Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend wrap-up

I didn't end up having any noticeable side-effects from the two drop dose of iodine on Saturday. I think what I was feeling was just normal weekend blahs and crankiness and hunger!

I've been feeling a little tired of chicken, especially the boneless skinless variety, so I decided to switch around our meals a little this week. This week's menu is heavy on beef, though we did have chicken thighs tonight.

Speaking of tonights dinnner, I tried a new recipe. I made Moroccan style chicken from Nourishing Traditions, and buckwheat and lentil pilaf. The chicken was pretty flavorful, and the pilaf may be an acquired taste... my husband and I thought it was okay. Both dishes definitely had a combination of flavors that we don't often eat, so it was kind of refreshing.

The grain and lentils were soaked for about 24 hours, as per the recommendations in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. Soaking, sprouting, and fermenting grains, lentils and beans deactivates the anti-nutrients (phytates and lectins) and makes them more digestible. These anti-nutrients are the main reason these foods are discouraged on the paleo diet.

I ate pretty awful stuff this weekend. I have noticed since reintroducing grain, sugar, and dairy, that my resolve has weakened and my cravings are a lot worse. My plan for this week is to focus on eating properly prepared grains (if I eat grain products) and to eat only cultured dairy products. I also want to cut way back on sugar and I'm even considering eliminating it almost completely (except for berries).

There is a method to my madness. Next time I post I'll explain the thoughts behind the plan and post some references.

Work week, here I come!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Update on iodine experiment and reconsidering grains and dairy

I have been taking Iodine every day since I last posted about it. Last Monday, I decided to increase to two drops in the morning and I experienced some odd symptoms. I had the same slightly increased salivation as when I first started with one drop, but when I got to work I sneezed all day long, and got a wicked bad sinus headache which lasted almost all day. I got home and did some googling and came across several resources which indicated that this condition is called iodism, or basically an overdose of iodine. Some of the sources made this sound really frightening, but a little more research indicated that there's some evidence that this reaction may be caused when there is bromide present in the body.

So, for most of the week I decreased my dose back to one drop which I had no problem with, and then tried increasing the dose again on Friday. This time, no sinus headache, sneezing, or increased salivation. I also noticed that about midmorning, I felt pretty good overall.

However, this morning the same two drop dose has me experiencing some slight sinus pressure. I just took it, so we'll see if it subsides or gets worse throughout the day.

Last Saturday we went to one of our favorite local diners and I ordered, totally on a whim, a monte cristo. I'd never eaten one, but I heard from many people that this place serves up one of the best and, figuring that I already felt like garbage, I ordered it.

For those who may not know, the monte cristo is a thick sandwich, filled with two types of cheese, ham, and turkey, and egg battered and... fried. Sometimes it's topped with powdered sugar and most I've seen are served with jam. So, this was a real departure from my no grains, no dairy diet. Like, miles away.

Well, I ate about half of the sandwich. It really was a work of art. The batter was thick, light, and crispy, unlike most fried foods you find anymore. But, I mean, it was... fried. And I haven't eaten anything that fried in who knows how long, so half plus a bite or two was all I could do. And it was quite yummy. Not something I could eat often, but probably an experience I should have at least once in my life.

Then, my stomach got super upset and I had to run off to the bathroom. When I came back, the other half of my sandwich was gone, and my husband had puffed up cheeks and canary feathers poking out of his mouth. Which was fine, because I was quite done with the sandwich!

For most of this week, I returned to my grain and dairy free diet. Thursday I made chicken soup and served it with sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches. I actually ate a fair bit of sourdough bread this week. I didn't enjoy the cheese much, though. I'm finding that typical cheeses like cheddar and colby jack aren't terribly pleasing to my palate anymore. They taste kind of... bland.

Anyway, I have been reconsidering dairy and grains in light of some podcasts I listened to, from I've read her blog off and on for a couple years now, and she's just recently started podcasting. I was quite suprised to hear her discuss with some of her guests the pitfalls of a paleo diet and it sort of got me thinking. It actually provided a nice counterpoint to a lot of the reading (and listening, and researching...) I've done over the past year.

The author of (maybe I'll just refer to her as cheeseslave from now on) advocates a traditional foods diet, a la Weston A Price. I won't go into the Weston A Price Foundation in this point, except to say that the diet they advocate focuses on traditional foods such as meat, animal fats, soaked and sprouted grains, cultured dairy and fermented foods. There is a fair bit of research around this (Weston Price's life work, or at least what he is most known for these days), but the diet is pretty controversial. Then again, what diet isn't controversial anymore?

So, I'm doing some research into this and have started eating grains and some dairy again, though I'll admit they are not the healthy grains and dairy recommended by WAPF. I've definitely noticed a difference in how I feel, too, and I can't say it's all good.

Anyway, this is probably long enough for now! Expect more to come in the way of traditional foods and my experiments with recipes and a new way of eating.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The iodine experiment

After a fair bit of research, I've decided to start supplementing with iodine.

Iodine is a necessary micronutrient which many people believe we don't get in sufficient amounts in our diets, due to soil depletion, absorption of heavy metals and halogens, and the fact that about 1/2 of home cooks no longer use iodized salt.

Iodine is required by many organs and glands in your body, most notably the thyroid and reproductive organs.

I'm using a product called Iosol, which is a water soluble form of iodine that also contains iodide (your body requires both iodine and iodide). One drop contains 1830 mcg of iodine, roughly 1200% of the RDA. However, many Japanese consume 13 mg of iodine on a consistent basis with no ill effects.

I took my first dose today. I'm starting with one drop in a glass of Emergen-c in the morning. I couldn't taste the iodine at all, luckily. I didn't notice much in the way of effects except for a very slight metallic taste in my mouth and slightly increased amounts of saliva, neither of which were unpleasant. Within the first hour of taking it, those effects diminished.

I'll be updating about how things are going with the supplementation. In the meantime, here are some further resources on iodine supplementation.

Two podcasts with Dr. Jorge Flechas

Jimmy Moore interviews Dr. Flechas (appx 50 mins)

Nora Gedgaudas of Primal Body, Primal Mind features a guest on thyroid and iodine

Dr. Brownstein, article on iodine supplementation

Iodine and halogens

Monday, March 1, 2010


Well, the apple crisp was absolutely delicious. After I ate it, however, I didn't feel so hot. I had a second serving today (because I'm stupid) and I felt just fine. !#$&%!

I am not feeling well in general. I noticed last week that I was getting some abdominal pain in what is probably my right ovary. It was mild but persistent when sitting down, and I have the, *ahem* privelege of sitting down all day at work so it kept up that whole time. It continued through most of the weekend and is back today, slightly more painful than before. I am also just generally experiencing a lot of pain. Weird pain here and there... wrists, back, arms, legs. I don't know what's up. If the abdominal pain persists I'll probably go see the doctor.