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Dairy in, dairy out


Well, after the excitement of finding a local raw dairy supplier and enjoying the process of learning and creating ghee, dairy in all forms (from cow’s milk at least) will be put on hold once again.

I really crave the stuff, and seemingly no amount of purity, or the type, whether it’s milk, butter or yogurt can I eat regularly without some side effects. Like my trouble with eggs and a few other foods, for the most part my reaction manifests as cravings and wacky brain fog. Regardless of how healthy it may and ‘should’ be, when your sat there trying desperately not to spoon a whole jar of ghee into your mouth, you know the food has crossed that line between simply tasting good and feeding an addiction. Attempting tiny doses unfortunately doesn’t really help either.

It has been a little tough to rationalise, but perhaps a useful reality check. Having been caught up somewhat in the Western A Price philosophy, and the dietary advice of Sally Fallon, Dr Thomas Cowan etc, raw milk almost has a god like status. There is certainly no denying the benefits that some experience, however if you are predisposed to the addictive nature of dairy, I suspect it may be a long time, possibly even a permanant problem caused by significant dairy ‘abuse’ prior to becomming ill. I wouldn’t consign myself to never being able to eat dairy again, just that until significant healing of both the gut and liver have taken place I suspect I will continue to react. I suspect it’s the opioids that I react to which will be present in all forms of dairy.

This puts me at a bit of a crossroads in the terms of improving on the SCD or GAPs diets. My sensitivity to sauerkraut is really strong, again seemingly having a predominantly neurological effect and cravings go off the charts. Bone broths are questionable, and I’ve not been confident with capsulated probiotics either, some of them seemingly tying up my liver.I’ve not yet ruled out goat’s milk, but naturally am not too eager to try based on the above. The SCD yogurt is still a possibility sometime down the line.

So this week I’m going to try not to focus on ‘strategy’ or what I’m going to do next but instead just eat the foods I believe I’m okay with at the moment, aim to get the best amount of sleep my body will allow, and dare I say it try not to worry to much about my health. Perhaps in this state something will come to me more naturally.

In other news, the house hunt continues! Would LOVE to have my own place and feel this would benefit my lifestyle significantly. As I’m finding out though it’s a bit of a long drawn out process, and perfection in a property doesn’t really exists! I’ll need to think about what’s most important in terms of price, location, size etc. An enema friendly on-suite bathroom would be nice!

Anywho, Sunday evening Call of Duty and Top Gear awaits.


Dairy in, dairy outDynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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Ghee wizz


If anyone knows where the sleep fairy is be sure to send him/her my way. At least I have the Australian Open tennis to peacefully whittle away those early morning hours. Our man Andy looking strong so far.

Had a cool day today, mainly due to popping to the Norfolk/Suffolk border and having a browse round a local farmers market. I decided to pick up some raw dairy while I was there and also had a quick chat with a lady who recovered from Crohn’s disease in the past. I wouldn’t say I learned anything new, as she pretty much touted the ‘heal the gut and the rest will come’ type philosophy, as well as mentioning the importance of probiotics etc. Throw liver issues in the mixer and unfortunately good advice gets a little tricky. However she was really nice, and gave me a good run down on the quality of the raw dairy products sold, what I might react well/badly to etc and some cooking/fermenting tips. I’m curious to dip my toes into trying raw dairy, whether it’s SCD type yogurt, kefir or cultured cream, however I have to wrap my head around proceeding with extreme caution. It’s still dairy at the end of the day, and it’s still likely to have some reactive compounds which I may or may not have a problem with.

The advice I was given, and the general consensus on the web is that butter is typically well tolerated, due to the low/trace amounts of both lactose and casein. Raw unhomogenized, unpasteurized is even better, maintaining the good bacteria and also (apparently I was told) the lactase enzyme needed to digest lactose. To take it one step further, which I did earlier today would be to clarify the butter, seperating the butter fat from the milk solids to make Ghee.

Ghee wizz

(It looks allot yellower in real life, which is apparently a good sign)

So, in terms of stripping as much allergic potential out of a dairy product, this would be it! It’s grass-fed, unhomogenized, unpasteurized, organic, raw butter with the milk solids and butter fat separated, therefore stripping out the lactose and casein.  It smells devine, kinda nutty and I think I might give a teaspoon a crack tomorrow with breakfast. Worth repeating the GAPs mantra, ‘low and slow…’.

I did also pick up some raw milk while I was there, as it was a 2 hour round trip that I don’t want to make too often. It promptly went straight in freezer for when I MAY at some point in the future give kefir a try. That has some potential to pack a real punch so I’d like to make sure my diet is fairly consistent at the time. That way I can closely monitor things.

Also picked up a new book after hearing some good things on The Healthy Skeptic blog.

It’s called Turning Suffering Inside Out and is written by Darlene Cohen who, due to rheumatoid arthritis was forced to stay in bed, lost 40 pounds, couldn’t lift a phone receiver or go to the toilet unassisted.

I’m deeply interested in those that are able to achieve a state of peace when faced with incredible suffering. When I’m feeling cranky due to another lost nights sleep or low energy, the negativity and waves of emotion cloud my ability to relax and open wind me up, further aggrevating any symptoms. There are people with much more sever symptoms than myself and I’m fascinated by the potential ability to maintain a sense of peace in these situations.

Will see how the read goes and perhaps hope to put up a review when done.

Right, off for a veggie broth and ginger tea.



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Seeking out the big guns


Man-o-man my days have become about survival at the moment. A quick glance in the mirror in the morning prior to hopping in the shower reveals some nice racoon style dark circles under my eyes.

After reading his excellent book ‘The Fourfold Path to Healing’ I have decided to approach Dr Cowan. With his wide range of knowledge I’m hoping his expertise might be able to help me understand what’s going on with my rather annoying body. I opted for the ‘community support’ option as I have a habit of being a little jumpy when it comes to treatments, so I’m hoping this will put me on the straight and narrow with ongoing support and discussion.

Unloading my symptom set and sharing my dietary woes will be fun for him! Although perhaps to keep the consultation fee a little cheaper I could perhaps try a quick summary along the lines of ‘gut damaged, liver and gallbladder shot, exhausted….go!’

Can’t remember if I mentioned and haven’t got the energy to check my previous post, but I am trialling some non GAPs starchy carbs in my diet, in very small amounts – about an additional 20g a day). Doesn’t sound like much but going from practically zero which I’ve been at for a few months now is likely to be a bit of a shock to the system and I can confirm it is…I think. Gunning for just sweet potato’s at the moment which are a touch gentler on the GI index than others. Does mean that I do end up having some meals that are ‘meat and potatoes’, pretty much consider taboo to your average modern nutritionist.

Also decided to brew some beet kvass. Apparently without the whey it takes a around a month in the fridge after room temperature fermentation so I’ve plenty of time to decide whether I’ll actually use it. Fermentation scares me a little, ‘am I doing it right?’ ‘Is that mold or a sign of good bacteria?’ but even I can’t mess up beets, water and salt……I hope. Day 2 taste check = pretty salty.

Seeking out the big guns

If anything it’s nice to look at in my room….

That’s me done. Off to drain some minutes on the PS3 as Batman. Wonder what ferments he’s got brewing as he looks in pretty good health.

Right, think positive…I can ‘beet’ this…….



Seeking out the big gunsDynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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A year in review


Well, what a year, and one which I can probably say has ended slightly on the positive side. I wouldn’t say that I’ve picked up a huge amount of forward momentum, but more stopped the rot and stabilised. Also coming across GAPs towards the latter part of the year has filled me with a deep confidence that recovery is possible, despite how complicated it seems at the moment.

Despite knowing allot about my health and what I thought I needed to do to try and get better, this year did see some moments that further plunged me into illness and toxicity. If I remember correctly there were at least 3 occasions where I binged on food. These weren’t your average binges either, they were huge, jolting my body from a generally low carb diet to massive amounts of sweets, breads, junk food, drinks etc for days at a time. This was partly fuelled by depression, but also a lack of stability diet wise as I became increasingly aware of how sensitive I was to even healthy low GI carbohydrates and their ability to encourage a devastation of food. These were old feelings re-surfaced as sugar addiction was in part responsible for my health decline about 2.5 years ago.

It wasn’t until September this year when I managed to stop the rot. The most recently and hopefully last binge was when I went back for some more blood tests and an endoscopy. Surprise surprise everything came out normal and having to do a reasonable fast for the endoscopy and having no choice but to consume carbohydrates from clear liquids in the form of sugar, acted as a catalyst after the procedure to hit the chocolate and everything else.

Touch wood those days are well and truly behind me now. In fact I did stray from the diet at Christmas but haven’t beat myself up about it too much. Whereas last year I strayed and ate things like peanuts, crisps, chocolate and all the components of a roast dinner, this year ‘cheats’ were some buckwheat, sunflower seeds, adzuki beans and a small amount of sweet potato. None really GAPs legal and I did consciously have to be a bit mindful of not overdoing the carbs and revisiting that ‘bad place’ but soooo much better than the Christmas before. I’d like to think my mood around family and friends was also improved as a result of somewhat more controlled cheats than the year previous, where I spent the majority of the day constipated, depressed, emotional and in my room while the family played games.

However, I still have a looong way to go and am not quite sure how to go about it this coming year. I have identified that my gut and liver are the prime problems, and potentially the cause of all my health issues. Throw in allot of adrenal stress, either as a result of these problems or as a causative factor.

What’s really tested my character this year has been quite a few failed attempts at supplements and  different foods. The first experiment was with eggs – local, organic and free range of course, half a teaspoon a day. In spite of symptoms I increased to one yolk and held at this level for about a month. Let’s just say my brain effectively stopped working for this month! I had chronic intense brain fog, anxiety, less stable blood sugars and generally felt extremely agitated and ramped up. Quite different from the ‘flu’ of die off and thus I had to admit defeat.

Next was sauerkraut, and interestingly I had a similar reaction to that of the eggs. Add to that a bit of a craving and it had all the hallmarks of an intolerance. This one frustrated me as I so wanted to align myself to as many components of the GAPs diet and WAP in general as I could, but my body was seemingly rejecting each attempt, even with the low and slow approach. This perhaps might suggest some form of sulphur issue, which no doubt is in part or predominantly due to a lack of decent gut flora.

Given my struggles with natural foodstuffs, I then decided to try going the capsulated probiotic route. It started okay (okay meaning I didn’t experience much of an effect) on 30 billion capsule once in the morning. Diarrhea then hit for the first time in about 3 years (I’m generally constipated) and lasted a few days. Through fear of loosing too much weight on an already skeleton body I abandoned the probiotics and gave my body a chance to ‘reset’. Fortunately it did, and as oppose to starting up the same brand, I instead opted for the uber strong custom probiotics.

These unfortunately caused me some problems, problems which seemed to linger despite ceasing the dosage. This was/is a real tough period and my liver was screaming for weeks. Seemingly nothing helped, enema’s, backing off supplements, reducing foods to make them as digestible as possible etc.

And that’s pretty much where I’m still at. To summarise my symptoms at the moment….

- Liver/Gallbladder stress. Such a massive problem. Usually with it comes some digestive discomfort in the form of a gnawing bloating feeling in the stomach. Also really locks me up in terms of trying to make inroads into the Candida and leaky gut as healing reactions are too difficult.

- Constipation. Another biggy, although I have made some progress with the discovery that magnesium citrate helps. Ties in a little with the liver as loose and free flowing bowels seemingly takes a little stress off of it and ensures I’m eliminating toxins.

- Irritated gut. Pretty much where I suspect all the problems lie. My colon ‘feels’ very inflamed, noticeable especially when passing bowels movements and no doubt my small intestine isn’t in great shape either. Despite the comprehensive gut healing approach of GAPs, it been hard to implement much either due to sensitivities or the liver kicking up a fuss. Not quite sure what my next move will be.

- Chronic fatigue. I’m fairly immobile throughout the day, typically only having the energy to jump in my car and go to work, then jump back. This effectively means I’m trapped by my illness and am quite isolated, which certainly doesn’t help the mood. Really just have to hope and pray that some energy will come from somewhere such that I can pursue hobbies/interests etc and oddly hope I have the energy to relax!

- Food sensitivities. I have too many to count, seemingly reacting to carbs in general, ‘potent’ foods such as tomato’s, onions, garlic, eggs etc, dairy, yeast, nuts and struggling with too much fiber from veg. Gut and liver combined I suspect are responsible here.

So I go into the new year in a bit of a muddled cloud. Despite GAPs being a very specific and laid out protocol, I feel I might need to approach a practitioner of some sort for some general advice and to keep me on the straight and narrow. I have no idea if what I’m doing is right in terms of supplements, foods etc and can only guess based on my reaction to trying things. For example I’d like to know if it’s possible and relatively cheap what my mineral levels might be or how I can support the liver rather than feel like it’s being stimulated, or whether my very low carb diet is actually beneficial.

Away from the food I also hope to make some big changes. My environment isn’t exactly productive to healing at the moment due to sharing with people I don’t generally click with in an old house. Considering the kitchen is pretty much ‘The hub’ of the GAPs diet its frustrating when space has to be shared or people don’t clean up equipment you want to use etc etc. I may be able to start looking for my own place although know it will be a significant financial expense.

Away from GAPs I also don’t do allot. I’m often tied to my computer through physical exhaustion and don’t really have many friendships. I’ve always been the independant type and now that I’m always shattered at the times I have time to socialise I find it tricky to hit that ideal combination of stress free, enjoyable, sociable activities. I’ve also neglected to do enough relaxation in the form of meditation, baths etc, which again unfortunately is dependant somewhat on my environment.

I also feel I need to divert funds to healing rather than being so tight. Being male I have a natural attraction to gadgets and the like and despite overall being quite good with my money, I often find I’ve purchased this game which I won’t be able to play or a certain supplement I won’t use. I could for example use this on some regular acupuncture or some form of therapy/relaxation that might be beneficial. Ultimately I want to be able to pursue some interests such as learning a language or learning a musical instrument but mind and body have to be willing. Will be no use if I’m effectively immobilised with liver ache the night I have a language/music lesson.

So all in all I’m trying to remain positive. I’m probably in a slightly better spot than last year although have a long way to go.

Fingers crossed.


A year in reviewDynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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Bile, Bowels, Bovered?

My health journey has taken some interesting twists and turns of late, the new area of interest being the liver.

For the majority of my poor health I have had a gnawing ache under my rib cage on the right side. Twice my liver enzymes registered as normal and I dismissed it as a consequence of generally being fatigued and secondary to other health concerns.

I'm now starting to give the liver a little more thought, interested by the traditional chinese medicine view of 'liver qi ('chi')' and it's impact on general health.

After getting nowhere using adrenal supplementation I decided to trace back my steps starting with digestion. Perhaps I'm not absorbing nutrients effectively? After all most nutrients will pass through the body if the liver is weak - were my thoughts. Trying to boost the adrenals when your digestion is so poor must be akin to skating uphill..on ice.
And so I made some observations.
1 - Direct bowel support - colonics, probiotics, fiber, herbal cleansers, clean diet etc have not helped me get regular or ease the ache from my side.
2 - My stools are often pale and poorly formed, which in part from what I've read can be a bile issue, and lack thereof. This can contribute towards constipation.

3 - The chinese view IBS related symptoms as a problem with liver qi stagnation and fundamental problem for overall poor health. I'm not quite fully grasping the lingo but TCM is incredibly interesting, and by the looks of things very helpful to many people.
I undertook some changes as a result of these thoughts, with variable results. The first was to supplement directly with additional bile acids. I opted for a fairly potent formula which I used in proportion to how much fat I was consuming during the meal used. The results were positive, my stools were well formed, a darker brown and I've been fairly regular since.

I combined this with digestive enzymes and what I previously thought to be my arch nemesis, betaine HCL. The liver plays a fundamental role in digestion and almost certainly mine is impaired significantly. My reaction to HCL with or even towards the end of meals has been positive, giving me no immediate side effects. The effects of digestive enzymes are a little harder to trace without drawing up a detailed food diary and analysis of feelings but I think they are doing me some good.

So I'm eliminating well and will pursue this path a littler further. My most immediate health goals are consistent bowel movements and regular sleep, the later needing some significant work. Also on the supplemental menu is chinese bitters, to cleanse the liver. These apparently can pack a bit of a punch in terms of boosting and purging the liver of toxins, as well as aiding digestion. I've built up a nice collection of partially used herbs and supplements during my health journey such as turmeric, milk thistle, lecithin, dandelion and artichoke and it may be time to dust off the cobwebs and consider them for there liver regenerative properties.

I'll see how things go as I continue to learn about the body and it's many functions. Give me a few years and I reckon I'll have most of it covered ;)


Bile, Bowels, Bovered?Dynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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Soul Searching

Some personal thoughts I felt compelled to share. Highlights the complexity of emotions and feelings when one has multiple body wide symptoms.

Broadly speaking physically and mentally it kind of feels like the culmination of almost a lifetime of not being 'free', instead being overly sensitive and stimulated by my surroundings that has culminated in a body that simply can't keep up, ahearing to ideologies and unhealthy traits outside of myself that have caused a disharmony that I'm battling to balance. The reliance on sugar and a manifestation of these feelings have left me where I am today, constantly looking for solutions. I've always looked to others to tell me what to do, and feel frustrated that I can't conjure up my own feelings of love, courage, commitment, creativity and joy. I'm stagnent in my ability to experience true happiness. One quick signal from the body, whether it's a sleepless night, a reminder of my slim frame, or 2 days without a bowel movement disipates any positivity I am able to conjure up. Considering the harmonious attachment of mind and body, how can I possibly overcome the body's cries with a mental calmness and stability? Lots of people are out there willing to help me but my barriers are strong, and I relenquish almost all control to them in the hope of a miraculous turnaround. This is how I feel perfectionism manifests. I'm searching for someone or something to tell me 'the right way'.

I feel like I'm chasing a lifestyle or normality and continue to punish myself for being further and further away from that ideology. With each new symptom and or life situation that drags me further from this ideology, the thiner and longer the tightrope wire becomes. I constantly crave feelings of improvement, akin to a sprinter finally getting out his blocks on his way to the finish line as fast as possible. Instead I never feel like I start the race, and self perpetuate running backwards in the opposite direction. Do I have anyone to beat? Only myself.

I'm a smart, good looking, funny, articulate and intelligent young man. My random insights and quick wit make me favourable company when I am in a positive mood and not physically burdaned. I ultimately want to share my life with others on a deeper level but fear what they think of me. I feel I have the potential for true achievement but this translates into a yearning that clouds a level of acceptance for who I am in this second of this minute of this hour. I don't want to play out my life sick, on a computer and stagnant. I want to experience the freshness, stillness and exuberence of mountain biking through a english forest in the mild heat of spring, or once again commanding the defence of my local lacrosse team - not through boisterous volume, aggression, and anger, but instead encouraging and experiencing unity and passion for spending those moment with others, all striving for a common goal. I want to experience the vibrant colours and scenary of some of the most beautiful places in the world such as the blue caribbeans beaches or an african sunset. I want to embrace cultures, particular those where happiness and contenment come from within, not from a society where the size of your paycheck rules.

Almost as instantly as I conjured up those thoughts I'm back in my bed, lying in my dressing gown constipated with a throbbing right side at 4.20pm. Could I have done more today regardless? yes.


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The harsh reality

Trying not to let me anger and frustration overflow too much, however I was given a stark reminder into the orthodox view of sub clinical chronic illnesses by my GP.

As I have been experiencing more digestive related symptoms of late, including abdominal/stomach ache, pop bellied feeling, occasional nausea, flatulence, gas, bloating, loose stools, stomach burning and constipation, I decided to approach my GP for a general rendezvous, and perhaps the option of doing a H Pylori breath test.

 Almost immediately I was ‘diagnosed’ as having IBS, then told my physical symptoms were a manifestation of my mental state, then told to take up yoga, rounded off nicely with the comment ‘M.E is a disease of despair’.
So not only was I denied a simple test, but I was hit hard with some ignorant orthodox views. I left mildly flustered to say the least.

 I’m trying to look at this symptom set rationally, with the following scenarios....

IBS as a result of adrenal fatigue – Definitely likely. Not experiencing much relief from AF supplements alone. In fact these symptoms, especially constipation can further weaken the adrenals and if absorption is a problem, adrenal supplements may not be affective.      
Stomach ulcer – Quite possible again. I occasionally get burning after meals (often in the eve) and experienced burning from taking a single HCL capsule. Not quite sure whether the full range of symptoms can be attributed to this.

H Pylori – A potential cause of the above

Candida – Again likely. I had a colonic a week ago and didn’t experience any lasting relief. Hard to gauge whether problems are occurring before or in the gut.

Acid Reflux – None of the symptoms appear to be any higher up than my belly button. This is where the burning and abdominal aches are occurring.

Hiatus hernia – Again would probably rule this out similar to above.
Sluggish liver – Feels burdened at the moment, but I assume is not directly related to
Food allergies – I already have a supremely restricted and hypoallergenic diet. If it is anyway it will be something obscure like kale or spinach! Unlikely I suspect. Trying a 4 day constant diet to see if things change.

Current approaches.....

General digestion and stomach – zinc, B vitamins

H pylori – Mastic gum – 2g a day

Ulcer – Licorice root (for the adrenals as well) – ½ a teaspoon in the morning, slippery elm – 1 teaspoon in a gruel once a day.

Candida – Haven’t really started yet due to shot adrenals and a sluggish liver. Was hoping for some improvement in other areas however that day may not come! I have florastor in the cupboard and may try some probiotics/kefir.

Liver – LivaTone plus - Predominantly milk thistle. Pantethine 900mg.

Not getting flustered, depressed!

I really should do some testing as well but I have no cash.
I’m now more determined than ever to prove my GP wrong and get well.


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Book Review: The Relaxation Response

I've always viewed meditation as something I would like to do, but thus far have struggled to get motivated to do it. It's odd, and difficult to rationalise, but for some reason it doesn't come easy wanting to learn to relax. Perhaps this is a hangup of western culture in general, and the need to always be 'switched on'.

Delving into the world of meditation can be daunting. There's mindfullness, transcendental, vibrational, zen etc and within that further deviations in technique and style. Involvement can range from a quick 4 point 5 minute breathing exercise to lifelong practise and teachings of all aspects of the meditation and culture.
Naturally I didn't want to delve too deep into anything, particularly as my foggy brain would struggle with anything moderately weighty. After browsing amazon for all of 15 minutes, I settled on 'The Relaxation Response'.

The book is slim, akin to myself, at around 150 pages, and is written by Herbert Benson, M.D, associate professor of medicine at Harvard medical school. His credentials and experience are certainly not to be sniffed at.

The book is mainly split into 4 sections

  1. Herbert Bensons personal struggle in validating his research and pursuing a non drug remedy for stress relief and treatment of hypertension.
  2. The science behind hypertension: how it occurs, what bodily processes are involved, current treatments and how relaxation/meditation can help.
  3. A historical look at meditation through the ages, analysing how 'age old wisdom' from different cultures has contributed to the relaxation response. 
  4. Instructions for carrying out the relaxation response.

If you were extremely impatient, you could skip to the later part of the book and find the few pages containing the instructions on how to bring forth the relaxation response, as it really is very simple. However the background research is very interesting and in my opinion more than just filler.


  • It isn't a lengthy read, and bar a few technicals terms not too wordy either.
  • It's a very simple form of meditation, which almost anyone can have a go at.
  • The included research adds genuine proof to the positive impact meditation can have on the body. 
  • The meditation is derived from transcendental meditation, which can be expensive to learn from practioners. 


  • There are a few mild digs at the alternative health industry.
  • The content is mainly centered on hypertension, when all number of illnesses could benefit from meditation.
  • There is no real dietary tie in, and how this combined with meditation could produce even better results.
  • The meditation exercise itself is printed on one page. It's likely you would be able to find the technique with a bit of googling, thus saving you a few quid. 


Despite the equal number of pro's and con's, I would thoroughly recommend it as a good starting book for those interested in meditation.


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Stomach ulcer and Christmas hangover.

Going through a particularly tough time at the moment which could be due to a number of things.
I unfortunately ended up binging on Christmas day, feasting on fruits, starches, stuffing, turkey glazed in who knows what, a bit of chocolate and lots of cashews. I was also constipated on the day itself, which wasn’t very pleasant and have had trouble with regular BM’s for a while now.

I’m once again struggling with sleep, often only getting a few hours when I’m most backed up. This tends to ramp up the brain fog and anxiety.

I suspect this could all be a prolonged hangover from indulging in too many treats at Christmas. Not much else has changed in my routine. I’ve also picked up what I believe to be a stomach ulcer, as it aches most when I don’t have food in the stomach. To address this I’ve decided to try cabbage juice twice a day with some added greens, and slippery elm tea to help soothe the stomach. Also read that mastic gum, marshmallow root, chamomile, liquorice and a few other things can help lower stomach acid, although it’s sensible not to too try too many approaches. The added stress on my body from the Christmas slip up and lack of sleep is not likely to be helping.
So just getting through things at the moment. Regular, consistent bowel movements I feel are the key to helping my routine.

Ploughing on.


Stomach ulcer and Christmas hangover.Dynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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Films on health and nutrition

I've stumbled across a few gems that I'd thought I would share.

Supersize me

Probably one of the more well known films about the fast food industry and it's impact on health.

The premise I think is somewhat flawed, as not many people get close to eating fast food for every single meal. The results are bound to be bad. However as poor nutrition often degrades health over a long period of time, watching this accelerated experiment unfold gives us a very useful insight into what can happen with a high refined carb and fat diet.

The highlights of the film for me are not the focus of the main character, Kevin Spurlock, but in broader areas of food such as school meals and the profiteering of the grocery industry.

Overall: 7/10


All Jacked Up

This was an independent film I stumbled across quite recently that focuses on 4 teenagers and the impact nutrition is having on their lives.

It's got a great mixture of satircal cartoons, expert interviews (my personal fav being with the 'Health Ranger' Mike Adams) and industry truths regarding meat processing and grocery additives. The bulk of the movies is regarding the link between these 'typical' teenagers and the food and drink they are consuming.

Definately worth a watch in my opinion and available to download for $9.99
Overall: 8/10


Food inc

An excellent movie about the changing state of the mass market food industry in America. The main topics are about the mass market meat, corn and soybean industries that dominate most of the consumer marketplace.
This film has a slightly higher budget than the others so in general implements good combinations of imagery and sound. It's powerful and convincing, and has the potential to change your opinion on the foods you eat, especially meat.

Worth a watch if you can find it.

Overall: 8/10


Food Matters

This film focuses on the state of western medicine and reliance on pharmacueticals that contribute towards chronic health problems and disease. Of the 4 films, this one will give you the best insight into how the current medical and pharmaceutical industry operates (Quite easy to figure out - money!).

A great little documentary and a steal at $5 for an online viewing.
Overall: 8/10



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New year, new focus

As another year draws to a close I’m strangely looking forward to the year ahead.


Last year for me was mainly spent acquiring knowledge and bumbling a little bit as I got to grips with my health problems. I laid allot of foundations, but at times had a hard time executing them, whether it’s a dietary and supplement plan, regular meditation or sticking to Spanish revision. That said I’ve learned allot about myself, about the deception of food and pharmaceutical companies and good all round green living. I feel empowered to use natural, raw, organic foods and products that are closer to what nature intended and of more benefit to the suppliers. Whilst never being a ‘crusader’, my own experience has left me eventually wanting to help others when in a fit and able state to do so. The success stories of people within these communities acts as inspiration that almost anyone has the power to recover their health, however long it takes and whatever the odds.


Naturally my health is the number one concern, but I felt that I may have been over thinking it at times last year, not allowing for any advice or program time to work. This sucks energy from other areas such as pursuing other personal interests.


This year I hope to dream a little less, with a little more action. Besides my health I’ve set some ambitious goals that include taking a Biology A-level, continuing with weekly Spanish tuition and getting on holiday twice. Personal self development is also high on this list with a view to being calmer, more relaxed, more sociable, less ‘busy’ mentally and less reliant on screen stimulants such as TV and computers. Quite an ambitious New Year’s resolution, but achievable I think. I’m not planning to climb any mountains or in any way revert back to the stressors of old ways. Patience is also going to be key as well as continual sources of motivation that will keep the fire burning bright.


Fighting words.


New year, new focusDynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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Intolerant, allergic, sensitive or addicted?

There are quite a few terms to describe how one reacts to food. It's such a common symptom of environmental illness yet the causes and manifestation of symptoms vary greatly from person to person.

I've had many fun experiences with food over the years I have been ill. Sugar and refined carb addiction was the first to strike and an upbringing of processed flavours from sauces, marinades and dressings. I rarely was able to eat any sort of food, whether it was salad, vegetables, or meat without ketchup, salad cream, brown sauce or similar. These two dietary faux pa's I believe blunted my natural repsonse to flavour from food.

When I became ill, dairy was very high in my diet. As a source of protein and fat it served a purpose to smooth out my blood sugar response in the early stages of hypoglycemia, and is still widely promoted as a safe blood sugar balancer. Peanut butter is another and I found myself eating these throughout the day in ever more generous portions. It did serve to control my blood sugar, but they progressively became the most addictive componants to my diet. I was eating maybe half a block of cheddar a day, a cube with my first meal, drizzled over chicken for my next 2 meals, and then as part of an omelette later on. The longer this went on the more I craved it and the worse my symptoms became.

It was clear I was becomming or revealing a dairy intolerance. When I cut out refined carbs due to the prevailance of hypoglycemia my high dairy consumption continued, unbeknownst to me it's a common allergen and generally unhealthy, particularly in processed form.

So dairy went. Next up was nuts.

This again seemed progressive. I had a heavy reliance on nuts for a period of time and they were my only real fat source. I was beginning to gain knowledge around this time about allergies/food intolerance/leaky gut etc and went on a partial rotation diet, rotating a different type of nut each day. Consumption was still extremely high and I once again developed an addiction, digestive trouble and other symptoms such as increased anxiety and insomnia. This encompassed every type - pecan, walnut, macadamia, pine, almond and brazil.

And so they went.

I then had to consider my reaction to gluten. A home gluten test kit can out negative and an IgG food intolerance test came out as mild/rotate. Neither I believe are 100% accurate but it follows that I would have some difficulty with gluten if I suffer from some sort of gut dysbiosis. Again a tendancy to overload on carbs, a hangup from hypoglycemic days, was more strongly felt with the glutenous grains - spelt, kamut, wheat and rye. 

As I gained more knowledge, other things were removed. Yeast, tomatos and mushrooms, plus all the starchy veg that was swinging my blood sugar. 

Which pretty much leaves me where I'm at now with my current diet. I eat about 20 different vegetables over the course of 4 days, mostly rotated, along with meats, oils, certain grains (quinoa and millet) and seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin, linseed).

Most recently I've been trying to gauge my reaction to certain foods or combinations of foods, and wondering whether it's more psycological, or due to changes in immune function, changes to my environment such as stress and sleep, all impacting my 'tolerance level'.

Apple cider vinegar is a prime example of one of the unknown foods. I don't get any of the symptoms such as increased anxiety, insomnia or anything gut related, but I do feel i crave it somewhat. Most of my meals are bland and ACV really gives it a kick. You'll be hard pushed to find any negatives with ACV on the web. It seems to work very well for many.

so I still have some investigative work to do, but I have to be careful it doesn't border on paranoia.

Rather than the food simply being the cause I'm more open to the possibility of environmental factors increasing or decreasing my sensitivity. This does make the job significantly harder unfortunately.


Intolerant, allergic, sensitive or addicted?Dynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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Choosing a practitioner

With my ASI test results imminant, I've narrowed down who I'm likely to approach as a practitioner to 2 options.

Chronicfatigue.org is a non profit CFS center based purely on the approach that treating the adrenals will help with CFS. They have a couple of books I would love to get hold of as and the shipping looks reasonable.

Had a brief email exchange with the N.D there, and I was impressed with there knowledge of interpreting and treating the different stages to the ASI. He also seemed aware of the potential paradoxical and stimulatory problems that can crop up as a result of ones individual response to treatment, making me feel like I wouldn't simply get a shotgun of nutrients that will only go towards making me feel worse. The cost is likely to be low as well, charging per minute.

The UK practitioner Dr Peatman is my second option. No-one else to choose from in the UK I've discovered! If Dr Peatman was still a registered doctor I would be there in a heartbeat but alas perhaps for the greater good he now operates as a nutritionist. The pros are obviously a UK doctor using UK supplements and potential access for a face to face appointment if needed.

I am vaguely aware of the standard treatment program issued by Dr P and remain skeptical on its individualisation. The appointment cost is also likely to be significantly more, but the longer term supplement cost is likely to be a little less. If I was in position where I was able/needing to supplement with hydrocortisone I wouldn't hesistate in approaching him. 

At the moment I'm leaning towards the US option. Also helps a little that the labroratory I used for the test they are familiar working with.

My general health has been very poor since my 'emergency' 6 days ago. It must've significantly altered my circadian rhythm literally overnight, as since then I've been unable to fall asleep naturally before 3-4am. I suspect my cortisol levels have shot up and not returned back to any sort of normality. As I'm now having to get up for work, this means only a couple of hours sleep a night. As expected I'm extremely tired between around 4-7pm and have to resisit the urge the completely conk out when getting home from work. This gives me the best chance of getting some sleep during the night with a view to slowly resetting my body clock.

7 days and counting with either no sleep or just a couple of hours is both a significant drain on my mood and energy levels. Takes alot of guts to try and move on and not dwell on the decisions made in the past, especially when they have such an impact on the present.

Dear Santa, please may I get some regular sleep for Christmas.


Choosing a practitionerDynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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My Cocoa emergency

Continuing the theme of a fairly rocky few weeks, last night culminated in an extremely distressing situation. 

Cocoa is an interesting food. Some people sware by its antioxidant and magnesium rich properties whereas others report shot adrenals,  stimulation and a general worsening of energy levels and symptoms.

Broadly speaking its a significant step in the right direction when compared to your average western chocolate bar, which is mainly made up sugar, fat and cheap fillers. Proper chocolate is predominantly cocoa mass and cocoa butter, and some sugar depending on the percentage. It's simple logic regarding healthier foods - The fewer, purer ingredients it contains, the better it generally is for your body.

So I decided to experiment with a reasonable amount of cocoa, making sure to balance the intake with other protein and veg. The good news initially was it didn't taste addictive, or seem to swing my blood sugar.....

.....however, about 4-5 hours later I began to feel like blood was being drained from my limbs and brain and my breathing become more difficult and laboured. I still felt full and my blood sugar checked out normal so I started to panic. I began to shake violently and started getting very confused, worsening as time went on. So for the first time in my life I called 999 and had a paramedic come over to check me over. Fortunately it was a local paramedic and not an ambulance (or chopper!)  which I would've felt hugely embarrassed about.

He checked my vitals and everything checked out normal, blood sugar, pulse, chest, blood pressure, pupils etc, suggesting it was an anxiety attack of some form. Within the half an hour or so that he was round I did actually start to calm down, with the whole episode lasting about an hour or so at it's worst.  

So moral of the story is, stay away from cocoa for the time being. Whilst I would recommend it to those in good health perhaps looking to either wean from mass market chocolate or have the occasional small amount, the stimulatory effect is too significant for someone with chronic illness like myself. 

You live and you learn.


My Cocoa emergencyDynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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My old diet. Read at risk!

Thought I'd post this, to provide some shock value.


Pretty much my complete diet from when I was a child to 2 years ago (roughly age 5-22) consisted of the foods below. I've gone in and colour coded items, red for very bad, orange for bad and green for good.


Instant noodles, coco pops, corn flakes, rice crispies, sugar puffs, cheerios, golden grahams, weetabix, shreddies, wheetos, special K, milk, cheese, eggs, dolmio, white pasta, pastries, chicken pies, chicken kievs, mushy peas, crisps, tortillas, snack a jacks, golden syrup, chocolate, powerade, lucozade, red bull, Ribena, Vimto, Blackcurrant, instant coffee, tea, frozen vegetables, smoothies, baked potatoes, tinned beans, tinned chilli con carnie, pre packed sandwiches, mayonnaise, ketchup, salad cream, ham, cooked chicken breast (prepacked), turkey breast (prepacked), salad, crusty bread, porked pies, scotch eggs, salami, Cornish pasties, corned beef, takeaways - McDonalds, Burger King, kebabs, Indian, Chinese, subway, pizza, ready meals - chilli, tagliatelle, cannelloni, lasagne, risotto, carbonara, chicken tikka, chicken korma, Yorkshire puddings, quiche, garlic bread, tinned tuna, Ben and Jerry's, Bolognese, bacon sandwiches,  potato/pasta bakes, stir fry's + sauce, oven chips, instant gravy, chocolate biscuits, Pringles, peanut butter, lager, beer, sausage rolls, brownies, viennetta, hash browns, fish fingers, battered cod, hot cumberland sausages, hot and spicy sausages, hot and spicy drumsticks, croissants, crumpets, butter, bread sticks, hummus, caeser salad dressing, French dressing, nutella, steak, onion rings, potato wedges (+dip), burgers, chicken burgers, instant soup, hot chocolate, pitta breads, olives, fajita kits, tuna pasta bake, mince, popcorn (salt), coleslaw, potato salad, strawberries, apples, melon, cream, tinned fruit, cottage pie, cauliflower cheese, jacobs crackers, philadelphia, snack a jacks, melba toast, uncle bens express rice, malt vinegar, tinned pasta shapes, scampi, sandwich fillers, prawns, marie rose sauce, sushi, fruit/crunch corners, flake yoghurts, rolo yoghurts, Muller rice, parma ham, naan bread.


It may also come as a slight shock that I never exceeded 11 stone, for a 6ft 3 male. Where did it all go?!


Whenever I doubt my health I can take a quick look at that list and gain some perspective on the damage that has been done since childhood. I was bought up on poor quality commercial food and continued with these same choices through university and a couple of years after. Am I responsible? To a certain extent yes. I had no knowledge of nutrition growing up and I honestly though my diet wasn't that bad. I was certainly a marketing executives dream, devouring all the advertised garbage shown around the supermarkets and on TV.


Although I think the country is very slowly waking up to the importance of good nutrition, there are many people out there still consistently eating rubbish, and not necessarily becoming obese as a result. The explosion in allergies, diabetes and obesity are the obvious conditions, however more subtle problems are coming to the fore such as Candida and hypoglycaemia. Incorrectly administered toxic pharmaceuticals are adding to the problem which simply goes to line the pockets of these food producers and drug manufacturers.


My old diet. Read at risk!Dynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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Oh dear...

Unfortunately continuing the negative trend of blog entries.

So about half an hour ago, I ate the equiverlant of a whopping 200 grams of sugar. Short of putting a bullet in my brain, this is quite possibly the worst thing for someone with my health troubles to do. It was fuelled by an insatiable craving, and what were christmas presents for friends soon became presents for the evils populating my gut.

Naturally I'm fuming about it. I've not fallen off the wagon this much for over a year. I stared longingly at the packet for a good few seconds and reminded myself 'you have a choice' but still couldn't control the urge. This is the second time in as many months that I've succumed to eating gifts I'd plan to give to others. The first occasion wasn't quite so severe, gorging 2 agave nector based cocao bars from a health food shop.

And so I feel like I'm back to square one. The challenge has just become even bigger and that mountain is growing at an exponential rate.  Darn you nestle for selling addictive garbage!

Trying to think of things more objectively, I can make a connection that isolation and heavy computer use is a significant contributor to addictive traits. As my life was taken away as a result of this illness, I lack any real friendships that are deep and common, i.e.  people I can have a chat with or do something with casually, within my limits. As a result away from work I am pretty lonely, with the weekend being the most difficult time. 

Where do I go from here? I really don't know. As well as somehow getting back on track nutritionally I really need something to occupy my friday night and weekend that isn't watching films or browsing the web in isolation. The more I do it the more withdrawn I feel and the more likely I am to generate addictive thoughts.  

Sorry to post an entry of the 'rant' variety. Getting feelings out there usually helps and if anything the reality of my situation I'm sure can be felt by others.

I could use a miracle.

Signing off.


Oh dear...Dynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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More intolerances

It looks like I have more food allergies going on, to accompany a slowly declining state of health. I'm certain chronically high insuling levels are really causing me some problems, along with the intolerances.

So, I'm stood at a crossroads with about 5 routes to choose from!

- I've done all that I can to control hypogylcemia over the past year yet still feel insulin is high and blood sugar continues to drop regardless what i eat.

- I've been taking all the nutrients and lifestyle tip suggestions for adrenal fatigue, and not noticed the slightest bit of improvement over the past few months. I still think this is a factor as occasionally when my blood sugar is low and I wait it out a bit, it begins to stabilise, suggesting an adrenalin response. If I had the money to, I would approach Dr Lam with my case.

- Liver and digestion has been really poor recently. I felt I was making progress when I got into a routine of 2 BM's a day but constipation has reared its ugly head again. Liver is aching significantly, either as a result or as the cause.

A couple of stressfull weeks at work may have jolted me off course. I can't see that much else has changed to cause the decline. 

So I'm off all supplements for the time being, except enzymes in a bit to work out what I'm intolerant to. I'm also switching to a 4 day rotation diet, but hardly have enough foods to achieve the rotation. I'm short on protein fat options, due to being intolerant to all nuts and eggs. I suspect I may have developed an intolerance to sunflower seeds as well leaving me with only hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds.

So I'm pissed off, which is unusual these days as I try to intercept negetive feelings as soon as they arrise. My investigative options are dependent on money that I don't have and each and every day I'm loosing the energy to perform my job effectively. Money isn't the be all and end all, but for chronically ill people it can make a significant difference to either getting more testing or surviving without or with a lower income.

Supplement wise I have a huge range, most of which I don't feel confident about taking until the intolerance has been discovered. I've ordered some glycerin and will take a little L-Glutamine to try and ease the cravings. I'll have to build up slowly from scratch after this latest knock.

Grrr why do things have to be so darn tricky!


More intolerancesDynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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Fullness and sleep

 I've started to notice a shift in some of my symptoms which may be good or may be bad. The first is I'm waking up less in the night and able to sleep in longer. Waking up in less in the night must be a good thing, and naturally sleeping in longer I guess could work both ways.  I'm still yet to get tired before 12 which is the main aim and will need to think about ways to achieve this.

The other symtpom which actually changed a few months ago is the food, stomach, potential blood sugar problem. To sum it up, after I eat my stomach has that emptiness feeling soon after, from 1 hour onwards. I don't feel hungry in the sense I want to eat and I don't think my blood sugar is at fault. Even the most severe hypoglycemics I doubt would drop after 1 hour after a low gi meal.

 Adjusting the dose of digestive enzymes hasn't really helped. I'm also wondering if is an interaction between one of the supplements I'm taking, perhaps a paradoxical reaction to the chromium. I don't of course have any scientific reason to back up this chain of thought 

Anywho I'll be getting some blood sugar strips soon so I plan to measure my blood sugar over the day to see if anything abnormal occurs. Other than that I'll keep ploughing on and continue to look for possible causes.


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Television blues

The good news this week was I managed to shake off a virus which had troubled me for almost a week. It's possible it was swine flu, however whilst I felt like garbage, I could still function relatively well. I managed to get into work but they were a few of the worst days I've ever experienced. I'd had about 3 hours sleep between 2 nights. 

It's the first time I've experienced flu since becoming noticeably sick just over a year ago, and it took some determination not to reach for the ibuprofen or paracetamol. Instead I opted to increase my vitamin C intake and take colloidal silver. I was noticeably better after a couple of days however I can't be sure whether it was my bodies natural defences or the supplements. Perhaps a bit of both. 

 A good weekend with my friends and a lazy day in front of the TV today got me thinking. Handling my exposure to TV has become one of the most difficult challenges to improving my overall health. I believe a significant component to the cause of my poor health was directly and indirectly as a result of the effect TV has on me.

Examples of this include

- Vivid unrefreshing sleep. Frequent nightmares

Apathy and lethargy, unable to 'settle' the mind for routine activities after a long television session, including conversion with friends and performing jobs and tasks. Prior to becomming ill my diet would also suffer as I would turn to quick, unhealty processed foods.

- Stirring unproductive emotions. Emotions such as fear and sadness are often generated by films and TV programs, affecting the body physically, as well as mentally. 

- Implanting unhealthy perceptions of the world. This is more a long term thing that potentially started in childhood. We are constantly bombarded with images of perfect people, perfect lives and perfect products which we begin to crave, no doubt sub consciously. 

- I become more on edge, often well into the next day. This certainly follows when the mind is active.  My stress response is much poorer after watching TV and can 0ften carry over into the next day.

As my brain function is compromised as a result of my illness, these things and more are often amplified when using a TV and computer. The difficulty is we are surrounded by these gadgets, and I work in IT. Fortunately in the workplace I am in control of what is shown on my screen and the reality is writing a long email is not going to be as stimulating on the mind and body as watching a Saw film. 

I'd love to find some more research into the effects of television, mainly so I can help myself. I'm sure that is has an addictive component which I don't yet fully understand.

It's a shame because I can do the strict diet, sacrifice the sports, take care of my body but by far the hardest thing is motivating myself to not flop onto the sofa after work or on a Sunday and waste hours watching TV or browsing the web.

I shall continue to look for answers and activities that I can do at home that may help.


Television bluesDynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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Virus takes hold

Well it was to be expected really. There is so much going round at the moment that all it probably takes is walking into air that has been freshly coughed into.

So I picked up a virus. Couldve been swine flu or something more generic, I can't tell. In anycase the past week has been horrible.

I'm about 60% better after feeling my worst around tuesday/wednesday time. I've kept on my supplements, increasing the vitamin C by 2g to 8g daily, and I've felt this has helped significantly. I'm also trialling some 10ppm colloidal silver, 3 tablespoons daily for a couple of days to see what happens. Alot of people claim this can clear up viruses fast.

When I'm feeling a little better and get round to it, the original plan for the silver was as a nasal rinse for my post nasal drip. I plan to mix it with salt and water and use a neti pot twice a day to irrigate the sinuses. I also have in my supplement box wild oregano oil and tea tree oil. I sense I may need to be carefull with these, especially if used for irrigating, but it might be worth a shot if it turnes out my PND is fungal.

One more week of work then a well deserved week off.

Roll on.


Virus takes holdDynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS)


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