Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Anyone to try it...

It seems like many people are interested in this ongoing story- many people with and without diabetes. However, when I meet people and they question me about my situation and what I do to keep myself from taking insulin, I am often met with responses such as "I could never do that" or "I love bread, I couldn't stop eating it" or "I don't have enough self control."

Despite the fact that many are interested in what has occurred and certainly can't deny the reality of the situation once they meet me, I have never had anyone tell me they want to try it. I have no doubt that many of these methods would work for a lot of people. Folks remain doubtful, even resentful of the fact that they probably would work, or, they are so attached to the idea that their pancreas has been completely destroyed and will never come back. Remember when the common knowledge was that after a certain age the brain stopped growing? Well, neuroplasticity has been a proven phenomenon all the way from birth to death. The entrenchment of the unchangeable nature of our condition of Type 1 Diabetes is keeping everyone I meet from even entertaining the fact of trying something.

I remain confident that a host of different things would probably work for many people. But at the same time, if they don't, it doesn't matter. The only truly upsetting part about it is that I have yet met anyone who will really try something else full force and see if it works.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bone Broth Recipe

In the previous post, I mentioned a home made bone broth I am eating as part of the "Beef and Leaf" diet. Here is the recipe if you are interested in making it for yourself. It is wonderfully nourishing and healing for the stomach and digestion.

Ingredients

-4 to 5 pounds of beef shank or knuckle bone with the tendons attached if possible
-6 to 8 quarts of water (spring water or filtered)
- 1 tablespoon salt
-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (absolutely necessary)
- the white parts a bunch of scallions
-1 onion seared in a pan
-3 to 4 slices of ginger 3mm thick each

Directions
1. Bring large stock pot of water enough to cover bones to a boil
2. Boil bones for 10 minutes to clean them off
3. Drain water and fill pot with 6-8 quarts water and bones
4. Combine rest of ingredients and bring to a boil
5. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours
6. Let cool and skim off layer of fat that rises to the top.
7. Store by freezing in various containers to be accessible when needed.


Many people ask where to buy bones. You will notice that even run of the mill grocery stores like Shaw's, Albertsons, Shop Rite, Food Lion, etc. will have beef marrow bones in the meat section. You just didn't notice them because you weren't looking for them! You can also go to a butcher and ask directly. Even whole foods has them frozen. Grass feed beef bones are the preference, though I realize that your regular supermarket will not be too likely to have those.


This recipe is taken from Chris Chen. 

Beef and Leaf

I had for almost the entire existence of this blog, been eating a vegetarian diet that did not include any sort of grains whatsoever and no simple sugars even from fruit. Such a diet did wonders in helping to keep me from taking insulin, but over time, something did not feel quite as vital as it could. I began seeing an amazing healer/ acupuncturist who practices traditional Daoist medicine, and soon found myself on a new journey.

His treatment plan to keep me off of insulin, repair my digestive system and give the pancreas what it needs to heal- beef and leaf. For 6 months I am to eat nothing except for lean beef (preferably grass fed), dark leafy green vegetables and drink a broth made of the shank bones from beef. Eggs are the only other food permitted. Absolutely nothing else. The goal is to make the digestive system outrageously strong. By the end, I should be able to eat and maintain a normally balanced diet. We shall see if this will be the case.

The logic behind it from our western perspective is simply that my digestive system had been abused from day one of my life by all of the processed foods we've bombarded ourselves with and things went wrong. This is an entirely whole food diet. The protein from the beef to supply all of the power, leafy greens to keep the intestines full and the bone soup to supply the minerals, enzymes and vitamins needed to repair the damage. Why beef and not chicken or pork? I was also anemic, and beef is blood. As you'll see in the next part, beef also has perhaps the strongest digestive element you can find in food, and my digestion and assimilation is what needs to heal.
      From the eastern medicine perspective, a bit more complicated. Extremely briefly, in the 5 element theory present in this kind of medicine, there are 5 elements- metal, water, earth, fire and wood. Each element controls one of the other. Diabetes is seen as a disorder of the earth element where the wood element is overacting on it and throwing it out of balance. Each element is associated with a color, mood, emotion, organ system, season etc. The color of the wood element is green- hence, eat tons and tons of green leafy vegetables to calm the wood element and keep it from overacting on Earth. Earth on the other hand, when weak, needs to be healed with Earth. Earth is the stomach/ spleen/ pancreas element. Beef is earth. Beef has 4 stomachs- it has an outrageously strong digestive quality, provides blood is weighty and powerful like planet earth. In this logic, I eat these two foods to balance wood and earth. Other food are different elements and will throw out the balance agin and not allow the healing we are looking for to take place.

This is by far the most radical thing I have ever undertaken. Fanatic even. However, my healer says that if it works, it will be the last fanatical thing I'll ever have to do about this. It certainly seems like a concerning diet from a typical health perspective. What about cholesterol? Are you getting enough vitamins? I have seen a nutritionist and my endocrinologist. The nutritionist concluded that I am indeed getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals except for possibly vitamin D. I can either supplement for that or go outside a bit every day. Labs have been drawn and the cholesterol is decidedly approaching the upper side. However, it is important to remember that this diet is only temporary for 6 months. The things I see people do for years on end including drugs, alcohol and the host of other things we can guess we shouldn't eat cannot be a better situation, and they live for incredible lengths of time. Beside that point, this diet is healing. Comparing it to something that is "worse" is actually an argument that I don't like to make. It is simply radical, unfamiliar and extreme to most people.

Do you get tired of eating the same foods? On rare occasion. The food I am eating feels so nourishing and powerful, that I have had less cravings for other foods during the past two months of this diet than I have ever had. I noticed the cravings disappear as soon as I started drinking the bone broth (which I began to ween myself into eating beef after being a vegetarian). Additionally, I am so absolutely curious to see if this will work that my curiosity and commitment to experiment and see what happens overrides a desire to eat any certain type of food. Can you believe what it would mean if this actually works? I can't wait to find out.

Is there any scientific evidence? To that I say, is there any scientific evidence to the "cure" for cancer, cystic fibrosis, depression or ebola virus? The answer of course is no, as these "cures" are as yet undiscovered and as yet, untried, untested and unproven. However, the fact that we do not know what they are does not mean they do not exist. To scientifically prove something is actually just to become aware of a fact that already existed where we were unaware before. Is this scientifically proven? In that sense, no. However, there is a logic of ancient medicine behind it. Has it been tried on others? Yes, I have heard from my healer of it being tried on others. Have I met them? No, but that does not concern me.

As I press forward for 4 more months of this- October 20th, 2014 will the end, I get more and more curious to see what will happen. I don't need scientific evidence to convince me to try something. There is nothing to loose. If it doesn't work, I will readily admit it does not, and try something else. I will know and be able to feel if it is not putting me into better health. Intuitively, I will know if I need to stop. Until that time, my doctors and healers are behind me and come October an even more interesting experiment will commence when I attempt again to eat a normally balanced diet without the need for insluin.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

An excerpt about Yoga

I want to slowly over the course of future posts, delve more into why Yoga is so powerful, and what exactly it is. We in the west have an extremely body oriented view- as I've heard it put "oh yes, Yoga is wonderful exercise." However, it is far more than that. As it pertains to this blog, I present the healing properties of a yoga practice in a very much body oriented fashion- "how can this help us to improve our blood sugar?" I offer this excerpt from Kirpal Singh's book Crown of Life 1970, Sant Bani Press as food for thought:

Many modern scholars, more so those with Western modes of thought, have, when first confronted by yoga, tended to dismiss it as no more than an elaborate means of self-hypnotism. Such an attitude is quite unscientific even though it often parades under the garb of science. It is generally the result of prejudice born of ignorance or a superficial knowledge of the subject. It is natural for us to attempt to relegate to the realm of superstition, phenomena with which we are unfamiliar and which defy our habitual ways of thought about life, for to study them, to understand them, to test and accept them, would require effort and perseverance of which most of us are incapable. It is not unlikely that some so-called yogin may justify the label of "self-hypnotists." But those few who genuinely merit the name of yogins are too humble to court publicity and have nothing about them to suggest the neurotic escapist. They invariably display a remarkably sensitive awareness to life in all its complexity and variety, and this awareness coupled with their humility makes all talk of self-delusion quite inapt, irrelevant and even ridiculous. For, to seek the Unchanging behind the changing, the Real behind the phenomenal, is certainly not to "hypnotize" onself. If anything, it displays a spirit of enquiry that is exceptional in its honesty and integrity, that is content with nothing less than the absolute truth, and the kind of renunciation it demands is most difficult to practice. Hence it is, that as time passes, as knowledge is gradually undermining the former philistinism is steadily wearing away. the new developments of the physical sciences have had no small share in furthering this process, for by revealin that everything in this physical universe is relative and that matter is not matter perse but ultimately a form of energy, it has confirmed, at the lower level of the yogic concept at least, the conception of the world inherent in the yogic system, giving it a scienfic validity which was earlier doubted. 

My favorite portion of this excerpt is the description of modern physical science viewing matter not as matter, but as simply energy. Such a reality breaks down all of our footing on reality, reducing everything to simply an illusion. When it comes to healing our Type 1 Diabetes, the disease itself is really an illusion. It has practical everyday implication, but as it comes to searching for healing, Yoga as a way of breaking down that barrier and controlling that energy exists as something that is not simply a "self-hypnotism" but grounded in science. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Beta Cell regeneration

Here's a little article about some recent research looking into Beta cell regeneration.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627131832.htm


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More processed, more problems.

I've noticed that the more processed a food is, the more difficulty I have keeping my blood sugar in the place it needs to be. This goes even for foods made at home.

For example, a typical lunch for me might be a big salad consisting of several types of greens, tomatoes, avocados and nuts with balsamic vinegar and oil. A blood sugar after this kind of lunch is perfect.

However, the other day I made a home-made grain free pizza recipe like the one in this link. Things were still relatively home made, but the pizza included home made pesto as well as home made almond meal as the base ingredient. Despite these things being home made, they were prepared using a food processor machine. The name is right in it. Whenever we process something, we make it more dense than it naturally was. Even though this pizza is extremely friendly to the blood sugar and I will eat it any day, it is comparatively not as friendly as the raw salad. Blood sugar 1 hour after eating the salad= 95; 1 hour after the grain free pizza= 120. Despite the fact that this pizza is not made of grains, the processing still makes it more dense.

I've noticed this with even "raw" foods that when purchased and prepared at a restaurant or out and pre-packaged will yield higher postprandial blood sugars. A salad from Au Bon Pan with a packet of their dressing will yield 1 hour postprandial sugars higher than a salad prepared at home with oil and vinegar.

I notice this eating foods generally considered "unprocessed." Foods generally considered processed cannot compare to raw ones. If for example you are going to eat a home made regular pizza versus pizza made at a restaurant versus a frozen pizza, you can bet that the postprandial blood sugars will increase respectively; none of them will compare to a raw salad prepared at home. There's just something about processing foods that makes them less friendly to blood sugars. When a food is processed it becomes more dense and you end up eating more than you need.

In short, whenever possible, make it at home. Keep it simple and eat only what you need.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

What is Yoga?

Talking strictly about an extremely low carbohydrate diet can certainly produce amazing results for the diabetic, but without exercise, its really only a small piece of the puzzle.

But I am not talking about just running or playing soccer- as I described in This Post, the energy in the body is an amazing patchwork of interactions that comes together as a whole. When we are talking about diabetes, we have to think about specific exercises that target the root problems. The sciences of yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine offer us explanations of where these energies should be and how to get them there.

Body is matter, "energy" is etherial and non-specific. However I think that Paramahansa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi* gives us an important reminder of how not Other "energy" can be when he writes, "The Western day is nearing when the inner science of self-control will be found as necessary as the outer conquest of Nature. The Atomic Age will see men's minds sobered and broadened by the now scientifically indisputable truth that matter is in reality a concentrate of energy." The "indisputable truth that matter is in reality a concentrate of energy" is Einsteins famous E=mc2. This is the reminder that all mass is in fact energy and just because we experience it as body does not mean that it is not also energy- digestive energy, electricity, kinetic energy, mind energy and light.

So when I talk about exercise, I am really talking about a kind of exercise that will allow you to navigate the indisputable bridge between matter (body) and energy (mind). In order to find real healing, we must work to create this mastery. Their remains then the fact that we can find a way to convert healing mind energy into physical manifestations. Interpret this as you see fit.

But what is yoga? Yogananda gives as a more specific definition that Yoga is " a method for restraining the natural turbulence of thoughts, which otherwise impartially prevents all men, of all lands, from glimpsing their true nature of Spirit. Like the healing light of the sun, yoga is beneficial equally to men of the East and to men of the West. The thoughts of most persons are restless and capricious; a manifest need exists for yoga: the science of mind control." Yoga the exercise in physical postures and practices is the control of non-material mind energy. What those specific practices are I have given here. There were countless specifics taught, the one I have outlined is the one I learned from my teacher and practice.

So when someone talks about Yoga, it is much, much more complicated than "just stretching" as I heard someone put it the other day. This is an entire system of how to willfully transfer between material and mind energy. Such a mastery may occur quickly, or slowly. However, the ever increasing awareness promised by Yoga practice will create higher and higher levels of the ability to discern the energies of the body and mind and to direct them in the most beneficial ways in healing yourself and others and discovering that energy's source.


* Autobiography of a Yogi, Thirteenth edition 1998, Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles.