Friday, October 31, 2014

three reasons NOT to eat your veggies

I'm really on a roll with the "refuting paleo authorities" rants, aren't i?  ;-)

Chris Kresser, whom i respected until he got that ol' delusions-of-grandeur disease, has one of his podcasts freshly out -- you know, those ego-massaging audio shows, which begin with WHAT HE ATE FOR BREAKFAST, as if the world hangs breathless, waiting for that august pronouncement....

He, along with Mark, is distinctly pro-veggie because they're so HEAAALTHY (tra-la-la).  He offered three reasons we should all be stuffing our faces with them, so i of course need to offer you three more, proposing that his opinion is a total CROCK [evil grin].

Vegetables (we'll leave fruits in the cellar waiting for their turn at castigation) are full of ANTIOXIDANTS, and OMG, those things are just fabulously spectacularly HEALTHY ... for the plant.  Oh wait -- you mean they don't work AS antioxidants when we eat them???

No, that doesn't seem to be their function.  It SEEMS that they act like OXIDATING agents and that in THIS case that's a good thing!  Because (tongue in cheek here) our own bodies don't make enough oxidants we NEED vegetables to perform this sometimes-toxic operation, so that it prompts our systems to churn out more antioxidants of their own!


Suppose we already have trouble generating enough endogenous (the actually effective kind) antioxidants for our basic needs?  So we eat vegetables that require we produce more than before ... kinda sounds stress-causing to me.  As a matter of fact, this sounds very much like the argument that claims low-carbing makes you hypothyroid, because in a healthy person adding carbs requires that the body produce more hormone to metabolize it.  And the enemy of my enemy is my friend....

Well, if you discount the antioxidants-which-don't-reduce, how 'bout them PHYTONUTRIENTS!!!

Name me one essential phytonutrient.  Lycopene?  A carotenoid which has been found of use in certain illnesses -- I SEE!  This is an argument for Manifest Destiny as well as Intelligent Design because Sky Daddy gave us a disease which we couldn't cure till we learned how to make pizza sauce!!!  He wanted us to discover America, and learn that tomatoes aren't toxic, and make sure they found their way to Italy, and set the chefs to work revolutionizing a peasant bread dish, and ....

OH, you mean a MEDICINAL plant -- we ain't talkin' about HERBS today!  Do you have foxglove with your dinner?  I have absolutely no problem with plants-as-medicine.  I'm talking about "eat real food, mostly plants."

How about RESVERATROL!  What, did you say you can't get significant quantities from "eat real food" -- that you have to concentrate it significantly to show benefit?  AND you say that the benefit from drinking red wine actually comes from the ALCOHOL?  (hehehe)  Well, who'd  'a' thunk it....

Sorry, Chrissy, when you have concentrate plant "nutrients" to get benefits from them, then we're talking about drugs again.

Don't skip that paleo-requirement, of canonizing KAAAAALE -- "it's all about the kale"!  Just THINK about how filling and how full of wonderful minerals kale is!  ...FILLING....  Back in the '80s I tried a super-low-fat diet, filling up on vegetables and lean meat -- big problem there was that my stomach may have been "full" but my appetite certainly wasn't satisfied.  That may be the problem with LFers grazing -- you're full but still hungry on a nutrient level, so as soon as there's room in your stomach you go searching for something to eat that might actually make you feel FED.  Rinse and repeat.

And just think of the fact that kale is also not only full of ANTInutrients (so doesn't do a damned bit of good to eat it raw in a salad or ground up in a smoothie), it's also one of a huge family of GOITROGENS.

So are sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts and sauerkraut and broccoli and cauliflower and ....

Do i have to also list the high-FODMAP vegetables which the Veg Squad so love?


Don't get me wrong -- if YOU like vegetables and they agree with your system, by all means chow down!  I and many other people like me have problems with them, and they are by no stretch of the imagination something we should TRY to consume more of!

It's just another damn case of "it suits me so you have to do it too" that has become so rife in the nutritional world.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

PD is at it again!

It seems to be breast-cancer awareness month -- you know, that time of year when you haven't already spent your money on loved-ones, so you theoretically have more to donate to the paychecks of executives of charity organizations and their pet researchers....

In honor of this horrible and avoidable disease, and the organizations which milk the bereaved families and survivors of it, one of the "Primal" Docs has posted a list of things to do, for "Keeping Your Breasts Healthy Naturally."  PRIMAL, MY ASS.  It's the same old tired worthless BULLSHIT.

Number Eight was the first item which inspired my extreme annoyance -- make sure to eat plenty of those healthyfruitsandvegetables, kiddies!  ...Oh, except for the fact that we have REAL DATA which demonstrate that HF&V don't actually do diddly-squat to improve health....  Petro wrote about this YEARS ago.  But the authoress-ND claims we should also cut back on meat and dairy because, "a more plant-based diet helps to reduce your risk and protect your body from many types of cancers" <-- this is a FUCKING LIE, and she should know it.

Number Nine was the icing on the cake.  We should be "keeping ... healthy" by TESTING, because self-exams (shown to be worthless) and mammograms (DON'T GET ME STARTED) are PREVENTIVE MEASURES in maintaining health.  Yeah, jolts of radiation, soft-tissue trauma, stress, and frequent invasive treatments caused by the false-positives and those conditions which didn't require intervention in the first place, ... yeah, they sure do help keep you healthy!

Give her credit, she did actually mention iodine, and considering the load of fatuity in that article, it was a distinct surprise.  What she didn't go on to explain is that after the thyroid, the breasts hold the most iodine in the body -- something about breast tissue requires a lot, and if you have a lot of breast tissue, you probably require more than you'll find in your diet.  Oh, but she COULD NOT RESIST the mid-twentieth-century-questionable-science of warning us that we should never never supplement iodine without consulting our physicians, because as you know, we laypeople are way too stoopid to even dream of trying to be responsible for our own health!  Self-treatment, after all, comes from Satan just like Halloween and birth-control and working outside the HO-O-O-O-OME....  (sorry, I couldn't resist -- I watched a bunch of Mrs. Betty Bowers' videos yesterday.)

Cancer is an ugly subject, and I ardently despise those in the field who cling to their paradigms and academic kingdoms, denying the distressed and suffering patients the opportunity to use KNOWN helpful, healthful, HARMLESS techniques to improve their conditions because they're "unproven."  Well, certain treatments ARE KNOWN to be deleterious to health (chemo, radiation), and they insist on using those anyway.  It's the same in Alzheimers -- over and over it's shown that STOPPING SUGAR and reducing total carbohydrates are supportive of health.  The reason there's no "proof" of the efficacy of a ketogenic diet is that the pharmaceutical industry damn well doesn't want there to be any!

Just because in some studies, dying patients refuse to give up their treats (their LAST PLEASURE), doesn't mean that others wouldn't feel the "sacrifice" is worthwhile.  We see this BS ALL ... THE ... TIME about LC being "unsustainable" but that's only true in people who demand their starches and sugars -- motivated individuals seem to find it pretty easy to continue for life.  For crisesake, give patients the OPTION of trying it!  Improving quality-of-life by ceasing to consume a toxic dietary superfluity has got to be the first step -- not telling us to load up on FRUITS cuz maybe we'll glean a little antioxidant or polyphenol from some tired strawberry that was picked green two thousand miles away, and has been sitting in a ripeness-retarding gas bubble for the last few weeks....

When people face a life-threatening illness, that is NOT the time to milk them and the system for every nickel you can squeeze out, testing and poisoning and overprescribing ... though that's exactly what some medical-industrialists seem to do.  No, building up the patient's endogenous resources should be the first step.  The PD who wrote the article went to lots of lengths to get women to dump things like BPA and other xenoestrogenic compounds out of our environments.  She stresses the problem of estrogen-dominance, without addressing the fact that such a situation means there's something else awry in the body. 

How much money is squandered through the emotional appeals of cancer societies and heart associations, and all the other similar social vampires?  How many people have died unnecessarily, because the system would rather poison them than advise them to cut out starches and sugars, and eat more lamb? 

How might society improve, if EVERYBODY took a vitamin-mineral supplement, as shown to be helpful in that prison study?

Our health-care systems would be a lot less over-burdened if the standard advice were first-things-first and FIRST do no harm, but when society DENIES that sugar is deleterious to health for financial reasons, we start being out-of-step with nature ... and it just goes downhill from there.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

it is as i expected

Bill Lagakos recently tweeted the link to a study which demonstrated that rye flour was less problematic than wheat.

Now, I'm not going to pull a Neolithic and back off my basic philosophy, as so many previous-paleos have done -- I'm still fully convinced that avoiding grains, "industrial seed oils" and non-whole-fruit fructose is worth the effort.  But in the world in which we live, if we don't huddle at home all the time, it IS an effort.  It becomes indescribably tedious to CONSTANTLY ask what is in that sauce, or if the fish is wild-caught, or are the eggs cooked in real butter....

It's a question of the perfect becoming the enemy of the good ... or at least the tolerable.

Those who really NEED to avoid certain foodstuffs are in a different category, of course.  The celiac must ALWAYS avoid gluten.  Those whose health demands that they feed their brains or hearts ketones don't have the luxury of being flexible.  I'm LUCKY, and I know it.  My health issues have more to do with getting enough of certain nutrients and less with banishing even the tiniest quantities of the NADs ... especially since I discovered nicotine gum as a remedy for histamine crises.

Basically-healthy individuals are the bane of the paleo blogosphere -- in general, they assume that if they can tolerate something, then everyone should be able to do the same.  THEY'RE WRONG. 

Middle-of-the-road people like me, I've learned, can be as bad.  Thanks to many bloggers with intractable problems like constant hunger or trigger foods, I've learned how very lucky I AM -- I can have the occasional fried food or dessert in a restaurant SO LONG AS I COMPENSATE.  Many people don't have this luxury, and I'm not egotistical enough to claim they could if only they'd ... oh, dose themselves with RS, or get their vitamins, or get fecal therapy, or ... fill in the blank.

Life is a learning experience ... or ought to be.

But back to rye!  Its proteins are not as damaging (to me) as those of wheat, but it's still potentially problematic to the sensitive -- Petro tried the WAPF tricks with it, and STILL it isn't tolerable to his family.  AND it's still high-carb.  This is where the compensation part comes in!  IF i'm not actively trying to lose weight (and i'm in holding-pattern mode right now), I can have a supper of Welsh rarebit on my own home-made sourdough 100%-rye bread if I've been so good as to keep the rest of the day's menu VLC. 

Yesterday I would have felt REEEEEALLY guilty eating the delightful German lunch I did, had I not been "good" the rest of the day.  We drove down to Hermann MO to enjoy the glorious weather, autumn color, and charming historical sites.  Googling "best restaurant in Hermann" presented me with several good choices, but being Monday some of them were closed; the Vintage restaurant at Stone Hill Winery sounded great though, and we LOVE good German food so....

We ate sauerbraten and wuersts and schnitzels and rotkohl ... AND potatoes, and a bit of rye bread for dessert.  We accompanied it with part of a bottle of Old Vine Reserve Norton (took the rest home).  Having walked quite a bit that morning, I experienced no sense of guilt.  Supper was an ounce or two of Kerrygold's delicious cheddar with another glass of the wine (breakfast had been a LC omelette). 

I wouldn't do this EVERY day, but occasionally I enjoy it immensely.  As I tell friends and family, if I eat exemplarily paleo-LC most of the time, I can have a self-indulgent blowout from time to time without feeling like a failure.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"do not use for children's sleep wear"

It's printed in a large font on the selvages of the harvest-theme fabrics I was pressing the other day.  To my contrarian bent of mind, that probably means you SHOULD use it for just that.

In the hopes of keeping children from being burned in their own pajamas (like maybe when the rest of the house is on fire???  what?), it has become standard policy to construct their sleepwear out of fabric treated with "toxic fire retardant chemicals" which "at critical points in development can damage the reproductive system and cause deficits in motor skills, learning, memory and behavior. Some are carcinogenic."

Makes perfect sense!!!

Frankly, if you're not allowing your children to smoke in bed, play snapdragon unchaperoned, read books by candlelight under the covers, or heat their bedrooms with open flames, I think it's probably a good trade-off to spend a third of their time NOT enveloped in hormone-disrupting-chemical-saturated attire.

Parents these days are getting in trouble for sending grainless lunches to school (but not meatless ones)....

Parents are criticized for not letting their little ones eat a McDonald's, or for limiting sweets....

Parents are, however, encouraged to give inappropriate drugs to their toddlers, limit the kinds of foods that nourish their little bodies and brains, and drench their surroundings with documentably-harmful -- and arguably-superfluous -- flame-retardants.

The fact that these fabric treatments are actually banned in Europe means nothing to us in America!  [sarcasm alert]  We believe our chemical companies and their puppets in government wouldn't LIE TO US!  Why, that would be ... that would be ...


So, despite being tempted to do just that, I WON'T be making jammies out of the fabric I bought.  But I am pleased that the autumn-theme quilt i'm making won't be off-gassing hormone-disrupters on us.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

here we go again, again

Oh brother....

I thoughtlessly decided to "subscribe" and watch the "For Women Only:  The Weight Loss Solution" special event.  I'll never again get offended when people insult "paleo" because Oh ... My ... Gods....

Yesterday was Day One:  while I pressed and cut fabric for my next three projects, I listened in.  There was an introductory interview of Neely Quinn by Sean Croxton, in which he led her to say all kinds of stupid stuff, like:
"I used to say, 'Food is my boyfriend."'
"I had to break up with chocolate."
"When I gave up gluten, I cried."
You begin to observe, this is a woman with significant food issues.  No wonder she thinks that eating disorders can go back to your childhood, and how traumatic it was when you had to sit at the dinner table....  She also thinks that if you have carb-cravings, it means you NEEEEEEEED them!  She sounds very Freudian -- I wonder if she has daddy issues, too?

Neely also mentioned how the discussions at PaleoFX were SO anti-carb -- she complained that the provided food was, like, all PROTEIN and FAAAAAT, and there wasn't much of it!  So she went out and brought in a SAAALAD cuz she needed some CARBS ... and this guy was, like, harassing her, saying "you're eating CAAAAARBS!"....

But that gem was just the first course!  I skipped the next video, which was probably more intelligent -- Mark Sisson talking about The Dangers of "Chronic Cardio."  I'll never do THAT again, so i'm not really interested ... and besides, i've always disliked podcasts and interview-videos.  ;-)  The third and last installment of the day was Melissa Joulwan, "How to Lose Weight & Heal Your Thyroid" ... except she didn't, and she didn't.

Like so many faddish young things, she wandered through bad diets and ill health for decades, and it sounds like she continues the cycles of "better" and "brainless 'intervention' catches up."  At one point when she was visiting a doctor because she "didn't feeeeel gooood" (just imagine that spoken in a whiny California-girl accent...), he told her she had a nodule on her thyroid and proceeded to EXCISE MOST OF IT. 

Sorry, kids -- "healing" and "cutting out then having trouble adjusting supplemental hormone" are NOT synonymous.

With the help of alternative health-care providers she jumped through hoops of goofy protocols and senseless exercise regimens ... and considers herself something of a cognoscenti on this score!  She has two cookbooks out, and she spoke a little on how she deals with taking lunch to work -- you see, you put some frozen broccoli in the bottom of a Tupperware container, then add some lightly cooked meat that you prepared during an afternoon's-worth of work over the weekend (like broiling chicken-breasts), drizzle on a little sauce (tahini, she suggested); then at mid-day, you just nuke it for a minute, and there's lunch!  For a quick meal at home, open a can of sardines, garnish with a little parsley, and there it is!

Let me get this straight -- this woman has published two cookbooks, and this is her idea of paleo-quality meals???  Just because her chicken is pastured?

There's no doubt in my mind that these two women didn't get the memo about fat -- active people can't live on chicken breast, frozen broccoli, a drizzle of sesame paste, and sardines ... even if it IS better than what the majority of Americans eat.  No wonder they think they need more carbs.

I can hardly wait to see what the rest of the week brings!

^^^  sarcasm font...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

is brain-fog a danger sign for dementia?

You have to wonder!

Dementia seems to be a situation in which the brain is not able to use energy the way it should.  Brain-fog seems to be a lesser manifestation of the same nature.

One of the very first things I noticed when I first went on Atkins, over a decade ago, was that a few days into it, I woke in the morning with a clear mind. 

Was it because I was no longer using wheat?  It had been a long time since sugar was a significant part of my diet, but I certainly wasn't limiting starches before that.  Up to that point, I had been a believer in the low-fat dogma that dominated the nutritional conversation since the '70s.  The New Diet Revolution was astonishing to me from cover to cover -- trying it out made me change almost the entire contents of my pantry.

Was it some other food that I used to eat, which disagreed with me in ways I didn't realize?  Maybe -- i'm more likely nowadays to wake up with brain-fog, when known allergens are rampant.  Could have been dairy, could have been FODMAPs, could have been yeast-encouragers....

No matter what it was, it was blatant -- low-carb was as good for my brain as it was for all my other parts.  Headaches became less common and thinking became sharper.  Ketosis rocks.

If nobody has yet conducted a study looking at past "fog" problems and current Alzheimer's patients, I sure wish they would....

Sunday, October 19, 2014

primal-scream time

I started reading that NYTimes article about how we shouldn't be worrying about ebola, but OMGAWD ...FLU!!!!!


Not to mention, "...parents have hallucinated a connection between immunizations and autism...."

YOU dickweeds in the media are responsible for the nonsense that ordinary people believe about nutrition and wellness (and a lot of other stuff) -- this point cannot be hammered home enough.  Without television, radio, and idiotic periodicals, the most moronic, far-fetched BULLSHIT would not be so ardently believed by modern folks.

Without the constant commercials blatting that you-can-have-it-all-just-take-this-pill, without the lies-repeated-often-enough, without IGNORANT PEOPLE getting delusions-of-grandeur from their fame and popularity, maybe ... just MAYBE a little reason might creep into the conversation.

Without pharmaceutical companies making themselves responsible for what medical-schools teach -- without food processing giants bribing dieticians into saying that toxins are an important part of a balanced diet (otherwise you feel DEPRIVED, don'cha-know) -- without specialists generalizing outside their spheres of expertise -- without self-aggrandizing, greedy egotists taking hold of the wheel of society, maybe our ships of state wouldn't be steering for the rocks as they are....

If it weren't for the sound-byte and its written equivalent, the astounding stupidity of the opinion-makers wouldn't be able to hide quite so well, and perhaps those twits wouldn't have the cachet that they do.  It's ironic that our modern hand-held technology might end up being the tools allowing the truth to "out" -- like Paul Harvey and his "The Rest of the Story." 

Without the camera set up by that heroic bartender, the 47% would probably only have learned too late about the contempt in which they were held by a certain self-righteous "public servant."  Personal- and dashboard-cams force the police to behave the way they should.  Recording devices reveal the WHOLE speech as well as the out-takes, which the Evening News "protects" us from.  It's getting harder for people to keep their dirty little secrets.

...Which is a damned good thing, seeing how so very MANY dirty little secrets there are out there.  One of the biggest is how the world of journalism has betrayed the trust of society, and TOTALLY fucked up their job.

Friday, October 17, 2014

WHO are you? (doot-doot, doot DOOT)

No, I haven't been enjoying a Who music festival ... though it sounds like a good idea.  :-)  I'm "reacting" again, to another silly blog-post, of someone who is no longer on my list. -->

Somebody who USED to produce good work has not only gone all libertarian on us, he's one of those narcissistic types who think what works for HIM should by-god be good enough for the rest of us!  And he's been listening to audiobooks.

Now, people who write nonfiction often have their little agendas, and they're not proven to be RIGHT, just because they wrote a thesis on the subject and think their wisdom should be shared with the world.  Whether their references and the conclusions they draw from them are actually VALID is always a grey area.  Those who read such books also bring their own opinions and draw their own conclusions, so these FURTHER inferences that are drawn are probably even farther afield....

It seems that Native Americans not only hunted, they FARMED (and why the man didn't seem to realize this before is the mystery...).  Bingo!  We should all eat squashes and tubers ... but let's all ignore the fact that they also grew maize and legumes -- after all, them thaings ain't HEALTHY!


Are your ancestors Navajo?  ...or Hadza?  ...or Kitavan?  ...or Inuit?  No?  Then why the hell do you consider THEIR diets and lifestyles ideal for YOU?

WHO ARE YOU?  Where did your people come from ... and i'm not talking about two hundred years ago.  What did your ancestors live on, a couple of thousand years ago?  Five thousand years?  Ten thousand years ... when a small proportion of Old World people BEGAN farming?  I dunno about you all, but my people have been in the British Isles and northern Europe for a helluva long time.  I doubt seriously that they "enjoyed" the products of agriculture nearly as long as people with a Near East or Mediterranean genetic background.

Not only do we have different genetics (and epigenetics) to deal with, there is a gamut of hormonal statuses amongst us, different tolerances when it comes to FODMAPs, histamine/tyramine/salicylates, different colon lengths, different levels of nutrient absorption ... ad infinitum!  HOW in the gods names are we all expected to thrive, identically, on one perfect diet?

If Mr Youknowwho finds the Perfect Health diet a good fit for himself, whooptidoo!  That's terrific, and I wish him well ... or at least good-riddance.  But why is he making a grand pronouncement that THIS is THE perfect diet, and he was wrong before?  Does he not come across as implying, "i was a low-carber before, and I was wrong.  You are a low-carber now, so YOU ARE WRONG"???

If I had his lack of physical limitations, i'd probably indulge in more of the fruits of the season too, but i'm stuck with a much less-forgiving body.  To be well, i'm much better off forgoing some of his highly-touted plant-origin foods.  "Meat meat meat" actually takes the strain off many of my systems, and I DON'T suffer from "glucose deficiency" ... whatever that is.  I DON'T get symptoms of stress from making my liver do its job.  I DON'T see any sign whatsoever that my thyroid is not happy.

It's when I take in too much vegetable matter that I feel crummy.  I don't care if every hunter-gatherer the world has ever seen lived on tubers -- some (like cassava and sweet potatoes) give me problems, so I WON'T eat them.  Nor some other fruits and vegetables.  My ancestors probably ate a meat-and-seafood-heavy diet, and guess what -- that suits me just fine in OUR times. 

"So tell me, who are YOU?"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

meanwhile ... you got older

You can find some really nonsensical claims about low-carb diets online.  They "wreck your thyroid" (untrue), or "bring on menopause" (also untrue), or "cause you to be more carb-sensitive" (true in the short term, till your system switches the enzymes it's making...).

Cuz ya know what DOES cause some of those things?  GETTING OLDER.  While you were living life and trying to get thinner and fitter, time kept a-marchin' on.  This was a point that Jackie Eberstein (Dr Atkins' assistant) made on our first LC cruise, which impressed J and me so much.  People used to complain to the doc that they had a hard time losing like they used to and often had to be reminded that -- hey, you're NOT twenty-five anymore!  You're not even ... the age you were, five years ago (duh).  Time makes a HUGE difference, especially to women.

Even though people in the fat-loss field are fond of discussing hormones in isolation, not only do a lot of them do more than one thing, they also do their jobs in combination with each other.  And the estrogens are VERY fond of exerting their nasty sneaky ways on various glands -- thyroids, for a prime example.

Whereas estrogen acts to positively modulate the behaviors of insulin and cortisol in our youth, when it starts to diminish (beginning in one's THIRTIES), those two "weight-gain bullies" run amok ... and it grows worse as time progresses.

This is why the vast majority of middle-aged women in the west are overweight.  EVERYTHING mainstream sources tell us to do is counterproductive:  starve ourselves on restricted quantities of healthywholegrains, and get lots of exercise!  RAISE them cortisol levels!!!


Middle-aged women are more carb-sensitive than they used to be.  That's an endocrinological fact.  We each have our own tolerance limits, depending on how our genetics predispose us and how much we've pushed our limits in the past.  No matter how high or low it was before, it's less NOW.

We're more easily stressed, too, for the same reasons.  Stress not only makes us less happy, it encourages visceral fat storage, which is never a good thing.  No matter how easy-going (or not) you were in the past, under the same conditions you're MORE stressed NOW.

Do yourself a favor -- admit you have to live your life a little differently than you used to.  You don't have to "take it easy" but you should probably take it easiER as time goes by.  You don't have to go full-on low-carb (if you still tolerate them decently) ... but you should probably go lowER.  Realize that you need to be a little more careful, because (at the same fitness level) you can now injure more easily.  You possibly need more protein, as well as more vitamins and minerals (or more absorbable forms of them), because you don't absorb them as well as you used to.

None of us WANT to acknowledge that we're on a downhill slope, but when you're at my place in life, the fact is forced upon you.  It's just the way it IS.  "Aging well" is one of the main reasons I do the things I do -- watch my carbs, watch the Neolithic Agents of Disease, watch my stress levels....  I KNOW i'm not the physical specimen I was at twenty, or thirty, or even forty.  But at sixty, I anticipate being a better specimen than I was, before I started all these amendments!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Halloween -- THE DEAD LIVE!

It's Tribute Day in Tess's world!

[HUGE grin]

I'm still at my daughter's house in Texas, so don't have access to my extensive collection of DVDs and VHS tapes ("boughten" as well as copied from television over the last three decades).  If Netflix or Amazon prime don't offer them, i have to either do without or buy them (adding to L's collection).  So, wanting to share The Raven (a Roger Corman flick) with the grandchildren, i went ahead and ordered it.  It came yesterday....

The outstanding feature that a lot of DVDs offer is the "commentary" opportunity, in which students of filmography discuss interesting aspects of careers and production notes, and sometimes legendary film-makers themselves comment on these iconic works of art.  I have learned a great deal more about the fine points of movie messages than i ever picked up myself, because NOBODY can have the range of side-experience that can illuminate literature (and i consider film to be a visual form of literature) with complete understanding.

Cavorting about on the stage in this movie are four consumate artists, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Jack Nicholson in one of his early roles.  All i can say is ... WOW.  Indeed -- ARTISTS.  When one only watches certain popular films without knowing anything about the actors' range of experience, one easily takes their talents for granted.  An awful lot of modern acting just does not achieve this kind of mastery.*

The Raven is a COMEDY.  World-class actors making ART out of a rather ridiculous farce....

Today, we are fortunate in a myriad of ways!  One of them is to be able to preserve PERFORMANCE art -- and it's only been around for about a hundred years.  Have you ever wondered what it was like to SEE AND HEAR Shadespeare performing his own works?  Beethoven playing his own compositions?  We can only imagine and marvel.

But we CAN experience amazing talents like these actors, and musicians of the quality of Ian Anderson, Keith Emerson, Rachmaninov, Perlman, etc.  It's a waste of an important resource if we DON'T, and the neglect of an important aspect of our own mental capacities.

Thanks to "modern" recording capabilities, great people who have left the earth-plane can still be appreciated in all their glory.  :-)  ...and Halloween seems to be a most appropriate time to make observation of it!

*  my grandchildren watch a good deal of the Disney Channel -- GAG.  read line, mug for the camera, wait for laugh-track fill-in....  this is not acting -- at least, it's not art.  even i can perform at this level.

THIS an example of why Wooo is second only to Petro for truly useful nutrition-as-medicine information:

My physiology and genetic problems are different from hers, but with the information I've gained on her blog, I can sift the potentially beneficial (and also the probably-inapplicable) information and try it on for fit in MY non-standard body.
A million thanks to ALL the bloggers out there who have helped so much by sharing their successes and frustrations, their shortcomings and triumphs -- I have been enriched more than I can even appreciate.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

6 reasons for not including P. D. in my blog list

:-D  Actually, this goes for a lot of blogs.

But "P. D." seems to be a cooperative promoting certain speakers for get-togethers of health semi-professionals and other interested parties.  They seem to be supplementing their conventional incomes by whoring HIRING themselves out, and as a means of teasing their potential audiences, they post short, non-informative articles, letting everyone know how brilliant they are and how we can all benefit from it, if we'll only buy their books, or their programs, or travel to outer Mongolia to attend their next speaking gig....


Some bloggers share their hard-earned learning or experience altruistically -- others give us generalities and promise us more if only we'll join their following ... and fork over.  Nobody in the second category makes the cut on my blog list.  Some MAY have books to sell, though by-and-large they're books worth reading.  Some may have slightly inflated egos, but the quality of their thinking authorizes a certain amount of self-esteem.  ;-)

But for those who have puffed-up concepts of their own sagacity or authoritativeness (term chosen most deliberately) ... don't we have enough self-righteous idiots in the nutritional world trying to convince us that their pet hypotheses will make their fortunes transform the suffering masses?  I have my own faults, but encouraging asininity generally isn't one of them.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

oh ... my ... GAWWWWD!

[evil grin]

I always felt dubious about the claim that a low-carb diet STARVES your microbiome, though of course it changes the precise populations, just like any diet followed consistently changes the enzymes your body produces, in order to process it efficiently.  Now i have some interesting food for thought -- my favorite kind, because it causes no unpleasant physical repercussions.  ;-)

Okay, so far we only actually have data on mice, not the best human-surrogate for nutritional matters, but at least it's a starting point.  Somebody i follow on twitter posted this a day or two ago, and unable to find it again, i went to the horse's mouth -- google -- and found what i needed because i managed to remember a key word:


Check it out:  -- a sugar i've never heard of before is what saves our little buggy codependants -- if we're mice -- so that when WE starve, deliberately or otherwise, the armies of our tiny master/slaves who help us break down our indigestibles don't become the first casualties of hardship.  OUR BODIES FEED THEM, EVEN WHEN WE OURSELVES ARE NOT FED.

Whoa.  Amazing.

And so much for the people who claim that our poor little gut-bugs go HUUUUUNGREEEE if we don't give them raw potatoes, no matter how much lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, sunchokes, avocadoes, bok choy, nuts, mushrooms, jicama, collards, rutabagas, seeds, squashes, cucumbers, onions, berries, garlic, cauliflower, celeriac, salsify, asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, rhubarb, kale, seaweed, nopalitos, mirlitons, olives, capers, sauerkraut, carrots, turnips, beets, chilis, yams, cassava, plantains, eggplants, celery, bean sprouts, snow peas, sweet potatoes, water chestnuts, okra, endive, hearts-of-palm, bamboo shoots, green beans, etc, that we DO eat....

The studies have not been done on humans, apparently, but if mice can do it, i'll bet we can too.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

fatigue -- a rant

AAAAARRRRGH!   ;-D   That feels better!

Read ANY list of "symptoms" for ANY deficiency/toxicity/signs-you-have-a-problem, and guess what is usually #1?  Right the first time!

Fatigue is a symptom of too little exercise ... or too much.  Fatigue shows up when you're not absorbing enough iron ... and when you have "iron overload."  Fatigue means you're not getting enough B12 ... I mean carbohydrates! ... it means you're hypothyroid ... uh -- it means you're getting too much protein! or ... not enough ... or ... ummmm....

[sigh]  Fatigue means your body is not happy, but exactly what your body isn't happy ABOUT is not actually being told.  There's a good chance that your thyroid DOES have something to do with it, but that's because it's the mechanism through which your body is down-shifted -- because an unhappy body wants to take it easy, husband its resources, and get better.  It doesn't necessarily mean that there's anything actually wrong with thyroid function -- it's doing what it was designed to do.

Fatigue can mean almost anything.  Don't let ANYBODY tell you that, because you're fatigued, you should subscribe to THEIR specific protocol.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

replete nutrition + dopaminergic = win

REVISED:  the house was a little noisy today as I was writing, and I published too soon.  When I got back to it, I was appalled at my scattered thoughts....


How many women do you know who drag themselves through their days, dutifully and joylessly getting done what HAS to be done, and having a hell of a time mustering energy and enthusiasm for anything that might possibly be life-enriching?  What proportion of women in perimenopause and later fall on the sofa when they get home from work, and self-medicate for depression and exhaustion with chocolate or pizza or alcohol?

The problem is in neurotransmitters as well as hormones, in addition to chronic malnutrition.  I know -- i've been there.

I know IN SPADES because when i get behind on supplements, it catches up with me and ... there goes the ambition to accomplish.  The recipe is too much trouble to put together.  The laundry and the vacuuming can wait another day ... or four.  Just getting cleaned up and dressed to go out is enervating, and the thought of attending that performance predicts tedium, not enjoyment.

This is no way to go through life.  THIS is why the psychiatric end of the pharmaceutical industry is raking it in.  From Dr. Kildare to ER to House, we've been conditioned to believe that those god-like medical folks -- IRL as they can on television -- are able to fix everything.  Patients believe "there's a pill for that," and tamely take their SSRIs and other side-effect-loaded mood enhancers.  Trouble is, according to a lot of people in a position to observe, they don't work as advertised.

Why is it, that it's mostly women who display these problems?  Thanks to my favorite observing-and-researching nurse (and thank the gods her education didn't inhibit her continued curiosity and learning, as it has so many others), i know that it's not just female hormones which predispose our bodies to misery, but our balance of neurotransmitters which are the icing-on-the-cake ... uh, glaze on the salmon?  ;-)

Wooo's research indicates that serotonin is NOT a "feel-good" substance in and of itself -- she reports it as actually being numbing to the emotions.  Increasing the levels just makes the depressed feel ... less bad.  Her descriptions of individuals who have higher or lower natural levels of serotonin and dopamine caused me to suspect, long ago, that I had plenty of the former and not nearly enough of the latter.

Dopamine seems to be the neurotransmitter which gives us a reason to face the world.  It helps us to believe that our efforts will pay off, and things will turn out well.  Combine it with testosterone, and you get a lot of daring behavior.

On the other hand, female hormones + serotonin = anxiousness, fear of novelty, tendency toward sedentariness,  depression, FAT, ... all those things that make us "good wives and mothers" in an agriculture-based society.  It makes us conscientious secretaries and nurses, good lab-rats, and fabulous shoppers and consumers.  It promotes the "gatherer" part of the HG team, sending us searching for SOMETHING to give us a positive emotion:  for some women it's relationships (including the vicarious kind in fiction, tv and movies), with others careers, with still more substance-abuse -- substances like chocolate, wine, doughnuts and salty-snacks.

THIS SUITS SOCIETY JUST FINE.  Society doesn't like daring women, women who "demand too much" or compete too seriously.  Society prefers women who are a little bit dumb and definitely gullible, so companies like Weight Watchers can get them to subscribe OVER AND OVER to a weight-loss philosophy that doesn't work in the long run.  Society is delighted that women are consumers par excellence, who want to do the right things for their families and feel guilty when they don't make everyone happy, or when they get fat themselves.  Society is thoroughly satisfied that depressed women are given serotonin-boosters, even if it doesn't really help.

I benefit these days from what I've learned (and I can't help regretting that I didn't know sooner).  I take my favorite vitamin/mineral supplements, my thyroid-support, and I keep looking for the best dopaminergic herbs for my constitution.  So far, vitex seems to be IT.

If we are terribly deficient of ANYTHING supplementing can improve the situation -- this is why vitamin-D works wonders on indoor-dwelling oldsters, and why omega-3s looked so promising at first.  A huge proportion of people are lacking in some -- or many -- nutrients, and even a crappy ol' Centrum can improve their well-being!  Imagine getting ALL one's nutritional ducks in a row....

Getting one's hormones and neurotransmitters to an appropriate level to cope with life is just as important and much more difficult.  Everything interacts, and a lot of the interactions don't seem to be well understood yet!  Those of us who experiment with herbs and other supplements to try and optimize our lives have to be observant, patient and persistent -- we have to be what healers USED to be like before the days of lab-testing.  But I've found it to be worth the effort, especially since I came to appreciate dopamine's role.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

back in gear

I can easily believe what Wooo attests -- that at certain times of the year we're prompted by things like day length and cooling weather to eat more.  For about the last week I've had quite a ravenous appetite, myself.  From a weight-maintenance point of view, I observe that if i don't make a good strong effort to fill up on the right foods, the wrong foods WILL highjack me!

Here at my daughter's house, it IS tricky, as my SIL and the kids definitely have higher-carb foods around that L and I are best off not eating.  The children are quite lean and active, and S is one of those enviable people who can eat "anything" without gaining weight -- so rice and potatoes and other things of that nature are just FUEL for them.  For me (and my daughter, as she gets older), these foods are best avoided most of the time ... but Nature is doing her best to get me to succumb!

I believe that my best defense is to fill myself up with plenty of red meat before thinking about eating anything else.  I learned a couple of years ago that i am perfectly well-nourished with 16-18 oz of beef or lamb per day in two or three meals, with a short cup of coffee or 4-oz serving of wine to wash each down (plus somewhere around 48 oz of water between meals).  That amount of food and liquid PERFECTLY satisfied me.

With all the coming and going I've done over the last week, i haven't been as stringent as i might have -- there have been lots of unusual things going on!  At home, i have a freezer-full of meats of all kinds, and no regular evening activities to cause me to have to either rush or postpone meals ... but here it's different, and sometimes a little unpredictable.  When i'm not the one controlling mealtimes as well as i do at home, it's way too easy to eat too many nuts or excessive cheese while waiting for the main culinary event.

Proposed solution:  while everyone is out at work and school, i'll get as much of my ideal diet as i can, and after they come home, i'll "fill up the corners" as the hobbits say, with the rest of my "ration" and permitted extras ... IF i feel the need. 

It's easy to see how people who don't have hearty meals every day might mess up their nutritional intake, just allaying hunger until they have a chance to eat a substantial portion of real food.  And it's also easy to see how those who have been frightened away from red meat and saturated fats might do a lot of snacking to feel satisfied, after a dinner of lettuce and chicken breasts!  If i felt i had to eat EITHER way, i have a sneaking suspicion i'd weigh an awful lot more than i do now....

Friday, October 3, 2014

no wonder i was tired!

It's not very unusual for me to suffer from headaches in Texas -- it rarely gets cold enough (in the places i spend time) to kill the nasty buggies, molds, fungi, weeds, et al that do horrible things to my sinuses and other membranes.  On the gulf coast i tend to be a habitual user of benedryl and often ibuprofen, too.  Yesterday my headache would NOT go away.  I drank coffee by the quart, ate "mostly harmless" things, minimized wine, rested ... did everything right, and still felt dragged out and crummy.

Decaf.  I was drinking decaf and didn't recognize it till this morning.

Should i write a rant, complaining that some coffee brands need to label a little more obviously?

[sigh]  I feel so dumb.  ;-)