Friday, February 4, 2011

1:41 A.M.

The Poet and I went out for dinner to the Japanese place that serves brown rice. Both of us had cooked salmon with brown rice, although I could only eat about 1/4 of the rice because they had put soy sauce on parts of it. I was still hungry when we got home, and had little snacks all night-- fried tofu with miso, popcorn cooked in ghee, avocado, a piece of cheese. I finally stopped feeling hungry, was exhausted and fell asleep by 10pm.

12:45 and I was awake again, hungry.

Now the thing about this diet is that it does make me very hungry, and I have lost some weight on it, which was definitely not my goal. I'm eating as many high-fat foods as I can manage so I can keep my weight up. (The Poet is skipping most of the high-fat stuff and losing weight, but that is what he wants).

But what is real hunger and what is the hunger of the yeast? Because I've realized in the past month that these are two different things.

And then there is the third kind of hunger, which is when I need one of my supplements, or I've forgotten to take a round of pills, I can sometimes feel hungry too, even if I've had enough to eat. It sounds crazy, but this is how my body tries to remind me to take those pills I forgot. (Doesn't always work-- sometimes I just end up eating more and not realizing I should be taking pills.)

So I reviewed if I'd taken all my pills: yes. I then tried taking some Vitamin C, and then my charcoal, although it was early in the night for that. Lay back down again, still hungry, not falling asleep.

The Poet, fast asleep, made this panicky noise he makes sometimes when he's sleeping-- a sort of half-cry of fear, half-wimper. I always assume he's reliving something terrible from his childhood at those moments, and I try to get my arms around him as fast as I can. So I jumped from my bed and into his, put my arms around him, he clung to me, snuggled around me, turned over and went back to sleep. Or maybe he never woke up. So I kept holding him, and thought, OK, I'll lie here and fall asleep. Nothing helps me sleep better than lying next to him (assuming he's not kicking me, which he does half the time, which is why I sleep in a different bed).

Fifteen minutes later and the Poet is snoring, and I am still HUNGRY!

So I decide it is real hunger and get up. The clock says 1:41. How can this be? I moved around very little today, due to exhastion I attributed to yeast die-off. I ate a big bowl of popcorn, some avocado slices and cheese right before I went to bed. It makes no sense to eat in the middle of the night like this, but if I don't sleep, tomorrow will be ruined for working as well.

So here I am. I've eaten yogurt, quinoa, carrots (yes, carrots) and cashew butter. Still feel a little hungry, but I think I will be able to sleep. Tomorrow I will give in and cut open the kabocha and steam it up. I can have it Saturday for breakfast. Four days of extreme diet is enough.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Over the past two days, I realized that my anti-yeast diet has been flawed.

That is not to say the diet wasn't working. It was working. I was getting benefits from it. But was I implementing the diet the maximum extent possible? I was not.

The culprits were kabocha squash, sweet potatoes and lemon juice. I thought these things were ok because my naturopath Nesreen told me I could eat no fruit, but any vegetable was fine, and I could have lemon.

I understood this to mean lemon juice was good, anti-yeast-wise. I was having a lot of lemon juice, filling an eight ounce glass with half lemon juice, half water, and drinking that twice a day. I would drink it at the end of lunch and dinner, when despite all that I'd eaten I still felt hungry. I thought the lemon juice must have been doing something kill off the yeast.

But what Nesreen really meant was I could get away with a little lemon here and there, in salad dressing, etc. Downing four ounces of lemon juice at one sitting was, I've now concluded, actually feeding the yeast.

Since Tuesday night, I've cut out lemon and also sweet potatoes and squash. I went to bed hungry, despite having eaten a good dinner plus popcorn after, which usually fills me up. I woke at 4 a.m. starving, ate yogurt with brown rice and beans and went back to sleep still feeling starving.

All yesterday morning I was so hungry I could barely concentrate on my work. I had snacks and then lunch, and when I was still hungry after that, I decided it must be the yeast screaming out for lemon juice, a carrot, anything the least bit sweet.

I was way too tense to sleep, started crying while I listened to a BBC report of the events in Egypt, and decided I should go for a walk. It was a sunny day, and path along our corner of Lake Union, underneath the soaring Aurora Bridge, was as gorgeous as ever. As I walked, I told my body to calm down, I took long slow breaths whenever I remembered, and I thought about my feet, which always, for some strange reason, eases tension. By the time I got home I wasn't feeling hungry anymore. I took my Vitamin C and slept for an hour, woke up feeling like I'd crossed a bridge into the land of calmness.

By the evening, I had the tell-tale die-off headache. I'd starved out a stubborn hoard of yeast.

No more lemon for me. I will see if I can make it a few more days without squash or sweet potatoes either. I know these things are low on the glycemic index, so I was telling myself they were ok. But I looked on line yesterday for more information on this diet. As usual, the internet is full of conflicting opions, but one website definitely said no sweet potatoes, no carrots, no corn.

Does this sound easy? It does not. Do I really, really want to eat some squash? Yes, I do.

I'm telling myself I can do anything for a few days, anything if it helps me get over Lyme.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The two week mark came and went, and I am still on this diet. I have quite a few motives for staying on, one of which is to support the The Poet, who is on a diet that excludes everything mine does and quite a bit more. On the days when I wanted to quit, the thought of bringing and apple into the apartment made me feel so guilty I couldn't do it.

But an even bigger motive are the results. I am still sleeping nine or ten hours a day, still have better concentration, and at about the two week mark I noticed my lymph felt better.

Poor lymph drainage has plagued me since I've been on the antibiotics for Lyme, and I often felt as if it were getting worse than ever. If I hadn't exercised enough, and in the right way, to drain my lymph, I couldn't sleep, and even then eight horizontal hours were difficult. I took to sleeping a chair for part of the night, or I would wake up with my head and armpits so congested (yes, my armpits can get congested) that I couldn't get back to sleep if I didn't get up and flap my arms around like a chicken.

The Poet once woke up in the middle of the night and saw me doing this and said "Heaven save me!" But I digress....

Funny how there are some things you don't miss when they're gone, don't even notice that they're gone when they're gone. My lymph problems were one of them. It took me more than a few days to realize I didn't need to do my arm weights for twenty minutes in the afternoon in order to sleep at night, that I was waking up in the early hours, taking my pills and going right back to sleep without even thinking about my lymph.

I still feel my sinuses draining from time to time, but not constantly and at an alarming rate the way it was three weeks ago. I'd alway attributed this to the pressure on my lymph system from the Lyme die-off, but now it's clear the yeast was a big part of it. I thought I had no yeast problems. I did.

I had a few days that were rough, right around the two-week mark-- headaches, difficulty sleeping, and I was tired and cranky after I exercised. I went to Nesreen and she put me on a B-12 supplement (Perque B-12) and that did the trick. I'm sleeping again, I'm running for miles and feeling good afterwards. I'm happy again.

So for now, I'm staying on this crazy diet. I've even gotten used to it. Sure, I'd like an apple, but I'm no longer pining away for one, or thinking endlessly about blueberries and mangoes. Yogurt and purple cabbage and sweet potatoes are interesting enough. It helps that Nesreen gave me permission to have dark chocolate again-- not the one I used to eat, but the 91% cacao bar made by Theo (the chocolate factory in my neighborhood!). It tastes sweet, and about one square centimeter every other day is all I can handle. That's how food virtuous I've become.

But mostly around here, we're not thinking too much about our tandem diets. We've been watching and reading and talking non-stop about what's going on in Egypt. The Poet is Egyptian, and he has been bursting with wonder, pride, excitement, impatience and joy this past week. Leave, Mubarak, leave!