Sunday, September 27, 2009

Intermittent Fasting, Zero Carb and Inflammation

I'm back!

I can't believe I haven't posted since August 6th. Why, you ask?

Well, I haven't been IFing. I switched to a zero carb (ZC) routine, and trying to do both seemed to cause unwanted weight loss. And the pain in my hands and wrists (from rheumatoid arthritis) continued to get better and better on ZC, so I went with that. On ZC, I eat only meat and water, and find it to be quite satisfying, despite my fears to the contrary at the beginning.

Everything went along great, until about 2 weeks ago, when the pain in my hands started to return. Last week, it was getting worse and worse, and I had to intervene. What did I do? Take a drug? A supplement? No. I went back to what started me on the path to healing in the first place: Intermittent Fasting.

In just a few days of eating 24 hours on, 24 hours off, the pain is already subsiding. So I'm hopeful. The only issue now is my weight. I'm 143 pounds (at 6 ft), and that's not acceptable. So tonight, for the first time in 7 weeks or so, I ate something other than meat: I had some fruit. I'm going to add fruit to my meat and water, and see if I can't add a few pounds, even with alternate day fasting.

My big question is: Why did the pain come back? I was very strict with my diet, never cheating even once. I "assumed" the improvement in my arthritis was from avoiding allergens, such as gluten, casein and soy. Now I'm starting to wonder.

Interestingly, I remember reading somewhere that the anti-inflammatory effects of IF seem to last about 6 weeks after stopping IF. Hmmmm....my pain started back about 5 weeks after stopping, and got to be too much to handle a week or so later. Coincidence?

My working assumption now is that intermittent fasting, which is what gave me the initial pain relief, was at least partly responsible for my continued improvement while on ZC. Don't get me wrong, I believe whole heartedly that avoiding gluten, casein and soy is important--I was doing that even before I started IFing, and it did help all by itself. But the fasting seems to be a critical component.

My foray into zero carb has been very interesting, and extremely educational. I believe eating only meat and water is both healthy and effective, especially for weight loss. But more importantly, I have become even more convinced that grains (wheat, oats, rice, corn, etc.) are absolutely poison. We were not meant to eat them, and they contain lectins and proteins that harm the human body.

So while I am adding fruit, I will not be eating grains. If I liked vegetables, I would eat those, too. Since I'm not fond of them, I'll stick to meat, fruit, and water. I'm not eating the fruit because I think it's necessary, but because it is full of carbs and should cause me to gain some weight. I think fruit is the "safest" carbs to eat, especially since I dislike vegetables.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.