Addictions

Submitted by Quizure on
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My partner and I have recently drastically changed our diet. We've dropped all grains, seeds and legumes and all refined carbs (sugars) from our diet. Essentially a Primal/Paleo diet. The changes for me have been astounding. Numerous nagging little complaints I've had over my life have vanished. IBS completely resolved. Lactose intolerance, gone! My vision is better, colors are brighter. Naturally sweet fruit tastes way sweet now. My BP has lowered significantly. (From Good to "fantastic!")

What was interesting was the first few weeks on the diet. My partner was going crazy! Hungry all the time, even when he was stuffed full. Craving sweets and carbs - especially things like pancakes, pastry, donuts, which we never had that often, so it seemed strange. He kept saying "I don't think I can do this. I can't think of anything else." He was waking up at night, hungry. He couldn't sit still, and was restless in bed - tossing and turning, and crabby, very crabby, and brain foggy - which he's normally sharp as a tack. We'd read that some people have it harder than others, so we just kept at it, hoping that it would pass. And eventually it did, but it took nearly a month of daily, constant struggling and misery. Two weekends ago, we went through our pantry and kitchen and gave away 100's of lbs of food that we could no longer eat - anything with added sugar, legumes or grains. It was very painful for us. Out went the organic whole grain flours. The brown basmatti rice. The raw sugars, the organic oats. I felt like I was throwing away half of my identity doing this.

Last night I was going through my blog feeds, and ran across this article about wheat's addictive/opiate/exhorphin nature (for some folks.)

http://www.trackyourplaque.com/blog/2009/05/hey-buddy-wanna-buy-some-exo...

I would never have guessed that it could be an addiction to wheat. But a freshly baked loaf of bread is like a siren's song to me. I'm an excellent cook, and I'm known for my baking skills - especially yeast breads, cookies, and pies. My family begs for them. We do Xmas & Thanksgiving every year at our house, and the breads and baked goods are the highlight. Now, well, I don't know what I'll do. I've been their dealer / pusher for years. I was a food porn queen!

Anyway, I'm thrilled that my health is leaps and bounds better, but I'm melancholy that all these baking skills I've acquired over the years are now rendered worse than useless.

Quizure

Comments

Thanks for sharing

We don't do wheat either and very little other grain anything, but nuts too? Geeze, surely our ancestors ate nuts. In fact, in one study Gary saw nuts were the key variable in greater longevity across many cultures.

Yeah, I can relate to the baking sadness. To make wheat-free bread, I bought a bread-maker a few years ago. It's gathering dust.... *sigh*

Seeds, Nuts and Testosterone

The idea here is due to toxic/reactive lectins, something that's there to prevent other critters from eating them - a slightly toxic (or highly toxic, depending) outer coating on seeds or beans or grain. A true nut has a hard shell, and very little 'bad' lectins. Lectins are the things in grains and legumes and seeds that make them anti-nutritional, and lead to leaky-gut. Pecans, Almonds, Macadamias, Hazelnuts are examples of 'good' nuts. Cashews, are less safe - the outer coating of the cashew is poison and the nuts have to be treated to be safe. Peanuts are legumes, so they go out with the beans. Raw peanuts are poison to critters - squirrels will get sick, and lose their fur in patches if you feed them a lot of raw peanuts. Cooking makes them less poisonous.

So most vegetable oils are out (canola, soy, corn) - nut oils are in - Olive & Coconut are the oils I use to cook with now.

We have found a *really* yummy way to make coconut almond waffles that are fantastic with strawberries or blueberries.

I have a dusty bread machine, too.

This is one of the best explanation of lectins and how they affect us I have found: http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

There is evidence that some uncommon ways of preparing natural grains can be made much less toxic: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-to-eat-grains.html

Regarding the general addiction pathways - do you think it would be tougher to 'kick' one opiate type addiction if you were also currently addicted to another one? If two make it harder, then I wonder if some folks who have a longer more difficult recovery from porn are also in the 30% who are super-sensitive to wheat/grains?

And while I'm at it, since I want to hear about some dragons being artfully slayed -

http://paleohacks.com/questions/17035/jack-up-your-testosterone#axzz1O3i...

Quizure

Goddesses like inspiring men to conquer dragons.
-Marnia

Coconut waffles

Heat Waffle Iron to medium-high. (Mine is a non-stick square Belgian machine)

3 Eggs
1 can (14oz) full-fat coconut milk - Thai Kitchen and Savoy are two brands I've used. (Don't get low-fat!)
3/8 c almond meal (TJ's or Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 c coconut flour (Bob's red mill or Let's Do Organics)
1 c finely shredded *unsweetened* coconut (Bob's Red Mill)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon Penzy's Cake Spice (This is a mix of sweet spices.)
1 teaspoon baking powder (I use a wheat-free one)

Beat the eggs and coconut milk together. Add everything else and stir well. Let set a few minutes to hydrate the coconut.

Bake in the iron for 2 to 3 'cycles' - opening between cycles to let out the steam.

In my machine this makes 8 4" square waffles, or two fillings of the machine.

Quizure

Goddesses like inspiring men to conquer dragons.
-Marnia

What...

do you eat? Meat, fish, eggs, vegetablees, tubers and fruits? Dairy, too?

Thanks for sharing your experiences, I cut out grains, sugar and carbs, too and experienced heavy withdrawal symptoms. Life seemed (seems) no longer worth living without it.

beef and water.

I'm paleo at heart, that's where it all began. I initially cut out grains and most nuts, traded sunflower for coconut oil, and uped my fat intake to get about 60% of calories from nice good ol' saturated fats. I then cut out dairy and nightshades and switched from potatoes to yams. Then I found theBear (http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=287013&page=1&pp=15 ) and dropped everything except beef steak and water.

I've been (close to) zero carb for about 4 weeks now. In the beginning I would eat fatty rare steak and eggs (lots of eggs) cooked in beef tallow (I make my own by rendering beef suet). Then I dropped the eggs because they became hard to digest. I've been carving my way through a beef brisket for a week now. I bought it at walmart for $32 (14 pounds of fatty meat). According to the nutrition label, the whole thing has around 24000 calories, which is a nice 10 day worth of calories for me. That's $3.2 per day eating only steak. And I thought this lifestyle would be expensive.

For the first three weeks I felt some withdrawal symptoms but not much because I had been paleo for a few months before. What I did feel was like I fell asleep ok one night and woke up stupid the next morning. Things I used to pride myself on catching, became fuzzy and complicated. It was my brain adapting to a different fuel (ketones). I am probably almost 100% back to normal and expect the 110% (the brain is supposed to function better when it gets most energy from ketones rather than glucose). No more mood swings (insulin affects mood very much like orgasm).

Yeah, I am also in paleo...

Yeah, I am also in paleo... for half a year now. Dropped out grains and dairy at first, then nightshades. Used buckwheat at first as a substitute combined with a lot of saturated fat from animal products, vegetables and fruits. Noticed that I craved too much carbs and discovered that they aren't good. Tried out to mainly rely on meat. I don't find enough fatty beef here in germany so it is quite difficult to do this.

I know how you feel when adapting to ketosis, I tried to switch and experienced the same. Couldn't articulate myself anymore. But once you are adapted it is indeed the better form of energy supply, since you don't experience those up and downs and have a constant supply of highly efficient fuel.

Do you already have this feeling of having a clear mind and feeling to be free of food addictions? I think it must be a relief to see food as nothing more than optimal fuel without being hungry all the time. I always see people "grazing" things like fast food, baked goods, nuts, fruits and sweets and I hate to be dependend on this unnatural eating habit.

Ha, "the bear" was a cool guy.

@Quizure: What does your diet look like?

Yeah, I know how it is about

Yeah, I know how it is about the fat. You can hardly find anything fatty these days. That's why I liked the brisket, because they didn't trim the fat away, they just basically give you the whole shoulder of the cow.

I wouldn't say I'm completely clear minded yet, I would give it a few more weeks until then. But I do function ok - just had my master's defense yesterday and it went very good (my 88 day PM free streak definitely helped - thanks Marnia and people around this website for helping me with this).

Have you tried to make pemmican? That would be a good way of adding fat to lean meat. I'm in the process of making some myself, but I don't have a food dehydrator right now so I'm trying my best with the oven.

Congratulations

on your academic prowess!

Here's my meat question: Wouldn't Walmart meat be full of shaky hormones?

Bears don't just eat meat, right? I mean, they're famous for eating picnic baskets. Smile

Thank you, Marnia

At least the polar bear is a carnivore.

According to theBear "cows are NOT generally 'injected with hormones' nowadays due to stringent restrictions on residues in beef exports (usual is to feed a growth supplement for a period and withdraw it well before slaughter), and even those who were, do not have any residues by the time of slaughter, the hormones, which are bovine, do not effect humans anyway- and the amount which is active in the animal is so slight in the relatively small portion you would eat as to be measured in nanograms. Hormones are not like LSD (effective in micrograms), and it requires a significant amount to have any effect at all - that is- if the hormone is a human one, which is not the case with the bovine ones."

He also had an interesting take on "organic" meat:
"All meat is 'organic'- you cannot feed cattle (or other food animals like chickens) on chemicals like you can plants.

Paying the premium (often twice the usual amount) for so-called organic meat is like piling up your hard earned and setting fire to it- it is just plain dumb. Actually most organic meat is tough, lack a proper marbling of fat and has nothing to recommend it over normal beef in the nutrition department- save your money so you can buy more food with it.

Sheep bison and cattle are grass eaters. The problem with grain as food for the grass-feeding ruminants, is that the natural bacteria in each of the various 'stomachs' are not very good at digesting it. Feedlot cattle are fed a bacterial mix which replaces the normal flora with ones which can digest grain. I do not think this is a particularly good idea, but it in no way damages or lessens the nutritional value of the resulting meat."

You can never be sure though, so that's one thing I have to keep in mind.

grain-fed meat has a higher

grain-fed meat has a higher omega-6 to 3 ratio and is thus inflammatory if eaten in large amounts. There is also a greater chance of harmful e.coli bacteria in the meat if it comes from grain fed cattle since their gut flora changes to an acid environment, which also kills them and they would surely die of organ failure if they wouldn't be killed before. CAFO animals live a stressful life which surely will be reflected in the meat quality, they also get a lot of pesticide loaden and gmo grains which will concentrate in the fat tissue.

Gras-Fed meat in contrast is higher in nutrients, beneficial fats and lower in toxins. So it's not always organic which is important (while organic may be better in many ways, for example better treated and fed more gras) it is gras-fed that matters most.

A high-grain diet can cause physical problems for ruminants—cud-chewing animals such as cattle, dairy cows, goats, bison, and sheep. Ruminants are designed to eat fibrous grasses, plants, and shrubs—not starchy, low-fiber grain. When they are switched from pasture to grain, they can become afflicted with a number of disorders, including a common but painful condition called “subacute acidosis.” Cattle with subacute acidosis kick at their bellies, go off their feed, and eat dirt. To prevent more serious and sometimes fatal reactions, the animals are given chemical additives along with a constant, low-level dose of antibiotics. Some of these antibiotics are the same ones used in human medicine. When medications are overused in the feedlots, bacteria become resistant to them. When people become infected with these new, disease-resistant bacteria, there are fewer medications available to treat them.

1) The first negative consequence of a feedlot diet is a condition called "acidosis." During the normal digestive process, bacteria in the rumen of cattle, bison, or sheep produce a variety of acids. When animals are kept on pasture, they produce copious amounts of saliva that neutralize the acidity. A feedlot diet is low in roughage, so the animals do not ruminate as long nor produce as much saliva. The net result is "acid indigestion."

2) Over time, acidosis can lead to a condition called "rumenitis," which is an inflammation of the wall of the rumen. The inflammation is caused by too much acid and too little roughage. Eventually, the wall of the rumen becomes ulcerated and no longer absorbs nutrients as efficiently.

3) Liver abscesses are a direct consequence of rumenitis. As the rumen wall becomes ulcerated, bacteria are able to pass through the walls and enter the bloodstream. Ultimately, the bacteria are transported to the liver where they cause abscesses. From 15 to 30 percent of feedlot cattle have liver abscesses.

4) Bloat is a fourth consequence of a feedlot diet. All ruminants produce gas as a by-product of digestion. When they are on pasture, they belch up the gas without any difficulty. When they are switched to an artificial diet of grain, the gasses can become trapped by a dense mat of foam. In serious cases of bloat, the rumen becomes so distended with gas that the animal is unable to breathe and dies from asphyxiation.

5) Feedlot polio is yet another direct consequence of switching animals from pasture to grain. When the rumen becomes too acidic, an enzyme called "thiaminase" is produced which destroys thiamin or vitamin B-1. The lack of vitamin B-1 starves the brain of energy and creates paralysis. Cattle that are suffering from feedlot polio are referred to as "brainers."

Typically, feedlot managers try to manage these grain-caused problems with a medicine chest of drugs, including ionophores (to buffer acidity) and antibiotics (to reduce liver abscesses). A more sensible and humane approach is to feed animals their natural diet of pasture, to which they are superbly adapted. (eatwild.com)

There's a flip side to that coin

I happen to know a guy who owns a sheep farm. He's a dedicated, hard working man and takes good care of his animals.

Having a background in chemistry, when you ask him about organic, he says jokingly: of course they're organic, they're a carbon based life form.

Then he explains why he doesn't have, nor want the organic label:

1. U.S. organic standards prohibit the use of antibiotics in a medically necessary situation, and we believe it is inhumane to let one of our animals suffer when we have the capability to cure the situation under the advice of our veterinarian. For example: if a sheep gets sick with mastitis, we would treat it with the appropriate dose of penicillin, as you would with any new mother - people included! Pneumonia is another example of this. It would be cruel to let an animal suffer when you had the means to prevent it.

2. Organic feed is very expensive, but more importantly, it is very hard to come by. There is not enough production of certified organic feed (hay and grain) in the area for us to purchase and sustain our flock on this alone.

Animal abusers should be in jail. And here I include both the mean corporate guy and the one who lets an animal die just to preserve a label, when a shot of penicillin would be all it takes to cure him.

And speaking of e. coli, organic farmers use animal manure as the major source of fertilizer for their food crops and lots of bacteria lurks in there including salmonella and e. coli.

L.E. ok so you were saying grass fed is more important than organic, so the above rant is not necessarily well fitted here, but I'll just leave it

No longer worth living? WOW!

Main components are Meat (Beef, Lamb, Pork, Salmon), Eggs, green & orange/yellow vegetables, some nuts, coconut oil, olive oil and full fat dairy (Kefir, cultured butter, yogurt and Jersey Dairy Grassfed Milk products). Water, Coffee & tea & carbonated water, and occasionally wine.

Other things we 'indulge' in occasionally are 80%+ chocolates - in small quantities - probably less than 1/4 ounce 'serving' sizes. (a 3.5 ounce bar last weeks.) A drizzle of honey or maple syrup with yogurt. Bananas, berries, citrus fruit are occasional, and not daily. A little rice or potatoes (sweet or white) occasionally.

We've stayed 100% gluten free though - no cheating on that at all.

When you cut out grains, sugars and carbs, did you also dump artificial sweeteners?

Quizure

"If you can’t be emotionally engaged friends with women, I don’t see how one can ever have a serious relationship or even good sex."
--Freedom

I never ate artificial

I never ate artificial sweeteners. Yor diet sounds really great.

When I have no fruits - only meat and vegetables I get the withdrawal symptoms and there is nothing better in the world than just eating an apple, lol. We humans are so addicted to carbs in any form...

Great thread

Thanks Quizure and Goosewort. Quizure how did you manage to cut back on sugar? For the life of me I can't give up drinking a Coke or two each day. Usually I need it for the caffeine/kick in the morning (I don't drink coffee). I don't eat any artificial sweeteners -- I think they are worse than sugar or corn syrup.

Is there a good book out there on your diet? I'd like to learn more about it. It's easier for me to change if I can see books of menu ideas and snacks.

Either of you I appreciate your ideas/tips. I want to eat better. I'm guessing you both avoid whole wheat and peanut butter also? (I eat quite a bit of both).

I know we talk about porn all the time here, but I believe that eating is just as important for mental health.

Glad you find the discussion helpful wfk007

That's a very good point about eating and mental health. The insulin spike after a high carb meal is an emergency response of the body to the dangerous level of sugar in the blood (more than about 2 teaspoons of glucose in the blood would lead to diabetic coma). Yet lots of people get three of those emergency responses every single day. Talk about emotional balance under those conditions. Mark Sisson makes a compelling comparison between the lifestyle of the paleo versus modern man in his Primal Blueprint book.

Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat. Oh boy, that was a tough one to give up. Sugar is addictive. You go cold turkey on it, just like with porn, and wait through withdrawal. Don't know of any other way.

I don't like to feel deprived

so I like to have *something* around that I allow myself to eat as much as I wish of in between meals. For me, raw nuts work (pecans, walnuts). They aren't exciting, but they get better if they don't have to complete with sweetened things. Smile

Apparently, monotony is one of the best forms of weight control. And yet, funny thing, I seldom feel deprived even though I've cut out grains (which were a huge part of my diet until a year or two ago).

And yet monotony doesn't have to be boring

The nicest thing about the all meat diet is that every steak tastes just as good as the previous. Apparently, only with vegetables we need variety but not with meat. To me, this says that meat is a wholesome food by itself, whereas vegetables need to be rotated to make sure we get all the necessary nutrients.

Second, there's no hunger. Bear used to say that hunger is due to blood sugar variation, which is nonexistent on an all meat diet. You have to make a schedule to eat, otherwise there will be no hunger pangs. Plus, you just don't get fat without carbs in the diet, no matter how much steak and fat you eat (and in fact it's hard to overdo because fat is very filling). Insulin controls fat storage, and if there are no carbs, there is basically no insulin. Fat circulates through the blood until it is consumed, but never stored. The whole thing is pretty fascinating.

Ok, I'll shut up now, I'm hijacking the thread too much.