First off, I’ve got to apologize for the lack of attention to this blog lately. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I hadn’t realized that changing the world would be such a time-consuming endeavor, but it really is. MD and I have been meeting ourselves coming and going over the past week and a half with no end in sight. At least the weather has been cooperating. As you can see from the photo on the left from our deck, we haven’t had snow at our house, but looking across the lake to Squaw Valley, you can see it has started there. I hope to have a couple of days to get caught up before the real onslaught on our time takes place starting at the end of next week.
I had hoped to have a new blog for The 6-Week Cure up by now, but our tech people have been working on other projects and unable to get to the blog. They have been working on the Sous Vide Supreme website, which just got up late last night in it’s full and operational form. Now they have one more Eades-related project to do, then they can do The 6-Week Cure blog. I hope it won’t be much longer.
I’ve had no end of comments stacking up that I will deal with as soon as this post is posted, so if you’ve had a comment languishing in ‘awaiting-moderation’ purgatory, it should be up soon. I’ve promised this before and failed, but my time commitments are now such that I’m going to have to stick to it: I can no longer answer specific comments. I’m going to post them as they come in, and if I feel the need to answer a specific one, I’ll do it as I did in in Tim Ferriss’s blog and do so with a comment of my own.
Numerous people have written comments/questions asking about why they’ve stalled or why they’ve gotten diarrhea or why they’ve gotten constipated of why [fill in the blank] on The 6-Week Cure. It is extremely difficult to answer these types of comments because I don’t (and can’t possibly) know the whole story of what is going on. In the office when these kinds of questions arose, our staff was trained to ask specific questions to ferret out the problems. MD and I could go over with patients an entire list of questions to figure out what is happening, do appropriate lab tests, examine the patients first hand. But we don’t currently have a clinical practice and we can’t do that over the internet. Many of the questions we asked in person are basically designed to tease out what the patients are really doing. Many people think they are following a specific program to the letter, when the truth is that they are not. They have misunderstood something or only heard part of what we told them to do or are confused or have had any number of things happen that are causing them not to be adhering to the regimen we thought (and they thought) they were adhering to. If we can’t figure out what specific diet our patients are following, we can’t possibly figure out why they are having whatever problem it is they are having.
I’m sure most of the people who have written asking questions about their experience with The 6-Week Cure think they are following the program exactly as presented in the book, but it has been my experience that as often as not they aren’t. Let me give you a couple of examples that I know about personally so you can see what I mean.
Out of the many people (friends, relatives, etc.) that MD and I know personally who are on the 6-Week Cure, two spring to mind who demonstrate clearly how easy it is to misread or misunderstand instructions as written. The first is a lady who has done well on the program, but who kind of over thought what she read – or we didn’t write it clearly enough. This lady is very smart and runs a successful company employing hundreds of people. She read the part in the book about adding a pasteurized egg to the shake and followed the instructions to the letter. Before I tell you what she did, however, I want to clarify what the whole pasteurized-egg-in-the-shake deal is. We’ve had a number of questions about this, so it obviously isn’t as clear as it should have been.
In the book we make the case that dietary cholesterol is important to the body for numerous reasons and we recommend that people get some good, unoxidized cholesterol in their diet daily. A raw egg is a great source of good-quality cholesterol, so we recommend the option of adding a raw egg in one of the shakes each day for those who don’t get cholesterol from another source. We give this recommendation only for those who, for whatever reason, don’t eat red meat or don’t get their cholesterol from other sources. If you do eat red meat for your meal or if you eat eggs as part of your meal, you don’t need to add the egg to your shake. It’s primarily intended for those who don’t eat red meat or eggs for their meal. And even for those, it is only one egg per day, not one egg per shake.
Since we advocate adding one raw egg (or egg yolk) to one shake per day (for those who don’t get the red meat), we have to advise that the egg be pasteurized for safety’s sake. Most people can eat raw eggs that are not pasteurized without incident, but there is a slight risk of food poisoning. The risk is much higher for those who are immuno-compromised, who shouldn’t be exposed to the possibility (remote) of infection from consuming eggs that aren’t pasteurized. Since we have no way of knowing who is buying our books and reading them, we have to err on the side of safety and recommend that the eggs be pasteurized to cover all contingencies.
Our friend read this as that she needed an egg in each shake (despite the fact that she almost always ate red meat as her daily meal) and so, like many people who have written to us, she used one raw, pasteurized egg per shake. But she went further. She decided that since we said the eggs should be pasteurized in the shell that we meant that she should add the whole egg – shell and all – to her shakes. Which she did. She was throwing an entire raw egg into her blender and whirring it up. She didn’t have a problem, but in conversation with MD, she mentioned that she really had to run the blender a long time before she could get all the shell ground down to where she could drink the shake without crunching on egg shells. MD, of course, told her that she didn’t have to consume the whole egg complete with shell, that just the contents of the shell would do.
Neither MD nor I could have imagined that someone would throw an entire egg in the blender, but this very intelligent woman had done so.
Another friend who is extremely bright made a mistake that was a little more consequential, at least in terms of his weight loss.
This friend is a pretty good size, muscular guy who was a world class college athlete. He, like many of us, put on a little belly as he aged. He decided to go on The 6-Week Cure. He called and peppered us with a bunch of questions about protein powder and leucine before he started. Once he got started, he did fine, but he also said that there was no way he could get three shakes down per day. Two, max, is what he could consume, and even then, he had trouble with the two.
He progressed fine on the program although he wasn’t losing weight as quickly as he figured he would (nor as fast as we assured him that he would), but he was losing around his waist and he was happy. He had some blood work due to be drawn, so he decided to stay on the shakes and a meal regimen for longer than just the first two weeks. He stayed on it almost a month so that he could get the maximum effect before his labs were drawn. When he got his labs back, all of his lipid parameters had improved, so he was thrilled.
In conversation with MD and me over dinner, he started talking about how expensive it was to do the shakes. MD asked him what kind of protein powder he was using, assuming that that was where the expense came in. He told her it wasn’t the protein powder that was expensive – it was the coconut milk. It was costing him a fortune even through he was buying it by the case. Buying it by the case?
MD, thinking there must be some miniature-sized cans of coconut milk she didn’t know existed, asked him what size cans he was getting. He told her he was getting the normal sized cans available at his natural food grocer. Then she asked him how much he was using.
“A can per shake, just like the instructions say,” he replied.
A can per shake?!?! MD was incredulous. “The instructions don’t say a can per shake. You are supposed to be using an ounce of coconut milk per shake, not an entire can,” she told him.
‘Hmmm,” said he. “No wonder my shakes were so thick I could eat only two per day.”
Indeed. Especially since each can contains 14 ounces of coconut milk, meaning that each of his shakes contained 14 times the recommended amount.
And no wonder he wasn’t losing as fast as he thought he should have been. As you can see from the nutritional facts from a can of the coconut milk he was using, at two cans per day, he was getting an extra 26 ounces (2X13) of coconut milk per day, which meant he was getting an extra 1560 calories per day along with an extra 91 g saturated fat and an extra 52 g of carb. And he was still losing weight, not to mention improving his lipid values! Who says saturated fat makes your lipids worse?
These two really smart people misread the instructions and didn’t really follow the program as written, even though they thought they were following it to the letter. I’m sure they aren’t the only people who have unknowingly veered from the path as presented. Had one of them – the guy with the can of coconut milk – written me through this blog and asked why he wasn’t losing as fast as I said he should be, I could have racked my brain trying to figure out why, when the real reason was that he was using the wrong amount of coconut milk. I can attest from the comments and letters we’ve received that he isn’t alone in having a hard time getting all three shakes in each day, so there may be others out there making the same unwitting mistake, and it would previously never have occurred to me to ask ‘how much coconut milk are you using in your shakes?’
So, the point is, if you are having a problem or not getting the results you think you should, go back to the book, look up the recipes, and make sure you are making them exactly as written. If you have questions about the recipes, go to the forum and ask your dieting compatriots. They will be more than willing to give you the benefit of their experience. You can post a comment here, and if I get a bunch asking the same question, I’ll do a short post or a comment of my own about it. But for the next few weeks, I’m not going to be able to be as responsive as usual, so the forum is probably your best bet for quick answers.
While writing this post I got word that a rudimentary 6WC blog should be up in a day or two. Don’t hold your breath because I’m not holding mine. But keep checking because hope springs eternal.
One final note. If you have gout or want to learn more about gout, take a look at this post on Tim Ferriss’s blog. He published one of the many parts left on the cutting room floor when Good Calories, Bad Calories got edited down to publication size.