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CFS and trouble keeping on weight

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  • CFS and trouble keeping on weight

    Hi all. I'm a long time reader first time poster.

    I went on the paleodiet about 2 months ago to try to alleviate my chronic fatigue syndrome, and so far its working well, but Iíve lost 10kg since Iíve been on it and don't want to lose anymore. Iím 6′1 and 60kg, down from 85kgs when I was healthy and muscle bound. I still have some muscle, so Iím not skeletal looking yet, though I think I will be if I lose any more weight. I think its cutting out grains thatís really taken all the weight off.

    I canít eat meat more than 3 times a week as it inhibits my digestion and constipates me, grains and legumes are obviously out the window, as are eggs due to the lysine which has a bad effect on my digestion. I've had some success with various nuts and seeds, a bowl of pre soaked organic sunflower seeds and mashed banana in the morning seems to work well, but I find if I eat nuts too frequently they become an irritant.

    A friend has suggested a rice concentrate protein powder as a way to increase my protein intake. I was wondering if rice based protein powder is any good for someone with a sensitive gut. Are the harmful lectins and phytates still present in rice protein powder or have they been taken out?

    I eat a lot of carbs from vegetables, I probably eat 300 grams of sweet potato a day. Lately I've been having it for breakfast and dinner because I can't think of anything else. Is this actually helping me keep on weight or is it counter productive to my recovery?

    Any other tips for keeping on weight?

  • #2


    • #3
      I can’t eat meat more than 3 times a week
      I don't understand. Why? What does this mean?
      Can you eat fish?

      I would try FATS if you are unable to eat ALL meat. If animal fats are out of the question, go for fruit & vegetable fats. Coconut milk & coconut oil are considered Super Foods. Olive Oil?

      Here is another idea. Try eating Ezekial Breads & Cereals.
      These are made from grain sprouts, and the sprouting process removes all the BAD STUFF from the wheat. If these are too expensive for your budget, you can make your own grain sprouts with kits you can buy.

      * Health Benefits of Grain Sprout Bread, rolls,

      * Benefits of sprouted grains + make your own

      * Make your own sprouts { BEWARE OF MOLD}

      * Sprouting Supplies

      14.1) Almond Flour replaces Wheat Flour [unsweet] [GI-35]

      14.2) Amaranth [GI-35]
      Many varieties; related to spinach, beets and pigweed. Tiny seeds are commercially available whole, or ground into a light brown flour with a nutty taste.

      14.3) Buckwheat Groats ( Kasha ) [GI-54]
      Roasted buckwheat groats, with a toasty, nutty flavor. Grain ( for cereal) or flour.( for pancakes)
      CAUTION _ Russian kasha may also contain millet and oats.

      14.35) Chickpeas, Flour [GI-35]

      14.35) Corn, Cornmeal [ Gluten Free ] [GI-65]

      14.4) Edamame [GI-18]
      ripened soybeans

      14.5) Ezekial Cereal, breads, buns [GI-25 or less]
      Made from sprouts

      14.6) Flax-seed [GI-32]
      Seed of ancient medicinal herb, with a nutty flavor. Used whole, toasted or sprouted; ground into meal; or pressed into oil. High in fiber.

      14.7) Hominy Grits [GI-40]
      White or yellow corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed. Used canned as a side dish or in casseroles. ( Extremely controversial in diet books)

      14.8) Quinoa [ pronounced as Keem-Wah] [GI-40]
      Seed of ancient cereal grain of Peru, related to amaranth. Mild nutty flavor. Versatile; can be substituted for any grain. Used whole; as a hot cereal; ground into flour. Adds moisture to baked goods.

      What do you think?
      Last edited by Grizz; 09-17-2010, 02:42 AM.


      • #4
        Thanks Grizz, this is a helpful list. As I said, meat more than 3 times a week was giving me constipation. I'm currently on digestive enzymes to try and fix this. But since going from having meat daily to only 3 times a week that problem has gone. But it means I'm taking in less fat. I think I will try olive oil and coconut products. I've just started back on coconut oil and so far thats been good.

        Probably not about to start on any grains or cereals just yet, even gluten free ones. Anyone got an answer to the rice protein powder question?


        • #5
          Probably not about to start on any grains or cereals just yet

          My list is not grains. Almond Flour & Buckwheat Groats [Kasha] are nuts, Flax-Seed is not a grain, and you can use coconut flour. Take a 2nd look and investigate my list before you dismiss it all as "Grains." With these products you can make nice, fatten-you up pancakes, crackers & nutritious cereals.



          • #6
            Actually, Grizz, corn, cornmeal, and corn grits are grain products. Also, sprouted grains are still grains--they are decidedly not gluten-free and are a huge no for those of us on a celiac diet, so it's not accurate to say that sprouted grains have none of the bad stuff. Edamame is soy, which is also full of anti-nutrients.

            I do have to second the idea of upping your fats. You'll be able to take in a lot more calories that way. Also, may I suggest hemp protein instead of the rice, if you can access it? If you are avoiding dairy to the point where whey protein is a no, I think hemp is a much better alternative and is sourced from a seed rather than a grain.
            ďIf I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.Ē --Audre Lorde

            Owly's Journal


            • #7
              I think the rice protein powder would be pretty benign, but whey is as good or better and probably cheaper. Sorry if I missed you saying anything about dairy not being good for you. If it's not, then chug some heavy cream! That will get your calories up. And did you experience any unpleasant effects from your constipation other than just not going? I notice that if I eat lower carb, I do go less often (sometimes only every other day), but I think it's just the lack of fiber and other "waste" that my body isn't using. If that is the only thing keeping you from eating more meat, then I'd say give it another shot.


              • #8
                Things to consider:

                How's your vitamin D level? ie your 25(OH)D? This is key for CFS. Critical. Top tier.

                Sufficient magnesium - especially magnesium malate or magnesium dimalate - can be helpful for just about everyone but especially for CFS.

                Instead of eschewing meat, I'd continue meat, fish, chicken, etc and add digestive enzymes and saturated fat (coconut milk/oil) as needed to keep things moving in the right direction.

                Sweet potato, potato, yam, winter squash, carrots, parsnips, rutabega and turnips are all good starchy options. White rice if you must but I'd encourage grain avoidance.

                iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                • #9
                  Thanks guys. This is some helpful advice.

                  Grizz - I appreciate the list, and I'm not dismissing them all as grains. I've experimented with things like quinoa and haven't had the best results, but I might try buckwheat.

                  Owly - definitely considering hemp protein. It seems like a good choice. Just need to get a source.

                  Yodiewan - I'm currently avoiding dairy as I'm on a detox diet, but I probably won't be eating much dairy once I'm off it as raw/organic dairy is a bit expensive. I'm not lactose intolerant, but I figure I might be better off avoiding it anyway. Though I am considering whey isolate. The detox diet is also the reason I'm eating meat only 3 times a week. I was getting constipation from eating it every day. When I eat it daily I don't get daily bowel movements, and I notice it being a more difficult process than it should be. I've started on coconut cream, coconut oil and olive oil and am having good results. Hopefully I will notice some weight gain soon. I will probably phase more meat back into my diet once the detox is over.

                  cillkat - I had a blood test recently and my vitamin D is good according to my nutritional doctor. The reading is 25-hydroxy Vitamin D = 113 nmol/L. Magnesium is apparently good too, its at 0.82 mmol/L (I'm a 25 year old male). I am still eating meat, just not every day, and my doc has given me two types of digestive enzymes. I'm going to follow his advice and keep meat to three times a week while I'm on the detox as the program he's put me on is definitely working. I've completed a gut detox, and my gut flora has gone from toxic to healthy in two weeks. I have more energy and my digestion is definitely smoother. I've just started the liver detox and I'm hoping that will make me feel even better.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dermal_plating View Post
                    cillkat - I had a blood test recently and my vitamin D is good according to my nutritional doctor. The reading is 25-hydroxy Vitamin D = 113 nmol/L.
                    It's 'okay' but certainly not great - 150-162 nmol/L would be my aim. And depending on the test the lab uses - and whether or not they 'norm' their results, levels could be even lower. If they use LIASON/DiaSorin and they norm, it really is the 113 they say it is. However, if they use the older test and don't norm, results could be inaccurate and/or much lower (by about 1/3).

                    Magnesium is apparently good too, its at 0.82 mmol/L (I'm a 25 year old male).
                    Blood tests for magnesium don't indicate sufficiency unless it's expensive intracellular testing. Typical mg test results only indicate that your kidneys are functioning well enough to keep your mg in a narrowly defined range.

                    It's worth it to track mg for a few days/weeks to see how you're doing there. And mg malate really does have benefits for chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia that other types don't necessarily have.

                    Very often, repleting D and zinc will go a long long way in restoring immune function.


                    iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                    • #11
                      Thanks cillkat. I thought I replied to this a few days ago, but apparently it didn't get posted. I can't see any indication of the type of test I was given so I'm not really sure how accurate they are. I've just seen my liver detox supplement has magnesium malate in it, so I guess thats a good thing. How would I go about tracking magnesium? Just taking an estimate from the things I eat? I will also look at increasing vitamin D and zinc depending on the outcome of this liver detox program.

                      Your input is very much appreciated. You certainly know a lot. Have you had CFS/FM yourself or do you work in the nutrition field?