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what should i be doing differently?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 07, 2013 at 3:40 AM

I've been Paleo/Primal for about 8 months and I feel like there is room for improvement. At first I felt great and lost some weight, then at some point I think I went too low carb, so I upped them. I had been doing Bulletproof coffee a lot in the mornings, but traded that in in favor of a real breakfast. I'll give you an idea of what I eat, and you can give me suggestions on what I should maybe be doing differently.

Breakfast almost always = 3 eggs cooked in butter, a chicken sausage or some bacon, a handful of wilted spinach, a cup of tea (w/ coconut milk usually)

Lunch = most days is a salad of mixed greens w/ a handful of broccoli slaw, an avocado if they are ripe, a few slices of roast turkey, or roast beef, balsamic vinegar + EVOO, sometimes part of a leftover sweet potato

Snacks = macadamia nuts, or almonds, coconut flakes, or creamed coconut, dark chocolate, occasionally potato chips made w/ avocado oil, an apple. almost every day I have full fat greek yogurt with blueberries.

Dinner = varies. could be chicken, ground turkey or beef, maybe pork chops or a grass-fed burger. on the side is usually a sweet potato mashed with butter, a pile of broccoli, or perhaps spinach/broccoli rabe/cauliflower, sauerkraut or kimchi

I drink water all day long. Portion size of everything is pretty big.

So I know I should make more of an effort to eat grass-fed meat, it's just hard to get in my area. Also, there is no fish or seafood on that list because I don't like it. Never have and am not able to force myself to eat it no matter how good for me it may be.

Vitamins/Supplements: I take magnesium, Vitamin A, D3, K2, St. John's Wort, krill oil, iodine, selenium, Vitamin C when I remember

I feel like I should be doing something differently because I don't feel 100% great all the time. The past few months my periods have been a little wonky, once about 10 days late which is pretty unusual for me. I'm noticing some white spots in my fingernails and I spotted 2 white hairs I've never had before. I'm only 26, not going grey. Does indicate some kind of deficiency? In addition, I have a decreased libido, and dandruff has not improved, and if anything, worsened.

The last time I had blood work, some of the thyroid numbers were kind of low. When I started supplementing with iodine and selenium the symptoms I had been experiencing (feeling cold a lot) mostly disappeared, but I wonder if thyroid could still be an issue. I won't be able to have blood work again for a while, is there anything I can do in the meantime?

Sorry for the lengthy post. I just wanted to be thorough.

F54a16e4caf4dc8da9ef1369f46a95cd

(591)

on June 07, 2013
at 05:55 PM

I have eaten chicken liver mixed into a grass-fed chili dish I make sometimes, but don't do it regularly. I don't enjoy the flavor on its own, but can tolerate it when it's mixed in. Beef liver I have not done because I can't find gf liver anywhere, not even Whole Foods. But I will see what I can do in that area, so thank you.

2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on June 07, 2013
at 04:09 PM

Fair enough, I didn't look too closely on it.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 07, 2013
at 01:04 PM

Agreed. No need to go crazy with carbohydrates, but with minor skin/hair issues and low libido, carbs being too low it's a likely culprit.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 07, 2013
at 01:01 PM

I almost -1'd you for calling this diet "close to perfect". :-P High amounts of poultry, medium beef, zero fish (even if preference) is mediocre at best. Veggies and snacks do sound AOK, but I agree - some more roots and tubers for denser carbohydrates could help.

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4 Answers

1
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on June 07, 2013
at 01:01 PM

From what you report and your previous post I suspect that you are still too low carb to get through the slightly hypothyroid symptoms. I'm dealing with similar issues right now and the quick fix seems to get carbs a little bit higher, I guess everyone will have to experiment with numbers until finding the exact quantity that keeps you out of glucose deficiency (that could lead to poor T4 to T3 conversion) but allows you to stay lean and healthy (because high carb isn't probably a good idea also).

Have a look at this other question and the link in my answer about Dr Jaminet article, you'll learn a lot about the thyroid/carbohydrates connection.

http://paleohacks.com/questions/198730/blood-work-results-high-ldl-p-and-tsh-trending-upward/198767#198767

A trick you can do is to monitor your body temp while you upper carbs. Once you get to normal range you could suspect you'd attain good numbers if you check. Libido and probably mood should go up also, and if not, a comprehensive hormone panel would be worth having as well as cortisol.

It'd be nice to know how your stress levels are since this can be a killer to the thyroid in combination with low carb. I think your nutritional approach of adding some iodine plus selenium rich foods has been good, consider adding more seafood/fish/seaweed into the diet, I think will help, but a slightly higher carb could help you kick out of the issue faster. I guess it must be a way to stay low carb with no issues but this seems to be the quick fix for now.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 07, 2013
at 01:04 PM

Agreed. No need to go crazy with carbohydrates, but with minor skin/hair issues and low libido, carbs being too low it's a likely culprit.

0
A8dc0864e48ea2e8368b7a93f06dd850

(115)

on June 26, 2013
at 09:01 AM

if you suspect thyroid issues going AIP paleo is very beneficial, look up paleomum she has a lot of valuable info as well as Balanced Bites

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 07, 2013
at 02:00 PM

You make no mention of liver or any other organ meats.

The two major ways I make sure I am getting enough nutrition is liver and oysters (not at the same time). I suspect you may not be getting enough nutrition. You mention not being able to buy grass fed beef, so I suspect the chicken you are buying is industrial. Industrial chicken is worse than industrial beef. Buy the beef.

The simple test to prove me right: eat a tiny bit of both raw. Both will seem strange, but you'll be able to eat the beef. The chicken will be a bit slimy, and have a whiff of rottenness about it. (Don't do this with ground meat- bacteria tends to grow on the surface, so on a piece of meat it is easy to cut a reasonable clean chunk out, but ground meat is a lot of surface area all mixed up together).

I also have a dim view of turkey.

If you like chili, try making it with beef hearts.

I have gone through the 'is it my thyroid?' question myself, and in my case it was because I had lost all the weight and just wasn't eating enough. I solved it in a low carb way, by carrying a jar of ghee around with me and putting it on everything, but now lately I've been trying to gain muscle, so I do some carb-backloading. The point being, more food was the answer, not more carbs per se. So, it is up to you what you want to do there. Thyroid tends to figure largely in internet discussions, but I think it is often blamed for the side effects of dieting. If we calorie restrict for a long time, the body will lose a little weight, but eventually it will figure out how to adjust and run very efficiently on less calories. Our ancestors had periods of feast and famine and we'd probably do well to mimic that in some way.

F54a16e4caf4dc8da9ef1369f46a95cd

(591)

on June 07, 2013
at 05:55 PM

I have eaten chicken liver mixed into a grass-fed chili dish I make sometimes, but don't do it regularly. I don't enjoy the flavor on its own, but can tolerate it when it's mixed in. Beef liver I have not done because I can't find gf liver anywhere, not even Whole Foods. But I will see what I can do in that area, so thank you.

0
2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on June 07, 2013
at 12:47 PM

Your diet looks pretty damn close to perfect. Only thing I can think of on the diet is that maybe you are still too low carb? Of course this depends on your activity levels. Are you exercising? I don't think anybody can feel 100% without doing some serious exercise, and I don't just mean walking. I'm not a huge fan of crossfit, but occasionally I think you need to push your body places it hasn't been before. Nothing really pops to mind here, if you are really feeling wonky I would find a good doctor. Maybe even a chiropractor, they've helped me a ton before. Sorry I can't be of more help here.

2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on June 07, 2013
at 04:09 PM

Fair enough, I didn't look too closely on it.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 07, 2013
at 01:01 PM

I almost -1'd you for calling this diet "close to perfect". :-P High amounts of poultry, medium beef, zero fish (even if preference) is mediocre at best. Veggies and snacks do sound AOK, but I agree - some more roots and tubers for denser carbohydrates could help.

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