Brewer5: A Fresh Start


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I'd like to make a goal to take the kids to one of our state parks -- this is something we've never done in the wintertime.  I think we should go at least once a month.  Maybe twice a month.  I'll post pics if we actually do this.  I think we should.


Did not make it to any parks in January.  


This is not a state park -- but we did make it to a city park today, which we have not been to for a long time.  


The kids were like, "Oh, we used to come here and eat sandwiches from Subway!"  And we had a good little talk about how powerful those food memories are... how we associate certain places or events with certain foods.  And I said, "Today we make new memories here.  Ones that don't revolve around food."  


It was a good day.   :)



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Hi Brewer & all,

Just checking in. Interesting conversations going on here.

I'm finding my mood much improved & am thinking it may have to do with all the walking & sunshine. Whatever the source, I'm grateful.

Also - I ordered The Mood Cure by Julia Ross & it arrived today. I thought I had read it before, but no - I think it must have been her other book The Diet Cure. I don't remember it well at all. But The Mood Cure... Wow! Can I just say that I feel so so so hopeful after reading the first 3 chapters. I took the 4 quizzes in chapter 2 which help you to identify which brain chemicals you may be low in. I'm very low in serotonin & borderline in 2 other categories. And guess what? I have some ideas what to do about it! Basic amino acid supplementation. Anyway, I am so glad you recommended this book, Brewer.

Glad to read about your visit with your mom & that you had good & meaningful interactions with no need for wine. :)

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I am so glad you recommended this book, Brewer.


I was JUST telling Jess about this book in a private message ~ like, just now ~ and then I came here and saw that you posted about it at the same time!   :lol:


So I just looked at it on Amazon, and saw it is only $9.86.  I think that is a real bargain.  I have gotten so much mileage out of that book.  It is definitely one I recommend having a paper copy of.  I've got so many things bookmarked & highlighted.  It was a HUGE help in my quitting smoking, and just getting my body figured out in general at the time.  It is so much easier to deal with things when you actually have a clue what you are dealing with.   o_o


Thanks so much for popping in and letting me know that it is helping you!  That's awesome.  And yes, you are kicking butt with all that walking.  Congrats!   :)

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Here is the thing about tapenade and bruschetta:  I used to eat them on toasted bread or crackers.  I just can't find anything to substitute that bread for.  Without that crunch, I just can't seem to enjoy them.  Any ideas?  What do you use?


Well, I just finished the jar of green olive tapenade from Trader Joe's ~ and I can officially say I did not do anything crunchy with it, at all.


I ate a spoonful of it by itself a couple of times.


I put a big spoonful on my salad several times.


This morning I got the idea to put it in my eggs ...  I was remembering a great recipe from Eat Like a Dinosaur, where we made like little egg pizzas.  The flavor was very similar, but it took about zero time, compared to that other recipe!  So this is ghee, eggs, spinach, tapenade.  It's not something I'd have every day, but it was a nice change of pace.  Next time I will add pepperoni, if we have any.  That would be perfect.



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So ~ as some of you know ~ I've been experimenting with the Feingold program for our middle son, since July.  We have learned a lot, and we have seen a great deal of improvement in his overall mood and behavior.  When he is "off" now ~ it is very obvious to all of us that something is really setting him off.  It's no longer just same stuff, different day with him.  His new norm is much happier and easier to get along with.


Since we got Rocket ~ (and, you know, my whole world got shifted around  :rolleyes:  ) ~ we have not been 100% with his program.  It can be very stressful.  We are just doing our best with him, and that's fine.  Sometimes we need to tighten the reins, and sometimes we need to let them go a little bit.  It's been okay.


I've been doing a little more exploring on this subject -- beyond Feingold -- when I realized that they are allowing several foods in Stage One that are actually pretty high in salicylates.  We were experiencing some pretty awful times while he was eating kiwi, pistachios, and Brazil nuts, to name a few...  


Here I am, trying to teach my child "protein+veggie+fat" ... "protein+veggie+fat" to feel his best ... and yes, sometimes he would eat fruit instead of vegetables.  Anyway ~ I began to realize that, if my child is super-sensitive to salicylates ... and salicylates are found in almost ALL plant foods ...  Maybe that is not the BEST choice for him at all.


I had a lightbulb moment when I read this:


"Salicylates also have a cumulative effect in the body and build up over time, this means that a salicylate sensitive person may be able to tolerate a small amount of salicylates but will experience symptoms after excessive exposure."


That is when I started exploring, on that ^ site, as well as looking at the information on the Failsafe diet ~ which I had also seen people mention in the discussions about Feingold.  I began to see that, not only are some of the "healthy" foods we were encouraging him to eat on a daily basis actually pretty high in salicylates... but that possibly, for this child, less plant foods in general is going to be the right answer.


Two questions have been on my mind, which I haven't taken the time to dig into in-depth.  


One:  WHY is this child so sensitive?  Is there anything we can do to help him, beyond avoidance?


Two:  WHY does it help people on the Feingold program to drink baking soda water when they are having a reaction?  This may be in my materials somewhere...  If it is, I haven't found it.  Obviously it is neutralizing something...  but I'd like to actually understand it.  I reached a point a few weeks ago ~ when he was eating "really well" ~ where I began to wonder if I should just let him eat whatever he wants, and carry baking soda around with me everywhere I go.  ...Clearly, this is not the answer, but I am here to tell you:  Having him drink 1/4 tsp of baking soda, stirred up in water when he is being completely unreasonable does turn it around.


This entire experience has made me think, yet again, about how unique we all are ~ and how there is absolutely not a "one size fits all" program.  


I have days where I am so frustrated with my digestion that I think about going to an all-meat diet for awhile.  I haven't done it yet ... but the thought is there.  I can tell you that every time I have done a Whole 30, or even lately where I just try harder to follow the template and include more vegetables ~ my digestion is so much more unsettled... and I don't like it.  I didn't even have to think about the word "FODMAPs" for most of last year.  Yep.  That's the truth ~ my digestion was better when I was not trying to eat so many damn vegetables.


Remember the articles about Andrew Scarborough?


He says:


"I decided to lower my carbohydrate intake further and the vascular inflammation improved without drugs. Esmee had read one of my blog posts about my symptoms and suggested that I might be reacting to the salicylates present in coconut, avocado, nuts, and other plant foods I was eating. So, I decided to eliminate them as a trial and see how I felt. The difference was astonishing. The headaches and seizure activity reduced almost immediately. The saddened me because these foods were the primary staples of my Ketogenic diet and I wasn’t yet sure how to replace them."


Anyway, lots of thoughts all stringing together here.  I also wanted to share this page, which I thought was a good explanation of salicylate sensitivity, for anyone who is interested.


Some things that really stood out to me:  (Okay, I'll be honest, I wanted to copy and paste the whole page.  It's good.):


"Imagine having a constant hangover because you drink all of the time. You might suffer from headaches, back ache, aching joints and muscles, hypoglycaemia, allergies, brain fog, and be easily irritated. Imagine that some people experience the same symptoms – and many more diverse health problems – from consuming more food chemicals every day than their bodies can neutralise. These individuals often crave the foods that are causing them problems. Cravings for chocolate, cheese, fruit, dairy, wheat, and junk foods (i.e. foods that contain additives) are very common."


"Other people may find they suffer chronically even when eating an apparently pure and healthy diet of natural wholefoods. In fact, when these people perform a food chemical elimination diet they often find they cannot eat apparently harmless foods like broccoli or oranges without experiencing symptoms of ill health. If you are one of these people, because you eat fruit, vegetables, cheese, vacuum-packed or hung meat, or drink tea or coffee every day, you may never realise that your problem is associated with food."


"Enzymes are required to break down toxins or attach elements to them that help to draw them from the body. They also regulate and manufacture hormones, peptides, amino acids, prostaglandins, endorphins, neurotransmitters and numerous other endogenous chemicals in the body. The production of various key enzymes has a natural variation of something like 10-15 fold in the population."


"Food chemicals like salicylates, amines and glutamates produce many more diverse symptoms than drinking alcohol or caffeine."

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>One: WHY is this child so sensitive? Is there anything we can do to help him, beyond avoidance?


>I have days where I am so frustrated with my digestion that I think about going to an all-meat diet for awhile.

As you know, this is something I'm contemplating as well. Haven't decided on a "go" date yet, but if you want to try it I would try it along with you.



>These individuals often crave the foods that are causing them problems. Cravings for chocolate, cheese, fruit, dairy, wheat, and junk foods (i.e. foods that contain additives) are very common.

We say that in Whole30 too, I think? About the connection between cravings and allergies/sensitivities.


Man oh man, this is one of those things that I'm not sure I want to delve in to. :-/

Why? Well, Brewer knows because she's looking in to it, but for those of you reading: amines are in MEAT!



It looks like as long as you're not frying or really cranking up the heat, you can mitigate the risks.

Four factors influence HCA formation: type of food, cooking method, temperature, and time. HCAs are found in cooked muscle meats; other sources of protein (milk, eggs, tofu, and organ meats such as liver) have very little or no HCA content naturally or when cooked. Temperature is the most important factor in the formation of HCAs. Frying, broiling, and barbecuing produce the largest amounts of HCAs because the meats are cooked at very high temperatures. One study conducted by researchers showed a threefold increase in the content of HCAs when the cooking temperature was increased from 200° to 250°C (392° to 482°F). Oven roasting and baking are done at lower temperatures, so lower levels of HCAs are likely to form, however, gravy made from meat drippings does contain substantial amounts of HCAs. Stewing, boiling, or poaching are done at or below 100°C (212°F); cooking at this low temperature creates negligible amounts of the chemicals. Foods cooked a long time (“well-done” instead of “medium”) by other methods will also form slightly more of the chemicals.

Meats that are partially cooked in the microwave oven before cooking by other methods also have lower levels of HCAs. Studies have shown that microwaving meat prior to cooking helps to decrease mutagens by removing the precursors. Meats that were microwaved for 2 minutes prior to cooking had a 90-percent decrease in HCA content. In addition, if the liquid that forms during microwaving is poured off before further cooking, the final quantity of HCAs is reduced.

I like the idea of the pre-cook nuke. Mainly because the anti-hippie in me knows that a lot of health nuts are anti-microwave, and it seems cool to be able to say, see?! see? Microwaving makes it healthier! ;)

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kirkor -- thank you for checking this stuff out!  I have a lot more research to do, too, and I will share my findings as they develop.


(I don't know if I have mentioned it ... but the Feingold forums are like a ghost town.  I mean, it is really, really sad.  NO stimulating conversations going on there, at all.)


After reading through that forum thread you posted ~ a few thoughts:


1)  I have, just in the past few days, started giving him a Carlson Super DHA in the morning with his breakfast.  This was a lightbulb moment that just came to me, and I wish I had thought of it sooner.  He does not eat fish.  Occasional tuna and sometimes when I make salmon patties.  But I feel like we all need the omega-3 daily, one way or another.  If he's not big on eating it ~ we are going to supplement.


2)  I am SO glad I was able to have a natural birth, and also exclusively breastfeed for over a year.  I knew it was important to me at the time ~ but we are hearing more and more about it lately.


3)  So many things in that discussion reminded me of things we have heard from Dr. Perlmutter in his books.  Did you think that to yourself, too?!


Some interesting quotes:


"Also - I agree with you about this increasing problem. I see people all around me who get sinus congestion or insomnia after a spicy meal, for instance, and I know what the likely culprit is - but they won't even entertain the possibility. I think this sensitivity is far more widespread than anyone realizes."


"People are trying so hard to get their proper servings of vegetables, and then paying for it later...and not understanding why. And you're right...people don't want anything to do with SS unless they're totally desperate. There needs to be greater education...greater public awareness about this one."



And I will say yet again, I did not end up in the world of keto just because it sounded like a fun time.  My experiences in life have led me here.  There is a reason I feel my best with minimum carbohydrate.  Maybe even beyond all of the reasons that we all know about ~ the well-known benefits of ketosis.  I have issues with FODMAPs when I spend a lot of time in Whole 30 land... and I have suspected that nightshades make me feel like crap for quite awhile now.  I instinctively gravitate away from them.  That really narrows down the list of plant foods, doesn't it?  Add to that the fact that anything sugary (bananas, potatoes, etc) make me YAWN, give me brain fog and make me want to take a nap...  and, well, what am I left with?  Yep -- lots of fat and protein.


My wheels are a-turnin', for sure.  

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I listened to Jimmy Moore's recent podcast with Andrew Scarborough tonight.  (Just happened to come across it.)  


It reminded me of something else I just learned:  Coconut oil and olive oil are both listed as high-salicylate on multiple websites.  These are two oils we have used a lot with our son.  Of course!   They are supposed to be healthy.......  and they are also approved for Stage One of Feingold.   :unsure:

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^ Found a lot of interesting stuff here, leading me to oxalates tonight.....  Oh, awesome.   :rolleyes:


"It is hard to learn that plants previously thought to be highly nutritious, like spinach and field greens, are extremely high in oxalate. In fact, spinach and many nuts are also high in the poison, cyanide, and who told us that?!"

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Hey everyone!  I've been lurking the last few days because I've been working.  I'm back!  


Day 10 of my Keto W30. FBG this morning 79, blood ketone level 1.2!  Doing great!

Battling a migraine and some pissed off sinuses due to the Santa Ana winds here in LA.  Other than that, all's well.  

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I know I've got at least a couple of women who follow along here, who are interested in keto and pregnancy.  So I just wanted to share these things, which I have discovered recently.


First ~ Jimmy Moore is doing a new podcast, with Dr. Adam Nally, called "Keto Talk".  They are really short podcasts -- especially if you skip past the annoying commercials at the beginning and the usual wrap-up at the end.  


Episode #8 is specifically about keto and pregnancy -- and they ALSO addressed the question of how "that time of the month" affects blood glucose and ketones.  


kirkor and Karen ~ if you recall, I experienced this during my Keto Whole 30 and it bummed me out.  I felt like I must be doing something wrong, but I really wasn't doing anything differently.  A quick internet search showed me that blood glucose does rise around that time, which I assumed would kill ketones.  That was all I could come up with.  kirkor accused me of confirmation bias at the time   :)   (yes, I know, followed up by "I kid, I kid") ... but it bothered me, because I did not fully understand it.  I accepted it, and moved on.


So I was happy to hear them address this specific subject today.  Dr. Nally says that menstruation is a stress response -- there will be a rise in cortisol -- which means a rise in glucose -- which means it kills your ketones.  Temporarily.   ...Ride it out, folks... ride it out.


I have told people that this was my experience, and not to get frustrated by it because it seems to be normal -- but this further confirmed for me that it indeed IS the norm for pre-menopausal women.


Anyway ~ their website is not working for me right now.  You can find these podcasts for free on iTunes, or on the Keto Talk website.


While I was trying to get their website to come up for me, I came across this:


Maria Emmerich talks about keto and pregnancy with her clients


A relatively short post, with lots of comments at the bottom from people who have been there, done that.  I found this interesting:


"During pregnancy, women become even more sensitive to carbohydrates due to an evolutionary adaption in which they become slightly insulin resistant to allow a positive flow of nutrients to the developing fetus through the placenta. If the mom was more insulin sensitive than the fetus we could end up in a nutrient shortage situation. Biology fixes this problem by making mom a little insulin resistant, effectively “pushing” nutrients to the fetus. This rationalizes just how important feeding you and your fetus a nutrient dense ketogenic diet is."


And last but not least ~ here is the website of Dr. Adam Nally.  It looks to me like he has tons of information there.  He says he uses some form of carbohydrate restriction with virtually all of his clients, and he believes pretty much everyone can benefit from a ketogenic diet.

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Episode #8 is specifically about keto and pregnancy -- and they ALSO addressed the question of how "that time of the month" affects blood glucose and ketones.  





Serendipitous thread here... I was logging in to report the following - I'm a bit off the rails with carbs lately (fruit dinners crept back in) BUT close to 0 carb for breakfast and lunch the next day and by the afternoon BG was in the low 80s... Ate crap Saturday night and decided that life has to get back to normal now - I'm back at work after almost 3.5 weeks off and I need to go back to eating a little better.  So now its been 2 days now of low carb and no ketosis feeling (I can usually tell)... so this AM I checked my blood sugar (fasting) - 124!  Pretty low carb all day today (just spinach, 1/2 red pepper and maybe 1/4 of an onion) - just got home and checked it again - 110.  But, I do have my period.  Anyone else get unusual measurements this time of the month?  I've never had this trouble getting back into ketosis before...  weird.  

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My first thought is that it may take awhile for your body to clear out all of the carbs you've had in the past week or so.  Liver glycogen, muscle glycogen...  It will take longer, too, if you haven't been very active.  Also ~ are you consuming quite a bit of protein?  I hear about that from Jimmy & the doc over and over again.  That can ~and does~ drive up your blood glucose.


My second thought is ~ yep.  Your period.  


Seriously, please do try to find that podcast -- they are only like 10-15 minutes of info at a time, once you cut out all of the other stuff.


Edited to say:  STRESS.  Cortisol raises blood sugar.  They talk about that, too.

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I tried to find the podcast - the page wouldn't load :(  Maybe it will work now.  I have been listening to a lot of his stuff while walking the dog.  I found a place locally to walk him off leash and I just put on a podcast and go.  Great way to get in 3 miles :)


I was also thinking cortisol... Things are a *little* better these days so hopefully I have slightly less cortisol around   :)  Protein is ok I think.  I've been cutting down the eggs and meat and upping the mayo.  I really hope this MCT oil isn't poison b/c I'm going through a TON of it.  

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Ah, bummer.  I hope you can get it to load soon.  I just listened to #9 tonight, and it was about keto and hypothyroidism.  Made me think of you.  Are you hypo?  They said it gets better ~ it's all good changes, according to them.


Re:  MCT.  If it were poison, I'd be dead by now, for sure.   ;)  I've been using it for years, off and on.  It's OUT right now ~ I am not taking any chances, due to stomach upset.  I really believe mine is FODMAPs and has nothing to do with MCT, though.  I'm working on getting things back in order, and then I'm sure MCT will make an appearance again.

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Alright. So I've read/skimmed pretty much the whole thread by now.


I'm almost at the end of my 2nd Whole30 (day 24? 25? Can't remember for sure). I think I would like to try this out next.


You know how I said I get all those benefits you mentioned from regular Whole30? I actually... think I really don't. My mood's not where I'd like it to be, neither is my mental clarity, and I still crave carbs. I don't really crave anything SWEET at this point in my Whole30, but I do crave bread, rice, pizza, bread, fries, bread.... I see them and I really really want them. 


I'm especially intrigued by some anecdotal stuff I've read about keto for migraines. Eliminating migraines was a big hope/goal of Whole30ing for me, and it didn't happen on my first Whole30, and it didn't happen this time either, and I think I just have to accept that there is not one specific food trigger. That isn't what's going on. (I almost wish it would be so easy to just avoid dairy or gluten or WHATEVER forever if I knew that meant no more migraines!) So if Whole30 is not the secret for me, maybe just maybe keto is?


I finally did finish Why We Get Fat (which was interesting, though some of what he says seems very anti-Whole30...he recommends Hellman's mayo?! He thinks you can be perfectly healthy with no vegetables at all?!) and I am going to put Keto Clarity on reserve at the library.


In the meantime... Brewer5, is there a list of what vegetables are acceptable for keto without limits? I just really don't have patience for measuring and know I won't be able to keep that up...are there any veggies I can just eat without worrying about amounts? I've googled, but have found so much conflicting website says carrots are a-ok, another says they are off limits entirely....

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In the meantime... Brewer5, is there a list of what vegetables are acceptable for keto without limits? I just really don't have patience for measuring and know I won't be able to keep that up...are there any veggies I can just eat without worrying about amounts? I've googled, but have found so much conflicting website says carrots are a-ok, another says they are off limits entirely....

No veg is going to be "without limits" in the literal definition, but leafy greens are going to come close. Next would be the cruciferous stuff i.e. broccoli & cauliflower.

Here's a good list:

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He thinks you can be perfectly healthy with no vegetables at all?!



It's funny to me that you mention this right now.


Let me first say that I DO eat veggies every day.  I have done keto / ultra-low-carb both ways, and I won't try to fully explain it -- but, just, instinctually, I FEEL better with greens included.  I just do.  I think it is important to include them.


But as far as the LARGE variety "of the rainbow" on a daily basis... do I feel that it is necessary for me to feel my best?  No, I don't.  I have had to avoid many things due to FODMAP issues...  I have not been a big fan of fruit for many years, starting with a Candida diet ~14 years ago.  I have zero problem excluding it.  I don't miss it at all... in any way.


If you think about what was realistically available to our ancestors on a daily basis, well...  it was NOT what is available for us to gorge on every day in our grocery stores now.


I was just listening to Jimmy Moore's new podcast the other day, and this subject came up.  What they had to say was interesting.    

That can be found here.  It's short, and worth a listen.  


– How do you get enough vegetables on your ketogenic diet?

– Why you don’t need as much fiber when you eat low-carb

– The other ways you can get vitamins besides vegetables

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I just really don't have patience for measuring and know I won't be able to keep that up...are there any veggies I can just eat without worrying about amounts? I've googled, but have found so much conflicting website says carrots are a-ok, another says they are off limits entirely....


I'm sorry I forgot to answer this last night.  kirkor's got you covered with the excellent list of carb content of veggies, so you can get an idea of how they compare.  You'll see that carrots are pretty far down the list ... meaning that there are a lot of other, lower-carb choices ahead of them.


But I also wanted to add that I do not measure my vegetables in any way.  I eat greens freely.  Lots of them, and a good variety of them.  Broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, and asparagus are things that I would eat pretty freely, if they did not cause any FODMAP issues.  But they do.  So they are limited.

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I hear you, Brewer5. One thing I'm becoming more and more skeptical about it the more I read and the more people I hear from is whether there is such a thing as the ideal diet. It really seems like this is one area of life where different things work for different people. 


I'm just feeling very resistant to the idea of restricting the amount of VEGETABLES I eat. It just seems so....sad. Truth be told, I tend to anyway eat to the lower end of the veggie recommendations (probably 1-2 cups per meal, not 3+). I'm glad to hear you don't does that mean that if I basically follow the templates, have a palm-size portion of protein and fill the rest of my plate with veggies, I don't have to worry about measuring if I stick to the lower-carb end of the list?


It just seems so crazy for carrots and butternut squash to be demons. Just hard to wrap my head around. Doesn't Melissa Hartwig have an article where she writes that worrying about the sugar content in carrots is the road to Crazytown? ....or something like that.


Then again, if I'm going to be honest with myself, the basic Whole30 did NOT give me the results I wanted. And this is my second time around, and when I go back and reread what I wrote after my first round, my feelings were similar.


(The other thing that's holding me back is that I do NOT like leafy greens. I know, I know...I probably just have to get over myself. I just can't find a way that I enjoy them...raw, cooked, neither way appeals to me. I do like romaine lettuce...that's about it though.)

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Right, that's the one.


But if someone says they just feel better without starchy vegetables, I really can't argue with that. That's why I want to do this as an see if maybe this is what my body needs since what I've tried in the past hasn't really worked. 


Still hard to wrap my head around the idea though.

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