Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
29 Apr

Dear Mark: Protein for Pregnancy and Nursing, Reversing Sun Damage, Inflammatory Eggs

brokeneggIt’s Monday, which means it’s time for another edition of Dear Mark. This time, I’m covering three topics. First up is optimal protein intake for breastfeeding and pregnant women. I’m not sure how I forgot to include those groups in last week’s protein post, but I did, and you guys called me out on it. Then, I discuss several different topical supplements you can try for reducing UV-induced skin damage. There may be damage that simply can’t be reversed, but I suspect you can improve the situation to some extent. And finally, I field a question from a reader who’s worried about eggs being inflammatory. It seems he’s just read a book whose author classifies over 2,000 foods by their “inflammation factor,” and eggs scored really, really low (i.e. bad).

Let’s get to it:

What about protein intake for pregnant and/or breastfeeding mammas? Over the past 3 years I have between either one or both of those.

Kelly

It’s difficult to find “grams per pound of bodyweight” recommendations, simply because you’re not really eating for just yourself during pregnancy – you’re actually building and supporting an entirely different human being growing inside you! Here’s what we do know about protein intake during pregnancy:

“Isocaloric protein supplementation,” where protein is substituted for equal caloric energy from another macronutrient, is associated with an increased risk of having a small-for-gestational-age baby (SGA). Underweight babies are at a greater risk of health issues, especially later on in life. So don’t drop the fat and/or carbs in favor of more protein.

“High protein supplementation,” where protein is increased to 25% or more of total calories, is associated with a nonsignificant reduction in mean birthweight, a significantly increased risk of SGA birth, and a nonsignificantly increased risk of neonatal death. One study even found that the offspring of mothers on a high-protein pregnancy diet were more susceptible to stress, tending to release more cortisol when exposed to psychological stressors than offspring of mothers on a lower protein diet. Don’t do a protein sparing modified fast (high protein, low calorie, low fat, low carb diet bodybuilders use to cut) while pregnant.

Energy and protein restriction for overweight pregnant ladies reduced both maternal and baby weight without improving hypertension or preeclampsia. You know what? Don’t diet at all when you’re pregnant.

Balanced protein energy supplementation, however, seems to be helpful. That’s where you eat sufficient protein and overall calories while keeping protein under 25% of calories. Particularly in undernourished pregnant women, balanced protein energy supplementation decreases the risk of SGA. In other words, eating protein as part of a balanced overall diet is best, while eating an explicitly high-protein diet is probably ill-advised.

Don’t avoid or consciously limit protein when pregnant, of course. Why, during the first trimester, protein meals can even reduce nausea. Eat to appetite. Follow your protein cravings. From what I can tell, undernourished women will naturally desire more protein during pregnancy (take the common phenomenon of the vegan suddenly craving rare steak during the first trimester) while women who are already getting enough protein to support their pregnancy will crave it less. That’s fine.

As for nursing women, protein needs will definitely increase because you’re producing nearly a liter of protein-containing breast milk a day. Now, human milk isn’t particularly protein-rich – it’s 14–16 g/L during early lactation, 8–10 g/L at 3–4 mo of lactation, and 7–8 g/L at 6 months and later – but it does have a significant amount of “non protein nitrogen.” Non protein nitrogen still has to be produced by the mother from dietary protein. Some sources suggest an increase of 20 grams protein per day is enough. I think what’s important is overall caloric intake from healthy Primal foods. You don’t want to eat so few calories that you have to resort to burning amino acids for energy or converting protein into glucose.

Except for being more cautious about sun exposure in the future, are there any tips on how to manage the problems of damaged skin and minimising future damage? Someone on the forums mentioned vitamin E oil and the primal favourite, coconut oil, to aid skin recovery, would you agree? Thanks!

Jack

Be sure to check out the two posts I did a couple years ago on preventing and treating sunburns. Those tips will be helpful, particularly in prevention. As for treating damaged skin, there are some things you can try. I can’t personally vouch for any of these, but I’ll present the evidence for each and let you decide what to try. At the worst, they just won’t work and you can move on to the next one. They certainly won’t hurt to try (with perhaps one exception), though. Sound good?

Curcumin, the “active” ingredient in turmeric, seems to be effective at healing sun damaged skin. Both oral and topical supplementation appears to help improve resistance to the development of skin cancer.

A “fruit blend” of sea buckthorn extract, blueberry extract, and collagen prevented skin aging in hairless mice subjected to 6 weeks of UV radiation.

Topical testosterone, progesterone, and pregnenolone all reduced the symptoms of aging in actual human skin (still attached to humans). They reduced wrinkling, restored hair growth, and restored sweating capability (PDF). Meanwhile, topical estrogen sped up the aging process, and topical stress hormones sped it up even more. Hormones aren’t to be trifled with lightly, though, so don’t mess around with these unless you know you’re doing or under the guidance of someone who does.

Topical vitamin C has been shown to improve collagen synthesis (important for restoring the quality of skin), reduce hyperpigmentation, and act as an anti-inflammatory agent to many skin disorders. Furthermore, it can protect you from UV damage in the first place. Unfortunately, vitamin C is somewhat unstable, so making your own ointment, balm, salve, or serum can be a way to make sure yours is active and effective.

Topical retinol, a popular component of skin creams, improves the quality and appearance of photo-aged human skin. Topical retinoids have also been shown to manage acne, psoriasis, photoaging, and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. If you’re averse to the use of skin creams, I suppose you could always go to sleep with a polar bear liver mask.

Topical vitamin B3 in the form of niacinamide reduced the prevalence and intensity of sun spots in women aged 40-60.

I couldn’t find much on vitamin E or coconut oil as agents of sun damage reversal. Can’t hurt to moisturize with a bit of coconut oil, of course. Red palm oil might work even better, as it’s a rich source of both vitamin E and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids). Only problem is it stains clothes, if you apply it topically.

Hope you find something that helps!

Hi Mark, I took the time to copy Monica Reinagel’s entire list of foods and their “inflammation factor”, and this list has eggs as one of the most inflammatory foods on the entire list of 2100 items. Any idea why? Is she just off base? Maybe she is talking about eggs from factory farms? I love eggs and eat them a lot, so I’m concerned.

Thanks,

Mark

Hey Mark, cool name!

I just checked out her “inflammation factor formula” to see how she arrives at her conclusions. It “includes more than 20 different factors that affect a food’s inflammatory or anti-inflammatory potential,” such as the amount and types of fat (more is worse, I’m guessing, and saturated fats are particularly dangerous), the presence of essential fatty acids (like linoleic acid, of course), the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, the glycemic index, and the anti-inflammatory compounds present in the food. The lower the IF rating, the more inflammatory the food. An egg yolk has an IF rating of -173, more inflammatory than french fries (-51), white flour (-142), and corn oil (-54).

I’m trying to figure out why she hates egg yolks so much. It could be the PUFAs, since she’s definitely aware of their inflammatory potential (high-PUFA linoleic sunflower oil runs -82 while high-MUFA sunflower oil runs 108). It could be the cholesterol; from a blog post detailing her diet plan, she seems to fear animal fat (“look for well-trimmed cuts” of red meat). She’s also not so crazy about grains (“grains aren’t needed”) and prefers that people focus on protein and vegetables. She even says two eggs a day are fine, highly inflammatory yolks included. I’m not really sure what to make of it. It all ends up sounding like your typical low-fat, low-carb, high-protein recipe for metabolic disaster.

Anyway, you were worried about eggs. After all, she had to arrive at that -173 because of something, right?

Battery-fed eggs definitely aren’t as healthy as pasture-fed eggs, with one study even showing that hens fed high-omega-6 diets (corn and soy) produced eggs that led to increased levels of oxidized LDL in people who ate them. And pasture-fed eggs contain more vitamin E, more omega-3s, and more vitamin A, among other nutrients. Reinagel almost certainly used standard eggs to render her decisions.

Bottom line: eggs are healthy. They just are. For all the studies Reinagel has apparently poured over to support her classification of egg yolks as extremely inflammatory, eggs have never been shown to be unhealthy. They are the best source of choline (save for perhaps brain), an essential nutrient that protects us from fatty liver (or is having a fatty liver anti-inflammatory?) and helps build robust baby brains. They are full of vitamin A and vitamin E and iodine and selenium. They contain highly available protein. They’re strongly associated with beneficial metabolic effects when compared to egg substitutes (which, sure enough, gets a certified anti-inflammatory IF rating of 13). That’s what you should be thinking about, not some arcane rating system that apparently fails to take all relevant criteria into account.

Enjoy your eggs.

That’s it for today, guys. Thanks for reading and be sure to leave a comment!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. My wife started using coconut oil-based lotion to treat sunburns, now she swears by it. Reduced her normal healing time by days.

    Tom wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • Have you seen the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? The dad in the movie swears by Windex and uses it to solve every problem (including skin issues!) I’m like that with coconut oil. Whenever anything goes wrong I’m always like “Put some coconut oil on/in/around it!!!”

      Susie wrote on April 29th, 2013
      • Lol Susie, that exact situation just happened with me and my roommate when I recommended coconut oil for a random thing.

        Chris wrote on April 29th, 2013
      • Aloe vera gel / juice doesn’t hurt either. Also, oral asthaxanthin protects against sunburns, not sure if after the sunburn happened, too.

        Izzy wrote on April 30th, 2013
      • I just used coconut oil to clean an old bronze candlestand lamp!

        Pamsc wrote on May 3rd, 2013
    • I’m thinking a bathtub full of the stuff would be nice to have around…

      Tom B-D wrote on April 29th, 2013
      • Costco is now carrying a giant tub of organic coconut oil. I’m almost through my 1st one.

        Colleen wrote on April 29th, 2013
  2. Amazing how eggs are one of the most consistently scrutinized foods. And I would think from an evolutionary standpoint it would have been one of the more easily acquired foods that we’ve eaten for a long time.

    Luke wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • Some people are allergic to eggs. For the majority of us who aren’t, they’re a good source of nutrition.

      Shary wrote on April 29th, 2013
      • Plenty of people have found they can eat eggs again if they come from soy-free/gmo-free fed hens or that plus extra time to heal their guts and develop their immunity.

        Oly wrote on April 30th, 2013
  3. Don’t diet while pregnant! Love that advice.

    Regarding topical testosterone… That’s scary stuff. Went to a presentation on this. You have to wipe everything down and make sure things are immaculate, otherwise others in your household, including your children and wife can get exposed! Even from light skin contact like shaking hands!!

    Bjjcaveman wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • You’re really exaggerating the reality of this. My partner has been on topical testosterone gel for nearly a year prescribed by his endocrinologist. He applies it once a day, after his morning shower, washes his hands the same as one would after using hair gel or any other type of lotion, and goes about his day. Neither I nor my daughters nor our pets are at risk of “exposure” from everyday “light contact.”

      In short, the presentation you heard had a specific agenda and you bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

      Norma wrote on April 29th, 2013
      • My doctor gave me a choice between gel and self-injected shots of testosterone in cottonseed oil. As a type 1 diabetic I’m used to needles, but an inch and a half of 23-gauge needle in my thigh weekly is intimidating. I do it anyway and hope there’s some advantage over the gel.

        Mark. wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • “Don’t diet while pregnant! Love that advice. ”

      This is pretty universal advise. And then many women on SAD interpret to mean: I can eat a box of Twinkies because I, er, I mean the baby craves them. Then they gain about a billion pounds and put themselves at risk for gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.

      I would change this advise to: Don’t restrict calories when pregnant for the purposes of reducing body fat. But don’t indulge in junk either. In fact, it’s more important to stay away from the Twinkies, not less, even if you crave them. Baby grok needs healthy calories and so you do.

      I found when I was pregnant that stepping off Paleo/Primal resulted in swelling/heart burn and many other bad things. (Modern women unfortunately take for granted as part of pregnancy but when I ate right, they didn’t exist or were minimized). By the end, every body system I had was struggling to keep up with the demands of a growing baby and my life. It could not afford any poor nutrition.

      Amy wrote on April 29th, 2013
  4. Today it’s eggs, next month it will be vegetables, the next a fruit. My question is, when will water be deemed bad for us?

    Nick wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • Oh, water’s bad for us: it contains di-hydrogen monoxide!

      Cody wrote on April 29th, 2013
      • Kills more people every year than any other chemical on Earth.

        His Dudeness wrote on April 30th, 2013
    • Heather wrote on April 29th, 2013
      • Haha! Funny how calling something by its chemical name makes it sound so much more threatening.

        Alyssa wrote on April 29th, 2013
      • dhmo.org: ROFL!!! No, seriously, ROFL.
        A few of the gems:
        “Some of the well-known uses of Dihydrogen Monoxide are:

        by both the KKK and the NAACP during rallies and marches,
        ,,,”
        “Studies have shown that even after careful washing, food and produce that has been contaminated by DHMO remains tainted by DHMO.”
        “…couples that never ingest DHMO often find that their marriage suffers as well.”

        Bill C wrote on April 30th, 2013
        • I was in a chemistry class geared toward elementary education teachers when the professor put up a display on the overhead talking about the dangers of di-hydrogen monoxide. There were about 50 of us in there, and everyone else was freaking out about this dangerous chemical. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing about it. Then the prof made me stand up and explain why I was laughing instead of freaking out. He was demonstrating why a lack of basic knowledge is a bad thing. I thought it was a good demonstration of how gullible my fellow classmates were, as well as the value of a good chemistry class (which I’d taken in HS).

          Beccolina wrote on April 30th, 2013
  5. l would be screwed if eggs were unhealthy. I eat them everyday and love every bite.

    Matt wrote on April 29th, 2013
  6. I remember reading through comments in a past post here that a lot of women lost interest in protein during pregnancy. The body just didn’t want a lot of it and carb cravings increased. The human body really is an amazing machine. It will tell you everything you need if you only listen to it. But today’s SAD environment is so “loud” (overly sweet, overly seasoned, overly processed, etc) that our bodies can’t hear the signals anymore.

    Heather wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • For me, it depended on the gender of the baby (and keep in mind I chose not to reveal gender before birth :-). My son was a carbs baby. I vividly remember eating stacks of pancakes filled with butter and syrup three to four times a week, especially in my third trimester. On the other hand, staples like eggs and beef were repugnant. Early on, I couldn’t stomach protein at all, until my husband grilled fish one night. Fish and carbs were my go-to’s.

      Daughters were different. They were both protein babies. Instead of pancakes, I wanted cheese, eggs, every animal protein under the sun. Bread and most other grains gave me terrific heart burn so I stopped eating them.

      With all three pregnancies, I more or less followed Dr. Brewster’s eating plan, which encourages complex, non-grainy carbs, green leafy veg, protein, and salt to taste. He developed his recommendations based on personal findings that women under his care who were unable to eat adequate protein (usually because of finances), salt, and didn’t drink enough water were far more likely to develop pre eclampsia. The hospital he had privilages at saw a 90% drop in cases of pre eclampsia when his recommendations were adopted throughout the county. Pretty amazing and decades ahead of his time. :-)

      eema.gray wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • One of my collegaues told a story of how to creaved plaster board (dry wall) during her pregnancy. Her dad was putting some up in her house. She said she smelt it and had an over whelming craving to eat it. For the rest of her pregnancy she had a little bit in her hand bag that she’d nibble on. She even put a whole in her wall at home when she run out of her stash.
      Damn weird way to get to get your mineral fix.

      greggrok wrote on April 30th, 2013
      • edit – …told a story of *how she craved*

        greggrok wrote on April 30th, 2013
  7. I used to get BADLY sun burned every time I went in the sun for even just 5 minutes (back when I wasn’t eating primally)… Now…. I feel like all the vitamins and minerals and antioxidants I ingest are a form of sunscreen because I don’t burn very often anymore! I think I dedicate it to the fact that I love to dig a spoon into tomato paste ;)

    GiGi wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • “I feel like all the vitamins and minerals and antioxidants I ingest are a form of sunscreen because I don’t burn very often anymore!”

      Wow. Just wow.

      michael wrote on April 30th, 2013
    • I have the same experience. My theory is that it is due to the change in my gut flora. At any rate, pre-primal it appeared I had developed a sun allergy and would get burns and rashes any time I was in the sun for any length of time-no matter how much sunscreen I applied. Now, I never wear sunscreen and never burn or get a rash no matter how long I am in the sun.

      Deana wrote on November 12th, 2013
  8. “[U]nless you know you’re doing….”
    How do I know if I know what I’m doing?

    Ion Freeman wrote on April 29th, 2013
  9. With my 1st pregnancy (pre primal) I ate tons of cheese and crackers, especially in the 1st trimester. Then I developed terrible eczema for the first time in my life. The skin on my eyelids kept peeling, and the worst was my nipples became an oozing mess that would not heal and made breast feeding very difficult. That actually led me down the path to discovering primal eating… Second pregancy I didn’t eat gluten or dairy for the 1st 6 months, then went primal at about 6 months (and found that I could tolerate butter). With my first pregnancy I gained 40 pounds (from 160 to 200) and my baby was 8 lbs. My second pregnancy I gained 20 lbs from 150 to 170, and my baby was 7 lbs 3 oz. (I didn’t count or restrict calories either time.) That second birth was a breeze by comparison, and it was much easier on my back. And I’ve had barely any trouble with eczema- Finally weened myself off steroid lotions in time to nurse my second daughter. I get an occasional itchy spot on my arm, but it is very minimal. Also, my blood pressure at the end of my 1st pregnancy was getting in the too high range, threatening my wish for a home birth. The second primal pregnancy my BP was great the whole time.

    Kathy Uccello wrote on April 29th, 2013
  10. Eggs are healthy, there’s no doubt about it. Enjoy them fried, omelette, paleo pancake, scrambled, hard, à la coque, in homemade mayo or as a “glue” for pudding and meatloaf.
    They are the most versatile ingredient I can think about.

    primal_alex wrote on April 29th, 2013
  11. This post highlights the fact that the term “inflammatory” is used quite often in popular health writing these days, but there seems to be no specific way to define it. Often, “inflammatory” is defined as “out of alignment conventional dietary wisdom.” It reminds me of the “acid/alkaline” discussions of the 1970s – “acidic” foods were just foods that vegans didn’t eat. Whole books were written without anyone actually doing any biochemistry.

    The fact is, there are at least 75 blood biomarkers that may or may not indicate inflammation (c-reactive protein is just one) and no one yet knows which is best. Mark, this would be a good one to explore in a future post…

    Cave Dave wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • Interesting point. I know there is some research that suggests certain foods promote inflammation (high omega-6 FA’s) and others that counter it. Like you said, there are many ways to measure inflammation along with a lot of other variables to consider. Assigning a number on a scale to any one food might be a bit arbitrary.

      James wrote on April 29th, 2013
  12. Reinagel will take a Conventional Wisdom Frankenfood egg replacement over a real farm fresh egg, because she thinks it is less inflammatory? Isn’t that just wonderful! You go Ms. Reinagel

    Nocona wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • She’s always been annoying and still spouts the 1980s low-fat nonsense.

      Norma wrote on April 29th, 2013
    • Isn’t it funny how highly processed stuff is “safe” for us.

      Eggs in a pourable carton? Yuk!

      It is disturbing how real food is vilified, especially meat and protein products.

      You have to wonder if there is an agenda behind some of it.

      rdzins wrote on April 30th, 2013
  13. Maybe the issue with eggs in her formula is the potential for allergic reaction and Arachidonic acid (AA) content.

    I remember reading some “Zone” books that had an asterisk next to eggs indicating to limit them if you are sensitive to AA. This may be a similar thing where the rating was lowered due to the possible severe reactions for some people…

    but its probably just the saturated fat content. Look up coconut oil, it gets a -111 for 1 tbsp (14g).

    brian p wrote on April 29th, 2013
  14. I control the pain of my severe osteoarthritis with diet and exercise, so I’m very careful with inflammatory foods–and egg yolks are on every list of very inflammatory foods. It’s supposedly the Arachidonic acid.

    I love eggs, but I eat mainly egg whites. When I can’t resist and eat whole eggs, I can honestly feel the difference in my level of pain. I suspect that whole eggs are not a problem, except for people like me who are using diet to control
    bodily inflammation and avoiding pain meds.

    Anita Gandolfo wrote on April 29th, 2013
  15. Adding my two cents on sun damage:

    I take a lot of sun (usually on the weekends), until recently with no suncream. But I overdid it: taking yoga classes on the sand on the beach, I got two dark spots on both sides of my face, I looked like an indian chief with war paint. After some research on google this is what I did:
    - every day, like twice a day, scrub both marks with lemon
    - like twice a day put vitamin E
    - ALL THE TIME when on the sun use sunscreen on the face!!!
    Well: the system worked, the marks have vanished
    So now I am a wild grok who uses sunscreen in my face as war paint

    wildgrok wrote on April 29th, 2013
  16. Okay, but how do I make my own vitamin C balm or salve? Anyone know?

    AnnaBanana wrote on April 29th, 2013
  17. Haven’t done it myself, but the query piqued my interest. Here’s a recipe for C lotion:
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5293770_make-vitamin-anti-aging-serum.html
    along with some sources for ingredients. Enjoy!

    Sam J wrote on April 29th, 2013
  18. I live near San Diego, so I use on my skin (because I like to be out in the sun a lot) a combo of: 1 part hemp oil
    1 part macadamia nut oil &
    3 parts coconut oil
    the hemp & macadamia nut oils are from Epicurean Organics, & the coconut oil is from Tropical Traditions!
    Occassionally I’ll get sunburned, & this oil not only soothes the burns, but heals it pretty quick to a nice tan. Good on salads too!!!

    Matt wrote on April 29th, 2013
  19. Thanks for the egg article, Mark, great info and very reassuring. And your name is pretty happening, too. It’s amazing how different people, trying as hard as they can to come up with the proper data, can arrive at such different conclusions.

    I think Norma and Luke pegged it–Reinagel is just spouting old school conventional wisdom, oops, I mean Conventional Wisdom. At least her list rates cold water fish very highly. And yeah, seems like a no brainer that our bodies would have adapted to egg eating, since eggs would have been on the menu for hominids since there have been eggs and hominids

    Mark B wrote on April 29th, 2013
  20. Eating primal while pregnant was great – I had already been on paleo/primal for a few years before I got pregnant, and followed it through most of the time (well, the 80/20 rule, just got on with what I usually eat really).
    I had very few cravings (smoked salmon, herrings… baby wanted some omega3s, clever child) and funnily enough all the “traditional” 1st trimester anti-nausea foods disgusted me. I think you could have chased me out the house with a cracker – what I needed was some cheesy omelette for breakfast and a big spicy meat stew for lunch/dinner. Oh, and nibbling on lemons helped…
    Anyway, I reasoned that I was pregnant, not sick, and that for most of human evolution women just got on with their life because they HAD to so I trusted my body to being up to that task – which is more or less what it is there for in the first place…
    So I continued to work out (obviously adjusting to my new body shape – after a while, cleans with a barbell wouldn’t work any more), go for short runs and long walks and generally eat as well as I could, maybe making super sure to include primal “super foods” like liver and eggs and fish.
    I think I gained about 20 pounds (hard to say because I am sure about 5 pounds of that was actually holiday weight I put on before I found out I was pregnant…) and all of that was gone within 3 months after birth. Birth itself was uncomplicated and quick, baby healthy and he took to breastfeeding like a duck to water.

    I think I only started to really feel the need to “eat for two” when he was 6 months old, just before we added some solid foods – that was when I could literally watch the scale go down every day and made a real effort to gain some weight again!
    He is now (13months) a good primal eater and still nurses mornings and evenings and I really hope eggs are good for us because he loves his scrambled egg for breakfast!

    So from my point of view I’d fully recommend eating as natural as possible (well, enjoy the occasional treat when someone offers you a chocolate cake because happy mum = happy baby) :-)
    Anyway, great source of info here so I guess I also take this chance to say thank you!

    Julia wrote on April 30th, 2013
  21. Julia, your story and stories like yours make me wonder if I can someday get over my baby-phobia and someday enjoy creating life with the love of my life, who badly wants children someday.

    How inspiring!

    Your story illustrates exactly how I feel about pregnancy — of course, never having been pregnant, I am not allowed to comment on how other women do it. However, just about everyone I know was on bedrest, high-risk, induced, or had to have a surprise C-section. I personally know ONE girl who had a bathtub baby, robust and healthy. And I have a cousin, mother of twins, who is a doula and has given me soothing commentary.

    Childbirth is just a part of life. Should not be feared. Yet, CW has made it terrifying!!

    Maybe someday… need to keep reading this site….. need to stay primal…. I feel better in my own body, why wouldn’t a baby feel good in there too!!??

    DarlingNicola wrote on April 30th, 2013
    • Hah, I seriously mistook early labour for “normal pregnancy related discomfort” because everybody else who was in our antenatal class and therefore at the same stage pregnant like me was always complaining about how they ached and could hardly move around any more, so when I got some pain I just figured that at 39 weeks pregnancy had “caught up” with me. Nope, a day later baby was here – after 4hrs of real labour, it was a hospital birth but no interventions at all. I think most of the doctors/midwives were rather impressed with me and little one, and suggested that if I have another one I should just have a homebirth to safe me the horrible car journey!
      I put it down to good nutrition, lots of long walks and squatting. Being fit and primal before was great because I just got on with it! I can also recommend Katy Bowman’s blog on all topics of posture / natural movements.

      Julia wrote on April 30th, 2013
    • There’s no need to be afraid — but it’s not entirely painless either in my experience. (The last bit especially. ;))

      If you take care of yourself and eat well, the whole medical pregnancy can be avoided usually. If you’d like to take the fear out of childbirth, there’s a great book called HypnoBirthing. It’s about the mental work meant to “re-brainwash” yourself into what childbirth can be.

      I’ve used the technique twice. It didn’t take the pain away, but it did an awesome job with the fear. And with that, it took the “unbearable” pain away. Something to look into when you get there. :)

      Amy wrote on April 30th, 2013
  22. Just FYI, I eat about 10-12 soft-boiled eggs a week, and recently had a blood panel done. My ESR or “sed-rate,” the rate of sedimentation of red blood cells, which is an indicator of inflammation, was 5. Any sed-rate less than 20 is considered great. A dozen eggs every week didn’t increase my inflammation in the least!

    So — eat them eggs! Cholesterol is absolutely necessary in repair of all tissues in the body, and remember that the brain is mostly made from cholesterol. In fact, low cholesterol levels have been linked with depression, violent behavior, and mortality from all causes.

    Kaecee wrote on April 30th, 2013
  23. I’ve been using topical retinol for a few months and already seeing some positive results.

    Maxine wrote on May 1st, 2013
  24. From what I can tell, undernourished women will naturally desire more protein during pregnancy (take the common phenomenon of the vegan suddenly craving rare steak during the first trimester) while women who are already getting enough protein to support their pregnancy will crave it less.

    If this is true it is pretty cool and explains a lot!!

    Aloka wrote on May 2nd, 2013
  25. “eggs have never been shown to be unhealthy”

    obviously you dont know what you are talking about, but you certainly do it very self assured…
    60 years ago italian doctor tallarico and following him doctor steintel in germany have proven the hazard of eggs, for everyone there to read who speaks german (i am austrian). just twonoted scientists among many others.
    the theory is easy: egg is basically a building protein, way too potent and powerful to be handled well by our bodies, same with wheat that was used as an explosive agent in egypt and of course all grains, nuts, legumes.all of these are highly inflammatory, it starts out giving you bad skin eruptions and later inflammations, later on cancer et al. steintel has shown how eggs can actually kill. as far as i know eggs are not eaten by any primal peoples except for ritual. in china and thailand you get the clayfermented eggs (1000year eggs) where the complex protein has been broken down and made digestible.
    sorry, but making such claims without knowing the basic facts i find quite irresponsible and intellectually immature.
    so when you start eliminating these foods, which are not foods, but building blocks of life, you get a step closer with an otherwise good attempt at intelligent nutrition.

    viktor wrote on May 2nd, 2013
    • I went to a “food taka” with one aborigene in South Australia and he showed us how to get eggs from nest, not taking all of them, but leaving two or three, and pouring a bit of water on the remaining eggs to wash off the smell of human, so that the bird parents could still look after the remaining eggs. It was a knowledge passed on to children in his trible. It had done it as a child many many times. I don’t know much, but my conclusion is that at least this tribe did eat eggs.

      jean-yves barralis wrote on May 2nd, 2013
      • @ viktor. i realized the tone of my comment was not as nice as it should have been. May be i didn’t like to read what you wrote but this is the first time i hear anything like that. Can you give more details of where you found this (links ?) or why this the case. Tks

        jean-yves barralis wrote on May 2nd, 2013
        • hi,
          not to worry about tone, mine wasnt exactly nice either ;)
          so yes, these are forgotten ideas of a doctor who had himself gone through basically all possible diets and eventually found this differentiation of protein types and sticking to the “static” / “grown out” food sources where the dynamic forces have been expended and no longer cause any harm, otherwise they would. anything that contains the life forces in active form, can still build organisms, will overpower your organism, is too complex for full digestion.
          paleo is close to this idea complex but not consequential enough i find. all seeds, nuts, grains, eggs, milk product must be avoided or used only sparingly in fermented form. there remains plenty, i myself have had severe inflammation history that only stopped when i followed this diet.
          his name is steintel, you might find his book on “old book” sites or shops. but only in german. his theory has been proven by thousands of his own clients, but of course the “vegetarian” movement didnt like to hear such stuff at all. so it was forgotten. if you want the german pdf of his little book, i can send it to you

          interesting about your experience with the aborigines. so you would say they eat eggs as a regular food on daily basis? there might sure be exceptions to what i said where conditions are rough or hard and anything eatable will be eaten, but where there is choice or a more developed state of culture, the human instinct decides aginst it.
          the heavy building substances of eggs simply wreak havoc on your intestines, they are not made to be digested but to build a new organism, it will cost you more energy than it brings and you get a good dose of inflammation from them. just like a seed is not meant for our intestines and only few animals can extract energy from them.
          have you noticed your nose gets swollen from egg eating? thats just one rather harmless smyptom, but lets you imagine the forces at work and what else will be effected in your body.

          but of course, the vegetarians with their desire for the most “packed”, concentrated etc. foods get it exactly wrong and usually have all kinds of health problems for that very reason.

          viktor wrote on May 2nd, 2013
  26. When I started nursing, I craved meat constantly, which at the time was new for me.

    Lou wrote on May 6th, 2013
  27. I am a 56 yr old woman with alot of sun damage ( uneven skin tone and quite a few age spots). After just one use of the Lady Soma Facial Kit (which includes both the Renewal Cream and the Berry Masque) i could see a differance in the skin tone and slight fading of my age spots and even improved my few wrinkles, showing to be less apparent.

    BE CAREFUL when using the Lady Soma Berry Masque because it is very strong and wll make your skin red a bit – but it will fade. The redness is what takes away the age apots!!

    I have just used again and have to wait for about seven days to see the results but after seeing how it worked after just one time i am sure my skin will look even better.

    My husband even asked me what i was doing to my face,he said i looked so refreshed and i looked more youthfull,that convinced me that i will be useing Lady Soma in the future.

    Maria Giz wrote on June 19th, 2013
  28. Dear Mark,

    thanks for taking the time to look at my work on the InflammationFactor.com. I’m sorry you didn’t reach out to me for answers to some of your questions…I’m pretty eash to reach. You’ve guessed right about some stuff, wrong about others, and made a whole lot of unfounded assumptions. I don’t “hate egg yolks,” don’t endorse a low-fat, low-carb, OR low-protein diet. Nor is the rating for egg yolks an indication that you shouldn’t eat them. (That foods with negative ratings are unhealthy or to be avoided is a very common misunderstanding.)

    The ratings have been validated in at least one study and a massive NIH-funded study is in the works.

    But, in the end, I agree with your recommendation: Enjoy your eggs (preferably pasture raised). I know I sure do!

    Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N wrote on September 4th, 2013

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