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Edited on September 07, 2015
Created May 13, 2012 at 1:52 AM

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A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on May 15, 2012
at 12:07 AM

@foreveryoung: sometimes it works. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-happiest-places-on-earth-are-heavily-taxed?siteid=rss

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 14, 2012
at 03:47 PM

Yes, well, Socialism works great on paper, but it never friggin works out in reality.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on May 14, 2012
at 03:26 PM

10 weeks in, my current thought pattern is F THIS! I want to go back to what I was doing before.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on May 14, 2012
at 03:25 PM

I hear you. I have been keeping at this low-carb business WAITING for that energy kick, for the rapid weight loss, for the massive performance gains. I am overweight, PCOS, and so should technically be thriving from that...but it just isn't happening...I felt much better when I was having fruit and yogurt for breakfast, and eating more sweet potatoes and bananas during the day...

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 13, 2012
at 11:55 PM

Previous thread: Would Your Prefer To Live Or Die By Science Or By Anecdote? http://paleohacks.com/questions/83775/would-you-prefer-to-live-or-die-by-science-or-by-anecdote#axzz1unQU65g2

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 13, 2012
at 10:13 PM

This. The map is not the territory, the menu is not the meal, etc.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 13, 2012
at 12:31 PM

Yeah, I was amazed when I got the software and discovered how much the machine was registering. As long as I have to use the machine I might as well get as much as I can out of it.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 13, 2012
at 05:55 AM

Considering MiMintzer's tomato, when I've tested things like that, I couldn't tell either because there's no control. I have no idea if I'd react to that same meal sans-tomato, because I react differently to even identical meals.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 13, 2012
at 05:43 AM

That's crazy! Sleep is one of the hardest. My sleep suddenly got better (pre-paleo) after ten years of insomnia, I called it the Year of Perfect Sleep, which went away as mysteriously as it came. Now everything is off again, and no matter what sleep hygiene stuff I try, nothing works.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on May 13, 2012
at 04:29 AM

Did you feel different after eating the tomato other than, of course, no longer hungry? Did your body react in any way different than when you weren't eating tomatoes? Did your bowel movements change? Did you have an acne breakout or a rash? N=1 experiments are the most important individually because your body is different than mine.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:43 AM

Oh gosh, I agree with you. Took the LEAP/MRT test and followed the elimination diet. Added a tomato after 3 weeks and I just don't know how to tell if it's ok or not. While I can definately tell that taking out starches and sugars has made a major difference, I don't really understand how to know if a particular food is causing problems or not. I'm also interested in everybody else's experiences with this and will follow this post closely.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:35 AM

Excellent question! Even with an elimination diet, adding back foods one at a time, I had a difficult time pinpointing culprits. You hit the nail on the head with the other variables in our lives: stress, sleep, time, etc.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:17 AM

Yeah, the big stuff I get, like grains. But if you read any of the acne threads on here, it's just rife with the most finessed tweaking of this and that.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:07 AM

That's been my experience, that experiments just don't jibe with a person living a life, so how does everyone come to all these conclusions, to the point of using those conclusions to weed out their health problems? Because it seems like I see it all the time here.

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9 Answers

7
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on May 13, 2012
at 02:03 AM

I think the whole "n=1" thing is largely a statement of empowerment, and acknowledgement that we control our own health and it's in our hands. I'm my own boss and agent of change and I don't need to be dictated to by some doctor or government health advisory board.

Or maybe not.

But yes, carried literally out I doubt that many of us have conducted our lives as strict, rigorous experiments.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 13, 2012
at 05:55 AM

Considering MiMintzer's tomato, when I've tested things like that, I couldn't tell either because there's no control. I have no idea if I'd react to that same meal sans-tomato, because I react differently to even identical meals.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:43 AM

Oh gosh, I agree with you. Took the LEAP/MRT test and followed the elimination diet. Added a tomato after 3 weeks and I just don't know how to tell if it's ok or not. While I can definately tell that taking out starches and sugars has made a major difference, I don't really understand how to know if a particular food is causing problems or not. I'm also interested in everybody else's experiences with this and will follow this post closely.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:07 AM

That's been my experience, that experiments just don't jibe with a person living a life, so how does everyone come to all these conclusions, to the point of using those conclusions to weed out their health problems? Because it seems like I see it all the time here.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on May 13, 2012
at 04:29 AM

Did you feel different after eating the tomato other than, of course, no longer hungry? Did your body react in any way different than when you weren't eating tomatoes? Did your bowel movements change? Did you have an acne breakout or a rash? N=1 experiments are the most important individually because your body is different than mine.

6
C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de

(1579)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:13 AM

I agree. I have never been able to follow through with such an "experiment" to get concrete results. I feel like a lot of the results people get are psychological more than anything: they think they should feel or perform better with or without something in particular and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

On the other hand, there are definitely people who have found real results from eliminating things like dairy, and most people here have seen the benefits of avoiding grains. But a lot of the smaller changes like switching multivitamins or eliminating a banana from breakfast can be harder to pinpoint.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 13, 2012
at 02:17 AM

Yeah, the big stuff I get, like grains. But if you read any of the acne threads on here, it's just rife with the most finessed tweaking of this and that.

5
Da20058e445fa4c5ce328132379521b3

on May 13, 2012
at 03:05 AM

My n=1 conclusions follow a a repeated (many many - sometimes due to cheats) on off testing cycle, I retest every now and then. Dairy makes me depressed, and not getting enough B-vitamins makes me itch and flake. - some things like acid reflux never came back even when I stopped fermented foods which I initially thought was the cure, so I think it's potentially connected, but I wouldn't say for sure. However, the postnasal drip comes back whenever I stop fermented foods.

I realize that many things I initially thought were having an effect on me didn't stand up to repeated testing - and I occasionally try to find alternates to what I typically eat to keep certain things away.

Different people test their theories in different ways - my favourite is the on again off again. But I do sometimes think a lot of people jump the gun and over report results, for the sake being able to join the convo. And the people who report results from the woo just make me want to stab someone.

I'm extremely certain of my own observations, but I still retest every now and then. Also if I'm looking to solve something I go at it one isolated problem at a time - right now I've got a non diet related issue to solve - so experimenting with my diet doesn't get so boring. I like paleohacks for the ideas on things to test - dietwise.

5
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 13, 2012
at 02:27 AM

I've still not figured out what causes my random acne (I never had acne before paleo so it's REALLY annoying). And with GERD it didn't turn out to be a specific food, because when I test the suspects, nothing happened. It's possible it was bacterial or inflammatory in nature. And then there were foods that used to cause issues in self-experiments, and all the sudden I tolerate them. It makes me yearn for a home laboratory to get to the bottom of some of these things, but I just have to accept that there are lots of systems at work and simple experiments aren't going to actually be simple. I keep having to adjust things and generate hypotheses to test. I just keep charting and logging through the chaos and hope something good comes out.

2
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 13, 2012
at 03:06 AM

I feel relatively confident of my n=1 experimentation in the realm of sleep, not food, although I am painfully aware that correlation does not imply causation. I also try not to overinterpret my results.

I have some confidence about my sleep experiments only because I have a data-capable CPAP machine and cross-platform software that I can use to read scarily comprehensive data about every breath I take at night. Not only can I see the flow rate, and monitor my apneic events, I can track changes in minute ventilation, respiration rate, inspiration time, expiration time, as well as the more ordinary bedtime, waking time, and total hours sleeping. I wouldn't be anal-retentive enough to chart all this stuff manually; thank heavens for the software.

The software has a place for notes, so I started tracking pertinent information some time ago, including notes on my experiments and observations.

It was the data from my software that made me give up caffeine, to my sorrow but to the betterment of my sleep.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 13, 2012
at 05:43 AM

That's crazy! Sleep is one of the hardest. My sleep suddenly got better (pre-paleo) after ten years of insomnia, I called it the Year of Perfect Sleep, which went away as mysteriously as it came. Now everything is off again, and no matter what sleep hygiene stuff I try, nothing works.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 13, 2012
at 12:31 PM

Yeah, I was amazed when I got the software and discovered how much the machine was registering. As long as I have to use the machine I might as well get as much as I can out of it.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 14, 2012
at 12:03 AM

THis is where I learn the most from. I test read, listen, and ask questions. THen I try different strategies out. I usually notice an effect or the absence of one anywhere between a few hours and a few days. Then I take what works and discard what doesn't. Seems to be working pretty well.

The worst experiences I have had with this is reading something that seems logical and which other people have gotten some good results from. It seems compelling. SO I try it and I keep feeling and performing worse, but keep at it because the message is so persistent. then eventually I say f*** this I'm going back to what I was doing before, because it is working pretty damn well. it is really hard to stay objective when there is so much information in opposition to the results you've had with a particular approach.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on May 14, 2012
at 03:25 PM

I hear you. I have been keeping at this low-carb business WAITING for that energy kick, for the rapid weight loss, for the massive performance gains. I am overweight, PCOS, and so should technically be thriving from that...but it just isn't happening...I felt much better when I was having fruit and yogurt for breakfast, and eating more sweet potatoes and bananas during the day...

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on May 14, 2012
at 03:26 PM

10 weeks in, my current thought pattern is F THIS! I want to go back to what I was doing before.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on May 15, 2012
at 12:07 AM

@foreveryoung: sometimes it works. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-happiest-places-on-earth-are-heavily-taxed?siteid=rss

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 14, 2012
at 03:47 PM

Yes, well, Socialism works great on paper, but it never friggin works out in reality.

1
F2f559fe327007fd064a0f5bd79d6278

on May 13, 2012
at 10:09 PM

Yes, I just gave up for the most part with diet tweaking. I think worrying about diet is causing more problems than it's fixing. I mean, beyond obvious rules like:

  1. I feel terrible for days after I eat gluten, so don't eat gluten
  2. It seems pretty reasonable to think that eating oxidized vegetable oil out of a plastic jug is bad, so don't do that

Anything more tenuous than that just seems too susceptible to autosuggestion and superstitious conditioning. I don't like behaviorism, but all the rules people (myself included) come up with about what foods they react to or don't react to remind me of the pigeons in this experiment:

http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Skinner/Pigeon/

"If a clock is now arranged to present the food hopper at regular intervals with no reference whatsoever to the bird's behavior, operant conditioning usually takes place. In six out of eight cases the resulting responses were so clearly defined that two observers could agree perfectly in counting instances. One bird was conditioned to turn counter-clockwise about the cage, making two or three turns between reinforcements. Another repeatedly thrust its head into one of the upper corners of the cage. A third developed a 'tossing' response, as if placing its head beneath an invisible bar and lifting it repeatedly. Two birds developed a pendulum motion of the head and body, in which the head was extended forward and swung from right to left with a sharp movement followed by a somewhat slower return. The body generally followed the movement and a few steps might be taken when it was extensive. Another bird was conditioned to make incomplete pecking or brushing movements directed toward but not touching the floor. None of these responses appeared in any noticeable strength during adaptation to the cage or until the food hopper was periodically presented. In the remaining two cases, conditioned responses were not clearly marked."

1
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on May 13, 2012
at 06:39 AM

N=1 is THE experiment (the only one that matters)

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 13, 2012
at 10:13 PM

This. The map is not the territory, the menu is not the meal, etc.

1
A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

on May 13, 2012
at 03:17 AM

I get what you're saying, and I have similar feelings at times. However, after reading a lot about the diet, the tolerance ranges, and individual responses, I have a slightly different take.

I've been going for about two months, and noticed aN almost immediate boost in mood and energy. I had been easing into it for a month prior, so I didn't get any of the low-carb flu symptoms. This past month, I've added and removed various items -- rice, potatoes, dairy, minimal legumes -- and have had no ill effects. I also tried adding back a little gluten (a non-GF beer), and that caused significant problems for me the next day, and I felt back to normal the day after.

This has led me to the conclusion that I'm in really good shape compared to a lot of the participants here, in regards to what I can tolerate. It seems that my system can tolerate just about any cheat I throw at it. And I can even have the beer, occasional piece of bread, or a bit of pasta if I'm willing to pay for it for a day or so. Rather than deciding that your N=1 has been meaningless, perhaps it just confirms that the basic diet has given you the most benefit, and you may not have any extreme intolerances.

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