Allergy test says DUST MITES & What I Am Doing About It

I have been very congested since living in San Francisco. I recently became determined to find out why. I started eliminating foods, I cleaned my house, bought a HEPA air filter and recently a dehumidifier.

Now I remember in the past when I vacuumed the carpet I would sneeze and get more congested.

I got tested for allergies today. They tested me for 43 compounds which include mold, pollens, dogs, cats and dust mites.

Here is what they skin tested me for:

Tree Pollens:

1. Golden Acacia (2-5): 0
2. Alder, Red (12-3): 0
3. Ash, Red/Green (3-5): 0
4. Birch (mix) (3-5): 0
5. Bottlebrush : 0
6. Box Elder Maple (3-5): 0
7. Cedar, Mountain (1-5): 0
8. Cottonwood, Com. (3-4): 0
9. Cypress, Arizona (1-5): 0
10. Elm, American (8-10): 0
11. Eucalyptus: 0
12. Gum, Sweet (3-4): 0
13. Olive Tree (4-7): 0
14. Pepper Tree Species (7-9): 0
15. Mesquite (5-6): 0
16. Mulberry, Mix (3-5): 0
17. Oak, Mix (red,Virg, Live/White) (3-6): 0
18. Sycamore, American (2-4): 0
19. Walnut, Black (4-5): 0
20. Walnut, English (3-5): 0
21. Willow, Black (2-5): 0

Grass Pollens:

22. Bermuda (3-10): 0
23. Johnson Grass (5-9): 0
24. Perennial Rye (4-8): 0

Weed Pollens:

25. Careless Pigweed (5-9): 0
26. Cocklebur (7-10): 0
27. Dock/Sorrel, Mix (4-7): 0
28. Lamb’s Quarter (5-10): 0
29. Mugwort Sage (7-10): 0
30. Nettles (4-8): 0
31. English Plantain (4-7): 0
32. Ragweed, Mix (Giant,Short,West) (8-10): 0
33. Wing Scale (5-10): 0

Mold Spores:

34. Alternaria Tenuis (HS1:10): 0
35. Aspergillus fumigalus (HS): 0
36. Helminthosporium inters (HS): 0
37. Hormodendrum cladospo (HS): 0
38. Penicillium notatum (HS): 0

Epidermals:

39. Cat, Standardized AP: 0
40. American/ German Cockroach mix: 0
41. (HS) AP Dog 1:100 std.: 0
42. Dust Mites, DF 30,000: 4+ (12/31)
43. Dust Mites, DP 30,000: 4+ (11/20)

The zero on the end meant that I was negative. The last two were the positive ones. Dust mites.

I threw out my carpet about a month ago, but there is carpet I can’t throw out which is in the hallways. It’s old and dirty enough and probably filled with dust mites.

I washed the curtains too.

I think the humidity is a problem. Drier places and high elevation places are supposed to be better. I don’t remember having a problem in the Southwest.

There is also mold and apparently dust mites like humidity.

So I am trying to use some dessicants like

  • salt
  • silica gel
  • cat litter (bentonite clay)

I placed these in open containers/tea bags around my room in drawers and in my closet.

Then a few weeks ago I got a small dehumidifier which takes about 16 oz. every 3 days or so out of my small 7×8 room.

This is what the allergy doctors at UCSF suggested to do:

  • Use zippered dust mite proof covers for pillows and mattress and box-spring
  • Remove feather pillows and down comforters from bed
  • Washing sheets/bedding weekly in hot water (140 F) to kill dust mites
  • Steam clean or remove wall-to-wall bedroom carpeting
  • Remove area rugs
  • Dust mites die when the humidity falls below 40 to 50 percent. If you don’t have dry skin or eczema, consider using a dehumidifier if the weather is humid.

+Sinus rinses and a nasal spray (steroid)

Other effects

If you are congested then you can’t breath well. If you can’t breath well then you’ll start breathing through your mouth which is no good and probably the reason why I got 3 cavities (so they said) in spite of eating well, brushing and flossing.

So I have been trying to be more mindful of keeping my mouth closed when sleeping and have even tried taping it closed when I sleep which is tough.

The other problem is a deviated septum which also helps block my nose. I had one surgery in 2006 on it. The ENT doctor gave me a couple of options to consider and showed me with a camera the scar tissue that grew inside after that surgery.

 

Which makes sense as I didn’t really notice any improvement from that surgery.

Working on getting that fixed too.

Diet Update #1 – Zinc & Omega 3 + Other Changes

I decided I would try to keep track of the changes and things that I am experimenting and learning about diet.

I was taking a whole food multi-vitamin then I just went to taking spirulina then around 2009 I stopped. I was thinking do these things really work? But I started to take it again maybe 6 months ago or so when I started the ketogenic diet.

Since then I have added Omega 3 Algae oil, Vitamin D (for my teeth) and just recently Zinc. As mostly a vegetarian I don’t get much omega 3 since I don’t eat fish. I occasionally ate some seafood when I lived in Asia, but not since I lived here.

The highest source of zinc is oysters. I tried oysters once in Xiamen, China in like a green onion sort of pancake. I don’t remember much taste, but it was a bit sandy.

They don’t appeal to me that much so I decided to take a supplement.

I might have been on the lower end for getting zinc, so I decided to try it out on the high end.

Why I am taking zinc?

I read that it helps:

  • Allergies
  • Prostate
  • Warts (I have had these little plantar warts on my feet for years and I tried burning them and duct tape to no avail)
  • Prevent injuries
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Aromatase inhibitor (boosts testosterone/lowers estrogen)

Other changes

I eliminated cucumbers from my diet and some other night shade vegetables that I rarely ate. That was part of the plant paradox book on avoiding certain lectins.

I am trying to stray away from foods that are high in phyto-estrogens. I don’t eat stuff like flax or soy or grains. However, I was occasionally eating tahini which I read was high in phyto-estrogens.

Despite it’s high in that it’s also pretty high in Zinc (aromatase inhibiter which blocks estrogen). So I am not sure, but I’ll stop eating it for now.

Probiotics…

I recently have been making my own kombucha and yogurt. I have been making yogurt from coconut milk/cream and A2 cow’s milk.

Root vegetables & green bananas/papaya

Recently I added some sweet potatoes and taro into my diet. I guess these do I have some phyto-estrogens but nothing compared to soy, flax or sesame.

Apparently green papayas and bananas are better for you because of resistant starch (prebiotic).

Reducing omega 6 from nuts

I guess some nuts have a lot of omega 6 fats in them. Nuts are like my favorite food. I think I may eat too much at times so I am trying to cut back a bit. Omega 6 causes inflammation and pain.

Increasing omega 3

I have been taking algae oil which is high in EPA and DHA and from what I have gathered a better/cleaner source of omega 3 than fish oil.

Omega 3 is supposed to reduce inflammation.

Books I read recently:

  • The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance
  • The Plant Paradox

How to Increase Your Bone Density & Improve Balance

“Spend more time in a squat position throughout the day. Just doing that will improve your digestion, your knee health, your hips, and it will start to move things in the right direction. Another is hanging, which is so beneficial for shoulders.” – Ido Portal

Squatting has actually improved the mobility of my legs and knees. I had stopped doing them or positions in yoga like child’s pose and after a few years realized I couldn’t kneel any more or put all of my weight done in a kneeling position when I started jiu-jitsu.

But after months of simple squatting I regained that ability.

Yoga is also a great way to improve your balance as there are many single leg positions to do.

I have been doing some squats as an exercise too, but starting tomorrow I will add some single leg squats in there as those are supposed to be better in that they add variable resistance and balance into the mix.

Those things will supposedly make your bones stronger. And when your bones are stronger your muscles can get stronger according to this video.

Listen to the last few minutes starting at (55:09) of this podcast to get some ideas on how to improve your bone density.

Jump

Funny, while watching the above video and listening to the guy talk about bone density and some exercise one of the things I thought of were burpees.

He said something about Tony Robbins jumping on a mini trampoline probably helps his muscles and tendons, but maybe not his bones because of the give in a trampoline. That’s when I thought of doing burpees.

That’s when you combine a push up, squat and jump in one quick exercise. If you do a bunch of them fast in a row you’ll get a good work out.

Before I kinda wondered if they were bad for your knees jumping. But here is some evidence that jumping is good.

How to do burpees

  1. Stand up
  2. Raise your arms to the sky
  3. Jump up
  4. When you land jump back or step back into a plank position
  5. Do a push-up or if you can’t just hold the plank for an instant then…
  6. Jump forward so your arms are outside of your feet
  7. Stand and jump up with your arms raised
  8. Continue

When I first did these I would be out of breath after 10, however with time they get easier. It’s a good exercise as you are using a lot of different muscles too as well as making your bones denser.

If burpees are too difficult you could try jumping jacks or even box jumping.

Here’s a 5 minute workout on Youtube

Poisonous foods that you are probably eating [Lectins]

When I weighed myself at the last jiu-jitsu tournament I weighed a bit more than I thought. I have been doing a ketogenic diet for a while. I think the reason why I gained a few pounds was that I was eating a jar of peanut butter or occasionally almond butter every 2 days.

I was also eating a lot of cheese and coconut. Despite burning a lot of calories doing jiu-jitsu and working out 2 days a week I still gained weight and I think it went to my mid section.

Some people in Keto forums thought I was also getting too many carbs from nut butters.

But some things have changed and I am going to stop eating peanut butter and almond butter at least for some time. But not so much for the fat as it is for the lectins.

I started watching some of Steven Gundry’s videos about lectins in plants. I have heard before of people having allergies to peanut butter and others having lactose intolerance.

I never really noticed a problem with those things except for a bit of acne if ate a lot of cheese or peanut butter.

So I am going to try to cut those things out from my diet. As well as some other things like the cucumbers that I used to dip in peanut butter.

Cheese and peanut butter do have some nutrition, but are high in omega 6 fat which causes inflammation. That was the main reason why I was going to cut those things out.

Too see if some pain disappears.

Then I just found some new information —> there are the lectins… which may be causing inflammation

  • Foods with A1 dairy milk (from what I understand is most of the dairy in this country)
  • Peanuts (according to Gundry 94% of people react to it)
  • Almonds although if the skins have been removed then they are better
  • Cashews
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Zuchini
  • Grains like wheat, rice, quinoa, etc.
  • Beans

And a whole lot of other foods…

http://gundrymd.com/wp-content/pdf/Plant-Paradox-Shopping-LIst.pdf

All of those things have lectins that can cause inflammation like arthritis and digestive, heart or other problems.

Since I started keto I haven’t been eating grains, potatoes or rice. I have occasionally eaten beans which are not keto, but I have occasionally indulged. Which I guess if they are pressure cooked or boiled are better but not totally free of lectins.

According to Gundry sweet potatoes and other tubers are o.k. I haven’t been eating those either but I might try. Those aren’t keto foods as they are high in carbs, but…

His diet or approved food list is kinda similar to keto in some ways in that he recommends lots of healthy fats like avocados and olives and only seasonal fruit.

Keto

What differences have I noticed since starting keto? Well I may have not always been in a state of ketosis over the last 6 months or so as I may have been eating too much peanut butter at times.

It’s higher than some nuts in carbs.

However, I can’t say that I notice any major changes. I was pretty lean prior to starting it. I might have lost a couple of pounds initially, but as I mentioned I gained a few pounds. A lot of people do keto to lose weight. I don’t think it did for me.

Maybe if I go back to occasionally eating sweet potatoes, carrots or other carrots I will notice a difference.

I watched a lot of Dominic Augustino’s videos on Youtube. In fact he was the one that probably inspired me the most to try it. But he said some people do o.k. with some carbs.

Keto seems pretty strict I have been o.k with eating that way yet occasionally may want to eat a carb like a carrot or parsnip or a piece of fruit which I have hardly eaten since starting keto.

Eating less fruit is also what Gundry recommends. And so does keto.

Gundry – lectins

His work sounds pretty interesting too. I found his stuff by digging into foods that were high in omega 6 fat. Here’s a video by him…

It’s kind of similar to keto in some ways as I mentioned, he also recommends intermittent fasting which I have been doing for a while too.

Yet it’s specific to certain foods and how they may affect your health. So we are going to cut those out for a couple months at least and see what kind of results we get.

http://gundrymd.com/wp-content/pdf/Plant-Paradox-Shopping-LIst.pdf

2 months on the ketogenic diet

A few months ago I made a post about sugar, the ketogenic diet and time restricted feeding. And not so long ago I completed 2 months on the ketogenic diet.

That diet is a low carb and high fat diet. Some of the benefits are:

  • weight loss
  • cancer fighting
  • lower cholesterol
  • lower blood sugar and insulin levels
  • decreased inflammation
  • less tooth decay and gum disease
  • mood control

Read more about the benefits of keto.

It was hard to adapt to at first. It definitely took a good month until I felt normal. I remember feeling a bit weak and irritable.

Ketosis is a state where you burn fat mostly instead of sugar for energy. If you fast then this is what happens. The sugar runs out, but the fat is a more sustainable source of energy.

Changes from keto?

I don’t know if I noticed any changes really. It hasn’t been long. I might have lost a few pounds, but not much. Before I started it I think I ate relatively healthy but I did eat a fair amount of carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice, bagels and fruit.

As of recent I haven’t been following it so strictly as I have been eating some beans. They are a cheap form of protein, but they are high in carbs. To remain in a state of ketosis it is said that you should aim for eating less than 50 carbs a day.

A can of beans has close to that or more.

But aside from that and a few foods my parents sent on my birthday I still have been following the diet. In fact I found some new yummy foods to eat since then.

  1. Nutritional yeast. I have been sprinkling it on things like eggs or just as a cheese substitute. It’s really good.
  2. Chia seeds. You can make an interesting pudding with them as they gel like tapioca.
  3. Coconut flakes. I can eat a couple cups of these a day.
  4. Inchi seeds. Trader Joe’s has these salted ones that are really good. They are supposed to be high in good fats.
  5. Almond flour.

Wheat is sweet

It’s funny after you stop eating sugar and fruit you start to taste the more subtle flavors that you didn’t before. Like I never thought coconut flakes were sweet, but they taste pretty sweet now.

Then I ate a cracker with wheat in it and it tasted pretty sweet.

I have eaten very little fruit, but was thinking that raw cabbage tastes kinda sweet the other day.

There’s sugar and carbs in a lot of food. Vegetables have them too.

I don’t really miss the carbs like rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. I can live without those. There are other yummy foods out there. I’ll continue eating mostly keto foods, but I probably won’t follow it so strictly.

I fasted for 2+ days & this is what happened

For the last year or so I have been fasting on Sundays. I’ll stop eating sometime between 8 and 10pm on Sat. and then I won’t eat anything till 7pm or so the next day.

But this time I decided I would go a little longer. It wasn’t planned out, but I just thought it would be good. There was no jiujitsu this week so… good timing.

The first day is not that hard. Yes you still think about food, but you just drink water when you are hungry.

I found that it’s good to get work done. You have more time if you don’t eat.

I slept pretty good the first night.

By the second day night I was pretty consumed with thoughts of food. My energy was low and not so focused. Meditation is good when you are fasting I probably should have done that even more instead of trying to work on my website.

I remember lying in bed thinking about food. I did go 3 days (81 hours) once without food. This time seemed harder. Fasting is difficult.

Changes your digestion going off and coming back on. Fasting is difficult, but good.

I am going without dairy for 2 weeks too. Just to see if I notice any differences. Been doing the ketogenic diet and I will report on that soon enough.

How to Meditate Using Counting

Here’s a technique for learning meditation that’s simple and practical. In it you use counting. This counting can be done to yourself when you are breathing.

First find a comfortable place to sit. Close your eyes and keep your eyes closed. Make sure all of your muscles in your face and body are relaxed. Set an alarm on your phone for a few minutes if you are just starting out.

You can do longer if you want. I do 40 minutes a day that usually includes 2 sessions of 20 minutes. But sometimes I might do 3 with 10-15 minutes or so.

There are a few different ways to count. Pick a number that seems right for you usually anywhere from 4-9. The first way that I learned goes like this:

  1. Inhale and count to yourself as you do.
  2. Pause and count to yourself as you do.
  3. Exhale and count to yourself as you do.
  4. Pause and count to yourself as you do.
  5. Continue until your alarm goes off.

I started with that way yet found the following worked better for me.

  1. Inhale.
  2. Pause and count to yourself as you do.
  3. Exhale.
  4. Pause and count to yourself as you do.
  5. Continue.

You could also try the reverse of that and just count on the inhale and exhale.

How To Meditate – Using Your Breath

Here is a simple guide on how to meditate using your breath. This is a basic meditation. One of the first things that you will need is an alarm.

If you are just starting off I’d say it’s best to start with a few minutes. Let’s say 5 minutes for starters or you could try two if that’s daunting.

I have practiced yoga for 16 years and have been meditating about 40 minutes a day since 2009-ish.

I highly recommend that you start it now and remain disciplined about your practice.

It’s like anything if you want results you have to be consistent.

You breath controls your emotional state. Your breathing is different if you are happy vs. angry or depressed vs. calm.

So to meditate:

  1. Sit somewhere comfortable.
  2. Straighten your back.
  3. Relax your body and face.
  4. Inhale slowly through your nose.
  5. Pause.
  6. Exhale slowly through your nose.
  7. Continue until your alarm goes off.

Torn meniscus? What do I do?

Wondering what you should do about your torn meniscus? Are you considering surgery? Will it heal? I don’t know what’s right for your knee, but I can share with you what I learned.

I tore my meniscus about 10 months ago. I was in Judo class and a guy (big white belt) jumped guard on my extended knee and hyper extended it. You’re not supposed to do that in Judo. That’s only in jiujitsu.

It hurt and I knew something was wrong as my leg was shaking from the trauma and I didn’t get off the mat for 30 minutes or so. I went and got an MRI and they told me I had a torn meniscus and a bone bruise.

They told me I had an oblique tear or a bucket handle tear on my medial meniscus. Walking was painful.

The doctor said he could do surgery to fix it. Fixing it meant he was either going to cut it out (meniscectomy) – the torn piece or stitch it. When I heard that my face dropped.

He said you could wait a bit to see of it healed. That was around 2 weeks after.

I waited another 2 weeks and it didn’t really seem to change much, saw him again and he said the same, surgery or wait and see if it heals.

I waited.

All the mean while I did some research.

All the results I found on surgery suggested that I not do it. That’s what I gathered. I mean your situation might be different. But most studies out there didn’t show a big improvement with surgery and in some cases they made it worse. More on those studies later.

If you ask a surgeon what should I do with my hurt knee? He is probably going to say “let’s operate”.

Some information suggested surgery based on the degree of the tear. If you had popping in the joint or it’s getting stuck (locking) then that’s probably more severe and might need it.

They say if you had a tear on the edge of the meniscus it is more likely to heal since there is a blood supply. Towards the center of the knee there is no blood supply. They will tell you that cartilage can’t heal there. However…

There are white blood cells in synovial fluid. They don’t tell you that. Later I’ll point out some studies that may oppose that.

I didn’t really have those symptoms. I had pain though with standing and stiffness.

Here is what I did.

That’s what I did. I had pain for a good 2 months plus.

How do I feel now?

I feel pretty good. I am back to all normal activities and feel mostly normal. I returned to grappling a little more than 2 months later. I occasionally get some muscular pain on the back inside of my knee. Massage helps that. I get a little bit of stiffness in it after sitting cross legged forward folding in yoga.

I think that is mostly muscular. Massage is great and in my experience joint pain is often caused by surrounding muscles.

Doctor and other people said a bone bruise could take up to a year or so to heal.

Advice

Your situation is unique. I would not try to “fix” your problem by having a surgeon cut you open unless you’re confident and your situation is severe. When I asked the surgeon if my tear was large he said probably small to medium. He didn’t know if it was in the “red zone” or not.

Wait. It can take a while to heal. I read online that some people said it can take 6 months or more than a year. The doctor told me if it’s not better in 2 months then it might not heal.

You can always get surgery later, but you can’t change what’s been done later.

Do that passive motion exercise with ankle weights unless it hurts. If it hurts then stop and do it without weights. Also you can lie on your back and do a bicycle exercise where you pretend to ride a bicycle. This is also similar to the CPM exercises.

Compress it. Wrap it with an ace bandage.

Massage the muscles around it.

Be disciplined about exercise but don’t overdo it or hurt yourself more. Do what you can stuff like balancing exercises, one legged squats, wall squats, leg lifts/raises, get a isometric band, etc.

More info on surgery

3 Day Fast: My Experience

Right now I am about 2 hours and 20 minutes away from completing 72 hours of fasting. I plan on stopping tomorrow morning. By then I would have fasted more than 83 or so hours.

I haven’t eaten a thing. I did take one green supplement pill at the end of 24 hours and I have had some green tea in the morning. But other than that just a lot of water and no food.

I first started experimenting with fasting back in April 2015. That was more or less following the Warrior Diet and doing 20 hours of mostly fasting with 4 hours of feeding. And since then I have experimented with 24 hours of fasting with zero food.

After that I got inspired to do a longer fast. What inspired me? I read some something about how the body can regenerate stem cells after 2-5 days of fasting. And since I have had some injuries I thought this would be a good thing to do since it would promote cellular repair and healing.

The first 24 hours wasn’t too hard as I have done that before. I just felt hungry. I did feel more alert and maybe antsy. By the next day I started to feel a bit low energy and light headed.

On the third day (now) I felt nauseous when I first woke up. I still feel low energy and light headed. Morning seemed a little tougher.

I have been doing a lot of meditating which is good to. It’s been raining in San Fran a lot, so staying in, working on my website and taking it easy.