Eat for Heat: Based on a true story of pizza, ice cream and awkwardness

Posted by joe rigs on Thursday, January 17, 2013 Under: Health
A about a week or so ago I posted, on Facebook, how much a enjoyed reading Eat for Heat, I said that I even had a slice of pizza for the first time in a number of years. Not “paleo” pizza. Not gluten-free pizza. Pizza, Pizza. Full on gluten, baby. Well, I figured I had better write a follow up to that status lest people fear that I’m laying in the back ally of a pizza joint in a gluten-induced coma- cheese still stuck to my chin and a piece of crispy crust clenched tightly in my fist.

    I’m fine. Thanks for your concern.

    For the past 4 years or so I’ve been 99.9% gluten free and about 85% grain and legume free. You might call that paleo and if it helps you to have a framework then go for it. What I love about the paleo concept, is that it doesn’t need to be perfect. Let’s face facts, it’s not possible to be perfectly paleo unless you’re chucking spears at a Doedicurus clavicaudatus (picture a VW Beetle with teeth), but as a starting point I think it’s pretty spectacular. Some of the things I eat, however, are a big no-no for a modern day hunter-gatherer but if you try to take my raw milk ice cream I will cut you. It’s also not too uncommon for me to have some buckwheat waffles... with ice cream.
    The bottom line is that I really love to eat. I love eating more now than I can ever remember in my life and I’ve never eaten healthier than I do now. I’ve clawed my way back from some pretty gnarly health issues eating this way and I’ve seen countless other people do the same. This stuff works when you give half a chance and when you don’t allow it to become a religion. The second you become too attached to a way of eating, or feel guilty or stressed about food it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate things. In nearly every circumstance, the anxiety we attach to food is far worse than the food we have anxiety about. 
    With that said, there was one nagging little complaint that I’ve had for the past three winters. Cold hands and feet (that and the fact that I can’t seem to find I’m Gonna Git You Sucka on BluRay). I used to love the winter. I was an avid skier, played ice hockey and built some really kick-ass snow people. I was that crazy mofo that would show up in the middle of February wearing shorts.
    The past couple of years however, have been different. As soon as the thermometer hit 40 degrees I was miserable. I felt like I couldn’t even function when the temp got into the 30s. I never thought of myself and particularly low-carb by any stretch of the imagination but clearly, something wasn’t right. I tried to eat more sweet potatoes, but I couldn’t shake this feeling of being cold from the inside out. I was very ready to retire, move to Florida and dress like this every day:

    That brings us back to Eat for Heat. Most of it resonated with me but before I could recommend it to others, I needed to give it a try. I mean really give it a try which meant losing my fear of the one food that still scared the living crap out of me: Gluten. So, one afternoon, I left my office, drove to the nearest pizza joint, parked way in the back so no one would see me (I’m kidding about that last part... maybe), went inside and got a slice of regular pizza. I took it back to my office and I have to admit, I was a little excited to have my first real slice of pizza in about 4 years. As pizza goes it was actually just okay, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. I have to say, having written a book on being gluten free, it’s a bit awkward to write that, but not as awkward as what I’m about to write. What happened next was really interesting. I felt warmth. Like I was being wrapped in a warm blanket while spooning with Matt Stone. Then, I felt something else; familiar symptoms creeping up on me such as brain fog, a slight headache and my body clearly trying to expel what I had just eaten. It wasn’t terrible mind you, but it was obvious that this wasn’t the greatest food choice for me.
    Over the next three weeks or so I was able to easily implement the ideas in Eat for Heat while staying completely gluten free an it still worked incredibly well. This has much more to do with things like fluid concentration, timing, not fearing things like salt and sugar and some strange thing called met... meto... metabo... lism...(Matt uses a lot of big wirds in this book) then it has to do with eating pizza. It may have more to do with eating ice cream though. Which I did. A lot. Every damn night and it was freaking awesome. I also drank less water and drank some whole (raw) milk with a little maple syrup and a dash of salt and cinnamon which tasted great. I also ate a few more gluten-free treats than I would have otherwise.
    While I understood the principles in the book, I was still a bit surprised by how quickly it worked. I had a noticeable and sustained jump in body temperature pretty much right away. It lasted even on days that I didn’t have “junk food.”  In fact, for a goof, I even went fairly low carb for a few days to see how long the metabolic effects would last. I noticed on day five of eating under 80 - 100 grams of carbs that my hands and feet started feeling cold again. This was quickly mitigated by eating some calorie dense, warming foods. One of my favorites was, and is, buckwheat, bacon pancakes. And yes, they are as good as they sound. As of now, I’m no longer consuming quite the same amount of “warming” foods, as per the book, but probably more than I was previously. The biggest adjustment has been paying closer attention to when and how much I eat. I’ve also been using a bit more salt, I’m not drinking unless I’m sure I’m thirsty and I hardly ever drink plain water. I’m still experiencing the same effects after these adjustments.
    So, can you accomplish this without eating copious amounts of ice cream and (gluten-free) pizza? I think so but trying might cause you to over think things- or not. Do what feels right to you. I’m sure you could even accomplish the same effect while staying strict paleo, although, perhaps not low carb. For me, ice cream just feels right and, I’ve thought for a while now, that a lot of people have an irrational fear of sugar the way everyone else has an irrational fear of saturated fat. Although, I have to admit that my ice cream is raw, sweetened with maple syrup and comes directly from a local farm. The cream and milk are literally in a cow just a few days before I consume it. As Matt says in his book: “... you can still of course apply the basic principles we’re discussing here. You can eat all the grassfed yak butter and goji juice and Himalayan beetle pus and tree bark that you want. Just put some soy sauce on it and stop drinking so much f’ing water.”
    If you’re wondering if I gained weight during this experiment the answer is yes. I gained 6 or 7 pounds which is actually about as PAF (some of you will get that) as you can get. If you were really living in paleolithic times you would want to gain as much fat as possible for the winter. True story. Then, in late winter, you would basically eat a ketogenic diet comprised mainly of animal protein and fat. Obviously this was because you didn’t want that cute girl living three caves down to see you without six pack abs and buns of steel.
    So that’s my experience with Eat for Heat. While I still can’t wholeheartedly recommend eating gluten, I do highly recommend reading this book and applying the basic tenets as you see fit.
    Now, If someone has a good source for Himalayan beetle pus please let me know.

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In : Health 

Tags: eat for heat  matt mutha-fing stone  paleo  bacon is mad warming  ice cream  pizza 


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About Me

Joe Rignola, HHC, FDN Joe Rignola is an author, Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist and Health Counselor. More importantly, I hate talking in the 3rd person. I'm really just a guy who took control of my own health and overcame several ailments including metabolic disorders, digestive issues, depression and ADD. Actually, my recovery from ADD however is questionable.