Has anyone actually done the G.A.R.D. diet?

Garbo

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That is a popular misconception about paleo, that it involves huge slabs of dead animals at every meal. You do need to get adequate protein but if you take in excess protein your body will only convert it to sugar and knock you out of ketosis (a process called gluconeogenesis).

The problem with the PB&J would be the bread and the sugar in the J.
Oh, I didn't mean to insinuate or imply that it involves "slabs of dead animals" at every meal.

And that makes sense-- I was more concerned about the peanut butter since several sites recommend cutting out nuts minus walnuts-- I tend to get my protein from quinoa, peanut butter, almonds, Greek yogurt, etc. I picked up a "no-nut-butter" spread, which is quite tasty.

We'll see how this gradual transition goes! Thanks though. :)
 

AlohaBird

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I was exaggerating a bit about the bacon/mayo aspect, but the ketogenic diet is low-carb high-fat, and can be tough for adults to follow, especially long-term. (Congrats though if you are able to do so!) An interesting general article about it can be found here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/magazine/21Epilepsy-t.html?pagewanted=all
That's a good article but it focuses on pediatric epilepsy and the seriously extreme protocol that was first devised. Since then they have found that a less extreme mix is actually just as effective. John's Hopkins is doing a lot of research around the Modified Atkins Diet (MAD) which is very doable even for normal humans.

Nothing hard about eggs for breakfast and a steak and a salad for dinner.

I find I don't even miss stuff like bread. I look at it now with all the desire one would have about eating styrofoam. Just doesn't appeal.

Your tastebuds seem to re-calibrate themselves when denied high concentrations of sugar for a while too. To me a cherry tomato tastes like candy. And 100% cocoa baking chocolate that used to taste nasty bitter is now delicious.
 

AlohaBird

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Oh, I didn't mean to insinuate or imply that it involves "slabs of dead animals" at every meal.

And that makes sense-- I was more concerned about the peanut butter since several sites recommend cutting out nuts minus walnuts-- I tend to get my protein from quinoa, peanut butter, almonds, Greek yogurt, etc. I picked up a "no-nut-butter" spread, which is quite tasty.
Paleo has just gotten unfairly tarred with the "Caveman Diet" brush too often in the popular press with images of eating an entire wooly mammoth for dinner. Silly strawman arguments.

About the nuts. You are better off if you stay away from nuts that grow on the ground (like peanuts) and stick with the tree nuts.

And don't forget the eggs.

I've been doing a version of paleo called Primal (which is basically the brand name of Mark Sisson, author and host of the Mark's Daily Apple blog). The only difference between Primal and paleo is that Primal allows for dairy products. But, having read the articles by Dr. J. about the GARD protocol, I am ready to cut out the dairy too.
 

DogtorJ

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Got your message

Hi AlohaBird. Got your message and I'm glad that the restriction of dairy (the number one human food allergen) has helped. :)

I think it's been 5 years since I was on the forum, but...I recently received an Email from a doctor who frequents CWE telling me that a number of the GARD naysayers had backed off on their criticisms and she asked me to return. Of course, I had gotten use to the skepticism. Who wouldn't question whether a veterinarian had any place in the human medical realm? So, that's not really why I left this and other two-legged epilepsy forums. I decided to focus on veterinary medicine (and my book...a never-ending project it seems) and let the seeds I had sown take root.

I'm very glad to hear that The GARD is still being discussed. After 15 years of focusing on this topic, I still have to say that it makes the most sense to me of all the anti-seizure diets out there and...the testimonials continue to support that.

I have studied the Ketogenic Diet, the Modified Atkins Diet, the GAPS diet, the Paleo Diet, etc. and see the flaws (the close-but-no-cigar) in them when it comes to the dysfunction in cellular physiology and immunity that is involved in epilepsy and other neurodegenerative "diseases" and neuropsychiatric disorders.

This stuff is really not that hard once we grasp a few VITAL issues, such as malabsorption/malnutrition, food lectins and the damage they do, viruses and bacteria and the roles they play (being FORCED into misbehaving), the role of environmental toxins, seasonal variations in disease, and a few more.

Medicine does (and should) make complete sense now. I believe we know enough to logically approach every "disease" known to man now. That's sounds outrageous to many, but...it is much less important that we know the specific virus or bacteria involved in the process (e.g. epilepsy, MS, cancer, ALS, schizophrenia, etc etc) than it is that we identify and eliminate the TRIGGERS (food lectins, malnutrition, toxins, etc.).

THAT is the "new medicine*"...using what we know that prevents disease to also treat it! (*It should be an embarrassment to all in the medical field to call this "new" but, sadly, most still don't think this way).

Discovering the role of food intolerance (e.g. gluten, casein, corn, soy/legume, nightshade intolerance) has been an absolute paradigm shift! And over the last 5 years of my absence from CWE, gluten awareness and GF products have skyrocketed, haven't they? How cool is that? The "fad" has become a critical lifestyle change for many, just as it was for me.

I know it's just a matter of time before the medical profession sees the flaws in the ketogenic diet. I am certain of this because NONE of the now countless dogs the GARD has helped ever came anywhere near ketosis. Now, ketosis may have an anti-microbial benefit... proving that viruses (and bacteria) are involved in the epilepsy process...but thankfully, most individuals (the term I use when I am not distinguishing between two and four-legged patients) do not need to be put in this potentially serious physiological state (which I believe should be reserved for out-of-control diabetics and those starving to death) in order to recover.

These "brittle epilepsy" sufferers "simply" need to be vigilant with the diet, take the right supplements, have secondary medical conditions diagnosed and treated (e.g. low thyroid, low progesterone, liver disease, adrenal fatigue, Lyme, etc.) and avoid as many toxins as possible (e.g. air pollution, fluoride, certain drugs, etc).

Its seems that there is always something else that can be done when I am contacted by dog owners or human sufferers. But...the number one factor is non-compliance with the diet, accidentally or intentionally. Other than that, low thyroid is THE number one reason why dogs and people don't stop seizing on the diet. Low progesterone and estrogen dominance, especially in women, is also a major factor. (Google "progesterone, seizures" if you are not familiar with this idea. There are forums discussing this.)

Anyway, I am glad to see that The GARD hasn't died here. This dietary approach to "disease" is still my mission in life and it is my hope that more will give this topic more consideration when it comes to battling anything and everything that afflicts them. Like the magnesium deficiency Websites that have popped up and seem to be the answer to countless issues, food intolerance has its hand in everything....including magnesium deficiency (malabsorption of). :)

As always, I hope this helps!
John
 
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AlohaBird

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Hiya Doc. Good to see you here.

I'm in the middle of a fascinating book I think you might like. It's called "Zoobiquity : The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health".
The authors are Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Kathryn Bowers.

Dr. Natterson is a Harvard and UCSF trained cardiologist who is now teaching at UCLA and serving on the medical advisory board of the LA Zoo. This book is about how much she and the vets of the Zoo have learned by collaborating with each other. She presents the case for a collaboration between MDS and DVMs being illuminating to both.
 

DogtorJ

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Hiya Doc. Good to see you here.

I'm in the middle of a fascinating book I think you might like. It's called "Zoobiquity : The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health".
The authors are Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Kathryn Bowers.

Dr. Natterson is a Harvard and UCSF trained cardiologist who is now teaching at UCLA and serving on the medical advisory board of the LA Zoo. This book is about how much she and the vets of the Zoo have learned by collaborating with each other. She presents the case for a collaboration between MDS and DVMs being illuminating to both.
Thanks, AB. I couldn't agree more. After talking to my clients (that be the two-legged ones who bring in the four-legged "patients"), I have often thought if MDs studied veterinary medicine as much as I've studied human medicine, we would have solved most medical mysteries long ago.

In vet school, I used to complain about having to spend half my time learning about large animal medicine, knowing that I wanted to be a small animal vet from the start. But...now I'm glad I had that cross-training. And, we did a fair amount of comparative human anatomy in our studies. Seeing the similarities (vs the differences) was quite enlightening and spoke to the true "cause" of disease, especially in retrospect over the past 15 years of my self-education.

For example, studying "genetic diseases" (e.g. cancer, "autoimmune disease" and epilepsy) in the dog speaks volumes. Why the variation in age of onset? As I've written many times, if something is (purely) "genetic", then why does it take 5, 8 or 12 years in dogs and 40, 50, or 70 years in humans to show up? And...what makes it finally raise its ugly head?

Ahhh...that last question is the key, right? And we all...2 and 4 legged....have those TRIGGERS in common. The true causes of genetic disease...those "nasty genes"...are not the real culprit, are they? It is what triggers them into action that we need to focus on. And the triggers are getting more and more ubiquitous and numerous, thus the earlier and earlier onset of diseases.

Bottom line: Yes, human and veterinary medicine are vitally linked and, like the white and yolk of an egg, should be consumed together. :)
 
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