Bipolar with Diabetes – Three Great Episodes of iThrive then Disappointed with Episode 4

If you want to get over any kind of disorder, diabetes, bipolar or whatever then episodes 1 to 3 of the iThrive Documentary Series are well worth watching. A great range of experts are interviewed and their explanations of causes and cures are well worth hearing.

I was disappointed with Episode 4 because everyone interviewed seemed to be strictly vegan. The only message I kept hearing was, “Eat like a vegan or die young.”

Even if that turns out to be true, I feel the film makers lost track of what seemed like their essential central messages.

I am hoping they get back on track.

Clearly there are many lifestyle options and changes they can share, but everyone needs just a few simple clear guidelines. Maybe just two messages to start with:

  • Eliminate junk food
  • Find a way that works for you to avoid spikes in blood sugar

These are just two of many lifestyle changes I needed to make to eliminate bipolar disorder and the need for psychiatric drugs from my life. Yes, there do have to be many other changes just that these two work for everyone who has been struggling.

I believe:

  • Eliminate junk food
  • Find a way that works for you to avoid spikes in blood sugar

…are especially effective for long-term wellness as success can be seen in falling HbA1c blood test values which your doctor will almost certainly agree is worth testing 3 monthly while ‘in recovery’ then perhaps every 6 or 12 months throughout your life.

For my next blog-post I’ll share about my old food choices not being HCLF but HCTF… and HCTF being a massive driver for bipolar and every mental / physical disorder.

 

Natural Sugars or Healthy Fats – It all depends on your mood? #HCLF #HFLC or #LCHF

Yesterday I mentioned ‘High Carbohydrate Low Fat’ and will admit I used the letters HCLF partly because those letters attract attention. Well, I did receive a few emails and this comment posted here at rethinkingbipolar.com:

…if I am to have breakfast Roger what should I have? Fruit or bacon and eggs?

  1. Ten years ago I would have said, “Make the most amazing fruit-salad cutting up at least six different colourful fruits. Perhaps add something that makes it unique, like a few cherry tomatoes! Then share with family or even take some to share with a neighbour.”
  2. Five years ago I would have said, “Bacon and eggs great! It is sugar-free. It’ll lower your blood glucose, give you energy and help with weight loss.”
  3. A year ago I would have said, “Ditch the bacon! It’ll be full of toxins. Get the best organic eggs you can, lightly boil or poach these so the white is just hard-ish and the yolk runny.”
  4. Now? Today? I’m thinking that providing we are avoiding junk and minimizing toxins neither option is going to do much harm and each contains an amazing mix of nutrients.

What I believe matters more is when we have this first meal. I think every nutritionist agrees with what Patrick Holford wrote years ago, “Don’t eat for at least an hour after getting up in the morning”. There can be lots of reasons for delaying breakfast. For me, it is the one time I can be sure my blood sugar is nice and low. The time before eating is when I get most done per minute.

  • Only about once a week do I have a meal at the time my relatives would call breakfast time, although still at least an hour after getting up.
  • Four or five days a week, I will; write my ‘morning pages’, wash, dress, do yoga-style exercises, have a few hot drinks, shake, do a tiny bit of aerobic stuff, view most of my incoming emails, type a blog-post or similar, put any clothes washing on, walk, hang the washing to dry – All before I prepare my brunch.
  • Usually one day and sometimes two days a week, such as when I am facilitating a group, I eat nothing before noon, 1pm or even 2pm. It is keeping busy that allows me to do this without messing with my mood.

Does any of that sound hypo-manic? In recovery, I used to closely monitor my mood – always in fear of ‘relapsing’ as I had been told I was only in ‘remission’. I’m not losing sight of risks of mental health troubles, just that I now know it is lifestyle, stress etc and not any genetic-fixed-uncontrollable disorder. I keep going and achieving while recognizing my changing moods. I know behavior rather than mood determines my long-term happiness.

How does this relate to the “fruit or eggs” choice?

By brunch or lunch-time, what I fancy eating has changed.

Yes, I can allow myself fruit. I often fancy eggs. Now though, I am just as likely to fancy lettuce leaves smothered in ground flax or raw organic sauerkraut. I often include all sorts of raw vegetables in my first meal of the day, which very few people would do if eating earlier.

Calories? It will be great when I can stop ever mentioning calories. For now, I’ll just say that do not restrict calories, just that I can eat a couple of big plates full of many different foods for brunch, be full-up for hours, with less than 600kcal. I’ll share more about what this means to me at a later date.

I’m hoping this long answer is taken well by my new reader and it will inspire others to learn as much as they can about what is becoming a popular route to better health and better moods, which may be referred to as intermittent fasting.

I am welcoming bookings to provide talks and facilitate discussions. Please ask.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

What does it all mean? I welcome your thoughts on any of the above or on this slide I created before my morning walk… 2 hours to go to brunch 🙂

HCLF or LFHC versus HFLC or LCHF - What does it mean - Roger Smith

Diabetes Bipolar Link!?

I believe there were 100+ reasons why after Prozac and before Olanzapine/Zyprexa I was prescribed lithium and came to accept that I was bipolar.

How much did excess carbohydrate consumption influence my mood troubles?

I am not going to claim it was my number one stressor/trigger. I’ll share about that another time, however…

What was I eating and drinking prior to being assessed by psychiatry?

  • I worked for a multi-national food manufacturers with access to unlimited half-price confectionery and a card for chocolate/candy dispensing machines position throughout the offices, without the need to use cash
  • I was consuming semi-skimmed milk (fat reduced but still 5% lactose = sugar!)
  • I drank orange juice = 10% sugar
  • I ate bread every day
  • I ate either potatoes, pasta or rice every day
  • I remember a few times checking how much rice I was consuming and finding it was 100g before cooking (dry) per meal, equivalent to about 400kcal – I believed this was a good thing!
  • I would eat a few biscuits and pieces of cake every day

Was I balancing all this carbs in any way by eating healthy fats?

  • I was minimizing use of butter, cheese and reluctantly ate lean meats rather than the tastier fatty meats
  • I considered avocados and olives to be too expensive
  • I considered organic foods to be too expensive
  • As a family we regularly fried foods in cheap non-organic toxic vegetable oils from plastic bottles
  • We ate ready-meals and fast-foods that arrived in plastic containers

I believed I had a good diet. As I said, yesterday, “Clearly, these days, good is not good enough when we start to look at food labels.

Did this High-Carb/Low-Fat (HCLF) diet cause my mood troubles? Well, it did not help!

As a food scientist I already knew what happens to animals such as cats and dogs if we were to feed them this kind of HCLF diet – they get sick!

I did not believe I was sick. I was a very busy person burning off all that carbohydrate my body did not need so I was not dying in the way pets or some farm animals would on such a diet.

Now, I am guessing the iThrive video series will get onto my next point/fact in episode 2, 3…

My diet was depriving me of just about every key nutrient!

I was most likely short of vitamins C, B vitamins including niacin and B12, D, E, K1, K2. So much of the carbs I was consuming were so processed that they were nutritionally of almost no use at all to my brain.

I’ve said enough for today. Right now, for one day only, here is Episode 2 of iThrive. Even if you can only spare 5 minutes just listen to the first 5 minutes. If this does not convinced that every disorder is made more likely by a high calorie low nutrition high toxin diet, please do listen to more.

 

Reversing Diabetes / Diabesity While Keeping Moods in Order

On Olanzapine/Zyprexa (for 14 years) I was heading towards diabetes. Okay, so I only gained about 45 pounds in weight due to psych drugs, but then I was making huge efforts just to not gain more, while losing my physical fitness.

Yes, I have to admit the psych drugs helped me to stay in bed a lot longer, which was a blessing for my family. Perhaps, it was because I was so sedated that allowed my children to do so well throughout school and university. In fact, as I type this I am thinking maybe it was all worthwhile. Did all those years of poor health for me allow better health for those around me?

It was blood tests that left me in no doubt things had to change. Well, yes and no. It was getting up for a ‘pee’, twice, then 3 times, then 4 times every night that caused me to insist on the blood tests. By then my guts were wrecked, so I was lying awake in pain in-between the toilet visits. I was in bed a lot longer, but getting no more refreshing sleep than I had before the drugs or since I have come off all prescription medication. If we can go drug-free (and it is not easy and involves serious risks for many) then the sleep we get is so wonderful. To sleep like a child again is beautiful.

After the drugs my HbA1c measure of damage to my cells by excess sugar was just below pre-diabetic, even though my diet was good. Clearly, these days, good is not good enough when we start to look at food labels. I found the support I needed to cut right back on some of the things going hand-in-hand with my poor eating habits. I went without wheat and dairy for months, lost more weight and my HbA1c came down. I am not 100% free of wheat and dairy, just that I have most definitely broken the addictions and can now go for weeks without the tiniest bit of either.

The big dietary changes I made (and there have been many more of them) included switching to what a friend described as ‘single ingredient’ foods. Basically, if there is a list of ingredients just don’t buy it. I am mostly buying fruit, veg or anything that has no legal requirement for a list of ingredients. Yes, big business is not going to like anyone doing this as it rules out just about anything they can make much money from. It was a simple change and perhaps the main one for bringing my HbA1c down. Down by just ‘one point’… away from diabetes.

Then my HbA1c stabilized at a level I was far from happy with. By then I was working close to full-time as a health researcher and having to learn more and more about the links between high HbA1c and seemingly every chronic condition.

Please do your own research or ask me to send some reliable links to answer questions like… Is elevated HbA1c always a driver for cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart-attack, stroke, pancreatic troubles, liver damage, kidney disease… the list goes on and on. Only yesterday I was working with someone while we discussed how closely HbA1c might be linked with MND (Motor Neuron Disease). Excess sugar and lack of vitamins alone may never cause any of these, just that the evidence is piling up that if we can take control of our sugar and have better levels of vitamins in our blood (and balances between these vitamins too) then risks go way down.

The other big change I’ve made has simply been to stop eating at night. Now, it seems so obvious that eating close to 24 hours a day is going to be linked to weight gain and blood sugar troubles. For people taking high levels of Olanzapine the desire to eat returns every few minutes. On that drug, the only time I stopped thinking about food for more than a few minutes was while I was asleep, but sleeping more was not burning off that sugar coming from carbs eaten late in the evening and replaced within minutes of getting out of bed.

My wife said so often, “You’re always in the pantry”. I do not believe she was ever able to get her head around how a psych drug can effectively eliminate will-power.

I have set myself a new lower target for my HbA1c with a retest scheduled for just 8 to 10 weeks from now. I am going to work towards this by averaging a fasting window of 15 hours in every 24 hours. I’ve worked towards this by getting my gut as physically as fit as it can be at this time. Fasting 15 hours it is not going to be difficult as I am already feeling the benefits from skipping what I used to call breakfast and supper. I still have a huge 9 hour eating window and no restriction at all (for me this is) on calories. I can eat as much fatty food as I fancy, although here I am talking about healthy avocados, olives and a wide range of organic high calorie foods, with nothing at all cooked at high temperatures.

I am staying pretty much grain-free because it aids my clarity of thought, while making it far easier to avoid excess carbs.

Okay, I have typed plenty for today. If you’d like to know more about how my challenge is going, what I eat day-to-day or anything else do ask by email or through the comments option below.

Now, if you’ve not seen any of the iThrive series see if you can check it out. The link  below may only work for the next 20 hours or so. Just listen to what ‘Chef AJ’ says between 6m 14s and 6m 44s [[[just 30 seconds]]] and share this with anyone you love.

I am sure the experts can share a lot more about diabetes than I can. My approach is simple. Check out your HbA1c, research what probably caused your HbA1c to be higher than the ideal, then start eliminating the causes in a way that works for you. I am currently 100% sure that if you remove enough of the relevant causes your body will be able to move you further away from diabetes.

Finally, what has this to do with bipolar?

  1. Bipolar and diabetes have been linked many times. Mood troubles affect food choices and psych drugs can so often make things far worse.
  2. As I have been teaching for more than a decade, if you have mood troubles, so bad that you are getting a mental health diagnosis, then food choices so often have to be made with mood in mind. Yes, we can change anything about our foods, including what we eat, when we eat and whom we eat with, but we still have to keep our moods in order. Staying safe in the short-term is key, while keeping that long-term goal of lower HbA1c or whatever target you have in mind. Get support and get your physical health sorted at the same time as eliminating mood disorder from your life.

If video does not play click here for next episode: diabetes-bipolar-link

Thoughts on Zoe Harcombe’s ‘Food to help you live longer’ article

I have just read a recent article from Dr. Zoe Harcombe.

Zoë Harcombe

I am fan of Zoe’s work.

I do wonder though how this stacks up with real life experiences of people who are able to do veganism in an informed and sustainable way. Vegans who ‘do it right’ seem to be exceptionally healthy.

Information such as ‘no retinol in plants’ rarely get any consideration, yet should not be forgotten if people are struggling with veganism.

Some experts seem to have moved on, by considering whether some nutrients that traditionally have been thought of as only coming from animal foods (such as vitamin B12) could be supplied by a healthy mix of healthy gut bacteria.

Even so, I believe Zoe is making some very valid points that make sense when I consider how many people fail, health-wise, when they say they are adopting a vegan diet, while selecting the equivalent of vegan donuts! [not a good idea]

! ! ! vegan donuts ! ! !

For people determined to never eat anything from an animal ever again it is worth seeking good advice and (as for anyone) never stop learning about nutrition.

To read Zoe’s article please paste link this in your browser: http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2018/01/food-to-help-you-live-longer/

Best wishes

Roger

34 Days without Wheat and Milk #bipolar #gluten #electro-sensitivity

Last month I shared’ “I am in agreement with others who study recovery from mood troubles that a first step is to have a long trial of no wheat and no cow’s milk/cow dairy” and, “Being half-hearted in eliminating wheat (usually barley and rye products too) and dairy rarely works.”

I was already avoiding all dairy produce. Within a few days of clearing my house of all wheat containing foods and choosing not to eat any of these anywhere, my gut discomfort mostly disappeared. I was no longer being woken by gut pains.

Was this the cure for my sleep and mood troubles? Not all, as soon as the gut pain went the mild tinnitus I had been experiencing became far worse. Waking in the early hours the whistling sounds in my ears was as bad as almost any gut pain. Along with the whistling a feeling I used to only get if standing near a microwave oven or laboratory magnetic resonance equipment was now troubling me in my own home. Different people have different responses to microwaves and powerful magnets. For me, this feeling has always been like my head being crushed sideways in a vice.

Moving my bed downstairs eased both the whistling and the crushing pain. A few nights later putting the mattress on the floor helped more. Then removing the mattress and sleeping on a thick blanket on the concrete kitchen floor helped even more. By now, every time I went upstairs the whistling and crushing pain returned.

Using my laptop I could tell that the whistling and pain was related to the number and strength of WiFi signals in different parts of my house. I spoke with some of my nearest neighbours who agreed to turn their WiFi and a WiFi enabled printer off overnight. This helped and the first night with that printer off was, for me, one of the longest and most refreshing sleeps this year.

This did not solve my troubles. Day-after-day I just seemed to be becoming more electro-sensitive. It was not just WiFi. I needed changes to the wiring and ways I was using electricity in my own home.

I am continuing to investigate local sources of the man-made radiation and how to reduce their effects on my wellbeing. I need to do this so that I can again use the upstairs of my house.

What about my dairy and wheat experiment?

Other than tea with milk on 3 occasions, I have been 100% free of dairy produce, which has helped enormously with my breathing.

I had zero wheat/oats/barley/rye for 34 days, then had a portion of chip-shop chips, which I normally avoid as I consider the types of fat and deep frying process to be detrimental to health. I think these chips were contaminated with gluten as many chip-shop chips are. That evening I had a tiny glass of beer. I slept well, but woke feeling dreadful. The next evening I finished the 500ml bottle of beer. I did not sleep well. I was awake from 12:30am and felt extremely unwell. I won’t go into detail here about my next 12 trips to the toilet over the next 24 hours, other than to say these were very much non-standard.

I had kidded myself that the German beer would be free of gluten. It was not. I now saw the allergy advice on the label was very clear. “Barley: contains gluten”.

Why do we keep on wanting dairy and wheat/barley/rye even when again and again we have proved, to ourselves, these are damaging our health?

I used to say that my desire was largely driven by habits and social pressures as most people around me continue to consume these many times every day.

There is also the calming/relaxing effect from morphine like compounds from partially digested dairy and wheat.

After what happened over the 35 days I am thinking about one more ‘advantage’ of consuming wheat: It was only when I stopped both dairy and wheat consumption that my electro-sensitivity became so bad as to almost totally disable me. As soon as I consumed the contaminated chips and clearly labelled beer the tinnitus and crushing pain lessened, with my new obsession with protection from man-made Electro-Magnetic-Fields (EMF) subsiding.

It is like with physical pain when our attention is always drawn only to the greatest or most acute pain. I am wondering if others have noticed what I have. Already being free of all prescribed medications/drugs and then avoiding the morphine-like-compounds associated with dairy and gluten, my brain increasingly noticed the man-made radiation ‘soup’.

This has left me with another question: How many bipolar diagnosis are linked in some way to exposure to EMF, WiFi and now perhaps ‘smart-meter’ radiation.

Thinking back to my own hospitalization in 1997, mobile (cell) phones were still a rarity in the UK. In the 5 days leading up my hospitalization I was away from home and had borrowed a mobile phone, which I used excessively, holding it pressed up against my ear. Prior to this I’d had very little contact with mobiles. I certainly am not claiming that mobile phones alone can cause severe mood disorders. I am suggesting mobiles and other sources of EMF may be contributors to many, if not all, modern psychiatric troubles.

What do you think?

I am going back to zero dairy and gluten. I am also admitting that the risks of gluten from beer are too high for me at this time.

I’ll close, as I did a month ago, by saying that the first step in recovery from almost anything would seem to be getting out of denial and accepting we may need to do something radically different. On Friday, I have called a group together to discuss the effects of EMF and what we can do to better understand its effects and how we may each need to respond to the increasing number of sources and the strength of these new sources, such as the role out ‘smart meters’.

 

Fasting and taking care of the liver

Fasting is usually the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to improve health – just that businesses have a lot of difficulty making money by reminding people to fast more!

As discussed, unless we do a bit of fasting the liver is always overworked turning excess sugars into fats, whereas it has a lot of other jobs it needs to be doing in-between meals.

This advert was published at 1am on 2nd Oct. The video is just 4mins 14seconds and worth listening to… I tend to listen while cooking/washing up as there is not much to see on these videos. http://products.mercola.com/liver-supplement/

Dr Mercola has been saying for years that almost everyone is having too much fructose and most of the fructose consumed has to be converted to fat. Excess fructose is probably the number one problem in the USA diet as its production is subsidized so USA food companies add it to everything they possibly can. It is easier to avoid added fructose in the UK, although the best way to be sure is to avoid all processed foods.

I do NOT recommend buying the advertised supplement. Yes, there are chemicals that are amazingly good at repairing the liver, but these are available from food. Near enough anything that is naturally green is good for the liver. Nature made things this way… mammals tend to eat green things (even lions eat antelope that have been eating mainly grass) so the liver is designed to make good use of chemicals present in green things. People who do not eat greens are generally sick and getting sicker.

As for me, I have a meeting in Nottingham today with free lunch. Last time though the lunch was sliced bread sandwiches, sausage rolls, scotch eggs, crisps, squash with sweeteners… I need to think about taking my own lunch… although, I note that they have changed the venue… maybe I need a packed lunch I can bring home if they manage to bring out something more natural this time.

Best wishes

Roger

Nutrition – Healthy Dietary Fat

I thought I’d share the mind-map-planning I did for my ‘good, bad and ugly’ dietary fats training. If you have a training venue and people who want to know more about nutrition for wellness, recovery, health, happiness and longevity, then  do contact me. Best wishes Roger.

Fats for Cafe 2017-07-17 Folks and Fables - Roger Smith - SHARE Wellness

Sharing Wellness – Nutrition Presentations, Bingham, Notts, UK

This Mind Map is from my preparations for Monday’s presentation and discussions at Folks and Fables cafe. If you’d like a copy of the other slides that go with this in pdf format just ask.

Sharing-Wellness-Roger-Smith-Sugar-Mind-Map-Updated-2017-June-26-Slide-01

If you are local and would like to attend or in UK and would like me to share similar at another venue: www.stoppaddling.com/bingham

If diagnosed as bipolar, how much might lowering unhealthy carbs while increasing healthy fats help? #LCHF #notjustbipolar

Does HCLF cause mood troubles? Does HFLC help to eliminate mood troubles?

A bit of a generalization here:

  • Countries that have been early adopters the Standard American Diet (often called the SAD diet) have far higher rates of mood disorder, including bipolar.
  • Countries that seem to have resisted the Standard American Diet or have been slow to adopt it have far lower rates of mood disorder, including bipolar.

This does not prove anything as there are probably hundreds of other factors. It is probably just as true that countries that have more televisions per capita have higher rates of depression. This does not show TV causes depression but may, at most, suggest some weak link between affluence and more mood troubles.

Healthy brains are made mainly from healthy fat and healthy cholesterol. In whatever way we might choose to deprive ourselves of healthy fat and healthy cholesterol we will run into brain health troubles. Choosing not to eat cholesterol does not seem to be a problem. If eating good food a healthy human liver will make healthy cholesterol as needed. (Recent research indicates that almost any cell in the body can also make healthy-cholesterol if it is a well-nourished cell.) Depriving ourselves of essential fats (and I believe, going very low on some of the non-essential fats) will lead to brain deterioration and mood troubles.

Energy: The bulk of the energy in our food and drink always has to come from either fat or carbs. (It has become clearer-and-clearer that getting more than about 20% of our energy from protein damages the liver, kidneys, may even increase the likelihood of diabetes) We need to think, ‘fat or carbs?’ This is a decision I believe most people need to make.

The S.A. Diet has for a few decades been high in unhealthy fats and exceptionally high in unhealthy carbs. This is a lethal combination for both the body and the brain.

I have been teaching about diet for a long time and used to warn people against all sorts of things that I now tend to suggest people investigate eating more of, such as saturated fat (although I stress the importance of this being from organic farming). Examples include butter if you like the taste of it or coconut oil for the strict vegans. Moderation is still important, as you have to stick within what your digestive system, liver and blood vessels can handle in any one hit.

What have I seen in people around me? Those consuming higher levels healthy fats and very little of the least healthy (highly processed) carbs are both physically and mentally fitter and are better at the sort of thing Tom Wootton talks about, which is to be able to function well almost regardless of emotional upsets.

And me, personally? It has been a long road, in which I have used many tools and done a lot of experimenting on myself. I am convinced that consuming quite a lot of healthy fat every day has been doing me good. It is, for me, just one of hundreds of dietary and other changes I needed to make. What does not work for me is when I add refined carbs on top of my high-ish-fat plant-based meals.

Example: So far today…

  • The only food I had before driving to a meeting in Nottingham was 20g of 100% chocolate (less than 1% sugar and very high in saturated fat)
  • I next ate between 2pm and 3pm when I had a large ripe avocado, olives, walnuts and loads of vegetables, finished off with another 20g of that same chocolate.
  • Currently, I wait to see how I feel before my next meal and if I feel I need it I’ll include fatty fish or two ORGANIC eggs. If I don’t feel in need of food from animals I don’t have those. It is better for me not to always eat the way I was brought-up and almost certainly better for the planet if I only eat what I need. I’m not eating much meat at all these days, partly because it is not that easy to get organic meat around here and partly because I just don’t seem to need it like I used to.
  • Last night I had some organic beans late in the evening and slept soundly – I may do the same this evening. I am currently considering organic beans as a source of healthy carbs, although I know purists on HFLC might avoid beans.

[I like chocolate – I don’t eat chocolate everyday, else, for me, it can become an addiction!]

How important is it to get onto HFLC or at least make a decision about how to eliminate the most unhealthy of the carbs? I think an even more important meme to keep in our heads, whether or not we have been said to be bipolar, is,

The most important decision we make each day is what we put in our mouths.

The more I think about this the surer I become that it is so true.

As a last thought on this subject for now: I find that each day… what I eat that day;

    • influences my moods,
    • has a huge impact on how I well I can function,
    • has the biggest impact on my energy levels
    • and usually can provide good and steadier energy levels allowing me to achieve a great deal
    • and be something like the person I want to be…

…the next day.

—————————————————–

As I often do, I am going to finish by saying that just because medical people said I had a mood disorder and I no longer take any prescription medications that does not mean it is easy to stop taking these. Getting the right food undoubtedly helps, just be aware there are so many other lifestyle changes that may also be needed before any changes of prescription medications. Make sure you have the best doctors you can find and talk with them.

Does eating butter make you happier? #LCHF #16:8

It is known that eating butter helps with weight loss and with reversing many chronic illnesses. I do not know if butter makes us all healthier overall. Personally, I feel good having slices of butter almost every day.

If you do not have much time just watch from from 10m 30s, then maybe skip to the less scientific video below this one. (Maybe also weight loss example from 16m 30s.)

Butter Makes Your Pants Fall Off

Why am I not blogging about bipolar? 

I am keen to share how I stay well rather than how ill I was.

So, I have been on a LCHF diet or as some people say “High Fat / Low Carb” for a few years. Okay, so I am a bit thin, but it feels better being thin than how fat I was while on prescription drugs and on low fat. So, no prescription drugs for about 5 years now. Latest dietary change for me is to 16:8 = 16 hours fasting and 8 hour eating window each day. I am still working on this – getting it right most days.

I am finding that with LCHF and 16:8, together with mainly plant-based (non-factory foods) is giving me the energy for lots of 3D Dynamic Movement.

Fasting to improve mood

I wrote about fasting to improve mood a month ago. I have made progress and am keen to share this.

Due to my blood sugar being a bit high (not diabetic but often higher than I want it to be) I have created a more ambitious plan for eating better quality food while overall eating less.

For 7 days now I have not eaten before noon. That is, no breakfast at all and no drinks that could be considered as food. This is a big change, for me, especially as I was brought up believing breakfast was essential. I also bought into the idea of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” before I discovered this meme was invented by businesses that sell breakfast cereals!

I made this transition by initially eating until late in the evening. Gradually I am finishing all eating a little earlier each evening to create a genuine fast, with my first meal feeling like ‘breaking a fast’ rather than a meal called break-fast.

This is day 8. It is 12:45pm and so far not eaten today.

Before I say how I am feeling on this new regime, I want to make it clear that I am not starving myself at all. I am eating a little less but only because I find I am less hungry and more satisfied with the better quality, mainly organic, foods I am choosing.

Moods? Essentially, I am feeling mostly good. I have a little more energy, doing 10,000 steps per day, sleeping through the night and yesterday easily swam 100 lengths… okay, it was a small pool!

If you do not see an update from me within a month, please feel free to ask how my longer overnight fasting is going and how this is improving my health.

Here is my previous article on fasting to improve mood

Intermittent Fasting to Improve Mood – Not just bipolar

Many psychiatric drugs have a side-effect of increased appetite.

As soon as I agreed to take Olanzapine I found I was getting hungry far more frequently while having less and less interest in exercising. On a combination of lithium and Olanzapine I steadied out at around 45 pounds heavier than my usual weight. I am sure I got off lightly as I know many people who about doubled their weight while taking Olanzapine.

I have said/blogged about how my weight came down as I reduced my lithium intake. Now, I believe the bigger factor was my being able to gradually reduce my intake of Olanzapine and eventually coming off all psychiatric drugs. My weight is now about what it was before starting on these drugs.

What has been bothering me for a while is that bad eating habits that set in while I was on Olanzapine keep coming back. Perhaps those habits have never left me.

I have read and watched lots and lots about the importance of fasting, or at least having several hours between meals and not eating when we should be sleeping. My scientific background allows me to feel I understand why eating less often is so beneficial, yet knowing stuff does not necessary make changing habits any easier.

After another stressful period I recently realized that I was again eating from early morning until late evening with perhaps a total of 12 meals/snacks! Not on any psychiatric drugs I’ve not been putting on weight but am sure all this eating has been doing me harm.

Since 1st January (yes, sounds like a New Year resolution) I have started to take overnight fasting seriously. A friend has reminded me of an info-graphic from Dr Mercola. See below.

My current plans are nowhere near so ambitious at this time. I am currently seeing getting past 9am without eating and not eating after about 7pm as great achievements and I am just starting to get benefits from this in terms of having more energy through eating less. Yes, sounds a bit bizarre, but by eating less often I mostly have more energy and feel better too.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat. Embed this info-graphic on your site to serve as a guide for you to create a healthy eating plan, and reap the many benefits of fasting done the right way. Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version… Intermittent fasting

Replacing refined carbohydrates with healthy fats to have better control of our own moods

Food and Mood: I’ve been teaching about links between excess sugar and mood troubles for years. Now with a lot of renewed interest in this subject I am going to invite readers to comment on these two big generalizations:

  1. Eating refined carbohydrates leads to higher and more variable levels of sugar in the blood, and this leads to all kinds of chronic health troubles as well as less control over our moods.
  2. Eating appropriate amounts (and a good range) of healthy fats helps to keep sugar in the blood at healthy levels making all kinds of chronic health troubles less likely while allowing us to develop better control over our moods.

Remembering that, for good health and longevity, at no time do we want more than about one teaspoon of sugar (glucose that is) circulating in our blood stream, we know that foods that spike our blood sugar cannot be good for us. We do need to eat something though, as simply cutting out carbs tends to make us miserable.

For my friend in South Wales, who is resolving to drastically cut back on sugar consumption from 1st January (influenced in part by the article below) – I recommend finding out about healthy fats… What is a healthy fat? How do we get a wide range of different healthy fats?

The long article below explains a lot about how fat was vilified while the dangers of sugar mostly ignored. How much of this false information came from the work of Ancel Keys who seems to have falsified evidence to show fat and cholesterol were problematic while being paid for this by the sugar industry?https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/07/the-sugar-conspiracy-robert-lustig-john-yudkin?

Not just bipolar – staying healthy by avoiding ‘ultra-processed foods’ #ADHD

Ultra-processed foods – I am thinking “ultra-processed” may be a useful term, as avoiding all processed foods is too difficult for most people.

e.g. Boiling organic potatoes at home and mashing these with organic butter is food processing…. But compared with… say, making the same potatoes into crisps with about 6 ingredients and cooking such as the water content gets so low the crisps can be stored for a year is surely a lot more processing

This morning I am thinking that, “As most people want to eat processed foods, health may be improved quite a bit just by avoiding the most processed (ultra-processed) foods and going for some really simple processing… e.g. oats cooked in a saucepan with only water and natural rock salt added. This would seem to be fairly low processing.

Article on ultra-processed foods: https://thehealthsciencesacademy.org/science-catch-up/science-catch-up-25/#topic5

((( based on this – after a quick look at where this information came from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27733404 I am thinking that any result other than the people who eat the most biscuits getting fattest would have been odd! )))

I am adding #ADHD to the title above because one of the best things to do for reducing ADHD and bipolar symptoms is to avoid foods with a lot of added chemicals.