Restore ... Maintain ... Unblock

Restore ... Maintain ... Unblock I The Ketolicious Reset

When I first leaned into veganism it was because after reading The Veganist, frankly I was just too disgusted to eat any animal products. I had been eating a traditional diet with pastured animal products, but I couldn't live with that any longer for myself.

When I first leaned into a paleo diet it was because I wanted to lose some extra weight. I was slowing down in my metabolism and I wanted to make some changes to my body. Giving up the grains while being non-soy, no tree nuts, and with my avocado allergies was tough. I slowly figured that out, but when I was at my lowest weight in years my adrenals crashed. And they crashed hard. I didn't realize that the missing healthy fats in my diet were actually harming my body, not helping my body. On top of that I was using synthetic nutrients to try to secure the deficiencies and it wasn't helping.

When I went into talk to my first ND, all of the levels that point to my entire endocrine system being in the muck were very low. My iron stores, or ferritin as it is tested for, were almost non-existent. I wasn't getting enough nutrition - especially the B vitamins my body was craving. The B vitamins I was getting, were not being used by my body. My intestinal inflammation that started in my teens and went crazy like a demon on a roller coaster took place in my early twenties. So I probably wasn't absorbing most of my micronutrients anyway.

I did the ND supplements of selenium, kelp, B complex (which I tossed because it made my anxiety sky rocket like mad), compounded thyroid, testosterone and progesterone, and of course iron. I felt a little better, but it was nothing that was an extreme life changing shift. And my adrenals were still pretty shot. I also was still gaining weight despite working out, despite eating Paleo Vegeo and doing an almost exclusively Whole30 style vegan eating. I still had increased appetite, major cravings, a poor ability to build muscles even with the exercise. What I realized was that this lifestyle had to be about finding out the truth of what my body needed. This lifestyle had to be about reducing the inflammation in order to reduce my leptin resistance. It had to be about gaining vitality, reducing toxins, and getting back a sense of happiness and energy.

One of the things that vegans always forget about is the way nutrition impacts our bodies in functional manners. Eating enough carotenoids to get the lutein and zeaxanthin is essential this time of year. The highest levels of these two micronutrients in fruits and vegetables are from corn and eggs. We don't eat those. However if you increase your intake of vegetables and fruit, you increase the opportunities. Those orange peppers, grapes, spinach, fresh pressed orange juice, zucchini  and different kinds of squash all have some relatively high content of lutein and zeaxanthin. Just shoving extra leafy greens into your smoothie does do it as those dark green leafy vegetables have 15-47% of lutein, but a very low content (0-3%) of zeaxanthin. According to the American Optometric Association we really need these two nutrients to filter out any harmful wavelengths of the sunshine we are exposed to daily, and when you have adrenal fatigue getting those valuable rays is very important.

Speaking of eyes, in a study in the UK, and published in the journal Ophthalmology, found that women who ate vitamin C rich diets including two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables per day, were about 20 percent less likely to have cataracts than those who skimped on fruits and vegetables. Those fruits and vegetables phyto-nutrients may help preserve the macula of the eye, which is responsible for clear central vision. I have one of the genetic variants that makes these nutrients really important to me. So any diet where we are skipping all of those healthy plants, can be very damaging in so many ways.

I gave up the W30 and core Nourished in 30 monthly lifestyle and started to learn more about what nutrients my body needed in order to be healthy. One first step was adding in the right supplements starting with whole food micronutrient dense capsules, and vegan complete omegas. I took into consideration what nutrients would I be lacking. Selenium is a big one, iodine when put on my skin is absorbed and gone in about two hours, vitamin C (can we really ever get too much... ha ha... well of course but I still love it), vitamin D+K, prebiotics and a different type of probiotics, and then I tweaked things as I needed to. Like currently I am battling with candida, and I will talk more about that in another post.

So I started to feel better, much better than I had in years. However the adrenals still were up and down. My weight didn't budge, much. It went up and down the same 10 pounds, but I know that hormones at my age have a lot to do with that, as does water retention.

A research study was done to look at biochemical, metabolic and behavioral responses were evaluated following eight weeks on one of three diets: (1) a monounsaturated HFD (50%kcal olive oil), (2) a saturated HFD (50%kcal palm oil), or (3) a control low-fat diet. Weight gain was similar across the three diets while visceral fat mass was elevated by the two HFDs. I could tell you that every time I tried keto with high vegan saturated fats, I not only failed but my gut felt the pain. Heavy saturated fats were not digested, and my liver felt it, so my gallbladder felt it, and acid reflux felt it. Diets fail because they don't address the science and the key hormones that are essential. By eating these healthy plant-based monounsaturated fats what you may see is normalized blood sugar and cholesterol levels. I dropped my bad cholesterol by almost 50 points in three months, and also dropped my L(p)a score and these reduced levels can indirectly boost our adrenal gland function.

I saw another study that showed that high intake of monounsaturated fats and fiber, olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids consumption, vegetable protein intake, fruit, coffee, moderate alcohol consumption and vitamin C supplementation exert a protective role over gallstone production. No wonder I felt better when I ate this way and left the coconut oil and MCT oils off the table. I don't seem to have this problem with Brain Octane oil, maybe because of the part of the oil it is missing.

Now why would I dig into more plant based fats and not dig into nuts? It is not just because of my food allergies. My dad died of lung cancer, and recent studies show that while saturated and monounsaturated fatty acid intakes were not significantly associated with lung cancer risk, the total PUFAs intake was inversely associated with lung cancer risk. PUFAs can perhaps be a problem for many other reasons. As I have said before about almond flour, first it's very high in calories comparably to other options out there. Raise your hand if you went Paleo, started using almond flour and started gaining weight? Almonds do contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats. The omega 6 in almonds stays protected from oxidation from it's surface skin and vitamin E, and so many people love to nosh on them. Now go ahead and grind them up and you remove that protective shell and increase the surface area exponentially, which makes the nut oxidize. if you then mix up that flour and stick it into a nice hot oven, baking usually at 350 F or more for an hour, or maybe more...Can you say "rancid PUFA's"?

The lipid composition of the adrenal cortex is influenced by diet. So when I increased these healthy mono-fats, it was so interesting how much more energy I had. I am still on a journey, but this is restoring so much for me. I also feel like I am maintaining muscle, and unblocking a lot of the generation DNA blockages. It's been a blessing in disguise. On the way, I am realizing that for every one person that does the normal keto diet, there is several more that have failed. I believe it is that lack of nutrients, and inflammatory norm that most people follow. Can't wait to keep you updated on this journey!! I am paleo, I am vegan, and I am keto in my own way.



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