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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Jul-30-03, 08:37
wcollier wcollier is offline
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Plan: Healthy eating/lifestyle
Stats: 156/115/115 Female 5'4 - small frame
Progress: 100%
Default What is The Schwarzbein Principle?

Since so many people are asking what SP is all about, I thought I'd start a thread that we can all collaborate on. It's impossible for me to go through all the posts so maybe we can all add some of the links that we think help explain what SP is all about. If anyone is unsure of how to add these links, PM me with the title of the thread (or specific post) and I will add them to this thread.
The most confusing part about SP is that she has 2 books which, in my opinion, are very different. The first book addresses Insulin Resistance whereas the second book addresses the triad of the major hormones, adrenaline, cortisol and insulin. Although my preference is SPII, some find it too technical and prefer the simplicity of SPI. However be forewarned that SPI doesn't give the whole picture.

SP is not a low carb program. It is a moderate carb, moderate fat and moderate protein diet. The key is balance.

The following links should give a pretty clear understanding of SP.
The Schwarzbein Principle Site - select the "email us" link at the bottom of her homepage to send questions. I find the shorter the question, the quicker the reply.
The Tests

Low Carb Plans: The Schwarzbein Principle

What Kind of Schwarzbein are you? I or II?
Book 1 and Book 2
On Saturated Fats - SPII

SPII Programs
Insulin Resistant or Sensitive?
Basic Diet

Not SP, but related - Burned Out Adrenals (Adrenal Fatigue):
Adrenal Questionnaire
Home Tests for Adrenal Fatigue
Metabolic Scorecard

This is by no means a substitution for reading the book, but it's a start for people to understand what the plan is about.


Last edited by Rosebud : Sun, Oct-12-08 at 21:44. Reason: Fixing broken link
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Jul-30-03, 09:40
wcollier wcollier is offline
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Posts: 4,402
Plan: Healthy eating/lifestyle
Stats: 156/115/115 Female 5'4 - small frame
Progress: 100%

Here are the actual Carb Allowances for each plan:


Sedentary - 30 grams/meal w/ 0-15 gram snacks
Somewhat Active - 30-45 grams/meal w/0 -15 gram snacks
Active - 30-60 grams/meal w/ 0-30 gram snacks
Extremely Active - 45-80 grams/meal w/ 0-30 gram snacks

Normal Body Composition:
Sedentary - 30 grams/meal w/ 0-7.5 gram snacks
Somewhat Active - 30-45 grams/meal w/0 -7.5 gram snacks
Active - 30-60 grams/meal w/ 0-30 gram snacks
Extremely Active - 45-75 grams/meal w/ 0-30 gram snacks

Normal Body Composition with "insulin meter":
Sedentary - 15-30 grams/meal w/ 15 gram snacks
Somewhat Active - 30 grams/meal w/0 -7.5 gram snacks
Active - 30-45 grams/meal w/ 0-7.5 gram snacks
Extremely Active - 45-60 grams/meal w/ 0-15 gram snacks

Slightly overweight with Insulin-Meter:
Sedentary - 15 gram meals with 7.5-15 gram snacks
Somewhat Active - 15-30 gram meals with 0-15 gram snacks
Active - 30 gram meals with 0-15 gram snacks
Extremely Active - 45-60 gram meals with 0-7.5 gram snacks

Overweight with Excessive Insulin-Meter:
Sedentary - 15 gram meals with 7.5 gram snacks
Somewhat Active - 15 gram meals with 7.5-15 gram snacks
Active - 15-30 gram meals with 0-15 gram snacks
Extremely Active - 30-45 gram meals with 0-15 gram snacks

** If you are only eating 15 grams of carbs/meal, you must eat 2 snacks


There are 4 types of healing programs:

Insulin Sensitive/Healthy Adrenals:
30-35 grams of starchy carbs/per meal + 2 X 15 grams for snacks
40-45 grams X 3 meals (only program that allows the option of no snacks)

Insulin Resistant/Healthy Adrenals:
20 grams X 5 (meals + 2 snacks)

Insulin Sensitive/Burned Out Adrenals:

20-25 grams X3 + 20 grams X 2 snacks

Insulin Resistant/Burned Out Adrenals:
15 grams X 5 (meals + 2 snacks) - lower saturated fats plan

Dr. S. mentions that if you haven't had your tests done, to follow the Insulin Sensitive/Burned Out Adrenals program. It's the default program. Most people are able to figure out their type without the tests, so you might have a clearer idea when you get the book.

Also, if coming off a LC plan, increase your carbs gradually by 5 grams of starchy carbs/meal/week until you reach your limit.

Last edited by wcollier : Wed, Jul-30-03 at 13:40.
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Aug-07-03, 10:35
wcollier wcollier is offline
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Default Experiences that lead Dr. S. to write her 1st book

I found this info on the SP site I thought would be helpful. The next two posts can be found at the following link:

Experiences that lead Dr. Schwarzbein to write her first book:

In medical training, I was taught that a low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates prevented weight gain and disease. I believed what my professors said. Early on, I advocated low-fat diets. But this soon changed. I now teach my patients to balance their meals. Let me tell you how this all came about.

In July 1990, I had just finished nine years of medical training at the University of Southern California. My training was in endocrinology and metabolism, and I was ready to go out and help the world. I accepted a position at a prestigious medical clinic in Santa Barbara, California. The clinic was famous for having been the premier diabetes center in the United States during the 1920s.

I was excited about starting my new position, but I was not thrilled that all my new patients would be Type II diabetics.1 My area of expertise was "esoteric" endocrine diseases-hypothyroidism, adrenal and pituitary problems-conditions where the patient's symptoms could be reversed.

Type II diabetics did not get better. I had seen too many diabetics have legs amputated, too many who required kidney dialysis or who had scars down the middle of their chests from coronary bypass grafting. Working with diabetics meant that I would have to watch people inevitably get sicker and die. But having accepted the challenge, I committed myself to giving patients my best care.

Because the patients were all new to me, I spent a full hour with each one, obtaining a detailed history. I will never forget the anxiety I felt when they would begin by saying, "I hope you won't tell me the same thing all the other doctors have said. It just doesn't work for me." They complained of higher blood-sugar levels and high blood pressure, despite medication, and of chronic fatigue, weight gain and abnormal cholesterol profiles.

I heard many stories of patients going for yearly physical exams and being diagnosed with diabetes incidentally. Chemistry panels had come back with a red flag of high blood sugar-diabetes. These newly diagnosed diabetics were put on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet-a low-calorie, high-carbohydrate, low-fat, low-protein program. The diet stressed fruit, milk, bread and very little fat. It was very complicated. They had to measure everything they ate-proteins and fats, as well as carbohydrates. These patients had stuck to this diet, only to see their conditions worsen.

Diabetes was considered genetic. The fact that these patients had gotten worse was considered part of the progressive genetic nature of the disease. It was thought that once a person developed diabetes, it could not be reversed. Part of the "standard of care" was to keep diabetics' blood sugar under control to enable them to live relatively normal lives.

Physicians manipulated insulin doses to bring patients' blood sugars down. But my patients complained, "When my other doctors gave me insulin, I gained weight." That made sense because insulin is a fat-storing hormone. The patients' weight gain along with high insulin levels had caused increased blood pressure. Many had been prescribed drugs to lower blood pressure, which in some cases made their blood sugars worse. It was a vicious cycle. They injected insulin, but their blood-sugar levels did not improve. They gained weight and required more insulin. And their cholesterol levels were getting worse. Here were patients who had been accidentally diagnosed with diabetes when they felt relatively well, and now, after following the "standard of diabetes care," they felt terrible. After listening to their stories I thought, My God, we are making diabetics worse!

I remember the sinking feeling as I told them, "I understand why you're upset about what has happened to you. But I would have asked you to follow the exact same regimen the other doctors have been prescribing. At this moment, I don't know what else to tell you, but I'm going to help you get better any way I can."

I decided for the time being to get a baseline. "You're going to monitor your blood sugar seven times a day at home with a blood-sugar monitoring device," I instructed. "Before you eat, an hour after you eat and at bedtime. Write everything down. Everything you're feeling, everything you eat, activities, blood-sugar levels and any other observations. I'll see you again in a week."

When they returned after monitoring their habits, my patients all told me, "It's the food I'm eating!"

It was clear. These patients were monitoring their blood sugar. When they did a "finger blood-sugar stick" in the morning, their blood sugar was normal. Then they ate a perfect ADA breakfast-a bowl of shredded wheat with non-fat milk, a banana and a glass of orange juice-and watched their blood sugar rise one hundred to two hundred points. (A normal blood-sugar response to any meal is no more than ten to twenty points.)

Something they were eating was causing the problem. It could not be the protein. Protein will eventually turn into sugar, but not that quickly. It could not be the fat-they were eating hardly any fat-and fats do not turn into sugar that quickly either. Carbohydrates are the only nutrient group that can be converted into sugar so fast. All carbohydrates are recognized as sugar by the body, whether they are in the form of grains, starches, dairy, fruits or sweets. I suddenly recognized that by recommending a high-carbohydrate diet, we were giving sugar to diabetics.

In order to understand why sugar is so destructive to diabetics you need to appreciate the central role of insulin in human physiology. Insulin is the hormone responsible for tightly regulating the amount of sugar going to the brain after you eat. Insulin accomplishes this in two ways: First, the presence of insulin alerts the liver to incoming high amounts of sugar so that the liver does not let this high sugar pass through to the brain. Second, insulin stows away sugar into cells, thereby decreasing blood-sugar levels. Also, when sugar is stowed, insulin levels normalize. This system keeps blood sugars and insulin levels balanced.

But Type II diabetics are "insulin resistant," which means that the cells will not allow insulin to unload sugar from the bloodstream. Because the cells do not respond to insulin, the pancreas reacts by secreting even more insulin in an attempt to open up the closed cells. This results in Type II diabetics having both high insulin levels and high blood-sugar levels. If you then ask diabetics to eat more carbohydrates (as in the ADA diet), it further increases both their blood-sugar levels and insulin levels.

Requiring diabetics with high blood-sugar levels to follow a high-sugar diet did not make sense. But how could I challenge the ADA? I reasoned that the ADA diet must have been thoroughly researched- they could not be recommending diets that were making people sicker! But all of my Type II diabetic patients returned with the same observations: The ADA diet was causing their blood sugars to rise to dangerous levels.

I decided to see what would happen to my patients' blood-sugar levels if I put them on a "zero"-carbohydrate diet. I asked them to eliminate all obvious carbohydrate foods, such as potatoes, rice, legumes, cereals, breads, fruit, low-fat yogurt, milk and, of course, refined sugar.

Since foods are often a combination of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, if a food caused a rise in their blood sugars we classified it in the carbohydrate category. For example, most people think that milk is all protein, when in fact the amount of carbohydrates in four ounces of milk drives a diabetic's blood sugar up approximately one hundred points. With this method, the main ingredient of a food and whether it raised blood-sugar levels dictated whether it should be considered a protein, a fat, a nonstarchy vegetable or a carbohydrate.

Because I did not want my patients to go hungry, I added some protein and fats back to their diet. At the time, I still thought that a low-fat diet was healthier, so I asked them to use low-fat dairy products, and to eat egg substitutes, mostly fish and chicken and small amounts of red meat. I also educated my patients about insulin levels. Eliminating obvious carbohydrates for one week would rapidly lower their insulin levels, and they would have to reduce their diabetes medicines accordingly to avoid low blood-sugar reactions.

One week later, the first group of patients returned for an evaluation. I looked at the blood sugar numbers they had recorded. Their progress was astounding. I said, "This is unbelievable!" Some confessed, "Dr. Schwarzbein, I've been cheating. I love red meat and when you said I could have some, I ate it every night for a week."

The "cheaters" were eating real mayonnaise, real cheese, real eggs and steak every day-foods that had been forbidden for so long they could not resist them. Their blood-sugar numbers had fallen dramatically. In fact, the biggest improvements were seen in the patients who "cheated" the most.

By cutting carbohydrates from their diets and adding proteins and fats, most patients (after an initial body-water loss) started losing one to two pounds of body fat per week. They ate fats and lost body fat. All came back to me and said, "I don't understand. I got fatter when I didn't eat fat. Now I'm eating fat and I'm losing weight."

Prior to this, these patients had high blood sugars, abnormal cholesterol panels, high blood pressure, weight gain, fatigue and constant hunger. As they followed the new dietary program their blood sugars normalized, so they were able to get off insulin and/or oral hypoglycemic agents (which treat high blood sugar). Their cholesterol levels improved, so I stopped their cholesterol-lowering medication. Their blood pressures came down, so I stopped their blood pressure medication. I was able to eliminate most of their drugs. They lost body fat and gained muscle mass. Their energy improved. They were not going hungry anymore. They felt great.

My diabetic patients were so happy with the improvements in their health that they began to refer family members to me. Although these referred patients were not diabetic, they suffered from fatigue, excessive body fat with decreased muscle mass, cholesterol problems, high blood pressure and even heart disease. I treated them with the same program. Body fat decreased and muscle mass increased, cholesterol levels normalized and blood pressures came down. They, too, felt great.

Word of my successful "diet" spread. I started treating patients who had the same symptoms as the first two groups but no family history of diabetes. These patients all related histories of poor diets and chronic dieting, including low-fat dieting. The program worked for them as well.

I began to see people with isolated conditions: bad cholesterol profiles, high blood-pressure problems or excessive body fat. I put them on the program, altered by then to include more oils, real eggs, real butter. I was amazed that the same program I used for my diabetics worked for all these people. Regardless of the patient's problem or illness, a balanced diet produced the same results-better health and decreased body fat.

I felt I needed to gain a better understanding of these relationships. As I examined eating habits more closely I realized that, to reduce fat consumption as much as possible, many people cut down on proteins and ate more carbohydrates. Furthermore, since people had heard that complex carbohydrates are healthy and should form the bulk of their diets, they consumed even more carbohydrates.

Both medicine and the media had promoted the belief that eating a low-fat diet while increasing complex carbohydrates caused people to lose body fat and stay healthy. But I had yet to meet anyone who was healthy or thriving on a low-fat diet. Were the people who did well on low-fat diets so healthy that they had no need for doctors?

I searched the medical literature, looking for studies showing that low-fat diets are healthy. I was surprised to learn that there are no long-term studies showing such results. But numerous studies concluded that fat is necessary to maintain good health. And there are studies spanning three decades relating high insulin levels and heart disease, high insulin levels and hypertension, high insulin levels and excessive body-fat gain and other problems.

The light bulb turned on.

I was taught that diabetic patients have a very high rate of heart disease. Correspondingly, I had observed that diabetic patients frequently had a large scar down the middle of their chests. Frequently I found that these patients had heart bypass surgery before they were diagnosed with diabetes. The implications suddenly occurred to me! After a heart attack, people are told to go on a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet-which increases both their blood-sugar and insulin levels. The increases in blood sugar and insulin were turning heart patients into diabetics. The newly created diabetics are then told to continue eating a diet high in carbohydrates, which further elevates their blood-sugar and insulin levels.

Next, we say to those diabetics, "Your blood sugar is too high, so you need to take insulin to bring that blood-sugar level down." But insulin injections produce even higher insulin levels-as well as increases in weight, blood pressure and the need for more insulin.

Furthermore, the studies I read substantiated a connection between prolonged high insulin levels and the degenerative diseases of aging, such as osteoarthritis, different types of cancer, cholesterol abnormalities, coronary artery disease, less lean body mass with excess body fat, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, stroke and Type II diabetes.

For example, it is known that insulin directs all the biochemical processes that lead to plaque formation in arteries; therefore, I recognized that prolonged high insulin levels lead to heart disease. It is also well known that prolonged high insulin levels could lead to insulin resistance; therefore, I also recognized that prolonged high insulin levels could also lead to Type II diabetes. These studies corroborated my clinical experience showing that elevated insulin is linked to disease. Unfortunately, medical studies had not pinpointed the causes of prolonged high insulin levels that led to insulin resistance. The connection between elevated insulin levels, heart disease and diabetes was assumed to be genetic. But I looked at it from a different angle. Since insulin resistance is connected to degenerative diseases, and since insulin resistance occurs naturally in the aging process, degenerative diseases of aging have to be linked to the aging process.

Because the degenerative diseases of aging were occurring in younger and younger individuals, I began to consider the possibility that degenerative diseases of aging were not genetic but acquired. By "acquired" I mean that people were accelerating their aging process through poor eating and lifestyle habits that raised insulin levels.

Furthermore, medical science had gotten stuck on the assumption that only some people have the high-insulin gene. Again we differed. My clinical experience demonstrated that people acquired (not inherited) insulin resistance-and that too many people were suffering from this condition. I became convinced that the degenerative diseases of aging (which are the end result of insulin resistance) are accelerated by poor eating and lifestyle habits. In other words, a genetic predisposition to disease is not a "guarantee" that you will develop that disease. Instead, what you do and how you live your life determines your risk for developing insulin resistance and the degenerative diseases of aging.

Of course there are genetic variables. For example, everyone (except Type I diabetics) secretes a different amount of insulin in response to various factors. However, this is clinically significant only when eating and lifestyle habits consistently cause insulin levels to rise. In other words, in a perfect world where everyone ate a balanced diet of real foods and avoided stimulants and stress, there would be no appreciable difference between those people who secreted more insulin and those who did not.

But this is not a perfect world. Poor eating and lifestyle habits have led to an imbalance of insulin levels; because the systems of the human body are interconnected, one imbalance creates another imbalance. This is beautifully illustrated by the current low-fat movement. Low-fat dieting upsets the balance within the human body by initially increasing insulin levels, in turn causing a cascade of hormone imbalances. The low-fat, high-carbohydrate movement promised long, healthy lives and trim, athletic bodies. But instead it caused prolonged high insulin levels, which in turn increased the number of people with heart disease, Type II diabetes, excessive weight gain and many more chronic conditions and diseases.

Here are the facts:
Claim: Eating fat makes you fat. If you do not eat fat, you cannot gain fat.
Fact: A low-fat diet makes you fat. Eating fat causes you to lose body fat and reach your ideal body composition. Furthermore, eating dietary fat is essential for life. Eating fat is essential for reproduction, for the regeneration of healthy tissues and for maintaining ideal body composition.

Claim: Eating fat and cholesterol adversely affects your cholesterol profile and puts you at risk for heart attacks.
Fact: Eating a low-fat diet causes heart attacks. High insulin levels produced by a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet result in plaqueing of the arteries, because insulin directs all the biochemical processes that lead to plaque formation in arteries. Eating fat and cholesterol can prevent heart attacks by lowering insulin levels and switching off the internal production of cholesterol.

Claim: Eating fat causes cancer. Low-fat diets prevent cancer.
Fact: Low-fat diets (high in carbohydrates) cause insulin levels to rise too high-a growth factor and a major player in cancer-cell replication. Dietary fat lowers insulin levels. Dietary fat is also essential for hormone production, which in turn is essential for a healthy immune system. In other words, dietary fat provides the immune system with key components that fight the growth of cancer cells.

Claim: Eating fat increases your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension).
Fact: Cutting fat from your diet increases the risk of high blood pressure because, without fat, insulin levels rise higher in response to food. Insulin stimulates various biochemical processes that can lead to increased blood pressure.

Claim: A low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, which is the current "standard of care" treatment for diabetes, makes patients healthier.
Fact: Long-term low-fat, high-carbohydrate dieting leads to insulin resistance and, if continued, results in Type II diabetes. This same diet makes diabetics sicker.

It is important to note that these claims are not backed up by long-term scientific studies. But the facts are supported by physiology and biochemistry (true science). By focusing on physiology and biochemistry, and the evidence of my own clinical experience, I learned how prolonged high insulin levels set off a multitude of chain reactions that disrupt all other hormones and biochemical reactions at the cellular level. I termed this chronic disruption "accelerated metabolic aging," and recognized that it led to body-fat gain, chronic conditions and degenerative diseases.

Throughout the six-year period I have referred to above, I learned that there are other factors that raise insulin levels, both directly and indirectly, and that prolonged high insulin levels are caused not only by eating a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet but also by stress, dieting, caffeine, alcohol, aspartame (an artificial sweetener), tobacco, steroids, stimulant and other recreational drugs, lack of exercise, excessive and/or unnecessary thyroid replacement therapy, and all over-the-counter and prescription drugs. These factors have become central in the eating and lifestyle habits that have prevailed over the last twenty years and that parallel the rise in the incidence of disease during this same period of time.

My program gradually expanded to include balanced nutrition, stress management, exercise, the elimination of stimulants and other drugs, and hormone replacement therapy-a complete program designed to balance insulin and all other hormone levels.

The Schwarzbein Principle was written to share this program with you-to tell the truth about losing weight, being healthy and feeling younger, by first focusing on this principle: Degenerative diseases are not genetic but acquired. Because the systems of the human body are interconnected and because one imbalance creates another imbalance, poor eating and lifestyle habits, not genetics, are the cause of degenerative disease.

I have seen what high-insulin eating and lifestyle habits do to people. People are getting fatter, sicker and more depressed. Indeed, it has not taken long-only two decades-to realize the repercussions of eliminating fat, one of the most important nutrient groups, from our diet and replacing real food with invented substances, processed foods and stimulants.

Moreover, American society's preoccupation with numbers-whether referring to chronological age, total cholesterol numbers or the number on the bathroom scale-has wrought devastating results. Many popular books offer programs that require time-consuming computations and obsessive measuring and focus on food. But my experience with patients demonstrates that, ironically, the more a person obsesses about numbers the more likely he or she is to engage in harmful behaviors that generate chronic health problems and disease. One of my goals as a physician is to change our culture's fixation on meaningless numbers to an emphasis on quality of life.

When people are told that poor health is genetic, they are more likely to tolerate illness and decreased quality of life as their lot. Along with this resignation comes increased body fat, depression and lethargy. Teaching people that health and vitality are within their grasp, and showing them how to achieve optimum health, is the key to the success of my program. When people understand that they have control over their health, they are motivated to make significant changes in habits.

As a physician, I hope to influence the medical profession so that more emphasis is placed on preventive medicine. Giving people the power to attain balance, to heal themselves and to avoid illness instills motivation, in addition to dramatically improving doctor-patient relationships and potentially revolutionizing the "standard of care."

This book could have been written around the many important studies that are cited in the References section. But the problem is that there is never going to be a perfect study. Questions always remain unanswered, no matter how many references you cite. And there are so many opposing theories that it would be virtually impossible to counter every one of them. I realize that I would have never come to my own conclusions about accelerated metabolic aging if I had focused on studies rather than true science. So I chose to write a book explaining how the body works at the cellular level, not a book based on other researchers' conclusions.

The truth is, anyone can prevent accelerated aging and disease, achieve ideal body composition and extend longevity. As you learn more about physiology and read the case histories that demonstrate my clinical experience (which shows that aging and disease are one and the same) you will understand how you can gain control over your health. My hope is that the information in this book will lead you to balanced nutrition and to a lifestyle that will regenerate and heal your body so as to prevent accelerated aging and disease and thereby improve the quality of your life.

Diana Schwarzbein, M.D.
Santa Barbara, California
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Aug-07-03, 10:37
wcollier wcollier is offline
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Default Why did I write the 2nd book?

Why did I write the Schwarzbein Principle II (SPII)?

In my first book, The Schwarzbein Principle, I wanted to get the message out that eating real food including healthy fats was essential for health. I did this mostly by describing what happens to a hormone called insulin. I explained that insulin levels would go too high if you ate too many carbohydrates at a given moment. And that chronic high levels of insulin could lead to insulin resistance, a syndrome associated with increased heart attacks, strokes, type II diabetes and cancer etc. Many people who read the book came off feeling that insulin was something to get rid of or that they already were insulin resistant when they were not and therefore went too low on their carbohydrate intake.

I wrote The SP II in part to explain how damaging it is to eat too few carbohydrates as well as too many! I wanted to introduce the other side to the insulin story, the adrenal glands and to emphasize that balance is key. I further wanted to expand on my 5-step program of healthy nutrition, stress management, tapering off toxic chemicals, cross-training exercises and hormone replacement therapy if needed.

I included my own story because I wanted to let people know that I have had to go through a lengthy transition process of my own. A lot of my patients when they see me and how thin and healthy and fit I am do not believe me when I tell them that I was once where they are now. I thought if I wrote it out and described what happened to me in detail, I could help them go through their own transition. And for those reading the book who would never be my patients I felt they needed to understand why this area of medicine is something that I focused on because I wanted to make every one else’s transition easier than mine.
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Old Sat, Aug-09-03, 15:59
wcollier wcollier is offline
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Default Insulin Sensitive vs. Insulin Resistant

This is easier to read in chart-form on page 112 of SPII. It should give a general idea of your own Insulin Sensitivity vs. Insulin Resistance, although fasting insulin levels should ideally be done.

Insulin Sensitive to Full-Blown Insulin-Resistant: A Metabolic Continuum

Insulin Sensitive
Insulin Levels: Fluctuate appropriately. Are low after a 12-hour fast and in between meals.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia: Can occur especially after eating a meal high in refined carbohydrates.

Weight Gain: You can gain weight if you eat poorly but not usually a rapid fat weight gain.

Triglyceride Levels:Triglyceride levels are normal after a 12-hour fast.

Partial Insulin Resistance
Insulin Levels: Fluctuate, but not as high or as low. However are still low after a 12-hour fast and in between meals.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia: Does not usually occur. You get symptoms of hypoglycemia when you are insulin sensitive.

Weight Gain: It is easier to gain fat weight now.

Triglyceride Levels: Triglyceride levels are normal after a 12-hour fast.

Full-Blown Insulin Resistance
Insulin Levels: Do not fluctuate normally. Insulin levels remain inappropriately high after a 12-hour fast and in between meals.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia: Does not occur b/c of insulin resistance.

Weight Gain: You already have fat weight around your midsection and are less likely to put on weight very quickly now.

Triglyceride Levels: Triglyceride levels are high after a 12-hour fast. Do not diagnose yourself as insulin-resistant from your triglyceride blood test alone.

Last edited by wcollier : Sat, Aug-09-03 at 16:03.
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Old Wed, Aug-20-03, 19:55
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stevodevo stevodevo is offline
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Posts: 21
Plan: South Beach
Stats: 220/217/185 Male 6 feet
Progress: 9%
Location: Minnesota, USA

Thanks for the intro. I have heard of the program and as a pharmacist I get lots of questions on how to eaaat properly as we age. I am going to order a copy ASAP.

My family has a long history of diabetes. ALthough I watch my diet, I am prone by genetics and a long personal history of BAD eating habits to eventually become Type-II myself.

I hope to follow your threads and advise regularly.
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Old Sat, Feb-21-04, 14:01
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evergreen evergreen is offline
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Plan: Atkins
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Default wow, thanks!

Finally, the information I was missing to identify where I fit. I had a profile done last summer and my cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. were all in optimum ranges, yet I'm twice the size I should be. I won't go into details, but I knew from family history and gestational diabetes during my last two pregnancies that I have been on a direct path to Type II diabetes. I've read a lot of the low carb diet books, tried to implement a few of the principles, but with those test results I've been quite confused. Now I have the answer from your post. I'm Insulin SENSITIVE. 4 out of 4. Thank you! I'm buying this book today, throwing out the processed refined-sugar foods in my pantry, and stocking my fridge with foods for low-carbing.

Now, if I could only find a good cook book with basic meals that can be adapted for a family of 9!!!

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Old Sun, Feb-22-04, 07:37
msk msk is offline
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Stats: 267/233/170 Female 67
Progress: 35%
Location: Arizona

There are 2 Schwarzbein Cookbook's one for vegetarians (has a lot of good recipes for just side dishes) and a regular cook book. Most of the recipes are great. Some need tweaking.

Also, just FYI she is coming out with a new book in June. I cannot remember the name of it but it sounds like a step by step guide to her program.

Take care and good luck. Oh, and by the way you can post doctor recommendations on this site (I did and it did not go away).

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Old Sun, Feb-22-04, 18:43
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evergreen evergreen is offline
Contributing Member
Posts: 22
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 292/292/150 Female 5 ft 8 in
Progress: 0%
Location: Arizona

oh, cool, Msk, thanks! I ended up buying The Fat Flush Plan cookbook yesterday, and got the Schwarzbein Principle Cookbook from the library too, along with several others. The meals look delicious. The basic principles of LC eating seem to be standard, with just variations on the amount of carbs allowed per meal. I'm a little concerned about the comments that some of you have made regarding hair falling out, etc., so I think at this point I plan to continue eliminating processed foods, anything with sugar or refined flours, from my diet, and follow the advice of several of these nutritionists like Schwarzbein and Gittleman of eating foods as close to the way they come naturally as possible. I don't think I can go wrong with that, no matter what. I've also read Andrew Weil's book and liked what he said, but found the recipes too 'glamorous' for my family's tastes.

I"m a little concerned about the Fat Flush Plan's low-calorie focus, so I'm ignoring that. If I don't eat junk and refined/processed foods, stay away from potatoes and breads and pastas, I don't see how I can possibly eat too many calories. I'm going to eat if I'm hungry, but only from LC foods. I like Gitterman's focus on cleansing the liver and using natural methods to do that. That much I'm incorporating -- using the flax, cran-water and lemon in water to help flush the lymphatic system. From other research I've done in the past, this is a very important thing to do, no matter what eating plan we're following.

I still want to pick up the SP book so I can understand the details of Schwarzbein plan. It wasn't at the library, and I wasn't sure if my budget could afford it this week. I am extremely impressed with her clinical experience.

It's all exciting -- To finally be taking action.

I've studied LC eating for several years, but I haven't felt like I knew enough to implement it in my life. Now, with so many doctors and scientists and nutritionists coming up with essentially the same results in clinical studies, I'm finally sure that it's the healthiest way for me to RELEASE the excess weight. It also helps that there are some really great cookbooks with meals that even my kids will eat!! I think that, more than anything, has finally sent me into doing instead of just knowing.

Anyway, thanks for replying!! I'm glad for this website.... so loaded with information and such wonderful, supportive folks. :-)

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  #10   ^
Old Tue, May-04-04, 07:16
sandi24's Avatar
sandi24 sandi24 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 155
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 220.5/211.2/150 Female 67 inches
Progress: 13%
Location: Ontario, Canada

Thanks for the brilliant excerpts- I hadn't heard of this until yesterday, now I am anxious to get my hands on the book! It all makes sense - my hubby had really high bp and cardiologist insists on a low fat diet but no reduction in bp without the drugs - my bp was high and low carbing dropped it in 2 weeks - so it has to be healthy - will now look into the SP way of eating.
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  #11   ^
Old Mon, May-31-04, 22:21
pinkys140 pinkys140 is offline
New Member
Posts: 9
Plan: atkins
Stats: 332/332/140 Female 64 inc
Progress: 0%
Unhappy thanks for all the info

I had read somewhere else on this site about someone who followed this principle and from what she said I wondered if she had firbomyalgia. She said that her life was turned around by this way of eating. I have severe fibromyalgia and do not function very well. I am going out and get the book tomorrow! I have to lose at least 125 - 150 pounds. I am confused as to where to start. I was thinking atkins but this is very interesting too. I am starting tomorrow. Thanks for listening. You are all great.
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  #12   ^
Old Wed, Jun-09-04, 10:04
m1whowaits's Avatar
m1whowaits m1whowaits is offline
Posts: 7,925
Plan: Schwarzbein Principle II
Stats: 150/129/130 Female 5' 5"
BF:??%/??%/ 22%
Progress: 105%
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Pinky, with fibro SP might be better than Atkins, you'll need higher carbs to keep your mood up. I tried Atkins and couldn't handle the 20g a day. With the supplements she recommends and the balanced eatting, I rarely have a pain flair up anymore. When I lose sight of the plan, I can feel old pains returning.
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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Jun-11-04, 07:56
y2valerie y2valerie is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 67
Plan: atkins
Stats: 170/170/128 Female 5ft 5in
Progress: 0%
Location: london ontario
Default sp diet and major stress

I Have read your posts,and i think im in the adrenal fatigue catorgory,first im hypo thyroid,on meds,also in peri menopause,i have a 15 yr old girl who as me stressed to the max,i had a very stressful job for 3yrs surviving 12hr shifts ans 3 hrs of sleep,because i couldn,t sleep.finally i also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks which i had under control,3 months ago i broke i quit my job,which i could not afford to do,so now more stress and the anxiety is back with a vengance.My doctor is not a bit understanding he just wants me on not depressed i think i might have this AF thing .My dr as never given me any tests he says i love being stressed.i was thinking of taking a product for adrenlin to stop the anxiety.Do you think this woe might help me.
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  #14   ^
Old Fri, Jun-25-04, 05:50
kwynn kwynn is offline
New Member
Posts: 12
Plan: Schwarzbein
Stats: 150/150/140 Female 5'10
Location: northeast

I do think this woe could help you. The SP woe is all about moderating your insulin levels, which in turn has a moderating effect upon your other hormones. It is a self-healing cycle, ultimately.

The thing is, when you commit to any form of moderation - some action which requires that you slow down and act deliberately - it also has an impact on other areas of your life. The SP woe requires more attention, mindfulness and balance than most people are accustomed to giving to their body. In my own experience, because meals are fairly proscribed (I have to eat a certain amount of protein, fat, carbohydrate and vegetables at each meal and snacks), food is for meals. If I am feeling anxious or stressed, I must attend to it and care for myself in some way other than eating. The hormonal element of the SP woe has several effects - I am less emotionally labile, I feel more calm and centered, I am satisfied with the food I eat and rarely overeat when I am paying attention and following the program.

Lots of people do get off on the anxiety they live with - but it is a choice ultimately. How we structure our lives is up to us. Changing the way we eat is often much more than just changing the way we eat - it impacts how we acknowledge and attend to our needs, which in turn impacts how we feel about ourselves. How we do anything is how we do everything. Change one thing and the rest of your life follows.

Best of luck,
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  #15   ^
Old Thu, Aug-05-04, 16:32
LadyBelle's Avatar
LadyBelle LadyBelle is offline
Resident Loud Mouth
Posts: 8,495
Plan: Retrying
Stats: 239.2/150.6/120 Female 5'2"
Progress: 74%
Location: Wyoming

I would fall into Insulin Sensitive/Burned Out Adrenals:
20-25 grams X3 + 20 grams X 2 snacks looking into some of the links.

but I would also fall in the Slightly overweight with Insulin-Meter or Overweight with Excessive Insulin-Meter:

so maybe doing the insulin sensative, burned out with a slightly loer carb, around 10-15g per meal would work. I need to read the books though. I looked today, but I couldn't afford the 2.

How can you tell insulin meter? The tests pages are half down, it looks like the site is rebuilding.
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