Diet

3rd February
2011
written by Tellus

The arrival
After being picked up at the airport, made a stop by walmart and a guy named Slippy, to check out his PA and listen in to a little jam session, taking over the wheel for the drive «home» and driving almost 2 miles on a dirt road into the jungle in pitch black, I was welcomed by flash lights, a bunch of friendly people and coconut bliss – which became my new acciles heal and addiction – my reintroduction to ice cream after a 5+ year separation.

The cause and expectations
GY is a permaculture community located on the Big Island of Hawaii. My primary reason for visiting here was to eat healthy foods in a supportive environment in an effort to improve my western medicine (read antibiotics) wrecked body. I quit my last job in April feeling I couldn’t deal with the constant food poisoning issue anymore, and after some research – in an act of last resort and desperation – I eventually got in contact and started planning my stay with GY.

The setting
During my stay I have been living in the men’s dorm, which is basically an open area with mosquito tented matresses and a tarp ceiling. The idea and first impression of it seems alright and livable, and the coqui frogs make for great evening music. The less appealing sides to this are the mosquitos, various bugs, sometimes damp & cold bed and last but not least rats rummaging around the camp at various times during the day and throughout the night! – I needed headset for that, so no more coqui frog music either..

The entire site is solar powered, meaning we could run low on power at times – this was however only a real problem when it came to washing clothes, which had to be performed on the sunny days, which I never really found to be much of an issue.

Showers area were outdoors, with surrounding bamboo walls, passively heated water and unisex. I quite liked the spacious feeling of the showers and the rain water, in contrast to foul chlorine smelling water, was great. The very basic composting toilet buckets with melikoi leaves for TP and swirling mosquitos I never got quite comfortable with however.

The Landing, which is the communal building, is where we prepared our foods, had our morning meetings, connected to the world wide web and just hung out in community. Coming from a sterilized western society the change can be quite drastic, but most of it I felt right in tune with, bacteria and all – although I must admit the constant running around of the pets, especially the cats climbing around on the counter at any hour of the day, was a bit disturbing.

And lastly, my favourite place (except for it’s sometimes denseness of mosquitos and fruit flies) which made the more uncomfortable parts worth it, the CocoBar!
Every saturday was cocoing day, and sometimes wednesday if supply was running short.

On my first Saturday here I came along for the cocoing with the guru cocoer, Mr A, who free climbs 10-15 coconut trees a week. I was mostly ground crew, lowering down the branches he strapped on and cut loose, but after seeing him in action on a couple of trees I went off on my first coconut climb – which also became the last for a while, leaving me a couple inches from the top, flesh wounded on both palms and a big hickie on the chest 🙂

I never got to master coconut climbing during my 7 weeks at the Big Island, but I will eventually. I did climb for a small coconut during my later travels, but that tree was too short to count. Maybe I’ll find a suitable tree in the US or British Virgin Islands.

The CocoBar gave me so many goods – juices young and mature, young jelly meat and older hard meats, coconut sprouts and of course the mixture used for juicing to cream or blending for ice cream and pure heaven 😀

The foods
As my main reason for visiting was to improve my health by diet, it makes sense to have a short review of my foods throughout the stay. My primary foods have been Coconut in the form of young jelly meat, older meat and sprout, as well as all the various coconut juices contained within.. Once a week we made our meat order, and except for some heart, liver and top sirloin my main meat has been Beef cut for BBQ. It is very thin slices of beef that are very easy to handle and tear apart when eating with my hands only – with a few exceptions (bon fire, thanks giving dinner..) I ate all my meats raw for my one month stay, which felt really easy and natural in this setting. I also kept eating raw meats initially after leaving GY to explore the island, keeping fresh meat in a glass jar, but over the weeks (and as my quality of supply got worse) I ended up cooking most of my meat again. Just a few weeks after going back to cooked meats I can feel the lack of nourishment satisfaction and will look at getting back to raw meats after my January travels (More on that later).

Except for the coconut and meat I ended up eating a lot more fruit during my stay than initially imagined. There might be a short post about the various fruits I got to taste while on the Island, but for now I’ll just let you know some of the fruits I ate were papaya, mango, soursop, jack fruit, atemoya, lilikoi and even bananas (the tiny kind).

Check back soon for a compilation of activities and events during my Big Island experience 🙂

10th September
2010
written by Tellus

Preparations
This was a diet I had wanted to try ever since reading Primal Body Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. Although reading her entire book and doing some research prior to commencing this trial I had not set up any detailed or even overview of a diet plan that would achieve the right amount of energy from fat while getting the right amount of quality protein on a daily basis. It was also during a heavily transitional period of my life after just having quit my job and remodeling my entire life, but at the same time I just felt like getting going on the experiment – in the spirit of Michael Masterson’s “Ready, Fire, Aim” motto. So that’s what I did, and even though I’m not entirely happy with the trial, I’m 30 days of experience ahead of where I would have been if I didn’t jump on it and got going 30 days ago.

Adaption
Being as I’m already largely paleo style in my diet, much because of my food intolerances to e.g. gluten and dairy, adapting to this fat for fuel diet is mostly a question of getting used to and comfortable with such small servings of protein. I have been heavily relying on meat, which has lead to a diet very high in protein. As explained by Nora in her book, excess amounts of protein in the diet is transformed to glucose in the body and long term being very destructive to one’s health. I have found new recipes and foods I like during this trial, and will continue adding to that to find more ways of attaining fat to the diet. Being intolerant to dairy products (which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone anyway) rules out a lot of highly available sources of fat. I have also been sceptical about coconut products, as I’m unsure if I might be having any sort of intolerance to that as well, but so far it seems to be working ok for me. It might be causing more nasal activity (I’m very prone to sinusitis), but not sure if it’s the coconut doing it or what’s been messing with that lately. I am going to spain for little over a week from tuesday, so if I continue consuming coconut during that trip and my sinus clears up I’ll know the recent turbulence is due to climate or other environmental factors..

Effect
On the periods where I stayed very compliant with the high fat low carb and appropriate protein system I felt good, my memory was clearer, energy stable, easier falling asleep at night and eczema less noticable. I did however have occasions where I let myself get some fruit or small amount of sugar containing foods, and that again led to larger cravings. I am not sure if this is because I was never 100% adapt to the diet during my trial. I have e.g. heard of other people trying this diet for some time, where one previous heavy drinker had one glass of beer and found no urge to continue drinking as oppose to earlier experience of never being able to have one or two beers without going full out. On several days I also didn’t pay enough attention to getting enough energy in my diet, which I also think led to some of the intense cravings. Of course if the body doesn’t get enough energy to get by it makes sense that I get cravings for the foods it is used to getting quick energy from. The overall effect has been very positive though, mostly noticable in the already mentioned effect on falling asleep, mental clarity/memory/concentration and stable energy throughout the day (except for some days with a 10-20 minute drowsiness in the middle of the day). My weight, which was on the low side before starting this trial, have seen little to no effect from the diet, with little less than a 1 kg rise.

Social
Association and habit are two hard things to break. Getting into new habits can be hard enough on it’s own, but mixing that with being social and partaking in activities we associate with alcoholic or sugary snacks can be quite challenging. Going to parties or out on the town with friends is without a doubt the hardest here, and to fully adapt the fat for fuel diet I think the best would be to shut off those things all together, but then again in our society that might be about the only time we get to be really social and meet new and interesting people. Most social activities are based around food and/or drinks with friends and new acquaintances. So that is something to consider before changing your diet that might exclude much of that. On the other side, as mentioned by briefly by example, after having adapted to a fat for fuel diet, it might be easier to e.g. have only one drink without any urge to continue, and as long as those “slip ups” remain infrequent can perhaps be conducted without any major ramification to one’s fat for fuel adaption. You might perhaps just experience an elevated body temperature as the body burns off the sugars. And for movie nights, I think the best thing to do is find alternative snacks that will not create an blood sugar and insulin spike – as those snacks might be so ingrained in our behaviour that it’s easier to replace them with something than try going for just water..

However good a diet is, I believe the social feasibility and acceptance aspect will always be the biggest concern for successful implementation and sustainability.

Livability
The social aspect is kind of hard, as most people live a carbish lifestyle, even believing they’re being very healthy because they’re told so by the government, doctors and infomercials. Nevertheless, I think the livability of this lifestyle is very high, it is just a matter of finding the foods that one can get easy access to on the go for the days not in full control at home. To be successful long term I think it is important to lose the emotional attachment to foods and get one’s emotions nourished by other means, while letting foods nourish our body and mind. Once the habit of live to eat is replaced with eat to live I believe all food choices will become much simpler, but to fully get to that point the adaption of fat rich nourishing foods are important so we get rid of all the body’s addictions to foods.

The trial is over, but it is said it takes 30 days to make a habit, and I think I’ll be continuing with a high fat diet – at least for the time being – so an update down the road on this is not unthinkable. I will however try a few other diets this and next year as well, but don’t be surprised if this is the one I’ll be returning to when everything is said and done 🙂

Concluding thoughts
I find this to be a good diet and the science behind it is good. I could have prepared better for the trial and I would love to have more detailed data throughout the experiment, but this time I didn’t find the time or means for that, and am very glad I just got started. If I do other diet experiments and decide to return to this diet again I might do another 30-day trial to see how I adapt back to it, and at that time I will make a point of getting more detailed for all foods and activities for the period.

That’s all for now… Good day, good evening and good night!

9th September
2010
written by Tellus

The day of reckoning..

Ok, so the final day of my Fat for fuel 30-day trial. Let’s first get today’s meals out of the way.

Breakfast
– Acetyl L-carnitine with water
– Beef & vegetable soup, 2 bowls

Lunch
– Vegetable wok 500 g+ 500 ml coconut milk: 1100 kcal, 20 g protein, 92 g carbs, 94 g fat

Dinner
– Mackerell, cooked
– Broccoli, steamed

Supper
– Beef, cooked, 180 grams
– Onions, cooked with the beef in coconut oil

Movie Snack
– Some handfuls of potato chips and a bite of very dark chocolate.

So that’s the last day of my first 30-day trial on tellusreview.com.

Tomorrow I’ll come with some concluding thoughts, but right now it’s time to hit the sack 🙂

8th September
2010
written by Tellus

Cravin’ cravin’ cravin’…

Okei, got in a good short sprint (11 minutes) today and beach volleyball for about 3 hours. In the order of breakfast, jogging, lunch, volleyball, dinner..

Breakfast
– Plum, 1 small
– Beef & vegetable soup, 2 bowls
– Acetyl L-carnitine in water w/2 multivit & 3 omega 3 capsules
– L-glutamine, 2 scoops

Lunch
–  Lamb stew leftovers
– Plum & an apple
– Acetyl L-carnitine
– L-glutamine, 2 scoops

Dinner
– Vegetable wok 500 g+ 500 ml coconut milk: 1100 kcal, 20 g protein, 92 g carbs, 94 g fat
– L-glutamine, 2 scoops

I had really bad cravings again today. Drinking water and the l-glutamine helped some, but still feeling unfulfilled when I’m going to sleep for the night..

6th September
2010
written by Tellus

Birthday dinner is always good!

Being my birthday today I decided on dried mutton ribs for dinner 😀

Combined with beach volleyball, some guests later and then movie time it’s been a great day!

Breakfast
– Plums, 2 small
– Wild Salmon, 125 grams
– Acetyl L-Carnitine in water w/ 3 multi vitamins and 4 omega-3 capsules
– L-glutamine, 2 scoops

Dinner
– Dried mutton ribs
– Mashed swedes
– Acetyl L-carnitine in water
– L-glutamine, 2 scoops

Supper
– Beef & vegetable soup, 2 bowls

Moviesnacks
– Some potato chips and a few pieces of candy

I don’t see why I keep getting a surge for sugars, but guess give in a little give in a lot  :-/

Need to make sure I keep a higher fat/energy dosage throughout the day so I don’t get these stupid cravings and give in to them..

5th September
2010
written by Tellus

Packorama!

Got some skydiving and rig packing done today as well, and the packs are even starting to look alright 🙂

Foodwise this has been a bit reduced day:

Breakfast
– Sauerkraut, small bowl
– Beef & vegetable soup, one bowl

Dinner
– Sardines in extra virgin olive oil, canned, 80 grams, 180 kcal
– Sauerkraut, bowl

Late supper
– Beef & vegetable soup, 1-2 bowls, remainder from the trip

Back home around midnight after a good weekend of jumping, 5 jumps in total – which puts my combined number of jumps to 9.

4th September
2010
written by Tellus

Skydive deluxe!

I’ve had to jumps so far today, hoping for one more before we call it the night.

Posting a bit early today in case I don’t get online again later..

My eating so far today:

Breakfast
– Beef & vegetable soup, one bowl
– L-glutamine, 2 scoops

Lunch
– Sardines in extra virgin olive oil, canned, 80 grams, 180 kcal

Further feasting plans for the day:

Dinner
– Vegetable wok 250 g + 500 ml coconut milk

Supper
– Sardines or bowl of beef & veg soup..

Ending up with making dinner at a friend’s house, and some snacks with the movie/xbox gaming:
Dinner
– Vegetable wok 500 g+ 500 ml coconut milk: 1100 kcal, 20 g protein, 92 g carbs, 94 g fat

Movie/gaming snack
– potato chips, a couple handfuls
– a bite of dark chocolate marzipan

Update: no problem falling asleep last night in spite of my stupid sugar intake, but today I can feel it slightly aggravated my eczema.

4th September
2010
written by Tellus

Ain’t got no net..

Arriving late last night at a friend’s newly rentet appartment I had no internet connection and couldn’t get the daily 30-day trial post online.

So here it comes, late but .. good?

Lunch
– Sauerkraut, a small bowl
– Beef & vegetable soup, 2-3 bowls
– Coco tops, 40 grams
– Acetyl L-carnitine in water w/ 4 omega-3 capsules

Dinner
– Vegetable wok 500 g+ 500 ml coconut milk: 1100 kcal, 20 g protein, 92 g carbs, 94 g fat

The dinner was too much and got my stomach complaining – and kept me fed for the rest of the evening.

Also tired early around 10-11 pm and got to bed about 12 am. Got up a little before 7 am, not fully rested, but not a big problem getting up..

3rd September
2010
written by Tellus

Hard time waking up..

I’ve had a hard time getting up in the mornings, and when I finally get out of bed I feel really tired for maybe 15-30 minutes till I’ve gotten some light exercise done to get my heart pumpin’..

Oh well, not sure what to contribute it to, I think I’m still somewhere in the middle between fat burner and carb burner – not being sure if that has anything to do with it.. :-/

The most positive I’ve noticed the last 20+ days is that I fall asleep way easier now, not having to lay around for hours on end feeling restless and annoyed I can’t fall asleep. I also feel like my mind is starting to function again and memory improving. Not sure if it’s just imagined or not so far, but it’s the first time in a long while I’ve felt this positive about regaining more of my mental health 🙂

I do have some odd feelings of tiredness at various times during the day though, but it vanishes as quickly as it “appears”, so not a big problem, but makes me curious what it is and if maybe I should try with some bi-phase sleeping – from what I’ve read that’s what our biology is most adapt to.. Go figure 🙂 It will be a 30-day trial at some point. I have also considered polyphasic sleeping, like Leonardo sleeping 20 minutes every 4th hour – but for social reasons I think that might be a far stretch – society just isn’t ready for that sort of thing 😉 But bi-phasic I could do, and will try at some point this year or the next.

Well, back to my diet notes:

Breakfast
– Sauerkraut (LOVING it!)
– Wild salmon, 125 g
– L-glutamine, 2 scoops

Lunch
– Sauerkraut, small bowl before the soup
– Beef & vegetable soup, 2 bowls
– L-glutamine, 2 scoops

Snack
– Coco tops, 50 g (coconut flakes and egg whites heated and shaped into tops, not quite successful without sugar which usually does much of the binding..)

Dinner
– Spicy lamb curry
– L-glutamine, 2 scoops

Supper
– Sauerkraut (Strange but great!)

Got news from my skydiving club today that the student field is now open again, so tomorrow evening or very early Saturday I’ll be driving back there (3+ hour drive) for some free falling 🙂 Have already arranged to sleep on a friend’s couch there for the weekend, so it’s all set 🙂 This is one of the friends I’m going sailing with in January from the Virgin Islands, so this’ll also give us the opportunity to discuss the trip there and our one week travels in LA/Vegas 🙂 ..And of course hit up some Fifa on the Xbox..

Good times ahead this weekend, and next weekend I’m leaving for two weeks in Spain, should be good too – just gotta start working on that tan a little so I don’t burst into flames the first day there.

Dream of blue skies!

2nd September
2010
written by Tellus

Another busy day..

Turns out restructuring my life and preparing for a short year of travel is more work than I thought it would be. Things are falling into place nicely though, but still things to consider and do to be as prepared as I can be for the year ahead 🙂

Breakfast
– Wild salmon, 125 g

Lunch
– Acetyl L-Carnitine in water w/ four omega-4 capsules
– Vegetable wok 250 g + 250 ml coconut milk: 550 kcal, 10 g protein, 46 g carbs, 47 g fat
– L-glutamine, 2 spoons (3-4 g)

Dinner
– Sauerkraut (starting to really like it)
– Beef & vegetable soup leftovers, 2.5 bowls
– Papaya, one piece
– Yellow apple, one piece
– L-glutamine, 2 spoons

Supper
– Sauerkraut (yummie!)

So back to some fruit, think maybe brought on by the bacteria in the sauerkraut – or possibly some other cravings kicking back in – no more fruit till I’ve finished these 30 days now and leave for two weeks in Spain.

Good night 🙂

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