Friday, July 6, 2012

Not Feeling So Great

I already mentioned that I've had a headache pretty much nonstop since I went off grains completely and changed to an Primal way of eating. I used to have daily headaches in the past, but they went away when I was doing Medifast and then also were gone for awhile last month. So I dunno what's going on here. Add to that the fact that all week my energy has been somewhat low (with a few bursts here and there), which I was attributing to lack of sleep. But last night I got decent sleep, and today I am just exhausted. I am so tired I can hardly get up. That's a problem since I have a bunch of company coming this weekend. I have lots to do in preparation, but both yesterday and today I feel really sluggish.

Some folks say it is "grain withdrawal" but I wasn't eating all that much grain to begin with. I am on day 8 of being grain-free, legume-free, sugar-free. I eat almost no processed foods. But I feel like I could go to bed and sleep all day. I am hanging in there with the eating plan, although I am starting to have my doubts. It hasn't been long enough to tell for sure how this way of eating is affecting me.

Breakfast was 2 local, free range eggs (over easy), a sausage patty made from pastured pork (it was far leaner than any commercial sausage I have ever had), 1/4 of a red pepper cut into strips, 1/2 cup of fresh local bing cherries, and black coffee. Lunch so far was 1/4 c macadamia nuts and 1/2 c watermelon. I will have some chicken and salad as well. No idea what's for dinner. Too tired to even think about it!

I hope this exhaustion lifts and the headache goes away very soon.


Jac said...

Two things come to mind: Are you actually getting the amount of healthy fats Mark Sisson recommends? I'm sure I've probably shared this link before, but just in case you haven't seen it: Maybe try upping your fat intake for a few days? An avocado a day keeps the sleepies away? :)

The other thing is that maybe your quality of sleep has increased so much, that your body is now craving more as a response to all the sleeplessness I know you've endured over past months. For me personally, when I get a great night's sleep after a week of being up with my kids night after night, I feel *worse* initially. Maybe that's it?

Hoping you figure out whatever it is and get your energy back!

Vb said...

Power through. This is your body adjusting from burning sugar for fuel to burning fat. My first two weeks into Paleo, I was SO. TIRED. Keep up what you are doing and soon you will have boundless energy being a fat burning machine. Reading up on anyone's Paleo site warns you about this point in time. It will pass. As far as the headaches, make sure you are drinking enough water. Your body needs a ridiculous amount of water to burn fat and flush toxins- like as close to a gallon a day as you can get.

Anonymous said...

Your body uses carbs for energy, so it's not surprising you are exhausted. Eating Paleo/Primal works for some but it's not for everyone.

Lyn said...


I did read that one, thank you. I have also been scouring that site for info on good fats vs bad ones, very interesting. Do you know if there is a set percent of calorie from fat that is recommended? Mine run about 45-50% but was quite a bit higher yesterday. I was craving avocado today but am out! I love those things. I also bought some whole milk (free range, local, unhomogenized) to use in moderation. The sleep thing is interesting too...


I really hope you're right! I have always had problems with energy levels. I will keep going and drink more water.


I get quite a bit of carbs, actually, just not from grains. Most of it comes from fruits, veggies (including stuff like sweet potatoes), and dairy as well as nuts and seeds.

Agreed it isn't for everyone. I am willing to give it a good shot though.

Anonymous said...

I so went through the same thing Lyn. The deal is, it takes more mitochondria to burn fat than glucose. Your body will only do the important work of growing more mitochondria when it is challenged this way. Its growing pains that are so, so worth it. Once a body is mitochondrially efficient then the sparks fly. Even long distance endurance atheletes can develope the ability to be ketogenic. My secret weapon was MCT oil. One big NOW brand is 20$. This is the most keto producing part of coconut oil. I still take 2 tsp a day even on top of the fats I have in my diet as my Papaw died of ole' timers disease. After reading Mary Newports success in healing her husband of advanced neurological damage I knew I HAD to eat this precious, free ketone energy for life. It practically carried me through my adaptation flu! Please do research on her story before you throw in the towel! The beauty of MCT Oil, is you can get ketones even while eating a non-ketogenic diet. Its heaven sent!

Jac said...

Lyn, from what I've read, the best way to manage your macronutrients is to figure out where you want to be on the carbohydrate curve, and eat that many carbs. Figure out your lean body mass and eat between .7 and 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. The rest of your intake should be fats - so eat as much as you need to feel satiated. Most Paleo/Primal-ers don't count calories, so it's hard to gauge an actual percentage. I do know of many Paleo bloggers who follow the Zone diet principals within a Paleo framework. Maybe looking into that would give you an idea of how to balance your nutrients?

Lyn said...

Thanks for the info Jac. I will do some reading and play around with it a bit. Eventually I'd love to not count calories.


never heard of MCT oil but will look it up. Thanks :)

katie said...

Mark's Daily Apple refers to this common phenom as "carb flu"..go to site and search the term for info.

katie said...

I just started Primal Blueprint two weeks ago. I spent a good hour reading through the Forums on Mar's DA site when I started. Check the Newbie Forum. What I learned there from senior members was "Don't Micromanage" your intake when you start out transitioning into Primal. Keep it simple. So forget all the posts about micro this and a newbie and get the easy right start on Mark's pages.

timothy said...

i really know nothing about this type of eating so this one's just a shout out and sending well wishes! xoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

How about vitamin b-12? that is important for energy...

available in sub-lingual, or... a shot in the derrière! (also can find b-vitamins in red meat, but not always the best source)

how about the fruits you are eating?

watermelon is high in natural sugar ... could be attributing to the headaches?

Grats to you for staying off the grains/legumes/ processed sugars/foods !! It takes will power at first, but once in the groove, it's much easier! Behind you all the way, sister!

I say, when a person is really ready, they can achieve their goals.

Hugs to you,

Lucy said...

Hi, not commented before as only just found the blog and still catching up on the older posts. I don't know anything about this diet, so I'll no doubt offend a lot of people, but grains don't seem that sinister on the face of it. They are a key traditional food group worldwide, but..anyway, that is fine, no doubt the book provides a framework for cutting them out. But it looks a bit low on fibre, does the book advise how to build that in? Anyway, hope you will find success with it but if after a thorough test it isn't working out for you, don't feel you need to stick to this method. I am going to look into it, even though I'm a fan of classic calorie counting where you can incorporate other healthy eating theories as much or as little as you like. You can be influenced by other methods, but still flexible. Also you can work in a routine of normal meals and snacks. But, I understand that you get serious needs for breaks from whatever method you use.

Lyn said...


good point on the fiber. I checked... only 15 grams today. another good reason for me to up my veggie intake! I will keep an eye on that. Thanks :)

Caz said...

You should read the GutSense website and Taubes for a different view on fibre (in a nutshell, fat is what makes you poop - fibre is just a crutch our out-of-whack bodies have resorted to).

About the lack of energy: it took me at least a month to transition from carby to low-carb/paleo. I know it seems like a long time but it is soooooooooo worth it. You just have to hang in there.

And I"m going to echo Jac's comments - you probably need to eat more fat. I only started losing weight (granted, I did not have that much to lose), feeling properly full, etc once I embraced the (animal) fat completely (a little part of me had been holding back).

I now eat a diet of 80% fat and keep my protein to its minimum amount. It may not work for you but you should maybe try adding in animal fat - fatty steaks, fatty lamb, ghee, fatty fish... fatty fatty fatty.

Like Vb said: Power through!

Lyn said...

Thanks Caz. It is a really hard mindset to change! I grew up in the fat-phobic 80's and while I have no trouble embracing *more* fat from healthy sources, the thought of most of my diet coming from animal fat is a hard one. I am staying open minded though and learning more about how our bodies work.

Caz said...

That's good Lyn. I know what you mean. When I initially switched over, I steered clear of animal fats. Primarily because I wanted to be able to track my fat intake and I just couldn't do that with a fatty piece of steak (I still have no idea how much fat is in there!).

But once I did start eating the animal fat, I just felt so much fuller and happier.

This is just my experience though and you obviously have to find what will work for you, but I would recommend maybe trying it for a while.

You should also have a look at Dr Eade's website - he has a two part series on how to transition to low-carb (I know you have been doing low-carb for a while but I think that Medifast low-carb and whole food low carb are two different things - maybe it would be helpful).

Anonymous said...


I hope you have good health insurance. Angioplasty is expensive.

(EIGHTY PERCENT of your diet from animal fat? Unless you eat 5,000 calories per day you can't possibly be getting all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you are supposed to get through the other twenty percent.)

Caz said...

@anonymous. Hmmm. I had a good think about it and I think it's more like 65 -70% with some 80%'s thrown in there every now and again (it's not the same every day but today was about 80% (I think! I don't really track - so some days could be 60%)).

I didn't say it was all animal fat (but I don't think it would matter if it was) - it's also avo's, olive oil, olives, coconut oil and coconut milk/cream (I'm counting eggs and ghee as animal fat). And I eat my leafy greens and my variety of veg.

I've had all my blood profiles checked and they are not only ok but excellent.

Anonymous said...

i'm discovering that exercise is surprisingly good in times of sluggishness. i've definitely had a sluggish week, and the three days i made it to the gym gave me a lot more energy and better sleep at night.

i also think that anytime you change your diet you change your body and response to everything. this, too, shall pass.