Monday, August 24, 2015

How I Regained My Health

I had several health problems, but arthritis was the one that caused me to change the way I eat. I knew Ibuprofen was going to ruin my kidneys at the dosage I was relying on, so I began to study.  I'd like to share what I've learned and what has worked for me.

A typical day for me starts with 2 eggs fried in ghee for breakfast. The ghee is quite healthy, and oxidizes at 482F compared to 350F for butter and Coconut oil. Both strengthen the immune system, but coconut oil does not taste as good with eggs, and it contains no Omega-3 fatty acids. Ghee is also rich in the oil soluble vitamins A and E, and rich in K2 and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – an antioxidant with anti-viral properties if it is sourced from grass fed cows.  Avocado oil is another good choice to cook with.  It too oxidizes at 485F and has many benefits.
Olive oil burns too easily for cooking (as low as 160F), so use it on salads because extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, a compound which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory compound, inhibiting the so-called Cox enzymes that are released by cartilage starved of nutrients, causing inflammation.

The amount of anti-inflammatory agent in olive oil is relatively small. Scientist Dr Paul Breslin reports that it would take 500g of olive oil (roughly 500ml) to confer the same amount of Cox inhibition as a single dose (2 x 200mg) of Ibuprofen. Nevertheless, taken on a daily basis olives and olive oil provide a significant anti-inflammatory effect.  There is no way to isolate oleocanthal.  But each thing you do can have a cumulative affect.

Eggs contain cholesterol which has long been thought to be bad, but new studies have shown it's bad only when consumed along with excess carbohydrates.
Low-carbohydrate diets help improve HDL ("good") cholesterol levels, and reverse artery blockages.
Excessive carbs
small dense LDL (sdLDL) and promote development of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) which is ("bad") 

Excess is the key word here. If you are about to burn energy with exercise, carbohydrates are okay, but the beauty of a low carbohydrate diet is that your body switches over to burning fat rather than glucose. Fats and protein leave me satisfied for several hours rather than one hour.

Mid morning I snack on cashews. They contain fatty acids, and selenium. Brazil nuts are even better, but I'm not a big fan of Brazil nuts so I only eat one or two a day. I also like to snack on (fresh) celery sticks filled with humus. Celery reduces inflammation, and there is
a dozen antioxidants in celery. The hummus provides fiber, fat, and protein while being fairly low in carbohydrates.
Sometimes I use my Vitamix to make a (22g) cacao , (4) deglet noor date, (47g) cashew shake. Some additional or alternative ingredients are chia seeds for body and omega 3, unsweetened coconut, or cashews for good fatty acids. I also add coconut oil to give me extra energy and lasting satisfaction. 

I can't forget to mention cheese!  It's one of my favorite things to snack on.  I use smoked Gouda in my eggs and feta or blue cheese on my salads.  Gouda, Blue cheese, and Edam cheese have Vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 is extremely difficult to get sufficient quantities, even if one consumes grass fed meats, and dairy on a very regular basis.  The reason is our soils have become depleted, but choose grass fed whenever possible.  The good news is Gouda, Edam and Blue Cheese create K2 during the fermentation. K2 is a vitamin worth learning about
I like room temperature Cheddar cheese for snacks.  Fermented cheeses like cheddar, Swiss and Gouda as well as other fermented foods like
sauerkraut, miso, pickles and kimchi provide good probiotics.  Beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics microorganisms found in aged, pickled, and fermented foods (also high in K2) help with digestion, and offer protection from harmful bacteria.  But be careful of yogurts. Too many have extra sugar and be sure it says "live and active cultures" Everything starts with digestion.  Keeping a healthy gut is crucial to utilizing the benefits of your food.

Salads are the main part of my diet. I have a garden and munch fresh leaves and vegetables while in the garden, but I like to make fantastic salads. I start with baby kale, spinach and Swiss chard. You can get this from Costco (Power Greens). Then I add things like red and yellow bell peppers, dried cranberry, pomegranate, hemp seed, chia seed,
ground sumac, beets, carrots, red wine vinegar and  Avocado oil. This will hold me well into the night, and if I get hungry I snack on more nuts cheese, or a Chunks of Energy Bar, but I consider these Cacao and Goji Berry bars to be treats and generally only eat them after a meal. The flavonoid antioxidants are great for us.  This is why I also drink coffee.  Maybe coffee is not good for us, but studies show that the more coffee you drink, the longer you live.

For dinner we eat a small amount of meat with more salad, fresh vegatables, or beans. We have found hand made organic tortillas at Trader Joe's to make tacos with. Once in a while a little carbohydrate is okay, but the other day I ate dried pineapple and immediately felt the hunger come back. Once you get your body used to very low carbohydrates you will notice sugar has a very detrimental affect.

I'm the kind of person who likes routine, and I'm okay with the same things everyday, but my wife likes variety. I keep looking for new low carbohydrate recipes to satisfy her. Some of my favorites are made with coconut milk. I always buy the real thing - not the low fat
, or I make it myself from unsweetened coconut with our VitaMix. We also try to buy locally raised grass fed eggs, and meat. It's so worth the extra money because it's healthy and it tastes so much better.

I also like to use This is an easy to use app that helps you plan your diet for better nutrition. The paid version has a nice feature that lets you create a meal item, so that you don't have to enter each ingredient individually. For example the shake and salad I make is easy to click on. You can do the same thing with the free version, but you have to initially add each nutrient by hand.

I have been studying nutrition for about a year. The things I've found important are the thyroid, and inflammation. Keep both of these in check and you will be well on your way to good health. K2, D3, Omega 3, iodine, selenium, and good cholesterol are some important topics to learn about.
Dr. Kate Rheamue-Bleue is an expert on Vitamin K2. 

I also feel garlic
(steamed 2 minutes), ubiquinol (not Coenzyme Q10), and turmeric (with black pepper) are the best supplements you can take for a long healthy life. Astaxanthin, and spirulina are good too. Eat fat, not low fat. Don't eat anything with artificial sweeteners. Drink water with a squeezed lemon. Apple vinegar has many benefits, and is best when the Mothers are included . Use colloidal silver instead of antibiotics, and learn to properly make your own with just a battery and two silver wires; even the surgeon general said this.  For arthritis MSM taken with Glucosamine has been proven to reduce inflammation.

Well I think that's the most important stuff I learned this past year.  Changing what you eat is not difficult once you set your mind to it, and find new things that work for you.  I personally found most substitutes for high glycemic foods to taste bad.  Just learn to eat differently rather than hanging on to those old high carb foods like bread, pasta, sweet fruits, and sodas.  You will acclimate and learn to enjoy fabulous green leafy vegetables with healthy vinegar, oils and antioxidants.  Let yourself enjoy fats, cholesterol, and proteins without counting calories, or feeling guilty.  Without trying, or even having an intention to loose weight, I lost 40 pounds in six months!  205 to 165, and I feel great! I ate when I was hungry, and never thought about calories or loosing weight.  My blood pressure, lungs, eyesight, joints, skin, mood, and overall health and energy have all improved!