An email from a reader this morning. It was very timely because I'd just browsed through these 11 charts again, about everything that's wrong with modern diets. When I posted it on my Facebook profile, I wrote:
A Paleo or Primal Diet Completely corrects 11 of 11 of these. Even caloric intake normalizes for most people. This is why it's the hot diet. It works. Just include your starches please, at a reasonable 30% ish of calories, you'll do great. Insufficient carbohydrate intake is the root of all problems I see on Paleo diets.
Then I clicked on email and read this from Tricia:
I was urged to write to you and share my story of a sort of miraculous healing of salmonella. And diabetes. And gluten intolerance. All thanks to soil based probiotics and resistant starch.
In August 2013 I was diagnosed with diabetes from a random blood test. I thought I was "healthy." I was already exercising 6 days a week and had been paleo for 5 years. I was also gluten allergic (began after I started the paleo diet and eliminated gluten for 60 days and then found I could no longer eat it without ending up in an itchy swollen rash). I occasionally ate rice but pretty much no grains; I had minimal sugar in my diet. I didn't have much I could change and realized that diabetic medication was in my future if I couldn't work this out on my own. So I decide to see a nutritionist. She says, lose 10 lbs and make better nutrient dense calorie choices. Huh? Ok. I trimmed my 110lbs down to 100lbs. I cut out bananas, grapes, potatoes, and rice. My fasting blood sugar went from 130's to about 110-100. That's OK but it's still in the glucose intolerant range, and certainly not the picture of health for a 43 year old 5'0" female athlete who weighs about 100lbs. At that point I did my own research and I realized that this was not sustainable (no fruit nor potatoes) so I stopped restricting any fruits and vegetables and started adding in resistant starch. About a TBSP a day. Some days I got up to 3 TBSPs, but no more than that.
And then I went camping.
I ate some poorly cooked chicken from the campfire. Enter salmonella. I was terribly sick, but recovered about 2 weeks later. Come to find out that when you have a diagnosis of salmonella, you're unable to return to work if you are a food handler or a healthcare worker until you stop shedding the bacteria. I'm the latter. The Department of Public Health banned me from practicing medicine and wouldn't let me return until I had two negative stool samples. No problem, I thought, I felt fine. I submitted a sample and alarmingly, I was positive. Fluke, I thought. I retested and again I was positive. Again and again I was positive. For MONTHS I tested positive. A small percentage of those that get salmonella become chronic, I find out. I saw two infectious disease specialists, both of whom suggest I stop testing for salmonella, take a round of antibiotics (Cipro) for 8 weeks, then retest two weeks after I end the antibiotics. OK, so I practice medicine for a living and I consider this treatment plan (while in my frustration of being unable to work for over 5 months because I was continually testing positive for salmonella) and I know what Cipro will do to my intestinal flora in one day, much less 8 weeks. So, I decide not to follow their treatment suggestion. No, I'm not doing Cipro but I decide I would do my own curative plan for myself. I decide to add probiotics for 8 weeks and then retest. I was already on daily kiefer and taking some chintzy Trader Joe's probiotic tablets that may have been inert. I decided that I really needed to up my game because I didn't do all that graduate school in order to be banned from work because of a bacteria. I added three different types of soil based probiotic capsules and continued the resistant starch. I started with one probiotic capsule at breakfast for about 3 days, then added another at lunchtime for about 3 days, then finally added another type at dinner and continued this therapy of three different probiotic capsules a day for 10 weeks. I continued my kiefer and resistant starch addition of about 1-3 TBSPs a day for this duration.
10 weeks later I retested.
My fasting blood sugar was in the 70's and continues to be in the 70s every morning. My culture: negative for salmonella. No cipro, no jacked up intestinal flora, in fact it's probably the happiest it's been for decades. And get this: I can eat gluten now. I no longer end up in a rash from gluten or any other grain. The only restriction I maintain is no processed sugar--I can eat any fruit (but potatoes still elevate it a little) without an elevated blood sugar. I have my theories of why all this happened, but I think the bottom line is that our intestinal health has a much more pervasive influence on our overall health than our culture realizes. Even the paleo culture. Because I got diabetes while I was paleo, active, and had a BMI of 19. Because I was gluten allergic for 5 years. But because of some soil based probiotics and resistant starch I was able to eliminate salmonella, bring my blood sugar to a normal daily range and correct my inability to digest gluten without my body resulting in a fit of inflammation. Crazy, true stuff. I hope this helps some poor soul out there.
I'm sure this could have all been cleared up in a heartbeat with straight shots of vinegar, but whatever. What works works, right? So do what you like. Fix your diabetes, gluten intolerance, and chronic salmonella infection with vinegar, or try my plan.
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Or, hell, have a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar in some club soda now & then with a wedge of lime, or slice of cucumber, as I do. I'm sure that's the true source of all my benefits since I bought that one quart bottle a year or so back. The 28 ounces consumed so far (including in recipes) over the year have really done the trick. I'm stoked!