Tuesday, March 31, 2015

why i don't worry about "getting exercise"

EDIT:  synchronicitously, Dr. Sharma wrote this today:  http://www.drsharma.ca/adverse-metabolic-effects-of-exercise ....

Every diet-and-health resource from Conventional Wisdom through Atkins through hard-core paleo says you MUST "exercise."  Somehow whenever I hear the word "must" it just brings out the contrarian in me.

I'm going to be sixty in about three months.  I'm a woman.  A woman who lives in a three-story house (plus basement where the laundry facilities are), who does her own housework, who enjoys walking around the Missouri Botanical Garden in all seasons.  A woman who lifts her elderly dog every day, who carries around trunks of reenacting equipment regularly.

From an evolutionary point of view, how much "exercise" did my foremothers get that i'm lacking?  Probably not much.

Despite the data we see that post-menopausal women benefit from weightlifting, I can't help but suspect that these are people who rarely carry anything heavier than a purse ... however in my sister's case that can be a serious workout.  ;-) 

Reading The Old Way didn't impress me that this culture's women did an awful lot of sprinting or repetitive heavy-lifting.  They walked a lot, carried children and foraged foods back to camp, dug with sticks, .... Looks very similar to me shopping at Costco and other big-boxes, lugging groceries, and house-cleaning.  As a matter of fact, me carrying freshly-washed yardage from the washer/dryer to the sewing room is possibly more physically stressful, because i'm going up three flights of stairs with a laundry-basket held in front of me, whereas they're more likely to have used a better-balanced form of carrier. 

Want an effective whole-body workout?  Try scooping a lot of wet leaves out of the bottom of your swimming pool....

The work of modern every-day living can theoretically burn a lot of energy if you don't hire out the physical stuff to others.  It's just the details that change from a primitive lifestyle to ours -- I may not have to visit a spring or well to get my water (except at "Cowboy Town"), but I do get a case of fizzwater at the (far end of the) shop often, lift it multiple times, and carry it from car to kitchen.  They dig for tubers, I scrub the bathtub, sinks, showers and toilets.  They walk a couple of miles to where the tubers grow, I walk a couple of miles to where the artwork is displayed. 

Then there's yard-care and gardening:  stoop and walk, squat and pull, diiiiiiig, draw rake and broom, stoop some more, rinse, lather, repeat.

And all the criticism of SITTING that we've been hearing the past couple of years?  When I finish those chores I mentioned, I feel like I've earned the privilege of reclining with my feet up.

Monday, March 30, 2015

toxic environments

When we read lists of "what could be going wrong if you can't lose weight" I'm not sure if I've ever seen "toxic environments" as a possibility.  I think this might be worth pursuing....

I'm still in the Houston area, on my post-event visit to my daughter.  The day after I arrived I woke with some really uncomfortable inflammation going on.  One full day of fasting improved it but didn't solve the problem.  A week later, and I still have a soupçon of inflammation.  I haven't been eating "wrong" during this week, or doing anything significantly different;  I suspect that it's got to be something in this pleasant suburb that's getting me down.

The most likely suspect is the water.  L has an RO filter in her kitchen, but it doesn't perform well, so when we make coffee we usually get the water from a conventional filter, which isn't nearly as effective.  ...But I've used filtered water of this nature on many other occasions and not observed the systemic inflammation I feel now.

It IS springtime....  On my way south a week and a half ago the wild flowers and blossoming trees became more plentiful as I progressed.  In the backyard here, the lemon tree is in full bloom.  I wouldn't be at all surprised to find pollen counts being pretty high.  But why would my hands feel so puffy, my knee be visibly swollen, as well as my upper-respiratory passages more tender and prone to congestion?  I'm using benedryl and ibuprofen as usual (at least usual during allergy season), and Histame when I get acute symptoms.

I'm unconvinced that these customary springtime irritations are responsible for the discomfort i'm feeling.  I suspect something invisibly environmental;  Texas is notorious for official negligence when it comes to protecting the air and water quality.  The current political point of view here is that industry should be allowed to get away with all kinds of abuses ... so long as owners continue to pour money into the politicians' coffers.  It's called being "business-friendly."

Climate-change-deniers already have a great deal to answer for, along with their polluting friends.  Besides squandering water in drought-stricken California, polluting important water sources in West Virginia, and allowing petroleum to ruin many ecosystems from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaskan and Canadian wildernesses, I believe they're also responsible for less-obvious assaults on the air we breathe and the water we drink and bathe in.  I believe that they damage the health of the entire world.

Saddening....  MADDENING....  Damnable!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

driving through a tunnel

"I tried Atkins for half a day, but it made me feel bad so i stopped."

The medical shyster who said the above (approximately) has got to be the poster-child for stoopid when it comes to diet.  One can't realistically try ANYTHING for just a few hours and expect to succeed.

ESPECIALLY when it comes to diet.

No matter what the change, if it's radical enough, the body HAS to make adjustments like upregulating enzyme and hormone production/use, specific to the macronutrient content of the new regimen.  Such a process takes some time.  To expect to feel good immediately on the new food ... well, just shows how nutritionally-ignorant that self-promoting, egomaniacal Dr. Ass is.

And this takes us back to those people who think they "CAN'T fast"....  Have they ever actually tried?  Have they read up on how to do it?  More importantly, have they learned how to break their fasts?  Or have they listened to people who have FAILED at fasting and been discouraged?  We all know how people who have failed at anything enjoy it when we fail too -- it bolsters their damaged egos.

Learning how to follow any regimen properly is central to being able to do it successfully.  I'm sure all of us have heard of people who tentatively began low-carbing, but who were still afraid to add natural fats;  the double restriction results in ASSURED failure!  Or those who called their eating style "low carb" but who were inhaling fruit and reduced-carb baked goods in astonishing quantities....  When we don't do our due diligence, our chances of getting the results we desire are infinitesimal.

When i first went on the Strong Medicine regimen a couple of years ago, even though I followed instructions to the letter, i had to tweak and practice patience before I got to a point where it operated smoothly.  Even though the doctor who presented the diet had treated countless patients with the plan and perfected details as much as he could, individualization is essential.  So it is also with fasting.

You have to juggle liquid intake and mineral supplementation.  In opposition to Conventional Wisdom, i firmly believe that sodium/salt is GOOD for you!  Sometimes potassium supplementation is the right answer, as is magnesium, zinc, etc etc etc....  If you're doing an "all meat" diet, you must not dilute your stomach acid -- so minimal beverages during meals is the way to go, and extra betaine-HCl might be necessary.  Making sure your meats are very fresh to minimize histamine issues helps, too.  If you're completely fasting, liquid is your friend, but it's still possible to drink so much that your stomach feels funky.  A LITTLE coffee/tea is very valuable as an agent of lipolysis but a lot can cause trouble.

It's well known that a low-carber needs to plan to increase carbohydrates for a couple of days before taking a glucose-tolerance test.  Same principle.  If you get a huge blood-sugar spike out of the blue when your body isn't used to it, you'll feel like death-warmed-over while your organs are scrambling to cope with such an unaccustomed load.

The upshot is, you should allow your body plenty of time to get used to any new regimen.  If you've been a glucose-burner for decades, you can't swap over to burning fat/ketones immediately.  "Atkins flu" IS the period of adjustment, and "keto-adaptation" does NOT happen overnight.  Two or three days are necessary to go the other direction, too.

The time between starting a new dietary style and beginning to feel really good on it is like driving along on a bright sunny day and suddenly entering a tunnel.  You're going to feel uncomfortably out of your element for a little while -- your body is scrambling to adjust to the abrupt change, and it won't be efficient.  You'll feel systemically drained until your fat-digesting and -mobilizing enzymes reach optimal function, or alternatively you'll feel wired then starved till your sugar-using mechanism is hitting on all eight.  In either case, it requires a period of feeling gawd-awful before you settle into smooth operation.  If we're prepared for it, the experience is less alarming.

I figure that people who don't properly learn how to follow a special dietary regimen, who do it half-assedly and then proclaim that "it doesn't WERRRRK" (like Dr. Ass) really didn't want to do it in the first place -- why they wasted their time (and ours) is all about their prejudices and intellectual laziness, nothing more -- we can't help but suspect some of them of having ulterior motives.

Friday, March 27, 2015

fun with biology

One of my twitter connections posted this and i'm charmed....  Art meets science!  :-D

I actually caught myself dancing to it in my daughter's kitchen while making RuledMe not-maple pecan bars (i used erithritol-based imitation honey instead).  I just love middle-age, cuz you don't care if people think you're crazy when you spontaneously boogie....

Thursday, March 26, 2015

where to start...?

...Because it's blindingly simple to begin turning one's life around in just a few days.

Just take a weekend and don't eat.

More and more data comes in all the time that if you try to lose weight by halving your food intake your metabolism goes down too, but if you fast that doesn't happen.  After just a few days of food-abstaining, fasting insulin sinks like a rock ... and then one's system begins to normalize.  Fat is drawn from adipocytes to keep one fueled, hormones adjust to spare lean tissue (without "exercise"), inflammation (from many causes) also diminishes -- it's nothing but a "win" situation.

There are those who say "women shouldn't fast" -- I call bullshit.  I suspect that SOME women feel badly when they fast IN CERTAIN WAYS but that other ways it's probably completely feasible.  I fully believe that many women also hear the sweeping pronouncement and take it as an excuse to not even try.

I get so tired of all the "this is better!" "no, THAT is better!" "no, you must do interval training!" "but you HAVE to eat X!"....  Noise.  Ego-stroking.  Pfui.

Take a good vitamin/mineral supplement, drink a lot of water (and maybe some coffee/tea), and every once in awhile (perhaps weekly) eat nothing for a day and two nights.  Or a couple of days.  Or maybe just eat in a six-hour window every single day.  Or alternate days, eating and not eating, without trying to limit quantity on food-days.

How much fasting you do will depend, of course, on whether you have a lot of weight you want lost, or if you just don't want to have to weigh and measure and time and look up info constantly in your daily life.  Our eating behavior in the twentieth century got really REALLY unnatural in those respects!  Very few people thought about how much they were eating before calorie-counting came to be the vogue.  Most people ate whole foods to the point that they weren't hungry anymore ... then they stopped.  But then people started counting calories, then counted fat-grams, then counted carb-grams.  What's next?

Some of us have found "the answer" for ourselves, and don't have any desire to change our patterns, but there are also those around us who still search.  There are a whole 'nother set of people, who don't want to do what they know to be effective and they ALSO keep searching, hoping to find a magic technique that will keep them from having to do something they hate.  For them, fasting could be the answer.

On those rare occasions when I indulge in such a way that I feel bad, fasting IS the high-road to getting back to normal.  It's the magic bullet that slays the monsters of inflammation, bloat, histamine-intolerance, unbalanced-hormones, and all their hydra-like siblings.  Fasting makes the extra water go away.  Fasting makes my body flexible, strong, and usable again. 

Fasting is where I begin.  And it's amazingly easy and painless, unlike the techniques most people use to stay fit.

Friday, March 20, 2015

back in Texas, and being rained on

I slept poorly last night, in a strange bed and a dusty room.  I hadn't eaten TOO poorly on the road, but i'd had three sodas and only one cup of coffee, and a couple of lite beers -- far from my usual intake.  Benedryl and melatonin couldn't help me doze off before 3:30, and i had failed to pack any magnesium.

To travel on a special diet with COMPLETE success requires planning, effort and luck.  Yesterday the luck wasn't completely with me ... and my packing decisions weren't the greatest, either.  Oh well -- next time i'll do better!

Keep your fingers crossed for me, please!  :-)  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

paving the way for the next thing

I was looking up info on the subject of artificial sweeteners and found this:  http://digitalcollections.library.cmu.edu/awweb/awarchive?type=file&item=700919 -- in it, i got a hint that politicians were trying to keep saccharin out of the marketplace while aspartame was being approved, and then introduced.  Something similar had happened with cyclamates, as i remember....

So i went looking and found THIS:  https://books.google.com/books?id=s1ArAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

Just glancing through the summary, i saw the same non-problem with cyclamates as seen with saccharin -- overstatement of risk generated through supraphysiological doses fed to rats, and uncritical epidemiological studies.  BAN.  Strange though that other nations, many of whom have much higher standards of food safety and cleanliness than the US, seem to think it's okay.

But when a new product is on its way into the marketplace, SOMEHOW a groundswell of outrage is generated through media leaks and toxic info-spills that just coincidentally cause changes in public opinion and official policy....

Something similar also happened when Prozac was on its way to approval -- what had been non-toxically used for ages against depression, tryptophan, just accidentally-on-purpose was contaminated and dumped on the American market -- OOOPS.  So our caring watchdog agencies overlooked the contamination AND the "accidentally" part, and banned the basic substance -- i wonder if the Zac would have been considered halfway acceptable to patients, if it had suffered the competition of the amino acid....

I believe we're seeing the same principle in action right now -- "everybody" is acknowledging that yes there ARE problems with statins and their side effects!  But don't you worry -- a brand new and better [groan] drug is on its way to solve your simmering heart attack threat!  The PCSK9-inhibitor is coming to SAAAAVE you!  (we must use plenty of exclamation points, you know, to accent how much danger you're in, and how exciting is the promise of your salvation!!!)

It's always something:  the "old thing" is suboptimal if not an actual danger;  but not to worry because your friends in research, who love you much more than they love their paychecks, have burnt the midnight oil and ruined their marriages just so as to be able to offer you the "new thing," which is CERTAIN to solve all your problems and make you rich, beautiful and young again.

By the way -- i have this bridge in New York that i need to sell, to buy my great-grandmother a nose-job ... going cheap!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

lumping it

In my youth, the expression was "if you don't like it, lump it!"  Today i'm inclined to use more graphic suggestions.  ;-)

Today, also, i'm inclined to use the lumping-it expression to describe combining together a set of superficially-similar things which in fact have very different qualities ... like artificial sweeteners.

There's a huge difference between the various sweeteners available to us these days, and yet the broad generic classification is usually in use -- and usually to condemn ALL of them by natural-foods devotees.  Lumping aspartame with saccharin, erithritol and refined stevia makes sense to you ... REALLY?  There's even a lot of difference between aspartame and sucralose, though paleo zealots wouldn't have you think so.

When you're talking about CHEMICALS, from NaCl to C5H8NO4Na, the only difference between "naturally-occurring" and "lab created" is usually only variation in the molecular structure (l- forms vs d- forms, for example, and enantiomers).  When the molecules are identical, it doesn't matter where they came from.  Not to mention that there are plenty of "natural" substances which are highly toxic, and plenty of man-made ones which are NOT.

Some of us are sensitive to a lot of things that "normal" people find innocuous.  Some of us cope well with things that a lot of other people have trouble with.  It's all extremely individual.  I can have one nutra-sweetened beverage occasionally and never notice issues, but I know I shouldn't use it regularly.  When my stomach is empty, sucralose-sweetened drinks make me rather uncomfortable, but with food I have no problem.  Saccharin, cyclamates, stevia, and sugar-alcohols have no apparent downside with me, except that maltitol tends to make me want MORE.  YMMV.

No, your mileage WILL vary -- I think I can safely promise that.

Anecdote time:  my mother used to be the executive secretary in the pharmacology department at the KUMedCenter, and I was in and out of the place all through my youth;  she worked with some of the best drug people in the country, one of whom was on the committee which spoke to the FDA about saccharin safety decades ago.  Dr. Doull was incensed that though they presented conclusive evidence that only outrageously-large doses had any impact on health, the FDA was predetermined to condemn the stuff.  Frankly, being personally acquainted with John Doull (MD, PhD, and a great person), I have EVERY CONFIDENCE that all those damned bleats that "saccharin is carcinogenic" is ABSOLUTE POSITIVE BULLSHIT. 

We're not living in a paleo paradise, we're living in a stressful modern world with tempting treats around every corner.  Most of us have favorite goodies which we use to feel like part of our "tribe" but which will not make us sick.  In an ideal world, we might not want anything sweet, ever ... but as things are, we often do.  If people would rather have small quantities of real sugar, that's absolutely fine with me.  If they prefer to consume things with honey or maple sugar "cuz it's natural" I may snicker to myself but i'm not likely to even comment on their paradigm anymore. 

But I get really annoyed and disgusted when truly toxic substances are lumped together with things that are merely sub-optimal.  Just like those sociological discussions go:  if you don't like gay marriage, don't have one; if you don't like abortion, don't get one; IF YOU DON'T LIKE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS, DON'T USE THEM ... but stop spreading the lies about them, too.

Monday, March 16, 2015

oversimplifying till it's not true

This morning on twitter I saw this little statement:

Bill Lagakos (@CaloriesProper)
#1. you should follow the healthiest diet you enjoy.

#2.whoever said that is an asshole. QED.

It makes sense, depending on how you interpret it ... or it's malarkey.  ;-)  We've learned in recent nutrition discussions that it's possible to simplify complex concepts to the point that they're no longer "true."

As I see it, you SHOULD follow the healthiest diet you enjoy -- if you DON'T enjoy it, how can you stick with it?  The tricky part comes in defining "healthiest diet" -- the healthiest for the Bros is NOT the healthiest for me, because our needs are significantly different.

I can only assume that Bill's point of view is that of someone observing nutritionally-ignorant people eating the SAD -- cuz i'm inclined to agree with the notion that just adding in a couple of green vegetables and some "sugar-sack" fruits does NOT make a processed-food diet healthy.

To present an example of #1 that makes sense to me, here's my diet in a nutshell:
  • good-quality animal-based foods, cooked in such a way as to enhance their flavor and texture, without adding problematic ingredients or a damaging cooking style;
  • low-starch vegetables that don't screw up my gut;
  • low-sugar alcoholic beverages in moderation;
  • full-fat dairy products in moderation; 
  • sugary or starchy foods in very sparing quantities and frequency;
  • very VERY small quantities of grain-products which experience has shown do not damage my well-being significantly.
Those top two items are my personal "healthiest diet."  Including the other four lines make this the healthiest diet I CAN STICK TO.

Much experimentation has taught me what I can get away with.  People without such experience, and more importantly people who have "studied nutrition" only through tv ads and magazine articles, truly don't have the background to know what's healthy for them.  The latter is why some desperately-ill individuals think they're doing themselves a favor by living on salads and rice cakes....

Since my trigger-foods are defined simply by "too-carby" and I KNOW that I've reached that "too" limit when I start wanting more, I can put the brakes on before I start down the slippery slope -- vigilance is my safety mechanism.  Other "successful eaters" either don't have a danger-slope (these are the "everything in moderation" individuals who are in fact obesity-resistant), or they know it so well (like Karen, Lori, EB and Gwen) that they strictly eschew the triggers.

So is it idiotic to aim for the healthiest diet you can enjoy?  Hardly.  It's far more foolish to eat the unhealthiest diet your body can tolerate in the short term ... which seems to be what most first-world nations do.  Advocating the LATTER is an example of Bill's #2 statement.

Friday, March 13, 2015

IS there an "essential carbohydrate" after all?

Last night, i spent far too much time trying to find a "candy recipe" to make inositol easier to consume in tablespoon-quantities.  It made me think of something, as inositol is so sweet and powdered-sugar-like....  I just googled "carbs in powdered inositol."  Serving size, 1/4 teaspoon -- 1 g carb.  Two tablespoonsful = 24 grams.

Having a suspicion that my body may not convert phytates or glucose to inositol any better than it does beta-carotene to vitamin A, this means i NEED to ingest isolated inositol.  This means i have an "essential carbohydrate."


I failed to mention yesterday, in my general discussion of this stuff, that most of inositol's magic comes from it being what is called a "second messenger" for our bodies' neuro-and-hormone-transmitting system.  The major players travel through our bodies till they come to the cell wall, then hand off the message to these second-messengers like a relay-racer hands off the baton.  If there's insufficient inositol in my system, for example, the TSH may be carrying urgent messages to my thyroid for more-more-more, and my thyroid not registering the message in its full amplitude.

No wonder if -- IF -- some people think that raising their intake of carbohydrates raises their thyroid's performance.  It might just mean that some of the carbs they're eating are being broken down properly to inositol, and effectively giving a "hearing aid" to their glands.

I didn't get an awful lot of answers, googling "inositol and thyroid" -- mostly one damn rat study over and over.  I wonder how much attention is being paid to this potentially-important connection.

Bear in mind that this is just a preliminary hypothesis!  But not only is the conclusion from observation logically plausible, the mechanism is, too....

Thursday, March 12, 2015

new supplement experiment

I first heard of inositol on Wooo's blog -- that's not unusual!  Her historic collection of health-problems-to-solve led her (armed with her medical training) into places it never would have occurred to me to seek out.  Her reasons for using inositol, i believe, had to do with mood issues, so i didn't explore it for a long time -- i had no idea that its other physiological functions might be closer-to-home for me.

Somewhere-or-other, i read an intimation that inositol might be interesting to me;  some general link-following confirmed it.  i came across this, too (thanks, George!):  www.lucastafur.com/2011/10/is-phytate-really-problem.html ... though i felt Lucas' essay might indicate the answer is "yes" whereas he seems to be implying "no."

Inositol doesn't seem to be well-studied, though it has been found to be in smaller concentrations in people with disease than in "normal" ones.  Of all the B-vitamins, only niacin is in the body in higher quantities -- but that might be misleading, as inositol (originally labeled b8) isn't a true vitamin because we can manufacture it ourselves.  Part of the confusion about it might simply be how widespread it is in our food-supply, and that we can "create it from glucose" and we can also theoretically KNOCK THE PHOSPHATE GROUPS OFF PHYTATE to make it, too.

It requires just the right microbiome to do that.  Do YOU have it?  Do i?  Who the hell knows, unless we get some damned fecal test.  Personally, i have better uses for my time and money than in constant lab-testing.

Interestingly, a number of our diseases-of-civilization seem to afflict those sufferers who show low inositol levels.  The pool includes people with diabetes, MS, and several mental illnesses.  Some problems associated with low inositol are:

  • eczema,
  • constipation,
  • eye problems,
  • hair loss,
  • depression,
  • elevated cholesterol ...

Whoa.  Do i see what i see?  ;-)  Several "hypothyroidism symptoms"....  If there's ANYTHING i've learned over the last five years, it's that many "hypothyroidism symptoms" are in fact from NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES.  The well-known problems of low stomach-acid and impaired digestion drive MANY of these deficiencies in my experience.  Supplementing nutrients i'm already eating, but in an isolated fashion, ensures that i actually absorb them.

Parenthetically, coffee-drinking depletes your inositol.  Usually i only have two cups in the morning -- is that enough to cause me to require more?  According to www.healthy.net/scr/article.aspx?ID=1663 more than two cups a day indicates i do -- but if i'm ALREADY absorbing/manufacturing less because of my digestion issues, i'm thinking this is a no-brainer.

There is no RDA, and no LD50 (a measure of toxicity) defined.  It's estimated that we take in about a gram of inositol every day, and therapeutic doses start at a half-gram and go up to about 18.

Wooo once wrote about mixing inositol powder (which resembles powdered sugar in texture and taste) up into little candies to facilitate ingestion;  i might try this myself.  For the last couple of days i've been taking about a teaspoonful in divided doses, but i need to get out my antique gram-scale and see how much that is, weight-wise.  Fifteen grams of this stuff sounds like a lot, and just shoveling it into my mouth and chasing with coffee (as i have been doing) doesn't sound optimal.

I'll be experimenting with the myo-inositol powder i bought from Jarrow, over the next few weeks, and will keep you posted on whether or not i see any results.  Any one of you readers use this stuff?   Tell us all about it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

...and besides that ...

As reported yesterday, the gelatin i've been supplementing for the last five months definitely has an effect, but it's not all that easy to tease out the specifics.  There has been no other change in my diet or supplement regimen to explain the reduction of grey in my hair, and from the very beginning i've seen less "protein desire" in my food intake as a whole.  But gut-health...?  I THINK it's better.

In the fall i ran out of the bottle of betaine-HCl i had around, and i delayed getting another because i was using it so seldom.  Thanksgiving day, we whooped it up with champagne* and i got that old familiar too-low-stomach-acid feeling, but trying to improve it with vinegar just didn't do the job.  I seem to have kindled an H.pylori flare which answered to epizote, but which hasn't completely gone away.  My stomach has required extra care since then, but my intestines have been quite happy...

...EXCEPT when i eat a heavy load of vegetables.  VEGETABLES (and that's a colon issue).  Throughout the winter, i've had some wheat-cheats every couple of weeks that haven't distressed me.  I had a bean-cheat last week (CHILI -- ahhhh!) which was not a problem, cuz i soaked the beans over 24 hours till they went bubbly, rinsed well, cooked, rinsed again, and diluted with a LOT of ground beef.  :-D

I credit an extended period of grain-avoidance for having healed my gut, long before i started the gelatin experiment.  When we visit a fine restaurant these days, i occasionally (NOT regularly) indulge in a gluten-containing specialty, but usually it has to be DAMNED special to tempt me.  On those rare occasions when i do, i get very little repercussion -- my bad knee is still a bit bad, but my good knee is better.  THAT is the coalmine's canary.  I know my gut is better, but has the gelatin helped?  Can't tell.

Other joints seem happier -- nice and flexible.  Pain-free, except the right knee, and it was actually injured a few years ago.  I don't notice any significant changes in my skin or nails -- those were always pretty strong.  It only JUST occurred to me to look at the ends of my hair -- i haven't cut it in a year, but i don't see the kind of split ends i used to see back in my low-fat days.  The pull-to-break test shows the proper effect.

Is gelatin beneficial and worth taking daily?  YES, i firmly believe it.  I think we have a special need for the amino acids in broth, beyond what we get from eating muscle-meat.  Would broth be better than the powdered gelatin i use?  Probably, but that requires more work, planning and discipline.  Putting the Great Lakes product in my first morning cuppa is EASY.

Perhaps when i run out of the hydrolyzed collagen i'll look into the cartilage supplement on which were based so many of the positive studies described in "Nourishing Broth."  HC itself underwhelmed me, but it was a little easier to use -- you don't have to dissolve it in cold water before adding to a hot liquid, and it can also be utilized cold.  If i were to start the experiment again from the beginning, i might start with the HC rather than the G, to eliminate the confounder.  As it is, i'm happy with gelatin.
*  what is it with champagne???  it's worse for my histamine issues, too, than other wines are....

Monday, March 9, 2015

got a surprise....

My hair has such a mind of its own, i've sometimes joked that it is a separate entity ... and a highly capricious one at that.  If it doesn't "want" to be styled in the way i try to do it, it simply won't GO or STAY there.  I don't have the "hair talent" that my eldest sister does, so i usually just give up and let it have its way (thank dog for scrunchies and clips).  ;-)  The other day it decided it wanted to be parted on the other side from the usual;  i went along with that decision.

Then i noticed....  Usually when i let it part itself differently, the non-brown hairs gleam forth in all their glory.  And my grey hairs are not the genteel dark grey that my husband's were in the beginning, no.  They're SILVER -- they practically glow in the dark.  Maybe silver isn't the right word either;  think preternaturally light-emitting vintage-scifi robot platinum!

When the new parting revealed hairs that hadn't been exposed to the light of day since, oh, the last time my mane got the bit in its figurative teeth, there was a truly surprising lack of the metallic glint i anticipated.

How is that possible?!  ...I googled....

There's a surprising lack of scientifically sound information on exactly WHY hair goes grey (or doesn't).  One oh-so-brilliant website proclaims that hair greys because you're OLDER -- why didn't i think of that?!  :-P  The more scholarly ones say that it happens because the two types of melanin no longer go into the hair as it sprouts -- YA THINK?  Of course, the reason for THAT is not mentioned.

On "natural health" sites, there's a huge list of practices and supplements credited with nurturing hair growth, keeping it "healthy" and of the original color.  Beyond saying "X is required for the hormones that encourage growth" though, not much useful information is to be found.  In the comments sections, everybody has HEARD that such-and-such helped so-and-so, but it's just like the seeing of ghosts -- one's aunt's college-roomate's brother-in-law saw one once....

So when i noticed the shortage of silver threads among the brown, the only thing i could do was reflect on what's new in my world -- and THE thing it could possibly be was only obliquely supportable through the literature.  I left the internet and consulted the book that might offer support for my hypothesis.  Even it didn't have SPECIFIC info about grey hair -- just general hair allusions.

A previous book in my collection had hinted that carnitine might influence the color, but in my experience it had no impact;  it might have slowed greying, but there's no way to know.  The people in my family whom i most closely resemble are/were grey-resistant themselves.  And it surely didn't take two or three years for C's follicular benefit to manifest....

No, it HAS to be something i began last fall, because i haven't added (and stuck with) anything else very recently.  It has to be the gelatin.

Again -- though gelatin is actually proven to increase hair thickness, there doesn't seem to be data on its effect on color.  Looking up "hair" in "Nourishing Broth" mostly yields "hair, nails and skin" and doesn't mention the grey at all.

It's been about five months that i've been stirring a tablespoon of Great Lakes gelatin into my morning coffee, pretty much every single day (when i'm out of town i occasionally miss a day).  I had also bought and tried out GL's collagen but i didn't "feel it" the same way, so i only use that a few days at a time when the current gelatin container runs out, to use it up; when the new order arrives i go back to the orange cannister.

I was thoroughly prepared to have to use gelatin for quite awhile -- MONTHS -- before i saw improvements in certain areas, like joints and gut, but i wasn't hanging in there in hopes that i could discontinue touching up my grey!  Consider it just a positive side-effect -- hell, consider it a VERY pleasant surprise!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

eroding paleo principles

I just read another both-sides-of-the-story piece, basically trying to point out that paleo is as wrong as Conventional Wisdom.  Rather, i started to read it -- it was just another yoyo attempting to rationalize an irrational interpretation, and these modern-day Quixotes don't deserve being treated seriously.

He was talking about grains and legumes ... AS USUAL.  It's amazing that people are so attached to their goddam BEANS that they create elaborate excuses for exonerating them from their KNOWN shortcomings.

If one can't afford (or can't GET, in certain times and places) animal protein, legumes are the next best thing.  BUT....

[sigh]  How many times does it have to be repeated???  Preparation means almost EVERYTHING when it comes to healthfully consuming them, and grains too.  Some grains and legumes i can eat in small quantities, and cope with better than i can certain green-superfood-vegetables.  Eating them in the quick-and-dirty forms in which they're found in most Western diets, though, is a highway to misery.  AND they're so high in carbohydrate content, i have to make allowances for their ingestion.  I'm willing to make that trade from time to time ... but absolutely NOT, if most other people are doing the cooking.

Antinutrients MUST be disabled or grains and legumes can be deleterious to human health, as compared to animal products.  THAT is what "paleo" is all about to me -- realizing that "neolithic" foods have issues connected with them, and making allowances for those problems, either by eschewing them altogether or by going the extra distance to deal with them.

All we have to do, to quickly assess the validity of arguments against any WoE (way of eating), is to watch for hyperbolic expressions like "eliminate a whole food group" or "promotes eating disorders."  People INCLINED to eating disorders can develop one in any dietary scheme they choose, whether it be fruitarian, raw, vegetarian, vegan, calorie-restriction, eating-everything-in-moderation ... or paleo.  And the fact that "food groups" are illogical philosophical constructs, NOT ACTUAL NUTRITIONAL DEFINITIONS, should discredit the rational faculties of anyone arguing about them.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

don't under-eat protein!

During my attempts to fall asleep last night, I started reading something mentally stimulating -- that's always a mistake!  Exciting thoughts --> insomnia.

It all started with a yen for oysters yesterday....

There are two foods which I occasionally crave while eating correctly (eating INcorrectly, i'm inclined to crave big fatty steaks):  liver, and raw oysters.  Those two superfoods make me feel so good and ... NOURISHED!  I feel calmly exhilarated after a couple of ounces of either one.

We tried to go to a "new" place which has a high reputation for both fresh oysters and other kinds of seafood, but the website is out of date and when we arrived during the lunch hour it was deader than Jimmy Hoffa.  Bummer!  But this is SAINT LOUIS -- the true daughter of New Orleans, where good food is to be found in so many restaurants we put larger and more fashionable cities to S-H-A-M-E!!!    :-D

So we went back to a "tried" restaurant in the downtown area -- we previously sat on the patio and had no experience of eating indoors, but being wintertime we headed for the area beyond the first bar.  ...It was charming in a French Quarter kind of way!  Why did we delay revisiting this place?!

We started with raw gulf oysters, and they were delicious.  The appetizer menu was broad and innovative enough to convince us that we need to patronize the Broadway Oyster Bar much more frequently, for the pleasure of trying more dishes while in that delightful state of food-naïveté, in which hunger is the best sauce.  We next decided to get the baked-oyster sampler platter (which includes Rockefeller, Bienville, and Cardinale) and also the sampler including gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans & rice.  :-D  Nine oysters and a few spoonsful of the various other dishes charmed and ... FILLED me.  My home-made gumbo always beats commercially available ones;  even Mahatma brand red beans and rice is hard to beat;  but their jambalaya is capable of tempting even a low-carber.

All through the afternoon I floated on a nutrient-repletion cloud.  I felt happy and relaxed and satisfied. ... And energetic -- though I was pretty sedentary after we got back home, I didn't feel drained, just well-exerted.  Unfortunately the energetic sensation was still going strong in the late evening.

I still wasn't asleep at 2 a.m.  Too many thoughts were exciting me.  I followed twitter-links to interesting blogs and studies.  I googled the possibility that inositol supplements would be of use to me.  I followed links on tLCD and PoWM if they sounded at all interesting.  I read in a book I picked up on BuckBooks the other day. 

There was more about "moderating protein" which caught my eye -- and my thoughts.

If you're a young body-builder trying to get into single-digit body-fat levels there might be a reason to play with juggling macronutrient ratios, and for going to extremes.  For grown-up people who just want to be healthy, a different philosophy applies.  There are certain "universal" physiological facts on which we can rely.  One of those is how adequate dietary protein is metabolism-boosting ... NOT ruinous of the ketogenic state.

Advocating a sub-optimal protein intake is absolutely insane, and yet this is promoted in the LCHF community.  For the sake of pursuing high readings of ketones, nutrition-tweakers are overdosing on cream, butter and coconut-oil shots, and reducing their protein intake down to a ridiculous degree. 

Physiologically-correct protein intake is GOOD for your body composition.  "Excess protein converting to glucose" is HYPERBOLE, not par for the course.

In the case of individuals who require strong central ketosis for brain function, keeping protein intake regulated is important.  For people merely trying to lose weight on a LCHF diet, taking in adequate protein is something to encourage.  We see it over and over -- higher protein content in the diet almost always results in improved weight-loss.

Reasonably-high levels of protein (under two grams of protein per kilogram of ideal weight) in the diet DO NOT destroy ketotic status.  Outrageously-high numbers of protein grams MAY.  So also might one-meal-per day, lower percent of protein, in a single high-calorie meal.  One big bolus of calories with ANY macronutrient ratio causes a strong insulin response, which impacts ketone production.  Percent of protein in diet means NOTHING -- it's the grams that count.

If you don't believe me, read Bill's educated opinion:  http://caloriesproper.com/dietary-protein-ketosis-and-appetite-control

Sunday, March 1, 2015

fed up with junk science

I couldn't bear to continue reading on the blogs and facebook this morning -- the stoopid was getting really thick.  "OMG, when you eat asparagus, your urine stinks because DETOX!"  :-O

Okay, i'm used to that kind of thing.  I rarely comment anymore.

I followed a link on MDA to what was supposed to have been a summary of Prof. Noakes' talk at the recent CapeTown convention.  It must have been the opening speech, because it was just the same-ol'-same-ol' public criticism of LCHF by entrenched academics who see their career-theories crumbling.  How many times will we hear the same story?  TN seemed philosophical but aggrieved -- though they ignored science, they were sincere believers....

WHEN ARE WE GOING TO TAKE OFF THE GLOVES?  When "the other side" lies like a rug, why do we insist on playing like gentlemen?  This is not the first time i've resolved to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but, and whenever i come up against some mendacious dickweed, go right ahead and call him/her a FUCKING LIAR.

Like Dr. Kendrick with his arch-enemy Sir Rory Statin, playing nice just doesn't work.  Those assholes are willing to say and do anything to protect their phony-baloney jobs here (name that movie!) -- we should be willing to be JUUUUST a little bit unladylike, in defense of Truth as well as public welfare.  THEY are in it for money and power;  WE are in it because they are hurting the ones we love.

All you have to do is hang out on the internet, on sites where "ordinary people" congregate, to hear what a hash has been made of people's understanding of nutrition and health.  It's a SLOUGH.  The press might actually cover it better, and the public pay a little more attention, if there were a little "blood" (figuratively speaking) involved.

...Kinda like a road-side accident.  Rubber-neckers can't resist.