My experience with a 4 day modified bone broth fast

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This awesome book talks about bone broth benefits and it has recipes

One of the strongly encouraged things to do on the Pathogen Purge step (on the Gut Thrive in 5 Program) is to do a 4 day bone broth fast.  It was encouraged to do this at the beginning of the Pathogen Purge as a way to get a head start to starve the bacteria in the gut. Let’s look at the key point benefits of bone broth:

  1. Heals leaky gut
  2. Overcomes food intolerances and allergies
  3. improves joint health
  4. Reduces cellulite
  5. Boosts the immune system

How fantastic does this sound? But it was going to be tough eating minimal food for 4 days. Needless to say,  I waited to do this, and kept putting it off. I didn’t want to do it while at work, then I didn’t want to do it when on the weekend we went to Six Flags either. I ended up doing it at the very end, like a procrastinator would and worked 3 out of 4 days anyway. I just decided, it was never going to the right time. Since I have Hashimoto’s, I am tired all the time, and since starting the program I have come to experience hypoglycemic symptoms  that I had not had before including anxiety and increasing headache when I went too long without eating. Because of this, I decided to do the modified version. I also have been checked, and do not have diabetes, so this was an odd observation for me, but valid nonetheless. Per the program, I had 3 options. All of the options consist of 48 ounces of broth a day. I ordered the broth from The Brothery and had purchased 6 bags for this program, at 24 ounces each. You can easily make your own, but I chose convenience so convenience will cost more. It really took the stress out for me and that is worth so much to me right now.   I purchased a combo of beef and chicken.  Honestly, the beef was not so good to drink as the chicken was. I would buy all chicken next time if I did this again. There is also Pete’s Paleo however there are many more broth providers that deliver and I encourage you to find one you like. I just found out there is a new low FODMAP bone broth maker called Gut RX Gurus and if I would have heard of them before, I would have ordered from them instead. Considering I am positive for SIBO, it would have been a more perfect choice.  I don’t think it makes a huge difference, however if you know you have SIBO, why not go low FODMAP on the broth right? Low FODMAP in a nutshell for this article’s purpose just refers to carbs that do not aggravate SIBO. You can always make it yourself too. The key is simmering the bones for a long time (anywhere from 8 hours to 24 hours) with vinegar to extract the collagen, so make sure you are searching for a true bone broth recipe.

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I bought chicken and beef broth from The Brothery.  I prefer the chicken over the beef and squeezed half a lemon in my cup.  Yum!

The first option consisted of a pure bone broth fast.  You would have 12 ounces of broth for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You would add a tablespoon of collagen for extra protein, a pinch of sea salt for the adrenals, and 1/2 tsp of coconut oil.  I could not use the microwave either, it had to be heated on the stove.  I took a thermos to work to avoid using the microwave. Make sure to pour very hot water in the thermos for 5 minutes before throwing out the water and pouring your hot broth in it. This will keep it hotter longer.  In between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, my snack would include a green juice. Only green juices with no fruit in it is allowed. Dinner was 1 tsp of ghee added to the broth, instead of coconut oil, plus 1 cup of berries.

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Grassfed collagen derived from cows, tastes like nothing!

The modified version has more food in it as well as the bone broth for people with hypothyroidism, or adrenal fatigue.  I would add in anyone with hypoglycemia would probably fit here too. This was the one I chose to do.  You do everything the original version says to do, with a modification to have the berries in the morning.  For breakfast you can steamed greens and 2 poached eggs or 4 oz turkey sausage and 1 cup of berries. I had Aidell’s chicken and apple sausage and 1 cup of raspberries which I bought from Costco some mornings. Some days I had steamed kale and the eggs. 2 cups of steamed collard greens or kale is a lot of chewing. I did not enjoy that so much. For lunch you can add 4 ounces of baked, broiled, or steamed fish and 2 cups of steamed mixed veggies legal for your Plan. (no illegal veggies here for me). Here I had no time for cooking, so for 2 days I ate a can of tuna with some lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper as my fish. Simple! Dinner consisted of 4 ounces of lean protein and 2 cups of steamed non starchy veggies. I mostly had chicken breast for dinner, and either collard greens/spinach/ or carrots.  Sometimes I cooked the carrots in a little grass-fed butter and omitted it from the broth.  For the green juice, I purchased Greens 1.5 from the Pressed Juicery.   If there is an organic greens juice you can find bottled, without any fruit, I would recommend that first. I tried and liked the taste of Greens 1.5, and did not know of any local organic bottled pressed juices until later.  Urban Remedy was brought up by a friend that it was the same concept as Pressed Juicery, but they were organic.  I have yet to try their juice, but I plan to visit sometime. Extra bonus for those who have a Pressed Juicery near them.  They make fabulous vegan fruit and almond milk soft serves made with dates for sweetness and it looks like frozen yogurt.  You can even put fresh toppings on it. Check that out if you get a chance to visit one. My daughter loves the fruit soft serve and she gets chocolate chips on it, and I loved the chocolate almond soft serve.

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Greens 1.5 from the Pressed Juicery. Loved it!

The last and third option is for vegans/vegetarians and those with a known histamine/glutamine intolerance.  Bone broth is high in histamine/glutamine which is why is someone knows they are sensitive to that, it would not be recommended to drink bone broth. This option consists of young green coconut gel and meat, Bieler’s broth, vegetable broth, and green juice without fruit. Fresh, young, green, organic coconut water/gel  comes from an immature coconut. A sample day would look like 12-24 ounces of vegetable broth for breakfast lunch and dinner. Add a pinch of sea salt, a touch of coconut oil or ghee, and a young green coconut gel to breakfast and lunch only. Same thing applies here for snacks; drink your green juice!

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Bone broth, coconut oil, collagen, and berries. Sausage also a part of breakfast, not in the picture.

Everyday I drank 1 gallon of filtered water.  I was used to drinking 1/2 a gallon, but considering I was somewhat hungrier, I increased the intake for not only to quell the hunger but also to enhance the detox. Since I worked as well, I found myself to be getting extremely hungry 2 out of the 4 days when my break did not happen on time but more than an hour later and I found myself with a headache that began to increase in intensity.  It was becoming hard to concentrate, and I was feeling shaky, and somewhat irritable. After finally eating “dinner” of greens, protein, and broth, the headache remained. Luckily, a coworker had shared some oranges from her trees with me, and I dug into one ravenously. In about 45 minutes my headache began to finally subside.  I am so grateful that I had that orange, since my body was telling me it was not happy. There was plenty of chocolate circulating that day and I was sincerely hoping I would not have to give in, to relieve these symptoms.  I would of regretted it.  I am not sure how others have fared on a modified fast like this, but I would imagine if you did not have to work it might be easier.  I would suggest if you were planning on it and had to work, to just go with the modified version and have an extra fruit with you, in case you feel those kinds of low blood sugar symptoms.

I felt calm, accomplished, and clear-headed when the fast was over. I think taking the pathogen purging supplements was a great compliment to the fast and I felt like I was doing all of it with great purpose.  I lost about 5 pounds, which is about all of the weight I’ve lost being on this program and it’s been 5 weeks.  I’m not sure how it’s possible I would still have weight loss resistance, but I am not stressing.  My focus is on healing and maximizing that healing every way I can.

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Believe you can

 

 

 

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

 

Going to Disneyland while on the Repairvite Diet

 

 

We planned a spontaneous last minute trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA for New Years Eve 2015, and this was one week into my Repairvite diet.  I thought to myself, I am going to do everything I can to get through it successfully.  We rented a hotel at Marriott Residence Inn, so it was with a full kitchenette.  This is necessary for sure. I brought a large cooler with half frozen meals and other half snacks.  I stayed on plan with one caveat: I had an UNSWEETENED Starbucks matcha green tea coconut milk latte two times on both park days.  A Venti one day, and a Grande the next.  I was so tired, from walking from 9 am to 6 pm, and we wanted to make at least the 9 pm fireworks. I was yawning and just wanted to pass out.  I thought, couldn’t I have something with caffeine that won’t destroy me or give me jitters, considering I had been off of caffeine a week and a half already?  I learned a few things about this drink later, and will not make this mistake again. First let’s go over some facts:

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are :

Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).
Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).

Whats in the matcha green tea?  The Starbucks matcha green tea powder is pre-sweetened and the first ingredient is sugar, with the second ingredient being green tea powder. Thanks to Carla for this information!  This means there is more sugar than green tea powder.   The Sumatra coconut milk is also sweetened.  This is good enough for Starbucks apparently, since they want you hooked.  You can add sugar, but you can’t take it away, and this is why I do not buy drinks often from Starbucks.

So how much sugar was in it? You can go to Starbucks website, and create your drink with coconut milk, plug in your size, and find out the sugar content.  I found out after i got home from my trip. Turns out my Venti green tea coconut milk latte has 40 grams of sugar (a man’s recommended amount for the day), and my 2nd day Grande drink has 29 grams of sugar (over a woman’s recommended amount)! This is asking for it unsweetened. They actually add more sugar to this in the syrup form, unless you say no sugar added! That is ridiculous! The venti was about 3 TBSP of sugar, and the Grande is 2 TBSP, I stress this is unsweetened.  Who needs the caffeine when you are secretly sugar attacked?

If I could change this choice, I would of asked for a green tea bag in hot water. Plain, simple, without any sugar.  I will tell you that my sugar infused drink did wake me up, and I had jitters after about 2 hours. I do not have low blood sugar so I thought that was odd.   I probably used up all the excess sugar walking, and maybe had a nosedive blood glucose level.  I definitely am not happy that my adrenals (which I am trying to heal, and chose green tea over coffee for the milder effects) were forced into overdrive because of the sugar and I had no idea why.

I just got the message from my Dr. that I do not need to add another week of the diet because of this mess-up.  Whew I am so grateful!  (Dr David Clark, DC is my awesome holistic healthcare provider!)

What food did I bring?

In my large cooler for the car ride, I had purchased meals from fuelmeals.com which had combos like broccoli, yams, and chicken breast.  I brought 6 meals for 3 days of traveling.  I also brought Aidells chicken and apple sausage for breakfast, and had 1.5 sausages each morning. I cooked up diced yam and cinnamon before the trip and had about 4-5 oz each morning with sausage. I bought cucumbers, sugar snap peas, apples, gluten and casein free turkey, avocado, cooked bacon from Trader Joe’s, and clementine oranges. I also brought peppermint and chamomile tea bags and had a few in my purse.

Sugar snap peas, oranges, Apple slices
Sugar snap peas, clementine oranges, apple slices

Breakfast: cinnamon coconut oil fried yams, Aidell’s chicken apple sausage (1.5)

Snack: Apples, clementines, coconut butter, turkey, butter lettuce, bacon, avocado

Lunch/Dinners Fuel Meals with 3 basic things: a green veggie, yam, and protein

I eat whenever I am hungry. You should not be hungry on the Repairvite diet.

When we were at the Disney park, I could not find a microwave, and no restaurant would allow me to give them my food to heat up. They mentioned that they thought the baby center might have a microwave.  I had no idea where that was, and this was New Years Eve, the busiest day of the year! I threw my hands up and asked if anything could be specially made. I had a chef at one of the restaurants in front of Star Tours ride accommodate me. He made me a plain burger patty with only salt and pepper, wrapped in a lettuce bun with a side of fruit and some cucumber slices. He had no onions available, or balsamic vinegar and EVOO for dressings if I wanted a special salad, so burger it was.  It was actually a big patty and filling.  I think it will depend on what restaurant you stop at, what they have available at that area.  Since my frozen meal had thawed at the end of the day, I put it in the fridge and ate it first thing in the morning. I’m glad I started with frozen for this reason!

The next day we were at California Adventure Park, and I knew already that the Baby Center had a microwave, so I mapped it out, and we planned our day.  In this park, it is in Pacific Wharf which is nothing but restaurants.  So if your family is hungry, go heat up your food first, and take it to whatever cafe they are going to eat.  It’s literally right there.

I carried my six pack bags purse which is a cooler. It holds 2 meals. They also sell backpacks that can carry up to 6 meals! This was a lifesaver! Be prepared though as Disneyland discourages bringing food into the park, however if you tell the security person that is checking your bag you can let them know you multiple dietary restrictions.  I don’t think you can bring a 6 pack of sodas or a gallon of water for instance, but you could try.  Worse case scenario you have to store it in a locker in the front of the park.   I had a few bars, fruit strips, and cheddar bunnies for my kid to snack on as well.

Bring a plastic water bottle, and there are fountains that you can fill up at. When we ate, we asked for tap water in a cup, and I used that to refill.  I stayed pretty hydrated, and went to the bathroom what seemed like every hour! But I know I could of felt so much more tired, had I not done this.

Bottom Line:

Rent a hotel room with a kitchenette. You need a cooler that you can carry in the park. Use ice packs in the coolers. Rent a locker for 12 bucks a day, to store clothes to change or valuables that you don’t want to carry. (I mention the following because I wish someone told me): I would suggest a pre charged battery to charge your phone, especially if you are using the Disney app in the park, and don’t post to social media if you can help it, again unless you have the pre charged battery to recharge.  Wait until nighttime after getting to the hotel to do that if you can. Posting all day will drain your battery fast!  If you can, use airplane mode to save the battery and just take pictures. Take one frozen meal per person, and a sandwich or quart size bag of finger snacks. Find out where the Baby Center is to use the microwave.  Take a plastic water bottle to refill (BPA free of course!) Pack a bag with mixed snacks. Decide before going, you will do this today and you will be successful.  Inquire the chef at any and all restaurants, even open air grills (they are in every restaurant) and ask what they have but give them some ideas like a plain lettuce wrap burger with fruit, or salad with a plain grilled protein if you brought your own dressing.

All in all, I think my trip was successful and I learned some lessons including my own strength. I encourage you to feel confident that it can be done, because it can.  I feel assured that the next time we go, I can do this better!  I hope this was helpful!

 

 

The word “natural” on food labeling, what does it mean?

I see this label on a lot of food items, from uncooked chicken breasts to frozen food to yogurt. This label is on way too many things, almost everything! Does it  make you want to buy that brand over another because it says ‘all-natural’?  This marketing term is deceptive in that it tricks people into thinking it’s ‘healthier’ than the next product. This term is not regulated by the FDA. So what does it mean?

If I see all-natural on a package of chicken breasts, all that means is that it is a package of chicken breasts. It’s not from a cow, it’s not from a lamb, it’s not fake soybean chicken like substance, it’s chicken breast! It tells me nothing about if this chicken was raised humanely, if it is free of antibiotics, or free of GMO exposure from the chickens eating GMO feed (which does alter the composition of the meat).  Usually all natural in reference to meat, is a factory farmed (stressed) and antibiotic treated animal.  This is the worst kind you can eat.

When looking to buy any meat, there are a few things to look for. Look for a label that says organic, because those chickens were likely not fed GMO feed.  I like seeing terms like humanely raised or certified humane.  Even better is pastured chickens! The less stressed the animal, the healthier the meat. But pastured chicken and eggs are usually limited to farmers markets and online buying. At the very least, look for ‘antibiotic free’.

The simpler and shorter the ingredient list, the better. In fact, if it is one ingredient, like a fruit or vegetable, then that can truly be called all-natural. But you won’t see labels on fruits or veggies, because there is more money for processed food companies than for farmers.  It’s the processed foods that are labeled as such, and you are now much more savvy than that! They can even use artificial ‘natural’ flavors (you read that right) and call it natural, even though it is blueberry flavor and not blueberries flavoring that yogurt or drink.  It may have a long list of thickeners, GMO’s, high fructose corn syrup and the list goes on, yet still have the label ‘all natural’ because the original unprocessed source was natural.

You will never look at the term all-natural the same again.

 

Want to make a difference and get involved? The FDA is taking comments to help them define what the term natural should mean on a label.  Let them know before February 10, 2016! Here is my comment:
It should not contain any GMO’s, or animal meat that was fed GMO’s. It should not contain natural or artificial flavors, artificial or natural colorings other than an actual single food coloring source, artificial flavorings, thickeners, stabilizers, or preservatives. Natural should mean whole single ingredients.

comment here:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2014-N-1207-0001