30 days of the Repairvite Diet: mistakes, revelations, and what now?

image

I am grateful to have this blog to be accountable to, for I have had some close moments of getting way off track.  Knowing I would have to report that really made a difference! I thought that the first few weeks would be the hardest, and although I started this diet right before Christmas, it was actually the last two weeks that I found myself craving chocolate hard.  You see, chocolate and I have had an ongoing love affair, and we had to break up at the start of this nutritional experiment.  It was not easy, and it had to be cut off in pure denial. I was good at denying it for awhile, but I started to have a tough time again, even though I had gone more than two weeks straight without it. The saying that cravings go away with time, I’m not sure I believe that. But was it physical or psychological, or both? Who knows.  I found out however that the more I said in my head “I’m craving chocolate so bad right now” the more I made that craving stronger and real. One of the things I did differently this time around, was that I did not stroll the aisles of Trader Joe’s to see what new chocolates/gluten free sweets/ice cream they had.  If I missed that aisle, I was always greeted at the checkout, just in case I forgot to look at the chocolate.   Given this obstacle, I realized I needed a different, less tortuous approach to grocery shopping. I got in, and got out as soon as I could.  I pretended like I did not even see it at the checkout, even though I knew I did.

image
This is me, every time I go to the store. Every time I am at work. Every time…well how about just all the time!

But this last week, due to a variety of stressors, brought on a strength that was dying to fail me. I was at work one night, and I have a particularly high stress job as an intensive care nurse, and had yet another opportunity to fail.  I rolled my eyes in my own sarcasm, as if I was not impressed with myself and these cravings, and asked God for help at the same time, remembering this verse:

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

So I prayed in my head, “God thank you for helping me get through this so far. Please help me stay strong, I’ve come too far to give up and reverse my progress.  I want to succeed, and I feel so weak right now. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. Please help me succeed. I know you would not put me in a situation I cannot handle.”

And I did not do it.

I believe in the power of prayer.  You have to put your heart into it, blind faith, and belief that there is a higher power that wants to see you victorious. And do not ever forget, there is also another higher power that wants to see you fail. That latter part, I think that is what really motivated me that night.

God is with me through the easy times, and the hard.  He is always there.  And He will always be the comfort in hard times, you just have to be relentless in praying to Him.

Mistakes: After some careful evaluating of foods I was eating, I realized I had made some mistakes and was eating legumes, specifically sugar snap peas and green beans, that are a NO NO on the repairvite diet.  It didn’t snap in my mind (no pun intended) that these could be legumes, and I had them throughout the diet. I’ve added these specifically to the foods list to help others not make the same mistake.

Fortunately, my Dr said it was ok for me, if that was the worst that happened.  Next to my Disneyland green tea adventures I wrote about in my other blog.

I’ve also added some other foods to the list, that my Dr. clarified highlighted here.

Review of symptoms: I debated about writing these things about myself. Things are about to get real.  But I understand that I cannot help people unless they realize that I am going through the same thing they are, so I am opening myself up here. Get ready for some TMI. (Too much information)

I have noticed that I don’t have nearly as much gas anymore, and I feel lighter. However, I still alternate between having diarrhea and constipation (I’m so thankful for modern man’s invention: the BUTT wipe. Hey, I am not ashamed! ), I have lost no weight in 30 days which is incredibly strange, given the strict food list on the Repairvite diet. I still have tough to treat dandruff. This is a chronic condition that apparently can be put into remission like any other autoimmune disease, and the only thing that works for me is topical steroids. Definitely not what I want to do long term because steroids can indirectly shrink the adrenals.  I still have more energy at night, and I’m very tired in the morning.  Hashimoto’s and adrenal fatigue are correlated in many people. And adrenal fatigue is not recognized in conventional medicine as a real condition, yet.  This is unfortunate, as so many people suffer from this and accept it as a way of life. So many people are dog tired, no matter how much caffeine they pump into themselves, and just live burnt out everyday. Our high stress lives compound the stress on our adrenals. I know that in time, it will become a true medical diagnosis just as depression was not accepted as a true medical diagnosis at one time. From a saliva test, we found out that my adrenal fatigue showed my cortisol levels to be disproportionately higher at night and lower in the AM instead of vice versa. This explains my tiredness in the AM, and energy at night. I’m not sure if it would take me longer to treat by diet to see results, or if we need to switch gears to Plan B. I will speaking to my holistic Dr soon about these results.

I highly value holistic practitioners.Although I have been trained in conventional medicine, they have opened my eyes to a world of true medicine: holistic healing. Instant gratification is a concept we demand in conventional medicine. This works well in acute settings, but it doesn’t have the best reputation in chronic settings. Instant gratification does not work in the long run, and does more harm than good often times.

A peek at my shopping cart below!

IMG_4895
My Costco basket: Including organic apple cider vinegar, organic sweet potatoes, cinnamon, halo clementines, kiwis, blueberries, Epsom salts for baths, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil for high heat cooking, beets, and organic ground turkey

Now that you got appropriately TMI’d , reflect on the kinds of symptoms you have that bother you, and you have just lived with and accepted as part of life.  Know that gas and irregular stools are NOT normal, and regular stomachaches aren’t either.  I would of never thought my skin issues were something that could be put into remission, and I am on a mission to figure out how.

Food is medicine. Medicine is food.  This is an underestimated fact not readily translated to the people in America.

There is hope.  It will take trial and error, but there is an answer you haven’t found yet.  Don’t give up.

Next blog post is about my follow up with my Doctor.

 

Advertisements

The Repairvite Diet Protocol

DrClarks Repairvite Diet

Please refer to the leaky gut post blog here, where I mention the WHY of doing a diet such as the Repairvite Diet, and what leaky gut means.

The repairvite diet is basically the autoimmune protocol or AIP, but with a few differences.  I would venture to say the repairvite diet is definitely harder to do than AIP. The list is more restrictive. The gal over at the Curious Coconut did a great post, defining the differences and gives some tips as to what to expect and how to do it. Diet is huge and unavoidable when desiring to heal leaky gut, and I believe supplements are extremely helpful too.  There are so many out there, how do you know what you need?  This is why it is so important to have a healthcare practitioner look at your labs and evaluate you, so they can address your specific concerns.  This is not a cookie cutter program. I believe diet can help everyone, however, if you have really advanced symptoms you might get better but get stuck or have really slow results.

Foods to AVOID on the Repair Program Diet

Sugars: including

  • agave
  • candy
  • chocolate
  • corn syrup
  • fructose
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • sucrose

High Glycemic Fruits, including:

  • bananas
  • canned fruits
  • dried fruits
  • mango
  • pineapple
  • raisins
  • watermelon and melons of all kinds

ALL Grains, including:

  • amaranth
  • barley
  • buckwheat
  • bulgur
  • corn
  • couscous
  • kamut
  • millet
  • oats
  • quinoa
  • rice (all kinds)
  • rye
  • spelt
  • wheat & wheat germ

ALL Nuts and seeds, including:

  • almonds, peanuts
  • sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • Gluten-containing compounds, including:
  • barbecue sauce, binders, bouillon, brewer’s yeast
  • cold cuts, condiments (safe only if labeled as gluten-free)
  • emulsifiers, fillers, gums
  • hot dogs, hydrolyzed plant and vegetable protein, ketchup, soy sauce, lunch meats, malt and malt flavoring, malt vinegar, matzo, modified food starch, monosodium glutamate, nondairy creamer, processed salad dressings, seitan, some spice mixtures, stabilizers, teriyaki sauce, textured vegetable protein

 

ALL Eggs
All Milk & Dairy products including:

• butter
• ALL cheeses
• cow’s milk
• cream
• frozen desserts • goat’s milk
• margarine
• mayonnaise
• sheep’s milk
• whey
• yogurt

Soy, including:

  • edamame
  • miso
  • soy milk
  • soy protein, soy flour
  • soy sauce
  • tempeh
  • tofu.
  • NOTE: soy lecithin is allowed
  • Fungi: edible fungi and all mushrooms.
  • Alcohol: all alcohol
  • All Beans and Legumes, including: black beans, lentils, peanuts, peas, pinto beans, sugar snap peas, green beans, and edamame or soybeans.

Nightshade foods, including:

  • eggplant
  • paprika
  • peppers of ALL kinds (even in salsas, Tabasco)
  • potatoes (not sweet potatoes or yams)
  • nutritional yeast
  • tomatoes & tomatillos Other:
    • canned foods
    • coffee
    • processed foods
    • Artificial Sweeteners (Splenda, Equal, NutraSweet)
    • lemon balm tea

Adapted from Dr. Datis Kharazzian

Foods To Eat on The Repair Program Diet

 

Most organic vegetables, including:

• anise
• artichoke
• asparagus
• avocado
• beets
• bok choy
• broccoli
• cabbage (all kinds)
• carrot
• cauliflower
• celery
• chives
• cucumber
• garlic
• kale
• kohlrabi
• leeks
• lettuces (all kinds)
• mustard greens, collard greens • onions
• parsley
• radish
• rhubarb
• shallots
• spinach
• squash (all kinds)
• sweet potatoes
• water chestnuts
• watercress
• yams
• zucchini

Fermented foods — OPTIONAL but helpful

  • Kombucha tea — ONLY THIS BRAND: GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha Original Flavor
  • Pickled ginger — ONLY THIS BRAND: The Ginger People Organic Pickled Sushi Ginger
  • Sauerkraut –”Bubbie’s” is the best brand
  • Live Culture pickles (make your own, recipes on web)
  • Coconut Kefir — all of these are OPTIONAL
    • –  SoDelicous brand Original Coconut Milk Kefir
    • –  Inner Eco brand Original Dairy-free ProbioticKefir
    • –  Inner Eco brand Wild Berry Flavor Dairy-free Probiotic Kefir

 

Meats, including:

  • beef and pork
  • chicken
  • fish — Fish should be ocean-caught (not farmed) with a low mercury content. Swordfish, most tuna and kingmackerel are very high in mercury.
  • shrimp
  • lamb
  • turkey
  • Choose hormone-free and antibiotic-free chicken,turkey, and lamb.
  • Choose beef & pork that is grass-fed, hormone-free,and antibiotic-free.Coconut, including:• coconut butter • coconut cream • coconut milk
    • coconut oil• unsweetened coconut flakesNoodles:• brown shirataki yam noodles (sold in Asian grocery stores)Herbs and spices: including• basil
    • black pepper
    • cilantro
    • coriander
    • cumin
    • ginger
    • lemongrass
    • mint
    • parsley
  • mace
  • sage• Non-iodized sea salt

Herbal teas – ONLY herbal teas without any caffeine or licorice such as:

  • chamomile
  • peppermint
  • rooibos
  • hibiscus tea
  • these can have “flavors” such as vanilla, peach etc NOTE: Avoid Celestial Seasonings brand until further notice
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Bragg’s brand is a good one.
    Olive oil & Olives — Organic if possible.

– Tonix brand Coconut Water Kefir

Low Glycemic organic fruits — including

  • apples
  • apricots
  • avocados
  • berries
  • cherries
  • grapefruit
  • grapes
  •  lemons
  •  oranges
  •  peaches
  •  pears
  •  plums
  •  coconut
  •  kiwi
  • plantains

Misc foods:

  • arrowroot flour
  • carob powder
  • organic palm shortening
  • cassava flour
  • balsamic vinegar
  • fennel seed
  • mace spice

Adapted from Dr. Datis Kharazzian

My health care practitioner is Dr David Clark, DC.  He works with people everywhere around the nation. I consult with him over the phone. He is brilliant, and helped me when no conventional doctor could. I fell off the wagon, but I am human, so now he is helping me again.  I recommend him! You can google his name on youtube and watch his videos.  Tell him I sent you! Here is the link to his website.

What is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (hypothyroidism)?

imageI have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis disease, which is an autoimmune disease where your body attacks your thyroid. Your body creates antibodies towards your thyroid. The more antibodies it creates, the worse off your thyroid is. It’s not a thyroid disease per se, but a organ that is targeted. As your thyroid is targeted and destroyed slowly, you will eventually develop symptoms of hypothyroidism.  Some people are prescribed hormone replacement drugs, and others are told to keep checking it since it will be destroyed eventually if you have the signs of hypothyroidism (weight gain, hair loss, cold extremities, loss of outer 1/3 of brow, fatigue).  Eventually, if your thyroid keeps becoming destroyed, you might even be told by your doctor to have it eradicated, and be on thyroid hormones for life. Yet there are the few people out there who have mastered how to manage the triggers. This is no different than one with rheumatoid arthritis, who is never really cured, but might notice certain things or foods trigger flare ups.  Hashimoto’s is a lot harder to tell what a trigger may be, at least for me personally and in my opinion.  Between the research and food reactions, I don’t always have food reactions. But when I eat the offending food daily, over time my symptoms worsen.  It’s like a very slow process, and it tricks me. However, some people may have obvious reactions to food, or they may also have celiac disease which is commonly associated with Hashimoto’s. That can be very useful knowledge in mastering and taming the disease.

This was diagnosed after I had my child, so my pregnancy triggered this gene I already had. I had profound changes in myself from before pregnancy to after, including depression, weight gain, extreme fatigue, and oversleeping. I am also cold when everyone else is warm, and mostly my extremities. Hashimotos is most common in women, some kind of psychological or physiological trigger might turn the gene on, and once you have that gene turned on, its on for life. That goes for any autoimmune disease like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, etc. You can always manage the disease, but it will never be ‘cured’. I’ve learned that Hashimotos is largely missed by doctors because it is not routinely tested in the so called ‘full thyroid panel’ and that 90% of hypothyroid patients have this autoimmune disorder. The good news is that there are dietary measures you can take to downplay the destruction of your thyroid, and if you work with a healthcare practitioner (could be a ND, DO, chiropractor, or health coach) who is well educated in leaky gut syndrome, (there are some, but few MD’s that could help, look up functional MD’s) you may even come to find out more details about what triggers an autoimmune response in your own body. I am working with a chiropractor who is a functional neurologist, and I will be taking a list of supplements that were specific to my labs as well as doing the repairvite diet for 30 days to begin healing the gut, deinflaming the body, which will in turn balance my hormones and perhaps I could finally lose weight!

One experiment I did earlier this year was I joined Orange Theory Fitness which is an intense one hour session of half cardio and half weight lifting using your heart rate as a measure for exertion.  I had spent 6 weeks here and attended 3x week.  I was using a foam roller for recovery, branched chain amino acids as well, and was taking Epsom salt baths frequently.  I was also doing the Alternate Day Diet which I wrote a blog post earlier about.  Three times a week I ate 500 calories in the form of a liquid meal.  This intense class combined with this diet left me feeling extremely exhausted, and sore most of the days.  I still pushed on.  I am very disappointed to report that I lost zero pounds and zero inches.  As a matter of fact I ended up gaining 2 pounds at the end of that challenge.  How in the world was that possible?  This led me to my holistic Dr, a chiropractor/functional neurologist who specializes in Hashimoto’s.  He explained to me that everything that was happening to me made sense and with my disease what goes with it is that adrenal fatigue is common, and weight loss will not happen when the body is in this high state of inflammation. The intense exercise kept me in that state of inflammation.  The 500 calories 3x a week stressed my body out. It just didn’t work for me, although it may work for some. Makes sense, so how do I fix this?

After drawing some labs and ordering supplements he prescribed after reviewing those labs, he also prescribed the Repairvite leaky gut protocol, which I must start for 30 days, then we could add foods back in one at a time.  I am choosing Monday December 21 as my start date.  I know its tough with the holidays, but I think I’m tired of feeling bloated and sick already.  Knowing how difficult this is going to be, I purchased this book: 51GqqyYWeoL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_-2

I’m going to need all the help I can get!  Whatever way you need to stay on track, exhaust all avenues! Meditation, journaling, and hypnosis are other great ideas to help keep you on track.  These are all forms of self care.  If you can feed and take care of your spiritual self, it is easier to take care of your physical self in the face of temptation.  I’m not saying temptation free, but helpful, and easier.

Repairvite Diet Protocol on next blog post!

This information should not replace your healthcare practitioner’s advice!

 

 

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome and how do you fix it?

It sounds pretty odd doesn’t it? From someone with a medical science background when I first heard the term leaky gut, I thought it had something to do with loose bowel habits (sounds like dumping syndrome). But it actually does not imply that at all. In fact, it is an evidence based term that  is better described as ‘intestinal permeability’.  This is a term that is not generally accepted YET by conventional medicine, however there is plenty of evidence to back up the definition of leaky gut, as well as people who have experienced profound improved physical health, as a result of applying the specified diet.  Remember depression was not considered a diagnosis years ago? And now it is.  Here is an example of a medical abstract on the subject:

Intestinal Permeability in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Pathogenesis, Clinical Evaluation, and Therapy of Leaky Gut https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26582965

Definition of Leaky Gut in laymans terms Taken from Dr Weil:

“Leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability refers to the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and autoimmunity. The cause of this syndrome may be chronic inflammation, food sensitivity, damage from taking large amounts of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), cytotoxic drugs and radiation or certain antibiotics, excessive alcohol consumption, or compromised immunity. Leaky gut syndrome may trigger a new or existing disorder, or worsen such disorders as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.”

I would like to add to Dr Weil’s definition of symptoms.  Brain problems can manifest from leaky gut.  Depression, migraines, anxiety, ADHD, and brain fog for example can all be attributed to leaky gut.

(Graphic property of Apex Energetics, creators of Repairvite Diet)

Notice the loose junctions at the 2nd vertical junction.

intestinal-barrier

If you have brain problems, stomach issues, or skin disorders, chances are you have leaky gut.  There are expensive tests you can take to find out, but why not do the diet and experiment on yourself? Here is a link describing the tests. Either way, some people would rather know to have a specific motivation to do a diet as strict as this. I would highly recommend working with an naturopathic doctor, a chiropractor, a functional medical doctor, or a health coach who specializes in leaky gut, to have supplements tailored to your symptoms/labs/you. My reason for doing this diet?  I have an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s that I am trying to manage, and also it is Dr’s orders!

In order to begin healing the gut, there are a few protocols that are designed to help. There is the autoimmune protocol or AIP, there is the Repairvite leaky gut diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) or the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet.  You can easily google these other diets to find out more about them.   They each differ in specific ways, and I think its good to know your options because if one is not working for you, then maybe some food is still keeping you inflamed. I will be using the Repairvite diet for my experiment, since my Dr wants me to do this one. The curious thing about leaky gut, is that when you are working to heal it, you really cannot ‘cheat’ on bad foods or you have to start over.  It can really derail and unravel all of your progress. This is what I find to be the most challenging of this kind of therapeutic diet, but I think when one comes to the end of a rope, they really just decide what is important to them.  Do you want to get by, or do you want to be optimal?  Another important thing to remember, is that this is not a long term diet. It is short term, meant to be like an deinflammatory and elimination diet, and much care must be taken to add foods back in strategically, as to note what you might be reacting to so you can stay away from it. This can actually be the hardest part of the diet, as it can take a long time to add foods back in and it takes a lot of discipline which is necessary to be able to accurately pinpoint the offending foods that could be causing your symptoms.  Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what is triggering your body? It is not easy, but I encourage you to join me if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Nothing worth having comes easy.

I will explain the details of the Repairvite diet in another post. I will document my journey and findings as I go through this.  Hope you enjoyed this post. Please comment if you have any specific questions I could address in the next post!