Magnesium + B12 = Magic!

Wow.  Just…..wow!  I figured out, finally, via Dr. Google Search, that most of my remaining health issues could be attributed to Magnesium and B12 defiency. 

What gave this additional support is that I took the max dosage – or more – of Extra-strength antacids daily for 14 years due to severe gluten intolerance issues.  Apparently antacid abuse is a common cause of these defiencies.

I had tried B12 before, but I this time I purchased a high potency liquid form that you hold in your mouth for 30 seconds before swallowing.  Two day and two doses later my energy and mood is already improving!! Significantly!! 

I ordered a high-absorption magnesium lysine in the mail, but in the meantime I got some calcium citrate & magnesium at the store and and trying to eat more magnesium-rich foods & bathing with Epsom salts.  Really hopeful this will help with my peripheral numbness, cognitive issues, energy and fat loss.  It’s supposed to impact insulin & mitochondria.   This might be the final missing link in my N=1 self-improvement process!

This is making me think that I need to get formally  tested so I can determine any further extreme  nutritional deficiencies.  I’m taking a liquid multivitamin also but I just ordered some more of the Primal Blueprint master defense formula as that works the best for me.   Still also taking L-Glutamine, a probiotic, digestive enzymes and fish oil.  I dropped the diuretic.

Fingers crossed!!  I’ll report back on the results!

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Numb Feet:  My N=1 Solution

My health has greatly improved over the past year with a switch to a more whole-food approach to eating.  

Some great improvements include:

  1. My teeth are no longer transparent and breaking off
  2. No illness in 13 months
  3. Better sleep/no sleep apnea
  4. Digestive issues resolved
  5. Weight loss
  6. Improved cognitive function
  7. Improved allergies

Some areas I continue to struggle with are low energy and light sensitivity, I think due to recovery from adrenal fatigue.  I also have had a real challenge with leg circulation.  Recently, I started getting pockets of edema (fluid) in my hands, feet & legs and increased numbness in my feet & legs – and I knew I really needed to take action ASAP.

In the past I have discussed this with doctors and was just told to exercise.  I decided I would see a vascular specialist if I didn’t see some improvement soon – but I really don’t want drugs or surgery unless absolutely necessary.

After a lot of Internet searches and trial & error, I think I’ve hit on the perfect formula for my road to recovery:

  1. 1-2 alcoholic drinks per day ( usually 1)
  2. 1-3 baby aspirin per day (usually 1 unless I have pain)
  3. 30 minutes light walking daily (sometimes just at a stroll)
  4. Do 10 yoga sun salutations daily (not holding pose very long)
  5. Massage legs/feet daily
  6. Elevation of legs (best is straight up against a wall)
  7. Drink plenty of water
  8. Take 1 natural diuretic capsule daily
  9. Very low sugar intake
  10. Eliminate grains
  11. Moderate salt intake.

For me, this seems to be the magic formula.  I didn’t realize how numb my left leg was until the feeling started to come back.  Hopefully the diuretic is just temporary but it’s helping a lot.  I usually don’t drink daily but a little bit seems to be beneficial but then a few drinks makes my feet puff up, so it’s a balance.  I was kind of salt deficient until recently, but now salt affects me so I guess my adrenals are improving.  I should mention that I was previously prediabetic, so my circulation issues are partly related to that condition.

Previously, my toes had a kind of Reynaud’s-type color look with the top joint white and below that greenIsh  or blue (if cold).  That has mostly gone away now – I’m glad because it was freaking me out!!

I’ve seen significant improvement now in just 4 days after starting the diuretic, but then I ate some gluten-free cookies and my feet puffed up again.  Sugar is much more inflammatory than I think a lot of people realize!

UPDATE: It’s working!!!! Unfortunately it’s slow progress and sometimes I have mild pain or discomfort.  But major improvement.  I also found that taking cool baths help and I don’t get the ruptured capillaries I experienced with very cold baths.

I also realized I am severely deficient in magnesium & B12 due to taking the maximum dose of extra-strength antacid daily for 14 years (before going gluten-free).  I may go back to the Primal Blueprint Master Defense formula vitamins again, as it’s easier than taking all these individual supplements.  I’ve been reading that B12 and magnesium apparently have a big impact on weight loss, energy, dental health and peripheral extremity numbness, so I’m looking forward to even more improvement soon in these areas, hopefully!

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Great Dentist Visit – Thumbs Up for Paleo Diet

Just returned from a trip to the dentist.  This checkup further validated to me that Paleo/lower carb/gluten free is the best diet option for my health.

The dentist said my teeth look GREAT after 13 months gluten free (and mostly low-ish carb/Paleo).  I feel that I’m still eating too much sugar, but he said the pH balance of my mouth has changed now.  

I was supposed to possibly get a crown today on a tooth that’s been decalcifying for years.  Today the dentist suggested we wait and check it again in 6 months because my tooth enamel looks so much better overall now – he thinks it might resolve on its own!  So exciting.

I already have several crowns and numerous fillings, so just to know the dental erosion has stopped is wonderful!  I haven’t needed any fillings or crowns in over a year now.  

This just confirms that I’m on the right path, and I plan to stick more strictly to my Paleo diet going forward!  

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Gluten-Free Dining Awesomeness at Bruno’s in Brea, CA

My friend and I had dinner tonite at Bruno’s Italian Kitchen in downtown Brea, CA tonight.  What a great experience!

I’d kind of given up on being a foodie these days what with the gluten free and Paleo diet lately. But I’ve had some really good experiences recently.

We started with wine and my friend vouches for their bread being good.  We had the Carpaccio (thinly sliced rare beef tenderloin with capers & arugula) for an appetizer which had great flavor.

They have a separate gluten free menu with several options and also have gluten free pasta.  I had the Pollo al Mattone for my entree which is half a roasted chicken with rosemary red potatoes and roasted peppers.  Yes, I took leftovers home! 

Then we had TWO desserts because why not?  My favorite was the Budino (thick caramel pudding with chocolate on top and whipped cream.  I just had a taste of the chocolate since I’m still recovering from allergies.  (I only had a teensy reaction but took a couple epinephrine pills just to be safe after). 

The other dessert was the Panna Cotta which was light and fluffy – really good also.

The service was great and it had a fun ambience for Saturday night.  They let us relax and didn’t rush us out although they were busy.

The gluten free menu is also on Yelp which made it easy to pick options in advance.  Great experience and will definitely go back as my friend lives inland so it’s halfway between us.  There’s also a cute place nearby that sells cupcakes & french macarons but I was too full already.  

My friends are being SO AWESOME and understanding about dining out with the whole gluten free thing and tell me to stop apologizing, LOL.  They’re super excited to see all the great changes to my health, too! 

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Gluten Free Jury Duty Lunch

I’m doing jury duty today at the Central Justice courthouse in Orange County, CA.  I was worried in advance about lunch.  They actually have good options here.

I tried to check my options in advance online, but they just said there was an onsite cafeteria and restaurants nearby.

At break, I checked out the cafeteria and noted they had chef salad.  The dressing had malt/barley but I brought my own Walden Farms packet.  I had a little of the salad meat and my stomach tightened up, so I stuck up the  veggies & had a Pepcid pill just in case.  No further ill effects though – probably just paranoid.  I also bought a payday candy bar & corn snacks.

They also let you bring food from home – I did bring some water, macadamia nuts & “Paleo bars” from Steve’s Paleo Goods just in case so I have tons of food.  Haven’t been picked for a case yet but if I am, I’ll probably just bring lunch from home each day.  Pretty impressed overall with their organization at this location.    

They had cooked food too but I didn’t feel like interrogating the staff.  They seemed really nice and I don’t think they’d have minded.  

This weekend I’m having dinner with a friend and the first restaurant we checked had a gluten free menu!  And it’s Italian (Brunos in Brea)!  It’s gratifying how many restaurants offer this now.

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Paleo vs. Gluten Free vs. Low Carb

Which is better for optimal health, the Paleo diet, low carb or gluten free?

I guess it depends on your goals and particular health situation. 

I started low carb last February and I haven’t been sick since!  I also lost 30 pounds and reversed my Metabolic Syndrome. The version I followed was Atkins, and of the 3 diets, I think it’s the easiest to follow. Easy to dine out etc. I’m glad I started with that one. 

After 6 months, my weight loss with Atkins stopped no matter how low I cut my carbs. My hair also started falling out and my thyroid was down by 25%. I still think low carb works for me , just not super-low carb. 

 I moved on to Paleo. I lost 5 more pounds and felt much better. It was more difficult to adapt my lifestyle, though. After a couple months of Paleo, I switched to a moderate carb diet, excluding dairy and gluten. I gained five pounds back but maintained the rest. Still never got sick. 

 Around the holidays, I switched to gluten free only. Although my allergies & digestive issues significantly improved from strict compliance, my overall well being declined. I started to have sugar cravings again and basic meat-and-veggie meals lost their appeal. 

 For 2015, I’ve decided to proceed with a diet that includes the best (for me) of all three concepts: 

  1. Keep my carbs on the low side, between 50 – 150/day, 
  2. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods
  3. Keep my sugar intake low
  4. Strict gluten-free compliance 

 I think for me that gluten is my first priority but sugar is the second. I can tell it affects me physically and mentally. 

 I also am taking liquid multivitamins, a probiotic, L-Glutamine, digestive enzymes and fish oil to help my GI tract & immune system heal, & reduce my systemic inflammation. 

 Although I feel I have a way to go to reach “good health,” if I look back over the past year I see a tremendous improvement in my quality of life. That motivates me to keep pushing forward.

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Yummy Gluten Free lunch – Pizza & Soup

I just had such a delicious homemade lunch and I’m so full!

First I started with some delicious bone broth. I purchased it from Pete’s Paleo as part of their “New You Box.” They include flavor cubes which I added and then also added a generous amount of dried dill and just a sprinkle of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Soooooooo good! Wow! My tummy has still been a little sore and it was so warm and soothing all the way down. Bone broth has extra gelatine so it really feels good and promotes gut healing. Their supplier, Bare Bones Broth, uses only pasture-fed cows & chickens so there’s no grain contamination in their feed.

Then I made a gluten free pizza. I used Pillsbury gluten free thin crust pizza dough – my favorite so far (bought at Ralphs/Kroger grocery store). For the sauce, I used Peach BBQ from Steve’s Paleo Goods. I sautéed some onions and shredded some baked chicken breast and added just a little mild Pico de Gallo salsa & a lot of fresh avocado on top. Next time I’ll add fresh cilantro,

WOW that was super good. Enjoyed the whole thing outdoors on my patio in the California winter sunshine, Now I need a nap!

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