If you have been reading my blog on liveinmagic.com, you know a little about my healing journey. I will give you a quick review, so you will know where I’m coming from.
I am presently 59 years, diagnosed at 16 with type 1 diabetes.
I have been using different healing modalities for at least 37 years.
Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution saved my life in 1996, and stopped all diabetes complications.
Entered the Raw Vegan Diet in 2003, after wreaking havoc with my blood sugars, skeletal system and overall well being, it exited in 2010, when I began a Locavore, quasi Weston A. Price inspired diet. This is when I started my Liveinmagic.com blog. Between 2007 and 2012 I had Aimee’s Livin’ Magic company that produced Raw Vegan Snacks and Chocolate.
I have been a health researcher since the year I finished college, in 1976, and have tried every diet that came “down the Pike” with any promise of lowering my need for insulin injections.
When I started back on low carbs as in Dr. Bernstein’s book, Diabetes Solution, in 2010, after nearly ruining my health, trying to heal on the Raw Vegan diet, I was hopeful that I would find a way to heal.
Enter Weston A. Price: I read the tome by Weston A. Price, written in 1939, hoping that simply by incorporating his amazing ideas, I would heal by eating all local food from farmers in my area who were raising animals on the food they were meant to eat, Grass! Eating raw, grassfed dairy especially local butter, and making sure to get fermented foods, like Kimchee. See my blogs on making butter and kimchee.http://liveinmagic.com/why-bother-with-butter-and-how-to-make-it/
and http://liveinmagic.com/yay-we-harvested-our-kimchee-today/, I was able to get my blood sugars under better balance than I have ever had. A type 1 diabetic’s blood sugars are very tricky to balance, trickier than most people realize, and Dr. Bernstein had taught me the basics. Keep your carbs for the day under 30 grams a day to enable you to lower your insulin requirements and keep the blood sugars more easily balanced. You have to remember, though, I am still wanting to heal, where I can lose my need for insulin injections at all, so I am still researching, hoping to find that promise of healing.
Enter GAPS: Through the westonapricefoundation.org, for which I will be eternally grateful, I found Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, and the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, book and protocol. I ordered the book, read it, watched Dr. McBride on youtube.com, started believing this GAPS thing was my answer!
First, I found the GAPS diet overwhelming and hard to understand. I had already done so, so much work.
I had already deprived myself of so much. I hadn’t eaten any grains for over 18 years. I ate only organic food. Of course I hadn’t eaten any form of sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup for 43 freaking years. I was disciplined. Did I really have to go on broth, over-cooked veggies and boiled meat for 2 years?
So, I quietly went on what is called the Full GAPS diet, which was not much of a change from what I was already doing. Basically I stayed grain-free, high animal fat and added bone and meat broths, only to find that I was unable to lower my insulin injections any. Lowering my insulin injections is my “Raison d’etre” or reason for being. If I couldn’t lower my insulin, then “Keep Looking”!
Enter Ketogenic Diet: I had ready lowered my carbs to about 20 grams a day. My blood sugars were pretty well balanced, my hbA1c was down to 5.1, but I was still taking 5 injections a day, totaling about 16 units a day of 2 different kinds of insulin. I still wasn’t satisfied. During my research I found Elaine Cantin’s book The Cantin Ketogenic Diet for Cancer, Type 1 Diabetes and Other Ailments. Elaine had healed her cancer with the ketogenic diet, which is certainly a big deal, and she is convinced that if her young son could stay on the ketogenic diet, he would heal his type 1 diabetes. He wasn’t actually healed, which was a little disappointing, but I was still encouraged by the idea, so started working to become Ketogenic.
At this point I must tell you of the amazing results my husband Denny has had on the ketogenic diet, with his yet to be diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Because I am always testing my blood sugar, like any “Good” type 1 diabetic does, Denny would, from time to time, test his blood sugar as well. He often would feel shaky and test his sugar on my Glucose meter and it would be low, like 59 dl/mg or so. We always thought he was just a classic hypoglycemic, occasionally having low blood sugars if he went too long without eating, exercised too vigorously, or ate too many carbs. At this point he had already progressed to a fairly low carb diet, learning a lot from my research on healthy blood sugar. But when he began to test his fasting blood sugars, first thing in the morning, he found that his were running slightly high, anywhere from 95 to 110 even 114. The low blood sugars were a precursor to potential type 2 diabetes. From Katherine and Luke Shanahan’s book, Deep Nutrition, we learned that a blood sugar any where over 83 was TOO HIGH and was considered on the road to damage in the body and a soon to be diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
We also learned that 2 of our friends who had been Raw Vegans had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after being raw foodists for several years! Denny knew that several of his uncles had had type 2 diabetes and wanted to avoid the actual diagnosis, so we decided to both get serious about the ketogenic diet. This was also at the same time as a friend of mine decided to use the ketogenic diet as a part of her cancer treatment.
I might mention that the ketogenic diet is gaining popularity as part of the treatment for many conditions, not only type 1 and 2 diabetes and cancer, but Epilepsy, the first condition it was successfully used for, but also ALS, MS, heart disease, Autism, and many more stubborn conditions like Epstein-Barr.
We started testing our urine ketones as well as our blood ketones. Both of us were testing within the right ranges, while it took lowering our carbs down to a miniscule 12 grams of carbs a day. If you know anything about counting carbs, you know that this was about as low as you can go and still eat food at all. One serving of veggies a day with one ounce of nuts. That’s it! In short order Denny’s blood sugars came down into normal to low range, fasting about 75 or a little lower and during the day about 80!
So, here I was 6 weeks into the serious ketogenic diet, down to 12 carbs a day, I had lowered my insulin a few more units, down to 12, but was I healing?
Re-enter GAPS: My friend, Ania, also a type 1 diabetic striving to heal, has decided to go all the way with the GAPS-intro diet. She believes this is what it is going to take to heal. Ania, who lives close by, is a Polish native and was healthy until she moved to the US 10 years ago, when she became sick and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Convinced she could heal from this condition, she has also tried many healing modalities: getting her amalgams (metal dental fillings) removed, herbs, supplements and even the raw vegan diet for a short time. But it is the few weeks on the GAPS-intro diet that has her convinced that this might be IT. In Poland, she grew up on local grassfed meats, fermented fish and fermented vegetables, and was healthy until she gave up this lifestyle, trading it for an Americanized diet and subsequent diagnosis. These traditional Polish foods are the actual basis of the GAPS protocol.
Enter GAPS-Intro protocol. I start on October 1st, a few weeks behind Ania. Wish us well! Oh, and Denny will be joining me on the GAPS journey.
Hence the Venn diagram and the Set theory. Weston A. Price meets GAPS, meets Ketogenic. Yes, we will be staying true to the merging of the three. We will still be staying ketogenic with extremely low carb and high fat, and Weston Price-ish eating all local grassfed meats and local organic farm raised veggies, AND using the GAPS protocol to heal our guts, thereby healing our conditions of Denny’s tendency for high blood sugars and ultimately his seasonal allergies and my type 1 diabetes and maybe, possibly, my dupuytren contracture in my hands. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
I plan to blog about our experience every day!
The Venn Diagram of Healing
Join me on October 1st.