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Valerie's Radical Mitochondriac Adventure

Discussion in 'My Optimal Journal' started by ValerieBee, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    How I found my way here (Meet & Greet thread).
    During my research and brainstorming on how to help my son prevent a cancer relapse, and to prevent other chronic health issues for myself and the rest of the family, I had an ah-ha moment. I cannot address all the toxins he will face in his environment. They are constantly increasing and too numerous already. Instead, how am I going to raise his frequency to make him more impervious to the toxins he does encounter? That sums up my approach to wellness--minimize the toxins, detox anyway, and maximize the strengtheners.

    10,000 foot view of my relationship to weight and food (my previous markers of "health"):
    Currently 5'7" & 180lb. I have crossed the threshold of obesity. I have some darn good excuses, but the time for resting on that is done. Before Baby #1 I was 165, my heaviest to date. Before Baby #2 I had implemented a lot of life changes and was around 135lb (and dropping). I'm on this mitochondriac journey to get back there and inspire the health of my family and whoever else is receptive.

    I was 120lb when I graduated high school. After college I was 130-135. I moved to SF, CA and walked almost everywhere and ate a ton of sushi. I went to law school in CT and went up to the 150s. I moved back to PA, my home state, and those subsequent stressful years took me to that 165.

    I carried baby weight after #1 for about a year then suddenly started dropping it. I attributed it to my life changes (combined with breast feeding)-I was already avoiding fast foods and most processed foods but I began eating even more organic whole foods, transitioned from low fat dairy products to as fat and raw as I could, and discovered Weston A Price. We got a Berkey filter to get rid of fluoride. Added fermented foods to my diet. People started asking me what I was doing to drop weight so quickly when I chose to stop eating gluten for a month to see how it affected me after reading Wheat Belly. I also dropped booze from my diet as a year long personal challenge for the same reason. In retrospect, I see the bigger picture: I was eating paleo without labeling it as such, and I was outside a lot due to cycling. This included 150 miles of leisurely cycling for 5 days on the Great Allegheny Passage with our 1 year old--15 to 50 miles cycling daily then exploring small towns or nature, away from a lot of EMFs and blue light. My body feels better just thinking about that vacation.

    In stark contrast, after Baby #2 I became caregiver to two immediate family members navigating life-threatening illnesses. Stress eating hospital food (and not turning down any meals that people would generously give us) turned into a carb fest for almost a year now, and there was no cycling vacation. And honestly, I wasn't remotely interested in abstaining from alcohol this past year either.

    All that said, I'm ready for the next phase of my life to begin.

    Details of note wrt a Mitochondriac Life
    Recognizing details of my life and preferences that elucidate my mitochondriac leanings-
    • Growing up, I was that girl that could eat ANYTHING and stay skinny. My dad called me a garbage disposal. I would actually pride myself on how big my appetite was. I must have been quite optimal then, because my body took a lot of years of dietary abuse--it was the 80s and 90s. McDonalds, Beefaroni, Velveeta Mac & Cheese were among my favorites. I was a self proscribed carnivore, though I would eat some veggies.
    • I disliked pizza as a kid, love it now (and I see why; hoping to reverse that preference again)
    • I love salty things. Love love love. I've never had much of a sweet tooth, even as a child (except for the phase where it was "cool" to just eat pixie stix and wash it down with mountain dew. It was actually a coach that encouraged us kids to do that... wtf)
    • I used to despise eggplant, but recently started adoring it. Somewhere around here I think I read we crave the things that are actually harming us...so I'm looking at the leaky gut protocol now.
    • I love seafood, especially crabs. My mother told me she craved crabs while she was pregnant with me and would go to all-you-can-eat seafood buffets. Oysters give me serious joy.
    • My body temp is generally low, 96 or 97 degrees, which I find interesting since I am clearly not optimized right now.
    • I've always had brittle nails
    • In the past I was told that sleeping next to me was like sleeping next to a furnace (but I am not now)
    • I always have high iron counts, which I discovered during pregnancy & confirmed with #2. I had to take prenatal vitamins without iron, otherwise I got wicked headaches.
    • I eschewed much technology. Wouldn't get a cell phone for the longest time, didn't want to convert to a smart phone. Got rid of my TV in college and haven't owned one since, except the one in SF that was given to me because my partner wanted to be able to watch TV while he was in my apartment. Tech and electrical things fry or goes haywire around me. Light bulbs pop, appliances randomly turn off or on, cell phones stop working, I sometimes get really creepy long and static-y voice mails etc.
    • My vision is different in each eye. I am nearsighted in my left eye. My right has astigmatism and is slightly nearsighted and farsighted. In my left I see more blues and in my right I see more yellows.
    • I stopped using sunscreen this year, despite being a pale person of Irish/Eastern European descent. I've gotten seriously sun burned in the past despite using the sunscreen. I avoided the sun, especially at 12-3. I covered up and wore sun glasses. Now I'm spending time with the sun rise and deliberately going out midday and I'm tanning with freckles.
    • Not sure how or if this is relevant, but I'm throwing it in here. I had a bad reaction to the non-hormonal, copper IUD. I bled for a week heavily every 3 weeks; I had serious emotional imbalances including rage (which was just dismissed as "normal" and PPD; I developed dry eye; I got a transient cyst by my ovary. I tried the copper IUD because I wanted to avoid hormones. So I stopped birth control altogether in 2014 and now practice Natural Family Planning. It has been amazing for my health on many levels and in many ways. It definitely helps move me back to attunement with cycles of my body and the natural world.
    • Get back to a healthy body weight
    • Heal my vision. Currently reading Take Off Your Glasses and See.
    • Return to daily ashtanga practice
    • Continue educating myself on the science here, which is so in tune with the spiritual practices and realizations I've had over the last few years. I'm beyond stoked.
    One Particular Personal Challenge:

    Meat. I know meat is considered a staple of being a mitochondriac and part of this tribe. I'm going to share these thoughts here anyway because it is part of my journey and perhaps others have been down the same path. After growing up a self-proscribed carnivore, my diet has shifted to near-vegetarianism. I have been on an intuitive eating journey, and I had been feeling called to eliminate meat from my diet. During the time I was closest to being meat-free, I was insanely hungry constantly. My partner convinced me to have bacon, and the hunger immediately ceased. I had been focused on protein (I'm embarrassed to admit, after all I've learned about protein in foods and in the body), but I realized then it was the fat I needed. I can eat avocados and nuts and olives all friggin day. But none of that hits it home like meat fat. I used to eat a pound of bacon myself every weekend (gotta love those grandparents "spoiling" you!). I am sure this is not surprising to anyone here.

    I do my best to ethically source the meat I do eat. I aim for only organic (though it hasn't been that way this past year with all the exceptions I made due to time and stress). I noticed, however, that I now get sick when I eat red meat--the better quality, the more sick I am. I can only surmise that my gut flora is now an environment to support the veggies and carbs, rather than meat. Sorry for the TMI, but good quality red meat now goes right through me. Chicken and pork are not as bad, but still gives me stomach aches and loose stool.

    That being said, I absolutely love organ meats, marrow, and bone broth, and I do not feel sick after eating those.

    I'm struggling with this. I am still working on wading through all the conflicting information about whether we can get all the nutrients we need without eating meat. I had myself just about convinced that I could, including B12 from fermented foods. So I'll be doing a lot of homework on this site.

    I have been eliminating meat from my diet as an intuitive journey. My body was giving me hints such as the only morning sickness I felt during my pregnancy was the 3 times I ate red meat, and the increasing stomach sickness. The concept of nonviolence (ahimsa) also resonates with me. I have legit concerns about the treatment of animals, and serious concerns about the toxins that can be found in meats. So how do I resolve this? Would I feel okay about eating meat if I knew the animal was treated well during its lifetime, and I could confidently know the flesh was as toxin-free as possible? I'm not sure yet, I'm still sitting with that one. I am seriously considering trying to meet a cow before it is slaughtered, then utilizing the whole thing. Or re-wilding myself and hunting some squirrel.
    ScottishEmma and Alex97232 like this.
  2. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    One more thing I want to add--

    Goal: Moving. I feel less well when I am in this geographic location. It happens to be my home town. After I moved away then moved back I developed "allergies". I have coughs/congestion that linger for weeks after a cold. I get colds, which I never used to. Once I moved home, my depression increased and reached critical mass. My libido disappeared. My weight skyrocketed, except during the time I was outside with cycling and camping all the time. This is the first time I'm living in a place with wi-fi (which is being turned off now). I also know we live near 5 cell towers and the effects cannot be shielded in the house. The smart meter went on our home a couple of years ago and as of yet there is no opt out available, I can only shield it best I can. When I travel I feel instantly better. It was easy to chalk that up to being "on vacation" or away from other life stressors. I now am confident in my intuition that I actually physically feel better because this house/area seems to be a nnEMF nightmare.
    Jill A. likes this.
  3. Alex97232

    Alex97232 Gold

    Courage. You can do this.
    ValerieBee likes this.
  4. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    Also forgot to add I recently realized I have diastasis recti, and way too much ab flab on top of that. So I'm working on realigning my core, and I know the information here will help with the ab flab. Even when I was heavy before it wasn't centered on my gut, it was evenly distributed. So this is a new thing.
    ScottishEmma likes this.
  5. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    Have been waking up naturally before the sunrise. I used to get up at dawn all the time...then I had kids. I know the sleep is so important for my well-being so I stopped heeding the call and slept in as much as possible. Sleeping in for me means like 7 or 7:30, but I thought those extra minutes were important. Revisiting the sunrise has been, instead, great for my wellbeing. I'll catch the extra :zzz:s after dusk instead. I was never a night owl anyway.

    I've done a 180 and I'm making it a point to get into the sun, rather than stay out of it. Loving it! I'm so surprised at how I'm craving it and savoring the light. It never felt good like this--my skin burned and my eyes hurt. No more! I read Take Off Your Glasses and See while sunbathing and earthing. I got some nudist outdoors time in. I'm cycling again. I take breaks to simply go outside and suck up the sun (barefoot of course). I went swimming...and jumped right into that chilly water! So many things I had stopped doing. It's amazing how we can lose ourselves doing what we "should" do. Go to college, go to grad school, get a professional job, have the kids, volunteer the time--"How DO you do it all?" Ugh.

    Prioritizing the de-EMF-ing of the home. Tech has always been my nemesis. Right now I can only get internet through wifi or smart phone data. I cannot figure out why the ethernet cable is not working. I will figure it out. In the interim, will shut off the wifi when not in use. Next stop, smart meter shielding and legislative action for an opt out.

    Attached Files:

    Phosphene and ScottishEmma like this.
  6. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    Have been joined by the kiddos sporadically for sunrise. I cannot yet bring myself to wake up sleeping children. Right now any alone time I can have is precious and restorative. Once the elder begins school this fall I shall add sunrise to our morning routine, because he definitely needs an optimal body to ensure no relapse.

    Our first mitochondriac sunrise together, was actually a really special time. He was calmer and quieter than normal until the sun broke the horizon. He rarely is still or quiet. We talked and laughed together as he cuddled up with me. Interestingly though, he said his eyes didn't like the sun. I wasn't anticipating that because he's outside so frequently.

    I have no idea how to rotate this image, but there he is, milk thistle tea with extra honey, and his legos. My little man.

    caroline, drezy, Phosphene and 2 others like this.
  7. ScottishEmma

    ScottishEmma Silver


    My kids are trained now that when Mummy shouts "THE SUN IS OUTSIDE" in the morning it's time to run downstairs and get out naked :) To be fair that isn't very often but the kids are now programmed (in a good way) that the sun is good and they should be completely naked in it first part of the day. I love instilling this in them, Their nursery is borderline insane about covering them up completely - even going as far as to put a long sleeved top on top of my boy's tshirt (hot!!!) so that he was completely protected from the sun.
    I've had to correct the things he is saying about our need for sun cream etc.

    That's such a beautiful pic of your boy :)
    Meli, caroline, drezy and 1 other person like this.
  8. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    Have been upping my seafood, and I love it. I rarely eat it anymore, even though it has always been one of my favorites, even as a kid. Amazing how many things you can let slip to please or accommodate other people. Lesson learned. Today we discovered my toddler likes salmon. This kid has been eating like a bird because of his chemo but he ate 5 oz fish today! He was back and forth on the crabs I made last night. My weight is down a few pounds just by living the sphinx life and hacking sun-time even though I am just carving out the little time I can. I'm knocking out all the carbs and sugars I can in a manner that is realistic with the demands on my life, time, and sanity right now. It is mostly no carbs or sugar, unless someone offers food and I am not in a position to turn it down. It's already making a difference. I mentioned above I am struggling with the meat idea. I finished Epi-Paleo RX today and decided I'm just going to go at it, full hog, so to speak. I can see so clearly that my food preferences as a child were mitochondriac. I absolutely loved seafood and meat and fats and salt; I never was much for pasta or pizza or sweets. I wasn't in the sun as much, but the more I learn the more I realize how I must have been super leptin sensitive. I also had a crazy high threshold for pain. I have previously done my own kind of biohacking, usually elimination of a particular type of food/beverage to see how it affected my body, mind and mood. In the spirit of biohacking, I'm just going to put my ethical thoughts about meat aside for the moment and just according to the Epi-Paleo RX rules and assess my reaction. I suspect I may have some gut issues, since my flora has now adapted to less meats, but I'm seriously upping the MCT and coconut oil, and trying to be mindful of the leaky-gut info here and in the book. We shall see.

    In other news, Momming is hard. It took me about 20 minutes and 5 interruptions to write this. This too shall pass.
    Phosphene, ScottishEmma and caroline like this.
  9. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    Nice journal.......love it.
  10. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    Cycled 30 miles yesterday with the family. Beautiful trail, flat but hella gravely. 10mph average. Not fantastic, but frankly I'm so out of shape and overweight that I was quite pleased with my performance. I surprised myself actually, because I actually enjoyed it. In the past, cycling was something I grudgingly did just to do something healthy, with the family together. If no one cried, it was a good ride. I got quite pissy actually when my Dude would tell me to go faster, go farther. I thought he should be happy I was on the damn bike to begin with, end of achievement. I'm relishing it in a new way lately. Was out in the mid-day sun, which I used to avoid like the plague. I can't believe how fast my sun sensitivity has flipped, just by living like the sphinx, avoiding sun screen, and tweaking the diet which has been awesome because I'm upping the foods I love and working to avoid the carb crap I never wanted to eat anyway. Got a little red because I was out in the intense sun longer than other times, but already fading today. Lost 5 lbs even with the sporadic light exercises here. I've learned trying to change everything all at once is not always the best plan, and is certainly not practical when you're caring for children and running a household. Face dunks are next on my list. I'm on a mission to find a good cold spring for swimming...... Looking forward to this trend continuing!

    Attached Files:

    caroline and Phosphene like this.
  11. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    Something is definitely up! Today a random stranger told me I'm beautiful, in a noncreepy way; I got ogled by a dude in a passing car..he paced me; then I just got carded buying wine. (Ok not paleo...but it is a dry organic red!) I knew better than to think age defines beauty, but I guess thought my best days were behind me. Magnetism isn't about age, or apparently even attitude, because I didn't start the day in the best mood. I'm going to embrace the thought that the present is sweet, and the best is yet to come.
  12. ScottishEmma

    ScottishEmma Silver

    I love this!
    ValerieBee likes this.
  13. caroline

    caroline New Member

    it isn't about age ....it is about light emanating from within.

    What a ride ladies!
  14. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    Ok on the flip side now. I feel quite yucky. Despondent this morning and fixated on the negative...and up a couple of pounds. What changed? This past weekend was my Little Man's 5th birthday. I let all the rules go as so many people offered cake I couldn't refuse, hoagies, or other refined carb-alicious "foods". Of course much less seafood and quality meats. (We went to an event for kids who have undergone serious medical treatments, and they knew it was his birthday, hence the feeling I couldn't refuse much, despite my tiny portions, then all the grandparents wanted to treat him and us, and we also went to another kid's birthday party...). After the year we all went through I didn't want to poop on anyone's party, so I just went with it all. I guess this was a slippery slope because I then decided last night it would be fine to have a couple of beers, and a cheeseburger with the soft white bun at a local joint. Seemed like a great idea... sand and open air style seating, in the middle of our local tiny metropolis, on the waterfront, as the sun was setting. Figured we might actually get to relax for a moment because the kiddos would play and we could be outside in the beautiful weather. We ended up chance meeting some awesome people traveling through who were also hippie-minded, so that is great. However, this morning I felt horrible. Not hungover, but angry, bloated, depressed. And I'm up a couple of pounds. I've definitely noticed as I've moved toward optimizing again with paleo and sunlight, I am way more sensitive to any dietary deviation. Or maybe I just notice it more because it is an island rather than a state of being. Nevertheless, the crappy feelings have kicked me back on track. It's a quick flip back to serious crappy carb craving and hunger.. so i'm simultaneously repulsed by and craving after I eat refined crap. Brain fog abounds, fatigue, bad moods. I've decided to be more mindful with a food and mood journal. I'll also work on having quick grab paleo snacks for any other upcoming events or other times people would offer me eats. I can't decline crappy food if I have no alternative. I'm not at intermittent fasting yet!

    I need to start hanging out with people who will offer me oysters. Hell, isn't that one of the reasons I was seduced into the lawyer life? The free food and booze at all those gatherings ain't too shabby. Also dreaming of returning to the romance days.... when my dude was courting me, he'd grill me filets and veggies, and we'd drink really peat-y scotch and red wine on his porch. And then he'd just let me babble for a while until. Those were the days.
    caroline, Sheddie and ScottishEmma like this.
  15. drezy

    drezy New Member

    Lots of people suggest lots of tests here. I have no issue with that, but guess what... I think you just gave yourself a redox test. Your subjective experience is worth quite a bit if you know it for what it is.

    I've done the same in the past and can point you to it if interested.

    In my heart I package up as much patience that I can and shipped it quantum express your direction. Bet you didn't know that I can do that. I even got free shipping. [DISCLAIMER If I end up the person counseling moderation to you then you'd better check that you're not on fire.]

    On the romance front give it a little time. Us guys have thick myelinization and, relative to your female perspective, often need air horn volume to pick up on hints. I'm 13 years married. I'm extremely fortunate to have been able to find an excellent partner. Life happens and dopamine levels drop if not maintained. Keep at what you're doing. The fact that you are noticing that you're getting noticed is a good sign. Your partner will likely pick up on this change too.
  16. ScottishEmma

    ScottishEmma Silver

    Hey Valerie

    Sorry to hear you're feeling yucky. I too have been knocked on my arse a couple of days but I've made the connection - CT + a lot of sun + wine = not good.

    As drezy said you're getting to know your own limits and test yourself as to what works and doesn't.

    Just putting this out there - could your cycle have anything to do with the switch? I know I'm my own n=1 but after ovulation I can tolerate a lot less physically... and emotionally :)

    As for the romance, aren't oysters an aphrodisiac? ;) I think as me and my husband (but mostly me) have started to get more of the sun and follow the protocols we're finding each other way more interesting haha!
    caroline and drezy like this.
  17. Da-mo

    Da-mo Gold

    On the romance front - I find people rise to the expectation . . . .to wit . . . . if you want a woman to be more sexual, make her feel sexy . . . . . Im pretty sure it works the same way for men too;)

    Billy Connolly said "Women need emotional attachment to have sex. Men need sex to have emotional attachment. We kind of have to sneak up on each other backwards":whistle:

    P.S. I have been married almost 28 years and we are still jumping out of our skin for each other.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  18. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    Lol I think I mis-spoke on the romance front. I want my man to start cooking for me again. :rofl: I prepare some damn good meals in this house, and he should do the same every once in awhile. We're in the Billy Connolly loop @Da-mo astutely mentioned.
    caroline, ScottishEmma and drezy like this.
  19. ValerieBee

    ValerieBee Radical Mitochondriac

    You're totally on @ScottishEmma. I haven't been as linked to my cycle as I've wanted to be post-baby when everything is shifting to its new rhythm. Been tracking the cycle just enough to know what's up in the fertility department, but less so in the emotional department. I planned on integrating the food and mood journal with the NFP tracking. Little Man has a CT scan coming up and provided that is clear, he's headed to school and we are done with chemo. Will be easier to impose some structure in our lives again and have a little more time to prioritize self care. But you are right, I absolutely have different tolerances and needs throughout different stages of the cycle. Monday I was so insanely irritable and desperate for some alone time I thought my cycle was 2 weeks off, but I suppose it was just the revenge of the cupcakes from the weekend.:mmpft:
    caroline and ScottishEmma like this.
  20. drezy

    drezy New Member

    I've got a killer quick 4 ingredient Thai red curry is he's rusty but still wants to bring the house down.
    ScottishEmma and ValerieBee like this.

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