Saturday, May 31, 2014

the times weren't more "innocent" -- it was YOU

Any good historian should have as his/her motto, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." 

I was sitting here with a cup of coffee, playing Flow and thinking about thinking.  SO often on facebook my friends and relatives post nostalgic stuff.  "'Like' if you remember _____."  "What the world needs is more 'Mayberry' and less 'Honey Boo-boo.'"  "When I was young [or when we were growing up], _______."

No less of a philosopher than Socrates railed about the degeneration of young people.  There's probably an expression like "the world is going to hell in a hand-basket" in every language our earth has ever known.  The stoopid shit about our society's ills that we're bombarded with, daily, could for all intents and purposes be an echo of a statement of frustration thousands of years old, bouncing off rock after rock, going 'round and 'round and 'round....

There's very little new under the sun.  Not "nothing new" as the old saying goes, but certainly little in the sense of selfish and greedy behavior by humans -- it's all been done before.  The world is a playground for ambition and cupidity, and has been since the dawn of time.

If you think "the world" was a simpler place and at a "better time" when you were younger (or your grandparents, etc, were), you might want to read more things that were written DURING the time in question.  Those times were just as perilous and frightening to the people living then as our current times are to us.  Looking back on them -- knowing NOW how things turned out -- it's very tempting to see the risks as less risky (American Revolution, anyone?), and the questionable as a duh-situation (stock market crash of '29), but when you're in the middle of it, there's a whole different perspective coloring your opinion.

The world wasn't less complicated when we were children -- ordinary people were just less aware of what went on behind closed conference-room doors.  If you want to enjoy again the innocence of the environment you knew, all you have to do is turn off the television and radio, unplug the internet, and refuse to listen to the gossip around you.  Cultivate the zen-beginner-mind you had before you started school.  Brainwash yourself.  Innocence is attainable, but at the cost of knowledge and wisdom.

Everything depends on your point of view.  There never WAS a golden age.  "If ignorance is bliss, then 'tis folly to be wise."  Choose.  But don't try to convince yourself that stress and frustration didn't exist in the 1950s, or any other time in history for that matter.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

it ain't fear -- it's about reason

Did everybody in the house read the Robb Wolf site post...?

As happens from time to time, I started to leave a comment, and broke off short because I prefer to get long-winded on my own blog instead of being tedious on someone else's.  :-)  So here I go:

I watch what I eat MOST of the time, so I can eat whatever I want SOME of the time.  With an aging and intolerant body, I would feel absolutely horrible if I always ate what I ate on my recent vacation.  How would that enrich my life?  No, i want to feel as good as I can, as much as I can.  That means I have to eat ONLY what promotes my personal well-being ... most of the time.

There are forces out there which want to label this behavior as disordered.  I believe that THEY are the deranged ones.  If I know that excess consumption of nightshades, for example, disturbs my digestion, where is the virtue in stubbornly gorging on these foods, when there are so many things I like better?

Then if, with tongue firmly lodged in cheek, I choose to describe foods as "evil" which tend to make me feel bad if eaten too often, it's more a verbal shortcut than an actual perception.  Food isn't evil.  Eating food isn't evil.  Hyperbole can be amusing.

But really, why does anybody CARE what another person prefers to eat, whose health is not particularly dear to them?  There's something really disturbing about the preoccupation we see, far too often, with personal habits of STRANGERS! 

Amy's article makes a good point -- obliquely -- that if one is going to "cheat" one is a perfect idiot not to enjoy it.  Her imaginary subject wasn't tempted by the devil; wasn't tied up and MADE to consume that fictional slice of bread; had no pressing reason, in fact, not to indulge himself if he felt like it.  He was an imaginary moron, more interested in labels than real life.

Had he been diabetic or celiac, it would have been different.  He wasn't even like me -- I suffer predictably when a certain threshold of intake is crossed.  He has nothing but a self-chosen philosophy standing between himself and something he had a desire to do.  His perspective is warped, or he has so little to think about that he's thinking about TRIPE.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

a speculation

Ya know how some hypothyroid people seem to label themselves with adrenal fatigue?  They have a set of symptoms that are more typical of hypERthyroidism, but they have the lab tests that show high TSH, for example -- and it's gotta be SOMETHING....  So the wired-but-tired problem sounds like an adrenal complication.  Progressive doctors of endocrinology recommend treating the adrenal problem before tackling the thyroid imbalance.

What I think is happening is that the individual isn't hypO, isn't hypER, may not have abnormal adrenal function ... they have a histamine (or similar) issue that creates wildly-fluctuating responses by both glands.

To successfully treat adrenal fatigue, according to the websites, one needs to improve sleep (through various techniques, including "unplugging"), cultivate relaxation, eat the right things, supplement, get some exercise but "increase joy" -- that sort of thing.  But the bit is, that regimen is good for regularizing thyroid function, too!  In fact, there's probably not one system in the body which would NOT benefit from it.

When the thyroid isn't happy, but not actually diseased, one sees all kinds of variations in its output.  Add to that all the things that can exacerbate issues or interfere with transportation, reception and conversion, and you end up with SYMPTOMS.  Symptoms of hypo, of hyper, and of adrenal problems.  And WITH all these fluctuations, a physician who only treats via lab numbers will "never" get treatment right -- s/he will doodle around with (worst-case) Synthroid dosages for months on end, or -- if half-intelligent -- with an animal-source product.  This will take bloody forever, and may never result satisfactorily.  In that case, being frustrated with their own incompetence, they will conclude there's something special wrong with YOU, and will next propose killing or excising that part of you they are too ignorant to heal.

Yes -- before messing with thyroid, treat adrenal fatigue -- just don't be sold on the idea that milking your adrenals with stress is the whole problem.  What stresses your adrenals stresses your thyroid, AND the rest of the body's systems too!  Paleo/primal lifestyle is designed to help with those stresses.

BUT ... a lot of paleo/primal food darlings can be tripping your histamine traps!  Those big-ass salads are more full of antinutrients than they're telling you.  Raw cruciferous vegetables?  Their sulfur content -- or is it the cyanide? or both?  -- is BAD FOR YOU.  So much for the vegan's best source of calcium....  And the fermented vegetables -- concentrated histamine nightmare.  Potted meats, ditto.  It was after a yummy charcuterie platter (that made me feel absolutely awful) that I first suspected my problem was not "allergies" but histamine intolerance.

What to do, what to do....  It's not easy to define exactly what's wrong with us, when we just don't feel WELL, but we have no acute symptoms.  Some people are breaking the bank with diagnostic testing so extensive the blood used would satiate Dracula.  Ironically, it's very easy to begin with self-treatment because -- duh -- paleo-lifestyle tweaks can't possibly do anything but good!  More good-quality sleep for busy people -- who the HELL is going to object to that?  Even the idiots will have a hard time finding a sleep-equivalent for "but you shouldn't remove a WHOLE FOOD GROUP!!!"  ...but of course it's perfectly okay to be a vegetarian and remove a whole food group then....

I trust i'm not the only person who gets disgusted with all those "experts" who say one shouldn't try ANYTHING without competent authority in supervision.  Our collective conversion into a bunch of damned SHEEP seems to have begun with dieticians and personal trainers saying we MUST NOT go on a walk or cut out sugar without their input!  And what the AMA has done to protect THEIR monopoly looks kinda like the Mafia.

So, yeah -- do you feel nervous or anxious, but show symptoms of hypothyroidism too?  RUN TO YOUR DOCTOR!!!  (oops, I should have posted the "sarcasm alert" logo -- I need to find one of those.)   Or maybe, DON'T run to your doctor.  Turn off the television and put down the laptop two or more hours before bedtime.  Put on your amber glasses and read a pleasant book.  Stop eating sugar but don't substitute aspartame.  Don't have one glass of wine too many (alcohol may put you to sleep, but won't let you stay there, taken in excess).  Make sure you get all the nutrients you need, in a form and manner your body can actually absorb.  Take a relaxing 20-minute walk rather than pound the sidewalk with your running-shoes for an hour.  Do a couple of "planks" instead of worrying about beating the crowds to the gym.  Eat fatty fish instead of reading YET ANOTHER article about how fish-oil capsules don't do any good.  Eat a lamb-chop.  Eat some (cooked) greens.  Purge your facebook friends of those who don't make you smile (or at least "unfollow" people you can't dump).

BEFORE you add more pharmaceuticals to your life, sit down and think about what nourishes YOUR well-being.  Do that.  I promise -- you don't NEED an RD to tell you what your body really wants -- if you listen to it, it will tell you all by itself.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

not time to give up glutathione yet!

Today i'm drained.

During the last day of our cruise, and during the long one of travel (rising at 6 and not getting home till 11), i failed to take my glutathione, though i managed to get the first-thing-in-the-morning and the last-thing-at-night supplements.  MISTAKE.

Yesterday i didn't do much but cook lunch and dinner (easy things), but today i finished the unpacking and putting-away, then visited the grocery.  It doesn't help that i woke at 5:30 with a plugged head, draining sinuses and a raw throat!  Serious allergy-season is upon us.

Grass pollen and atmospheric mold are high.  Pine and walnut pollens are moderate.  My upper-respiratory tract is screaming.  No way in the world am i going down to the basement and start the laundry!

Bless J for doing dinner tonight -- it's steaks and stuffed mushrooms (Fat Fast recipe, shockingly easy considering how fantastic they taste).

There IS good news, though:  when i weighed in this morning, i was almost back to my pre-vacation weight.  Most of the retained water has been flushed away.  Spenser let me brush him this morning.  Tomorrow we resume our weekly trips to the Missouri Botanical Garden, then we'll go to Michael's for liver'n'onions, then to Costco for more lamb and a beef tenderloin ... fish too, maybe.

Life is good, despite the weariness.

Monday, May 26, 2014

for my dog

to Spenser with love from "mama"  ;-)

i've said it before but i'll say it again...

It WILL be a pleasure eating more nutritiously again!  Now that I've pretty well whipped hypothyroidism through methylation and micronutrients, I may have a little more latitude than I did last summer but I STILL have to mind the plant toxins to which I have particular sensitivity.

Despite making a total pig of myself, I arrived home about three pounds heavier but with significant puffiness in my hands, feet and ankles, indicating I was pretty well weight-stable but retaining water very uncomfortably.  This happens whenever I fly, but it was better the time I flew at the end of a "whole 30"!  Of course we know that raised insulin causes water retention -- just ONE of the reasons to eat for lower insulin!

My bad right knee was a bit uncomfortable (not significantly miserable) throughout the entire trip, but my left knee twinged on a couple of occasions, indicating specific toxic foods had been hidden in my intake!  I went very lightly on that kind of burden MOST of the time, but there were a couple of blowouts!  :-D  I really got overheated on Sint Maarten and the only place with a/c in view was the Hard Rock -- mea culpa!  (The children loved it.)

I walked my ass off!  I thought I was completely adapted to stairs because of my big old house, but doing them in heels or flipflops is a whole 'nother experience!  :-)  At home i'm usually barefooted, but walking gracefully (straight back, tummy sucked in) up the elegant staircases in three-inch heels and long gown, with a drink in one's hand, puts a slightly different stress on one's anatomy!  Perhaps I should practice?  ...Naw, the dress and drink are okay, but i'd rather skip the shoes for awhile.

I wore my vibrams on St. Thomas and my tennies on St. Maarten -- vibrams win again!  They are just SO unstressful on the feet!  They make good water-shoes, too ... but actually swimming in them puts stress on the knees -- more weight when I kicked!  But damn do I hate walking on seaweed!  You just don't know what's lurking in its depths....


The cruise organizers (mostly, two hard-workers named Becky and Debbie) found Royal Caribbean significantly better than Carnival from their point of view (and many others concurred).  From ours, it's close to a wash.  On both, the food was good but not consistent.  Our balcony this time was bigger and better, and the bathtub superior (our accommodations were essentially the same "level" on both).  The room service was late EVERY SINGLE TIME, and our daughter's family consistently got shorted on their orders.  Carnival definitely has a better water-park for the kids. 

The specialty-Italian restaurant on RC was OUTSTANDING -- our best meal on the boat!  The service there was hugely attentive, while the theoretically-higher-level steakhouse fell short not only in that respect, but also in the variety and imaginativeness of the menu and food preparation.  The main dining room has issues with coordination!  Some members of our party (granted, the kids) were finished on a few occasions with their three courses before the rest got their entrees.  Kinda looks like the sommelier's staff needs beefing up, too.  In fact, in some places drink service was so incredibly slow I suspect their beverage department could use an overhaul.

All in all, every one of our party had a wonderful time.  My daughter, who is in life-insurance underwriting, learned some useful things from a professional point of view as well as a personal one (she's writing a report to her VP on the need to make LDL screening more targeted in difficult cases).  Her husband (one of those people who "don't need to" watch their diet) is inspired to go more paleo.  One of the door prizes we (collectively) won was Fred Hahn's slow-burn DVDs -- we're all excited to try out his philosophy!

As usual, I got a LOT of good information, interesting ideas and valuable tips!  I was excited to meet and listen to Dr Eric Westman, and some other physicians among the other speakers (some I've never heard before) were an additional treat!  We are ALL annoyed by the mediocre, cookie-cutter doctors our friends and families have been mistreated by, but it's heartening to know that there ARE exceptionally-good ones out there too!  It's a privilege to be able to get their inspired responses to one's own questions!

But the icing on our low-carb cake was the way the kids went around with the big grins on their faces!  They LOVED going to the supervised events offered (we won't call it baby-sitting) during the day and evening so we could do grown-up stuff (their mother enjoys blackjack).  They were impressed with the ice show and magician as well.  And as for meeting the "characters" ... well ... just check out the faces.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

had a wonderful time -- wish it weren't over!

It's a remarkable thing, though, that at the end of a perfectly decadent vacation, it's nice to be going BACK TO A "PERFECT" DIET!  :-D

Most of the low-carb crowd does their damnedest to behave themselves, and they encourage each other to stick to the straight and narrow.  They carry real butter to the cooking stations and ask the dining-room and kitchen staffs to please only use fresh real eggs -- none of that stuff that comes in cartons!  They ask what's in the sauces, and make sure the waiter doesn't come near the table with the bread-basket.

Who would expect a cruise ship -- epitome of self-indulgence and non-stop partying -- to be a kind of boot-camp for the food-serious?  ...But it IS.

Our family was fortunately at our own table -- we would have been a HORRIBLE influence!  ;-)  Of course, it doesn't matter -- those people are hard-core.  They work REALLY hard to do it right.  Ya know how the young primals who hang out at the gym sneer at all those old, fat, middle-aged, red-faced, wind-broken "losers"?  No way on god's earth are the former as mentally strong or as full of character as most of the low-carb cruisers i saw!

We're talking about people with a history of serious illness, of decades of struggling with overweight by doing exactly what EVERYONE told them was how to be fit and healthy ... you know, the low-fat LIES we grew up and grew old with!  

There were several young families, too -- slim, vibrant people with bright-eyed, nice, smart kids.  There were quite a few folks who look quite young until you get close to them; more than one of the speakers looked like "babies" from a distance, but their intelligence and experience shine out along with the faint sheen of silver in their hair....

I and my husband are, in fact, very poor representatives of this community.  We drink, we indulge in
"evil" goodies (we consider the brakes off, in holiday situations like this) -- we misbehave outrageously!  Our hats are off, though, to our "colleagues" who are so dedicated to their lifestyles and goals even during what may be a trip-of-a-lifetime to them!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

good morning!

Sunrise is on the opposite side of the ship, but here's the current view from our balcony.  I was charmed by the delicate colors of the clouds.  :-D

Last day at sea -- i'm going to miss her!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

everybody needs a hobby

Lori dances, Karen is into photography, Eddie goes fishing, i've got my living-history events....  What do the haters do for fun?  Just get online and stir up arguments?  Where's the actual joy in that?

When people use their free time to cultivate bad feeling, whether it's around the water-cooler or around the blogs, one has to wonder what they're getting out of it.  I suspect it's just emotional stimulation within a life with not enough oomph in it.  

Like children who aren't getting enough positive attention to suit them, they act in inappropriate ways to get ANY attention AT ALL.  Children require attention, but when that drive continues too long it becomes pathological -- adults should be able to self-teach and self-amuse.  We should be able to find our niche of like-minded people, friends with similar interests, and venues where debate is fruitful.  

Debate is GOOD.  This is how concepts are refined and fine-points clarified.  Forums are designed for this.  

Trolling seems to be the urge to debate that hasn't quite reached its majority;  it still has some growing-up to do.  A social milieu is being deliberately disrupted, similar to one gang invading the turf of another.  The points of view cannot constructively cooperate.  There's not a chance in hell of convincing the adversary, so the attempt to do so is a waste of time and energy.  Nevertheless, MUCH energy and time are lavished in this activity.  Do the words "get a life!" leap to mind with others besides myself?  ;-)

"orthorexia" is a joke

According to the omni-gluttons, when we who have physical ailments eat and supplement to ameliorate our health problems, we are orthorectic.  My interpretation of their attitude is, "you don't eat like i do, so YOU are wrong."

Their attitude reminds me of Freudianism.  That guy did a shitload of harm during a majority of the twentieth century, because ignorant people applied bad science ... worse.  Freud had a small, very sick patient base, from whom he extrapolated inappropriately into the general population.  And he personally had sex issues.  If your only tool is a hammer....

Communism can only work if everyone is a communist.  Fundamental religion can only work if everybody believes the same thing.  The carb-gluttons can only feel good about their addictions if everybody is in the starch-camp.

Since i have better things to do (when i'm not just sitting drinking coffee as i am now) while our boat is docked in Sint Maarten, i encourage Eddie and anyone else who enjoys the debate to tell the trolls "how the cow chewed the cabbage*."
*  i suspect this is a southern expression, considering from whom i heard it first.  she also spoke of "sending a person to the corn-field."  ... aren't colloquialisms intesting?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

methylation miracles

Okay, okay -- "miracles" might be a little strong.  ;-)

...However, i can't help but enthuse over the helpfulness of the supplements i've been encouraged to try, in the wake of my 23andMe testing.  The data that company revealed and their analysis of it was interesting, but when entered into Genetic Genie, things got really, REALLY interesting.  And using the latter as a guide to supplement-tweaking via the Yasko and van Konynenburg protocols has given results that are miracu--...

Okay, okay.

YES.  Adding SAMe to my regimen was a really good thing.  Before it, methylcobalamin, the forms of the vitamins in B-Right, and glutathione supplementation were really good, too.  When i get home and start trying phosphatidylserine, i anticipate more good things.

I feel like a more normal person, energy-wise.  The kind of vacation i'm on can be exhausting to me -- lots of walking, lots of sun and wind, lots of stairs in the wrong shoes, more than my usual intake of restaurant food (ie, less liver, red palm oil, and other good stuff, and more things like MSG).  It must be confessed that i am turning in early a LOT.  I'm online at this hour because i was asleep before 10:00.  :-O  But earlier in the day i have much more spring in my step than i did before i started these supplements.

And it's all because my SNPs require these work-arounds!  I -- i, specifically -- need my folate in the form i'm supplementing, because i can't properly metabolize the kind found in whole, real foods.


A paleo diet is a terrific diet. a diet FULL of nutritious foods but -- i'll say the words -- some people are broken.  Measurably broken, at the microbiological level.  My genes are BROKEN.  Biochemistry helps to work around the flaws.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

a sense of proportion

The haters just LOVE it when their perceived adversaries experience setbacks.  If their "enemies" are shown to think/be/do wrong, haters believe that makes themselves right.  ... Wrong.  ;-)  

The difference between a six-foot man gaining ten pounds and a five-foot woman doing the same is MASSIVE, pun intended.  If i gain five pounds, it can immediately be seen, but for my husband to do so is hardly perceptible.  The point:  SOME PEOPLE are NOT obese even if they've gained a few, but others still ARE, even when she drops a few (and i'm not talking about anyone in my family now).  I needn't name any names for conclusions to be reached ....  

Oh dear -- now i'm reminding myself of early twentieth-century popular culture!  First, "that's right, you're wrong," and now the kind of society-gossip-page journalism found in a lot of '30s movies!  But then, i've long been a sucker for AMC and TCM.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

aboard the RC Freedom of the Seas and heading out on the Low Carb Cruise

... it's going to be a delightful week!  :-D

My husband, our daughter, and her family are on board too -- we're already having a lovely time!  Jan and Eddie, wish you could be here, but we'll introduce ourselves to Franziska and tell her you send your regards!

I've already had a nice chat with Jayson Calton who will be speaking about supplements this time.  Poor Jimmy isn't as svelte as he was last year, but he hasn't gained that much -- ignore the haters!!!  I mean, who HASN'T gained a little bit after losing weight, and some people have gained a HELL of a lot more!

 The group is as pleasant as i remember them, and we met another lovely couple last night at the pre-cruise dinner -- hope we'll meet MANY more as wonderful as we have already!

Until later,  ... bon voyage to the whole gang!!!  :-D

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

inspired by Jan, a paean to food shopping

The Low Carb Diabetic site has a discussion on shopping for food;  first i began to leave a comment but the length began to get out of hand, so i "cut" it and decided to post here instead of cluttering up their area for feedback.  :-)

The diversity across America is interesting -- some small towns can offer only one supermarket to use, while there seems to be an infinity in bigger places ... then get into depressed neighborhoods and they thin out again.  Where my MIL used to live (a Kansas county-seat town of 3500 reduced to one grocer), we searched in vain once for any type of greens besides spinach and lettuce!  We currently live in an older Missouri (next state east) city, where there are only three major grocery chains but many ethnic markets of varying size and inclusiveness -- an embarrassment of riches!  The ONLY thing that's tricky to obtain are really fresh duck eggs ... and we have a lead on those.  We have Aldi here too -- i wonder if it's affiliated with the UK shops?  Ours have nice bargains if you're after what they offer, the basics like ground beef, potatoes, onions lettuce....

We have a renowned and outstanding farmers' market which has been on the same site since 1779, and many more, newer ones around town too -- FMs are very popular everywhere!  But Soulard Market is special -- i could write about them, alone!  From truly local farm produce and allied businesses (like the Amish family who make fabulous goat cheeses), to vendors who rip open grocery-store bags of field greens and display them in cute little baskets; from an amazing spice shop and a butcher who carries an astonishing choice of animal parts, to a warehouse-overstock-like booth with gigantic cans of peaches and green beans....  But if you go on Saturday mid-morning, be ready to wade through crowd that look almost like MardiGras in N'Orleans!  Sunday and Monday they're closed, and other weekdays there are significantly fewer vendors.

In some of the older neighborhoods there are little corner stores which have obviously been little corner stores since they were first built.  :-)  On the sides of some of the buildings are the ghosts of many-decades-old painting, describing the goods and services to be found once, inside.  Unfortunately, there's little variety in them nowadays, and little fresh stuff -- mostly beverages and snacks -- but enough milk, eggs, bread etc to eke through till the neighborhood shoppers make their periodic trip to a bigger, better store.  As in the Salt Lake City "Avenues" where we lived for a few years, many of these corner structures no longer contain businesses but have been converted to domiciles.  Pity!  But MANY such neighborhoods in St. Louis still have their corner grocers ... and pizza joints, dog groomers, coffee houses, bars, resale shops, lawyers' offices, CPAs, daycare centers, and so on -- does my heart good!  Some of those old corner shops also house some great restaurants.  :-D  Go, St. Louis!!!

We visit particular shops depending on what our grocery list includes.  Some places have better produce, and some better meat.  Some have a better selection of tonic water (a staple in our house), or a better price  Global Foods has things we've never heard of before -- if a recipe calls for something exotic that's the place to go, and also for things like lamb liver or goat heart.  :-)  There's a smaller shop belonging to the same family, and it's even closer, but it doesn't smell as clean -- that has a bearing on where I WANT TO SHOP, for sure!  We recently discovered a Latin-American food market not very far away, and need to start using them more frequently;  their butcher department smells GREAT and they've got good prices on some more unusual cuts.  Oh, the osso-bucco i made from their beef shank slices ... oh, the big dollop of marrow at the heart of each one!

We EVEN go to Whole Paycheck -- i mean Whole FOODS -- occasionally.  Great seafood and meats, and their people manning the area are so nice and helpful, much nicer than the ones i've sometimes found in the other departments!  I think that may mean something....

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

head-desk-banging THE sport of the 21st century?

Well, if you're like me, with over a half-century of living with hypothyroidism, it certainly could be.  The things i hear and read, from both mainstream medicine and alte-quacks, make me ask my computer WHAT THE FUCK DO THESE PEOPLE USE FOR BRAINS?

Sorry -- i just have to THINK ABOUT IT AND I....

Oops, there i go again.  [deep breath]

People seem to look at the thyroid as though it's a vending machine -- it either works or it doesn't.  It either is plugged in or not -- the electronics and mechanical bits are working or they're not.  Either the delivery guy refilled and restocked everything, or he didn't ... well, maybe there are some few products left in it, but nothing that anybody actually wants....

In contrast, maybe people should think of a thyroid as an interactive game.  If you enter THIS, then THAT happens.  If you enter X then nothing -- but if you enter X AND Y you then get A, B and C!

Treating complex systems like very simple ones leads to all kinds of stupid notions.  Stupid notions lead to bad hypotheses.  Bad hypotheses lead to crummy studies.  Crummy studies lead to the kind of bullshit you read on idiotic "health" blogs and forums.

I REALLY get tired of refuting the inane ideas i read.  Bad advice from inexperienced hobbyists, lavishly ladled out to people who have been let down by the medical industry....  Fifth-hand hearsay treated like gospel because somebody thinks they heard it from a well-known bodybuilder....

There ARE people out there doing good science, but you're actually going to have to do a lot of sifting of BS to find it.  Hint:  the people with the most reliable info are very unlikely to have their lab in a gym, or compile data from rodents.  MDs with the best advice will NEVER insist that Synthroid is just as good as Armour, nor fight you about ordering more than just a TSH test.  Reliable naturopaths are NOT going to tell you that a low-carb diet will fry your thyroid ... or your brain or your liver or anything else.

As Wanda told Otto:
Now let me correct you on a couple of things, okay?  Aristotle was not Belgian.  The central message of Buddhism is not "every many for himself."  The London Underground is not a political movement.  Those are all mistakes.  I looked 'em up.

I know i should go look into the recent "thyroid summit" stuff, but it just infuriates and drains me to listen to all the GARBAGE that gets repeated 'round and 'round on the subject.  Over and over.  And i can type how my EXPERIENCE obliterates their NOTIONS over and over, and the CWers just don't listen.  Hell, i can refute the stoopid to people who know mainstream medicine is shit, and they STILL don't look thyroid "truths" in the mouth -- people who have been treated badly by MDs and shrinks and rheumatologists and "obesity experts" and ... STILL they think that what "everybody knows" about thyroids is correct???

WHAT ARE THEY USING FOR BRAINS?  [head-desk-bang....]

Monday, May 12, 2014

methylation cycle

In my search for improved health and energy, I started using van Konynenburg's simplified protocol to improve function of the methylation cycle.  When time permits, I try to read more on the subject;  I finally bought a book by Dr. Amy Yasko, "Feel Good Nutrigenomics." 

My review?  Don't bother -- go straight to her website and download (free) "Autism:  Pathways to Recovery."  She had professional writing help, which looks like it removed a lot of the stuff in the nutrigenomics work which made it so hard for me to read -- stuff like using the word "tenant" where she should have used "tenet" -- one of my pet peeves!  Little things like that drive my OCD brain frantic!

It helps that I got my SNPs analyzed at 23andMe.  I'm assured, as I merely suspected before, that my methylation is out-to-lunch -- i'm MTHFRed bigtime!  ;-) 

I had already started using methyl-B12 long before any of the other supplements, so I didn't accidentally get things out of sequence (see what I wrote earlier about "doing it wrong" and understand how easily I could have been one of the wrong-doers...).  The B-Right supplement was just what I needed, when I needed it.  And the mega-glutathione!!!  OMG, it was the best thing that happened to me since Iodoral -- I started feeling better the same afternoon!

Well, today I just started reading the autism book, and my SAMe supplement also arrived in the mail -- I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be as Rick said at the end of "Casablanca" -- the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

supplement update

Life is a continuing experiment, with me....  I constantly juggle different supplements which i found to be useful in the past ... and new ones that sound promising.  THIS TAKES A LO-O-O-ONG TIME.  :-)  IF you don't take your time testing your supplements, you don't know if you've taken them long ENOUGH.  Some leap into action in the body, and others take their bloody sweet time getting to work.  If you add new supplements too close to one another, you don't know what is doing what -- they could conceivably cancel each other out, or exacerbate the other's properties so you conclude they're not tolerable.

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (pqq) was a new one i tried -- theoretically, it helps with the creation of new mitochondria.  I found no benefit from it.  If i HAVE more new mitos from using this substance, they're so few or so wimpy it certainly isn't worth cultivating them.

I tried 7-keto last year, and didn't think i was getting anything from it, so i stopped.  Then, before going out of town at christmastime, i decided to what-the-hell-finish-them-up.  To my surprise, i felt as though the excess junk i ate (excuse -- there were children and other indulgers around) didn't pile the fat on, as i would have expected!  YEA!  I finished the bottle, but didn't re-order right away -- after all, when i went back home (and even on our N'Orleans trip in January) i consumed an exemplary diet, so the need wasn't so urgent ... and any excuse to take fewer pills is good.  ;-)  Recently, wanting to shed weight faster for the summer, i ordered another bottle, and DAMMIT it's "not working" again!  From what i read, i know that seasonal weight and hormone fluctuations are real and formidable phenomena.  It kinda looks like however 7-keto functions, there's a tie-in with this seasonal issue!  Damned if i know what it is, but ... ;-) ... i think i'll put this supplement in the anti-autumnal-fat-storage arsenal!

I took a holiday from the pregnenolone, thinking i'd let nature take its natural course and see what happened.  I ended up with perceived lower energy, so decided to start again ... and felt overstimulated.  Halving the dose seems to be helping a bit.

Liquid carnitine is absolutely positively necessary for me having ANY energy at all.  There are voices out there which scream that this should not be happening, that carnitine inhibits thyroid binding to receptors!!!  THIS IS OBVIOUSLY NOT TRUE.  

You know the truism, that since you can use starvation to reduce fat stores, CICO must be "true"?  OF COURSE you do, or you would probably not be reading this!  ;-)  Well, since they used to use carnitine to stop "thyroid storm," Conventional Wisdom claims that carnitine actually inhibits thyroid entering cells.  I think they got it wrong -- if this were true, i'd feel like SHIT, not energized.  

Something else has got to be happening.  There's no other REASONABLE conclusion.  Does carnitine perform an adaptogenic function?  It has been shown to "escort" fatty acids into cells for burning -- AND SO DOES T3.  Does carnitine take over this job when its concentration in the body is high enough?  In this case, does T3 get spared for doing other work?  God only knows, and the scientific community -- who could find out -- doesn't give a shit.  They've made up their mind and they fight tooth-and-nail not to change it ... even people who you'd think would know better.

The liquid form of carnitine is SIGNIFICANTLY more effective for me than the capsule.  Dunno why, just IS.

Despite taking a goodly dose of zinc every evening, i've had a few zinc-depletion symptoms recently (since suffering that bout of food-poisoning in March, to be exact).  I've JUST started taking it in the morning instead of the evening, to see what happens....

Some time ago, i ordered some Lipophos Forte ... but i keep forgetting to take it, because it "lives" in the kitchen, and i'm always busy when i see the jar and think "hmmm, ... later."  I need to relocate it, i guess, to give it a fighting chance of working!

Last night, i ordered some SAMe after reviewing some of my methylation literature.  The other supplements suggested by van Konynenburg have been very helpful, but my energy is still subnormal so it's time to take the next step!

Beyond these, i'm still taking the thyroid-support supplement that's SO GOOD, and cod-liver-oil as needed to balance diet, iron/copper and K2 ditto, and glutathione/Bcomplex, AND sublingual methylcobalamin ....

And MAGNESIUM.  That's important.  ;-)  ...Damn, i swallow a lot of pills and liquids.  No wonder i'm rarely really hungry.

Friday, May 9, 2014

"are all of them 'doing it wrong'?"

Somebody asked me this question the other day.  At the time, it sounded unpleasantly sarcastic, but I answered civilly.  Reflection on the larger question, though, leads me to answer more fully.

Yes.  WE ARE ALL DOING IT WRONG if our problems deepen, or don't ameliorate as far as possible for our hypothetically-damaged bodies.

We're probably "doing it wrong" because we don't know what the right answer IS.  We're "doing it wrong" because authorities have told us THIS IS THE WAY IT IS DONE and some people are foolish enough to trust them -- we're "doing it wrong" because the wrong thing is Standard of Care.  Some of the information in textbooks IS WRONG, despite claims to the contrary.

Some people are "doing it wrong" because they leap into an attractive regimen without learning enough about it.  There's an AWFUL lot of advice floating around -- from every possible side of the question -- for every possible thing that can ail us.  Being particularly interested in thyroid issues and low-energy states, I've read a million of 'em!  The vast majority are absolutely positively idiotic!  They are frequently Conventional Wisdom maxims, and though it "makes sense" to people, it's just plain WRONG.  Bearing in mind that there are a huge range of different thyroid problems one might have and all of them probably have different solutions (if any), there are SOME universal truths....

Some people are "doing it wrong" because they aren't doing something 100%.  For the un- or minimally-damaged person, Sisson's 80/20 rule is already going above-and-beyond average health-consciousness and it's just fine.  For others, that 20% non-compliance could quite possibly kick their ass (celiac disease, anyone?).

I could go on and on....  My point is, even though Regimen X works for 95% of people, it may be the wrong thing for that 5% -- the 5% are DOING IT WRONG, even though they don't have any reason to suspect it.

It's true -- too often when people claim failure at one of those perfect regimens, the peanut gallery pipes up that it's the fault of the Failed.  Maybe, maybe not.  But some distinctions need to be drawn.  Somewhere along the line, the outrage against the concept of "blaming the victim" has gone overboard.  There are damned good reasons to be careful about how blame is apportioned, ... but ya know what?  The victim OCCASIONALLY is fully responsible for his plight -- think Darwin Awards!

We're doing it right when we finally find what succeeds.  Until then, at least in part, we're "doing it wrong."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

dealing with leftovers this week!

Next came the remains of our Easter ham.

Damn modern skinny pigs, anyway!  This came from our "local" pastured-pig farmer; his ground pork is positively wonderful, but his ham was a disappointment -- too lean, and therefore dry.  The leftovers got shoved into the back of the fridge where things tend to freeze ... and was nearly forgotten.

But there's no way under the sun i'll waste a pound and a half of ham, even if it IS as dry as ... modern porkchops tend to be.  :-P  Deviled ham -- that's the ticket.  And a way to add GOOD fat to a cut that often contains the wrong kind, if any at all.  Check it out:


1 1/2# ham, food-processed fine
3 small sweet pickles
1/4 c. dijon mustard
1/2 c. mayo
4 oz. melted unsalted butter
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. allspice
cayenne pepper to taste

To the ground ham, add the pickles, and process till everything is the texture you like.  Add everything else, and mix thoroughly.

...I think it'll get used up enthusiastically!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

new favorite liver recipe!

When I made my last meatloaf, I only used half of the liver I had defrosted.  The other half I cooked, to preserve it till I was ready to eat it, too.  Then Monday rolled around -- Cinco de Mayo!  :-)  I know, "soup of the day" SHOULD have been tequila, but I had my really-authentic Mexican cookbook out, so I checked the index for "liver."

JACKPOT.  Only one liver recipe was listed, but WHAT A WINNER!  Outrageously easy, too.


1/2# liver
1 qt. beef stock
your favorite thickener -- I use konjac flour
1/2 c. dry sherry

Cook the liver in bacon grease.  Puree it with part of the stock.  Add the rest of the stock.  Bring to a simmer, and whisking constantly, sift in the konjac flour (or whatever) slowly till it begins to thicken a little.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the sherry when you serve it.



give a dog a bad name and hang him

Another erstwhile lowcarber has joined the ranks of the starch brigade, and has begun the sad practice of strawman-fighting.  :-(

Because it's EASIER to contradict and mock a philosophical opponent when you exaggerate or oversimplify his/her argument.  It may make it easier to churn out blog-posts, but in the greater debate it doesn't get much ground covered.  The two (or more) sides waste time and effort restating their premises definitively, the waters become permanently muddied, and the people who really need a concise answer as soon as possible ... moulder to dust.

Crafting ways to malign a counter-argument inappropriately is sloppy debating and pathetic "reasoning."  Pasting an inapplicable label on, which everyone can agree to despise, does not make the basis of that position any less true.

NO, not everyone needs to VLC.  YES, tolerance can be measured, so no longer should be a question of preference over physiology.  ABSOLUTELY, experiments can and have been designed and run to prove any damned thing you want, so referencing studies by, for, and of the cherry-picker should perish from the earth.

But merely because some people carry more amylase-gene copies doesn't mean they SHOULD base their diets on starches.  Though they tolerate a higher-starch diet better than we consistent lowcarbers do, there's STILL the issue of hyperglycemia, and the fact that tissues like the eyes take damage from it because even with faultless insulin performance, it isn't insulin which allows glucose in or keeps it out.  If the ability to utilize starch well were the ONLY question in sugar-sourced illness, skinny people would not get diabetes.

It's time to revisit Lifextension's outstanding post about amylase.  The novelty-loving blogosphere is very fond of focussing its attention so closely on details of the forest, the facts implied by the trees' distribution over the landscape sometimes gets ignored.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

all carbs are not created equal -- but we all knew that

So far, Optimal Diet proportions haven't shown me much progress ... but stress has been an issue for months here.  Stress is the very worst thing to have to deal with while trying to eat for health and fat-loss!

(Our sunroom-and-garage addition planning is getting finalized, though.  We have our favorite construction guy on board -- that's one source of stress removed; we've chosen the hot-tub, fireplace, floor tile and doors and windows.  Floor plan is as carved-in-stone as is humanly possible.  Whew.  Found someone to take care of our dog and bird, too, after our usual TWO dog-sitters had conflicts with our vacation dates.  BIG "whew.")

So for the next two weeks -- i vow here with witnesses! -- i'm going to be very, very good.  I may not achieve "perfect" but i WILL be that way inclined.  One glass of wine with lunch and dinner, not imbibed in advance.  Wine is an important digestive aid with me, but if i start my first glass while i'm cooking, i have to pour another when we sit down to our meal.  One glass is not moreish but two are -- sneaky stuff!  And three glasses of wine IMPAIRS digestion.  :-)

No potatoes.  Minimal lettuce.  Be wary of inulin.  Be wary of ANYTHING that causes bloat!  Avoid goitrogens.  Buy a cucumber.  Squash (two types in the fridge already) seems to be trouble-free in the serving sizes i favor.  Half-cup of rice causes no problems.

Because all carbs are not created equal, any more than the various types of fat are!  Not even all SATURATED fats are.  The human tendency to categorize and compartmentalize just doesn't work well when it comes to food.

It's more than just "gut health" -- there, we find, various gurus STILL try to fit everyone into a single niche.  I for one do not think that everyone SHOULD strive to be able to eat "everything."  Even if we all were to have the same microbiome, our genetics would assert themselves and demand that we not eat something which other people can center their entire diets around.  The gut-bugs that are ideal for MY ancestrally-appropriate diet are not the gut-bugs that are optimal for my friends whose people are NOT from the British Isles and northern Europe.  We should, most likely, NOT be eating the same kinds of foods when you get beyond animal parts.

I was eating very cleanly when i discovered a problem with nightshades above the half-cup-serving size.  Ditto for cashews cooked into dishes (again, a half-cup of roasted salted ones don't give me any trouble).  Real fermented sauerkraut brings on hypothyroid symptoms.  A small salad made at home is fine; a large salad served in a restaurant has "digestive discomfort" written all over it.  Peanuts, too -- but if i soak and cook dried legumes MYSELF i can get away without the fermentation that causes the misery.

It's all VERY individual.  If your body says "NO," i'm not sure why some people want to force it to go there anyway.

Some people absolutely DO NOT TOLERATE gluten, ... and some have fructose absorption issues, or lactose or alcohol processing limitations.  Should they try to consume the stuff anyway, just because some people claim to thrive on it?

If you know what you can eat so that your own signature biota are happy, why do you want to push them beyond that?  Because "nine cups of colorful vegetables per day" improved the health of SOMEBODY ELSE?  Why should i think that would work for ME, if ONE cup of colorful vegetables can make me miserable?  "You have to feed your good bacteria" -- but who says you DON'T have the right bacteria FOR YOU already?  Unless you've killed off your microbiome with antibiotics, or intoxicated them with excess sugar, or suffered the foreign-invasion of food-poisoning, does something really NEED to be done?   ...Maybe it does, but the point is, it's YOU who should reach that conclusion, not some guru extrapolating from a few success-stories to the greater population.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

the stoopid, it burns

:-)  I wish i knew who said that originally.  It's so apt!

I've felt down for about the last twenty-four hours -- no good reason, but it seems every time i turn around i see examples of people behaving in really dumb ways!  Ascribing many large, complex problems to a single, simple and limited "cause" that a child might be able to dispute reasonably.  Ignoring elegant theories (and i do mean THEORIES in the scientific sense), explanatory of a whole range of phenomena, to fixate on ... Benghazi-like flakey notions that don't even reach the level of hypotheses!  Manganese!  Electric fields!

Head ... Bang ... Wall ....

I think i'll desist from reading comments in my favorite blogs, altogether.  Used to be, the fanatics came to call very rarely, but when moderators have busy lives, the nutcases come out to play....

Thursday, May 1, 2014

excuses, excuses...

I just can't justify myself...!  ;-)  I'm adding another blog to my collection, and i feel a bit guilty that it's loaded with low-carb "junk food" recipes.

You see, i believe that snacking and indulging in a lot of substitute-foods in a low-carb diet is just asking for trouble.  When LCers eat their versions of breads, pancakes, cereals, muffins, cakes and so on, more than just as an occasional treat, they add many more grams of carb than they often think.  Trust me -- i've paid attention to how easy it is, when i've tried out new LC cookie recipes!  (Those Expert Foods butter cookies are EEEEEVIL!)

But to get alerts when potentially-helpful recipes come up, i'm adding All Day I Dream About Food to my blog list.  I'm sorry.  ;-)  I'll figure out some kind of penance later....