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Stress Revisited

10 July 2015

It’s been two years since I first wrote “The Eat as Much as Possible Diet.” and eight months since I wrote my last health related article.  I’ve heard from many people saying what a miracle it has been to their lives.  Better sleep, less hypothyroid symptoms, better hair, skin, nails, better mood, re-found personalities.  I somewhat fell off the path I laid out in that article and went maybe a little too single dimensioned with my later articles on testosterone.

As I said above, it’s been awhile since I posted anything health related.  I struggle with preaching about information when I begin to wonder if it’s true or not.  I believe doubt in things is healthier than blind faith. So I’ve had writer’s block, more appropriately termed “ethical block,” for about the last 8 months.  I won’t redact something I said or remove posts from the internet, but I will put disclaimers on them.  I like to keep the old information and thoughts I had at the time in case parts of it remain true.  I started working on a post talking about recommended supplements as I said I would, but I never finished due to what happened about 9 months ago.  Before I start claiming anything monumental, my health (libido, mood, energy) was and still remains better than it was in my starvation, strict dieting days.

Per the recommendation of some Ray Peat health coaches on Facebook, I started on the high milk diet maybe around April 2014.  I loaded 1 gallon of skim milk into cronometer.com, and my mind was blown by the way it satisfied my mineral, vitamin, protein, and carb requirements.  Just look at what “Nature’s Perfect Food” boasts:

mins-milkbvits-milk

 

I  added salt, gelatin, and sometimes white sugar.  My hair became thicker, and I felt stronger.  I continued through the summer into the fall.  Per my interpretation of recommendations of Ray Peat followers, I was supplementing with bulk powder niacinamide, thiamin, zinc and aspirin spread throughout the day, but possibly still too much.  I also used the fat solubles: A, D, E, K nearly daily.

I had a relatively active life, playing volleyball, lifting weights, and playing soccer once a week.  I also was eating oysters and liver regularly, along with plenty of coffee and orange juice.  All in all, I was consuming about 2.5 gallons of liquid (with calories) a day.  In hindsight, it seems perfectly logical seeing this as stressful on the body no matter how much salt is added back in.

I wrote about how this would increase my testosterone based on others’ success, and while I still agree with my “lifestyle” tips in part 2 of my testosterone series, I’ve been forced to revisit my recommendations made in part 3.  The reasons are not based on something I read, or someone else convinced me of, but based on my own experience.  And I’ve seen this “diet” has worked for other people so it might be that everyone is slightly different which is something I used to not fully buy into  And slight differences can make a huge difference when something is such a narrow approach where “bad things” would accumulate at a much faster pace than one with many inputs instead of a few inputs.  As Nassim Taleb pointed out in his book “Fooled by Randomness”, ingesting ten one mL servings of different poisons (assuming no synergy) is “safer” than ingesting 10 mL of a single poison.  The saying “the dose makes the poison” exists for a reason.  Lots of milk, OJ, wheat bread, broccoli, magnesium, whatever, will do more harm than the good it provides.

I began getting small cysts on my neck and around my ears that would not go away.  I became sick with coughing for a few weeks for the first time in probably 8 years.  I’m not sure if this was bacteria or what it was.  I ended up getting some kind of food poisoning (or potentially not from food) that forced me to check into the ER after a few days of vomiting and not being able to keep anything down.  The doctor diagnosed me with Hepatitis A due to extremely elevated liver enzymes.  I felt this was partially due to whatever food poisoning I encountered, and partially related to diet.

All the while, my body looked fine, but basic lab markers worsened – cholesterol, triglycerides, testosterone.  Certain people you’ll encounter will tell you these labs don’t matter, and maybe they don’t.  However, just ignoring very commonly accepted lab markers also seems foolish.  Especially when I was able to easily maintain perfectly fine numbers for years without any extreme diets.

“The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results”

I used to think “everything in moderation” was stupid when I knew certain foods were “bad” and certain foods “good.”  I threw out those labels – except for things high in vegetable oils – those are still bad.  The good thing about “everything in moderation” is it reduces the chance of any single high toxicity which may be more detrimental than a variety of low to medium toxins.  I slowed the milk consumption something more normal.  I switched back from commercial OJ to homemade OJ which forces moderation.

My hepatitis A disappeared.  My cysts disappeared with the help of oral iodine and topical Betadine.  My cold went away, and I haven’t been sick since.  My man-parts began functioning well again.  My labs look more normal again.  I didn’t do anything miraculous.  I ate a wider variety of foods and slowed down.

A few high level ideas to leave you with to encourage thought –

  • Excess nutrient intake without fuel intake (food) is likely stressful on the body as it increases metabolism and drops blood sugar
  • Excess fuel intake (food) without nutrients is likely stressful on the body as the body has to either store fat or deal with elevated blood sugar
  • Excess intake of quickly burned fuel – alcohol, sugars can induce stress during the “come-down” as the body increases glucorticoids to maintain homeostasis after a false high
    • Possibly the real reason for the alcohol gut; cortisol rises AFTER alcohol consumed in an attempt to maintain homeostasis
  • Excess single nutrients, especially minerals, will deplete others causing imbalance and stress
    • I used too much zinc which depressed sexual function – yes, really
    • It’s possible excess zinc causes copper depletion which may be the real inhibitor of 5-A-R the enzyme responsible for forming DHT
    • I used too much selenium which caused thinning hair
    • I believe niacinamide partially inflamed my liver
    • I believe excess milk contains too much progesterone for many men, and potentially inflammatory A1 proteins
    • I believe excess skim milk may not get completely digested in people with already weak digestion due to lack of fat which stimulates digestion
  • Iodine’s effects need to be investigated further – may be good for promoting healthy bacteria, may be good for neutralizing unsaturated fatty acids
  • Iodide’s effects need to be investigated further – may normalize thyroid function, may be healthy for breast tissue and fat tissue
  • A healthy gut with healthy bacteria needs to be encouraged
    • Not a sterile gut
    • Promotes Short Chain Fatty Acid synthesis which helps improve gut health, and potentially alters the size of fat cells in adipose tissue
    • Non-irritating fiber from potatoes, rice, and fruit is likely a better choice than their liquid equivalents
  • Sitting down; slowing down is important for health

More to come.

Scott

Comments

Share your opinion by posting or replying to others comments.

danielallenwich@gmail.com'

Dan Wich – Reply

July 11, 2015 at 12:30 am - 4 years ago

Glad to hear about the progress. I’ve been experimenting along similar lines, substituting greek yogurt for milk and just drinking OJ to thirst rather than aiming for a target amount.

milushq@gmail.com'

Mila – Reply

July 11, 2015 at 2:34 pm - 4 years ago

Interesting, thanks for your honesty. I’ve been experimenting quite a bit myself lately, mostly, with adding aerobic exercise to the equation and eating almost everything in moderation. My last labs weren’t perfect as well. High cholesterol despite taking thyroid, so let’s see what exercise can do for me.
Still love Peat, but doing it my way.

sl.ethnobotanist@gmail.com'

Michael – Reply

June 1, 2016 at 12:16 pm - 3 years ago

I’m curious as to where the gallon of skim milk recommendation came from. That is certainly not something Ray Peat recommends or did I miss something?

    Scott SchlegelReply

    June 1, 2016 at 5:20 pm - 3 years ago

    He’s a big advocate of milk. Probably not that much milk. The Ray Peat forum had a few posters that had great success with sugary milk drunk in large quantities. Some Ray Peat coaches advocate a few quarts to a gallon a day. It all depends on people’s interpretation. In order to get the Ray Peat suggested 100 grams of the so called superior milk protein, you’d need at least 12 cups of milk a day. I’d guess that is where the coaches get that idea.

    Even though some offshoots of Ray Peats ideology practice low liquid consumption, not all of them do.

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