Sunday, May 3, 2009

Trifecta. . . and More Confection

Speaking of fellowship and... confection, a week ago I was so grateful to experience a trifecta of TYP/Paleo encounters and delights! First had a workout at the most awesome Crossfit gym on earth where ~80% of owners/ trainers/ members are ~80-100% wheat/grain free, taking omega-3s, and, now, a growing number, the right 'roid, vitamin D! Where candy is a given and made EVERYDAY. Xfit helps me stay on track . . . with the help of 2 sorts of M'LFS: military, law enforcement, fire-fighters and the bad*ss female-warrior MiLFs.

Alright... then the other day, after walking my children to school I ran into both my favorite neighbor and favorite room mom. In fact, my wonderful blond-n-beautiful neighbor went wheat/gluten free just a month after our family last summer and buys her vitamin D from me (yeah, can u say official neighborhood drug dealer? *HAA* Currently, I'm diversifying into... coconut oil). WOW. We chatted about the immediate improvement in energy and health she had noticed -- asthma, GI, bloating, general malaise, thyroid, and blah blah blah ALL GONE zippo. And... these age-reversing remedies are... LEGAL. If it's even possible, she looks even more hawt and MILFy each day. She says she feels like she is in her 20's again, pre-kids. As we were talking about a favorite conversation topic of mine (eg, wheat dangers) my favorite room mom told us she has been contemplating but hasn't QUITE made the important jump yet. Just as she said this, a friend of theirs joined SO serendipitously. She was a friend who had apparently been wheat-free for... like... SEVEN YEARS after a celiac diagnosis. Obviously a very bright young woman, but she let us know that she is worried about her BRAIN (despite the gut and damaged villi being impaired the most). Never would she had thought she had celiac disease however being anemic for years started an exploration for a solution and diagnosis. Her gut was not absorbing vitamin B12 (from fermented products and/or seafood/meat sources) hence inducing macrocytic anemia (large-celled low blood counts). Chronic deficiency of B12 she explained leads to brain damage. She revealed that even now she doesn't feel like her brain is completely what it was before. Naturally, I have hope for her (eg, vitamin D, fish oil, low carb eating *ahaa*). B12 deficiency causes Wernicke's in alcoholics, a form of neuropathic degradation. She's right on. I did learn that once in Nutrition 101. Vitamin B12 is necessary not just for bone marrow and red blood cells, but every organ, every cell and every neuron. But what I never learned is that brain damage from leaky gut from GLUTEN/wheat (those d*mn dirty grains) is prevalent and growing like a silent epidemic. Like a task force, we talked about 'spreading the word' to other moms and sharing our resources, info, etc. There is an urgency. It aint no Tupperware party.

Epidemic. Brain damage.

Worse than Swine Virus.

Our encounters and conversations certainly made my day. And when my favorite room mom converts, she'll make my y-e-a-r! *haa* Yeah I can be a persistent, persuasive, omni-present little bugger.

Lastly at our April b-days party (yes, incl mine - another year, another year younger), my favorite gal-pals in the galaxy met. About 50% are semi-wheat free -- and I'll take that, as I'll take ANYTHING that will keep us together longer on our limited days on earth. My bestest best-friend baked the most loving, most thoughtful, most delicious, most C H O C O L A T E Y . . . moistest almond/European wheat-free dairy-free chocolate cake. Recipe HERE (coconut oil of course sub'd for butter). How old am I? *haa* Seventeen again and . . . counting backwards.

How young are you?



Dan said...

I seem to be getting all my vitamins and minerals by eating nuts, berries, seafood, red meat, olive oil and lots of green veges each day.

Dr. B G said...

Hi Dr. Dan,

You are transforming more and MORE into confectionary delight... (naturally, clinically and scientifically speaking). Keep up the strong work, you Paleo king!

You wrote once about irreversible glucose damage, right? I have probably got that. You cannot imagine the JUNK (candy, carbs, wheat/gluten, cupcakes, tubs of MARJARINE, corn oil, corn syrup in mochas, etc) I used to eat -- from high school and into college. Things of course improved after marriage, PharmD/school and KIDS.

For me to repair the irreparable... personally, I require extra minerals, coenzymes, hormones (EPA DHA -- yeah all those wonderful fishy things you've dedicated your life to study *haaa*), and vitamins. Anyhow, studies show that they do improve our bodies own machinery and genetic expression. Better living through science, why not? (That's a motto from some drug company, but... who cares). Yeah, I've been screwed by drugs (um, legal ones; synthetic hormones for contraception), but on the other hand with natural 'drugs' (Hippocrates did say 'let food be thy medicine... and medicine thy food'), eg FOOD (but concentrated, at higher doses + supplements)... now I am totally thriving. Seriously I cannot deny how much TYP and supplements have helped me. And the health of my family!

Actually I'm like you -- perhaps our ancestors evolved near the equator? I can't tolerate excessive saturated fats either. Genetics and hormones likely play a huge role. Excessive nuts/seeds also make me FAT fast. (esp after consuming an ENTIRE BAG of Trader Joe's lime cilantro lemongrass roasted CASHEWS which r nutty C-R-A-C-K).

OK -- let's say I'm a Ford and you are a Lamborghini. You require mechanic specialists, premium petrol, frequent fluid/oil assessments + changes, high-performance parts, etc, right? For optimum speed, engine performance and avoidance of part failures -- these are ALL mandatory, right? Genetic testing can tell you and me about our inner-'Lamborghini'.... or lack there of in MY case *haa*. Someday we'll have customized TYP and optimum food/apothecary add-ons for each specific genetic type for optimum longevity, lifespan and vitality. Personally if they could stick all of a shore-based, marine diet in a pill -- that would probably be IT. *haa* Maybe you can design that in your brilliant spare time!

I've got my fingers crossed for you!


David said...

Okay, G, here goes. I need to talk this through, and you're a good person to bounce this off of. So I'm still on the whole bodybuilding/low-carb kick. I have my present opinions and routine, but I'm still always trying to find out what's optimal.I've been looking at Jeff Volek's TNT Diet book. Seen it? I've been all over Volek's low-carb research for awhile, so I really respect his take on things. But I'm having a hard time with the whole "reloading" idea that he promotes in the book. It's a familiar concept, to be sure, but I just don't know how far to take it. I'm certain that you can get by without the reloading days every week, but I'm less certain as to how big or small muscular gains would be with the addition of the carb reloading. Is there an advantage that can't be had while keeping carbs low? Is there enough of a hormonal advantage to make indulging in these strategic carb feasts worth it for greater muscular hypertrophy? I don't know. I've never combined low-carb with cycles of regular carb reloading.

Volek recommends becoming fat-adapted by sticking to low-carb 24/7 for the first four weeks, and then progressing from there to the incorporation of carbohydrates one or two days per week in order to refill glycogen stores, increase insulin, protein synthesis, etc.

But here's my problem. What's the point in taking four weeks becoming fat-adapted if you're going to binge on carbs two days per week after that? After the two days of carbs, don't you have to switch back and re-adapt to a fat metabolism again anyway? Or would a temporary and short lived binge not be enough to change all that goes into being fat-adapted? Doesn't it take a couple days to work through all that new glucose and start using fat again once you've gotten back on the low-carb track? Seems like you'd barely be burning fat again (a couple days, maybe) before you're loading up on the carbs again. Am I missing something? Can the muscles hold a maximal amount of glycogen while the body is in a ketogenic state, or would loads of glycogen prevent ketosis from occurring? Perhaps the muscles, being glycogen deprived, saturate all the glucose from the carb binge, and the rest of the body continues right on as before as soon as carbs are restricted again. I really don't know. I'm just rambling trying to make sense of it all, and wondering as to the mechanism of its effectiveness.

What makes it all the more confusing is that Volek (elsewhere) comments favorably on that study from the Netherlands-- the one that showed that protein + carbohydrate had no advantage post-workout over protein alone for protein synthesis. So which is it, Jeff? Do I need the carbs or not? I wish I could ring him up on the phone and ask all these questions. Haha.

Okay, and one more comment, then I'm done. I know you like taurine, G, so here's a question for you. What do you think of the insulin mimicking properties of taurine? I've read that taurine can reduce blood glucose levels, and also has amino acid uptake effects -- all things very similar to insulin. I wonder if high doses of taurine would be useful as a low-carb nutrient delivery substance for bodybuilders? I really have no clue about this. I just remember reading about taurine and wondered about it's application here. Hmmm...

Okay, I'm done! I think I feel better now that I got all of that out. It's been rolling around in my head for a few days.


Dr. B G said...

Hi David,

You totally stumped me!

I love Volek and his studies in women, athletes, VLC diets, emerging CAD markers, supplements, etc. His book TNT is great. In fact, I've given it to my sister and several friends! I'm glad you mentioned it. We all sorta started on the grain-free prescription afterwards (Ok, actually it took me a little longer to go gluten-free). (TNT may still include a lot of dairy which is problematic for many)

Re-loading doesn't always work for me (lately in the last 9-12mos with my hormonal rollercoaster thiny which has affected my insulin levels). When I am doing MAJOR cardio -- reloading and those 'cheat meals' are great. I feel better on the higher carbs and the gains and hypertrophy seem greater too.

For those with insulin issues (and I assume MANY out there), I don't think frequent reloading is a great idea. I can tell now when I'm getting too much carbs (and doesn't take much!! 1/2 of 70% choco bar DOES IT) -- heart rate increases, performance lowers, etc.

Fat adaptation doesn't work either for me under these circumstances. Peter at Hyperlipid has written about how with fat adaptation glucose fasting lab tests will be higher d/t some secondary resistance (as I understand it).

Volek has studied ketosis in a few trials with athletes. It works. However, how does the periodicity of feeding/ re-loading relates to timing and performance... I have no idea. Lyle also uses ketosis -- it does work. I think Robb is doing it too. (I do it! At this point, only cardio and periodic ketosis work for me *haa*)

At DCF, several Xfit'ers train fasting -- they are AMAZING. They are definitely ketotic. How long for ketone/fat adaptation? I've read 3-6mos under training. Some of the studies out there are done on 'untrained' high-carb athletes -- so I highly questiong how applicable they are to those following Paleo.

Never thought of taurine as that kind of delivery system!
Taurine in human and animal trials has demonstrated some AMAZING properties:
--lowers glucoses
--lowers BP via ACE mechanisms (actually I don't take ALL the time coz it makes me DIZZY)
--raises HDLs (presumably would lower Lp(a) too)
--reverses CHF NYHA stage III
--increases ICU survival and improves mortality
--binds GABA and reduces neuropathic pain/ neuropathy
--reverses animal models of diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy
--improves athletic functioning

Cool stuff?

When you figure it all out, could you clue me in? THANKS!!


Dr. B G said...


Have you seen this on replenishing glycogen and controlling insulin at t-nation? (oops...I don't think I eat frequent enough)

Carb Cycling: low carb/high fat (most training days) v. high carb/low low fat (volume, weak-muscle 1-3 days/week)-G

David said...

Hey G-

I read the article over at T-Nation. Obviously it works for some people, though I still think it's gotta be straight up unnecessary for the average person who wants to stay in shape and be healthy. I think you're right, too, about the whole reloading idea. It'd probably be a no-no for those with metabolic issues, even if it provides a little bit of an advantage for others.

I saw the drawback in Volek's book, too, concerning dairy and grains. There are reasons I avoid these besides the simple fact that they contain carbohydrates.

As for the meal frequency thing, I don't know. I used to promote that like crazy, and I myself ate 8 meals per day for a good while. You really start to HATE food (you start getting weird just to get in all the calories you need. A piece of chicken served with oatmeal mixed with peanut butter. Yeah, I ate an insane amount of oatmeal mixed with peanut butter. Went through a big bucket of oatmeal every week. Mixed cottage cheese with peanut butter, too. 6,000 calories per day). But yeah, I don't know. I don't do that anymore (except for on training days I have protein/creatine before and after the workout). I'm not sure if there's that much of an advantage, and besides, I don't have the time to be eating every couple of hours! I remember when I was eating those 8 meals per day, my best friend was also doing some bodybuilding, and he was eating three normal meals per day. Well, he actually had better gains than I did. Now, admittedly he has some pretty good genes on his side, but still. We're not that far apart. I would bet that 3-4 meals is probably fine for the average person. I could be wrong, of course.

I want to be healthy and in good shape. I don't want to win bodybuilding competitions and have it take over my life. But I also want what is optimal for my lifestyle. There's a balance there somewhere, and I think sticking more or less with a Paleo lifestyle probably gives the best of all worlds.

For now I'm sticking with a low-carb diet and strictly protein-only for the PWO shake. So far I like it. I put on a couple pounds in the last 2 weeks, yet my body-fat percentage went down by 2 points. Could I do better with carb reloading? Maybe. But this seems to be working okay for now.

Maybe I'll experimentally throw in some taurine PWO and see if it does anything good.

Thanks for the interaction on this stuff. Iron sharpens iron, you know.


Dr. B G said...


Your BF% went down 2 points? I'm so jealous. Well, what you are doing is obviously working!

Maybe for certain people (genetically speaking) smaller freq meals may work? I can see how trying to fit all those little mini-meals in would be challenging.

I love hearing your thoughts!!


David said...

Hey G,

So here's an update for you. I find this very interesting.

After our little dialog back and forth on the whole carb reloading thing, I decided to do an experiment. I spent a day eating a bunch of carbs (thus totally reloading my glycogen tanks to overflowing, I'm sure), and then worked out like normal the next day. I was able to do maybe one or two more reps than normal, but nothing dramatic at all.

I then cut off the carbs again and didn't work out for another 72 hours or so (which is my normal routine). I was definitely in ketosis by my next workout, which I confirmed with a ketone test strip. I fueled up with 20 grams of whey and 5 grams of creatine before my workout, and let me tell you... It was amazing. Using the same weight that I had been using on the last workout (and for the last 2 weeks), I DOUBLED all of my repetitions (I had been exercising to failure). In fact, I was so bored with the workout that I increased my weight on the last exercise and I STILL had more repetitions that I had with the lower weight three days prior.

So on the next workout, I was still carb-free and still in ketosis, and I was able to increase ALL my weights on every exercise.

So I worked out better in ketosis than I did with carbs. How about that?

And it gets better. I took a measurement of my arms today (I've always been an arms guy. Biceps are my thing), and I've gained half an inch just in the last week to week and a half. AND my bf% has gone down by another point.

So I'm definitely loving the low-carb/bodybuilding thing, and will be sticking with it. I'm pretty sure it just needed to be given time for adjustment. I remember with my first workout low-carb this time around, I felt like I was going to pass out after 2 squats. Now that I'm adapted, I can pump out all my exercises to failure and never get a hint of lightheadedness.

Interesting stuff, yes? I love it.


Dr. B G said...

Hi David,

Love it!! Interesting stuff for sure!

Whey protein is great stuff (if one does not have a casein-allergy). After adaptation, I think the enzyme machinery is fired up and ready to go. That is awesome you verified with ketone strips -- I've read Adam Campbell and Volek discussing but I couldn't find any evidence for the value of checking -- does 1(+) ketones make any difference from 3(+) ketones on a urine strip?

Thank you for your observations!



David said...

Hey G. I think the only value of the ketone test strips is to see if you're in ketosis or not. I don't think they have any value in determining the degree of ketosis. Too many other variables play into that, like hydration levels, energy expenditure, etc. Also, some people who are definitely deep in ketosis don't show up on the strip at all. They get rid of more ketones through the breath than the urine, or they use up so many ketones for fuel that they don't make it past the kidneys in any significant amount. I use them because I know from past experience that they're a reliable indicator for me to tell when I am indeed in ketosis. Definitely isn't the same with everyone.

Alright, I'm gonna have to take a look at your new post on vitamin D, now. I just got back from a short trip to Houston, TX area. Got in a little time in the sun while I was there, which was great. I wish I lived in a more vitamin D-friendly zone all year 'round!

jh said...

Wow, wonderful post. I have definitely noticed a difference after getting off most grains. I think it is important and am so glad to have this blog as a resource. Thanks!

Boda Weight Loss Blog

Dr. B G said...


I think the strips are a GREAT idea. Very visual and easy to TRACK! (granted they work -- I wasn't aware some individuals could breath off ketones so quickly)

Yes -- you'll just have to go topless a lot. Just came back from NYC which is definitely not vitamin D-friendly a great portion of the year either. So I give my little bro who is in his 20's... and thus 'invincible'... the vitamin D 5000 IU caps and just pray he takes 'em.


David said...

Yeah, now that summer is here, I'm trying to spend as much time as possible outside. I get to be home quite a bit, so my wife and I have made a habit of throwing on the swimwear and lying out in the sun for about 30 minutes every day -- right around noon. It doesn't take much time and it's a GREAT way to relax a little bit before starting into the second half of the day. Very invigorating, we get some vitamin D, and we're getting great tans, too!

Dr. B G said...

Sounds like a great way of obtaining Paleo rays! And fellowship! :) I have noticed when I get the chance for noon-time runs, they are more invigorating than when I'm at home and shower immediately afterwards (we can't shower at work). David, have you read about humans producing vitamin D in the oils of the sweat/glands and washing will reduce absorption? I think there maybe some truth in that. Others have said that this does not occur with cats or humans (only dogs, sheep, etc), but I'm not so sure.


David said...

Yes, I've read about washing off the vitamin D. I saw recently that Mercola has really been pushing this issue for a long time, and now he's saying new evidence shows that it takes 48 hours for vitamin D from sun exposure to be fully absorbed. So don't wash with soap, he says, except under the arms and in the groin area.

Richard posted on this recently:

Whatever the truth is, I play it safe and don't like to shower right after being in the sun (and you're right, it does feel more invigorating that way), and when I do shower, I don't put soap all over the place.

I've started taking astaxanthin recently (4 mg per day) to see if it helps with sun exposure. Do you take it, and have you noticed if it helps you not to burn? It's a cumulative nutrient, and supposedly takes about 2 weeks to build up to the point where it protects your skin to a noticeable degree. I've been taking it for about a week, so we'll see how it goes.

Dr. B G said...


I am beginning to think that we are more like wolves and coyotes than we think!

I rarely sunburn but I actually still have mild prickly, red, raised rashes on my abdomen even from 20-30min sun exposure. Very annoying. I don't know if it is from dairy or wheat contamination. (I know, I need to try stopping non-Paleo dairy). Coconut oil application controls it and but so far hasn't prevented it.

Let me know how the astaxanthin works out! I sort of ran out of krill oil and astaxanthin and stopped a few months ago.