2

votes

Paleo/GAPS diet: am I expecting too much?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 12, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Hi, I'm a 44 year old female, ex heroin addict, 5.5 years clean but recently became completely out of control binging on sugar and carbs. Finally brought to knees over last several months by: -Chronic brain fog -Depression -Weight gain -Allergies of unknown origin -and, the kicker, a chronic yeast infection I guess, asymptomatic but for neverending vag itchiness. I eliminated sugar first,then grains, then dairy. I made it two weeks the first time, and had a carb/sugar binge. I then made it two weeks again. By this time I've discovered GAPS, read the book, and started drinking broth daily. I was VLC, no fruit, but using sweet potatos for my carb cravings. The allergies had gotten better, and the itch had gone away. Then I got hit with severe cravings, and ate lots of sugar/carbs last night. Today the itch is back...ok, fine. Do what ya do, get what ya get with that. But people, I have GAINED a pound after a month on broth, chicken, liver, fish, broccoli and eggs! And I'm constipated. -Why have I gained weight, despite running 2-5 miles 4-5 times a week, my legs are still flabby and look bigger! My fat areas have taken on a firmness that does not herald coming weight loss. I want to see more results for the sacrifices I'm making. -Also, I was so low energy after a month. Where is the energy? I was sleeping in the daytime. I am a little bit discouraged, and wonder: am I expecting too much too soon? Just a few short years ago I could juice fast and yoga away 5 pounds in a week, and firm up nice in a few weeks. I'm working as hard as I can and look and feel not too good after a month. At 5'5 and 140, I am aware I have dysmorphia issues, but this extra 15 pounds is killin' me. This is the heaviest and most out of shape I've ever been. My mostly overweight friends have NO empathy! After so many years in an addiction I'm still trying to rebuild my life and I have yet to develop that inner security that can help women age gracefully. The health issues make it hard to do that. I'm eyeballing the rawfood lifestyle, longing for fruit, wondering if it could get me back to my old self...but that's not realistic, right? least of all because of this itch.
Reality check please?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 18, 2012
at 05:58 AM

just as an FYI sugar is a mu opiate....

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:36 PM

It has gotten much easier to get back in the saddle after setbacks. I credit the fat, protein and broth with this. It is as if my body now has some defense against the unhealthy stuff I put in in, and I do that more and more infrequently all the time. I was addicted to the dope for about 15 years, and even in the recovery community, diet is not given much attention. It's good to interact with thoughtful informed people here.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Thanks! I agree that the attachments to foods are harder to uproot, that is, IF you even challenge them. A friend of a friend runs groups for recovering overeaters...she has a special group where the participants have a "funeral" for their binge foods. She said the level of grief she sees in these groups surpasses what she has seen of people grieving lost loved ones. I can believe it.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:38 AM

Note though, it is quite common for green tea to cause nausea, so if you start feeling queasy it's probably the tea!

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 13, 2012
at 12:32 AM

I put saurkraut in my broth. Thanks for the tip. @Firestorm, I'd like to think that less activity is a positive somehow, but I can't. My formerly flat gut looks pregnant and I feel like I'm just frozen up below the waist. Funny, the only time I seem to "go" like normal is after I've goofed up and ate junk like cereal, cake or cookies. And caffiene, which I've also given up...

1f91fa5584b27c2c7fc0cf1f97a386c5

(182)

on June 12, 2012
at 11:43 PM

Thanks for your perspective, I didn't really look at it as more effective digestion. I suppose I can be less enthusiastic about eating cabbage and onions. Just figured it was adding sulfur rich veggies in the diet as well as clearing the plumbing.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on June 12, 2012
at 11:31 PM

... he said I -could- add fiber -- but that it would only bulk things up... and I'd basically be adding extra waste product that would actually slow down my already very effective digestive system... PLUS adding irritants that would essentially -scour- the insides of my intestines, and, in my case, that might make things worse instead of better (by increasing inflammation).

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on June 12, 2012
at 11:30 PM

Interesting that you mentioned this. I noticed, after changing to a Primal diet, that I didn't go to the bathroom as much. I thought I was experiencing constipation, even though my stools were normal (not hard, not too dark, not bumpy/lumpy), and my gastroenterologist (just one of the many specialists I've come to cultivate because of the congenital immune anomaly I have) told me that it wasn't constipation -- it was just that my intestines were having to process less waste, because my body was USING more of the food that I was eating...

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Thank you, I have been meaning to try green tea since I cut out black.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 06:05 PM

I have a slender athletic build... I'm not able to get that glowing energy and litheness in the body at will like I could before with diet and exercise, due I guess to these new body changes of binging, fatigue of unk. origin( I thought if I just gave up the sugar I'd bee fine), and yeast inf. So much analysis involved now. I need to take it slow, I am expecting too much too soon. Re: fat firming...when I am losing weight, it's like when you let air out of a balloon--there is a softening of the tissue initially, and, right now my untoned "fat" areas feel full--firm like water balloons!

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:55 PM

Thanks Amy, I looked over those a little bit, and that site with the podcasts looks like an excellent resource. I wonder how the Dr. interns at the teaching hospital where I get my primary care will respond when I ask them to test for food intolerances, thyroid problems, adrenal problems, etc. I will take notes when I listen to these.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:47 PM

Haha. PH - the double edged sword. Good luck!

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:34 PM

Nanoo, you may be expecting too much. Have you taken into account your actual body shape and genetics? Fat doesn't firm; muscle does.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:34 PM

First item up: sleep. Right there, I'm off the beam with only 4-5 hours a night. Always up late reading PH. I'm saving this post. Thanks Mike T.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:28 PM

OK, in...out...in...out. Thanks for the reminder. I am going to listen to those presently, and check back. I'm confused more than anything. I was reading a post that said, ie., its good to eat a little unhealthy food regularly so you maintain the ability to digest anything...and I was off to the races. I'm tyrannized not by the scale or that pound, but by the distress at having to replace all my blue jeans.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:21 PM

@Kelly: 29:41:29, with 41% fat, that was the day that I finished off with the carb binge. I guess I'll reapply the GAPS diet starting from strict intro this time--no sweet potatos yet. Thanks for the encouragement. I find this complicated, but I feel it's my only hope.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:10 PM

@' Diane: so, it seems your body mass has redistributed. Is there an almost adolescent-like awkward period before you can see it? Thank you, that is very encouraging. You addressed all three of my major worry zones. Maybe it's too soon for me to worry about working out much. I told myself early on that I would focus on the nutrition and letting go of the antinutrients, and not worry about appearance, yet there I go. And a few sleepy tired low energy days is par for the course.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:01 PM

Well, maybe it is still food withdrawal. Does it go away and come back again? But I swear it's my FAT that's firm. Ok, I guess there are moments when I have a sense of the total composition of my body material changing at the cellular level, @ MathGirl72. I'm not diggin' the way it looks though.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 12, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Nanoo, I'm wondering what your % are per day, fat, protein, carb. If you can give us an exact per day it can help us help you. I think if you can tweek the levels of fat to be 'full' it can go a long way in those cravings. Also coconut oil is good for killing off those nasties and having a no 'starchy' carb plan will also kill off those nasties. Stay strong, there is hope after 40!!

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:34 PM

After a lifetime of poor health you can expect a better diet to build some muscle and bone mass. Also, welcome to your 40s. I have not lost any weight in 6 months yet my love handles have shrunk, my thighs are like bricks and there's much less wap-wap on my upper arms. Especially enlightening was to get out some old photos of myself. At 10 lbs heavier in my 20s I was a blimp. At 15 lbs lighter in my teens I look like I do now. You need to throw out your scale.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:22 PM

"But people, I have GAINED a pound after a month on broth, chicken, liver, fish, broccoli and eggs!" Please, *please,* Nanoo, tell me you're not hung up on *one* pound? Most people can be up or down 3 or 4 pounds EASILY from ONE DAY TO THE NEXT, depending on what they ate, how much they slept, their activity levels, etc. I'm worried about you - you sound like you're at the end of your rope and there isn't much left...*Please* listen to the podcasts I linked below. You're not the only one feeling this way, and there ARE ways to help yourself.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:16 PM

+1 to relaxation. If you read the GAPS book, you know how big of a deal stress plays in healing. Stress affects so many biological functions. Definitely do some meditation or deep breathing/chanting exercises.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:05 PM

"The kicker, a chronic yeast infection I guess, asymptomatic but for neverending vag itchiness." How is that asymptomatic?? That's a symptom smacking you in the face!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:50 PM

I would love for you to check out this Balanced Bites podcast episode when you have time. Bottom line: Starting as soon as possible, and continuing for a while, you probably just need to CALM DOWN. (Physically *and* psychologically.) I can practically *hear* how tightly wound you are right now just by reading your question, and I just want to give you a hug and tell you to just stop and take a BREATH! http://balancedbites.com/2012/05/podcast-episode-39-adrenal-fatigue-part-2.html

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:46 PM

It sounds like you are experiencing withdrawals and gaining muscle mass. That "firmness" is fat being replaced by muscle.

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6 Answers

8
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:56 PM

I would love for you to check out this Balanced Bites podcast episode when you have time. Bottom line: Starting as soon as possible, and continuing for a while, you probably just need to CALM DOWN. (Physically and psychologically.) I can practically hear how tightly wound you are right now just by reading your question, my poor dear, and I just want to give you a hug and tell you to just stop and take a BREATH! You are working against your body at every turn! It's begging you for a little breather but it sounds like you are trying to keep whipping it as hard as you can. Go a little easier on yourself!!

You can download them free from iTunes, but here are some links:

Balanced Bites - Adrenal Fatigue - you need to STOP!

Balanced Bites Adrenal Fatigue Pt.1

Edited to add: I think the book The Mood Cure would bring you great relief. Your post is practically screaming out for it.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:55 PM

Thanks Amy, I looked over those a little bit, and that site with the podcasts looks like an excellent resource. I wonder how the Dr. interns at the teaching hospital where I get my primary care will respond when I ask them to test for food intolerances, thyroid problems, adrenal problems, etc. I will take notes when I listen to these.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:28 PM

OK, in...out...in...out. Thanks for the reminder. I am going to listen to those presently, and check back. I'm confused more than anything. I was reading a post that said, ie., its good to eat a little unhealthy food regularly so you maintain the ability to digest anything...and I was off to the races. I'm tyrannized not by the scale or that pound, but by the distress at having to replace all my blue jeans.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:16 PM

+1 to relaxation. If you read the GAPS book, you know how big of a deal stress plays in healing. Stress affects so many biological functions. Definitely do some meditation or deep breathing/chanting exercises.

3
31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on June 18, 2012
at 02:18 PM

nanoo, my heart breaks for you! you have been through so much but yet you also are so very strong. don't give up now!

one thing that screamssssssss to me from your post is emotional unrest. in my humble opinion, drug use, body abuse, and food abuse (mostly) all stem from the same place - your heart. it's often your emotional wellbeing that makes you need to cope with substances, whatever they be. i was able to get off drugs much easier than i have been successful at battling binge eating/body image struggles, but to me they are from the same root - i am uneasy when things are out of my control and i take whatever means necessary to control things. only prayer and PATIENCE with myself has helped this process. when we are so hyper focused on our shortcomings, we miss the big picture - what is the value of your life? deal with your heart and your food/drug struggles will be greatly impacted.

if you need a virtual hug, i would LOVE to fb message you. hang in there, sweet one. you are stronger than you think.

3
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on June 13, 2012
at 03:03 AM

How do you know that 1 pound of weight gain is not muscle mass? You should take body measurements with a clothing tape after #2 in the bathroom (especially waist and hips).

Some people still gain 1-4 pounds during their period EVEN on Paleo from water retention (even on a strict low carb Paleo) so consider that idea.

There was a time on Paleo I LOST just 3 pounds but 2 inches in 3 weeks - now the first is not so impressive but the second is!

If you are fretting over 1 pound given the prior drug history it might be good to get some good counseling and a functional medical doc through Paleo Physicians network- you've been through a lot and it's possible your body will take longer to heal from the drug damage.

How many years were you on drugs in the past? Under supervision of a Paleo doc you may want to do some liver detox or something along those lines.

BTW in the book Going Against the Grain, the author mentions those going through drug rehab found that easier then giving up gluten! The addiction to sugar, grains, carbs, etc. is stronger in those using drugs - that is why so many people who give up smoking, alcohol, drugs, etc. gain weight because they just changed their addiction to carbs, sugar, and wheat!

Pat yourself on the back for all the progress you have made and keep it up - you have accomplished already so much and be proud!

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:36 PM

It has gotten much easier to get back in the saddle after setbacks. I credit the fat, protein and broth with this. It is as if my body now has some defense against the unhealthy stuff I put in in, and I do that more and more infrequently all the time. I was addicted to the dope for about 15 years, and even in the recovery community, diet is not given much attention. It's good to interact with thoughtful informed people here.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Thanks! I agree that the attachments to foods are harder to uproot, that is, IF you even challenge them. A friend of a friend runs groups for recovering overeaters...she has a special group where the participants have a "funeral" for their binge foods. She said the level of grief she sees in these groups surpasses what she has seen of people grieving lost loved ones. I can believe it.

2
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:13 PM

Take a look at the first answer to this thread:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/46722/how-do-i-lose-weight#axzz1xaWjEA6V

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:34 PM

First item up: sleep. Right there, I'm off the beam with only 4-5 hours a night. Always up late reading PH. I'm saving this post. Thanks Mike T.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:47 PM

Haha. PH - the double edged sword. Good luck!

1
1f91fa5584b27c2c7fc0cf1f97a386c5

on June 12, 2012
at 10:16 PM

I also have struggled with weight-loss, but I started at a more detrimental 290 lbs on a 6' frame. I'm a stone's throw away from 50 lbs down and I can sympathize completely when you mention constipation. All the paleo guru's don't give enough time and attention to the importance of fiber in the diet. You'd think with the elbow deep knowledge of how to prevent a leaky gut, they'd spent a little time on how to move things on out of the gut.

Cabbage is the single best remedy I've found to have a nice, healthy, large bowel movement. I don't have bone broth without a whole head of cabbage in it. Throw in some onions and a small amount of carrot, and you'll be dropping bricks in no time.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on June 12, 2012
at 11:31 PM

... he said I -could- add fiber -- but that it would only bulk things up... and I'd basically be adding extra waste product that would actually slow down my already very effective digestive system... PLUS adding irritants that would essentially -scour- the insides of my intestines, and, in my case, that might make things worse instead of better (by increasing inflammation).

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 13, 2012
at 12:32 AM

I put saurkraut in my broth. Thanks for the tip. @Firestorm, I'd like to think that less activity is a positive somehow, but I can't. My formerly flat gut looks pregnant and I feel like I'm just frozen up below the waist. Funny, the only time I seem to "go" like normal is after I've goofed up and ate junk like cereal, cake or cookies. And caffiene, which I've also given up...

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on June 12, 2012
at 11:30 PM

Interesting that you mentioned this. I noticed, after changing to a Primal diet, that I didn't go to the bathroom as much. I thought I was experiencing constipation, even though my stools were normal (not hard, not too dark, not bumpy/lumpy), and my gastroenterologist (just one of the many specialists I've come to cultivate because of the congenital immune anomaly I have) told me that it wasn't constipation -- it was just that my intestines were having to process less waste, because my body was USING more of the food that I was eating...

1f91fa5584b27c2c7fc0cf1f97a386c5

(182)

on June 12, 2012
at 11:43 PM

Thanks for your perspective, I didn't really look at it as more effective digestion. I suppose I can be less enthusiastic about eating cabbage and onions. Just figured it was adding sulfur rich veggies in the diet as well as clearing the plumbing.

1
44f0901d5b0e85d8b00315c892d00f8a

on June 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Eggs Eggs, including the yolks, are a beneficial weight loss food. A Louisiana State University study found that women on a low-calorie diet who ate an egg coupled with toast and jelly every morning lost double the amount of weight versus women who ate a bagel for breakfast with the same amount of calories but no eggs. David Grotto, R.D., author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life, says, "Egg protein is filling, so you eat less later in the day."

Green Tea While green tea is technically not a food, its benefits are important for weight loss. Consuming large quantities of coffee and other caffeine-related beverages can lead to an increase in food cravings and enhance the cravings released from stress-related causes. Green tea provides a healthy alternative beverage that contains low levels of caffeine but also is filled with some very powerful ingredients. One such ingredient is called catechins. The main catechin is called epigallocatechin gallate, a powerful antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol and generate fat-burning.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on June 12, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Thank you, I have been meaning to try green tea since I cut out black.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:38 AM

Note though, it is quite common for green tea to cause nausea, so if you start feeling queasy it's probably the tea!

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