Metabolism, Resetting Your Thermostat

I lacked energy, I was always tired. I was gaining weight despite exercising. Why? How could I change this? I didn’t want my heart to work harder with these extra pounds. Blood work was done to confirm it wasn’t fluid retention. So what was it?

I did what I do best, I researched and I listened to my body. My gut was telling me it was bloated. I remember telling my husband, I feel like I need a detergent that breaks down the grease…kind of like “Dawn” that got the oil spill off the animals. I needed help digesting the fats in my diet. I no longer have a gall bladder and avoid fried or greasy foods. Divinely, articles with information I needed suddenly appeared in my Facebook feeds or in my email inbox. I started down the rabbit hole of learning a lot of new things. The dichotomy of the old and the new was the formula I needed.

food-pyramidWhat I had been taught all my life was essentially wrong. The food pyramid was backwards. I gleaned tidbits from specialists, and started putting the puzzle together. One piece at a time. I wasn’t sure how everything would fit together, but I have strong faith and knew it was a matter of trust. I just needed to be patient and persistent and I would be rewarded.

Let me start by saying there is no one “magic bullet” to fix your health. It is a lifestyle. It is major change. It is different for everyone. None of us are alike, so why should this be any different? Find your new “normal”. Learning what works for others and considering it for yourself is the first step. You need to be the judge on whether it will work for you. If it might, then try it. If not, keep digging.

I’ve tried lots of new things in my quest for health. Most of them are now a part of my lifestyle. There it is again, that word….lifestyle. Yes, it’s what is key in this equation. There is no magic pill. No one exercise. No one thing. Sorry, it isn’t what you wanted to hear. But the reality is, you are in the driver’s seat. It’s your body. You can do what you want. If you don’t mind feeling crappy…go ahead and do it. Personally, I find it compelling to live feeling as good as I can.

My metabolism wasn’t working as efficiently, my blood sugar was up. I was approaching the Land of Pre-diabetes. I didn’t want to go there. Cutting out sugar was my only option…that or…diabetes and drugs? You guessed it. Goodbye sugar. It wasn’t easy. But in doing so I learned something that made up for kicking the sugar out of my diet. I discovered the magic of D-ribose in my coffee instead of sugar. Wow…

heart-workoutMy metabolic cardiologist, Dr. Joel Kahn, MD, had recommended I take D-ribose to help give me more energy, something lacking in heart patients. I had been taking it for over a year and a half when I stumbled across an interview with Ben Lynch, DO; my go-to for MTHFR information. Dr. Lynch discovered that using D-ribose in your coffee is great for people with MTHFR for increased energy. D-ribose is the ATP (energy) for your cells. It’s been used by gym enthusiasts and athletes for years.

D-ribose is a natural sugar that our body needs. It comes in powdered form and tastes sweet, why not use it in my coffee in place of refined sugar? Makes sense. I decided to try it. It’s made a huge difference in the way I feel. It’s the second best thing for me since discovering methylated B vitamins. I’m grateful that I learned about both of these things from Dr. Kahn. The coffee idea was Dr. Lynch’s. Thank you, both of you.

Let’s back up just a minute. Before this, I had experienced very painful bloating accompanied by unexplained weight gain. I was exercising several times a week. I did cardio rehab once a week, yoga twice a week and on other days I took walks. Moving around is really important for good circulation. In my previous life I sat a lot. I learned that sitting is the new smoking. Another lifestyle change.

I was miserable and felt like a balloon that was ready to burst. But I didn’t. Instead I was in agony. I was looking for a good movie to watch when I happened across “Miracles from Heaven” , March 2016. I fasted. I meditated. I prayed. I took Xanax. I researched. I wrote. I was determined to learn how to get better. Read my post, Help for Gas and Bloating Naturally

I decided to try giving up gluten based foods. I had been grinding my organic wheat and making my own bread to avoid folic acid. But even that wasn’t making my gut happy. I knew others that were gluten intolerant. I had a support network. I had friends that understood how food can make you or break you. Thanks Elaine and to Frieda for baking such wonderful gluten free goodies for me to sample.

Having support makes a huge difference. Especially when it comes to a lifestyle change. Yes, I said it again…lifestyle. You see that is the key to everything. Lifestyle.

I was feeling better, but my gut still had issues. I needed intervention, but I didn’t want to go to the doctor. Conventional medicine wasn’t what I needed, as a matter of fact, I knew it would only make me feel worse. They would insist on tests that exposed me to radiation, contrast mediums to ingest in an already upset GI tract. More than likely antibiotics would be prescribed, which is one of things that got me here in the first place.

My body and my research was indicating that I was dealing with the effects of MTHFR and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). I reached out to Dr. Kahn for help. He’s my metabolic cardiologist and suggested I find a GI specialist that understands functional (metabolic) medicine. We both looked for someone near me. We came up empty. Hence I researched more and found a resource and a regime that would help me combat my gut issues. I was dealing with a fungal overgrowth of Candida. An overgrowth of yeast. I’ve been following this protocol for SIBO.

carbohydratesNo more yeast products in my diet. I felt better when I avoided beer. Now I was determined to avoid bread. I learned that bread and pastas are carbohydrates that turn into sugar in your body. This sugar is used for fuel (glucose) for energy. If I don’t have sugar to burn for energy then what? My body starts to burn fat to fuel itself. Hence weight loss. Eureka, I’ve found the answer to the 64 thousand dollar question. How do I lose weight?

I’m not suggesting that you start eating fat in your diet. Rather let your body burn the fat it’s already got. However, since we’re on the topic of eating fat…let’s talk some more about that. There is a misnomer that all fat is bad fat. Not true. You need certain fats in your body. Your body is supposed to have a certain amount of cholesterol. Your brain is made of a lot of cholesterol. However you should be getting the Omega 3 kind of fat, not the other kind…Omega 6. The fried foods are deep fat fried in oils that are Omega 6, like vegetable oils. The good stuff, Omega 3, is found in salmon, nuts, avocadoes, to name a few. Your body needs a balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3’s. The American diet is heavy on the Omega 6’s and skews up the balance with the Omega 3’s. I thought my diet was sufficient in keeping me in balance since I had given up fried foods and the vegetable oils. NOT. My blood test revealed I was out of whack. I started taking an Omega 3 supplement daily. I’m due for my six month checkup and we’ll see what my blood tests reveal this time.

Why did I talk so much about Omega 3’s? Well, it has to do with metabolism. You see Omega 3’s are one of the keys to switching your metabolism. Your body needs this balance to get into fat burning mode. That’s what you want. No more sugar for fuel….let’s get the f out of the fat….that’s where it’s at.

It’s not easy. Nothing worth it ever is. But your health is worth investing in. So, let’s get going. Let me know how you are doing. We are in this together. It’s a lifestyle. We want to the best that we can be. So let’s get started.

P.S. My pharmacists mentioned yesterday I wasn’t taking the Xanax nearly as much. I told him about healing myself from Candida. I think I may have planted a seed.