Wednesday, January 30, 2013

another LC cocktail

My first LC cocktail (which i think i've only mentioned in passing) was the Gimlet.  One packet of splenda mixed into an ounce of lime juice, to which is added three ounces of gin and ice.  It's crisp and sour and refreshing.  You can imagine the old days in India, sitting on the veranda sipping one while the seductive scent of curried lamb wafts from the kitchen....

Another favorite cocktail of mine is a bit more complex -- it's called the Twentieth Century.  In it, the lemon juice and white creme de cacao should be so well-balanced that you can taste both simultaneously.  My first attempts to lowcarbify it were less than stellar, but i had an idea this afternoon....  To my disappointment, "twenty-first century" is already taken for a cocktail.  :-(  So what can i call my improved version, perhaps the Savvy Twentieth Century, Tess's Twenty-first, the Atkins?  Whaddaya think?

  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • 1-2 TEASPOON Torani White Chocolate Syrup (sugar-free, of course)
Shake with plenty of ice and strain into a cocktail glass.  L'CHAIM!

doing everything right and not losing....

Not me, thank the gods, but maybe worse -- my daughter.  :-(  We're having to start tweaking HER diet, because at 36 she's starting to get into the difficult-to-lose age.

She's comparatively new to the low-toxin-and-carb, higher-fat dietary plan.  In the past, she's lost weight with the CW technique, but i've convinced her that a real-food diet is important for herself as well as her kids.  Having eased into low-carb from low-calorie, L has even learned to add more good fats.  But for some yet-to-be-determined reason, the scales are resisting her.

So we're tweaking!  I've suggested that the first thing to do is drop dairy for a week and see what happens.  I think i'll suggest next that instead of her usual workout she try tabata sprints.

I also need to get her to use a tape-measure more than scales, now that i think of it!  I wouldn't be surprised to find that she's putting on muscle as fast as she's taking off fat, and therefore getting a "false negative" in the loss department.  ...I can hardly wait for L to get back from her lunch break so i can ask her some new questions!  :-D

Monday, January 28, 2013

gonna have to learn to be strong

I've remarked before about being relieved when i can get back to eating the way that makes me feel good.... I'm going to have to figure out how to eat the way i want to, all the time!

Don't get me wrong, it's fun to "misbehave" when i WANT to, but extremely vexing to "have to" eat wrongly when i don't.  If i don't feel like eating at all -- even something "innocent" -- it's annoying to be put into a position where i feel i should.  OTOH, i don't want to impose my unconventional patterns on my husband -- at least, not more than he's stuck with already!  ...So how am i going to manage, so that two independent-minded people can eat what/when they like?  It's not going to be TOO much longer before he decides to retire and be around a whole lot more.

Well, it's not only going to require keeping the right foods and drinks (yet to be determined) handy, but some research into MORE nearby restaurants with appropriate menu possibilities.  Sure one can get a low-carb meal almost anywhere, but one does get tired of the same ol' side-dishes to go with one's simple meat-entree, and i got burned-out on salads way back in the '70s!  I don't believe i've ever read many truly creative ways of making ordinary restaurants answer to our LCHF requirements -- i mean, i've been ordering sandwiches without the bread for YEARS, and more suggestions of that nature are pretty useless.

So anybody out there have unusual and brilliant ways of coping with the restaurant question?

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Some of my readers (family and friends-i've-actually-met) may wonder why i read diabetic blogs, being a non-diabetic:  the answer is easy -- carbohydrates are not my buddies, any more than they are theirs!  Thus i pick up good information as well as recipe ideas and frequently get a good laugh -- especially at  The guys there have a history of verbal tangling with the "Low-Carb Anti's" in diabetic forums, and i'm often well entertained by stories of the battles.  LCAs are LCAs, no matter what the forum!

Apparently, one of the main d-LCAs (ooh, sounds like a bad particle, doesn't it?) has just discovered the GLYCEMIC INDEX!!!  Too bad it's "old science" and pretty much discredited as well.  The great usefulness of this concept, to me, has been as a tool to show people that whole-wheat bread is more damaging to blood-glucose than table sugar.  But in composing his post, Eddie included a terrific video from Barry Groves that i want to share, along with an anecdote....

A few years ago i picked up the Montignac book du jour about using the GI to lose weight.  Pretty book -- lots of pictures.  A few darned good recipes, too.  I was excited to be able to use some cereals and pastas again, with his technique which would theoretically allow me to shed some pounds.  Talk about eating your cake and having it too!

Ya know how with almost ANY new diet you dump some pounds, even if it's only from a heightened metabolism that comes with enthusiasm and excitement?  Not this time.  A couple of weeks of the Montignac Method, and i gained.  The new Atkins he AIN'T.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

yet another recipe

I've been meaning to add this one for some time, and keep neglecting to.  Back in the '80s there was some stupid book we all heard about called "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" -- but that's a total crock!  MY real man eats it, and cooks it proudly; i ask him to do so every time we have houseguests.


1/2 lb. bacon
2 eggs + 2 extra yolks
1 1/2 c. cream
1/2 c. water
1 c. finely grated swiss cheese
1/4 t. white pepper

Butter well a 9" deep pie/torte pan, and strew the grated cheese in the bottom, then the cooked bacon.  Beat the eggs, liquids, and seasonings together, and pour carefully over the other ingredients.  Bake at 375 F for about a half-hour, till the top is slightly browned and the custard thoroughly set.

energy improved!

I woke this morning before my husband and the dog.  Went down to the kitchen and started preparing an earlier-than-usual breakfast (for him a "slinger" -- i just had coffee w/cream).  Popped down to the basement and juggled laundry.

I'm feeling a little weary now that i'm sitting down again, but the spontaneous way i started moving this morning is a huge improvement over my usual experience!  I credit the pregnenolone, carnitine, and the epimedium i started using last week.

Sleeping well does hurt a bit, either!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

new recipe

This may be a record for me -- three posts in one day!  :-)  But even my husband urged me to include the recipe for our supper's main dish (a low-carb-ified version of an old family favorite):

GROUND BEEF GRAND STYLE (AKA "fake stroganoff")

one onion, chopped
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
small can of mushrooms, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese
2 T. catsup (or 1 T. tomato paste)
1/3 c. or more of cream
1 t. worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. tabasco
2 t. or more of salt
pepper to taste

Brown the onions, mushrooms and beef together, drain the fat.  Add the cream cheese and warm over a low flame to soften.  Stir in the other ingredients and adjust the seasonings to taste and texture (should be pretty moist -- not too stiff -- add more cream as needed).  Spoon into a casserole and bake at 350 F till bubbly.  Serve with your favorite low-carb bread ("paleo biscuits" are perfect).


Veggies instead of meat?  That WOULD make my White Dog blue*!

*  THIS is George Rodrigue's Blue Dog, who Spense was impersonating at NOLA's Mardi Gras a couple of years ago --

Sorry, but i just have to get silly every once in awhile.  To the tune of "I Love the Mountains" --

I love mucuna,
I love pregnenolone,
Tyrosine and DLPA --
I must leave them alone!
I still love carnitine, L and L-acetyl!



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"carbs for the thyroid" revisited

...But NOT revised!  THIS is why it makes me so friggin' ANGRY when i hear euthyroid people say that eating low-carb will lower your thyroid function.

Hypothyroidism is pretty much defined by its symptoms.  If lab values are "just fine" but symptoms remain, the disorder hasn't been properly treated -- this is what we see in sufferers all the time.  However, if lab values "show reduced thyroid function" in the absence of symptoms, i argue that there is no case.  I can FEEL when my thyroid is working under-par, but i don't believe for a second that the Lead Musclehead who promotes HC for people like me has any sense of his function until the blood-test results come in.

I woke up rather chilly this morning, and the only thing different was a larger-than-usual carb intake yesterday as compared with the day before.  Weather in the teens (F), no change in thermostat setting, same blankets on the bed.  This is EXACTLY the same thing that happened at the end of my whole30-ish experience last year, when i began adding neolithic foods back in --

LIGHT BULB GOES ON -- it's beans!!!  Rice doesn't seem to do it all by itself, nor potatoes.  Nor sugar, in moderation.  I'll have to experiment with lentils (i love lentils!) to see if it's ALL legumes or just some of them.

:-)  It's almost embarrassing to have a "eureka moment" publicly like this....

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


If i wrote verse these days, i'd probably compose a sonnet about what a delightful day this is!  It's cold and snowing lightly, but i'm sitting in my bedroom toasty-warm, in my favorite reading chair sipping a Campari-and-soda, watching the best Poirot to ever play the part (David Suchet) on Netflix.

Generations of our ancestors -- centuries upon centuries -- never knew the security that we have.  Most of the poor around us, even, enjoy an immunity to many sorts of catastrophe that's absolutely unprecedented in history.  Many people suffer from the poor nutrition that is epidemic in the developed world, but very few actually STARVE.  This, again, is remarkable -- though only those of us who are students of every-day history may think of it often.

Do most people realize how extremely fortunate we are?  I often wonder.  I have relatives and acquaintances who do nothing but grouse about stupid, petty little grievances.  So-and-so doesn't live the way i want them to!  Their styles are so unlike my ideal!  Even my child can see what's wrong with your world-view!  I can't seem to lose that last five pounds!  I can't eat my favorite dish because it gives me a belly-ache!  We mustn't regulate that industry, because it will cost them more to operate and they might reduce their workforce and their stock might be worth less!  Ad nauseum....

Learn to count your blessings and worry less about what your neighbor thinks.  The tribe on the other side of the hill is VERY unlikely to be about to invade your village.

Monday, January 21, 2013

just a quick post....

Took my first small trial dose of DLphenylalanine this morning, and my hands are shaking already!  WHAT IS IT WITH THIS BODY OF MINE???  I do have better energy than "normal" and i don't have the uncomfortably wired feeling i got with tyrosine, but it doesn't look like this "family" of amino acid supplements is right for me. :-(


Friday, January 18, 2013

more thoughts on tyrosine (and levodopa)

Supplementing tyrosine was an experiment in increasing my thyroid function.  Most of the supplementation i tried before then, specific to T4 synthesis and the T4-T3 conversion pathways, had been very helpful -- each producing perceptible results.  Tyrosine supplementation increased energy, all right, but not in a positive fashion; i felt uncomfortably "wired" and the minor "essential tremor" i experience when overstimulated became almost chronic.  From my study, i figured that one of a couple of things might be going on -- either pushing myself into periodic hypERthyroidism, or (more likely) increasing my levels of adrenalin.

I discontinued the tyrosine i was taking (500mg to 1000 per day, either all at once or split dose), and started using mucuna (mucuna pruriens, marketed with the label Dopa Mucuna).  The tremor faded away to almost nothing, and my mood (equanimity) improved.  Desiring more energy on some days, i've been experimenting with tyrosine again.  One 500mg capsule taken every other day seems to give me a little boost without too much agitation -- but again, if something gets me riled up back comes the tremor.  :-(

(How i wish they were caplets, so i could cut the suckers in half, and take one of THOSE every other day!  It will be a messy job halving those damned capsules.)

WARNING:  entering the realm of conjecture!  :-)  Reading up on dopamine has given me some interesting insights on my life.  It would take a novel-length post to explain it all, so i'll give you the short version -- i strongly suspect myself of being short on the stuff all my days!  And looking at what happens to me when i supplement tyrosine, i think i see what could be happening.

For some reason, tyrosine seems to take a shortcut to adrenalin in my body -- it doesn't seem to hang around the levodopa step.  This may happen because of my "weak thyroid" and be self-perpetuating, i don't know.  Because my thyroid doesn't use enough tyrosine to make a robust supply of hormone, then more tyrosine is available to go the other route and my body compensates for the low energy with adrenalin?  GOK.

...back to my reading....

Thursday, January 17, 2013

progress again today

Beyond that, i really don't have much to declare!  I even "cheated" on the strong-medicine regimen and had some wine and a handful of macadamias. Is the good result because i got over a hundred grams of fat in?  Also that i consumed in the neighborhood of 2000 calories?

When we report on what works for us on a day-to-day basis, the results can sometimes confuse us more than they illuminate.  Sometimes one thing works, and sometimes another.  The subject is IMMENSELY complicated, which is why statements that SIMPLE CICO are valid tend to make me start ranting.  I believe that once one gets past the basics of what the various SUBCATEGORIES of macronutrients do in the body, we can draw up guidelines that can be pretty well relied on.

  • an excess of any sugar is toxic -- including glucose from starches if you're not burning it off;
  • balance and limitation of the essential fatty acids promote bodily AND mental health;
  • naturally-occurring saturated fats have been wrongly demonized and are crucial for us;
  • protein is centrally important, and optimizing YOUR body's wants and needs should be a priority;
  • eat real food and avoid snacking -- food is fuel and building-blocks, not entertainment;
  • we should get enough exercise to encourage mitochondrial health, but too much can be worse than too little.
DUH, right?  To go much further would get onto shaky ground when it comes to individual variability ... but of course it also provides the bulk to make enough words to fill a diet book.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

it still works -- rebop

With a secondary title, "...and i MEAN fatty meat!"  :-)

My husband stands in the way of my losing weight -- no, that's an excuse for being more careless with my intake when he's around.  We go out to eat often, i have more wine and cocktails when he's in town, he likes to cook, and he can eat a lot more carbs than i can and still lose weight....  On and on.

Having him out of town for a few days, i'm making hay while the sun shines.  I'm doing the "strong medicine" regimen with the tweaks i learned the first time around (MORE SALT etc) -- and it STILL still works.

When i picked up ground beef over the weekend, however, i didn't go to Whole Paycheck for their outstanding grassfed ground beef in the family-pack -- the St. Louis store is horribly laid-out, and so a weekend-size number of customers make for an unbearable traffic situation inside.  I didn't want to face it, so ended up at Schnuck's, and their "regular" ground beef isn't the same:  it's too lean.

My body doesn't like a reduced-fat diet!  I wonder if other hypothyroids have a problem with constipation AS A RESULT of doing what conventional wisdom tells them to -- eat more fiber and drink a lot of water.  My intestines HATE that!  BUTTER TO THE RESCUE!!!

A tablespoon of butter on top of your freshly-made all-beef patty....  Your colon will thank you.

Monday, January 14, 2013

interpersonal variability

[sigh]  THIS is what weight-loss experts and obesity researchers just don't want to know about.  And IT'S OUT THERE!!!

... I almost feel as though i should say, "He's coming for you, Barbara!" -- quick, name that quote!  ;-)  Okay, it's out of my system.  And now i've caught up on my Monday morning reading and am ready to start using my brain again ... if i can.

If you read people's life- and weight-histories with an open, inquiring mind, you will be struck by some interesting points:  person A and person B may have a huge amount in common, and nevertheless have very different experiences with the same diet and supplements.  Person A gets a simple energy boost from tyrosine, but B and C get uncomfortably wired with it.  Person C on the other hand likes the effect of carnitine better while A feels it a drag on her thyroid function.  Person B cannot seem to tolerate ZC but C loves it and A doesn't find it necessary.  C likes fasting, A does not.  ... I could go on and on.

PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT, which is why there will never be one perfect food regimen for everybody.  Perhaps it DOES boil down to microbiota and epigenetics.  Those Self-Proclaimed Experts on Weight (SPEWers for short) at this point begin to deride those who don't fit the middle of the bell-curve, accusing them of considering themselves unique snowFLAKES and fragile flowers, and they are absolutely 100% fucking WRONG.

This may be why they cling so tightly to CICO (which most people consider significant though not necessarily definitive) -- their mind-set REQUIRES truisms or they become so psychologically uncomfortable that the world becomes untenable.  I hope a little more evolving will get them to the point that LIFE, that sea of uncertainty we inhabit, will no longer be required to conform to their mold!  Their kind of thinking is what brought on the heresy-seeking inquisitions of history, and we know how well they turn out.  Pogrom, anyone?

VARIABILITY:  it exists.  Live with it.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

just ... avoid the pasta

I HAVE to commend Vin de Set, where my husband and i just ate brunch!  Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, TWO acceptable veggies, grilled fish, baked game hen, Manhattan-style clam chowder, carvery with roast beast and turkey, and omelette creation station.  :-D  All you have to do is avoid the pasta (and potatoes ... and dessert).

Even the coffee is above average.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

welcome to the frontier

We've been having a most interesting discussion of guns at The Low Carb Diabetic site.  Those guys are kewl -- even though i'm not diabetic, i regularly visit their blog for the sake of the interesting and educational posts, the wicked sense of humor, and the never-give-up attitude when faced with CW coming at one from all sides.

The really remarkable thing about this conversation is that although most readers seem to disagree with me, they nevertheless show a respect and tolerance with my point of view which compels my gratitude and respect in return.  The anonymity of international internet forums frequently encourages people to be just as rude as they desire, but NOT THERE.  Wow.

Shaw described England and America as two countries separated by a common language, but that was just a witty epigram -- we're separated by a lot more these days.  Pity.  We're separated by hundreds of years of diverging situations.  Once upon a time, Britain felt insulated and protected by the English Channel, just as a lot of Americans long felt the same about the oceans to our east and west.  During the course of two world wars Britain's apart-ness evaporated, and the USA's has been damaged by the nuclear age and what followed.  They became citizens of the world before us, but despite the dragged-kicking-and-scratching attitude of a lot of my fellows, i have confidence we'll eventually get there too.

Truth is, there's still a lot of "frontier mentality" when you get past the east coast metropolises (metropolii?).  I  live in the middle of the country, and often drive into what USED to be the Wild West -- and ya know what, some of it still IS.  I'm VERY familiar with places in Texas and Utah where you can't even get a cell-phone signal, and i've traveled through parts of other states in the same situation.  So what do you do when you're in one of these places and an emergency occurs?  You count on yourself, and tackle the problem on your own.  THAT is how i define "frontier mentality" -- the readiness to do this.

A firearm is the great equalizer for women, particularly.  Even if armed with an edged weapon or a baseball bat, it's not easy for an untrained person of the female persuasion to protect herself.  Would you leave her UNprotected if her car broke down or her home was broken-into in one of these incommunicado places?  Would you limit her movements (i.e., her freedom to go where she needs to) so that she doesn't run a risk of needing to use deadly force?  Not good enough -- how many women are assaulted in their own (locked) homes?

Until my fellow citizens are sufficiently evolved that violence is an anomaly, i'll be one of those who speak up for the right to keep and bear arms.  I won't brandish them in public, or hold out for automatic weapons holding scores of bullets, but if you break into my house, ignore my alarm system and barking dog, and keep coming ... i WILL show you my favorite pistol.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Years ago, before i had any inkling that it would be interesting to visit a place called New Orleans, i picked up a cookbook at a sale of "withdrawn" library books, called "The Original Picayune Creole Cook Book."  I'm not sure why THAT, of all the cookbooks offered, called my name, but i'm sure glad i snagged it.  As a reenactor and a tradition-inspired cook, it has come to be one of my favorite vintage recipe books.

It's a window on an important culino-cultural event ... if that's a viable expression.  Everyone KNOWS that French cuisine is one of the world's greatest, and in La Nouvelle Orleans time-tested traditions met a previously-unrealized array of novel ingredients to create a new world of great food.  This book speaks of the heritage of the city which i consider the best restaurant town i've ever gotten to know.

The arrangement of chapters is interesting:  just beyond the Introduction and "Suggestions to Housekeepers" is "Creole Coffee" -- over two small-type pages of description and instruction for that most important support of life and civilization.  Just how to make café noir, and to augment it to make café au lait....  From this MOST basic "necessity," the book continues to another primary foodstuff, upon which it would be easy to subsist -- Soup.  But not just one chapter on soup -- chapters two through seven progress from "Soups" through "Meat Soups," "Fish Soups," "Lenten Soups," and "The Bouilli" to "Creole Gumbo."  (Then it moves on to Fish, etc.)

Oddly enough the book doesn't define "gumbo" and the casual reader will puzzle over why the variations aren't simply incorporated into one of the other categories of soup.  It doesn't seem to be defined by any particular ingredient or combination of them; it doesn't always contain okra, or filé (powdered dried sassafras leaves), or seafood, poultry or sausages, but can contain a wide variety.  Nor is it always thickened with roux or other grain derivatives, though it generally seems to be.  The origin of the name is even in doubt -- some think it's from the Bantu word for okra (ki ngombo), and others from the Choctaw word for filé (kombo).  Whatever the case, Gumbo has become an institution.

So with this book as a reference, you will probably think it extremely perverse of me to base my favorite gumbo on an old vegetarian version i picked up many years ago -- but i just like the flavor!  I use stock as a base which i stash in the freezer after crockpotting beef or pork roasts or chickens, or after boiling bones.  I put in whatever meats i have hanging around the refrigerator or freezer, depending on my whim.  I feel that some vegetables are a sine qua non (like onions, tomatoes, celery and okra), and others are a desirable elective (squash and bell peppers).  Unless you're skilled at concocting creole/cajun dishes, i strongly recommend the "spicy" version of Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning -- it has less salt in it, so you use less of it and then salt the gumbo to taste.  Then of course the bottle of Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce goes on the table, for those who think my recipe isn't hot enough.  :-)  In the creole cookbook, it's recommended to put rice on the table SEPARATELY, then add a couple of spoonsful to each serving -- the convention of serving gumbo atop a big pile of the stuff probably originated in restaurants ... or poor families.  Naturally, when i make this recipe for myself, i don't cook rice for it at all.


2 c. chopped onions -- the "hot" kind, not those damned sweet things!
2 T. butter or drippings
6 cloves garlic, or to taste
1/2 c. sliced carrots
1 c. sliced celery
2 c. stock
large can crushed or diced tomatoes with juice
2-4 c. sliced okra -- i often use frozen ones
2 medium diced bell peppers -- i like to use yellow, or one green and one orange
1 c. diced zucchini or yellow squash
1 T. cajun spice (i like Tony Chachere's spicy version -- contains less salt
1 t. paprika
1 lb. peeled, raw (imparts more flavor!) shrimp/prawns
a couple of raw diced chicken breasts, or sliced andouille or chorizo sausage, or diced ham or ... whatever floats your pirogue  ;-)

Sauté onions in the fat, stir in the garlic, carrots and celery and cook a little longer.  Add the other veggies, seasoning, stock, and sausage or chicken (or both).  Simmer slowly till the carrots and okra are almost "done" then add the shrimp, and cook another five minutes.  This is one of those concoctions which only get better as time goes by, even if your vegetables kinda disintegrate with subsequent warm-ups....

A NOTE ON FILÉ POWDER:  Filé should NEVER be heated in the pot!!!  This turns it stringy, and when people say they don't like gumbo, it's frequently because they've had badly-handled filé.  The Picayune cookbook recommends adding it right before transferring the gumbo to the tureen, and i've seen elsewhere that the best way is to stir it into the individual bowl.  As for myself, i rarely use it at all -- but i have some in case a guest does want it!  :-)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

just when you thought it was safe to come in from the holidays

Happy Mardi-Gras season!  As a one-time resident of the French Quarter, New Orleans, i LOVE this time of year, which has no "holiday obligations" dragging along like the baggage you thought you'd need on that trip, but which turned out to be superfluous.  ;-)  Traditionally it seems, MG was about getting back to normal after the Christmas revelry, and enjoying your remaining goodies before they become verboten during Lent.  Yes, you finished up the LAST of the eggs in your Shrove Tuesday pancakes, there where the high water table didn't allow you to have a root-cellar and where the chickens would probably be laying again at Easter.  But think of all the other things that might spoil in those six long weeks!  Gotta chow down so as not to waste them!  Remember -- people used to buy their wines from the Old Country in big casks and bottled them at home -- i'll bet they couldn't be relied on to "keep" as well as what we get today.  So, allow the rest of the keg to turn to vinegar during the lenten season???  Sacrilege!

Sadly (and ironically), the local restaurants we came to love for "everyday" actually simplify their menus during higher-tourism times.  When my daughter and i visited on the weekend before Halloween -- which used to be a "locals'" holiday -- we found ourselves hampered in our hedonistic pursuits.  We concluded that THAT weekend is becoming overly patronized by outsiders to the point of not being able to get reservations at favorite places, and facing long lines at joints that are almost empty under ordinary situations.  Need to choose another time of year next time, i'm afraid....

"Mardi Gras food" doesn't HAVE to be the carbfest that NOLA's is.  The first year we were there, yeah, we DID get a real king cake from the place J's coworkers described as the best there is.  That year is when i fell off the LC wagon and gained quite a lot of weight (the bread in N'Orleans is out of this world)!  I also learned to love the Hurricane and to respect the HandGrenade, to enjoy alligator for starters and deplore the fact that it was cooked so unhealthfully, and to begin my continuing affair with raw oysters.  :-D  I tried the famed beignets, and ya know what?  they were fry-bread, nothing more.  A REAL beignet is pate a choux -- the stuff that cream puffs and eclairs are made of -- and you can get a much better one in St. Louis....

REAL Mardi Gras food is mostly low-carb, actually!  Butter and eggs.  MEAT.  You know -- "rich people's food" in the bad old days.  Lenten food would probably be considered good diet food by mainstream dieticians these days -- plain potatoes, butterless veggies, peasant bread.  What is "soup maigre" but the cabbage-soup diet in vegetable stock?  Pfui!

The celebration HERE will be a melange of tradition and modernity.  We'll start today and enjoy the hell out of all those self-indulgent fleshly (AND fleshy) dishes that cause ascetics everywhere to swoon, appalled and envious simultaneously (they know who they are, but they won't admit it).  We'll whoop it up till Ash Wednesday, then we'll whoop it up some more because OUR gods believe we should enjoy their bounty rather than pull a long face.  ;-)  I WILL order a small king cake to be sent to the grandkids, because they get such a kick out of it ... but just a small one.  With extra beads and masks.

The second MG season we were in NOLA, i made a cream-cheese-filled almond-flour coffeecake and sprinkled it with colored xylitol for our own delectation and whaddaya know -- it satisfied our attraction to something sweet and special, and we didn't hate ourselves in the morning.  I think i'll do it again.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

a speculation or two

[chuckle]  Well, i always DID know i was "different"....

In the comments over at Sidereal's place, Wooo describes more-or-less how i differ from a more classic hypothyroid.  However, i'm very discontented with the state of the science.  I want me a couple of dozen hypothyroid people to experiment on for a few years ... and that isn't a possibility in THIS life; maybe in my next one...?  ;-)

For instance, i KNOW that inappropriate levels of certain micronutrients (especially if i can lump O6 in this category) make me feel like hell -- or in balance, wonderful -- with absolutely no change of diet to act as a confounder.  When people get hypothyroid symptoms from taking carnitine, for ONE thing ... how do their diets and supplement regimens differ from mine?  I was all ready to speculate that carnitine spares thyroid when it binds to receptors and does the donkey work of ferrying in FAs for burning.  That's exactly what seems to happen in my case.

I really feel like a lot is misunderstood about thyroid function by those who should know better.  I feel that they THINK they have it down pat, and so have been taking a lot of things for granted.  WHY are there so many more hypothyroid people in the world than there were a few decades ago?  Like so many other categories of the not-quite-well, i think a lot of hypothyroidism is NOT derived from mysterious genetic or "god-sent" causes, but MALNUTRITION.  I'm probably alone in this belief, but that doesn't make me wrong.

Friday, January 4, 2013

happy anniversary to me (and my blog)

Who'd'a' thunk it!  I've been here a year and had more page-views than i ever would have expected.  Time to make plans to better myself, i think.

I've been giving credit to carnitine and pregnenolone for a lot of the improved energy i've had lately, but i don't want to undervalue the also-recently-added "dopa mucuna" for my sense of well-being.  For me to sort out WHY these supplements are so helpful, it's gonna take some time and reading, of course!  Specifics like WHICH hormones derived from the pregnenolone are making me feel good....

Another subject i want to explore and experiment with is that of GOITROGENS.  Often we're told that certain foods are bad for thyroid function because giving them to healthy people and then measuring their hormone output shows a lower concentration.  But my experience has been that a lot of things which are said to lower FUNCTION actually seem to cause the body to REQUIRE LESS thyroid.  I believe that dialing back on one's need for thyroid is a good thing!  This should be possible to test -- get on a consistent roll of feeling well-supplemented and then eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables, for example....  I often get a strong sense of being "under-powered" when my body is producing less hormone.  Testing things like fruits will be a little trickier, having their burden of sugars (and my minor fructose intolerance) to confound reactions.

Well, that should occupy me for awhile.  Keeping my fingers crossed that TIME will be kind to me in 2013....  It's no secret that as one ages, time seems to go by MUCH more quickly!  I've heard various rationalizations for it, even including the hypothesis by an engineer friend that time ACTUALLY DOES go more slowly or swiftly -- wish i'd made a point of remembering his reasoning on the subject!  ;-)  It sounded good at the time, anyway.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


It almost makes me wish i had a cold, to get the full benefit!  :-)  Chicken broth made with FEET!  Here it is this morning, in all its cold gelatinous beauty!

...'Cause, yeah -- i DO believe that when you eat animals snout-to-tail, you get all the nutrients you need, and when you eat only the hygenically-correct, shrink-wrapped, antiseptically-soaked, never-et-a-bug chickens that are FDA-approved for a healthy low-fat diet, you end up anything BUT.  Bon appetit!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

[evil grin]

(No wonder older women became the targets of witch-hunters in previous centuries....)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

if it doesn't work

... it doesn't work!

SO much drama recently, in the LC/WAP/paleo blogosphere!  Frankly, i find it almost as intellectually stimulating as broadcast television.

It doesn't matter how elegant a rodent laboratory experiment is, or how clear-cut the results.  IF YOU DON'T SEE THE SAME RESULTS WITH REAL PEOPLE IN REAL-LIFE SITUATIONS, YOUR TRIAL MEANS BUPKIS.

Seems like i've heard this conclusion before.  Makes sense.  Why, then, do people fight it so hard?  ...Must have something to do with egos.

[sigh]  Damned if i don't wish the world HAD ended last week.