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Doing Without Carbs
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Hi all,

I've just lost most of another afternoon flaked out on the sofa, which isn't how I like to live. I'm trying and failing to figure out my many food intolerances. Two things I haven't tried cutting out are potatoes and rice (white rice, anyway - I think brown makes me tired). I can't tolerate grains such as teff and millet, though I do eat buckwheat crackers (does that count as a grain?)

Rice and potatoes are pretty much my staple diet, but I know that's not healthy and I know that people on here have issues with one or both. The question is, without carbs, will I have any energy? I've never been convinced by Dr Atkins! And what do people on grain free diets eat?

Thanks for any advice,

Tired lady

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Try http://www.marksdailyapple.com for a primal based diet.

The "diet" (lifestyle or way of eating is more accurate) is meats, veggies, and healthy fats (coconut oil, butter, animal tallow are all great; processed vegetable oils {such as canola} and anything that has been hydrogenated is VERY bad). Fruits are a rare addition, although if someone is doing heavy training, say for a marathon, then it might be consumed more frequently. All grains, legumes, and sugars are discouraged if the lifestyle is followed strictly.

ETA: As far as energy goes, as long as you get a good amount of good fats, then you'll have wonderful energy levels, without the peaks and valleys that comes about with eating a carb heavy diet. I've been eating like this for the past few weeks, and I have to say that my reactive hypoglycemia has completely gone away, and I don't have periods of exhaustion. I do get tired, but one of the things that I like about this lifestyle is the notion of following the signals of your body... so if I'm tired, I'll rest. But I don't have to rest for several hours at a time to see results. Sometimes, all I need is a 30 minute nap and I'm back to full force.

ETA 2: A typical day of eating is 2 jumbo eggs and 2-4 servings of veggies (this morning was asparagus and brussel sprouts), and a serving of meat (usually chicken, bacon, or whatever was left over from the previous night's dinner) for breakfast. I'm not hungry at lunch normally (only on days that I'm more active than most) so I don't eat then, but if I do, it's a smaller version of my dinner. For dinner, it is a good portion of meat, and even more veggies, or a salad with mixed greens for the lettuce. Unless the veggies are raw, I will cook all of my food in coconut oil or butter, and if I'm having salad, my dressing more often than not is the left over butter or coconut oil used to cook my food.

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Do you consume milk products or legumes?? both are high in carbs

If you increase your good fat consumption as your carbs go down it will truly help.

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Thanks for your replies!

A1956chill - Legumes seem to disagree with me horribly but I eat a lot of dairy, which doesn't seem to bother me. I eat loads because cheese goes with almost everything and also because I have osteopenia and my GP won't prescribe supplements. So I guess I still have those carbs - thanks :)

MCC0523 - I should have mentioned that I also follow the FODMAP diet - so something with very little fruit sounds good, but I'm also somewhat restricted in what veggies I can eat. The diet does sound worth a look, though it also sounds kind of expensive. I'm especially interested in what you say as my husband has POTS and ED syndrome, like you - however, he also needs a low cholesterol diet and it doesn't sound good from that point of view - do you have any thoughts on that? It's a struggle to cook separate meals - I'm the healthier one so I do most of the cooking but I can't do too much chopping, peeling etc.

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MCC0523 - I should have mentioned that I also follow the FODMAP diet - so something with very little fruit sounds good, but I'm also somewhat restricted in what veggies I can eat. The diet does sound worth a look, though it also sounds kind of expensive. I'm especially interested in what you say as my husband has POTS and ED syndrome, like you - however, he also needs a low cholesterol diet and it doesn't sound good from that point of view - do you have any thoughts on that? It's a struggle to cook separate meals - I'm the healthier one so I do most of the cooking but I can't do too much chopping, peeling etc.

I think that low cholesterol diet is a BAD idea long term... cholesterol is found in almost every cell in the human body, and it is what the myelin sheath which coats the nerves (and what is attacked in MS) consists of. If one doesn't consume cholesterol, then the liver makes it, so if the diet is low in cholesterol (or good fats in general) it can overtax the liver, and other bodily functions, reducing the absorption of Vitamin D (which is made by exposure to sun, but if there isn't fats, especially cholesterol, to help with the synthesis, then it isn't used as efficiently) and hormone production and it increases inflammation. Inflammation should be more of a concern with heart disease than lipid levels. Half of people who have their first heart attack have a NORMAL (or what the FDA says is normal) lipid panel. Lack of good fats leads to inflammation, and with EDS, inflammation is a given frequent dislocations and hypermobility. Since I've started eating this way, my knees are now a normal size (the first time in over 3 years), and my pain levels, which used to hover around a 7 on a GOOD day, hasn't gone above a 5 in 2 weeks, maybe longer.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cholesterol/ has a much, much better explanation of this than what I could ever do.

As far as expense, it doesn't have to be. I shop on the perimeter of the store, and I get whatever is on special with the meats, and I pick the veggies that I can tolerate. By going on special, I spent around 4 dollars for 8 lamb loin chops last week (that was the meat for 3 meals), and just under 6 for a pound and a half of salmon (4 meals). I am planning and preparing a garden right now, and for chopping and peeling, something like a Slap Chop or some other vegetable chopper and a potato peeler (mine hasn't seen a potato in a LONG time, though) are great for spending less time and energy on that part of meal preparation. And at first, I was worried about doing so much chopping and peeling, but I'm feeling better enough that it isn't a big deal as I feared it would be.

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I follow a low-carb, grain-free and fruit-free diet to manage diabetes. It keeps my blood sugar nice and healthy and even so I feel much more energetic than I used to. I agree with much of what's been said so won't repeat that. As for cholesterol, I eat bacon every day and my cholesterol is great! no worries! My son's cholesterol was elevated and his pediatrician said lower the carbs!

I eat some meat(ham or turkey or broiled fish, bacon) and steamed veggies or canned pumpkin for breakfast. The pumpkin can be doctored up with "butter", "milk-coconut, almond..", cinnamon etc., muffins or bread made from flax meal or almond meal.

There is a thread or 2 here on the forum on grain-free baking/eating.

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I am a fan of the Paleo diet. I feel so much better with out all the junk. B)

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Nuts, if you like them are an almost perfect food with the combination of good fat and protein and a moderate amount of carbs. I have been eating nuts every day for two weeks and have noticed a definite improvement in the energy level. I also have less inflammation and have noticed improvements in my hair and skin. AND I have not gained weight which I was afraid would happen.

I did Atkins years ago and during that time, had more energy than I have ever had in my life.

I eat one to two cups of nuts a day and the rest is meat and vegetables. (and a little chocolate, but don't tell anyone)

I am thinking this is a really good thing for me.

I was like you spending days unable to move, sleeping too much, tired even though eating gluten free.

Today my son came home from school and said, "hey mom, did you know that eating nuts can increase your metabolism?" I didn't know it but that is what he learned in school today. Cool! Maybe that expalins why I have more energy and don't feel so tired. I eat a handful every hour or so and have been feeling great this way.

I don't know of any downside but if there are any, it hasn't shown itself in two weeks.

Of course I'm not saying just eat nuts. But I think there was definitely something in them that my body was missing - possibly the vitamins and minerals they contain or the good fats? Whatever it is, I'm keeping it up because I feel way better in the last two weeks than I have since I first went gluten free.

Hope you feel better soon. I hate feeling tired too.

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I've been on the Specific Carb Diet for 10 months and have more energy than I've had in years! It's quite similar to Paleo. I eat quite a lot of fruits on this diet - I eat mostly fruits, vegetables, and protein. I don't eat lactose, grains, corn, soy, sugar, or starchy vegetables. Of course I don't eat gluten because of Celiac. I'm allergic to nuts, so I don't eat those.

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If you look at my signature you'll see that I'm extremely limited. I was having a lot of trouble getting enough carbs and calories. Even with eating fruit and sweet potatoes all day, I can only eat so much before I'm getting too much fiber, which was a problem for me (40 grams a day is not good when you're only getting 1200 calories!). I ended up finding an apple juice that had zero additives - even ascorbic acid makes me sick - and now I've added 16-20 ounces of that every day. It's definitely helped.

I was always very anti-fruit juice, but you gotta do what you gotta do...

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hi india my diet is identical to member mcc0523,i have been eating this way now for over 2 years now i will never go back eating the way i used to basically vegetarian,that made me so sick.as far as carbs go you don't need them at all i teach full time tennis and ride over 400klm on my road bike every week and my energy levels are always perfect.fat especially saturated fat is the perfect fuel gives you slow release energy all day.no blood sugar fluctuations at all.my energy is the same all day.i actually tried eating a meat only diet for 2 week at one stage and i felt great no constipation even though i was eating no fibre at all energy was fine on zero carbs.not sure if you could do this long term but i just wanted to try it.things i have learnt over the past 2 years are you don't need lots of fibre and carbs to be healthy and eating lots of fat has made me feel strong and healthy.there is plenty of research out there stating that low cholesterol is actually more dangerous than high cholesterol.hope this helps ask me a question if you like.

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I wonder if you have hypothyroidism? It is a common to have Celiac Disease AND hypothyroidism. Check out the symptoms.

If you do, you may notice a difference if you avoid ALL goitrogenic foods (they lower the thyroid). These are: Gluten, soy, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, rutabega, spinach, strawberries, peaches, canola oil, soy oil, corn oil, sweet potatoes/yams and the ENTIRE MUSTARD FAMILY. Also search Google for a complete list of goitrogens.

The fatigue usually occurs 24 hours after eating any of these foods and it can last an entire 1-2 days. Also, sometimes only a NIBBLE of these foods can cause the extreme fatigues.

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hi india my diet is identical to member mcc0523,i have been eating this way now for over 2 years now i will never go back eating the way i used to basically vegetarian,that made me so sick.as far as carbs go you don't need them at all i teach full time tennis and ride over 400klm on my road bike every week and my energy levels are always perfect.fat especially saturated fat is the perfect fuel gives you slow release energy all day.no blood sugar fluctuations at all.my energy is the same all day.i actually tried eating a meat only diet for 2 week at one stage and i felt great no constipation even though i was eating no fibre at all energy was fine on zero carbs.not sure if you could do this long term but i just wanted to try it.things i have learnt over the past 2 years are you don't need lots of fibre and carbs to be healthy and eating lots of fat has made me feel strong and healthy.there is plenty of research out there stating that low cholesterol is actually more dangerous than high cholesterol.hope this helps ask me a question if you like.

Hi,

I'm a mom of a 7 yr old with Celiac disease. She was diagnosed in Jan. of 2010. Almost 1 yr to the date, this past January, her symptoms seemed to return after being gluten-free for 1 yr. We know that she was not getting any gluten because her blood tests were coming back normal and we are very careful. After 3 weeks of bad stomachaches and headaches we started 2 elimination diets at the same time in order to first stop the hurting, then we would figure out which one or if both, were working. We found that she definitely has a casein intolerance now...out of the blue it seems. The second elimination was cutting out all grains and following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. All of her symptoms pretty much disappeared for 2 weeks. After which I tried to reintroduce rice to see if this could be tolerated. She seemed fine with it after eating some rice pasta, her favorite. The next day I gave her a gluten-free rice waffle for breakfast, again, she seemed fine. The following day I gave her baked french fries which she also seemed to tolerate. Then 2 days ago the stomachaches and headaches returned. Yesterday morning was the last time she had any rice, a waffle for breakfast. Since then I've taken her back off of all grains and starches, but am worried that maybe it is something else. Time will tell. I'm nervous that maybe she has another autoimmune condition that might be causing her problems. I just find it strange that she was doing fine this past year and then all of a sudden her symptoms returned with a vengence. Has anyone else experienced this?? We are all now strictly trying the Paleo/SCD diet in our house and cooking all baked goods with almond flour. It is really hard to do without the "filler" we are accustomed to ie)rice, gluten-free pasta, gluten-free breads, especially with kids. Would love any advice from others doing the same thing and if you have seen a decrease in symptoms and how long it took to feel better again. Thanks!!

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I highly reccommend the primal diet as well. marksdailyapple.com is full of wonderful info, encouragement, and recipes.

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Just started doing a combination of Atkins, South Beach and the Paleo diet (depends on my mood and day). I'm VERY active. Feel great, and dropping body fat like nobody's business! Highly recommend. Watch "Fathead" on Hulu. It will help explain the logic behind it.

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Some folks have trouble with grains, but they really aren't a required food anyway. Though I do enjoy them, and feel better with them than without them. To each his/her own. Though brown rice is far healthier than white rice, you may not be able to eat either without negative consequences. Try not having rice for a week or two, and see how you feel.

And yes, potatoes and other nightshades such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc, can be very problematic. Many on this board, including myself, cannot tolerate them. The toxic alkaloids impair muscle/nerve function, but most people aren't effected to a noticeable degree. Others are very much effected. This is different than an allergy or intolerance, which can also be the case for some or all nightshades. So again, try doing without them, and see how you feel.

Do you consume milk products or legumes?? both are high in carbs

Legumes are a low carb food. Although they do contain a fair amount of fiber, which is classified as a carbohydrate, it does not get metabolized like starches and sugars. So essentially, legumes are low carb as far as energy/blood sugar is concerned.

Dairy is also not high in carbs. Although, most of the carbs in many dairy products is in the form of lactose (often referred to as milk sugar). Other sugars are present in some dairy products, but usually not very much. Some cheeses and other dairy products have very little sugar because of the way they are made.

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I'll add my thoughts to the chorus of those doing better without grains. Overall my energy level has improved, but it has taken significant effort to make that happen. It's been a hard adjustment after so many years of substituting with gluten free grains. But it seems that none of them agree with me anymore. I'm an athlete so have relied heavily on fruit and sweet potatoes - am currently trying to cut back on the fruit for blood sugar reasons more than reactions. No dairy for me and I have to be careful with nuts and peanuts, so rely on coconut pretty heavily for fat. It's an interesting and delicate balance, especially with endurance training.

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I'll add my thoughts to the chorus of those doing better without grains. Overall my energy level has improved, but it has taken significant effort to make that happen. It's been a hard adjustment after so many years of substituting with gluten free grains. But it seems that none of them agree with me anymore. I'm an athlete so have relied heavily on fruit and sweet potatoes - am currently trying to cut back on the fruit for blood sugar reasons more than reactions. No dairy for me and I have to be careful with nuts and peanuts, so rely on coconut pretty heavily for fat. It's an interesting and delicate balance, especially with endurance training.

I agree that it's an interesting and delicate balance. I can feel great eating a low carb diet, but I go through stages when I just die mid session at the gym (I do intense sessions with a trainer).

But it does do wonders helping manage my insulin resistance. If I drop the carbs I'm so much less hungry, which in turn makes loosing weight go better, which will help reduce the insulin resistance symptoms.

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Don't forget about sweet potatoes/yams and squash. Sweet potatoes are not related to potatoes and are not in the same family as potatoes, so it should be okay for you to eat them.

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Just started doing a combination of Atkins, South Beach and the Paleo diet (depends on my mood and day). I'm VERY active. Feel great, and dropping body fat like nobody's business! Highly recommend. Watch "Fathead" on Hulu. It will help explain the logic behind it.

WHY have I never heard of this til now?? Wow, the second half of that documentary was fantastic information. I made my husband watch it too; it's really changing the way we look at our diets! Thanks for posting that!

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I've gone back to low carb (no grain or added sugar). I did well with it in the past, but over time slowly incorporated more and more rice and corn and things made with those. My weight crept up again as did my blood pressure. <_<

I can just "tell" that I need to be eating this way.

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Just started doing a combination of Atkins, South Beach and the Paleo diet (depends on my mood and day). I'm VERY active. Feel great, and dropping body fat like nobody's business! Highly recommend. Watch "Fathead" on Hulu. It will help explain the logic behind it.

I loved this documentary. It is almost two hours but the guy that does it is super funny and keeps it interesting the entire way through.

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    • Well, you can probably get an apple or something.  You might be able to get someone to boil you some eggs.  But be careful of things like nuts that should be naturally gluten free.  They have almost always been soaked in a flavor solution that usually containes caramel coloring, "soy" (wheat) sauce and other aditives.  If I am really hungry and must eat in a Chinese restaurant, I order plain white rice and steamed vegetables.  But even so, you must monitor it carefully.  The rice sometimes has other substances added to give it a better texture, and very often the vegetables have in fact had "just a little bit" of soy sauce added.  To be fair, celiac disease is hardly ever found in East Asians, so understandably people are not tuned it to it.  Also, culturally, with the exception of fruits, it is generally thought that the flavor of foods needs to be enhanced, so it is had to find anything natural even in the "western" gorceries. Even in the western restaurants, be careful.  Fish and meat and often vegetables are usually pre-marinated. I will not even attempt to address the issue of cross-comtamination, since that is a whole higher order of things. I do know what I am talking about; I have celiac and have worked here for nearly 7 years.  
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