Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challenge

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Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challenge

Postby SecretAgentMan on July 17th, 2013, 12:17 pm

So the diet subject has recently become a hot topic again. I know from my experience that a diet change was a necessary and beneficial step in my healing and recovery process. I am one of the few who considers themselves fully cured of BFS. I don't attribute my success to any one specific thing, but more a multitude of things including diet, supplements, dietary changes, and stress/fear management among others. Many lifestyle changes were necessary for me to get to where I am today. While I don't believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to getting well, I also believe that a great majority of people here could benefit from a dietary change.

I was thinking that perhaps if a group of people decided to get together and do an experiment together (maybe 2 weeks?) we could track our success rate, compare notes, and most importantly support each other in a difficult undertaking. Giving up certain foods is challenging, as foods are a comfort for many of us. Comparing notes is important too because many times foods contain ingredients that we just aren't aware of. For example, someone may think they are avoiding gluten and take a vitamin supplement that contains gluten as a filler, or eat oats rolled in wheat flour, or eat a can of Campbell's tomato soup which also contains gluten. It's in a lot of things we never suspect and may not even think of checking the label for. Also, certain people may have inflammatory foods that they would never suspect, like nightshade vegetables. Who'd think a vegetable can cause them problems? It took me forever to learn that potatoes were a nightshade. There's a wealth of knowledge that can be shared.

So, what do you guys think? Is there any interest from anyone who's been on the fence and wants to see if they can have success where others have recently discovered relief? If you're not interested that is fine. Nobody's forcing anything on anyone here. If there is genuine interest I can start trying to pull some information together that might make it easier for people to try. Thanks!
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby aztwitchy on July 17th, 2013, 12:28 pm

great idea and for sure a positive activity many on this board should try.
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby muppetdog on July 17th, 2013, 2:11 pm

I'd be down
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby johnnythejet on July 17th, 2013, 3:10 pm

I've had over 8 years of experiments and challenges so I'll pass, but sounds like a fun idea!
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby BFSBurger on July 17th, 2013, 3:50 pm

What would be different about this experiment?

1) It would be conducted by someone who actually knows what they're doing.
2) Has education on the proper way to conduct it.
3) And duration would be significant enough to allow for change to occur.

Three very important aspects of an accurately conducted experiment.

Im in!

-Burger-
How I resolved my BFS within 1 year of onset:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=19128
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby SecretAgentMan on July 17th, 2013, 4:22 pm

Let's have some fun with this. :)

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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby johnnythejet on July 17th, 2013, 5:13 pm

BFSBurger wrote:What would be different about this experiment?

I hope I was never so careless with my assumptions back in my newbie days.
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby aztwitchy on July 17th, 2013, 5:47 pm

johnnythejet wrote:
BFSBurger wrote:What would be different about this experiment?

I hope I was never so careless with my assumptions back in my newbie days.


I feel like youre making an assumption now....that assumption being everyone's "BFS" is isolated to anxiety. I'm curious why discourage people from trying to experiment with their diet? will it work for everyone? of course not...will it work for some? maybe! and imagine the relief those whose symptoms are greatly diminshed by diet changes.

I respect you have been dealing with your particular symptoms for years and years and you seem to have moved on and want to help others and I understand diet did zero for you. But there is zero harm in experimenting with your diet.

I am embarrassed to say I have seen almost every type of doctor I could think of that might have answers. Most wanted to throw anxiety meds at me which I took and you know what....all of those meds made me worse not better. Diet changes instructed by my NMD were the first move in the right direction for me personally...I hope others are willing to at least try.

on top of that lets assume BFS is entirely rooted in anxiety...I can link multiple studies that show anxiety is directly impacted by diet and specifically sugar intake. There are numerous scientists and doctors starting to realize how huge our diet impacts our systems. If you have a chronic condition one of the first lines of defense is to correct your diet.

Please don't mistake this for being a personal attack...its not....I just want others to not be persuaded away from trying this...we have 5 members that I know of on my limited time here that have been greatly helped by diet changes..I'm sure there will be others if they are willing to try.
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby johnnythejet on July 17th, 2013, 6:26 pm

aztwitchy wrote:
johnnythejet wrote:
BFSBurger wrote:What would be different about this experiment?

I hope I was never so careless with my assumptions back in my newbie days.


I feel like youre making an assumption now.....

Not at all. I was just pointing out that someone was presuming to know the merits, or lack thereof, of my experimentation with diet over my 8 years of BFS. I apologize for any confusion. In no way was I making judgments on any experiments you or others may partake in. Actually, the only comment I made was that your experiment sounded fun. :)
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby BFSBurger on July 17th, 2013, 10:12 pm

Anyways, lets not let this thread get hijacked by people who want to interject unsolicited pessimism. If food modifications hadn't proven to be monumentally influential for us, we wouldn't be here discussing it. So its not really up for debate. Its a proven fact in our lives. I think people are excited about it. And want to share it. I know that's why I am here. If I had tried this method and it didn't work, I would probably want to know how my experiments were different from those who saw success. Maybe I'd try them again and see if I have any better luck this time around. But that's just me.

I think we all know for a fact that diet changes are the hardest changes to make, and the least adhered-to. So I am not surprised that some feel they've tried it and it didn't work. I know how hard this was for me, and how long it took, without cheating. The only way I managed to pull it off was because of my extreme discomfort in my own body. My extreme disgust with my life having changed so dramatically against my will. My extreme desire to feel normal again. Without that, I would have probably given it a half-*ssed shot, saw no results, and called it a waste of time.

I'm not sure how we will impart this motivation to others over the internet. It has to be within them already. The propensity for extreme discipline is also part of the requirement. Each person will be very different in this regard.

-Burger-
How I resolved my BFS within 1 year of onset:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=19128
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby chicagobfs on July 17th, 2013, 11:12 pm

I would love to join! Let me know when do we start
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby johnnythejet on July 18th, 2013, 7:53 am

BFSBurger wrote:Anyways, lets not let this thread get hijacked by people who want to interject unsolicited pessimism. If food modifications hadn't proven to be monumentally influential for us, we wouldn't be here discussing it. So its not really up for debate. Its a proven fact in our lives. I think people are excited about it. And want to share it. I know that's why I am here. If I had tried this method and it didn't work, I would probably want to know how my experiments were different

I wonder if I used the term "fact" so loosely back in my newbie days as well.
Like I said, playing with some experiments sounds like a fun idea (unsolicited optimism). I fully expect most to report supportive results.
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby SecretAgentMan on July 18th, 2013, 8:00 am

chicagobfs wrote:Let me know when do we start


I figured I would leave this thread out there for a while to give interested parties time to see it. Some people log on to the site only a few times a week or less so I wanted to give them ample time to become aware. Maybe we can shoot for starting this coming Monday, the 22nd? If you think we should leave more time let me know. I'm kind of winging it here. I just know that I am happy to see so much interest in the diet subject and I thought a coordinated group effort might not only get a few more folks on board, but help everyone through a difficult change in lifestyle. I cannot promise it will be easy, but I can promise you will have support. As strict as the diet may start out, trust a veteran who has been through it when I say that you won't have to eat so strictly forever. Try this for 2 weeks and if you feel a noticeable improvement, stick it out for a few months and when you are healed you can begin to work foods back in (only this time in moderation).

Anyway, I'm going to start putting together a list of dietary recommendations based on my own experiences. People will be able to cater it to their liking, but I would caution that although gluten is the main subject most of the time it is not the only inflammatory food that may be causing you problems. There are many likely trigger foods in your diet. The stricter you start out, the more you can guarantee positive results. For example, if you cut out gluten but decide not to give up dairy, you may be including an inflammatory food in your diet still that causes your symptoms to progress. At the end of the two weeks you may decide it didn't work, when in reality you never eliminated all the inflammatory foods to give your digestive and immune system time to step down from 'red alert.'

I'm looking forward to this. Hopefully we have more come on board.
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby SecretAgentMan on July 18th, 2013, 11:14 am

Here's what I was thinking...

Diet Experiment Guidelines

Rotational Diet
If possible I’d like as many participants to make this a ‘rotational diet.’ By rotational diet I mean that after you eat a food, you will not eat that food again until 72 hours later. For example, if you eat corn for dinner you avoid corn or foods with corn in them until 72 hours later. Rotate meats, vegetables, and fruits as much as you can.

Reasons for a Rotational Diet
When a food is inflammatory it causes your body to go on ‘red alert’ and you may even be making anti-bodies for your immune system to target that food. Many people think that if you have a food sensitivity or allergy that you would know because you’d break out in a rash or something. The symptoms of a food sensitivity or allergy do not have to be this obvious. I don’t even think the twitching is a direct result of the inflammatory foods. I believe it was just a symptom of my body being overly stressed having to deal with a hyperactive immune system, so it was more of an indirect symptom rather than a direct symptom.

One of the strong benefits of the rotational diet is that it allows you to more easily rule out foods that are OK to eat and single out inflammatory foods. If you notice an uptick in twitches one day all you have to do is look at what you ate in the last 24 hours. If you don’t figure it out right away, you can eat those foods one at a time until you verify what it was that was causing you problems. By avoiding foods 72 hours after you ate it, you can actually prevent your immune system from learning to target new foods too. I hope this makes sense.

Food Journal
If you can keep a recorded journal of everything you eat. The rotational diet would have little value if you do not do this. It can be hard to remember what you ate yesterday let alone the day before. If you go from memory alone you will likely slip up and will lose the advantages that a rotational diet brings. Having a food journal also allows you to go back and look at what you ate previously if you have an uptick in symptoms. It makes it much easier to narrow down what the culprit trigger food may be.

Caveman/Paleo Diet
Rather than going into all the foods that it is ideal to avoid it is much simpler to just lay out some simple guidelines on the types of foods you should be eating. The caveman or paleo diet is fairly simple where you focus on eating meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. I would of course strongly recommend sticking with cage free, anti-biotic free, and hormone free meats and fish as well as organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Natural spices, herbs, and seasonings should be your replacement for condiments like ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, butter, etc. Fresh squeezed lemon makes a great salad dressing substitute by the way.

There are just a few exceptions to the caveman/paleo diet that you should avoid. First of all the only grains you should eat would be brown rice. It is recommended that you avoid pork meat products. This includes ribs, pork chops, ham, bacon and sausage (these are usually treated with sugars anyway), and hot dogs (highly processed). For vegetables it is highly recommended that you avoid the nightshade variety. This includes tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, and eggplant. Nightshades are unfortunately often a source of inflammation and should be avoided initially. After you have been on the diet for a few weeks you can try working them in one at a time and listening to your body to see how you feel. Avoid them at first altogether though. Lastly I would like to caution you about cooking oils. It is something I overlooked at first, but ended up being an important factor. Because I could not use butter or butter substitutes on my frying pan I started using olive and canola oil. Oils are more natural right? Unfortunately I did not realize at the time that a great many of the cooking oils sold in stores for whatever reason are actually inflammatory or toxic. I managed to find a brand of olive oil that was actually good (Carapelli organic extra virgin olive oil), so this is what I use now. If it is not available near you pay careful attention to how you feel after eating foods cooked in that oil. If you are reacting to something you ate, don’t rule out the cooking oil as a potential candidate.

Reasons for Caveman/Paleo Diet
Why does the digestive system one day just decide to get all bent out of shape when we eat certain foods? What causes our immune system to just decide to start making anti-bodies to target the very sustenance we eat to nourish ourselves? Why on Earth does what we eat actually cause neurological symptoms? My favorite theory that neatly explains all of this is a condition known as ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’ and it is a gradual process that happens over years. Regardless of the reasons why, the honest truth is that the average food we eat is often nowhere near as healthy as advertised. The stuff that we already know isn’t good for us is even worse. Processed foods are far too often devoid of any real nutrition and loaded with artificial ingredients, preservatives, GMO produce, too much sugar/high fructose corn syrup, and even toxins. The natural vitamins, enzymes, and proteins that our bodies really need just are not there. It is no wonder our digestive systems get thrown out of balance and result in a body wide crisis after going on for so long unaddressed.

The caveman/paleo diet may seem bland at first, but its strength is its simplicity. It brings you back to the basics. You get your protein from your meats and your vitamins and enzymes from your fresh fruits and vegetables. Some folks may not be able to handle the low carbs in which case you may need to work in some organic potatoes. If you must do this, rotate them if you can though so you can get an indication if they are a problem spot for you. There may be other natural sources of carbs that may work but I have not investigated this much.

It is important to stay focused on having fun with this diet. Take it as an opportunity to explore exotic meats and vegetables you never really ate before. Try new fish out. I remember going to the world market nearby and buying ground buffalo, ground goat meat, lamb, rabbit, duck, and all kinds of exotic fish. There was so much more meat than just the average beef and chicken that we typically eat. Get creative with the spices and herbs. If you spend all of your time focusing on what you miss eating you will just make yourself miserable. You have a choice in how to perceive this experience. Choose to make it fun and you will have some fun. I remember that peaches and apples never tasted so sweet. Sweet potatoes (not a nightshade!) and sweet corn also tasted incredibly sweet. I actually started to crave healthy foods after a while and missed the overly sugary junk I used to eat less and less.

Beverages
Again, it is much easier to just say what you should be drinking rather than what to avoid. A great majority of what you drink should be water. To be more specific, I’d recommend spring water. Other than that you can work in a cup of herbal tea, but please ensure it is naturally caffeine free (green tea is not). I know some people talk about Gatorade but I would avoid this just because of the sugar.

Beverage Rationale
The reason I recommend spring water is this… Tap water contains a multitude of toxins and chemicals that contribute to the inflammation of the intestines, which is the very thing causing many people’s woes here in the first place. Filtering tap water simply doesn’t cut it. You are still getting the chlorine, fluoride, and toxins missed at the water treatment facility. Bottled drinking water is really just filtered tap water in a bottle, so same difference. Distilled or reverse osmosis water is a vacuum and will actually rob your body of trace minerals that it needs to stay healthy. That basically leaves spring water. Yes its purity and cleanliness depends on the source, but this is by far the best option. Spring water is naturally filtered by the Earth which does a far better job than any waste water treatment facility. Spring water also is replenished with calcium and trace minerals that contribute to our health. If you drink lots of good spring water, you won’t need milk for your calcium. Here in Ohio I have found the Ice Mountain spring water from PA and MI springs and Meijer spring water from Grand Rapids, MI springs are all good.

We want to avoid alcohol because it is a catalyst for disharmony in the digestive system. Alcohol easily converts into a sugar and feeds candida, just like grains do. Candida is the yeast that displaces probiotics and irritates the lining of the intestines causing them to not function properly. The intestine walls are the biggest line of defense between what you put into your mouth and what makes it into your blood stream. When complex proteins make it past this line of defense the immune system, which is mostly located in the gut, it learns to target those foods and goes on the offensive. You may not manifest physical symptoms but the neurological twitching can be interpreted as a sign that your body is under stress because your immune system and detox organs are in full gear.

Herbal teas like anything else should be rotated. Some teas may actually contain inflammatory ingredients or toxins. It’s the nature of the world we live in. Just listen to your body and recognize that the tea you drink is a potential candidate for inflammation. Nothing is off the table here.

Recommendations
Personally I would have a cup of herbal tea and some fruit for breakfast in the mornings. Occasionally I would have scrambled eggs or gluten free oatmeal with fruit mixed in. For lunch I would have a meat/fish and a vegetable. For dinners I would have a different meat/fish, a vegetable, and a salad, rice, or yam. I rotated all of these so that I was never repeating things within 72 hours. For snacks I would have fruit or sometimes I would make guacamole and have it with organic corn chips (non-GMO corn and no gluten or preservatives). Again, focus on what you can eat, explore, and have fun. You have a choice in how to experience this so you might as well make it a positive endeavor.

Questions/comments?
If your mind is your own worst enemy, why not make friends with it and turn it into your greatest ally? Mental discipline is achievable and there is help available. Learn what works for you, practice, and change your life for the better.
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

Postby BFSBurger on July 18th, 2013, 7:32 pm

Complicated. Difficult to conduct, manage, and track remotely, online.

Why not just have everyone eat nothing but chicken, veggies, and potatoes for a month with nothing but water or gatorade as their drink, and see how many comment that things calmed down?

lol.

After all the analysis and trial and error, (aztwitchy can confirm this) ... results were only seen after we had "bare-bones" the food intake to the most basic, basic basic things.

Once that had been done for several weeks to a few months, branching out could happen without any change in symptoms.

But knowing human nature, the easier the "criteria" list is, the more likely people will sign on and give it a go.

-Burger-
How I resolved my BFS within 1 year of onset:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=19128
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Re: Thinking of coordinating a group diet experiment/challen

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