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Your Mission, should you choose to accept it... (voodoo-anarchy)

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  • Your Mission, should you choose to accept it... (voodoo-anarchy)

    Hi, I'm VD. I'll just c/p a short intro from my meet-n-greet post.


    I'm a college student studying to become a licensed dietician, and boy, let me just say, it's been a heck of a time parsing all the doublespeak in my textbooks and lectures. After lurking around this site and the forums for roughly 1.5 years, I've decided to formally register and join this lovely community.

    I was brought to this site ultimately by a diagnosis of PCOS. After being treated (and trying to treat myself) with CW, only to find myself even worse off, I had the fortune of reading Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. It was his copious references to Gary Taube's Good Calories, Bad Calories that finally convinced me to give GCBC a go. I wasn't disappointed.

    I started out with Atkins and moved onto Paleo after being convinced quality of food mattered more than quantity of carbs. Unfortunately, due to some mystery foods at the dorm and the radical change from low fat to low carb (all while taking BCP and without any insulin-lowering medication like i should have been prescribed in the first place), I gained 35 pounds in 5 months.

    I've lost 15 of those pounds in one year, and I intend to lose 15 more. However, I've been unconsciously segueing into a maintenance mode. My main issues are that my eating patterns are somewhat erratic while at school, and that my exercise is inconsistent.

    My extra-paleo interests include japanese comics, fiction writing, and learning foreign languages.

    Diet Tactics

    Lots of Chinese vegetables and conventional meat (beef, chicken, pork, eggs) with 4-6 tablespoons of coconut oil per day. 1/2 cup Fruit every other day, consisting of berries or figs. Usually mixed in with Fage yogurt or sour cream and cocoa.

    The Paleocity of my diet:
    I eat nightshades. Sometimes I even eat rice. I should probably cut back on the dairy. Sometimes I go off the deep end and eat emotionally. I try to avoid gluten but the guilty part of my soul hopes that I can tolerate sourdough rye. Family situation is still CW. My mom cooks everything in canola oil. We have disagreements about nourishment that reach epic proportions, so we made a truce: agree to disagree. But although I can cook for myself, it's the principle of the matter that matters most to her.

    Exercise Tactics

    Planning to take up Tai-Chi in the fall. I bike roughly 3 times a week, usually 2-3 miles each time. Slow biking (on lumpy sidewalk). I sprint once a week for HIIT. Should probably do more and switch to swimming. I used to do Kendo. Not sure if I should go back to it. Sessions are 2-3 hours long, 2-3 times per week. Am unsure if carbo-loading will work out. Right now I have a standing workstation.

    Primal Lifestyle

    I'm trying out sunbathing, because I'm officially vitamin-D deficient. I write every day to relieve stress. I try to keep a regular sleep schedule. I'm experimenting with posture (sleeping and standing).

    The Health Stats

    Usually I have low blood pressure. I have mild high cholesterol (total LDL is ~150-160). Thydroid is normal. Most blood levels are normal--smack dab in the middle. Last time, ketones were found in my urine (but I don't test for them).

    The Enemy

    My jelly belly. PCOS. A history of immune and inflammation disorders in my family (Vitiligo, Hashimoto's, eczema) A history of metabolic syndrome and random allergies/intolerances in my family (high blood pressure, overweight, some blood calcium imbalance, favism). My own compulsive behavior. My own aversion to eating excess fat (it's not psychological, it's more of a mouthfeel distaste) My eczema-induced aversion to sweatiness (but it's gotten a lot better).I occasionally have arhythmias from my mom. And sometimes my limbs get numb when I'm lying down.

  • #2
    Tuesday, July 6th, 2010.

    Woke up at 6:30 AM sweating hard. It's probably the hormonal flux.

    Workout of the Day:
    8 20 second sprints with 90 second rest intervals for a 20 minute workout. Started half with right foot, and half with left (noticeably weaker when starting right foot). Upped proportion of jogging to walking during the rest interval.

    Haven't eaten yet! Made an adapted version of Liebowitz's Goat Cheese custard last night. I've never baked a custard. I think I overcooked it, actually. Planning on making coconut cream ice cream later today.

    Recipe ideas:
    To recreate a graham cookie texture, make meringues and crush them into chunky pieces? Or make a pavlova and a no-bake filling (goat cheese cheesecake?). Cookies could be built on a meringue-type recipe. Add macadamia nuts and use erithrytol?

    Period day two. medium. Mild cramping and "bottomless pit" hunger yesterday. Larger volume of blood than normal. PMS was worse than usual. I still have mild hirsutism in selective areas.

    I'm still 120 lb. 33.75, 29.25, 37.25 inches.


    • #3

      Usually I have low blood pressure. I have mild high cholesterol (total LDL is ~150-160).
      Most here would argue that it's not high - even mildly.

      My jelly belly. PCOS. A history of immune and inflammation disorders in my family (Vitiligo, Hashimoto's, eczema) A history of metabolic syndrome and random allergies/intolerances in my family (high blood pressure, overweight, some blood calcium imbalance, favism). My own compulsive behavior. My own aversion to eating excess fat (it's not psychological, it's more of a mouthfeel distaste) My eczema-induced aversion to sweatiness (but it's gotten a lot better).I occasionally have arhythmias from my mom. And sometimes my limbs get numb when I'm lying down.
      A few quick thoughts before a I sign off...

      1)it sounds like you're still vitamin D deficient (pcos, eczema, immune function stuff) and for most, sun alone won't get you where you need to be - see my links below and
      2)sounds like you need more magnesium (arrythmia, cramps, pms)
      3)sounds like your progesterone is low during the second half of your cycle (pms). neptune krill oil is really helpful (see my links below)
      4)taurine and fish oil may also be helpful for the arrythmia.....(i used to have a couple of different severe arrythmias.....still have a weird but consistent electrical rhythm overall and mitral valve thickening - no prolapse and thus far no reflux)

      Withe the pcos stuff and some of your other concerns, you *really* need to start lifting heavy things. Lifting weights/kettlebells is wonderful but even body weight exercises are *awesome*. (while a bit trashy) actually has excellent workouts that are kicking my *ss.

      My journal has the long list of health stuff I've overcome....a fair bit of it overlaps with yours, thought not all.

      All the best to you,

      iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


      • #4
        Cillakat, thanks for the advice about supplements and exercise!

        I am familiar with the vitamin D council and I have tried supplementing with vitamin D before, but the females in my family have been experiencing unpredictable fluxes in their blood calcium balances. After reading Peter at hyperlipid analyzing vitamin D's effect on blood calcium, I have become more wary of supplementing with vitamin D and calcium. Right now, I view sunbathing as the safest way to increase vitamin D levels without potentially triggering some sort of cascade. I have yet to retest my vitamin D status, so I'd like to see how much I can get out of sunbathing alone. I try to stay away from supplements, but I do take 3 fish oil capsules a day.

        The arrhythmia isn't a very serious issue--it only pops up sporadically (I can count the number of times it's occurred on my two hands). And thanks for reminding me about strength/resistance exercises. Yes, I do them roughly once a week (usually bodyweight). I actually gain muscle quite easily (disproportionate to my actual level of strength) and I feel that I'd rather focus on maintaining the amount of muscle I have now and accelerating fat loss.

        Thank you so much! I feel I could learn so much by following your journal; I hope you don't mind.


        • #5
          Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

          My alarm woke me up at 6:30 AM, but I was so tired I decided to sleep another 3:30 hours. I didn't sleep well because I've been waking up in the middle of the night, and I've been getting random flashes of heat. I won't call them hot flashes, but they are instances where I break out in a sweat. Waking up in the middle of the night appears to occur when I am at carbohydrate extremes: both at very high and very low levels of intake. I have a feeling the flashes of heat arise from the erythritol I used to substitute for sugar in the goat cheese custard I made recently. Either that or it's the chocolate.

          Workout of the Day
          None if I don't play DDR today. It's raining. I sunbathed for 40 minutes yesterday in mostly-direct sunlight. But it's supposed to rain for the rest of the day and the rest of tomorrow... I should do bodyweight resistance exercises more consistently. While it doesn't really do much besides build muscle (I have yet to experience any substantive fat-burning/weight loss effect) it does make me feel really powerful and effective. It also acts as a source of frustration, because my mind says I can do more, while my body lags behind.


          Yesterday: Lots of asian vegetables, nitrite-cured venison sausage (thankfully sugar-free), bone broth soup with "a can of cajun stuff" added in (bits of rice, possibly msg, doesn't look like there was any wheat). Turkey meatballs with possibly sugar added. Goat Cheese custard for a midday snack. I think I had roast duck (sugar added) and some more vegetables for breakfast.

          Today: Leftovers from last night and the last ramekin of goat cheese custard with some chocolate for Breakfast. Some more green vegetables, and 6 dumplings for lunch. Took 3 capsules of digestive enzymes to compensate. I also had around a cup of blackberries (they didn't taste very good...) and some low-carb ice cream with the recipe from


          A Recipe for a pie crust, from The Complete Book of Pastries by Bernard Clayton, Jr. on page 87 (we have lots of books like this at my home).

          2 C coconut flakes
          3 T butter/margarine

          Coat pie pan and bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until golden brown.

          Dastardly simple, and a great alternative for all those nut crusts that are so popular (I don't tolerate nuts very well). I do wonder if the flakes would be unruly. And the absorbance of coconut; would it become soggy? Obviously I would choose the butter over the margarine any day.

          Day three. Light. No cramping or "bottomless pit" type hunger. I don't know whether all of this chocolate has something to do with it or not.


          My mother found out that I was taking digestive enzymes and we had a disagreement again. She thinks that taking digestive enzymes are dangerous, unregulated, and will give me liver failure. She is very up-to-date about news in China. Frankly, I think there are more potent causes for concern within our household (like that pound-cake in our fridge) but sass will only make things worse. She's already telling me that I'm going to die of a heart attack at age 30. We even had a tiff about coconut oil last night. She claimed that coconut oil was high in cholesterol. I, being a nutrition major, immediately set her straight: if it's not from an animal, it doesn't have cholesterol. It's why nuts are advertised as a great source of healthy fats: because they're unsaturated and they don't have cholesterol. I had to show her the label to prove that I was right. And haven't I been a good, attentive student all my life?

          To be honest, though, I am a bit doubtful of the effect of these digestive enzymes. Most of the time they don't appear to have a substantial effect upon my poor digestion of wheat.

          I do wish my mother trusted me more to take care of myself. Am I not in the best health I have been all my life? I no longer have seasonal allergies. Heck, I can breathe through my nose. The ear infections and nosebleeds of my youth are gone. My dentist remarks on the quality of my teeth now. My eczema has greatly reduced. I no longer have that teenage acne that she found so unsightly. I am physically stronger than she is.

          I dare say I have no intention of having my thyroid removed. I have no intention of having my fertility robbed from me by the machinations of pharmaceutical companies and the flat-out ignorance of doctors. I say, I have no intentions of following in my parents' footsteps at all.

          Question: why do Chinese people believe that duck has "poison"? Apparently it causes people to break out in acne or mouth sores (on the corners). I wonder what the irritating factor in duck is...


          • #6
            Friday, July 9th, 2010

            woke up at 10 yesterday to the sound of rain. had to turn on lights it was so gloomy and dark. woke up today at 8:30. i have a feeling today's going to be productive.

            workout of the day

            yesterday: none. Rained. Helped younger brother do bodyweight exercises.
            today: 30 minutes swimming breaststroke. freestyle gets water in my ears. went until muscles felt not performing at optimal capacity.


            squash, tomatoes, onions, green things. meat. bacon. sausage. egg. chocolate's messing with my adrenals again. figs today. i don't really like the taste of coconut.


            day 3: light.
            day 4: light but consistent.


            meh. everything's just meh. it's becoming a little bit harder to sustain my writing, but someone just commented on something and now i feel a newfound urge to write. i appear to have magically lost a pound or two. i have no idea if it's because i added the CO or not, but I'm betting that it is. my abs are actually showing a little more prominently, so i don't know whether pounds lost came from there or not. but my hand, my poor hand is acting up again. my mother apparently had it on her fingerprints when she was young. i don't know what to think.


            • #7
              Sunday, July 11th, 2010

              went to sleep ~2 AM, freaking out because the dyshidrotic eczema from hell has returned. Decided to supplement with 4000 IU VD yesterday night, and I sunbathed for 1.25 hours today. I suspect chlorine, allergy-inducing fruit (peach, figs), and chocolate as the main culprits. Regardless, I won't mess with either of those for a long while.

              workout of the day

              none. I never feel like working out when I have an eczema flareup.


              Friday: meat, vegetables, and fruit (peach and figs).
              Saturday: meat, vegetables, egg. For dinner I ate out and had 1 lb ribs and 3 or 4 potato medallions. I suspect the ribs had been slathered with something. Maybe honey. I dislike honey ribs.
              Sunday: meat, vegetables (eggplant), 1/2 a fage cup.


              no more period. yay!


              i was feeling pretty down yesterday because of the eczema. I was just flaring up everywhere and I was wet and sticky with Cerave and petroleum jelly and it was BLAH. My hand felt like a glove and the vesicles looked really ugly. I hate Dove nonsoap wash. It dries out my skin!

              Kind of dissatisfied with my body shape right now. I have substantial amounts of muscle AND fat so I just look larger, or something. I'm making a conscious effort to cut down on calories for now. I really cannot be bothered to run around in this damp heat, especially when I'm rashing and cracking.


              • #8
                Saturday, July 17, 2010

                Whoops. Didn't really update for a while, huh. I visited the dermatologist on Thursday and I've been on corticosteroid + topical D3 therapy for the past two days to tame an eruption of "pustular psoriasis". The funny thing is that it blisters like dyshidrotic eczema, but flakes like psoriasis. I have a funny feeling that the excess flaking may have been triggered by a sunburn actually. Either way, it doesn't matter what it actually is--really strong corticosteroids will knock out anything.

                Monday stats: 118 lb, 34.125/28.4/36.75

                workout of the day



                meat, vegetables, fruit mostly. I had two cups of rice on wednesday because of an upset stomach.


                i'm just going to take it easy for now.