Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Review: Your Personbal Paleo Code - By Chris Kresser

Full Title: Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life by Chris Kresser (Released December 31, 2013)

 It's A Nutritional Manual:

Most books on nutrition I've found to be boring. Chris Kresser manages to be engaging no matter how mundane the subject may be. The information is clear, backed up by science and practical experience and is even entertaining to boot. But don't be mislead by the title. The real purpose of the book is clearly stated in the tittle: "Your Personal Paleo Code." It is about finding what works for you as an individual.  Your Paleo Code Will be different then mine. The book is designed to help you learn how to eat to feel your absolute best it's not about losing weight, though that has happened for me. Most dietary advice provided by the current medical community is based on not only old science, but it is looking like no actual research went in to out current "food pyramid."

http://personalpaleocode.comI had the honor of attending a book signing at Warwick's in La Jolla California, on Monday February 3rd., 2014.  It was great, Chris spoke for about an hour and took many questions,  As a severely obese fellow (at that time I weighed 521 pounds, down 65 pounds since October 2013 when I started my current food plan) I was a little out of place in a room full of 100 plus people, all of whom were in great shape. Though nobody made me feel unwelcome. These people had truly insightful questions.  Many of them listen regularly to Chris Kresser's Pod Cast "Revolution Health Radio." There is a lot of information but the book is purposely not exhaustive.  The book actually works with the web site. Chris gives you places to look for information if you want more. 

The book is also not strictly Paleo.  If you are a Paleo Life style type person, there is some "modern" food that is proven to be safe for most people, or at least for some of certain genetic origins.  For example myself, as a Northern European (Scandinavian decent on both sides of the family) dairy is perfectly safe for 95+% of the population up there  So after I got through the initial cleansing I added dairy back in to my diet because I missed it, and there are a lot of essential nutrients easily obtained through Raw Whole Organic Milk,  Raw Organic Cheeses and butter from pasture fed cattle. So it is not strictly "Paleo." I found that the Raw Whole Milk arrested my weight loss.  1.5 servings of milk slowed my weight loss to a crawl. The reason I noticed this because I only added one item at a time to my diet.  Cheese was the first thing, and I started loosing weigh faster.  I add in a 12 oz glass of milk - screech, I literally stopped losing weight. I drop the milk and poof -I'm back to loosing 3 pounds a week.

This is not intended as a weight-loss book, its a health gain book:  

 Though I've been losing weight like crazy, and Chris does cover ways to loose weight on his nutritional plan. This is really about good health.  In his lecture, Mr Kresser stressed that diet is only one aspect of good health.  Some issues will not be resolved by diet alone..  But like Hippocrates said: "Let your food be your medicine" is not a bad place to start.  In Mr. Kresser's practice he uses food, and other tools to help folks who could not be helped by conventional medicine alone.  He had personal experience with this himself, which led to his research.  And that was important to me, the fact that there is research involved with this nutrition plan. The important things to remember is that "Paleo" does not mean "EAT MEAT" it means eat well. Eating a balance of Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates.

I've been tweaking my personal Paleo code for 11 months now.  Not only have I lost 120 pounds (current weight 460 pounds), I've gotten off all of my anti-depressants, I no longer use inhalers for bronchial issues. The only medications I currently take ore some sleep aids, a pain killer for my knee pain and a medication of my Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

By changing my food plan, I've improved my health. For the first time I am seeing how to eat the way my body likes.   A typical meal for me is 60% vegetation, I eat 50-60% of my total calories come from saturated fats, 25-30% from animal protein and the balance from carbohydrates. I eat an average of 9 servings of vegetables and 4 servings of proteins.  And I feel great.

So if you have been thinking about a change in your food plan, I highly recommend coming up with "Your Personal Paleo Code" because your body and brain will love you for it.

A note when you start:

Changing your current food plan must be done with caution. I was likely to eat compulsively.  Some of this journey has been with the input of Over Eaters Anonymous. For me as a truly compulsive eater I found that information and tools essential.  If it were not for OA I wouldn't have found my current food plan.  I was inspired to "Learn how to eat" versus find a diet. I stumbled across this food plan after a few hours of research.  Yet I'm still learning. And I will continue to adjust my plan accordingly,

One of the odd things that happen when you radically change your food intake is cravings,  About a week after I started my new plan, I hit a craving wall, I suddenly wanted everything that was bad for me.  Ice cream and high carb foods yelled out to me.  This is a normal reaction.  When this happens to you be aware of it.  It only lasts for 3-4 days. and then suddenly you wake up and feel like a new person, Some people indicate this is the point when your body switches between a full time carb burning person to actually burning fat. I rarely even think about what I used to eat.  Part of that may be what I have been learning in OA but it is also the fact I now know what to eat.  If I get cravings now, I want celery and nuts, a salad or cheese.  It's a whole different world.  When I stayed in the hospital back in March I had to go though the whole set up again and the 3 days of cravings.  But that was all the hospital had to serve me was carbs and no fat. See: Eating Well in a Hospital.

Available at:

Barnes & Nobel
Independent book sellers nationwide

Gregor - Sharing learning and loving.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Eating well in a hospital - You are the only patient advocate you have.

I find it utterly terrifying that the nutritional knowledge and rules in state of the art hospitals make it IMPOSSIBLE to eat well.  Much less right.

As many of you know I am currently working on changing my life and have started eating in a more traditional/paleo type of diet.  I call it a nutrition plan because I don't feel like denial is my only option.

On a Monday Morning I woke up at 2:45 with a low grade fever.  By 5:30 AM it was 103.8.  The Emergency Room (ER) seemed like a good idea.  Using IV antibiotics, Tylenol and Ice packs My fever was finally reduced to something resembling "normal" By Wednesday.  I'm really convinced my diet helped in this.  You see Monday and Tuesday I was eating what ever was put in front of me.  I was exhausted and hungry  so I really didn't care.  Then Breakfast came on Tuesday and I was aware enough to look at the almost 200 grams of carbs on my plate.  I've doing a Atkins/Paleo low carb diet for 4 months (Abstinence date 10/22/2013) very successfully, at this point. Note: I did not consider this a break in abstinence because I needed food, and I don't have a no eat "red" list.  I focus on what I can eat not on what I can't.  It makes meal planning a lot more fun.

At this point I still had a high fever.  But it was down to about 102 or so.  I felt cognisent enough to talk to the doctor. I told her that the food was absolutely wrong for my health and I needed some more leeway.  Since I'had lost about 80 pounds and was in excellent health except for my cellulitus she arranged for the dietician, I discussed my plan and I got to start eating as close to paleo again as is possible in a modern hospital.

A quick note here, hospital food is not organic, eating low fat is a good idea, but supplement your hospital fair with some saturated fats, coconut oil, canned wild caught fish etc.   As soon as I started doing this my fever pretty much broke after 24 hours of eating a real healthy diet.

If you are being checked in to a hospital for an expected procedure I suggest the following regarding food:

1 Talk with your doctor about what you can eat before and after the procedure.  If there are no dietary restrictions because of what you are doing, have your doctor submit your preferred diet when he checks you in to the hospital. 

2 Have some personal backup food.  Coconut oil, canned deep water fish: Tuna, Salmon herring etc ALWAYS wild caught. 70%+ dark chocolate (yes really). Chocolate is natures Wellbutrin without the side effects.  Unless you are having medication/Procedures or an allergy that would preclude it, a half serving of 70%+ Cocoa Chocolate one time a day is not a desert it is a supplement like Cod Liver Oil. Oh yes and Cod Liver Oil, preferably fermented. It is more bio available that way.

The same list applies to emergency situations where the ER is your first destination.  Talk to your admitting doctor, get the dietary requirements added to your case notes. Check everything with the doctor before you bring in outside food and notify the staff of any supplements, especially herbal.  With today's meds some herbal supplements can cause issues with modern medication.

Remember you are in charge of your own care. You have the right to refuse and request treatment. In some cases what you request may not be the best option so balance your limited knowledge with your level of confidence in your doctor.   If you have no confidence in any staff member, doctor or otherwise request another!

Even the best doctor is not able to keep up with the latest actual research.  Most medical personal are educated the same way we are.  So all most know is low fat, low calorie "Nutrition." So that will always be the default.  You may have to be ready to say no, and educate your doctor about what real nutrition is. Be gentle, they are not stupid, just mis-educated.

Gregor - Sharing learning and loving.