Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

It seems that Nicolas has non-alcoholic fatty liver not caused by high fructose corn syrup, José has kidney problems and Margarita is awaiting a

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Listen to Your Doctor? Or start thinking "Outside of the Box" as my Uncle Henry would have said...

March 1st, 2014, just over 6.5 months ago, I had blood tests done to figure out what was wrong with me...  

what was wrong with me...

As you know, I inherited Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)/Gardner's Syndrome from my father who inherited it from his mother... and so on and so forth... And had my colon removed for preventative measures when I was 13-years-old...  When I was 32-years-old, I had my rectum removed and replaced with part of the Ileal part of my Small intestine (converted into a J-Pouch).  I say part of the Ileum because that's what it seems they did, although I had believed that they used all of my Ileum...  It is very important understanding just how much of the Ileum is used so you know just how much risk you are at having problems with malabsorption (of the B vitamins and Vitamin C).  Equally important, and something that no one will tell you because maybe they've never thought about it or invested time and money for delving into the question; When you remove the Ileum or part of the Ileum and reconstruct it as a J-Pouch, does it continue performing the absorptive functions?  Afterall, it's still alive...

Living coming on 13 years with the J-Pouch has been a pretty horrible experience.  I will spare you the details I've shared with you how many times.  That's not the point.  The point is that when one experiences discomfort or illness or fatigue or obstacles at being able to perform 100% or at being able to reach their goals as a person, they may ask why is this occurring? what is the cause? How do we remove ourselves from this situation? And they seek solutions, advice, doctors... an expert's opinion?

And that's what I've been doing for at least 8.5 years now.

I live in Mexico coming on 12 years.  As most of you would believe, it isn't the easiest country within which to live.  And, if you aren't a multi-million dollar multi-national businessman, maybe you should return to your "1st World Nation"... 

When you study illness and recovery, energy expenditure and stress are one of the first things you learn prevent recovery or lead to the illness in the first place.  I mention this because not all of my health concerns over the past 9 years are 100% directly related with my FAP/Gardner's Syndrome/J-Pouch.  And as I'm discovering seemingly on a daily basis these past few months, maybe many of the J-Pouch issues could have been avoided due to a change in the diet actually towards eating what we supposedly shouldn't eat, that supposedly causes blockage and irritation, inflamation, diarrhea, dehydration...  Maybe what I attributed to issues with the J-Pouch actually have absolutely nothing to do with the J-Pouch, although various Gastro Enterologists claim that the surgery causes certain issues similar to Short Bowel Syndrome (when the person has had 50% of their small intestine removed)...  Even if they removed all of the Ileum for constructing the J-Pouch, that would leave us with at least 70% of our small intestine, disqualifying us for the diagnosis of Short Bowel Syndrome. When I first read about Short Bowell Syndrome back in December 2012, I was very disappointed that I was being excluded from that group of sufferers.  The J-Pouch specialists and the FAP/Gardner's Syndrome specialists were mentioning absolutely nothing about malabsorption, beyond that of water loss and possible issues with Iron absorption.  Their information left without suggestions of what could be affecting me and how to go about addressing the issues.  Look, when you go on to J-Pouch.Org and you ask questions and read other peoples' questions asked and listen to the responses of all of these people who have experienced the surgery, you realize that they share your experience.  But, that the "experts" have very very little understanding of the aftermath of the surgery for explaining what is occuring in our bodies, what to expect and how to respond to the situation of not having a colon and now, supposedly not having the distal part of the small intestine.  J-Pouch.org is a wonderful website-service for learning from the experience of others and for possibly brainstorming and learning what others have done in response.  But, it does not remove the issue that we are like moles walking extremely near-sited through the present and into the future of our experiences.  A Facebook and J-Pouch friend of mine told me that all of the lower abdominal surgery we've had causes a certain type of shock to the lower abdominal muscles (she used a specific name for those muscles and that region) that not only effects how we defocate, but also effects our sexual organs, making many people (women) "infertile" and (men) impotent, although my surgeon had said that the risk with them is 1% although other "experts" say that the risk is 50% or higher...  Fortunately I am not impotent. 

What I am writing isn't about sexual misfunction or stress and illness.  It's about looking beyond what the stress and over-working may have caused and flipping the aftermath of the surgery and the physiological-health issues on their head and possibly looking at it all a bit differently.  Maybe the issue isn't about structural changes.  

Did you see Morgan Spurlock's incredible documentary of his 30 day 3 meal-per-day McDonald's diet "Super-Size Me"?  2/3rds through the documentary he interviews a very obese diabetic man who is about to have Bariatric Surgery (the surgical shrinking of the stomach).  What struck me is that the straw that broke the camel's back for causing this man to seek a surgical solution was the afternoon at work when he suddenly lost his sight and had to ask his wife to come pick him up and also tell his company that he couldn't do his job because he couldn't see what he was doing.  However, a few days without ingesting any sugar, his sight returned...  

The only flaw in the film is that although Morgan consumes the equivalent of 30 pounds of sugar, more than double that of his fat consumption (13.5 pounds), none of his doctors attribute his rapidly failing health to his extreme consumption of sugar; not even when he is diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver, which is directly connected with the over-consumption of fructose (High Fructose Corn Syrup).  Fructose damages the liver the same way that Alcohol damages the liver...  But, his internist blames his liver problems on his consumption of saturated fats.  

Before my Uncle Henry died, he had the tendency towards saying, "we've gotta look at these things outside of the box"...  

Do you know what that means?  I didn't... back then.  I thought "Thinking out of the Box" was like a buzz word... like a popular phrase by possibly intellectual liberals or people who wanted to be seen as being more flexible.  But, it seems that that's what I've been doing since less than a year after his death and what I've been discovering increasingly more frequently these days... Ideas or solutions that can only come from "Outside of the Box".

Low Vitamin C is related to high blood pressure and Heart Disease.  Diabetics have a 200% higher risk of developing heart disease than non-diabetics...  What's the relationship?  

There was a time when Diabetes was blamed on cholesterol levels and high fat diets.  But, we now know that diabetes is a disorder of glucose metabolism or an issue of diets high in refined carbohydrates.  Not all Type II diabetics are obese. And the dramatic increase in worldwide obesity isn't related to increases in fat consumption, since during the period we know as the obesity/diabetes pandemic, consumption of animal fats has decreased...  The people who discovered the connection between diabetes and refined carbs and then the connection between refined carbs and triglycerides and obesity and then the connection between triglycerides and arteriosclerosis had have done WHAT?

Think Outside of the Box

So, did the diabetologists (endocrinologists) and cardiologists start giving high doses of Vitamin C to their patients?  And if so, what happened?  

When "they" made the connection between high blood pressure, heart disease and low levels of Vitamin C in heart disease and diabetes patients, did the doctors start suggesting (since they can't prescribe) Vitamin C supplements and stop prescribing blood pressure medicine?

Do the cardiologists know that triglycerides are what cause arterial plaques and that triglycerides are not from a high fat diet but from a high refined carbohydrate diet?  And if they suddenly learned the truth, would they suddenly stop writing pharmaceutical prescriptions and instead put their patients on a full-fat, low refined carb diet?

Have you asked why I mention Vitamin C regarding diabetics and heart disease?

I've been researching into the possible causes and solutions to my health issues for at least 8 years now.  For at least 6 years, my research has been into how fruits and vegetables serve us: nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, organ meats and oils, fish and herbs; vitamins, minerals, amino acids and who the hell knows what else we use from what we eat for optimal health. And, my research was sporadic because I had a horrible time remembering everything I constantly re-read.  It was very frustrating.  Then, my research turned a slight bit more intense a little less than two years ago when I started experiencing new health issues during a period of heavy to moderate exercise that was rendered almost nill.  Instead of my healthy diet and exercise regime giving me more energy, I felt as if I was being leached of energy and my muscles began hurting...  After 6 years of not seeing doctors, I started seeing them.  And after 6 years of not having my blood checked, although the Gastro Enterologist saw no need for any exams, not even an upper-endoscopy, I started having my blood and urine checked.  I've been given pharmaceutical prescriptions by two doctors and after researching what they prescribed me, I've opted for other solutions.  What did I find I must start doing?

Think outside of the box...

If you visit a cardiologist or an endocrinologist and you tell them that your Cholesterol levels are high and your triglyceride levels are high, what will they tell you?

Let me give you a prescription for lowering your cholesterol and a prescription for lowering your triglycerides.  Take them for 30 days and return when those 30 days are over.  But, before the end of those 30 days, I need you to have blood taken and various images shot of your liver and kidneys...  But why Doctor?  Because these medications can damage your liver and your kidneys...

Maybe at this point (if you've gotten this far) you should go to Wikipedia and read about the liver and the kidneys (or visit the National Kidney Foundation or the corresponding Liver Foundation websites) and decide for yourself that it is worth while harming those organs in the least bit...  

I was suffering from migrains so I decided upon removing my brain...

If you go to a cardiologist during a period of high stress while living in a region of high altitude and he notices you have high blood pressure what will he tell you?

Patient, I suggest you move to the coast and take up sitting on the beach and watching and listening to the surf...  and visit me in a year to see if your BP dropped...  

No, he will tell you; You have Hypertension and Hypertension is for lifetime, meaning that you've gotta take BP medication for lifetime and I'm the one who will manage your meds...  

You may say that he is helping you.  But, I would say that he is helping himself and the pharmaceutical companies.

When I read that Vitamin D deficiency is directly related to high BP and then discovered that I had very low Vitamin D and then asked my cardiologist what he thought, his response was that if I wanted to talk to someone about Vitamin D deficiency, I should see an Internist...  With that response, I decided against returning to his office 11 floors above the wealthiest community in the state of Jalisco with a view of the city of Guadalajara.  And I didn't visit with an internist since they would just send me to a cardiologist.  

I returned to researching outside of the box.

My health did a downturn again 14 months later and I decided to visit with an endocrinologist.  None of my "issues" had been explained or resolved and I started researching heavily.  In March, The New York Times Published an artical stating international doctors and scientists successfully refuted Ansel Key's Saturated Fat/Cholesterol theory behind heart disease and "illnesses of civilization" that dominated science and medicine for 60 years, although English and German scientists and doctors had been blaming modern disease on sugar intake since the mid 18th century and strongly since the turn of the 20th century.  With World War II, German dominance in Medicine and Science was buried and substituted with research published predominantly in English and coming from the U.S.  For some strange reason, although English doctors and scientists had greatly believed in and supported research linking refined carbs to disease related to obesity etc, they fell in behind the "American" theorists and buried the subject that made more sense and followed the scientific method to the word, to become reborn 30 years into the "unexplainable/unsolvable" panepidemic of obesity etc...  

You have no idea how much science and medical history I've read since March.  Since April I've ordered 11 books from the U.S. and Great Britain explaining how the body metabolizes the different fats and how they affect our health, to the history of the prepared foods industries, to how our bodies utilize fructose or the phenomena of auto-immune diseases, especially Celiac or about why not all calories are the same...  I stumbled across Christopher McDougall's wonderful book "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" in a Spanish language used-bookstore and picked it up after Margarita had read it and repeatedly mentioned that it was a must read, although I was immersed in nutrition and diet and health and not really interested in reading about ultra-marathoners.  And suddenly I found McDougall giving me another link to the question of whether we are asking the right questions and looking in the right directions.

Just after the turn of the 20th century the Canadian explorer and ethnologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson spent 5 years living with the Inuit (An eskimo tribe) and eating their diet very high on saturated fat (Walrus Blubber) and very very very low on vegetables (no fruit as you can imagine).  It turns out that the Inuit do not suffer from Heart Disease or Diabetes or Scurvy, nor did Stevansson eating their diet for 5 years.  When he returned to civilization and the Ivory Tower and explained what he discovered about the Inuit diet and health and that he had survived their diet without any complications, many skeptics in the medical and scientific community suggested that he couldn't possibly followed the Inuit diet without suffering substantial health repercussions.  To prove to the medical and scientific community that his information wasn't farcical, Stefansson agreed to subject himself and a colleague of his to a one-year heavily monitored replica of the Inuit Diet at Bellevue Hospital in New York City...  

If you think I'm exaggerating or making this up, although I first read about it in "Born to Run" it is also mentioned in this Discover Magazine article:  http://discovermagazine.com/2004/oct/inuit-paradox

Reading about Stefansson and the Inuit and vitamin C inspired me to finally do some research into Vitamin C and blood glucose levels...  And this is how you learn to turn poor medicine and poor science and poor beliefs on their head by asking better questions and thinking out of the box...

Vitamin C or (ascorbic acid) doesn't enter human cells by osmosis.  It is transported by what is called GLUT1 or Glucose Transporter 1.  

And you may ask, "but what does this have to do with Diabetes and Heart Disease?"

Tell me, what causes Type II Diabetes Mellitus?

It isn't the lack of Insulin.  So, if it isn't the lack of Insulin, then why are they diabetic?  Well, as you know, sufferers of "Childhood" diabetes I tend towards being very skinny...  and Sufferers of "Adult" Diabetes II tend towards being overweight or obese...  One of Insulin's primary functions is to regulate metabolism (energy production) and also to protect us from famine (the guarding of triglycerides in adipose fat cells and the lowering of the metabolic rate).  Insulin what enables glucose to enter muscle cells and what blocks the release of fatty acids from fat cells into the blood stream to be burned as energy.  Now, return to GLUT1 as the transporter of Vitamin C into cells.  But, GLUT1 is a glucose transporter molecule too!  If you eat too many refined carbohydrates that are converted into glucose in the proximal part of the small intestine (the duodenum) and Vitamin C is mainly absorbed into the distal part of the small intestine (the Ileum), then the glucose not only inundates the blood stream, but it beats the Vitamin C to the GLUT1 transport molecules.  

And you may ask what this has to do with Diabetes.  

When you increase the level of glucose in the blood stream, the pancreas automatically responds by increasing the amount of insulin in the blood in order to transport the glucose into the muscle cells (primarily) and the rest of the body's tissues.  After a while of flooding the bloodstream with glucose, the muscle cells say, "look, we don't need so much glucose.  We're not burning so much energy!"  And if the human mouth and the pancrease ignore the cells' claims, the cells respond be blocking the glucose and/or the insulin;  This is called Glucose Resistance or Insulin Resistance... So, the insulin carries the glucose to the Liver, where it is converted into triglycerides and subsequently stored as fat, which is why the Type II diabetics tend towards being overweight and obese...  

And now you may ask, "if the cells are blocking glucose and insulin, isn't this the opportunity for Vitamin C to enter the cells?"

Good question.  And this is why it is important to delve deeper and continue thinking outside the box...

In most other animals, with the exception of primates and guinea pigs (humans are primates), vitamin C is transformed from glucose.  The vitamin C molecule is very similar to that of the glucose molecule, explaining why Vitamin C enters human cells by the GLUT1 molecule.  I can't tell you for certain, but I imagine that the GLUT1 molecule is part of the Insulin hormone.  So, if Insulin is being blocked then Vitamin C is also being blocked.  Or, another possibility is that the cells mistake Vitamin C for its molecularly similar cousin, Glucose...

Now think about the eating habits of animals that hybernate, like bears and ground squirrels... Why and when do they begin gorging themselves?  In the summer and early fall, when the fruit and vegetables are most plentiful and at their ripest.  When do humans tend to gorge themselves?  When are the  holidays that celebrate high calorie eating?  Autumn.

Christmas is celebrated just beginning Winter.  Thanksgiving is at the end of Autumn.  Halloween, the Day of the Dead and All Saints day are celebrated smack in the middle of Autumn.  All Saints Day (Todos Santos) is celebrated constructing alters dedicated to deceased relatives with offerings of their favorite foods.  In Mexico, Christmas is preceeded with 9 days of what is called Posadas... Translated literally, Posadas are roadside inns.  Looking at their figurative meaning, the Posadas are houses in the community that are designated as the place where the members of the community can find plenty of food and hot beverage and a lot of sweets.  I imagine they represent the places that offered Joseph and Mary food and shelter when they were running from the Romans who had heard that a baby was to be born who would become the next King of the Jews.  Now, the King Herod (of the Jews) was a great friend of the Romans, power hungry and hedonistic.  So, he asked the Romans to find the baby and kill him.  History, Myth, Politics, Religion, Fantasy... for manipulating the minds of the people.  It's all the same...  But that doesn't erase the fact that during a certain period during the year humans all over the planet celebrate high sweet and high calorie gorging, probably meant only to preserve the "race"... the community... the species... Harvest celebrations utilized to assuage or placate the fears of starvation...Another "Last Supper"?  The last time you celebrate food before you die?

Likewise, Insulin regulates the burning of energy and the saving of energy.  When a person starts gorging themselves regularly, the light turns on in the "mind" of insulin telling them, "be prepared for famine, they're begining to gorge themselves for hybernation..." The presence of insulin in the blood stream blocks fat cells from releasing fatty acids into the blood stream.  The fat cells also tell the pituitary gland to lower the stimulus of the Thyroid and the Adrenal glands, inturn lowering metabolism... inturn decreasing the burning of energy... inturn, decreasing energy (well-known as fatigue). 

Have you heard of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?  Have you heard of Hypothyroidism?  Have you heard of Metabolic Disorder or Metabolic Syndrome?  All can be confused with depression or Epstein Barr or Lyme Disease or Lupus... or or or...

All can be confused with each and the other...

And I saw the Endocrinologist and was not suffering from hypothyroidism...

But, at the very same time I was researching well outside of the endocrinology box and well outside of all traditional medicine boxes and I was discovering ideas that were intentionally buried.

Intentionally Buried?

Who stands to lose if people stop eating refined carbs?

Do you have the slightest idea how many industries and economies would be affected?

This is much bigger than Save the Spotted Owl or Monsanto or Freek Frack Fracking or who truly is a terrorist or who has the real god...  It's even much bigger than Save the Human by changing their diet or educating them to eat "right" and stop polluting themselves with cigarettes or radiation or by-products of hydrocarbons or polimers or television or by animal protein etc...  How many people stand to lose stock value and jobs... From how many industries?

Lets go from what I believe is bottom to top:

Agriculture industry (especially corn, wheat, sugar cane and beet)

Processed Food Industry (frozen meals, canned and jarred goods, sweets, pastries, salty snacks and beverages) and the related packaging industries.

Fast food industry

Advertising Industry

Medical Industry

Nutritional Suppliment Industry

Pharmaceutical Industry

How many people effected?  Ignoring the hundreds if not thousands of Billionaire (or extremely wealthy) owners and CEOs...

And when you lose those jobs and industries how many people lose in the luxury items industries? Need I itemize that list too?

Too much hedged...  Too much risk of loss... 

The obesity/diabetes et al panepidemic will be the first epidemic in the history of humankind where humans will opt against fighting for saving the communities... And when you are talking about an epidemic, you are talking about saving a community from illness/disease.  

Forget about fighting terrorists or corporate funded destruction of the environment etc.  And forget about saving humans.

Plus, to tell you the truth:  Humans don't want to be saved, not even if they are morbidly fat, slothly, unattractive and ill, at risk of losing so many parts of their body, along with their precious sight and their precious girl-like/boylike figure...  It doesn't truly matter that they can't fit into any of the popular and sexy styles depicted on TV, in the movies and in the magazines...  God forbid someone tells them to not DIET but to truly change their eating habits that make them miserable.  God forbid they restrict the foods that made them happy and ill in a way that is so drastic it is being called a pandemic.  

The problem with writing this in English and with the fact that my English is from the U.S. is that the newfound and incredibly cherished eating style that created the Pandemic to begin with, along with the industries and the marketing and investment styles that grew up around it was created in the U.S.  

What "American" would kill their brainchild?  Infanticide?  But, that's what the parents are doing to their children when they continue subjecting the child to a style of eating that is so utterly and rapidly destructive.  Just think about it this way; my generation is fatter than my parent's generation. And the generation of my generation's children are even that much fatter that much earlier than my generation.  

I live in Mexico almost 12 years.  I've observed such an intense and rapid change here in just 6 years.  The people are becoming so fat so fast that you can see the change in the same cities one year to another...  And over the past 6 years, Mexico surpassed the United States as the most obese country.  Why?  How?  And what do you do about it?


Why not?  Because the people don't want to change their new-found opportunity.  You have no idea how much Margarita and I have physically changed over the past 6.5 months.  Our neighbors have noticed.  Our aquaintances in the fairs have noticed and exclaimed How did you do it?  Tell me the secret!  But you didn't just lose your "beer belly", you lost it ALL parejo (parejo means evenly or balanced)"  But they don't want to stop drinking their wonderful Mexican beer or their Coca Colas or their Frito Lays or their Pizza Huts or their Carls Juniors or their Kentucky Fried Chickens or their Frappuccinos...

And, no, I wouldn't sue McDonalds or Coca Cola or Nestle or Frito Lay (Pepsi Co) or or or...  Nor would I tell them to make food that is healthy and unsellable (for them)... Because, people are buying what the food means to them... and it doesn't mean being healthy.  So, why subject these companies to do what is illogical?

This is what the people want to put in their bodies... It's what they want to eat.  You have no idea how much torture it was watching Morgan Spurlock eat so much McDonalds... I live in Mexico almost 12 years and I have eaten Burger King twice, Kentucky Fried Chicken once, McDonalds french fries once and Dominos Pizza once (an emergency when my mother and Bruce, Margarita and I got lost in the mountains of Veracruz and found ourselves in the city of Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala at 11pm with only one option for dinner after crossing uninhabited mountains and fields for hours)...  I see the giant McDonalds and Burger King and Carls Jr. signs and I feel the incredible pull over the years.  But, I control myself.  

Like watching "Super-Size Me", reading Michael Moss' monumental piece on the prepared food industry "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us" made me incredibly hungry... for "junk food"...  But what an incredible insight into the food industry... a place within which I have been working for at least 12 years now... and not without important success selling wonderful but unhealthy recipes of my own... that have always made the customer incredibly happy... but that I've never had the resources and possibly the ambition or knowhow to make into a giant seller...  but with a product that easily qualifies as being capable of being a giant seller.  And, now, I tell people that my wonderful product would make them very ill if they eat it EVERY DAY.  In "The Lakes" of Xalapa, Veracruz selling my wonderful gourmet cupcakes and giant cookies you WILL NOT find in NYC, I found myself telling clients, "Look, this is something you eat on a special occasion, not every day.  I would be happier seeing you once a week or once a month and not every other afternoon...  Yes, that means less of your money.  But, I should have faith that my product is so good that it will attract enough people once a month to justify my existence in the market..."  But, that's not how Mexico works.  People want the least expensive product they can buy every day, be it Coca Cola for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or Hostess cakes as the pastry after every meal or Fritos, Lays or Doritoes whenever they want to balance salt with sugar...  My gourmet cupcakes should be sold at a price that they could buy it every day.  And that's what the junk food and fast food and prepared foods industry understood about their clients; that they will turn their back on a product they can't purchase with any given whim...  

Robert Lustig's book "Fat Chance" is very interesting and extremely informative.  But, I don't agree with him when he says that commercially prepared food is less expensive than "real" food (whole food; whole grains, fruits and vegetables etc).  Ounce for ounce, whole food is much less expensive.  However, making prepared food natural, would make the industry extremely expensive.  Even if the people wanted to eat high quality prepared food sold in quickly and informally or packaged for taking home, it would be too expensive for their wallets.  But, using the same money spent in restaurants on soda and cakes and salty snacks and frozen dinners and canned soups or beans etc on whole food and cooking it in a kitchen, would give you so much more food (at least 10 times) than what you were originally getting.  

That said, I've understood that difference ever since moving to New York City in 1995.  I've been cooking for myself seriously since at least 1989, when I was 20-years-old.  My mother hated that I used her kitchen.  Probably because I had no idea how much she spent on various items such as extra virgin olive oil (that I shouldn't have been using as the base frying or grilling oil) or because I probably didn't clean up after myself... sufficiently.  But, that's besides the point.  The point is that I've been cooking for myself (and others) for at least 25 years and I cook damn good.  And the real point is that cooking whole foods isn't the only answer... 

and back to my original point a long while back:  8 years of investigating, researching, studying and caring for my health and others through understanding the nutritional value of basically each "real" ingredient... I knew how to cure almost any ailment through using fruits and vegetables...  I could even lower my BP almost at will (when it got too high)...  But, I couldn't decrease my weight and I was struck with a different strange and surprising and unexplainable ailment every few months for at least 2 years...  2 years ago Margarita and I were semi-vegetarian, exercising heavily 2 hours, 5 days per week and limiting fat intake... And our weight hardly dropped and my health went on a decline 5 months into the new routine.  And I became newly worried... about what my small intestine was or wasn't absorbing... because of my J-Pouch and lack of a colon and the distal part of the small intestine (the Ileum)...  And it took me another 1.3 years to discover what was occuring and what to do... But, it was kind of like a shot in the dark... kind of a leap of faith... And Margarita and I found ourselves as our own personal guinea pig lab rats...

Let me show you my blood tests from March 1st 2014 and today's shocking results September 22nd, 2014:

March 1st 2014

Glucose = 117  ("Prediabetic")

Triglycerides = 326 (Alto; Healthy is considered below 150)

Total Cholesterol = 262 (Heavy risk of Heart Failure)

LDL (Not so bad Cholesterol) = 159  (There isn't much I can say about this without explaining the function of LDL cholesterol in transporting fats and in building cell membranes etc.)

HDL (The Good Cholesterol)  38  (Unhealthy is considered below 40, dangerous is below 30, optimal is above 60)

VLDL (The Truly bad Cholesterol) = 65 (healthy is considered below 35)

September 22nd 2014

Glucose = 94  (almost 2 years ago my level was below 85 and I won't rest until it returns)

Triglycerides = 114 (this is what surprised me most; it was at 208 just under 2 months ago)

Total Cholesterol = 225

LDL = 156

HDL = 63 (this also greatly surprised me, since I know just how hard it is to elevate HDL)

VLDL = 23

Just so you understand, I am not on a totally simple carb-restricted diet.  I drink coffee with 12 grams of sugar and with milk (milk has at least 4 grams of sugar per cup).  I eat chocolate (not always completely dark).  The other day I stumbled across a bag of Kraft Caramels that I grew up with and have never seen here in Mexico, and had to buy it...  I will eat an occasional couple of corn tortillas.  I eat all the beans I want (although they are wonderful for blood pressure and have excellent fiber and protein, they also are one of the highest stimulators of insulin release.  Then again I may have misread the type of beans and maybe they are referring to canned baked beans, since "Americans" generally don't understand soaking dried beans overnight, boiling them for hours and then preparing them without sugar or molasses...)  And I do NOT limit my fat intake.  I do worry about what types of fat and how heat affects the chemical structure of fat... I worry about AGEs etc and turning healthy fats into transfats etc...  A wonderful book for reading all you wish to possibly know about fat is by Udo Erasmus, "Fats that Kill; Fats that Heal"

I am NOT eating any wheat products.  I don't call myself Celiac, because I don't believe I am.  But, I do believe that we don't truly understand the extent to how wheat products affect our digestive tract.  And as long as there are so many excesses in our diet and so many possible contaminants and things that cause digestive reactions or irritations, such as FODMAPs (about which I don't waist much time and energy, especially since I will NOT remove garlic and onions from my diet along with so many other natural foods), it will be almost impossible to accurately place one's finger on the cause of the inflamation etc...  

That said too, I experience absolutely no IBD style J-Pouch problems that I experienced most of my 11+ years with Margarita.  I don't have accidents in the night.  Nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables don't cause blockage, nor inflamation... nor irritation...   I don't find myself struggling in the bathroom.  I can eat dried chiles and vinegars without the typical reactions.  I don't experience GERDlike issues also related to my Hiatal Hernia.  I don't experience issues with my stomach ulcers (if I have them)... I don't experience acid indigestion.  No bloating.  After 12 years of wondering what went wrong in the surgery and with my sphincter muscles attached to the J-Pouch, I suddenly find myself without retention/incontinance issues...  There isn't that constant "nasal drip" down there...  You have absolutely no idea and I am certain I am forgetting much...

And I can't tell you if it was the removal of the wheat products and other grasses that have gluten...  or if it was the removal of the rice, potatoes, corn, sugar (in baked goods), juices...  In the small intestine, the only difference between bread, rice, potatoes, corn, juices and "sugar" is that bread has gluten and sugar has fructose...  I eat all the fruit I wish, and fruit has varying levels of fructose (fructose means sugar from fruit).  Commercial juices have more sugar than sodas...  I would be hard pressed to show that the same isn't true with natural juices...  But, the fruit has fiber (varying degrees, so I would be careful about eating ripe bananas, grapes, watermelon and oranges) which slows down greatly the process of glucose crossing from the small intestine into the blood stream...  Oh, I forgot to say what I meant to say about what makes bread, rice, potatoes, "sugar", corn tortillas etc the SAME:  They all are broken down to glucose in the small intestine.  Sugar, is broken down into glucose and fructose.  When they enter your blood stream, they may have entered your mouth as white rice or a bagel or a baked potato.  However, at their most basic and "useful" form, they are glucose....

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Vitamin Deficiencies, Insulin and Refined Carbohydrates

http://www.newswithviews.com/Howenstine/james52.htm  Glucose competes with Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) for entrance into human cells...

Low levels of Vitamin C has been correlated with Heart Disease and Hypertension.  Refined Carbohydrates have been correlated with increased VLDL cholesterol and Arteriosclerosis.  High levels of glucose creates an inbalance against the absorption of Vitamin C.  Hence, a double whammy for risk of heart disease.


Absorption of Vitamin C in the Small intestine:  file:///C:/Users/Ross/Desktop/Absorption%20of%20Ascorbic%20Acid%20(Vitamin%20C)%20J.%20Nutr.-2000-Malo-63-9.pdf

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Response to my first letter to Abbie...

Sounds like you have some interesting people in your life and are on quite an adventure yourself. Bravo!
As far as the J-pouch questions go, I will say I have also experienced some bleeding after runs. There is no rhyme or reason to it and it wasn’t due to pouchitis. My doctor told me not to worry as long as it isn’t consistent or happening after hard/long workouts, which it doesn’t. It just randomly happens sometimes.
I eat PB&J before I run, drink Citrucil, wait for it to settle & use the bathroom before I run. I eat Clif Shot Bloks while I run and hydrate with Nuun tablets. I haven’t noticed I need anything special as far as my regular diet goes, even during marathon training. In fact, I added Eggo waffles to my pre-long run regiment because they seemed to stick around and settle quite nicely. Whatever works.
If you want more information, feel free to email me directly:
Happy running!
  • Hi Abbie,
    I guess that means you are running marathons?…
    I noticed after writing you yesterday, reading the comment by Trad Cruikshank that there are J-Pouch marathoners or ultramarathoners or that there is Trad…, which is very uncouraging. As for eating P, B & J… lovely memories with Chunky Peanut Butter and heaps of Welches Strawberry Jam on Branola bread (with the exception of Branola, since Wonder and Weston Foods were bought up by the Mexican baker and now #1 in the world BIMBO, I can’t obtain those products here), since Sams Club and Costco and Walmart dump the worst products in Mexico (makes me wonder and worry everytime a product is removed from the shelves by the FDA or the USDA due to salmonella etc)… and since I’ve removed refined carbs from my diet, especially wheat products, which I would say helps greatly with energy levels, increased endurance and recovery times, inflamation… along with better sleep. Granted, it seems to go against what Christopher McDougall writes in “born to run” since it seems that all of the runners he mentions are basically vegetarian. I was vegetarian when I was running in college and believe that being vegetarian was related to my injury… A lot of reading. A lot of information. Many people would disagree and say that they are perfectly fine with their diets. My uncle swore by a breakfast of Coke and a Chocolate Brownie (although my mother would say that he was obsessed with his weight–probably being the little brother of two older sisters who were obese and who knows how were the crazy daughters of my grandfather’s crazy girlfriends who tended to live with them during childhood; it seems that my grandfather was attracted to women with psychiatric health issues–my maternal grandmother died from gangrene in a mental hospital in Brooklyn when my uncle was 10-years-old)… Then again, my uncle was a superman and probably defied laws of human biology that all the “normal” humans must respect. He ran one NYC marathon with a couple of slipped discs in his back incurred playing soccer in Central Park and ran another NYC marathon with a broken bone in his foot after not seeing “that hole” when pulled by his very enthusiastic german shepherd pursuing another dog in Riverside Park… A shot of cortisone and he was running and finishing the Marathons as if nothing abnormal had occurred a few weeks earlier. My uncle had also told me that rage fueled his runs, since he was a helpless witness of repeated visits by the Mafia and my grandfather crying infront of them and my uncle, since he had a trucking business in Brooklyn…
    Thinking about the super runners mentioned by Christopher McDougall, he’s not writing about all the rest of the unknowns, but about the incredibles. He even mentions in the end of the book that much has to do with who are your parents (be it genetics or training)… Maybe the 9-year-old boy with the prosthetic leg after having bone cancer wouldn’t have started running again if his father and mother and uncles weren’t marathoners… Maybe for some of us it doesn’t really matter what we eat… we’ll still manage to do things that are beyond incredible. Maybe it doesn’t matter if you are vegetarian or Paleo… if you are an exception. But, what I noticed is that for both my wife and I, no matter how much exercise we did and how healthy our diet seemed, we couldn’t drop the weight and increase greatly our distance without removing the simple carbs… I had always believed in carb loading before the runs… In fact, 2 years ago, I developed increased fatigue and muscle cramping instead of increased distance until I was forced to walk-run 8 minutes into the runs… This led to a 1.5 year hiatus and a ton of investigation into my health and diet… Removing the simple carbs removed the excess weight (over 30 pounds for both of us since March) and the problems, believe it or not. No limits on fat or animal protein… No Paleo diets either, since I believe much of Paleo is based upon myth and fantasy and mixed with a whole ton of confusion and in-fighting about what we truly should eat… I do believe that we may eat too much animal fat and animal protein… and will continue “monitoring” that question… Removing the simple carbs effectively removes the excess eating caused by reoccurring hunger… Many people (“experts”) who advocate weight loss through low-carb diets mention that exercise increases appetite and the subsequent risk of over-eating. I don’t see it that way. And reading “Born to Run” makes me think that the ultramarathonist’s body becomes a much more efficient energy burning machine, leading to their needing less food… I also believe that “teaching” your body to stop relying upon simple carbs makes it a much more efficient energy burning-conserving machine… However, I do believe that animal protein has a function in preventing your body from burning muscle for energy…
    Thanks for responding to my comment.

Another Letter to Abbie the NYC J-Pouch Marathoner...

I love the photos!

But, back to form and “Born to run…” Christopher McDougall says that most modern running injures are due to Nike’s invention of the running shoe in the 60s… that basically forces you to run “heel to toe”, which has you running as would a sprinter with the foot shooting out infront of you… The Tarahumaras run in home-made sandals and with the feet stepping directly below the line of the body (straight up) pushing backward… (or pushing you forward)… After injuring my right ankle on the outside, I naturally changed my stride and, while reading “Born to run”, I realized that I was running somewhat like McDougall mentions… Sunday and today I found myself saying to myself, “Hills are not obstacles” as I ran into the hill with the same stride I had running a flat… And I found that there wasn’t any change in energy expenditure or respiration… In fact, I find myself running my 10ks faster than when I was running heel to toe, but with much less fatigue… Not lifting up the feet so much and shooting it forward with that beautiful open stride (like running like a gazelle; what a dream!), but almost like (I’ve forgotten much of the way I spoke in English, totally immersed in Spanish here)… sliding? Slipping? No… The stride is much more closed, yet leading to an equally fast run, if not faster, while burning much less energy. Granted, this is new to me, and I’ve found soreness in different muscles… The lower front of the thighs and none in the calves… Maybe it is age… Maybe at a greater age (45-years-old) one loses the leisure of not worrying about energy conservation or efficiency… or the risk of injury is too high… Who knows? But, 23 years ago, running in the Pioneer Valley in Amherst Mass, I wasn’t running 6.2 miles per day. Granted, I was running much more intensely, using all the energy I could find in my muscles. But, maybe I would have gotten much further and not injured myself if I ran more efficiently… Sometimes running without over-pushing allows us to run further… I believed greatly in running through the pain and “no pain, no gain”… Believing that in aspects, pain is just an illusion, often psychological and that we should push ourselves through it and relish in the endorphins and success when we have finished after pushing ourselves through the obstacle. When I approached a hill, I “put my head into it”… and increased my intensity. Hills were opportunities (I think of that wonderful hill on the backside of Prospect Park leading up to Grand Army Plaza and the Brooklyn Museum of Art) for increasing speed… But, I believe those same hills were what led to my injured Ileal-Tibial band… I loved the sweat. Today, I sweat so much less… no drenched shirts… But, I may run much much more than I ran in college and in Brooklyn.

If you haven’t read “Born to Run”, I think you will find it very interesting, if not inspirational… He focuses on both incredible female and male ultramarathonists. I would be interested in your take on his words. Afterall, I am just a fledgeling runner and you have so much more experience. As I said earlier, I had so few conversations with my uncle about running; I just remember him trying to get me to run with him in the Green Mountains of Vermont when I was pretty small and asthmatic and him telling me to lift up my feet. Years later, when I was running in Amherst, I would run lifting my knees pretty high… thinking that that was what he was suggesting. One Thansgiving on Riverside Drive and 103rd street, I addressed his “suggestion” asking if he raises his feet so much when running and he said, “No. No. No. The less you must lift you feet above the ground, the better. The idea is minimal energy expenditure… Don’t worry about speed. Speed comes with time… and the distance increases gradually.” Being very culturally active, athletic and a NYC internist, medical director with West Care and Medical teacher at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons (his practice was on West 66st, between Jiuliard [forgive the spelling] and Central Park, behind Trump Tower) and having children late into his and his wife’s careers, he had very little time for good conversations. So, I can’t say I learned much from him, other than he was my greatest mentor or role model… Retrospect is always full of disappointmenst or regrets about what time may have been dispillfered or wasted or what could have been asked or said… We don’t have that. We only have what we have, which is why it is so important for me to try and get it right this time around. And maybe there are still nice surprises at the age of 45 and beyond. My uncle Henry was 56-years-old when he was hit by the tow truck, he had run 29 consecutive New York Marathons… I’ve outlived my father by 11 years now. The J-Pouch surgery was part of what I mentioned about destine or spiritual route and what supposedly marked the difference between dying at his dying age and living 11 more years. The irony is that the year he became ill, was the year I became ill and was inspired to see doctors. Although I had always been extremely fatalistic believing that “God gave me this gene because I wasn’t meant to continue on…” He was a doctor (opthalmologist) who inspired my Uncle Henry to go to Med. School and who wanted to save my grandfather (his father-in-law) from the Mafia, teaching him to grind lenses. But, after the first year of his practice, he suddenly got ill with Cancer of the Colon that rapidly metasticized to his liver and died in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on York Avenue on New Years Eve 1973…

I had my J-Pouch surgery on Halloween 2001 and was so lucid that evening that I saw the Yankees beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the World Series, before being trounced…

The thing is that you never know… There are a lot of strange connections, strange numbers (as in numerology). The woman who inspired me to see doctors was the last girlfriend I would have in New York City and who was born exactly 7 years, 7 days, 7 minutes after I was born… The Puerto Rican Mystic and Healer (Estrella) on 5th Ave in Park Slope I was refered to by a Dominican coworker at the Salvation Army Foster Care Services on West 14th years early told me 4 months before strangely leaving for Mexico that the numbers are very powerful; 3 7s… However, said that I should forget about Joey since it was “water under the bridge” and that I would meet my last girlfriend when I left NYC and/or the U.S. when I got where I was going. Before leaving my friend Michael’s apartment in Alphabet City for the Port Authority and my Greyhound to the border January 28th, 2003, Michael’s wife gave me a necklace with a fish carved out of stone from Peruvian indians they had met in Peru and were helping sell their handmade crafts on St. Marks Place. I said, “why the fish? I don’t have an Pisces in me”… And then I met Margarita 3 weeks later and realized that it was the connection between Michael, M’nique, Margarita and I. Margarita was born on March 7th, or 3-7 and we have always run together… In fact, in the time we’ve been together, I haven’t spent 24 hours apart…When Mexican immigration told me to leave the country for renewing my 6 month tourist visa, although the had given me permission to marry Margarita a month earlier, instead of going to the U.S. without Margarita, we went to Guatamala together. We created our businesses together, work together, cook together… The only thing she doesn’t do is paint with me and read what I read in English… Almost all of the books I’ve bought over the past almost 12 years are in Spanish. Science, Medicine and Nutrition (especially if it is progressive or contraversial) are not translated into Spanish. “Born to Run…” fortunately is in Spanish… I found it in a used bookstore and Margarita read it before I had… I was reading Gary Taubes “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and she was saying that I must read it “Born to Run” when she finished… Now, I’m suggesting that you read it if you haven’t yet.


Monday, September 15, 2014

A letter to Abbie on long-distance running with a J-Pouch...

Hi Abbie, I stumbled across your blog while looking up J-Pouch marathoners... and am wondering just how far you've gotten with your running since you wrote this piece.  I'm a J-Poucher since just after 9/11 when I had my rectum removed at Mount Sinai Medical Center on the Upper East Side.  16 months later, I moved to Mexico and am living here almost 12 years now.  I've run off and on since college in the early to mid 90s... I probably would have been a much more serious runner had I not injured my ileal-tibial band in college in 1993.  My uncle Henry (Dr. Carl Henry Nacht) was a top NYC Marathon runner until he was killed on the Hudson River bike path or the Riverside Park bike path (I don't know what it is actually called) by a drunken NYPD tow truck driver riding home with his wife after dinner in Chelsea... His death appeared in all of the NYC papers.  You can look him up as "The Bicycle Doctor"...  My younger sister Beth Rosenberg (also a marathoner) was invited to run with his # in his memory in the following addition of the Marathon that same year (2006).  Beth, an incredible marathoner and mother of 2 girls, was diagnosed with rectal cancer this past March and had immediate J-Pouch surgery that same month...  She's planning upon running marathons again.  But, there are significant question marks surrounding the endeavor.  

That said, I miss Central Park and especially Prospect Park.  Mexico's cities lack parks of their magnitude, especially for running.  Although I've made due...  I live in Guadalajara and began running seriously again this passed May.  During the process, I've encountered issues of "rectal" bleeding after surpassing the 30 minute mark.  Inquiring into the possible causes, I've come to believe somewhat greatly that it has something to do with ischemic "bowel"... although it could have something to do with pouchitis...  I belong to the J-Pouch.org and most of the J-pouch runners who experience the same bleeding and visit with their doctors, have mentioned that there is no visible change in their J-Pouch for explaining the bleeding... no pouchitis.  I stumbled across Ischemic Colitis on the Runners World website.  All this said, with all of my research on diet not directly related to running or the J-Pouch or my sister and my F.A.P./Gardners Syndrome I stumbled across Prickly Pear Cactus (Nopal) and mucilage as a cure for colitis or ulcers or chronic inflamation and started cooking with the Nopal Cactus.  Low and behold, the bleeding during the runs stopped.  Since May, I've changed from the cactus "Nopales" to ground flax seeds (to increase my HDL cholesterol etc) and they and their mucilage have worked even better than the cactus leaves...  (During a hiatus from the Nopales, I started bleeding again after 30 minutes and that bleeding stopped with the ground flax seeds)...  For the first time in 21 years since increasing my runs from 5.2 miles per day to 7.3 miles in one week when I injured my ileal-tibial band in 1993 I found myself running 6 miles, 5-6 days per week (a slow 63 minutes) without pain or injuries and without bleeding.  I just read "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" by Christopher McDougall that takes place just north of Guadalajara in Copper Canyon, Chihuahua and found myself incredibly inspired, moved...  

I'm 45-years-old and in a very personal movement to finally encounter true health (against all odds with my FAP/Gardners that seems like a horrible ticking bomb) through a lot of research and reading and wishing I had had better conversations with my uncle long before he died to truly know how he experienced his running...  At the age of 27 while in medical school, he decided to run marathons, going from running his first mile to running his first marathon in 13 months to finishing his NYC Marathons and Boston Marathons in the top 100 (when the New York Marathon had 16,000 starters).  His best time was 2:38...  We would wait for him to pass (around the 22 mile marker) behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art... 20 + minutes after Bill Rodgers had passed... He would appear so relaxed, as if he was out on a 5 mile Central Park Loop warm-up; My aunt Mary Beth (also a Marathon Runner before she started having problems with a pinched nerve) would greet him with a hug and a kiss and run with him for a stint and then we would wait for him to appear at their apartment on West 83rd Street and then West 103rd/Riverside for the wonderful Marathon Party Mary Beth would organize for this incredible man... 

When I run, questions appear in my mind directed towards Henry... or Uncle Henry or Dr. Demento (great sense of humor for entertaining his little neices and nephews we once were) or Dr. Carl Henry Nacht... or now known as "the Bicycle Doctor"...  I wish I could ask him, now that maybe we share two distinct interests that didn't really interest me when he was alive: extreme running (he regularly ran the 50 mile Central Park Ultramarathon: 10 times around) and health.  Its kind of a one-sided series of questions... a silent and slightly sad conversation not really worth having with just anyone, since he wasn't just anyone, but someone who incredibly appreciated how his body worked and moved... For him, it seems that running was beyond personal, but spiritual.  The only way you can truly understand how it works for you is by connecting at a very deep spiritual level where somehow you should find the best answers.  If you don't have that friend or that family member or if you aren't that journalist like Christopher McDougall, you have only yourself for truly understanding how and where you are running.  And, I'm not sure if that always is enough... and why I'm curious how your running experience with the J-Pouch has evolved over the past 2 years, since now you've been given a challenge that I imagine no marathon runner has before they become a marathon runner.  In ways, it was a miracle for me to reach the 10km mark with absolutely no stress... seemingly no effort.  And now I'm thinking of reaching 21 kms (the un-thought-of half marathon).  But, reading "Born to Run..." more interesting than a marathon (that never interested me in my life), are the ultramarathons.  Why?  Because ultramarathons do not have an actual limit on distance or time-frame.  It's not so much about winning or about finishing a certain distance, but about being able to run seemingly forever.  To be able to cross states on foot (not as slow as walking) instead of on wheels; being closer to the country you are crossing...  more connected...  In a very strange way, the closest we can appear to flying... Riding a bike is not you flying, but the bike moving you, although you are peddling...  The plane motor is flying you from JFK to LAX, not you.  But, running an ultramarathon would be the equivalent of getting you there on the wings of your feet... Sounds crazy coming from someone who has never run more than 7.2 miles, let alone a half marathon or a marathon... especially a 45-year-old J-Poucher...  J-Pouching does not bode well for running over 4 hours straight with all the digestive and bathroom issues etc... let alone running over 1 hour... But, running well over 4 hours?  And what would happen to the J-Pouch if there was an issue of Ischemia?  What if you needed a bathroom urgently at any given moment of the run?  How would a J-Poucher eat for the run?  How would you plan your bathrooms and diet and sleep the night before?  What would you carry with you for eating during the run?  What about the hightened risk of dehydration for J-Pouchers?  And, I say in a strange and probably not understandable way at this point in my running, "who cares?"  

Why who cares?  Because in order to barrel past all of the extreme obstacles that make us so extremely different than all the rest of the people and these dreams seemingly unobtainable, in order to begin, you've really gotta say, "who eff'n cares?"  Because, truthfully, you are the only one who truly cares and truly understands what it all signifies for you... And, there must be a point where you must stop caring and you've just gotta give a shot...  Like living in Mexico without a colon and without a rectum and with a J-Pouch that makes such difficult living just that much more difficult.  And, truthfully, "who cares?  Let's just do it and see where we end up..:"  and that's why I'm intrigued by your experience...  


Friday, September 12, 2014

10k... and beyond?

After injuring myself almost 2 months ago, I finally decided upon terminating the 2nd 5km loop of Metropolitan Park where I run here in Guadalajara.  Since I injured the tendon that runs on the outside of my right ankle, I've been running differently; shorter strides, not so heel to toe as had been my form since College and without any need for pushing myself.  Just head up, back straight, mind relaxed, enjoying the experience and the scenery.  While recuperating/running 3-4 days per week in Tangamanga Park in San Luis Potosi in August, I didn't have to run any specific course or begin or end at any given point.  I didn't even have to do a 15 minute warm-up walk...  I didn't have to beat a former time or extend the run beyond what I ran the day before.  I just had to appreciate the run...  

When we returned to Guadalajara, and to the hills of the Metropolitan Park, I just let my body decide how it would run and basically ignored where I had left off before being injured: a few meters from completing a 10k...  5-6 days per week.  I ran 40 minutes and completed the run where I was completing it back in early June.  The following day I only ran 24 minutes, but was fine with that... Something else was occuring that kept me relaxed about my "performance". I noticed with the shorter and more effortless strides, I was reaching certain milestones much quicker, even though I felt I was running much slower (which was not the case).  Another thing is that I read "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" by Christopher McDougall the prior 3 days and realized that after injuring myself in July I had changed my stride in a form that I was running almost exactly how McDougall explains the Tarahumara and the best ultramathonists run in order to cover so much ground with minimal fatigue and minimal stress.  

Yesterday I completed 8kms for the first time since mid-July and thought that it wouldn't be too much to ask of myself to stretch the run another 2...  Today the run began very slowly. In fact, I wasn't concerned about anything.  But, when I was approaching those 8kms I thought that I should see what would happen if I continued onward... 2pm, height of the day's heat and direct sun, like being on the beach... running without a shirt and feeling a slight burn.  But, truthfully, I found the heat envigorating.  There was absolutely no fatigue, almost no pain.  My breathing was near minimum... at least for not burning glucose (glycogen) stored in the muscle and just burning fat...  Nearing the 10k mile marker the tows of my right foot started aching (clearly that shoe isn't designed ideally for my toes) and I thought, "if I were in a marathon, I could do another 3 sets of these two laps of the park if not for my toes..."  My body was totally relaxed.  But, I wondered just how difficult it would be to run a marathon having toe pressure problems...  In the end, I finished the 10k in a slow 67 minutes.  Yesterday I had run a relaxed but fast first mile in 8.5 minutes and the 6th mile a little less than 1 minute slower.  The average mile was 10 minutes.  Today I ran the first mile in 11 minutes and the 6th in just under 10 minutes.  The average mile was 10.8 minutes.  The first and the 6th miles are the same stretch I always compare.  It's my favorite part of the park; the back end far away from the park goers that is 1 mile of rolling hills with pine forrests and lined with Eucalyptus trees.  When I ran from heel to toe, I used the 6th mile for basically sprinting.  When everything was working, I felt like a gazelle.  But, now I realize that running from heel to tow may not allow me to run longer distance or for an extended period of my middle-aged life, since it will cause injury.  Plus, it doesn't enable for running faster and it is an inefficient energy spender.  

I've never dreamed of running a marathon.  But, now the dream is to be able to run as long as I wish... As long as that is what the body was truly made for...  Our joke today is, one of us says, "Hey, I'm heading out to Veracruz in moment..." and he, she or I put on our running shoes or sandles and hops out the door for making that 500+ mile journey running...  If that's what our bodies were built for.  It remains to be seen...  

My next goal is to duplicate the 10k runs.  And I'm not talking about runnign a half marathon one day when there is a competition here...  The almost 10k runs were 5-6 days per week.  How about running a half marathon 5 days per week... one day.  Why not?

It took me 11 years to figure out how to reverse the obesity process.  Without worrying about fat or calorie counting, and with what seems like very little effort over the prior 6 months, I'm seeing an abdomin/chest reflected in the mirror that I believe I was seeing 20+ years ago.  It's delightfully surprising... And, there seems to be no reason that it would not continue in this direction.  So, why not one day be able to run as far as my mind desires?