Wednesday, November 28, 2012

back to "normal" -- whatever that is

:-)  At least, i'm back to an Atkins-level carb intake.  Yesterday, black coffee for breakfast, lunch a "Cuban chicken melt" with mushrooms on the side and decaf to drink, then a couple of glasses of red wine with the dish our family calls "fake stroganoff," a "paleo biscuit" and generously-buttered broccoli.  Today's menu will resemble the classic Strong Medicine regimen.

I still have more subcutaneous fat on my belly than i've had for months.  :-(  Tomorrow i MAY have guts enough to get on the bathroom scale, but i'm not promising anything.

What with all the vegetable matter i've been consuming this past week, i have less-happy intestines and gut-bugs than usual.  My allergies are much worse, too.  The vague aches in some muscle groups are back.  2012 has been eye-opening for me in how i've observed my body to perform on different foodstuffs!  The only things that don't have ANY downside are fatty ruminant meat and water ... just as Dr. Donaldson wrote half a century ago.

It's fun to break the rules for a short time -- a change is as good as a rest, you know -- but once you discover what your body will put up with to maintain a decent quality-of-living, to stray from it very long is just plain DUMB.  ... And for the record, i did NOT run out and try to buy a final box of Twinkies.  Those things are NASTY.

Monday, November 26, 2012

still metabolically flexible

Yesterday J and i took a road-trip with the kids.  After the carb-orgy the evening before, i was planning to fast till dinner, so had nothing but coffee-with-cream (everyone else had lunch before leaving the house).  We took off across Houston to visit the farm of a friend of my husband's, where we'd been invited to go see the animals.

See the animals we did!  They have hundreds of donkeys of every size (mostly rescues), a number of horses and a handful of mules.  Ever see a Percheron?  It's a draft breed originating in France, not quite as big as a Clydesdale -- beautiful, intelligent horses.  The children liked the ponies, miniature horses, and standard and miniature donkeys best, being more their size.  The "mammoth" donkeys, i mistook for mules!  The kids fed the "equine collection" with gingersnaps provided by our host.  Two baby donkeys, too young for the cookies, were the stars of the show.  The finale was a visit to a young Standardbred horse they had just rehabbed from a tendon injury -- a gorgeous creature who was enjoying his newfound health by frisking around his paddock, playing with his "jolly ball" and kicking up his heels.

We stayed longer than i would have expected, and there was a 1 1/2 hour drive back before we got our dinner.  I was ravenous when we entered our favorite neighborhood restaurant ... but i hadn't been particularly hungry during the day.

It's a pleasant surprise to me that having once become keto-adapted, i seem to retain metabolic flexibility even after "overdoing" holiday carbohydrate foods.  I certainly retain carbohydrate sensitivity!  Don't get me wrong -- my diet has still been low-carb compared to the SAD -- just high-carb for ME.  I guess that, once the fat-digesting and -mobilizing enzymes and such are established, they'd have to be neglected for a time in order to not click back on as needed.

The biggest danger of reintroducing more carbs to the diet, in someone like me, is that they ARE yummy.  And UBIQUITOUS.  Let yourself have a few blue-corn chips (and i did), and the immediate ill-effects are ... not perceived.  So they didn't hurt, right?  WRONG.  You let your muscles burn glucose, and stored some expeller-pressed sunflower oil.  When the latter comes out to be burnt it doesn't flip the switch back to make those muscles insulin-resistant, so they want to burn more glucose.  Time to nip it in the bud.

No more cheat-foods for me.  In fact, i have a new real-food, portable, low-carb recipe find (thank you, Gina!) for my recipe page....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

watching commercials again....

Buy the capsules that "scientists discovered" and it will melt your fat away with no changes in your lifestyle -- it's "clinically proven"!!!  ...How can people still fall for these lines?  Or are they taking advantage of a new generation of overweight people who neither have any experience themselves, nor are willing to listen to the experience of others?

If leanness, or a healthy liver, heart and brain are important to you -- i'm sorry to break this to you -- you're going to HAVE to make diet and lifestyle changes!  It CAN be quick and "easy" but you're going to have to make sacrifices in the realm of what you're allowed to consume.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

ground lost

Yeah, i've been "bad."  I can FEEL the subcutaneous fat gain.  I feel like a blimp.

Today i'm going to be very abstemious, in both carbs and alcohol.  Tomorrow i'm going to be "good," and on the weekdays "perfect" (the Strong Medicine regimen), because i've got a living-history event next weekend -- no time to waste.

The good news is, "fat" for me now is "lean" compared to where i was last year.  :-)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I hate being predictable, and it's even worse to be banal ... but i have to say that i AM indeed grateful for all the good things life has given me.

My family isn't perfect, but it's damned good, in my humble opinion.  Even the in-laws!  ;-)

My country has significant faults, but it could still be a lot worse.

My health and physicality are far from being what i'd LIKE, but compared with what some people have to bear, i'm fortunate.

My situation is more than fortunate.  I have people who care about me, and i have people to care about.  And animals.

They say that people who feel gratitude benefit in some significant ways.  I hope that correlation and causation are related, here.  Happy Thanksgiving, or Harvest Home, or whatever traditional autumn holiday you prefer!

when i start to doubt myself...

Sometimes, going on the road inhibits blogging inspiration, and sometimes provides me grist for my mill....

This time, my husband is with me, so the dynamics are very different.  When I drive i listen to music, but HE prefers NPR, and my general rule is that the driver gets to choose.  Therefore, i've been listening to some radio shows that i ordinarily would not.

Sometimes (also) i feel like i'm pretty dumb.  When i have to read one of Peter's sentences -- or a whole post -- several times before i get a faint glimmer of understanding ... it's EASY to feel intellectually inferior.

But i should know better.

Any time i feel old and fat and ugly, all i have to do to feel better is go to the mall and look around me.  Any time i feel slow and stupid, i now know that all i have to do is turn on the radio.  EVEN NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO.  (Jeeze, i could probably become an instant Einstein, just by tuning into an AM talk-radio station....)

Dedicating 30 minutes or an hour to discussing something outrageously WITHOUT IMPORT seems to me to be the ultimate waste of time, energy, and money.  I've heard more dumb-ass comments and questions over the last two hours than over the last two weeks!  (I was about to say "two months" ... then i remembered the electioneering season.)

Right now there's an author being interviewed about his book that talks about lifestyles favoring longevity.  To us, OLD NEWS.  And can you spell, C-O-N-F-O-U-N-D-I-N-G V-A-R-I-A-B-L-E-S?  grrrrrr....  The interviewer asked about maintaining mental function, avoiding dementia, and he started talking about herbal teas*!  @#$%&%$#@.....

Before this show began, there was one talking about shopping during "thanksgiving weekend" -- one man thought businesses SHOULD NOT BE OPEN, even if their staffs want and need to work, because "thanksgiving is the only time extended families can get together and spend time with each other."  ONLY time?  Honesttogod, can these people not realize that their opinions are completely illogical?  And does the concept of "live and let live" not have the potential to simplify things considerably?

I become disgusted that stirring up controversy over something that's totally immaterial trumps truthful simplicity.  Why do people worry about what everybody else is doing, if they're happy and not imposing on others?  As far as Mr. Longevity is concerned -- the science is out there, but he can't be bothered.  I called my husband's attention to that fact, and i have to pass along his comment:

"But ... but ... that's BORING!  THIS sells books!" (He's a Taurus.)

*  "AND," J pointed out, "this guy has great credentials -- he works for National Geographic."  <groan>  Fortunately, you're hearing the warped sense of humor he enjoys.  If these comments were strictly serious, i wouldn't be able to live with him!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

what i'd LIKE to see in the Times



Of course, if these (and other) basic truths hit the mainstream media, what would they print tomorrow?  Somehow, it seems to me that perpetuating controversy and half-truths feeds public appetite (word choice deliberate) for more and more articles that ... don't help.

It's like soap operas and dramatic "comic" strips:  they're all about cliffhangers that promise that if you keep coming back for more, you'll eventually get mental/emotional satisfaction.  Like 900-number psychics, who are free for the first five minutes, and you hope that five MORE minutes will reveal something valuable.  

Nobody wants to say that to improve your health (and incidentally lower your weight) you'll have to give up something you like FOREVER, for all intents and purposes.  That's depressing and bleak to a lot of people, and it will drive them away from a dietary program or a newspaper/magazine that announces it.  Never mind that it's TRUE.  No, diet books adopt a cheery, optimistic you-can-do-it-it's-EASY tone, promises of steady loss, and implications that in maintenance you can enjoy again all those goodies that got you in trouble in the first place.  SURE you can enjoy them again -- about once a month, not every day.

I'd like to see a headline that says MEDICAL SCIENCE CAN'T SAVE YOU FROM A BAD DIET with the follow-up article HEALTH OR HEDONISM -- YOU CHOOSE.  Now, we in this little blog-circle of ours know that our real-food diets, be they very-low-carb or moderate, are NOT pleasureless, even though they seem spartan to "outsiders."  But we DO, for the sake of our well-being, forgo a lot of foods we enjoy because our bodies punish us if we consume them.  We make sacrifices of convenience and give ourselves reputations of being weird, which tends to set us apart.  It's a good thing most of us are independent-minded in the first place!

But no mainstream publication wants to print these things.  They're not Harvard-approved or ADA-recommended.  And they're off-putting!  The media want their customers to feel GOOD and MOTIVATED, even THOUGHTFUL, but not hopeless, discouraged or daunted.  Consumers mustn't be convinced that power is in their own hands to improve their lives, although to do so they're gonna have to do things they'd rather not.  People are supposed to go to their doctors regularly, and take their expert dietary advice.  Doesn't matter that most doctors know diddly-squat about nutrition.

It's more appealing for periodicals to print articles about individuals in the public eye who have health and weight problems -- that makes John and Marsha, sitting there reading on their 50 excess pounds, feel more like everyone else, and also UNDERSTOOD.  Printing stories about how "dangerous" very-low-carb programs are make people feel better about not WANTING to change their diets.  Gushing about the superfood-du-jour today allows them to write about the superfood-de-demain tomorrow.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

another "wow" moment at Hyperlipid

Peter's post this morning gave me another OMG-problem-solved moment.  That guy ought to get the Nobel Prize for Blogging!  (Wait, isn't there one?  May i propose it?)

So simple, so elegant, so complete!  Perpetrator of obesity is linoleic acid, and carbohydrate is accessory to the crime.  Case closed.

Now, if only we could get industrial seed oils those heart-healthy polyunsaturates out of friggin' EVERYTHING in the food supply....


Good day, ladies and gentlemen!  Just to mention, i added a little update to my post on sucralose, and the recipe page.

Have a great rest-of-the-weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I've been plagued by food memories today.  I guess that makes this a good time to talk about cravings!

There used to be a restaurant we'd visit when i was a teen, that served an amazing hot ham and swiss sandwich on pumpernickel.  I think of it from time to time -- i don't know why it was so much better than any other sandwich of its like, but it WAS.  If that thing were offered to me right now, i have little doubt i'd devour it, wheat and all.

Earlier today (late afternoon) something made me think of the gooey cheese on a good pizza, and i WANTED it.  Not the pizza, just the hot mozzarella-blend that had been flavored by the toppings and sauce underneath it.  I settled for a bowl of (innocent) chili with an ounce or so of grated cheddar stirred in, which hit the spot.

Why does this happen?  Sometimes it's obvious -- an ad for a foodstuff may attract us directly.  Or perhaps a suggestion in one's surroundings may spark a string of associations that trigger a longing for some dish, even if the immediate link has nothing to do with it directly.  There are some books and movies which i associate with particular foods in an emotional way; i'm reminded of the book and the thought of the food comes leaping to mind.  Our imaginations are our worst tempters to dietary "sin"!

There are times when i have no doubt that it is a nutritional lack which drives a craving.  One day last summer when i was feeling crummy i got a fierce craving for a big rare steak; i had one, and promptly felt better.  People report similar experiences with chocolate.  When i'm stressed to the point that i get carb or alcohol cravings, experience tells me it's a B-vitamin fix that i REALLY need.

Occasionally the associations of time-of-day or a particular activity affect me, just like the book/movie associations do.  And when our bodies are weary, our brains know that a carby snack will perk us up, even if we don't think about it consciously.  Don't dare think about the taste, texture, look, smell, or mouth-feel of a particular treat, because your subconscious mind may latch on to the idea and not let go....

There are probably an infinite number of possible triggers -- that's academic.  The important point is, what to do to take away their power before they nag you to do something you'll regret!

I'd say that the first thing to do is to determine if honest hunger may be the cause of the craving.  Duh!  :-)  Nutritional need may be present, even if one has eaten recently, though.  If i feel unsatisfied after a meal, nine times out of ten it means that i didn't get enough of either protein or fat (or both).  On most occasions of this nature, a cup of coffee with a generous amount of cream tops off the meal perfectly. If some kind of stress has me frantic for either a cookie or a cocktail, popping a b-complex vitamin has been known to make things better.

Breaking the associations between food and unrelated activities is a subject that deserves some study.  Perhaps my longing for peppermint ice cream when i read that book might be derailed if i sip some peppermint iced tea instead?  I already know that when i get home from a busy afternoon out, a cup of HOT tea is just as relaxing as a glass of wine.  Sitting down to watch a favorite holiday movie, it's easier to forgo popcorn or party mix or some other "evil" snack if my hands are busy with a knitting, crocheting, or tatting project.  

Distraction is sometimes a viable technique for disable a craving -- doing something that requires close concentration can be helpful.  Reading in a different room, or even in a different chair sometimes removes one of the "reminders to snack."  I can imagine that rearranging the furniture in the sitting-room might help!  

Anybody out there have favorite tricks or inspired ideas?  Please share!  We're getting to the time of year when temptations are even greater!

calories are good (from the right sources)

After decades of trying to minimize the number we can be satisfied with, in the course of a day, i find myself a delighted contrarian on the subject now.  Who'd'a' thunk it?

Calories, carbs, fat-grams, points -- it seems to help people focus on what they're doing, to have something to count.  In fact it's an old esoteric secret, using something that's merely emblematic to focus concentration where it's needed to do a job (think voodoo doll, or an icon, mandala or candle-flame).  Also, measuring things and mathematical gymnastics are "scientific" tools that help us to feel that what we're doing is based on solid, reliable FACT, rather than the shockingly-bad ideas which have gifted us with the "obesity epidemic."

It's easy for me and my contemporaries to remember back, and see how things have changed in the diet-and-health realm.  When i was a child, there were darned few "fat kids" in our school; nobody but "health nuts" went out of their way to get exercise, and yet before the age of menopause/andropause few people were particularly overweight.  These were the days when everybody ate white bread and drank whole milk, we weren't afraid of sugar, our home and school meals were full of fats AND carbs, and the only reason we used margarine in our house was because it was significantly cheaper than butter and we weren't very well off.

My kids, however, grew up in a society in which we were rather afraid of eating the "wrong" foods.  In search of health, their generation has enjoyed a surprising lack of it:  obesity, diabetes, infertility, mental disorders, ... i don't know where to stop.  Suffice it to say, our dietary changes seem to have wrought a sad result -- all in the hopes of IMPROVING health.  :-(

So here we are today, struggling to fix the damage done by the mistaken or greed- or fanatically-inspired diet advice of the last half-century.  It's truly and disgustingly absurd how we have clung to some of the most archaic, simplistic non-science -- like the obsession with calories.  Ironically, the Mephistopheles of my dietary-morality play, Ancel Keys, did a piece of early work which shines a beacon of brilliance upon this murky subject.  The "starvation study" showed that low calorie intakes (higher than a lot of diet plans dictate) caused some nasty psychological effects, as well as other health issues.  Calorie restriction was pretty well proven to be a bad idea -- yet that is the CONSTANT advice one is given for weight loss, improved health AND longevity.

For millions of years nobody counted calories, and the human race thrived and multiplied.  Then suddenly people started paying attention to the situation in large numbers, and the situation went straight to hell.  To me, this is just confirmation that whenever mankind sticks meddling fingers into natural processes, we fuck it up.  Science thinks it knows a lot more than it really does -- be skeptical of its sweeping pronouncements!

So ignore calories!  The only good use for paying attention to them is in making sure you're getting ENOUGH FAT.  YES.  This is opposite everything we learned before ... but we can all see where THAT idea has gotten us.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CICO is dead, part 42* -- exercise

More "words of wisdom" for my daughter ... and anyone else who may be interested.  :-)

The other half of the equation, the "calories out" part, is as much a mistaken principle as the first.  YES, to do work with the muscles "burns" an energy substrate -- either glucose or fatty acids.  But to characterize the calories burned as the fat off our rumps is just wrong.  Most of the energy burned by those sour-looking folks trotting down the street is glucose, from glycogen stored in their muscles and livers, which they promptly replenish from their diets full of hearthealthywholegrains.  To burn fat as the primary fuel requires a low-carb diet and a specific kind of training.

So if they're not burning fat on their lengthy dawn jogs, why are they so skinny (or in many cases, skinny-fat)?  Several reasons, like their high-carb lifestyles cause them to waste protein as described here; like they're not consuming enough or the right kind of calories to gain significant fat stores (the biggest "benefit" of a low-fat diet is that it's also low in omega-6s); or like they have the kind of bodies that are not prone to fattening in the first place.

The wrong kind of exercise has a big down-side, too.  What Mark Sisson calls "chronic cardio" is notorious for promoting body-wide inflammation; ever hear about the theoretically-healthy young runners who drop dead of heart attacks, despite having little-to-no arterial plaque?  THAT is the work of the inflammation.  If you intrinsically LOVE running, it's bad enough because this kind of exercise is pretty stressful to the body; however, if you're only doing it because you think it's good for you and you basically dislike it, you're doubling-down on the stress hormones.  And if you don't give your body time to recover from all the microtrauma (i.e., you run every day), the damage increases even more.  The stress-hormone cortisol brings about all kinds of negative effects around the body, as well as increasing your tendency to fatten.  You also experience more oxidative -- free-radical -- damage.

Then, the more you encourage the body to burn glucose, the worse it gets at burning fat.  Nature is clever, and if it thinks you don't need the ability to do something, it will down-regulate production of the enzymes and other factors needed for it.  Part of the process of becoming keto-adapted (able to burn fatty acids as one's primary fuel) is the adjustment of the body to producing all the chemicals needed to do it.  If someone has burned glucose very largely for decades, the keto-adaptation period can be long and uncomfortable.  The ability to switch between fuels easily is often called "metabolic flexibility" ... and it's a GOOD THING.  ;-)  Annoyingly, it's pretty easy for anyone to switch from fats to sugars, but not everybody swings the other way very well.

If exercise sucks for fat burning, why do most people -- even i -- think it's a good idea?  Because moving around, flexing and relaxing your muscles, does a lot more than just burn energy.  Exercise encourages your body to create more mitochondria -- the little power-stations that turn fuel into energy, vitality that allows one to enjoy life.  You improve circulation, muscle strength and lung-power.  You generate more natural growth hormone, and become more insulin-sensitive.  The right kinds of exercise are relaxing and rejuvenating rather than stressful, especially if performed outside in pleasant surroundings or with pleasant company.

So yes, exercise can be a good thing, OR a bad thing depending on a bunch of variables ... like so many other things in life.  Do something that you enjoy, which isn't damaging, and doesn't tense you up.  Again borrowing from Mark S., the closer your workouts come to being PLAY, the better they are.
*  okay, okay -- i've read "part deux" so many times, i had to play with the concept ... and everybody knows that 42 is a magical number.  ;-)  besides, since there's no "CICO is dead, part one" how COULD there be a part two?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

better losing through chemistry -- not physics

This post is for my daughter.  She's getting to the age when it's becoming more difficult to lose weight.  She, too, isn't far from her goal, and of course losing the LAST five or ten pounds is trickier than the FIRST ones.

So, baby, it's time to dump the CICO (calories in, calories out) meme!

Because of the fact that it's possible to starve off weight, it's gotten stuck in people's heads that all you have to do is reach that golden imbalance of calories and the weight HAS to come off.  It's only logical -- IF you approach biology from the perspective of physics.  Big mistake.  Weight, or should i say, FAT loss is much better approached from the perspective of chemistry -- BIOCHEMISTRY to be exact.  Because a mammalian body does not work like a calorimeter in a laboratory.

Different macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates) set off different enzymatic and hormonal responses as they're digested.  In fact, a lot of disagreement exists about macronutrients ... to the point that some people don't like to use that concept at all.  Corn oil and coconut oil perform VERY differently in the body -- the former encourages weight gain and ill health while the latter does just the opposite.  The two major proteins in dairy products, whey and casein, have individual affects which are practical mirror-images of each other, but work well in tandem (if they're not screwed up by pasteurization).  "Cellular" and "acellular" carbohydrates can basically be described as good and problematic, respectively ... especially for people who have our genetic heritage (easily fattened).

I can't begin to describe all the biochemical cascades that happen when we eat different types of foods, but the short version is, it's best to minimize blood-sugar spikes both in number and intensity, for the sake of fat loss and for general health.  To accomplish this, fewer meals/snacks per day with a low glycemic load in each is desirable.  It's also a good idea to take fewer carbs early in the day, and the lion's share of your daily ration in the evening, for various reasons.

Although the simplest form of CICO is "dead," that doesn't mean you can completely pig out so long as your carb count is low -- this is the secret of successful low-carbing that an awful lot of people don't seem to realize.  If you're eating the right kinds of foods (not low-carb junk food), they'll fill you up and satisfy you at a surprisingly low calorie count, and your appetite won't drive you crazy, as it will on a low-fat-low-cal diet.

So eat to appetite, from a menu list of whole real foods:  meat, eggs, cheese, avocados, olives, butter, coconut oil, and colorful vegetables, and properly-prepared pickles are your friends.  Eat things like nuts mindfully, because they can add up fast.  Ditto for low-carb baked goods, nut butters, and the denser starchy/sugary vegetables like carrots and beets.  Use fruits with caution, as you would any source of sugar.  Discrimination in your condiments is a MUST.

...I think that's enough for today!  :-)

Monday, November 12, 2012

kick-the-habit day

Nope, not having trouble with a re-established bread habit -- compared to what some people report, i'm fortunate to not find breads and desserts "trigger foods."  Not having trouble with alcohol or other recreational drugs.  Not even having trouble with reverting from hedonism to my usual, simple diet.  It's the decongestant.

When i'm feeling like hell-warmed-over as the result of a virus, you can bet your ass i'll resort to chemical means to get a good night's sleep!  I'll swill Nyquil -- nasty stuff! -- even though it contains acetaminophen, and i'll use Afrin even though it's habit-forming.  But when the cold/flu is conquered, it's time to go back to the "natural" congestion-reducing methods that fail so spectacularly when we need them the most.

The good news, of course, is that the week-old addiction isn't really ESTABLISHED.  If i remember correctly, back to my ignorant youth, it would take a few days to get over it; but now i'm older and more experienced ... if not actually wiser.  ;-)  Now i own a neti-pot!  I can't tell you what a wonderful thing this is, if you've never used one before.  And if you've never used one, my description of it to you may gross you out a bit -- it did, when i was praising it to a nurse friend in Utah.

Before the n.p., i used a bowl of steaming water, with or without an aromatic assistant like tea-tree oil, menthol, or eucalyptus.  I must say the hot, moist air was soothing to the throat and other tissues as well as the sinuses!  Probably did my skin some good, too.  The neti, though, is a much faster and easier technique, and doesn't mess up my hair ... any worse than it was before, that is (i'm desperately in need of a haircut right now).  A quarter-teaspoon of kosher salt, some very-warm water, a sink and two kleenexes, and relief is in sight.  When i'm traveling, i have an old "pump mist" nasal-sprayer that i refill with plain old saline solution which performs adequately -- and i don't need the sink.

If you have sinus issues and have never tried irrigation, i recommend it strongly.  I used to get sinus infections a couple of times a year, but between the neti-pot and the herbs i used, they're a rarity any more -- i think i've had ONE in the last ten years.  But any time the allergies are bad or if i catch a bug, out comes the n.p. and i'm better soon.

My pot will get a workout today, but i anticipate NOT waking up tomorrow as i did today -- mouth-breathing.  :-P

Sunday, November 11, 2012

SOME progress, at least...

I don't KNOW, but i assume other people also have days when energy seems to FLOW in a special sort of feel-good way.  Yesterday was like that for me -- i found myself walking particularly fast through the Soulard farmers' market, and to-and-from the car.  I kept having to pause for my husband to catch up, and he's no slug.  On days like that, walking is no effort, but an exhilarating natural product of vitality.

Ye gods, how i wish it were always like that.

There are too many confounding variables to know why it happens.  Maybe i'd finally slipped back into ketosis after being out of it awhile -- it WAS a morning when i hadn't consumed anything but black coffee since waking.  The joint pain which i had definitely EARNED (when in NOLA) was finally gone, too.  And it was a truly beautiful autumn morning!  AND although a little congestion and inflammation persist, the worst head-cold symptoms -- fatigue and body aches -- are gone.

I haven't gotten back on the scale yet, the coward i am!  But i can tell i put on a little fat (my ribs aren't as close to the skin as they were, before my trip).  Well, i'm back on the wagon till Thanksgiving day.  NOW i know what works for weight loss EVERY SINGLE TIME, i'm not fazed by these minor setbacks.

Friday, November 9, 2012

supplements (and foods) i missed

Since i got back home from my trip to NOLA and Houston, i've been trying to realign my nutrient intake to what i found optimal before.  It certainly has been interesting, but also complicated by my husband's pleasure in eating out, and the low energy which came with that damned head-cold.

One thing i can state with confidence is that EATING OUT = OMEGA-6 OVERDOSE.  Unless one eats nothing but wild-caught seafood while dining away from home, the 6:3 balance is totally gone.  And as my favorite bloggers taught me long ago, excess omega-6 + fructose OR alcohol = an unhappy liver.  Kids, an unhappy liver is a REALLY BAD THING.  ;-)

How to make one's liver happy again?  Eat those yummy saturated fats, preferably wrapped up in grass-fed ruminant flesh, or as coconut oil.  When we eat in, no matter which of us cooks, the balance is acceptable (with the addition of cod-liver oil).  J made another meatloaf, a crust-less quiche, his wonderful cauliflower gratin, and some miscellany; i made lots of coffee, bread from the Paleo Comfort Foods book, a pot of oysters-rockefeller bisque ... and various restaurant suggestions.  And a few cocktails.

I've been adding my supplements back in, too.  I traveled with the bare minimum -- my thyroid glandular which also contains small amounts of iodine and selenium, betaine HCl (which i didn't end up needing), melatonin (ditto), and coconut oil caps which i hardly used at all.  Tell ya the truth, it was pleasant not taking handfuls of pills, but i would have benefitted with more than i had.

Overtly, it was the iron i NOTICED missing.  The hair-shedding that increased progressively during my trip has tapered back to normal again.  I assume i used up a good deal of stored iodine, and i'm replenishing it now, but i don't PERCEIVE a lack -- unless the cold is a sign.  I probably should have carried along the mag-zinc supplements as well.

The supplement i'll probably not replenish when the bottle is empty is vitamin-c.  I eat such a low-sugar/starch diet most of the time, i believe the quantities i get from tomatoes, peppers and other vegetable substances should be enough.  I'm of two minds when it comes to the coQ10; probabilities say i'm likely deficient in it as well as things like b12, but i can't say that i FEEL any difference between supplementing and not supplementing.  Considering its price, it's likely to hit the skids too, at least for a bit.

I'm having a love-hate relationship with the carnitine and tyrosine.  On the one hand, i do feel more energy, but a lot of that energy comes through as "mental restlessness."  Not the most comfortable thing!  Perhaps i should only be using them on an as-needed basis, and not as a regular thing.

Most of the rest of the things i take belong to the BALANCING category.  Extra selenium to go with my high-dose iodine, copper to go with the iron, magnesium and zinc....  They definitely need to continue.

So the tweaking goes on!

Monday, November 5, 2012

thoughts on the eve of the election

This election season has been a nasty one.  The "party of Lincoln" has been hijacked by right-wing extremists who are fond of calling themselves "conservative" but who are actually nothing of the kind.  A more accurate descriptor would be "devolutionist."

The goals of the republican party are to the benefit of only the monied.  I can only conclude that the working-class supporters of these power-seekers are as deluded as were the working-class supporters of the confederacy during the American civil war -- sold a bill of goods by the only people who had anything to gain from the continuation of the "peculiar institution" called slavery.  The lower and middle classes BELIEVED they were fighting for "states' rights" ... but what did that in actual EXPERIENCE mean to THEM?  Absolutely nothing beyond sounding words.  We must keep "outsiders" from telling us what to do!  ...Is it really better to have INSIDERS dictating to you?  'Cause that's the only choice there is.  It's not as though the latter give a shit about YOU, any more than the other guy does.  The difference is, the "other guy" isn't able to PROFIT from your cooperation, the way the mega-corporation down the road does.

The current situation is absolutely analogous.  Ignorant Bubbas and Bubbettes are being sweet-talked by candidates pretending to share their values.  Their fears and inferiority complexes are being USED to seduce their support for a coup that will, in the long run, burden them and their children in ways they cannot fathom.  They think they're promoting the good ol' days of 1950, whereas they're a thousand years off.  Serfdom, anyone?

Frankly, if this election turns out badly, it isn't going to hurt ME.  I'm middle-aged and comfortable.  It's the young and the old who have the potential to get their feet knocked out from under them.  If they vote in a way that will injure themselves in the long term, they will have earned the hard knocks they end up receiving -- but i'll still feel some compassion for them.  The ones i'd really feel bad for are the ones who saw the light, but had it cut off by all those stupid, selfish OTHERS.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

willingness to be blind

This is a shamelessly politico-esoteric posting, so rabid tea-partiers should read no further.  And since this is MY blog, don't expect me to argue with a single individual who takes umbrage with what i say; this is THE TRUTH ... as i see it.  ;-)  I MAY discuss, but will definitely not argue with the contumelious.


The world is changing, and the old guard doesn't like it.  Back in the day, a whole village full of people who didn't go along with what the local warlord wanted could be slaughtered, and not only did no one care but for the most part no one ever found out (except the next village over, to whom it was advertised to convince them that THEY had better truckle, or face the same fate).  Nowadays, the information always gets leaked -- no wonder the powers-that-be want to censor the internet.

To chip away at the power that has been lost by the Juggernaut, its paramilitary is attempting to undermine the hard-won rights of those it considers weakest ... and stupidest.  Therefore, women and the blue-collar class are the first targets.  And not only are their rights under siege, but their minds are undergoing a barrage of misinformation that is certain to do some damage to the weakest and most inexperienced.  While at my daughter's house, i saw and heard more commercials than i usually do;  it's easy to see where the Koch brothers' political contributions are being spent.

Why is it so hard for the laboring class to realize that if teachers' unions are busted, THEIR working lives are going to be adversely affected too?  Why do foetal-life enthusiasts not understand that a flood of unwanted children into an already overpopulated world is not a good idea?  How do people this stupid manage to fill out their tax forms every year???

I wish i could convince these "it-can't-happen-to-me"-thinking people that the law of karma WILL catch up with them.  They have an unfounded belief that they can succeed on an unlevel playing field, simply by identifying emotionally with the Overlords -- which is exactly what the latter want them to think.  Do they not realize the degree to which they benefit from the "socialist" system the US has had from its very inception?  I have to assume they don't....  But if a subconscious desire to subjugate those "inferior" women and minority-group individuals (who earn more with their brains than Bubba can with his muscles) causes him to promote a social system deleterious to them, he too will come to suffer the more.  The ones who are seduced by the rhetoric of "the good old days" are, for the most part, sufficiently unevolved that they already have a boatload of karma to work off they're already suffering, but inevitably blame the wrong cause for it.

Tell ya the truth -- it's been really hard for me to fight off the temptation to HATE these people with a passion, but i know that hate is a self-poisoning emotion.  They already have power and riches:  the only reason they can need more is to create a class of people more miserable than they are, to try to disguise the fact that they are unhappy, unfulfilled losers, in the truest sense of the term.  They take joy from placing themselves above the mass of people in the world -- it gives them a sense of superiority that their natural gifts can't afford them.  They are like slave-owners of old, who considered their "possessions" less than human BECAUSE THEY HAD BEEN DENIED THE OPPORTUNITIES TO ACQUIRE THOSE QUALITIES, BY THE POWER OF THOSE WHO SET THEMSELVES ABOVE.  Do i need to say, self-fulfilling prophecy?  The set of right-wing candidates this century have been largely the out-of-touch, privileged sort -- they look on us middle-class folks as plodding masses, and on the struggling poor as scarcely human.  NONE of us is more to them than a potential customer for their lousy-quality manufactured goods, or cannon-fodder for their wars of acquisition.

But as i said above -- the world IS changing.  Centuries ago (and today, in parts of the world where consciousness is still medieval), nobody thought there was anything wrong with torturing heretics, but most people consider it wrong today.  Beating one's children as a matter of course has been replaced by other methods of teaching.  The problem with the hippies' Age of Aquarius in the 1960s was that they were premature -- in the words of the song, it WAS just the "dawning of the age."  Its first rays were perceived in 1908, and its zenith has been predicted in the year 3574.  A long time to wait for perfection, but we CAN do our best to practice and promote the Golden Rule.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

drove away at last

I made the trip yesterday, arriving home at about midnight.  I SHOULD have gotten on the scales this morning out of simple curiosity, but absent-mindedly took some supplements, which i only do AFTER weighing, under ordinary circumstances.  Staying consistent in the way certain things are done and measured give me a sense of controlling variables better.

The cold is still dragging me down, although the OTC "ameliorants" are allowing me to sleep and function a bit, even if it's in a low-energy sort of way.  I'm adding supplements back in a bit slowly, as one does with questionable foods after removing them from the diet for awhile.  So far, it's just the systemic enzymes, cod-liver oil, medium-dose iodine and mag-zinc capsules -- there's no doubt that those are significantly beneficial for me ... and besides, i added them in slowly in the first place.

I brought back a pint of shucked oysters from Dorignac's in NOLA but haven't decided exactly what to do with them, though Oysters Rockefeller Bisque is a distinct possibility.  The P & J Oyster Co. cookbook has a lovely collection of recipes, and the one i mentioned is a freebie on the website.  They used to have an extensive free brochure full of recipes, but after the oil spill a couple of years ago, they published the expanded hardcover version -- it probably has helped to keep them in business during these hard times, so i sure didn't regret purchasing it!  I really enjoy patronizing and promoting good businesses:  i believe that Dorignac was the first grocer to reopen after Katrina, and it's a really good one; P & J has been in the oyster business in Louisiana since 1876, and a lot of the local restaurants are  provisioned by them.  They're both staffed by some great people.

An additional quart of oysters are stored in my daughter's freezer.  We'll be joining them for Thanksgiving, and i have a vision of serving those lovely shellfish barbecued as a snack or first course....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

not driving away again

I sat up being social too long last night and i woke up breathing through my mouth -- i think i'll drive home TOMORROW.  ;-)

Which gives me a chance to reflect on my vacation and headcold.  RELATED.  I believe the virus wouldn't have gotten a new lease on life, if i had dutifully taken all my supplements.  My intake of those protective substances have been significantly lower for over a week now.  Iodine, omega3, vitamins c and d, magnesium, ZINC....

Excuse me while i go treat the symptoms.

driving away... AGAIN

I have to confess it, i really get tired of the long drives anymore!  I guess it's advancing age -- noplace is EVER as good as HOME.  There are lots of reasons for it, of course, including what one is able to find in storage to eat.

And i've eaten well on this trip (especially while in NOLA), but not ideally.  My body functions best on the fatty meat of ruminants, and i haven't had as much of it as i usually do.  I look forward to enjoying lamb shanks and osso bucco, chili and estofado, when i get back where i belong.

And bone broth.  DEFINITELY bone broth.  ;-)