Sunday, September 30, 2012

FR is just "the munchies" after all

"Everybody" has been talking about the recent omega-6 thing....  Up to now, defining "rewarding" foods as opposed to "palatable" ones has been horribly nebulous, but perhaps we can stick a label on it now.

"Rewarding" foods -- the ones that cause the trouble -- are generally loaded with the industrial seed oils whose components act like pot on the appetite.  They frequently contain grain opioids, also.  ADDICTIVE FOODS ARE DRUGS -- no difference whatsoever.

When exactly the right (wrong) foods hit a particular set of genes, nasty things happen.  ...On top of the nasty things that happen when a metabolism that doesn't want to run on glucose is forced to do just that.

So can we file FR in the "substance abuse" folder now?  THANK YOU!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

a real-life MYSTERY!

Of all the things that could POSSIBLY go wrong with human health, nutrition and the epigenetic ramifications it has should probably be among the first things suspected, along with infection and toxicity.  Why it isn't that high on the list for sufferers and their physicians is a subject for more knowledgeable writers than i am....

But no -- the medical industry would much rather hunt for chimaeras than rabbits.  And many patients would much rather consider themselves the prey of a mysterious disease process than come to the conclusion that their favorite foods (and other lifestyle choices) are causing their degeneration.  They'd rather take a pharmaceutical whose list of side-effects is as long as your arm, than even TRY taking grains out of their diets or give up their nightly Ben & Jerry's fix.

There's a reasonable chance that people resist the idea that changing their diets could improve their health because they've tried many other alterations and found them worthless.  I wish i could remember where i read this idea, so credit could go where it belongs....  It makes perfect sense that if Joe switched from french-fries to baked potatoes and fat-free sour cream, and it made no difference either in how he felt or how his blood-test turned out, he might be skeptical about switching from potatoes to turnips, as a "frinstance."  Certainly, if he followed mainstream health recommendations over the last half-century, any changes he made would have had little impact on his wellness, or his subjective sense of it.  If these "common sense" changes didn't help, why would Joe be inclined to try something that his conditioning would react to as illogical?

Poor Joe -- he believes that dieticians actually know what they're talking about when it comes to food -- they're SPECIALISTS, aren't they?  When it comes to weight-gain, it's all about the calories, and for health, it's vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Moderation in everything!  All saturated fats are alike, and BAD.  Macronutrient, schmacronutrient.  How cells in a petri dish behave is exactly how they do in the body.  Mice are excellent subjects, because their little bodies behave just like people's do, with a very short lifespan to allow us to see changes quickly.  [sigh]

There are libraries full of anecdotal evidence as to the efficacy of food to healing.  "Science" loves to pour scorn on this kind of information, because it doesn't fit the cookie-cutter notion of "HOW science works."  But for the n=1 seeker after health, this is probably the best place to start to work.  THIS worked for a sick human being.  THAT may have worked for a knockout mouse, but is of questionable applicability if you have only two legs and the chromosomes that Nature gave you.

Of course, conventional sources of "wisdom" don't want you to try to improve your health by means of your diet or supplements.  They want you to come in for blood tests, then tell you your values don't suggest that you could be short of things like B12 ... but an antidepressant might make you feel better! :-P

Our bodies evolved to be self-repairing.  IF one had health as a teen but in the 30s developed infirmity, the first thing to ask should be, what has acted upon this organism to make it go wrong?  In the absence of toxin, infection or injury, most of what acted upon the body was NUTRITIONAL INTAKE.  Figuring out how to reverse the harm done is not going to be as easy, and probably won't be simply stopping the damaging intake ... though it's a good place to start.  The next step is to see how other real people managed to mend a problem of a similar nature.

Thank god for google; I've found many answers online.  "Tried and true" beats the hell out of "might" or "may."

Friday, September 28, 2012

iodine as antioxidant

Thanks to smgj (in a comment in Wooo's blog) for the inspiration to visit Jack Kruse's blog again....  As observed, his recent posts are a lot more intelligible to me than some of the old ones i'd explored before!  I found some VERY interesting comments about iodine!

THIS is why it's valuable to have people in different fields, with different special interests and different health challenges in your internet reading circle!  Jack spoke of iodine functions in the brain that i'd never read of before, and introduced to me the subject of iodine as an antioxidant.  WOW....

A brief google search gave me reading material enough to keep me busy for a LONG time.  In addition, i'm inspired to start at the beginning of the series in which the link above was found.

I've been a proponent of Iodoral for several years now -- it's done me immense good -- and i'm always angered and frustrated when i hear people who are less-than-expert parrot the iodine-is-dangerous pablum.  As one of my favorite esoteric writers said, anything that's strong enough to be medicinal has potential for harm!  But to frighten away people who can benefit from a nutrient (eggs, anyone?) out of  insufficient knowledge is practically criminal.

Bottom line:  iodine IS potentially problematic if you use it irresponsibly, but holds tremendous promise for whole-body wellness if supplemented intelligently.  (Selenium balance is a MUST.)  A responsible NEUROSURGEON points to its value in brain health -- his most virulent critics, many of whom have significantly fewer credentials than he, conveniently forget what this guy has accomplished.  And his latest writings prove that he hasn't "lost it" yet.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

another addition

Yesterday, i added Todd Hargrove (Better Movement) to my blog list.  I haven't read all of his posts by a long shot, but so far i've been positively impressed by his writing.

So much of the fitness/physicality aspect of the low-carb/paleo world leans toward activities only a muscle-builder could love....  My ears perked up when i read Todd's article about sitting -- his opinion is the same as mine concerning the EPIDEMIOLOGICAL observations about healthiness and chairs!  Just because people have been sitting to work for such a short period of history doesn't mean they weren't sitting for extended periods, before.  Also, even though there are correlations between standing/walking and fitness, and between sitting/lounging and overweight ... they are STILL only correlations, you know, those things we decry when "studies" connect disease and bacon.

Just as hypercholesterolemia is not a statin-deficiency disease, so poor fitness is not a gym-avoidance problem.  This guy seems to understand that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

a paleo reminiscence

When i first started exploring a reduced-toxin lifestyle, i read a little bit about the questionable ingredients in personal-care products.  I figured a lot of the hype was overblown, although staying away from "chemicals" that are known to be deleterious can only be a good idea.  After all, we KNOW that toxins as well as beneficial substances can easily be absorbed through the skin -- look at how often epsom salt baths are recommended!

I tried a few old-fashioned recipes for hair and skin care, etc.  First i tried shampooing with baking soda and found it unappealing, until i added a vinegar rinse, at which point it was ... acceptable.  Works in a pinch, at any rate.  Then i tried Bronner's soap (peppermint) and vinegar, and i LIKED that.  My hair wasn't as soft, but it felt stronger and i noticed that i shed less.  It cleansed my scalp much better than soda did.

I did that for well over a year, then kinda fell off the wagon when i was traveling so much -- i started using hotel shampoos.  :-P  But it's EASY, you don't have to pack as much stuff (and with my supplement list, i pack a lot already), and one's hair ends up softer and shinier ... but with FRIZZIES when the air is humid.

Well, it's been damp here the last couple of days.  Last night we had quite a storm, and i feared i'd need to turn the a/c back on, it was so steamy.  This morning my hair desperately needed washing -- so i went back to the Bronner's and vinegar!  Frizzies -- under control.  My hair feels thicker and denser, which just shows me how commercial shampoos strip the oils away.

I think i'll stick with the low-tech products.  Putting more Bronner's and vinegar on the shopping list....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

in case you didn't notice...

After Kim asked about the bread recipe i prefer to fatbread, i started a page for that sort of thing.  Of course, i couldn't resist putting one of my favorite cocktail recipes first, and it's far from being a diet food -- it's just better than the HFCS-loaded mixes you can find for the French Quarter classic.  Enjoy!

I'll include more recipes as i become inspired.

Monday, September 24, 2012

here i go again

...Reacting to other people's blog-posts, because what i have to say is too long for the "comments" section!  :-)

Jimmy Moore is calling attention to the rift in "ancestral dieters," wondering why people who consider themselves carbohydrate-agnostic feel the need to place a demarcation line between their contingent and what he seems to consider the majority, if not the mainstream.  I think it's all about cliques.

It looks to me as if the young, slim, athletic portion of the paleo/ancestral group don't want to share their clubhouse with middle-aged fatties.  We're just not kewl enough to belong to their club, so they put a new password in place -- MACRONUTRIENT AGNOSTIC -- and if you're not sufficiently pro-carb, the gate will remain closed against you.

The paleo-primal "movement" is wanting to feel like it's a grownup, because it's been sneered at for being a fad, a pseudo-scientific reenactment community of muscleheads, and it wants to prove itself worthy of its health-and-fitness claims.  If there is a large contingent of older, unfashionably-chubby folks in it, i suspect they think the whole group will look like a failure and a joke.  Therefore, they have to limit membership to those who fit the stereotype.

The biggest problem with the notion, i believe, is that some people will get bent out of shape because of it.  Like the lady at the AHS who felt left out....  Face it, in every group of every sort there will always be those who think themselves toocoolforschool, and trying to enact the twentieth-century rule of Everybody Gets to Play just doesn't work.  We're not in a publicly-supported venue, and clubs don't HAVE to accept everyone.

Why do you REALLY want to belong to their in-crowd anyway?  I'll bet the conversations aren't very interesting ... just like it is with most hipsters.

...but what does that have to do with hypothyroidism?

Continuing from my not-terribly-well-expressed blog post of yesterday (i was trying to do too much at once)....

I believe that choosing my diet carefully is the most important thing i can do for my health, as it relates to my wimpy thyroid.  I'd MUCH rather limit foods that mess with my sense of well-being, than be able to eat "treats" OFTEN and juggle with pharmaceuticals and painkillers.  Some people would rather go the other direction -- we all choose our own poisons!  :-)

An AWFUL lot of hypothyroidism is of the autoimmune variety.  It's well-established that wheat-eating is a trigger for this, via a leaky gut.  Other things can cause it to happen, too, like components of dairy foods.  Ergo, i will limit problematic foods.  ...So what foods are problematic?  A SHITLOAD of them, and many people (but not all) will find the same things more troublesome than others.

Many healthyfruitsandvegetables mess with intestinal integrity, for more reasons than i enumerated yesterday.  But unfortunately, even a lot of "acceptable" items (in FODMAP terms) are, or should be, limited in the diet of the hypothyroid individual!

Among the conditionally acceptable:
Bamboo shoots
Bean shoots
Beans (green)
Bok choy
Silverbeet [chard]
Spring onion (green section)
Sweet potato
And i didn't even strike out the nightshades, as i did the goitrogens!  If you go further, and remove the starchy ones as most overweight individuals should, that leaves precious few "safe" vegetables to eat, and some of them definitely belong in the "garnish/flavoring" category rather than as belly-filling choices.

So this is YET ANOTHER reason i go light on the veggies -- so many are doubly problematic because of my physical limitations.  I'm very happy for Dr. Wahls, that she healed herself with greenstuffs.  I just wouldn't expect that EVERYBODY would have her good outcome.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

FODMAPs and yellow vegetables

It took some convincing to get me to abandon CW's opinion of vegetables.  Everybody and his dog agrees on this stuff!  Robert Atkins, Barry Sears, and Mark Sisson believe in plenty of veggies!  DARE one not get enough soluble fibre and antioxidants, and those vegetable-source-only vitamins and minerals?  Surely your colon will rot!

Then you start reading.  You learn about Stefansson and you read "Strong Medicine" and "Fiber Menace" and Zeroing in on Health, and you learn that breast milk has no fibre though heaven knows babies poop like there's no tomorrow.  You find out that "antioxidants" are toxins-in-small-doses, and that a certain responsible doctor managed many patients for extended periods on no-veg diets, with excellent results....  You start to think that just MAYBE CW is wrong about this, as well as so many other things.

After months of good results, good health and no negative repercussions of minimal plants in my diet, i actually started thinking about WHY eating vegetation might not be the best thing.  :-)  ...About time, huh?

I already knew about phytates and lectins and such.  Plants can't run away or scratch or bite, so they make ingestion as unpleasant as they can for opportunistic predators.  Point taken.  The more plants you eat, the more of certain nutrients you NEED -- that was an eye-opener.  Then i reread what Donaldson had to say about vegetables, and a faint memory began to stir.  There are all kinds of vegetable foods that people have trouble with.  Grains, of course.  Nightshades.  Peanuts.  Citrus.  I googled food sensitivities, and the subject of FODMAPs jumped out at me.

I found that the "yellow vegetables" which Donaldon said were largely well-tolerated, mostly belonged to the list of those with low-fructans.  Fructans are fructose polymers (strings of fructose molecules), found to be problematic in people who are also inclined to fructose malabsorption -- one of those "duh" things, i should think, but it took me awhile to get there.

Wikipedia tells me that normal healthy people can only absorb 25-50g of fructose at one sitting (and malabsorbers may have a much lower tolerance) -- WHOA.  Then i read that the fructose that ISN'T dealt with in the small intestine moves down the line to mess up things, from water absorption in the colon to unbalancing the gut-bugs, causing them to metabolize their unnatural diet into unpleasant by-products.  Fermentation ... altered motility ... conditions promoting biofilms ... changing bacterial populations ... decreasing blood levels of  tryptophan, folate and zinc ... bad news.

And some people think that 30 bananas a day promote health?  Ye gods.  My intestines have left me with no doubt:  too much plant material = trouble.  Now i know another reason why.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

may the gods preserve me from OMNISCIENCE

There's a well-known, well-respected "authority" on blood sugar who has written "the truth" about low-carb diets.


It must be nice to know everything!  Trouble is, even if you do, you won't get universal agreement from the poor dumb suckers around you.  I read a few of her opinions which aren't true FOR ME.  So are they "the truth" or are they just HER truth?  If there's a single outlier, can it possibly be THE truth?

I humbly apologize if i ever sound like i'm uttering THE TRUTH ... because there isn't just ONE, for everybody.  Obviously.

Friday, September 21, 2012

home stretch!

With another three-and-three-quarter pound loss, i will have met my immediate goal!  I can't believe i'm so close.  And in a nutshell, it's been accomplished all through the Strong Medicine regimen with quite a bit of cheating.

I'm fortunate that i'm able to tolerate the diet -- some people have problems with VLC -- but it might be the cheating that helped me.  I use ample salt on my meat, and i try to keep the quantity to an ideal range of about 16-18oz. per day.  I DON'T regularly take the walks Donaldson requires (though i go up and down my three flights of stairs countless times daily).  I may not get in the six glasses of water a day, though it's hard to say how much i take in when downing all my supplements.  I definitely have occasional alcohol, vegetables, chocolate, butter, cream, eggs, cheese and cultured raw milk.  On the rare special occasion, i've had grains, too -- that's why it's taken me a year to lose 20 pounds!  But considering my age and hormonal conditions, i'm feeling very victorious.

I COULD NOT have done this without VLC.  Enough calorie reduction to get from moderately-overweight to within-normal-range?  This is the woman who can fail to lose on 600 calories per day -- and i'm not unusual in that respect!  Macronutrient makeup of the diet is centrally important for some of us.  Because, although one would eventually STARVE off weight, any protein shortage would cause muscle wasting -- not a good idea for an old broad like me.  NO.  Forcing my body to burn its own fat by denying it any choice in the matter (hormonally) is the key to success for a middle-aged person who once believed the low-fat whole-grain mantra.

I will continue to eat as i have this week -- plenty of good meats and fats, garnish of low-carb vegetation, moderated use of alcohol -- for the next month, not caring if i go under my 140# goal.  You see, my daughter and i are going to celebrate Halloween weekend in NEW ORLEANS!!!  It would be a crying shame not to whoop it up while we're there -- a scant 48 hours.  After that, i think i can guarantee a day of fasting will be in order!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

why so many history buffs don't really know history

I'm a reenactor/living-historian.  When i first entered "the hobby" i found it full of people of remarkable variety, unlike some of the other communities to which i'd belonged before (fencing and theatre).  On one end of the spectrum, predictably, there are large numbers of history teachers (teachers of other subjects are well-represented, too); on the other end of the spectrum are the Scarlett O'Hara wannabes.  The quality of "interpretation" (how the character you portray when doing "first person" really exemplifies the type of person from DOCUMENTABLE HISTORY) runs from cartoonish to absolutely authentic.

For me, the hobby was a good fit -- i already had a great deal of interest in history, i'm an advanced seamstress and handicrafter, and i enjoy reading and doing research.  I was lucky enough to join a VERY knowledgeable and skilled group, so positive examples were all around me.  I set out to master my new art....

There's a lot of material available to help new reenactors get up to speed now, but when i started they were much more sparse.  I looked around me at other women portraying particular TYPES from the past, and i looked at the references available, and i saw this huge disconnect between what i KNEW about history (from literature), and what a lot of reenactors were trying to act out.

You see, founts of information on history are very far from being equal.  Two different historians may be using the same source material, and due to any number of differences of PERSONAL experience, may interpret them poles apart.  So how does the hobbyist know which one to believe?  The average living-history-aspirant goes with his OWN gut and preferences, and the superior one bypasses the professional historians (secondary sources) entirely, and goes to the primary source himself.

THIS is the secret to having a grasp on history.  Almost everything you've ever seen on television or movies is WRONG.  The screenwriter may be devoted to telling the truth, but the "truth" is filtered through a modern brain, with all the conditioning that modern society has put there.  A lot of what you were taught in school is also HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE, because the writers of textbooks and the teachers also have Modern Brain-Filter Syndrome.  Things that you're told at historic sites, whether by volunteers or professionals, can be laughably incorrect.  EVERYTHING you read has been filtered through somebody else's brain, with all the culture bias and personal-experience-coloring that entails.

What's the most reliable source?  Depends on what kind of information you're looking for.  The secret is to get the words of a detached person who is witnessing the detail of life on the spot.  Reminiscences can SUCK -- you know how your grandfather claimed he walked seven miles to and from school ... in the snow ... barefoot ... uphill both ways...?  If a person is remembering an era from more than ten years on, there's  a good chance it's sentimentalized, romanticized or sensationalized in some way.

Places where some very good material can be found are police and court reports.  Here, a lot of information is recorded quickly and in a matter-of-fact way.  Period newspapers take the basic information and try to make it more interesting ... but if you reduce the descriptive jargon, the bedrock "facts" are frequently instructive.  Journals and letters are illustrative of the individual's experience -- in the former example, the writer probably never expected any eyes but her/his own to see it, and is frequently an honest observation of life.  Just make sure, if you ARE reading collections of letters and journals, that they're in their entirety:  EDITED journals and letters are also victims of MBFS.

Even fiction can be used to give solid information on life in a different age, but there's a trick to it.  It has to be fiction ABOUT the time IN WHICH IT'S WRITTEN.  Cooper's "Leatherstocking" stories are about an age in which Cooper did not live, so it's OUT.  Jane Austin is IN.  Samuel Clemens is ... MOSTLY in.  Ditto for Charlotte Bronte, but not Emily.  Maybe Anne.  In these writings, what you look for are the throwaway details that people take for granted.

"One morning, Mrs. Bretton, coming promptly into my room, desired me to open my drawers and show her my dresses; which I did, without a word."  Interpretation:  ladies were known to store their dresses in chests of drawers.  If you believe that NO closets existed in houses of the mid-nineteenth century (wrong), and that everyone had wardrobes in which they hung their clothes (wrong), or even that poor people without wardrobes ONLY hung their dresses on pegs or hooks or nails ... you don't know as much about history as you think you do.  When a modern novel ABOUT the past shows a lady doing fine embroidery in silks, a novel FROM the same era is more likely showing the lady hemming a handkerchief.  Same lady, doing needlework, different vision entirely.

The "throwaway facts" that one gleans from old newspapers can be the notice of a runaway bondservant in colonial America, who HAD to have been wearing a tabby petticoat and checked blue bedjacket, because THAT'S ALL SHE HAD ... unless she stole clothes when she left, because they often did.  Or that [yawn] ANOTHER whore has gone and committed suicide, and it was narcotic poisoning, AGAIN.  One sometimes gets a very clear picture of the past, when dead-and-gone voices don't even know they've spoken to you.

Vintage-but-not-antique sources frequently muddy the historical waters.  My mother (who will be 90 next year) may hear me say something about old-timers doing XYZ, and she'll counter, "Oh NO they didn't!" -- all up in arms, till i point out that i was referring to people a hundred years before she was born, not old-timers of HER vintage.  If i were the dutiful, obedient child (LOL) at the foot of my elder, i might have scrapped what i had learned from a primary source and taken for fact a thoroughly mistaken, baseless OPINION....

So when people have an absolutely unrealistic vision of what life was like two hundred, one thousand, twenty thousand years ago, you can applaud modern culture's success in having completely brainwashed them.  Life "back then" was no more romantic than it is today -- it just contains unknowns for you, and mystery is romantic.  People had DIFFERENT problems, but problems they had indeed.  There never has been, and will never be a Golden Age.

Read what the laws were.  Read what happened to the people who got caught, breaking the law.  Read about the victims of the lawbreakers.  Think of how most people had to behave, so as not to break laws.  Realize that if you had money or power, these things did not apply to you.  That's what the past was like.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

alcohol, caffeine, nutrients and life

Another half-pound down!  Woohoo!  The big trade off seems to be wine for weight-loss -- WHICH will i find more life-enhancing, today?  ...Because they're different facets of the same precious stone, quality of life.

I've never made a secret of the fact that caffeine and alcohol are my drugs of choice.  What i've learned more recently, though, is that nutrients qualify my desire for them in some very interesting ways.  Since i started using tyrosine, i'm more likely to reach for the decaf than the high-octane coffee.  (In fact, now that i seem to be "replete" in tyrosine -- if you can say that about an amino acid -- i'm even more wired by it, and i'm stepping down my intake.)  As a hypothyroid, i'm so accustomed to being under-energied, it feels strange to find it hard to sit still and focus my mind on ONE IDEA.  I'm still learning how to do it -- something that people with normal energy probably learned in elementary school!  :-)

When i feel over-stimulated like this my instinct is to go have a glass of wine, which then puts me in a pleasant alert-but-mellow state, but it's also a bandaid situation.  For a lot of reasons.  And i consider it a mistake to do as a default.

I looked for years (before the internet made information easier to find) for how alcohol fits in a weight-loss diet.  I kinda suspect that not a lot was really KNOWN till the end of the twentieth century.  Yes, it was realized that alcohol ingestion crippled weight loss efforts.  Yes, alcohol (especially the distilled kind) has a shitload of calories.  But something else was going on beyond that, and diet-book-after-diet-book told me NOTHING -- they either failed to mention the subject entirely, or skimmed over it evasively.

I still don't have the whole "skinny" on it.  I know enough to be going on with, though.  Seems to me, the body tries to burn first what is most deleterious to let hang around.  If alcohol is in the system, the body wants it OUT as expeditiously as possible.  Then sugars.  Finally fat burns as the body's planned default fuel.

On the way out, alcohol tries to screw things up due to its puckish delight in mischief -- setting traps in the liver involving metabolic flexibility (among others), so even though you've gotten the rockstar out of the hotel, you enter the room he last inhabited to find it trashed ... figuratively speaking.  He promises to pay the bill if he's readmitted (and some fools let him back in), but he never does.

Though not a carbohydrate, alcohol and sugar-alcohols seem to have metabolic problems that are similar.  I find it ironic that the fastest way to trash your liver is EITHER alcohol and omega6s, OR fructose and omega6s!  And some poor misguided souls think agave nectar is a healthy alternative....

At any rate, i've found that it's POSSIBLE to lose weight and still have a glass of Mount Pleasant with my steak, but when the losing gets difficult, the wine HAS to go!  Truel but crue.  I strongly suspect that the worst thing one can possibly consume are sweet cocktails!  You get the double-whammy of alcohol and sugar, all in one very moreish package!

So how best to get the relaxation of a glass of something, without the metabolic consequences?  There are a number of things, and i'm still working on identifying the best ones for me.  Sometimes it just isn't possible to get into a meditative state -- the world is too doggone NOISY.  Using carbs as downers isn't a good choice for MY body, and i have yet to experiment with herbs (though Wooo has some good information and advice available about those, on her blog).  I'll keep seeking....

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

asymptotes are a bitch

I got tough yesterday -- no alcohol or chocolate (sugar-free or otherwise), two meals of grassfed beef and coffee, and one moderate glass of well-aged raw-milk kefir augmented with an ounce of coconut oil -- and i'm down a quarter of a pound, after several days of stagnation.

I'm still five pounds from my immediate goal, which is 140#, just inside the "normal weight" boundary for my height.  When i reach it, i'll probably try only to maintain this weight until after the holidays, at which point i'll make another push to reach a final goal of 135.  I'm toying with the opinion that MAINTAINING a certain weight for an unspecified time is the best way to get your body to defend THAT "setpoint" -- even though i don't believe in setpoints as they're usually defined.

All the low-hanging fruit is plucked, kids!  It's becoming harder all the time to make any progress; i feel like i've accomplished something when i make the measly quarter-pound progress i have, this week!  To get to my goal i'm going to have to be even more disciplined about the fine details, and i will regretfully give up my wine-bibbing habits.  DAMN!  Some days, it feels like the cabernet is what keeps me sane!

Well, now that the weather has moderated i'll find it easier to walk the dog in the late afternoon (my favorite time to do it), so that will contribute to the stress-relief the wine customarily accomplishes.  I also find that tea-drinking provides a similar "relaxing stimulation" so i'll be doing more of that, too.  Twilight-time with a cuppa (decaffeinated), nut bread, butter and coconut cream ... i think i can live with that.

Monday, September 17, 2012

on second thought

On the one hand, i applaud those who have patience in dealing with stoopid people.  My stress hormones may rise when i read the same tired illogical arguments that "our" point of view is based on OLD BAD science and that it has been sufficiently disproved and somebody-or-other showed X and there can be no doubt that WE are wrong because some musclehead said so ... but there are those who will counter each point and calmly, patiently exemplify how Dumbass has got his "facts" wrong.  Dumbass will then reply, repeating the same misbegotten ideas over and over without even rephrasing himself.

Much as i admire their collectedness and persistence, i wonder if their modus operandi may be the best way to deal with Stoopid.  I sometimes think it's like the supposedly Native American story:
A tribal elder was teaching his grandchildren about life.  He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me; it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, greed, arrogance, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, and ego. 
The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, empathy, generosity, and truth."
"This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too", he added.
The grandchildren thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old man simply replied, "The one you feed."
By dealing with the irrational rationally, are we feeding the wrong wolf?  I don't know.  I do know that an awful lot of time is spent composing logical arguments, drawing on sound science, to which is replied, "that's not true, 'cause my guru said so."

Then again, i remember a certain commenter who seemed to be very fond of He-WHS-Must-Not-Be-Named....  This person argued about our personal solutions to absolutely individual problems on account o' EVERYBODY should do this and NOBODY should do that.  This person was patiently borne-with for a long time, till someone applied a good "setting down" -- and we haven't been plagued with more proclamations in a long time.

The more i think about it, the more i'm inclined to refer the Stubborn Commenter to relevant links, and when they come back and argue, tell them they've missed the cogent portions of the paper/article/book.  (Because ... they obviously HAVE.)  I'm reminded of another favorite quote:
Otto:  Apes don't read philosophy. 
Wanda:  Yes they do, Otto. They just don't understand it. 
Or, as a less facile but highly insightful writer put it:
Thinking's a dizzy business, a matter of catching as many of those foggy glimpses as you can and fitting them together the best you can.  That's why people hang on so tight to their beliefs and opinions; because, compared to the haphazard way in which they're arrived at, even the goofiest opinion seems wonderfully clear, sane and self-evident.  And if you let it get away from you, then you've got to dive back into that foggy muddle to wangle yourself out another to take its place.

If OUR idea works for US, and HIS idea works for HIM, why does he feel the need to try to convince us we're wrong?  I think it has to do with the same mindset we see in traditional communism and the church of Rome -- things can only work properly if EVERYBODY thinks the same, because if EVERYBODY agrees, it couldn't possibly be wrong, and doubters will be immediately and effectively squelched by their nearest and dearest.  2,000.000.000 XYZs can't be wrong?  Hell yes, they can, and they feel very insecure when you point it out to them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

just gotta vent

I was just catching up with comments on some of my favorite blogs.

Fertheluvugod, why do STOOPID PEOPLE have to go in public and argue with the educated and thought-capable?  Wooo, Sid, Kindke, (etc) i admire your patience to calmly explain things to them.

Makes me want to drink more, but i know it would just give me a bigger headache than i have already.

one-trick ponies and other literary crimes

My reading is usually "all over the place."  I read blogs and the studies/articles to which they link; i read vintage fiction for relaxation; i read esoteric material from respected sources; i read a few modern writers of nonfiction; i read LOTS.

One thing i resent, however, are the books that say the same friggin' thing over and over and OVER, so as to have enough material to fill a book, and it's been my sad experience to do that lately.  "Fiber Menace" and "The Carnitine Miracle" fall under this heading.  Read the website, and google the subjects, and you'll waste less time and money.

Then there are the ones which should be considered primers for the uninitiated.  The reason i HAVEN'T ordered "Primal Blueprint," "It Starts with Food," and a number of others is, i don't need to be told the basics AGAIN.  I've skipped so many paragraphs in "Primal Body, Primal Mind" after reading the first sentence....  The "body" half of the book told me almost nothing new, and enough that i disagree with, that i'm not sure i'll be able to believe what i read in the second half (the "mind" part), about which i know significantly less.

I haven't finished "Excitotoxins" yet, and it's been months.  It is singularly unreadable, even though he presented plenty of material.  Not so "Good Calories, Bad Calories," which some people complain about due to the large amount of material -- some authors CAN, and others CAN'T write worth a damn.  I "breezed" through GCBC in a very short time, like the first time i read "The Lord of the Rings."  Nonfiction doesn't HAVE to be dry and unappealing.

I suppose i should go to and leave reviews, though i can think of a thousand more attractive ways to spend my time.  Before i buy books, i generally read the highest and the lowest reviews, to get a hint of how they please various audiences -- that's one of the best features of the site.  If only there were a ranking system:  THIS is a 101 sort of book, and THAT is a 301....

I wonder if you can sell back a Kindle book?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


[chuckle of delight]

WHY are we so married to eggs and grain-products for breakfast, in this country?  My new Austrian cookbook mentioned goulash (American spelling) for breakfast "over there" and i just had to do it.  In the crockpot, all night on "low."  I just cubed a beautifully-marbled chuck roast and threw it in with all the onions (sliced) i had in the house (2), a spoonful of paprika, a dash of vinegar, an open can of diced tomatoes i had in the fridge (about 2/3 of it, in place of the tablespoon of puree in the recipe), and some marjoram and caraway seeds.  Voila, breakfast!  Next time i need to add more caraway.

Now, for the love o' pete, will someone tell me why there are so damn many delectable-sounding desserts in this book?

Friday, September 14, 2012

another reason people love ELMM

...Not only is it SIMPLE and intuitive, ELMM provides self-aggrandizement to those who flock to its banners.

I was just reading Dr. Sharma's post for today, and it hit me:  it's all about oneupsmanship!  ***I*** am not overweight and you are, therefore ***I*** am a better person because ***I*** control my appetite and have the WILLPOWER to get off my butt and EXERCISE!

Now, THIS is not an original idea, but rather sad; an awful lot of people have been so misled by modern entertainment and pop-psychology that they feel they have to be special somehow, and the best way to do that is to make somebody else "lesser."  It's finally considered uncivilized to do this in an across-the-board fashion with race, "handicap" and gender, but those with a high-school-level brain (whether or not they have their PhDs) still bolster their self-importance by means of artificial logical arguments ... like ELMM.

(So how do i explain those who insist on the relevance of ELMM, but are still overweight?  Hmmmm....)


Thursday, September 13, 2012

best time of the year

It looks like the air conditioner is going off today.  This is the day i look forward to through the sticky hot summer -- when i can open the windows and turn on the attic fan, and the air that comes in may be a little moist, but fresh and "alive."

Tomorrow i can set the oven to self-clean, and not get the kitchen all hot and smoky -- because any meat that's baked in the oven inevitable leaves fat spatters that cook on the next time it's used, and cleaning it is an ... ahem ... AROMATIC process.  Time to remove the summer ivy garland from the bannisters, and wind on the autumn leaves.

I've been looking up new soup and stew recipes, too -- i love one-pot meals when the weather is cooler.  These can usually be made in a low-carb fashion, whether by leaving out the flour thickeners and using alternatives, or simply deleting things like potatoes.  I even ordered myself some new cookbooks so as to spread my wings a little -- one French, one Austrian, one Hungarian, and one generic "European peasant foods."  The Mexican, German, generic Celtic, and Pueblo books i already had are stuck full of tape-flags marking promising recipes i've yet to try.  Then there are the historic cookbooks, and the HUGE variety of ethnic-American ones....

Thank the gods for low-carb alternatives!  Harvest-time COULD be dangerous to me, because i have this instinctive attraction to those foods my ancestors fattened up on before the onset of winter.  Nevertheless, i WILL indulge a little with things like the occasional baked apple and crustless squash pie.

Can't wait to see how big my sunchoke harvest will be this year....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

another milestone

I just "ran" up the stairs for the first time in months.  :-D  I confess -- there wasn't as much bounce in my bound as there was before i hurt my knee last winter, but the point is, i FELT like running up the stairs and i made it up them in fewer seconds than usual.

Tyrosine, i sing thy praises!  I'm taking a gram every morning, and another half in the early afternoon. It's probably sharing the glory for my excellent fat-burning these days with carnitine, but the energy and verve i credit principally to the T.

And we know that when our energetic systems are working properly we WANT to move.  I'm coming to believe that the laws of physics need just as much paraphrasing as those of thermodynamics, when it comes to biological applications -- you know, the one that says "a body at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force" is the one i mean.  Uh, it ain't outside.  And the "inside force" that's inclining me to move more nowadays isn't the force of my will.

dawn of the challenge

The big news today is that Gary Taubes and Peter Attia have officially launched their new venture to challenge mainstream nutritional science, which has been such a dismal failure up to now.  Glad to say, even astrology is on their side.

After reading that, i started looking at today's posts on a list of blogs that i consider "second string" for my purposes, and immediately got riled by Dr. Freedhoff's article on the subject.  Not the first time -- i find some of his attitudes rather abrasive to my personality.  His style of food-culture-bashing and mine are ... different.  "What if everything you knew about nutrition was false?"  Whaddaya mean, "what if"?  IT IS FALSE ... if the "you" in this statement refers to CW.

Screw the "evidence" about Ewes AND Kitavans -- show me a culture in the MODERN world in which people eat like they do and stay lean IN MIDDLE AGE.  Young bodies can get away with almost anything.  Stress of city living screws up every tribe which enters it.  The confounders to all these hypotheses are mind-boggling.

My recent success may be making me a little cocky, but the data from my body, and that which JM is currently reporting, AND what Wooo has been talking about for YEARS is all on the same page:  if you're "of a certain age" OR have never had the physiological perfection of someone living in a technologically-limited tropical backwater, extreme carbohydrate restriction may be the only thing that could save your health!

Personally, i wish the best to NuSI -- they've got a tough row to hoe, because a lot of industrial-food money as well as the moribund weight of the medical business are against them.  :-/ They even have the problem of Mr. Taubes' unpopularity to deal with, and Dr. Atkins could tell them what that's like....  I don't agree with everything the former and Dr. Attia have written, but they're SO MUCH closer to the mark than the ADA, it isn't worth quibbling.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Spenser helps out

I'm reminded of a subject that's dear to the hearts of many of us, with the help of my favorite four-legged family member....

This is the best photo i have of my boy, and you can see why i have to do what i call "fur patrol" with the dustbuster every couple of days.  Consider also that the carpet in our bedroom is a period-appropriate figured dark blue; the subject of hair loss comes to mind from time to time.

I noticed even back in the days when i was taking Armour thyroid that Spense and i would tend to shed at the same time, rather like nuns menstruating.  ;-)  My hairbrush would need cleaning out more often at about the same times that i'd have to step up vacuuming and fur patrol.  I deduced that the same conditions were causing it in both of us, but never looked into the matter.

Well, i finally decided to, and sure enough, people of European ancestry (at least) are inclined to shed more hair in the fall, and to a lesser extent, in the spring.  This seasonal telogen effluvium is absolutely positively NORMAL.  A lot of telogen effluvium is normal, but the medical and hair-restoration industries would love us to think that there's something wrong with us, and we desperately need their services.

There are lots of things, less benign, which cause us to lose more hair than is "normal," with hypothyroidism being one of the best-known conditions.  Everyone also knows about chemotherapy-related hair loss, and many also know that iron deficiency can be a cause.  But is the low-fat world world aware that they're missing out on some of the best skin-hair "tonics" they could get?  Search stubbornly enough and you'll find some good dietary advice on the net to benefit your mane ... and if you have a dog that can help, too.

WebMD is willing to tell you that stress and diet are the main causes of telogen effluvium -- that two-dollar phrase which makes googling "hair loss" more productive.  Of course, they can't tell you how to amend your diet for the better, because that would be contrary to the CW they MUST cling to.  So you start your search into particulars with your four-legged family member in mind; after all, excessive (and diet-associated) shedding is influenced similarly in dogs and humans.

First and foremost is enough of the right amino acids and fats -- notably omegas 3 and 6 -- and you thought that latter stuff was nasty!  ;-)  Of course it is ... in EXCESS.  "Hair that doesn’t receive a balanced supply of nutrients becomes dull, loosens, and falls out. For example, pets on starvation diets have thin, dull coats*."  Will i get jumped-on if i leap to a conclusion?  People go on a low-calorie diet, get nutrient-deficiency-related hair loss, and become convinced that their problem all along has been hypothyroidism?  Remember what Donaldson said about thyroid supplementation for weight loss....

Then there's blood flow, organ function, lots of different hormones, allergy, medications, and nervous habits (overgrooming in animals can translate to excessive hair-brushing -- one doesn't HAVE to lick...).  ...In fact, i'm sure that advertising and "cultural norms" have got to be contributing to some people's shedding because all the things we do to our hair and the chemicals we put on it are just WEIRD, if you look at the subject in an objective manner.

So before you think you're hypothyroid or have a dire disease because you see more hair on your shower floor these coming months, take a look at your diet (and your liver, and your blood-pressure, and so on) -- or it may just be shortening of daylight hours.  Or lengthening, if you're in the southern hemisphere.  If your dog is shedding more, too, it's probably natural.

Monday, September 10, 2012

wages of sin

Oh, i ate so many calories yesterday -- fifty percent more than my usual -- including some of the things that CW says will KILL ME!!!

Not only did i have RED MEAT for both my meals (i skipped breakfast!), but not a single hearthealthywholegrain, nor even a single serving of antioxidantpackedfruitsandvegetables!  I had alcohol and artificial sweeteners, plenty of salt, eggyolks and half a stick of butter (AKA bearnaise sauce), and even more arterycloggingsaturatedfat in the form of coconut oil!

Ya know what happened?  I dropped another pound.  I haven't weighed this little in a decade.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

actually, they ARE doing it wrong

I hesitated about writing the above, because it smacks of that arrogance that we all hate in some of the bloggers out there.  [aa-aa-aah-stephACHOOOOO!]  ;-)

I read a number of Jimmy Moore's posts on his n=1 experiments yesterday, and came to the sad conclusion that, no matter how much experience you have at low-carbing, it's EASY to do it wrong.  Wrong, like Jimmy did while he was regaining some of the weight he lost, and couldn't figure out how to get rid of again.

If i were going to coach a first-time low-carber, i would stress how "low-carb treats" are traps for the unwary.  I would tell them that weighing and measuring is the only safe way to know, as best anyone can, how many grams one is eating.  I would recommend eating large enough meals that snacks wouldn't be desired.  I'd make a point of the fact that "eating as much as you want" ONLY means you CAN find satiation on the right foods, but it does NOT mean "eating as much as you want as long as it's low-carb" will allow you to lose weight at that level.

The first time each of us started Atkins (or whatever it was), we were coming from a mixed-food diet in which we were burning a lot of glucose.  And we TRIED to be perfect -- it was new, and we had to pay attention to what we were doing.  Under these circumstances we lose weight very quickly and easily.  At the end of the first two weeks, a lot of us loosened up a little on our food choices as Dr. A allowed:  MISTAKE.

Because we started eating nuts and more processed meats and cheeses, those yummy low-carb snacks that are ALLOWED because compared to other snacks they're ... low in carbs.  We started using heavy cream to make desserts, and baking with alternative flours, both ideas that simply encourage us to eat more food in general AND increasing carbohydrates in particular.  Did we measure how much almond flour we were actually consuming, or did we just say "three net carbs -- i can afford that."

Jimmy was surprised when he first started using his blood ketone meter, because he thought he was in ketosis already and he found he wasn't really there.  This is a seasoned low-carber, folks!  A successful one, though he had regained some of the weight he originally lost.

I read somewhere (and i'm convinced it's true) that as we continue with a controlled-carb lifestyle, we get more adept at USING the ketones our bodies produce, and much less energy is spilled down the toilet.  My ketostix have very rarely turned a dark pink, and even these days when i'm eating a VERY low carbohydrate diet, they're pretty pale.  I HAVE to be making and burning ketones because my body has no alternative, but i'm obviously wasting a lot less, too.

Another thing that Jimmy found was that when he was in the range of 0.5-3.0 mmol, his appetite was suddenly tamed.  Dare i suggest that if one is eating low-carb and yet still slave to one's food-seeking urges, one is not properly in ketosis...?

His experiences with his meter makes me rather want one, but i'm too scotch to spring for the $6/strip price tag -- i can buy a day's worth of grassfed ground beef for that!  I guess i'll have to be content with my pale ketostix and a curbed appetite.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

in that fat-burning groove

The scale was down another half-pound today, and i'm back to that lowest-in-several-years point where i was before the last trip to SF.  It IS tiresome to have to lose the same few pounds over and over, but at least i'm still trending downward.  Seven and a half pounds to goal (again)!

On yesterday's theme, i took the same supplements this morning, but haven't had any caffeine (yet).  I've had good energy and stamina, even after a short shopping trip, and when i returned i broke my fast with a grassfed burger -- and now i have a bit of postprandial sleepiness.  Perhaps i should have a cup of high-octane now, and have the second dose of tyrosine and carnitine in two or three hours when the AAs in my brunch have "moved on" a bit....

It's the tyrosine, with no significant contribution by the caffeine.  Wow.  If i had the credentials i'd recommend that anyone with fatigue issues should try this non-essential amino acid, beginning with a low dose and increasing it slowly till they see a response....  ;-)

One of the tasks i've broached with my new-found energy has been to try making treats for Spenser myself.  It's not easy to find a decently-priced doggie snack that hasn't got some really objectionable ingredients.  What half-wit thinks that SUGAR is an appropriate additive to bikkies???  Even if he DID brush his own teeth, it wouldn't be a good idea.  No wonder so many spoiled puppies get diabetes.  Grrrrr....  Then there are the tainted jerkies that come out of China....

After perusing a bunch of recipes that have ingredients almost as inappropriate as in professionally-made treats, i decided to make some chicken jerky for him, from a recipe intended for humans.  I sliced chicken breast thinly and marinated it overnight in fish sauce, lemon juice, garlic and ginger.  It's finishing up in the dehydrator as i write -- sure hope he likes it when it's done!  Of course, if it's people-food, there shouldn't be much doubt: i didn't put any alcohol in it.  That's about the only thing in MY diet that he doesn't like.

Friday, September 7, 2012

it's the second one

The tyrosine experiment continues.

There is no doubt AT ALL that tyrosine is energizing me, but i'm still unsure of its synergy with caffeine.  I start my morning with 500mg of it (plus another couple of supplements, but more on them, below) and a cup of dark-roast coffee, black.  I get a boost of vitality.  I have a ZC breakfast and wait a couple of hours, then have a second capsule of tyrosine and another cup o' joe, and WHAM -- moderately wired again.

I guess i'll have to take the supplements in the same way tomorrow, but with only decaf, to see what's going on....

I started using carnitine a month or two ago, also; just like the tyrosine at the basic dosage, it was hard to see if anything in particular was going on, but i thought there was a good chance of it.  The first bottle finished, i bought another, plus acetyl-l-carnitine and more CoQ10, as these are recommended as "partners in crime" with the carnitine.  The c&C, particularly, are important parts of the "mitochondrial cocktail" prescribed for people with a serious problem in that regard.

Well, i can definitely say that one tyrosine, one carnitine and multiple cups of high-octane do NOT give me the kind of energy that the 2t, c and ONE cup of coffee do, so it's a pretty well confirmed hypothesis that a whole gram of tyrosine is the major energizer for me.  I'm now scaling back on the OTC thyroid glandular supplement i'm taking, on the supposition that the larger dose of tyrosine is encouraging my endogenous thyroid production.  ... I'll let you know how it turns out!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

my understanding of "yeast"

Mark has yet another interesting article today, on the question of candida overgrowth.  He makes one point that i'm incredulous about, but it's only in the comment section that things get out-of-focus.

First thing that i did:  get out the updated Atkins book (i may have to find myself a copy of the original, as that is said to have interesting differences), and read what he had to say.  I was hoping for references to studies, but was disappointed; he reports, "I think that the complete explanation of what Candida overgrowth does to the human body is still well in the future.  But I do know from my medical practice that this is a problem that can cripple weight loss efforts."

To begin with, although Atkins specifically mentions candida albicans, he quickly starts talking about other yeasts and molds, because if you have a candida problem, you are likely to have trouble with a lot of its "relatives" too.  Well, i learned long ago that allergies are "cumulative" -- you can be in contact with things to which you're sensitive, but until these irritants reach some kind of threshold, they won't make you suffer.  If i'm in contact with corn chips and salsa, i MAY not feel it unless i go into my basement on a rainy day, OR the oak-trees are pollinating, OR the Bradford pears are in bloom, OR i'm in Wyoming on a windy day, OR ... so on.

So if you eat a lot of "low-carb paleo-friendly" foods such as cheese, vinegar, mushrooms, sauerkraut, sour cream, nuts, bacon and wine, you're adding yeast/mold-bearing foods to whatever environmental sensitivities you have.  Is the stuffy head you get after a meal, a symptom of candida overgrowth?  Not specifically, but it's definitely a sign that you've got more "yeast" on board than your body can cope with.  Atkins states, "It is important to remember that yeast overgrowth stresses the immune system, undermining your total health."

And we CAN measure an abnormal growth of candida in the feces and the blood, so i find the arguments in Mark's comment section completely absurd, that "I’m not impressed with this article, probably because 'candidiasis' is so overblown. Your article acknowledges that intestinal candida infection is not a recognized medical disease, the symptoms are vague and there are no reliable tests to diagnose it, and yet you think you know how to cure it?"  ... Shall we start counting the number of things that are/were "not a recognized medical disease" and which ARE things that can be overcome by means of diet and lifestyle?

"Strong Medicine" has several chapters illuminating the vast number of illnesses which can be of allergenic origin.  Even if candida albicans isn't PRIMARILY responsible for some of these allergic responses, there's every reason to believe that it contributes to the overall burden, so controlling it becomes one of the logical aims of allergy treatment.  Donaldson recommends doing this by means of his "allergy bandwagon" -- eliminating wheat, dairy (except butter), chocolate and eggs for all patients, and a longer list for the more sensitive.

Atkins recommended an elimination test for those of his patients who seemed to have allergy-related problems, with the suspicious items of diet being those high-yeast/mold foods like cheese, which i listed above.  But the thing that he believed would feed candida and its co-irritants most...?  "The worst offender is sugar.  It is the major growth factor for yeast, and Candida patients are invariably warned to stay away from ice cream, candy, pastry, corn syrup, maple syrup, molasses, etc.  If you're doing Atkins, there's certainly no possibility you're eating any of that.  You'll also be avoiding the natural sugar in fruit juice and lactose in milk."

THIS is where i disagree with Mark's point of view on candida, etc. -- he goes with Jaminet's pronouncement on the subject, and i think it's absurd.  "Paul Jaminet, who suffered from candida overgrowth, argues that since candida (being eukaryotes) have mitochondria that can feed on both ketones and carbs (as opposed to prokaryote bacteria without mitochondria), going very low carb or ketogenic will only provide more fuel for the overgrowth. Furthermore, since ketones are water-soluble and pass easily through cellular membranes, ketones will actually be a more accessible food source for candida. Don’t go high-carb, since any extra glucose will just be food for the yeast, but don’t go ketogenic, either."

It just doesn't make any sense!  Granted that these buggies can eat EITHER glucose or ketones, what the hell difference does it make WHICH you feed them?  But MY CELLS definitely prefer ketones and FFAs, so i'm damned if i'll eat for the bugs i don't want!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

back to (ab)normality

The long weekend went by with limited havoc to my body, and once again i restart my "normal" eating patterns with relief and pleasure.  I breakfasted at 10 with a big patty of grassfed ground beef and coffee, and will dine probably in the late afternoon with a beautiful thick ribeye steak (no bone, alas).  By tomorrow morning, i hope the puffiness in my hands and feet will have disappeared -- i got pretty badly dehydrated one day, and am still feeling the effects of it.

One reason occurs to me why fasting is such an attractive concept to low-carbers and paleoids:  you get the "new diet enthusiasm" from time to time in a rather painless fashion!  I was envisioning how i would be eating today -- how i USED to eat regularly when actively watching my weight, which was pretty much ever since i was 23.

It was low-calorie, and therefore low-fat, and therefore UNSATISFYING.  For about the first three days of any new regimen, one had a great deal of enthusiasm, because the easy weight poured off (literally, down the toilet), and the novelty made it INTERESTING.  I'd start every new diet with a great deal of hope -- THIS ONE has got to be the right one!  Ah, the endorphins....

About a week in, it's not nearly so interesting anymore, and the "hunger" starts becoming a problem.  I say "hunger" rather than HUNGER, because my belly could be full of chicken or fish and vegetables -- LOTS of vegetables -- and yet i'd be pacing around the house trying to stay out of the refrigerator....  Not that there was BUTTER in there, or bacon, or anything my body was nagging me for, but anything that might fill the nutritional void.

I'll actually say what i've thought so many times over the last couple of years -- OMG, if i only knew then what i know now....

But those first three days of a new diet WERE exciting.  I read and re-read the philosophical chapters (and recipe sections) of books, and of course they all MADE SENSE ... they just weren't descriptive of how a body actually works.  CICO "makes sense" but it isn't that easy to make it "go."  Coupled systems and unintended consequences, you know.

Fasting seems to bring back a bit of that old excitement.  We know that all kinds of little invisible changes are happening -- our bodies are gobbling up those little useless proteins that are floating around, using glycogen storage, up-regulating enzymes we need for fat-burning, that sort of thing.  If we're ketone-adapted already, we don't even feel any particular hunger.  On Labor Day, my husband and i cooked and cleaned and shopped, and didn't even notice that we ate nothing that day till early evening.

I've never really felt impelled to do the alternate-day fasting, but eating in a 6-8 hour window comes naturally to me, so long as i'm eating the right foods.  This fits in beautifully with the default diet i've adopted, a personalized version of the Strong Medicine regimen.  Two to three meals a day, comprising 16-18 oz. of animal-protein foods total, and no plant-source carbs till evening, if then.

Back on my diet today -- ah, what a relief!  There's nothing like eating what you really want to.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day feast

It's our turn to invite our neighbors over for a feast, and it's GOTTA be good; Miz J is one of the best cooks i've ever known, so her husband F is used to GREAT meals.  We can't blow this!

It was a tapas-style spread again -- my husband and i both like to play in the kitchen, and this is a good way to let everybody have fun.  We always start out with a special cocktail of some sort -- this time it was the Twentieth Century, one part each white creme de cacao, lemon juice and Lillet Blanc, and two parts gin.  I'm happy to say, they enjoyed it.  Then we moved on to various wines and ended up with "bubbly" for dessert.

J made his signature bleu-cheese-deviled quail eggs, bacon-wrapped dates a la "Paleo Comfort Foods," and  buffalo kofta from the recipe in the Enig-Fallon book "Eat Fat, Lose Fat".  He also put together the relish tray with our home-made pickles and marinated artichoke hearts, olive medley and pickled green beans, and avocado chunks drizzled with balsamic vinegar.    I made potato-cheese puffs, portobello "pizza," and banana custard with candied pecans (Atkins recipe).

Our guests seemed to enjoy everything ... though they're the sort of people who would be gracious even if a dish failed miserably!  :-)  It was a GOOD evening!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

well, i AVERAGED two good nights' sleep....

The first night my husband is back from a long business trip, we both tend to sleep poorly.  He's a big guy, and is used to sleeping in a king-size bed in his hotel.  We have a queen-size, at home.  It takes time to get used to the tossing and snoring of another person in your bed.

Friday night, i got something like four hours, which is precisely half of what i absolutely require.  I took a nap yesterday afternoon, but was still ready to hit the hay last night rather early.  I got over nine hours.  YES.  Back to feeling good.  (I hope you clicked the YouTube link in the last post -- it was a young James Brown performing one of his signature songs, complete with dance moves, in all its B&W glory.)

But yesterday, i felt ROTTEN.  Though my eating was the same as usual for the previous couple of days, i experienced that unpleasant weak/shaky hypoglycemic feeling and my head felt kinda "swimmy" at breakfast.  We quickly hit the grocer's for a few essentials, then returned home where i crashed with a book.  The afternoon was better, and this morning improved further.

It all goes to show, even if you're doing everything else right, if your sleep is inadequate, your health CANNOT be optimal.  Right, Wooo?  ;-)