Healthy Monster Diets

It’s no surprise to students of diet that none of the long-lived monsters eat wheat.

Vampires, of course, live for centuries, and their diet resembles the traditional diet of the Masai. Both groups, indeed, are known for their teeth; like vampires, the Masai rarely get cavities.

There are, to be sure, some monsters with a predilection for sweets. They tend to be short, often barely three feet tall; and their lifespan seems to be short. Often, a sweet-toothed monster is never seen again after a single night spent gorging on sweets.

In searching the web for information on monster diets, I came across this song, which I take to be a celebration of monsters’ favorite way of preparing “safe starches.” Enjoy!

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  1. My little monsters are noshing on carrots right now.

  2. I wish I could say my 14 year old monster ate a perfect diet, but as monsters go – she’s pretty good. She has perfect no cavity teeth though.

  3. Hey Paul,

    Just wanted to get your opinion on my situation. I am 21 year old male suffering from folliculitis, low thyroid function and all the ails that go with those.

    It started with teen acne, which I did a course of tetracycline for 1 month I bieve in 2003 when I was 13. Got better, than worse. Just cycled various products till 2006 in the fall, when I decided I was fed up and it was time for Accutane.

    That fall, I also joined cross country and lost a good 15lbs. I was in great shape, and felt fantastic. I was probably the healthiest I have ever been in my life despite Accutane.

    I became over zealous with cross country, and eventually my weight went to about 100lbs (in Dec 2007) after being 135lbs before cross country. In Feb. 2007, I contracted the folliculitis from the stupid decision to shave over a very bad breakout of acne, with very dry damamged skin. I got a few boils, thought they were just big zits, popped them, and went on with school, life, wearing band aids and disinfecting all the time.

    Realized something was up, this was more than acne. Went off Acctune June 2007, skin clear except for two patches of folliculitis on both left and right lower cheek, upper jaw area. Very localized.

    Fast foreward to 2008, I have now been on Amoxicillin, Erythromycin, and Clarithromycin . Folliculitis came up as “Coliforms” at one point.

    Spring 2008 realized I was very underweight, ate a ton of junk food, somehwere around 10,000 calories some days to gain fast weight.

    By December 2008 I was 140 but no way was I healthy. Eating a ton of junk, drinking (college freshmen) and very out of shape.

    May 2009, went on Primal Diet, got a new biopsy from the folliculitis, doc said it was a “stool bacteria” and accused me of not washing my hands after pooping. Thanks, doc. Shows how little she knew about gut bacteria and bacterial infections in general.

    It was Doxycycline that cleared it for a month. Used Hibiclens as well. Lost weight, got in shape, was around 130lbs and feeling good, although tired sometimes (lack of good flora I am sure).

    By September 2009, the folliculitis had returned. I went VLC, and ZC (zero carb) till about December. Honestly, not much difference in the folliculitis.

    Was experimenting with various topicals too, some, but not much improvement.

    Fast foreward to June 2010. I have learned about leaky gut and started attempting to heal it. Went on Doxycycline again just for relief even if temporarily. Started Theralac probiotic immediately after finishing.

    July-August, showing more hypo signs like dry skin, poor energy, anxiety, trouble sleeping.

    August 2010, folliculitis came back after a fight I was in. Stress or inevitable? Got worse until finally in September I began the raw milk diet. It got better for 30 days with that and Dr. Ohhira’s probiotic.

    Currently, it still lingers and got way better when I dropped all topical therapy.

    Biopsy of Enterobacter Aerogenes last month. Came back a little with dry skin due to Santa Ana winds. I used a moisturizer out of desperation and now am suffering some a decent flare.

    Showing signs of low thyroid. Body Temp is usually around 97.4 but yesturday when i did not eat in the morning, it was 96.4 in the afternoon.

    I am looking puffy and tired in the eyes, I feel tired. I sleep horribly. My skin is dry and I have difficulty concentrating and getting tasks done.

    Iosol makes me breakout on my forehead with just a simple drop a day.

    Did thyroid tests (but did not fast, was drinking milk) last month and the results were:

    TSH 1.27

    then on a different test
    Ft4 1.1
    Ft3 3.7

    All in the middle ranges. But Thyroid symptoms remain. I do not think it is Hashimoto’s. Although eating seaweed causing my face to puff up, which is new, this has not happened in the past, in fact a year ago I had a ton of seaweed and this never happened.

    I am thinking this all relates to my poor, damanged flora and this overgrowth of gram negative organisms, specifically Enterobacter Aerogenes.

    I am looking into somehow faking a C.Diff Infection or U.C, or just begging doctors to get me into Fecal Bacteriotherapy after a course of antibiotics.

    I am 21 years old, this should not be happening. Wondering if you have any advice. Sorry for the long post, but here are key points:

    – Enterobacter Aerogenes folliculitis (and other gram negative organisms)
    – Low thyroid function symptoms of low engery (enough to exercise though), dry skin, puffy eyes, poor sleep, anxiety, poor concentration.

    I have no GI issues, but probiotics/Paleo type diet could be helping that. My stools are not perfect though, but they are not too bad.

    Really thinking this is all flora… what do you think? I will not too antibiotic therapy again unless I can

    a.) Know that all my flora will die and no lingering ones will be left behind and
    b.) Successfully regain healthy flora via fecal transplant or some other method.

  4. Hi Bill,

    That’s quite a complex of symptoms you have.

    Although all those antibiotics probably caused some kind of gut dysbiosis, the recurrent skin infections suggest some kind of systemic infection. Since the systemic infections seem to be of gut pathogen species, there’s a good chance the infections have a base in gut biofilms, but it’s not clear that the symptoms would clear simply by adding commensal species to the gut.

    With all those skin infections it seems likely the immune system is suppressed somehow, possibly due to an infection.

    I think it’s really desirable for you to find a doctor who can help diagnose what’s going on. Have you been to an infectious disease specialist?

    The good news is that bacterial infections can almost always be defeated. Here are just a few thoughts:

    I would start with vitamin D and thyroid, since they’re easy and important.

    Hypothyroid symptoms call for trying thyroid hormone regardless of hormone levels. The normal ranges suggest an antibody issue, see I would get tested for anti-thyroid antibodies and try thyroid hormone.

    Various nutrients are important for immune function, vitamin D at the top of the list. You should also take vitamin C, selenium, and iodine.

    A fecal transplant is probably a good idea, but you should keep in mind that you need a well-functioning immune system to keep pathogens in check and commensal species in control. And antibiotics do not penetrate biofilms well, so they cannot assure that no lingering pathogens are left behind. You have to defeat pathogens with a combination of good immune function and commensal species.

    If you want more in-depth advice, our book has general tactics for diet, nutrition, and enhancing immunity, many of which could be relevant. When you don’t know what’s going on, it’s good to try to fix everything.

    Please keep us posted on how things develop. You’re right that this shouldn’t be happening at 21, so it’s good that you’re working hard to get it fixed. These things can easily get worse if they’re left to fester.

    Best, Paul

  5. Thanks Paul. Looking into an Infectious Disease Specialist.

    You say one needs a strong immune system for the fecal transplant to work, but what about the C. Diff patients who are cured, and remain so, with the therapy? It is my understanding that the spores are killed, and if the gut flora control a great majority of the immune system, can one even have a strong immune system without them?

  6. Hi Bill,

    When the immune system is effectively confining the pathogens to the gut, so that the only place symptoms appear is the gut, e.g. ulcerative colitis, then it’s a safe bet that a fecal transplant is the missing piece. The commensal flora will fight the pathogens for control of the gut, and the immune system will aid the commensals and keep all confined within the gut. Then the fecal transplant can work a quick cure.

    In your case, it seems the immune system is not able to keep the pathogens out of systemic circulation, and they are infecting all over. This needs to be understood and fixed.

    We distinguish between “intracellular” and “extracellular” pathogens. There is no hard and fast line, but in general, to infect and disable immune cells bacterial species have to be adapted to the intracellular environment and good at concealing themselves from the immune system, whereas extracellular species are larger, have a wider array of proteins that excite immune responses, and need to build biofilm colonies, so they don’t do well inside cells.

    Thus, if the immune system is suppressed it’s more likely due to an intracellular pathogen like C. pneumoniae, than your gut bacteria. Of course many viruses suppress immunity too, HIV is famous for that.

    I wouldn’t rule out fungal infections as well – did your doctors ever culture for them? – since fungi/yeast often take over the gut during antibiotics and they are a common cause of folliculitis and can occupy the gut without gut symptoms, yet promote pathogen entry to the body. I didn’t mention them because you said the antibiotics would end the folliculitis, but I wouldn’t exclude any possibilities yet.

    If you aren’t yet, I would take 5,000 IU vitamin D3 (and some K2 for safety) as well as get sunshine on skin whenever possible.

    You didn’t mention many things, like what are white blood cell counts and what happens to them when you take antibiotics. I think it would be best to find a good doctor who can do tests, experiment with you, and analyze what’s going on in more depth.

    It usually takes time to heal these conditions, but if you systematical fix everything you should fully recover.

    In looking for doctors, ones with experience in chronic diseases, e.g. Lyme and gut diseases, are likely to be most valuable.

  7. Paul,

    Is it possible that my immune system is depressed because of what basically was a year on a starvation diet (too much long distance cardio)?

    My thyroid and adrenals were possibly stressed by the chronic exercise and lack of feeding that went on for over a year, and perhaps have not recovered?

    I say this because the folliculitis is not “systemic”. It is in fact, quite isolated. It stays in the areas where I first got it and does not really spread.

    How does one test for intracellular pathogens and fungus? I have spent 3 years researching folliculitis, on various forums, people who have this disease have had it for years and some even decades.

    It start’s small and then gets worse and worse after each antibiotic.

    Dr. Ayers at Coolinginflammation says that the folliculitis is simply an immune response to the lack of good flora, complemented by the mechanical damage to my skin from Accutane, shaving damage, harsh skin products.

    I am not trying to discount your advice, I am very thankful for it. But I never was sick or had any Immune Issues, no food sensitivities or anything like that before the antibiotics. I rarely ever got sick, and the only issue was acne, which was probably from grain intake/poor diet.

    I have been blood tested and everything else checks out.

    My vitamin D level was 65ng/ml (reference range was 30-100, my doctor says this was good, not sure if he is right)

    My red blood cell count is 4.44 (4.20-5.80 reference range)
    White Blood Cell is 5.1 (3.8-10.8)

    I do see the white blood cell count is in the low range of “normal”.

    My testosterone is in the lower range of normal though as well, it is 438ng, (241-827 ref range)

    My C-reactive protein is 0.12 (less than 0.80mg is the ref range)

    Sorry for all this, I am sure you have more important things to do.

    I am just looking for as much perspectives as possible. My doctor seemed to think that everything checked out… is he right?

  8. Also, just to touch on the biofilm issue..

    it is a relatively new therapy and I haven’t read any success stories concerning it yet. This does trouble me when considering it as a therapy.

  9. Sorry one more post.

    My next action plan was to do a round of antibiotics (I have a culture test that shows a list of antibiotics that the bacteria is sensitive to), perhaps with some biofilm chelators (I also have a bottle of Interfase Plus), for a period of maybe 3-4 weeks, then follow up with a fecal transplant. During this time, I would also stop all topical therapy and allow the skin to heal itself, taking supplements like MSM and Collagen/Silicia/Vitamin C to help it rebuild.

    Combined with the diet you lay out, the supplementation, it sounds like it might do the trick, but of course so did a quick 10 days of amipicillin about 3 years ago.

    I have read an article where resistant folliculitis was cured in 6 out of 8 patients with mono excimer light.

    Reoccurance was only observed in 2 patients. This is after a 3 month follow up.

    The longest remission I ever had was 3 weeks. If I had remission for 3 months I would consider myself possibly cured.

    I would be curious to know if those 6 patients still are cleared. Of course the study was done in Italy and the idea of this therapy is non-existent here in the US.

    Most infectious disease doctors don;t have a clue with this disease. But again, I am probably one of the few who has gone as far as to drastically change my diet, take nutritional supplements, change my lifestyle, etc.

  10. Hi Bill,

    Sorry, I misunderstood. If it is only a local infection that is better.

    Definitely the year of malnutrition hurt your health – you shouldn’t lose 35 lb and weigh only 100 lb — but it’s hard to see why it would still be suppressing immune function, unless it led to a systemic infection.

    Are these antibiotics you’re planning to take systemic or topical? Topical would be much safer.

    If UV light is an effective treatment, then it looks like you should try to get as much sun exposure for the infected area as you can.

    It’s still a bit of a mystery why you have hypothyroid symptoms, and what the state of your gut flora is.

    I would suggest some additional supplements, like N-acetylcysteine, which should help immune function; sunlight; iodine at levels with tolerable side effects; selenium, C, and the rest of our recommended supplements. You’re taking plenty of D but maybe you should try for more sun and less supplement. Be sure to take vitamin K2 with your D.

    Your action plan seems reasonable but I’m not sure what its chances of success are. You said you don’t have GI symptoms and it’s not obvious how the folliculitis and hypothyroidism are linked to the gut.

    It seems like a conservative course of diet, nutritional supplements, thyroid treatment, and topical antibiotics might be a reasonable alternative.

  11. Hi Paul,

    This is sort of off topic, but I was wondering what your opinion is on some of the popular herbal antioxidants, such as EGCG (from green tea extract), curcumin, and resveratrol.

  12. Paul,

    I think my immune system was (is) still depressed, again, by an over-all lack of flora from the past rounds of antibiotics, more undereating (I had lost weight again going primal with intermittent fasting as well, then did a few months zero carb all meat, then few more very low carb with mostly meat, probably no more than 30 carbs a day). Adrenals were probably further stressed by once a day eating, super low carb, caffiene, and not enough sleep.

    Only in the last month have I:

    a) Had consistently enough calories either meeting basel metabolic rate or exceeding.
    b.) Started making sleep a priority
    c.) Begun having 50-150grams of carbs a day from starch, raw milk.
    d.) Supplemented with probiotics.
    e.) Cut back on exercise.

    Also, iodine defiencey is a possibility, although I don’t think high doses are necessary. Iosol gives me bromide acne after a week and not much benefit. I spent years avoiding Iodine from multivitamins to keep acne away.

    NOW Thyroid Energy seems to get my temps up from 97.4 to 98.3 almost instantly, with only about 450mcg of Iodine, as well as some selenium, b-5 and other thyroid/adrenal supporting herbs.

    So I guess, a lack of consistent over feeding with quality food/nutrients, sleep, has probably stressed my thyroid/adrenals, combined with the lack of solid flora in gut. It seems as if I fixed all these issues, I would get rid of this once and for all.

    In regards to topical therapy… looking into getting Microcyn, not sure if you have heard of it

    It’s quite a miraculous sounding product, that works like bleach but is more gentle than water for your skin, killing pretty much all pathogens in about 30 seconds.

    As I said before, my folliculitis got much better when I stopped using any kind of soap or irritating topical… which leads me to believe that skin irritation is a big factor, as well as improper flora on the skin?

    The hypothyroid and folliculitis are linked to the gut, again because of the lack of flora. Proper gut flora is necessary for proper T3 conversion.

    I have no obvious GI symptoms, but thats probably because of my diet. Before that, I must definitely had some bloating and regularity issues, none quite so severe though.

    All this explains why probiotics and raw milk help all of my symptoms, but again as you stated in your article about gut flora… there are 100-150 species needed for proper gut health, I am only getting about 30-40 with raw milk and probiotics. Hence, why my therapy is only getting me so far.

    It has occured to me that since getting this folliculitis 3 years ago, never had I once done all things that an a person with an infecton should do:

    1.) Get on a proper diet that has enough calories to fuel the body and more
    2.) Get all the proper nutrients
    3.) REST
    4.) Leave the body alone to heal itself (in this case, quit screwing around with topicals)

    Once I began doing this in the past month, the condition improves, but not 100%, which is why I think the lack of flora is last step.

    Again, thank very much Paul. I love your site and once I get my paypal account up and running, will definitely be purchasing your book.

    Between you, Chris at healthy skeptic, and Dr. Ayers, all my health issues seem to make sense now.

  13. Hi Robert,

    I drink green tea fairly often which I think is more pleasant than supplementing components.

    Curcumin I think is healthy. Again, I frequently use turmeric as a spice but don’t supplement.

    I don’t take resveratrol, I think a low-carb diet provides all the benefits and it could be dangerous. I prefer techniques like intermittent fasting.

    Best, Paul

  14. Hi Bill,

    I think your analysis is very good.

    The fact that your diet was so poor until recently is one reason why I think a conservative course might be enough. Good diet and nutrition should enable you to recover.

    A fecal transplant would accelerate the recovery of your gut flora, but it’s probably not critical. You’ll be picking up new species every day. As Dr Ayers says, don’t be too hygienic.

    The bromide acne I take to be a sign that you need iodine. Drink lots of water and include salt in the diet to help clear the bromide. You want to displace the bromide with iodine, that will be healthier. Bromine poisoning could be a cause of hypothyroidism.

    Rest is important, you would probably find resistance exercise helpful too. Long-distance running should be avoided until you recover, but short-distance running / sprinting should be fine.

    I think if the NOW Thyroid Energy is enough to raise your temperature, then it seems like nutrient deficiencies may be a significant part of your problem. Looking at the ingredients, I see that we recommend rather more of some than is contained in 2 capsules. We recommend 200 mcg selenium, vs 50 mcg in 2 NOW capsules; 2 mg copper, vs 1 mg; at least 1 mg iodine, vs 225 mcg; 500 mcg B12 and 50 mg B6 are reasonable doses.

    I’m glad you’re on a good course! It should be only a matter of time before you’re well again.

  15. Hey Paul,

    Thanks you have been a great help.

    I will definitely look into supplementing more with Iodine, Selenium and Copper along with the NOW Capsules.

    Will keep you updated on my sitauation!

  16. Paul,

    Additives in dairy cream –

    Carrageenan, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose gum,
    Polysorbate 80

    I looked up Mono and Diglycerides. One opinion online is that that trans fat and mono- and diglycerides are related – and thus equally dangerous.

    We live in a small town and a better brand of cream is not available.

    Would you skip the cream?

    Thanks, Bea

  17. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome site!

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