it’s VERY easy to go high protein because frankly there’s only so many vegetables you can eat and it’s hard to put down a pint of butter and coconut oil (OK, maybe not for some.) But, all of WAPF societies ate under 20% protein and most were closer to 12-15%. And as we know, high protein diets can cause a whole host of problems with long-term effects

Since I’ve added back in carbs, I feel better, am thinner and definitely warmer. I also got pregnant on the first time and had no issue with milk supply, etc. Once I had my son, I boosted up my carbs even more and I not only lost all the weight within 9 months but am now thinner than I was before being pregnant. But the greatest gift is that I don’t have weird food rules (ok, maybe still a few 🙂 and am free to go anywhere and be part of the human race without having to pack my food. LOL!

Glad someone like you, who has a lot of influence, is sharing this perspective. Everyone needs to find what works for them but it’s about being honest with our experiences so we can learn from each other and ditch anything that isn’t working.

I also know that Dr. Mercola, who was the king of eat raw meat, fat, and green veggies now incorporates carbs because he wasn’t feeling well on his low-carb diet. Again, I admire his willingness to be honest and change.

Thanks again for sharing and look forward to seeing your journey unfold!

XOXO,
Genevieve

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM

@Genevieve

Hey, girl! I am your newest biggest FAN!

I laughed so hard at that video you posted. That was HILARIOUS! I even showed it to my nanny so she could try to understand me better. Of course, she is from Slovakia so she did not get most of the jokes. But she got the one where you go, “Oh, no, I got the LOW fat!” Hahaha!

Can I post the video on my blog? I think people would enjoy seeing it.

“free to go anywhere and be part of the human race without having to pack my food. LOL!”

Ain’t that the truth?!

I remember going to my first WAPF chapter meeting. While my overall impression was THESE ARE MY PEOPLE, I remember asking them, “Where do you guys go out for dinner?” and they said, “Oh, we don’t.” It was at that point that I wondered if I had joined a cult.

Where did you read that about Mercola? Interesting!

I hope to meet you one day!

Your fan,
AM 🙂

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Genevieve Mama Natural February 10, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Ann Marie,

First off, I’m a huge fan of YOU! Been reading your blog for ages.

I would be HONORED and THRILLED if you posted our video. Yay! I’m glad you liked it. We had a hoot making it, and I love to make people laugh. And, sista, we have to laugh at ourselves, cuz some of this stuff is just crazy… crazy good, but still a little crazy :)>

To save you a step, here’s the embed code 🙂

Ok, the Mercola stuff… yeah, very interesting… I knew there was some fishy things going on when he started doing all of these speaking engagements with Mr. Avocado David Wolfe. I remember reading that he is now down to eating meat only a few times a week. Here’s his article on how he had some adverse effects on a low-carb diet:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/23/wheat-or-rice-as-safe-starch.aspx

If I’m ever in Vegas or you’re in Chicago, let’s meet up!

XO,

G

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Genevieve Mama Natural February 10, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Oops – embed code didn’t show it. Here’s the link to the video: http://youtu.be/RVA-A0RqkhM

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Gabi February 10, 2012 at 6:14 PM

And hey, YAY for at home waterbirths!!! From one natural mama to another, I loved the issues you highlighted!!

Funny video!!…ummmm, so, not to be dense, but the point is to get a little chuckle at all the true things we say, believe and do, right? Not to say that stuff is nonsense? (Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with our culture of sarcasm that I get confused about the message, LOL.) love your site. keep up the great teaching!!!

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Nickole@savvyteasandherbs.com February 10, 2012 at 6:41 PM

No way, that was you?? My sister showed me that recently as it reminded her of me, ha, and it is one of the most hilarious vids I have seen in a looong time! Well done!

Nickole

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Almost 365K views! AWESOME!

I will post it.

And YEAH I would love to meet up! Maybe you will go to the WAPF conference this fall?

Interesting Mercola article… I will go read now…

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Rachel February 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I first encountered WAPF, via the “Nourishing Traditions” cookbook and the website, in 2003 and my take was that it was a pro-fat way of eating. Didn’t really give protein and carbs much thought. What caught my eye was the fat. Granted I’d been dieting with a low-fat diet off and on for years and was miserable.

When I talk about how I eat with new people I emphasize GOOD fats (and knowing what those are, not what the mainstream says are healthy) and CLEAN, HIGH QUALITY food sources.

I’m WAPF-Paleo, somewhat following Nora Gedgaudas’ recommendations for High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb. Most of my carbs are from dairy (full fat, raw and/or cultured) and veggies, but as I said before some fruit or potatoes on occasion. I have a lot of weight to lose and deal with binge-eating disorder when sweets/grains are introduced, so I have to be careful.

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Colleen February 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

It’s important to note that basal body temps will shift throughout a woman’s cycle. Pre-ovulatory temps can be a full degree lower than postovulatory temps. The reason being that estrogen, early in our cycle lowers our temp slightly while the egg matures. Once the egg is released, the corpus luteum produces copious amounts of progesterone which warms our body for the possibility of conception (think incubator). If 5 or more temps throughout our cycle are below 97.5F that can indicate hypothyroid. Charting can also tell you if you are ovulating or have low progesterone as well- all great info about a woman’s health. Great article by the way!

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Aja February 10, 2012 at 2:10 PM

My only criticism of this very enthusiastic post is the language used along with all that is low-carbing. You called it a fad and a bandwagon within two sentences! What happened to all the legitimate and cited scientific research rooted in ancient diets and healthful cultures that you’ve been providing for us for the past few months (probably longer, but that’s when I started reading your blog)?? Where did it go?! Did it swing away on a fanatical pendulum and start taking coffee enemas with its friend Master Cleanse? I understand and enjoy the use of more colorful language, but in the realm of foodies the words “bandwagon” and “fad” are, ugh, really, really bad? Highly offensive and, dually, self-discrediting? I mean, it’s not *that* big of a deal, but there are important variables and specifics that are glossed over when using any kind of food-grouping and calling it a fad and a bandwagon really, uh, emphasizes that, I guess?

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:37 PM

I think coffee enemas can be very effective for detox. Not a fan of the Master Cleanse.

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Coralee February 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I’ve lost weight and gotten healthier with a modified paleo approach; I’ve been doing pretty much what was mentioned here with the starchy vegie occasionally and definitely fruit. Also eat dairy with no problem. Weight loss has been slow but steady. Grains definitely mess me up and create food cravings, so I generally avoid them, but have “cheat days” now and then and am not worried if I get the odd piece of breaded fish or chicken. It’s working just fine, but I’m not doing the full-on strictest paleo.

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lenny February 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

soo….I understand that it may seem like high everything, carbs,etc. are the answer and you “cured” yourself….but can i ask a rather antagonistic question? What if it wasn’t low carb that injured you in the first place, what if you injured yourself by dosing yourself with huge iodine doses–reaping the benefits of a hyper metabolism at first: “I have a lot more energy. I can go all day now — gardening, running errands, working, whatever — instead of feeling like I need to rest on the couch.”–instead of slowly accommodating your iodine dosage to prevent a rebound hypothyroidism…?

Would make a lot more sense then the low carb rocks, low carb sucks, high carb rocks scenario, wouldn’t you agree?

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

No actually I think the iodine helped me. Iodine helps the thyroid.

I know I was hypothyroid back then because my temps were even lower back then. In the 96s.

I think what caused my hypothyroidism was having a baby and nursing and then doing low carb.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Oh and it also didn’t help that I skipped meals and didn’t eat enough before I got pregnant.

Then again, I did get pregnant.

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lenny February 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

I totally believe that you were hypothyroid back then. My musing is just that you took big doses of iodine without any sort of gradual adaptation, causing a hyperthyroid time, followed by a reactive hypo (which is well documented phenomenon in the medical literature). This probably coincided with the time that low carb started to suck for you.
Also, I totally agree that getting pregnant and skipping/undereating meals contributed to the problem. I just think the iodine played a bigger role in it than mentioned–which it wasn’t =)

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Interesting. Could be, I guess…

But I don’t believe I ever went hyperthyroid.

Low carb always sucked for me. The only thing I ever did well with was the “carb cycling” on the 4 Hour Body.

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Julie D. February 10, 2012 at 11:03 PM

AnnMarie,
I went hypothyroid FROM taking iodine. (This was according to labs not just my feeling.) It does not help everyone. At the time, Dr. Cowan did not seem very positive in general about taking iodine. Please email me if you are interested in talking more about it.

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Valerie February 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM

I just wanted to share my experience. We did GAPs a couple of years ago and life circumstances made it impossible to keep doing it. We were doing it for about 9 months. I have always had issues with my thyroid, of course not enough that doctors would do anything for it though, my eyebrows are thin, always cold, weight issues, lethargic, I show so many signs, the tests just don’t agree though. Anyway, my oldest daughter has also always shown signs. I didn’t realize it though until after we moved from Hawaii. I felt a lot better there, I am not sure if it was because it was so warm or what, but physically I felt better there. Anyway, we went on GAPS and all of our thyroid issues went away. Well, not quite all, but close. Then we went off of GAPs and eating bread and pasta and such thyroid issues again, plus a lot of other health issues.
So we are back on GAPs again, only been for about a month. Admittedly, we eat a lot of fat and meat, but I always make sure that there are peas, or carrots or squash in our foods. I did that last time too. I much appreciated your post about GAPs myths. It doesn’t have to be low carb. Now, some people maybe do feel better that way and that is fine. Again, there is no one diet for everyone. I am hoping that we will do GAPs better this time, mostly have some control over how we go off of it, by properly preparing our grains and starches. I hope that will help. We will have to see. But I guess I just wanted to post that not low carb GAPs was working for us and has actually improved our thyroid issues even though I am sure our carbs have gone down from what we were eating.

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Laurent February 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM

POST ABOUT CANDIDA ISSUES…

Well done Anne Marie. You saw my post on FB- I also thought the comment from Marc about Asians “” was freaking hilarious and a complete denial. Because it doesn’t fit his system of belief he cannot work his mind around it…unfortunate but human.
So I am the same – under the influence of Matt Almighty I have increased drastically my consumption of carbs and seen good results health wise. Now I’d like to post about a theory on candida problems and carbs.

Sure enough most civilizations have been high carbs and built on grains and they didn’t have candida problems as far as we know. The reliance on antibiotics and the loss of fermented food plus the pill for ladies certainly explain why our gut flora are in bad shape and why we now suffer from candida. GMO are gonna make it worse.
However for having suffered from it myself it never made sense to me to link carbs and candida as carbs nourish ALL bacteria – good and bad. If you starve the bad guys by going low carb then you also starve the good ones. From my experience people “cure” themselves from candida with carbs restriction the way gluten intolerant people “cure” themselves by avoiding wheat all together. It’s no cure. it’s the avoidance of what trigger the symptoms. It can be called recovery and the only way to sustain such system is to be low carb all year long with the problem it brings.

Then one day I discovered the theory of “Dr” Douglas Graham on candida.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsmcYRSvwGM
Graham is the guru of fruitarian and as far as I’m concerned fruitarians are nutcases and Graham doesn’t look great; however you can find pearl of wisdom anywhere. The explanation TOTALLY made sense to me.

Basically candida are watchmen in our blood; they are part of our bodies but will multiply and cause problem when blood sugar stay elevated for too long. They basically are a second system to regulate our blood sugar -exactly the way some algaes would growth in a pond to “clean” it, but of course it also cause problem to the ecosystem of the pond.

But the real mind-blowing part is what follow: the blood sugar stay elevated for too long not because someone eats too much carbs, but because they eat too much FAT with the carbs. Even the good ones. So candida would not be an illness linked to too many carbs but to eating too much fat with the carbs! The more fat you eat with carbs, the longer blood sugar will stay elevated as they slow down the assimilation of glucose. This is actually exactly why the WAPF folks recommend us to soak our carbs in fats and it might be very counterproductive!

And to prove it I did their experiment – going all carbs for a few days (starch and fruits only) with almost no fat. My candida symptoms withdrew in 24 hours! If they reoccur I go lower on fat and it works every time.

The good folks of the WAPF do an incredible work but they also have personal views. They buy the link between insulin resistance and too much carbs, which is not proven and not a WAP theory. Sure enough traditional people were eating animals fats but not ALWAYS soaking their boiled sweet potatoes in sour cream, butter or bear fat.

So here you go I think this is a very convincing explanation of how to manage candida…don’t look at the carbs but look at the fats if you want to cure it!

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Gabi February 10, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Interesting, but maybe there’s more to the puzzle…we absolutely need fats to not only make hormones, but also to heal the lining of our intestines… And, low-fat, franken-fat, no fat has done a LOT of harm to American health in the past 5 decades. Saturated fat from pastured animals is really healing…and it is essential for brain, heart, hormone, gut and joint health. So I’m going to respectfully disagree with your conclusion. Healed guts are essential to overcoming candida. Carbs in themselves aren’t evil, but the lack of ability to digest them is a real problem. And fat is excellent.

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Laurent February 10, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Gabi why jumping on the opposite bandwagon?! Where did I say that we don’t need fat? This is certainly not my post neither my conclusion so please re-read.
I have said that systematically eating carbs with a lot of fat might trigger the candida problem – not that we should not eat fat or acknowledge the low fat fad! Frustrating to take this much time to explain other views and find it misunderstood.
For your info I am close to the WAPF and I’ve done work for them so I am certainly not one to deny the importance of good fats. Nowhere did I say such things and certainly not in my post. I merely suggest that people suffering from candida can consider another theory and protocol that is to see if they feel better with their symptoms by not eating carbs with ton of fats all the time.

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Gabi February 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM

I apologize…I was not intending to jump on any bandwagon…I’m not a wagon rider. I was specifically commenting on your suggestion that fats combined with carbs was a problem…I can see my statements were unclear. I disagree with the premise that fat+carbs=candida problem. But I absolutely promote individual study and decisions and I am sorry for causing offense. Cheers!

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Laurent February 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM

No worries. I guess some of my points were not clear enough. I don’t think candida is caused by the association of carbs + fat, but by a compromised gut flora – antibiotics, pills etc. first and foremost.
What I’ve discovered is that lowering the fat intake with carbs when having candida is easier and apparently more efficient at curing it then going low carb for a lifetime and I think it’s worth exploring. The simple fact that by going very high carb with little/no fat for a few days suppress all symptoms seems at least to clear up the assumption that carbs consumption is the real cullprit in candida…
Blessings to you Gabi

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Gabi February 10, 2012 at 7:42 PM

No worries, and I do appreciate your comments and your study…we all have much to learn…thankfully that can be fun!! 🙂 Cheers!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Very interesting, Laurent!

And yes it was your post on FB that I saw! Thank you! 🙂

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Jennifer February 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM

I agree with others who note the duality of this post – on one hand, you say “to each his own” (essentially) and on the other it’s “low-carb is a fad.”

I say… to each his own.

Also like others have posted, low-carb/high fat has resulted in long, healthy nails, hair that grows like crazy and clear, pimple-free skin. It also keeps my period on track (which has come once or twice a year in the past) and, when I switched to lc/hf after several years of eating higher carbs, lower fat… I conceived our third child. Then I conceived our fourth.

I have more energy, more stable moods and simply look and feel better when I keep my carbs under about fifty grams a day. I don’t necessarily try to do this, it’s just the way I eat. Raw milk and cultured dairy, as well as lacto-fermented veggies are still a big part of my diet, but I no longer soak my grains because… we don’t eat them.

My son’s eczema has gone away. My soon-to-be-teenaged daughter’s acne has gone away… my BELLY has gone away! Cutting grains has been a lifesaver for all of us.

So, good for you on finding what works for you, but I think I’ll stay on the bandwagon with my “fad” diet for now!

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amy February 10, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Just watch out for problems cropping up. The tricky thing with low-carb is that for a lot of people it seems fabulous at first, all the benefits you mention. And then the thyroid and adrenal issues begin…

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:39 PM

The “low carb honeymoon”

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Allie February 10, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Thanks for the post!
What are your thoughts on knowing your metabolic type and then eating accordingly? I test out as a protein type with only the need for 30% from carbs.
I was low carb for quite some time, for over a year, more primal than paleo with raw milk in my diet. Before primal I was primarily, low- fat, vegetarian, high whole grains (which were not soaked or sprouted).
I have Low thyroid symptoms, just about all of them, temp hovers in the 96 range with the lows in 95.3+ range. 97.2 + is high for me. I’m new to the idea of raising the bbt by eating more carbs, so trying to navigate through all of this info. Thyroid labs are normal except for low iodine and selenium. RT3 is elevated.
Anyway, I appreciate your one day menu, three days would be so helpful, researching the differing healthy eating plan has only left me thinking that I’ve forgotten how to eat. 🙁

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Rachel February 10, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Good luck with getting pregnant. Since you mention charting your basal temperature, I’m 99% sure you’ve read Toni Weschler’s book, but just in case I’ll throw it out there. I found it hugely enlightening.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Nope haven’t heard of her — I will look her up. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Gabi February 10, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Great, AnnMarie…more good info about the myths regarding “evil foods.” Real food isn’t evil…we just need to be healed and know how to prepare them to eat the cornucopia of good, healing, real foods. It didn’t occur to me when I began our GAPS journey that people were using it as an excuse to live “no-carb,” and that’s not the point of GAPS.

Hope your childbearing journey goes well!!! Don’t forget, for hormone success, FAT, FAT, FAT. That’s what makes hormones…so keep, or up, your good fat intakes…clean, pastured, saturated fats. Cheers!! gabi

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Oh you KNOW I eat lots of fat! 🙂

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Gabi February 10, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Amen, sister!!! 🙂

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Rebecca February 10, 2012 at 5:39 PM

A few years back I went low-carb and ended up borderline hypoglycemic, with low blood pressure and a tendency to faint. I lost a lot of weight but I was cold and needed a lot of coffee to get through the day. Eventually the weight loss stalled and then started to come back. Then I made the huge mistake of starting birth control pills-before I knew anything about their danger or gut health-and have had two years of health problems since then. I only took them for a few months but my eczema was out of control, and then I ended up on prednisone and antibiotics for skin infections. I tried going grain free and ended up sicker-I was in the hospital with a raging infection, which can be a side effect of going too low carb, according to an article I read by Jaminet.
So last year, knowing that I wanted to conceive in the fall, I started focusing on eating a balanced diet, with properly prepared grains, lots of organic produce, and an emphasis on grass fed beef and wild seafood. I did this even though I was overweight-i knew it was more important to get healthy than lose a little weight. I’d make a loaf of sourdough bread every week, with occasional soaked muffins or cookies, sourdough pancakes, and soaked oatmeal. Lots of eggs, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes, etc. And of course fermented veggies, beet kvass (very healing after my time in the hospital) and kombucha. I didn’t really gain any weight but my energy started to come back. I also tracked my temps, which increased throughout the year, getting to about 97.6 pre-ovulation and 98.2 post-ovulation, and we got pregnant on the first try in August.
Since being pregnant I’ve craved more fruit and dairy than usual, but I’ve kept up with the clean meats, veggies, and sourdough baking. I’m in my seventh month, have only gained 19 pounds, and baby is perfectly healthy.
To me, it seems that you have to listen to your own body and prioritize what is the important goal for you-whether that is fertility, weight loss, or overall health. What you will need in one season won’t be the same as another. I don’t know that I would ever go back to low carb or grain free based on my experience, but I might reduce my carbs when baby is a few months old to lose some weight, if my temps stay up and I feel energetic. Otherwise I will keep my sourdough starter busy!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Congratulations, Rebecca! I wish you a happy, healthy birthing experience.

I love my sourdough starter, too!

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D. February 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

I’m not even trying to have a child (way past that, sorry!) but if I eat even moderately low carb I get shaky, dizzy, queasy andfeel malnourished and starved. That’s exactly how my gramma described how she felt with her low blood pressure. Uh-yup. I took my BP the last time I was feeling that way and it was 106/64. My pulse was 55! Eeeps.

Two days of eating a “normal” diet and I was good to go. I don’t eat a lot of fruit anytime – mostly because I don’t like fruit unless it’s cooked, stewed, baked – whatever. A lot of the low-carbers go into fits if you tell them you ate a baked pear. The *gluten-free-ers* go into complete spasms if I mention that I just made homemade bread pudding. I have to use my regular homemade white wheat bread in order to make bread pudding because sourdough just doesn’t cut it with bread pudding. I love sourdough and eat it most of the time, but I’m not religious about it. I also eat potatoes – white ones, red ones – I love ’em and they’re very nutritious. I don’t eat them every day. Sometimes I don’t even eat them every week, but that depends on my menu planning selections for the week and who will be here to help me eat. One of my husband’s favorites meals is a meatball and potato casserole with a crisp green salad (with all the side veggies we have in the veggie tray) like green onions, tomato, avocado, celery, ‘shrooms on the side.

I’m one of those kind of people who rarely overdoes any one thing. But I’m on no particular “diet” either. In fact I rarely use the word diet, I usuall say WOE (way of eating).

So I’m with you, Ann Marie. For the sake of your health and hormones, eat the food your body needs – YOUR body, not someone from facebook who thinks they’re perfect and you’re going to hell for eating a waffle. What a crock. People should mind their own business (which is precisely why I don’t have a facebook account – I don’t want people telling me how I SHOULD live my life). My circumstances are not your circumstances, and your circumstances are not their circumstances, ya know? Most of the time, our bodies will let us know what they need or want, and we just have to learn to recognize the signs and signals.

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MotherGinger February 10, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Near the end of WWGF, Taubes mentions that it’s not uncommon for folks to feel woozy when going low-carb for the first time. It’s from insufficient electrolytes. . The problem is not the lack of carbs; it’s the lack of electrolytes. Some Concentrace, sauerkraut juice, and/or teaspoon of unrefined salt each day for a few days usually takes care of it, but as he notes, it’s important to know of the possibility and consult your doctor any time you make a major dietary change for reasons just such as this.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:42 PM

@D

not someone from facebook who thinks they’re perfect and you’re going to hell for eating a waffle

LOL!

Amen!

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Perry E February 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

I too look forward to the GAPS post. I’m battling the usual suspects (adrenal fatigue with resulting hypothyroid symptoms and hypoglycemia, low basal temps, probably candida, leaky gut, and dysbiosis). Based on an elimination diet I’m sensitive to egg whites (yolks are fine) and almonds. Fruit seems to worsen my hypoglycemia and sugar cravings. Haven’t tried honey yet for fear of the same. I did have some properly prepared gluten free grains for a while prior to getting on the GAPS diet. Didn’t seem to help much but I do remember feeling slightly more energized. I will be introducing more navy beans and lentils to try to bring up my carbs some after reading this. Look forward to seeing what other suggestions you have.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:45 PM

@Perry E

Sugar cravings can be helped with eating adequate protein and taking amino acids. See Julia Ross’s book, The Mood Cure.

Dr. Natasha uses amino acids with her GAPS patients as well.

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Lisa G February 10, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Thanks for this post Annemarie. I tried the low carb thing and felt like death warmed over. It was horrible. Low energy, crappy sleep, grumpy. Low carb seems to be everywhere now. If it werent for you I may not have found my way out. Thanks for being so brave and telling like it is, and not worrying about the carb police. And for just being effing you. 🙂

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM

@Lisa G

Awww thanks! I wish I could give you an effing hug! LOL!

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Mike February 10, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Why all the focus on grains? I do agree that a higher carb diet may be optimal in the long run. But I’m focusing on Ray Peat now, and he doesn’t really promote the eating of grains. In fact he says they are fattening. Why do you choose to eat grains?

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM

I’ve been eating grains all my life and I’ve never found them to be fattening.

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Dorf February 10, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Eat tons of veggies, medium prtotein and lots of fat. Buy the best rEal food possible – eat raw veggies daily with meals, throw in some probiotic foods and eat grains sparingly as well as dairy – a bit more dairy if totally grass fed.

AND………

Quit spraying homemade magnesium oil on your cooter and you will be just fine.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:46 PM

@Dorf

Don’t tell me what to eat and I won’t tell you what to eat.

Deal?

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Oh and you definitely should not be telling people what to do or not to do with their “cooter”.

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Gayle February 10, 2012 at 7:07 PM

I can’t believe how timely this discussion is for me right now! A semi-paleo diet has always worked really for me when I needed to lose weight after having each of my babies. It was working for me this time too . . . until it stopped working completely! I have been struggling to lose the last eight pounds for the last year. For the past few months I’ve been so ridiculously “strict” on my diet–more so than ever before. I’m a fitness instructor, so I’m very active, but still I can’t lose any more weight. It’s been unbelievably frustrating. Many years ago I tracked my basal body temp when I was trying to conceive, and it was definitely low. I know that it had increased for awhile, but I’d be willing to bet that it’s down again. I was already suspecting low-thyroid to be at least part of the problem. I’ve been taking a supplement to help, but it hasn’t. So I’m slowly working on overcoming my fear of carbs (and when I say carbs, I mean properly prepared, real food-type carbs!) I made muffins yesterday and ate three. It was scary, but I did it : ) We’ll see what happens. I’m just praying I don’t gain much weight while I’m waiting for my thyroid to start working better!

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Gayle February 10, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Crap, this wasn’t supposed to be a reply, just a regular comment. Oh well!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 8:59 PM

@Gayle I can relate! I was down to eating like 1,000 calories a day — and even then, the pounds would not budge.

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Alicia Ali February 10, 2012 at 6:43 PM

I am so sorry going low-carb caused so much issues. For me it was the opposite. I am 24 and last year was the first time I had any signs of ovulation and that was after 5 months on primal. My Basal temperature when I am close to my period gets anywhere from 98.2-98.6 when I am about to have my period or am on it when before my highest at any given time would be 97.2. I also go to the extreme, before I ovulate I eat less than 30g of carbs a day and go heavy on fat and meat and you know what? I don’t get constipated when I ovulate and its not my fat intake because on a daily basis fat intake is 40-65% of my diet.

It comes down to this. Each person is different and unique. I had to go this route because I am allergic to all grains and have digestive issues from years of childhood antibiotics and medications and poor food choices. Even certain tubers (sweet potatoes, potatoes) ‘jam’ me up.

This is a great post though very informative.

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Alicia Ali February 10, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Oh PS there is a difference between Paleo & Primal in case anyone was wondering. A good portion of primal people do dairy and a variety of sweeteners not approved for Paleo, just thought I would add that for the curious ones.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Thanks, Alicia!

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Olivia February 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I have to say that I’ve had the complete opposite issue with grains. The whole low carb, high carb thing is so inorganic to me. It’s about eating what makes sense to the individual. When I dropped the grains my hair STOPPED falling out. All grains at this point are both irritating to both my daughter and myself. We went on the GAPS diet, which with our already limited diet meant omitting rice and potatoes. To me the whole lectin thing makes sense if you’re talking about the Eat Right for Your Type thing and you’re not properly preparing the grains. But I think there’s so much more to it than what’s being discussed.

I really think the focus here needs to NOT be on the whole carb vs. low carb but rather the preparation of the food being the key. Everyone’s different in what foods work best for their body and their individual circumstances. I think toxicity, chemical exposures and genetic components are a big factor.

Sprouted grains still make me feel crappy and give my daughter dark circles under her eyes and other worrisome symptoms. Obviously we need to heal the gut, but I’ve come to realize that just omitting carbs and starches aren’t the sole answer. I think people are experiencing all sorts of other biochemical problems that are inhibiting the healing process, screwing up their hormones etc.

I think we’re ignoring many pieces to the puzzle and wasting time debating these narrow views that don’t take into account the INDIVIDUAL and the chemical processes going on in that individual.

Low carb diets will reduce serotonin production, yet serotonin is CRUCIAL to healing and mental wellbeing. The majority of serotonin receptors are in the gut…and what if your gut has been damaged by grains? What if someone’s methylation ability has been disrupted by the inability to properly digest components of grains, then has trouble detoxing AND utilizing serotonin? What if someone has insufficiency in stomach acids or enzymes? It all comes back back to the grains being properly prepared…which also brings me to the thought….

It doesn’t makes sense (to me personally) that grains (naturally) would make up such an immense portion of a “caveman’s” diet given the amount of harvesting and preparation it would entail. But obviously carbs serve a purpose in the diet. Yet to what degree grains should be eaten I think is very much an individual matter. So I don’t think the debate of wether we should or should not eat grains serves people as well as the emphasis of preparing them properly if you’re going to eat them is.

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Carol Albrecht February 10, 2012 at 7:11 PM

I think you are onto something here Ann Marie. I have had a very similar experience. A cup or two of winter squash a day added to my low carb diet changed my life!

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Jo February 10, 2012 at 7:43 PM

You could still get pregnant—I knew someone who had a baby at either 47 or 48 (without trying)! It’s not that likely, but you do have a chance. Good luck.

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Annie Dru February 10, 2012 at 8:25 PM

“So in other words, you’re saying I’m hormonal.”

I rest my case. But I’m not accusing you of anything I don’t cop to myself Ann Marie. It never hurts to lighten up!

A.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 8:52 PM

I already said I was hormonal. 🙂

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Of course, it does not invalidate what I’m saying.

You are saying that my hormones are making me irrational. I don’t agree with that.

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Annie Dru February 11, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Not irrational… a little edgy, but definitely not irrational (:

Unfortunately, it seems like I struck a nerve. On reflection I realize that you probably don’t want to be reminded of perimenopause at a time when you’re trying to conceive. I apologize for being insensitive, and wish you nothing but success… and soon!

My greater observation is that focusing so intently on the elusive pursuit of ‘health’ seems at times to result in a kind of ‘forest for the trees’ paradox. Surely you’ll agree that creating abundant time and space for cultivating peace of mind through deep relaxation, introspection and most of all JOY must be at least as relevant to our adrenal, thyroid and reproductive health as carb counting or any of the other cool stuff we’re all exploring… and here’s where I’ve struggled.

I acknowledge that this may not apply to you or your readership (although I sense that it may resonate with some) but because the ‘take-it-for-granted’ kind of health has mostly eluded me, my tendency has been to get so wrapped up in ‘educating’ myself that I’ve spent more time than is probably balanced, taking in more information (much of it editorial and sensationally presented) than I can reasonably digest, hence creating more of the “how in the *bleep* DOES one achieve health???” flavor of anxiety than I started with (accompanied by a corresponding tendency to obsess about every bite of food, minute on the cellphone and hour of lost sleep… thanks Dr. M!) and ultimately and ironically undermining my goal of wellness.

YIKES! My own personal endocrine/nervous system nightmare… exacerbated by the (apparently) natural, but (maddeningly) capricious hormonal dance of my late 40’s female body *sigh*.

And yet… more and more I’m sensing that the opportunity to successfully navigate this ‘information overload verses the quiet inner wisdom’ conundrum while simultaneously navigating a profound life-stage transition, may in fact make the difference between continuing to chase the elusive butterfly, or… *deep breath*… aging gracefully.

Sadly, I wasn’t anywhere near present or clear enough to avail myself of this opportunity during the transitions of adolescence or pregnancy. If I had been, I might have enjoyed the cycles and stages of the feminine continuum with less angst and more gratitude. Blessedly, nature provides us with one final chance, and I don’t want to miss it by getting lost in the trees again.

It seems that distractions abound when there’s inner work to be done, so as of January (after decades of procrastination) I’ve finally begun a daily meditation practice (for anyone who’s searching for help with this, here’s the program I chose as an aide https://www.centerpointe.com/). It’s an hour a day that I don’t focus on what’s wrong with me and how to fix it!

Anyway, this is just my story. All contention aside, please know that I greatly appreciate your spirit of generosity and admire your willingness to share your journey so transparently; ‘edgy’ tone notwithstanding (:

Your blog is always interesting, timely and (often uncannily) relevant to my own personal wellness journey. Thank you Ann Marie, for creating this open forum. I look forward to the day when I might have to opportunity to meet you in the flesh.

Respectfully,
Annie Dru.

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Thanks, Jo!

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Gabi February 10, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Re: Hormone healing, especially thyroid

OK, not to contradict myself on how hormones heal, LOL (ie…you cannot really “target” one hormone in the endocrine system to be “fixed,” as they all work together/shift/dance in the hormone cascade), but…

…Has anyone been talking about how important it is to experience real life temperature swings for thyroid healing? Like, we NEED to sweat…LOL. Living in our sterile, climate-controlled environments (A/C in summer, heat in winter), regulated to about 70 degrees all the time, wreaks havoc on our thyroids. Since the thyroid is our body’s temperature regulator, it can be really beneficial to allow it to do so…to experience real temperature shifts. I knew someone years ago who swore by daily saunas for this purpose, as well as detoxing.

So, I think it really helps if we turn down the heat in winter, turn up/off the A/C in summer…let yourself shiver or sweat, and let your thyroid re-learn how to regulate your temperature.

Personal testimony: After years of dealing with seriously malfunctioning hormones (including hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue and sex hormones in the toilet), and applying various healing modalities, including LOTS of saturated fat, I improved. But the icing on the cake was when we moved into a rental with no A/C…the summers have been killer for me, with indoor temps regularly above 88, and no way to get cool air thru the house. (I hate heat…I love cold.) But my thyroid problems are a thing of the past.

Just wanted to share and see if others had read about helping thyroid health by abandoning modern temp-controlled lives…. 🙂

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Alicia Ali February 10, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I live in South Florida where summers can get up to 109 Fahrenheit and in the winter more times than not we sleep without the heat on, it did not seem to do much for me but it is a fascinating thought.

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Paula February 10, 2012 at 8:35 PM

This is why our jetted tub and hot water heater have been getting a work out this winter. And this summer,. we are building a Banya (wood fired steam house)

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Jennifer Freudenberg February 10, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Hi! Great blog! I, too, was a victim of low-carb hormone carnage… Low thyroid, adrenal fatigue, zero sex drive, menstrual cycle from Hell (heavy bleeding every 23 days!), low body temp, just to name a few off the top of my head. I started eating carbs again about a year ago and instantly gained 5 lbs, then another 5… and another over the subsequent year, but my weight seems to have finally stabilized and, though I’m a bit chubbier than I like to be (5’5″, 140 lbs instead of the 130 I’m good with) I finally feel GOOD again!!! My body temp is back to 98.4, thyroid normal, cortisol normal, adrenal system, back in order! Keep spreading the word and writing this great blog… so glad I found you!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Wow, sounds just like me — all your symptoms.

Gives me great hope!

Thank you!

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Rachel February 10, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Music to my ears! The biggest reason I didn’t want to fall down the Gaps hole was because I didn’t want to give up grains! I thought maybe I’d have to avoid them forever. I love baked goods. I wanted to be WAPF! I feel better eating carbs. Fruit, starchy vegetables and bread, amongst other things.

We’re doing gaps right now and it’s going well. We eat plenty of carbs. But I can’t wait to eat properly prepared grains some day!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Thank you, Aimee! 😀

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Nicole February 10, 2012 at 9:28 PM

It has to be a good thing to have all this discussion, surely. Anne-Marie I am so excited for you that you are trying for a baby. That’s awesome and I don’t think we ever regret having another child.
For me, I am probably no further enlightened about my struggle. I have been low carb for about three years. I gain weight just by looking at a carrot. I can digest grains but just gain too much weight. I recently started taking my temps and they are actually on the high-ish side, while I do have symptoms of hypothyroid. I am too scared to do the matt stone thing, I already have at least 20kg to lose. I feel like I am stuck in a low-carb rut and don’t know how to get out.
I have asked this question a few times but no-one has answered. Is is possible to have hypothyroidism but not have low temps??? Does anyone else have any suggestions?? I think I need to pray for inspiration!!!

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:50 PM

@Nicole What is your temperature? What kind of thermometer are you using?

Have you had a hormone panel done?

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cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:43 PM

@Amy

It has seemed crazy to me how many WAPF people are low-carb, and that is not in any way what Weston A. Price promoted.

Me, too.

And I agree with you about the pill. It messed up my gut flora too. ThreeLac and Biokult helped me get it back to normal in a matter of months.

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Louisa February 11, 2012 at 12:48 AM

Anne-Marie, I totally hear what you are saying.
I am at this moment completing tests with a metabolic typist – to find out what diet I need to be on. 100% vegetarian is no good for me, 100% paleo (low carb) is no good for me, I am a mixed type metabolic proflie and my metabolic nutritionist told me I was nearer to a Mediterranean diet (plant fats) than a northern European diet (animal fats). This shocked me as I have been following WAPF for four years now – but made sense as I never felt 100% whilst following it.
I am gluten intolerant, although I have ALSO been working on emotional issues for my large intestine. The metabolic typing crowd say that each and every diet is unique and based on your body metabolism and other factors including blood type (although this is not the same as D’Adamo’s theories).
It is fascinating stuff and totally puts into perspective the discrepancy between traditional inuit diet and asian vegetarianism. Neither are wrong, but give them to the wrong person and they can be fatal. Since starting the metabolic diet that is 100% unique to me, i have lost that last bit of weight and started to fall in line with what I was designed to eat according to my genetic background.

I believe that if people looked further into the metabolic diet then posts like these would no longer need to be written, as nobody would remain in the dark about diet for much longer. There would be no room for discussion!

Lou x

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Louisa February 11, 2012 at 12:55 AM

p.s. The Metabolic Typing Diet Book by Bill Wollcott is available at Amazon – from the questionnaire at the back, you should be able to work out your exact ratio of carbs to fats to proteins that is unique to you, if not, find a metabolic typist who can do a glucose and protein challenge tests for you and write you out a complete diet plan.

My good friend’s sister in law healed herself from bone cancer by getting her metabolic profile done for her, she now is pregnant and in the best of health!

it just makes absolutely 100% sense……

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Louisa February 11, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Sorry, I keep coming back to this post and reading through the many comments – this has obviously sparked a lot of interest! No one can say that their way of eating is the 100% solution for any one else – that is why we have so many diet books out there! You cannot assume that eating carbs will make you gain weight or visa versa (Matt Stone) – and then just say, oh well, deal with it! It depends on your on body profile! Some people will lose weight on a high carb diet, others will gain weight.

We have become exquisitely attuned to the environment we evolved in and that means eating only the food found in that environment. nearer the equator we come from, the higher the carbs we can eat. Nearer the poles, the less. It just makes 100% sense, but as we have now become so genetically mixed up, the onyl way we can find out our background is to experiement – like most of the people here seem to have done, or get tested.
Do you think Mark Sisson (primal diet) would cope on Kris Carr’s diet (vegan)? or the other way round? Look how healthy they BOTH are – no – it just so happens that they have matched their diet perfectly with their own body metabolism and are doing extremely well on it, although their diets could not be further apart from each other. Kris is a carb type, Mark is a protein type! I am a mixed type so I suffered when experimenting with both carb and protein type diets. I need a bit of both.
Why all the confusion? Why all the discussion? Why all the experimentation with diets? Because we are all grouping around in the dark and until we get our metabolic type diagnosed – the light cannot suddenly turn on.

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 7:22 AM

Do you think Mark Sisson (primal diet) would cope on Kris Carr’s diet (vegan)? or the other way round? Look how healthy they BOTH are

Agreed! I think it’s totally fine for Mark Sisson to eat exactly the way he does.

However, I take issue with him telling people that EVERYONE should eat that way. It is especially harmful for women who want to get pregnant or who are trying to heal their hormones after giving birth and nursing.

If he wants to promote that kind of diet then he should tell these women that they should be eating glands from animals to make up for the lack of carbs.

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Emma February 11, 2012 at 4:04 AM

Oh boy can I relate!!

I was low-carb Paleo for nearly a year. I lost some weight and saw my reflux disappear and felt great – for the first 3 months. Then my metabolic rate started dropping, my hands and feet were like blocks of ice, my resting pulse rate was about 45bpm (I’m not an athlete btw). I had ezcema on my hands and face that I couldn’t get rid of and I felt like a slug, I was so TIRED!!

Since just before Christmas I reintroduced carbs into my diet (40-50% of intake). I gained about 10 pounds but I warmed up, my pulse rate increased, my energy levels increased and halleluyah, my ezcema disappeared.

I’m slowly starting to lose the gained weight now at about .5 to 1 lb a week and I’m feeling great. I will never go back to low-carb – never, ever, ever!!

Oh yeah, another bonus is not having to be such a food nazi! I want ice-cream, I eat it. I want buckwheat pancakes, I eat them. I like sugar in my coffee damiit! Now I have it.

It’s awesome. 😀

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 7:15 AM

Wow, that is great, Emma!

I agree, food nazis are very tiresome!

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Kendahl @ Our Nourishing Roots February 11, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Love this. It’s good to just let it go and eat something for FUN once in a while huh? Sheesh!

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Elizabeth February 11, 2012 at 5:14 AM

Have you checked out The Perfect Ten diet? The whole diet is built around the idea of balancing ten key hormones in the body that affect blood sugar, thyroid levels, sex drive, etc. I think you would like this book and find it balanced. overall.

http://www.perfect10diet.com/

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Amanda Rose February 11, 2012 at 5:44 AM

Ann Marie,

I haven’t read all of the comments and I’m obviously out of the loop since I didn’t realize you were extremely low carb. I do know the pain of trying to get pregnant. I know crappy pregnancies and the cost of not taking care of yourself. As cute and sassy as Matt Stone is, this is not his area. It’s great that your BBT is up and I realize how big that is and I hope you’re feeling better too with your freedom to eat. However, it strikes me that you are trading one ideology for another and I am not sure that any of the food ideologies will serve you right now.

I suggest you do what is far more difficult than embracing a dietary framework — cut your work hours into half or a third of what they are now. Cut them entirely if you can afford it financially. Sit in the fresh air and sunshine and breath. Eat a muffin while you are out there if you wish.

Amanda

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 7:16 AM

@Amanda

Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of not working, nor can I even cut down my work hours. That would be very nice and I’d do it in a heartbeat if I could.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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Annie Dru February 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM

“… nor can I even cut down on my work hours.” I have to ask… do you realize what you’re saying?

I hate to remind you, but I often read in your posts that you’re slammed with work and stressed. Is this a temporary thing until you get pregnant, or just the way your life works?

As unpolitically correct as her sentiment may be, I agree with Amanda when she says “I suggest that you do what is far more difficult than embracing a dietary framework…”.

Creating the space to rest and care for yourself now, assures that you’ve created the space you’ll need to care for the baby you’re calling into your life. As the mother of four grown sons, I can promise you that you’ll be glad you made whatever adjustments might be necessary to your work-life and/or budget to accommodate the nurturing of your kids and equally as important… your own sanity!

BTW… I love muffins too. Especially covered in butter!

A.

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Jill Cruz February 11, 2012 at 5:51 AM

We all have different needs for macro- and micro-nutrients. There is no “one-size-fits-all” diet out there. For some people the Paleo thing works like magic, for others it would be unthinkably difficult. That is why some people swear by eating a vegetarian diet and others love the Zone Diet and others think Atkins was a god. We are all right. And when we impose out perfect diets on others we are all wrong. The first step to knowing what is right for you is to listen to your body. And that is exactly what you have done, so brava!!

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Joan February 11, 2012 at 5:57 AM

While I appreciate your feeling better eating a lot of carbs, I can’t say this is for everyone. I feel TERRIBLE when I eat many carbs. It feels good going down, but then WHAM! I feel crappy-really crappy. My husband LOVES his carbs. Or should I say loved. He is 48 years old and still had acne, oil and whiteheads on his face and eczema on the top of his toes (raw and sometimes bleeding). He had to wash his face at work because of the oil and whiteheads popping up-he has meetings with people and this can’t happen. He is scrupulously clean-not grungy. He would come home and wash his face as soon as he walked in the door. I noticed that when we would eat an extra amount of carby stuff-he adores pancakes and french toast with real maple syrup-you could almost watch the whiteheads pop out on his nose and chin.
Well, last month we got a juicer and did a juice fast for about 10 days. Now we juice breakfast (fruit juice with a protein shake) and lunch (veggie juice) and eat whatever we want for dinner-within reason. Well, after 3 days, my husband noticed he didn’t have to wash his face at work, the whiteheads disappeared, and much to my delight, he quit snoring! Now after one month, I have lost 12 pounds and he has lost 15, he doesn’t snore anymore (whoopee!!!!!), his acne is clearing up and the biggest miracle of all is that the eczema is GONE! I have never seen his feet look this good. He said it had been at least 30 years. 30! He had been to doctors, tried every remedy but this did it. A few days ago, he really wanted a sandwich-good stuff-no junk. Well, 2 days of having bread in a row, and whiteheads started popping out on his nose and he started to snore right away. So no bread and pancakes for us, thank you.
No rice, only Dreamfields low carb pasta, no bread, pancakes, pitas, muffins, etc. Only a few beans and starchy veggies once in awhile.
PS. I have hyperthyroidism(just a minute trace-no treatment necessary) and I have been HOT HOT HOT-everyone would be fine and I would be sweating. I also ate too much-Dr. explained that it supercharged my appetite but not my metabolism so I strugged with weight gain. Eliminating the carbs has cooled me off and I don’t feel starving all the time.
So I guess I said all this to say that everyone’s metabolism is different and you need to do what works for you and gets your body humming in good health.

PS. I used to bake ALL of our bread, sprouted grains, the whole thing. I just traded it for prepping vegs for juicing.

PSS. A doctor said that the only reason people lose weight on the hcg diet is because it is dangerously low in calories. The hcg itself is destroyed by the stomach acid. The only hcg that works is the kind that is injected by a physician for certain growth disorders. He said you could take a teaspoon of sugar and eat 500 calories and get the same weightloss. Made sense to me.

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Joan February 11, 2012 at 6:54 AM

To clarify: The fruit juice we drink is a mix of berries and some veggies that I juice. It is more compatible with the vanilla flavored protein shake I use. It is UGH! GAG! GAK! with veggie juice! LOL.

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Mark February 11, 2012 at 6:13 AM

Did you up your calories more than normal? This would be quite common when including greater variety of foods and carbs. That would explain the changes you’ve seen, especially if you were undereating before for prolonged time.

Also, perhaps the same could be accomplished by a weekly high-carb day rather than everyday. Just food for thought 😉

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Yes I probably doubled my calories.

However, it is my contention that eating low carb causes you to abnormally restrict your diet. Counting carbs, calories, anything is not healthy. Also, I really just was not hungry when I was low carbing. I believe this was due to the fact that I was low in magnesium and zinc, which causes appetite loss. I believe I was avoiding a lot of foods which contain these nutrients, such as whole grains.

I did the weekly Binge Day on the Four Hour Body. I’m done with diets. I’m ready to just eat like a normal person and eat what I want.

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Mark February 14, 2012 at 8:00 PM

That’s your answer there then. While low-carb can restrict calories, with careful planning you can enjoy all the health benefits of “low-carb” and still have normal hormonal levels.

Restricting caloric intake for extended time was the problem (at least from what I’m gathering), not low-carb itself.

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Wendy February 11, 2012 at 7:11 AM

please do write that post on how to increase carbs on GAPS. i am 42 and would also like to become pregnant and i’m looking for what to do, what to do… thank you.

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 7:17 AM

OK, I will write it!

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KBcooks February 11, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Wow. I’m 42 and want a new baby. Girl please! I made the same mistake on GAPS and stuck w meats, fats and veggies, then blamed the aggrivated hypothyroidism on the diet. I made the switch to carbs around the same time you did. I’ve been navigating between Stone, Peat and Roddy, but have to find balance soon, b/c I want to conceive this year. Had two early miscarriages in 2007 and 2010 (now I’m sure progesterone too low – but of course doc said ‘We don’t know why, it just happens.’)

Anyway, now that you know about Stone, please help me w these questions that counter GAPS/WAPF. Should we still take FCLO regularly even if its polyunsaturated and anti-Stone? How should we handle poor fat digestion when re-integrating carbs? Probiotics – also not pursued by Stone – so take them? He says the fermentation in the gut (by fiber and starch) introduces prebiotics that do what needs to be done. With the higher temps, the body heals itself.

I will say, my cravings are gone. So even now eating grains and sugars, I can stop w/o wanting more. I think that’s HUGE in terms of healing. I did it by taking a spoonful of coco oil first thing in the morning, before prepping kids for school. My urge for coffee or something sweet for breakfast subsided and didn’t come back, even after stopping the coco oil.

One more. Got my basal temp up .8 degrees (97.0 to 97.8) just by making my husband hold me all night. We usually sleep a few inches apart. That will be a productive (and inexpensive) part of my therapy.

Remember the post you did on ‘why am I so tired’ when you described how you looked up that flight of stairs and realized something was very wrong. Isn’t this what it has been all along? Carb deprivation? I’m glad I have someone as forthcoming as you to go along on this journey with. Hope all of us 40-somethings get pregnant together!

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cheeseslave February 15, 2012 at 5:43 AM

Had two early miscarriages in 2007 and 2010 (now I’m sure progesterone too low – but of course doc said ‘We don’t know why, it just happens.’)

It shouldn’t take long. I was struggling for years and now, since I’ve increased my carbs substantially, my temps are up. 98.2 BBT this morning!

Should we still take FCLO regularly even if its polyunsaturated and anti-Stone?

I take my FCLO. Why is it anti-Stone?

How should we handle poor fat digestion when re-integrating carbs?

Swedish bitters is great for fat malabsorption.

Probiotics – also not pursued by Stone – so take them? He says the fermentation in the gut (by fiber and starch) introduces prebiotics that do what needs to be done. With the higher temps, the body heals itself.

I agree with him to a certain point BUT many of us are victims of lots of antibiotics, the birth control pill, etc.

I ate a lot of fiber and starch and a high carb diet when I was in my 20s but I still got gut dysbiosis, so I’m not sure if Matt is correct on this. I needed probiotics to correct my system.

One more. Got my basal temp up .8 degrees (97.0 to 97.8) just by making my husband hold me all night. We usually sleep a few inches apart. That will be a productive (and inexpensive) part of my therapy.

As nice as it is for your husband to hold you, this is not helping. I am rereading Mark Starr’s book, Hypothyroidism Type 2 The Epidemic. He says that a lot of times hypothyroid patients will load on the blankets and wear socks and sweaters in an attempt to stay warmer at night. They will end up with higher temps as a result. These temps are not accurate though, he says.

Acc to Matt best thing to do is eat fruit first thing in the morning. I woke up just now (5 am) and ate a banana. Then an hour or two from now I will have waffles and eggs.

Remember the post you did on ‘why am I so tired’ when you described how you looked up that flight of stairs and realized something was very wrong. Isn’t this what it has been all along? Carb deprivation? I’m glad I have someone as forthcoming as you to go along on this journey with. Hope all of us 40-somethings get pregnant together!

I don’t remember that… but yeah! I have much more energy today. I don’t feel that way looking up staris now.

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Sarah February 11, 2012 at 8:17 AM

about a month and a half ago, my husband went on a low carb diet, and i did it with him, thinking that it would be healthy (for all the same reasons you mentioned above).

i am a nursing mother, and i saw my milk supply dramatically decrease, even though i was eating plenty of calories (i initially assumed it was just a random thing, like some women go through with their milk supply decreasing). a couple weeks ago we stopped doing the diet, after being more convinced that it was not as healthy of a diet as we originally thought.

when we re-introduced carbs, my milk supply shot back up! thats when i made the link to the diet.

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anon February 11, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Dr Rind is a KOOK trying to sell CRAP. He’s rehashing all of Ray Peat’s work and misguiding people because his double chin is getting in the way of the computer screen.

Check out raypeat.com for information.

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Jo February 11, 2012 at 8:45 AM

I think there is a confusion between deciding how to eat as a perfectly healthy person and trying to heal the gut, as Gabi said. I never thought that GAPS was ‘low carbs’ only because it excludes grains. Peas have more carbs than rice! And lentils, and all the starchy vegetables, juices, etc. This is GAPs and the more I advanced into it the more I reduce my meat protein intake (but keep high animal fat intake).

Jo

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Gabi February 11, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Exactly, great point, Jo! GAPS is not low carb, it is just no grain…and only while doing the healing protocol, which is the entire point of GAPS…it is not a lifelong “diet,” it is a healing protocol. And it is actually quite high in carbs when you look at the honey, fruits and many of the veggies…it’s just no grain and limits the polysaccharides…somehow, I think that is creating confusion b/c of all the other “meat only” diets out there… ?

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Exactly right, Gabi!

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Cathy F. February 11, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Dear Lord, sometimes I just want to crawl into a cave and eat worms (are they high fat or high carb?)

The more I read in this growing food debate, the more convinced I am that, whatever else it is, eating should not be stressful. Since I started my “healthy-eating” journey about two years ago, I’ve been from vegan all the way to Atkins – and back to my current eating philosophy, which is quality first (avoid factory food and chemicals), and everything else in moderation. Now I’m wondering if I developed a sensitivity to eggs (or maybe honey, or perhaps coconut oil) because my face developed a rash about three months ago that just gets worse (making an appointment soon with my Applied Kinesiologist).

I’m discovering food can be our friend AND our enemy — but which is what?! That’s the mystery. Good luck on your new carb-friendly venture. I hope it works for you… for me, the jury’s still out.

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Sam March 1, 2012 at 11:41 AM

> making an appointment soon with my Applied Kinesiologist

file under “here’s part of your problem … ”

Why an AK? Why not an astrologer? or a palm reader? Or Sylvia Browne?

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jj February 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

I really agree with this. I haven’t done low carb paleo, but that’s because I’ve done low carb before and it really just made me feel “off” 100% of the time. I had a lot of cravings, a lot of gut issues and I felt queasy most of the day. Not to mention my athletic performance tanked. Before I started going paleo(ish) I took stock of where I am with clear eyes. I’m an active woman of childbearing age trying to lose the last 10 pounds of baby (well, preschooler) weight. There is no reason that I should be eating in a way that’s appropriate for a sedentary 60 year old with metabolic problems. It might be possible to keep body and soul together eating very low carb, but it’s not going to be optimal for MY body.

Not that I go crazy with the carbs, but I get at least 100g in a day, often more like 120-150 and more if I’m training that day. I’ve found that some grains are OK for me (rice) and others make me absolutely miserable (corn). But my go-to carbs are still sweet potatoes, root veggies, fruit and some white potatoes. I truly believe there’s no need to drop carbs super low unless someone has blood sugar problems… and that goes double if you have KIDS that are eating paleo(ish). Growing children need fuel!

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Mary February 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM

I love beans and potatos, but am not much into breads. When I do buy bread, it is the sprouted and when I make it it is soaked flour (still not sure that I am doing this right).
Grains are mentioned in the Old Testament many times, so how can they not be good for you. God listed what was good and not good to eat and the more you find out about nutrition will prove the Bible right.
It’s hard for us visiting relatives (where I am now) and they eat all kinds of bad, processed foods with little veggies (I like those not so much meat) and I can tell when my body starts changing with my knees hurting, i get sick (have a cold now), and feel just plain yucky.. I can’t wait to get home to my wonderful FL garden that I hope does not freeze in the next couple of nights. Everything is ready to pick! Lot’s of greens.
You might want to rethink your recipe for low carb bacon egg and cheese muffins listed above then.

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Diana May 3, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I agree that our ancestors ate grains in the Bible however the processed grains of today are very different from what they ate.

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Marci June 25, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Good point, Diana … same holds true for most foods … the beef, the chicken, the fish, the fruit, the veggies … all of it has less nutrients now.

Waiting for the return to Eden, aka the BIG REBOOT. 😉

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liesel February 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Just started reading your blog–great post! Wanted to comment though that I feel like Im in between a rock and a hard place with what to eat and can others relate?…I have gut dysbiosis which would probably benefit from GAPS, and Im pretty close with the broth, probiotics, fats, etc..except I still eat red potatoes and white rice/rice cakes. My thyroid and adrenals are struggling, blood sugar issues, mildly underweight, periods sporadic, and after years of an eating disorder(restrictive low carbing) I am hesitant to fully committ to GAPS (more restriction!) Right now I cant tolerate enough squash, carrots or any fruit/honey so GAPS would be very low carb. Working with a doc to heal gut issues with antimicrobials, etc, yet wondering if I should just do GAPS anyway? I really want to heal.

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Ralph Wolman February 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM

@liesel – if you read the GAPS Diet book, and believe what Dr. McBride writes, you are the perfect candidate for the diet – starting with intro. If you read other posts on these types of things you would find that being absolutely strict on GAPS, particularly during the intro, is essential to helping your gut heal. I am not a doctor or a nutrition professional. I just read a lot. Good luck with whatever you do!

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Zoebird March 30, 2012 at 12:35 AM

leisel,

if at all possible, before going on the diet yourself, I suggest working with a naturopathic physician to get some help.

my husband went on a modified GAPS diet that our naturopath helped him create that has worked wonders in healing his gut over the last year.

just getting the right person to help you along can help you stay out of danger zones with your eating disorder, and give you guidance on how it all will work (i.e., things might get worse before they get better when you go through a die-off).

good luck to you.

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Meghan Miller June 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Sounds like you’re having some Leptin issues. I had similar issues and really benefited from Dr. Jack Kruse’s Leptin Rx. Its not calorie restrictive, and only mildly carb restrictive in the beginning assuming you’re not overweight. After you’ve reset your Leptin levels, you’ll notice your energy and gut issues will be much improved!
http://jackkruse.com/the-leptin-rx-faqs/
http://jackkruse.com/how-does-the-leptin-rx-work/

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Mark February 11, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Whew, that’s a relief. Would be hard to advertise sprouted flour and online grain classes if you thought a low-carb diet was optimal.

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 3:53 PM

@Mark

If I wanted to make money, I would not advertise a totally niche product like sprouted flour on my blog. I’d do a mainstream blog and run ads for Kraft and Pepsi. Remember, in my former life I was an advertising exec.

And if I wanted to make money, I would not have decided to launch a whole grains class. I would have done a Lose Weight with Paleo class or something like that. That would have sold like 3-4 times more. There is so much animosity toward carbs and especially grains right now. I’ll be lucky if I cover my expenses and come out even.

I’m doing this because I believe in it.

I do not think a low-carb diet is optimal for everybody. It certainly is not optimal, or even good for me. It may be fine for some people but it is definitely not good for people who are trying to get pregnant or people with hormone problems. Which was the point of this post.

If it’s good for you, keep doing it!

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Mishelle Tallent February 11, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Thank you for all of the documentation you’ve been doing on your health journey. Your honesty and sense of humor are refreshing.

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Victoria Bloch February 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Just commented on your FB post on this topic. Good for you for being brave and getting this out there. I’ve loved reading Matt Stone’s posts on the topic, and so am thrilled to see you experimenting with yummy carbs and feeling better as a result! This does match my own results: I stay more satiated longer when I include some sourdough toast along with the eggs, or lately, oatmeal AND eggs AND toast, with butter on everything.

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Thanks Victoria!

I miss you and I hope you are well!

Yes I used to just do eggs for breakfast. I don’t think that was sufficiently breaking my fast. Now I always include waffles or pancakes or toast or oatmeal.

I’ll let you know the next time I am in LA — probably will be there in early March for the Expo West conference. Would love to do dinner. We can go eat some bread! 😉

xoxoxo

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Kate February 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM

WOW! I can’t tell you how these symptoms match my own. My hair is falling out more than usual, my hormones are all over the place, melasma, insomnia, adrenals, thyroid you name it and Im there….a n d I just bought a thermometer the other day and my temp in the morning was 96F. I have been avoiding grains where possible and in trying to do this my eating habits are all over the place. I love sourdough and sprouted grain bread and I crave it when I avoid it. I have just ordered The Schwarzbein Principle 2 and booked myself in to have a complete hormone panel done. I have also been pretty slack in taking my CLO due to work, home school, cooking etc. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and THANK YOU for talking about this.

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cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Yes please DO keep me posted! Good luck to you!

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Amy February 27, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Hi Kate,
I have melasma and have had it for a very long time. Even before kids and I have never taken birth control pills. My MD’s have always just told me “it’s hormonal” and have prescribed hydroquinone for bleaching. Does not seem to work. Do you have any suggestions or resources for further information about this issue? Thanks much.

Amy

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leah February 11, 2012 at 7:34 PM

You go, Annemarie!!! I’ve tried low-carb and I feel absolutely horrible on it.

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Gabi February 11, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Hey AnnMarie, I had another thought today…I’m sure this is likely off-base, but I figured I’d just ask:

Have you done a good liver/gallbladder cleanse in the last year or two? I know you’ve been healed from sensitivities for quite a while, but just living in this world (with so many environmental toxins) can cause our bodies stress. Because the liver is a key player in the regulation and circulation of our hormones, it’s something to be aware of when dealing with hormonal imbalances. I’m sure you know that…. 🙂

OK, just wanted to see if that might be helpful. Cheers! gabi

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Sarabeth Matilsky February 12, 2012 at 6:13 AM

Very interesting discussion. I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian (super strict, whole-foods “starchitarian,” with two years of veganism as a teenager) for my entire life, until my oldest son turned six and I turned thirty, and our entire family’s health had pretty much gone down the tubes–it took that long for me to question my “religion.” My hormones in particular were toast, and had been getting worse since adolescence: My basal body temps were two degrees too low, I had horrible cramps and PMS and irregular cycles and “mood swings” (to put it mildly), and my son was sliding into autism and anorexia in a scary way.

We finally did a 180.

We have been doing a very low-sugar (probably low-carb, no nuts but with LOTS of veggies) GAPS diet for two years, and my son has improved steadily, while at first I made great progress: Monthly bleeding shortened from five days to 2-3, was much lighter and less “clumpy,” my cycle shortened from 35-45 to 28-30 days, and my basal body temps became both more even and 1 degree higher overall (even though they were still about 1 degree lower than normal). My anxiety and depression were WAY better. My hypogycemia, for the first time in my life, disappeared.

Then…I got pregnant in October, and I am still searching for reasons why I crashed about three weeks later–my mood issues have returned with a vengeance, and they can’t NOT be hormonally-linked, although PTSD also must be part of it (my son’s issues are still pretty intense).

But I have examined Jaminet’s ideas and others, and am still not convinced it’s “just” the relative absence of carbs. Could it be that, because of a lifetime of high-starch, low-animal-fat eating, my liver just doesn’t work as well as it should?? Could this be why so many women’s hormonal issues are uncovered when they go “low carb”, simply because suddenly the body has lost its compensatory mechanisms for fueling and building itself, not to mention producing hormones? I have no idea, really, but I am fascinated by the discussions concerning glucoengenosis, and I have this feeling that it’s not nearly as simple as I wish it were. Eating more carbs, and even some grains, during this pregnancy has NOT fixed my hormonal “problems” by any means, just like it wasn’t the key to good health during the first 30 years of my life (there are so many variables!). I’m not convinced it’s the missing link to why many people have hormone problems that “start” when they begin eating paleo–were those hormones REALLY just fine before the carbs were taken out? Maybe high-carb is a therapeutic way (of many) to compensate for/deal with a metabolism that has spent a lifetime (and maybe many generations??) eating a high-starch diet…

These are just some of the thoughts I have, as I ponder how best to heal a family suffering from fairly far-gone degeneration. I’m fascinated by what Jack Kruse writes about hormones, and am tempted to try his ideas, even though pancakes sound mighty tempting. 🙂 (The leptin reset is a fascinating idea…)

http://jackkruse.com/my-leptin-prescription/
http://jackkruse.com/the-leptin-rx-faqs/
http://jackkruse.com/why-is-oprah-still-obese-leptin-part-3/

Have you read any of this? What do you think?

Regards,
Sarabeth

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cheeseslave February 12, 2012 at 8:07 AM

@Sarabeth

Thanks for your comment.

I haven’t read the Jack Kruse stuff in depth yet but I will.

I personally don’t think there is a problem with high starch. I’ve met extremely healthy lifelong lacto-ovo vegetarians from India. However, they did not eat a low-fat diet. They cooked everything in ghee. I’m wondering if your diet was low-fat. That would definitely screw up your hormones, as hormones are made from cholesterol.

I’m not surprised that you started problems when you got pregnant. Pregnancy places an enormous burden on our bodies and on our hormones.

Please reread my blog post — the part about the people living in the Arctic Circle who could not get pregnant eating a low-carb diet. They had to eat moose thyroid glands in order to procreate.

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cheeseslave February 12, 2012 at 8:14 AM

At first glance I cannot imagine this Jack Kruse diet would be healthy. 25 grams of carbs per day?

Again, I’ll read it more in depth but it looks like another restrictive diet to me.

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MotherGinger February 12, 2012 at 8:55 AM

<25g per day *if* you are over 30lbs overweight, and it's only for the 6-8 weeks of the leptin reset. Jack Kruse has woven together information from all disciplines of medicine (instead of just "treat your part and throw the patient over the wall to the next specialist"), and I think Sarabeth's probably right … I posit that for many people for whom carbs seem the magic bullet back to feeling well, they are patching over symptoms whose root causes will remain untouched, only to crop again later in a perhaps different manifestation.

High carb (so long as they are primal carbs, or small amounts of properly prepared grains if you can tolerate them) can be a very healthful way of living in someone who has restored hormonal & gut balance and is currently enjoying warm weather (or going through moderate portions of storable carbs like apples & winter squashes).

But before you get to that point, for many, many people, very low carb is an absolute necessity. Don't write off Kruse based on a knee-jerk reaction to a cursory glance at one part (the leptin reset) of his total picture. He treats many, many conditions and absolutely does not recommend VLC (or even <50g) for everyone, by any means.

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cheeseslave February 12, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Like I said, I will read the information more thoroughly. Can’t this morning. It’s Sunday morning and I have over 100 questions to answer for another post.

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Meghan Miller June 6, 2012 at 1:39 PM

As I commented early, the Leptin Rx totally worked for me. And cold therapy has also been awesome! I think context, warm adapted vs. cold adapted, is one of the most critical factors in relation to diet that noone is talking about. It seems to intuitively make sense that lots of activity and stress would go better with a warm climate and higher carbs, just like less activity (or limited, punctuated activity), more rest and fewer carbs would mesh better with a cold environment. Reading Jack’s stuff will also make you think more about carbs and seasonality and circadian rythyms…

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Lee January 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Hey. One year later. Re: your mood issues. It made me think of fructose malabsorption and the related SIBO. You might not be able to “absorb” fructose and/or animal fat (coconut oil would probably be okay though).
More info:
http://theprimalparent.com/2012/03/31/ibs-depression-skin-fructose-malabsorption/
http://www.eat-real-food-paleodietitian.com/paleo-diet-and-fodmap.html

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Jessica Williams February 27, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Have you looked into Copper Toxicity? Your previous lifestyle makes you a candidate. I’ve had similar issues and think this is the underlying issue.

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Jenni February 12, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I would just like to say I love how direct you are. It’s quite hilarious. I mean that in a good way.

I’ve been trying to get pregnant for 4 cycles to no avail (38 years old), and I have been eating very low carb (trying to kick acid reflux… no go). So, I have just upped my apple cider vinegar intake and the reflux is pretty well controlled, all the while eating carbs (this is only the past week or two). SO– hopefully more carbs will help!

I do know about the kefir smoothie miracle with your dad. I eat those every single day. We’re about to get our raw milk, so then I’m going to make them with that. Can’t wait. I wouldn’t say they are a cure-all for me, but they help.

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Jenni February 12, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Don’t want to add to your workload, but I’m curious– are you taking anything for your low thyroid stuff?

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cheeseslave February 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

No.

I want to wait and see if I can get my thyroid to function better without having to take thyroid glands. See the post where Masterjohn talks about this specifically. Carbs really can help!

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Jenni February 12, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Well, good luck. I am going to look at that post you mentioned. My thyroid is so off, I must take medication in order to function. I’m going to check it out, though (the Masterjohn post).

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Jenni February 12, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Who is this Masterjohn, anyways? He looks soooo young! He sounds very knowledgeable, though.

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cheeseslave February 12, 2012 at 6:44 PM

I meant read my post Why I Ditched Low Carb — I quoted Masterjohn

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Archie Welch February 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

It looks as though you are maknig a case for grains. If man has been eating grains for 100,000 years that still leaves about 4 million years of no grains. 10K or 100K it’s still a blip in our overall history. I’m not totally against grains although I don’t believe we are meant to eat much in the way of gluten. If I could find some grains that were fresh (not stored in a silo for umpteen months), stored them in my freezer, ground my own flour, used a sourdough starter and properly soaked the grains I’d be OK with that. Personally that is more work than the grains are worth but if that is what you do and you have the time and energy (from increasing your carbs), go for it. Chances are however most people are buying a store bought bread. The grains are pretty much dead, the bread company might use bromides instead of iodine as the dough conditioner which competes with iodine in your thyroid receptors, probably has a fair amount of toxic molds, increases blood sugars that increase insulin and weight gain and contains very little nutrition. I’d rather eat more potatoes, vegatable and fruits than grains to get my carbs. Not that I’m 100% strict about grains either. If I go out with friends I might have a beer and a burger and not worry about it. Grains are just not a part of my everyday menu. Maybe write another blog on the subject in six months and let us know if you’ve gained weight from your new love affair with waffles, bread and muffins.

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cheeseslave February 12, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Hi, Archie!

If I could find some grains that were fresh (not stored in a silo for umpteen months), stored them in my freezer, ground my own flour, used a sourdough starter and properly soaked the grains I’d be OK with that.

Yes, that is what I recommend.

However there are good sprouted breads available at the store.

I agree with you about the normal storebought breads — no point in buying those.

I will keep you posted on my weight, for sure. So far I have not gained any and my hormones are much improved.

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Gabi February 12, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I think Sarabeth brought up a good point…the complexity of hormonal issues. The hormonal system is one of the most complex in our bodies…even modern scientists will tell you we just don’t really understand everything about how hormones work.

The fact that many, many women eat/have eaten a normal or even high carb diet and still suffer from significant hormonal imbalances (myself and some of my friends included) indicates there’s more to the picture than carbs. Before diagnosing, it’s important to take all factors into consideration, like AnnMarie said. For instance, what is your saturated fat intake? That’s really key. And, do you/have you eaten soy? Do you/have you used birth control pills? What is your illness/drug history? How about environmental toxin exposures? Stress? I mean, the list is pretty long…. Even just doing one of the popular “no carb” lifestyle diets can thrust your body into starvation mode, and that will wreak havoc on hormone production (hence, the point of AnnMarie’s latest posts, I think).

Liver health really is important in this hormone dance, so that is a legitimate consideration for anyone dealing with hormonal imbalances. Gut health affects hormone production; overall systemic toxicity affects hormone production. The hormone enigma is a thing of complexity and beauty, LOL.

When someone is eating fat, is not harmed from soy/drugs, does not have a stagnant liver, is not toxic, etc… if it’s just an issue of needing the nutrients from carbs, then I imagine you would see improvement, like AnnMarie has been describing in her posts. But I don’t think the picture will be that simple for everyone struggling with this problem. It’s good for people to do a self-evaluation and continue to learn and investigate these issues.

AnnMarie, I see a tie-in article for this topic you’ve started…I had a hormone article in the works and now I’m seeing the new angle you’re introducing. Good stuff!! Cheers!

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Jenni February 12, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Ok, so I was vegetarian for 13 years, ate soy every day, tons of it, took birth control pills, antibiotics every year (elementary teacher constantly contracting strep), etc. And I have thyroid issues, as well as GERD, bad teeth, and bad knees. What would y’all say–do GAPS?

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Gabi February 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Yes, yes, yes and more yes! Your health background sounds really similar to mine. Check out my GAPS articles on my blog; you can only get better by healing your gut…and then you’ll progress from there onto your health journey… Fair forewarning, with such extensive issues as you are describing, the healing crisis could be discouraging/painful…but it WILL pass and you will be so glad to climb that mountain. I wish you well!! Cheers, gabi

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Jenn February 18, 2012 at 3:51 AM

Definitely do GAPS! It seems you are toxic from environment and eating habits (I can only imagine the kinds of toxins at the school: cleaners, etc.), plus the antibiotics and birth control. Your gut is probably sabotaged 🙁

GAPS definitely helped me. I was in a similar situation minus the pill, and since starting the diet things have gotten so much better, starting with my knee pain and moving up from there! I suffered from hypothyroidism and thus a drastically low body temperature, hypoglycemia, and fainting spells. Now all that is history, praise God! I have not had honey, fruit, and nuts, and am severe about restricting squash intake due to yeast issues, but all my hormones straightened out regardless. This is not to debunk Annemarie (promise! Love reading your posts!) but to encourage you that GAPS is very doable, even low carb like I am doing.
Every body is different! Blessings on whatever you choose to do!

Soli Deo Gloria,
Jenn

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Jenni February 18, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Jenn–are you telling me that you were diagnosed hypothyroid and now are free of that? Like, you needed meds for it and now you don’t? I’m trying to find someone who is in that category.

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Jenn February 20, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Jenni,
That is what I am saying. They were wanting to put me on thyroid meds but I did not want to go that route. It was not as severe as many, but enough for the meds to be pulled off the shelf. Once I started eating correctly, the thyroid problem slowly but surely went away. Thyroid balance is so tricky – most people need to change their med dose frequently because bodies will adapt/change to whatever circumstance in which they are placed. So, do not stop taking the meds immediately, but as things improve, adjust your meds as your body heals. Many people have been able to go off completely are greatly reduce their dosage. Hope this works for you!

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jenni February 20, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Ok, great. Well, I am gearing up for the diet. Thanks so much for your time and your thoughts. Much appreciated!

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Jenn February 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Well, all my best to you with the diet! I pray it goes well.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Jenn

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Krissy February 13, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Do you think “ditching low carb” would also be recommended for someone with PCOS and insulin sensitivity?

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Diana February 14, 2012 at 7:02 AM

Depends, I was diagnosed with PCOS and low carb made me much WORSE! I’m not saying to pig out on junky carbs though.

But I think it has a lot to do with the definition of low carb and what works for you. There’s low carb and then there is low carb. WAPF diet would be low carb in comparison to SAD. Less than 60 g a day is low carb but to some people 150 g is low carb. I did very poorly anywhere near 60 g but am doing much better around 150-180 depending on what I am doing that day.

I think a big thing is getting over the cravings and that way you can tell what you really need. Good fats help immensely. If I had to give myself advice now, I would say get on WAP diet with lots of fats until the cravings are gone. Then see what you feel like having and eat carbs moderately. If you are not improving, the try to reduce carbs and see if it helps. If not, experiment some more.

For me, it seems like my symptoms are related to stress of some kind. I have improved when removing things that are stressing my body (bad water, avoiding foods I react to, etc) but I think I messed up my progress by trying to “do better” and be stricter with the carbs and that I know now has definitely hurt me in many ways.

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Jennifer February 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

NO!! You may not need to be extreme about it, but reducing carbs is probably the best thing you can do for this. I say this as someone who had crazy cycles for years (while vegan), lost three babies to miscarriage, and then finally started eating meat and taking metformin (stopgap measure to help the blood sugar/insulin issue, don’t take it anymore). Two healthy babies later, I have to say it made a HUGE difference. I think a lot of people with unexplained infertility could benefit from this kind of approach too. Perhaps for someone on an extremely extremely low carb diet there could be a benefit to adding in more, but I’ve never met anyone with PCOS – and I know many through groups on this – who was eating this way. Usually it’s just the opposite. Lower carb, healthy carbs, in moderation, would very likely help!

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Diana February 15, 2012 at 2:48 PM

@Jennifer I am glad that you were able to recover and have healthy kids. I diligently followed my MDs and NDs (same) advice and did (healthy non-processed) low carb and lost lots of weight. However, I did not improve (actually got worse) and added a whole bunch of symptoms. I pushed through bc I thought it was just the hormones kicking in but after a couple years, it was clear that that low carb wasn’t helping. I still avoided carbs thinking it was a good thing to do until recently.

I should have been clearer but what I meant to say was that if the standard approach of low carb isn’t helping you then try moderate carbs. Not to not reduce them at all and binge on carbs.

Given your experience, I would be open to any suggestions!

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Jennifer February 16, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I agree, moderate to low carbs is what you want. WAP, especially those good fats, is key. There are so many things in our average food that work against you in the PCOS/diabetes sort of hormonal problems. Reading things like Real Food for Mother and Baby or Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition gives a lot of insight into this. There are so many less carby food you can substitute for things you might crave (check out any gluten free baking book) and that helps too. I aim to keep my intake at or below the level of a gestational diabetes diet (as I’ve been pregnant or nursing for more than the past three years) which I think puts you at 150 or less, and only counting particularly carby foods. I’ve found that easy to maintain, and comfortable after adjusting, and I’m usually well under that.

I’ve got the flu and I hope this is making sense! I think low to moderate carbs is the long term way to deal with PCOS without drugs.

Good luck. I truly hope you have success in dealing with this! I also suggest finding a doctor who specializes in PCOS or works through charting cycles (NAPRO). Much more helpful than the usual “just take clomid” advice, which fails for many people and does not address the long term health issues.

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Jennifer February 16, 2012 at 2:32 PM

I agree, moderate to low carbs is what you want. WAP, especially those good fats, is key. There are so many things in our average food that work against you in the PCOS/diabetes sort of hormonal problems. Reading things like Real Food for Mother and Baby or Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition gives a lot of insight into this. There are so many less carby food you can substitute for things you might crave (check out any gluten free baking book) and that helps too. I aim to keep my intake at or below the level of a gestational diabetes diet (as I’ve been pregnant or nursing for more than the past three years) which I think puts you at 150 or less, and only counting particularly carby foods. I’ve found that easy to maintain, and comfortable after adjusting, and I’m usually well under that.

I’ve got the flu and I hope this is making sense! I think low to moderate carbs is the long term way to deal with PCOS without drugs.

Good luck. I truly hope you have success in dealing with this! I also suggest finding a doctor who specializes in PCOS or works through charting cycles (NAPRO). Much more helpful than the usual “just take clomid” advice, which fails for many people and does not address the long term health issues.

I should add, I also have hypothyroid issues (though I think dropping soy has basically fixed that) and I don’t think eating this way has made that worse. In fact, I’m planning to see if I can come off of the tiny amount of synthroid I have been taking.

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Diana February 16, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Jennifer, Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it. This has been a tough issue to navigate for me. I do not have elevated blood sugars, triglycerides, etc. and after 3 years on WAP don’t have cravings for carbs either! All other labs look good to optimal which makes this much more confusing. It just doesn’t make any sense to anyone. Never did the drugs.

What I do know is that doing anything near 60 g carbs (which is where they want me to be) or lower makes me bonkers and most symptoms worsen. I wonder if anyone has ever heard a case like this, I mean I can’t possibly be the only one?!?!?

Hope you get over your flu soon!

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Lori February 13, 2012 at 7:08 AM

Wow! In my efforts to find some healing for my thyroid and hashimoto’s and weight gain because of those, I recently found Matt Stone and 180 Degree health and have been soaking up all this new information from him as fast as I can. I recently found your blog here too. I think it was a recipe search that led me to you and have been scanning posts and reading about your journey with food and health. Last Thursday I bought Diet Recovery and read as much as I could before I left for the weekend and started today with the mindset that I need to start making these changes in my life and I felt fearfull. Then I read this post of yours and it’s exactly what I needed to read today. You have encouraged me beyond measure. Thank you.

I am almost 50 years old. After gaining 40 lbs in a very short amount of time. I went from a size 6/7 to a 12/14 in about 6 weeks. All while not eating much and working out as hard as I could until I crashed. Found out I had thyroid issues. Was told to stop eating grains/glutten among other things. Tried that and things got even worse. Started taking my temps and they ranged from 95’s-96’s. Yes very cold hands and feet, dry skin, tired, sleep issues, body aches. Still not able to lose weight. No matter how little I eat or work out every single day doing interval training and lifting hand weights.

The thing is we eat basicially healthy even though everything is not organic. I make everything we eat from scratch…sour dough and soaked grains breads, raw milk, kefir and yogurt from raw milk. I’ve gone through periods of not eating any of the breads, rice, fruit..ect..and it doesn’t change anything. I didn’t have stomach issues to begin with and still don’t. If anything I suffer from lack of appetite.

My hashimoto’s has flaired up even worse as of late. Now I am wondering if it’s because I took away most carbs. for about the past month or so??? I am so careful about what I eat and still my thyroid is literally hurting 24/7, difficulty swallowing, feel like I am swelled up all over, very dry skin, so tired and I can not lose a lb.

Right now it feels like I am fighting for my life. I desperately need to feel better. My husband and I are raising his daughters 2 children whom are now 5 and 6. We have had them since the 5 year old was born and we will have them forever. They are a blessing beyong measure but I feel like I am letting them down with my lack of energy and I so want to keep up with them like I did when I raIsed my now adult 5 children.

I think I am so afraid of gaining more weight by following Diet recovery that I am hesitant to start but then I am reminded that I am not losing any weight by doing what I’ve been doing so what have I got to lose? I am limited financially or I would do a consultation with Matt so I am trying to seek as much info as I can. I know you have thyroid issues so thought I would ask you if there is anything else I need to know before starting this? I am desperate for someone that understands what I am going through.

I really appreciate your blog and have so enjoyed learning from you. Thank you!

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Meghan Miller June 6, 2012 at 1:50 PM

This is a repeat post from one I posted earlier, but I had a very similar issues after I was working out way too hard and restricting calories… totally crashed and started having very bad anxiety and insomnia. Basically, when you do this you really screw up your Leptin levels. Check out Dr. Jack Kruse’s Leptin Rx. Made a ton of sense to me after reading the ‘Why is Oprah still obese’ post… I felt dramatically better after the first few days of the Rx.
http://jackkruse.com/the-leptin-rx-faqs/
http://jackkruse.com/how-does-the-leptin-rx-work/
http://jackkruse.com/why-is-oprah-still-obese-leptin-part-3/

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Alexandra February 13, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Did you actually read Mark’s Asian Paradox post? It’s not about how rice makes you fat at all – it’s about how Asian cultures COULD consume rice without being fat (more rice less wheat, lots of slow movement like walking each day, smaller portions, etc.)

Mark even says “Asian countries remain lean (if they’re actually lean, that is) on a rice-heavy diet by virtue of lots of low-level aerobic activity to promote insulin sensitivity, lots of nutrient-dense food to go with that rice, and because rice is the least offensive grain.”

I think if you’re going to disagree with someone’s post, you should actually read what they are saying, rather than just making an assumption of the message.

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cheeseslave February 13, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Yes I did read it.

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Alexandra February 13, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I think it’s a bit unfair to summarize his article as “rice makes you fat.” Particularly because his post does not state that at all.

I have to agree with other posters – I’ve been lurking for a long time and commenting for a few months now, and I’m a bit put off by the increasingly strident tone, particularly coupled with the whiplash changes in attitudes. In two months, are you going to be on to something else, speaking so stridently against what you’re currently doing now? It’s your journey, yes – but it’s off putting to read different lifestyles labeled as “fads” and “bandwagons”, particularly since your own lifestyle changes so frequently.

I really hope you don’t become even more strident or belittling towards those you disagree with – I had to stop reading the Healthy Home Economist because the tone got so bad. I’d hate to see Cheeseslave go down the same path.

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jocelyn357 February 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I know I too have seen this happen over at the Healthy Home Economist. Makes me sad. It’s shifted from a spirit of helpfulness to a intolerant insistence on one way only. It has never made sense to me that it’s one diet for all, or that a particular food is necessarily good for everyone.

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caitlin February 14, 2012 at 7:10 AM

I would agree with both alexandra and jocelyn. I was kind of obsessed with this website when I first discovered it. Such a postive, upbeat tone, providing helpful recipes and tips. Maybe it was just my interpretation, but I think the tone has shifted from embracing all different iterations of ‘traditional’ diets, to reflecting the attitude of the most recent book read.

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R February 18, 2012 at 5:36 PM

I could not agree with you two.

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cheeseslave February 13, 2012 at 7:21 PM

@Alexandra

Sorry, I should have rephrased that.

He did not say “rice makes you fat”. He said carbs make you fat:

“But what about the Asian Paradox? How can Asian countries consume so much white rice and so many noodles and remain so thin? If carbs make you fat, how do they eat so many of them?”

We’re nitpicking here, though, because rice is obviously a high-carb food, and he’s saying carbs make you fat.

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Huh? February 15, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Actually he said “if carbs make you fat” as in a hypothetical question

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Chris Henderson February 15, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Alexandra,

Sisson’s failure, in my opinion, is mainly that he doesn’t acknowledge the role of regional evolution in digestion. Just as we could not survive well on an Inuit diet, so they would have a hard time in Europe. Almost equally important, however, is that he is simply wrong about human metabolism. Low level cardiovascular activity uses FAT as a fuel source, not carbohydrate. His explanation makes no sense. Carbs vs. Protein and Fat are not the issue. This false dichotomy is a polarizing smokescreen made to sell bad books. The issue is exercise and timing nutrient intake to activity. Low level activity is supported by fat. High level activity is supported by carbohydrate. Interestingly enough, VERY HIGH level activity is supported by protein. Your body is not made to use protein as an energy source except in times of starvation. Hence, long-term low-carb lifestyles fail PRECISELY IN PROPORTION to how much one exercises. As you increase activity levels, your body needs carbs. Failing to supply them causes starvation response and your body will hold on to whatever fat it has. Thus, even though I am not against low-carb lifestyles for people used to what has become the standard of activity level for modern life, I am entirely against it when coupled with the kind of exercise it takes to really stay healthy.

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KBcooks February 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Lori: I’ve been following Cheeseslave for a long while, while just adapting to Matt Stone, Danny Roddy, and Ray Peat the last two months. I just bought the 180 degree collection over the weekend after reading diet recovery on Friday. I did do the program though starting in Nov. This is what I can provide.

I started devouring carbs (grits in morn, polenta, potatoes, yucca, etc.) after being very low carb for years. Yes my temps went up immediately. BUT, with Roddy/Peat, they suggested carbs through milk,oj, and fruit, and white sugar as a back-up. So I didn’t do RRARF clean for a month. I gained about 10 pounds in two months, but my temps are up and rebound quick if dips due to stress. Haven’t been under 97.0 since Nov. My period was almost clump-free (sign that excess extrogen is clearing up – due to daily carrot salad), and am mainly calm. Though there are secondary issues that I need to address (angry pimples, infections, etc.), which may be digestive transition. I’m back on Stone’s plan and avoiding fructose at all costs. I’m starting at yesterdays curry(took a digestive enzyme to deal w fructose from coco milk) w beef, langostinos, tons of rice, potatoes, and plan to have leftover oats and milk.

Everyone has their own journey, but having Anne Marie and each other, we can go forward more securly. Good Luck!

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Rob - @formerfatguy February 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Great post. I believe that we each need to eat the ratio of protein/carbs/fats that correspond with our specific genetic makeup. That’s why certain diets work for us that wont work for others and vice versa.

in short, depends on the person in question.

Guru’s that promote a certain way of eating have clients that get results. They promote those testimonials. HOwever, they do not promote the results of the others who do not get the same results. That’s why it always seems to look like a certain way of eating works and is the only way of eating. Wrong.

We’re unique, and require our own specific ratios.

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jocelyn357 February 13, 2012 at 2:59 PM

“I believe that we each need to eat the ratio of protein/carbs/fats that correspond with our specific genetic makeup. That’s why certain diets work for us that wont work for others and vice versa….in short, depends on the person in question.”

Exactly. There are certain things most of us agree aren’t good for anyone (ie, high-refined sugar, trans-fats, etc). Beyond that, there is much trial and error (and research) to find what works for our bodies as individuals. Nobody benefits from being dogmatic on either side. We do benefit from sharing our experiences so that people who experience similar scenarios can benefit. People (of which I’m sure there are plenty) who experience a decline in health on very low carbs should very much appreciate this blog post and its recommendation. Those who thrive very well on lower carbs (of which I KNOW there are many) might find some of the language unfriendly and rigid, and choose not to read any longer.

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Dr. Kelly February 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM

As a medical professional and having read a lot of information about thyroid issues over the last few months, I am going to agree to disagree with you. I am seeing more alternative medical research out there connecting the gluten allergies with thyroid dysfunction and autoimmune problems, and I fear your post is going to encourage some people to eat more grains again (even properly prepared grains) and affect their thyroid health for the worse, not the better. If people are increasing their carb intake through veggies and non-grain sources, along with the good quality butter or coconut oil, that may be beneficial, but I fear for people with leaky gut increasing their grains too high again and doing gut damage again. If people have a healthy gut, then they may be able to tolerate the properly prepared grains again in moderation, but I fear for most of us (that read real food blogs), whose guts have not been healed yet, that increasing the grain carbs (yes, even sprouted or sourdough) will cause most people a set back. And I am including women who want to get pregnant too in this class of people. I would rather see women on a high fat/protein with healthy veggies diet than a high grain/carb diet with less protein/fats, remember you need all the fat and cholesterol to MAKE those hormones your are discussing, the grains do not help to make the hormones you need. I am not saying people with hormone problems should all go low carb, I’m just saying that grains are not going to be the answer for most people, avoiding them will be the answer for most people, at least in a healing diet (whether that is GAPS, or Paleo or Primal) and adjusting the veggies carbs is probably going to be the most beneficial for most people to try in their healthy diet searches. I am also basing my info on other current research that some physiologists I know are doing, and they base their healing diet on 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carb for initial healing, with adjustments months later when their healing has occurred and yet they see very little reason to ever go back to grains (aside from maybe rice) due to the toxic affects it has on the gut, even in minimal amounts. I know you are not recommending this for everyone, it is what is working for you, but I’d like to advise most people with thyroid problems, the research is out there, avoiding grains (even sprouted/properly prepared ones) is better for your thyroid health and autoimmune health than eating them for carbs. My unsolicited advice is to use your veggies and fruits for adjusting your carbs! Thanks for letting me comment!

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Joni February 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I really can’t stand it when people who work in the medical field try to wield their “expertise” around like it’s something to be proud of. Most medical “professionals” are more ignorant of nutrition and how it affects the body than the sub-par “under-educated” blogger, like Cheeseslave. First, that just really bites my bippy that you would get on here and wave your “medical professional” status around as if that gives you more credibility than the well-rounded research she has posted.

Second, you’ve only been researching this for a few months? Well, I’ve been at it for 5 plus years and still haven’t learned all there is to know about the vastness of the endocrine system and why GAPS, low-carb and gut healing hasn’t worked for me…and if you start looking around, you’ll notice it’s not working for everyone, or “most” people like it claims. If it does work for someone, I am thrilled for that person! But we can’t be all-knowing and so general at the same time. People’s bodies are as unique and individual as the colors of the rainbow. The piece my healing puzzle is not the same as someone else’s. The over-generalization in dietary wisdom is what has helped steer people into many misguided directions in the first place. The one-size, fits all approach does not work. For some, it may, for others, it’s wrecked havoc on their bodies.

Cheeseslave is NOT “encouraging” women in any direction. She is sharing thoughts and experiences as to that which is working for her. I have the exact same issues and not one “medical professional” has ever bothered to link my low body temps with a metabolic issue. What is so wrong with questioning a theory that is completely opposite of what we have known to be true? Why is working on her? Have you tried it and if so, what were the effects on your body? Were your experienced effects the same or different than what Cheeseslave is experiencing?

There are way too many variables to claim that only one approach to a health problem works. I know, because I used that be that person towing the low-carb/ high-protein, party line and refused any information that conflicted my new food “religion.” When we can’t be open-minded enough to circumspectly look at all angles and sides of any theory or food philosophy, then we become unteachable, unable to learn, hypocritical and pharisaical.

Consider for a moment…..what if this WILL work for a lot of women? Why is it so hard for us to challenge what we *thought* we knew to be true?

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jocelyn357 February 13, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Wow – that’s an intense response to a “medical professional” who is actually looking into alternatives to the conventional m/o of allopathic medicine. It’s great that we have a long list of bloggers to have this conversation with, but the list of “medical professionals” interested in engaging this topic without shutting it down w/ the same old FDA inspired wisdom has been very short. Kinda “bites my bippy” when someone overlooks the significance of this!

BRAVO to Dr. Kelley!

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Joni February 13, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Maybe it is “intense” but I don’t take kindly to the implication that she is somehow more credible just because the word “Dr.” is behind her name. Why should she get treated any different? I think it’s part of her job to look into all kinds of treatment. That’s what being a real and true doctor is all about. Do you get applauded and bowed down to everytime you do a good job at your job? This should be the status quo and level of inquiry (to start with) in ALL doctors. But even in all the doctorly wisdom, she is taking an authoritative stance in her comment because of her education. I think when doctors start realizing how little they truly know and learned in med school, and become humble in their approach to the human body by respecting the whole-body functionality of it and stop having the entitlement attitude of “I’m the Dr. and because I say-it-is-so, it’s so” THEN we will get somewhere in patient care and treatment.

The entire allopathic vs. naturpathic foundations are at complete odds with one another when you study medical history. The entire approach to human health are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

I find it very interesting how others who have decided to take control of their health, start to cow-tow and bow cuz there’s a “doctor” on board.

For the record: I am happy she’s among us too. I’m thankful she’s at least peering in. I wish that she would influence as many of her colleagues as possible on this issue but also remain open-minded enough to consider that other options just might work even though they sound totally ridiculous compared to what she has learned thus far. This is a journey and place where we should all feel welcomed to explore ideas that differ from what we think we know. All we can really do is build upon it…adapt and overcome, move on in a forward motion.

I’m all about embracing differences and others, but I won’t embrace megalomania or those who think they deserve a certain level of priority due to their educational status. All I can go off of is what was written. I’ve dealt with enough “medical professionals” in person or on forums who start off their sentences like that to establish a presence and precedent.

I don’t know Dr. Kelly personally, thus my comments were not intended to be personal ‘digs’ rather a response to her approach.

Not out to hurt anyone’s bippy….just trying to make a point. I apologize if it was missed by my obvious dislike for the typical mindset I find very common in doctors…holistic or not.

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EricsGirl February 13, 2012 at 8:06 PM

This is officially the most ridiculous response I’ve read on a blog in a while. So full of contradictions and ignorant assumptions. I can’t even respond further without being rude, so I’ll refrain.

Dr. Kelley – I beg you not to all this type of absurdity to keep you from chiming in. It’s the combination of your education, your personal interest and study in nutrition, and your opportunity to see this put into practice in many people and see the results that will benefit those of us willing enough to listen with an open mind. Not because you will be right all the time, or because we’ll always agree with your conclusions, but because you have an opportunity to do what the rest of us don’t: Actually apply these principles to more than just yourself, namely your patients, and assess whether these principles are working and why. I am so blessed to have found a holistic MD where I live and it is life changing to be cared for by a practitioner who is educated well beyond med-school. Despite the vitriolic response to your original post, your formal education is indeed a valuable foundation to your continued study and practice of nutrition. Keep up the good work – at least for the rest of us who find it valuable!

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Dr. Kelly February 13, 2012 at 7:28 PM

First off, I want to thank the other people in the comments who appreciate me being on here. I did not go into how long I have been studying nutrition (on my own, mind you Joni, you are right that we do not get a lot of nutrition in med school), but maybe you should think about the fact that I am reading a real food blog to begin with, and maybe give me a little credit for that, eh? I said I was reading more deeply on thyroid issues the last few months, not nutrition. I have been studying nutrition since my Biochemistry days in college, and continue to do so through medical school and residency and now my busy practice (so counting all that 17+ years now), where I make patients happy to learn they can eat butter and pastured eggs again! So don’t judge me on one comment, my comment was not degrading to Cheeseslave, as I said, I respectfully disagree with her. So do not judge what I research in my spare time, and when you can have a respectful comment with me regarding real food, I would appreciate it. I am not basing any of my comments on allopathic medicine knowledge whatsoever, I am basing it on a lot of the authors who do the scientific research (including a lot of the people mentioned in this blog) and biochemistry I know. I am sorry you have had such bad experiences with medical professionals, I was trying to share information from a Real Foods practicing physician. thanks for your negativity.
To answer your question, Dr. Datis Kharrazian has a great book on autoimmune thyroid disease and its relation to gluten and grains. I agree that every patient is different, and I do not believe my comment stated that one diet fits all. I know that Cheeseslave is sharing what is working for her and not encouraging anyone to do the same, but when I see 100’s of comments stating they are going to try the same thing, that is what concerns me. I wish everyone could have an open-minded medical professional to guide them in their diets, I only know of a couple in my area alone, so it makes me sad, but hopefully most people will try to find one, as going either direction (too low carb or too high carb) can cause problems. That is the only reason I commented, and believe me, I won’t comment any more. Thanks again to the others who appreciated my comment. Thanks to Cheeseslave for the great recipes.

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Joni February 13, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Dr. Kelly,

You said: “but maybe you should think about the fact that I am reading a real food blog to begin with, and maybe give me a little credit for that, eh? ”

I will absolutely give you credit for that. You deserve it…and then some.

You said: “I have been studying nutrition since my Biochemistry days in college, and continue to do so through medical school and residency and now my busy practice (so counting all that 17+ years now), where I make patients happy to learn they can eat butter and pastured eggs again!”

This is awesome and I’m really happy you shared more about yourself. I don’t totally disrespect you as a person, please understand that. As I said in my other reply, it was not my intention to make a personal ‘dig’. I am very glad to see that you are truly doctoring and teaching people how to take control of their own health through real food. That is how Hippocrates did it 🙂

You said: “So do not judge what I research in my spare time, and when you can have a respectful comment with me regarding real food, I would appreciate it. I am not basing any of my comments on allopathic medicine knowledge whatsoever, I am basing it on a lot of the authors who do the scientific research (including a lot of the people mentioned in this blog) and biochemistry I know. I am sorry you have had such bad experiences with medical professionals, I was trying to share information from a Real Foods practicing physician. thanks for your negativity.”

I know you’re not truly thankful for my negativity. I don’t expect you to be. I’m sorry I’ve had such negative experiences too but it has led me to research harder, learn more, study more and heal my body using real food. So, in hindsight, I can’t be too sorry but it is unfortunate for so many..and on that I believe we completely agree.

You said: “… but when I see 100′s of comments stating they are going to try the same thing, that is what concerns me.”
It would have concerned me too, just months ago, had I not decided to try something else at the absolute dismay of every natural health person in my life who “knew better”. How do you feel about intuiative eating? Is that something you could believe could benefit a sick person dealing with thyroid issues? I am asking in all seriousness. I see that we are all on different pages of this big book of health and if you can understand where I’m coming from and I you, then we could better reach some understandings and gain further insight.

You said: “I wish everyone could have an open-minded medical professional to guide them in their diets, I only know of a couple in my area alone, so it makes me sad, but hopefully most people will try to find one”

I, too, wish there were other medical professionals that were more helpful in this area but I disagree that every person needs a medical professional to guide them. That’s just where I’m at in life right now.

LASTLY, please don’t stop commenting simply because of me. I know I’m misunderstood due to your first introduction of me. I am not normally like that….unless a sentence gets started off like you started yours. 😉 I can truly appreciate the fact that you went to school for so long and are helping patients get back to real food. I have a best friend who is doing the same exact thing. I love her dearly. I commend your efforts to look further and hope you sincerely continue to research and consider new approaches, even if they don’t make sense in light of what you’ve learned. I find biochemistry, science and the human body absolutely amazing. It seems here lately, the more I study and research, the dumber I am…meaning I realize I’m only scratching the surface and have so much more to learn.

Seriously. Please reconsider leaving this blog. If others on here (even me!) can benefit from what you share then so be it. I believe everyone has a piece or pieces of knowledge to share in such a large setting. I look forward to posting with you more.

Thanks for hearing me out. Have a great evening.

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Jenni February 14, 2012 at 4:04 AM

Dr. Kelly! Please do not stop responding! Only one person responded negatively, but now seems very open to more comments from you, and the rest of us REALLY appreciate more comments from you.

I do not have autoimmune thyroid disease. Do the same principles apply to me? Would I still benefit from reading the book?

I think my thyroid disease got started in my 20’s as I ate SOOOOOOOOOO much soy and was vegetarian the whole time. I had low iron also.

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Gabi February 14, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Yep, that’s what happened to me…vegan, lots of soy…NO good saturated fats (pharma also involved)… A recipe for thyroid (and other hormone) disaster. Just remember that it can take years to heal systemically; don’t get too frustrated! The hormone cascade is a richly complicated operation and requires a multifaceted approach to healing. Cheers!!

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Jenni February 13, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Dr. Kelly, thanks for your thoughts. Could you direct me to the research about thyroid and grains? I’m curious about a healing diet, but don’t really want to do a very restrictive diet like gaps. Though I guess that’s the best one. I dunno. Sheesh.

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cheeseslave February 13, 2012 at 7:17 PM

@Dr. Kelly

Thank you for your comment.

Increasing carbs does not necessarily mean increasing grains.

Some people need to heal their guts and I continually urge them to try the GAPS Diet.

However, the GAPS Diet is not necessarily low carb: http://cheeseslave2.wpengine.com/gaps-diet-myths/

avoiding grains (even sprouted/properly prepared ones) is better for your thyroid health and autoimmune health than eating them for carbs.

I disagree here, unless someone has a leaky gut. In which case, yes they should avoid grains and sugar and increase probiotics and bone broth (i.e. GAPS Diet).

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Dr. Kelly February 13, 2012 at 7:49 PM

I have yet to meet many people who have thyroid problems who don’t still have a leaky gut problem. In fact I have yet to meet anyone who can truly tell me that their gut is completely healed and yet continue to have hormonal problems. I understand GAPS is not low carb, I did not say it was. I respectfully disagree with you regarding the grains. Obviously, after reviewing a lot of the comments, most people are still having problems, and most likely, most of them still have a leaky gut. I too have personal knowledge regarding adrenal fatigue, which likely affects the thyroid, and again it all goes back to starting with gut health. The more I read about all the components that healthy gut flora makes for us and supports our hormones, the more I question if people can truly say their guts are healed. Did you know your gut bugs do about 20% of the conversion of T4 to T3? And another enzyme produced by healthy gut bacteria helps to activate the T3? So again, if your gut isn’t working right, then you have less active thyroid hormone available in your blood stream. Those were my main points. I wish you good health.

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cheeseslave February 13, 2012 at 8:16 PM

@Dr. Kelly

You have officially met one!

My gut is fully healed. I healed my gut in my 20s (1995-97) when I spent 2 years on a diet similar to GAPS and took therapeutic grade probiotics. I reversed my gluten intolerance.

And yet I still have thyroid and adrenal problems. It’s subclinical but my temperature is much lower than it should be and I have a number of other symptoms of low thyroid/adrenal fatigue. I did have adrenal fatigue when I was in my 20s and had gut dysbiosis. I have never had thyroid problems until the past few years after my pregnancy.

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cheeseslave February 13, 2012 at 8:17 PM

@Dr. Kelly Oh sorry I just saw that you wrote “many people”.

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Allie February 14, 2012 at 7:37 AM

I have seen a naturopath, a holistic chiro and a general practitioner that practices functional medicine. All three have differing opinions as to where to start with my issues. None of them have suggested I increase my carbs. In fact, the functional medicine guy suggested I eat only meat and veggies which I had already primarily been doing. I’m researching on my own, to know which path I feel I need to pursue.
Thank you Dr. Kelly for researching outside the box! Your patients are fortunate to have you as their practitioner.
There was a rush to judgement by some or one and a simple, “I’m sorry, I was wrong” seems to be too hard to say.

For me, I am increasing my carb intake after thinking through this post and some of Matt Stone’s ideas. I have pretty much been low to carb free except for an apple or a splurge of quinoa pasta, etc. for over a year now.
I have been wheat free for over a year and will continue to avoid wheat, for how long, I don’t know.
I have been increasing the carbs and the amount I normally eat for three days, with adding in a few grains – soaked oatmeal, rice, fruit, kefir ice cream, honey in my rooibos tea, potato soup, etc.
My usual temps run in the 95.6-97 range. Yesterday, I woke up with a 97 temp, and today it was 97.4. My normal waking up temp is usually 96 or cooler. So, if this trend continues, it seems increasing the carbs for me is bringing up my temps. I hope so. I have an elevated rt3 and low in iodine/selenium.
I’m am mildly concerned about blood sugar level increase, this was one reason I was off carbs – to bring that down. I’m not diabetic, but FM doc wants to see it come down due to the AC1 almost, 6.0.
Anyway, this post has caused me to at least consider and put in action the necessity of a decent amount of carbs in my life to help out my temps, wouldn’t it be awesome if this were the answer for my low thyroid symptoms.

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cheeseslave February 14, 2012 at 7:59 AM

@Allie

WOO HOO! Good for you!

You might want to consider investing in a refractometer to track the sugar in your urine. This way you can tell if you are high in sugar or low. You can get them on Amazon.

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Susan February 15, 2012 at 4:39 PM

AM- Are you still planning on writing a post about refractometers? I’d love to know more about it, how to use it, how often, when to use it, what numbers I’m looking for, etc, etc.

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cheeseslave February 15, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Yes, I am!!!! Stay tuned!

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cheeseslave February 15, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Actually maybe I should ask Matt Stone to write a guest post about refractometers since he knows so much more about them than I do. I’ll ask!

allie February 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I’m looking over the information on the refractometers.
In the mean time I did find this post and it is pretty interesting, include reading through the comments.

Temps are still climbing. staying at 97-97.4 upon waking, but have reached a 98 in the late morning/afternoon. hand and feet still feel cold at times, but not ALL the time. My jeans feel a bit tighter, but I’m feeling more energetic. 🙂

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allie February 16, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Chris Henderson February 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Dr. Kelly,

Thyroid hormone levels decrease in response to buildup of ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are a direct result of metabolizing protein for energy. Is it not reasonable to assume that decreased thyroid hormone levels will result from a low-carb, high protein diet? The effect would only be augmented in clients who are cardiovascularly unfit, since the body will tend to use fat less as an energy source than if they were cardiovascularly fit, which would make the body turn more to protein for energy? Since hypothyroidism often presents with decreased activity levels directly as a result of the effects of low thryroid hormone, most sufferers are unfit and fall into this latter category. This leads me to think that low-carb diets are more dangerous in cases of hypothyroidism.

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Shelley February 15, 2012 at 11:31 AM

I know you said ‘most’ but low thyroid hormone effects the very fit as well. a good friend of mine is a figure model and lean, works out aerobically and anaerobically, and she now has hashi’s and the beginnings of autoimmune, with elevated RT3. I too am an athlete, on T3 because my RT3 is elevated also. I agree with you that low carb is not the way for hypothyroid, but its not just the inactive suffering from it, or inactivity because of symptom presentation. In the case of my friend and myself I suspect its more a case of leptin resistance effecting everything else.

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Chris Henderson February 15, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Shelly,

I have several friends who are pro figure competitors and fitness models. They deal with the same issue. Two factors contribute to it. One is starvation response due to restricted calorie intake for competition. This isn’t a problem in the beginning because as people come up in the business they go between healthy and unhealthy calorie intake depending upon competition timing. The more competitions and shoots you get, the less down time you have for recovery. The other issue is low body fat percentages. Again, not a problem coming up, but the more competitions and shoots you have the less down time you get to get back up to a healthy body fat percentage. For women, this is approximately 12 percent. Common competition body fat percentage is closer to 10. Even active people can work out to a high intensity, causing their body to demand carb calories, and then fail to fully compensate with their food intake. For example, I am currently working with a client who is 50 and about 186 pounds. Her RMR is about 1700 calories, and she is TYPICAL, with a sedentary job, about 5’5″. She doesn’t even eat nearly as many calories as she’d need if she worked with me enough to be considered an athlete.

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Shelley February 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM

I am approaching 50 and if I eat over 1200 cals a day I will put on weight, mostly fat, no contest. I do intervals on my bike 4 days a week and I do ashtanga 5-6 days a week. Its very clear I dont eat enough, but each time I do the fat piles on. I am about 120lbs, but I have NO control over my body comp like I used to. I have been advised to slowly push my cals up, ie 100 a day for three weeks, then up them again etc. Does that really work? My metabolism and thyroid/adrenals are so screwed I am pretty fed up.

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cheeseslave February 15, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I used to be like that too. I could eat 900-1000 calories per day and I STILL would not lose.

But now I’m eating 2400-3000 calories per day and I haven’t gained any weight. (Haven’t lost any either yet but that’s OK — I’m “RRARFING”)

Try increasing your calorie count and up the carbs! That’s what’s working for me. It’s REALLY working!

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Chris Henderson February 16, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Cheeseslave,

Did you just start throwing carbs back in? It sounds like you were careful about avoiding simple sugars, and that makes sense, but did you phase the carbs in or just go for it? If I can have my clients do that and maintain body weight, it would be a good first step to thinking about weight loss strategy later. As is, I’m wary of reintroducing CHO too quickly, as you can probably tell from my other posts. Thanks in advance for the information! Your experiences in this are invaluable, seeing as anecdotal evidence is the only kind that exists for carb reintroduction.

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cheeseslave February 16, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I started by just trying to eat MORE in general. Instead of eating 2-3 times a day, I started eating 3 square meals PLUS I ate snacks if I was hungry. And what I found was I got hungrier and hungrier. I didn’t worry about carbs at first — I just tried to eat.

But I was eating more carbs because carbs are easier to find and eat (cheese and crackers, peanut butter and jelly, fruit) when you’re busy working and don’t have time to stop and eat.

In January when I was preparing for my grains class and testing recipes, that’s when I doubled down on the carbs. I was testing all these recipes and what am I supposed to do, not eat the bagels and waffles and biscotti I made? So I upped it to eating carbs (mostly grains, albeit mostly whole grains) 3-5 times per day.

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Chris Henderson February 16, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Two things, Shelley,

First, how tall are you? 120 sounds pretty good unless you’re REALLY petite!
Second, introduce carbs after exercise first. That’s when your body needs them most. Also, try the eating-less-more-often strategy. Five or six small meals a day. See what I wrote to Sarabeth.

Other than that, you might try more strength training. See my comment to Nicole. Don’t get discouraged! A lot of this is new ground for dietetics, not to mention that the full impact of personal genetic factors is virtually ignored at the moment. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is!

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Chris Henderson February 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Shelley,

By the way, your carb intake as an athlete should be about 5 grams per kilo of body weight and your protein should be about 1 gram per kilo. Most athletes, especially endurance athletes, stay around 15-20 percent of total calories from fat. You could probably tolerate a considerable amount of CHO before exercise as well as after.

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Shelley February 16, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Thanks Chris :). I am 5′ 3″ and about a year ago, when I was weighed at 126lbs I did a bodpod and my bf was 29%!! Just few years back, I was 110lb and I was pretty striated. When I was doing my yoga teaching training, we had to do an anatomy talk and my group drew the muscles on my arms, as they were so visible. Then my adrenals and thyroid whacked out and its been a struggle to stay at 120.I mean the weight itself is not the problem, its my absolute lack of ability to control my body comp. If I was 120lbs and 22%bf, it wouldnt be an issue kwim? Most of it is on my legs and butt, and now my arms, I am very small busted and I have a flat stomach. Its like, I dont know whose body this is, but it aint mine!! I am more of a sprinter type rather than endurance. The longest w/out I do is on Sundays, its three batteries of intervals, ie 15 x 1 minute, with 15 seconds rest. 3 mins rest then 3 sets of 3 min/2 min/1 min/30 second, with 30 seconds rest and one minute rest between sets, then 10 mins of tabata length intervals but not at tabata effort. I split the above intervals up and spread them out during the week. I do ashtanga which is compound movement relying on body weight. I am not crazy about weights, my legs bulk up REALLY quick. I know women say that all the time but it really does happen to me, especially if I over do it on the carbs. If I ate 6 small meals a day, how many cals should I aim for? I will start paying attention to my pre and post w/out nutrition as per your post above.

AM if I ate 2500 cals, I would pork up in a heartbeat. 🙂 Even if I have a few larger meals over the holidays I just put on weight and hold water. Admittedly though it is bad carbs at the holidays that do me in, even if I am careful.

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Shelley February 26, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Well interestingly, it looks like things are changing. I have been on my prescribed training regimen of intervals on bike and ashtanga, but have increased my carbs. I dont know how much I am eating, it would still be less than 2000cals for sure but I dont want to up it too much straight away. Miraculously, my energy levels are MUCH higher, I am at a point now with my training where I can and have to work harder to get to the same level of depletion. when I get off the bike my legs feel GREAT. Previously it was like I had to manage my energy and my legs would feel like crap afterwards. it also looks like my body comp is minutely beginning to change in a positive way. Contrary to the idea that carbs make you more hungry I dont feel the urge to eat later at night because I am full. My basal body temps are higher for this part of my cycle, like half a degree, and we have turned the heat down quite a bit in the house ie 66 during the day 64 at night plus I wear less clothing outside and I am not bothered by the cold as much (low thyroid tends to be bothered by cold). In general my sleep is way better. I just had my ft3/ft4 tested and both were low, which hopefully means I have begun to clear rt3 (regular doc was nervous about me being on straight t3 as per my other doc) and didnt bother to test rt3.

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Sarabeth Matilsky February 15, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I’m wondering if someone already posted links to articles that discuss metabolism (i.e. can anyone say definitively which predominant type of macronutrients in a diet promote hormonal balance)? I’m fascinated by this. But it seems like there are SO many variables–what happens if you consume lots of protein and lots of fat, and a diet low in CERTAIN types of carbohydrate…as opposed to a diet high in protein and lower in fat and higher in sugars but lower in starches…as opposed to a super-high-fat, moderate protein and moderate starch diet…etc. And then, does it matter what a person grew up eating? And what about healing reactions, that might or might not indicate that something “bad” is happening in the long term?

It’s interesting to me because it seems like healthy/already-healed bodies can tolerate (and sometimes thrive) on such a huge variety of diets, and certain healthy people end up advocating these diets for everyone, or at least for most people, or else confusing healthy diets with healing diets. It’s those of us who have been “broken” to some degree that have to do all this searching and trial and error (as one super healthy friend of mine put it, “I actually can’t tell if a certain food is bad for me or not by simple observation, because my body does well in the short term regardless!” We humans are also prone to confusing causation and correlation, not to mention blurring our observations even further with our wishful thinking). And it seems like a diet that would most help a person with a certain type of broken-ness might not even be perfect for them later on, as time goes by and they begin healing and their body has different needs.

I continue to ponder this, and am loathe to espouse many truisms. Even though, after an extremely traumatic several years of healing my son, I am pretty gun-shy of the idea of feeding grains and starches and sugars to Very Sick People, for reasons that Dr. Campbell-McBride can articulate better than I. It’s interesting how our personal histories color our research (for thirty years, I couldn’t possibly believe that anything was wrong with my vegetarian, whole-foods, crunchy-granola, high-in-olive-oil, all-homemade religion).

I think about this constantly, especially because my family has so many different types of health issues, and we’re all at different “stages” of healing. I’m pregnant and grew up on the aforementioned vegetarian regimen; I never appeared to have any digestive troubles, despite my hormones getting totally wacked! My eight-year-old is extremely fragile still, and cannot handle many carbs at all, for better or for worse, and seems to need tons of fat in addition to lots and lots of meat and protein. My husband has had autimmune issues since he was three months old, and definitely can’t digest most carbs well at all… My second child is definitely not as robust as he might be, had I known during his pregnancy how deficient I was in animal fats and cholesterol. Sometimes I think that we may NEVER achieve the level of health of which I dream.

But I’m very interested in continuing to try. What do you think are the best resources for research? I mentioned Dr. Kruse before because I’m fascinated by his short-term protocols to normalize hormone levels, and because I’m also fascinated by the idea of allowing bodies to improve their digestion and maximize potential. I would love to be convinced that carbs are my key to hormonal health…but I’m not so sure they’re the best way INITIALLY–as a stepping stone perhaps, now after two years of GAPS, or maybe much later for my son? I don’t know. I ate so many properly-prepared, home-fermented whole grains for so many years…and still my son and I have suffered so much, and we didn’t begin to climb out of the abyss until we stopped eating these foods.

Am so interested in this discussion.

Regards,
Sarabeth

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Chris Henderson February 15, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Sarabeth,

Your case is interesting. Did you ever do an analysis of your calorie intake versus your activity level? My clients typically do not realize how few calories they are consuming even on a high fat, high protein diet. Many factors can contribute to the starvation response, which causes the body to lower thyroid hormone levels.

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Sarabeth Matilsky February 15, 2012 at 1:33 PM

No, I never did analyze my diet that specifically, but I’ve always been a “hungry” person, and have always eaten more than my husband and most others… GAPS really really helped my hypoglycemia, but I was definitely eating three healthy meals per day, lots of fat and ferments, etc. And prior to this pregnancy crash, I was very active and always have been…

I just read that podcast transcription between Chris Kresser and Chris Masterjohn. It was fascinating, although they don’t seem to be advocating carbs in all instances of thyroid dysfunction, by any means. My total cholesterol just came back very high (something over 250–I gotta look it up again), and am waiting for my thyroid and adrenal labs. So tricky to try to tease this apart with only my human brain to use for subjective analysis!

Regards,
Sarabeth

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Chris Henderson February 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM

High cholesterol is a common result of high saturated fat, so there’s no real surprise there. It sounds like you’ve gone from one dietary extreme to another, and that’s bound to have some stressful effects on the body. Have you thought about moderation? Calculate RMR (resting metabolic rate) with an equation that uses current lean muscle mass. You can get good body fat numbers from all kinds of commercial products these days, and most gyms and YMCA’s will help you do body fat analysis (NOT BMI!!). You can probably find the relevant equations on Wikipedia. Compare that number to current calorie intake and see where you are. You might be surprised. Next, since you aren’t an athlete, calculate eight tenths of a gram of protein per kilo of body weight and probably two or three grams of carbohydrate per kilo of body weight depending on how often you exercise heavily. Figure 4 calories per gram of carb and protein. See what’s left to reach your RMR. Take the number of calories to reach your RMR divided by 9 to figure grams of fat needed. Check if this fat number is 30 percent of your total calorie intake or less. If it’s more than 30 percent, add more protein for now because it’s what your body is used to.

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Chris Henderson February 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Lauren,

As to hijacking, that was not my intention and I apologize if I gave that impression. I am only looking for real people for whom the low-carb diet has proven unhealthy because I can find no studies on carb reintroduction. I have several clients in this predicament and can only go on my knowledge of metabolism theory. There is a huge hole in the research. No one is acknowledging the people for whom low-carb has no worked. My hope is to find some more strategies other than the ones I’ve already seen work in my own practice.
As to cholesterol, animal foods high in sat fat are most often high in cholesterol. Even Masterjohn, if I am not mistaken, acknowledges that in one-third of the population dietary intake of cholesterol impacts blood cholesterol by elevating LDL and HDL equally. Since Sarabeth did not specify LDL vs. HDL, and since I cannot assume she is not part of the 30+% of the population for whom dietary cholesterol does in fact affect blood cholesterol, I am not surprised by her elevated cholesterol numbers.
I hope this clears up any confusion as to my motives and my reasoning. I am only trying to help people for whom the low-carb lifestyle has proven unhealthy and since the science is ignoring them, the free market of ideas is my last resort.

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Sherrie April 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM

High cholesterol is commonly a symptom of thyroid issues and that would be the first connection that I would make rather then saturated fat intake.

I have gone from one extreme to the other and whilst the previous low carb and weights had improved my carb tolerance immensely eventually high carb intake undone this and caused even more health issues. But I did low to moderate for many years in between and handled them ok. It was the high carb that killed it and yes initially I had increased temps and even fast weight loss.

I am one of the ones that had hormonal problems whilst following low carb and doing weights, actually really bad hormonal problems where my progesterone only pill would make it even worse rather then help causing me to have to stop taking it after being on it for several years. I was also lean by that time. All the flax etc (I don’t eat soy) I was eating I assume led to my goiter which then later led to a diagnosis of CFS which they say is from a previous bout of glandular fever several years earlier. I could no longer do weights as it would make me sick, instead of adding weights I was taking them off. I tried all the common tricks thinking I was just burnt out but nothing works. I ate moderate carb after several months of low carb so moderate carb wasn’t helping per se but I could tolerate it well (carb tolerance wise) and maintained my weight with no issues. During my weight loss stage my minimum calories were 1500 so I did not eat very low calorie.

Eventually I fell pregnant, had bad issues with that but my fatigue issues were gone for a few years after that. Problems with my daughter led me to investigating food intolerance which led to a high carb diet as I was breastfeeding so had to do it too, I was already starting to show signs of my CFS coming back in regards to feeling pressure in my thyroid. The high carb diet though worked really well for the first few months gradually after several months led to very reduced carb intolerance levels that I had not seen for years and uncontrollable weight gain, at this point I moved back to my maintenance style moderate carb diet. I tried low carb for a couple of weeks a few times but it did not even result in water loss and gave me a bad rash from the ketones which would get so unbearable I would have to take myself back out. My fatigue also started coming back, not only was I having trouble doing weights which I used to love but I could no longer hold the dumbbells and barbells in my hands without immense pain. My temps were crap and my ft3 and ft4 were borderline (right at the bottom of the reference range) though I have improved them both since then my CFS is much worse and my goiter has progressed to hashimotos. My resting heart rate is high rather then low, my blood pressure is always low. My last ft3 and ft4 tests a year ago now were much improved so I am yet to ever be treated for it. My TSH is always good, highest it’s even been is 1.1, it usually sits between 0.6 – 0.8 hence why I have never been treated for it.

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Chris Henderson February 16, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Oh! you mentioned three meals a day. Eat five or six. Even for people at their ideal body fat percentage I’ve seen significant improvements using this strategy. The goal is to increase you metabolic rate. High exercise with high fat and protein will still lead to starvation response because your body does not use fat at high intensity, it uses CHO. If you’re not eating it, your body looks for CHO, doesn’t find it, and turns to protein for energy. This creates ketone bodies that cause your body to lower metabolic rate by decreasing thyroid hormone levels, and this happens ON TOP OF the starvation response, which merely triggers lower thryoid hormone levels as a direct result of lower calorie intake! Double wammy!

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Morgan February 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Thank you for this interesting and very timely (for me) article! I’ve been wondering if I should try the Paleo diet, but your article helped me decide against it. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 10 years ago and just found out recently that’s it’s actually Hashimoto’s Disease (the autoimmune version of hypothyroid). I also have fibromyalgia and early onset osteoarthritis in several joints. My fatigue is off the charts, and my hair has been falling out more than ever recently. My body temp is also low and has been for a couple years now. I’m pretty sure it has to do with my thyroid and/or hormones even though my bloodwork is all “normal”. If I can help out my body by eating more carbs, I’m all for it!

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Dara December 8, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Morgan, hope you are feeling better by now. The thyroid book by Dr. Datis Kharrazian is excellent, as is the website stopthethyroidmadness.com. I’ve had Hashimoto’s since 2007 with antibodies as high as 1400. After going Paleo and strictly gluten-free for less than 6 months, my antibodies are now only 200 and going down. I also had a very broken metabolism and was pre-diabetic (fasting blood sugar as high as 119) and it is now in normal range. I did not do the low carb version of Paleo except at the very beginning when I was getting over incessant and intense sugar cravings. after that passed, I then added plenty of fruit and starchy veggies, as well as occasional white rice a la Paul Jaminet. However, when I added rice the sugar cravings came back so I don’t eat it anymore. Other things that cleared completely up with Paleo were weird cognitive and neurological symptoms and joint pain, which came back immediately when I experimented with adding in non-gluten grains like properly prepared oats. So now I’m strictly Paleo because my body doesn’t happen to respond well to grains, not because they are evil, bad or someone says I shouldn’t eat them. I’m now headed toward GAPS (am phasing it in. I’ve already been drinking lots of bone broth) to finish healing my digestive issues. There is truly NO ONE DIET FOR EVERYONE. You have to experiment and see how your body responds. And it’s a constant process. What works at one stage of healing may not work later. And once you’re healed, something else may be needed to stay that way. You are the only person you should listen to. Your body is unique and no one, regardless of who they are, can tell you what is best for your particular situation. Best wishes on your healing journey!

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Nicole February 13, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Just wanted to say I think it’s great to see dr kelly on here! It’s fantastic to have a doctor who is actually open to looking at the “alernative” research that’s being done. Kelly, I wish there were more like you and I thank you for your input. I am very low carb and I think after all this discussion I will start to introduce more carbs, maybe even some grains but with the grains I think I will be very careful and go very slowly.

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Christiana February 13, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Hi, Cheeseslave —
This is a really interesting post. As others have said, it is so confusing to know what macronutrients to consume and in what proportions. It seems that even within minority groups such as those who are fans of Dr. Price and traditional foods in general can’t always come to a consensus. It is definitely confusing. The research you found about the association between carbohydrates and T3 levels is really interesting. I’d like to see more research (and posts!) on the subject. Thanks for sharing!

Christiana

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cheeseslave February 14, 2012 at 7:56 AM

There is no one right way for everyone.

Saying that everyone should eat like a caveman is wrong, especially because we don’t even know what cavemen really eat.

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Pam February 13, 2012 at 10:59 PM

I have a question here. I have mild digestive issues and am on my second attempt at GAPS but my thyroid is not happy. I started with an average temp of 96.8, already well below healthy and I am experiencing worsening symptoms of hypothyroidism. I entered my foods into FitDay and I seem to be pretty evenly spread in the macronutrient department, leaning a little heavier on the carbs. I also have candida issues. My body is crying out for raw milk and all my instincts say to abandon GAPS until I get my thyroid functioning better, avoiding those things that I am sensitive to. Any advice?

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cheeseslave February 14, 2012 at 8:01 AM

It really depends on what you can digest. If you are not sensitive/allergic to raw milk then it should be fine. I healed my gut in 2 years on a GAPS-type diet, but I never had to go without dairy (except for during the elimination period).

I think you can add some grains back in and still heal. For me it was about avoiding gluten and sugar (although I still ate honey and fruit). I did eat rice and other grains — I did not react to them. And I healed my gut. The probiotics were critical.

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Pam February 14, 2012 at 10:32 AM

YIPPEE!! Thank you for confirming what my body was telling me.

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Paula February 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Interesting post. Thoroughly enjoyed reading Dr. Kelly’s valuable input and had to add my own experience. While everyone is metabolically unique I have had great success on the Primal diet and going grain/gluten and sugar free. Whether my gut is “healed” or not it is in a helluva lot better shape than 5 years prior. By removing grains and sugar my thryoid and adrenals healed and I reversed autoimmune disease.

The one thing that was imperative in my success in healing was also removing wine and alcohol–completely. It was not easy and it took more tries than I care to admit, but it worked and I regained control of my life. While I am not a doctor I don’t think anyone can have a healthy gut consuming alcohol in large amounts on a regular basis. It will have the same detrimental effects and is processed by the body in a similar manner as grains/sugar. It negatively affects both hormonal and neurotransmitter balance. Adding them back in is like pouring gasoline on a fire.

I am 52 years old, an athlete, muscular and train intensely on a regular basis. When I need carbohydrates I intake starchier vegetables and have a nice bowl of mashed potatoes (w/ raw butter and cream). Menopause was a breeze; I am healthy, happy and handle stress better than I ever have in my life. I owe it to Primal nutrition and intense physical conditioning. But as I said before we are all metabolically different.

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Jenni February 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Paula–I have a question. When you say you healed your thyroid, what does that mean? Were you taking a thyroid supplement that you could then stop taking, or… what did that look like, exactly?

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Paula February 14, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I never took any medication. In 2007 in a routine blood test my ANA choice came back positive. I completely changed my lifestyle (nutrition, exercise etc), waited 2 years to retest and it came back negative.

Every marker in blood tests since then has continually improved as my body continues to heal.

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Jenni February 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM

That’s great. I’ve had antibodies tested and apparently I don’t have them. I just have low hormone.

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Chris Henderson February 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM

This is a very well presented position. The drawbacks of a low-carb approach are well documented, but rarely very well understood by the general public. Often we see references to the AMA study that showed more pronounced weight loss on the Atkins diet than on the others they studied, but the problem is with the lack of long-term studies. I am not necessarily against this dietary approach, but we must remember that humans are not Government Issue products. We are not all the same. A good clue to your own dietary needs is your ethnic background. If your great grandparents were Inuits, you’ll probably do well on a low-carb diet, but not if your ancestors lived where carbs were readily available. This is where Sisson goes wrong in his notion of the Asian diet. All animals adapt to what is available. Why eat against your evolutionary development? You’ll end up fighting thousands of years of your ethnic history!
I work in the fitness industry, and one of my clients is currently recovering from several Atkins-type diets. She had to keep restricting her calorie intake to compensate for gradual weight gain. She was down to 900 calories per day. This is dangerous. Her body holds on to fat because she is starving herself.
It is hard to find studies on carb reintroduction strategies, but I have started to have success getting the method worked out. As a tip to anyone else recovering from the low-carb lifestyle, exercise and nutrient timing are key. After exercise the body responds best with approximately 25 grams of protein ALONG WITH about 50 grams of carbs of a pretty high glycemic index. The carbohydrate is used to replenish muscle glycogen after exercise and it is used immediately. The glycemic impact is low during this period. Phase carbs in after workouts first and you will give your body the energy it needs while not overwhelming your low-carb-conditioned metabolism.

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cheeseslave February 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

@Chris

If your great grandparents were Inuits, you’ll probably do well on a low-carb diet, but not if your ancestors lived where carbs were readily available. This is where Sisson goes wrong in his notion of the Asian diet. All animals adapt to what is available. Why eat against your evolutionary development? You’ll end up fighting thousands of years of your ethnic history!

I completely agree.

I myself have gotten down to 1,000-1,200 calories per day on a low carb diet. I still could not lose weight. And I agree — it is dangerous.

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Glen February 19, 2012 at 11:14 PM

@cheeseslave

“I myself have gotten down to 1,000-1,200 calories per day on a low carb diet. I still could not lose weight. And I agree — it is dangerous.”

I think this is where many people go wrong on low-carb diets – is reducing caloric intake far-too much.

Myself, after my diagnosis of diabetes I was told by my dietician to eat around 2,000 calories a day (and 300g of carbs) to help me lose weight.

Well, as a 320lb man that didn’t work. I WAS starving.

I lost nearly 100lbs in a year when I started eating enough for my BMR, regular activity-level and my addition of high-intensity exercise. For me that was 3,200 calories at minimum, and over 5,000 calories on my long-distance cycling days.

People have a tendency to starve themselves it seems… that’s just not healthy.

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Stephanie February 14, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Wow…I’ve been very interested in higher-carb these days (mainly influenced by Dr. Ray Peat) and this is such an inspiration! Thank you for your honesty and good luck with everything!!!

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Diana February 15, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Hi Ann Marie,

I have been reading old posts on your blog and boy do we sound similar! I think anything that causes high cortisol for me, like low carb, but many other things are a big issue and I see, from an old post, with you too. I am slowly discovering this in a similar fashion to you.

You are way ahead of me health-wise (doing GAPS now) but I wish you the very best. I am going to keep up with your blog and maybe I can catch up! Best of luck to you!

PS: I think a lot has to do with the definition of low carb. WAPF would be low carb vs SAD (cereal + milk + juice, then burger + fries + bucket of soda, then giant bowl of pasta). For some people anything lower than that is low carb while others say < 50 g. Most people probably cheat a lot too. I think the ones who are really "good" at it (us) are the ones getting in trouble!

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Nicole February 15, 2012 at 2:33 PM

@ Chris Henderson – I am very interested in your point of view here. I have been eating low-carb for years and have recently been trying to lose weight and it has just not been happening!! I have been very strict with carbs and running 3.5km a day plus doing kettle-bell alternate days and no weight loss! I am not sure whether I am hypothyroid, the weight loss issue is my main symptom in that regard. Each time I have taken my temp it has been good, even leaning to the higher side. I have ordered some blood work. Not sure where to from here. Will try introducing some carbs after exercise, is that immediately after exercise?? What to eat before exercise?? I usually get up and run first thing in the morning before eating. Just want to know if you have a blog or could you point me in the right direction for some information that may help me??? As of yesterday I have started eating some carbs again but I am scared of packing on the weight!! Thanks if you can help!!

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Chris Henderson February 16, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Nicole,

First, what is your height and do you know your body fat percentage? NOT BMI!! BMI is probably the only number less useful than weight to determine overall health. My body fat percentage is 12-13%. Ideal is about 16-18. My BMI is 30! That stupid calculation thinks I’m obese! I only ask because you may be closer to your ideal body fat percentage than you think, and any movement from that ideal is HARD.
After that, yes, carb supplementation should happen immediately after exercise. Athletes consume about 1 to 1.5 grams of CHO per kilo of body weight about 1 hr. before exercise. Seeing as low-carb conditioned metabolisms are lowered, however, I think starting with the post-exercise carbs is best. My reasoning has to do with the fact that this CHO is immediately converted to glycogen to refuel muscle, and so is not likely to be converted to fat even if you are not well conditioned. Problem is, this is all theory. No study or proceedure for carb reintroduction has been done as far as I know. Sad, huh?
You might consider carbs before your run. If you do, I suggest high glycemic impact carbs with plenty of water, plus an electrolyte drink with about 10+ grams of carbs during your run. The only other thing I might recommend is for you to consider strength training. Kettlebells are good for plyometrics and promote loss of fat, but the weights and repetitions do not promote muscle growth. Muscle uses energy, i.e. fat and CHO. You won’t become a bodybuilder by accident. If it were that easy (woops, I’m HUGE!) every self-absorbed mirror junky male in the gym would be Franco Colombo. For strength training exercises (along with really fantastic illustrations) try Delavier’s Strength Training Anatomy. For good exercise strategy it’s hard to get more thorough and more clear than Bill Pearl’s Getting Stronger. Both will probably run you less than $30.

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Nicole February 16, 2012 at 6:04 PM

@Chris Henderson – Thanks so much for your input. How do you recommend I gauge my body fat percentage?? The methods I have found online seem to vary greatly. Is it a problem that I carry a lot of my extra weight around my middle – I mean for working out body fat percentage? Do you have a website or blog? Or can I converse with you privately?? Just guessing people might get sick of reading my particulars!!

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Nicole February 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM

@ Cheeseslave – Hi AnneMarie, just wondering, where to from here??? I mean, I think we sound similar after all and am just wondering what your ideas are now about weight loss?? Maybe you are planning to let your thyroid recover and then attempt calorie restriction but not carb restriction??
Do you think oats are particularly hard to digest??? I have been eating some the last few days (soaked) and they don’t seem great for me. Do you know which grains Dr Natasha recommends first when coming off gaps???

Thanks so much 🙂

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Paula February 17, 2012 at 6:40 AM

Nicole, you can try fermenting your oats. I posted a link and my method on Ann Maries FB last night.

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cheeseslave February 17, 2012 at 7:52 AM

@Nicole

I’m not going to try to lose weight for a while. I’m going to continue to work on healing my hormones and then I will see if I can have another baby.

If I have another baby, then I’ll wait until after I’m done nursing AND my hormones are healed to try to lose weight. If I can’t have another baby, then after my hormones are healed.

No calorie restriction for me, or carb restriction. Healthy hormones = natural weight balance.

No I don’t think oats are particularly hard do digest. You may not be ready to reintroduce grains yet. Not sure where you are with your gut healing. You may want to start with potatoes.

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Sandra February 17, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Cheeseslave,
Do you have any brands of probiotics that you recommend? Also, could you share a little more about how you healed your gut years ago?
Thanks!

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Nicole February 17, 2012 at 2:10 PM

@Paula – Sorry, I looked and looked but cannot find your post on fermented oats on the cheeseslave facebook page anywhere??? Am I blind??!! I would love to see it. Is it just soaking??

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shar February 17, 2012 at 3:36 PM

LOVE the post!

Thanks for continuing to help us all keep on, keeping on learning and sorting it all out!

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C2U February 19, 2012 at 1:51 AM

Yippy!

I’m not really convinced low carb “works well” for that many people. They just think it works, because what they did before sucked even worse.

I’m eating in the range of 900-1,500 carbs a day. Never looked, felt, or performed better. Thank god for waistbands, because my libido is like that of a teen. LOL

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Glen February 19, 2012 at 11:05 PM

I’m not sure why anyone would go (and stay) low-carb unless they were either diabetics wanting better glycemic control through diet (instead of meds/insulin) or obese people (with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, etc.) seeking weight-loss through a proven solution.

Personally I’m a Type II diabetic that finds his own health is best on low-carb… but most people, if healthy, simply do NOT need to be as low-carb as me, you know?

That being said, there are still days I eat up to 150g of carbohydrate – but those are my heavy cycling days- where I’m doing a 3 to 5 hour ride through the mountains, etc.

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C2U February 20, 2012 at 12:11 AM

I’ll take that one step further… I can’t see why anyone would do low carb long term unless they truly ate that way naturally, were epileptic, or had brain cancer. Possibly a few specific kinds of gut problems may need some extra time as well.

Have you tried reversing your diabetes with a high carb approach? I very quickly skimmed your blog. As you already know, you’re cycling would be worlds more enjoyable and faster to boot. Not at all trying to be an ass with this suggestion. You seem to be a VERY reasonable guy and have figured out how to make LC actually work for you, but low carb is really nothing more than a patch for diabetes. I wish I could point you to some good links that weren’t filled with vegan propaganda, but since I’m not affected by T2, I selfishly kick those resources out of my pea brain to make room for things that directly affect me.

I think Matt Stone may have written about it fairly recently, so you might try searching his site some.

I like your blog. Actually added it to my reader. 1 of 4 in there.

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Glen February 20, 2012 at 7:18 PM

@C2U “Have you tried reversing your diabetes with a high carb approach?”

I did, yes. A vegan diet, in fact. I tried Dr. Neal Barnard’s much-publicized diet. It did not work for me – although I must admit I only gave it three months, but it only took two weeks of eating LCHF to notice vast improvements in glycemic control. I must admit I ditched Barnard’s ideas after actually reading his studies, finding his control group was the high-carb ADA diet – which all research shows is just not healthy for diabetics, and that in-fact he never truly reversed diabetes. (Reversal would imply getting A1c’s to normal levels – and his patients stayed above the 7% A1c threshold … which isn’t even controlled, let alone reversed.)

BTW my HbA1c went from 12.1% at diagnosis to 5.4% now without any insulin, which is an almost universally unheard of turnaround in a years time. I’m also now off all oral medication also. My fasting glucose went from 267mg/dl (14.8mmol/L) to regularly being under 100mg/dl (5.5mmol/L).

… and the real kicker – I managed to lose 100lbs while low-carb as well.

“…As you already know, you’re cycling would be worlds more enjoyable and faster to boot… ”

Actually, for a 46 year old former-fat-guy with spinal stenosis and advanced osteoarthritis, my cycling’s pretty danged fast. I have done sub-3.5hr metric centuries (100km) and managed a 110km ride through our mountains here (which included several thousand feet of elevation gain with up to 14% gradient climbs) in just over 4 hours – all while quite low-carb. Considering the climbing difficulty for someone my size (I’m not a typical cyclist – I’m 6’3″ and 225lb mesomorph) I’m thrilled with my performance.

At least in my case (but I acknowledge we are all physiologically different) It’s just not true that one NEEDS vast amounts of carbohydrate to enjoy endurance exercise – but one does need MORE than if not engaging in this type of exercise.

For example, on a day-off from exercise I’ll eat 45-60g of carbohydrate in a day, on a moderate exercise day (60-90 minutes) I’ll have around 90g. On a 3-5hr day of cycling I’ll up that to 150g or maybe even a little more. Typically my endurance-exercise days are 2-3x the carbohydrate intake of my other days. Otherwise I will ‘bonk’ due to the performance I strive to achieve.

“…but low carb is really nothing more than a patch for diabetes. I wish I could point you to some good links that weren’t filled with vegan propaganda…”

We’ll have to agree-to-disagree on this one. I’ve personally done about 2,000 hrs on diabetes nutrition in the past 14 months now, and I can’t see any evidence that a low-carb diet is a “patch” for diabetes. In fact, all evidence is clear that it is one the best control mechanisms we have.

There is no cure for diabetes – regardless of some claims – there is only control. There may be some diabetics that can do well with a high-carb diet (assuming they’ve eliminated refined/processed carbs/sugars, this seems to be the case) but they likely were not as “far-gone” as me.

Unfortunately testing shows *I* still have high insulin-resistance and low beta-cell function. I’m one of those unfortunate people that managed to mostly burn-out his pancreatic beta-cell function. As such, a low-carb lifestyle is my only choice unless I also wish other oral medication and insulin. Until such time as there’s something that improves beta-cell function… but that’s not happening any time soon.

I hope that helps explain me and my stance… I’m not anti-carbohydrate, I’m anti-refined/processed CRAP, LOL… Those who can enjoy carbs without health issue – I’m a little jealous.

=)

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C2U February 20, 2012 at 7:52 PM

All fair enough. I could tell you’ve done some homework. I didn’t get a defensive tone from your comment, but I do want to be totally clear that I wasn’t criticizing you. Sometimes I don’t deliver so smoothly.

I guess my last question would be, have you tried a Bernard type program since the 100lbs came off? That could make a world of difference, and you don’t have to do it as a vegan 😉

If there’s one thing I’ve learned… do not settle when you think you’ve found “what works best for you.” This doesn’t mean you have to be yo-yoing all over the map with extremes, just don’t settle. I have saved several big guys gone skinny from a life of low-carb by taking them out of their comfort zone.

Congrats on getting your life back, and I love the fact that you cycle!

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Glen February 20, 2012 at 8:30 PM

@C2U: “…I do want to be totally clear that I wasn’t criticizing you…”

No worries, I didn’t get that vibe at all.

“…I guess my last question would be, have you tried a Bernard type program since the 100lbs came off? ”

Honestly, I have experimented a little here and there with carbohydrate intake and for myself I find that ingestion of any more than I “burn off” spikes my glucose for several days. It’s the same whether it’s a few-slices of sprouted-grain french toast or a couple of baked potatoes…

What I *DO* enjoy though, is the occasional treat – that I earn through exercise. IE: If my kid is having a birthday and eating something I wouldn’t normally eat – I’ll eat it. Even dessert. And then spend 2 hours in the gym burning it off once my glucose level goes above 130mg/dl (about 7.2 mmol/L). As 140mg/dl (7.8mmol/L) is the level at which damage starts to occur in the body, I keep it below that without fail, even if it means going to the gym (only 5 mins away) or hopping on my fluid trainer.

And yeah, I love cycling. It’s too bad we have so much winter here… or I’d be doing it a lot more than I do. We usually only get about 3 months to enjoy cycling in – from Mid June to Mid September. Outside of that range it’s usually cold and possibly snowing. So I love my fluid trainer…

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C2U February 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Ah…. the burn 🙂 Gotta love those sessions.

Do me a favor and give it one more shot with very ripe (aka overripe) fruits. They’re a different ballgame. I’m not a starch fan for a whole host of reasons which I wont go into here.

Know the feeling. I moved to Kona to escape it 🙂

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Razwell February 20, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Chris Kresser is a complete crackpot. He will ban you from his site if you accurately present the scientific information from REPUTBALE scientists.

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Razwell February 20, 2012 at 7:35 AM

Anthony Colpo is also another crackpot with a PROFOUND lack of understandic of basic biochemistry.

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Razwell February 20, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Body weight is INVOLUNTARILY controlled in both humans and animals . Complex neural circuitry is in control.

All of you Internet people are asking “what cheese is the moon made of? ” It’s NOT about low carb OR carb rich.

GENETICS. The BODY is in control of energy balance- NOT us. That ALWAYS gets LOST in the discussion. We ONLY control a very narrow range of about 10 pounds less over the very long term.

Fat cell regulation and obesity are NOT that well understood. In fact the UNKNOWNS are FAR greater than ANY knowns.

SO much misinformation on the Internet.

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Sanjeev February 20, 2012 at 4:34 PM

> If you’ve been eating low carb, restricting bread and pasta, avoiding fruit and anything sweet, and it’s working for you, that’s great!
_______
at my heaviest I would have told you “it’s working for me”. IMHO many for whom low carb currently is clearly NOT working will vehemently, vociferously, deny that it’s failing them.

So I humbly submit an amendment: ” … working for you ACCORDING TO UNINTERESTED 3RD PARTIES with no axes to grind, products to sell or general mayhem to conduct or devilry to advocate …”

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Em February 21, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Long story so ill keep it short…
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 9 years ago at 22 years old. Being 22 I didn’t think about doing my own research and just did what the doctors told me – took a pill every day. No real symptoms, no worries. I was introduced to CrossFit at 28 and to my surprise loved it and was good enough to be competitive. So I was training really hard and getting into the Paleo diet and without even realising it, I graduated to a very low carb diet.

Skip forward a couple of years to a few months ago and I was feeling like crap, low libido, low energy, low recovery from training, low temps AND I had me thyroid levels checked and for the first time in almost 10 years, my TSH was out of range high and my T3 & T4 were low…Then I finally started researching the thyroid/low carb/hard training connection and started to put it all together, thanks to my own experience and people seeming to start writing about it just as I was thinking about it!!

So I am kind of an athlete, have hashimotos autoimmume hypothyroidism, and have recently decided to start trying for a baby… all of these factors are reasons for me to eat carbs. I really did miss rice and am loving eating it (still avoiding gluten and white potatoes), and feeling a gazillion times better on higher carb intake, but its still probably too low from recent reading about my situation.

It does help to have a libido when you’re trying to have a baby 😉

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Razwell February 21, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Look at Anthony Colpo’s poorly PHOTOSHOPPED picture on his site. Look at that LONG comical, giraffe neck. What a fraud……..

he is as shady as they come. He used to be all for low carb and even had a forum called “low carb muscle.” It is not uncommon for Internet CSMMING CRACKPOS to completely change their message . They always go where the MONEY IS.

Stay away from Colpo.He is a scammer through and through. He has ALL the characteristics of a classic CHARLATAN.

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C2U February 21, 2012 at 6:29 PM

AM, time to bad Razwell. He never has anything to contribute. All he does is troll across the web copy and pasting nonsense about bloggers. He has all the answers, but of course he doesn’t have a blog of his own to share his infinite wisdom to the world. I’ve already told him I’d read it if he did. I want all the answers!

He just called AC a flip flopper above. BFD! Funny thing… AC admits he flip flopped. I’m a flip flopper. You’re a flip flopper too. I guess all three of us should have stayed low-carb even in light of new information we learned to improve our health?

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Razwell February 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I DO have a blog. And it completely DEBUNKS Douglas Graham and Anthony Colpo – BOTH charlatans.

The Gary Taubes attackers are ALSO wrong. Obesity is as heritable as height. Body weight is INVOLUNTARILY regulated. NONE of this is controversial it WHAT the literature says.

Gary Taubes’ attackers are even LESS scientific .” Eat less move more” is an extremely UNSCIENTIFIC social MYTH predicated on OUTDATED Hipporcratic NOSTRUM.The literature says so.

Colpo asks ” what cheese is the moon made of?” regarding obesity. His informatoin is COMPLETELY AT ODDS with Dr Douglas Coleman – A PIONERING TOP EXPERT

Douglas Graham 80/10/10 diet warning POSTED by Richard Nikoley FROM MY SUGGESTION.

Anthony Colpo refues to acknowledge the FUTURE of coronary artery disease research HDL Apo 1 Milano.

NEITHER are reputable sources of information and what they say is completely at odds with TOP scientists in their field.

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Razwell February 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

And Colpo is falvor of the month. he INITIALLY went HIGH CARB from the beginning. THEN in 2005 he was telling EVERYBODY how BAAAD carbs were and how he had a high carb diet in the 90’s and felt absolutely terrible.He SUNG the parises of low carb. READ his Jimmy Moore interview. LAUGHABLE.

It is NOT like he “learned new information.”

He HAD the original high carb information BEFORE his website started and he TRIED IT, and strongly rejected it and preached low carb. After the Omniviore he OPENED up Low Carb Muscle- where he banned Muata Kamdibe abd myself. Colpo made a racial insinuation to Muata by the way. Neither Muata NOR myself liek Colpo. In fact we have talked about him negatively many, many tims.

He SWITCHED from low carb to high carb because the money DRIED UP. His fraudulent cholesterol book did not sell well , and he argued with Eades. SO – he did a complete turn around -which is VERY often whast SCAMMERS DO.

Colpo is a SCAMMER. Educated people and doctors have always told me that. I NOW can see it.
Colpo is the greatest phony on the Internet. He is pure slimy fraud.

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Sam March 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Hey Razwell

have you ever tried sea kelp? Tastes really good, and it’s good for you …

Sea kelp. Professional preparation is essential though.

I recommend you try it. Sea kelp. Good stuff.
Remember, Sea kelp.

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MM February 22, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Thanks for writing this. I had a similar experience, and finally, thankfully ditched low carb. I feel so much better. I actually lost the last 20 pounds that would not budge on low carb, and I’m so glad I don’t have to be stuck in some kind of diet mentality for the rest of my life. Since you’re trying to get pregnant I wanted to recommend TCOYF. You may already be familiar with it since you’re taking your temperature daily. Anyway, I was able to get pregnant twice the first month we started trying. If you have a regular cycle it’s really easy, and even though I’ve decided to stop having kids I still use it to see what’s going on with my cycles, sort of as a health check.

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Kara February 24, 2012 at 11:23 PM

If high-carb works for you and keeps you healthy, I think that’s great. I’ve personally found Mark Sisson’s website to be a wealth of information and I feel like the information presented allows for a fairly wide range of eating (i.e., primal versus paleo which allows for dairy, etc.) as well as helpful, evolutionary-based information on exercise, stress, overall health, etc. I was following mostly WAPF blogs for awhile including this one, and some I still do. But I find myself strongly preferring MDA because of the evidence-based, peer-reviewed research and current literature cited there which is sorely lacking from many other food blogs. I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% on board with any one way of eating but I appreciate the influence and inspiration of the primal way of eating. Even as I still enjoy a slice of sprouted toasted here or there 🙂 Personally, the few days I’ve eaten totally paleo by happenstance, I start to feel dizzy and lightheaded at some point (I’m guessing it’s a blood sugar drop). As long as I have potatoes, squash, apple, banana or a grain-based carb at least once in a day that does not happen. I feel like having a higher level of protein and fat, more similar to what Mark recommends, has helped me gain control of my sweets cravings again and allowed me to make more conscious decisions about what I eat, which is great.

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KBcooks February 26, 2012 at 1:40 PM

“evidence-based, peer-reviewed research and current literature cited ”

There is as much subjectivity in the ‘scientific’ arena as there is in any popular food blog, but it is in only the prior where the results are structurally detrimental. Robots do not perform experiments, humans with preconceived notions (and funding influences) do. Modern science holds an assumption that the body is a dumb animal. Things fail and have to be adjusted with pills or removed altogether. Studies showing persons (women) who aim for fats/sweets in times of stress are ’emotional eaters’ instead of intuitive beings who follow their body’s signals to accommodate stress with extra carbs and fats. The poor person’s choice of ‘pigs feet’ over discounted center cut lean steak is an example of trying to ‘preserve culture’ and not cleverly balancing out the amino acids from commercial protein souces. Both are published studies whose criticisms had nothing to do with what I mentioned.

Having uncontrolled input from a wide number of sources into one arena is where you’ll come closest to a ‘truth.’ The Central Limit Theorem confirms this. Sisson’s diet is what made my symptoms explode. I thought I was getting enough carbs from the nuts I was eating all the time. The rest was cheese, fatty collagen meats with salads and vegetables. Eating carbs has brought my temps up, and limiting fluids now even more so.

Because of these ‘popular food blogs’ I accept the body as responsive to the conditions that surround it. Not eating enough carbs (whatever that means to you – if you know how to read it before its too late) means the body will stop producing appropriate enzymes, and the lack of a major nutrient will lead to a lot of the damage that’s being discussed. Reintroducing carbohydrates will get the body’s enzyme production back on schedule facilitating hormonal balance and healing mechanisms. The transition though, will take a lot of work.

The point is, take away the ‘esteem’ from conventional science and see it for what it is. That way you’ll be able to better protect yourself and your family.

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alex February 26, 2012 at 8:52 PM

First, Anne Marie, thank you so much to you and everyone else who has posted. It’s awesome that you have the courage to post your honest experience – and allow others to comment openly, too. It takes great courage to do that! ; i think we get heated in our discussions because we’re trying to recover our intuitive sense ; we’re living in a time where we’re constantly having to question everything. How anxiety producing! I do want to share this article I discovered today from Dr Cate Shanahan- in case it’s helpful. (see below) Huge appreciation to everyone who contributes and wants the best that we’re all entitled to!!!
As a sidenote:
I highly recommend this film for inspiration. I like to believe, as long as we have love – all is well! Things will align themselves with natural well-being. This film is a reminder of that.
http://www.mattmorrisfilms.com/Site/Mr._Happy_Man.html

For an explanation of what happens when you go too low carb to quickly check out Dr Cate Shanahan’s, author of Deep Nutrition, post on the effect of going too low carb too quickly? I just got it. According to Catey, it has an effect on the thyroid – which causes the body to go into a sort of hibernation. She says that’s when people got back to increasing carbs and, sure enough, the symptoms disappear.

If you go to her site drcate.com, the title of the article is Going Low-Carb too Fast may Trigger Thyroid Troubles and Hormone Imbalance. It’s on the Home Page. Her advice is to take it slowly – and let the thyroid adapt to the change.

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Avie February 28, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I haven’t read through the comments yet and I’m not sure I care to given what I know of the zealots of these here internet lands. I just have to say THANK YOU. I have felt absolutely insane the past couple of years as I ate an incredibly strict paleo diet, followed up by a solid year of strict zero carb, and all I did was end up downright tubby and low on energy. Any time I ever tried to reach out on a forum to seek advice, I was immediately admonished for just “not trying hard enough.” Are you kidding me? I am unbelievably type A. I never cheated. Not once. Now I’ve been playing around with different ways of eating the past few months and guess what? I’m thinner than I was eating “perfectly.” I’m not to where I want to be yet, but dammitall, I look better and feel better and I get to eat a nice bowl of oatmeal in the morning. I’m alright with that. I hardly think that potatoes are responsible for the obesity epidemic.

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cheeseslave February 28, 2012 at 9:25 PM

@Avie

That’s all I was trying to say.

“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” — T.S. Eliot

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Erika February 28, 2012 at 9:50 PM

AMEN! Read this because Jimmy Moore referred to it in his latest data-dump post – and we all know how well ‘low carb paleo’ is working for Mr. Moore…

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MotherGinger March 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM

There’s some interesting timing going on in the traditional foods world lately. Coincidence? Providence?

You post a few weeks ago that going LC hurt your thyroid function.

Dr. Cate Shanahan posts a few days ago that going LC *too fast* can hurt your thyroid function. She suggests that eating lots of carbs is like fall (preparing for hibernation), and dropping the carbs low quickly can lead to hibernation – sluggish, etc. Her suggestion is to do it more slowly. http://drcate.com/going-low-carb-too-fast-may-trigger-thyroid-troubles-and-hormone-imbalance

Dr. Jack Kruse posts a few days ago that going LC and being out of tune with circadian & ultradian light cycles can hurt your thyroid function. Like Dr. Cate, he also suggests that eating lots of carbs is like fall, but that the way to do it right is to go into winter with a big drop to VLC, yes, but also with the missing ingredient to winter – COLD. If I understand him right, that leads to preparing for spring – using up fat stores, preparing for an energetic season of gradual increase of carbs through summer and decrease again in late fall. http://jackkruse.com/the-holy-trinity-ct-4/ (There are four preparatory blog posts leading up to this one.)

It seems that it’s more complex than theory A (yours), and even likely more complex than theory B (Dr. Cate’s). (Take my example, for instance. I’ve been dropping my carbs slowly over several YEARS. I still have had the signs of low thyroid function increase.) There seem to be more variables than just LC = badthyroid. More “if’s” involved. If Dr. Kruse is right, the problem is not the low carbs, it’s the low carbs mismatched with the other natural signs of light and temperature. He seems to be saying that if you don’t match your carb intake with pitch black at night, early morning change of light from red to blue (and the reverse at sunset), and strong light in the day, your body is going to be totally confused and stuck in early fall (since you’re signaling that time of year by food & temp). He says that if you use cold, your body says, “I’m in a cave or underground and light doesn’t matter – trigger on COLD instead,” and you are able to move through winter to spring.

I’m absolutely trying this. I have nothing to lose – I can’t go back to high carb because it makes many other things worse for me. I’ll keep you posted (hopefully the brain fog lifts and I”ll remember!).

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cheeseslave March 1, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Hmm…. Sounds really complicated!

Read above in my post about the people living near the Arctic Circle who had to eat moose thyroid in order to reproduce.

(a) We don’t live near the Arctic Circle and (b) I don’t know about you but I don’t want to have to take thyroid glands in order to have my hormones be healthy.

Why not just eat more carbs?

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MotherGinger March 1, 2012 at 1:30 PM

No, it’s really not complicated. We’ve complicated things; nature has remained the same. Our ancestors just lived their lives outside and got sun & temperature changes as they came (& carbs in season). Not doing that is what caused the problems.

Getting in cold water every now and then isn’t too complicated. The Buffalo Bills are doing it (for recovery reasons) & some NASA scientist is doing it (for fat loss reasons); I can try it for this.

I actually buy my pig & cows from farmers and have asked for ALL the organs back from them, but the butcher must do a whack job (lol); I have a feeling he is too rough to get the small glands like thyroid & adrenal back. It’s totally normal to eat all the organs – the epitome of “traditional foods.” In fact, it’s NOT normal NOT to “take” thyroid if that means “eat” thyroid; only modern people eat only muscle and toss the organs & glands.

As I mentioned, adding more carbs brings up lots of other health issues for me, ones that are far worse than being tired & losing hair. That’s “why not just eat more carbs,” for me.

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cheeseslave March 1, 2012 at 1:58 PM

I agree it’s totally normal to eat the organs. And it’s good for you.

I didn’t see where you mentioned that eating more carbs causes problems for you.

Everyone is different. But for MOST people, eating more carbs is a lot easier than trying to procure and consume animal glands.

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MotherGinger March 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Sorry, last paragraph of my first post earlier today.

Thank you for hosting so many enriching discussions!

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Nancy March 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Thank you for writing this. I started with GAPS five months ago (first diet ever)…it turned into more paleo/primal for me. Now irritable and intolerant, afraid to eat b/c of severe IBS symptoms, thyroid is off, am cold and my hair is falling out. I have those red bumps too. I also developed bad leg cramps (which magnesium oil is helping). My point is that I have spent SO much money and time on the food, the research, the supplements. I’ve isolated myself socially b/c “I can’t eat there.” This is ridiculous. Food choices shouldn’t be a religion. I even stopped exercising b/c of fatigue. There’s verse in the Bible that says, “All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial.” Of course, we’re not going back to Velveeta and Twinkies but I’m leery of programs that wipe out an entire food group. I had no idea that my HEALTH food diet was doing this to me. Thank you for calming our fears about what is wrong with me. Does Matt’s book explain how to use the thyroid supplements or would that be in the thyroid book you refer to? I’m also curious how many people have actually been healed on GAPS vs. how many people who just “do it” for awhile and end up with problems as a result. I have to admit though…I didn’t consume much fruit/sugar b/c of blood sugar issues so I probably did it wrong.

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cheeseslave March 4, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Matt’s book does not explain how to use the thyroid symptoms. Read Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemic by Mark Starr.

I know a lot of people who have been healed with GAPS. However, not everyone needs to do GAPS.

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Sarabeth Matilsky March 5, 2012 at 1:07 PM

I just listened to a FASCINATING podcast with Chris Kresser, on the topic of thyroid health. I thought it would be totally boring, and instead I listened to it twice and took detailed notes: http://www.lifeisapalindrome.com/updates/some-fascinating-facts-about-thyroids . I thought some of you might enjoy this, because I had many questions even after a complete thyroid workup and perusing the entire “Stop the Thyroid Madness” book/website and many, many blogs. I’m not at the point of finding answers yet, but at least I’m learning a whole, whole lot of interesting stuff.

Regards,
Sarabeth

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Darren March 29, 2012 at 7:38 PM

What I hate most about many ‘nutrition’ and ‘diet’ blogs is the dogmatic approach to eating.

People in general have just totally lost their innate connection with food. We do stress about it too much. One day of eating like you describe above is not the end of the world, though many people these days tend to make it out to be.

I think in your case, this is mostly a question of change though. 1 Month is hardly enough time to draw any serious conclusions about any long-term weight gain or loss for that matter.

Before I go any further, for weight maintenance purposes or ‘performance’ purposes, I almost always prescribe a higher carbohydrate approach because it’s been my experience that most people do feel better with a moderate intake of carbohydrates (40-50% of the diet).

However, if you’re in an energy surplus at that 2300 calories and continue to eat like this for the next year, (if you buy into the calorie theory which I believe is much more complicated than we make it out to be, but if you do…) you may only be gaining 1/4 of a pound per month, which will only look like 3 lbs after a year (no biggy right? you probably wouldn’t notice much), but if the trend continued for 5 years, now you’re 15 lbs heavier…

Something to keep in mind…

And that’s where most people fall into, they wake up years later, after adopting consistently bad eating (and lifestyle, let’s not forget about exercise in this mix…) behaviors and suddenly they are 15-20-25 lbs heavier than they were a few years ago. Often at this point, (and unfortunately) they resort to some kind of ‘dieting solution.’

So sure you might feel better over the last month, but most would coming off a low-carb diet (which is well-known to make most people lethargic) and probably a negative energy balance.

Diet is the sum total of a multitude of factors, accumulating over an extended period of time. This is why binging for one day a week, often won’t result in immediate/noticable weight gain the following day, probably not even that week. It’s not what you eat today, it’s the accumulation of what you eat consistently over a period of time, like this week and more like this month that hurts most people in the long-run.

What you’ve effectively done actually too is a nutritional strategy called Carb Cycling just on a macro-level, (the strategy is often used on a daily or weekly cycle, this is almost more like a monthly cycle…) and it’s a very effective (but generally more advanced/intermediate strategy) especially for weight loss actually.

A testament perhaps to the whole notion of ‘carbs are evil’ thing that seems to be going on these days…

I think also it’s worth mentioning that it sounds like you ‘made’ most of the food you consumed. Many people struggling with weight/diet, do not make much, if any of their own food.

You also chose relatively good carbs to do this with. Sprouted Grain bread instead of heavily processed flour-based bread. Homemade muffins and corn-chips (where you can control the ingredient content) instead of store bought. Whole fruit and home-made preserves instead of store-bought equivalents or juices.

On a spectrum of carbohydrate consumption, you made more ideal choices than most.

The only foreseeable problem is that you may not be getting enough protein, which even in ‘high-carb’ diets should probably be about 15% of your total food consumption.

:p

I’m glad to see people talking about carbs not being ‘bad’ or ‘evil,’ although I also hope it doesn’t encourage people to think that excessive carbohydrate consumption is a good idea either. Like so many things, you need to find personal balance. You can eat any macro-nutrient in excess to detrimental effect.

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Liz U April 3, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Thank you for this post!! I got caught up in the carb phobia, but it just wasn’t working for me. I didn’t and don’t need to lose weight, but I was concerned about diabetes after reading the low carb craze. Well, this is what happened to me over the past month. First, I totally lost my appetite. And when I tried to eat, I felt crazy nauseated. Also, when I tried to brush my teeth in the morning, I literally would gag. And it wasn’t the toothpaste- I gagged with just gargling water! I don’t know why low-carb did this to me. However, it was the only change I made during the past month- so I know what’s to blame even if I don’t know the why. And now I can go back to my normal diet and not worry about insulin and all that jazz.

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Audi May 3, 2012 at 3:34 PM

I think if it works for your body, do it. I have a history of hyper and hypo thyroid problems on both sides of my family. Low carbs without processed foods (except cheese) works best for my body and I’ve enjoyed a very healthy pregnancy (8 weeks to go) sticking to a strict diet. I feel energized, I look good and most importantly: baby and me are perfectly normal. Low carb has never been a fertility issue with me and my husband, I have a small waist to hip ratio, good musculature, and didn’t start my family until I was in my thirties. If anything we are uber fertile and husband will need to get snipped to limit our family size. If high carb works well for your body, then who cares what the rest of the universe thinks.

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olivia May 7, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Just saw this new question answered by Dr Natasha which is relevant here:

There is a lot of talk on-line about low carb diets affecting thyroid function and
fertility. I would appreciate your comments on this as some people are concerned about doing the GAPS diet for these reasons.
GAPS Diet does not have to be low-carb, it is up to you what proportions of meat to
vegetables to consume. People with thyroid problems recover well on GAPS programme.
Restoring fertility in women and men requires less carbohydrates and more animal
products, particularly animal fats.

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Emily Quandt June 5, 2012 at 11:33 PM

Welcome back from your vacation! I missed your posts. Have no fear I will go back and read them. I was pretty proud of you for just dropping everything and vacationing:). Sorry your RSS broke. What a hassle!
Anyway, while you were away you got me hooked and I’ve been reading Matt Stone and went ballistic off of GAPS and back to reality. My temps have come up some but not to 98 yet and…I’ve been packing on upwards of 5 pounds a week! Yikes! Eating to appetite for me seems like so much food. Any thoughts on curbing the crazy weight swing?

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cheeseslave June 17, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I’ll be posting about this soon. I definitely gained a lot of weight but my temps are in the 98s now and I’ve lost 5 pounds in the past couple weeks since I stopped overeating.

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Lisa G June 21, 2012 at 7:44 AM

I just started RRARFing. How long did you do it? I would love to read a post about your experience. Oh, gotta go have my second breakfast. 🙂

Thanks for all you do.

Lisa

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Neeters June 17, 2012 at 8:39 AM

wow this makes so much sense to me! Here’s what I did to myself: I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 3 years ago and got scared. I ate very low carb and exercised like a madwoman so I lost 112 lbs and reversed it. 2 years later, still doing too much exercise and not eating enough carbs. go into menopause and 3 things happened. severe adrenal dysfunction due to overtraining. 2) severe hormone imbalance, secondary to reason #1, and 3) thyroid not making enought T3 and I’ve got low body temp of 95-96, gaining weight, hair falling out, can’t work…How to fix? go to a Hormone Specialist who prescribed half a dessicated thyroid pill, some bio-identical estrogen and progesterone cream, and to EAT MORE CARBS and EAT MORE PROTEIN, plus exercise every other day only. guess what? within 2 weeks I feel normal again. Meanwhile, I was off work for 3 months thinking I was dying! Large flake oats are my best friend now 🙂 silly me!

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cheeseslave June 23, 2012 at 9:20 AM

@Neeters

Yup, carbs are our friend! And grains are a very easy way to get carbs.

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SuzanG June 18, 2012 at 5:04 AM

Are you still taking Maca? I thought that was supposed to help with fertility and balancing hormones. Can you please tell me the brand that you like again? I cannot find a search feature on your website, to find other posts regarding this topic. Thank you.

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cheeseslave June 23, 2012 at 9:25 AM

@SuzanG

No I am not taking maca. I got my temperature up by eating food, increasing my carbs and getting more rest and sleep.

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mary ashley June 21, 2012 at 10:29 AM

BOY I can relate! I was LC paleo for about 8 months, and about 5 months in started getting hypothyroid symptoms. I’ve always been on the lookout for them since it runs in my family, but I got my levels checked and, according to the MDs, everything was fine. Still, I KNEW there was something wrong…hair falling out, NO energy, cold extremities, and my weight loss stalled completely for a good 3 months even though I started a CrossFit Boot Camp. Started eating a few more carbs? Energy went through the roof, weight started flying off effortlessly, and I could even tell a change in physical appearance. I LOOK healthier now (in the words of my mom, I don’t look so haggard). And it’s not like I went crazy with them, either…just added in about a cup of brown rice a day and some fruit to my veggies, eggs, and meat. Of course I’ve gotten yelled at by my paleo friends about how the answer isn’t carbs and I’m probably insulin resistant and I need to retrain my brain and body to burn fat instead of glucose by eating four pounds of meat a day or whatever but at this point I just roll my eyes. I think balance is the key, and I’ve found the balance that my body seems to like.

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cheeseslave June 23, 2012 at 9:15 AM

@Mary Ashley

Yes this is a very common story!

I personally think a lot of the too thin paleo folks look haggard.

Of course I’ve gotten yelled at by my paleo friends about how the answer isn’t carbs and I’m probably insulin resistant and I need to retrain my brain and body to burn fat instead of glucose by eating four pounds of meat a day or whatever

I have no idea what that’s like! [wink — being sarcastic]

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Jessica June 22, 2012 at 5:26 PM

I was blown away by this blog because it matched my experience when I was trying to conceive my first child. I had been following a strict low-carb diet for a couple of years and was thin, but with a BMI in a normal range, and I thought I was healthy. But my hair was falling out. And my luteal phase was short. And I couldn’t get pregnant. I finally put two and two together, started downing strawberry yogurt smoothies, put on less than five pounds, and was pregnant a month later. Now, I am on a journey to heal my adrenals and to eat a more natural, weston price diet. The more I uncover, the more I understand how much my “healthy” diet was ruining my health.

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cheeseslave June 23, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Wow, good for you Jessica!

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James June 23, 2012 at 12:37 AM

Having a wheat allergy that caused an autoimmune disorder, I now avoid carbs as they cause disease. I am just an unlucky human who won’t be eating cake on my birthday. They are not essential for humans as stated on the wikipedia page. They have no essential amino acids for rebuilding the body. No you don’t have to eat thyroid gland to be successful on a low carb diet. Liver and kidney will do fine. My favourite way to cook these organ meats is in an omelette with bacon. Cook the diced liver and bacon with lots of butter/coconut oil as the pan is heating up and your sexdrive problem will be gone.

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cheeseslave June 23, 2012 at 9:13 AM

@James

There is no evidence that carbs cause disease. There are plenty of healthy cultures who ate lots of carbs and had no disease.

And I guess you don’t read my blog very much because I tend to eat liver at least 2-3 times per month.

Best of luck to you.

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Alison June 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Thank you, thank you for this post! I’m trying to get pregnant with my third child, and my temps are super low. I also started drastically cutting carbs in the last 3 months. Going to make a stack of yummy pancakes with maple syrup pro to! 🙂

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Jim A. June 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM

The problem (if it existed at all; the quote by Price is what is known as an anecdote and therefore of very little scientific value) is iodine deficiency. And there are plenty of other non-carbohydrate iodine sources available.

Perhaps if Eskimos had access to shrimp, eggs, milk or CHEESE they would have taken a pass on the Moose thyroid glands.

“My business is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try
and make facts harmonize with my aspirations.”
Thomas Huxley

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Rob June 25, 2012 at 6:36 AM

The metabolic typing diet fits perfectly with everything you’re saying here.

Some people are fast-oxidizers and others are slow. This correlates to protein types and carb types.

I recently switched to a mainly carb diet, with some protein and little amounts of fat and I’m amazed about how much more vital and energetic I feel.

Before, I was eating more protein and good fats and limiting the carbs because that’s what most bodybuilders recommend when you’re trying to get leaner. But I was getting sick and feeling low most of the time. I even started putting weight on.

The really amazing thing is that now, I am losing fat and getting leaner, WHILE on a high carb diet!

So by the way, I’m half Nicaraguan, half Portuguese and I take after my Nicaraguan mother, so I’m getting the sense that I”m definitely a carb type, slow-oxidizer. I feel more satisfied after eating a higher carb meal and I don’t feel hungry right away like I do when I eat more protein and fat.

I hear people who are Irish, English, Norwegian, Eastern European etc. tend to be protein types, but that’s a generalization.

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Marci June 25, 2012 at 7:45 AM

Really nice to read this article, very refreshing after having tried ALL the ‘diets’ and am still no better off than when I began! I do laugh at the “Paleo” fad because the so called paleo period is only a THEORY and one that cannot ever be proven. So people are doing this massive diet fad based on some unproven theory. Boy, how often is that done these days? Scary thought! At any rate, I’m pretty much resigned to not worrying about what the next ‘diet’ will be now because I’ve tried them all, at least the ones I thought I’d live with, and none have worked for long or for much. I think if I’m going to remain obese I can at least be healthy by eating REAL FOODS … yeah, CHEESE, BUTTER, drugfree grassfed BEEF, real FATS & OILS, etc. Happy days! 😉

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John Theobald July 6, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I’ve been on a ketogenic diet for many months. After an initial weight loss I stalled about 20 pound over my ideal weight with mainly abdominal fat. My lean body mass has decreased despite the fact that I lift heavy weights twice a week. I do have very low body temperature about 96.7 or so. I have tried all the tricks to breaking stalls, no nuts, dairy, high enough fat , trying to up carbs to the Jaminet level, etc etc. Still not the slightest change in weight, inches, and reduced lean body mass..Years ago I went on a very low fat vegan diet and reached my goal weigh. Hunger wasn’t a problem since I could eat whenever and as much as I wanted. Maybe this is a better approach.

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Michelle July 26, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Hi AnnMarie I know this is an old post but I want to add my 2 cents. This is shauns wife (hub sale) as u know we have 6 beautiful children and after the birth of #6 I needed to loose weight & did atkis for 1 year and lost about 45#. But I couldnt do it any more!! U couldn’t pay me to eat bacon!! So after going off of it yes I did gain about 10# but it leveled out and I ate normal again!! About 5 months of that I got pregnant!! So it seems, for me that LC also kept me from conceiving since most of my babies are much closer in ages the last three are no more that 15 months apart and these ones will be 2.5 years apart. So it seems for me LC works well for natural birth control. Well that’s my story for what it’s worth 🙂
Take care & God bless
Oh, btw my mom conceived my little sister @ 48 🙂

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cheeseslave July 26, 2012 at 3:06 PM

@Michelle

Wow! Thank you! 🙂

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Lauren August 1, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Hi Ann Marie– if you’re trying to get pregnant, I would really suggest the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. It’s a fantastic book that covers the hormonal cycle and how to detect where you are on it (and optimize chance of conceiving), in part by charting your temperature (which rises after ovulation and then falls during menstruation). Best of luck 🙂

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Laura August 9, 2012 at 9:34 PM

I concur. I gained 25 pounds in the last 6 months. I blame the Primal lifestyle. My body temperature is now at an all time low, and I can’t get it back up there no matter how many carbs I eat. Maybe there is something else wrong (I’ve had my thyroid & blood sugar checked).
I’m done with low carb for good.

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Marci August 10, 2012 at 7:40 AM

I began my ‘health quest’, which was mostly to lose 100lbs, when I went through menopause 12 years ago. I began with Hallelujah Diet, went to Sugarbusters, then Atkins, South Beach, basic low carb, HCG homeopathic and finally stopped them all. They all worked for awhile, but then I’d stop losing, get frustrated and ditch them. Yes, I had plenty of walking & strength training through the entire ordeal too.

I found your article “Why I Ditched Low Carb” compelling because I’ve never heard of hardly anyone who didn’t love low carb. But I still feel horrible after these 12 years [I dieted my whole life using unhealthy methods before getting ‘into health’! I probably messed up my thyroid, metabolism, adrenals, etc., but that’s another story.] Anyway since menopause my body temp is now averaging 96!! I went through menopause with only supplements and some progesterone cream. But I digress here. I was convinced low carb was the ‘best way’ even tho I felt/feel tired all the time, etc.

NOW I believe it’s not about ‘the carbs’, but about the real food and the quality of the real food. The problem per se is too much processed, chemical laden, nutrient stripped junk we call food instead of food like our grandparents ate … fresh, whole, clean, drug free food … the meat, the dairy, the veggies, the fruit, and the FAT!

Thanks for your insight!

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Edle August 15, 2012 at 5:37 AM

Could not agree more. I had a complete and utter breakdown on low-carb – I was not trying to loose weight – I did a GAPS protocol as I had discovered that I had some gluten-processed food issues. Instead of going for something a bit more moderate, I went all out on a low carb GAPS. Hormones a mess. Libido 0. Period gone for 7 months. Head not working. And this was only a 14 days intervention….I found that adding starches was not enough. I needed lots of fruit and desserts. Ice cream seems to work well. 200 grams of carbs a day, majority from fructose or sugar, seemed to be the minimum – more was better. It took me a long, long time, almost a year, to fully fix my metabolism. When I see all the low carb Paleo propaganda I feel sorry for all those who will eventually crash.

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olivia August 15, 2012 at 6:58 AM

I think everyone is different but I don’t think a sudden change in any diet is good for the body. I don’t think GAPS has to be low carb. Dr Natasha says it doesn’t. I myself am doing well on GAPS and got pregnant while on GAPS earlier than I did with earlier pregnancies (i.e. at first cycle this time while breastfeeding). My carbs are lower than before GAPS but I still eat veg with every meal, fruit and honey most days. At the beginning I limited fruit and honey but always ate plenty of veg so I don’t think it was very low carb. But I do eat lots more fat now, and that is what Dr Natasha says helps with fertility.
There are cultures who did well on low carb but I wonder if some people these days don’t do well on low carb because maybe their body is not used to other fuel sources e.g. if carbs are low we need to increase fat for energy, perhaps some just can’t digest fat well since they have been eating low fat or unnatural fats for so long. Just some of my thoughts.

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Edle August 15, 2012 at 7:26 AM

@Olivia, yes, I think everyone is different. Great that you are doing well! Some people obviously do well on GAPS. And I still think GAPS stage 3 has many good elements, that I follow to some degree. I got a bad metabolic crash on the introduction GAPS with homemade meat or fish stock, some fish and meat, some very well boiled vegetables and a bit of honey, but probably not enough to keep me out of ketosis. It is the introduction GAPS that I think is risky – and this has been covered elsewhere, by Paul Jaminet for example. Many people, it seems women in particular, seem to need a steady supply of carbs, regardless of fat source. I was always generous with saturated fats (from good meats, cheeses, butter etc) – I never did low fat.

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cheeseslave August 15, 2012 at 7:42 AM

@Olivia

Cultures who ate very low carb (for example the Eskimos) also ate a lot of organ meats, including thyroid glands.

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olivia August 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM

I wonder how much is low carb in terms of the carbs eaten in a day? Would veg (like carrots, cauliflower etc..) with lunch and dinner, and fruit and honey once a day, and freshly pressed veg/fruit juice in the morning be considered low carb? (with no grains or high starchy veg).

This is a question answered by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride:
“There is a lot of talk on-line about low carb diets affecting thyroid function and
fertility. I would appreciate your comments on this as some people are concerned about doing the GAPS diet for these reasons.

GAPS Diet does not have to be low-carb, it is up to you what proportions of meat to vegetables to consume. People with thyroid problems recover well on GAPS programme. Restoring fertility in women and men requires less carbohydrates and more animal products, particularly animal fats.”

Would you agree with the last line?

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Barb August 17, 2012 at 4:36 PM

I so wish that I could tolerate grains, but I simply can’t. I’m not celiac, but I am obviously quite sensitive. Grains in any form…. sprouted, fermented, putrified, crushed, frozen, steamrollered, rotted or whatever else results in a distended belly and diarrhea that lasts for 5 to 7 days. I won’t even discuss weight gain and water retention. I do not have the same reaction from rice, yams, potatoes or sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, I do love bready items :(.

Blood sugars will also go crazy (I walk the line between pre diabetic and diabetic) with grains. I am a person that functions, feels and performs well on low carbs… even ketogenic low.

I think it is fascinating how we can all be so much the same in some respects, and so different at the same time.

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Mary August 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Ugh…I am SO confused on what diet to do! I have been trying to do GAPS and Paleo for over 2 years now, and right now I am ten days in again. I keep failing cause I feel deprived. I have already lost 6 pounds – I am already thin, and I am so anxious, no good sleep, temps in the 96 range. My issue is I have a very painful autoimmune condition that includes bladder pain, and arthritis in my hands. For some reason, if I eat ANY grains – I have tried them all, the pain is worse in my joints. All fruit is out because it greatly aggravates my bladder pain. Honey is out because it makes me SUPER hyper and feeds my candidia issue. So, I am worried after reading this I am doing more harm then good, but with my symptoms I cant add in any grains..I wish I could! Also cant do fruit.. I feel between a rock and a hard place. My only hope is that this is just die off and I will come out of it..

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Meghab August 18, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I would check out the 180degreehealth.com website. The 180degree metabolism ebook was a huge help to me. You could easily follow recommendations (very simple) and avoid the foods you know are problematic and maybe include starchy tubers and veggies (and maybe even some rice) instead. Good luck!!

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Emily Quandt August 18, 2012 at 9:28 PM

You should just go ahead and schedule a phone consultation with Matt Stone over at 180DegreeHealth.com. Click on the Get Help tab and you can talk to him as soon as this Wednesday. It’s worth it! He’ll sort out all the confusions and get some positive results going for you:). He’s great!

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Kati September 2, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Oh my gosh. You have no idea how much I needed to read this post, TONIGHT! I just got the results from some recent bloodwork showing my T3 is low, as well as DHEA. I am not overweight and show no typical symptoms of hypothyroidism. What I am? A little overly stressed AND in an effort to clean up my diet, have lowered my carb intake. I didn’t even mean to do this intentionally! But when you take out grains, legumes, and sugar…I cannot do a sweet potato every day of my life. :-0

I want to get pregnant also. I have a 20 month old and had a miscarriage this past May. The dr has prescribed me Cytomel and DHEA but I really don’t feel comfortable taking them. I want to lower my stress, focus on sleep, and EAT MORE/MORE CARBS and see if that works first. I feel confident that it will as I really believe that is the issue now. I’mon the low end of weight anyways and would like to gain some weight. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :>

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cheeseslave September 3, 2012 at 10:28 AM

You are welcome! Sending you my good wishes.

It does work! My body temp is a steady 98.6 these days, every day.

Just don’t worry about the extra weight you gain. It may be what your body needs to successfully carry a baby to term.

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cheeseslave September 3, 2012 at 10:30 AM

@Stef

Cardio 5x a week is not a good idea — and won’t help you with toning flab.

I’m just starting training this week. I recommend doing HIT or superslow weight training. I’ll be writing soon about the book Body By Science.

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Dara September 9, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Ann Marie, Thank you SO much for this post. I’m in a very different health situation (Hashimoto’s, Graves Disease, post menopausal, pre-diabetic) but have REALLY been struggling with eating so few carbs on Paleo. The good news is that I’ve struggled with sugar addiction my whole life and it is almost completely resolved at this point. I also know for autoimmune recovery and healing of my gut I have to avoid gluten (which I’m highly sensitive to) and the anti-nutrients of grains and legumes, as well as dairy which, sadly, I’ve been allergic to since infancy. However, just the thought that it’s okay to eat bananas! What joy! And the thought of waffles – oh happy day! You bring up such wonderful points, especially about low temperature – which I have too. One word of caution, I was a patient of Dr. Rind’s for 3 years and would never recommend him to anyone for anything. I would be happy to provide more detail if you’re interested. This is the first blog post I’ve read of yours and you are obviously very credible, well-researched and grounded in your approach, which is why I feel I should warn you about him.

Again, thank you for creating such a wonderful website. I’ll definitely be back.

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TrailGrrl September 18, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Just started reading your blog again. I was doing Primal diet, then started IF like Leangains more recently. Primal took the weight off, but my thyroid was hosed and I am on synthroid. Not liking how I looked after a winter of heavy compound lifting (my back got big!), I regrouped and started wanting to trail run and do triathlons again, so I started reading what triathletes eat (a lot effing carbs…a lot of effing food, period). But it was hard for me to break the low-carb mentality. I drank plenty of dark beer but would eat just wings or split nachos with hubby. I was terrified of bread! On a recent trip to Chicago I ate my way down Michigan Ave with no restrictions. I felt great…ran every morning, worked during morning and afternoon, then came back and swam in pool and did not need a nap. Got up the next day at 6:00am and did it all over again. But when I came home I tried to get all seriously Paleo/Primal again. Started feeling flat again. Then I came across an article about Paleo not working for women and the whole thyroid issue. The lightbulb went on and I read the 180 Degree blog and Perfect Health blog. 180 Degree had a link to your blog that I hadn’t read in over 2 years! Glad to rediscover it, and now I know why I am constantly cold,especially hands and feet. Today I had some rice, pasta, and even a Pepsi and some orange juice (got a cold) to start retraining my body. I feel best on a balanced, higher carb diet with protein, fat and carbs at each meal. I even made real popcorn in coconut oil and it was great! Thanks for speaking out about what wasn’t working for you, and not becaus you didn’t “do it right.”

TrailGrrl

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Gaba October 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Paleo Diet, South Beach Diet, Atkin Diet, and so on are just modern lifestyle, preached by all the Modern Diet Guru. One new diet-style come in this season and gone the next season; just before its end, another new diet-style will be on its way.

Majority of these modern Diet-style will show an improvement before it begin to show sign of deterioration. How many type of Diet-style do you wants to try till your health deteriorate to a state of no-return. How long do those Diet-style last? How many are “dead” and “alive”?

All those Diet-style are “alien” to my late grand-parents. They ate simply what nature provides to them. They ate whole food prepared at home. They don’t need Diet Guru to tell them what to eat to be healthy.

If you have read Weston A Price “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”, it simply tell you to: Eat Whole Food. Eat what Nature Provides. Listen to Your Body.

I

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Roxana November 16, 2012 at 8:23 AM

You have no idea how incredible it is for me to read your article! It blew my mind!
The more I read into the literature on low-carb and paleo and primal the more I learn about how we’re all different – like how a young fairly active woman shouldn’t eat like a metabolically challenged 60 year old, because if she does then her body will react like the latter.
I know it doesn’t say much, because the average amount of time most couples need to get pregnant is 3 months. But it’s funny how in month 1 and 2 of trying (August and September) I didn’t end up pregnant( I was low-carbing planning to go towards the Atkins induction level), but then in October, up go the carbs (ala Tim Ferris) and Bam! pregnant.

I seriously hate it when people make a religion out of the stuff they eat. Vegetarians feel like they are the awesomest people alive because they don’t eat meat, vegans think they are Gods even compared to vegetarians, macro-biotics, you got all biological, now low carbers and paleos and primal and who knows what else there is out there.
I do believe we all need our protein and fats and well apparently depending on who you are and what you do or like to be able to do in life, you need your carbs too. Food isn’t evil people, and neither are the people eating it.

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Anonymous November 17, 2012 at 7:21 AM

I haven’t read all the comments, and maybe somebody has already mentioned this, but maybe what the real problem was is the limit of the low carb diets based off your personal preference. Your body needs iodine and selenium for the thyroid to function properly, and if you weren’t eating foods that contained either of those, it will start to malfunction. Iodine can be in salt, but not always. American’s consume the majority of their sodium intake through processed foods, which may be why the processed foods are working out for you. Also, over and under consumption of foods can cause toxicity or deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals. Example, over consuming salad dressings and cooking oils can make you deficient in selenium. Read this article, it explains a lot and it’s every educating:
http://www.greenwillowtree.com/Page.bok?file=selenium.iodine.html

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The man with a Woden leg November 28, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Finding this article was über refreshing. My story: healthy 33 year old male, 6′ 195lbs, always been into sports and lifting weights+cardio. Was getting intrigued with this paleo subject back in Jan 2012. Bought books, was all over marks daily apple website, told people about it as if I would save the world. Initially felt awesome eating 6 eggs slammed in butter and pancetta for breakfast. I really thought I was helping my health eating this way, max 2-3 fruits a day, A LOT of meats+fats. After 4-5 months of following this religiously, you know what happened??

Yep: I got REALLY sick. From being super active all my life, I went to being barely able to finish a days work, forget the gym or sports, I was TIRED all the time. Then came depression, I had never even been sad in my life. I mean hardcore depression. But I was still eating my eggs in butter, so brainwashed by all this non sense. Then came the debilitating headaches(migraines, cluster headaches) EVERYDAY!!!!!! Bringing me to the emergency room 3 times! What did they do? You guessed it: prescribed me antidepressants. Well, I never took them. I will never take that. I refuse.

I am of Italian origin and not eating pasta???? When did I become so obsessed with food? Why? For nothing, that’s the answer. Because like everything in modern age society, there is just too much info out there. Some good, some bad.,

I beg you, stop reading shit on the web. Just eat. Eat whatever makes you happy, in moderation.

Low carb will hurt you I promise.

I’m back on eating carbs, protein and fats . Balanced. Moderation. I’m back in the gym. Depression is gone, I’m LEANER. I have energy.

Please do not tell me I “might have done it wrong”. I followed it to a T. Even eating sweet potatoes after Crossfit workouts and bla bla bla…

Don’t do it. I went through hell. When you’re in bed for 2 weeks because you cannot move, and every light or noise hurts, you can’t even talk on the phone or see family, that is hell. I know for a fact it was caused by my diet.

Lets not forget, old ladies in Italy pasting away at 115-120 years old, are pasta and breads most of their lives. Stop obsessing. Start living.

My 2cents

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cheeseslave November 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM

@The man with a Woden leg

Thanks for this comment. I got a lot of flack for writing this article and others like it but I wrote it for people like you who are having these kinds of experiences.

I’m glad you are doing better now!

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Patrick November 29, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Wooden Leg, you seem to be in the minority, however, I’m interested to know more of what you were eating. Low carb is not no carb, and at Mark’s Daily Apple they even have a range that you could do without gaining. I’ve had none of the carb flu or anything like what other people get. I’m more like you probably and just need more carbs but I came from being a vegetarian for 17 years and was just glad to be not worrying about everything I ate. I probably have 2 fruits a day and sweet potatoes and chocolate. I eat bacon every morning and eggs with butter. I have yogurt with honey. I have nuts. I don’t obsess. I even have a hamburger with the bun sometimes! But I do think that some people really do have adverse reactions to wheat and anything with gluten. I’m just one of the lucky ones that don’t.

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Mike (CK) November 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Fantastic conclusion reached there Wooden Leg, my own story is very similar, only I don’t appear to have become as ill as you did. I did lose my health quite rapidly though, almost collapsing after running just 1/3 of a mile! Prior to being “Primal”, when I was 4 stone heavier, I could run a mile without any stress whatsoever!

Now I’m eating what the hell I like, and the first and foremost consideration in my diet is not the food at all, but stress levels. Hormones play such a massive roll in our overall health, the food – not so much. Of all the potential causes of CVD, not protein, not fat, not carbs, not even cholesterol! but stress and only stress stands out to be the largest consistent killer. Restrictive diets can cause huge amounts of stress, we know this!

EAT THE FOOD!

Excellent post, I enjoyed reading.

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Colin February 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM

“Low carb will hurt you I promise.”

Care to make a bet on that, pal. Low-carb has worked for me and thousands of other people. Just because it didn’t work for you doesn’t mean it’s defective. For one, you were doing it wrong. You believed the BS lie about Atkins that it’s all about eating “6 eggs slammed in butter and pancetta for breakfast.” People who gorge themselves are not doing it right. I eat a normal amount of food a day as do most on Atkins and I either lose or maintain weight. I was metabolically wrecked under the “grains, grains, grains!” orthodoxy of people like you. I was only saved when I ditched that. So I guess I could just as easily say that you’re full of it then. Tit for tat, pally.

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Gaby @A Crafty Gourmet November 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I think that it’s a continual experimentation process to figure out how to eat optimally. Things change, we change and there is no one way for everyone to eat. It’s great that you figured out how to eat for your health. I would stress that it’s all about balance and increasing your carbs should be done slowly and methodically. Those carbs should be good whole grain, low sugar carbs. Otherwise, while your insulin may not be out of wack now, it will be a month or two from now. For me eating a higher fat, higher protein, lower carb, but not Lo-carb diet has been incredible. I think eating starchy tubers is essential to our health. Congratulations on continuing to figure out what’s right for you and for not bashing the lo-carb guys, because they have helped so many!

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laura November 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I am really glad to read this article. I really enjoyed the Primal diet however I found myself being a bit off. Then I noticed I was having adrenal and hormone issues, I thought it was something else never through about it being the primal diet. Guess its time for me to start tracking my temp and running my own testing. Thank you for posting this goes to show you that everyone is different and there is no one size fits all way of eating.

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jules November 29, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I love hearing about how people heal their bodies by listening… I’m so encouraged, because there are so many extremes out there that can be so intimidating! One thing that puzzles me though… I became allergic to wheat at age 27. (31 now, 5’4″, 125-130 lbs). I was a very reasonable eater before – organic when possible, not low fat, not low carb, not vegetarian, not high carb… just… normal (well, natural foods store “normal”, not SAD “normal.) When there is an extreme in your food life – like having to completely cut wheat – is it possible to maintain balance? Or even… heal? (I know GAPS is out there, and I’m guessing that’s the answer… but again… so intimidating! Willing to do it to heal, but trying to seek out if that really is the only path.) I’m not sick all the time like I was eating wheat, but we’ve been ttc for about 3 years, and I know my adrenals need healing. It’s just all so overwhelming.

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Heather November 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

While I do think some people benefit from the GAPs diet, I don’t believe everyone will. We’re all individuals, with different body types, metabolic types, and blood types, to name a few. What works for 1 person, may not work for another, even though they both may have the same problem. As for wheat, nowadays, it’s hybridized, which means it’s no longer in its original form, so it’s not as healthy as it used to be. That said, going with an organic, original wheat such as Emmer, Kamut or Spelt, might be better. Reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is a good base, she has some good info, (I don’t follow all she says, but a lot of what she says is good). For adrenals, adaptogenic herbs are so helpful- ashwaganda, rhodiola, ginseng, I’d tried a few different ones, and found, at least for me, the one that worked the best was ‘x-tra’ by Univera. Also, seeing a homeopath to get a ‘constitutional remedy’ is helpful for the adrenals as well as food allergies/intolerances.

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cheeseslave November 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM

@jules

I recovered from gluten intolerance in my 20s. It took 2 years. GAPS did not exist back then — I was just off wheat and sugar. And I took strong probiotics. I have been eating wheat and sugar ever since with no problems.

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Jeff Wilson November 30, 2012 at 5:23 AM

A Heroin addict suffers when he attempts to quit, A smoker has great difficulty quitting that deadly habit and an alcoholic goes through Hell withdrawing from alcohol… These are not mental problems but actual physiological problems that torture the body upon withdrawal. The same goes for withdrawal from an unnatural diet. So using the criteria of ,”how you feel”…especially in such short term….is a very poor criteria. You can find excuses backed up by scientific evidence for ANYTHING. Looking to Science to prove your point is without merit, as you can prove ANY point with scientific “evidence”. I’ve been on the GAPS diet for a few years now, I’m 60…have a 2 year old healthy boy who has never been sick, My Libido is greater than it’s been in my entire life, 45 years of extreme heartburn and GERD are GONE. High Blood Pressure is now that of a 17 year old,(back when 17 yar old’s were healthy).. My arthritis is GONE. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. My hair, which was falling out and turning white now is growing in thick, and with color. But did this happen instantly? Was this a smooth ride? No, in fact there were periods where I thought I was going to die. You have to understand that the Pathogenic bacteria that you have become a slave too….is very varied in what it can do to keep you feeding it it’s foods of choice. You have never really been dedicated to your diet, yeah sure you give it lip service, but you always cheat…. you always will manage to find time for wine, or sugar, or caffeine….or GRAINS. So, as I said, science will not give you the answer you are looking for, because it will give you every answer, then you will simply pick which is easiest…. But common sense will give you an answer. Here is how you can figure it out: Ask yourself this question: If suddenly there were no grocery stores, and you lived in the Natural world and there was nobody growing vast acres of grains and carb foods that exist nowhere in the wild natural world……how would you survive….what would be available for you to eat. It’s really that simple. Humans were not built for the ingestion of grains and carbs the way they are ingested today….. otherwise the Earth would, in it’s natural state, covered with these things….it isn’t. You simply need to become more dedicated,preferably to the GAPS diet because there is little doubt that your GUT needs serious help (as does 99% of the civilized populations). Will you feel like crud at some point….yes… detox isn’t fun….. the bi products of the pathogenic bacteria aren’t fun. But even though you “feel better” eating un naturally…that “feel better”, in relation to what it feels like to be truly healthy….pales in comparison. The further one gets from a Natural way, the unhealthier a person gets, it’s as simple as that. There is nothing natural about ingesting lg. amounts of grains, or potatoes…..etc. Get Natural….Get Healthy….very simple. And do it with some dedication.

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Charlotte November 30, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Could not agree more! I thought the diet would cure my OCD and all it did was play on my OCD! I am much better off ignorant! Reading gets me into so much trouble. My son is much happier now that I am not trying to “cure” his autism. Autism is something that other ppl decided that he has anyway!

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lucy December 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

i recovered from anorexia that i suffered from for 11 years by eating the aforementioned ‘paleo’ way, namely because it helped me tackle gainig weight a healthy way,the ‘best’ way. anyway, i haven’t eaten wheat, grains for two years (my recovery time) I’m 25 years old and while ‘paleo’ makes me feel ok its now trapped me into feeling i can’t eat sprouted bread, sourdough rye, or looking at my carb intake. i try sporadically to introduce sprouted buckwheat groats or white rice occasionally, but end up feeling so guilty and struck with hoards of the knowledge about not being able to eat even buckwheat afterwards, that i vow need to eat it again. i would like to start consuming legumes and beans again, i used to love them, and i miss sprouted bread but I’m too scared after reading so much about wheat and legumes etc.. by the way when i say paleo its not really true as i eat yoghurt, occasionally raw cheese, but I’m trying to figure out how to eat because I’m still not functioning as a woman- so technically my body can not reproduce- so I’m starting to question the diet… also my skin is peeling a lot and really sore, as in literally falling off sometimes !! and i have bouts of depression- probably not dietary related maybe but more to do with feeling bound to the ‘paleo/primal’ way of eating in a world of beans and bread- and we are all freedom seeking beings right!!! in a way i feel like I’ve gotten over my eating disorder and gone into another trap of only certain foods being allowed to be consumed… I’ve read the akea life blue zones with david buettner (amongst the other vast quantities of nutrition literature/ weston price/ tribes and so on!!) and i feel that all cultures stick to their locally grown foods and the foods that come natural to them. I’ve noticed sadinians have their pane carasou bread and fava beans, the bama have their millet and corn and so on… I’m just searching for an answer really. i live in england. no one my age that I’ve met knows about paleo over here and i seem to be the only one who’s not having periods.!!!

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Meghan December 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Love this thread. So interesting to see a variety of perspectives!

Lucy, not having your period is a very VERY big deal. I would contact a Naturopath or Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist. I’ve been consulting with Dr. Kalish who has been really helpful for my issues. (Check out his interviews on Underground Wellness or Balanced Bites.) Food quality is important but keep in mind that neurosis is also a disease. To that affect, stress (including stressing over food), sleep, hormone and gut health are all part of the bigger picture, and these folks can test for things (sex and stress hormones, food sensitivities, etc.) that your regular doctors would not bother with. Other very helpful ebooks for me that I think are fantastic are 180 Degree Metabolism and Eat for Heat by Matt Stone.

Best of luck to you!

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Mike (CK) December 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Hi Lucy.

I’m in England (Lincolnshire), and I’ve done the primal thing too, to the end that it made me feel excess anxiety, depression, tiredness, weak, constipated, reduced sex drive, unable to exercise for too long and just generally crappy every day (despite massive amounts of veggies). I have since learnt that I have to go easy on vegetables – they make my stomach feel horrible if I overdo it just a little. If there’s only one thing I suggest you do, it’s to read Matt Stone’s books from “180 degree health”. Seriously, Paleo/Primal is not good – no restrictive diets are. I now enjoy a fuller, happier and far more active lifestyle than I did when I was “Primal”. So, you might want to try this: http://180degreehealth.com/2012/01/get-help

Don’t restrict and please never feel guilty about anything you eat, the stress hormones will make the whole situation so much worse.

Do please take care of yourself Lucy.

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Patrick December 5, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Be wary of advice from people trying to sell you something. People need to relax about their diets. Eat what makes you feel good and don’t get all hung up on it. The natural way to eat is to eat meat and vegetables. Wheat may not be the worst thing for you at this point in your life, but it may become a problem over time. Just listen to your body. I don’t understand the people having trouble with the primal way (Mark Sisson’s 80/20 plan). It’s easy. Eat real food.

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Mike (CK) December 6, 2012 at 1:19 AM

Hi Patrick, I agree with you on the advice to be wary of people trying to sell something. I spent plenty of money screwing up my metabolism following Sisson, and his expensive books, http://primalblueprint.com/ Never again. I also agree with you that, “People need to relax about their diets. Eat what makes you feel good and don’t get all hung up on it.” Fantastic advice, along with “listening to your body”. It’s known as intuitive eating, and my body went seriously ill following Sisson’s primal way. Thank goodness for the powerful thinking of Matt Stone.

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Patrick December 6, 2012 at 4:54 AM

Mike, how does eating real food screw up your metabolism? Dissing Mark Sisson seems like a strawman argument to me. I’ve never taken any of his supplements and have eaten carbs, even wheat, and I feel great. Perhaps people already are prone to metabolic problems before they start any program at all, and may blame their current problems on the program that they are currently following. What’s going on here? There are tons of verified results using the paleo/primal way of life. There are no studies of course, so all we have to go on is anecdotal evidence.

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Mike (CK) December 6, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Hello again Patrick,

Primal Blueprint lifestyle, for 8 months, provided me with a marked reduction in weight (4 stone lighter during that time). I thought that was a good thing at the time. I also lost the majority of my sex drive, my fitness level was greatly reduced, I became cold, constipated, tired and lethargic, my stomach ached with all that veg, I did like eating lots of meat though, and so I still do. Pork was a problem, causing me pain in the center of my chest (Arachidonic acid, maybe???). Towards the end of my 8 month primal lifestyle, I almost collapsed after running just two-thirds of a mile! I could run over 4 miles before going primal. My stress and anxiety levels, over food choices was getting totally out of control, I couldn’t sleep properly. The point of change was when I sat down in front of the TV, absolutely drained of almost all energy – for nothing, and ate a piece of my wife’s chocolate, then another, and then another until I ate quite a lot of it. What happened? I perked up and felt absolutely great, full of energy and so much better mentally and physically. It doesn’t take a genius to tell me I just had a sugar rush, and it would follow by a crash, but I learned to value something. Pleasure hormones!

Primal eating, for me, was a road to disaster. I am not alone, just read testimonials on Matt Stone’s site… http://180degreehealth.com/180-degree-health-testimonials

I’m quite obsessed with health and nutrition myself, but don’t find it easy to understand too much of the technical side of things, small details about vitamins and nutrients etc. What I do see now is that I can understand a more physiological approach to health, in a more holistic way – the big picture.

Hormones, metabolism and thyroid function are paramount, and keeping these factors in check is far more important than analysing everything you put in your mouth.

Maybe Primal eating is working for you? Maybe it will continue to work for you for a while? Or maybe you just think it’s working for you, like I used to.

This thread and so many like it, like the ones on “180 degree health” tend to be full of people who’ve “Been there and done that” with regards to the Paleo/Primal way. No, they didn’t do it wrong, or give up too soon, it looks more like it just didn’t work for them. Really, there is NO one cure for all diet or lifestyle you know, not even just eating whole foods. Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint did indeed screw up my metabolism (That’s a fact, not “dissing” him.)

Human physiology is a different angle, we all seem to share a similar one don’t we?

Best of luck with whatever you decide Patrick.

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Someone's mom December 8, 2012 at 10:18 AM

I’m wondering if you made the same mistake that a majority of Atkins, Paleo people make. Did you go low carb and low fat?
If you are low carb, you should never buy low fat anything.
I have been on a primal diet, high protein, high fat, no grains, no grain-derived oils and all the fruits and veggies that I want for almost 3 years. I feel like a million bucks. I had been battling gastric reflux disease (GERD) for about four years before I dumped the grains. My GERD disappeared within the first month on a grain-free diet. It only came back once when I indulged in cookies. Cookies and breads have lost nearly all of their appeal. I don’t worry about food anymore. My weight stays in a healthy range without effort. I don’t count carbs and I don’t count calories. I haven’t felt this free in all of my adult life. I don’t need to eat frequently, like my cereal-eating friends. I don’t know why I’d ever go back. So, if you think low-carb was the problem, ask yourself, were you also avoiding fats and cholesterol. Remember cholesterol is essential for making all steroid hormones.

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Mike (CK) December 8, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Hi Someone’s Mom,

I personally ate loads of fat while primal, loads of meat, loads of eggs, loads of butter. Those things are generally good foods and I still eat them just like Mark Sisson advocates in his Primal Blueprint book. I have his Quick and Easy Primal meals book too. I followed his advice to the letter, except just a few foods I can’t get hold of so easily here in the UK, such as totally organic veg and totally organic meat at a cost that isn’t prohibitive to all but the rich.

I did it properly and it didn’t work, not me – it!. I can’t understand why some of you Primal followers can’t seem to accept this. It feels like I’m like trying to convince people in a religious cult that there’s a world outside of their way of thinking.

Doesn’t matter.

Seriously, I hope you primal people don’t have to go through the metabolic repair process I have, and still am. I so wish I’d never started the low carb fad, it truly messed my body up in so many ways.

Enough said.

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Colin February 17, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Hey Mike….you aren’t supposed to eat loads of ANYTHING on Atkins except low carb veggies!!! Your body probably failed because you were literally stuffing yourself. I love how some people clearly abuse the plan and then complain that the plan is defective.

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Julie June 24, 2013 at 1:06 PM

What the heck, Colin. I think Mike CK was simply trying to respond to “Somebody’s Mom.” I think he was trying to tell her that he wasn’t skimping on fat thus not going too low-calorie, therefore the starvation response came from lack of carbs, not lack of calories. I really don’t think he was “abusing the plan.” I mean, I don’t know, this is the internet, but that is how I read the exchange.

I was in a similar boat, although in my case, all the fat I could eat still had me in a relatively low calorie spot. I had simply reached my appetite limit for protein (meat 3x daily) and fat (very liberal) plus potatoes (as much as my appetite would allow). I ate as much of it as I could and I just couldn’t get above 2000 calories that way. I’m in my 30s and active, that just isn’t enough for me. I developed symptoms of hormonal/metabolic downregulation. Only when I put back the grains could I begin to feel satisfied and energetic again.

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Dara December 8, 2012 at 3:10 PM

For the people who met with disasterous results going low carb, I’m curious how soon you suspected a problem, and what you did to adjust your diet to correct it. Did you act immediately or wait for a while to change what you were eating? I’m in the midst of writing a book about experimentation and listening to your body as the authority (not so-called diet experts and bloggers), and am fascinated by this discussion. I personally had excellent results on Paleo/Primal as long as I don’t eat low carb (except at first when I had to go low carb to squash intense life-long sugar cravings). Plus, my body revolts at gluten and any properly prepared grains (trust me, I am totally envious of people who can eat them and would if I could!!) because I have digestive problems as well as autoimmune issues. My approach is to do different daily/weekly/monthly experiments to see what happens with my cognitive/neurological symptoms, joint pain, sugar cravings, digestive functioning, and energy levels. I also have frequent bloodwork to monitor antibody levels, blood sugar, lipids, etc. How have other people approached optimizing their nutritional protocols? I’m not judging, just sincerely curious about how your metabolism gets damaged to such an extent before realizing something is off.

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Sarah December 17, 2012 at 6:19 PM

A little late to the party here, but low-carb messed me up real bad, too. No energy, and my cholesterol shot through the roof — and I’ve been vegetarian for over a decade. No good. Never again.

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Mike (CK) December 19, 2012 at 1:44 AM

Hi Sarah. “No good. Never again”, sounds like me!

Yeah, similar symptoms here, low energy and elevated LDL & Triglycerides. Never again.

As a side note, now being able to raise my body temps to almost 37degress C basal (99f) is a fantastic feeling. My body tells me I’m truly healthy and functioning at best in every way, really feeling great. To do this took carbs in abundance, and sugar, and salt. Adding a bit of a belly for true health like this is so worth it!

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shannon December 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM

i’ve been reading this post EVERY time i think about going back to low carb. i read through the comments and remember why i ditched low carb too. i never had weight to lose. i did it for the health ‘benefits’. long story short- felt absolutely amazing for about 3 months on mda, like i was untouchable. nonstop energy, waking up at 4 am to bike to our community garden (little did i know that 4 am was a sign my adrenals were stressed), flat gut, no gas, completely sculpted like a model (a scrawny, emaciated runway model), etc.

fast forward 6 months later and all the negative symptoms ‘relieved’ by primal came back plus some. nonexistent libido, headaches every time i ate (thyroid?), cold as an icicle, and a major b’tch to be around. woke up one night w a racing heart, couldn’t breathe, panicking, and all i could think about was downing a carton of my hubby’s oj. this was strange for me considering i didn’t crave sugar or anything sweet. it came out of the blue. i gave in, crawled to the kitchen and drank up! also ate a few bananas. was this a sugar crash? hyperthyroid symptoms? adrenals too weak? i don’t know, but as i was looking for similar stories i found mr. matt stone. been eating carbs (along w protein and fat of course) since then and i went from 93 lbs. to 136 lbs. but this is what happens to anorexics in recovery too! i ballooned up with water 🙁 it can’t be all fat because it basically happened overnight. THIS is what dieting does. i never considered myself anorexic until i compared an ED with low carb. i have the exact same symptoms of the girls going through recovery. weight gain, hot flashes, intense hunger pangs, i look pregnant, carbs were hell to digest at the beginning too. i’m sure i have awhile to go until my weight goes back to normal and my metabolism heals, but i can’t go back when i’m feeling ‘fat’. NEVER! i’ve never had a weight problem before (even eating mcdonald’s all the time back in the day). so you can imagine what a shock this is to me.

conclusion- DIET’S SUCK! and yes, low carb is a diet. thanks to ann marie, matt stone, the jaminet’s, and those of you who shared your stories about how low carb failed you. happy holidays <3 and eat those carbs!

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Mike (CK) December 23, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Hi Shannon.

I really can relate to where you’re at, aside from the fact we’re opposite gender 😉
I’m recovering from Sisson’s way too, still, and seem to be getting a bigger belly. I do feel so much better though, and my temps seem to be stabilising at around the right point (36-37c).

I’m so pleased to hear that I’m not the only one in this position, following Matt Stone’s advice but it truly is the right way as my body tells me so. Although I eat loads of “junk” foods and yummy stuff right now, I can see more cravings for natural foods, fruit and the like, as they occasionally do creep in. I’m trying to listen to my body’s feedback (intuitive eating), but it’s not very easy when my initial response to my primal damage was to deliberately revolt. Still, I’m healthier now and I’m pleased to read you’re on the same track too.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and by all means, eat the food freely!

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shannon December 23, 2012 at 2:53 PM

i hear the big belly is our body holding on for dear life! just in case we decide to starve once again. it’s like a shield for our vital organs. i’ve had a few people ask me when i was due…eek! but i tell ya what, i’ll take the belly if that means i’m healing. how long did you follow sisson? great to hear that you’ve found that primal wasn’t working before things got REALLY bad. thanks for the reply, mike. happy holidays to you and yours.

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Mike (CK) December 27, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Hi Shannon.

I followed the “Primal Blueprint” for around 7 months. I lost around 4 stone in that time. It’s piling back on for sure, but I’ll never go back to that low-carb insanity.

I’ve just improved my health in every way since reading into Matt Stone’s metabolic approach to the whole health thing. Nothing else makes sense, they’re all restrictive in some way or another.

Take care now and no slipping into any kind of deliberate restriction.

🙂

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Sarah Katz January 15, 2013 at 6:38 AM

The part from Jaminet in the middle gave me chills!!!
In three years of marriage I have been pregnant once, and that ended in miscarriage. That was like 3 months after we got married. I have had thyroid issues since early teens. Guess what? I was working in a bakery at the time. An artisan organic bakery with sprouted flour, souring technique, and Celtic Sea Salt butter. I was poor, and was told I could eat and take home as much product as I wanted since the bread was fresh daily. Half of our food at home was centered around the baked goods I brought home with me! Sprouted artisan bread was what we snacked on most! I was SO happy and energetic, and got knocked up in 3 months. After the miscarriage, my husband and I went through a rough spot and I got vicious with myself about the weight I had gained from the time in the bakery and the pregnancy. Reading all over your blog now, I felt everything fall into place. I had been anorexic when I met my husband, and the good carbs were trying to repair my hormones. My genes were headed for a “happy weight”, but when trouble came both my husband and I wanted somewhere to focus our hurt so we chose my body. This is not the case anymore, but 3 years of awful diets and PCOS have left me the heaviest I have ever been. But I’m ready for HEALTH, and if a lower weight comes with that, eh, it’s a bonus. Thank you for these posts and your inspiring story!

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Anna January 23, 2013 at 3:53 AM

Finding this is amazing. I went on Paleo for about 6 months after eating healthy my entire life. I have a naturally fast metabolism so it wasn’t about losing weight at all. I know I did everything right and I even went to great lengths to obtain grassfed meat and organic vegetables. A few months after being Paleo I had extremely low energy, lost a third of my hair developed cystic acne all over my cheeks, and had tension headaches every day. I found out I had adrenal fatigue through a doctor.

I researched these symptoms + paleo on the internet, and was persuaded this was a transitional period and that my hair would grow back better than ever. Nope it got even worse. After moving to Korea I started eating properly prepared rice and immediately started feeling better. I feel like an idiot for not noticing the signs my body was giving off right away. I think the carb curve is really dangerous because it puts all individuals on the same path making it every dangerous for some. I have also noticed that a lot of famous Paleo blogs have writers suffering from adrenal fatigue. Not a coincidence!

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Diana February 5, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Add me to the pile of Thank you’s!!!!

I had hormonal symptoms on a high carb junk food diet and was repeatedly told to go low carb by nutritionist/holistic doc, etc. Not improving, you need to go lower. Meanwhile my symptoms kept getting worse including what I think was a candida overgrowth. But they kept saying just keep at it and I had total brain fog. Finally upped the carbs but still kept restricting them. Thought GAPS would be my savior. Improved a lot but then regressed a lot, upped the carbs, more improvement and then started getting worse again. Don’t get me wrong, GAPS helped but clearly if you stay too long, you tend to give up those gains. I am now trying to move our diet towards a more balanced one and will have to reread this post from time to time to avoid getting sucked in.

Basically exactly the same thing most people here are saying.

I had hormone problems from a high crap carb diet but kept having problems from a low carb diet. Why oh why didn’t I ever notice the middle???? I have added carbs in the past couple of weeks and boy do I feel better!!!

I just want to express my heartfelt thanks Ann Marie for compiling this information and putting it out there.

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Colin February 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

To the author: You didn’t do low-carb correctly if your body responded like that. I’m not saying the low-carb diet is for everybody but your personal account isn’t at all representative of the overall body of evidence.

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Becca February 25, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Hi. I just looked up some of the symptoms that I have been dealing with (i.e. hair loss, panic attacks, loss of period/sex drive, always tired, etc.) and came across your article. It is surely spot on, as I have been low carbing for the past few months. I’m 27 years old, but I FEEL and sometimes even LOOK like I am 47 from all the stress this diet is putting my body through. The only thing is, I am terrified to quit it because I don’t want to gain any weight. So I was just wondering, I KNOW you had mentioned before that you have not noticed any weight gain; but that was a year ago. I was wondering how things are going now? Are you still maintaining? I am also an avid calorie counter, so I SHOULD be smart enough to know that it is calories in-calories out that truly matter; but I am afraid to reintroduce any carbs to my diet because my body may be too used to not having any at all? if that makes any sense? I mean, I beat myself up mentally earlier today because I opted for a spinach salad as opposed to a turkey burger, went over my carb limit for the day. I shouldn’t be so stressed over eating veggies…but don’t know anyone that has QUIT low carbing, so don’t know the long term affects doing so will have on all my hard work (oh, I should mention that I have lost 130lbs on my own over the past year through diet and exercise.) I hope you can help me out with some answers based on your own personal experience, would really appreciate it. Thank you! 🙂

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Victoria February 27, 2013 at 4:54 PM

I cannot do keto/paleo/lowcarb at all it makes me so sick–even weeks after I am dragging and tired. I’m simply responsible with carbs–keep them in a reasonable mg range, sprouted and gluten free, and no sugar.

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Ashley February 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Thank you for your post! There are soooo many comments on this that I am just going to link to my post but long story short EVERYONE is different and I HAD to add carbs back into my diet or I believe I would have been hospitalized. My hormones are STILL out of whack, blood pressure extremely low and other symptoms. Adding carbs back has helped but it’s been a long road – here’s my post: http://www.bodhi-life.com/2012/12/listening-to-your-gut-mind-soul.html

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Karen February 27, 2013 at 7:40 PM

What I don’t understand is why everyone thinks there is ‘one right way’ that fits everyone. We are all different. My hair fell out when I went low fat. Now I eat fat. And meat and veggies and I feel wonderful on the Paleo diet. My numbers are good. I’m monitored by my naturopath who is vegetarian and not a big fan but she sees the same benefits I am seeing so we are keeping on this. I don’t advocate it for everyone. It works for me. What is so hard for people to grasp about the idea that maybe, just maybe, ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t work any better for diets than it does for clothing? Why does it have to be so hostile? So, judgmental? So, ‘in your face’ I’m living proof? You are. So am I. So is my vegetarian doctor. So is my Mediterranean diet friend who is successful on that diet. Find what works for you and then LIVE AND LET LIVE. Good grief.

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Sue Taylor April 30, 2013 at 4:16 PM

AMEN!

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Caz (The Truth About Mummy) May 9, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Amen again!!!

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