Saturday, November 1, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 365 - Final Blog Entry

Today marks day 365 of my paleo diet experience, one that has changed my life for the better in so many ways. In the year I've been eating a paleolithic diet of meats, fruits and vegetables (no grains, no dairy, no processed foods) my weight has dropped from 233 lbs to the 160 lbs I find myself at this morning. That's down a pound from last weekend, and it appears my weight will fluctuate in that range; i.e., right around 160 lbs, plus or minus, as long as I continue to eat this way (and why would I not?).

In addition, I have gone from a body fat percentage of...who knows what (I had a gut that made me look pregnant) to a body fat percentage of only 10.9%, as of this morning - down from 11.2% last weekend.

Furthermore, a year ago, I had just been diagnosed by my doctor as a type 2 diabetic, with a blood sugar reading of 218 ml/dcl. As of seven months ago, I was no longer diabetic and this morning I'm at a normal reading of 104 ml/dcl, though my readings have been lower than this. I could get more exercise than I have been, or increase my use of cinnamon and get it back down into the 90s or 80s very easily. But, the point is, I'm no longer suffering from what my doctor falsely called an "incurable disease" that I would supposedly have for the rest of my life. I think that was just his own wishful thinking. Gotta keep up those payments on his half-million dollar house, you know.

Finally, a year ago, my blood pressure was somewhere around 180/90 and this morning it's at a normal 115/72.

So, once again, I am living proof that the paleolithic diet works and works very well for weight loss, weight control, elimination of type 2 diabetes, correction of high blood pressure and high triglycerides, and the restoration of one's natural health. Today, aside from a little more gray and a little less hair, I look and feel pretty much as I did when I was in my thirties - except that I have more lean muscle mass, less body fat and, oh yeah - I'm 56 years old.

So, the bottom line is, if you are obese, have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and other health problems that are the result of the diet you've been eating, the paleo diet can and will do for you what it has done for me - if you just give it a chance to.

Sure, you will have to stop eating many favorite "foods," but those "foods" were never part of the original human diet, prior to the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Grain products, dairy and, especially processed foods are not foods at all. Our stone age ancestors would never have recognized them as food and none of us were ever supposed to be eating them. If you have trouble with eliminating these "foods" from your diet, just remind yourself of what you have to gain - your good health and a longer life span (not to mention looking good naked), what you have to lose (a lot of fat and, with it, all your dietary diseases) and when the temptation to eat a bagel with cream cheese or a pizza strikes, just think of how you wind up feeling after eating such garbage. I can't eat that way any longer, myself, without my blood sugar immediately spiking and feeling like crap the rest of the day.

I'm leaving this blog here, as it is, for the benefit of all who wish to change their lives with the paleolithic diet, as I have. May you benefit from my experience and from the knowledge I've gained. Thank you for reading.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 358

It's looking like my increased strength training exercise is beginning to pay off now. My weight has changed, for the first time in weeks (and in the right direction, this time) to 161 lbs, which changes my BMI (Body Mass Index) to 21.8 (normal weight) and, at the same time, my body fat percentage remains steady at 11.2%, which is where it was last week. So, the pound I've gained since then must, therefore, be muscle.

Meanwhile, my blood sugar rose a couple of points, to 106 ml/dcl (up from last week's 104). I don't have the excuse of having had a Friday meal at Sonic (or anywhere else but home) this time, but I did eat more blackberries than usual last night, so that might be attributable to the spike. It could also be due to the fact that, lately, I've slacked off on my use of cinnamon and coconut oil, so, perhaps I need to get back on track with those, plus more walking. I did take a walk yesterday evening, as soon as I got home from work, which is easier to do on a Friday evening, when I have more time for it.

My blood pressure is at a normal 114/71 this morning, still, a bit higher than last week's 105/82, at least on the systolic side, anyway. The diastolic side is more than ten points lower, so it's hard to say which reading is the better, really. But, both are normal and that's what really matters.

Again, I'll remind the readers that, effective November 2nd (the one-year anniversary of my paleo diet experience), I will no longer be writing any updates to this blog. I feel that a year of coverage should be adequate, and Loren Cordain says, in his book, The Paleo Diet, that the diet will have done its magic in the course of about a year. In my case, it's actually taken less time than that and I've been recording rather banal minute gyrations in my stats for months, now. In the interest of not boring you to death - as well as freeing myself to do other things with my Saturday mornings - I've decided not to continue the blog beyond the one year mark. This does not in any way mean that I'm stopping the diet, of course. Why would I do that? It also doesn't indicate that I'm going to remove this blog; I will not be doing any such thing, as my wish is to have it remain accessible to the public indefinately, so that others may benefit from my experience and from the various sources and remedies I've mentioned here from time to time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 351

This morning, my weight remains stable at 160 lbs, thus my BMI (Body Mass Index) also remains stable at 21.7 (normal weight). As for my body fat percentage, it has fallen to 11.2% from last week's 11.8% (which was down from 12.1% the week before), so it looks like I have new fat loss while maintaining my body weight. That's a good thing, as it generally indicates an increase in muscle mass.

Meanwhile, I had another one of those non-paleo meals for dinner last night (Sonic again - double cheeseburger, fries and rootbeer), so my blood sugar must have spiked a bit, as I found it still at 104 ml/dcl this morning. Still within normal territory, though, and it'll decline later on.

Where my blood pressure is concerned, there are mixed results this morning with a reading of 105/82. Just fine on the systolic side, but edging toward the "high-normal" on the diastolic side. Still in the normal range, though, and this may also be a response to last night's indulgence at Sonic. As for that, I really have no excuse, other than that it was getting late and I didn't feel like cooking - and I was hungry. As long it doesn't become a regular occurrence, I'm fine.

Just another reminder, especially for any new readers, that I will be discontinuing my updates of this blog, effective November 2nd (the one-year anniversary of my paleo diet experience), but that the blog will continue to remain here so people can benefit from it. Again, if you're new here, the first few articles will give you lots of great information and advice, whether you're planning on going paleo or not.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 344

More normality again, this time. My weight remains stable at 160 lbs, thus my BMI (Body Mass Index) remains at 21.7 (normal weight), while my body fat percentage has fallen to 11.8% from last week's 12.1%, so I'm doing something right and that may be a slight increase in the number of repetitions I'm doing during my Total Gym workouts, which would tend to add muscle, which, in turn, would burn off more fat.

Meanwhile, my blood sugar is, again, at 100 ml/dcl this, probably owing to the big bunch of grapes I was snacking on in the wee hours of the morning, combined with handfuls of almonds. But, still well within normal range.

As for my blood pressure, it's just slightly higher than last week, but still quite normal at 110/69.

Again, I'll remind you - and state, for any newcomers, as well, that, effective 21 days from now (November 2nd), I'll be discontinuing my blog updates, though this blog will remain online for others to read and benefit from. November 2nd is the one-year anniversary of my Paleo Diet experience and, while I will certainly be continuing on the diet (why would I not?), I am probably boring you to death with my continued reports of normal health stats. But, as I said, an entire year's worth of these reports, including my comments on the processed foods industry, etc. will remain here for all to read. For those who are new to this site, those comments are contained mostly (but not entirely) in the earliest posts.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 337

Well, I was "bad" last night and was in one of those situations in which I was forced to eat a decidedly non-paleo dinner (cheeseburger, fries and a rootbeer), but the only effect I noticed this morning was that my blood sugar had risen a few points higher than usual, while still remaining normal. So, once in a while, you can eat one meal, here and there, that is non-paleo and get away with it. Just as long as that doesn't become a routine, that is.

Meanwhile, my weight remains stable at 160 lbs, which means my BMI (Body Mass Index) also remains stable at 21.7 ("normal weight"). My body fat percentage is 12.1%, down a hair from last week's 12.4%. That must be due to working out more this week than last week.

As I mentioned, my blood sugar went up a little, to 100 ml/dcl this morning, which is within 10 ml/dcl of the maximum for "normal," so I'm fine and that will decline as the day wears on the effects of my meal at Sonic wear off.

Where my blood pressure is concerned, it's at a normal 100/67 this morning, which is lower than last week's 106/73, so, no complaints there.

As I mentioned last time, due to the disgusting normality of my results, lately, I will be terminating my updates of this blog on November 2nd, the one-year anniversary of my paleo diet experience, thus sparing you the monotony of further updates. As mentioned, the blog will remain here, though; it just won't be updated any longer. I'm afraid the cheeseburger incident of last night is about as exciting as this blog is going to get from here on out. But, that's a good thing.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 330

Well, it looks like things are changing, though I'm not sure what is changing, yet. Looks like my body fat, though, which has moved up some more, to 12.4%, which is still in healthy territory, but lower than it has been. Meanwhile, I gained back a pound, so I'm back to 160 lbs after two weeks at 159. Again, I would rather the weight gained have been muscle, as opposed to fat, but, at least I'm not continuing to lose weight. This changes my BMI (Body Mass Index) to 21.7, which is still in the "normal weight" range.

As usual, my blood sugar, despite a meal in the wee hours of the morning, is normal, at 95 dcl/ml. So, nothing wrong with that.

As for my blood pressure, it's at a normal 106/73, right in the middle of the normal range. As I've mentioned before, this is with medication, so I'm still waiting for the day when I can discontinue the use of that and remain consistently in the normal range naturally. Maybe after I've been on the diet a year, which is coming up in just 35 days.

Speaking of which, I've been thinking about the logical limits of this blog, lately, which, despite as much fun as it's been, does take up some of my time on Saturday mornings, when I could be doing other things. I have toyed with the idea of letting it end at the one year mark. After all, Loren Cordain promises, in his book, The Paleo Diet, that it will take about a year, in most cases, for the diet to reach its peak effectiveness in returning one to normal weight and health, and it seems I'm well on schedule, as far as that is concerned, so, what would be the point in continuing to report my results to the world beyond that point?

I'm certainly not expecting to return to the state I was in before the diet - ever again - and the continuation of a monotonous normality of health surely can't be entertaining anyone anymore, though I suppose it does inspire those who have been wondering if the paleo diet is for them or not. It is for those people that I have continued this blog as long as I have, in fact.

I think that, by now, anyone who has been following my progress has seen and been convinced by the results I've had that the paleolithic diet is the most effective means of regaining one's lost health, almost no matter what condition one is in when they begin. It is certainly not a cure-all, of course - nothing ever is - but it is the closest thing to it and, as I've said before, this is because it is man's natural diet; the one our species evolved on. Thus, it is the diet we are genetically adapted to and, of course, eating that diet on a consistent basis, as I have been doing for nearly a year, now, should - at least in theory - return one to his or her natural state, or give that state of health to those who may never have known of it, in the first place. If it has done so for you, as it has for me, then congratulations!

If only one person out there is reading this and has tried the diet and benefited from it, then I have achieved some semblance of the goal I had in mind by beginning this blog, in the first place. And, if there is no one out there reading it, well, what's the point, right? So, I am announcing that, effective November 2nd - my one-year paleo diet "anniversary" - I will no longer maintain updating of this blog. Of course, I will leave it out here on the web for posterity - or until Blogger or Blogspot decide to pull the plug on it, if they ever do, and, in that way, it can continue to be found and read and, hopefully, used by others who can benefit from the information I've provided. That is, after all, what my goal has been all along, in writing this.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 323

Well, at least my weight has stabilized, now, at 159 lbs. Which means my BMI (Body Mass Index) has also stabilized at 21.6, which is within normal weight range. Meanwhile, my body fat percentage has gone back up to 12.7 %, where it had been a couple of months or so. I would have preferred muscle gain as the means of stabilizing or gaining weight, but this body fat percentage is quite normal, so I can't complain about it.

My blood sugar is at a normal 97 ml/dcl this morning, so, nothing to worry about there, while my blood pressure is down from last week's 120/72 to 113/73 today. That's solidly within normal range.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 316

Looks like I need to eat more. I've dropped yet another pound, down to 159 lbs from last week's 160. However, according to the charts, I'm still at normal weight for my height, even down to 135 lbs, below which I'd be underweight. I'm 23 lbs above that point right now. Historically, I've been a skinny guy, though. In my thirties, it wasn't unusual for me to weigh 145 lbs. But, I bulked up by working out in my forties. Perhaps I need to do the same again. I need to, anyway, just to get my HDL up and to lower my LDL. The weight loss translates to a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 21.6, which is still in the normal weight range. My body fat percentage remains unchanged from last week, when it had fallen to 11.8% - the first change in over two months.

Meanwhile, my blood sugar is normal today at 94 ml/dcl. I was eating in the wee hours of this morning, so that's not unusal. No problem.

My blood pressure is up a little, but still well within normal range at 120/72, so, nothing there to worry about, really. In fact, my diastolic is down from last week's 77, so it's only the systolic side that has risen. This will probably come down again by next weekend, with continued walking exercise, and may, in fact, have spiked in response to an increase in strength training over this week, which would have the effect of raising blood pressure slightly.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 309

Hmmm...changes, changes - and all in a positive direction, I think. First of all, my weight has dropped some more, to 160 lbs. That, in turn, drops my BMI (Body Mass Index) to 21.7 (still within "normal weight" bounds), and, for the first time in a long while, I'm seeing some change in my body fat percentage, downward to 11.8% (from 12.7%, where it's been for over two months). I think it must be due to my increased walking this week. Hopefully, this will translate to a lower LDL and higher HDL by the time those are tested again in February.

Meanwhile, my blood sugar dropped some, also, to 88 (from last week's 103), again, probably in response to an increase in daily walking.

Then there is my blood pressure, which is 114/77 this morning, as opposed to last week's 115/73, so it looks like that's remaining consistently in the right area, now. As Freddie Prinz and Tony Orlando used to say to each other on the Tonight Show, back in the seventies: "Loooookin' goooood!" Why I chose that particular reference, I don't know, but it fits. ;)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 302

I'm doing this entry a day later this week, since I was out of town part of yesterday. This Sunday morning, my weight has dropped by one pound to 161. Actually, the scale reads 161.8, but I'm not splitting hairs. This lowers my BMI (Body Mass Index) to 21.8. Meanwhile, my body fat percentage has remained stable 12.7% again.

Oddly enough, my blood sugar has risen to the highest I've recorded since July 26th. It's at 103 ml/dcl at the moment, probably owing to two factors: first, while I was away yesterday, I was in a situation in which I had to eat a meal composed very non-paleolithic food, and no doubt that played a little temporary havoc with my blood sugar yesterday, which probably has lingered into this morning. On top of that, my last meal was less than an hour before going to bed last night, and, as I've experienced before, that tends to result in higher blood sugar upon waking in the morning. But, at 103, it's still within normal bounds and will return to its usual low level in a matter of hours, most likely.

Meanwhile, my blood pressure is at an excellent 115/73, lower than last week's reading.

Now, the results of my lab work were mailed to me the other day, and, it was no surprise that my blood sugar, triglycerides and total cholesterol were all within normal bounds. So were the test results for my thyroid, liver, kidney and muscle enzyme, as well as my blood count.

What was surprising, however, was that, although my total cholesterol was 188 (normal = 120-200, according to my doctor), my HDL was at a paltry 42 (normal = 40-70) and my LDL was at 129 (normal = 60-100). Not what I would have expected to see after nine months on the paleolithic diet, however, I have an explanation: my lack of exercise over much of the summer, due to the heat, as well as time constrainsts caused by Daylight Savings time. So, my rationale is that, by simply increasing my exercise to normal again, by the time I test again, in February, I should be completely normal. Apparently, exercise plays a larger role in success with the paleo diet than I had realized. Since my LDL is only 29 points above normal and my HDL has plenty of room for improvement, and both will readjust positively with more frequent exercise, that's probably all I need, then.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 294

Yet another stable week. My weight remains at 162 lbs, my BMI (Body Mass Index) remains at 22.0, and my body fat percentage remains at 12.7%. Disgustingly normal again. ;)

Ditto on the blood sugar, which was 96 ml/dcl this morning. Up a little from last week, but still normal, and last week's reading was a bit lower than usual, too.

As for my blood pressure, this morning it was at a normal 126/76. I was at my doctor's for lab work and a check up on Thursday - the first since just before beginning the paleo diet, and also the first since being told of my type 2 diabetes (back at the end of October, 2007). My blood pressure tested normal and the physician's assistant who checked me out said I looked good. I'd have asked her for a date on the basis of that, but she mentioned something about a husband,, anyway, I didn't get to talk to the doctor, which I was kind of looking forward to doing, since I wanted to tell him what I thought of his October diagnosis - the one during which he said "diabetes is an incurable disease" and that I'd have it for the rest of my life (said while writing out a prescription for Metformin, which I never used).

The physician's assistant (who looks like she's about 18 to 24) asked me what the paleo diet is, so I gave her the facts and wasn't surprised to see, by her reaction, that it was complete news to her that human beings existed on a diet devoid of grains and dairy for most of the human species' time on earth. The 10,000 years during which we've been poisoning ourselves with foods we're not genetically adapted to eat has been a mere blink of the eye in terms of the 2.5 million years our species has existed and evolved in. But, like most people, everything I said to her probably went in one ear and out the other and didn't find a place to lodge in between, since that's taken up with important things like Britney Spears, Madonna and who's leaving the "island" on Survivor.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 287

Everything seems to be mostly stabilized this time, with my weight remaining at 162 lbs, as it was last weekend, which leaves my BMI (Body Mass Index) at 22.0. My body fat percentage has continued to remain steady at 12.7%, also.

Meanwhile, my blood sugar dropped a little, to 89 ml/dcl. This, despite the fact that, yesterday I was compelled to have a slice of my boss's birthday cake, with chocolate ice cream - the first time I've eaten any such thing in over nine months. Interestingly, it didn't seem to have any noticeable
negative effect on me and, of course, has, by now, passed entirely from my body without incident. Fortunately, that won't happen again - at least for another year, anyway.

My blood pressure has also dropped since last Saturday, to a normal 111/70, which, according to the chart, is what it should be after strenuous exercise - never mind that I just got out of bed. Hey, maybe I was dreaming of running or something. ;)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 280

This morning, I find I've dropped 3 lbs from last Saturday, to 162 lbs. Again, it's probably just a water weight fluctuation, as my body fat percentage has again remained stable at 12.7%. One factor might be that I am almost out of bottled water and decided to get some more this morning, as opposed to late last night, so I didn't drink as much before bed as I might have ordinarily. The weight change drops my BMI (Body Mass Index) to 22.0, which is in the middle of the "normal weight" range.

As for my blood sugar, it's slightly lower than last week at this time, at 94 ml/dcl, as opposed to 96. Nothing worth commenting on, really.

My blood pressure this morning is at 121/75, which differs a little from last weekend's 120/79, so, it's about in the same range. Again, this is with medication. I tried, last Saturday night, to go without my medication and only made it about five hours beyond my usual pill time, when I noticed my blood pressure (which I was monitoring once an hour) creeping upward, to a maximum of 140/something (should have written that down), so that was when I took my pill and abandoned hope of achieving my goal of getting rid of my medication. Maybe at some later point, then. This begs the question, if all other factors have normalized in response to my paleolithic diet, then what factor is maintaining my unmedicated blood pressure at a higher than normal level? One answer that keeps occurring to me is that it simply may take longer. Maybe when I've been at it for more than a year or so, it will finally be normal without medication. Another answer that occurs to me is, maybe it's the medication, itself, that is keeping me this way. However, if the cessation of the medication - even for a few hours - has the effect of driving my blood pressure higher, that doesn't seem to be the case, unless there is some dependency factor as a result of taking it for 8 years. Perhaps, when I dispense with it, I am seeing a rise in blood pressure that is due to "withdrawal" symptoms. Or, perhaps it was simply that I was anxious over the anticipated results - not to mention taking the risk of sleeping without my medication for the first time in 8 years, with my sleep apnea (which elevates my blood pressure during sleep). Or, maybe it's my sleep apnea that is keeping my blood pressure from dropping any farther without medication. It's hard to say, but there is evidently something that is doing so. Hmmm...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 273

Well, it seems the water I was retaining has left me now, as my weight has dropped by 4 lbs to 165 lbs. I'm sure it's water weight loss, as my body fat percentage continues to remain stable at 12.7%. This puts my BMI (Body Mass Index) back to 22.4, which is solidly in the middle of the "normal weight" range. I suppose the warmer weather (highs in the upper 90s to low 100s) might have something to do with this shift. Ever since the temperature and humidity began to move toward a typical summer pattern, I've been experiencing ups and downs in weight that can't be explained by either body fat gain/loss or muscle gain/loss.

As for my blood sugar, it is remaining normal, at 96 ml/dcl today.

Where my blood pressure is concerned, it was at 120/79 when I measured it after 11:00am this morning. The slight rise may be due to not getting as much exercise (due to the hotter weather), particularly walking, which normally tends to moderate my blood pressure.

Meanwhile, when I refilled my blood pressure medication, the other day, the pharmacist told me my doctor said I need to make an appointment for lab work, etc. He does this every now and then, extorting me into visiting in order to continue getting refills for my prescription. Then he doles them out to me at 2 or 3 refills at a time, whereas, I know of other physicians who give a patient a year's worth of refills at a time without requiring any additional attention by the doctor.

As I've said of my doctor before, he's a shill for Big Pharma. His only course of action in "treating" any ailment - no matter what it may be - is to prescribe drugs for it. He never tells me of anything I might do to prevent a condition from arising, or of anything natural (such as dietary changes) that I might do to cure a condition - because he has no interest in curing disease. That wouldn't help him pay off the mortgage on his half-million dollar home.

So, I'm at the point at which I'm tempted to ignore him altogether and just stop taking my blood pressure medicine - which I'm not even sure isn't actually prolonging my "dependency" upon it. My only concern, and the one that has made me reluctant to give it a shot, is that my sleep apnea tends to raise my blood pressure during sleep and, as I have no concious control over this (since I'm not awake to do anything about it), I'm at the mercy of whatever might happen. In other words, I'm concerned my blood pressure could skyrocket during an apnic event and I might suffer a stroke or heart attack in my sleep. That is the only reason I haven't been brave enough - yet - to discontinue my medication. Also, I really need to discontinue it over a period of days, if not weeks, to get an acurate assessment of how my body will respond to the lack of the Lisinopril. At some point, though, I'll have to take that chance if I'm ever going to find out whether or not I really need this crap anymore - or if it is, as I suspect, actually keeping me from making any further progress. Since I don't feel like having my crappy insurance provider reject another claim and leave me stuck with yet another $350 lab bill to pay (especially when I know the results will be normal), I'm thinking this might be the time to take the plunge and dispense with the Lisinopril - at least for a few days, anyway, until I see what effect it has. I guess if you don't see a new blog entry next Saturday, you'll know it didn't work out.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 266

Well, I'm beginning to see the effect of not having exercised (enough) all week. My weight has risen by another pound, to 169. This puts my BMI (Body Mass Index) at 22.9 - still in the mid-normal weight range.

However, my body fat percentage remains stable, at 12.7%, which indicates to me that my body must be retaining water, due to the fact the average daily temperature this week has been at or around 100 degrees. That, combined with the accursed effects of Daylight Savings Time (i.e., the sun doesn't begin to set until I'm getting ready for bed) has kept me from getting in my daily walks.

Meanwhile, my blood sugar rose slightly, to 106, I suppose, at least in part, due to this, plus having had the usual late-night snack. But, still, 106 is well within normal bounds. As for my blood pressure, it, too, remains normal, at 113/70.

So, altogether, I'm still doing fine - I just need to get in some walking later on tonight and work out today. Other than that, nothing to worry about.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 259

Today's not much different than last weekend, with the exception that I seem to have gained 4 lbs, somehow. So, I'm now at 168 lbs. This moves my BMI (Body Mass Index) up to 22.8, which is still in the middle of the normal weight range.

As for whether this increase in weight can be attributed to an increase in body fat or not, it doesn't appear to be so, as my body fat percentage has remained stable at 12.7%. So, either it's an increase in muscle tissue (doubtful, as I haven't been working out enough) or it's an increase in water. I think water in the likely answer. Given it's been in the 90's all week, maybe my body is retaining water to stay hydrated.

My blood sugar remains normal at 96 ml/dcl, just 1 ml/dcl lower than last week's reading. No news is good news.

Where my blood pressure is concerned, it's right in the middle of the normal range at 109/74. Again, this is with medication. I think I'll watch it a while longer before deciding to dispense with my Lisinopril.

Ho-hum. Another boringly normal report.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 252

Another good report, today. My weight remains stable at 164 lbs, which means my BMI (Body Mass Index) also remains at 22.2. My bodyfat percentage is also stable, at 12.7%.

Where my blood sugar is concerned, it's at a normal reading of 97 ml/dcl this morning, so no change there, either, to speak of.

My blood pressure came back down from last week's 122/80 to this morning's 116/68, which is right in the middle of the normal range. Again, this is with medication. I think I'll watch this a while longer before I make the decision to discontinue my medication, but, it's looking favorable for that.

Well, I guess this is going to be a short report, then. No news is good news!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 245

I'm off to a late start this Saturday afternoon, after being up until nearly 7:00am on this holiday weekend. I ate a meal at about 3:00am, also, so that, plus the fact it's after 2:00pm now, should explain some of my readings.

My weight remains stable at 164 lbs, and that, of course, means my BMI (Body Mass Index) also remains stable at 22.2, which is in the "normal weight" range for my 6 foot frame.

As for my body fat percentage, it's at 12.7 %, currently, which is 1.2% less than last week's 13.9%. This is toward the lower end of the "healthy" range for a man my age. I'll take that!

Meanwhile, my blood sugar is at 106 ml/dcl, which I'd expect after having eaten a meal after 3:00am and sleeping from nearly 7:00am until almost 2:00pm. This is within 7 ml/dcl of the upper threshold of "normal," so, nothing to worry about, there.

My blood pressure is understandably a little higher, also, due to the timing of my testing today. Generally, blood pressure and blood sugar both tend to rise a little during the afternoon, so my blood pressure reading (taken to the soothing strains of someone's car alarm out in the parking lot) of 122/80 is not at all out of line. Had I taken it between mid and late morning, as usual, I'd expect it would have been a little lower, thus, more consistent with the readings I've been getting, lately. Still, 122/80 is "normal," and nothing to be concerned about.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 238

Things are looking very...well, normal today. My weight has remained at 164 lbs, where it was last week. Which, of course, leaves my BMI (Body Mass Index) unchanged at 22.2, also.

One change has been my body fat percentage, which is at 13.9% today, as opposed to 12.7% last week, which could have something to do with the fact I got in less exercise during the week this time. Still, 13.9% is at the lower end (11% being the bottom) of the "healthy" range for a man my age, just 2.9% away from "underfat," a designation I dispute, as such a classification system would make all bodybuilders (typically 2% to 4%) "underfat." Anyway, I gained a little this week, but, believe me, no one looking at me would call me "chubby." In fact, I really need to invest in some new pants!

On the blood sugar front, I'm at a perfectly normal 91 ml/dcl at around 2:00pm (got off to a late start today). So, nothing significant there, except that this is lower than last week's reading, which was 95.

Where my blood pressure is concerned, the trend is holding. This afternoon, my reading is at 100/84. The diastolic is a little above the suggested optimal of 80, but still within normal bounds, and the systolic is "low normal," where one would expect athletes and children to be. I'll continue monitoring this trend to see if it remains stable or goes even lower. If and when it does, I think it will be safe to discontinue my blood pressure medicine and then increase my monitoring to see how it goes without it. If, at that point, all goes well without medication, then I can called myself "cured" of high blood pressure. And, remember, this is the result of a simple dietary change that anyone can make, called the paleolithic diet.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 231

This time, I'm up and at it a little later in the day (2:00pm), so I expect that has some slight bearing on my measures, particularly my blood pressure.

My weight is at 164 lbs, so I've lost one pound from last week, which drops my BMI (Body Mass Index) to 22.2, still well within the "normal weight" range.

As for my body fat percentage, I may have used slightly different areas in taking my measures this time, though in the same general sites (chest, abs and thigh), because my bodyfat last time was at 13.6%, whereas, this time I got a measure of 15.8%. Given the margin for error, I'm skeptical that this really represents an increase in body fat percentage. So, I checked again, this time using the opposite side of my body to get the chest, thigh and ab measures, all of which turned out to be smaller on my left side than on my right, which is proof that we humans are not as symmetrical as we suppose. I have hair on the back of my head that grows faster on the left side than it does on the right side, for example. So, with the measures from the left side of my body, the bodyfat percentage comes out to 12.7%, which is markedly different. I'll take that! Actually, my left side is what I measured last week, so, I'm not "cheating." Also, this would be consistent with the loss of one pound of weight since last week.

Meanwhile, my blood sugar remains normal at 95 dcl/ml this afternoon, in spite of the usual late night/early morning snack before bed. Looks like "normal" is here to stay, then. I've even been eating more fruit, lately, and the increase in glycemic intake hasn't seemed to affect me. Excellent!

As for my blood pressure, my systolic remains in the same neighborhood it's been in for about a month, now, at 114 this afternoon, while my diastolic is slightly higher than it has been during that time, at 80 - so, 114/80. This is still getting close to a trend, though, especially on the systolic side. I think the increase on my diastolic component may have to do with the fact my measure was taken at 2:00pm instead of in the morning, as it usually is. As I alluded to above, time of day does have an effect, and that's why I normally like to check everything at approximately the same time of day. Given that blood pressure rises slightly during the afternoon, I think I can safely say this diastolic measure reflects that. In other words, had I checked my blood pressure at the usual time of day, I would have probably got a lower reading, one more consistent with last week's. We'll see when I do it again next time.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 224

It looks like I've exercised a bit more than I did last week, as my weight has fallen by 2 lbs, down to 165 lbs, as of this morning. This changes my BMI (Body Mass Index) to 22.4, which is right in the middle of the "normal weight range." Checking my bodyfat percentage to see if this change reflects the loss of body fat or not, I have found that my chest measurement (taken with the caliper I used last time) is now 13mm, while my abdominal measurement is 11mm and my thigh is 12mm. Looks like I gained some on the chest measure (either that, or one of my measures was a bit off; probably the first one), but I have lost 10mm on the abs and 1mm on the thigh. The end result of these measures, according to the Build Muscle & Gain Weight Fast Guide's body fat calculator, is 13.68%. Not bad! That's a drop of 2.74% from last week's measurement and, according to the body fat chart on, that's toward the lower end of the "healthy" range for a man of my age (55). In fact, I'm within 3.68% of what their chart says is "underfat." Of course, that all varies with whom you ask. If you ask a bodybuilder, he'd think 13.68% is grounds to call me "chubby." Typically, those guys have bodyfat percentages ranging from 2% to 4%. But, for normal non-superhumans like me, especially at my current weight, that would be a bit extreme. Considering where I've come from, just seven months ago, 13.68% body fat is looking very good.

On to the blood sugar, now, which is at 93 dcl/ml this morning, exactly the same as last week. Quite normal, in other words. So much for my doctor's statement that type 2 diabetes is "incurable" and that I'd have it the rest of my life, eh? Maybe if I had used the Metformin he prescribed it would have been, and I think that was his plan for my future; i.e., to keep me as another source of revenue. This guy's approach to medicine is all about prescribing drugs for everything, not preventing or curing disease. The truly frightening thing, though, is that he's the norm among physicians, these days.

As for my blood pressure, it's beginning to look as though my hope of a positive trend indicating it's time to dump my blood pressure medication may be occurring, after all. Today's reading is 115/69, again, with medication. That's three weeks in a row, so far, that my blood pressure has been below 120/70. If this continues or dips lower, it may be time to discontinue the Lisinopril and call my high blood pressure "cured." At that point, I'll be a normal healthy 55-year old and will be completely free of any prescription drugs. Yes!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 217

This morning, there is no change as far as my weight is concerned. I remained at 167 lbs, same as last week, which means my BMI (Body Mass Index) also remains steady at 22.6 ("normal weight").

Incorporating the measures I've just taken using my new skin fold caliper, which should be a lot more accurate than the faulty body fat scale I tried a few weeks ago, I came up with a body fat percentage of 6.62%. Not bad! That's bodybuilder territory. The thing is, though, it wasn't easy to calculate, as there are two skin fold sites I can't possibly measure without assistance (the subspinal and the subscapular, both located on the back, where it's hard to grip and impossible to see), but, I think that's of little consequence, given that my fat layer in those two areas is very thin, for one thing, and, also, the equation I used for converting skin fold measures to body fat percentage leaves out a site I did use (the bicep). The skin fold sites/measures I used were:

Chest = 1/2" (11mm)
Abdomen = 7/8" (21mm)
Thigh = 5/8" (13mm)
Tricep = 3/8" (9mm)
Bicep = 3/8" (9mm)

This is then added together to get the sum (in millimeters), which, in my case, equals 63. According to the skin fold chart at, the range of 60 to 80 is "excellent." Now, keeping in mind the absence of the two sites I couldn't measure, plus the addition of the one they've left out (for some unknown reason), the multiplier they give for converting the sum to a body fat percentage does have a margin of error built in. But, I guesstimate that the two sites I couldn't get to without help would probably yield measures very close to what I got from my bicep and tricep (9mm), and you have to consider that I've added in my bicep site (9mm), which they left out, so, if there is any error, it would be about 9mm off, as far as the sum is concerned. Given that, my sum might actually be closer to 72, which still falls within the "excellent" range of 60-80, given in their chart. Since their method doesn't include the bicep site, I decided it was time for a second opinion and checked out the Build Muscle and Gain Weight Fast Guide calculator, instead. It appears to be a more accurate method, and gives you the option of using only three sites or as many as seven. Since I wasn't able to get to two of those sites, I settled for using the 3-site method of calculation (chest, thigh and abdomen). Again, using millimeters (chest = 11mm, abdomen = 21mm, thigh = 13mm), I came up with a body fat percentage of 16.42% body fat, which sounds a lot closer to what I got with the body fat scale I was using, previously. It also sounds more accurate than the amazing 6.62% I got from Topend Sports. Note, also, that the BM&GW Fast Guide's calculator also includes age and sex, which are important for accurately assessing body fat percentage. Now, according to the body fat percentage charts at, for men, age 41 to 60, 16.42% is well within the "healthy" range.

Where my blood sugar is concerned, it's at a fully normal 93 dcl/ml this morning, this despite my usual late Friday night/early Saturday morning meal before bedtime (which wasn't until 3:00am). So, not bad.

I got a rather low reading on my blood pressure this time: 92/71, so I tried it again, following a slight adjustment of the cuff and the repositioning of my arm, and I got 113/69 the second time around. I'm not sure what accounts for the difference, but I'll take either measure! According to the chart here, that's either "low-normal" to "normal." Consider that this is still with medication, so, if this turns out to be a trend, I think it's time to discontinue the Lisinopril and call my high blood pressure "cured." That would mean I've achieved all the goals I've set for myself, and all within seven months, which is how long it's been since I began the paleo diet (November 2nd).

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 210

Again, my weight rose by a single pound over the last week, to 167. I'm still not certain about my body fat percentage, as I still don't have a caliper, yet. But, I'm ordering that today, so it should be here in time for next week's entry, maybe. Meanwhile, my BMI (Body Mass Index) is 22.6, which is still in the middle of the "normal weight" range.

As usual, I was up late last night and had my usual late night meal, so my blood sugar this morning at around 10:00am or so is at 103, which will typically fall later in the day, a little bit. In fact, I've become so confident of my blood sugar being normal now that I haven't even been checking it routinely anymore. I think I checked it twice this week, and found it normal (lower than this morning's reading, too) on both occasions. Life without diabetes is so much nicer!

Meanwhile, my blood pressure, which was 120/71 last time has dropped to 119/67 this morning - quite normal, though again, this is still with my medication. As I continue reading Dr. Cass Ingram's Natural Cures for High Blood Pressure and picking up additional tips from him, I should eventually get to the point at which I can discard the Lisinopril altogether. That, as I've stated before, is my ultimate goal, now.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 202

I'm doing my report a day earlier this week, as I'll be on the road tomorrow morning to go see my brother.

My weight has risen by a single pound from last Saturday, to 166 lbs. Whether that's a gain of muscle or fat, I have no idea, as I'm not using the faulty body fat scale any longer and I don't have my caliper yet. But, my BMI (Body Mass Index) is 22.5, just 0.1 higher than last Saturday, but still well within the "normal weight" range.

Speaking of normal, so is my blood sugar, at 99 this Friday morning, as opposed to 104 last Saturday, and that, after eating a large portion of ground beef after midnight, with some carrots and blackberries.

Where my blood pressure is concerned, it's at a roughly normal 120/71 this morning, as opposed to the 113/74 I had last Saturday. So, I guess my theory that my lower readings of 102/75 and the aforementioned 113/74 becoming a downward trend that might lead me to discarding my blood pressure medicine soon was a little premature, after all. I'm not sure what accounts for the rise this week - or the drop the last two weeks, for that matter - but, I know I haven't worked out as much this week, as opposed to last, so that may account for the slight rise. But, then again, when charting trends, a minor fluctuation is seldom indicative of the overall trend, and I may find my blood pressure back down again next week. We'll see.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 196

This week's results seem to be wholly consistent with last week's, so my blood pressure reading for last week was not a fluke at all, but a positive trend, as I had hoped for.

First off, my weight today is 165 lbs, down 2 lbs from last week, but in the same range it's been fluctuating within for the last month or more. This may represent a loss of body fat, or it could even be a fluctuation in water weight. The only way to tell for sure would be to measure my body fat percentage, right? Well, after taking my faulty body fat scale back to Walmart last Saturday to exchange it, I now have their most expensive body fat scale and it seems to be functioning, unlike its predecessor. However, merely being functional isn't quite good enough, I'm afraid. When it comes to measuring such things as body fat percentage, accuracy and consistency of the results are more important than mere functionality.

Well, it seems that, for all its functionality, this new scale is dubious, at best. My first test of it, last Saturday, after buying it, gave me a reading of 19.8% body fat at a weight of 167 lbs. Okay, that's good for a start. 19.8% is in the high end of the "healthy" range, and the high end of the range athletes are in tops out at around 16%, according to three different sources.

The trouble is, only an hour or two after my first test, I tested again and found that, while the scale was still telling me my weight was 167 lbs, my body fat percentage had somehow increased to 22.8%! This lead me to question the accuracy of the scale's ability to measure body fat percentage. Well, this morning's result was no more confidence-inspiring - in fact, less so. My weight was 165 lbs and my body fat percentage is supposedly a whopping 33.1%! Now, even though that's based on me being 2 lbs lighter than last time, and would, thus, mean that the amount of body fat relative to my weight hadn't gone down along with my weight, the reading I got would seem to indicate I have actually gained body fat in addition. I find this ludicrous, in light of my observations of my muscular development and the amount of fat I'm seeing when I look at myself in the mirror. My biceps, triceps and chest are all clearly larger today than they were a week ago, owing to my workouts since then. If anything, then, I would expect a decrease in body fat as a result of this gain in muscle tissue. That's the way the body works. Yet, here, the scale told me this morning that my body fat had increased by some 13.3% from my first reading a week ago, when I weighed 2 lbs more than I do now. In light of all else, this makes no sense. So, as a test, I tried measuring again, just minutes later, and got a reading of 30.7%! Aha! My theory is proven: i.e., these so-called "body fat" scales are useless crap and are not to be trusted!

So, it seems I will have to invest in a good old fashioned body fat caliper and do it the old, reliable and accurate way recommended by body builders: the skin fold caliper method of measuring body fat percentage, in which your body fat is determined by your weight, height and skin fold caliper measures taken at several key points on the body. A little more time-consuming and laborious, yes, but it has been proven to be the most accurate method of assessing one's body fat percentage.

Moving right along, my blood sugar, after a midnight meal of ground beef, carrots and grapes, is at 104, which is well within normal parameters.

Finally, as I alluded to in my opening paragraph, the blood pressure reading I got this morning (113/74) clearly suggests that last week's all-time low of 102/75 was not a freakish anomaly or a bad reading, after all. Clearly, my blood pressure has now significantly come down, especially on the systolic side, and this is a good indication that I am definitely on track toward finally discarding my blood pressure medication and living a fully normal and healthy life from now on. Theoretically, at this point, if I were to cease taking my medicine, I could probably expect, at worst, that my blood pressure might return to the range of around 120/80 to, say, 130/85 or so without medication. That wouldn't be all that bad, considering where I've come from in recent months and weeks. Then, from there, with further use of the natural remedies I'm using (including liberal amounts of oregano in my diet), plus the further benefits, over time, of the paleo diet, itself, I might expect to see that drop back to where it is now, naturally and without medication of any kind. Still, I'd like to keep on the medication for now, and continue monitoring my progress over at least a month or so, to make sure this is indeed a positive trend. If it turns out to be, or if my blood pressure goes lower, still, then it will be time to discontinue my use of the Lisinopril.

At 165 lbs, my BMI (Body Mass Index) is back to 22.4, which is in the middle of "Normal weight" range.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 189

Good news, overall, this time! First, my weight is 167 lbs, down a pound from last week, which may indicate some fat loss. It's difficult to tell, as the body fat scale I bought from Walmart last weekend (made in China, of course) isn't functioning (it just gives me an error message, for some reason) and I'll have to take it back today and exchange it. This makes my BMI (Body Mass Index) 22.6, which is solidly "normal weight."

The good thing today is that my blood sugar, upon waking, is lower than it's been in months, at 96. This, in spite of eating a meal of a 1/2 lb of ground beef, a large carrot and a couple of handfuls of blackberries at around midnight and going to bed just a couple of hours later. Normally, this has jacked up my blood sugar to over 100, but, not this time.

Where my blood pressure is concerned, this morning it's the lowest it's been since I began checking my own blood pressure, back in December: 102/75, which is solidly "normal." In fact, according to this chart, my blood pressure this morning is what you'd expect to see in "athletes and children." Of course, you have to take into consideration that this is still with medication, though. If this level of result remains consistent - more or less (blood pressure constantly fluctuates throughout the day and with changes in activity) - I may find it's time to discontinue the medication, which is my goal, of course.

Meanwhile, I got a new book, Natural Cures for High Blood Pressure, by Dr. Cass Ingram, which recommends, among other things, the inclusion of oregano in the diet. So, as of two days ago, I've been seasoning all my meats with oregano, as well as my usual onion powder, black pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper. It adds a bit more flavor, and apparently, is also working on bringing my blood pressure and blood sugar down. There is no other recent variable I can attribute to this morning's readings.

Where building up muscle is concerned, I'm making noticeable improvements already, in my chest and, especially, in my arms, of course. The veins in my arms are standing out quite nicely, even when I'm at rest, and the striations of my muscles are more evident, especially in my forearms. I've slightly stepped up my daily dosage of coconut oil, which may be contributing to more fat loss (it should) and, at the same time, adding muscle is also doing so. That would explain my dropping a pound since last Saturday.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 182

I have very positive results to report this time. First off, I've gained back 3 lbs, which is probably mostly muscle. I'm going to get a body fat scale today, so, starting next week, I'll be tracking my body fat percentage, as well. Then I'll have a better idea as to whether I'm gaining weight as muscle or fat, or losing body fat. Anyway, my weight for today is 168 lbs and that puts my BMI (Body Mass Index) at 22.8, which is still in the middle of the "normal weight" range.

My blood sugar is at 102 this morning, 11 mg/dcl below the upper threshold of "normal." So, not as high as it's been on some Saturday mornings, lately, but it could be lower, and has been. I attribute this to slacking off on my walking a bit, which means I'm not burning off as much sugar or calories. So, if I begin walking regularly again, my blood sugar should come down.

Meanwhile, my blood pressure has improved from last week's 120/87 and is now 119/85. Solidly "normal" on the systolic side, while being just five points above "normal" on the diastolic. Still, it is an improvement.

Today, I'm planning to begin my new podcast site, which will be a combination of some of the issues I've addressed here, from time to time (i.e., the collusion between Big Pharma, the medical establishment and the processed foods industry, etc.), as well as other matters related to this, plus tips and information on how you can improve and protect your health and the health of your family in the wake of all this. I'll keep you posted on when the site is ready.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 175

After a late dinner (9:00pm) at Golden Corral (steak, chicken, pepperoni, salad and watermelon, with water) and getting up at noonish today, I find my weight has dropped another four pounds to 165 lbs. Here, I was expecting it to at least remain stable, if not go up a pound or two, and it goes the other way, instead. And this, in spite of less exercise, lately. I haven't been walking regularly since the weekend I spent with the flu. Also, though, I've been doing more on my Total Gym, at the same time, so I know I'm not losing muscle and have actually gained a bit, as I can see from my biceps and triceps. So, my guess is that I'm still losing fat, which is a good thing, as there are still some stubborn little pockets of it here and there. As I continue to add muscle, that fat loss will increase, in fact, so this may explain the spurt of additional weight loss. Of course, this additional weight loss has slightly changed my BMI (Body Mass Index), to 22.4, which is still mid-range "normal weight."

Also following the late-night dinner and a little snacking on Brazil nuts later, still, my blood sugar is at 108 at noon. Still normal, though "high normal." My blood sugar readings have been this way all week, indicating that not walking as much is not burning off as much blood sugar as usual. The Total Gym workouts probably aren't aerobic enough to have much effect on this, so my guess is it's the lack of walking exercise that has pushed my readings up a little. Still, my insulin resistance has improved (lessened), due to the diet, and, over time, should continue to improve.

Also improving (since adding new batteries to my blood pressure monitor) is my blood pressure, which is at 120/87. Sort of in the neighborhood of "normal," whatever that is.

Meanwhile, I have slightly increased my fat intake, adding a little more coconut oil to my diet, as well as more eggs (which also contains more protein). So, this may also be a factor in spurring new weight (fat) loss.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 168

Good news on the weight loss front this morning - i.e., I didn't have any, which is what I'm after, now that I'm down to 169 lbs. So, that's at least stabilized and my new goal has now become gaining some muscle. Of course, that will increase my weight a bit, but so what? The objective is correct bodymass composition, not being skinny.

To that end, I've been consulting some bodybuilding websites, as I believe that's where I'll find the best information on gaining muscle. So far, what I've learned from this is that I need to increase my protein intake, just as I was saying last week, and, to that end, I'm now eating more meat and I've stepped up my egg intake, as well, since eggs are your second best source of protein, after meat. In addition, of course, I've increased the intensity of my Total Gym workouts. While I have not seen noticeable results, yet, as far as muscle size goes, I have noticed that my muscle tone is improving, particularly in my arms. It's a start. Meanwhile, my BMI (Body Mass Index) remains a steady "normal weight," at 22.9.

Now, a word on the bodybuilding sources. I'm not looking toward bodybuilding, per se; i.e., I don't have in mind becoming a bodybuilder and looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. No, my objective is simply to put on a few pounds of lean muscle to improve my physique a little, as I've lost a little muscle mass over the last ten years, due to inactivity. That's all. But, in order to do that, I'm consulting bodybuilding sites for information, as I believe bodybuilders to be the best authority - not doctors! - on the subject of muscle gain. Who would know better than someone whose whole life revolves around gaining muscle?

So far, I have found some very useful tips, including something called the Anabolic Diet. You may recognize the word anabolic from "anabolic steroids," but don't worry - I'm not "juicing," nor will I be. The term "anabolic" simply refers to the process of anabolism, which, according to Wikipedia, " the set of metabolic pathways that construct molecules from smaller units." In other words, in this case, building up muscle tissue. It's opposite is catabolism, which is the breaking down of muscle tissue. In fact, I'm pursuing this muscle gain program now, in part, to avoid catabolism, as I don't want to lose any muscle tissue. Just working out, alone, should prevent this, though.

Anyway, the Anabolic Diet, depending upon whom you ask (because recommendations vary) is, basically, a lot like the paleolithic diet, except that it doesn't eschew grains and dairy. I'll be pursuing only the inclusion of more meats and fats, though, which are the principle building blocks used in the Anabolic Diet. I will still avoid grains and dairy, as I have been doing. But, I'm taking some tips from Anabolic Diet sources, as far as including more protein and fat in my diet is concerned. The inclusion of more saturated fat is in line with what I've learned already on the subject of fats, and, of course, eating more meat - especially red meat - is a "no-brainer" for building muscle tissue. The addition of more eggs, though, as a protein source was something I hadn't really considered until I got into looking at the Anabolic Diet, which is big on red meat and eggs. In fact, I found one Swedish bodybuilder, Paul Lundkvist, who routinely eats about 2 lbs of ground beef mixed with five eggs. That's another thing: bodybuilders tend to eat a lot of food, which makes sense, because it's your food that is the source of your muscle growth. You are what you eat. So, if you want to have more muscle, eat more meat (which is muscle tissue) and more fat. You'll both gain muscle and lose body fat at the same time. That - plus a lot of weight training - is how these guys achieve their massive muscles. But, as I said, I'm doing this in moderation, since I'm not seeking massive muscles - just slightly larger ones.

Where my blood sugar is concerned, I'm in the normal range this morning, at 112, just one point below the upper threshold of "normal." This is good, as I had a late-night meal of beef, carrots and blackberries, yet remained in the normal range upon waking. It'll go back down some during the day, with increased activity, as it usually does. But, the important thing is, Mr. Diabetes is nowhere to be found; he's toast!

Moving right along, I'm afraid my blood pressure monitor is either about to crap out on me, or it just needs a new battery. This morning's reading was a startling 103/81, which I quickly followed with a second reading, just to make sure. The second reading was an even more startling 131/97! So, something's obviously wrong, there, and it isn't my blood pressure! Time to change out the battery, I think - or get a new monitor, as this one's become completely untrustworthy.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 161

Good news on the weight loss this morning! Instead of creeping up another pound, as I expected I might after a week of being sick with the flu and, thus, not exercising, paradoxically, I find myself at 169 lbs - 5 lbs less than I was last Saturday! This knocks my BMI (Body Mass Index) down to the lowest it's been: 22.9, which is still right in the middle of "normal" weight. In my recollection, this is the lightest I've been since around 1985, when I was 33. I guess maybe the flu actually helped me lose a few pounds, then, despite the inactivity. Not the way I would have preferred to lose weight, though.

Where my blood sugar is concerned, it's a typical 110 this morning, after a late night steak, followed by some Brazil nuts later. Nothing unexpected, and still in the normal range. It'll fall again, back into the 80's or 90's within a few hours, as usual.

It's my blood pressure that has me a little concerned today, as it's shot way up on the diastolic side. At 125/100, my systolic has actually fallen by 4 points since last Saturday's reading, but the diastolic is the highest it's been since December 18th, 2007, when I began monitoring my blood pressure. Then, it was 135/99. As for possible causes, consider I've just awakened from about 8.5 hours of sleep, which is unusual for me, even on a Saturday morning when I don't set my alarm. I'm thinking it must be my sleep apnea, which is still there, of course. Though I don't recall waking prematurely at any time during the night, that, of course, doesn't mean I didn't have some apnic events, which usually have the effect of raising my blood pressure.

Then there is the fact that upon getting up, I noticed my left hand had some reddish indentations in it (gone, now that I've been up a while), indicating I'd slept on it for a while, so that would have cut off circulation in my left arm, somewhat. Other than this, I have no way of determining how my diastolic pressure got so jacked up.

But, the important thing to remember is that this is only a spot reading. My blood pressure will go down again during the day, most likely. Especially, if I just woke from an apnic event. That's the thing I touched on last week, about blood pressure "standards." This is really a hit-and-miss measure that doesn't give you a clear overall picture of what's happening in your body unless you're monitoring your blood pressure hourly - which would be ridiculous overkill, as everyone's blood pressure - including those who are in peak health - fluctuates throughout the day and with their activity level. So, just how relevant is this, really?

Last week, I was questioning - based upon something I'd read - the relevance of any of this concern over "high blood pressure." Could it be it's been made another health bogeyman, right along with saturated fats, which also doesn't cause heart disease? I'll have to look into this a little deeper.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to comment that, now that I'm at 169 lbs, I have exceeded my weight loss goal by one pound! So, at this point, I will be maintaining my weight, from here on out, in the range of 169 to 171 lbs, or so. Of course, it's going to fluctuate, so, I'm allowing for that by stating a range instead of a specific weight, which would be impossible to maintain as a constant. Anyway, I've arrived! I've done it, folks! Same with my diabetes; it's gone! Now, if I can just get my blood pressure down to normal without medication, I'll have achieved all of my stated health goals.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 154

Well, my boss decided to show us all what a "macho" tough guy he is, and showed up for work this week sick. So now me, and about six coworkers are having a lousy sick weekend. Gee, thanks, asshole.

Interestingly enough, though, my symptoms have been held in check by judicious use of dried Japones peppers, which seem to relieve the upper respiratory symptoms much better than any medication would, and without the harmful side effects. Besides, they taste great! This Saturday morning I've awakened with a slightly congested sore throat, but after having gargled and brushed my teeth with baking soda, as usual, as well as having chewed a Japones, I'm rapidly beginning to feel better. The peppers don't do much about the fever, aches and run-down feeling, however, which I'll just have to let run their course, though they have been rather mild, so far, so the peppers may have at least a moderating effect on those cold and flu symptoms. I don't feel nearly as bad as I did the last time I had a virus. So, there's a tip for you. Try chewing dried peppers instead cough drops, etc. next time you're sick. Your body will thank you.

Moving along to the the usual stats, it looks like I've gained back a pound this week, which is understandable in light of my being sick since yesterday and not getting any exercise then or today, so far. So, I've obviously taken in more calories than I've burned off for the week. No problem, though. Next week, I'll lose it again when I get back into my exercise routine. Of course, this changes my BMI (Body Mass Index) slightly, to 23.6, which is still "normal" weight.

This morning, despite my usual Friday night snacking, my blood sugar is at a respectable 96, so nothing to complain about, there. Perfectly normal.

On the blood pressure, however, it's gone up since last week's reading, to 129/88, which is slightly "high," by most standards, though some reading on this subject has me wondering about whether those "standards" are really all that "standard." It seems that what is considered "normal" and "high" blood pressure these days tends to vary a bit, depending upon whose standards you're applying. In come cases, my reading this morning would be cause for alarm, while in others, it's no big deal. Consider, also, that it's what my resting blood pressure was a few minutes ago. That will fluctuate throughout the day and even as I sleep, so what it was this morning just happens to be what it was at that moment. It could very well go down, an hour from now, to a "normal" level. In fact, I suspect that may be the case, as my sleep apnea has the effect of raising my blood pressure during sleep. So, after I'm awake and up doing things for a while, that should settle down. I can usually tell if my blood pressure is higher if my ears are ringing when I wake up in the morning, and today was no exception. After I've been up for a while and had something to eat, my blood pressure will probably return to "normal" - whatever that is.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 147

Well, it's beginning to look like this as as good as it's going to get, folks, at least in terms of weight loss. For the third week in a row, I'm still at 173 lbs. No change. Of course, this means no change on my BMI (Body Mass Index), either, which remains at 23.5 (solidly "normal" weight).

Unless I'm able to effect any further positive change by either gaining some muscle mass (which would burn more fat, yet add weight of it's own) or burn off more calories, via exercise, it looks as if this may be where my weight will remain. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. In terms of body composition (as far as I can tell by looking at myself in the mirror), I'm no worse off than I was ten years ago, in my mid-forties, and I weigh about twenty pounds less than I did then, which probably indicates I had built more muscle mass at the time, and I believe that's the case. I also have to consider that, as one ages, it becomes increasingly difficult to build new muscle mass. Therefore, this may be as good as it gets. I'd like to think that's not the case, though, so I'm not giving up just yet.

As for my blood sugar, I know that can (and will) improve, probably by the end of the day. It's been fairly consistently normal all week, though this morning it's at 125 - 12 mg/dcl above normal, owing to more late Friday night snacking, as usual. By Monday, it will have fallen back into the eighties and nineties again, as it's been doing every week since early March. So, I'm not worried, there.

The most confounding thing is my blood pressure, which has bounced up and down like a yo-yo from the beginning. Keep in mind, this is with medication the entire time, so, I'm beginning to wonder if the medication itself is complicating matters. From what I've been reading about this, it seems increasingly likely.

To recap, I first began taking my own blood pressure readings at home on December 18th, when my blood pressure was 135/99. This morning, it's at 120/84, which, if you're looking at just these two figures, looks like an astounding improvement. However, you also have to look at what's been happening in between to get an accurate picture.

My lowest reading, so far, was on January 13th, at 110/76 and the next lowest was on March 1st, at 110/79. But, on March 8th, it rose, inexplicably, to 131/87, the highest it had been since I began taking my own measures. So, while there has undoubtedly been improvement between where I began and where I am today, it's also true that my blood pressure has also been both markedly lower and higher than it is now.

Anyway, the relationship between systolic and diastolic pressure is what's so confusing to me. One week it will be the reverse of what it is the next. For example, last Saturday (March 22nd), my diastolic was normal at 78, while my systolic was a little high, at 124. Today, the reverse is true: my systolic is at the high end of "normal," while it's my diastolic that has risen 14 points above normal. So, again, I have to wonder if the medication I'm taking (Lisinopril) is exacerbating the control of my blood pressure. I've been tempted to temporarily discontinue taking it, just to see what happens, but, if I do, I'll have to definitely increase my monitoring, perhaps to three times daily, just to make sure I'm in no danger.

Also, remember that ten years ago, when I thought I was at the peak of my physical fitness because I was slim and muscular, my blood pressure was high and so were my triglycerides, owing to a high-carb diet and much more strength training than I was doing now. I was not on any medication then and a doctor told me that the strength training was probably the source of my high blood pressure, though I'd have to also point the blame at the high-carb diet, both for the high blood pressure and the high triglycerides.

So, I'm not entirely convinced that discontinuing my medication would allow my blood pressure to correct itself naturally, though I do have to wonder what effect the Lisinopril is having on my progress. It seems to be a complicating factor, based upon the wide fluctuation of readings between December and today, as all else has been more or less consistent, as well as improving, overall.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 140

Well, it looks like my weight hasn't changed since last week. So, I remained at equilibrium, burning off just as many calories as I took in this week. Of course, that means my BMI (Body Mass Index) also remains stable at 23.5. One factor, I believe, is that I didn't get as much exercise as I normally do, so, if I step that up a bit, I should see further weight loss by next Saturday. As it is, I don't have much farther to go, anyway, and I'm expecting that, by the time I've been at it a year (November 2nd), I should be perfectly fit again.

Meanwhile, my blood sugar remains normal, at 102 this morning, after some late-night eating again. But, the good part is I've had multiple episodes of either very small increases in blood sugar after a meal, or my blood sugar actually dropping after the meal. Monday, it dropped - from 105 to 97. Tuesday, it rose from 97 to 111, remaining normal. Wednesday, it was 103 before dinner and 102 afterward. Thursday, it was 96 and rose to 121, just 8 mg/dcl above normal. Yesterday, it was 108 and dropped to 98. This has become the new norm, now. As for the somewhat higher, yet normal readings this week, consider that I've been snacking on nuts between meals while at work all week, which I wasn't doing previously. That probably accounts for the stasis in my weight, as well. The previous weeks have seen my blood sugar in the 80s upon coming home from work.

As for my blood pressure, all is well here. My systolic has dropped four points, from 128 last week, to 124 this morning, for a reading of 124/78, with my diastolic remaining stable. An almost normal reading, then. I still need to get my systolic down a little more. Again, this is with medication, so there is still room for progress on my blood pressure.

Overall, the trend is still going in the right direction. I just need to, perhaps, not snack as much and get more exercise and I'll see continued improvement.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 133

Well, much better news this time. First of all, my use of coconut oil seems to be paying off, as I've dropped another 3 lbs since last Saturday. That puts me at 173 lbs, for a total weight loss (so far) of 60 lbs! So, if my goal is 170 lbs, I'm perhaps a week away from it. I say "if" because there is still some stubborn fat around my waist I want to get rid of, and that may indicate, as I speculated last weekend, that my target weight is actually below 170 lbs, perhaps as low as 160 to 165 lbs. I guess I won't really know until I'm there. Once I am, though, it will feel great to start eating more - though it may not be so great for my wallet, with food prices as high as they are! If I'm right about my guesstimate, I will soon be back to the same weight I was at when I was in the Air Force, in my late teens/early twenties - at the age of 55! How many Boomers can say that?

Of course, my BMI (Body Mass Index) has also changed for the better. It is now at 23.5, solidly in the middle of the "normal weight" range. But for the persistence of a little unwanted flab, I could call it "done" at this point.

My blood sugar's been normal all week, basically, spiking a few times to just above normal. But, the after-meal rises are becoming fewer and the spread between "before" and "after" is becoming less. On Wednesday, in fact, my blood sugar actually decreased after dinner, falling 13 points, from 102 down to 89. I credit the coconut oil, a couple of spoons of cinnamon and a little exercise for that. Yesterday, the point spread was rather low, going from 97 to 102 after dinner; an increase of only 5 mg/dcl, and still remained normal. So, everything's headed in the right direction, as far as my blood sugar is concerned. This morning, after staying up until after 3:00am, munching on pecans, my blood sugar is at 116, just three mg/dcl above the high end of "normal." By the time of my next test, after brunch, it could even fall below that, if I add a little cinnamon and coconut oil to the mix.

Where my blood pressure is concerned, I've made a marked improvement over last week's unexpected rise, which I now believe must have been an anomaly. Then, it was 131/87, which was a real shocker, especially after heading steadily downward into normal territory for weeks. But, this morning, my blood pressure is at a more or less normal 128/78. A little on the high side on the systolic, but the diastolic is normal. As for the systolic being 8 points above normal, considering it's comparatively moving in the right direction now, I'm not concerned about that. It would be nice, though, if I could achieve these numbers without medication. Eventually, I think that will be possible. Maybe by the time I've been at it a year or so.

By the way, did I mention that the paleo diet has completely cured my allergies? I was taking Claritin, and then the Equate brand of Claritin, for about seven years and I quit taking it completely about a month ago. My sinuses have been mostly clear and I no longer have the dry mouth side effect of the drug to bother me, either. Aside from the fact my left nostril seems to be a bit runny, sometimes (like this morning, which is probably what reminded me of this), I'm fine.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 126

Some surprising results this time! First of all, when I stepped on the scale today, I found I'm down to 176 lbs! That's a decrease of 6 lbs since last Saturday, for a total weight loss of 57 lbs, so far! That was following a week in which I had no further weight loss at all and had remained at 182 lbs for two weeks running.

So, you ask, what factor caused this sudden spurt of additional weight loss? Well, there are a few factors probably involved. The first is the addition to my diet of coconut oil, which has been noted to promote weight loss, lowered blood sugar, lowered cholesterol and lowered blood pressure. More about the benefits of coconut oil later. Then there is also the fact that I've eliminated mustard from my diet completely. Not that mustard is a high calorie food (it isn't), but I was consuming an awful lot of the stuff. What concerned me enough to remove it from my diet was not its calories, though. It was its salt content. I was getting a lot of added salt from mustard and it was the only remaining source of added salt still in my diet, in fact. But, as for the additional weight loss, it's probably not a factor, except as a slight reduction in calories per meal. Do I miss it? Sometimes, but I'm growing accustomed to not having it and it's actually a good thing, as I can now taste all the natural flavors of meat, onion, jalapenos and spices in my meals that I was covering up with way too much mustard before.

Moving along, my blood sugar has been consistently normal all week, both before and after meals. In fact, the rise of my blood sugar after meals has been so limited, lately, that after last night's dinner, it rose by only a single point! This, in spite of my still continued late night weekend snacking on nuts. My lowest reading this week was 84 and that was after Wednesday's dinner. The before meal reading was 86! So, I had yet another instance in which my blood sugar actually declined after eating. Speaking of eating, last night (Friday), I was snacking on sunflower nuts and pecans until well after midnight, yet my blood sugar late this morning is at 104, which is within 9 points of the high end of normal. That's a marked improvement over previous weekends, when I have had much higher readings. So, where my blood sugar is concerned, everything is normal and going well.

Of course, since my weight has dropped, so has my BMI (Body Mass Index). Today, it has fallen to 23.9, which is a full point below the high end of the "normal weight" range, and therefore, solidly normal. As for my target weight, I believe I said that would be in the range of 170 to 175 lbs, so, I am now within a single pound of my target weight! However, I note, via the mirror, that my body fat distribution is still not quite where I'd like it. There are a few remaining stubborn pockets of fat that have to go before I'll be in peak physical condition, as far as body composition goes. So, given that, I think my ideal weight is probably closer to 170 lbs than it is to 175 lbs. If so, then I still have another 7 lbs left to lose, and I think that's about right.

Another factor in my weight loss spurt could be my increasing the resistance level of my Total Gym workouts. I've also added more exercises that target my pectoral muscles and I'm seeing some evidence that this has paid off. So, it may very well be that at least some of the additional weight loss is from added muscle tissue, which, although it's addition would increase my weight, in and of itself, it also has the effect of burning more fat calories per hour, thus, more weight loss.

Now we come to my blood pressure, which is the most puzzling thing I have to report today. Instead of going down further, as I expected it would in response to all the good stuff I mentioned above, it has actually increased to 131/87, which is in the "pre-hypertension" range. The only explanatory factors I can think of are the aforementioned increase in resistance in my strength training and possibly that combined with a little less walking this week. You see, weight training (or, in this case, Total Gym workouts, rather than free weights) usually increases blood pressure, despite of all its benefits. This is why most champion weight lifters notoriously have high blood pressure, despite their otherwise near-perfect health stats. So, I believe I just need to walk more and perhaps drop the resistance level on my Total Gym a notch and maybe work out more aerobically, and my blood pressure should correct itself. Also, as I continue to use coconut oil in my diet, that should help, as well.

I've been using the coconut oil for about a week and a half, so far, and it takes a few days to notice any positive results, but the weight loss spurt may be partly explained as a result of adding coconut oil to my diet. In Asia and the South Pacific, the coconut is a staple of the diet and its properties are attributable to the remarkable low instance of dietary diseases, including obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. But, it is the coconut oil that is the main factor involved in this. For those interested in doing their own research on this topic, there are numerous books and websites that can be consulted that will explain it all in greater depth than I can go into here. Just "Google" it. Actually, don't. I've begun using Scroogle Scraper as my search engine of choice, lately, for security reasons. What do I mean by that? Well, just Scroogle it.

In addition to learning about the benefits of coconut oil, I've been investigating the benefits of saturated fat. Yes, saturated fat, as it turns out, is actually good for you and we've been lied to about it for decades. Scroogle it. Seriously, I don't want you to believe everything I tell you without question. Do your own research, as I've done, and find out for yourself. The truth is out there.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 119

When I said, last week, that coming out of ketosis would mean that any further weight loss I'd have to work harder for, I guessed correctly. In pursuing my same routine as usual, I find that a week later I am no further along in weight loss, my weight still being at 182 lbs, right where it was a week ago. So, no change to report, there.

Of course, that also means my BMI (Body Mass Index), which is calculated on my weight, also remains the same as last week, at 24.7 ("normal weight").

Also, no real change in my blood sugar, either. Today's reading, before eating anything, is 120. I'm still in the pattern of staying up late Friday night/Saturday morning and snacking on nuts late at night, though, so it's no surprise. When I eat late at night, it doesn't seem to matter how late I sleep the following day, I always experience a higher blood sugar reading than when I've stopped eating earlier the night before.

So, where my weight, BMI and blood sugar are concerned, it looks as if I'll have to put out more effort, in terms of exercise, and watch my eating habits more closely. My fruit portions have been escalating, also, and I need to get back to where I was on this before.

Meanwhile, the only good news I have is that my blood pressure is, this morning, completely normal, at 110/79. A big improvement on the systolic side, as well as the diastolic side, and both numbers are headed downward together, for a change. That's good.

Where my Total Gym workouts are concerned, I've begun doing some extra work at the highest resistance setting, focused on beefing up my pecs (chest) and my glutes (ass), which have always been my source of body-building frustration. I can feel a definite difference in both areas, so the change in strategy seems to be working for me. My chest, especially, feels like it's getting firmer and slightly larger in response to some of the exercises I've chosen.

Well, it's a beautiful day, so I'm going for a long and much-needed walk!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 112

Well, it seems I'm approaching the end of my weight loss sooner than expected. About four days ago, I noticed that I'm no longer in ketosis, for one thing, so my weight loss has begun to slow. This morning, my weight is at 182 lbs, so I've lost only one pound, as opposed to two, as I've been averaging each week. So, given that, it looks like my initial predictions of my weight stabilizing in the range of 175 to 180 lbs may turn out to be true, after all. It just depends on how much longer it goes on and from here on out, how much I lose will be entirely dependent upon how many calories I take in, versus how many calories I expend.

Where my BMI (Body Mass Index) is concerned, I'm still in the "normal weight" range and falling slower, now. Today, I'm at a BMI of 24.7.

On the blood pressure, I'm showing a marked improvement this morning on the systolic side, with 118/82. This is good, as it means my heart is no longer working as hard on each each beat and, where the systolic pressure is concerned, is completely normal. On the other hand, my diastolic pressure is up this morning, but only by a single point over a week ago. It'd been fluctuating up and down around a core of 80 for several weeks, now, so I suppose that's nothing to be alarmed about. Again, this is all with medication. I'm looking for a return to normal in blood pressure, probably by the time I've been at it a year, which will be November 2nd.

Where my blood sugar is concerned, I still haven't managed to cut out the late night weekend snacking (nuts, mostly), so, this morning my blood sugar's at 101, which is normal, but still a bit higher than I'd like to see. I was still eating at around midnight last night and didn't go to bed until almost 3:00am, awakening at 9:45am. So, I guess it's no shock or surprise to see 101 first thing in the morning. It may fall some after my afternoon walk today, though.

Overall, I'm looking and feeling much better, though there are still a few remaining small pockets of residual fat that are stubbornly hanging on, though they are going slowly. I figure that will be gone, surely, by November, if not sooner. But, now that I'm out of ketosis, as I said, I'll have to work for each pound I lose and not consume more calories than I burn off. In other words, if I want to continue or accelerate my weight loss, I'll have to increase my exercise, like everyone else.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Paleo Diet - Day 105

Well, as with last week, I have some mixed results this time, also. On the good side, my weight is down by 4 lbs from last week, to 183 lbs. So, my total weight loss, so far, is now 50 lbs. That, in turn, brings my BMI down to 24.8, which puts me into the "normal weight" range. Even so, I will be letting the paleo diet run its course until I am no longer losing weight and my metabolism has stabilized and I'm no longer in ketosis. That will happen naturally, as my bodyweight reaches its "set point," or equilibrium, the point at which my weight is natural for my body. Whether that turns out to be 175 lbs or 160 lbs, we'll see, but, based on the amount of fat deposits I have left to burn off to reveal my abs, etc., I'm thinking my "ideal" weight may even be closer to 155. After all, I was a skinny kid and a slender young adult and remained so until I "bulked up" with strength training in my forties. Even then, I was still rather slender and my weight was in the 190s.

On the blood sugar front, I still haven't completely sworn off the weekend midnight snacking, so, of course, the consequence is that when I awoke at a bit after 10:00am, my blood sugar was still at 110. That's within 3 points of the top end of normal, though, so it is an improvement over last week. Even so, I need to discipline myself not to eat after 9:00 or 10:00 pm, even if I'm not going to bed until 2:00 am.

Where my blood pressure is concerned, it's still in the same general vicinity, at 128/81, which is pre-hypertensive. But, the good news is that my systolic pressure is down a point from last week and the diastolic is only up by one point. So, it looks like a minor fluctuation and not a growing trend, as I had thought it might be. Still, both figures need to come down and, quite a bit if I'm ever to quit using my blood pressure medicine and call myself "cured." I figure that won't happen until the paleo diet has run its course, by sometime in early November.

Meanwhile, after my post last week about the hidden sugars in Natrol's Cinnamon Extract supplement, I've checked the labels on all the twenty or so supplements I've been taking for years and found that all of them contain hidden sugars, salts and harmful chemicals! So, as of a week ago, I have completely discontinued use of them and I am now living supplement-free. So far, I have noticed no effects, good or bad. It is my opinion that I probably won't unless I start feeling better and my weight, blood pressure and blood sugar begin coming down more easily. Then I'll know I've done the right thing. After doing some further reading (I recommend Mike Adams' book, Natural Health Solutions), I'm convinced that most of the supplements we all take daily are not only not doing us any good, they are actually harming our health.

You can look forward to an upcoming series of articles exposing more of the lies the supplement industry (which is completely unregulated) have been telling us for decades. It is quite naive to assume that the people who make these products are any more honest and concerned for your health than the people who make harmful prescription drugs. In fact, in some cases, it turns out some of them are the same people. Think about it. Why would the FDA, which is unquestionably in bed with Big Pharma, keep its hands off the regulation of supplements? The FDA is paid billions per year by Big Pharma and it's no stretch of the imagination to suppose that the supplement industry's lobbyists are also paying big bucks to the FDA to keep them out of their business.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

More Hidden Sugars!

Just when you think you've found a product to help maintain normal blood sugar (as the label on Natrol's Cinnamon Extract 500mg supplement claims it does), it turns out to be loaded with various forms of sugar!

I have been wondering why my blood sugar is not continuing downward since using Natrol's product, and now I know why. First of all, in my defense, had I had the opportunity to check the label in a
store, I would never have bought the stuff. But, since it's almost impossible to find cinnamon extract except for Natrol's product and impossible to find it in stores, I had to order it directly from them via their website, which does not list the several fillers also included with the 500mg of cinnamon extract in each pill.

Those fillers are: dibasic calcium phosphate, cellulose, stearic acid, Maltodextrin, silica, cellulose gum, magnesium stearate, methylcellulose, glycerin and carnauba wax. Let's look at each of these ingredients, shall we?

Dibasic Calcium Phosphate:

The very first link to "dibasic calcium phosphate" found on Google is
which I can't seem to corroborate with data from other sites found in the same search. Some of the claims made here may or may not be suspect and I can't vouch for the credibility of the information presented. However, the gist of the site is that dibasic calcium phosphate is
not a good thing to be ingesting. Note, however, that the author of the page, who publishes an online newsletter called Fraudulent Companys can't seem to pluralize the word company correctly. I then have to wonder about the credibility of the source. He also seems to be selling some sort of dietary supplements, himself, so, again, I question his credibility. Adding to this is the fact that I couldn't seem to find any other pages in my search that had anything alarming to say about dibasic calcium phosphate. In fact, according to, it's used in every calcium supplement on the market. It is the calcium. Then again, when I find a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for any substance, I have to wonder about its safety for use in the human body. I did find an MSDS for dibasic calcium phosphate at
and it says that there is nothing hazardous about dibasic calcium phosphate, other than being a "skin, eye and respiratory irritant." Of course, one has to consider that the MSDS publishes this information primarily for worker safety in plants that manufacture various products that use the material in question. If you're a worker in a plant that makes a calcium supplement, you probably wouldn't want to breathe in a cloud of dibasic calcium phosphate as it's being dumped into a huge vat to make pills from, but taking one or more of those same pills every day may not do you any harm at all. In fact, it may do you good. You need to consider the source that is saying "this is bad for you" because they may be ignorant of the fact that small doses of something that is harmful in large amounts is not necessarily toxic. But, on the other hand, if we're taking a daily supplement that contains this material and we're doing so over the course of many years - perhaps most of our lifetime - we might be somewhat concerned about its long-term effects, right? Even so, I still found no other data that would suggest there is anything harmful in ingesting dibasic calcium phosphate and, in fact, it seems to be used widely in the pharmaceuticals industry.


Cellulose is another of those substances being used routinely in the manufacture of pills of all types. However, of much concern to me is the fact that cellulose is a
polysaccharide; i.e., a sugar. When I saw this, a red flag went up immediately! In addition, cellulose is a natural polymer. The important thing, though, is that it is being used in the above named product without any alteration. It is, therefore, an added sugar. This alone is cause for me to abandon this product completely and to seek out an honestly made cinnamon extract.

Stearic Acid:

As I said above, when I see an MSDS for any substance used in a food supplement, I get very concerned. This should certainly be the case with stearic acid. The MSDS I found says, under "Toxicology,":
"Eye, skin and respiratory irritant; may be harmful - toxicology not fully investigated." Hmmmm.....when I see statements like "not fully investigated," I have to wonder why hasn't it been, especially when people are ingesting it and rubbing it on their skin and in the hair every day? Stearic acid is used in skin and hair care products, as well as in dietary supplements and processed foods. As I was saying earlier, one should consider that these statements are intended for factory workers who are handling these materials in large bulk containers, where they are routinely exposed to airborne clouds of the material as it is dumped into vats and hoppers and moved about the plant, etc. Hence, the need for safety glasses in handling stearic acid makes sense, as it is a known eye irritant. Even so, should this be something that is in our diet?


Now, if the above substances weren't enough to make me stop using Natrol's Cinnamon Extract, the inclusion in it of Maltodextrin (trade named Maltrin), a sweetener made from cornstarch, certainly is! It is made via the process of cornstarch hydrolysis, according to the Sugar Association. Here we have, not just a sugar, but a sugar made from grain. This stuff is sometimes known as "glucose polymer." GPC (Grain Processing Corporation), the makers of Maltrin, claim that "
Corn-based maltodextrins are safe for patients with celiac disease since they do not contain proteins from wheat, barley, oats or rye." Fine for people with celiac disease, but what about we diabetics? It's not protein we should be concerned about; protein is, by itself, essential to life and it is a major element of the paleolithic diet, as well. It's sugars that concern me, as a diabetic, and this stuff is nothing but sugar! Here is the real "smoking gun" on the GPC website, though: "Diabetics should follow the advice of their physicians. MALTRIN® maltodextrin’s glycemic index should be considered metabolically equivalent to glucose (dextrose)." Great! So, yes, it is a not so hidden sugar! Then WTF is it doing in Natrol's Cinnamon Extract - a product that claims to "help maintain blood sugar already within the normal range?!!" This product is being recommended to diabetics as a means of controlling their blood sugar! The inclusion of Maltodextrose in this product should immediately result in Natrol being investigated for deceptive and false advertising, at the very least! No diabetic should ever consume this product at all, under any circumstances!


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, silica can cause silicosis. Silica, according to the USDL,
"...remains a serious threat to nearly two million US workers.", here again, most of us are not exposed to the stuff in bulk quantities, where it can become an aerosolized cloud we breathe in - but, I still have to wonder if this is something we should be eating.

Cellulose Gum:

If cellulose itself is a sugar, then what is cellulose gum? Well, its a hydrocolloid, or thickening agent, used in the processed foods industry. They certainly do use a lot of dangerous crap in making processed foods, don't they? A "thickening agent" is a glue-like substance, so, basically, cellulose gum is a sugary binder, probably used in Natrol's Cinnamon Extract to hold all its constituent ingredients together. I tell you what, Natrol, how about just filling the bottle with harmless gelatin capsules filled with pure, unadulterated cinnamon extract, huh? What a concept! That way you wouldn't need to use anything else in your product to make it into little dark red pills, would you? I don't care what the product looks like. I just want cinnamon extract and I don't want anything else. Got it? So, anyway, here is yet another hidden sugar lurking in this product that is being sold to diabetics and people who are trying to keep from becoming diabetics. That's three hidden sugars, so far!

Magnesium Stearate:

Magnesium stearate is a salt. Great! Not only is this shit filled with sugar, it's also filled with salt! Just what I need for my blood pressure. As if that's not enough, the Wikipedia article says magnesium stearate is also "a major component of bathtub rings!" Yum! Makes me want to go and lick my bathtub right now! Seriously, though, there is also an MSDS for this material, though it says magnesium stearate is "generally regarded as safe." Yep, well, that depends upon who is deciding whether it's safe, doesn't it? After all, some sources would have us believe that fluoride is "safe," also, even though it's been found to be a deadly toxin.


Like cellulose gum, methylcellulose is derived from cellulose, which is, as you'll recall, a sugar derived, in turn, from cornstarch. So, need I say anything further? Well,.....according to the publishers of Healthwise, maybe I should. It seems methylcelluclose is used in laxatives as a stool softener. Yum!


Glycerin is yet another sugar, made from alcohol! So, this crap Natrol is passing off as a product to regulate blood sugar turns out to spiked with a serious amount of hidden sugars! How do they get away with this shit!? By the way, glycerin is also the main byproduct of the manufacture of biodeisel fuel. Mmmmm.....finger lickin' good!

Carnauba Wax:

Finally, we come to the last listed filler in Natrol's Cinnamon Extract product, carnauba wax. All of you car enthusiasts should know what this stuff is: the basic ingredient in most car waxes and polishes. Mmmm....yummy! I think I'll go out and lick my car right now! According to Wikipedia,
"Carnauba wax contains mainly esters of fatty acids (80-85%), fatty alcohols (10-15%), acids (3-6%) and hydrocarbons (1-3%). Specific for carnauba wax is the content of esterified fatty diols (about 20%), hydroxylated fatty acids (about 6%) and cinnamic acid (about 10%). Cinnamic acid, an antioxidant, may be hydroxylated or methoxylated." Notice the inclusion of cinnmic acid? Cinnamic acid is made from oil of cinnamon, so, aside from the 500mg of cinnamon extract claimed to reside in this product, this is, apparently, the only other ingredient that has anything to do with cinnamon. And it buffs to a lustrous shine, too!

The bottom line: if you are using Natrol's Cinnamon Extract to control or lower your blood sugar,
stop doing so! This crap is loaded with enough hidden sugars to maintain or even raise your blood sugar. If you're not taking this supplement, don't. You'd do better to swallow a spoonful of plain ground cinnamon (available on the spice rack at your grocery store), instead.