Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

The decorator's diet

with one comment

I went through a bit of a low just after Christmas. One of those times when you just can’t seem to get “clean” in spite of being totally failsafe. My skin was breaking out, and I seemed to be gaining weight for no reason and was struggling to control snacking. I also had an awful lot of packing and decorating to do and couldn’t afford to feel tired, ill, and demotivated.

I was:
Eating about 10 Brussels sprouts every day
Eating red split lentils every now and then
Eating a bowl of wheatgerm and Jersey milk every day
Eating 10 cashew nuts a day
Drinking decaf instant coffee, and cheating with fresh filter coffee
Cheating maybe once a week at restaurants (I never cheat badly, just sauces on meat n’ potatoes dishes, and eating dubious desserts)

I decided I’d had enough and cut right down to an ultra low chemical, low calorie, low-ish carb diet. This is what I ate:

1 tbsp fresh additive free double cream in hot water

Two eggs scrambled in 1oz butter

4oz ultra fresh minced beef cooked from frozen in 1tbsp beef tallow
2oz sushi rice, freshly boiled

1 tbsp of double cream in hot water, up to a total of 2floz of double cream per day – or up to an extra 1floz if unusually hungry
Plenty of sparkling water

Sometimes I would swap the rice for the equivalent weight of pasta, but not more than once a week as I soon found that wheat is a devil for both impeding weight loss and demotivating me and making me feel tired. That’s why I was convinced for a long time that weight loss is impossible on a moderate carbohydate diet.

There is method in this madness.

I was eating roughly 1,200 calories per day, and about 45 grams of carbs per day, the same in protein, and about twice as much fat. Apart from the salt in the butter, I salted my food exclusively with lo-salt, and was careful not to go overboard.

The double cream in hot water I chose because I know full well I cannot tolerate even decaf instant coffee for any period without starting to feel off. I would have a cup of this in the middle of the morning, another couple of cups during the afternoon, and another cup or two during the evening. A problem I have a lot is getting anxious and feeling peckish and having cravings for things all the time. There are about 100 calories in a tablespoon of cream, and I found it really staved off hunger if I just kept rationing it out over the day.

The reason I kept my meat down to such a small portion is because I’m very sensitive to glutamates and I find that more than this amount triggers sugar cravings. I can pinpoint six months of my life when I was low carbing but eating older meat than usual (online organic vac-packed delivery, sat in the freezer for weeks/months on end) when I gained a stone back from my initial low carb diet. I have no such problem with eggs. The rice with the meat also helped and the combination left me feeling fuller and more satisified than I would do with meat alone. If I really desperately needed sugar, I’d have a teaspoon in with my cream and hot water.

I chose not to very-low-carb or zero-carb for the same reasons – my sensitivity to glutamates somewhat precludes it due to meat leaving me with cravings. I just can’t get meat any fresher than I have got it at the moment, and I don’t know how much difference it would make if I did. Also I didn’t want to go through that weird energy rush patch followed by exhaustion followed by normalising that you have to do on a very low carb diet, then all the hassle of going in and out of ketosis when you are compelled to eat carbohydrates by circumstance.

I cut out all plant matter except sushi rice because I simply don’t trust any plant matter to be entirely salicylate/polyphenol free and it seems to affect me. Even sushi rice acts like a bit of a stimulant and keeps me awake the first night I eat it (oats too). Cabbage family plants also have an anti-thyroid effect that isn’t really good for weight loss.

I lost over a pound a week and lost six pounds before I decided to stop. I think it’s important to take breaks from weight loss so you don’t screw your metabolism up. That may sound like quite ordinary weight loss for most people, but I have a pretty darn resistant metabolism so I was really pleased with how it went. The way that sushi rice is so different from wheat with its effects on metabolism makes me think about how Japanese and Chinese people are slim, yet Germans, Italians, British and Americans are overweight.

I haven’t gained it back. I’ve found that anything that isn’t on this limited selection of food does actually propel me gain weight if I eat it every day, but I know my limits and how much I can get away with. Bread and amines/glutamates for example lead to frighteningly rapid weight gain.

After I finished the diet and reintroduced wheat and milk, I’ve found that I seem to tolerate oats better than wheatgerm. It has a stimulant, metabolism-boosting effect which can be quite scary and leads to initial weight loss before my body gets used to it. Reminds me of someone on a messageboard who was eating nothing but oat bran and freaking out because she was underweight and losing rapidly. Oats make me pretty irritable the first time I eat them, but after that I seem to get used to them, and I’ve had no return of the eczema I was experiencing last year. Some brands affect me much worse than others though, inducing headaches, so I think that there is something going on in the processing.

Anyways, I’m dieting again at the moment but this time I’ve substituted a couple of eggs for the sushi rice and I’m really trying to low-carb it. I happen to think low carb diets work a lot better for weight loss of you take proper breaks between them and allow yourself to eat a decent amount of carbohydrate – your body adapts back again to the carbs so the weight loss is a lot faster. That seems to have held true for the first week or two. But now I seem to keep getting stuck, having sugar cravings, cheating, ‘accidentally’ eating small amounts of pastry which is stopping my weight from moving, but every three or four days I have a good day, eat under 1000 calories of pure eggs, meat and cream, and suddenly lose another half a pound. I’m the lowest weight I’ve been in well over a year. Something I’ve noticed is I’m not getting any headaches at all anymore, not even if I eat amines/glutamates. The first year I was on Atkins I experienced just this, in spite of eating cheese all the time. It’s just these darn cravings are a pain!


Written by alienrobotgirl

9 August, 2007 at 5:17 pm

Posted in Failsafe Foods

One Response

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  1. >>The way that sushi rice is so different from wheat with its effects on metabolism makes me think about how Japanese and Chinese people are slim, yet Germans, Italians, British and Americans are overweight.I agree that gluten is likely to be influencial to weight gain but also East Asian countries have a rather different outlook on fat & sugar consumption. (I have strong relationships with Japan, it’s a country I know inside out). Sugar is especially seen as something consumed by children, fat is just not an issue because dairy products, red meats aren’t such a comodity. Actually traditional Japanese food can be relatively low in salicylates. Most women average about 1700 calories a day…


    10 August, 2007 at 11:12 am

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