Our Diet

I first became interested in diet and nutrition in my 20’s when living in Los Angeles. I became aware then, that my digestive function was neither optimal nor healthy. I tried following the food guidelines in the mainstream, but never really felt it suited me. During that same time period in Los Angeles I decided to try a vegetarian diet. I really had no idea how to do this in a healthy way and lost a lot of unnecessary weight. My boss at the time was alarmed at my weight loss and questioned my diet. He suggested that I get the help of a well known Beverly Hills nutritionist. The first thing the doctor told me was that they do not recommend a vegetarian diet for anyone, however I was stubborn and wanted to stick to it. Her approach to how my body was doing was through live blood cell analysis. I remember the first look she took at my blood, it was bad. The blood cells were irregularly shaped and sickly looking. Not a sign of good health. The pictures above are from four different live blood analyses. The one in the upper right was the first one. The others show great improvements over several months.

After many months of regular blood checks, adjusting my diet and adding a lot of supplements we were able to get my blood to look excellent. I found it really difficult to maintain that status though. The last checkup I had with her showed that my blood cells were again, not optimal, but not nearly as bad as the first appointment.  Not much longer after that my health began to deteriorate and I decided it was best to give up the vegetarian diet. I went back to eating chicken, pork and fish but avoided beef.

When I moved from Los Angeles back to Seattle I went to a recommended naturopath to help me with severe acne I was having at the time. She uncovered multiple food allergies I had and recommended I quit eating the suspect foods and to try NAET to eliminate the allergies. I knew food allergies ran in my mom’s side of the family so I was not surprised by this. Over the next several years I visited my NAET practitioner and had great results with the treatments. I found that I could eat foods that in the past really irritated me. It was liberating to finally be able to eat foods and not worry that my “allergy headache” was going to strike.

So, here we are now, living in Costa Rica where food selections are different from the choices in Seattle. During the past four years of living here I have figured out how to make practically everything from scratch and make due with some things we just can’t purchase. Looking back, I think I was living under a false impression that all of the NAET treatments I had now gave me the green light to eat anything I wanted. That included a lot of sugar. My sugar intake increased so much that it was very obvious to me that I had a problem with it. All of my sacking consisted of something with sugar. I noticed that my sugar intake went up and up. This wasn’t good so I gave it up more than a year ago. Giving up sugar is definitely one of the top five great things I have done for my health. As I researched the negative effects of sugar a caution was given for those who quit sugar to not fall into the trap of replacing it with carbohydrates.

As I quit eating anything that contained sugar I found that I needed to replace those calories with something else, but what? What could I easily grab in times of needing a snack? How about homemade crackers? I found a recipe on the internet for wheat crackers and they were an instant hit. Everyone that tried them said I should sell them. I found a dense whole wheat flour at Auto Mercado and mixed it with some of the local white flour added some salt, olive oil and water, rolled really thin and baked. They were delicious!

I really enjoyed the crackers, so much that they were pretty much the only snack I ate. I looked forward to eating the crackers and soon found myself eating more and more of them. I bought another baking sheet so that I could make three sheets of crackers at one time. As the cracker consumption increased I noticed my digestive health was decreasing and I wasn’t feeling great all of the time. I suspected wheat was a problem so I cut out the daily breakfast bread. That was OK for a while until I noticed I had replaced the bread with consumption of more crackers.

It seemed the crackers were dominating my food interest. When I ate the crackers I felt really good, the more I ate the better I would feel. What type of drug was that? Then soon after eating them I would notice my digestion was off. I tried hard to forget the advice I read about being careful when eliminating sugar not to replace it with carbohydrates, but I had done exactly that and had to face the fact that wheat and sugar are very bad for my body. It was during this time that I found the Wheat Belly Blog website and discovered how bad modern wheat is. Most people can’t digest it and it simply turns to fat and can cause lots of diseases.

I knew it was time to give up wheat. But what should I eat instead? As my body was at the time I needed to eat every few hours or my blood sugar would get upset and I would feel crappy. It was just at that time that I listened to Dave Asprey, from Bulletproof Executive, being interviewed on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. I was intrigued at the diet he was explaining and immediately wanted to know more. I devoured all the information on his website and bought the cookbook. Things sort of clicked into place once I realized that I have been starving my body of lots of quality healthy fats.

Dave talked a lot about eating grass fed beef and about mycotoxins in foods. I was aware of grass feed beef but had no idea how much different of an animal, nutritionally wise, it is from a cow raised on grains. Research shows that grass fed beef is one of the best foods we can eat, that long with grass fed butter or ghee. I asked John if he was willing to cut back on chicken and pork and eat beef. He immediately replied, yes! He simply didn’t eat beef because I wasn’t cooking it. I let go of the last thread that remained from my vegetarian diet days and gave regular beef eating a try.

Something that made this especially appealing to me is that all of the beef in Costa Rica is grass fed and not very expensive. I quizzed our butcher about how their cattle were fed and finished and he confirmed they are grass fed and finished. Since I haven’t purchased beef to cook in decades I was unfamiliar with the cuts and how to prepare them. Quickly I found out that the cuts of beef here are very different from those in the USA. It took me a while to get a grasp on what cuts are good and which are so tough they can’t be enjoyed.

It has been just more than a month since changing our diet and I can report that by following the Bulletproof Diet, I feel great! I have eliminated all grains from my diet and now eat lots of healthy fats, beef, eggs and way more vegetables. I have found that the need to eat every few hours is gone. My body is still adjusting from years of a diet high in carbohydrates to one high in fat but for the first time in my life I really feel like I am nourishing my body. I lost a few pounds that were probably due to inflammation from the wheat. John has lost a lot of weight. We don’t have a scale so I don’t know how much but he looks the best I have ever seen him.

So far I am really enjoying this way of eating. Shopping for groceries is much easier. All of those hard to find ingredients are no longer needed. I found that the things I used to eat, but really never enjoyed are actually the things I shouldn’t be eating anyway. We’ll see how this goes. I’ll update you again in the future.

Comments

Paula said…
I was recently turned on to the Bullet Proof Diet by a friend. I and she also live in Costa Rica. I looked for grass fed ghee and was brought to your blog. Is there any place to buy it in Costa Rica. Where do you live? Thanks again
anwithanee said…
Hi Paula... I, too, live in Costa Rica... and I would say we are 75% "Paleo" observers (we're moving in the right direction). We exchange fresh eggs for fresh-churned butter from our dairy farmer neighbour, and I make ghee from it. Maybe you can find a local farmer to sell (or exchange) with? You can make your own ghee.

Hi Sally! Long time no chat... getting back to reading your blog and backtracking, too :) Hope you and John are doing well!
Hi Paula, I replied to an email you sent me. Perhaps it landed in your spam folder? I will resend it today. We currently buy Dos Pinos butter. To the best of my knowledge there are no concentrated animal feed operations in Costa Rica. The majority of the beef is grass fed which should include dairy cattle. If you know otherwise, please inform me. The two of us go through about 12 sticks of butter a week. I haven't found a farmer in our area that can supply me with that amount of cream on a regular basis to make butter, so for now we use Dos Pinos.

Hi Anne! I look forward to reading your new book soon.
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