Wednesday, April 7, 2010

change of directions

Wow! An eight month hiatus. It's high time for an update.

When I left off blogging here several months ago, I was in the midst of my zero-carb experiment. In summary: it was a bust and I won't be doing it again (at least not long-term). I did lose a lot of weight temporarily, but I think much of it was lean muscle mass. After three weeks on ZC, I started to reek of vinegar (acidosis perhaps?), had intense lower back pressure, and became so weak and listless that I could hardly walk down the hall to the bathroom. Finally, my body temperature dipped below 95 degrees F. These are just the discomforts I remember; there were probably more.

At that point my body said to me, in no uncertain terms, "EAT A FRICKING POTATO OR YOU WILL DIE!" Seriously. So I ate the potatoes. (Potatoes in starvation sauce taste awesome!) Was my body exaggerating a wee bit? We will never know. I sure don't care to find out.

So what went wrong? I don't know. Obviously this is not the experience shared by most people who have dabbled in ZC. I suspect the problem relates to the health condition with which I began. I may expand on those suspicions in a later post.

In related news, I'm shifting directions with this blog in a few ways.

Change #1: I will not be restricting carbohydrates. I do not aspire to become a "low-carb" dieter in any way.

The more I read about health and nutrition, the less inclined I am to associate myself with any particular school of nutritional thought at all. I still think it is important to evaluate all claims in context with what we know (or think we know) of our own biology and evolutionary history. In that respect, I am committed to paleo/primal principles. But my personal health comes first. If a certain practice doesn't make me feel great, I will chuck it, experts and gurus be damned.

I no longer believe ZC to be the optimal way of eating, of course. Really, I don't know what I was smoking last year. When I look back on my posts, I'm embarrassed for myself. I guess I just felt so bad, physically, that I was willing to toss my critical thinking skills aside in my eagerness to find a cure. I don't like that at all. It's not what I want for myself and it's certainly not something I want to be propagating.

I think the most important takeaway lesson from GCBC has nothing to do with food--it's that "scientific" evidence can be amassed in support of any conclusion, correct or incorrect. What made the low-fat craze so criminal was the fact that contrary evidence was overlooked, misinterpreted, scorned, ignored, and sometimes even hushed. Such errors can be found in all circles. 

Bottom line: I want to make an effort to keep my eyes open to all reasonable possibilities concerning the optimal diet for myself. I'll be blogging with this objective in mind.

Change #2: Updates will be relatively infrequent.

I've got no need or desire to go back to keeping a daily log of my progress. I imagine it's pretty boring to read, anyhow. The baby is a toddler now and I'm wanting to spend my scant allotment of free time on reading and reflection rather than interaction. For the time being, I feel like I have more to learn than to say. (I'm a hermit and I like it.)

Change #3: This will no longer be a blog about trying to get rid of the symptoms of POTS...

...because I've done it! I'm very pleased to report that I have learned how to keep all my symptoms under control and my method appears to be sustainable long-term. I'm working on a post about how I got to this point, so stay tuned. I know there are a couple readers who have struggled with similar issues and I think this information is definitely worth sharing. The changes I made are cheap, simple, and painless. Waaaaay easier than eating nothing but cow for the rest of your life. 

I'll get to the old comments when I can (i.e. when I feel like it, heh). 

See you around the paleosphere and beyond.