Monday, July 20, 2015

Tweets I liked last week- Mid July, 2015 sleep, weight maintenance,habits, and bone density

Rain in So.Cal in the summer!!! July 19, 2015
New feature: Once a week, or every other week I'll post interesting links from well curated weight maintenance, Paleo, Primal, and legit or seemingly legit science sources.

I often tweet interesting articles, so follow over on twitter if you want to read them sooner.

*I'll make every attempt not to choose tweets with triggering junk food, but sometimes, there will be. Scroll fast! ;)

Sleep: Robb Wolf, Doc Parsley will answer questions on an up coming podcast. Ask your question, it may be answered.

Hey folks! I'm doing another podcast with @docparsley about ALL your sleep questions. Send those to info @ Robbwolf dot com!!

Weight maintenance: 
A study showed a very small number of formerly obese staying at a normal BMI.

Karen's 2 cents: I think the rate is higher in certain support groups- think WW, National Weight Loss Registry, TOPS, OA, FA, Half Size Me Heather, and Tips of the Scale. I could be wrong.My BMI was around 35 or so before I lost the 70 pounds.
I found Dr. Freedhoff's blog post here. Lively discussion on Facebook here.
And yes, the look AHEAD study does have different stats, people who WERE trying to maintain their losses. This seems more realistic.

Habits: Shopping and the subconscious. Many So. Cal cities are mandating bring your own bag.
Karen's 2 cents: This is why I shop and eat from a food template. Bringing my bags or not, I remove myself from the health halo effect of marketing. Maybe I'm just wearing the grass-fed halo, but still...

Habits: Making decisions: Ask for information, not advice.
Karen's 2 cents: Yes! Information, with some of your own data =  self efficacy( n=1)

Bone Density: Great personal story from the Low Carb Dietician.
Karen's 2 cents: Bone problems run in my family. I can only start where I am and keep up my strength training, home made stock, and good gut absorption. I can't undo the yo-yo dieting from the past or my smaller frame. Better late than never!

Okay, anyone else run across any current articles?  Discuss! This is my first attempt at embedding tweets. Crossing fingers...

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Reader Question: How did I figure out my dietary macros in long term weight maintenance?

Multiple wellness factors for my macros
Great Question from our blogging friend, Ali,
RE: Macros and wellness eating higher dietary fat.

1. How did I determine my weight maintenance macros?

2. How do I maintain with fat in my diet despite mainstream recommending low fat?

Okay. Great questions. Short answers are pretty simple:

1. Short , Simple Answer Macros: I track my food intake and macros very carefully.

Action: If I trend higher on my weight, I reduce my carbohydrates, slightly.

2. Short, Simple Answer: Low level ketosis, sometimes.  Along with good glucose/insulin/ghrelin control. Eating lower carbs lends itself to a diet that has either more protein or more fat, because of the lower carbs.  I started thinking of dietary fat as "energy" and good hormone signals in menopause. Also, the lack of binge urges on a low carb approach has been lifesaving, literally.

The long answers are below: I don't just choose my macros or my dietary fat "willy-nilly"

My theory: If I look at my blood markers and how I feel, then I'll get a warning sign of heart disease, stroke, bone loss, another auto-immune disease. ( I have Hashimotos from 1997).

My Guidelines, both measurements (think blood work, scale, food tracking) and just overall wellness, sleep, and inflammation guidelines (menopause symptoms, acne, migraines) that I use, too.

Blood work guidelines (I'm very mindful of relatively silent blood markers).

1. hs-CRP, low 1 or below
2. fasting glucose, no spiking & return to baseline 1-2 hours post meal ( my average is 86, post meal)
3. HA1c, my average runs 5.2 or 5.3,
4. Triglycerides, I run around 42
5. HDL cholesterol, I run above 70
6. TSH under 2.5 , I feel better in the lower half of the range, always have.
7. Vitamin D, above 30.

 Frequency: For all but fasting glucose, I only measure 1X per year. Fasting glucose is at home via finger stick.

Scale guidelines
1. Total weight
2. Shifts and trends over time
3. Weight distribution: visceral fat vs subcutaneous
4. % body fat

Frequency: Daily weighing and tracking at My Fitness Pal.

Carbohydrates and sometimes calories*
1. Tracking at MFP
2. Looking at my carbohydrate levels over time- Apple Health App. I sync my Fitbit with Apple Health.
3. Calories* Sometimes I'll eat too low in my total intake, so I'll increase what I'm eating if my signals are not working.
4. Calories* Sometimes I'll over eat too high in my total intake due to false hunger signals- this rarely happens anymore, but I do stay mindful over binge urges. Usually, I'm eating too little. Which I also find funny since I used to be the Queen of Binge eating.
Low Carb, Higher Dietary Fat Summer 2015

 Blood pressure
1. Home blood pressure cuff
2. Blood pressure taken by medical professionals.

Frequency: 1-2 X per week with a home pressure cuff. Sometimes my blood pressure runs slightly lower than normal. Sea salt on my food will help raise it. I always find it funny since I had borderline high blood pressure while obese. Typically, I'll feel bad and have a cup of chicken broth, then feel better. No measurements required.

Wellness "I feel good parameters"

1. Good energy between 3 meals. Maybe adding in 4th meal if hiking for hours
2. Correct hunger signals.
3. Natural sleepiness at night, falling asleep quickly, sleeping solidly
4. Calm and cool even under life changing pressure, low anxiety
5. Lack of puffiness and joint pain
6. Body strength, upper body especially arm strength at the gym
7. Good core strength and balance
8. Ability to lift big bags of garden soil, cat litter, and large water cooler bottles, readily and easily.
9. Very few, infrequent menopause symptoms- hot flashes, insomnia.
10. Acne = inflammation. Almost always caused by food
11. No headaches, no migraines (30 years). With a Paleo-ish food template = no migraines, if I'm nut free.
12. No GERD. Gone with the removal of grains. How easy was that? Super simple
13. Working with my regular internist MD to monitor my health and TSH levels.

Other peoples successes

1. Attending the workshop that Sarah Fragoso and Jason Seib taught in 2012. Those attendees ate dietary fat and were quite lean and muscular.  Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson's success stories. Those regular people are just like me!

2. Attending Paleo Fx 2015. So many people had prior health and fat loss goals. They eat dietary fat, and the majority of them were quite lean and muscular, at all ages. Off many medications.

3. Reading the blogs of those who have been obese and are now following NSNG- no sugars, no grains and who also eat dietary fat. Those bloggers previously had type 2, now controlled largely by diet, sleep, low inflammatory exercise.

Okay, hope this helps. I used the scale at the start, but I use my menopause symptoms, blood work, and just overall wellness guidelines. It's very individual, so it pays to experiment yourself. Good luck!

What didn't work in the past

1. Moderating all foods and point counting at WW. At no other time did I eat so much junk food, but hey, it did fit my points values.

I hope that other people think twice about moderating grains and sugars if they have lean goals. There are many reasons not to moderate all foods- allergies, intolerance, food addiction, binge urges, disease management.

 Just being near the "Wall of WW Snacks" and watching people line up 10 deep to by highly priced, but very low in points, highly processed foods gave me too many sads. I stopped going to weigh in at WW.  I used to be on those 2 point bars like bees on honey!

Here's my opinion and 2 cents. If you are a stock holder, it is a WIN-WIN. WW makes a ton of revenue selling the packaged snacks to food addicts. That's going to be sustainable in the long run, they will always have customers. Yes, yes, stock holders will benefit.  Sigh. I can only hope the Simply Filling plan where processed foods are discouraged will take a better hold. But hey, profit margins and food addictions. They've cracked the $$ diet profits pretty well.

I was convinced that because WW was US News top diet every year that I was personally defective some how. I felt so much shame and embarrassment that I could not lose weight in my 40's at WW. ( I was successful at WW points in my early 30's, dropping 60 pounds, while binge eating). I blamed myself, wrongly. And, I failed to think for myself. Not WW's problem. Mine. Steep price to pay for not thinking for myself. I still get a case of the sads when thinking about it.  No woulda-coulda-shoulda... moving on...

If you did great on WW, yay you. A pat on the back (be sure to check your blood markers, though)

2. Not reversing my poor blood markers quickly. My hs-CRP got to be very, very high. I'm lucky I did not suffer more symptoms and poor health than I had. I wish everyone would pay more attention to their blood work. Things like walking a half marathon while fueling with Cliff bars and thinking I "earned a muffin or biscotti" had me muffin topped and in a lot of pain and my hs-CRP became 6.8 at the worst. Not smart on my part. Chronic cardio = high risk, for me.

3. Using medications to mask the symptoms of  GERD, acne, joint pain was very expensive, time consuming, painful, and the conditions always returned. NO, you do not have to have these common symptoms as a natural part of aging in many cases. Yes, many times diet can eliminate. It's not "old age", it was inflammatory processes. In my case, reversible.  I know that sometimes obesity related pain is not reversible by losing weight (think knee problems or damaged joints)

4. Moderating processed foods and having lots of hot flashes and frequent insomnia. Think protein bars, Lara Bars, Quest Bars. I know many can tolerate them, but I cannot. It would be easier traveling with them, but whole avocados or a container of coconut manna work just fine for portable travel foods.

5. Not connecting my migraines with common foods- like nuts. Whatever keeps my binge eating urges low also eliminated my migraines. Now if I have a headache, it's dehydration by accident and I can fix it by drinking water and re hydrating.

6. Not looking at my raising glucose levels. I'm a lab professional in real life. No reason other than a walk down the "denial mile" that I didn't do self testing at home. So cheap and easy compared to managing reversible type 2 diabetes. I was close to being diagnosed when I lost weight. I even bought a copy of the book  "Pre-Diabetes for Dummies" thinking I would just manage the disease .  I didn not accept I could prevent it and/or reverse it.  I can laugh at myself now at my thought processes then.

7. Not looking and catching weight gains quickly. If I can measure it, I can manage it. Critical step in long term weight management, IMO.

Hope this helps. I extended my wellness way, way beyond the scale. It's a super simple concept- eat lower carbs from non-starchy veggies, no sugars, no grains. But I do take a multidimensional approach.  The scale is not everything. I do enjoy not eating myself to a slow, progressive end. It is way less physically painful and the freedom from obesity and binge eating is nice.  I feel better!  I urge you to think for yourself, check with your doctor, make changes as needed. Your results and genotype will vary, make your macros work for you for your ages and disease states.

Have you used macros to fine tune your health?

Left, eating low fat, high processed foods May '11, Right, Eating Low Carb, higher dietary fat July '15

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Phase 1 is complete- stopping the weight gain, an example of reversing gains immediately

Oh heck NO! Stabilizing after a gain
Okay, so phase 1 is complete. I've stopped the weight gain and am now maintaining at the top of my weight range .

 I've hit my "scream weight" several times this last month. See Dr. Berkeley's article on reversing gains immediately when you reach scream weight.   The last straw came when I hit an all time high in weight maintenance at 121. Since I'm short and don't feel good at weights above 119, I've chosen to go back to a better weight maintenance range for me.

I'll always be thankful that I reverse trends and gains. Always. No need to do all the work of a major transformation just to regain back the weight. I've got the mindset, skills, measurement tools, knowledge, and food template to stay a maintainer for the rest of my life.

It takes a lot of work and effort. Feeling well is worth it.

Phase 1 = stopping the gain, maintaining my weight, eating more calories (my calorie intake went too low for a while), and sleeping better.  The extra calories are coming from protein (eggs, grass fed beef), guacamole, chicken liver, and chicken hearts. Nutrient dense. I don't think any of my readers expected to find me sitting on the beach eating Paleo treats to up my calories.... LOL ;)

Phase 2 next. Plan is:

1. Looking at my macros protein, fat, carbohydrates. I'll likely have to drop down only a small amount into the mid 30 grams of carbs a day (all from veggies) for loss. The good news is that once I get back into solid weight maintenance in the middle of my range, I can likely up my carbs to the lower 40's and maintain very easily.  Time will tell

Here are my current macros. Weight maintenance = 26% protein, 65% fat, 9% carbs. Each day may very a little.  If I start to get into the 14-15% carb range, I'll have insomnia and weight gain. No fun. The good news is, I can usually hit a 33-35 gram carb range for weight loss. Not a huge adjustment. Pretty painless, but the window is narrow.

2. Continuing to sleep well,
3. Continuing to move well,
4. Continuing to manage stress.
5. Continuing to measure and track food, movement, sleep.

Things that didn't work in the past

1.  Eating mostly whole grains since WW told me they were low in points. Do you know how much Kashi cereal I ate in the summer, with berries! due to the high fiber content and low point values? My colon hurts just thinking about it!!! I thought everyone had massive GI problems- because "High Fiber" But hey, I could make my points range just fine.  Ouch for not thinking for myself. Too bad I didn't change my plan fast when eating grains cause weight gain. Oh well, better late than never. 

2. TV watching instead of sleeping.

3. Thinking I was walking a lot at 4,000-5,000 steps a day and "earning" WW exercise points to be spent on Skinny Cow Ice cream.

4. Ack! Stress, must hide. Be everyone's doormat.  No boundaries. Poor me syndrome.

5. Ditching the scale for weigh ins and for food weighing.  I could tell myself little lies about binge eating this way. Perfect for gaining weight! So many ostrich maneuvers- head in the sand , magical thinking. Hurts to think about how much I kept myself stuck. But good not to cycle back through it again. Exhausting.

Okay. Hope you are all well and having a good summer.
Ocean St, Carlsbad, CA 7-10-15

Sunday, July 5, 2015

3 year, 4 month Weight Maintenance - a GAIN = Karma, no probably not, try your science hat

Yeah! Because I said weight maintenance was "boring" last month, karma has bitten me right in the butt and I've had a gain this month.  3 years and 4 months into long term weight maintenance

No, no, no... it's not karma, but there is some biology going on here. Butt, However, I'm not binge eating. That's cool.  Most of the weight seems to be subcutaneous- hips and yes, my rear and not in my abdominal area. Visceral fat = disease, so I still fit into my clothes and reducing my health risks. I'm NOT binge eating. That's a good thing.

Let's get to the stats.

Starting weight 187.7
Current weight: 119.8
Goal Range 113-119
Menopause: 3 years
Age 49
Height 5'1"

I do feel better in my weight maintenance range of 113-119, so I will be working on a concentrated effort to lose 2-3 pounds. There could be several root causes on the gain. And it could take the rest of the year to get it sorted. Especially if there are multiple roots. Problem solving. ID your root causes. Rule them in, rule them out, shake them all about...

Most likely causes

1. Not eating enough!!!
2. Thyroid adjustment needed?
3. Stress related
4. Natural weight plateau, I'm just one higher up.
5. Menopause, the next phase
6. Some other reason, unknown

 Root 1: Okay I never ever thought I could get to the point where I did not feel like eating enough. I have noticed a correlation on days where I'm intermittent fasting (IF) where I just don't physically feel like I can eat  enough for my activity levels. So, I won't be IF-ing for a few months solid to see if I can get some more normal hunger signals back again. Maybe IF-ing at  a normal weight is not a good idea for me. I was only IF-ing 1 to twice a week.

 Root 2: I have a few symptoms of needing a thyroid dose adjustment, but not enough to go running into my doc for a blood draw. I'll get my insurance wellness blood draw in Sept 2015. All the other times I've gone running in, convinced it's my thyroid level, and it's not. The thyroid thing has not been the root cause.

However, I've never needed a dose adjustment since 1997!!! I have no idea what to expect when I do need an adjustment. 5-10 pounds was all I lost when I got diagnosed with Hashimoto's. I probably went from 165 to 155 or so.  At a normal weight, without the binge eating, I'm not sure what symptoms I'll get when I'm in a normal weight and low inflammation status.

Root 3: While the recent month has been less stressful, I had epic stress levels in May and early June 2015.

Root 4 :I've always operated on weight plateaus one right around 116-117 and one around 120-121.  My BMI is still normal around 22.6, but I do feel better with a BMI right around 22 or the high 21's.

 I feel terrible right at a BMI of 24-25 and higher. I'm shorter than most middle school students, with a small bone frame. The high end of normal weight leaves me pretty miserable, so the mid range BMI is just better for me.

Root 5 Normal effect of menopause, this is the start of my 3rd year of menopause. I've upped my active time by about 15-20 minutes per day, with good outcomes.

Root 6: Something else. Unknown, Undiscovered. Maybe those fermented veggies at the end of May were not a good idea??

Things I've ruled out already:

1. I'm not binge eating or having binge urges.  Yay!  No Sugars, No Grains for the win.
2. I'm not having glucose spikes, my blood glucose is returning to mid 80's post meal and low 80's fasting.
3. I'm not thinking Karma : come on people, I'm a board certified, licensed scientist in real life. There's a biologic reason, so put your science hats on, please.

I do believe that obesity is a symptom of metabolic, genetic, and genetic pheneotype processes gone askew. I'm not a bad person, sloth, weak willed, cheating, not measuring, lying, or anything else ;)  I'm swimming in the shallow end of the genetics pool, so it's worth it for me to identify the root causes and move along.

I also have total respect if you believe in Karma, too. I'll be meditating ever day the month of July. To reduce stress. Weight maintenance has it's ups and downs. Dealing with them is key.

I'll also let you know what worked for me, or what I've ruled out during my August 2015. Onward. Always Onward. Don't beat yourself up if you don't get the results you want. Do spend some time getting to root causes, though.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thoughts on Dr. Berkleley's "Weight Loss in America" post- insanity vs belief and how it works for me

Weight Maintenance Island
Here are my thoughts about Dr. Berkeley's blog post from 6/23/2015

I tried it: Here's my own story:

As an obese child, I was told a lot of nonsense about losing weight. It wasn't my fault. It was the 1970's and 80's. Low fat Snackwell's, yogurts, and low fat cereal ruled the day. Tang, it's low fat and what the astronauts used. It's also really high sugar. Too bad I carry two copies of the high risk gene (FTO SNP) for childhood obesity. Being obese in the 70's and 80's was not fun. I was bullied physically and emotionally. Being obese sucks child or adult.

One of my DNA SNP's that shows my risk for obesity
Link to read more about this particular geneotype

Add on some extra ghrelin, the hunger hormone. In the 90's, 2000's and 2010's the exposure to processed foods got worse. Finally the urge to eat everything in the kitchen, with ZERO off switch, makes sense. I wasn't some weak willed person who could just count WW points harder.  I was eating under the real gene and hormonal response that switched on when I ate high sugar foods and highly processed foods. A hormone that told me "eat more". If you don't have it, you don't know the absolute drive to eat that the hormone signals. Super strong. Being obese, a yo-yo dieter sucks. It is physically and emotionally painful. Expensive, too.
One of my DNA SNP's for extra ghrelin (hunger hormone)
Link to read more about this particular geneotype

Currently from 2012 to present day: Now on a real foods, yes Paleo-ish food template, I was able to switch off my personal  DNA SNP's that put me at high risk for obesity.  I have all the genetics that I had when I was 70 pounds overweight and binge eating. That extra ghrelin  SNP (hunger hormone) is a real issue for me to address.  It doesn't mean that I don't have binge urges or small, reversible weight regains. It does mean I put as few processed foods in my body, with the least added ingredients. No grains, very little processed sugar no weight gains.  NSNG for the win.

For me it started with foods:  The foods I eat keep my hs-CRP inflammation very, very low, my glucose from spiking, my cholesterol biochemistry optimal for menopause. My sleep as good as I can can get. I've been the least anxious in my life by kicking processed foods- especially processed low calorie diet foods, to the curb.

It's not moral judgment. It's not my fault.  I have no choice but to deal with the genetic deck of cards I was dealt. My body chemistry will not tolerate highly processed foods. Since the age of 6, my genotype expressed the obesity phenotype. 40 years of obesity, morbid obesity, yo-yo dieting, and desperately trying anything and everything to escape. I was even normal weight on and off during that time.

 Check out my Instagram account for more meals. Post 70 pound weight loss, food is delicious, filling, low inflammatory, and allows for more normal satiety signals. I spent 40 years trying to find this place.  I certainly don't starve or eat highly processed foods that are low in calories and nutrition. I eat moderate to high moderate plates of real , great tasting food.  Higher in protein and natural fat, lower in carbohydrates, naturally.

I'm just happy that Dr. Berkeley, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson,Vera Tarman, MD, and Dr. Pamela Peek, MD are all speaking up about not eating everything in moderation in today's food world. That food addiction and complex problems very far, far beyond "eat less, move more" advice doled out by major medical institutions, weight loss companies, and some doctors.

I agree with Dr. Berkeley, we are awash in a food tsunami

Also from Dr. Berkeley :

Insanity:  Overweight comes from eating too much.   Belief:  Overweight comes from a problem in the way your particular body handles modern food.  Other people may not have this problem.  They may eat just as much as you do and never get fat.  Does that mean that YOU eat too much?   - See more at:

Insanity:  Overweight comes from eating too much.   Belief:  Overweight comes from a problem in the way your particular body handles modern food.  Other people may not have this problem.  They may eat just as much as you do and never get fat.  Does that mean that YOU eat too much?   - See more at:
Belief:  Overweight comes from a problem in the way your particular body handles modern food.  Other people may not have this problem.  They may eat just as much as you do and never get fat.  Does that mean that YOU eat too much?   - See more at:
Belief:  Overweight comes from a problem in the way your particular body handles modern food.  Other people may not have this problem.  They may eat just as much as you do and never get fat.  Does that mean that YOU eat too much?   - See more at:

Just real, whole foods, cooked at home, most of the time.  When I'm out and travel, I still eat real, unprocessed foods. If you don't have this problem, yay you. I have the problem. It didn't go away when I lost weight. It's still there, I just keep a lid on it.

Also from Dr. Berkeley

Insanity: That this whole problem is so incredibly complicated and takes so much effort to figure out. Belief:  Stop eating ALL carbs except for non tropical fruits and vegetables.  (Much more info in my book, Refuse to Regain).  Do some exercise 5 days a week to stabilize your weight.  Eat very little from a package and just eat what's real.  That will return you to the diet that your body has been comfortable with for most of human existence.  Try it.  Then let me know how it went. - See more at:

I tried it. See my photo below. Here's how it went. It worked really, really well. Here's to finding a real food template of your choosing, and putting down the processed junk. Separate insanity from belief and your own reality. It turned out to not be complex, but totally do able.

One photo below is moderating all processed, sweet, low calorie foods = Insanity.

 One photo below is a real foods template = belief + habits= results. Big difference! It's not my fault I have obesity risk factors. It is my responsibility to cook and adopt habits that put the lid on the disese producing genetics and put life into living. The next 40 years, I choose to live differently.

I still have the same geneotype. I just choose food and lifestyle that keeps a lid on the phenotype. It's relatively easy now I got rid of the insanity.  Now just sitting here on weight maintenance island, waiting for the world to get caught up with some better practices.

PS- I didn't need a genetic report to get a handle on my weight. I just needed to piece together the info in the books Refuse to Regain, by Barbara Berkeley, MD. And the book The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf.  My DNA report is just more proof of insanity vs belief. AKA the frosting on the cupcake I don't eat anymore. ;)

If you tried it, how did it go?  My story won't be your story, but if a real foods template worked for you, please, please share your story.  If you don't have that problem, sure moderate all the foods, but please have some basic understanding and empathy for those of us who can't moderate all the foods. Thanks!!

July 2009 (moderate junk food) vs June 2015 (Paleo-ish 3 + years)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Big blog slowdown for awhile... Sleeping more,stressing less, coffee strategy for the WIN!

Sleep tracking with the Fitbit helps me optimize my asleep time.
I've slowed down my blogging for awhile. My main focuses over the last month have been stress relief, sleep, and managing some recent stress inducing events out of my control.

 The time that I would have been spent blogging, reading, and commenting on other blogs has been spent doing things I can control.  This is where the Primal focus comes into focus more than a Paleo food template.  Paleo food template, customized for weight maintenance, Primal Blueprint ideas for the rest.

I'm going to get really geeky in this post, so skip it if measuring and genetics aren't your bag.

1. Sleeping- and tracking sleeping with my fitbit. My personal goals are to sleep at least 7 hours a night during the week and more if possible on the weekends. I don't always hit  that goal, but that's okay.

One funny thing is if I do wake up in the middle of the night, reading a real book or magazine- light reading helps me go back to sleep. I used to get so, so stressed out about being awake in the middle of the night, that the worry kept me up even later. 

With the Fitbit, I can see that I go right back to sleep, fast.

Kicking the cats out of the room also helps with fewer sleep disruptions.

2. Limiting coffee consumption past a certain time: Since I know I'm an  slower or  intermediate metabolizer of caffeine, I know not to drink it past noon or 1pm each day. I drink about 3 cups a day with great results. All the long lived relatives had cups of coffee in their hands through about 2-3 pm based on my memories of them.

Now, I didn't need 23andMe DNA SNP analysis or Promethease html reports to tell me that I couldn't drink coffee past a certain time of day. But here are the details in print.  I use the "I feel better" guide to make most decisions in life. But the genetic stuff is just fun for me.

I'm an incurable data geek, so I might as well embrace the science, SNP's, and studies, all while waiting science to get caught up with a healthy dose of "I feel better".

I added links to SNP-edia so you can read more about my caffeine genotype. Of course, just because I have the geneotype doesn't mean I will exhibit the phenotype (traits)

But for coffee, I run pretty true for type.  I think it's hilarious that I have one slow AND one fast gene for caffeine metabolism.

Link to SNPedia for CYP1A2

Link to SNPedia for RS4410790 (T;T)
Why yes, I do drink 3 cups of coffee  day while my friends drink 2. Truth. :)

La Jolla Cove and tide pools June 2015

3. Walking & Photography- I've been heading out to senic places like La Jolla Cove, Moonlight State Beach, Torrey Pines State Parks and just taking time to walk, grab my good camera and take photos as I go. I'll listen to Podcasts or Music while I walk. Great way to be in flow state and relax, too.

Other stress relief methods have been puzzles, visiting with friends, and working on the meditation thing. I still have a long way to go with my mediation practice.

Wow!!! I hit publish by mistake, too soon. Ah well, no stress. Onward and more PaleoFx 2015 recaps are brewing.

What's working

1. Longer sleep
2. Drinking coffee sooner in the AM
3. Photography and walking

What did not work

1. Trying to do all the things all the time and decreasing sleep
2. Trying to get energy from afternoon coffee.
3. Sitting on the couch watching TV and eating low point junk food to "relax".

Saturday, June 13, 2015

My favorite take away messages from Paleo Fx-2015 part 4- Robb Wolf- It's not my fault

Farm to Consumer Legal Defense, garden girl and Robb Wolf!
Paleo Fx 2015  Some of my favorite take away messages from Paleo Fx 2015 were from the speakers who see patients or clients in real life.

Robb Wolf:  Robb spoke individually and in panels. I admire that he has gotten so many positive results with the police, fire, and first repsonders in Reno, Nevada. Working as a health care professional in real life, seeing Robb help the first repsonders reduce their medical risks, live safely, and save money for the city is a great thing. Wellness all around.

Take away #1 : It's not your fault
Basically, we are hard wired to seek novelty with food, evolutionary and  wise, but we are now around a lot of hyper-palatable food.  We are also told to moderate all food. Robb proclaimed this as "BS". You all know:  I'm no fan of moderating all junk food. I cheered loudly and became "that chick in the audience that was cheering". 

Take away #2 Novelty, not morality. Our tendency to overeat is biologically driven today. The person who overeats is not lost, it's not a moral failing. Today's food options set us up to override our biologic optimum foraging strategy (worked well long ago, not so much now)

The example that Robb used of the professional eaters- eating ice cream, then pausing to eat french fries because of palate fatigue, and then the eater was able to eat much more ice-cream and finish 10 gallons of ice-cream in 30 minutes.  That made total sense. The person eating was able to trick his palate and full signals to pack in even more food. Wow!  I'm pretty sure I did this with baked chips and M&M's or Skinny Cows and Popcorn at night during my 40 years of binge eating. This explains why I could binge during the day and still be "hungry" or food seeking. Sigh.

Take away # 3 It's not a moral failing

We still have to do something different. We have done everything right- but now we have to do things differently. The forces that made us who we are are not matched to us today. Good genes, bad options.

Take away #4  Excluding Food groups does NOT equal orthorexia. It's a way to survive the food forest. We struggle for a good reason biologically. We are not broken.

Regular Dietetics says abstaining (from grains,etc) is disordered. That's BS!  (this is the part where I cheered loudly). LOL.

Robb also put a plug in for Stephen Guyenet's work and also a plug for Gretchen Rubin's "Better than Before" book.

I've just got to tell you, I'm much better than before by abstaining from Grains and most Sugars. Far from orthorexic, I feel freaking awesome, so I was glad to hear Robb making these statements. One thing about going to Paleo Fx 2015, reading the before and after stories at Primal Blue print and Paleo- Non Paleo, Refuse to Regain, I'm convinced.  I think abstaining from food that makes us sick is underused. The foods that make us sick may vary, and that's okay.

My own experience:
I also think that a Paleo, Primal, or Real Foods approach is way, way underused in long term weight maintenance.

In one photo, I'm moderating grains and sugar, in the other photo, I'm abstaining from grains and most sugars. Clearly, abstaining from substances that kept my binge urges alive just wasn't the right thing for my brain or my body. Not my fault. I still had to do the work and do things differently.

July 2004 eating grains vs June 2015 no sugar, no grains (NSNG)

 What's working for me

1. Continuing learning from the leaders who have messages that fit with my personal situation in the Paleo space.

2. Eating a Paleo-ish food template- for me- the basics are no grains, very low processed or natural sugar.

3. Getting back in touch and staying in touch with my natural full and hungry signals. Not blaming myself for my geneotype or phenotype, but showing up to do the work to keep myself as well as I can. So much is within my personal choices day in, day out.

4. Rejecting the notion that abstaining from grains is bad and moderating is good. I'm better than before!

What did not work in the past:
1. Not seeking out leaders that were like me to learn and keep learning. YES- read books. My special note:  Attend lectures and workshops.  Please. Keep learning. RUN if someone tells you that you don't need to keep learning. You do. Because every life phase is different. Because there is new research that will apply to you. If I had stopped learning once I got to goal weight, I would be morbidly obese again.

2. Counting WW points and moderating everything and blaming myself for not being "strong".

3. Moderating ice-cream and salty foods together. Holy binge cycle and over riding of my biology.

4. Not being able to objectively think for myeslf and look at my results and make changes. Eating a little bit of grains results in a whole lot of pain.

The key note Paleo Fx 2015 talks are available to rent. Also, the talks tend to come out over the year via the Paleo FX youtube channel.

What conferences do you attend to keep learning and keep your head in the game? Do you agree? It's not our fault. But what work can we do?