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Thread: AbstractPersona's primal life! page

  1. #1
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    Red face AbstractPersona's primal life!

    Primal Fuel
    List of health improvements on the second post

    I was sick for half a decade, and I kept trying, and trying to make my diet healthier. Low fat SAD. After a year of being particularly strict with my diet, because of gallbladder issues (or rather, having gallbladder issues because I ate very low-fat SAD), it finally got so bad I couldn't eat more than a small 6 ounce meal per-day, and I couldn't stomach more than 4oz of water, yes, per-day! Even so I'd still get sick and vomit bile, bile, and more bile, every night, all night long until sunrise, until I finally passed out from exhaustion, woke up mid-afternoon, tried to eat a tiny meal to get my strength back, and started vomiting again. My stomach and esophagus felt like hard plastic because it was so irritated all the time.

    Mid April I had to go to the ER because it was even worse than usual, I hadn't slept at all for a few days because of the pain. The medical staff wanted to remove my gallbladder right there and then, but they said I couldn't have surgery because my hyper-thyroid (grave's disease) was so out of control, surgery would be too dangerous.
    I was in the ER from morning until late at night, and after rest and medication, my heart rate and only decreased to 180 bpm. And the only food they gave me, as I left? Cheerios, in almond milk, to avoid that dratted cholesterol in fat-free milk

    My mother-in-law bought me some groceries. (I have no family nearby, and the boyfriend was out of state.) She read some alternative medicine books which said I should eat low fat and mostly vegetables. Unfortunately, that's what I'd already been doing for years. But anyway, she stocked my fridge with lots of vegetables, which was nice since I'd been housebound and unable to go grocery-shopping, but I kept telling her it was a waste of money because I wouldn't be able to eat them (vomiting).

    The next day, my own mother visited me. By surprise. She had no idea I was sick or that I'd been in the emergency room the day before, I was hiding it from my family for years. I didn't want my family to know how I was, I thought being sick meant I was lazy, good for nothing, worthless, and I didn't want them to be ashamed of me.
    My mom had brought lots of good food from back home: dried cod fish, pulled pork with lots of lard that rose to the top, butter and cheese.... I felt so bad that she brought two suitcases full of that, and I wouldn't be able to eat any of it!

    But she said: "This is healthy food, there's no reason you can't eat it! People back home are much healthier and they eat this stuff all the time!".
    She's really stubborn, so she made me eat it.

    Luckily, I didn't have any grain products in the house anymore, since I'd ran out. And with my mom's butter and lard, we didn't use vegetable oils.

    With the vegetables my mother in law bought, and the meats and fats my mom brought, turns out I'd accidentally started eating Primal!


    Well, I started feeling better immediately. The two or three weeks my mom was here, I never vomited or felt pain. I started smiling and giggling instead of being depressed.
    I was impressed, and though scared it would backfire and make me worse, I decided to stick with it. But I did some research, completely befuddled about how I could be getting better even though I was eating lots of fat and cholesterol. Eventually I came across some web pages that suggested a Paleo diet for gallbladder problems. I scoffed, rolled my eyes and called it a fad. Paleo this, Paleo that, and worse, this Primal forum, with ads selling diet supplements. No wonder I was suspicious of it being a fad.

    But I kept coming back to those pages and reading more into it, and after a while, I had to admit it made sense. And I had been eating that way, and I was feeling a lot better than I had in half a decade! Eventually I felt more brave, more adventurous, and kept increasing my fat consumption even more... and now I eat about 70% of calories from cholesterol and saturated fat.

    So no gallbladder surgery for me, thank you very much.
    And no thanks to having my thyroid removed with surgery, or killed with radiation.
    After all, my hyper-thyroid my symptoms were gone after a few days of Paleo. And after being put on such a strong dose of methimazole that I started having HYPO-thyroid symptoms instead, I'm only more reassured going from hyperthyroid to hypothyroid is not a good idea. I'm doing my own research, my own blood tests, interpreting results on my own, and adjusting my dose myself.
    Once I reduced the methimazole drug (from 40mg to 5mg), the hypo-thyroid symptoms went away, and the hyper-thyroid sympoms didn't come back.

    I'm really lucky, I got to keep my gallbladder and my thyroid! I would feel so cheated if I had them removed, and found out about Paleo later on.
    I bet these idiots would also try to remove my heart if they could get away with it! They're useless!
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 06-10-2014 at 10:53 PM.

  2. #2
    abstractpersona's Avatar
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    WARNING: Too Much Information

    Here's how I lived for half a decade, until I found paleo. ✓ means it's cured.

    ✓ IBS-Diarrhea
    It was so uncontrollable I had to quit working. This is how I started having a phone phobia (panic attacks when speaking on the phone). I worked in customer support, so I couldn't leave my desk when I needed to.
    I was afraid to leave the house even to go buy milk at the corner store. I couldn't exercise, out of fear of accidents. I spent holidays at home alone because I was embarrassed to be around other people

    ✓ Gallbladder pain + vomiting
    Spent a lot of years doubled over at the sink in pain, but no vomiting. Years that I couldn't sleep because of the pain. Then suddenly I started vomiting all day and night. That lasted half a year. Now I don't get sick anymore, no pain. Unlike what doctors say, I can eat lots of fat. I eat about 70% of calories from cholesterol and saturated fat every day. What I can't eat, which they say I should, are grains, nuts, beans, and other seeds.

    Other stuff:
    ✘ My nose was always blocked since I was 16 or so, from gluten inflammation. I didn't know it at the time, but gluten started bothering me a few years before. Because my nose was blocked, I started breathing through my mouth, and now I have an overbite and crowded teeth, when I had perfect teeth before.
    ✓ Constant hunger: no matter how much I ate, I was always starving. I'd suddenly go irrational, have an argument with whoever was with me, and blame them for my hunger. Very unlike me. This was because of...
    ✓ ...Severe low blood sugar. Every time I got hungry, my vision would go black, I'd go woozy, and I couldn't see anything. I'd tremble too much and was too weak. Someone had to hold me and guide me to a seat and grab me something to eat. It took a long time until my vision came back and I stopped shaking. This started around 2007 I think.
    ✓ (More low blood sugar) At first, I started fainting in the morning after waking up. But that went away quickly. Then as an adult, it would take me half a day to wake up, regardless of how many alarms I had. I would wake up around 3 PM. When my husband had the day off, he would try to wake me up. He needed to put some food in my mouth (something that would melt), and he had to shake me. He would keep trying, but I wouldn't wake up. He had to open the windows (in the cold winter), put a wet towel on my face, pull of the blankets and sheets off me, and I still wouldn't wake up. And I'd still wake up at 3pm!
    ✓ (Also low blood sugar) Horrible nightmares that woke me up in the middle of the night. I would have to stay up after that, crying and in fear.
    ✓ Depression/suicidal. It was horrible. Every little thing made me want to kill myself right then and there. Doing the dishes made me have a meltdown, and I had to try really hard not to stab myself. After paleo, I'm always cheerful and smiling. Even if something awful happens, my eyes are always twinkling.
    ✓ Brain fog / unable to think logically (almost putting my hand in a running blender, grabbing a hot casserole from the oven with my bare hands, placing a hot pot on the floor and burning a hole).
    ✓ ... Dementia? Could not remember how to spell my name, or my age, date of birth, address, phone number. I always had someone fill out my paperwork. I also couldn't handle money (couldn't count/make change)
    ✓ In college, I'd lose consciousness randomly, for a few seconds, and not realize it (other people told me).
    ✓ Paranoia (couldn't leave the house in fear it would catch fire and my pet would die)
    ✓ Clumsiness. I tripped a lot. At home, I guided myself by holding to the walls as I walked. Outside, I closed my eyes, and held on to a friend. Things I was holding suddenly fell off my hands. Reaching for a glass, I would knock it over. I couldn't do anything right.
    ✓ Social anxiety, panic attacks
    ✓ Always too hot even in icy Maine winters. I would wear a t-shirt when it's freezing, and I'd still feel too hot.
    ✓ Whole body tremors
    ✓ Very dilated pupils; extreme sensitivity to light (it was so painful, I cried)
    ✓ Extreme sensitivity to noise that at times led to panic attacks
    ✓ Painful reaction to touch, I couldn't be hugged, caressed, or touched at all. It felt as if needle tips were being dragged over my skin.
    ✓ Migraines, had to stay in bed and every little noise and light still hurt
    ✓ Large thyroid/goiter in my neck, now it's barely noticeable (I don't expect it to go away completely.)
    ✓ Bone pain: They felt broken in half. Mostly collarbone, forearm, calves, ankles.
    ✓ Joint pain (ankles, knees, wrists). I still get knee pain if I eat grains/nuts/seeds. If I soak them like Weston Price says, it helps a lot, though. Sourdough bread is fine.
    ✓ Very swollen wrists and ankles. Until Paleo, I didn't know I had skinny ankles.
    ✓ Lost all my muscle. I take after my mom's side of the family, who are stocky with lots of muscle all over the body. I lost all the muscle and became skin and bone.
    ✓ Muscle weakness: dropping everything I picked up. A glass of water was too heavy. Couldn't do more than 5 water bottle weight lifting reps. When I moved to a new place, I was exhausted after carrying 2 paperback books inside.
    ✓ No sense of taste / smell (happened later on, at my worst). Everything tasted like metal.
    ✓ Granuloma annulare (scars on my hands and feet that go away after a few days, but are itchy and painful)
    ✓ Constant thirst, no amount of water quenched it.
    ✓ Bloody nose after waking up, and usually all day too
    ✓ Big painful sore on the left side of the top of my mouth; had this since I was a child. I no longer have it, but it comes back if I eat grains.
    ✓ Very long menstrual cycles (maybe 3 times per year. heavy, and curl-up-on-the-floor painful. Now it's 34 days apart, very light, and not painful at all.)
    ✓ Acne
    ✓ Painful dry skin that made me cry, and in the winter it would crack and bleed. I bought some silky pajamas and wore them inside out. It was the only thing that helped.
    ✓ Very irregular heart beat, really odd, varying rhythms with no pattern to them. Now it's regular.
    ✓ Very fast heart beat (over 130 bpm when sleeping, over 180 bpm if walking). Now it's generally around 60 bpm when sleeping, 90 bpm when walking, which is higher than most people, but very good for me.
    ✓/✘ Blood pressure. Now it's generally normal or borderline normal-high, which is much, much better than before, and probably average. I'd still like to get it lower, but I could do a lot more if I weren't so lazy (exercise more, be more careful with diet)
    ✓Food intolerance: now I can eat all the foods I became intolerant to in 2010 (dairy, grains, peppers, apples, lettuce, nuts, tomatoes, and a lot more I can't remember). The first year I needed to eat chicken/beef stock every day, and TwinLabs enzymes, now I don't need to. Dairy is better if raw/unpasteurized. Sometimes I can get away with pasteurized, but unpasteurized never gives me any problems. Grains need to be prepared carefully, real sourdough bread, or soaked in yogurt / raw milk. I still chose to limit grains.

    Etc: No dark circles under my eyes. I naturally wake up at 6:30-7:00 in the morning without an alarm. I get sleepy at night and fall asleep easily. Can breathe through my nose.

    A lot of these might sound ridiculous, or like I'm lying. I wish I were.
    Keep in mind I never had any problems as a child and as a teenager. I was always very healthy, without any issues. These things started happening after I moved away from my family/country, and started eating low-fat standard american diet. You know: Baked chicken breast. Steamed vegetables and boiled barley. Great, healthy stuff, right?
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 07-04-2014 at 08:36 PM.
    My smartphone makes me about $100 per month
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  3. #3
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    Too Much Information
    Not at all. Wonderful posts! Keep them coming.
    Ancestral Health Info

    I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

    Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

  4. #4
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    Friday, June 10th
    B: Egg Muffin x2
    L:
    1 and a half Maine red hot dog. I wanted something other than chicken, but chicken is all the meat I have :-/
    Tomorrow is shopping day though, so I'll try to get something nicer.
    Coleslaw (green cabbage, carrot, green onions, all sliced thin) with peanut and vinegar sauce. Peanut butter is the only thing in the house I had that was remotely "coleslaw" worthy.
    D:
    1 and a half Maine red hot dog, and rest of the coleslaw. I was hungry but not too hungry at lunch time, so kept the rest for dinner.
    Snacks:
    Ocean Spray Strawberry Kiwi juice cocktail. 30 carbs. BAM! 25g sugar. BAM! Had 1 serving over ice.
    Ingredient breakdown at FitDay.

    Exercise:
    • My planned 1.8 mile walk turned into an 1 hour walk instead, mixed slow and fast pace.
    • When I'm on the computer, reading forums, thinking about how to reply to an email, etc, I do weights (arms), crunches (easy, since I sit on a footstool), or stand up and do silly leg exercises.
    • Squats.


    Sunlight:
    30 minutes. Arm, and lower leg exposure only. 1PM.
    30 minutes. Arm exposure only. 2PM.
    30 minutes. "bathing suit" exposure. 3:30PM.
    Hope that's good enough. We're getting a few rainy days soon!


    Changes:
    • You know that fat by the armpits? There's barely any folds there anymore, it's pretty smooth chest-to-arm.
    • Since I want to go sunbathe outside, I tried on my "bathing suit": exercise shorts and a tube top.
      I still have Michelin tummy, but... apparently no back fat, and apparently I've got a waist. Interesting. Looks like I'll be buying a real bathing suit soon. The boyfriend is going to have the surprise of his life! (He's out of town for a couple of weeks)

    Paleo must mess up with your mind, because there's no way 6 pounds can make so much difference in a month.. If anything, I should be gaining weight, because of methimazole.

    Plans:
    • I'd like to stop eating dairy, after I go through what we have at home. I might still use butter.
    • I don't eat much fruit, maybe 3 servings a week. I'm going to keep eating it, because no matter how many vegetables I eat, it still seems to put me under 50g carbs a day, and that's probably not good (right?)


    Weekly Stats:



    • If you look at my caloric intake, it seems like I'm starving myself, but I'm NOT. I keep looking at that number, and feeling like I need to force feed myself. But I can't. I'm just too full! Most days I end up skipping dinner, and fasting until next morning, or eating some small snacks. I'm simply. not. hungry.
    • From my understanding, I shouldn't be too worried about Iron/Calcium levels, as the government's RDA is set very, very high.
    • Vitamin D I get through sunlight, though I might consider supplementation.
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 06-12-2011 at 06:48 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Ugh. I have 60 dollars + some spare change to buy 2 weeks worth of food. Here WAS my plan... but I'm not sure if it's going to work. *gulp!*

    Have:
    • Purple cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, frozen broccoli & cauliflower & peas.
    • Chard, Mustard greens, and spinach that are going bad all too soon (bad planning on my part)
    • One packet of ready-to-eat tuna steak.
    • Four chicken thighs.
    • Wild rice. Might eat some so I feel full/satisfied... but will it give me cravings? :-/


    Week 1:
    • Blackberries, strawberries, 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 Portobello mushroom, baby spinach, 2 red peppers, baby lettuce mix.
    • Shrimp, some kind of beef x3, salmon, 18 eggs, pork loin chops.
    • Coconut milk, pecans, cashews, tuna in olive oil, spearmint tea (I've got a sore throat, but might do without)


    Meals:
    • Pecan Salmon with Chard and mustard greens,
    • Fun salad / kitchen sink salad,
    • Coconut Shrimp Curry (for my birthday! speaking of birthdays, if people gave me the 3 dollars they spend on a birthday card... that'd be a lot of money to buy food with!)
    • Spinach, Strawberries & hard-boiled egg salad,
    • Grilled Orange Asparagus + Lime Chicken,
    • Ginger Beef + Cauliflower Rice. (hope it works with frozen cauliflower)
    • Random meal with whatever is left.



    Week 2:
    I'll just go and grab some vegetables: celery, zucchini, sweet potato, avocado, lettuce, olives.

    Meals:
    • Warm Mushroom & Pecan salad + Satay Chicken,
    • Zucchini Shrimp salad,
    • Tex-Mex beef salad,
    • Beef w/ Indian-spiced Sweet Potato,
    • Chicken with broccoli or peas and some wild rice? (*shrug* need to get rid of them)
    • Spicy Pork with Cashew Sauce + probably some glazed carrots, maybe celery.
    • Random meal with whatever is left.


    Special breakfasts / planned snacks:
    • fried egg on top of portobello mushroom,
    • berries & nut cereal + coconut milk (birthday!),
    • tuna on celery sticks,
    • tuna steak salad
    • the rest of the hot-dogs I've already cooked.
    • nuts and fruit, duh.


    Sounds doable, right? But food is so expensive here @_@ Every time I leave the grocery store I think... "Now that's what I call rape!"
    Still, the meal plan sounds yummy, doesn't it... *salivates*
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 06-10-2011 at 05:45 PM.
    My smartphone makes me about $100 per month
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  6. #6
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    Sounds delicious. Lots of the things seem, um, sorta expensive. Maybe could go with cheaper stuff. But you are the one eating it not me.
    Ancestral Health Info

    I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

    Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

  7. #7
    abstractpersona's Avatar
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    Saturday, June 11th
    B
    : Egg Muffin x1
    L: Salmon with minced pecans, broiled in butter, salt & pepper. Stir fried in butter & garlic: swiss chard, mustard greens and spinach.
    D: Leftover lunch.
    Snacks: Blackberries, pecans, coconut milk. Hot hot hot & strong strong strong brewed spearmint tea.
    Ingredient breakdown at FitDay.

    Exercise:

    • About 40 minute walk.
    • On the computer exercises: arm weights, crunches, stand-up leg "aerobics".
    • Squats.

    Sunlight:

    • 30 minutes. Arm, and lower leg exposure only. 10AM, it was slightly cloudy.
    • The cat is bugging me to let her go outside, so I guess I've got no choice but go and read a book, while she chews weeds


    Hedonist, you're right, some of the things might seem expensive... but I eat chicken breast all the time, so it's nice to have something different for a change. And it's not good to eat just chicken. I've also been eating junk for a whole year because of gallstones, so it's nice to finally eat real food. Oh, and did I mention my birthday is coming up? ;-D Got to have something yummy for my birthday!

    But turns out the shopping wasn't too bad. I got 6 chuck eye beef steaks for $3.55, I didn't even bother getting pork, I'll just get it some other week. The salmon is big enough for 2 servings, and a snack, yay! I still have about 10 dollars left, which should be more than enough for vegetables next week.

    When the boyfriend's back from annual training, we can go to the military commissary and stock up on meat, fish, and vegetables that keep well. Then we can buy some weekly vegetables at the local grocery store, and it won't break our budget
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 09-20-2011 at 11:41 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Sunday, June 12th
    B: Portobella mushroom topped with an egg, both fried in delicious butter. Eggs scented with tarragon, dill, and lots of thyme, for some iron.
    L: More like a snack, didn't feel like eating a full meal. Chicken/egg drop/vegetable soup.
    D: Still didn't feel like eating a full meal, so I had 2 hot dogs, flatbread, and cheese.
    Snacks: Apple. Coffee (half water, half 2% milk that I'm trying to get rid of).
    Ingredient breakdown at FitDay.

    Noticed that the chicken broth we bought is... 100% fat-free... I have to ask the boyfriend if that makes any sense to him. Chicken broth. CHICKEN broth. I can't let him shop, I need to look at every single thing he puts in the cart. *sigh* He always looks carefully and grabs the lowest fat product.

    Exercise: Come on! It's Sunday! Psssh!
    Sunlight: Nil. It's a rainy day.
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 06-12-2011 at 02:02 PM.
    My smartphone makes me about $100 per month
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by abstractpersona View Post
    Noticed that the chicken broth we bought is... 100% fat-free... I have to ask the boyfriend if that makes any sense to him. Chicken broth. CHICKEN broth. I can't let him shop, I need to look at every single thing he puts in the cart. *sigh* He always looks carefully and grabs the lowest fat product.
    I know what you mean. My boyfriend is extremely supportive and really does try, but he decided to make omelets this morning. We were out of cheese, so he made a quick run to the store and got more. Preshredded. I eyeballed it suspiciously...

    Ingrdients:
    Pasteurized milk
    Cheese culture
    Salt
    Enzymes
    Annatto
    Potato starch
    Corn starch
    Dextrose
    Calcium sulfate
    Natamycin
    Note: Contains milk

    Does that sound like cheddar to you?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RitaRose View Post
    Does that sound like cheddar to you?
    Ugh, it looks alright.. until the enzymes part! Not sure about "pasteurized milk". You should just be happy as long as it "contains milk"!

    But Riiiiiiiiiiiiiita, real cheese is so expensive!

    Oh, seriously, my boyfriend gets really upset with me when I get a tiny block of cheese for 5 / 6 dollars. Why can't I just buy the cheaper "cheese", like everyone else? I'm spoiled!
    Then he goes and buys a lot of "fruit" juices, and soda. Big bags of candy, chocolates also. And crackers (low-fat). Probably totals $15-$20.
    And it's all gone in a week, while my cheese is still there, ready for munching on, a month later. Yummy!
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 06-17-2011 at 12:09 PM.
    My smartphone makes me about $100 per month
    Updating my journal again after a 2 year break.

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