It's been a while. Nice to see you again. I have been busy here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with business projects. On the health front I have also continued to fine-tune things I began to sort out for myself back when I was writing these blogs regularly. I believe now more than ever in the relationship between location and seasons regarding health.
I now live in an area with 4 distinct seasons, and recently it's been blow zero temperatures. I am currently eating a high fat carnivore diet. Taking seasons and light cycle changes into account allows us to avoid black & white thinking of absolutizing certain diets year-round. I have spent so much time thinking about light, seasons and the use of glucose and ketones as fuel. I'm a high fat carnivore right now because of where I am and what season it is. I like eating this way very much and have been doing intermittent fasting as well. During intermittent fasting periods, I have been experiencing kidney pain. I enjoy eating keto and carnivore, but in the past it has consistently caused kidney pain.
The first time I had kidney pain was about 13 or 14 years ago when I did a 10 day water fast. The fast changed my life (that's also another blog). I didn't want to stop but as the days went on I started to get kidney pain. I ended up having kidney stones on both sides and couldn't urinate. I had to break the fast and take stone breaker supplements. It was the worst pain I've ever experienced. I spent 12 hours on the floor weeping and vomiting. I didn't understand at the time why I got stones. About a year later I got in a car accident and had x-rays taken. No damage from the car accident but the doctor pointed out in surprise that many of my arteries were visible on the x-ray. It was hard to believe my eyes but there they were, showing up like bones. They were extremely calcified and this was a huge red flag for me.
I went off my vegan diet (of about 2+ years) and about a year later had x-rays taken again and my arteries were no longer visible. At the time I wasn't aware that this was likely due to the diet change as I had done other things to detox from metal filling poisoning (DMSA and magnetico sleep pad) but it scared me very much and I read several books on calcification. Now I'm very healthy (haven't been sick once in years) but getting kidney pain after going carnivore with intermittent fasting. So this begged the question...why!? When I got kidney stones the first time I was fasting as a full vegan. I was juicing all the time and living on nuts and greens. I was very sick, but the vegan guru I followed ensured me this was just because my body was detoxing. I eventually couldn't take the suffering any more and went back to eating first eggs, then turkey, and finally pork and red meat again. My health dramatically improved overnight, but now I'm seasonally carnivore and having kidney pain. What was the missing link? Oxalate build-up.
After some digging I was lucky enough to stumble upon Sally K Norton, who just wrote a book Toxic Superfoods. What are toxic super foods? Plants with high oxalate levels. Oxalates bind to minerals like calcium. If you consume more Oxalte than your body can expel, it gets stored in the body. I'm over-simplifying this because I just listened to the audiobook and recommend checking having a listen yourself. If you are a superfood eater that isn't getting the health results you'd hoped, this information could really help you.
In general, nuts, beans, some leafy greens, root veggies, and ......chocolate (which I live for) are all very high in oxalates. A vegan diet is typically a very high oxalate diet and that is why I had become so calcified. Foods from animals like dairy and meat have zero oxalates. Every time I cut out high oxalate foods by fasting or going carnivore or keto, my body is able to shed some of the oxalate build-up and that's why my kidneys back up, even though I feel so good otherwise. This is why it's wise to ease into any type of carnivore diet or fasting routine.
I am so grateful I found this information as it answered this lingering, nagging question. It revealed what I needed to take my health to the next level. I was able to successfully detox from heavy metal poisoning using the Magnetico Sleep Pad, but this information will enable me to now detox from oxalate build-up. What do I personally need to change? My addiction to dark chocolate (which I looked at as a "healthy" indulgence prior to this knowledge) will have to go. My relationship with nuts is also going to change drastically. It explains so much about my calcification issues. Since I saw those x-rays years ago I have been paranoid about strokes and heart attacks. I now have a useful understanding of calcium oxalate and how it builds up in the body and can contribute to life threatening events.
Mainstream medicine hates everything it can't test. I ran into the same problems with metal toxicity. Blood and urine tests don't tell you anything about oxalate that is built up in the body, and can only reveal how much oxalate is currently being expelled . The kidneys are just the exit, but what about everywhere else?
I have drastically shifted my diet to cleanse the oxalates. There are no oxalates in animal products and that is why carnivore is triggering this release. I will continue this diet until my kidney symptoms are gone. Oddly enough, I have to consume a small amount of oxalate each day in order to slow the shedding process so it isn't so painful or drastic on my system.
I will give updates on my progress as it sounds like others who have done the same have had astounding results. The negative health effects of oxalate build-up are very broad. It ties into everything from mitochondrial damage to arterial plaque, and so much more. It reminds me of metal toxicity in that it is a similar type of toxic build-up. I strongly encourage you to read the book Toxic Superfoods. Don't just search oxalates online as it will only lead to lots of mainstream kidney info. It isn't that the information isn't true, but it's where the story ends, not where it starts. You will need to understand the full story and its origins in order to heal your body of oxalate build-up.
I am so happy to finally understand why my super-food vegan phase made me so sick. I see that being told it was all because I was "detoxing" was completely incorrect. I was being poisoned by oxalate overload. Oxalate has many purposes in plants including acting as a toxin for self-defense. I highly recommend you learn more about this, especially if you have dieted in an effort to improve your health but not received the fruits of your hard work and discipline. If you are someone with metal toxicity, low mitochondrial function, obesity or any number of preexisting health issues, they likely contribute being prone to heightened oxalate build-up. If you are healthy then this info is good to be aware of as you age but may not require any detox or low oxalate diet.
Also, Please reach as out I would love to re-connect if we have lost touch. Angela says "Hi".
2/11/2023 09:30:51 am
Glad to see you are alive and deoxalating. I was just talking with Laura reminiscing about our growths over the years. Stoked to hear you're still growing also. Chocolate is a bitch, since I know so much to do with it and still eat it here and there. I knew it was full of oxalates, but didn't care. I care more now that I hear people suffering from stones. Jealous of the Northern winters. We'll be heading North soon. Been looking around mostly northern Montana or Idaho. At least there I can harvest wild meat year round. Good to read your voice again.
2/12/2023 01:55:19 pm
Hello, So happy to hear from you. Yes, I think the average person can have foods with oxalates (like chocolate) I will once I'm done clearing out. Not an all or nothing thing unless you filled with the stuff like me. The move has been the best thing we ever did. You may want to consider a visit to Ironwood. The UP is an amazing place and is trending in the right direction. Keep me posted.
Bobbi (Conner) Hilstein
2/11/2023 11:57:34 am
Great to see you back sharing your incredible information. Yes oxalates are detrimental in excess, that’s why It’s difficult to work with a vegan and convince that animal protein is essential! Glad you’re well and hi to Angela!
2/12/2023 01:57:11 pm
Hello! Hope you're doing great. I had heard of oxalate here and there but didn't understand the accumulation in the body. I hope your having so much fun in the new phase you're in. Stay in touch.
2/12/2023 06:11:58 am
I always read and appreciate your great blog posts, Rob.
2/12/2023 01:58:38 pm
Thanks, I hate writing new ones because it buries the old ones and about a fourth or them are solid. Thanks so much!
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Rob Alexander is on a journey to learn not just about health but everything else.
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