Marbles in a Row: Cake or Death?

Say you’re an engineer. You see the world through the eyes of an engineer: you like theories but you live by results, tangible results. When results do not support a theory there’s a fascinating puzzle to solve and you can get obsessed by it.

The puzzle doesn’t have to do with gears or bridges to get you going, I know of an engineer that solved the puzzle of his own Diabetes I. He wrote his solution down in a book and became a doctor to help others.

say cheese-spikes-bloodsugar-too-but-not-as-much, dr. Bernstein!

To be honest: he initially became a doctor because doctors can order certain tests that engineers cannot. Becoming a doctor was a smart solution, one typically chosen by an engineer. Thinking out of the box, getting things done.

To me dr.Bernstein is an inspiration. He took control of his own illness. Thought along with his physicians. Proposed theories, did experiments and solved the puzzle. With Diabetes I -making no insuline of any importance- he manages his daily life so he does not need insuline besides the base line dosis that keeps him from keeling over. He does not need any insuline to cover his food intake. Now that’s clever. He solved the puzzle and lives to enjoy that every day of his life.

He’s also honest about the mental implications of having found a solution. The pangs of everyday.

Whenever he passes a bakery with all its delicious smells and sights his body and mind react. They want cake! This hurts. He can’t have cake. His health is too precious to him to risk it. No cheating. But still, this hurts. On a core level because carbohydrates are the treats of life and we are programmed to covet them. But no, he’ll be sensible and grown up and do the right thing. Still hurts a bit though.

That’s ok. Things will hurt. There will be yearning and things you cannot have and plans that fall through and disappointments. We can cry a little. And then we sigh a little. And then we move on. To the things we do have and can enjoy. I find it very uplifting to know that dr. Bernstein’s solution is something he works on every day, also when he’s blue or sad or grumpy. Those are the times it really matters. Dr. Bernstein is honest about how he copes during those times and that is inspirational. Because he’s honest about being human.

Now then. I’m an engineer. I now have this black box called a body and recently I’ve been putting other things than usual in it an results are stunning. Albeit not 100% repeatable and not covered by theories very well.

I have some parts of the puzzle. Stakes are high. Part of the problem is that my mind is clouded by the supplements I take. Excitotoxins and heavy metals are floating in my brain. Sugar too. Messing up my thought processes and also messing up my self image. Tricky.

Today I am here as your engineer to present (to me) some sort of plan to handle this:

  1. I’ve gone back in time and once again have only one hour of coherent mental activity per day.
  2. this hour need to be accompagnied by physical activity because only this will help eliminate the excitotoxins from my system
  3. since the rest of the day knows brainfog more or less a checklist must be in place to remember to do/eat the right things at the right times (yeah, checklist!)
  4. low doses of supplements that will exit the body within a day means I should not have to worry about long term damage (liver! it hurts a little) and that this is not a regression in health. Symptoms should reside in a few days if I stop and the true base line of my illness will present. The one from March 2013 and its progress from then on.
  5. all other knowledge about my body is still correct and should be used (stomach works in marble sized morsels so eat small portions. This will aid the liver too.)
  6. two excellent tips from two dear knitter friends:

“Allow yourself to fret for 20 minutes. Then put aside your worries for another day.”

“You say you can feel in your gut if something is good for you. If you have doubts, they too will be felt in your gut.”

Now follows my daily checklist for this period in time:

  • eat one egg yoke, drink tea, have vit.D
  • ease into the day for a bit. End this period with some npc.
  • have your second breakfast (chicken soup) with supplements (m-B12, m-folate, lithium, multi-gland, vit D, vit C, zinc). Soup contains some foliage for brushing down the bowels.
  • do something vertical for about an hour (sewing, write a lettre, vacuum, put something away, laundry, weaving, cooking, take picture, block FO, something from the to-do list) and prepare project for resting (which knitting project of hand sewing?). This hour uses up the blood sugar and helps eliminating excitotoxins
  • wash face, brush teeth.
  • rest (one hour). Cover yourself with a blanket, you’ll get cold as your energy goes into your duodenum. Watch a movie, knit something simple.
  • the rest of the day is free for doing fun things and resting on the couch. Have a look outside once and awhile. Eat soup. Drink tea. Drink water with lemon juice. Feel free to be brainfogged. Allow and aid your body to take out the waste. Eat some carrots to provide extra roughage.
  • go to the toilet whenever you think about it
  • this will take a couple of months. Forget about work during this time. Don’t fret.

NB. I’ve making butter cakes lately: a glutenfree, sugarfree version of the famous Dutch Boterkoek. (It’s not really sugarfree, I put in one fig because I felt like it)

I use 250 grams of excellent full fat butter (I use Demeter, a non-homoginized organic butter); 250 grams of rice flour; some salt; quite a bit of pepper; a lot of chopped ginger (one or two fingers worth); lemon peeled skin of half a lemon and one chopped fig.

mix it all in a round baking form. No need to line the form with grease or wax paper. Put in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees celcius. Let it cool, put it in the fridge. Delicious the next day!

Dear engineer,

remember the basics: the stomach only takes food one marble at the time. Blood sugar rises ridiculously, even with small bits of food, and this cake has both starches and fig sugar in it. So temper your intake of this delicious cake. Whenever you have had some and feel a physical yearn for another piece, you have taken too much. Do something else for 20 minutes to let the blood sugar levels calm down. Best thing to do is physical activity to get rid of the sugar without having to use insuline. Insuline is a poison. But a better poison than (blood) sugar.

best whishes,

your better half.

ok. Here’s Eddie Izzard on youtube with Cake or Death and a design by Defiant Damsel over on Etsy:


health: new knowledge twirls in my head.

I’m reading dr. Yasko’s free e-book: “Autism, pathways to discovery”.

It doesn’t cut to the core of things fast enough to my liking but then, this book is written to coach parents without any interest in biochemistry into understanding how they can help their children.

Basically: when biochemistry is messed up, children of today will display autistic behaviour. Delay or regression in speech, eye contact etc. When the chemistry is restored this behaviour disappears. Extraordinary!

dr. Amy explains why children now have this problem and not children of 30 years ago (they get ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia) and not children of 60 years ago (they get Alzheimers.) It is all the same principle: genetic constitution + environmental toxins (including food) + your age at first exposure.

go here to the website of dr. Amy Yasko

Genetic constitution accounts for your ability to process foods and toxins. Children from the last 40 years are more troubled by their genetic make-up then people from before that period. The genes are still the same but the build up of toxins and the sensivity to them increases with youth. Which is why my parents only recently have started thinking about vitamins while I cannot function without 60 mcg of vit. D daily. At least.

Where I a newborn today, I’d be probably diagnosed with autisme before the age of 4. And only if my now-parents would supply me with all the micro-nutrients I cannot process from food by myself would that diagnosis be reverted. As it is with many of dr. Amy’s patients. (we are talking thousands, not hundreds of babies)

Let me be clear: these diagnoses of autism concern children with autistic behaviour. I believe all autistics are diagnosed by their behaviour? Well, some can be reversed or lessened by micro-nutrients. As well as aggravated as any parent of an autistic child knows. (I’ll not clear at all, am I?)

Well, I’ve only just delved into this material myself….

Combined with my genetic info from it gives me a lot to think about. And experiment with.

There’s biochemistry on a cellular level to learn (google “methylation cycle” or ) read this .pdf., I found it very enlightening. Skip over the first diagram and go to where there are simple drawings and simple explanations:

mythelation community illustratie

from The best document about the methylation cycle I read before delving into Dr.Amy’s book.. Go read it here.

Here you see the basic activity that happens in all human cells: there’s energy being generated; there’s waste being eliminated; neurotransmitters are being made; folic acid and B12 are transformed and enzymes are activated by attaching or removing a methylgroup to their ‘recipe’: the DNA-code. That last part is what ‘methylation’ means. Attach a methyl group to a molecule and things start happening.

This cycle shows that these five parts interact and which amino-acids, vitamins, hormones and enzymes are crucial at which stage.

Now see that little flag called MTR/MTRR between the two processes on the right? I’ve got mutant flags right at that spot. Which means, now that I am reading up on this, means I don’t process folic acid or B12 very well.

So starting this week I am trying out supplements (the already processed forms of folic acid and B12) to see what happens…..

Boy! I got cured for two days!

My body was SO RELIEVED to receive Methyl-B12, I took it and a spring of calm welled up inside me.. Not like the calm progesteron gives me, that is more of a wave washing over me, happily greeted by my body. This M-B12 calm welled up from the inside. Very strange!

Than I was happy, energetic, active untill the effect worn off after about 6 hours. I remained verrrrry suspective.

I also got a bit too hyper as all kinds of toxins got released (the waste disposal part of the cycle sped up too) but I took lots of herbal tea and roughage (raw carrots and boiled cellery in fat chicken soup) to help my liver and bile and bowels to eliminate waste. I still noticed alterations in my brain chemistry but I’ve learned to cope with those. They were not too severe.

The third day I got very ill. Spend all day on the couch being very unhappy, desperate even. A symptom I associate with a lithium shortage. Turns out you have to take lithium with these supplements as the cycle depletes it fast. I’ve been taking lithium (the mineral, not the drug) for ages not knowing why except that I need it or I’ll get mood disorder/despair. Now I find out there’s a biochemical explanation for that. The first two days of happiness depleted my little storage of lithium and I have another mutant flag that depletes my lithium anyway. There’s just a scientific explanation for my desperation, right there in the research…

As there is for the vit.D I need to take. And the progesteron. And the zinc. And the magnesium citrate. And the ginger root. And the cellery. And the beef. And the chicken soup. And the need for silence. And the getting out of the city and away from smog. And getting my amalgam fillings out. And stop doing tainted glass. And all the things I have gravitated towards in the past few years.

I am very shaken by all this. I am shaken that all those little naggings I feet inside and that promp me to do this or take that now seem to have a scientific base.

And all the weird things I stopped eating (garlic, gluten, cheese, nuts, vegetable oil, milk, green leaf vegetables, hummus, beans, lean meat, fruit, asparagus, nutmeg, alcohol, sugars, glutamate, aspartate) all have a scientific base too. It is not pickyness it’s sulfur foods and neuro-exitants and too rough on the intestines and the wrong fats and all other kinds of reasonable things.

pic by Vasile Bulgac

As I said, I’m very shaken. I am afraid I will now praise my ‘sensitivities’ and ‘quirks’ now that some (all?) of them are confirmed and that I will taunt them and insist on behaving odd.

Also what is happening to my body now is scary. Now that I have started some specific supplements for my genes things are changing in my body. I have little headaches from toxins release. There’s still a copper dump going on as I balance my zinc levels. I forget to take my hydrocortison, I don’t need it for the energy as my brain is firing a lot. If I take it I get very hungry (this is a sign of too much cortisol as people with Cushing’s disease know). I have slept three night for 6 hours or longer.

It’s not that I am cured. It is just that things are happening. I’m very wired and I’m also still recovering from the previous month(s). I frequently forget to pee and things are just stormy here.

What I have not been doing is working. I have not even thought about bacteria or writing. The garden got the better of me this year. And I cannot concentrate long enough to dabble in design.

That leaves art. I have been thinking about that.

And life. I’ve been thinking about life a lot too. But words make these thoughts so flat and meaningless. “You live. And then you die. Wether you’re a human or a fly. Both live meaningfull lives. Don’t presume a human life is worth more than that of the fly. To the human in question it is, of course, but in the grand scheme of things they mean the same. Which means that the value of my life lies in between the minutes. It’s when I am not planning and accomplishing that my life  reaches its grandeur.” And so on.

Nothing concrete yet. I think I need a few months to physically ease into this mythelation thing and to emotionally recover from the passing of my grandmother and adjust to life  in general (again).

I am here though. I live, in between the moments. Looking ahead.


back seat, sitting back

I’ve been through a couple of tiring weeks. I’ll need at least a few more to recover from them. So not much news or progress. It’s mainly regaining and maintaining an acceptable level of energy.

in between: I bought a car. A new used one. This will break the isolation I live in when I’m in the cabin. In my head I am now free to go and visit knitter friends. It is a knitters car!

and I am sewing a dress! With real couture techniques. But it’s something I can only do in the city. Somehow I’ve got to wear my smart lady shoes for it. Good thing I like the city!

I like learning to sew and doing this. And it yields a usable, flattering result to bet! Did you know there’s a whole sewing community online? With a lót of women who like to sew vintage patterns, with lots of couture techniques. There are a lot that approach this engineer style too.

I am documenting my progress in another blog: BumbleSews. I have nearly finished my first ever dress. It only needs a hem, a pressing and some magic.

The third piece of news I’ve got is this: I got my genome checked. I send some spit to a lab in the USA and they send back a bunch of letters and numbers that basically is a recipe for me. A pattern. A DIY menu.

Very interesting! Seams Seems my vit. D receptor is broken…. as is my B12 converter. I also should avoid heroïne and lepra as I am extra vulnerable to those. Oh. OK.


these are my results for genes that code for the Methylation Cycle. This table was generated by Genetic Genie, a wonderful initiative.

These are just some of the thousands of genes. But very important ones. Because the Methylation Cycle is VERY IMPORTANT. Unfortunately I am too tired to understand the full impact very quickly. This is a nuisance because I am used to understanding things quickly. Especially new fields.

All I’m doing these days is freaking myself out, reading about the interpretations of those few genes that are not perfectly good. Estrogen dominance, lithium depletion, heavy metal toxidity, autism, vit D shortage…. it’s all there, written down in my genes.

There are solutions: ingest the things you cannot make yourself. But you have to do this carefully. Too much too soon will release too much toxins at one. But I am too tired to draw up a good plan for this.

I keep reminding myself I got this old, with these genes, and I will live with them for a few more weeks at least so there’s no need to try and understand and fix it all today. *tongue in cheek, I expect to live longer than a few weeks with these genes*

I also find it difficult to match the different scales of things.

I was at ease with working on the big scale: mental, spiritual, amygdala, nervous system, relaxing each day, meditation/yoga (if these were my cups of tea), happiness, living life.

The smaller scale I handled too: food, supplements, hormones, muscles, specific organs, skin.

But this new scale: cells, amino acids, methylation cycle, molecules. It’s all new. Well, I read about it when I first fell ill and I took supplements that work for cells in petri dishes. But it was all theoretical.

Now that I have practical knowledge of what is going on inside my cells and what is nót going on, I am freaking myself out.

And I have difficulty connecting these three scales with each other.

I shouldn’t even try. I should focus on resting and recuperating from the weeks behind me. I have no brain cells left for this intellectual work. I should sit back and smell something.