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

 

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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.

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 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.

Autoimmune Protocol | Day 6 // Wednesday

7 AM. wake up feeling puffy, like when you have too much salt the night before. It’s probably due to taking kratom yesterday due to feeling horrible. Sigh. Continuing with the diet.

8 AM. After my 100 mg pill of caffeine kicks in, a euphoria comes over me and I feel normal/good. My mind thinks towards working – building a project I’ve wanted to build for a long time.

11 AM. Was productive / organized my bedroom / realized I’m kind of being engulfed by malaise and depression, and that I must be incredibly wary. Don’t worry folks, I am confident I will get out of this one. I’ve done it many times before. Usually, the second I start medicating with caffeine, unhealthy food, and other things, the symptoms disappear.

But I’m not doing that this time. I am healing this time, which means I am going through this with an open mind, self love, and high consciousness. Who knows, maybe within a month or two I’ll be back to normal.

Discussed with the parents last night how every time I try to heal my body/mind, I end up giving up after about two weeks and running away. I ran away to colorado, I ran away to New York. I ran away to Arizona. But this time, I’m not running away. I’m going to stay here in this town which I don’t love. I’m not going to cover this one up with new business ideas or applying for jobs. I’m going to get past this.

“no mental state lasts forever”, “this too shall pass”, “bloom where you’re planted”.

5 PM Earlier I was feeling horrible. I went for a bike ride and felt like I was going to pass out. Which has never happened. Being 95 degrees out doesn’t help.

I read online that this might be due to not enough fat. At first glance, I thought, “of course I’m getting enough fat – I’m eating meat. Then I realized, I’m probably not getting enough fat to really use it as fuel, so I ate a bunch of coconut oil and olive oil (lol) on salad and in smoothies and stuff. I ate a absolutely gigantic salad about an hour ago and I suddenly became hyper focused on work and euphoric. Temporarily, there is no depression.

This is scary, but at least I’m glad I documented it. I was feeling horrible and then i literally ate salad and my mood changed.

I’m working through a lot of mental issues right now, lol.

Not just food issues.

“I eat because I am unhappy and I am unhappy because I eat” – fat bastard

9:30 PM I just had a realization so profound that I absolutely had to capture it. The reason I have depressive symptoms – in my life in general – is because I am subconsciously afraid of using my brain.

In my mind, somehow I have been programmed that to “work” (mentally) causes strain. This is most likely due to years of resentment towards being “imprisoned” in a school. I never felt good in school for whatever reason. This is most likely a combination of: poor diet, poor sleep habits, resentment towards being kept from what I love. So my response was to shut down my brain.

My brain was reserved only for those activities which I held dear (after school activities.)

But I think at some point my programming took over and I lost my ability to even enjoy these side hobbies. Suddenly my ability to enjoy everything was diminished.

It turns out that I fell into an engineering career despite myself, because during college I was given much more freedom. That freedom of when/how much/what I will study, combined with results-oriented culture (exams, projects) was great for me.

Yet there is this feeling deep down that all effort is bad. Perhaps this comes from incorrectly interpreting zen and taoist teachings as championing laziness.

I once mentioned this particular neurosis to a zen meditation teacher who I respected and admired. I told him that I am always attempting to “conserve” my energy.

He told me that there is infinite energy. You just have to tap into it.

This whole lifestyle of taking drugs, drinking alcohol and coffee, eating poor foods, and taking shortcuts – it is all on the assumption that there is not enough energy to go around. It is a “fighting for survival” type of existence.

My hope is that through this cleansing process I will eliminate this mental neurosis, and uncover further ones. To make clear, permanent progress towards developing a more sound body and mind. To transform my innermost psyche into one more willing to actually live life.

 

Autoimmune Protocol | Day 5 // Tuesday

Wake up at 7:30 AM, go for a bike ride, have a bowl of fruit with pops. Still having stomach issues today. Still feeling depressed. Thinking this will pass, but very sure that I should make a doctors appointment within the next few weeks.

This writing brings me back to my center. I am doing one thing right now, my AIP. I am focusing extremely hard on it. I need to keep my state of mind as a healing state of mind. Thoughts are seeping in about me being useless, me never finding purpose in life, but I must remember that these are temporary thoughts of somebody currently withdrawing from caffeine and workaholism. Relaaaaax!!!

1 PM, still haven’t done anything, reading the 4 hour workweek. Tim Ferris knows a lot about existential dread and anxiety disorders.

Not sure what else I did that night. My stomach symptoms are still as bad as ever (consistently.)

 

AutoImmune Protocol Journal | Day 1 // Friday

To recap, today is the day I officially start Autoimmune protocol (AIP) after eating decently healthy for the past week. Going to be weaning off of caffeine over the course of the next two weeks, and probably getting hit with some low-carb flu. All this while attempting to work at my two remote jobs. They’re chill though.

The day.

7:30 AM wake up, take caffeine pill (200mg), meditate, go for walk/run in the woods for ~1 hour.

9 AM Eat breakfast, lots of fruit and such.

11:30 AM start feeling sleepy. Just lay on the couch by the pool. Feel very relaxed and sleepy. This is a familiar feeling – I always get it when I am trying to cut back on caffeine. It is a combination of relaxation and depression. 200 mg caffeine is apparently low enough to “throw me off”. If i had to guess I was consuming 400 mg a day.

12:30 PM get up, move around, play some guitar, feeling better but not necessarily ready to work. Good thing the weekend is coming and I don’t really have any work to attend to today. Contemplate taking another 50mg of caffeine.

4 PM Took 50mg caffeine and it really helped… I’ve woken back up and been productive. Did some work, chores, etc. Feeling happy.

7:30 PM sometime around 5 PM, my mood swung from happy to impending doom. I was talking to a friend and he sent me this really existential article written about how a guy wasted his life. It set me off. I think my fear of illness started kicking in. Then I got news about a really bad work-related incident which caused me to spiral further. I took a drive, went for a walk, but felt paranoid. Came home, saw my sister, snapped at her, and basically feel dark. Wanted to update. This is such a crazy mood swing and if I wasn’t journalling my thought today I would never have even noted how crazy it is. I guess I’m just going to chill out, eat some dinner, and watch TV. I’ve been snacking all day, dealing with the diet switch is a little hard for me right now. I am sure after a couple of weeks I’ll be more used to it.

10:30 PM getting ready for bed. I calmed down and relaxed, ate dinner, watched The Aviator. Currently listening to the Glow pt 2 by the microphones in the darkness. Feel pretty alright. Good night!

AutoImmune Protocol Journal | Day 0 // Why I am doing it

I finished my time in New York and since I am a vagrant I went to stay with my parents for a while. My parents and I have a great relationship so its something we’ve agreed I can do once in a while.

Relevant song:

My parents mostly eat vegan food, and coming back from New York where I was *trying* to eat healthy, I’m realizing just how unhealthy I still am. I unfortunately have a lot of health issues that I have been meaning to sort out. So it’s time to sort it out. For posterity, I will disclose how I feel now and why I am starting this journey.

My issues

  • Mysterious rashes and hair loss – started this winter, rashes on both of my thighs that were very ichy and I lost hair. They flare up once in a while. It’s really weird. At this point I thought, “Ok something is really wrong here.”
  • Issues in the bathroom – Pretty common thing in america, but my stomach is a little ridiculous and uncooperative.
  • Gas – caused by certain foods, but pretty annoying and constant
  • Tendonitis and cracking joints – have trouble running and rock climbing – basically any sport is hard on my joints, which is not cool at age 27.
  • High blood pressure – Not much to say out of this one except probably self inflicted due to alcohol/drugs and chronic stress.
  • Brain fog – it almost feels as if there’s a pressure in my head when I wake up every morning. Can’t focus on things I enjoy. Can’t focus on details anymore.
  • Anxiety – TBH, I feel that there is impending doom at all times.
  • Energy Fluctuation – due to caffeine usage
  • Depression – loss of interest in things I enjoy, inability to focus
  • Caffeine dependence – never been able to kick this one, self medication
  • Drug/Alcohol issues –  I believe this is due to underlying issues of not feeling healthy and seeking self medication
  • Feeling that I’m not thriving – In my gut, I know that I can be 1000% better than I am today.

I’ve basically felt like this more or less as long as I can remember. I was always falling asleep in class in middle school, I found drugs and coffee in high school, and I’ve had all of these issues that whole time. I’ve worked very hard focusing on working and having a good life because deep down I felt that I could never solve these issues and I’d probably die early. But once in a while I give it a shot. Today is one of those days.

AIP Protocol

I’m going to follow the autoimmune protocol for at least 30 days (up to 90) to check for food sensitivities while simultaneously removing any drugs/alcohol (haven’t really been on these anyway), and lowering my caffeine intake + only using caffeine pills (this is something I can’t go cold turkey on, but I have a goal of weaning off within 2 weeks.)

The goal of this is to alleviate the above issues, specifically brain fog / depression/anxiety, HBP, and stomach issues. During this time I will also go to the doctor about my chronic issues to get some tests done.

Basically, I will journal how I feel every day and how things are coming along. at Day 0, I can say I have been having typical stomach issues, feeling anxiety and brain fog, have not been drinking alcohol or using drugs, and feeling hopeful. I should also mention that I am feeling extremely low stress, going for bike rides, climbing, etc. in Tampa, Florida.