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.


  1. I don't know why you are "embarrassed". You were/are experimenting on yourself - tinkering - and that is the way it should be. There are no right answers, just experimentation to see what works for you.

  2. "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."

    Do i know you from the zero carb board??? i was ZC last year this time too! that quote...OMG rings SO TRUE TO ME!!

    i hope you find your way and what works for you girl! i cant believe looking back now, how WHACK i was doing zero carb

  3. Awesome news on the relief from POTS! Can't wait to hear far as not carb restricting are you eating only whole foods or just whatever you want? Glad to see you back on here (I generally lurk and need to get back to blogging more myself!)

  4. Thanks all for the support. =)

    Mark, I agree regarding tinkering. I'm all for that. What I regret is my failure to exercise a due amount of skepticism when reading material written by certain outspoken ZC advocates.

    I'm glad I tried ZC but not so glad about the "true believer" mentality I had going on at the time. Though, hey, I guess even that part was another step in my individual learning process, if I put a positive spin on it.

    Mal, I do remember you from the Zero Carb board. Yup, I am the same Gwennie. I saw some of your comments on Matt Stone's blog and Free the Animal, too. I'm not sure where you've landed now, but I was glad to see you playing around with different ways of eating. I hope you find what works for you, too.

    CE, I've played around with both of those ways. I will go into more detail in my new update. Nice to hear from a fellow lurker, heh.