Why I Ditched Low Carb

by Ann Marie Michaels on February 10, 2012

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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.

Vicks Comfort Flex Digital Thermometer

Binding Health and Beauty
Brand Vicks
EAN 0328785509656
Is Adult Product 0
Is Autographed 0
Is Memorabilia 0
Label Vicks
List Price $14.99
Manufacturer Vicks
Model V966
MPN V966
Number Of Items 1
Package Quantity 1
Part Number V966
Product Group Health and Beauty
Publisher Vicks
Studio Vicks
Title Vicks Comfort Flex Digital Thermometer
UPC 328785509656
Warranty Lifetime

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.

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{ 703 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!


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?


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.


Roz February 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM

How does increasing sugar, which increasing insulin production, increase glycogen production, which occurs when there is a lack of insulin??


Roz February 10, 2012 at 11:06 PM

For some reason my computer WILL NOT let me erase my comment. BUT I got sucked into this post way past my bedtime and realize that I accidentally read your comment to say “glucagon”, even though you said glycogen…then I commented by writing glycogen, when I was thinking “glucagon”. Sorry for the confusion, but don’t think I’m an idiot here, and please ignore (or erase) my comments!


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.


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!


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.


Paula February 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM

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


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.


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. ;)


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 4:28 PM

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


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM

@Paula Wow that is awful!


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.


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!!!!


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.


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?


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.


Lori February 10, 2012 at 9:03 PM

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 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.



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!


Colin February 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM

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.


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!


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM


That is EXCELLENT! Congratulations!


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


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!! :)


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

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


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.


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.


Paula February 10, 2012 at 10:13 AM

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


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.


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.


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.


liz February 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM



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.


Aja February 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

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


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 4:26 PM

@Carma and Rick

Completely agree!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Congrats, Janelle! That is fantastic!


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!


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. :)


KJ February 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

The mild profanity is some of what keeps me reading. :-)


Alex Kombucha February 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM



cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 1:08 PM

@KJ Air kiss!


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.


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.


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.


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??


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.


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!


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!


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


Rachel February 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM



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.


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?


cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 3:21 PM


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.


Dian February 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Not wearing deodorant and increasing fat will help pregnancy happen


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.


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Mmmm croissants!


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

Um, amen on the croissants!


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:05 PM


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.


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.


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.


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.


Alex Kombucha February 10, 2012 at 12:05 PM

sanity from Donna. No big surprise there! :)


Alex Kombucha February 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM

oops – I mean Raluca. Nice to meet you! :)


Jeanmarie February 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Raluca, you make a lot of sense.


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!


Tiffany February 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM

My hair was falling out. I gained quite a bit of weight just by looking at food. I had low body temperatures. My sex drive also wasn’t what it used to be and I became hypothyroid. But I was not eating low carb, I was eating high carb. Actually 52-55% of my calories were carbs thanks to daily tracking on SparkPeople.com. Since going lower carb (not extreme low carb) and going grain free…. temps up, hair stopped falling out, thyroid is doing better, sex drive crazy good, and I have lost lots of weight. Eating sufficient carbs can be done without grains and most paleo/primal folks do not endorse low carb unless you are trying to lose weight. A normal paleo diet is not low carb it just doesn’t endorse “low quality” carbs like waffles. I get plenty of carbs in my diet and I am paleo.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Weren’t you also a vegan?

A vegan high-carb diet is not a healthy diet that nourishes the hormones. Soy is full of phytic acid and phytoestrogen and green smoothies are full of goitrogens.

So I’m not surprised that you were hypothyroid.

Glad you are doing better now!


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.


Jean February 10, 2012 at 10:56 AM


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


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.


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/


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!


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.


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 :-)


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…)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM


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.


Durga Fuller February 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM

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


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.


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).


Lauren February 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Tracey, can you point me to the science you refer to on stepping up carbs? Other than GAPS, I’m not familiar with specific sequential-challenge diets, and I’d be interested to look into your resources. Thanks!


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 8:57 PM


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.


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.


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.


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.


Ann February 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

It probably is.


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).


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 :-)


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Connie, thank you!

Big hug!



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.


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.


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.


Kara Bagley February 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I chart my temperature too. it is typically in the 97 degrees range before I ovulate and 98 degree range after. are you saying that your temperature is the same through the entire month?


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 :)


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!


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM


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!


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


cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 11:32 AM

@Beth Hahahaha!


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.


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!!


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


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!



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?


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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,



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.


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…


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 :)


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…


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.


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?


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!


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.


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!


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:12 PM

@HollymMead Wonderful! Thanks for sharing


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!


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:14 PM

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


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:15 PM

@Pancit Wow, interesting!


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!


D. February 11, 2012 at 9:35 AM

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


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM


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. :-)


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:17 PM


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.


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…


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

Imen “wonder” not “robert”


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

Cheese & crow! Sorry for the typos!


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!


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM


Who are Brad P and Mike OD?


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.


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!


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:18 PM

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


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM


“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!


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


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:29 PM


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


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!


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

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


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. :)


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:31 PM


I agree with you!


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:26 PM


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.”


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?


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.


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 :)


cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM


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

Haha just kidding!

But they are just food. We can be friends :)



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!


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.



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!


Rick February 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Here is a great link for all of my fellow Weston A Price eerz.
It is the Board of Directors food log. What they eat and % of protein, carb, and fat.


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

This is so cool! Thank you Rick!


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.


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!



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.


Joan February 11, 2012 at 6:40 AM

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


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.


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?


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.


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!


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Thanks for sharing, Shelli

I agree, we are all different!


Lauren February 10, 2012 at 1:50 PM

No vitriol here, either! I appreciate that that, including references to sites from other corners of the ancestral diet spectrum, you’ve mapped out your journey, your reasons, your research on YOUR blog. I also appreciate that you’ve taken the care to respectfully acknowledge the standpoints you’ve considered and rejected for yourself. It’s a twisted road to health for each of us, bushwhacking through personal and cultural history.
My temps and eyebrows are better after a year of low carb and I just decided that was enough (expense, trouble whatever) and started adding rice and potatoes back in and dabbling in coconut flour baking. I have no access to properly-prepared grain products and doing it myself just didn’t pan out, and regular breads give me heart palpitations so they’re out, but I there’s my stance on carbs. I wouldn’t be surprised if you get a flood of similar messages.
I’d be curious to know if high cholesterol and low carb go together. Both are common among paleos. One thing that WAPF runs circles around paleo for is the fertility and early parenting information. There’s a call for it among paleos, but that grain/dairy divide becomes a gulf in this instance.


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,


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!



cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM


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 :-)


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:

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




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


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!!!


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!



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…


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.


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!


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?


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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 =)


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.


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

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.


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.


Laurent February 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM


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.
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!


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.


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.


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!


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


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!


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Very interesting, Laurent!

And yes it was your post on FB that I saw! Thank you! :-)


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!


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…


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:39 PM

The “low carb honeymoon”


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. :(


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:40 PM

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


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


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Oh you KNOW I eat lots of fat! :-)


Gabi February 10, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Amen, sister!!! :)


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!


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

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

I love my sourdough starter, too!


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:42 PM


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




Amy February 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

One thing I’ve noticed here is a lot of people mentioning the pill. I think that causes a lot more candida issues than carbs ever could. And hormone issues. In fact, this new legislation with obamacare making the pill free makes me cringe. There is no discussion of the health risks, and I can only imagine that even more women will start taking it, and of course that will make healthcare costs skyrocket more….anyway, I guess that’s kind of off-topic, but just to point out that not every issue is caused or fixed by diet. I don’t know how you mitigate damage caused by the pill (and I for one am still recovering).

I am glad you are bringing attention to this, though, Ann Marie. 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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:43 PM


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.


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.


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.


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. :-)


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM

@Lisa G

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


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?


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.


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.


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


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:46 PM


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



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”.


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!


Gayle February 10, 2012 at 7:08 PM

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


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.


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Thanks, Alicia!


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.


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!


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.


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!



cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 8:52 PM

I already said I was hormonal. :-)


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.


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.

Annie Dru.


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Thanks, Jo!


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…. :)


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.


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)


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!


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Wow, sounds just like me — all your symptoms.

Gives me great hope!

Thank you!


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!


Aimee February 10, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Phew! Just reading this post and all the comments has got me laughing! So much entertainment! I love your stuff, even when you use words that are not profanity but are kinda like it! I love how passionate you are about what it is you are doing! Some people were very unhappy with what you said…but honestly after reading all your other stuff it doesn’t surprise me! Keep on writing and I hope that all this works for you! :D


cheeseslave February 10, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Thank you, Aimee! :-D


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!!!


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?


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


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……


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.


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.


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. :D


cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 7:15 AM

Wow, that is great, Emma!

I agree, food nazis are very tiresome!


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!


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.



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.



cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 7:16 AM


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.


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!



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!!


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.


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.


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 ;)


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.


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.


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.


cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 7:17 AM

OK, I will write it!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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).



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… ?


cheeseslave February 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Exactly right, Gabi!


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