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 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.