With a new year just having begun, I’ve been giving some thought to how I’d like to proceed in participating in the low carb nutrition and health community.
This might surprise you, but I consider myself a writer first and a nutritionist second. When people ask me what I do, I tend to say I’m a writer who mostly writes about nutrition and health, rather than a nutritionist who also happens to dabble in writing. I love writing. I’ve always loved it. (Even majored it in in college.) I am fortunate that I get to do it for a living: fortunate that someone out there thinks I’m good enough at it that they actually pay me to do it.
However, even though I do enjoy it, for me, writing is an arduous process. It’s not easy, and it never has been. However long you think it takes me to write a post, triple it, and that might come close to the ballpark amount of time it typically takes me to write. (Not including the time it takes to read relevant papers, if it’s one of my more science-heavy posts.) I can’t claim credit for this phrase, but it is absolutely 100% true for me: “I don’t like writing; I like having written.” Meaning, the process of writing—staring at a blank page, filling that page with incomplete, out-of-order, fragmented notes and thoughts, and slowly, painstakingly, turning it all into something coherent and readable—is a struggle and not fun. The fun part comes after that’s all done, and I get to hit “Publish” on my blog. (BTW: the two links in this paragraph are to a blog I had in a former lifetime, long before this nutrition gig.)
Aaaaaanyway, the point of my saying all this is, blogging is harder than it looks. It takes more time than you might realize. (Well, for me it does. I can’t comment on anyone else’s writing process.) All of that time—time I spend reading papers, learning about mechanisms, and actually doing the writing, which is what takes the most time by far—is unpaid. And that’s fine. It’s been unpaid since my very first post, back in 2012. From time to time, I mention that I have a PayPal account, and if anyone is so inclined, they can send a few dollars and/or cents my way to support and encourage my writing, and a handful of people take me up on it. (This is most appreciated, from spare change on up. Coffee, my best writing companion, isn’t free!)
And the truth is, I could use a little extra cash. Perhaps with good reason, or perhaps not, the skill of writing is not compensated to the same degree as some other professions. And that’s probably as it should be. I mean, it’s just writing. I’m not exactly performing brain surgery here. Or doing rocket science. (Or “rocket surgery,” as they say.) So it’s cool. I don’t expect to buy a summer home in Mallorca with income from writing.
However, I consider myself to be a fairly reasonable human, and I am not one to beg for money in return for nothing. In this spirit, a few people have expressed to me that they’d support me if I started a Patreon account. I’m considering doing this, but I’d like some input from you. If I were to start a Patreon account, what would you like to see from me? Support levels start as convenient as $1 or $2 per month—enough to provide caffeine & cream to fuel my writing, if I had enough supporters.
Some people might be willing to contribute that much simply to support my writing. But I’d like to have higher contribution levels, too. The issue is, I’m not sure what I could provide in exchange. There’s a reason you hardly ever see me in videos. (Tip: it’s because I hate doing videos, although a few do exist, such as here and here. [You’ll notice a massive weight gain and a big difference in my face between the two, thanks to the thyroid maelstrom I was dealing with. Doing much better now!]) I could force myself to get over that if you really, really want videos from me, but there’s gotta be something else out there. Content I’d feel good about creating, and content you would actually be inclined to consume.
I could start a podcast, but there are so, so, SO many low carb and keto podcasts out there now; I don’t know that I could differentiate mine enough to make it worth your time to listen. I’ve thought about doing a podcast for a while, but I don’t want to do one unless I can make it unique. Why would I want to become just one more in an already crowded sea of LCHF & keto podcasts? All I really have to offer is the kind of snark, sarcasm, and realism I offer on the blog. If I were to do it in podcast form, it would merely be the spoken word version of my personality, rather than the written form. (I bet the rants would be a lot more fun that way, though.)
One thing I can do is offer “sneak peeks” at my blog posts. Maybe release them to Patreon contributors a week before they’re published on the blog. But that’s only worth a couple bucks, at best. Maybe post links to papers I’m reading and new things I’m learning about? I have no idea. All I know is, if people would be generous enough to contribute financially to my work, I want to make it worth their contribution, and I don’t know if early access to blog posts fits that description.
If you have suggestions for ways I can provide worthwhile content via Patreon, please let me know in the comments or send me an email directly (tuitnutrition [at] gmail [dot com]). Do keep in mind, though, that I am basically clueless with technology, which is another reason I generally don't create my own videos. If I were to do videos, it would most likely be me, talking to a camera, or possibly narrating some slides or something. I know nothing about animation. I could learn, but that could take months, if not longer.
I’m also trying to strike a balance between finding a way to compensate myself, even in a small way, for all the otherwise unpaid time I spend writing blog posts, while not inundating you with ads and affiliate links. Would you be bothered if I did add a couple more affiliate links to the sidebars of my site? To my amazement and astonishment, I occasionally receive free samples of various low carb or keto foods, cooking gadgets, etc. Most of these have affiliate programs available, and with a few exceptions, I’ve mostly steered clear of these so far. If no one’s going to abandon ship if I have a couple more affiliates here and there, that’s one route I might go. Affiliates mean only that if you happen to buy something through my link to it, I receive a small portion of the proceeds. You are not and never will be required to click on any links, let alone buy anything. It’s more like the company’s way of thanking me for sending business their way, and maybe also a little bit your way of thanking me for introducing you to a product or service that was new to you. (Or if it's an Amazon link, it's probably something you were going to buy anyway, and by you using my affiliate link, I simply get a few cents from the transaction.) As I’ve done so far, if I do have affiliate links, I will link only to products and services I have used, myself, and the quality and efficacy of which I stand by.
Ultimately, the content is mine to create, and I’ll do only what I’m comfortable with, but I also realize that, oddly enough, I have an audience, and I’d prefer not to have readers abandon en masse because you get turned off by commercialization.
So I’m just looking for some input from people whose opinions I care about: my readers. It’s possible that I’ll keep things exactly as they are. No Patreon, maybe a couple new affiliate links, but mostly just the way things are now: a blog. Social media 'fraidy cat and huge introvert that I am, this option makes me the most comfortable, but I'm not sure comfortable is the best way to stay. I have no desire to be famous or become some kind of worldwide low carb guru, though, so keeping things small honestly probably suits me best.
What would you want to see from me? Videos? A podcast? Blog posts on specific topics? Live Q&As on Facebook? Something I’ve never even thought of? Send ideas my way. And if your response is, "Don't change; I like things exactly as they are," that's useful input, too.
P.S. I think maybe part of why I have a hard time thinking about tons of different things I can offer is that I seem to be one of a shrinking number of low carb/keto people who are willing to tell people the truth about how simple this way of eating is. I don’t create individualized meal plans for clients because I prefer to help people see how easy it is to eat this way without a plan. You don’t need any of the fancy-schmancy stuff people are trying to get you to buy…exogenous ketones, MCT oil, MCT oil powder for coffee creamer, ketone meters. Unless you have a serious medical condition you’re using this way of eating as therapy/treatment for, there are only three things—three things—you need in order to be successful on a low carb diet. (What are they? Read this.)
Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to amazon.com, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.
Hi amy! My 2 cents...i never watch videos or listen to podcasts. I'm old fashioned and like to read :) you are the person that brought me into this lc world and i would support you. Also, if writing is your passion, then write!ReplyDelete
Thank you. :) I'm kind of thinking the same thing -- if my heart is in writing, then I should write, and not feel like I "should" be doing a whole bunch of other things just because other people are. I am very old-fashioned, too, and much prefer reading, but I listen to podcasts in the car sometimes, and when I work out, but for some shows, I prefer reading the transcripts.Delete
Thanks for being a fan!
You may well get different answers depending on how long someone has been learning about and employing LC. For me, I've found myself getting a bit burned out on the learning part and feel that I know what "I" need to do to continue losing the rest of my excess weight and continuing for life. If you wanted to keep things as is, but add more affiliates or do the pay thing, I have no qualms at all. I love your writing and won't be put off no matter what you decide to do. And even though I feel like I'm a bit tired of learning about more LC and Keto, I still love reading success stories, especially when it involves reversing their T2D, helping with epilepsy and all sorts of other chronic ailments as well as weight loss success. I find those stories inspiring and it just makes me happy to see other people being set free, if you will. It would also be great to keep up with any new developments here in North America and around the world with regards to changing policy, food guidelines, advertising to kids, etc. Any kind of news which shows that the message about sugar/carbs is spreading and producing results would be welcome. You'll figure out what to do, Amy :)ReplyDelete
Whatever you decide, Amy, I will always be grateful for all you do and plan to do..
Thank you! :) What a nice comment. I'm burnt out on all this, myself, to be honest! At this point, I don't really keep up with the general chatter & "buzz" in the low carb world, because it's mostly rehashing of what we've already known for several years. I like to read papers about mechanisms now, where I can really sink my teeth in and learn things that are brand new to me. (And so I can share those with my readers. I have a new post coming up on insulin -- even more stuff for the "ITIS" series that I think will be really educational. That's what excites me now - learning something new [and important] about something I *thought* I already knew everything about.)Delete
I appreciate the kind words & support. Man, I have the best readers.
Amy, I too prefer reading blogs and only rarely watch a video or listen to a podcast. I so appreciate your clear and thorough explanations and all the time you must put into your research. Affiliate links would not bother me in the least and I occasionally use them on other sites. I can also understand that there comes a point where time and effort into a project with no compensation makes someone question if it's worth continuing. I dont know what Patreon is (but then I am tech challenged!) but would be willing to donate a few times each year (don't see PayPal as an option - would that be difficult to add?) I also never comment but have been reading your blogs for a couple years now - I would definitely miss your writing if you decide it's time to put your efforts somewhere else. Thanks for all your work here!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Carolyn! I have no plans to stop blogging. Just trying to find a way to make this whole thing -- writing, nutrition, client work -- more financially viable for myself. (I quit an unrelated office job in Sept 2015 and I'm keeping my head above water and am certainly not "hurting" for money, but looking at my peers and others my age, and especially with regard to growing my nest-egg, I need to be making about triple what I am currently earning.) But I'm not going anywhere, so no worries there. Even when I think about abandoning the nutrition field altogether and going back to some kind of full-time corporate job, I would still keep blogging for fun and personal passion.Delete
And thanks for letting me know about videos & podcasts. It's good to know I'm not the only one who doesn't gravitate toward those.
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Hi Amy! I'm an old fart Pensioner who has no academic education and, with regards to Medical issues, has lived a life of "The Doctor Must Know Best" and I know nothing because it's all too complicated for someone like me.ReplyDelete
Of course, now, I've seen the light thanks to having the time and thanks to the internet and people like you!
So, your last two articles about taking a break from information frustration etc. helped me feel I'm not alone in my thinking. I have taken a bit of a break - but also noticed that as my knowledge of human physiology & diet etc grows, I have become more selective in looking for answers to my questions and that the contradictions one comes across are really frustrating and off putting, especially (as you say), some sites are beginning to be riddled with Ad's.(we all understand that people have to make a living - but isn't this the reason/cause that the processed food industry has become what it is today?) I'm concerned that some of the LCHF movement might be heading in the same direction!?
Anyway, before I rattle on too long - On the one side we have LCHF with all their successes on the other side we have the Low Fat Vegetable movement with all their reasons for their existence and now we have The Carnivor & Plant Toxins movement and everything in between. We have successful athletes on both sides being presented (Rich Roll & Dr.Shawn Baker) as reasons for taking up this or that diet lifestyle. We have arguments and debates between the two but we don't have, as far as I can tell, someone impartial and really trying to get to what is really going on? Perhaps, Denise Minger was the closest when she suggested that people on low fat below 10% were shown to have success and people on High fat above 65% were also shown to have great success, but it seems that in that in-between area something wasn't working? (Could there be Something to Food Combining After all??)
I suspect that you could be successful by writing (eventually, maybe another Book) and/or pod-casting audio or video or both as in "Bio-Hacker's Lab" where you were recently interviewed by Gary Kerwin. You don't need much for that kind of "Skype" type interview - a reasonable quality Mic'& Camera on your side & what ever the guests have on their side. I think if you interviewed people on both sides of the fence, and those on the fence as well, with your way of seeing the situation most of us in the masses can relate to you more than the Rich Rolls or Shawn Bakers of the world. (I think their stories are very much worth consideration but I've never been an athlete and I've eaten huge amounts of Carbs in my life because I followed the flock).
I now need to Find answers to more common everyday folk issues and sure it's my responsibility to find these for myself - but I believe there is a need for someone with the qualifications like your's and a mind that thinks the way you seem to apparently think, to be an impartial guide. I wouldn't mind an Ad' or two' at the beginning or the end of the pod-cast. Maybe something like "BreakNutrtion" where they advertise for a Life insurance Co.
Sorry for the Rant - I hope you get something out of it?
Kind Regards, Luciano.
Thanks, Luciano. I appreciate you pointing out that I might be more relatable to people than someone like Shawn Baker or someone else doing a kind of extreme version of low carb (or any other diet). I respect Shawn a lot, though, and I find what he's doing kind of fascinating. That being said, your comment helps me remember that I *do* have a place in the community. I often get bogged down, feeling like I'm not contributing anything meaningful, but maybe, like my last couple of posts, my role is actually kind of important -- showing people how *simple* this way of eating is, and how they don't have to let ketone meters and heart rate monitors and all kinds of other gadgets rule their lives in order to get healthy and stay well. I've been scrolling through Instagram more these days, and I'm stunned by the amount of keto "products" I see -- MCT oil powder for coffee creamer, all kinds of packaged junk. I'm starting to feel more comfortable possibly taking on the role of helping people keep things simple and unconfusing.Delete
Hi Amy. Like the previous poster, I have immensely enjoyed both the Adapt Your Life video, several podcasts and your book. You are a wealth of information without pimping a bunch of products. There are also educational, informative people who sell a lot of products. If you don't want to get into product sales, you SHOULD consider advertising that you can endorse. You can and should ask for donations via Patreon. I also saw your link and just sent a donation.ReplyDelete
Thanks. (And it looks like this post *did* come through. Sometimes comments take a while to show up on the blog because I have them moderated, and I do the moderating, personally, so it's just a matter of how many times a day I check to see if there are new comments waiting.Delete
I think you're right -- I don't have to sell a ton of stuff, but I can endorse products I feel good about and just go the affiliate route. Seems like most people who've weighed in so far (more by email) have said this would be the way to go, and it woudn't bother them
Hi Amy. I am someone who gets a great deal of information from your blog, the Adapt Your Life video, as well as Twitter, and I own your book. I tried posting via my Google profile (Maltbyman) but the posting doesn't show up.ReplyDelete
I would add links to Amazon and some whatever advertisers that you endorse (or links that you can get paid for, I am not an expert in this).
Thanks for the feedback!Delete
I must say, I do a lot of reading around LCHF/nutrition and LOVE your blogs. They have a fantastic combination of well thought out and researched information with a little bit of humor thrown in. I much prefer reading blogs because I can go through the information faster and refer back to it more easily rather than having to sit through and listen to a bunch of 'chit-chat'. (The Engineer in me is coming out!)
I've found all kinds of helpful information on your blogs which I have been able to apply to myself: thyroid, supplements, protein levels, etc. My recommendation: keep doing what you are doing! Write about topics as they come up for you and/or you see rising topics/issues surrounding Keto/LCHF. Would personally love some information on how/why menopause causes weight gain other than "it just does". :-p
As far as making some money, I have no issues with side links/ ads. My only problem is when blogs become a means to push/sell products with little to no actual information. I tend to discount the information coming to me since it feels like they have sold out to companies.
I'm not familiar with Patreon but don't be shy to put up a post once or twice a year to ask for contributions. I am happy to contribute (and just did!) I may just need a reminder here and there.
Thanks! Kathy (aka Beerwidow)
Like many of the other commenters, I'm one of the "old fashioned" ones who definitely prefers reading over podcasts and videos. In one of your comments above, I noticed you said you were going to do another post about insulin. I'm really looking forward to that! I particularly loved that series on insulin; that was the first series I read on your blog, and what brought me in as a regular reader. (I actually do like reading about "how things work", the hormones and biochemistry and all; I really enjoy the information on your blog. If you have information on why low carb works, I'm always happy to read it). I was also pleased that you wrote about protein, since so many in the low carb community have gotten a bit hysterical about protein lately. When other bloggers get "over the top", I feel like they lose credibility for me, but I like your sanity....I feel like I can trust what you say. So, basically, I'd be happy if you just keep doing what you're doing.
If you're wanting to earn more money, well....I'm having the same problem now (you're not alone), so I'm probably not much help I'm afraid. I think the advice to endorse things that you like might work. Many bloggers arrange it that you can order recommended books through their website, and then they get a cut. Don't know how that would work, or if that would help, but it's something to look into? I do like the fact that you don't sell all kinds of products on your website; that also loses credibility with me, and I take less seriously what those people write since they're just trying to sell something.
I typically like to read podcast transcripts too, but I would listen to a podcast if you had one. I love your writing and I love your rants (!), so podcasting and then having the transcriptions available as blog posts would be interesting. Maybe a podcast about how so many people are doing low carb/keto wrong? I don't think you would have to worry about being new and different - I think most people who listen to health and nutrition podcasts subscribe to several. I would not mind supporting you through affiliate links. Thanks for always telling it like it is!
I really appreciate your practical advice, with real references. This is different from every other blog. Your posts on Constipation really, really helped me. Potassium part especially.
New question for you to work on. This winter, several times I got chilled and couldn't get warm without crawling into bed in my street clothes and sweaters. The one thing that actually helped was Selenium Yeast and Kelp supplements. I previously used Selenium Yeast when I got weak and overheated in hot weather. I use selenium yeast and never anything selenite because of the difference in absorption.
I never found any reference that links any kind of selenium with tolerating warm or cold conditions, but it works. Can you find any explanation for why it works?
Please keep doing what you are doing. Margaret in Vermont
The best thing would be to hang it up completely. You add nothing to an already over crowded space other than regurgitated tidbits that can found in a far less annoying, less shrill and goofy tone elsewhere. It would be for the best, for all of us, including yourself, really. I mean how are you going to feel when the patreon load tops out at about 16 bucks a month or whatever?ReplyDelete
Love you, too. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you teach your children to speak to people this way, and that they visit it right back upon you.Delete
I just put this bit of anonymous writing through a gender analyzer, which says it is overwhelmingly male. Calling someone shrill? Oh yeah.....so easy to say anonymously in the privacy of your own basement while pretending your testosterone titer is normal. I think that the keto, low-carb world focuses on a few topics ad nauseam. There are many vitally important topics that need to be written about, and I trust Amy to do it right.Delete
I learned so much ftom your blog when i started low carbing one year ago. Loved your insulin and protein writeups and i bought your alzheimers e-book. I have a science background but still some of the other blogs would spew out info in such a complicated way with the assumption that we should be able to deduce the conclusion from the data presented and i would be scratching my head as to what that is. (Eg: ldl-p being high on a low carb diet is good/bad? Depends on size? is mine ok then; still dont know what to make of it) But you make things so much clearer with your writing, so thank you for that.
I actually like podcasts; its easier for me to listen at work; helps me relax and focus on routine work instead of thinking negative thoughts. So i would certainly love to have a podcast (not too long though maybe 20 minutes) from you if you decide to go that route.
As far monetizing, ads would be fine especially if its a product you believe in using as well.
Thanks for the feedback. (And thank you for checking out the book!) Glad the blog has been educational. I try to cater to a wide audience, because I think I do have a diverse audience -- physicians and nutritionists, but also people who are brand new to this and have no science or medical background. I try to write in such a way as to educate and entertain, while bringing along the newbies yet not boring the people who probably already know all this stuff already.Delete
Thanks so much for the information you put out. I was so impressed by your website that I bought your Alzheimers Antidote book also. That has encouraged me to stay the course. As for how to fund the coffee & cream, I would not mind sidebar ads. I hardly ever listen or watch content. I read a lot.
I went low carb a few years ago to solve my reflux, and it worked. It stunned the DR who wanted me to take prilosec for the rest of my life.
I just found your website recently, and I appreciate your citing actual research. Now I am back looking for what you might say about lectins. (Plant Paradox, Steven Gundry) I'll keep checking back, but I guess I also ought to read the nutrition text book by husband uses for the med school classes he teaches. You would be much more pleasurable to read, though!
Thanks for reading, Amy! :) I haven't written about lectins at all, so don't spend any time searching for posts on that. ;-)Delete
Glad to hear your reflux went away. I'm actually writing a post about low carb for GERD for someone else's site. Lots of people find relief from heartburn/indigestion this way.
I think I'll probably put some more ads up. Seems like most people are okay with that. It's pretty non-intrusive, and there won't be any pop-ups, mostly because a) I hate them, and b) I don't even know how to make them. ;-)
Why not write a book? Put all that lovely info into the hands of the reader who pays for it. Write about low carb and thyroid stuff. And then compliment with a website and plans for people that they pay for. People are too busy and too misinformed by Drs and bad groups to get it right. Your mantra could be a one stop shop and make it easy for people to succeed. Have a blog or FB group that is closed and only for people who have paid for a plan. Mske it super easy, a very clear protocol suited to people with busy lives and little time to cook. Make it affordable. These things go viral. $10 a month is nothing but adds up when coming from 5000 people. Just saying. I know I would love this and feel lost in the sea of contradicting info out there. I’m hypo and was on T4 only meds for 5 years until 6 mo ago, now on NDT and feel much better. I had a thyroid problem for years prior to getting meds at all. Ive tried every diet in the book and am 70 lbs heavier than I should be, most gained after I started T4 meds (?!?). The T4 only meds did help with most of my symptoms like hair loss and skin issues but I still didn’t feel well. The NDT is so much better. Ive followed low carb for a few years to maintain my weight and avoid gaining more. I don’t think I have ever been fat adapted. I used to show up on keto strip but dont anymore. Any little misstep and I pack on another 10 lbs in record time. Since I was vegetarian for many years and am no longer, I am beginning to believe my body is not using protein well and is turning most to glucose. I am contemplating fasting as nothing else has worked. I read the Obesity Code and what it said about insulin resonated. I am just at the bottom end of pre-diabetic but know I am not handing sugar well, no matter what type and get ‘sugared out’ easily. Like the thyroid test that didn’t show up, I don’t show up on the insulin resistant test but think that I am. I am so tired of being this big girl, this weight is ruining my body, my feet, my knees and will turn me into a diabetic if I don’t get it off. I am to the point I just want it gone no matter the method. Your thoughts? Should I fast? Why is keto a maintainer for me?
I joined a well-known keto woman's Patreon site for all of two months. It was tiring, and added very little value to my life. There were weekday morning video snippets that started to blend one into another. They felt static and uninspired after a while. What I am looking for is content that deepens my understanding of health and weight management. That indeed takes time to research, produce and present in an accessible way. I think nuanced writing allows for more meaningful content. I'm not looking for sound bites and mantras at this point. I'm one-year into what I believe will be a 3-year recovery period, where I hope to normalize my weight. Tentatively I'm shooting for a 100 pound weight loss (I'm 60 pounds into it). I do vegetarian keto. What I am looking for is more content on the unglamorous topic of weight maintenance, healing broken food relationships, and hybridized keto or low carb approaches to getting-it-done. For instance: vegetarian keto. I recently came across the book "Always Hungry" which is a moderate approach, incorporating more plants into the mix. But, it is so prescriptive with set menu plans. My inner rebel needs guidance, but will lapse into "you aren't the boss of me!" very quickly. It's why I love your writing. It respects your readers' intelligence. Keep writing! I think I'm going to contribute financially right here, and I hope others do, too.ReplyDelete
THANK YOU, Linda. This is very helpful feedback. (And thanks for reading!)Delete
I enjoy reading all your articles for your personal experiences, recommendations, and most of all well-researched information that you relay in a very human-readable way, with plenty of humor. You've been invaluable to me getting into LCHF in understanding how certain pathways work, and in general just making sense of common nutritional topics. I appreciate reading more than videos because they're more convenient, so I'm glad you're still leaning that way.
I laughed when I saw your post on the sugar-free syrups. I had bought them a few months before and hadn't done much other than trying it with vodka, and mixing it with some plain greek yogurt has become my new favorite snack!
Thanks! :) I'm pleasantly surprised that lots of people seem to prefer reading posts rather than videos. Maybe I'm not quite as much a dinosaur as I thought. I like blogs, too, but I try to keep up with a couple of podcasts when I work out. I tend to ignore videos unless it's a specific one I think I "need" to see.Delete
I came to your blog after hearing you on High Intensity Health (and listening more than once because I just had a 'horribly high cholesterol and LDL blood test' blah blah. But after reading lots more of your writing, my focus is back on my thyroid. I have exactly what you do: low *everything*, probably a pituitary problem which makes *so much sense* in terms of my whole life and how I basically almost didn't survive puberty and I *still* haven't recovered (I'm 40).
To echo a few comments, sticking with writing is absolutely fine. I'm saturated with podcasts and interviews to listen to, and it's hard to keep listening when practitioner after practitioner just echoes the same things, interviews the same people, repeats concepts so often that I'm frustrated by the waste of time to listen to them...
I echo the idea of finding "success stories" or even just "journey stories", and going through their detailed treatments. It's what I found helpful when I thought I was in the autoimmune community (I'm not...I could have sworn I was, I was so sick!); stories of what led to what, what finally 'clicked', diet, lifestyle, meds, attitudes, habits, etc.
Medical literature and studies are great, and I love that people like you and (for one example) Rhonda Patrick are willing to wade through them to find little interesting and possibly useful tidbits, but until we hear that something demonstrably *works* for someone, it's basically just brain litter.
Sorry to not know what to suggest in terms of Patreon, but in terms of topics/focus, I *love* that you are one of the few linking Alzheimer's markers (APOE4) with the LCHF diet, and that it is still worthwhile to follow LCHF (just maybe avoiding saturated fat? Am I understanding that correctly?).
ALSO, purely selfishly....maybe the reason that there is NO information on thyroid problems that stem from pituitary/hypothalamus imbalance is that you are the Chosen One who is meant to research the crap out of it and dig to the bottom of why we thyroid sufferers are left in the cold (despite our extra fat! wah!)...?? The Hashi's group is 4000000% *covered*, am I right? The Thyroid Madness people and Wentz have that all sewn up. And yet, here we are, suffering with a pituitary issue that no one is studying (or so it seems...perhaps the 4 people on earth who are studying it don't have a blog?).
Thanks for your blog Amy. Your clear (and often hilariously biting) tone are right up my alley. (the following in a Queens accent): "Never change!!"
THANK YOU, Skippie!! You bring up a really good point...I probably *should* do more research into the pituitary thing. You're right -- seems like everyone just assumes anyone with hypothyroid has Hashi's and clearly that's not the case. (And thank goodness, because I think anything autoimmune is always harder to treat, but that's just my opinion.) I truly, truly hope you're doing better these days -- are you on any medication? How are you feeling?Delete
And it's not a bad idea for me to dig a little more into the ApoE4 issue. I get a lot of questions about it by email. (If you're interested in that, I recommend apoe4.info -- the woman who created that really seems to know her stuff.)
And you're from Queens! Did you know I was born and raised in Staten Island? So you can imagine *my* NY accent coming out in my rant posts, haha!
Thanks for saying that about podcasts -- I kind of feel the same way -- people tend to have the same guests on, and they make the rounds, doing a circuit of the same shows. I still listen to some now and then, but I only download individual episodes when it's someone I really want to hear, or it's a topic I think I'll learn something from.
Oh I didn't mean to mislead you -- I'm originally Canadian, now living in Seattle ;-). I threw in the "Queens accent" because the characterization of "Never change!" (with the hands! you know!) is something I thought you'd understand haha...I was a gigantic fan of the TV show 'The Nanny' and Fran Drescher in general. AAAANYway!Delete
Thanks so much for asking...my health is better than it has been in about 7 years. I'd been on an SSRI, continuous (non-pulsing) birth control and that famous 1/2 grain of NatureThroid for several years and was utterly miserable: taking naps, no longer able to do HIIT workouts, feeling my life get smaller and smaller because I said 'no' to everything. I went through 5 naturopaths because they kept retiring or moving away. One put me on Liothyronine instead of NT...it didn't help anything. I used Dr. Cuckoo Internet to become convinced I had Candida overgrowth and followed the diet for that, quit the SSRI, then became convinced I had Hashi's (which I would get tested for as soon as I found a doctor dagnabbit), started AIP, then got tested and found out I didn't have any autoimmunity whatsoever. BUT, I felt almost good on AIP, so I stuck with it for two years (!), because I didn't know what else to do. Through the AIP community, I found the Perfect Health Diet which was easier than AIP (on the theory that a few more safe starches could help my sleep), I found a doctor that thought my thyroid would come online if I quit the continuous birth control, and IT DID (!!)(sort of a little) and then she moved away. I got regular periods within 32 days of quitting the continuous pill (I was psyched, thought things were really getting better), but had really crazy heart palpitations and truly crippling depression. Which is when I found sublingual B12 and got my brain back, and also became convinced that all of my problems were MTHFR. DNA confirmed I have one bad SNP for that, so B12 and methylfolate are still my best guys. I started exercising with HIIT again alternating with weights days and though I could recover from exercise, my weight wouldn't budge; so I wanted to check in with my doc to see what was happening. I suspected maybe I could use some bioidentical progesterone.
Instead, my blood shows that my thyroid is "on" but super low (TSH, T4, T3, all hugging the bottom rim), my Vitamin D is stupidly low even though I take 15,000IU/day, my ferritin is too low even though I eat beef liver every day (pate on plantain crackers every morning)..AND my cholesterol and LDL is very high (TC 250, LDL 128, though TG is 42 and HDL 114)(My doctor has never seen an HDL this high). So now I'm here!
The day after hearing about my cholesterol, I dug through my DNA data to discover that I am APOE2/4, so I immediately stopped eating coconut oil , and I'll reduce (but probably not eliminate) red meat. Other than that...thyroid!! BUT....not thyroid! Pituitary! Or Hypothalamus! Or both! I wish they would just play nice!
I'm so glad you've given updates about your thyroid meds, because I am SO afraid of losing my hair again. But it seems my low thyroid is causing havoc (high cholesterol, low Vitamin D, weight gain, ETC.) so I may have to start down this road again.
I am so grateful to have found you and your writing Amy! (golden nuggets like you are why I can't totally *quit* podcasts!)
I'll be buying copies of your book for myself and my family members.
Affiliate ads would be fine.ReplyDelete
I just started reading your blog, because I feel like there is mass hysteria on social media right now regarding “keto” , your blog makes sense, and is not overwhelmed with encouraging people to binge mindlessly or extremely calculated, on high fat foods without regard for vegetables or common sense. I think you should write down 5 topics you are passionate about with regards this way of eating and write books on those topics. Keep it focused and keep it bold. I think there is a huge market for people wanting to escape the keto coma that’s been forced on them... and we need the truth to slap us in the face, like in the old movies where you dump a bucket of ice water on our heads to sober someone up!! It is a nutrition emergency!!ReplyDelete
I've read your three-part blogs on ketosis, and love them. Love the way you write. I wouldn't care about ads. But I would like to know your take on supplements, especially ketone supplements and electrolyte additives. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Exogenous ketones are not necessary for most people. Some athletes find it gives them a boost (use of exo ketones seems to be big among endurance cyclists), but I discourage use in most people. They're really not necessary unless you have lots of money burning a hole in your pocket and you'd like to have *less* money in your pocket, they're a good way to go. They can be helpful for people with neurological or neurodegenerative disorders, but other than that, I see little point to them. That's not to discourage anyone from experimenting with them. Maybe you *will* find an energy boost, mood boost or other effects. They're just not "required" in order to get the metabolic benefits of a low carb or ketogenic diet.Delete
Electrolytes, on the other hand, ARE important. Some people do fine without supplementation, but others need more potassium and magnesium than they'll typically get through foods alone, and people on very low carb/ketogenic diets need to be careful to get enough salt/sodium. Very important!
Why would we be short on electrolytes as opposed to any other kind of diet?Delete
Very low carb/ketogenic diets are naturally diuretic: they change the way the kidneys reabsorb/retain electrolyte minerals, and depending on what someone eats, they might not get all they need from food alone. (Basically you lose/excrete them more on this type of diet than when you consume higher carbs.) This varies of course. Some people do just fine; others do better getting a little extra from supplements.Delete
Thanks. One more question. If you're low on them, will you know it? Will your body feel it somehow?ReplyDelete
You might have telltale signs & symptoms: headaches, light-headedness, dizziness, fatigue, decline in strength/power at the gym, generally just not feeling your best. That's often too little sodium. Leg cramps or muscle stiffness not attributable to over-exertion is sometimes not enough magnesium or potassium.Delete
Thank you. No leg cramps. I did feel light-headed/dizzy for a couple days, but that's gone away.ReplyDelete
Ok I do have another question, and I hope you don't mind. Is there a place on this site for questions? Anyway, I have to pee a lot, like 3 times a nite, unusual for me. Is this a sign of too much or too little salt, or nothing to do with salt or this diet?.ReplyDelete
Hey Karel, there's no specific place to ask questions, except the "contact me" form on the right sidebar. But you can email me: email@example.comDelete
I don't have the answer to your question, though. Sorry...