Monday, March 26, 2012

Pork Rind Meat Loaf with Bacon

I got tired of blogging about my fast every day since there is really not much change right now. The initial die off is over and I am doing ok for the most part. Today is day 7 and I feel like making it the rest of the way is going to be "easy" whereas before I thought I wasn't going to make it. Apparently I am not the only one who felt that way. I post on a German fasting forum and there are several women who happened to start their fast on the same day I did. Two of them were questioning why they are fasting around day 3 or 4 and almost stopped.

Anyway, instead of blogging about my fast today I thought I would share a recipe I made for DH yesterday. DH isn't crazy about almond flour or coconut flour but that's what most Paleo and/or low-carb recipes call for in meat loaf. So I decided to make one with pork rinds instead.

what you need:
  • 1 lb ground beef (we like grass fed from Mother Earth Meats)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup crushed hot 'n' spicy pork rinds (regular or bbq flavor would work, too)
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspooon chili powder
  • 3 to 4 slices bacon
what you do:
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Beat egg and crush pork rinds in a plastic bag (I used a rolling pin).

Mix remaining ingredients except bacon with the beaten egg and crushed pork rinds and blend well. 
 Place in loaf pan and top with bacon slices. 
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until internal temperature has reached 170 degrees. Broil on high for a few minutes if the bacon isn't crispy enough.
Since I am fasting right now I have a lot of cooked veggies left over from making my broth so I served this meatloaf with Creamy Vegetable Soup and a salad.

Optional: I like putting hard boiled eggs in my meat loaf but skipped it this time.

This post was shared on Monday Mania and Fat Tuesday.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring 2012 Fast: Day 5

I had a rough day yesterday. Just felt out of it, negative, and angry that I "have" to fast to feel better. I didn't feel like blogging about it either. I really, really wanted to quit but stuck it out. Today I feel a little better. However, I still have a headache and backache. The weird thing is that it's only on the right side. The headache starts on the right side of my forehead, goes across the top of my head, down my neck, and into my upper back...all on the right.

There's really not much else to say. I am still doing just broth, water, tea, and coffee in the AM. My tongue has a whitish-green coating on it. Not pretty.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring 2012 Fast: Day 3

Yesterday was a really rough day for me. I woke up with a nasty headache going all the way down my neck and into my upper back and it never went away, despite the fact that I did 3 coffee enemas in a row. I was out of it all day as well just feeling kind of numb. My heart rate when I first came downstairs was 160 with BP 91/67 - that's standing. This morning it's a little bit better. My heart rate went up to 149 as I was making coffee and giving the dogs their pills and treats. My BP sitting was 90/60 and fasting blood sugar was 60. However, my glucose test strips expired November last year so I am not sure how accurate that blood sugar reading is.

Right now the thought of fasting another 11 or 14 days seems overwhelming so I am trying not to think about it. Plus I am trying to remind myself of all the wonderful benefits of fasting and how much better I will feel if I stick with it.

What is amazing to me is how toxic my body is. My friend S. in Germany drinks coffee, eats grains and sugar, and smokes. When we went on a fast last year at the clinic in Germany she stopped drinking coffee and had a bit of a headache. She got her colonic at the clinic and the headache went away. She also had fairly good energy and overall didn't feel too badly. Here I am with my restricted diet, I don't smoke, I use natural and/or homemade cleaning products and laundry detergent, and I do a lot of stuff for detox on a daily basis yet I feel like crap when I go on a fast. That just shows that my body is pretty efficient at taking toxins in but not so good at getting them out of my body. I sure hope this will change soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring 2012 Fast: Day 1.1 and Common Detox Symptoms

Since I had some coconut oil yesterday I didn't really feel right counting today as day 2 so therefore I am calling this day 1.1. I woke up with a pretty bad headache and slept horribly. Had a small cup of coffee and some water, then did some coffee enemas. Those totally took my headache away and I even spent 2 hours working in and mowing the yard.

I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging up some lizards and crosses, picking up the house, doing laundry, and watching TV. I had nothing but water and clear vegetable broth since my coffee this morning. I am a little bit hungry but what bothers me more than being hungry is this nasty, weird taste in my mouth. It makes me want to eat something or drink something with flavor to get rid of it. Otherwise I feel pretty good.

In yesterday’s post I talked a little bit about the different ways a person can fast and some of the benefits of fasting. I also mentioned that I probably should have taken some Epsom salt or done an enema first thing in the morning but had failed to do so.

During a fast, the first 2 to 3 days are the hardest because most people still experience hunger and die off is at its worst. Taking Epsom salt the first day of the fast, or doing an enema, with the intent of cleaning out the colon, helps with both hunger and symptoms of die off. Supposedly, once the colon is cleared out, hunger will go away. (That is not the case for me but I am also hungry when I eat – just another sign that I most likely have parasitic overgrowth). Cleaning out the colon also rids the body of toxins that have accumulated which can alleviate common detox symptoms such as fatigue, headache, sluggishness, and brain fog.

Sometimes detox lasts longer than 2 to 3 days or it can flare up anytime throughout a fast. It all depends on how much healing you have to do and how much your body has to “clean up”. It is not unusual to experience pain at the site of old injuries or to have an emotional healing crisis. Other signs of healing or detox are a white coated tongue, dry mouth, bad breath, trouble sleeping, cravings for various foods (not the same as hunger), crying, and anxiety. Having said that, I still think the benefits of fasting outweigh the few days of detox one might experience. The way to minimize these symptoms is to start slow. If you have never fasted before, start by skipping one meal and see how you do. If that works pretty well skip two meals and eventually fast one day. Keep increasing slowly rather than going straight into a 14-day fast or longer. It's also helpful to start with a juice fast or even a "blended soup" fast before doing a water fast.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring 2012 Fast: Day 1

As I mentioned in my blog post about fasting earlier today, I did not do an enema or take Epsom salt this morning. Right about now I am really regretting that decision. I started getting a headache around 6 PM, I feel fairly worn out, my mouth is dry, and I am in a bad mood. I am definitely doing enemas tomorrow. Actually, I hope to do coffee enemas every day for the remainder of my fast like they recommend on the Gerson protocol.

Today I consumed coffee, water, vegetable broth, and some coconut oil. The broth was made from bok choy, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, kale, cilantro, mushrooms, and water. I also added Celtic sea salt to each cup of broth I drank since I tend to lose salt which then increases my already fast heart rate. Tomorrow I hope to cut out the coconut oil and stick to just coffee, water, and broth.

Otherwise I just rested, read, watched some TV, did some research for nutrition/health coach certifications, blogged, and tried to come up with a name for a website. My hope is to help others with health issues when I am healthy myself and to change careers. I just don't feel that being a database programmer is my passion but time will tell.

Ways and Benefits of Fasting

I have fasted on and off for a very long time but never on a regular basis. In 2004 I was dealing with a parasite called Blastocystis hominis and I also had a lot of abdominal distention after eating. It wasn't until later that I found out that I needed to supplement with betaine HCl but at the time I thought the abdominal distention might be due to the parasite. I went on an extensive anti-parasitic herbal protocol and the guy who sold it recommended doing colonics during the protocol. I found a place that did colonics and the guy running the place recommended doing a "cleanse" along with the anti-parasitic protocol and the colonics. It was a 7-day cleanse during which I consumed nothing but water, tea, clear vegetable broth, and rice protein shakes, and got a colonic every day. Yup - you read that right. Daily colonics for 7 days.

After the cleanse I felt incredible. I had increased energy, my skin looked amazing, my digestion was better and more. I couldn't believe how good I felt and at that point I decided to do some sort of cleanse every year or twice a year. The colon hydrotherapist also recommended fasting one day a week and 3 days every 4th week.

Unfortunately I did not stick with the yearly cleanse or his suggestions. Fast forward to 2009 after my health had really deteriorated. DH and I were planning on going on another cruise and I just felt so miserable I decided to do a fast to get myself to a better place. Since then I have been fasting every spring and every fall and each time I feel so much better when I am done. Twice I was able to fast at a clinic in Germany called Klinik von Weckbecker which was amazing and probably requires a blog post in itself.

So here I am fasting again and I thought I would write a bit about fasting. Let's start with what fasting is. It is the voluntary action of abstaining from all food and drink. At least that's what true fasting is which is also referred to as dry fasting since you consume absolutely nothing, not even water. A more common form of fasting is water fasting, during which you consume nothing but water. While it is more common, many people find it too difficult and prefer juice fasting. During the latter you consume water, tea, and fresh pressed juices.

There is also a form of fasting that is very common in Germany referred to as "Heilfasten nach Buchinger". "Heilfasten" means healing fasting and Buchinger was a German doctor who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis after a case of tonsillitis that wasn't completely cured. At the suggestion of a colleague he did an almost 3 week fast after which he was healed. He then studied the effects of fasting and later opened a clinic where patients could go to participate in a medically supervised fast. His method of fasting includes 4 to 6 oz of fresh pressed vegetable juice for breakfast, clear vegetable broth for lunch, and herbal tea with 1 tablespoon of honey for dinner. The patient also needs to drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush out toxins.

This method of fasting is used at the clinic I referred to above but I did not consume juice on a daily basis. I also skipped the honey at night and had another bowl of clear vegetable broth for dinner. Ideally, I would like to do a true water fast since you get the most healing out of it. However, I am still taking hydrocortisone and a doctor at True North Health felt that I should at least consume some vegetable broth. I usually start my fast with just water, green/black tea (or a tiny cup of coffee), and broth. If my blood sugar dips too low I add in a tiny bit of juice by adding it to my broth. The reason I keep in coffee or green/black tea is because of low blood pressure. Mine is already pretty low and during fasting ones blood pressure usually drops even more. Last year at the clinic in Germany I think my lowest was 88/48 and I felt accordingly. I was completely worn out, mentally out of it, not even cognitive, and didn't even feel like going for a walk. With a tiny cup of coffee I felt like a different person. This is obviously not true fasting or recommended during a fast, but it works for me.

So what are the benefits of fasting? There are so many I couldn't list them all but below are just a few key benefits:
  • reverses type II diabetes and insulin resistance
  • greater mental clarity
  • improved skin tone
  • fat weight loss
  • nervous system is balanced
  • strengthens the immune system
  • body is cleansed and detoxified
  • reduces inflammation
  • eliminates or reduces allergies
  • peristaltic action is stronger and faster after a fast
  • reverses hypertension
Like I said, these are a just a few key benefits. There are many, many more and they are all achieved in a very short amount of time. Even a 3-day water fast can bring about amazing positive changes in your body. During a fast the body diverts energy away from digestion and towards cleansing and detoxifying. Anything that is not needed by the body, such as tumors, scar tissue, bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, etc. is subject to autolysis. During a fast hormone production is also much more efficient causing an increase in the release of growth hormone which can increase energy, help with fat loss, and can protect cells throughout the body.

The reason I fast repeatedly is that I still have a lot of health issues. I just started treatment with Dr. Dahlgren at the Comprehensive Medical Center and have had quite a few ups and downs. The most bothersome symptom I deal with is daily abdominal distention. It is very, very uncomfortable and makes for a rough day. During and after a fast the abdominal distention is greatly reduced and I don't feel near as uncomfortable after eating. Unfortunately as time goes by it gets worse and worse which is why I am fasting again. Dr. D thinks that parasites are a huge issue for me and I am about to start a course of 5 different anti-parasitics. My hope is that the combination of this fast and then taking all the anti-parasitics, will put an end to the abdominal distention as well as many other symptoms. If it does, I would still want to do a fast every spring and fall for general detox, just not quite as long. I would probably do a 5 to 7 day fast twice a year versus a 14 to 21 day fast. This time I am hoping to fast a maximum of 18 days and a minimum of 14 days. This is my first day and so far I feel ok. I am sure I would feel worse if I had stopped coffee as well.

So far today I have consumed 1/2 cup of black coffee, 2 cups of clear vegetable broth with Celtic sea salt, and lots of water. Ideally I should have done an enema this morning or taken some Epsom salt, but I didn't get around to it. I will write more about why this is important in tomorrow's post.

This post was shared on Fat Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Follow-Up Appointment with Dr. D

I stopped blogging about how I am feeling because it was just more of the same thing. Lots of ups and downs basically. But today I spoke to Dr. D and have some new information and now there is even more to my treatment protocol.

I mentioned that I get gallbladder pain if I don't take ox bile and she said this is an indication that parasites are an issue for me. That, combined with my die off from Biltricide, constant hunger, and the daily abdominal distention indicated to her that parasites still need to be addressed. So I have to take Biltricide again for two days during the next new moon and full moon. After the first two days of Biltricide she wants me to take Ivermectin 12 mg four times a day for 14 days, Pyrantel pamoate 1,000 mg once a day at bedtime for 14 days, Albenza 400 mg twice a day for 28 days, and Alinia 500 mg three times a day for 20 days, all one after another.

Today has actually been a really rough day for me emotionally so it was good that I got to talk to her. One thing that is really hard for me is that I have gained 8 lbs since January and I hate it. I realize that shouldn't be of great importance but when you keep gaining weight and don't know why and you live on meat, fat and vegetables, it's pretty frustrating. When I mentioned this to her she felt that it was either due to mold or parasites or both affecting my metabolism. This is another reason she thinks I have parasites and the medications I listed above also have a fungal component so she is addressing both yeast and parasites with them.

My lithium was incredibly low on the hair analysis which she said can cause the depression I experience as well as some of the other symptoms I have. She said something about neuro-protective nutrients mobilizing more toxins and this damages nerves which are more susceptible to damage during detox. She wants me to take lithium aspartate 60 mg at night and if I tolerate that well she wants me to add more during the day up to 120 mg a day. Zinc was really high on the hair analysis and she believes this is because I am losing it because the receptors are not able to take it into the cell wall where it's needed. This will change over time as my body heals.

She had prescribed 0.1 mg of Desmopressin because of the low ADH (anti-diuretic hormone). She felt this would help with frequent urination, particularly at night, and also with fluid balance so fluid goes into the blood versus to my tissue or right through me. I tried it several days but it did not help. She asked if I am still taking half a tablet and of course I had forgotten that I am supposed to start with 1/2 a tablet and at night, not in the morning. She said to try taking it at night to see if that helps so I will try that tonight.

Next I mentioned that my underarms and the skin around my underarms has been crazy itchy, as well as the creases of my groin to some degree. Incidentally this is where I am supposed to put the Detox Deodorant every night. She said the deodorant is probably pulling metals to the skin which yeast eats and this makes the yeast go crazy which causes itching. Interesting! She suggested putting coconut oil on my itchy skin in the morning and to keep using the deodorant at night.

I asked her about oxalates and she said most if not all of her patients have issues with oxalates. She sent me a chart that lists food I should eat, foods that are acceptable, and foods that I need to avoid.

When I saw her in person in January she said that the things I have going on are what she sees in her practice all the time and is pretty typical of the kind of patients she gets. So I asked her if those patients are able to regain full health, how long the initial die off lasts (I had heard Dr. K say the first two months are rough), and how long it takes to have a normal life again (think feeling good, energy to have fun and work out, ability to work full time, ability to think clearly, etc.). Her answer was very encouraging yet also utterly depressing. She said because I have Kryptopyrroluria (KPU) the initial die off and detox will take anywhere from 6 to 12 months and then it will be like a big cloud has been lifted. People with KPU start detoxing metals when the mineral and vitamin deficiencies are replaced which causes a lot of highs and lows and takes quite some time.

She said patients who have been sick for a long time like me even go through something similar to PTSD but I will feel normal again and will have a normal life. Eighteen months into treatment I will still be on a fairly heavy treatment protocol but I should start to feel much better and whole categories of symptoms will disappear. 

Overall healing, until I HAVE a normal life again will take anywhere from 3 to 5 years. At that point I would only need to go to the clinic 2 to 3 times a year and my protocol might be 10 to 15 items versus 20 to 30 items. I have to admit, this was the depressing part and when I told my mom about it later I burst into tears. Three to five years to have a normal life and then to still be taking 10 to 15 supplements/meds a day seems hard, but then I am a bit emotional today.

The encouraging part, other than that I will be able to have a normal life again, is that she said her patients who have gone through what I am going through typically end up healthier than their peers who haven't gone through something like this. She said her recovered patients are much more aware of health issues creeping up and taking care of themselves. In addition and as a result, her patients are usually less susceptible to common major illnesses including cancer. I guess there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all.

When I saw her in January she said she would like me to come back in three to four months. I asked her how many days I need to plan for this trip and she said three days would be good. So I am hoping to go either late April or middle of May after my birthday.