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About jpketz

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  1. jpketz

    Don't over think this.

    Had to chime in and agree wholeheartedly with Robin. One of the hardest things to do is to keep an otherwise smart person from overthinking. And when you assemble a whole bunch of smart people (like this community) then the temptation is to REALLY overthink things and even sometimes "co-overthink" things. (©co-overthink. New term. Thank you). which may explain 4 pages of forum posts on the relative merits of protein powder and bullet-proof coffee (not together). Not that I haven't enjoyed engaging in, and sometimes starting, those esoteric discussions. I read a book a few years ago called "Younger Next Year" in which the authors break down their exercise and eating program into the phrase: "Move every day, don't eat crap". While I probably could have used a few more particulars about the "crap" I was supposed to avoid, the "move every day" part got me to the gym at 6:30 a.m. nearly every day for a year. Keeping it simple was exactly what I needed. Michael Pollan's now famous prescription for healthy eating, "Eat food, not too much, mainly plants" is another reductionist, yet amazingly helpful mantra that helps me navigate through the often bewildering post-W30 world along with occasional re-reads of ISWF. In fact I sometimes REALLYREALLY crave the simplicity of Whole30 because it was so simple. Even though I'm 90% on plan even now, it's still harder out here. So to all newbies...enjoy the "freedom" of having a well-defined set of guidelines for 30 days. Try underthinking a little and just enjoy the not eating crap.
  2. Just wanted to update any of you who have generously shared your thoughts and concern about my nephew that there is good news to report. He's just finished his seventh week of eating Paleo and is having some dramatic results; he's sleeping better, has his anxiety under control (no significant attacks since eating Paleo), has lost some weight (he's a big boy, former wrestler and football player who was pushing 320 a few months ago). He says he can now actually "use" his bathroom scale because he doesn't max it out. We didn't ended up having him live here or do much hands on beyond preparing a pretty expansive PDF with recipes and shopping tips for him (which may end up becoming a min-Paleo cookbook for picky eaters). Anyway, it may be a while before he attempts a W30 but at least he's off sugar and wheat and has severely limited his caffeine and dairy. And, the boy is learning to cook vegetables, which for a single guy who has eaten a "beige" diet his whole life, is huge! An adjective he may no longer use to describe himself if he keeps it up. But most important, the anxiety attacks/panic attacks are being managed with diet alone, finally, which is opening up a window for success.
  3. @CaseyD. Great feedback. Thank you!!
  4. @NatPatJen. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this. I appreciate the point you're making. A this point any movement toward a cleaner diet would have tangible results for his anxiety, I'm sure, at least in terms of frequency. When he eats a pound of cookie dough at 9 p.m. and then wakes up at 3 a.m. with an anxiety attack...uh..yeah...that comes under the heading of "if it hurts don't do that." The longer term solution requires a more solid commitment to changing his relationship to sugar and gluten, et al, and if W30 wasn't so effective at producing those results, I'd recommend a more incremental approach. But as they say in the book, "it's just not THAT hard". It's a few weeks of feeling like crap (probably not a lot worse than he already feels) but it gets better. And with all the support he has at his disposal, I think the resistance is part anticipation of an increase in anxiety, and part because none of this has become painful enough (hit bottom)...yet. And I'm framing this in "addiction" terms because I'm sure that's largely what's driving him. It's a Catch 22, no doubt. And it's hard to watch, not just for me, but especially his dad, his siblings, and friends. I feel a little like I'm bending some boundaries by talking about this so much in public but for me, this forum, and the comments I've received on this thread, have been tremendously supportive. It's great to be able to share the insights of folks who have a more intimate experience with anxiety, eating disorder, addiction, than I do. Well maybe anxiety. The other two, I know from.
  5. I should be more clear...I regard sugar and gluten to be interchangeable for the sake of most discussions. The fact that wheat turns to sugar in a few seconds after entering the mouth and that a piece of whole wheat bread has more of a glycemic impact than a Snicker's Bar means for all intents and purposes, it's the same stuff. For me, that Snicker's bar and a half a loaf of sourdough bread have the same power to create a binge. And I see the same pattern in my nephew. I think it's almost a slam dunk that if sugar is a problem, gluten is too, and giving up one without the other is like saying you're going to get sober, you're just going to drink beer. (I've actually heard that one more than once!) I complete agree with Kresser, btw.
  6. @katyroq. Thanks so much for the update. What you're saying further reinforces my suspicion that sugar is the culprit in my nephew's case, in all its forms, from morning bagel to after dinner cookie dough. And now, a fairly recent development, drinking in order to get to sleep, which is a setback, unfortunately. It's hard to watch him resort to short-term fixes that will certainly make his issues worse in the long-term, but there you go. So I've decided to keep on providing him as much information as I can (unless he asks me to stop), hoping that the old adage "Knowledge is Power" works in his case. He is making strides to clean up his diet a little, so there's hope, but the new drinking revelation is a step backward. Oy. Kids. ( I mean that in the nicest possible way ). Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I'm encouraged by your thoughtfulness and courage in the face of all this. Hang in there and know you at least have support from this forum and me in particular.
  7. @Kirsteen. You just affected my seratonin levels (sniff). Right back at ya.
  8. @xacerb8. Thanks for the update! It sounds like things are much more manageable. So are you still eating pretty much a W30 but with dairy added? The gluten finding never surprises me—everything I read about it supports the theory that not many people can tolerate it without consequences...even if they're low level and systemic. And reintroduction after a hormonal reset is such good feedback. You have to wonder if gluten's role in a lot of anxiety disorders. Great news about the Citalopram! Have you ever read the Mood Cure by Julia Ross? She's had some clinical success treating SSRI users with amino acid therapy, sometimes enabling allowing to them to reduce or stop the SSRI's altogether. As for my nephew...what can I say...he's 26. The long and short of it is he wouldn't commit to moving in, which I think may have been a good idea in the long run. We live only a few miles away though, so we're in close contact. Right now we're working on his nutrition, which he's improving little by little. I can't convince him to try a Whole30 so we're starting with a more Primal version of Paleo, trying to keep it simple and if nothing else reduce his sugar/carbs consumption. Of course I only move as fast as he wants to, so progress is slow, but steady. The bad news is he started drinking again after a good stretch of sobriety. He's convinced himself that he needs alcohol to get to sleep (he has bad apnea, a breathing machine, the whole nine yards) and of course drinking before bed is THE worst thing you can do to promote good sleep, but again...he's 26, immortal, yadayadayada. So, I'm trying to be careful not to be codependant and enable his destructive tendencies while still offering support for the positive stuff he's still willing to embrace. I'm in the middle of putting together a meal plan that will make it easier to shop, cook and eat a clean diet, while at the same time making it clear that his drinking may negate some or all the benefits. I'm all about "Information is Power" so hopefully it'll get through to him but at the end of the can't want someone's sobriety more than they do. Meanwhile I'm dealing with a lovely combo of young adult + alcoholic behavior i.e. not keeping appointments, staying silent for days, not answering email, etc. so (sigh) it's a work in progress. Thanks so much for checking in and please keep me posted!! Sounds like you're on the right trajectory...and I love hearing that!
  9. @Purple. Thank you for your insights and good wishes. I believe my nephew isn't on any anxiety meds at the moment but has tried Klonopin, Zoloft and a few others to no avail—side effects always outweighing any benefit. I've been encouraging him lately to monitor his sugar and caffeine intake and observe changes in his anxiety level. Coincidentally, he had a major attack at 3 a.m. a days ago after eating a plateful of chocolate chip cookies around 9 p.m.. No rocket science required to assume that a hypoglycemia-induced anxiety attack probably woke him up.( Interesting too that chocolate chip cookies contain caffeine AND sugar). Clearly, he's not in control of his cravings, especially sugar, so I've suggested that might be a logical place to start with some self experimentation and hopefully even out the blood sugar roller coaster. The Whole30 idea is still pretty daunting to him so maybe one substance at a time, a day at a time. Also, we're planning a weekend where he can come over and eat 9, compliant meals, get involved in the cooking, do some meal planning, even some shopping, then send him off with a plan—maybe not Whole30 right away, but a kickstart. At the end of the day all we can do is offer some tools and support, though. The rest is up to him. FYI...I agree with your description of anxiety. I also tend to agree with the amino acid/neurotransmitter connection put forth in the Diet Cure and Mood Cure by Julia Ross, based on the pioneering research by Dr. Kenneth Blum. I've always wondered why there hasn't been more funded study in this area. The results of amino acid therapy with Blum and Ross in their clinics are pretty amazing for relieving depression, food cravings and making it possible for some people to even attempt detox/elimination type eating regimens like Whole30.
  10. You make a good argument. I know his morning cup of Peets is pretty much a sacred ritual so if it comes down to that being a deal breaker... He may have to get used to drinking it black(ish) like I did, but that's better than abstinence. What do they say...progress not perfection? Thanks for your input @xacerbr8.
  11. @Kirsteen. Thank you! You guys (moderators) are so incredibly helpful. Thanks for taking the time to do some looking. It's all a work in progress so any and all information is appreciated.
  12. Thanks, Kirsteen. I realize in the general Whole30 scheme of things, it's an individual choice. In this case I'm more interested in caffeine as it relates to anxiety disorder in particular. Most of the feedback I've received on this post topic warns against caffeine as an anxiety trigger. @xacerb8 seems to think otherwise. Could just be one person's experience but I'm curious as to why.
  13. @xacerb8 Okay so maybe not a reality series but a business idea... When I started my Whole30 I had this fantasy that I had the wherewithal to hire a live-in Paleo chef to do all the shopping, cooking, etc. because I was truly stunned by how little support there is out there for anyone who wants to eat real food. And I live on the Left Coast where we supposedly embrace these "radical, hippie" food movements. When I shop I literally go to three or four different places in the brick-and-mortar world and a few online just to get non-processed, healthy, fresh, food and ingredients. Even at farmer's markets the non-organic vendors outnumber the organic ones about 6 to 1. So because I'm not Lord Grantham having a personal Paleo chef will likely remain a fantasy for a while longer (besides I do like to cook). And, it probably defeats the whole idea of "changing one's relationship with food" anyway. As for my nephew...we're still in negotiations about the whole moving in plan. Mostly because while my wife and I did Whole30 together, she's decided to continue but make it an autoimmune protocol (AIP). She has thyroid issues and gets nasty migraines. Whole30 helped, but didn't eradicate the migraines so she's thinking of upping the ante and going AIP. But that's a whole other story...or possible YouTube series. So I'm not sure adding a third party in the mix will be a wise move right now. Plus, since I do all the cooking, shopping and menu planning, it'll require enough major adjustments between me doing my "bicycle" version of Whole30 and her more restrictive AIP. Either way, we'll be offering whatever support we can while my nephew navigates his way through a new eating regimen, if he chooses. Maybe getting together to cook, or having him over for dinner for the first few weeks. I'm curious though why you say he "doesn't have to quit caffeine." I'm hearing the opposite from most commenters so far.
  14. @xacerb8. Thanks for sharing your story and being willing to keep me posted. I'm starting to see so many common threads in these posts. I'm also seeing that as with your 11 year-old, the anxiety around "deprivation", is a common issue, or what my nephew calls "anxiety about anxiety." The latest is my wife and I have asked him if he'd like to move in with us for 30 days to give him a leg up while he does a Whole30. He currently lives with his dad and neither of them really cook. He really wants to take us up on the idea but confesses he's scared to death that a radical change in his sugar/caffeine laden "comfort food" routine will set off his anxiety. So the challenge is getting through those first few weeks (which was hard enough for me during my Whole30) but may be a whole different animal with an anxious person. He is doing CBT and one-on-one therapy so maybe the "village" can get him through the rough patches to some sort of tangible, positive effect on his anxiety. From everything I've gleaned from the responses to this topic, I'm optimistic.
  15. Thanks to all of you!! This is great stuff and I'll be compiling all of it to make a compelling case for Whole30. Plus, I'm on Day 22 of my first Whole30 myself and although I don't struggle with anxiety/depression, (did in my 20's but not since), I do have an epic sugar addiction, which as of today seems manageable. So if hear a consensus in your comments, it seems that Whole30 has had an overall calming effect, while not necessarily a "cure". That staying away from sugar and wheat is important in most cases and that caffeine is a trigger almost universally, and the negative side affects of anxiety meds can be made less intense by eating this way. While these are all "anecdotes", my nephew tends to suffer from "analysis paralysis", so quoting science sends him into overwhelm. So this is all good. Real people, real stories. Thanks again for taking the time.