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  • Brand Spanking New

    Hey Guys and Dolls,

    Been a long time lurker of the boards and think it's really one of the most insightful on the net, have read Mark's book and think it's phenomenal and finally decided I'd jump into the discussion with some questions of my own. BTW, 25 year old male, I weigh 195 lbs and I'm from Tucson, AZ (where the Vitamin D cup runeth over!!!)

    I've had some serious psychological issues over the past 4 years of my life and in the spirit of making better lifestyle choices I want to go totally primal. Some financial issues associated with said psychological issues are clearing up so going primal won't be such a strain anymore (wild alaskan salmon and grass fed organic beef here I come), so really, what better time to dive into this?!?

    I've had serious panic attacks and issues with alcohol and klonopin addiction. Currently I'm alcohol free for over 200 days, my panic attacks are really in-frequent these days and I'm going through the klonopin withdrawal process (2 years ago I was on 4-6mg a day, now I'm on .75mg a day, along with 20mg of Celexa).

    Here's the rub: I'm pretty afraid to go totally primal because of what I've read and heard about the mental fog and other issues associated with the switch. I'm already going through the klonopin withdrawal process and that's brutal enough as it is. Think I should wait, other options? Also, might anyone have experience with supps/foods/whatever to ease the withdrawal of the klonopin (aside from cillakat, who's been gracious enough to answer some q's of mine through messaging)?

    With that said, my diet is fairly primal, lots of meat, fish, eggs, and tons of veg and some fruit. I supp with fish oil, vit. d, probiotics, vit. c, magnesium. However, on a daily basis I'll eat oats, beans, and wheat bread, and occasionally a soda. I'm also really active, I work as a hospital transporter 5 days a week where I'll walk 10-15 miles in an 8 hour shift and I get in 1-2 sprint sessions a week as well as weights 2 times a week too.

    There's the dirty, nasty truth . ANY questions, just shoot. And seriously, any help from you guys would be sincerely appreciated.

    The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.

    -George Carlin

  • #2
    The mental fog will only happen if you decide to go low carb. If you're pretty active and not trying to lose weight or even if you are trying to lose weight there's really no reason to go that low carb so don't worry about getting the brain fog. It sounds like what you're doing diet wise is pretty good. if you want to ease into it I would ditch the wheat bread first since that's probably the worst offender or just get rid of the bread, beans, and oats and replace it all with extra fruit and sweet potatoes during the transition. I promise, you will only feel better, not worse! Good luck.


    • #3
      There's really no mental fog unless you're either...1. Really bad at burning mostly fat for fuel, in which case you will have to restrict carbs and it may be a little unpleasant for a few days, or not. Usually it is the very overweight people who experience the most fog. I don't even know if you want to go very low carb 2. Highly addicted to the opioids in wheat and oats. If you have psychological problems I would definitely get off the grains as soon as you can. If you want more carbs at least make it yams or potatoes, anything but grains. Bleh to them. 3. A former vegetarian who hasn't eaten meat in a very long time, has GI issues and starts eating lots of it. But that doesn't seem to be the case.
      Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

      Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


      • #4
        Aargh! Just wrote a long post and lost it! So I'll be brief:

        1) I second the giving up the grains/beans/soda comment. If you feel you need more carbs, go for yams/sweet potatoes or more fruit. But I didn't experience any brain fog. If anything, I'm finding I have improved focus and memory.

        2) Add in lots of fats. Especially coconut oil! Fat is great for mood stabilization. I like magnesium for mood and sleep too. Let this lifestyle support you as you make the transition off of klonopin instead of thinking it's going to compound the difficulties. I think the reason we're all so active on these boards is that we genuinely feel better living this way. If I was finding it difficult or unpleasant, I wouldn't be living this way even if I knew it were the healthiest way of living, because I'm the kind of person who needs instant gratification.

        3) Don't let the cost of organics, etc, deter you from starting. Start with the big things, like cutting out grains, and then fine tune as the momentum gathers. Mark says this too. If you'd told me I'd have to give up my oh-so-convenient Tilpaia 6 weeks ago, I would not have appreciated it. After 6 weeks of living primally, I don't want to put farmed fish in my body. But I wasn't ready for that step then. So as soon as I finish what I've got on hand, it's wild fish FTW for me.

        4) For anyone who suffers with depression and anxiety, I recommend "When Panic Attacks" and "Feeling Good" by Dr. David Burns, two great books on cognitive behavioral therapy. For anyone unfamiliar with CBT, it's based on the idea that our thoughts determine our moods, so if we can control our thoughts (and people who have depression and anxiety often have really dark ones!), we can change our moods. It takes practice but it works. I think it is at the very least a great adjunct treatment to medication, and often times more effective than medication. I think it's even helpful for some of the more biologically-based mental health problems like bipolar. I think CBT is very primal!

        Good luck to you!
        Last edited by superdeluxe; 07-03-2010, 09:21 PM. Reason: bad spellink
        Il faut vivre et non pas seulement exister.


        • #5
          Thanks guys!!!! I love the idea of replacing the wheat/beans/oats with potatoes, yams, and more fruit to transition. Sweet potatoes are one my favorite carb-laden food, guess this didn't really occur to me.

          I also forgot to mention that over the past few months I've become more and more sensitive to lactose and dairy in general. I cut it out and I was able to come down a bit more on the Klonopin. Look's like wheat is the next thing to go.

          superdeluxe: thanks for the book rec's, I'll check them out. I've been working with a close friend of my girlfriend's (Ph.d. in Cognitive Nueroscience) on CBT and deep abdominal breathing. Seems to really be helping.

          The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.

          -George Carlin


          • #6
            You should message or post on MolecularGrokologist's "Ask a Biochemist" thread or pm him for effects of PB & coming off your medicine.

            It sounds like you are making a lot of positive changes in your life right now and this community will be supportive. Good luck!


            • #7
              There's a book called the diet cure that I'm reading that gives advice on psychological issues, drug, alcohol and sugar addiction. Amino acid therapy might help with anxiety and withdrawal/craving issues with regards to alcohol and sweets for example. It talks about how brain chemistry is altered which leads to a person going for quick fixes that supply the brain with energy, serotonin, feel good chemicals etc. Apparently 5-HTP and L-glutamine feed the brain, chromium regulates blood sugar control and B vits (and other supps are supposedly good like kudzu). I think amino acid and chromium therapy could at least help with the alcohol cravings and energy.

              I'm no expert but I think you should look into it, it could help.
              "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian


              • #8
                A good tablespoon of cod liver oil in the AM and PM will help alot with reducing anxiety and promoting a calm nervous system, reducing depression. Add that in with cutting out grains and following PB advice on sleep and exercise and you should start noticing a difference in a couple of weeks.


                • #9
                  yes, the amino acid therapy works wonders. I was able to get off of refined sugar and artificial sugar following the advice of "the diet cure".
                  Also for the sweet potatos.....this rocks........take your potato after it is cooked and slice open, put coconut oil in it and sprinkle cinnamon over that.........delish!!!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PeaceMachineGun View Post
                    However, on a daily basis I'll eat oats, beans, and wheat bread, and occasionally a soda.
                    Ditch these and replace with sweet potatoes, other fruit and veg as noted above (though not too much fruit), and some extra fat (if you're able to do dairy, butter and heavy cream are super!), and you'll be on your way.

                    Welcome and good luck to you... sounds like you're on a positive, healing path.


                    • #11
                      Hey All,

                      Thank you so much for the great advice, it is much appreciated. I'll give Julia Ross' book (The Mood Cure) a re-read in regard to some of the sugar craving's because I think I'll be going through this, I have before when trying to get it out of my diet. I'm also toying with GABA, Taurine, Glycine, and Inositol as an adjunct to everything else I'm doing to help with the Klonopin reduction.

                      Major +1 to the cod liver oil idea, I already take Natural Factors Liquid Fish Oil, about 1500mg EPA and 750mg DHA per teaspoon, once a day.

                      Today actually, was the first day in recent memory that I didn't have a cup of coffee (my cups are usually strong too). I know at this stage in the game with my Klonopin reduction I need to nix almost all caffeine, save maybe green tea a few times a week. It's just affecting me too much, too jittery, etc.

                      And MAJOR +1 to the Sweet Potato/Coconut Oil idea, I'm trying it to tomorrow!

                      Thanks again guys, it feels great to know there is support out there, other than a psychiatrist pushing more drugs in your face (which really isn't support at all I guess, lol).

                      The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.

                      -George Carlin