Saturday, June 30, 2012

off-the-beaten-track, but interesting....

I'm definitely a re-reader and re-watcher.  If a book is worth reading at all, it's worth reading again; ditto for movies.  Some films/stories i even enjoy more for their "atmosphere" than for plot or artistic value.  Some semi-fiction is also good for its historical information, helpful to me as a reenactor.

One of the lighter things i read every couple of years is the old Little House series, and the interesting bit is, i usually glean a little more with every reading, even after all this time.  I identify songs, places, processes/activities, foodstuffs, ... all kinds of things that aid me in improving my interpretations of history.  I get confirmations or refutations for anecdotes of the eras i read, for my characters/impressions.  With retrospective "biographies" of course, one does have to take some things with a grain of salt.

The internet gives me more information, too.  Thanks to historians whose work is available at places like Wikipedia, i know in what areas Mrs. Wilder fictionalized her autobiographical material to make it more "eventful."  I know what happened to the family after her stories leave them behind, as well.

Anyone who has ever read this series (ignore the television BS -- they got EVERYTHING wrong in that) is familiar with the hard times the family went through from time to time -- the periods when they were between long-term homes, living rough on the frontier, dealing with harsh natural environments in which they could not always count on a significant harvest to feed themselves adequately.  Their diet was often of the most minimal quantity and quality -- cheap carbohydrate foods, lean game, that sort of thing.

So -- what a surprise -- I find out that Pa Ingalls died of heart disease at the age of 66.  (Ma, i don't know, but she was 84.)  Mary died of pneumonia after a stroke.  Laura, Carrie and Grace died of complications of diabetes.

Even in the best of times, this family ate a high carbohydrate diet -- is it significant that the carbs were mostly "complex"?  Apparently not.

The eldest child, though she lost her sight as a result of a dangerous fever when she was about 12 or 13, seems to have been the hardiest of the family. In light of Dr. Cate Shanahan's hypothesis of "Second Sibling Syndrome" this is not at all surprising.  "...Unless the mother gives herself ample time and nutrients for her body to fully replenish itself, child number two will not be as healthy as his older sibling. And so, while big brother goes off to football practice, or big sister gets a modeling job, the second sibling will be spending time in the offices of the local optometrists and orthodontists. It’s not that they got the “unlucky” genes. The problem is that, compared to their older sibling, they grew in a relatively undernourished environment in utero."  (From "Deep Nutrition.")

Laura Ingalls' life, where she begins her story, is surrounded by the "forest primeval" where wildlife is abundant and the farm is apparently productive.  Meat is procured at the height of succulence -- in the autumn, when the deer, bear, and acorn-fattened pork is at its ... fattiest.  The climate allowed natural freezing of fresh meats, so only part of the meat-harvest is processed.  However, what WAS processed was done so in a natural and healthy way, with salt and smoke, not questionable modern chemicals.  Theoretically, her sister Mary (only a year older), had one more year's worth of wholesome diet than she, as well as superior maternal nutrition, before the family began subsisting on cornmeal and lean game.  Dare we assume that this is what "helped" Mary to die of what Dr. Donaldson (in "Strong Medicine") described as the most common cause of death in the elderly of his day, pneumonia?

Laura describes her next-younger sister, Carrie, as always having been "delicate" -- a synonym for "unhealthy" in this euphemistic era.  She further speaks of her as having not recovered from the Hard Winter (more on that later) very well.  Unhealthy indeed.  The youngest (surviving) sibling, Grace (we are told) had never known any meat except salt pork (and a little game) until she was three or four years old.

From her sixth year till her eighth or ninth at least, Laura ate mostly carbohydrate foods, lean game and some salt pork.  Again, between her 12th and 15th year, it seems the family's diet was similar.  Lots of potatoes and cornmeal, wheat, lots of beans, some fish, and latterly wild waterfowl, which is significantly leaner than the farmed ducks and geese of today.  What they ate while in Minnesota (between her third and fourth books) we don't know in detail; they had a farm with kitchen-garden, chickens and cow, but we don't know if they had pigs, or if they actually ate beef.  All she tells us of this period is, they had only two poor wheat crops, and most of the family was stricken with scarlet fever.

The worst nutritional debacle of which we read is in "The Hard Winter."  Their second winter in Dakota Territory, after the first minimal harvest from the raw prairie, was an extremely harsh one, and the new railroad line was incapable of negotiating the heavy snows that year.  The small, isolated town was insufficiently stocked with food and fuel in this frontier area; there was almost no naturally-occurring fuel on the bare prairies, and farming equipment of the time was incapable of pulverizing the tough sod, so that the virgin soil could not yield as had the rich eastern land to which emigrants were accustomed.  It seems to me that they were damned lucky to have survived at all.

Assuming that Mrs. Wilder wasn't taking too many liberties with history, we are to understand that the family ran out of meat by Christmas, and subsisted largely on whole wheat and some beans and potatoes between the first of the year and April, when the blizzards ended and supplies became available again.  The beans would have been properly soaked before cooking, and we know that the wheat's leavening was produced from an honest-to-god sourdough fermentation ... but we are also told that the whole family is weakened and dumbed-down by their nutritional deficiencies.  Her father, meanwhile, does occasional heavy labor.

After this period of nutritional want, though, the family goes back to eating an adequate (even generous) diet, but it is still very carb-heavy.  Their celebratory meal in the spring when the "Christmas barrel" arrives (still frozen hard) containing a turkey and cranberries, also includes potatoes, gravy and light bread (made with white flour and yeast), stuffing, pies and a cake.  When their garden begins growing and the cow "freshens" they have greens, butter and milk, but it will be months before they have much more than the general store can provide -- white flour, salt pork, cornmeal, potatoes and beans....

Sweets, at least, were a rare treat.  We're told that in Laura's earliest years, maple syrup and sugar are annually produced, but not frequently consumed except in tea, on pancakes and mush.  Finding a honey-tree was a truly rare and memorable occurrence.  Candy was something special, only to be expected as a Christmas gift.  Brown-sugar syrup was probably a semi-regular addition to pancakes, though, and when there was fruit harvested (mostly wild) it was dried or preserved with added sugar, depending upon the family's circumstances.  Notably in this era, tomatoes were a fruit one expected to eat sweetened.

The final harvest of all this nutritional imbalance we already know:  heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  The latter condition, Wikipedia tells us, "ran in the family."  I wonder if it was running in the family while they were still eating autumn-fat deer, bear, fresh pastured pork, whole dairy and eggs?

Friday, June 29, 2012

low-carb diets get a boost in reputation

The recent news of the small-but-significant randomized controlled trial is being celebrated amongst believers in low-carb lifestyles.  A few major media sources have published things with the usual uninformed comments against, but so far the "insulin deniers" in the blogosphere haven't said an awful lot.  (But i have every confidence they will, as soon as they quit scratching their heads.)

The big reason this makes me happy is, "nonresidents of the blogosphere" such as my mother, neighbor, sisters, and some friends may now hear from an "authoritative" source that LC ways of eating are not just fads and gimmicks, but are scientifically sound.  To ME, it doesn't matter in the least.

I don't need official confirmation of what i already know to be true:  VLC is the only healthful diet for me at this time in my life.  Having the NIH study and JAMA publication is convenient, so i have someplace to refer people, that's all.  Even IF the low-GI arm of the study had been shown to be more effective, i wouldn't change my ways.

I know what works for ME.  That's all that's important ... to me.  ;-)  If other people add in potatoes and are suddenly able to lose more weight, hurrah for them.  For me, it doesn't work that way.

It's not like we haven't known for a long time that higher-protein diets are more thermogenic -- some of Peter's old postings that i've been re-reading lately stated that clearly (and in passing, as though this is information EVERYBODY KNOWS).  It's just that this is a nicely-done (by all accounts) study that is harder to pick apart than something that might have been financed by the Atkins Foundation, for example.

So i'm not gonna crow, but i WILL be quietly satisfied by this small victory.  WE probably won't be helped by it, and THEY won't be swayed from their potatoes by it, but the ordinary person-on-the-street who has been failing to make progress via CW will have a better chance for rethinking his/her path now, as a result of it.  Those are the people who need it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"I must keep in good health, and not die."

Ten points if you recognize the quote!  :-)

At least the first part is what springs to mind, when one contemplates the MESS that the medical industry has become.  I'm not afraid of what would happen to me if i were in an auto accident, i'm "afraid" of what could happen, were i incapacitated enough to go into an institution for the long term.  Modern medicine does wonderful things for trauma patients (if they don't die from infections first), but what it considers a healthy diet, i consider a catastrophe.

The nurses who blog and comment give us a very depressing picture of institutional life; even if a nurse spots a mistake in a doctor's protocol, s/he may not dare mention it.  THAT is appalling.  Mistakes can be knowingly made, and that's just tough beans for the patient.  Going outside the customary "chain of command" has got to be nearly impossible too, i'd wager.

Is it the culture of "i'm-okay-you're-okay" that allows acceptance of such incompetence in the world?  My husband, an engineer, sees a lot of this lack of performance-standard in his work, too.  "We didn't accomplish what we REALLY needed to, today -- OH WELL!"  Somehow, this just does NOT cut the mustard with my sense of "rightness" ... and it drives HIM crazy.

Somehow, we've got to create a sense of responsibility in people, and it HAS to start in childhood.  Unless there is some accountability for non/mis/malfeasance in homes and schools, it's hard to see how it can be developed in society at large.

As for the competence and accountability of those self-anointed "gods" of the medical industry, let them learn a little humility and sense of personal responsibility, let them not be afraid of being alerted to a possible error by their "inferiors" -- arrogance and delusions of invincibility can set one up for a hell of a fall.

Another quote (same source):  "The human and fallible should not arrogate a power with which the divine and perfect alone can be safely intrusted."  No doctor i've ever heard of has been perfect, let alone divine.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

between the battles

I wanted to refresh my memory on something that J Stanton wrote quite a while ago, and of course ended up reading more than just that one article.  I also reread "Why Are We Here..." and came up with another good answer to that question, in the light of other bloggers' recent columns:  i often read and Hyperlipid and some others because it's RESTFUL to do so.  I sit back and read and learn with the confidence that these people have done their homework, and are intellectually honest enough to tell it like it is, rather than how they would like it to be.  I don't have the feeling they're trying to sell me something at every turn.

As long as i stay out of the comment section (or just read them selectively), i never see BS that insults my intelligence.  I never read anything that screams "rebut this."

When one eats in a way that flouts convention and its "wisdom," one gets very, very tired of explaining things to those who would like one to conform.  Now, when i had a chance to explain paleo/ancestral food theory to my niece this last spring, it was far from tedious because she was actually interested.  She may or may not do anything with the ideas i introduced, but that's her affair -- she's intelligent and fully capable of researching it on her own if she likes.  But to others (especially older people, i note), who seem to be incapable of thinking that "authority" could possibly be wrong ... it's utterly pointless.  They eat meals that are nothing but "sugar molecules holding hands" and "food-grade paint thinner" and refuse to think that their physical ills (and they have many) could have anything to do with their diets.  It's the epitome of frustration to me.

I hate to see people killing themselves with diet, especially people i love.  NOTICE:  if i pester you about your food choices, it means i CARE.  But don't imagine that i'm having fun doing it.

It offends me to hear bad advice given to people who need to be careful about what they eat -- it brings out the She Bear in my nature.  So to remove the temptation to get out the repeating rifle and climb a tall tower, i don't EVER visit certain websites, especially the ones full of healthywholegrains and vitriol.  I leave it to the Lords of Karma to give them their just desserts -- pun intended.

No -- at times like these i go to the sites where my sense of outrage is never aroused.  Bastions of cool, gracious intellect.  It's almost as though i'm sitting with them in a shady place with a great view, and there's a glass of wine at my elbow, and nobody says anything stupid.  Ahhhhh.

nutritional groupies and espionage agents

"Why can't we all just ... get along?"  [sotto-voce chuckle]

We go through a sine-wave* pattern of argument in the nutritional blogosphere....  You'd think we would have outgrown the ganging-up and spying-out impulses by this time in our lives.  Some writers we agree with, and some we don't.  I don't read the ones that i KNOW can't benefit me, because there are more things worth reading than time in which to read them.  Others may certainly do something different if it amuses them!

Attempts to "reason" with someone who disagrees is ALWAYS in vain.  We all have our reasons for holding the opinions we do, and "truth" is relative to the complexity of experience.  What is applicable to a 20-something male gym-rat (or even a 40-something male gym-rat) is completely irrelevant to this 50-something, hypothyroid, energetically-challenged female body.  What kind of mental process is capable of assuming that it COULD be?  Obviously, only one with a very limited experience of life.

"Vitamin X turned my life around, and statistics show that a majority of people are deficient; therefore, EVERYBODY needs to swallow handfuls of X!"

"Mineral Y is DANGEROUSLY HIGH in a small minority of the population!!!  NOBODY should EVER supplement Y, and EVERYBODY should carefully avoid foods containing this POISONOUS substance!"


I have my own opinions about what people are better off eating/avoiding, but it doesn't matter.  People WILL follow the diet of their choice despite the "evidence" of its wholesomeness.  People WANT to believe that what they like is good for them ... or at least "not THAT bad."  Time will tell.

There's room for disagreement, but not for outright lies.  There have been LIES published recently (and from time immemorial), and misled groupies of the liars run around defending and promoting and acting like silly teens who think their gurus can do no wrong.  I'm not saying that any of us is exempt from being MISTAKEN, but intellectual honesty is the aim of science, and there's a distinct shortage of that in some theoretically-scientific blogs.

What i write here is subjective -- it's what works for me, and meant as an expression of what MIGHT work for others LIKE ME.  There's no suggestion that these ideas may be universally applicable.  However, i'm not out to build readership by writing provocative articles; if i get playful or go on a rant from time to time, you're perfectly welcome to ... ignore me!  ;-)
* i almost wrote "wine-save" -- is that a freudian slip, or what?  ;-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


With my husband out of town on business again, yesterday was a modified-Strong-Medicine day, and it felt so GOOOOD!  My mental fog has been lifting over the last 36 hours, my joint pain subsiding, and my exhaustion alleviating.  The bathroom scale read almost a pound less than yesterday.  Today will be more of the same.

In the throes of socializing i forget myself, and if there are contraband foods in front of me, i can't trust myself not to eat them.  I'm really safest when it's just me and the dog!  :-)  Intellectually, i know i'll feel best when i avoid the carbohydrates, and that i'll regret it later ... but the ATMOSPHERE of eating the stuff can be contagious.

Atmospheres are powerful things!  Esotericists will tell you, being around depressed people is a downer even for the most optimistic, and the company of criminals blunts one's moral sense.  It stands to reason that when you're in the company of people who WANT you to stray from your dietary straight-and-narrow, it's harder to be true to it.

So while Spense and i are alone for these few days, we'll be eating and drinking with conscious intent ... and it'll be EASY.  I LIKE meat and coffee, and other low-carb fare.  So why do i EVER eat and drink things i shouldn't?  Because they're there, and we have a biological drive to take advantage of abundant nutrients, AND a lot of people are constantly sending nonverbal (and verbal) cues urging us to be "bad."

Note to self:  when eating and drinking in the company of others, be especially aware of body language that "rewards" me for consuming things i know i shouldn't....

Monday, June 25, 2012

kosher is our friend

The first time this concept occurred to me was a LONG time ago, when a friend's mother had seen the Sixty Minutes presentation about chicken processing; Sharon saw the filthy conditions these carcasses went through, and couldn't stand the idea of bringing them into her house, handling them and eating them any more.  Being the trivia queen i always was, it occurred to me that cleanliness being one of the hallmarks of kosherhood (kosherdom?  kosherism?), a kosher butcher might just allow her to eat her chicken and have it too.

Now, to a free-thinker such as myself, a lot of the dietary rules followed by observers of the kosher laws seem arbitrary, though i'm willing to suppose there was a good reason for it when they were invented.  In fact, some of the rules actually make some sense when one knows a little about the modern science of nutrition -- for example, the convention of not consuming meat and dairy in the same meal has a logical basis in the light of the fact that calcium and iron compete for absorption in the body.  I've also wondered if the pork prohibition was a means of ensuring no consumption of LONG PORK accidentally....  Whatever the reason, it's no skin off my nose -- people can eat whatever they want to, as long as they don't try to keep ME from eating as I like.  When that happens, i tend to get a little cranky.

One always has to make compromises when shopping in a "conventional" setting.  Sometimes it seems impossible to strike a balance between buying local, minimizing driving, and finding the item you need ... plus acquiring a "healthy" version of what used to be basic FOOD and is now a "commodity."  Resenting our grocery purveyors may satisfy our sense of outrage, but isn't at all useful in managing to set the table for guests just a few hours from now.  I wanted to buy a specific type of wine, and some good berries, and a particular cut of meat, and an uncommon packaged item, AND some milk so i could make the ice-cream i had my heart set on.  The kosher milk wasn't raw and pastured, but it wasn't ultra-pasteurized either.

In this corrupt modern world of food-production, a little kosher hygiene is not to be sneered at.  And doesn't it make you feel good to know that your leg of lamb wasn't wrested from a living animal?  ;-)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

the case against sucralose

addendum (11/18/12):

I was looking up something on the site, and happened upon this mention: ... which of course inspired me to figure out how much canned soda the SMALLEST test quantity (100 mg/kg) would represent.  At 70 mg (approx. from info on a website about sucralose) per can, and my present weight of 145, that would mean i'd have to swill NINETY-FOUR cans of Diet Rite before i'd reach the experimental minimum.

On a "wild" day at home, i may drink two -- most days it's not any.  On the highway, it may be more -- perhaps as many as five.  I don't think i'll worry about upsetting my gut flora very much for awhile....


...Actually, i have yet to see ANY real evidence that sucralose is problematic.

I tuned in to Jimmy Moore's "Ask the Low-Carb Experts" even though i dislike listening to podcasts/radio-shows, because he had a guest whom he'd announced as being an authority on sweeteners.  And what did he say about Splenda, beyond the stuff i'd heard before?  Nothing.

Detractors like to report that the lab-rats who invented the stuff were actually researching things that might be good pesticides -- it's said that sucralose is manufactured "just like a pesticide," whatever that is supposed to mean.  They also talk about the CHLORINE in it (oooooh!).  Jimmy's guest referred to sucralose as a toxin but didn't go into details about what it's supposed to do, or how.  Sorry, but that just isn't good enough;  "guilt by association" isn't enough to convict in a courtroom, either.

A lot of things are invented/discovered when people are looking for something else entirely; i don't consider that a good reason to find fault with this sweetener.  "Oh -- this isn't the Indies!" thinks Columbus, "let's just pretend we never found land at all, and keep looking!"  (A lot of people would have been happier if he HAD done this, but he didn't, for obvious reasons.)

And as for demonizing chlorine...???  Last time i looked, chlorine is a very important element in the body, though i'm not knowledgeable enough in physiology to insist that it's only the ion that's essential.  Yes, yes,  i know that chlorine GAS is remarkably nasty stuff....  ;-)  Without enough Cl in the body in the form of NaCl and HCl though, we are in TROUBLE.  You'd have to show me that THIS chlorinated molecule is a bad one in reasonable trials before i'll get excited about it.

For the record, in discussing aspartame, Jimmy's guest insists (more than once) that the evidence against THAT is well-proven in controlled trials, but he doesn't get nearly as specific in describing the ill-effects of sucralose.  He drops the T-word and changes the subject.

There has been a small amount of anecdotal evidence that people CAN have trouble with Splenda-sweetened foods, but beside the number of people who have trouble with aspartame, they're few indeed.  When i did the elimination diet back in January, i gave up all sweeteners, natural and otherwise.  At the end of the month i added sucralose back in the same way i did rice, dairy, alcohol and other things, and i perceived NO effect (except that it just didn't taste that good).  So until there's a lot more solid data, i'll continue to use the stuff in the negligible quantities i'm accustomed to.

Friday, June 22, 2012

save us from ... ourselves?

I've tried to read several articles inspired by the British show, "The Men Who Made Us Fat," but i keep bumping up against the title.  It reminds me of grade-schoolers who do something naughty, and when caught make the excuse, "It wasn't MY fault -- Johnny made me do it!"  The parent/teacher glares at the child and asks, "And just HOW did Johnny 'make' you do it?" ... At least, parents and teachers of my generation did that; GOK what they do these days.

Now, i KNOW the situation isn't analogous.  ;-)  It just "takes me back," is all....

Nor am i hinting that the parental reply should have been, "Yes, it IS your fault, you little monster."  The bit is, pointing the finger of blame doesn't do a damn lot of good in solving the problem.  And WHERE should the finger point, anyway?

In trying to find a villain we'll all love to hate, i suspect the writers went for the cheap and easy target.  SHAME on vendors who try to sell us stuff!  Don't they know they're responsible for every bite/drink we take of their products?  (Our wills are as weak and flabby as our bellies, some people seem to think.)  Don't they know that it's up to them to make sure we don't get too many calories in one sitting?  That it's incumbent upon our restaurant server to make sure we finish our vegetables before they bring round the dessert cart?

No?  ... How about this -- they should be held accountable for the human psychology that makes us snap up a perceived bargain?  They should be legally responsible for our evolutionary taste for sweets, that they take advantage of?  For knowing that pictures of food encourage our appetites?

Or MAYBE ... the dietary advice from MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS has, for half a century, told us to eat the wrong things, things that make us hungry two hours after we finish a meal and mess up our glucose tolerance simultaneously?  (Things that -- coincidentally -- make us avidly search for a snack to tide us over till our next meal, which will do the same thing AGAIN.)  Told us to forgo satisfying red meat and satiating fat, and instead eat skinned chicken breasts and plenty of pasta ... oh, and don't forget your healthyfruitsandvegetables!  If you finish, you can have some low-fat frozen yogurt for dessert -- because you WILL have room for it, i can guarantee that.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

a mom discovers....

:-)  Anyone else amused by the advertising headlines on websites?  A mom discovers this, a mom likes that, a mom does something-or-other....

Perhaps marketers have decided that the word is magical.  Take an idea that's close to our cultural hearts, dumb it down, make it cuddlier, stick it in some unlikely places, and voila -- $ALE$!!!

I have to confess, "ad execs" have been pushing my buttons (in a negative way) for a looooong time.  When talking about them, you just HAVE to abbreviate their titles, because of course this is what they're all about:  short cuts to fame and glory.  AD-ver-ti-sing....  Way too many syllables.  May confuse people.  I can't even stand comedies about the business -- their "reasoning" just offends my logic circuits.  I really enjoy the film-noir classic "Laura" for many reasons, but when it came out that she was in advertising, my thought was, oh go ahead and kill off your title character, it's not like the world needs more of THOSE.  ;-)

Then, there's the very word "mom"....  "I'm a MAWWWM."  I seem to recall the first time i heard this in a commercial; i stared at the screen in nauseated fascination.  What kind of person defines herself as a mawwwm?  You kinda expect her to continue by saying, "I overindulge my children and micromanage their lives.  I allow them to defy their teachers, be rude to service people, and become bad citizens, because i want to be their FRIEND."

EEEEK!!!  ...Sorry, that just slipped out.

The only thing that competes on the same level with this marketing gambit is the the "one weird trick" technique.  I have to wonder if they have no intention of TRYING to sell their one weird trick, and it's only to generate more traffic to the site in question, and therefore sell more advertising THERE?  Maybe it's one big convoluted ad-selling cycle?  You travel from one site to the next to the next to the next, and back to the first....  Talk about money for nothing!

It just amazes me that this stuff is effective.  I've concluded that the field is for natural-born con artists with an honest streak, like cold-case specialists are the opposite side of the coin from stalking psychopaths.  Raymond Chandler (yes, i DO like that genre...) hit the nail on the head when he described chess, "as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

hurrah!!! running potable water!

FINALLY, finally -- i now have decent drinking-water in my house!  :-)  I got a reverse-osmosis water filter for Mothers' Day, and it's all plumbed in.  It serves the kitchen sink and refrigerator's ice-maker, and also our "old" fridge which lives in the basement (which is, ironically, newer than the one upstairs).  We even have plans to send a line up to the master bathroom.

If there's anything that makes me furious, it's the drugging of ignorant people as the tool for making a profit off something that should be considered industrial waste -- fluoridation of tap-water!!!

I don't know if it's an urban legend or what, but i've heard the stories that the old nazi party wanted to fluoridate water as a means of making the people more docile....  Anybody out there know the truth of the situation?

At very least, fluoride in tapwater is a dreadful idea for anybody with a faulty thyroid.  Added to iodophobia and the ubiquity of bromine and chlorine in the modern world, it's no wonder so many people are hypo these days!  Chlorine is easy to remove, but other halides can be difficult to avoid.

Clean running water in the home -- you'd think we would have achieved this a long time ago....

Monday, June 18, 2012

when it's not good enough

It just occurred to me -- i've been writing here for half a year already!  As my grandmother used to say, tempus fidgets....  ;-)

There's been another thing i've tried to do since the start of the year, and that's to let it be known when services and products i've purchased aren't up-to-snuff.  When dealing with small/local businesses, i like to make my discontent known constructively and tactfully, but when it's big and impersonal, i feel no such compunction.

Large businesses often don't seem to care that they deliver shoddy value in return for what one pays, so i REALLY don't feel bad about giving my honest opinion very publicly.  Thanks to the internet and a wide variety of reviewing sites, it's even easy!    

So get out there and trash the reputations of those who cheat, disappoint and defraud you!  Visit sites like Yelp or the BBB before trying a new service/vendor/whatever, and check out how they treat their customers.  Enough of this kind of client involvement might possibly convince them that they should pay a LITTLE more attention to quality-control while they still have a reputation left to lose.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

happy fathers' day

At least, in the US....  There's a goodly difference between the hooplah one sees on Mothers' Day and that of Fathers' Day here.  I think it may have to do with the different principle being celebrated:  we have a greater affection for the nurturers in our lives than for the authoritarians (although, i'm under the impression that the woman who originally promoted the holiday had no mother, and actually was seeking to show appreciation for her nurturing FATHER).

Then, i suspect that my generation was one in which the STANDARD of fathering took a nosedive.  Among the people i knew well, fathers such as one saw on television simply didn't exist.  No "dads" as in Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons, Father Knows Best....  They were conspicuous by their lack.  Perhaps it was because THEIR fathers were not family-focused -- they were the children of the roaring twenties, and people had more "important" things on their minds.  Parenting is something people learn from their own (either being like them or being 180-degree different), so what one doesn't learn is really hard to practice.

The pendulum has swung the other direction now, and i see many fathers who are a lot more involved than used to be common.  I applaud them!  (My SIL is one of these....)  When parents work as a team to raise children well, everything flows more smoothly -- of course, when they team up to turn their children into spoiled brats things go commensurately badly, too.  But an "involved" father is definitely a good thing in general.

A little authoritarianism can be a good thing for kids -- they need to learn that their own immature, subjective view of things isn't necessarily an appropriate one.  When we gain some experience and perspective, however, authoritarian behavior becomes impertinent.  X's observations about life are not less valid than Y's, simply because Y belongs to a "club" which exists to agree on a subject and steamroller those who disagree.

This is what we see with organizations like the ADA, AMA, ad infinitum.  They are CLUBS, gangs, whose raison d'etre is to promote their own importance and wealth:  nothing more nor less.  They'll make noises about protecting the populace and promoting appropriate standard of care, but that's nonsense in the face of their actual activities.

I was really tickled by something Gary Taubes said around the time of the last "red meat scare" -- "Every time in the past that these researchers had claimed that an association observed in their observational trials was a causal relationship, and that causal relationship had then been tested in experiment, the experiment had failed to confirm the causal interpretation — i.e., the folks from Harvard got it wrong.  Not most times, but every time.  No exception.  Their batting average circa 2007, at least, was .000."

Sometimes journalists get it right....

Friday, June 15, 2012


[rant alert]

I'm still seething....  It seems that more and more of the "ancestral health" crowd is thinking that sugar isn't so bad after all.  To quote one of my favorite bloggers:  BOLLOCKS.

An estimated two-thirds of the western world needs to lose weight -- some of them, desperately.  To condone sugar and sugar-containing foods (read here, fruit) just because a small percentage of people derive no harm from them is completely and utterly irresponsible.

Ignore the fact that sugar (and starch) drive up blood glucose, which drives up insulin, which denies your body the OPPORTUNITY to burn fat as fuel -- though why you'd WANT to ignore that is a whole 'nother rant in itself -- and look at some of the other things that sugar does:

  • feeds cancer;
  • drives up triglycerides;
  • encourages NAFLD;
  • irritates the digestive system;
  • promotes dysbiosis;
  • contributes to all kinds of brain disorders including Alzheimers and Parkinsons;
  • via diabetes, contributes to blindness, gangrene, kidney failure....
F***.  What is the matter with people, and what are they using for brains?  Does the ADA buy them off?  Is there a little devil on their shoulders telling them how much attention they'll get if they shock their audiences enough?  Are they so desperate to belong to the in-crowd?

Comes a point, i sit here with my mouth open, wordlessly shaking my head.

Read "Pure, White and Deadly."  Read "Sugar Nation."  Use your brain.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

“More people are overweight than undernourished.”

I think that part of the reason for the "obesity epidemic" is that people are BOTH.  Over the last 100 years (and especially the last 40), Americans have been told to eat the most remarkable collection of garbage imaginable; no wonder people don't have a normal appetite anymore.

At the end of the 19th century, it was fashionable to have a little "meat on your bones" and it was considered attractive.  Not absolutely OBESE, like poor William Banting, but plumpness was definitely a good thing.  It made one look healthy.  In his early low-carbohydrate book, "Eat and Reduce," Dr. Victor Lindlahr recalled the showgirls of this era being downright ... big.  He credits the First War and its aftermath for the social conditions which encouraged us all to shed our furbelows and want to slim down; things haven't significantly changed in that department.

Lindlahr's diet was different from Banting's in that it restricted calories, not just carbohydrate-rich foods.  Still, those foods were REAL; nutrient-dense meats, eggs, lots of vegetables and moderate fruits, and he allowed saccharine in one's tea/coffee if desired.  If he banned butter, at least he didn't encourage margarine.

The second war did more damage, in my opinion.  In Europe there were real food shortages, and the switch from normal choices to make-do's that were actually available is thoroughly understandable.  In America the situation was just plain flakey.  I STILL don't understand the rationing situation; granted, the food-supply was screwed up by the "dustbowl" thing, but i find it hard to believe that it was THAT damaged.  If there was enough food here before, why did it require that much MORE food just because our young men were eating it in a different venue and wearing a uniform?

Whatever the cause (profiteering comes to mind), people were encouraged to consume less meat, eggs, butter and so on, and more "fillers."  There were even drives to collect used cooking fats for the war effort.  All the "Allies" (as well as the Axis, i'm sure) became used to eating crap -- it may have been an unpleasant change, but it was considered patriotic in America and it was unavoidable in Britain.

At any rate, this seems to be when ordinary Americans started eating garbage on a large scale.  Convenience foods began to be popular in the oh-so-modern 1920s, but the advent of television encouraged it beyond anything seen before.  The work of the junk-food-manufacturers and their advertisers has only gotten more sophisticated and insidious since.  People now believe snacking to be a normal and necessary activity ... with a drink constantly at one's elbow all day.

J Stanton has described and explained only too well how eating foods which provide incomplete nutrition promote obesity and weakness; additions from me are unnecessary.  (If you somehow have missed it, go to and look at the left-hand column for links.)  In a nutshell -- it IS VERY possible to be overweight and undernourished.

It's all about eating products instead of FOOD.  No one food is making the whole world fat -- not even fructose -- but the tendency to eat products seems to lead in that direction.

theory and practice

The important thing, in so many different areas and on so many different levels is ... what WORKS?

That's what my blog is all about.  Doesn't matter what the researchers (and dilettantes) philosophize -- if theory (actually, hypothesis) doesn't fit what happens in real life, it ain't true.  And i'm not calling genetically-engineered rodents "real life."  For flesh-and-blood humans who want to shed a few pounds, what WORKS?

What kind of alternate universe do some "scientists" inhabit?  My guess is, it's one where there are no actual physical NEEDS -- just ***ideas*** tra la la....

How many times has a certain philosophy "made sense" and yet turned out to be 180-degree WRONG?  [cough **lipid hypothesis** cough...]  "Just logical" reasoning put us in the position we now inhabit:  ELMM!  CICO!

Raspberries.  The shoe doesn't fit.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

non-diet complications from my long absence

I had meant to be away from home just ten or eleven days -- turned out to be nineteen.  If i'd known beforehand, i would have done a few things differently.

I left my enzymes at home, because their bottle is friggin' huge.  I figured i wouldn't miss them much, but i did.

My facial scrub stayed behind in the bathroom, too, and it's going to be several days before my skin feels quite right.  Already having a million things to pack, doing without some items which i don't use every day SEEMS to make things easier and more straightforward ... but it also can turn into a handicap in the long run.  I made up for doing without my pumice-stone by getting a professional pedicure -- now, THAT part was a GOOD idea!  ;-)

I took the battery-powered disposable electric toothbrush instead of the "serious" one.  Mistake.  Yesterday i felt like my teeth were REALLY clean for the first time in a month ... especially since i ate a little real sugar, which i almost never do at home.

A lot of the little things we do every day contribute to our happiness and sanity, so when we make-do it can take a toll on well-being.  Would i have been less stressed if i had packed another bag to accommodate the daily-use STUFF i'm enjoying today?  Who knows:  all i'm sure of is, my own bed would never have fit.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

radical health improvement from diet X

Every time i hear about a spectacular health turn-around after a person changes his/her dietary style, the first thing i want to know is, exactly what was changed?

Yep, a Real Home Cooking diet, in which whole foods replace CIAB will make the whole family feel, look and perform better, even if it contains the worst grains and beans in the world.  Most plant toxins aren't nearly as nasty as some of the man-made ones which flood the food supplies of modern countries!

I heard the success story of Terry Wahls, and i couldn't be more happy for her!  Especially considering her profession, this is a coup for advocates of nutritionally-based medical treatment; she's harder to shrug off than most of us grunts.  AND she's very vocal about her situation; :-D  ...i do so admire the people who get out there and fight for what i believe in, but into which i am not willing to pour my whole life's-energy.  But do i think that her diet is optimal for universal health?  No, at least not for me.

The "wow factor" of dietary change frequently depends upon your starting point.  Mine has been changing step-wise, and to see how my health has improved i have to search my memory for details that are confounded by (comparative) youth, fitness, etc.

I started out from i categorized above as a Real Home Cooking diet.  I grew up eating white bread and corn oil, but at least we always COOKED.  Frequent eating-out didn't happen till about twenty years ago, and i had been fighting the battle of the bulge before that.  As food-and-supplement fads came and went, i never noticed a significant improvement with ANYTHING until i added systemic enzymes to my daily routine.  I suspect i was developing fibromyalgia; i would sit with my feet up and vaguely ache all over.  My chronic fatigue i attributed to the hypothyroidism.

So, first enzymes actually promoted some improvement, then my doctor recommended iodine supplementation, and that helped much more.  I went on Atkins next, and my general improvement was immensely noticeable.  No more morning brain fog, significantly improved allergies, better energy, and weight-loss without constant hunger.  I was a FAN.

The biggest reason that low-carbing didn't result in all the weight-loss i could ever have wanted was the temptation to add foods in too soon.  One sees all those opportunities to again eat the things the low-fat-me had been denying myself so long....  And, as an enthusiastic cook, i was also hot to adapt old recipes to the new philosophy, and got caught in the carb-creep that is so hard to resist.  I screwed up.

I don't remember what led me to Mark's Daily Apple, but it was my portal to the paleo/primal world.  I no longer link his site from mine, but it's still one of the first to which i send my paleo-curious friends.  Like so many other eating plans, if you go straight to it from the SAD your results will be absolutely stunning:  i didn't, so mine were much less noticeable.  Not perfect, and nor is the Perfect Health Diet ... for me.

What DID produce jaw-dropping IMPROVEMENT for me was the Personal Paleo Code program, and the Strong Medicine protocol i tried after it.  In my case, i found out that health challenges have been all about dietary intolerances and "personal toxins."

So yeah:  a veg*n diet will be beneficial ... if you ate absolutely horrible things before.  So will Atkins, despite the highly-questionable ingredients in their trademarked products.  So will a low-fat diet, if you go from lots of omega-6 oils to almost none (and can stand the hunger).

To eat OPTIMALLY is going to take a lot of n=1 experimentation.  Eat only things that are "never" toxic or allergenic for a month, then add things back one at a time, slowly.  It's  ILLUMINATING.

Monday, June 11, 2012

tomorrow is another day (duh)

Well, Oly got us safely home at last!  (Oly is my Volvo; i bought him in Salt Lake City slightly used by the Swedish Olympic team in 2002.)  One of the houseplants may not have survived our prolonged absence, but i see no other casualties....

Today was an accidental very-low-calorie day, which will help me to face the bathroom scale a little more staunchly tomorrow.  I haven't stepped on one in almost three weeks, so it might otherwise have been a little scary!

I'll be going back to the mostly-meat regimen now i'm home -- it just suits me better than any other i've tried.  I'm going to add some pickles this time, inspired by the recent discussion at The Scribble Pad as well as my satisfaction with the cucumbers i prepared with the "Nourishing Traditions" cookbook recipe.  It uses lacto-fermentation, and i frankly enjoy them MUCH more than the vinegar-based ones i've made.  Gotta hit the farmers' markets this week for more raw materials!

But it's getting late, and has been a long day -- good night!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

not being a party to rosaceae sexual fulfilment

;-)  i was trying to be luridly suggestive -- did i succeed?

Okay -- how about "not helping fruits reproduce!"

No?  Hmmm ... maybe, "why eating things like apples isn't the best idea"?

I've continued last night's comfort-reading session today, indulging a relaxed mood with more Hyperlipid and a generous dose of alcohol.  With my leftover spareribs at lunch i had some cabernet (and a little german-style potato salad ... <blush>), and now with my grass-fed burger (NO BUN) i'm having a low-carb gimlet.

Shall i do a special post with my decadent drink recipes???  :-D

Anyway, i was reading about cirrhosis and how those lovely hearthealthypolyunsaturatedoils RUIN your liver no matter if you're a virtuous frugivore OR a wicked lush like me.  I thought i'd trot out a simple little list of reasons why i can go weeks without even touching anything more fruity than a green pepper....

  • As Fred so clearly states, fructose (and its companion-in-crime fruit, glucose) blocks leptin signalling.  Until i'm dangerously skinny (HAHAHAHAHA) i don't see any point in ENCOURAGING my appetite;
  • Leptin aside, fruit is a famous stimulant of appetite -- just google it;
  • As Dr. Lustig so clearly states, AND Peter, fructose is nasty stuff, so toxic that the liver grabs it (despite the danger to itself) and converts it to nice healthy saturated fat for safekeeping; 
  • Fructose malabsorption is an unpleasant thing, and i'm prone to it;
  • The passage of time has proven that my tolerance of carbohydrates is quite poor, and most fruits are LOADED with them;
  • Being carb-heavy, fruits induce a massive glucose/insulin response, which will never help me lose weight;
  • As a hypothyroid, a very large proportion of fruits contain compounds which are deleterious to my gland's correct functioning;
  • There is NOTHING of nutritional value in fruit which i cannot get elsewhere, with a lower carbohydrate load;
  • Since "calories matter," "wasting" my ration on something that won't benefit me would be pretty darned stoopid!
[sigh]  Fruit is not my friend.  Won't eat it except as a rare treat.  Period.

we interrupt our regularly-scheduled rant for this important message

LOL ....

It's been a stressful couple of weeks for me, here in the land of sunshine and humidity.  Even though i've been consuming lots of things i shouldn't (as well as many i thoroughly approve of), i've never strayed in my affection for my IDEAL diet -- lovely fatty ruminants and oily fish.  I keep fruitsandvegetables at arm's-length (figuratively); i KNOW they're less-than-perfect fuels for this vehicle.

As a sort of comfort-reading -- you might consider it "comfort-food for the mind" -- i've been amusing myself by dipping into the archives of Hyperlipid, in order to relax and de-stress.  DAMN, how i love his writings.

...And lookie what i found!  :-D 

I feel better and better all the time, in doing exactly the opposite of what nutritional authorities tell me to!

Friday, June 8, 2012

never a shortage of stubborn and ignorant people....

It's discouraging that the same argument happens over and over and OVER in the comments sections of certain blogs.  One cluster of newbies gets moderately enlightened and stops leaving half-witted notes (and receiving patient and intelligent explanations that they don't generally appreciate), and here comes a whole new "generation" of them.  [sigh]

"I can't see why you don't accept the Food Reward Hypothesis."

READ THE ARCHIVES of Hyperlipid and Gnolls.  If you STILL don't understand ... read 'em again.  FRH is too limited to be "important."  This kind of theorizing is only possible from someone who has absolutely no connection with the problem.  The good Dr obviously doesn't give a tinker's damn about the people he ostensibly got into the business to help, because he WILL NOT come to grips with the shortcomings of his shiny little idea; he's only concerned with convincing as many people as he can that his idea is SPECIAL -- the fact that it will not help the vast majority of the obese makes no-nevermind to him.

Really, what does he do it for?  What motivated him to get into this field in the first place?

Has he ever had an obese loved-one that needed help?  What would he think if someone told her that all she needed to do was eat small quantities of unpalatable carbohydrate foods and get off her lazy butt -- because after all, calories are all that's important -- and she'd be fine?

Or is he like most doctors -- who subscribe to a whole different course of treatment when the patient is someone they actually give a shit about?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"I have to eat what i enjoy eating"

I have a friend who thinks he's losing his sight.  It's apparently an unusual condition, and his treatment is progressing via experimental means.  I don't believe they've given him any counselling on how nutrition may impact his prognosis, but it's hard to tell -- he's one of those who is not amenable to discussing his food choices. My title today is a more-or-less direct quote.

Pity.  If only more doctors had a clue about epigenetics and a truly science-based grasp of nutrition, they might possibly convince their patients that their intake has a significant influence on general health, NOT just their weight.  My friend is a hard-worker and is not fat, but he loves candy.  I strongly suspect that the blood-sugar spikes aren't doing his eyes any good.

Some people you just can't help.  Whether it's that they don't believe nutrition affects their physical condition, or they think the gains won't be enough to repay the "privation" ... i can't tell ya.  Perhaps they've tried the dumb little fads they've read about in the popular media, and have naturally gotten no benefit -- that's a distinct possibility.  Now, they won't even consider making changes; "i have to eat what i enjoy."

One female relative doesn't believe there's anything wrong with her food choices, and won't entertain thought that she might be gluten-intolerant.  Another has bone, stomach and intestinal issues, but is an adamant believer in "moderation" and hates taking pills (even though K2 comes as a sublingual); she glares and says, "you eat what YOU like!" ... What she doesn't seem to understand is that i forgo an awful lot of things i think are tasty because i know they're not good for me, and that i've deliberately cultivated an acceptance of things i didn't originally like (liver!) because i know they ARE.

I guess it boils down to what we value in life.  If one's chief joys are gustatory, and one is able to be in denial about the impact diet makes on well-being, i have to shrug my shoulders and quit trying.  For myself, being able to inhabit a "vehicle" which delivers minimal pain for an acceptable amount of mobility and energy, is worth a little self-denial.

Yep -- i like cookies, lasagne, margaritas, tamales and italian bread, too.  I just don't think they're worth the suffering they inflict.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


As usual, J Stanton inspires....

He observes (among other things) that, though real "news" in the paleo blogosphere is rarer and rarer as time goes by, we still avidly pursue the trickles of information that emerge, searching for ... something.  Of course we do.  Seeking to improve our lives is a basic human drive.

Some lucky people really don't have much to gain by way of health, fitness and well-being, others desperately seek the youth they've lost, and way too many are looking for the properly-functioning body they never had.  Therefore, separate camps have evolved, and thus support systems exist for all conceivable subgroups.  This is highly appropriate -- but it's absolutely absurd that the camps should each consider itself THE One Holy Catholic Church of Radiant Health, and all others HERETICS.

They just need to be honest with themselves about what their specific goals are.  A lot of them aren't, and in some cases apparently can't.  Egos have taken over.  The desire to help others has been subjugated to the desire to lead a cadre of idolaters in some cases; to build careers; to get approbation from the kewl kids in order to bolster fragile self-esteem.  Even some whose scholarship can hardly be doubted damage their potential influence through their overweening arrogance.  Sad ... and self-defeating.

All the groups have their places, because they're serving the needs of some very different people.  The young and "unbroken" human body cannot be the experimental model for the ideal treatment of the older and "challenged" -- how could anyone expect it to be?  Isn't it OBVIOUS that there are no easy universal SOLUTIONS?  Some information is generally useful, and some completely individual, like what supplements will really benefit health.  I'm constantly amazed when people who don't know anything about ME will make absolute pronouncements about what i should and should not take.  How can some people be so presumptuous?

Disagreements are bound to happen, since one man's meat is another man's poison.  I started this blog because i couldn't find one that chronicled the experiences of a woman with problems like enough to mine; if a community of us might FIND EACH OTHER, our individual experiences might compile themselves into a body of knowledge that would be more enlightening than what we'd discover on our own.  What I'M searching for is applicable information.  I don't pretend to have anything to TEACH anyone, but i may be a specimen that allows others to learn.  The young and sound probably won't find much here; that's fine.  Their indifference/disapprobation doesn't hurt my feelings a bit.  I'm unlikely to learn anything from them, either, but they'll get my admiration if they earn it.

There are those who will sneer at all others whom they consider not "scientific" enough, but when their "science" doesn't take into account ALL variations of experience, they don't qualify, either.  If they provide useful information to SOME seekers, well, more power to 'em.  I just hope that the seekers whom they fail realize that there are a lot more ports in the storm.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

famous last words

They tempted me again!  At least i had FEWER carbs....

We went out for a boat ride on Clear Lake, and ended the evening at the Swamp Shack (again), eating oysters on the half-shell.  Ah -- summer on the Gulf Coast!  :-)

I console myself that i was VERY good during the day, and my dietary transgressions could have been a lot worse.  I had a little sugar in the rum punch, but i didn't have any french bread.  The kids' friends are great people!

Monday, June 4, 2012

bad diet promotes bad diet 2: the chocolate is calling

I think the stress is beginning to taper off.  [sigh of relief]

I am more than ready to normalize my daily activities, and if the gods are merciful i won't be tempted to eat significant quantities of carbs again for a lo-o-o-o-ong time!  It's so surprising how much carb-eating and alcohol-drinking have in common -- they're so enjoyable that it's easy to get started, and once started, one is less motivated to avoid temptation.

The carbs become more and more attractive, too.  Usually when i shop, i view the endless displays of CIAB with absolutely no interest.  Today, i caught the M&Ms singing the sirens' song.  I tied myself to the mast and escaped them, but i find it interesting -- after all, the lure of M&Ms isn't about chocolate as much as it has to do with the sugar.  Fine chocolate one wants to let melt on the tongue, but those little rainbow-tinted seducers invite crunching!

Well, the orgy is over, the last reason to cheat is past.  No more "having" to eat the wrong stuff!  I'll be doing the cooking here till my car is repaired, and then Spense and i will take off for home where it's EASY to be good.  I bought two pounds of grass-fed ground beef today to ease me on my way, and there's a beautiful big pastured chicken in the refrigerator waiting for me to turn it into dinner.  I face the prospect of disciplined eating with joy and relief -- and to think that some people DREAD going on a reducing diet!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

the glamour of the unknown

I almost wrote a post about the "problem" of advertising influencing children, the availability of proscribed substances to them (AND to adults), and the place of the parents in all this brouhaha....  It's hard to discourage the immature mind from pursuing deleterious substances and behaviors, especially when they may be looked on as something of a rite-of-passage into an autonomous style of existence.  The young long for adulthood, because they see all of these shiny "toys" they aren't allowed to play with (yet), and suppose that attainment will mean happiness ... or at least a less limited life.

We seem to be hard-wired to want to push boundaries, even into the realm of ugliness and degradation.  The bad boy/girl is an attractive image in our culture -- someone who breaks free and goes after what they want, no matter who gets trampled in the rush.  I believe the appeal lies in novelty, escaping routines and seeing enticing possibilities.  In actual experience, after the initial excitement is past, new routines will assert themselves and the limitations will be just as great as before.  It may be "different" but it can also be mighty uncomfortable.

When we grow up, all of the "toys" become less of a joy and more of a responsibility.  Now that we are allowed to stay up as late as we want, eat and drink what we will, buy anything we can afford -- essentially, do whatever we please -- we learn to see the downside, and why limiting our pleasures increases our enjoyment of them.  The grass IS green ... but there's a bunch of dandelions in it, and it needs mowing regularly.  We can shirk the responsibilities that come our way, but there are repercussions ... some of them nasty.

We see the hypnotic effect of this "glamour of the unknown" VERY often in living history.  A huge number of people are enamoured of the past; i'm very curious about how they think their personal lives would really be different, had they been born 100, 200, 500 years before.  DETAILS would be different, but you get up in the morning, do your allotment of work, interact with your family, eat, sleep and wear clothing, don't get everything you want, have experiences you'd rather avoid, and get your heart broken just the same as nowadays.  Without internet.  New reenactors dash out and get fancy clothes and equipment, but the ladies lace their corsets less tightly with every passing year....

This may be the reason why a good fantasy never goes out of style:  being "impossible" to experience, the bloom can never be lost from it.  But it isn't just the fancy trappings that create the appeal of those "far-away places with strange-sounding names" -- is a palm tree better than an oak, a rum cocktail better than a glass of wine, 100-degree heat better than 20-degree chill?  What we really want when we make a cultural escape is to start over, and maybe get it right this time.  We carry our problems with us, though -- inside our heads and hearts.  A different locale, more toys, prettier clothes, A THINNER BODY, etc. is not going to improve things a bit without a mental adjustment as well.

Wanting things we don't have, because an advertiser convinces us to think THINGS will make us happy, is a cycle of frustration.  This includes "things" like vacations, taste experiences, new lovers, almost anything!  Thumb your nose at them, and teach your kids to do the same.


The more i read, the more it becomes patent that we're all a little different when it comes to what is required for weight loss.  In vain do the theoreticians spin their hypotheses using a very few people (or worse, rodents), when SO MANY sources of "the" problem exist.

Take that infamous "bland calorie" study:  d'ya know how many individuals were involved in it?  FOUR.  F-O-U-R.  All the big conclusions drawn from it were based on the behavior and results of ONE MAN.  How the [expletive deleted] can any halfway intelligent "researcher" look himself honestly in the soul and say "this is indeed significant"....

A blogger whose writings i respect because she's not only been in the trenches herself, but has the persistence to study and the intelligence to interpret, has extremely valuable things to say ... but not every conclusion she draws is applicable to ME, either.  We have lots in common, but she has a different kind of metabolic damage and i have age issues she won't have to tackle for a couple of decades yet.  Our "solution" is not the same.

Another gentleman says he doesn't dare have around his house a particular food which, to me, is the epitome of innocent, self-limiting eating.  One lady would scaarf down, unresistingly, a substance which i allow to spoil in my fridge.  Individuals.

The ways to God fat loss are as many as the breaths of the sons of men.  ;-)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

by the way

...When one is trying to be kewl, one is NOT kewl.

breaking news: bad diet promotes ... bad diet!

I've been having car trouble, far from home.  The good news is, of course, that if i'm going to be STUCK far from home, my daughter's house is the best place to do it.  On the other hand, with the holiday atmosphere going on right now (the school year having ended yesterday and my husband around all week), the calm atmosphere dear to my soul has been non-existent.  I've been eating crunchy things, a horrible temptation i have when frustrated.

There's a new baby elephant in the room.  I guess i have to experience difficulties of the present kind to help keep me humble, because this is something i would NEVER have expected to happen.

My brain isn't working right.  My mood is "off," too.  My body is uncomfortable.  I'm whining....

I KNOW i need to go back to a clean diet and i'll feel much better, but my motivation is in the basement ... or would be, if there WERE a basement here.  It's kinda like in a monster movie, when a character knows s/he is turning into a badguy and doesn't want to do it, but can't stop the process.  I'm sure my regular readers are familiar with the study in which a prison population was randomized and given a vitamin or not:  micronutrients were found to significantly affect behavior.  Is the sneaking "creep" of antinutrients in a restaurant diet (even in GOOD restaurants) stealing away my brain- as well as my will-power?

Kinda looks like it, doesn't it?  D'ya ever see the sad-looking person at the next table with a plateful of pasta or big ol' sandwich that's mostly bread, and you want to say, "For heaven's sake, throw that away and get yourself a STEAK!"  It's not as easy for them as it would be for us; they've been brainwashed by their very diets.  They're zombies.  They're Indiana Jones before Short Round poked him in the belly with the torch.

Ouch.  I'm okay now.  But now i have to exert the self-discipline which gets me back onto the correct path.  I can do it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

sometimes, fasting just FEELS good!

With one thing and another, my dietary habits have been VERY discombobulated this week!  I did well at my event, but not at my daughter's house.  It's a social thing -- we talk a lot and drink more wine absent-mindedly, then our inhibitions are down and we eat things we shouldn't.  Yesterday i fasted till mid-afternoon, and i felt significantly better ... till i overloaded at dinnertime.  My digestion felt very "off."   This morning, even coffee doesn't sound very good.

Here in the Houston area, it never gets COLD, ever.  Nor does the humidity ever go away.  Mold is a problem, and i'm sensitive to it.

When an animal doesn't feel well, it goes off its feed, and even children instinctively lose their appetites when under the weather (till their ignorant parents succumb to marketing, and ply them with drugs and drinks).  Nature knows what she's doing.

I've learned from Nature, too -- our afflicted digestive systems "reset" themselves best when not burdened with input.  I'll be taking it MUCH easier today, and staying away from "yeast" foods like cheese, wine, mushrooms, etc.

Dr. Donaldson, in "Strong Medicine," spoke extensively about allergy, and Dr. Atkins devoted a couple of chapters to food sensitivity as well.  The variety of unpleasant symptoms possible when one eats "incompatible" things is truly impressive.  Who would think that a little sugar would result in sinus issues ... but it can.  Ditto for pollen in the air and weight loss, and for a surprising range of foodstuffs and athlete's-foot.  One of most beneficial effects of an all-fresh-meat diet MAY just be its low-histidine aspects.

Thank heavens i have some potato-based gin to fall back on if needed -- less reactive than things like wine and grain alcohols!  Alcohol HAS therapeutic uses, after all....  ;-)