Monday, December 31, 2012


2012 has been a remarkable year for me.  I've learned so many things about diet and health, i couldn't begin to recap them.  My food intake, supplementation, and various practices (like sleep and exercise) will NEVER be the same again!

I'd like to thank a few of the people from whom i've obtained so much valuable information -- Peter at Hyperlipid, Sidereal, Wooo and Kindke, for some good solid science; Lori, Karen, and that Exceptionally Brash one, for sharing their experiences and what they've learned from it all; and countless others who have helped and encouraged me, even though they don't know they've done so.

Thanks to Steph (wherever she is), whose example inspired me to start this blog -- i never would have believed anyone would want to read my ravings and ramblings!  :-)  And thanks to those who DO read it, and who send me comments of encouragement, commiseration and advice!

You ALL have meant a lot to me, and i hope you all have a stellar new year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

the old if-then

I don't often get a flashback to middle-school -- those were NOT the happiest years of my life!  But ruminating on the better aspects of burning-carbs-with-exercise last week, i pulled up two memories of the old days....

Which classroom gave us our first contact with the subject of logic?  I'm not sure; it had to have been either English or science.  And, or, if, then:  that was the sort of thing my geeky mind found entertaining!  (It wasn't until my last year of high school that i discovered algebra could be as fun as working puzzles -- up to then math had just been drudgery.)

SO!  IF you're doing a lot of physical work like hauling weights up an 8% grade, THEN you can afford to eat more readily-burned fuel like starches.  IF you are not doing such work AND you eat the starches anyway, THEN you will either gain fat weight OR burn the excess calories as heat, but the latter only IF your metabolism is "whole" enough to do that sort of thing.

I could go on like this forever.  Central point is, all your hormonal and metabolic ducks have GOT to be in a row to be able to pull off the starch-eating.  Most of the time, mine are not.

The other connection from the "bad old days" is just an object-lesson:  when i ceased riding the bus the 1.1 mi distance to school and began walking it twice a day, the "seal-puppy" i once was lost quite a bit of fat and got significantly more fit.  An adolescent's hormones can be just as F'd up as a middle-aged woman's, i suspect!  This SHOULD nudge me to do my 2 miles a day ... but will it?  ..."Earth to Tess...?!"  [crackle of "dead air"]

Saturday, December 29, 2012

ONLY eat more carbs ...

...IF you plan to burn them off with exercise NOW.  This is one of the lessons i'm taking away from my vacation experience.

While i was stoically trudging up and down the hills of Seattle, the rice and potatoes i ate didn't seem to mess me up.  I'd hike all around after the breakfast that included hash-browns (because no lone omelette is big enough to sate me except the ones at Billie's!), and before and after lunch/dinner (which sometimes included dessert) as well, in order to try different wonderful restaurants in the area.  I vowed to myself to bring along a pedometer on all future trips during which i expect to do a lot of walking, just to satisfy my curiosity.

My jeans didn't fit any differently till we got on the train to return home, and i continued the potato-and-rice-including regimen without putting in the mileage.  My ability to delay meals markedly declined, as well as "muscle energy."  I felt generally less resilient, and distinctly more gassy.  Trying to carry luggage up the steep narrow rail-car stairways caused my knees to refuse to straighten.

Back at home, i won't be getting as much or the same kind of exercise.  Walking on the flats around my neighborhood with the dog won't give me the same kind of workout i got last week -- for which my back will be grateful!  Climbing the countless stairs that i do at home doesn't compare, either.  Even if i cared to continue the higher-carb diet (which i DON'T!) i couldn't justify it through energy expenditure, and WOULD gain fat on it.

Exercise like a mad person just so i could eat these bland foodstuffs???  Gag!  I'm a hedonist!  I want my rack of lamb ... which, coincidentally enough, is for dinner tonight!

"everywhere i go, there's always an asshole"

It's no secret -- i enjoy movies which my friend Jules and i describe as "charming garbage."  ...The kind which have major flaws but which are enjoyable for the mood you come away with, after seeing them.  They sometimes have a great soundtrack, or abundant eye-candy, or characters who tickle you, or witty dialogue:  whatever!  One such piece of '80s fluff was "Streets of Fire."

One character in it reminds me of my niece, the ex-WAC* -- one of those tough babies with a heart of gold.  She's sitting in a bar chatting with the hero, and the bartender becomes obnoxious, so she punches him out and delivers the line from which i derived today's blog title.

'Cause it's true -- you can't go anywhere without coming in contact with people who are a disgrace to whatever group or profession or hobby they belong to.  For every Chris Masterjohn there's a Stephan Guyenet; for every Sisson or Wolf there's a ... few people who comment on FTA.  ;-)

But to assume that the proverbial spoiled apple is reason to discard the entire containerful is faulty logic.

Speaking for myself, even though i was doing low-carb and getting good results as long as i went low enough, when i committed to a month of strict paleo-style eating ... i couldn't believe how much better i felt!  The stiffness and aches, the inflammation and allergies, the heart arrhythmia, the bloat and the occasional intestinal woes cleared up in a miraculous way.  Clearly -- those foods which have been labeled "neolithic" by my favorite paleoblogospheric writers ARE problematic for me:  gluten grains, seed oils, and even some kinds of dairy products.

THIS MUCH smoke indicates a fire somewhere -- the tiny smudge emanating from a guru's incense-burner can't be mistaken for what i'm seeing.

And now that i'm home again, i'm going back on the whole-30-style wagon.  (I would say strong-medicine-wagon, except that i anticipate eating eggs as well as my meat, coffee and "yellow vegetables.")  I anticipate feeling less like a bloated manatee within the week.
* dating myself with the use of obsolete terminology again....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

"normal response" to carbs, at last?

There's no doubt about the fact that i feel best on VLC.  But surprisingly enough after this holiday of unusual carb intake, my mood and physical sense of well-being are pretty high.  Why?  I can guess, and it's all about exercise, omega-3 and hormones.

We walked ALL over the downtown area of Seattle, and though the hills did a number on my back and legs, i know we burned a boatload of glucose in the process.  I ordered seafood at meals whenever i wasn't actually craving red meat.  I encouraged mitochondrial performance with carnitine, and boosted raw material for testosterone production with pregnenolone supplements.  Through it all, when not having to wait in uncomfortable public areas for late trains, i've been sleeping well.

I've resisted snacking most of the time, and when i succumbed it was generally to pistachios or cashews (once, waiting for the dinner train an extra 3 hours or so after having no lunch, i had myself a happy-hour with cheese-flavored rice crackers and Abbeys).  I've tried to satisfy appetite on the meat or egg main dish , and then "fill up the corners" (if you'll forgive the Hobbitism) with non-starchy vegetables, then potatoes and finally with sweets.

The celebration-worthy part of gaining a little fat through it all is that leptin is doing its proper job of inhibiting subsequent appetite.  Eating a good-sized meal with more carbs than i'm used to is not spurring me to chow down again in a couple of hours, but to WANT to fast for awhile!  Many days, we've been eating a late breakfast and an early dinner, and that's all.

Well, i'm not going to "continue the experiment" when we get home -- i'll be gratefully returning to the VLC diet i actually PREFER.  I enjoyed that croissant and the four bites of sourdough toast i had, but i feel no desire to make a regular indulgence of it.  Pushing my luck any further is NOT at all tempting!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

superior P-word supplement

I'm very pleased with how i feel, using the pregnenolone.  It's been a two or three weeks since i started taking a 10 mg sublingual every day and i have that "balanced" feeling which, at my age, is cause for rejoicing.  I've also settled into taking a gram of carnitine every morning, which together with the P does a much better job of providing steady (if not abundant) energy than tyrosine, which tends to make me uncomfortably wired.

The thing i didn't like about the progesterone creme i used to use was that i definitely put FAT on the portions of my anatomy where it was applied.  And those places where it is recommended that one apply the creme? -- EXACTLY where i don't need more fat!  :-)  I ended up preferring to rub it into my butt, to balance my proportions out a bit.  When i first learned about maca, i thought maybe that would be good for me, but hearing that it can be detrimental to thyroid function, i haven't played with it much yet.

I didn't get an immediate boost from the pregnenolone -- it took at least a week for me to feel that something good was happening.  Of course, being the cautious self-experimenter that i am, i wasn't about to start off with the massive dose some people use.  However, being also of an age at which natural pregnenolone production is significantly reduced, i felt confident about doubling the amount suggested by Dr. Peat -- 10 mg is the smallest concentration offered through Amazon.

I didn't get the boundless energy of youth, but i do feel good about adding this supplement to my regimen -- the more so because it IS the dissolve-in-the-mouth sort (i do get tired of swallowing pills).  Perhaps when the time comes to buy another bottle i'll go for the 25 mg size.  If i don't like the way i feel with the higher dosage, i'll just bite the little suckers in half.

Monday, December 24, 2012

enough love

I treated myself to a new DVD copy of my favorite Christmas movie, the 1951 British production of "A Christmas Carol," starring Alastair Sim.  This one is very faithful to Dickens' story, and the cast is full of GREAT character actors of the era.  It's heartfelt without being maudlin.

To me, the theme of this movie IS Love -- the "Christmas" aspect is almost incidental.  You see the Cratchit family in their respectable poverty, mutually supporting each other in an atmosphere in which Love keeps the threadbare aspect of their lives from dominating.  Ditto for Scrooge's nephew, though he obviously has a better job than Bob does.  (Compare this to my favorite Dickens novel "Our Mutual Friend," in which poor Rumty Wilfer's living room -- cold with selfishness -- is a very uncomfortable place indeed.)

Bearing in mind this IS fiction, you can still connect that when children are raised with the knowledge that they are warmly loved and that their real best interests are considered important*, they learn by example HOW TO LOVE, themselves.  Conversely, the hero of the tale grew up convinced that he was NOT loved, which put him emotionally on his own -- no good formative example for HIM!  Of course he didn't prioritize love in his life (or anything else besides money) -- he had no idea that it had any value.

We see all the time that some people just don't know HOW to love.  Why???  Could it be comparable to a person who has never seen a meal cooked from scratch not knowing how to cook?  Is it like a person who has never seen printed materials before not knowing how to read?  I sure think so.

For a household, or any other group of people, to enjoy the kind of harmony that makes light of privation, truly caring about the comfort and troubles of each other is a seed which will bear the kind of fruit everyone rejoices to see.
*  I didn't say "happiness" mind you -- trying to "make children happy" frequently backfires.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

defending your ... sanity

If you've never seen the movie "Defending Your Life," i recommend it heartily.  It's the story of what happens in one man's afterlife, and although Albert Brooks' whining gets old really fast, some of the comic touches more than make up for it.  I also think that Meryl could have done a lot better for herself....

The "Judgement Hall of Osiris" gets a new twist in this flick.  With the help of an advocate, the recently-dead individual needs to demonstrate a certain degree of personal growth.  We are told that when we become sufficiently intelligent, we don't have to reincarnate ON EARTH anymore -- we go on to a different place where we'll continue to evolve, then move on to another place and so on.  When we start using more of our brains, we don't WANT to be here any longer.

I think i've been on this planet one life too many.  Accidentally overhearing the "news" programs my husband watches -- that is, the rampant flaunting-of-stupidity of those trying to mold public opinion -- leaves me astonished and nauseated.  I feel surrounded by self-absorbed idiocy.  How CAN people be so illogical?

I'm inclined to blame the carbs.  ;-)

Friday, December 21, 2012

shame on me...

...for not posting in a week!  ;-)  I've been busy traveling, TRYING to get enough sleep (despite the midnight train a couple of days ago being 3.5 hours late in loading).  On the rails, our internet connection was on-again-off-again despite having a good "portable hotspot."  When the modem was not connecting i could sometimes read my favorite blogs on my Blackberry, but i can't comment or post from it.

I tell ya, eating from the menu while traveling via Amtrak is a tricky business.  Only in the dining car can one get dishes which are not carb-based -- and for lunch one has to order sandwiches without the bread in order to meet that criterion.  :-(  On the flip-side, the food IS good even though the menu is limited.

If one is obliged to eat in a station between trains ... good luck!  We had a terrific meal in Sacramento, but that was only because the depot was in the middle of town and a short walk took us to a variety of restaurants to choose between (apologies for the grammar).  There WAS a time when stations had a Harvey House or at least a good diner nearby, but the glory days have passed them by.  What a pity!  Rail travel has virtues that flying can't aspire to, even if the hour at which one has to make connections can be inconvenient.

On the ground here in Seattle, we've been eating a lot of the excellent seafood to be found.  We were profoundly impressed with the fresh fin- and shellfish in the shops of Pike Place Market.  Omega-3 heaven!  ;-)  I had a steak for dinner tonight, however -- sometimes, only red meat satisfies....

And we've WALKED (and walked and walked and walked).  My starchy and sugary sins (not too many of them) have been atoned-for, i believe.  We've also come to understand why coffee is so important here -- the cold damp weather we've enjoyed since arriving encourages me to find a snug corner and a hot drink.  ...Hmmm, i wonder if Victor down in the hotel bar knows how to make hot Tom&Jerry?  :-D

Friday, December 14, 2012

another "duh" moment

My mood, energy and well-being vary significantly, depending on what i eat.  If i eat like "normal people" for awhile (i'm out of town, eating in restaurants a lot, snacking, or at the mercy of some other person's cooking), i lack vitality, i tire easily and take a long time to recover, and tend to be crankier.  Now, by most people's estimation, i'm STILL EATING LOW-CARB (under 100g/d), but far more than i'm used to ... and some of the food is FRIED.

AHAAA, shouts the mainstream, it's that high-fat diet!!!

NO.  It's that omega-6 overdose.  ...In ME, who has NO industrial-seed-oils in the house AT ALL.  Can you imagine the imbalance in those poor overweight devils who try to live on salad ... with commercial dressing?

In one of those blinding-light-on-the-road-to-Damascus moments, i "saw" last night that the reason i FEEL SO GOOD eating my at-home diet of grassfed/pastured meat and eggs is ... the additional omega-3s.  I take cod liver oil every day and eat salmon and sardines regularly, but obviously in my case more is better.  My thanks to Wooo and Sidereal for pointing out recently what a difference O3 makes to the brain.

It wouldn't be the first time....  I need to supplement all kinds of things that properly-functioning individuals safely assume they get from food.  Iron, B12, carnitine....

We're going out of town again as a Christmas treat -- the first vacation J and i have enjoyed ALONE together without him having any work duties, in over a decade.  I'll be eating out for over a week.  Tell ya what i'll also be doing -- loading up on fatty fish!  I considered leaving the CLO at home, but that ain't gonna happen now.  If i have to fill the hotel fridge with lox, i WILL do it!  ;-)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

this oughta fool 'em

:-D  Got somebody in your Christmas circle whom YOU think ought to cut back on the sugar?  I tried a new recipe (which has been in my collection for years, untested) just now, for a cream-cheese-based fudge that i consider an unqualified success.  It even has that slightly gritty texture that REAL from-scratch fudge has!

I'll confess this stuff is not paleo-correct -- i used "forbidden" sweeteners -- but hey, it's holiday-time!  If one is not going to be PERFECT all the time (the BEST plan, i agree) ... if one needs to take a sweet to a holiday party that isn't the "weird stuff" WE prefer ... if our diabetic-idiot Aunt Gertrude INSISTS on eating fudge ...  well, this might be an acceptable choice.  (I'll publish it here AND put in on my recipe page.)


8 oz. block of cream cheese
3 T. cream
1 c. granulated/powdered erythritol
1 c. granulated/powdered xylitol (don't let the dog have any!)
4-6 oz. unsweetened "baking" chocolate
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 t. sea salt (i used coarse-ground)
nuts, to taste

Place cream and broken chocolate in the top of a double-boiler and heat together till chocolate is melty (it doesn't have to become homogenous).  Blend the room-temp cheese in a food-processor and add in the sweeteners and vanilla till smooth.  Add the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Last, mix in the salt and nuts, then spread in a buttered pan, and chill to harden.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

new recipe

FYI, i just remembered to add my husband's stellar recipe for cauliflower to the list.  It makes a good low-carb side for any meat dish, and even vegetable-haters tend to love it.  Just in time for that Christmas feast....  ;-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

proud to present anecdotes!

Ya know ... an awful lot of writers/bloggers, amateur and professional, make a big point of sneering at anecdotes and proclaiming that THEIR point of view is the correct one because they have SCIENCE on their side!!!  There are a few problems with that:

  • one can design a study that will "prove" anything one bloody well pleases;
  • the proclaimers get all nearsighted when accosted with a study that "proves" the opposite;
  • just because it works on genetically-modified mice does not mean it will apply to humans;
  • due to genetic and time/damage-wrought variations in humans, we can each react very differently to ANY stimulus.
My thought is that the only evidence at all credible, inspiring me to try something new with THIS body, IS anecdotal.  Reports of clinical success work too.

...Because ideal macronutrient ratios are different between rats and mice, let alone us.

...Because studies often use human subjects who are young, whole, and uncomplicated -- not the middle-aged, menopausal and carbohydrate-intolerant.

...Because the sometimes-arbitrary conditions of laboratory studies don't necessarily match real-world situations.

"Science" can be very good at pinning down mechanisms and processes once they're identified, but until they are, conducting studies can just confuse the poor myopic plodders who do things like feed, exercise and test nocturnal animals during the daytime.

So -- sorry -- claims of scientific evidence are not a clinching argument, but rather a starting point for enquiry into ways and means.  You may feel your study is definitive, but until you can show that it works in real people under normal circumstances, it doesn't actually MEAN diddly-squat.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

supplements "as needed"

When i go out of town, my supplement-taking becomes a lot less organized.  It's a pain to have to pack  all those little bottles -- they take up a lot of space which means they have a train-case of their very own.  I can't always spread them out at my destination (if i stay in one place more than a couple of days), which makes my taking them more haphazard.  But when i leave some behind at home, i see pretty clearly which ones have a strong impact on my well-being.

At home, they're ranged on my side of the bathroom counter with the contact-lens solutions, deodorant, salt container for the neti-pot, electric toothbrush and scented candle -- quite a lot of clutter!    But they're also organized by time-of-day when they're taken, so i don't have to seek for the first-thing-in-the-morning bottles, and the midday take-these-together items are easily identified.  I use my comb as a divider between those i've already taken and the ones i haven't.  If i choose not to use a particular supplement today, i turn the bottle upside-down as i put it to the left of the comb.  I "have to" do things like this -- i have so vivid an imagination that sometimes i wonder if i DID take those antihistamines or just THOUGHT about it....

Being systematic about my supplement-taking has helped to define which nutrients are really necessary, and some of the conclusions are surprising.  After my thyroid glandular and the iodine and selenium, i find that the most obvious things i need to pack are the IRON and the BETAINE-HCl!  The latter is an "emergency" supplement -- indispensable when i'm so drained that my stomach doesn't work properly. My absorption of iron from foods is obviously so poor that without the supplement, taken on an empty stomach in company with selenium, C and B12, the amount of hair i shed is directly connected with my depletion.  I see NO correlation with shedding and copper, though balance of the two minerals is theoretically essential.

The "as needed" part is where things get tricky.  I "know" that cod-liver oil (or capsules of it), K2, acetyl-carnitine and CoQ10 are beneficial, and i KNOW that magnesium and zinc are essential, but i don't feel their effects much if at all.  I take them in modest quantities daily.  Carnitine i'm convinced is a good addition, but like vitamin C is a behind-the-scenes "plus" rather than a star on stage -- if i skip a day or two, i don't expect to experience a big difference.  Tyrosine is so potent a stimulant as well as a provoker of tremors, i'm treating it very gingerly these days.  If circumstances make me need to pour out my energy, i have no doubt that it is a good thing, but for an ordinary day i find it winds me up too much -- rather than improving thyroid function and boosting dopamine, it seems to prefer to take the highway to adrenaline, and i tend to secrete that a lot already.  The mucuna seems to be an antidote to tyrosine's action as an upper, balancing the catecholamines.

The pregnenolone arrived yesterday and i've let a 10mg sublingual melt in my mouth twice already -- i don't notice any reaction yet, but i'll keep you informed.  In my mid-life reduced-hormone state, i may find that getting used to it then dropping it again might show me its effects more clearly; that's a sure test for the iron.

[sigh]  The hoops i jump through, to try to function like a normal person...!!!  The young and "whole" -- that is, most paleo bloggers -- don't have a clue how fortunate they are.  And it's not like i "brought it on myself with poor choices."  :-P- - -  ...How do you blow a "razberry" using emoticons?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

new idea for me, borrowed from EB

I had occasion to reread Sidereal's last post, having referred my son to it this morning....  It's no surprise to me that blogs' comment sections can be just as fertile an area for ideas as the main text -- except where the audience is a pack of morons, and Ad Libitum's readers are NOT.

"Exceptionally Brash" made a comment which didn't particularly "click" with me when i first read it, but DID this morning.  She observed that the use of bioidentical progesterone seemed to "fix" her ability to use carbohydrates in a "normal" way (my phrasing).  Remember, she was a lean vegetarian for many years, then with midlife hormonal changes began to gain weight on the same intake that she maintained with before.

The discussion seems to me to settle on dopamine as the final substance which wrought the desirable end-product, but i wonder if testosterone might be a part of the equation.  It occurs to me that the paleo world's "potato brigade" is peopled largely by the highly-T-endowed amongst us....

Since going out of town a couple of weeks ago, i have been abnormally low in energy.  It's as though to have even MY usual levels of vitality, i need to have every nutrient in proper quantity and balance just like a house of cards -- and one puff of wind (in the form of a deficiency, or too many carbs, or too little sleep...) can tumble it right down.  The tedious rebuilding of my Edifice of Energy can take a LONG TIME ... and i'm just beginning the second story at this point.

I'm going to try yet another experiment.  Adding tyrosine made me hyper instead of energetic, and carnitine was less than perfect too, though i'm still using both supplements albeit in smaller, less frequent doses.  I just ordered some sublingual pregnenolone tablets as suggested by Drs Peat and Sahelian (not that these guys are on my go-to list), and i'm interested to see what the effects will be.  Ideally, it will be a better supplement than the progesterone cream i've used before, which tends to promote fat deposition on the location where it's applied!

one benefit of being away...

Yesterday afternoon, i indulged myself, and it felt GOOD!  I was drinking champagne and catching up on half a week's blog posts.

Sometimes weeks go by without much new stuff too read -- sad for me, a reading junkie!  Not that there isn't a lot of good older articles in the archives of my favorite blogs, but somehow "dried fruit" isn't as compelling to me as the fresh juicy stuff (figuratively speaking).  When Peter, John, Emily or Mike writes about a study that's hot off the presses, and which confirms my low-carb bias, the sweet smell of victory fills the air!  :-D  And as for "think-pieces" from Sid or Wooo....

Being as incommunicado as i am in "cowboy town" gives me an exceptional opportunity of reading new stuff when i get back in range of a secure internet connection.  In the wilds there, i depend on my Blackberry, and though my Verizon connection is better than the old AT&T one, it's still VERY iffy.  Holding an audible telephone conversation isn't a sure thing, and when it comes to loading a page with too many pictures ... HA!

So getting back home i had a wealth of fresh blog posts and articles to read -- hurrah!  My favorite reading chair was burdened for HOURS.

I've long believed in the power of reading for encouragement and reinforcement in "dieting," and there was a post at Mike Eades' blog (which eludes me, now that i'm trying to find it) that gave a good scientific reason for continuing my habit.  These days i'm so confirmed in what works and what doesn't i don't really HAVE to get continued reassurance that whatever practice i'm pursuing actually WILL pay off ... but i must say i like the positive input anyway!

Monday, December 3, 2012

finally back at home!

On the way home from Thanksgiving at my daughter's house in Houston, Spense and i attended a living-history weekend.  It completed the conversion of my diet from "sloppy" to properly low-carb.

Did you all notice the recipe for jalapeno cheese squares?  The batch i made on Wednesday provided several meals for me, and were very handy in the car.  Fortunately, the nearest little town to our "playground for grown-ups" has one good basic restaurant where some of us ate a dinner and a breakfast before the event began -- an "ultimate omelet" for the latter meal and grilled shrimp, green beans, squash and spinach for the former.  I was even saved from temptation to order a baked potato by the lack of REAL butter in the establishment....

While the other citizens of our old-west town chowed down on chicken and dumplings, i reheated the leftovers of my prime rib of Wednesday night.  :-)  I prepared lunch on Saturday, and i must blushingly confess to cooking them up some rather "evil" little pasties, which they polished off rapidly.  My brunch was completely different, as you might imagine.  Saturday dinner there is always STEAK, and usually very good ones.  My bone-in ribeye was so big i couldn't finish it, and my side-dish was an innocent vegetable unlike the baked beans and rolls indulged in by the others.  That evening my dessert consisted of a couple of jiggers of Curacao as the sweetening agent in the period-appropriate cocktails i was making for us.  My single indulgence!

I ate breakfast with the others this (Sunday) morning -- bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs and black coffee.  SOMEONE PUT MILK IN THE EGGS!  YUK!!!!!  Then i dashed madly about, packing stuff up, loading the car, and driving the 11 hours back home.  There were certain misadventures, too, with my Verizon Navigator.  :-(  Only made two stops;  I was VERY ready to reach my destination.

If my husband wakes me in the morning, i'll kill him....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

back to "normal" -- whatever that is

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

still metabolically flexible

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

watching commercials again....

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

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


Saturday, November 24, 2012

ground lost

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

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

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

Thursday, November 22, 2012


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

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

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

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

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

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

when i start to doubt myself...

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

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

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

But i should know better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

what i'd LIKE to see in the Times



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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 18, 2012

another "wow" moment at Hyperlipid

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

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

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


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

Have a great rest-of-the-weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

calories are good (from the right sources)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CICO is dead, part 42* -- exercise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

better losing through chemistry -- not physics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 12, 2012

kick-the-habit day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 11, 2012

SOME progress, at least...

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 9, 2012

supplements (and foods) i missed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So the tweaking goes on!

Monday, November 5, 2012

thoughts on the eve of the election

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 4, 2012

willingness to be blind

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 3, 2012

drove away at last

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

not driving away again

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

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

Excuse me while i go treat the symptoms.

driving away... AGAIN

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

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

And bone broth.  DEFINITELY bone broth.  ;-)

Monday, October 29, 2012

exhausted but happy

Got back to Houston at 9 last night, and were we tired!  After a good night's sleep i'm ... still pretty drained out.  :-)

We ate a lot of unaccustomed carbs over the weekend.  It's just ONE weekend though, and neither of us will be so thrown off our preferred diets that we will be derailed for any period of time.  The french bread and barbecued oysters were delicious, but we're now ready for steak and avocados.

In the car, my daughter and i talked a lot about nutrition, and she's got some good plans about taking the wheat out of her kids' diets as well as her own.  I've got some low-carb baking to do today, before i head for home tomorrow!

Friday, October 26, 2012

...and on to NOLA

OOOH, gonna be dining on oysters tonight!  :-D  My favorite restaurant town....  Some people crave the bread pudding, but strangely enough i find it easy to resist, compared with the seafood!

And a shopping list of things you can't get very many places!  Praline "extract" ... an Indio doll for my friend, to protect her computer as mine does for me  ;-) ... really fresh Community Coffee ... pickled green beans for Bloody Marys ....


Thursday, October 25, 2012

two days on the road

Safely arrived in Houston (during rush-hour) last night -- my timing could have been a lot better!  :-)  I took the long route, so i could drop in on a friend in Kansas and hand-deliver her Halloween gifts.  Until i arrived here, i didn't eat anything really evil, but what i took in the car could have been better (like my timing); i've felt waterlogged for 36 hours.  Highway + ham + cheese = mistake.

Last night's dinner was wickeder (!) than it should have been too, but i was HUNGRY.  As i'm still feeling puffy, i'll fast on creamed coffee till dinnertime -- tonight it's a lovely pot-roast i brought with me.  That doesn't mean i'm not doing some cooking during the day, though; i'll be making a couple of different low-carb breads and a batch of almond butter, ... and anything else i can think of to tempt the grandkiddos' appetites.

To my delight, my daughter wants to go wheat-free!  :-D  She's taken to buying real butter and whole milk, and making every effort to choose the best versions of what processed foods they still use.  They're a busy young family, and i sure don't blame her for not doing everything from scratch!  It's too bad we live so far apart, as i could easily make larger batches of what i concoct and share them....

So the short time i'm in town, i'll be baking.  Not just the coconut bread L asked for, but my signature hazelnut bread (unfortunately, i forgot the chia seeds) ... and i think i'll make some cookies!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

vacation ... from supplements!

While packing i lined up all the little bottles and jars on the bathroom counter ... and decided to leave most of them there!  It will be interesting to see if i miss any of them.

The only things i brought along were my thyroid glandular, betaine HCl, melatonin and coconut-oil capsules.  I intend to eat plenty of seafood in NOLA, so i expect that my mineral requirements will be met well, and the betaine is along for the purpose of helping me digest them as best i can.  The coconut oil is an emergency fuel, in case my meals end up too light in fat -- it may sound funny, but when i eat away from home it's known to happen!

It'll only be a week -- i think i'll survive!  ;-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

a good practice

Last night, my new fencing jacket and shoes got their initiation, and it turned out WELL.   I didn't have as much knee pain as when i tested out the Vibrams.  My "muscular energy" seemed good, which implies that all the little energy-factories were chugging along happily burning fats/ketones ... or whatever they wanted to burn.  My "rate-limiting" parameters were that i was functioning on less-than-optimal sleep, and that i'm old and out of shape.  ;-)  And i sweated like a pig!  Good workout!

This morning i WAS a bit stiff!  I drank my morning java in a very hot bath, and now i can feel that i worked my legs and right arm, and various torso muscles.  It's too bad i won't have a chance to do it again for a week and a half, but my twice-delayed trip will interfere.  I'll just have to make myself do series-es (what IS the plural of series?) of advances, retreats, lunges and ballestras to remind my legs of their new responsibilities, and to work on the tightness in my right shoulder which i don't remember being an issue when i fenced before.

I'm not fooling myself about improving my "game" very much -- i'm not expecting to take the senior fencing world by storm!  :-)  But as Mark has always pointed out, getting exercise is not nearly as beneficial if it's a chore rather than PLAY ... as it ought to be!

Friday, October 19, 2012

balancing those low-calorie days

I accidentally "under-ate" on Wednesday, so as i was dozing off to sleep with my stomach growling that night, i promised myself a high-calorie count the next day, to confuse my metabolism.  So yesterday, i ate significantly more -- and unfortunately, i seem to have overshot the fibre mark again.  I feel like i have a rock in my gut.

It's not easy to balance a diet when one has food sensitivities, metabolic challenges, and special nutritional requirements!  Some days (the low-energy kind), i don't blame people who say "the hell with it" and send out for pizza!  Eat like the pyramid says, do what the doctor says and take those yummy statins, forget improving your life and sit on that sofa with a bag of chips and a coke watching the latest popular reality show....

NO.  Even when i feel crummy, i've got way too much stubbornness to cave it!  Not to mention, popular television bores the hell out of me.  And i f'ing HATE pringles.

Mercifully, my husband is coming back in town tonight, and i can look forward to being babied around a bit.  He asked what he can cook for me this weekend -- i need to decide!  :-D  No salads or high-fibre veggies, that's for sure.  Maybe meatloaf -- he does that REALLY well.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

stress, thoughts, and a vestigial headcold

I was stressing to an unusual degree about my upcoming trip to Texas for a living-history event.  All sorts of things that i need to do cropped up at the eleventh hour.  I caught a cold.

And an unusual cold it is.  It feels like a virus wrapped in cotton-wool:  numb brain, low energy, head and body aches, rough throat, and the kind of sinus drainage that does NOT come from allergy ... but all in a vague fashion -- not acute.  Nevertheless, i think that normal cold treatment is in order.  REST.  I'm delaying my trip, then driving straight to Houston before going with my daughter to NOLA for Halloween weekend.

Goes t' show ya!  The lifestyle changes which have protected me from illness (including the flu) for the last few years aren't effective against that endogenous saboteur called STRESS.

And stress is largely self-inflicted.  Unconsciously so in the case of diet and nutrition (in most people), semi-consciously from choices we feel we can't avoid, or fully-consciously-but-resentfully when we know we shouldn't procrastinate/worry/work too hard/stay in a bad situation, etc ... but have a hard time breaking the habit.  The first two are my buggaboos.  I have too many interests, and can't stay on top of all i want or need to do.  A deadline appears, an unexpected task pops up, and voilá -- stress.

I sometimes think that putting a name to it has made it worse.  People "in the old days" had plenty of stress, but approached the situation from a different point of view.  In the western world, the troubles of life were often looked upon as a test of faith sent by "God," ridiculous as it appears to the modern science-based mind.  Individuals were encouraged to bear up courageously with the promise of heaven as their reward, but if they failed their test ... well, then they deserve their bad fate, don't they?  Talk about a rigged system.

But now we try to solve our problems rather than just cope, sometimes with the aid of pharmaceuticals and other little helpers.  We feel like ALL problems have a solution, or should have, and we're not willing to just let go.  We no longer look on life the same way.  We also allow cultural myths to dictate what life OUGHT to be like, and THAT is largely BS.

There are all kinds of recommendations on how to reduce stress, and most of them are great in theory ... if difficult to actually PRACTICE.  If you can sit down and meditate when your brain won't stop enumerating all the things you need to get done ... you're a better man than i, Gunga Din.

There have been some terrific ideas in the blogs recently!  (Of course, i'm speaking of MY BLOG LIST, not other people's! [wink, nudge])  Kindke, Fred, and Sid (on a non-dietary subject) -- great points made!  And just like the political situation here in the US, when some things are SO CLEAR to "us," what the hell is the matter with the thinking processes of those other people???  How CAN people who are stuck in an outworn world-vision become unstuck?

Monday, October 15, 2012

an experiment

Despite being a scoffer at the type of person who, like Jerome K Jerome, could fancy himself the victim of every malady he ever read about ... i firmly believe i have a problem with lithium.  I think the mechanism is through the autoimmune connection -- lithium exacerbates autoimmunity.

Too many members of my family have developed thyroid problems while living in Arizona -- a place notorious for high levels of lithium in the soil and water.  When i was living in Salt Lake City (where there is also a goodly amount of this mineral), i started to develop slight "essential tremor," and the quantity of my conventional thyroid (Armour) dose hadn't changed in years; nor had my diet.  The tremor didn't change until i started using sea-salt exclusively in my cooking, living here in a major river valley (where there is generally more lithium in soils) ... when it got worse.

Why do some us seem to have a problem with it and others seem to benefit by getting more?  Allow me to quote the doc in the second link, above -- "This has not been studied."  There's obviously a shitload of stuff that hasn't been studied, when it comes to lithium.  They know it can reduce testosterone, but they don't know what it does to female hormones (and women receiving lithium treatment are five times more likely to become hypothyroid than men are.  FIVE TIMES).  Although it's found all over the body (and concentrated in some organs), what it does in every one of them is NOT KNOWN.  As the doc said, "this will take a lot more research to determine; research of the kind not easily funded, because there is no pharmaceutical company in a position to make money...."

I've identified a few ways to help myself detoxify.  The rest of the chili is going into the freezer and ditto for the cheese.  I'll also be using plenty of refined salt and taking my mag-zinc supplements more religiously, drinking lots of RO water, avoiding other dairy foods and nightshades (which are particularly good at concentrating lithium from soil and water), and using aspirin instead of ibuprofen if painkillers are called for. 

Next time i'm in AZ -- because there's no way to avoid visiting your mother* -- i guess i'll be drinking Aquafina....

*  well, actually, there IS ... but i'm not going there.  ;-)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

and some confirmation

Googling "PubMed" along with "lithium" and "thyroid" found me LOTS of hits.  Probably the most interesting i've read so far was this recent study, which looked at naturally-occurring lithium in drinking water.  Sure enough, they found correlation with markers of impaired thyroid function.  Not proof of my hypothesis of course, but support.

(Funnily enough, they were puzzled that higher urinary selenium was associated with better thyroid markers; they seemed to think that it should be used up, not passed out!  Did "repleteness" not occur to them?)

I did find something else that seems significant here (besides the fact that lithium can damage the heart, skin, kidneys and pancreas as well as the thyroid) -- turns out that older people can't handle the doses that younger people can.  "Elderly individuals require lower doses of lithium to achieve similar serum concentrations as those in younger adults. ... There is also a difference in lithium tolerability with age, and the prevalence of hand tremor with lithium increases with age. In the elderly, neurotoxicity clearly occurs at serum lithium levels which are considered 'therapeutic' in general adult populations."

Add to this, "there is evidence that lithium has effect on glucose metabolism and has the ability to increase the release of glucagon. Studies have suggested that lithium treatment may impair glucose tolerance or produce frank diabetes in certain patients, and the risk is higher in patients above the age of 40 years."  And some "scientists" were thinking it's a great idea to add lithium to water supplies, in order to improve mental health....

Mercifully, the folks who did these studies were a bit brighter.  Far from thinking that increased lithium is good, the first set concluded that paying more attention to levels in drinking-water is "highly warranted."  And considering what the second bunch said, i wonder how much worse the results of the drinking-water study would have been if the median age of the participants had been greater, rather than the mid-30s it was.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

OH ... MY ... GOD

"High levels of lithium in neuroendocrine tissues have been reported from autopsy data on both wild animals and human beings not known to have been either treated with lithium or excessively exposed to it.  These high levels in the necropsy material approximate those of lithium-treated patients and suggest the influence of geographical differences in the lithium levels of local foods and water."  (from "The Relation of Selected Trace Elements to Health and Disease," by U.S. National Committee for Geochemistry. Subcommittee on the Geochemical Environment in Relation to Health and Disease)

...I spent my morning pursuing the INTRIGUING idea i came upon last night -- that a heretofore ignored pathway leads straight from lithium intake to thyroid pathology ... completely unrelated to psychopharmacology!  And the more i read, the more all those little ravelled threads work back to a piece of whole cloth.

The chapter on lithium in the publication i quoted above gave me all kinds of interesting information:  how lithium abounds in certain types of rock; how it easily moves into soils and waters; how it is taken up and concentrated by plants, especially nightshades; how easily it absorbs in the bodies of animals and preferentially concentrates in "the thyroid, uterus, placenta -- probably the pancreas -- the midbrain, adrenals, and ovaries."

It's a happy coincidence that a lot of the evidence of high soil and water readings for lithium come straight from Arizona, where two of my nieces grew up and developed hypERthyroidism, and one of my sisters (their other aunt) was just diagnosed hypO.  OBVIOUSLY, some people are ultra-sensitive to thyroid damage, and they just by-the-way happen to live where large quantities of lithium are in everything local they eat and drink....

Family predilections aside, we have some objective FACTS to consider.  People can consume megadoses of lithium unknowingly, through their food and water intake.  Once absorbed, this mineral can concentrate in various organs where all sorts of negative physiological affects can result.  If taken for a limited period of time, these affects MAY be temporary, OR they may be irreversible.

AND NOBODY HAS EVER CONSIDERED IT IMPORTANT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THIS STUFF DOES IN THE BODY.  ...But then again, thyroid problems are overwhelmingly a woman's problem, aren't they?  All we need to do is throw synthetic thyroxine at her, and she's "fine" -- or cut/burn out her thyroid, THEN dose her with Synthroid....

Or is it because most people with thyroid problems are fatties, and it's always been okay to marginalize THEM?

Friday, October 12, 2012

yet another mineral to study up on

LITHIUM!  ...But ya know what, it's harder than hell to find out exactly how much is in common foodstuffs!  One website says, grain is a major source and beef is not, and the next site states it vice-versa.  :-(  I searched for hours for a chart listing generalized quantities, and there seem to be NONE.  (And they'd have to be generalized, because soil and water samples vary significantly from place to place.)

It's truly impressive -- the lack of knowledge about what this stuff does in the body!  In large doses, lithium can be very effective in mental disorders, but what it does in the "normal" brain and body is still a bit of a mystery.  Certainly it's known that lithium can damage the thyroid, and there's a list of nasty overdose symptoms, but descriptions of mechanisms are sadly incomplete.

Nevertheless, i feel that this might be a very important substance when it comes to thyroid problems.  One site i found revealed that THERE at least, they know what this stuff does -- "lithium increases intrathyroidal iodine content, inhibits the coupling of iodotyrosine residues to form iodothyronines (thyroxine [T4] and triiodothyronine [T3]), and inhibits release of T4 and T3."  Hmmmm....  It's no wonder that lithium administration can cause either hypO- or hypERthyroidism.

Having properties similar to sodium and potassium, and other minerals too, there's a lot of evidence that lithium interferes with all kinds of processes pertaining to them.  In another place, i was reading about how lithium interacts with various supplements, herbs and spices, exacerbating some and limiting others.  This site simply has some good general info....

Well, obviously i need to spend a lot more time reading up on the stuff.  My preliminary impression is that it isn't really NEEDED by the body, but can be put to use the way other "natural medicines" are.  The danger looks like it comes from our not knowing nearly as much about it as we should.  ...And i STILL suspect it of being one of the elements in food that a thyroid-challenged person should beware of!