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  • Bushrat's journal

    I thought I'd join the cool kids and start a journal, especially after I found out at least one other user here has CVID and there may be others who could benefit from me using myself as a labrat (or maybe they could teach me something).

    Background: I'm 24, male, 6 foot and I've been primal since a week before Easter. I have CVID which is Common Variable Immune Deficiency. That means my adaptive immune system doesn't create enough anti-bodies making me prone to catching viruses. It also heightens my risk of a lot of other medical problems.

    I also have scarred lungs and bronchioecstasis (permanent widening of the airway from repeated infection).

    Two years ago I thought I was as fit and healthy as a probably undernourished and active student could be. I started lifting weights and wolfing down my carbs like a good boy and reached added 15 kiloos of muscle and fat. Then I became sick and thought nothing of it but I didn't get better. I was sick for over a month before I saw a doctor. It turned out I had nearly caught pneumonia and I had lost ten kilos.

    My GP figured out something was up and I was bounced around a couple of specialistis before I found I had CVID, which is chronic and the only treatment is monthly infusions of IgG sourced from blood donations (so please everyone donate blood as often as possible) which helps out one of my anitbody deficiencies but not the rest.

    When I found out I had CVID I decided that being as healthy as possible would help my body to fight off infections. I kept reading about low carb diets and someone finally directed me to MDA.


    My diet is becoming more and more carnivorous as time goes on. In fact most of my diet can be condensced thus:
    Rosehip tea
    Coffee (which I am going to quit)
    And once a week: A apsicum or two, an onion or two, maybe a garlic and chilli and a tomato or two all thrown into my crockpot with some mince.

    When I started PB I weighed a little under 85 kilos (if I remember correctly) and my trouser size was 92 (36 inches). My waist is now about 84 cm (33 inches) and thats mostly all fat I unintentionally lost by sitting on my arse and eating primal foods. I didn't think I needed to lose fat and I didn't expect it.

    Goals etc

    I want to buy a yoghurt maker when I can find a place that sells one. I want to make my own yoghurt and kefir. I also want to make lots of pemmican. I am finding that I prefer less and less carbs and I may start cutting my vegetables down even further and may even ditch them if I find that I no longer want them.

    I also want to eat more organ meats. If I ditch carbs I want to get all my nutrients from organs so i better know how to cook them.

    Spend more time in the sun since I leave near awesome beaches and I can always use the extra vitamin D. And salt water helps my sinuses (forever clogged since my body probably overcompensates for my IgA deficiency by creating more and more mucus in the hopes of getting some IgA) and bronchitis. The salty air also clears my head my head and makes me feel better thought I'm not sure why.

    I want to up my vitamin C intake to ten times the RDI (at least). Some people claim it cuts down your chance of getting sick and to me thats a damned important thing. This is why I drink rosehip tea. I've heard the Kakadu plum has the most vit C of anything but I've never seen it for sale and maybe I'll have to go to the NT and pick my own.
    If I up vit C intake I'll probably have to balance it out with something since it causes kidney stones (?) so if anyone knows anything about this please comment.

    I want to gain muscle. I think my current weight is somewhere between 75 and 80 kg though I don't particularly care. I am more interested in mass and strength than weight. I can't afford a gym membership so I am relying on a BW routine that focuses mainly on triceps, shoulders and back since they are my least developed parts.

    Another goal is to find a way to incorporate more Omega 3 into my diet. Sardines, salmon trout etc aren't that nice and they are damned expensive anyway. I may have to start fishing at least once a week (though in the over governed state of nsw in the over governed country of australia you need a licence for that like everything else). I have considered popping fish oil capsules but I have a hard time swallowing even small capsules and I'd rather not be dependent on any supplements.

    Since my favourite topic is myself feel free to comment as much as possible, leave ideas about anything you think may be of interest to me or ask any questions you like.
    A steak a day keeps the doctor away

  • #2
    I saw my respitory physician today and he was surprised by how much less phlegm and crap I have in the bottom of my lungs after 6 months. I also haven't taking any anti-biotics or had any major infections in 6 months which is unexpected. He said a change in diet could cause improvements but there is no way of knowing. I've only been primal for a month and a half and I don't know whether my improved diet deserves the praise or not. I'll get another check up at the end of October with X-rays this time so I'll be interested to see how much more imrpoved I am by then.
    A steak a day keeps the doctor away


    • #3
      I am getting hungrier, which is a good thing. My meals last me a long time, from breakfast until dinner but I am getting hungrier earlier in the day which is a good thing since I hope it means my body is growing.

      I am expecting to get some raw milk by the weekend and I am planning on making kefir and junket. If I find a yoghurt maker I may make yoghurt with my next lot of raw milk. If the milk is tasty enough I'll may just drink it shake.

      I also want to look at making a high fat shake to make sure I am getting enough fat. I'll use milk as the base and then add whatever fatty stuff I can think of.

      I am going to start supplementing vit D and vit C because I am not getting enough of either. I don't spend enough time in the sun most days for enough D and I am going to see if amounts in excess of ten times the RDA of C help with my immune function.

      Also I'll have to cut back on rosehip tea. Too much isn't good and I've been drinking too much in order to load up on C and avoid the flu ('tis the season).

      I'm almost out of honey and when I run out I'll buy no more. I'll be having no sugar in my diet except any in my dairy or added to the food prior to me buying it. Some of my bacon has added sugar and I'm sure some restaurants add sugar.

      My workout is now a circuit.

      Its getting too cold to go swimming in the ocean, even in the middle of the day, so I may have to find another way to get salt water on my skin.

      I am going to give up coffee when I can (maybe after exams) because I am starting to think I need it to do anything.

      A friend's mother last night told I look good and lately I have been noticing my feminine attention. I suspect my face has more colour, the lines under my eyes are less dark and I no longer look so washed out. Maybe everyone just loves the smell of meat coming out of my pores.

      I am washing my hair less and not seeing as much oil and grease as I used to.

      My libido is going up.

      I think I need less blankets than I used to. I'm not sure what that means.

      I think I need to get more Omega 3 and I had some beautiful salmon at the pub last night so I need to learn how to cook my own salmon better.

      I am tending toward a VLC, almost carnivorous diet. I need to eat more organ meats. I also need to start eating part of the animal to save money.

      I'm feeling better than ever overall.

      Also, my night vision seemed better the night after I ate a lot of liver.

      I need to work on my posture and my joint mobility before I do myself damage.

      I have an appointment with my immune specialist in November(?) and I want a list of tests that I should get done and see if he can schedule them for me. I'd be interested in getting a chlosterol test done but after reading something from Dr Eades blog I doubt its worth my time since the calculations are bogus and I should wait until I can afford to have them do a thorough test and count my LDL instead of just using a shoddy equation.

      I need to buy a cast iron skillet and a better crockpot that doesn't burn my food when I fill it up high. I suppose I should also buy a cast iron saucepan.
      A steak a day keeps the doctor away


      • #4
        I think you can make yogurt without a yogurt maker, actually, if you don't want another appliance cluttering up your cabinets. My big dehydrator came with instructions on how to use it to make yogurt, and there are a bunch of websites I have found (haven't tried it myself yet, though!) Here's one that looks pretty easy:
        With Mark's help, I've conquered depression, acne, rosacea, scale obsession, migraines, and lethargy. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

        My Journal:


        • #5
          Originally posted by Primal Diva View Post
          I think you can make yogurt without a yogurt maker, actually, if you don't want another appliance cluttering up your cabinets. My big dehydrator came with instructions on how to use it to make yogurt, and there are a bunch of websites I have found (haven't tried it myself yet, though!) Here's one that looks pretty easy:
          Thanks for that link. It looks easy.
          A steak a day keeps the doctor away


          • #6
            I posted this in another thread in response to someone asking about muscle gain:

            Originally posted by Bushrat View Post
            I think you need more fat. Some people say 1 gram of protein per pound of BW, others say 1.5. Some say its per pound of Lean BW not BW. Anyway I think you are eating too much protein and not enough fat. I'm guessing here though, but I am planning on upping my fat intake to see if it helps me grow. I needed a lot of carbs before to grow and carbs are just energy so maybe I need the same equivalent of energy in fat. I plan on testing this theory out in the next few months.
            I once put on 10kg of muscle and fat in 3 months. To do so I ate plenty of protein, a ton of carbs and didn't skimp on the fat. I was eating scrambled eggs for breakfast, rump steak with mashed potato and veggies for lunch, works burger or kebab for afternoon meal or PWO meal, a PWO protein shake, almost 2 litres of milk, two or three bowls worth of spaghetti with a family sized can of mince and sauce poured over it and snacking on peanut butter on at least one day of the week. Obviously my meal plan varied but you can see how much I was eating and how much energy food I was consuming to grow that fast. Some days I was lying on the floor with a bloated and aching stomach afterwards.

            Currently I am not getting that much energy, though I suspect I am still getting just as much protein. I plan to try and up my fats and see if I can get the equivalent amount of energy and see how quick I start to gain. If I start gettijng fat as well then I may ease off. I tried counting my calorie intake and I can't be bothered after two days to keep going so I am just going to aim to consume a ballpark amount of fat.

            Hence why I may develop a midday fat smoothie. I don't know what I'll have it in beside kefir at this point. I wonder if lard works in the blender? I may add some nuts but I don't want to rely too much on PUFA. I'll definitely add as much coconut oil as I can stomach. If I can find some heavy cream that doesn't make me sick I'll add that. I may bite the bullet and throw an avocado in. If anyone has any idea what to throw in, let me know.

            The one problem is that whenever I've gained weight (and I've done it twice - once from 70 to just over 80 kg and secondly from ~83 to ~89kg I was using free weights and compound exercises. The first time it wasd Starting Strength, the second it was a routine I developed. This time I'll be using only BW exercises because I can't afford a gym membership.

            Also, I may have an advantage over some of the rest of the posters here wanting to bulk. I've done it before and if there is any truth to 'muscle memory' than it should be easier the second time around.

            Anyway, today I had lunch for the first time in ever. I cooked up 600 g of chicken thighs and ate a third. Then I came back a few hours later and ate another third. Now I am hungry again. I don't know why I am suddenly so hungry. Hopefully this means my body is trying to build muscle after my workout last night.

            Last night I had lamb mince and bacon and then a few hours later I had a kebab with sour cream (which is another dairy I have to avoid - it leaves the same off taste in my mouth and on my breath). Two hours later while I was in bed I couldn't sleep thanks to upstairs neighbours cats but I heard my stomach growling and felt very hungry. I really considered getting takeaway but I had a 9 0'clock class.

            I keep varying my workout based on location (if someone is using the play equipment I go elsewhere) and last night I made a workout with a park bench, a tree and a towel. Towel pull ups - easier on the arms, harder on the upper back (which is something I want to hit hard).

            I am not going to use any more shampoo. My bottle is empty and I don't want to buy another. I hope my hair gets over the 'disgusting' phase before my aunt's wedding or I'll have to wash it and start over.

            Even more feminine attention today, even with my out of control caveman beard which needs cutting badly. I must be on the way to being good looking (or else I stand out from all the underfed hipsters on campus).

            I also bought some coconut oil to put in my coffee per Batty's suggestions.

            When I get a spare moment I'll look into getting some vit D, C and Omega 3 supplements.

            I decided today to buy a decent cutting board and maybe invest in some better cookware.

            Tonight I was thinking Ox heart for dinner but it probably hasn't thawed, so maybe the last of my chicken thighs from lunch or a kebab pack (where they don't wrap it up so its primal - or at least as primal as any takeaway gets).

            Tomorrow is ox heart, lambs fry and lambs kidney chilli. I am no longer using tomato paste after last time so I need to find a new way to thicken my chilli. Any chilli advice, let me know.
            A steak a day keeps the doctor away


            • #7
              Last night I had fat cravings. I wanted to eat meat, but didn't want any more protein, only fat. I suspect the problem is that meat bought from the butcher is too lean. Grok would not have trimmed the fat off his steak and if he was eating any organs they'd be covered in fat. Hence why it is so hard to gain muscle, I am not eating the correct ratio of protein to energy. This is probably why pemmican is such a great food. Being half muscle and half fat it is closer to what Grok would have eaten. I was going to until after the exams to make pemmican but now I may have to either render some fat or make some pemmican in order to get a more balanced fat to protein intake. Or maybe I should just make a fat smoothie like I've been considering.

              Either way I spoke to the butcher and he told me they have plenty of fat cut from their meat. Maybe I should just throw it all in the crockpot next time I make something instead of going to all the trouble to render it. If I do that I will want to make a thick chilli though.

              Also coconut oil in coffee is good.
              A steak a day keeps the doctor away


              • #8
                So, update time.

                I was sick for 4 days. I pulled through with no medication and no need to stay at home. I hope to get through flu season without consulting a doctor once. Since I have CVID that feat will probably be more impressive than it sounds. Wednesday night I could barely sleep because my sinuses were blocked. I felt light headed. I had a job assessment on thursday which I aced with a headache, runny nose and slight fever (I think I had fever anyway).

                Thursday night was no better and I bombed out of the group exercise because I wasn't mentally sharp. I bought some Vit C tablets and tried them. They put me into a definite fever (which may be a good thing). Saturday I felt a bit better and had less than four hours sleep before driving all day Sunday. I had a shit load of tea on Saturday and hyped myself up on coffee (about 6 cups) on Sunday. I think the flu died from a caffeine overdose.

                Yesterday (Monday) I was pretty much over it and I started coughing up all this stuff from my lungs, stuff that probably took up residence when I was sick. I was good as gold today except for coughing up a lot more gunk off my chest.

                I have noticed that I can't handle the cold anymore. I am chilled to the bone when everybody else is just cold. I don't know whether that will ever improve or whether I should move to the tropics.

                I made my first kefir and I like it. No adverse reactions. I used some store bought powder but I am going to get some real kefir grains when I get a chance.

                My junket didn't work either time. Also, junket is supposed to have live cultures, same as yoghurt and kefir, so its good for you.

                On Sunday I went to a wedding (hence all the driving). I ate more food than anyone else there, most of it meat. I was talked into trying one of each of the desserts and they were too sweet for me. I had half a bowl and I felt sick from all the sugar. I really don't need sugar in my life.

                I am going to quit coffee. I am convinced its no good for you but since its an addictive substance a lot of people like to try and justify their addiction by claiming coffee is good. I like being a pretentious student hanging out in coffee shops so I am going to have find a new place to study.

                I feel more energetic than ever, though I have stopped working out. Its for after the exams (like everything else). I'll start working out hardcore and eating a ton of fat and protein and see how fast I can gain.

                I plan on starting an exercise and food journal to keep track of everything. I may also (if I can be bothered) see if there is a pattern between when I feel shit, or sick, and what I ate recently.

                I am craving food in the middle of the day now. I want lunch. I used to skip lunch and have a big dinner. Now I want a big lunch and a big dinner. I shall have to start making my own lunch otherwise I'll soon be broke if I buy lunch away from home everyday. I will just have to keep it in a freezer bag in the boot of my car until I'm hungry. I don't want to go back home for lunch.

                Anyone with good lunch ideas should post them. I'll consider anything.

                EDIT: I tried finding a decent shirt for that job interview (I didn't get the job anyway damn it), but shirts don't fit me anymore. My shirt size has to be 39-40 to allow for my shoulders (though 39 is really too tight IMO) but my trousers are 32 around the waist. Slim fit shirts don't come in tight enough about the waist and they don't tuck in nicely. Its a tragedy of Greek proportions to be fit and healthy in a world of fat people.
                Last edited by Bushrat; 06-08-2010, 02:20 AM.
                A steak a day keeps the doctor away


                • #9
                  Its been a month since I last updated. I wasn't going to but since I have nothing better to do at the moment I might as well do it now.

                  My sleeping is really out of whack. However, I am more energetic than I have been in a long time. I am also more focused. I also think my sex drive has shot through the roof (only figuratively for all you dirty minded readers). All this has happened since ~ thursday.

                  I'm not sure what the cause of this is:
                  On thursday I received my latest infusion. Perhaps I am juiced up on something that was in the infusion.
                  Around that time I also decided that I should quit dairy and see what happened.
                  I don't know what the cause for my sudden energy burst is.

                  When it comes to sleeping patterns, mine has never been great to begin with. Holding to any sort of 9-5 scheme makes me feel like shit and I seem to spend everyday sleep deprived. When left to my own (such as in uni holidays now) I tend to spend a long time awake and then spend 9 to 10 hours in bed. My body seems to work on ~ a 30 hour day naturally. I wonder whether Grok held 24 sleeping patterns or not. Around the full moon I can imagine Grok up and either hunting or watching for predators. Full moonlight is very easy to see by (particular if you eat your liver).

                  Anyway, I need to find a job where I can work my own hours it seems. Throw suggestions at me.

                  More importantly, since I have quit dairy I don't think I am getting enough fat anymore. I didn't realise how heavily I was relying on dairy to get fat because I didn't eat coconut products. Even though I try and get the fattiest cuts they are still too lean. I am going to render my own fat and try and add it back into my meals. However I have to wait for the butcher to cut up another grass fed cow and it may be a few weeks.
                  I have never tried avocado and now seems like as good as time as any. I am also going to trying to hunt down pork rinds but they are damned hard to find.
                  If anyone has any suggestions on getting more fat without more dairy than please let me know.

                  Also, after my last infusion my blood pressure was in the hypotensive range so the nurse took it again and it was higher but still in the pre-hyoptension range. I don't know what my blood pressure was before the infusion (BP, heart rate and temperature are taking before and after the infusion) but it must have been normal because the nurse didn't comment.
                  When my temperature was taken before the infusion it was high and the nurse took it three times before she was satisfied. What all this adds to I don't know. Its all probably nothing.

                  I read 'White Pure and Deadly' by Yudkin (revised edition) a few days ago. Its a very good introduction book to whats wrong with sugar. It was written by a man who has spent his whole life researching the dangers of sugar, and though twenty years old, is still a great primer for the dangers of sugar. The entire take home message of the book is this:

                  Sugar screws with your hormones. Hormones underly everything in your body. Hence eating sugar fucks you up in so many ways (and the list of known diseases sugar has a hand in has probably risen over the last twenty years).
                  The most startling thing was how much sugar consumption has risen over the last hundred years. What sugar a family ate in a week a single individual consumes far more of in a day. The term 'moderate intake' is relative.

                  Also, Yudkin calls Ancel Keys an idiot (though not in so many words).

                  Interestingly Yudkin promoted a form of low carb diet as a treatment for a great many patients with resounding success. Though his low carb is not low carb by our standards, the general message is still the same and its heartening to know that low carb is not some new trend that has arisen overnight.

                  EDIT: Very good book that pertains to the "noise" thread: Amusing ourselves to death : public discourse in the age of show business / Neil Postman

                  This books deals with how humans are now innundated with quick snippets of info here and there and how it affects people negatively.
                  Last edited by Bushrat; 07-11-2010, 01:50 AM.
                  A steak a day keeps the doctor away


                  • #10
                    So I just realised I probably have a K deficiency. My gums were bleeding yesterday and today. I felt fatigued. It took me a long time to stop bleeding after my infusion (usually I heal quicker than Wolverine). Some well known low carb advocate (can't remember who) recommended taking K supplements when first starting because your body expels water with salt content (or something). And of course I have frequent urination as well. Obviously I have been getting potassium through yoghurt but I stopped eating it when I stopped dairy recently.

                    I tried to go and get a potassium supplement but the chemist doesn't sell them without a prescription because dumb ass kids thought they were candy. God I hate this nanny state. So now I am eating two bananas and hoping that will hold me off until chemists open tomorrow and I can find one with some common sense.
                    A steak a day keeps the doctor away


                    • #11
                      I'm saving this here for my own reference:

                      "Under conditions of zero carb intake, the body replaces about 70 grams of this glucose with ketone bodies, leaving about 130 grams that the liver must produce, which it does via the process called gluconeogenesis. Consuming zero carbs puts the body into the metabolic status that drives gluconeogenesis. " - Dr Eades

                      "If you figure that you need 200 grams of glucose per day under normal circumstances, you can assume that 70 grams will be replaced by ketones on a ketogenic diet, which leaves you with around 130 grams of glucose that must come from somewhere. You’re getting 40 grams from the oats, leaving a deficit of 90 grams, which must come from protein via gluconeogenesis. Since it takes about one gram of protein to make 0.8 g of glucose, you will use about 112 g of protein to make the sugar you need. Since you’re consuming 205-210 grams protein per day, you should have sufficient to use for glucose production with plenty left over for muscle repair and building.



                      "Hi Michelle–

                      Yes, the dietary protein (as long as there is an adequate supply) will go to building new muscle. Only the protein required to maintain appropriate levels of blood glucose will be shunted to gluconeogenesis. The rest will be used to build and repair tissue including muscle. Any extra will be broken down and excreted.



                      I think that answers what I wanted to know about gluconeogenesis.
                      Last edited by Bushrat; 07-30-2010, 01:01 AM.
                      A steak a day keeps the doctor away


                      • #12
                        Dang useful for me too. Just what I needed to know (How much glucose the body is actually capable of synthesising)



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chronyx View Post
                          Dang useful for me too. Just what I needed to know (How much glucose the body is actually capable of synthesising)

                          No problem.
                          A steak a day keeps the doctor away


                          • #14
                            So I have a new goal: I want to weigh over 100.25 kg. Obviously this will be done by adding muscle not fat.

                            Reason: So I can enjoy being technically obese. And because the BMI is junk science.
                            A steak a day keeps the doctor away


                            • #15
                              Actual 'LOL'!!

                              You phat bastard!