Tag Archives: resistant starch

Allergies and Gut Flora

Gut Flora

I was reading Free the Animal and Richard had a post which had a section on how taking soil-based probiotics helped his allergies. I have been following his Resistant Starch series from the beginning and had just purchased some soil-based probiotics. I had my husband, who has horrible allergies, try taking one of them a day and a week later, he was off all allergy meds. He hasn’t taken an allergy pill for over 3 days now, and Spring is his worst season. I just wanted to get this out there for any of you who have allergies!

I am crazy busy at work (tons of overtime!) and my husband and I are starting a huge new project out of work, so I don’t have a lot of time to research this further, but go over and see what Richard has to say about it. Sorry I haven’t been around much, but hopefully soon I can start writing all of those posts that I have in my head! 🙂

 

Hair as an Indicator of Health

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Not too long ago I had very thin hair; I was using the flat iron a lot and eating the government sanctioned “healthy diet”. I was probably about 45 years old when I was at dinner with the family and one of my sisters mentioned that my hair was getting thin. She had just gone through a thin hair period (it runs in the family), and I’m pretty sure she fixed it with Rogaine or something like that.

I didn’t really do anything about it right away; I think I started taking gelatin and biotin supplements, but I tend to take supplements pretty haphazardly. A few months later I got a horrible haircut; I had been going to this girl and she was really great, and my hair looked awesome, but this time she butchered my hair. She took off about four or five inches and did something with my side bangs that just ruined that entire side of my hair. My husband was not happy with how short it was at all, and this was when I started concentrating on my hair in earnest.

Searching, the most common thing I read about growing hair was drinking bone broth, so I started making that. Just prior to this I had discovered saturated fats and animal fats and was experimenting with those. Seriously, saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, bacon fat, etc) changed my life. My body and brain LOVE them. I’m drinking coffee with raw heavy cream right now!

During this search and research, I discovered the Paleo/Primal Diet, and whereas I don’t religiously stick to it now, it really pretty much changed my life, too. Cutting out most of my carbs eventually cut out most of my inflammation. Before, I was mostly vegetarian, and after I was mostly carnivore. Not “you are what you eat” (who wants to be a grain or vegetable?) but “eat what you are” (you are an animal!).

For thick healthy hair, there is only so much you can do on the outside to help: you can quit using high heat appliances, you can oil your hair, you can only shampoo twice a week with a sulfite free shampoo and conditioner, you can go No Poo, but eventually you have to go to the source of the problem. You have to fix your body before you can fix your hair. If your body isn’t healthy, your hair probably won’t be either. A lot of hair is genetic, but if you give your body the necessary building blocks, you can maximize your hair growth.

I tried to use my flat iron as little as possible, and I thought that it was the main culprit as far as my thin hair went, and it did help, but I needed more. I was making bone broths and using them for soup but I didn’t really think of using them as lunch until I discovered intermittent fasting (IF), and broth fasting. I don’t constantly IF, though; I go on spurts of IF, resistant starch, and eating whatever leftovers that I happen to bring from home for lunch. I eat a full regular dinner with my husband each evening.

So, what is my current regimen? Monday morning I wash and blow-dry straight (I have very curly hair that is easier to straighten than it is to make the curls behave). Tuesday I use a YouCurl curling iron (I curl my hair in only three parts: back, and both sides for larger curls) to reduce bedhead ; it is damaging, but since it’s not used near the roots like a flat iron, it doesn’t thin your hair. Wednesday and Friday I shampoo and blow-dry, and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I use the YouCurl. Sometimes I wear a hat on Sundays, LOL.

The evenings before shampoo day, I will oil my hair with either coconut oil or Argan oil or both. Every day after drying/curling, I use a tiny amount of pomade (wax) from either Pantene or Herbal Essences to make my hair less static and look more polished. The main reason I don’t shampoo every day is because I do more damage to my hair when I do. I looked for a dry shampoo to try, but I couldn’t find one, and then decided that I didn’t want to put any chemicals on my scalp. I’ve heard you can use baby powder or baking soda, but I’m not that adventurous.

Recently, I have been taking a couple of tablespoons of Blackstrap Molasses before bed with the zinc and magnesium supplements that I take to sleep (excellent sleep aid!). Molasses is also good for sleep like raw honey is. The honey didn’t seem to help my sleep, but I’ve been sleeping like crazy with the Molasses.

To improve the gelatin in my bone broth, I have been getting chicken feet at the Asian Market to add to my chicken broth and I have been getting cow hooves, feet, and tendons for my beef broth. My hair is now nice and full, and I only have another four inches to grow it before it will be the perfect length. The funny thing is that before starting on bone broth, both my husband and I were going gray, but after, both of our hair went back dark. I hardly have any gray right now and I’m in my early fifties.

Everyone remarks on how young we both look, and I’m pretty sure it is the collagen and gelatin (and minerals?) in the broth. I think it is helping our bodies resist “going south”. When you get to our age, and I’m in the middle of menopause, which doesn’t help at all, everything starts to sag. There really isn’t any way to stop this, but I think that broth helps retard the process. With a good diet, lots of broth, tons of squats, kettlebell swings, and some weight training, you can be in really good shape well into old age.

Fat Burner

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I am absolutely addicted to the raw heavy cream that we get at this adorable little dairy in a town near us. It’s not even worth drinking coffee without it; I’m only drinking coffee right now to keep in practice for Friday, when I will be reunited with my cream. Not only does it taste so good, creamy, smooth, and sweet, but my brain really seems to need the fat.

Every once in a while, I’ll try life without cream, usually trying to skinny up for a meetup like Vegas and now Mardi Gras. The jury is out on whether or not reducing my calories by 350-400 per day and fat intake of 35-40 grams a day does any good at all in skinnying me up because frankly, I haven’t noticed any difference in the past few weeks of any sort of size change.

I have noticed a huge difference in my brain function. I noticed this the last time I tried it in late September, but the change wasn’t as noticeable for some reason, perhaps because I’ve been eating a lot of resistant starch in the form of cooked (in bone broth) and cooled parboiled white rice and properly soaked and fermented lentils cooked in broth with ham. These meals are higher carb and have a lot lower fat than I usually eat.

A few days after I quit the heavy cream, I got really manic. Really manic, like bouncing off the walls manic. Gibbering, mind and mouth going a million miles an hour manic. Then my moods started swinging: thrill, angst, doom, excitement, and the roller-coaster of emotions zooming up and down. Now, there aren’t so many emotions but I feel like I’m getting a migraine, and I haven’t had one of those in a long time.

I’ve been eating coconut oil to try to soothe my brain, and it sort of works, but it doesn’t work nearly as well as cream. I was going to use butter in my coffee, but the only butter I had around was salted. Luckily, Thursdays and Mondays are the days to go on a cream run, so I’ll have some for my coffee Friday. Whew!

Frankly, I’m done trying to get resistant starch. I haven’t noticed any differences there either. I’m not sure what to look for either, but I’m willing to bet that if I take Deep Strength’s advice and let my diet stabilize, I will be a lot better off. So, I’m done with resistant starch. It’s something that I will acknowledge and store in the back of my mind, but I’m going back to high saturated fat with meat, broth, whatever veggies that don’t hurt me, and the occasional carb or two.

Current Diet and Exercise

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I’ve been on Dr. Illusion’s one meal a day plan for just over a week (except Saturday when I had a humongous piece of chicken in addition to my regular meal), and it’s funny because I’m no longer hungry for lunch. If I do get hungry, I’ve found that a cup of hot green tea (no sweetener) usually takes care of my pangs. For the last few years I often only have a cup of homemade bone broth for lunch or maybe even a cup of raw whole milk.

It’s just such a pain to have to figure out what to take to work for lunch, and there’s no way I’m blowing $8 on some greasy take out or fast food. I’m super hungry for dinner, which is the only meal my husband eats anyway, so I might eat an entire T-bone with some rice. That meal, some heavy raw cream in my coffee for breakfast, and a few beers at the bar pretty much takes care of my daily caloric needs.

Tonight I have planned a dinner of two strip steaks cut in thin strips and marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, stir fried in coconut oil with onions, garlic, peas and some rice I made yesterday flavored with turmeric, ginger and cumin. Since I cooked and cooled the rice, it will have a lot of resistant starch, so I will just throw it in at the last minute to warm it up because I’ve read (I don’t know where – it was a while ago) that you can heat a starch up to 120F before it starts to reduce the RS.

I also have some homemade yogurt to plop on top of the rice – the flavor goes so well with the turmeric and cumin. So yummy; we had a tester of the stir fried rice last night with some ribeyes that I pan fried with coconut oil after marinating in bourbon.

I have started in earnest, an exercise routine that seems to be working well for me. My husband found me the most adorable little 15lb kettlebell, so I have started doing some swings with it. I’m starting out slow because I’m old and don’t want to hurt myself. I’m doing the swings that start in a squat with the KB between my legs, swing the KB up to the ceiling (narrowly missing the ceiling fan – yay for 9ft ceilings) and swing back down to the squat. If the soreness in my abs and upper shoulders is any indication, it is a good workout.

I’m also doing a bunch of squats for my butt. Squats work so fast! Seriously, a week after I started doing them, my butt was noticeably rounder. It was amazing. I’m still using the ancient SoloFlex in rotation with the other exercises, and it is set up for my husband, so it is really hard to push that bar upward.

That and a little work with a couple of 10lb dumbbells is the extent of my workout. I’m not looking to really reduce much (if I did that would be great) but I want to reshape a few areas. Mostly I want to smooth out my waist area and inner thighs, which are looking a little droopy 😦 I might even resort to doing a few lunges or even invest in a Thigh Master (LOL;jk).

Gut Flora

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Here’s a good health reason to kiss skinny people.

After all, gain or loss of weight changes gut flora, obese individuals have damaged gut flora, and trading gut flora between fat and lean animals, trades weight gain/loss behaviors.

I’ve been fascinated with bacteria’s role in the body ever since I discovered how they work in helping digest food, etc. Even my failed experiment playing with resistant starch taught me that you needed bacteria in the colon & the colon likes RS.

I’ve been making my own yogurt for quite a few years but that only provides the bacteria that came with the original yogurt starter. There are something like 2000 species of gut bacteria & yogurt provides about 5 of them.

I do go to the Asian market & get Kimchi. I would make my own, but I think it’s best to get some of the bacteria from sources outside my house. Also, if you can find an authentic Mexican restaurant, they will generally ferment their salsa. You can tell by how bubbly & carbonated it is. If it doesn’t pop on your tongue it isn’t fermented.

And you know what else is fermented? BEER! My favorite food! Of course the stuff I quaff has been stripped clean of anything beneficial, but I would like to start making my own soon.

The article goes on to say how to obtain sources of beneficial bacteria & it contains a lot of suggestions like: DON’T WASH YOUR HANDS SO DAMN MUCH! You know, like maybe quit sanitizing everything so much. Dig in the dirt, grow your own veggies & herbs & then don’t wash them before eating them raw.

This is why you should kiss skinny healthy people – they generally have the proper gut bacteria to process their food & not become obese. They are probably not eating a ton of the foods that reduce gut flora in the first place like highly processed crap in a box/bag.

Sources of Bacteria to Repair Damaged Gut Flora

* We must eat new bacteria in order to replace bacterial species lost by antibiotics or unhealthy diets.
* Probiotics — specialized bacteria that grow in milk products
* Spices and herbs — plant products abundantly contaminated with bacteria that digest plants
* Fresh vegetables — bacteria are on the surfaces of plants unless the vegetables are cleaned or cooked
* Fermented foods — Bacterial growth leading to acid or alcohol production has beed used in the preparation and storage of many foods and provides a rich bacterial resource.
* Environment — Bacteria are transferred to our hands and face from other people, pets and surfaces, unless hands and the body are continually washed. Sanitizers and frequent washing of hands and surfaces eliminate acquisition of environmental bacteria to repair damaged gut flora. Social isolation and hygiene block repair of gut flora.
* Replacement — experimental replacement of damaged with healthy gut flora (fecal transplant) has been very effective in curing many diseases without significant risks, but is restricted by the medical industry.

The Drinker’s Diet

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Ever since I discovered the hangover curative properties of butter and subsequently eliminated almost all grains, starches & sugars from my diet, whenever anyone pointed out the oddity of my eating a bunless burger I simply stated that I was saving all my carbs for beer. Little did I realize that I was doing the absolute correct thing (subject to change because everything changes).

After completely screwing up my entire system trying a potato diet for 3 days, I continued to experiment with resistant starch in an attempt to colonize my colon with beneficial bacteria. I look terrible: my body is kind of puffy, I haven’t lost the 10lbs I gained on the potato diet, I feel like crap, etc. SCREW RESISTANT STARCHES! No more. I’m going back to eating meat, fat & veggies. I’m once again saving all my carbs for beer.

After announcing this on Twitter, I joked about a Drinker’s Diet, but then I remembered there was one back in the olden days: The Drinking Man’s Diet.

The Drinking Man’s Diet is almost exactly like mine:

“Did you ever hear of a diet which was fun to follow? A diet which would let you have two martinis before lunch, and a thick steak generously spread with Sauce Béarnaise, so that you could make your sale in a relaxed atmosphere and go back to the office without worrying about having gained so much as an ounce? A diet which allows you to take out your favorite girl for a dinner of squab and broccoli with hollandaise sauce and Chateau Lafitte, to be followed by an evening of rapture and champagne?”

Except that I generally don’t drink lunch while working, but I could totally go for the hollandaise and rapture part! There’s even a sample menu! Sounds Fab! Then of course when doing a search for it, LiveStrong pops up with the most ridiculously unenlightening article about how drinking is BAAAAAAAAAADDDDDD!!!!! Every LiveStrong article is some inane bullshit that doesn’t inform; it just takes up bandwidth & time.

Then I found this delightful site: Drink your Carbs. Awesome! I have a few very very minor quibbles, but for the most part I cosign:

If you are ready to get started, but don’t want to spend hours studying the intricacies of Basic Drink Your Carbs, Austerity Mode and Nightmare Mode, we recommend that you begin by adopting our three simple rules. These rules are not as effective as the full Drink Your Carbs diet, but they will get you 90-percent of the way there:

  1. Avoid all deep-fried foods;
  2. Avoid all added sugar and other sweeteners;
  3. Eat nothing white (This refers to simple starch-based, white foods. Eat all the egg     whites and cauliflower you want).

They basically advocate unlimited booze & meat, which is super awesome, and they do include butter & rendered fats, but they also include industrial seed oils like canola. They do differentiate between some fats & have a list of limited fats, which are of the industrial variety.  Also, they go for low-fat dairy & all the nutrition in dairy is fat soluble, so I’ll continue on with high fat dairy. They keep talking about soy products & I think I’ll pass. Fruit, too; fruit is a treat not a staple food. Otherwise, I’m there. I’m all about it.

There are other things you find when you search for Drinker’s Diet; NexxtLevelUp has a good article on Drinking While Staying Lean, there is this site, Get Drunk Not Fat, which has calorie vs. alcohol by volume. There is a funny but critical review of The Beer Drinker’s Diet, and as always an unhelpful LiveStrong article about how alcohol is BAAAAAAAAAADDDDDD!!!!!

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My Drinking Diet consists of this:

  • Save all your carbs for beer.
  • Lubricate your hangovers with saturated animal fats (organic & grass-fed if possible – whatever).
  • Eat your meat (organic & grass-fed if possible – whatever).
  • Veggies are for flavor. Don’t worry about eating a ton of them, but they can be delicious.

I also try to eat as many bone-in meats like rotisserie or roasted chicken, ribs, etc. & then I boil up those bones for broth. It is also a good idea to eat as many organ meats as possible for the added nutrients.

I’ll let you know how this works out!

Bits & Ends

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We are looking at 2 houses tomorrow, which I used to get excited about & I would get all emotionally involved & then my hopes & dreams would get dashed upon the rocks. Not any more; I’m as hard as a diamond, now. I mean, I really want to move, but I know it is a pipe dream. Anyway, I’m torturing another realtor! Fun!

I’m still playing with resistant starch, but not really very hard. Potatoes wrecked my system for about a month & a half & rice tends to give me heartburn. Well, actually it didn’t before, but then the other night I misguidedly ate a street-vendor hotdog that gave me MASSIVE heartburn & now heartburn seems to happen easily. It’s enough that I’m seriously considering going back to eating bits of meat floating in broth & butter. (Damn, that sounds good!)

My job is totally hectic right now – the first month of the year is my busy time, so I’m not sure how much time I’m going to be spending here in the near future. Of course, I only work 4 days a week now, but that actually adds stress, somehow. I’m meeting friends from high school (lol, we are crazy old, too) for a couple of beers Thursday, which should be fun, but actually added stress because last night my car exploded. Well, some sort of shaft thingie exploded. Hell, I don’t know.

A friend at work is fixing it for me & it is going to cost $60 for the part & he is going to charge $20, which means I’m going to have to force another $40 on him so that I don’t feel like I’m taking advantage because I totally am. Taking advantage. Use & abuse.

I’m still taking Zinc to ward off uncontrolled vaginal bleeding & I’m kinda worried about ODing on it because I’m taking way over the recommended amount (150 to 225MG daily), but when I slack off I start bleeding again. I would contact my OB/GYN but he is super surgery-happy & I’m super keep-all-my-parts-happy.