Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bro decides to "help" again....

A lot of blogs written by women on the subject of food, fitness and weight loss are personal stories of success and/or frustration.  A lot of us have been thoroughly let down by conventional wisdom of the medical industry or dietary/fitness "authorities" -- we bust our asses to do things "right" with appalling results, till there comes a point that we either give up or go renegade and start creating our own sets of guidelines.

We now share so that we can give encouragement to others like us.  After all, we wish WE had learned from the experiences of other women in the same hormonal situations, especially before the day of the internet when such info was a lot harder to find.  We pour out our findings and discoveries, spending time and emotional energy on our blogs and THEN:

Joe Bro decides to step outside his weightlifting, carbstuffing, testosterone-boosting circle to tell us we're WRRRROOOONNNNGGGG.  Just check out his favorite bro-palace, run by some muscle-headed self-informed guru -- he'll straighten us out!

Are these guys the reincarnations of Galileo's opponents?  You'd think so, since THEIR paradigm is the center of their universe, and only THEIR experience could possibly be valid.  And they feel it their absolute DUTY to pop into certain forums -- like the bright pink one that inspired this rant -- and man-splain what's REEELY TROOO.

May all the gods bless the MAJORITY of the guys who visit me, and Wooo and Sid and EB and ... etc!  They manage to express their opinions -- even contrary opinions -- without coming across as self-important and dictatorial.  On the most sensitive subjects, they SOMEHOW manage to disagree with some of our views and yet not be perceived as a bunch of tactless ... (use your descriptor of choice).

So NO:  we're NOT going to read your entire archives, Joe.  Nor are we interested in reading your bro-guru's stuff.  We've heard this tripe over and over for the last forty years and we KNOW how unlikely it is to be of any practical value to us.  So please try really hard to repress your superior patriarchal attitudes on OUR sites, huh?  You can be as big a dick as you like on your own.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

eating things you can't pronounce

This won't be a rant, but ... why do people say such stoopid things?  We're not all language-impaired.  I can pronounce myriads of things that i wouldn't dream of eating, and avidly consume certain dishes whose names i can't pronounce PROPERLY (because they're quite literally Greek or Norwegian, Chinese or Welsh -- i don't have the SLIGHTEST grasp of those languages...).

Then there are the foodstuffs "with a face" or "with a mother" -- i think these expressions were designed to appall veg*ns.

How about that "eat ... mostly plants" suggestion?  Surely, green leafy vegetables and berries are two classifications of food that EVERYBODY can agree on!  ...Except ... uh ... as Dr. Donaldson pointed out, lettuce is one of the hardest things for the body to digest and green vegetables are very often not well-tolerated by allergics.  And a depressing number of my favorite veggies are goitrogens.  And nightshades can be extremely irritating (goji berries, aka wolfberries, are nightshades -- did you know?).  And strawberry allergies are extremely common (i have a slight sensitivity myself)....

It's very unfashionable to be a raging carnivore these days.  Between the faction that considers us murderers and the one that thinks we should have died of heart disease yesterday, the vast majority of people look down their noses at us.  Damn good thing we also tend to be raging individualists....

Sunday, April 21, 2013

stress and ideal weight

My husband hasn't been away on a business trip in WEEEEKS (and there for awhile we thought he might never be again).  Fortunately, as time has passed, we've gotten used to being around each other so much, again.  Snoring and tossing no longer wakes me up so much during the night, and i hope that whatever i do that discombobulates him is not as acute as it probably was, when he just returned from the last assignment.  There are still times of stress which happen when one has to share living space, but it's reduced, and even reversed in some situations (when the other person takes a burden from one's shoulders).

Of course, i haven't lost a pound since he got home, and he isn't even obstructive about diet.  The gods only know how people manage to change their diet in an environment which is actively hostile!

My weight has, in fact, become quite stable ... at 8 pounds over where i want it [eyes rolling].  This is something of a confirmation of an old hypothesis of mine -- that when you reach and hold a weight for a reasonably long period of time, that "held" weight becomes a new defended normal for the body (i would use the s-word, but i absolutely HATE the connotations that "setpoint" has gained over the last few years).

I don't believe in weight or fat setpoint theories as described by so many purported experts, though i have observed that my body WANTS to maintain a steady state.  Further, it WILL do this as long as i eat a low-carb diet.  I'm not one who says one CAN'T gain weight on VLC, but MY body WILL NOT:  there's no way i could eat and drink enough ketogenic food to make me gain fat -- my appetite switch trips OFF shortly after i get more than 100 grams each of fat and protein under my belt for one day.  In fact, if that point is reached by lunchtime, i don't have any appetite again for almost 24 hours.

No -- the "setpoint" my body wants to maintain is ANY weight it's held reasonably constant for more than a couple of months.  The ONLY way it goes up is through carelessness in carb intake, and the ONLY way it goes down is through a low-alcohol, XLC diet (which is only calorie-controlled because of the "100-gram rule" i described above).  Stress affects the situation (for me) through perverting hormones and sleep ... and desire for alcohol, the "gateway drug to carbs."

I think i'm at a "healthy" weight right now, and some may suspect it is "ideal" because my body is defending it so easily.  My daughter is in a similar position -- her two-decades-plus-younger body is resisting HER attempts at weight loss, too.  But i don't think these weights are ideal even though they are healthy, because (in my case) the 20 pounds of fat i COULD afford to lose are 20 pounds my joints are better off not bearing, and which my systems would be better off not serving with circulation, sensation and nutrients; extra weight without which my "challenged" mitochondria would be much less burdened, when supplying my body with energy!

So as my stress levels lessen (I HOPE), i anticipate dropping some 6-8 more pounds ... which i'll then make every effort to maintain for two or three months before making another "push" for weight loss.  See how good this hypothesis of mine really is!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

[sigh] more gun-control chatter....

The way i see it, both sides are right, and both sides are wrong.

True, "when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."  True, disarming peaceful and law-abiding individuals is no way to ensure public safety.  But isn't it obvious that keeping track of who's buying guns HELPS to keep them out of the hands of those who can't do so, legally?

Hunting weapons are not the issue here.  Why, in the name of all the gods at once, are hunters rallying behind the zealots who want to have their clips holding scores of cartridges and truly automatic weapons?  Such things are not used in hunting -- their only application is anti-personnel.  And until home break-ins are committed by mobs, crying "personal defense" is pure bullshit.

But another thing that the pro-gun faction totally FAILS to consider is, not everyone who wants to buy a gun for "personal safety" is a rational, intelligent individual who will be a responsible owner.  I know a man who is ostensibly intelligent and responsible, but who cracked emotionally one day and threatened to kill himself in an attempt at wife-manipulation.  He could as easily have threatened his family.  NOT ONE of my gun-loving friends would ever suggest that this guy didn't deserve to own a weapon.  Maybe a background check would have picked up his use of properly-prescribed psychoactive pharmaceuticals ... and maybe it wouldn't.

Conversely, arguing that individuals should NOT have the right of keeping arms to defend themselves, because in certain circumstances the weapons have been taken away and used against them, is sophistry beyond appropriate debate.  You can't fix stoopid, but sometimes you can fix evil -- by forever ending ALL actions by those who DO evil.

What the public argument NEEDS is intelligent, unemotional, rational debate ... but that won't happen, not in this land of sensationalist media.  Nor do i think that confiscation would do a damn bit of good even if i were a fan of disarmament.  There are too many undocumented firearms in the US (and Mexico is too handy for smuggling in more), which would immediately be hidden away at the first hint of the possibility.  The ONLY way to make this country more law-abiding is through education, and actually enforcing the laws we already have.

Monday, April 15, 2013

new mystery?

I had a "bad" night.  Dana Carpender is on my shit-list today!  ...Okay, not really -- i just needed a dramatic line.  ;-)  Sorry, D....

For years i've been using shirataki noodles;  i don't really LIKE them, but they're a convenient addition to otherwise-appropriate, favorite old recipes which unfortunately contain pasta.  If you handle them right and don't overload the dish, the slight extra chewiness isn't a big problem -- hell, some people's "al dente" pasta has worse texture.

Up to now i've used the "regular" version of shirataki, because i'll always and forever TRY to minimize soy products in my life.  In the cookbook "Fat Fast," the authors say that having done the math, the quantity of tofu in the hybrid noodles calculates out to be very small ("like a teaspoon of tofu per serving").  They also praise the improved texture of the product, and its availability in shapes that are more appropriate for certain dishes than are the angelhair-like shirataki noodles i get in my local international-foods stores.  In addition, they note a new product which is supposed to be similar to tofu-shirataki but without the soy-- Pasta Zero.

I went searching online for PZ ( didn't have it), and discovered that it's (theoretically) stocked at a local grocery, so i went searching IRL for it:  no soap!  So as not to waste my errand, and because i'd been assured by knowledgeable people that tofu-shirataki has very little actual soy in it, i picked up a couple of bags of the fettucine version.  We tried one of them last evening in a signature dish of J's, shrimp fra diavolo.

Well, the noodles did the job of "carrying" the spicy tomato mixture to the mouth, and kept the shrimps company on the plate, but they're still recognizably shiratakis.  They more closely resembled wheat pasta to-the-eye than do the non-tofu kind, and the fettucine shape works better than angelhair, but that's about it.  We concluded that the tofu-shirataki was a better choice for certain dishes for non-gustatory reasons.

I changed my mind at 3:00 this morning, when i was awakened by a hot-flash from hell and a very unhappy belly.  I don't know what else it could have been, if not those noodles!  Though sleepy, i couldn't doze off again till almost 6.  A few systemic enzyme caplets helped my stomach, but i really didn't know what was going on with it -- a "normal" person waking up to a belly like that would probably run for the cookie jar!  It still feels funky.

Now, i haven't suffered a hot-flash since i started using progesterone creme, which was before i started my current regimen of pregnenolone tablets.  Notably, too, i didn't get the "hypo" symptoms i usually feel when overdoing legumes, which are abnormal chilliness, edema or brain-fog.  My symptoms were on the estrogenic page, not the thyroidal.

Since there's another little bag of the noodles in the fridge, i'll conduct another experiment with the tofu-shirataki sometime when i'm feeling particularly great (good baseline) and in an analytical mood.  I'm not ready to condemn the product YET ... but i'm definitely suspicious.

FOR THE RECORD:  so far, i LOVE my "Fat Fast" cookbook!  The recipes i've tried so far have been innovative and intelligently-crafted.  We're looking forward to trying a lot more of them.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

much ADO about ... not much

Well, the short version is -- if it weren't for the bacon and onions, the lamb fries wouldn't have tasted like much of anything.

As i anticipated, their flavor (like sweetbreads) depended upon how they were cooked and sauced.  Liver, heart and kidney have a flavor of their own as do well-used-muscle meats.  Less-exercised muscles have less flavor.  Certain glands seem to have even less, and the "mountain oysters" of pre-pubescent animals seem to fall into this category.

We'll be interested to taste lamb fries again if we find them on the menu of some well-regarded restaurant, but won't go out of our way to order and cook them again ourselves.

Other creations of my kitchen have been of more note this week:  i made a batch of tomato ketchup from an "old" twentieth-century recipe which turned out very well, as did a version of bacon jam, and a loaf of Wooo's flax bread.  The mac&cheese recipe from our new Fat Fast Cookbook was also tried and approved -- needs some tabasco or cayenne, though!

It's been another "funny" week.  Some painter/paperers, recommended by our OUTSTANDING carpenter (Mike Schoenlaub of Standard Construction Inc.) have been coming almost daily to relieve me of some of the work of our living-room rehab project, which made our irregular hours even more discombobulated.  The good news, though, is that we're making good progress on the decoration.  The plaster walls are as sound and smooth as they'll ever be, the woodwork is primed and painted, and most of the major wall was papered today.  I removed, cleaned and repaired the lock-mechanisms from both the pocket-doors, and a local locksmith has provided a key to operate them.  We chose and ordered new tile for the hearth and firebox-surround, and identified the perfect carpet for the room (to be ordered when it goes on sale in another ten days).

So altogether, we've been busy in an on-again-off-again sort of way!  My excessive fatigue has passed, though my energy is definitely not all it should be.  I'll be pleased and relieved to have my living room habitable again ... but of course when it's done i'll need to throw a party for our friends and neighbors who have extended their hospitality to US over the past few years!

Monday, April 8, 2013

certainly the oddest kitchen chore ever

A few months ago, i placed my first order with US Wellness meats.  They have minimum order requirements, so on top of the "rather ordinary" sale items i thought i'd try out, i got something "whimsical" to meet the quota.  The other day i took it out of the freezer, and today J and i did the preliminary step of the preparation of ...


Following the instructions in the Kindle version of "Odd Bits" i bought last month, we just skinned two pairs of ovine testicles.  Yep -- the weirdest thing that has ever gone on in MY kitchen!  It wasn't too difficult, but it wasn't like peeling vegetables, either.  The first thing to make sure of is that you have a VERY sharp knife and plenty of patience.

They're now sitting in a bowl of brine, and tomorrow they'll be poached, sliced and fried, then served with a bacon-and-onion mixture.  I'll let you know how we rate them!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

what works, from a different angle

This is not a personal progress report.  I'm inspired to write something more like a State of the Union (Blogosphere?) Address, inspired by a few of my favorite internet writers.

I think that some of us start blogging as a relief valve; our nearest and dearest frequently have NO need for -- or interest in -- our particular dietary interventions, and merely talking to ourselves is less ... methodical.  KEEPING TRACK OF THINGS, organizing our thoughts in such a way that it makes sense on paper -- that's the way to formulate a viable hypothesis when it comes to improving our bodies' functions.  What's likely to be productive for us, what will REALLY improve our health and well-being?  The slap-dash methods "normal" people can get away with can be disastrous for "us."  We use internet blogging as an off-site journal -- record-keeping that others can access too.

And we RANT!!!  :-D  It's very satisfying (and not particularly destructive) to express one's righteous fury to the aether!  The aether doesn't file for divorce, fire our asses, cut off our allowance, or throw us out of the house.

Whatever the reasons each of us has for writing, somewhere someone can learn and benefit from our experiences and ruminations thereon.  The more i see, the more i'm convinced that this is important.

The bit is, although we're not really UNIQUE snowflakes, there are very few with our particular challenges to be found, and finding others like us CLOSE TO HOME is almost impossible.  ...Shit, try to find salsify or sunchokes in your local grocery!  Try to find non-goitrogenic greens in KingmanFrigginKansas!*  Ask "normal" people about diet?  Expect to hear nothing that won't make YOU suffer and lose ground.

Well, thanks to blogging sites, i've FOUND a comparative abundance of people whose knowledge and experience is of value to me, and whose personalities are not painful to bear, but are reasonably congenial.  Not here in my town, of course -- one is in Ireland, and one in New Jersey, others in California, Washington, Colorado, and Scotland, various places in Europe, several in England and Canada and a couple in New Zealand, and ... lots more in places i don't know.  The nearest ones are at a considerable distance -- not people i can spontaneously go meet for lunch!

So we have collected our own special international community --welcome to the far-flung tribe!  Wise Women and Shamans:  we have experience of life outside the norm, we ruminate over what we've learned and we're able to communicate lucidly.  Gandalf once said something about people like us talking to ourselves because we tend to address the most intelligent person in the room ... but that's not necessary now, as we have each other.  Here we sit, ostensibly participating in a discussion circle of one, with the help of a machine which is hooked to other machines, in front of which are other people like us ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD.  Truly, the internet can take away the stigma of muttering to ourselves as we trudge along our accustomed rut, because on the internet even wackos have readers.  We're never completely ALONE unless we want to be.

And our un-met friends will be there to answer our questions, reassure and encourage us, and send us sympathy and best wishes because whatever it is that's troubling us, SOMEBODY has been there before, done that and come out the other side already.  Want to know WHAT WORKS or how to deal with whatever-it-is?  Just ask.  SOMEBODY knows.

I appreciate my friends i've never met!  I'm grateful that they take the time and trouble to share their wisdom.  They're another manifestation of what i've found in the more-immediate world -- most people are at least "good" and some of them are absolutely OUTSTANDING.

*  yeah, once i was hungry for greens while visiting the MIL, and the only thing that came close was bagged spinach....

Thursday, April 4, 2013

feeling better CAN be just a supplement away

Of course, that's not ALWAYS true....  ;-)  ...but it seems to be helping me this week.

Before i went out of town the last time, i ran out of cod-liver oil.  I placed an order for some caplets of the fermented stuff, and when it arrived i stuck it in the fridge and forgot about it.  I was resolved to eat my weekly liver and salmon, and get more sunshine, so why did i need to use the caps?  Mistake.  I can be so stupid sometimes!

When my husband is at home, my eating (not to mention drinking) is less disciplined.  Then, the climate has been dragging its feet, delaying the sort of weather i expect to see in spring.  Distracting stressful details of everyday living left their irritating effects, and i felt dragged-down, exhausted, and uninspired.  I was making sure to get my carnitine, pregnenolone and iodine, and trying harder to include two caps of epimedium every day, but my energy was NOT improving.

Digging around the back of the refrigerator the other day, i found the CLO bottle, and ... three days (doses) later i'm starting to feel a little more human again!  Ye gods, does it make a difference.  Synchronicitously, George sent me more vitamin-A info (THANK YOU!!!)  That bloody stuff is SO VALUABLE to me, either in the form of CLO or beef/chicken liver....  I obviously don't absorb it worth a damn from anything else!

I become so annoyed with myself -- when i learn things quickly and easily, i tend to retain the information rather poorly.  "Forgetting" the importance of vA:  only i could be so dumb!

Maybe i should stitch up a sampler, frame it and hang it in the bathroom, reminding myself of what supplements are actually crucial to my well-being.  MAYBE that would impress it indelibly on my faulty brain!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

hey, where's everybody going???

TWO of the best blogs have evaporated into the aether -- Ad Libitum and Kindke's Health Notes.  :-(  I hope you two know that this is not something your devoted readers can live with!  Not-posting (because i know you both have busy lives) is one thing ... but disappearing archives is quite another!

COME BACK, "tiny crack babies"!