AIP Day 19, Tuesday

Well over the past few days I took kratom again for some reason, which caused me to get kind of stressed out. I took it on saturday and sunday and I can still feel the residual stress. As my sleep patterns get back to normal and I decompress, I feel myself returning to the “new normal” state.

Still doing chi gong multiple times a day. I cant feel the chi. I can feel a slight improvement and relaxation with each time I do it. It isn’t like lifting weights where you immediately feel amazing and filled with endorphins. Or it is but I’m just not there yet. All I’ve been doing is the eight brocades practice. It’s time to move onto a new practice.

I did find that doing chi gong is much more pleasurable outdoors.

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AIP Day 16, Saturday, In shadow of mount hood

Woke up and recorded this:

I just like making little diddies in 1 take on garage band


I think my depression is going away because I seem to enjoy doing things I used to do – programming, playing guitar… reading. I still have no interest in being social. Shrug.

I’ve been thinking a LOT about moving out west. For one thing, I absolutely can’t stand hot summers. I love cool weather, darkness, and rain. As much as I care about my family and friends in Florida, I don’t see a future here. There is not much tech industry, there’s no bicycle-friendly streets, it’s just suburban sprawl.

I used to think maybe I could live in Orlando and surf. And that’s my #1 option if I stayed in Florida, but it feels like death. I think I’ll take tree cover, mountains, and the pacific ocean over that.

Only thing that bums me out is, I’m not a huge fan of big cities. Boulder Co was perfect size for me. I’ve looked into Bend, but I am not willing to live on the “other side” of the mountain range where there isn’t so much precipitation. So that leaves me to explore the willamette valley, portland, seattle and Tacoma. Tacoma looks the most promising because it’s not as expensive as seattle, you can still commute to seattle in a pinch, and it has a climbing gym and art house theater as well as multiple museums and a UW campus.

So its a small little city where I can actually buy a house, and it’s in the PNW. Most likely in 10-15 years it will start growing, if Seattle becomes the next SF it could be the next Oakland. Maybe.

Anyway, that shit’s been wearing on me. Where to live? Do I buy real estate? blah blah.


 

Climbed at the gym today. Realized it’s 3 PM and I only had 50 mg of caffeine. I could take a 25mg to finish the day and feel fantastic. Im going to take like 10mg and I’m sure that’ll be great.

I definitely have a mental attachment to caffeine. Even at the 50/75mg level I’m fiending for that one HIT.

I have an addictive personality. I love modifying my body. I suppose this is fine as long as I find healthy ways of doing it rather than using drugs/alcohol/bad food/coffee.


 

AIP Day 15, drank last night

Welp, drank last night.

Had 4 angry orchards.

What happened is: I ate too much THC oil, got really high, and decided alcohol would calm me down. It worked. I was reaaally baked.

Glad to say that I feel good today still. Don’t feel hungover at all. Did my chi gong twice today already, still taking 75 mg of caffeine and eating a healthy diet.

I expect my body to take a little bit of a beating from this event over the next couple of days, but I am sure I will bounce back. It’s definitely something I’m not going to do again. If I take THC oil, I will make sure to take a small dose and not (literally) bite off more than I can chew.

That’s the problem with edibles.

Aaaanyway,

This was an exercise in mental, emotional, and physical resilience. I am not beating myself up about this, I’m learning a lesson.

The chigong as well as the diet seem to be doing wonders for my anxiety, energy, and focus. I am able to work a full workday with a few breaks for chigong, food, and just relaxation. I am noticing that when I work I don’t breathe right, so I’m looking through possible biofeedback solutions to this problem.

Basically, my goal is to “go back to work.” I want to get healthy enough that I can work a 40 hour workweek, in an office, and not feel like I’m slowly dying.

Truth be told, I like my career, but it has been impossible to pursue while unhealthy and erratic.

I see this diet as “calming the stormy seas” of my mind and body. My goal is for balanced focus and energy, independent of external stimulants (caffeine, drugs, alcohol), powered entirely by healthy foods. I want to work for at least a couple more years

Today, at the halfway mark to 30 days, I can say that so far the results of this exercise have been worth it. I feel much better than I normally do. That much cannot be argued against.


Recorded a bunch of covers today, “he doesnt know why” by fleet foxes

https://soundcloud.com/unstimulated/he_doesnt_know_why

 

AIP Day 14, Calm after the storm

Two weeks of AIP today! I started out my morning with chi gong, 50 mg of caffeine, and some spaghetti squash!

An update on how I feel right now:

  • currently (at this second) my stomach is functioning much better than it was a few days ago, and much better than before.
  • I am able to work again (I can focus on my work with 50mg caffeine.)
  • I am less depressed, more excited about the future.
  • I am worried that I may not be able to keep this diet up outside of the house… sometimes I fret about prep time…
    • But it feels like something I can handle. Something that needs to be made a priority
  • I’m off the sleeping pills.

There has always been a lurking feeling that I am “oh so very tired” on the inside, even when I feel stimulated. I always called it my “energy drain.” It severely affects/affected everything I do, the way I live my life. I don’t live my life with an “abundance” mentality in terms of energy, I am always “conserving” energy as if it were finite.

The goal of this project is to make energy feel free and infinite, so that I can use this energy to build beautiful things and make the world a better place.

I literally can’t make the world a better place being tired and sick all the time.

I feel that a corner has been turned, as slow going as this is.

I still get a bit sleepy in the afternoons/evenings… but I do have faith. This can get better.

And thats why I’m doing chigong.

AIP Day 13, Thought I was having a heart attack today

Woke up to jolts of energy going through the left side of my chest this morning. Didn’t go away for an hour. Guess at that point I must’ve started getting more anxious because I had difficulty breathing. Went to the doctor, got an EKG and some bloodwork. EKG came back fine, blood pressure was 160/82. He was pretty concerned about that blood pressure, but reassured me that I wasn’t having a heart attack.

So, 160 is the highest my BP has ever been. The doc says this can have to do with thyroid disruption or other things. It could also be elevated due to anxiety and stress from being in a doctors office. But either way, it was way too high. So doctor’s orders, I gotta monitor my BP at least a couple times a week.

Came home and did Chi Gong (eight brocades practice)

I am trying to get the 8 brocades in 3 times a day. Morning, afternoon, and evening. I only had 50 mg of caffeine today and I’m definitely planning on getting off of it ASAP.


Reflecting upon today, I realize that planning on going to seattle in 1 month is too short of a timeframe. I really don’t want to rush this healing process. It may take six months or even a year. Either way, I decided to not drive out there, and to instead focus on resting up at home. Maybe I’ll make a trip out there for a day or two later this summer, but I’m going to spend the rest of summer in Florida.

I have a bunch of friends in Orlando, where I went to college, and I’m thinking of perhaps staying there for a couple months. Seeing if I still like it. I used to live an hour from the beach and surf three times a week. Maybe that’s better for me than moving all the way across the country. I really don’t know.

What I do know is that i’m not going to rush anything.


6 PM

My best friend made a video of the past year  in California. I was featured in the video like multiple times and it felt really great to be part of his life, even though we get on each others nerves all the time. We’re good friends.

He’s thinking about maybe moving back to new york to get a nice job, but he might also stay in california. I think I will go out to the west coast after all and hang out with this guy…

I wasn’t very hungry today. I only ate some veggies, steak, and turkey. But I had lots of energy and only consumed 75mg of caffeine. I think I can do 75 for a couple days… looks like I’ll be off caffeine soon after all! This isn’t so bad.

I think I am getting to the point in the diet where I have energy and clarity. I’m not like, speedy or anything, but I also don’t have that lurking “tired/depressed” feeling that’s usually in the back of my mind pushing me to use stimulants. Rather, if I need to do work, I can do it (but I’d rather not.)

I’d say this is what I normally feel like after my morning cup, except I haven’t had caffeine in 7 hours.


This evening, I took my blood pressure several times and it was within “high normal” ranges. I don’t know how it was so high this morning. Will continue to monitor.

AIP Day 12, Why my blog is called nick is dead

Decided to have informative titles in my posts so people know what they’re reading. First off this blog is just a journal. Second thing: Nick is dead started as a morbid joke and a catchy phrase I bounced around in my head. But this blog has come to signify a rebirth.

The “Nick” that is dead is the one I grew up as. The person who lives an unhealthy, unbalanced life, and isn’t very open minded. He was not the best person to be around.

Recently, I was driving through “Van Ness” california and the name Ness coalesced in my thoughts. I have some sort of interest to the Nintendo character Ness, from my days growing up playing Super Smash Bros and Earthbound.

Ness is a white kid who is a little weird (has psychokinetic abilities, wears striped shirts and shorts and tennis shoes with high socks.) I guess he reminds me of myself. So I kind of decided to take his name.

I’ve taken Ness as my new nickname, which I call myself. I like it. Has a ring to it.

Nick is Dead -> Ness Lives.

~ 12:30 PM, had 100mg of caffeine already, 75 upon waking and another 25 an hour ago. I am feeling able to focus on my code, which is great, I’m making the most of it. At least there are a couple of hours during the day when I can focus right now.

Who knows, maybe someday I’ll be able to focus for 8 hours a day.

I think I have a slight “headache” and a bit of “nausea” today. I don’t often get these symptoms, so they’re a little weird to me. Most likely low carb flu stuff. It’s not bad though, ever-so-slight.

3:30 PM,

Been working for the past 2 or 3 hours. That means I got in like a three hour workday! This is insane. I never thought I’d be able to work again. I just kind of sat here and wrote some code. It’s been really nice!

I am feeling relaxed today. My stomach is feeling good. I can tell a lot of the bloating is gone. Excited to make a doctors appointment within the next couple of weeks. The goal being to see a GI doc and have him tell me I’m not going to die.

Honestly, most of my GI symptoms have gotten better, which is why I’m betting on “not going to die” versus “terminally ill.” But we’ll have to see. :praise hands:

9 PM,

A friend messaged me today and he was super stoked on playing music. I used to play a little bit, but I told him I haven’t done anything in a couple years. He was sad to hear that and suggested I make something. I decided to pop a little cover out of garage band… with my djembe and acoustic nylon guitar, recorded on a macbook pro in about 20 minutes, so its not like… “finished” or anything. But im cool with it. lol.

song: Boomer Etc. by  Walter, Etc.

I cant bring myself to try to really perfect any music I work on.. but garage band is pretty cool for throwing something together.

AutoImmune Protocol | Day 11 / Monday

Woke up, slept in, did chi gong, had 75 mg caffeine. Felt pretty good.

Had stomach issues again, no idea why. Perhaps due to still eating fruit and raw vegetables. I am not going to “get rid of them” until after I go like 30 days and still don’t see improvement. After 30 days, i can cut out the fruit and raw stuff, but who knows, may be an adjustement.

Going to do my second chi gong exercise of the day. I like chi gong way more than yoga. Don’t ask why, I have no idea, but I resonate with it.

Noon,

It’s noon and I feel absolutely hyped in comparison to my normal state of being. Feel like I just drank a ton of coffee, but I didn’t. In fact, I’m going to go work from a coffee shop (and have an herbal tea.) just to get out of the house and enjoy the bright sunshiney day.

Not sure if I’ve reached the promised land of “unlimited energy” / come out on the other side of “low carb flu” / adjusted to this diet. Or maybe it’s just beginning. Either way, I’m really happy for some relief. Side note: did not have any CBD oil today (that stuff may have made me a little sleepy actually…)

1:30 PM,

Damnit, I’m sleepy. I went for a drive and instead of going to the coffee shop I just got groceries and came home. It’s so damn hot outside that I just feel like sleeping. Had another 25 mg of caffeine to finish off my daily caffeine dose.

Still havent started working for the day and I’ve been up since 7 Am, LOL! Where has the time gone? I am completely 100% useless these days. ugh. Will I ever be able to work again?

730 PM,

Welp, sad to say that I got about an hour of work done. Maybe less. I just dont *feel* like working. I am getting a little scared that I’ll “never” get better – but then I think: gee, the brain is very resilient, and someone cant suddenly “lose their magic”

It’s like in Kiki’s delivery service where she can suddenly no longer fly.

She gets it back, and I will too, one day…

Autoimmune Protocol | Day 10 / Sunday

Eat more food. Hold on to your butt.

This is the solution I’ve settled on for my tiredness in the middle of the day. From my readings, it can take up to THREE weeks to adjust. And there is a story of a guy who gave up caffeine and it took him TWELVE weeks to adjust.

I’ve gone full AIP from a pretty nutritious american diet, and I’ve gone down from 400+ mg caffeine per day to ~100mg caffeine per day, over the last 10 days.

So I will excuse myself if I don’t feel full of energy. Gotta think of the big picture.

My yoga practice is progressing very slowly. I am feeling very achy and not very flexible. Usually I am more flexible. It’s weird. My meditation practice is similarly bumpy. First thing upon waking up, my body and mind are just not in the mood to do anything.

I do miss Central Park, and hiking through it for 4 hours… climbing boulders. I felt so at peace there. So I went to the climbing gym yesterday. I kind of didn’t enjoy it, because there is a certain natural beauty to climbing a real boulder which is just lost to indoor climbing. I hurt my fingers doing holds that were too small for me (since I’m out of practice), and it feels like I’m really straining my body when I climb indoors. Meanwhile, when I climb out of doors, I don’t really think about grades and I can play all day on V0’s and have fun.

One of the biggest problems of Tampa and Florida in general is that there’s not much to hike. There are some trails, but it’s flat, hot, and there are no boulders. 😦

A friend invited me to his wedding in Vegas in July, so I think I will drive from Florida to Vegas to see him, and then go from vegas to LA to meet up with my best friend. Then, I want to drive up the coast to Seattle, where I will stay in a temporary AirBnB, hang out at the coworking spaces, and see if I want to get a place there. I will be passing through portland too, so we’ll see if I somehow fall in love with Portland.

I’ve been to Seattle before, but not Portland. Although the Decemberists hail from portland and they’re one of my favorite bands, Fleet Foxes, built to spill, and the microphones are all washington bands. Well, built to spill is from Boise…

I will also check out Tacoma, Vancouver WA and Bellingham as potential low cost of living towns to spend some time. It all depends, because I do want to get a job at some point.

Just to catch everyone up, I’m currently a software freelancer. So I’m more inclined to live in low cost of living areas compared to expensive metro areas. But I miss the camaraderie of working on a big team. The last company I worked for was like family to me. So I’m really thinking I might be able to just settle down in a nice place, join a company, and integrate into society again (rather than being this weird guy who just writes blog posts about his diet every day.)

For breakfast i’m eating a gigantic salad with avocado and some left over ground meat sprinkled on top and olive oil sprinkled on top of that.

I took my blood pressure yesterday. This was directly after working out. Now I definitely have white coat high blood pressure (where you get freaked out when you have it measured.) According to the machine my pulse was very high (over 100) (due to being mid panic attack.) And the reading was 138/84.

That reading may sound bad to you, but keep in mind I was acutely stressed. I usually have numbers above 140 systolic and 90+ diastolic. So it seems that my BP might be trending in the right direction. I will keep taking measurements a couple times in a week. Goal is 120 systolic. I CAN DO IT!

Stomach-wise, let’s just say a lot of the acute stomach issues I’ve been plagued with appear to be lessening.

The only real gripe I have right now is anxiety/depression/low energy, which is normal but I usually self-medicate with caffeine to make that stuff go away. Once again, I’m just eating a TON more food than I think I need in order to really fuel my body, because this diet is very easy to not get enough calories.

Now it’s noon, and I have to say I looked up some chi gong on youtube and did two new exercises, “push hands toward the sky” and “draw the bow”, holy crap. I’ve never felt so weak before. But I also feel quite energized from it, so I will continue.

I once bought “the idiots guide to tai chi and chi gong” and it really turned me onto the stuff. I’ve always done yoga as my “healing art”, but I think the pendulum may switch to tai chi / chi gong. I find them more fascinating and more energizing than yoga.

1:30 PM, getting more creative with how to raise my mid-day energy. For the past couple of days I brought out my djembe and I’ve been jamming to music really loud in the living room. Today I’m jamming to tycho, and its bringing up those mid-day vibes.

Funny how even though I can’t focus on work, I can focus on euphoric activities like drumming. I’m just going to focus on those.

Autoimmune Protocol | Day 9 / Saturday

I suppose I shouldn’t expect too much of a change within 9 days. I mean, most people say it takes 30-90. With 30 being the early side.

I am still tired when I wake up. My caffeine dose is being lowered today to 75 mg in the morning and 25 mg in the afternoon, down 50 mg from this past week. I will probably try to keep it below 100mg for the next week, and then get down to 50 mg the week after that.

I dont want to give up caffeine. I am extremely mentally attached to caffeine. I feel like I can’t work without caffeine. This is entirely not true, but it’s how I’m programmed to feel. I am taking my time with lowering my caffeine intake because, even at this rate (going from 300 mg a day to 200 to 150 now to 100 over the span of 3 weeks), I am feeling the effects I believe. In general I don’t feel as stimulated as I usually was. I keep telling myself that this stimulation was completely artificial and not indicative of good health.

I do hope I get back to that point where my brain is pumping with happy chemicals, the way a tall starbucks coffee makes me.

During my morning meditation, rather than saying “thought”, when I hear a thought, I’ve started saying “programming.” As in, my brain has been programmed to think that. For some reason, when I liken my thoughts directly to “brain programming”, it makes it a lot easier to forgive myself for having those thoughts. A common mistake with meditation is to actively slap yourself on the wrists for thinking. But the truth is that thinking is okay, it’s just programming, and we’re just becoming aware of that programming.

I’ve not been a regular meditator ever in my life, but I am finding that regular meditation is fun and causes me to randomly become conscious at more points throughout the day. Particularly when I get a moment of quiet time. During those moments, I often play the “wait for a thought” game, and it’s pretty fun.

Around noon, I got very sleepy. I had gone for a bike ride, had a bunch of fats & bone broth this morning, but still was very sleepy. It could be that I took a little bit of CBD. Either way, I ended up laying in bed feeling “defeated”, thinking “oh god i have chronic fatigue syndrome dont I”, and “i’ll never work again” and “maybe i have crippling depression and thats why I can’t function like a normal human at noon.”

So while I was thinking those self defeating thoughts and pretending to sleep, I started doing breathing exercises for no reason. I took some deep breaths and started to feel better. Still tired, mind you, but I started to feel the tingle of energy flowing through my body that is the opposite of tiredness/depression. As the chinese would say, I felt “chi” flowing through my body. I’ve always loved this feeling, and have noticed it often when doing acupuncture.

After about 10-20 minutes of relaxation/chi/breathing exercises, I got up and felt better. But not 100% better. I will admit I took another 25 mg of caffeine (bringing my total today up to 125mg), which could explain why I feel better. But I also ate a big salad.

Together the combination of a big salad, some caffeine, and relaxation exercises brought me back from the brink of sleepiness. I am not sure what this means. Perhaps I needed a bit of fresh vegetables to turn on my brain. Perhaps it was the normal circadian rhythm of early afternoon sleepiness. Perhaps it was from lowering my caffeine intake. Perhaps it was because I was stressed subconsciously, which then causes a subconscious “sleepiness” reaction.

All I know is I’ve had “sleepiness” since I was a young kid. The second I figured out how to self medicate, I began to self medicate my sleepiness as much as possible. I remember being sleepy at recess because my lunch didn’t agree with me. Combine that with the fact that I had epilepsy growing up and something spells “food intolerances since day 1.”

So I truly believe my entire life has been one big food intolerance based shit show. On the outside, I look reasonably healthy. I am fit, muscular even, but I have achy joints and I get sleepy a lot. I get mood swings. My stomach doesn’t work like it should.

It would be a dream come true if I could overcome these things. I am glad I’m going down this path, but I will confess that deep down I have my doubts that I can ever “feel better” than I’ve always felt. Depression and sleepiness has honestly been the norm for my entire life. Boo hoo.

What if there were another way? That would be worth any amount of sacrifice. That would be worth taking a couple months off from my work just to focus on it. That would be worth taking years off.

If I could have boundless energy.

“There is unlimited energy” – some guru guy I once knew.

:praise hands:

AutoImmune Protocol | Day 7-8, Thur/Fri

I skipped posting yesterday. I’m not sure why. I have started to up my fat intake. I moved off of the fruits and into the high fat diet. I was using fruit as a crutch but finding that I felt very lethargic.

Now, eating high fat, I can tell that I feel different. I feel very satiated all the time. And eating high fat meals is delicious. I have to say I’m a huge fan of meat.

Maybe the low carb flu will come in the next week, maybe it won’t. Right now, my daily dose of caffeine is 150mg, planning on getting it down to 100mg next week. I am not feeling tired today, but I can’t say I’m focused at all. In fact I didn’t really do any work today. It’s not that I couldn’t do work, but rather that there was nothing to do.

My main “job” is really more of a part-time, internet-based job. Other than that, I’m just learning little bits of technology, preparing for my next career move (after I feel better.) I’m deciding between settling down in Oregon/Washington or the SF bay area. I know I want to have property in Oregon/Washington to prepare for climate change, but the SF Bay Area holds a special place in my heart as a startup guy. It will all depend on my ability to handle stress without caffeine. Perhaps I will just end up in the suburbs outside of Portland working part time 😛

(Sorry Pacific northwesterners, you will have to make room for me.)

So I’m trying not to focus on my work. Trying to focus on health and all that. Feeling a bit stir crazy in my house, so I make sure to get out and exercise at least once a day.

By the way, since I stopped the fruit most of my IBS symptoms have disappeared. That includes constant gas. We will see if this continues. Suffice it to say, I was having constant stomach issues every day.

Got invited to a friend’s wedding in 2 months. I’m a bit confused on how I will handle my new diet while going to a wedding for 3-4 days (with bachelor party), but I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

I acquired some cannabis yesterday, as well as hemp CBD oil. I’ve never done a hemp-derived CBD oil, I may be a little spoiled from Colorado/Washington state. I did find that it produced a relaxing effect, although I am a little worried about the possible solvents which may be in the oil. I also bought a cheap vaporizer for my cannabis but it broke so I smoked out of an apple (lol). I’m actually a little high right now.

The main effect of the cannabis/CBD combo has been stimulatory as well as slightly anxiety producing. This is most likely due to not being a regular smoker. It is nice to not feel like I have to nap during the day. I think I have decided to take CBD in the morning / throughout the day and only to smoke at night, since it seems to affect my cognition beyond the point of being able to work. Instead I just binged on Silicon Valley and drank bone broth.

I posted a little post on /r/stopdrinking today and got 50 upvotes. I’m feeling pretty cool! I haven’t drank in 22 days, and I’m glad that AIP does not allow alcohol.

As you can see the format of my posts have reverted from a “list” to more of a journal. I figure it’s more important to have a free-form way of relating my day.