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.