You might recall how much I don’t love doctors. You might also recall how I have horrible reactions to pharmaceutical drugs. This includes antibiotics. At nineteen I had the joy of learning I was allergic to penicillin and forever after have also had trouble digesting mushrooms. I didn’t put that together until I realized penicillin is grown from a fungal base, which sensitized me to any fungus food. Fungus food include all yeasts: beer, wine, breads, and some fermented foods.
Some of my health problems I didn’t ask for. Funny thing is some of them are [big*word*alert] iatrogenic, which means “physician induced”. My allergy to penicillin came up because a doctor gave me the medicine. The reaction left me sensitive to all antibiotics. Same thing happened to me with codeine.
So when I got my diabetes diagnosis, I could barely deal. NO WAY was I going to take insulin. Or inject it!!! Gak! No way did I want to take medicine every day. Not only do I react poorly, I forget to take medicine (passive-aggressive?), which basically renders medicine ineffective on me.
I was excited when the doctor gave me a handful of eating plans and menus and recipes to “manage” my diabetes. How disappointing to find the information was the same old American Heart Association/American Diabetes Association blahblah that put forty pounds on me and gave me diabetes.
Here’s the problem. When you have diabetes, the doctors want to “help” you manage your diabetes. Intrusively. Suddenly all you are is diabetes. Unless you have heart disease as well all other unwellnesses fall to the wayside. In our modern medical paradigm all your illnesses exist separately anyway; they do not co-exist in the same body. My hepatitis is only in my liver, my mercury poisoning is only in my mouth, my varicose veins are only in my legs and my diabetes in only in my blood sugars.
The logic I follow is the hepatitis is a long existing problem starting when I was nineteen not long after my penicillin reaction. I was probably pre-sensitized by a severe case of chicken pox when I was seven and early mercury amalgam placements. After years of carrying the chicken pox virus and the hepatitis virus, aggravated by the effects of mercury poisoning from six new dental amalgam placements, my body could not deal with the extra physical and mental stress happening in my life, which caused the hepatitis to massively flair resulting in a hormonal breakdown called diabetes. No doctor will say that.
Dr Me to the rescue. I read twenty hundred books from the library, poked around on the internet, refreshed my earlier studies into nutrition, and decided on a detox of my own design. It wasn’t perfect, but my doctor agreed to it. It could be a lot “cleaner”, but I’m a working mom and have no support system, so I had to do it my way and still survive in a family and at work. My goal was to reset my metabolism, reverse my diabetic numbers, and get off the diabetes medicine. My A1C – spare the science, this is how they measure how your body used blood sugar for the last three months – was only just barely over the number at which you are determined to be diabetic. I was taking a very small single daily dose of Metformin orally. Most people take their diagnosis and expect the medicine to cure/fix the illness. Illness, especially diabetes, doesn’t work that way. You have to proactively take it by the horns and wrestle it to the ground or it will beat you to an early death.
I am not a vegetarian and my research does not support vegetarianism as the optimal human diet. I had already been eliminating processed foods, one at a time. I had been drinking raw cow’s milk for five years, which helped to alleviate my chronic bronchitis. I didn’t have bronchitis the five years I was drinking the raw milk, or a cold or flu. For reasons I won’t go into here, I lost my trust in the farmer and had to stop giving them my money. I loved the milk. It tasted good and sweet and I could have drank gallons every day. The negatives of it being VERY expensive and traveling 30 miles round trip to get it did not compare to the relief of no bronchitis. I wanted it that bad. For the first time something had made a difference in my health.
I purchased a good glucometer and began testing my blood sugar six to eight times a day to get a baseline of my blood glucose levels to get ready for the detox. I started the detox right after Easter which was hard because I still had an Easter basket full of candy and I wasn’t going to be able to eat it till July!
OK KAS! WHAT DID YOU EAT??? I know. I do go on.
What I didn’t eat was carbohydrate. I limited my intake of carbohydrates to about 20 grams a day. That’s right, no bread, pastry, pasta, rice, potatoes, corn, carrots, peas, grains, legumes, fruit, milk, or yogurt. No cake, pie, candy, ice cream, chips, fast food, or commercial processed foods. No soda pop, fruit juice, sweetened drinks, or artificial drinks. No soy. Don’t be fooled by the Crystal Light hype or the “artificial sugar is ok for you” myth.
For six weeks I ate meat, poultry, seafood, bacon, butter, cream, cheese, eggs, nuts, nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, salad dressings, avocados, olives, fermented or pickled vegetables, and select raw or cooked vegetables such as tomatoes (a fruit), cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, onions, and lettuces. I drank water and Perrier, eight ounces of espresso in the morning and eight ounces of green tea at night. Oh! And really dark, more than 65% cacao, chocolate. Just a little every day. It’s actually a REALLY long list of “can haves” so you have enough variety of nutrients.
This is very important: I DID NOT LIMIT CALORIES OR FAT INTAKE. The commercial products I have to use are all full fat products: cheese, cottage cheese, cream, meat, salad dressings. I try to buy farm eggs from locals with full fat and cholesterol in them. I ate an average of 2000 to 2500 calories a day. Yes, there is such a thing as overeating, but if you are eating the right nutrients you will not be hungry and your body will not let you eat too much because you will feel uncomfortable if you do.
Eating on a schedule is important to the detox. By following my blood sugars I could tell when I’d gone too long or eaten the item that shot my sugar up. You want to achieve an optimal “burn”, which is called metabolism, simply, how the body uses the fuel it’s given. The body burns fuel in a similar manner to the way a car burns fuel. If you feed it the wrong fuel it doesn’t work right and eventually breaks down. If the fuel is too rich or too lean the engine doesn’t work right, either. If you let it get too low, it sputters and hiccups before it expires. If you try to put in too much fuel it spills over; it’s wasted and can’t be used, and makes a mess someplace else. You want a nice, even, steady burn. No spikes, no valleys. Nice and even. Scheduling food intake provides the body with a constant source of the right foods at the right times. It also make preparing for the food plan easier. Being prepared helps the schedule. Perfect circle.
Carbohydrates are the wrong fuel for the body. At the cellular level, human bodies are designed to run on fats and proteins and some spare vitamins that occur in greens and grains. Our grandparents, well, my grandparents, knew how to eat and when to eat, without calling food proteins and carbohydrates and fats and vitamins and minerals. When noon meal time came and they were serving up chicken fried in leftover bacon fat, and gravy made with flour and cream, mashed potatoes made with milk and butter, and bread slathered with fresh sweet butter, green beans boiled with bacon or ham, next to salad greens, fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, and pickled vegetables, and pitchers of cold raw milk, they understood human cellular nutrition intuitively through muscle and genetic memory passed down through the generations.
It’s been enough generations now people don’t know how to garden, or take care of soil by recycling kitchen waste, or husband animals, or cook from scratch, or preserve what they grow. We know how to shop. We know how to shield our eyes from industrial pollution and propaganda in the name of convenience, for which we are sacrificing our health.
I stayed on the detox for eight weeks, longer than I recommend. It does take the full six weeks of strict adherence to reset the metabolism. I kept trying to have one small piece of the Easter candy, and each time I did I’d add another day back on to the detox. I’d test my blood sugar after the candy and during the detox the candy would shoot my sugar up too high. I learned through sore fingers, and sheer determination and will, what I could eat and when I could eat it. And when and how to have a treat. But treats come later. At the end of the eight weeks I’d lost 12 pounds, not much to write home about.
But something was happening. The constant nausea I carry around had kicked down about a half notch. That was a relief. At eight weeks however, I began having pain in my legs. I have varicose veins so I expect pain but this was a little more extreme. It was time to start adding carbohydrates back into my diet.
NO, I did not go out and have pizza and cokes. It was June in Oregon and I pigged out on strawberries. OH MY GOD. They tasted SOOOOO GOOD. The first night I ate a whole pint and had such relief from the pain in my legs I knew I’d been lacking a nutrient like potassium or vitamin C. Without a lab to test I went by guesswork. I slowly added different fruits back into my foods over the summer and at the end of six months I’d lost 30 pounds. My blood sugar was totally normal and my A1C was under the official diabetes threshold. My doctor agreed, as long as I continued with the eating plan I was on, I could stop taking the Metformin.
I envy the people who claim all the cravings are gone. I’m telling you that has NOT been my experience. I could eat a bacon cheeseburger with a pile of french fries and a gallon of coke followed by a chocolate milk shake in a flash. With probably a huge slice of chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting. I want to. I crave it. I desire it. That’s the damage of processed food.
My detox gave me a new baseline. I know how that food makes me feel. The sweet in anything is so much more intense now my taste buds are retrained to fresh and natural foods. I can taste the huge amount of sugar in catsup. Candy tastes almost artificial even when made with pure sugar. And I can tell now when I indulge in too much carbohydrate type foods, the scale makes no downward progress and the blood sugar gets a little high.
I will not depend on medicine to cure my unwellness. I will not depend on processed food to kill me. I want to die the old fashioned way my grandparents did, in their eighties and nineties, eating real food all the way.