Monday, June 30, 2014

insidious, sneaky triggers

Yesterday our first tomatoes became ripe enough to eat, so I made a more traditional LC dinner (not Strong Medicine) for us to enjoy.  Simplified Indian butter chicken and caprese salad, with a slice of flax bread to mop up the olive oil and sauce -- mmmmm....

In the late evening, I got the munchies.

Of course I didn't answer the siren's song "munchies" and "HUNGERRRR" are not synonymous in my world.  I just started reading something different, as the first thing obviously wasn't commanding my attention strongly enough.

But it just goes to show ya -- the foods we eat have effects on many more levels than nutritional satiety, satiation, protein-and-fat content (particularly significant to me), or belly-fullness.  The most significant "deviant" qualities of that meal over a steak-and-salad one was the carb content and the presence of dairy.  It was filling, it was delicious, it had a comparable P&F content, but in the old days I might have been seduced into having a little snack before bed.

I didn't think to check my ketones, either last night or this morning -- I rarely do anymore.  But in the absence of being able to measure insulin at home, it seems to be agreed that ketone presence is a negative indicator for insulin level too much of the latter and you can be assured you won't see pink on that pee-strip.

We have six tomato plants this year, in pots on the balcony, since we anticipate a torn-up back yard because of our upcoming construction.  And they're LOADED with green fruit!!!  I've NEVER gotten a very big tomato-harvest before, and in this place the squirrels have always gotten the lion's share of what there was -- it's ironic that the pots are making so much difference.  But even if the squirrels or birds find them and steal some, I anticipate getting quite a few.  And I won't hesitate to eat the little suckers myself, just because they have seductive properties.

But "forewarned is forearmed."  

[Ahhhh....  Fresh pico de gallo (I'm growing jalapenos, too) to go with my daughter's recipe for ceviche!  Fried green tomatoes as a base for eggs benedict!  Gazpacho!  BLTs and club sandwiches!  Tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad!  ...I'm salivating already!]

Sunday, June 29, 2014

why do people assume universality of experience?

...I wish I could answer my own question!  :-)

While finishing up my breakfast coffee, I played a couple of games on the laptop.  As usual, when my hands are busy but my mind not really APPLIED, a little free-flow of thought meandered through....  I noticed my eyes are a bit itchy but they're far from dry ... I thought of PJ's jump to conclusion that dry eyes meant less mucin, and therefore dry intestines as well as eyes ... that he called what he was eating "zero carb" because though he was eating green leafy vegetables they "don't count" because they're not contributing carbohydrates to the system (which is bullshit) so "zero carb is bad" for him and consequently for EVERYBODY....

Why do people do this?  It happens in a LOT of areas, not just that of diet and nutrition, though the latter is VERY obvious to those of us who read from my blog list.

People constantly think "I succeeded doing XYZ so everyone should be able to succeed."  It took me a LONG time to realize that this is nonsense.  I find fatty meat satiating as well as self-limiting, so everyone should.  It's hard for me to get rid of fat, so if I do well on a particular regimen, so should you.

People like to take credit for the good things that happen to them, and assume the poor results that other people might have are a result of poor application, judgement, and effort.  They often don't realize that they've been lucky or privileged, and even when it's pointed out to them they refuse to acknowledge it.  Further, they don't WANT to believe that others can do exactly the same things they did, and yet fail.

That LAST SENTENCE encapsulates my big question.  Is it cognitive-dissonance in reverse?  We want science to be consistent with our experience of the world, and when it doesn't match up we have to come to grips with the unpredictability and complicated nature of life?

...Maybe I just answered my own conundrum....

Saturday, June 28, 2014

the busyness continues

Even though we're no longer doing a lot of materials-shopping, such as was keeping us so busy over the last month or two, we're managing to find PLENTY to do to keep us occupied this summer!  And as i used to find back in our Texas years when i sewed costumes for the community theatre, the more i work with my hands the less i tend to eat.

It just doesn't occur to me.  My mind and hands are engrossed in the job in progress, and the day passes VERY swiftly.  Perfect time to do the Strong Medicine regimen!

This is the program i learned about a couple of years ago, and i find it VERY effective for weight loss.  In a nutshell -- 16-18 oz fatty meat per day, one cup of coffee with each meal, and water in between.  Of course, i'm continuing to take my Nutreince vitamins & minerals, and my few additional supplements (SAMe, phosphatidylserine, glutathione, iron, copper, CLO and T-100) ... but that's it.  Some people -- my husband included -- don't feel well on this program, but it suits me very well .  In fact i never felt better in my life!

I find it especially valuable to be free of food-related aches and pains now, because creating garments is more physically demanding than most people might guess.  Bending over the cutting-table while handling the fabric, working with patterns, measuring, pinning and cutting can be hard on the back!  In the old days when i used the dining-room table for the job, it was worse.  But even when those phases are done and the stitching starts, one is constantly getting up and down to press seams, etc.  Mercifully, in this house, i have the space for all my tools and toys in one big room;  i didn't even have to go downstairs for more San Pellegrino.  :-)

It was dinnertime before i knew it.  I shut up shop and went down to heat up leftover roast beef, and to my utter DELIGHT i didn't suffer the stiffness and pain that i HAVE been known to experience after an afternoon of such work!

Someone once said that nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.  That's not nearly as to-the-point as my version -- i prefer to say that nothing tastes as good as BEING HEALTHY feels!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

tired and sore, but feeling good?

I woke up late this morning, with dry, itchy eyes, body aches and some residual bone-weariness.  It was great!

You see, I put in rather a strenuous day's work yesterday.  I finally determined that I needed to replace the shabby old window-shades in the bedroom with room-darkening ones.  I brought the ladder upstairs (old houses have high ceilings, and even my two-foot stepstool doesn't help me reach the top of the window-frames), and started measuring.

Of course, the lace curtains on tension-rods had to come down, and I determined they were overdue for laundering (old houses get more than their share of dust).  The dressing-table, reading-chair and settee had to be moved to get close enough to the windows, too.  My husband helped me with some of the cleaning, so I climbed the ladder only half as many times as I would have otherwise, but nobody but me is allowed to touch the dressing-table -- too many unique breakables!

Tossing the curtains down the chute kept me from having to breathe the dust of them, carrying them in my arms down to the basement, but taking some benedryl before following them down by stair was a wise move.  Half of them fit in the washer, and I gave them a prewash and a soak before the wash-cycle, so I had to handle the dusty things a lot more -- hurrah for diphenhydramine!  :-)

Two loads of laundry with that many phases = about ten trips to the basement.  The lowest flight has 14 steps, and next flight is 21.  Somewhere in the middle of all this, we dressed for going to the store, and I ordered my new shades from a shop that looks very good and professional -- it should be, having been in business there for almost 70 years....

When we got back from our errands (also visited a fabric store -- I've been raiding obscure sewing boxes looking for white AND black thread recently), I was surprised to find myself too energetic to sit down.  THIS IS RARE FOR ME!!!  I delightedly headed for the third-floor stairs (18) to work on clearing off my cutting-table (old pool-table left by previous resident) in preparation for making the period-correct swimsuit for my next living-history event.  Looking to put some LC beverages in the mini-fridge there, I discovered it was in need of wiping out and the freezer area was iced shut.  I ran back downstairs for "dog towels" and turned it off to defrost.

The dust up there was pretty bad, too.  I ran back downstairs for the dirt-devil, and walked around the worst area bent over, sucking up thread and dust-bunnies and fabric snippets and doghair, etc.  (benedryl still working, thank the gods)  I can deduce the number of times I trekked to the basement, but the trips to the third floor I can't begin to guess.

The biggest problem with that big room upstairs is that it's full of STUFF.  I have plenty of my own stuff, but when my mother moved from KC to Phoenix, I inherited an awful lot more.  Then my MIL moved from BFE to Colorado, and I got EVEN more.  Once, when I stayed home but J went to BFE to help her sort and pack and all that, there was a sale of "excess" by their local historical society, and he brought home an OBSCENE LOT more stuff.  Some of all this collected STUFF has been appropriately dispatched, but still more just doesn't have a place it belongs yet.  Thus there are boxes and piles -- dust-magnets!

A cutting-/pool-table is a big piece of flat surface!  It lies only a dozen feet from the top of the back stairs, and it's a very convenient spot to lay things and get them out of the way of day-to-day living downstairs.  The piles of books waiting to be shelved were transferred to their appropriate areas, music- and data-CDs ditto.  Fabric remnants also, and sewing and other tools actually put where they BELONG.  Living-history sewing tools were separated from the modern ones, and dispatched to the pile going downstairs for the next event -- remember I was looking EVERYWHERE for thread....

The table was finally clear!  WHAT a sense of accomplishment I felt -- and it only took the time of three episodes of The Avengers on the DVD!  I was starting to feel those tired muscles, as well as satisfaction.  I sat down and caught my breath for half an hour, then "shut up shop" and took my laptop and empty glass to the kitchen, and whipped up a quick dinner.

I was asleep well before midnight, but had a patch of wakefulness during which I was tempted to get up and take an Epsom-salt bath -- SOMETHING I did yesterday really seemed to have depleted minerals worse than usual!  Twitchy legs don't afflict me very often, but sometimes....  I never let myself wake up completely, though.  When I got back to sleep, I slept deeply, putting in over nine good hours, I believe.  I WAS tired!

So when I woke late with itchy eyes and aches in my back and legs, I felt GOOD.  This is what NORMAL people feel after a good day's work and a sleep, not that melting-into-the-mattress, terrible I-can't-move-i'm-so-exhausted fatigue I was suffering from late last summer and fall! 

When people complain to their doctors and families of debilitating fatigue and they hear in return (with a smirk), "yeah, I get tired, too," THIS is how they WISH they felt when tired!  There's a big difference between normal-tired, driven by expended energy, and that horrific exhaustion-upon-trivial-exertion that the pathologically-fatigued individual feels.  When you've put in the mileage I did yesterday, the sense of accomplishment -- and knowledge that you can do it again today -- makes those tired muscles worthwhile, even rewarding.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

"suppose i'm using synthroid"...

I know -- most of what I write about enhancing thyroid performance is from the point of view of maximizing the production and efficiency of a weak but functioning gland.  A lot of people however have been victims of bad science, having their thyroid removed or killed because an incompetent MD didn't know how to "cure" it.  Others, sadly, have had a thyroidectomy through accidental causes.  These people probably feel my posts on the subject don't apply to them.

But they do.  Skip over the bits about tyrosine, and lessen the strictures on iodine, but yes -- they do.

The very first point I make is that THE MORE CARBOHYDRATE YOU EAT, THE MORE THYROID HORMONE IS REQUIRED TO PROCESS IT.  This applies to everyone, hypothyroid or normal.  I'll leave it to people with hyper problems to present their point of view about carbs, but the blanket statement STILL applies.

If you're obliged to take the pharmaceutical form of thyroid that contains thyroxine (T4) but not triiodothyronine (T3), maximizing active conversion and reception is crucial.  THIS is the place where your actions and choices make a difference.  And again -- even if you're taking a T4+T3 formulation, this area can still apply to you!  Who says that the exact ratio you're getting in your supplement is what YOUR BODY wants?  Why is T4 in there at all, if your body's conversion isn't important?

And many people aren't doing all that's possible to optimize T4 conversion!  They've been told by broscience that they're getting all the nutrients they need on a paleo/primal diet, so supplementation is for SAD-eaters -- but unfortunately, broscience doesn't know shit about bodies that don't work as designed, i.e., hypothyroid bodies.  They don't take into account the fact that diminished thyroid function EQUALS diminished nutrient absorption from whole-food sources, and that intelligent supplementation hot-wires this limitation significantly.

Selenium and zinc are the sine-qua-non of supplementation for the T3-challenged.  If you're female, then you probably need iron as well.  The "man behind the curtain" keeps telling you that iron-overload is a PRAWWWWBLEM -- and it is for some.  FEW.  RARE.  Most women are iron-deficient, not overloaded.  Even if you eat red meat.  If you're hypothyroid and losing hair, i'll BET you're iron-deficient.

B12, especially, but all of the B vitamins probably should be added to your regimen.  Repeat this mantra:  IF YOU'RE HYPOTHYROID, YOU DON'T ABSORB NUTRIENTS APPROPRIATELY. 

Choose a sublingual in the form "HYDROXOcobalamin" because the cyanocobalamin isn't doing you a damn bit of good.  Know why a lot of goitrogens ARE goitrogens?  Cuz they often contain cyanides -- you know, that stuff murder mysteries use to poison people in a very short time, using massive doses.  Just because the dose in your food doesn't kill you immediately doesn't mean it's innocuous, like sugar (<- irony alert).  Your thyroid hates cyanide.  ;-)

(If you know that you're a poor methylator via a genetic test, go straight for the methylcobalamin, but some people have the opposite problem, and the hydroxo form is apparently effective for everyone.)

As a matter of fact, choosing a sublingual or transdermal form of many vitamins and minerals is superior -- this is why Epsom salts are so good.  If your intestinal absorption is inhibited, or if you experience irritation with it, taking the shortcut to your bloodstream can be an excellent idea.

You can have plenty of T3 in your bloodstream, too, but if it can't get into your cells because of a lack of receptors, you're shit-outa-luck.  Saturated fats in the diet maximize receptors, PUFAs minimize them, and MUFA is somewhere in the middle.  DON'T eat fried foods away from home, because you know they'll use the cheapest vegetable oil on the market.  DON'T eat commercial salad dressings and mayo. 


Tweaking diet and supplementation isn't out of place, even if you DO have to depend on pharmaceuticals.  I suspect that the more pharmaceuticals one is forced to take rather makes our personal choices MORE important in the end.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

i should have a category called "here we go again"

When ALL the bloggers I WANT to read don't post often, I have to go fishing for interesting articles elsewhere while I drink my morning coffee.  I may not get much out of them, but they often provide plenty of ideas as grist for MY mill.  :-)

Don't get too hungry, writes a certain "expert" in a respected publication -- it makes you want to eat!  Oi....  After an overnight fast, looking at the reward circuits of dieters, their little brains lit up looking at pictures of yummy food.

WHAT THE HELL does she want them to do, wake up every three hours and prepare themselves a nice balanced snack?  People who want and need to lose weight, these days, so often have sleep problems already.  [sigh]

Step one, to combat this "problem" -- turn the dieters into fat-burners through a nice old-fashioned Atkins induction.

Step two, make sure they take a WELL-MADE vitamin/mineral supplement -- not some damned thing like Centrum, which may not even dissolve in time for absorption in the right area of the digestive system.

If you're hungry, it isn't an empty-stomach phenomenon -- I think we've established that beyond doubt!  If you experience physical symptoms of NEEDING food, which is a decent definition of hunger as opposed to mere appetite, your body is calling either for nutrients or energy.  If you can access your own stores of fat, that latter requirement has been met to a large degree.  If you're getting all the vitamins and minerals you need, your chance of having chocolate cravings diminish SIGNIFICANTLY.

To us, the low-carb-committed, it seems so easy and straightforward!  To people still trapped in the low-calorie paradigm, to people who had success in their twenties with Weight Watchers, to people who "did low-carb wrong*" ... the points I made above are lost in the trees of the weight-loss forest.

Until people start thinking for themselves -- i.e., not believing all the bullshit promoted by people wanting to sell you the latest miracle supplement or superfood or exercise gimmick -- they're not going to make any progress whatsoever.  The most helpful advice isn't hidden.  STOP LISTENING TO THE FAILURES.  Stop listening to the people who are as alike to you as chalk to cheese. 

Just as the brain is the premier sex-organ, it's also the source of all your other successes in life.  Use it.

*   [evil grin]  i'm becoming very fond of this phrase, because of all the indignation it receives among the average facebooker.  i'm blaming the victim!  yep, they did it wrong.  WHY did they do it wrong?  because they didn't do their due diligence!  because they believed in SOMEBODY ELSE'S n=1 instead of looking into Atkins' or Eades' n=thousands.  young people who've never dieted before I can understand, but other middle-aged women?  through the decades, we've been on EVERY DIET UNDER THE SUN.  we USED to be able to lose weight much more easily than we can now.  fool me once, shame on you;  fool me twice....

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

healthy foods everybody can agree on!

^^^  irony.  ;-)

Ah, what a dietary history I've had during most of my adult life!  Low-cal, mostly, then a short flirtation with low-cal-low-carb, then the low-fat days came upon us, then I tried vegetarian for awhile (though I never could give up fish & shellfish), then back to conventional low-fat, then finally low-carb, and here I happily stick.  I've fallen off the wagon from time to time with each and every single regimen, but only now is the old "i need to get back on my proper diet" statement joyful and relieved.

A couple of years ago (before I started using my ipad to write posts, and had trouble with the "label" utility), I mentioned that low-cal-low-carb program:  it was a book my grandmother had called "Eat and Reduce" by an MD in post WWI practice.  My grandmother had a very similar build to mine -- willowy in her teens, but as Life attacked, she lost and gave up on the Battle of the Bulge which I am still valiantly fighting.  (more irony -- she had a tough life, and hadn't the leisure I have to pursue success ... not to mention the internet.)  ENNNNYHOW,  E&R was an approximate 600-cal-per-day program with a little fruit, moderate lean meats, and LOTS of vegetables.  When i tried following it, there were irritating aspects -- to begin with, buying and preparing all those vegetables, but mainly filling my belly with them and yet not being actually SATISFIED with the food.  As we say in this discipline, you CAN'T devise a low-carb diet with low fat and expect success!

Throughout every diet i ever tried, it was non-negociable -- you eat lots of veggies cuz they're rich in vitaminsandminerals, they're chock-full of FIBER and they're GOOOOD for you!  You MUST eat vegetables.  EVERYBODY agrees:  we can't possibly all be wrong!


The lovely thing about science is that it delights in casting doubt on things EVERYBODY agrees is true.  My stubborn, independent soul enjoys that.

The less-than-lovely thing about human beings as "experts" is that most of us get to a point of learning and understanding a subject, and conclude we know "enough," and then we say stoopid shit and hold stoopid beliefs ... like "vegetables are HEALTHY -- everybody must eat them!"  Vegetables are, in fact, problematic.  Some people are better off minimizing them.

I've eaten a lot of them recently, mostly "innocent" vegetables in "innocent" ways ... just more than usual amounts for me.  The associated bloat has been most uncomfortable!  I wake up waterlogged, with a bulging midsection which diminishes with coffee and fasting.  If this stuff is so damned good for me, why does it make me feel so crummy?

A website (which unfortunately didn't allow me to leave a comment) i was reading about intestinal bloat spoke of things we, individually, may not digest well.  It ignorantly stated that if your wind is particularly rank and skunky, the problem is with meat and eggs, because of all the sulphur they contain!  No, the problem is all the healthycruciferousveggiesuperfoods and healthymicrobiomefeedingsolublefibers that the nutrition world loves so much!  Those suckers are NOT the benign heroes that they might seem to be on paper -- they're out to get you, if you have the temerity to sink your teeth into their tissues and set free the chemical bomb they established for their own protection.

As we see over and over in nutrition study, all those "beneficial" chemicals in petri-dish/isolation may do one thing, but put them all together in a living human body and you'll see an entirely different picture.  Feeding your gut microbiome to make THEM happy is, to me, kinda like paying a blackmailer -- at the end of it all, you end up drained of your resources (health), and what have they given you in return?  Temporary respite (allowing you to eat foods you didn't need in the first place, but which you desired) ... that's all.

The "starch people" have been trying to convince us that it's in our best interests to cultivate the ability to ... eat more starch.  WHY?  Because misery loves company?  Because they have been so brainwashed by Conventional Wisdom that they STILL believe in healthyfruitsandvegetables?  Because they can't resist starches themselves, and want to bolster their own self-respect by making a virtue of "necessity"?

I feel good on minimal vegetable intake.  I'm obviously well-adapted to it, because a cup of mushrooms or squash, a half-cup of nightshades or cooked brassicas, a quarter-cup even of beans, corn, and pseudograins don't get me down.  A lot of the latter two categories DEFINITELY gets me down, even in combination.  I have healthy gut-bugs ... but they STILL don't like lots of vegetables.

Personal experience shows that conventional wisdom is wrong again.  We don't NEEEED vegetables, we desire vegetables.  We desire fruits and starches and dairy and alcohol and caffeine.  Some of us, whose ancestors ate these things for more thousands of years, tolerate them better.  Some of us, who were born with or have developed issues with them, need to use them with discretion.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

name that "researcher"!

I'm dipping into old Hyperlipid posts again....  I have a love-hate relationship with the comments sections of my favorite blogs!  Sometimes the stoopid is overwhelming, but then again the best commenters give a bonus bolus of wonderful information.  ;-)  Check out some of these:

"I have a possibility. I've always suspected that the reason vegetables are healthy is because when you eat a salad or a saute, you're essentially replacing carbohydrate in your meal with fat. This is because most vegetables are pretty low in carb, and are doused in fat before serving (salad dressing, butter, olive oil etc.).

"The calories from a salad or a vegetable saute (excluding starchy tubers/roots) are almost exclusively from fat."
"And by the way, as someone who studies the mechanisms of aging, my view is that the oxidative damage theory is far from proven. Just because the antioxidant capacity of your blood is going this way or that, it really doesn't allow us to predict anything about health outcomes at this point.

"For all the talk you see in the media about how great antioxidants are, I'm not aware of a single convincing study showing that antioxidants improve a health outcome in humans (without vitamin deficiencies)."
"I think you, Gary Taubes and I would agree about diet composition and hunger. One of the things Taubes talks about in his book is that hunger, in the most common sense of the word, is the result of carbohydrate consumption elevating insulin.

"When people are on very low-carb diets or when they have been fasting (both of which have similar metabolic effects), they experience hunger differently. I've found this to be true of myself. 24-hr fasts are fairly easy for me now. I even do strenuous workouts at the end of my fasts sometimes and have plenty of energy.

"Interestingly, you can fast for days without being very hungry, but if you're eating a calorie restricted high-carb diet, you'll be ravenous. I guess it's the difference between burning fat, which your body has plenty of even if you're not eating, and burning carb, which you can't store much of. Maybe that's an oversimplification.

"So yes, I agree with you that the diet would probably have been more tolerable in that study if the subjects had been eating fewer carbs."
OOOH!  We're getting more hints!  ;-)  Continuing:
"I see what you mean about the WHEL study. I have to say, my diet would be pretty boring without vegetables. I wonder if leafy greens are any good? High nutrient density, low carb. Plus our closest relatives eat them like they're going out of style.

"I'm interested in the alpha-lipoic acid thing. My suspicion with 'antioxidants' that are associated with improvement of some measure in a biological system, is that the effect isn't due to the antioxidant activity of the molecule. For example, curcumin was first thought to help in Alzheimer's models because it's a powerful antioxidant, but now they're finding it has specific effects on inflammation and cell death pathways that seem to be independent of this activity.

"As far as the insulin/aging connection, I don't know the answer for sure, but there are some tantalizing clues. First of all, I don't want to present myself as an expert. I'm a grad student whose work intersects with aging mechanisms, and I also have a personal interest in it."
(My emphasis.)

Wow, when did "the good doctor" stop "studying aging" and start being an obesity expert?  More interesting to me, when did he lose his humility?

SO many amusing little gems in this series of comments -- his diet would be boring without fruits and vegetables....  He, Peter and Taubes agree on something (anything)....  The virtue of salads is actually the fatty dressing you put on them....

It was always a grief to me that from a reasonably intelligent commenter on Hyperlipid, he descended into a gluttony-and-sloth inquisitor.  I used to read his blog with enthusiasm, but with the coming of the PhD, he started chasing funding instead of useful information ... long before he started posting pictures of junk food and saying this is what made America fat.

Friday, June 13, 2014

summer is tiki-drink time

Your personal bad influence is back on the job!  ;-)  This creation was so easy i can't bear to take credit for it -- it's based on the Floridita daiquiri in Dr. Cocktail's wonderful book "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails."  Enjoy!


1 cup ice cubes, crushed in a blender
4 oz. white or amber rum
1 oz. sugar-free raspberry syrup (Torani or Da Vinci)
1 oz. lime juice

After the ice is crushed, pour in the other ingredients and blend well.  Needless to say, it will be easy to make any flavor you prefer by changing the syrup.  I just happen to keep raspberry around for many purposes.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

phthalates, parabens and pesticides -- oh, my!

Rick (and a LOT of other people) is (are) frustrated with plateauing....  It's not an easy problem to deal with!  We've discussed it here before, but tossing in some more suggestions about what might be going "wrong" might be timely.

On the cruise, there were speakers i'd never heard of before, but who had some interesting ideas.  In fact, someone during the Q & A session brought up the subject of plateaus, and the entire panel seemed to agree on the basic reply:

WATCH FOR HIDDEN CARBS.  Some people are so sensitive to them, a very little can derail their efforts.  One woman found that the lemon juice she was using was enough to keep her from progressing.

First, forget the NET carbs -- from Eric Westman all the way down the ranks, it's now agreed that that "net" business has led people astray.

Do you use powdered sucralose?  It's bulked up with fluffed maltodextrin.  This carbohydrate has a high glycemic index and can elicit an insulin spike.  Use liquid sucralose instead, in your coffee/tea and for other sweetening purposes.

But wait, you say -- i can't BAKE with liquid sucralose!  ...BAKE???  If you're eating baked goods often, THERE'S another source of carbs you may not be counting!  Almond flour is not carb-free, though some people treat it as such -- every ounce has 5.6g.  Even heavy cream is not carb-free -- a half-cup contains 3.3g.  A little here, a little there -- you're at 20g of carb before you know it.

Did you know that acesulfame-potassium inhibits ketosis?  Yep.  It elicits an insulin response, though the animals tested don't demonstrate hypoglycemia afterward -- insulin w/o hypo's ... doesn't that imply sugar-release?

Obesogens in the modern environment!  Though the PEOPLE delivering this kind of information set off everyone's quack-alarm, there's evidence that the message shouldn't be dismissed as quickly as the messenger.  A lot of obesogens screw with your hormones and neurotransmitters;  a few of them are phthalates, parabens, BPA and its replacement (BPS) also, pesticides, halogens (chlorine, bromine, fluoride), MSG, heavy metals, molds and allergens, PPIs, antidepressants, other psych drugs....  As mentioned above, hormones (particularly sex hormones) REEEALLY predispose for weight-gain!  Why do you suppose women who never had a weight problem before, start gaining fat in midlife, though they haven't changed their food choices or amount of activity?  It's truly amazing how many gurus totally manage to ignore this phenomenon!

So if you're frustrated by a weight-loss plateau, it's time to take a very close look at a lot of things.  Weigh and measure your food and plot EVERYTHING in your favorite online tracker.  Don't say "i'm very good at eyeballing -- i don't need to measure."  If you omit this step, DON'T FUCKING EVER complain again!

Read EVERY label.  Even your shampoo.  Don't chew a piece of gum without knowing what's in it.  I'm serious -- the little things add up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ketosis is not a two-dimensional state

Ketosis for weight-loss, ketosis for neurological health, ketosis as it naturally happens to "help you through the night"....  And yet, people talk about it as though it was a single entity, brought about in one particular way.  It obviously isn't.

Back when Robert Atkins started talking about it, you didn't hear much from other sources.  I suspect his main reason was to set minds to rest, who were concerned about the sound-alike (at that time) condition of ketoacidosis -- he needed to explain to people and their doctors that the phenomenon they were seeing with their keto-strips was NOT pathological.  Since then (largely through the writings of Volek, Phinney, et al) it has turned into the cornerstone of low-carb weight-loss efforts.

After pursuing the pink pee-stick for a couple of years, I've come to the conclusion that it's getting WAY too much attention.

Getting into ketosis is an important milestone for previous predominantly-glucose-burners.  When new to it, while they're still feeling crummy because their bodies are not adept at harvesting energy from burning their own fat, it's REASSURING to know that they're suffering for a good purpose!  One can put up with more discomfort if one is aware that they're making progress thereby.  (What's depressing is starvation on a conventional low-cal diet plan and having NO sign that anything good is happening.)

But ... WHY is that strip pink?  Originally, in Atkins' day, it meant that you were burning your own fat -- YOUR FAT was the source of the ketones.  Nowadays, more often than not, the ketones are being manufactured from the fat YOU ARE EATING.  It's coming from the coconut oil in your fat-bombs, from the butter on your eggs, from the MCT oil in your smoothie.

I suspect that courting high ketones without paying attention to the source of the ketones is slowing down a lot of people's weight loss!

The REASON we should be eating a certain (large) percentage of fat in our diets is because we want its satiating and energizing properties.  Unless we're sick abed, we need to fuel ourselves, and we sure as hell don't want to be hungry.  As soon as we have eaten the number of grams of complete protein our bodies want, we aim at "filling up" with fat in the place of the carbs we USED to be fueled by....

But to push ourselves to eat more fat than we really want to, because we haven't reached some rosy threshold of blood ketones?  In my humble opinion -- MISTAKE.

If our aim is weight loss, we want our blood and urinary ketones to reflect how much of OUR OWN fat we're burning, not how much of a coconut's it is.  ;-)  To measure higher ketones when we're trying to treat a neurological problem is a whole 'nother issue!

Monday, June 9, 2014

reprise -- where IS the beef?

Others of my age in the US will remember those "where's the beef?" commercials.  (Yes, I used to watch television.  I remember with amusement how exciting it was when programming began being extended all night instead of ending around midnight.  When the baby woke me up at three I could tune in to reruns of Happy Days instead of numbly sitting in the rocking chair unable to hold the baby AND the bottle AND a book....  And it got REALLY exciting when AMC started airing uncut movies without commercial breaks -- there were scenes in some of the classics i'd never seen before.)

Back to "the beef" ... and now i'm talking about cookbooks.  Not having a gripe-fest like yesterday, but just wondering where the innovative recipes are for my favorite foodstuff!  (Well, recently, lamb is competing hard for favorite -- it's a really close race.)  Cookbooks are full of SWEETS!  faux-potatoes and bread!  snacks!  I want MEEEEEAT.  ;-)

Cows are BIG.  One steer contains a shitload (technical term) of meat, and piecemeal, the two of us probably go through a whole one every year.  And a couple of lambs, quite a few chickens and ducks, and maybe a whole pig.  I have hundreds of cookbooks, and yet I seem to cook my pot-roast pretty much the same every time.

I made what sounded like "something different" for dinner yesterday, a crockpot recipe for short ribs with oriental spices.  Turned out tasting like sauerbraten to me (it contained vinegar).  Though well-marbled, the meat was tender but not juicy.  Annoying.

What are YOUR favorite ways of cooking and seasoning beef?  Much as I enjoy sauerbraten, I do like some variation.  ;-)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

one of the best "side effects" of blogging

I first started this blog, because i googled for a blog written by a middle-aged woman with hypothyroidism, who was successfully losing weight and gaining energy and health, and at that time i couldn't find much.  (Many more have joined me since, which i consider a very good thing!)  I figured that this is a niche area in which we can all learn from each other, and with any kind of luck i'd attract others who might contribute their experiences, as well.

What i didn't realize at the time is that blogging is an excellent way to get stuff off my chest, which my friends and relatives obviously don't give a damn about.*  If anyone looks at this page and doesn't find the subject-matter of interest to them, they're perfectly free to skip it -- but i've had a chance to express myself nonetheless.  I've used this space to vent frustrations on a myriad of subjects, and for the most part it's been very helpful to my state of mind.

You see, i believe that people "close to us" only care about us AS IT RELATES TO THEM.  Sure, they say they love us, and i'm sure they're being truthful, but it isn't US they love, it's the wife, the mother, the child, the side-kick, etc.  They have a template of the ROLE, and as long as one doesn't step too far outside it, one is acceptable IN it.  Does anyone value the unique individuals we all are?  I'm forced to conclude -- very damned few.

When I get to the point, in real life, that i'm forced to SAY things that i feel and think, but which others don't want to hear, what i've written above becomes horribly clear.  One may get the oppressive feelings out in the open, but the feedback usually makes one feel even worse than before.  Solutions to the problem are rarely reached, but resentment is created via defensiveness.

Blogging allows a portal for the frustrations to be aired, at least -- most of the time, with little negative response of any importance.  Sure, the trolls may come out and try to make one feel worse than one does already, but their input is rather pathetic than impactful.  Once someone said some rather cutting things when i was feeling REALLY awful, but her point of view didn't take into account some of the personalities in the case, so wasn't germane....

So pardon me for venting -- yet again!  :-)  Mercury has gone retrograde, which is always problematic, and the moon is in the sign of Cancer (my own) and i find that particularly difficult.  Our planned yard and garage renovations are VERY stress-inducing, and have been so for months....  My blog has GOT to be my arena for expressing my frustration, because it is the only venue where it is at all cathartic to do so.
*  NONE of my face-to-face friends ever read my blog -- NONE.  I consider this proof that they really have no interest in ME.  My daughter and husband read it rarely, and not even my niece who has similar physiology to mine is a reader.  I believe this says volumes.  My mother doesn't read it, either -- and OF COURSE not my son.

Friday, June 6, 2014

more subjective evidence for micronutrient hypothesis of hunger

I'm almost ashamed to claim a "product" is doing me so much good -- it just reeks of quacks and shills on late-night television, telling insomniacs that buying some kitchen gadget will revolutionize their lives.

The history of this blog includes occasional reports on how certain supplements have promoted or compromised my sense of well-being.  Apart from saying that B Right contains the forms of folate, etc that are particularly good for poor methylators like me, or that i find T-100 is a better thyroid-support supplement than ordinary raw products, i usually don't name names.  Here comes an exception.

Since getting back from the "low-carb cruise," i've been using a twice-a-day multi-vitamin created by a doctor (and his wife) who spoke this year as well as last.  They offered a special deal to attendees, and since it sounded like it could reduce the sheer number of pills i have to take (and reduce the clutter on my bathroom counter!) i decided to give it a try.  I LIKE IT.  I REALLY like it.

The "gimmick" of Nutreince is that certain vitamins and minerals work together, and others compete for absorption -- i knew this before, which made the sales pitch more credible.  Some are better to take in the morning, and some in the evening, too.  Some conventional vitamin pills, additionally, resist breaking down at the right time, or contain ingredients which inhibit absorption.  Nutreince also takes these shortcomings into account by coming in a powder form that is to be mixed with liquid before ingestion, and not containing the waxes and binders that reduce efficiency.

I'll either have to eat liver more often or continue to buy iron and copper, because those two minerals are not included.  Otherwise, it's all in there.  If i use their good-tasting whey powder too, i can even stop buying glutathione, as it contains a healthy dose.  Imagine -- being able to travel without a train-case full of pill-bottles....

But, do you want to hear the "shocker"?  I'M LESS HUNGRY.  Smaller portions satisfy me these days.  THIS is why i named this post what i did -- i believe i'm absorbing the nutrients in Nutreince better than i was my old formulations.

The stuff IS expensive, but i've been spending a young fortune on supplements for some time -- i think it's actually going to be competitive.

WOW.  ...And i'm sorry for sounding like an info-mercial.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

tweaking a diet prematurely

One of Wooo's commenters is dealing with a frustration that happens to a LOT of people -- especially women.  C is under the impression she's doing everything right, but not seeing the progress she expects.

Not knowing her, nor her history, nor her actual practices, i won't presume SHE is doing what i'm about to describe, but so many people do, it's something that needs talking about.

I recommended following Atkins or Eades AS WRITTEN -- the basics, no tweaks.  In a follow-up comment, i specified their actual meal plans.  I think this is an important starting place, because if people begin their LC experimentation based on what they read in forums and miscellaneous blogs written by people who already know how their bodies respond to BASIC LC, they may easily skip over stages and signs they need to know about.  Most of "us" here did our LC "boot camp" some time ago, and those early experiences influence what we do today.

Dr. Atkins' revised diet revolution (2002?  i'm not sure of the date...) contains SO MUCH INFO, it's easy to slip past the elementary stuff and concentrate too soon on the minutia.  So elementary it's unnecessary to dwell on?  NO.  So elementary, it's the bedrock on which everything else rests.

I believe I slipped out of the basics too soon, myself.  It was such an effective program for me, i got ambitious to move out of the induction phase too soon, seduced by enticing low-carb recipes that were a little TOO carby.  I know, Atkins himself said one shouldn't stay in induction too long -- that it's important to slowly add in more carbs to see at what point one's body stalls.  I disagree.  My experience suggests that losing almost all the weight one wants to ON INDUCTION will help keep that train on track till its destination is reached.  THEN fiddle around with finding your critical carb intake level.

I also believe that one reason people don't have as good a result when attempting LC a second time is that they never begin as a purist again.  They "know" they can get away with certain tweaks ... and those sneaky little cheats and shortcuts completely spoil the game.  Well, also, the body has the experience of running on fats and ketones, and doesn't WASTE nearly as much energy in the adaptation process as it did the first time, too!  The pink color on the pee-strips doesn't just indicate you're burning your own fat for fuel, it means you're pouring energy (ketones) down the toilet!  As a LC veteran progresses, s/he often finds the pink fades away -- our bodies are becoming adept at USING those ketones for energy instead of flushing away what it doesn't know what to do with.

THAT is why i suggest to people who are interested in a LCHF diet, go buy the New Diet Revolution and follow exactly what it says (but to use animal fats instead of omega-6 oils, and stay away from the soy and gluten products).  No one knows better than me, the lure of experimentation!  I'm not tempted by pizza and cookies, i'm tempted by the perfectly legitimate possibilities of zoodles and cauliflower rice and ... other things which technically follow the rules, but which potentially derail a perfectly functional dietary plan.

so what IS high protein ... low protein ... adequate protein, etc?

Every time I read about protein intake as a percent of total, my hackles tend to rise.  "Percent of intake" is a piss-poor way of discussing how much of this important nutrient we eat!

Suppose a calorie-dieter is taking in 600-800 calories per day, because she can't lose an OUNCE consuming more than that?  Suppose she tries the WAPF recommendations of three or four times that amount of food, designed to tell her body she can afford to burn fat for fuel?  "20% of calories" becomes a huge range of possibility, and yet most people would think either end of the spectrum is a reasonable amount.

I'm no expert on the subject, but I believe just to talk about grams of protein rather than percents would help the newbies significantly.  They hear all sorts of conflicting advice from The Usual Suspects (TUS), like "too much protein is dangerous"....  But what is too much, and according to whom?

The worst TUS out there -- our governmental bodies which promote agriculture by convincing people to load their plates with fungible commodities -- suggest a protein intake for us all which may be enough for a small child or refeeding anorexic, but I suspect to be TOO low.  Body-builders traditionally favor hundreds of grams-worth of MEEEEEEAT, which may serve their immediate goals but may actually be deleterious in the long run.  Reasonable sources are more likely to range from one gram per kilo of lean weight, to 1.5 g per pound of weight, depending on a lot of different variables.  This sounds to me like a range we can all thrive in.

After reading Kwasniewski, I tried to aim for the g:k quantity, and had a hard time doing so!  This would be about 60 g for me, and even eating only two meals a day, the meat serving at each one was very small!  I still can visualize that his protein/carb balancing act can make sense, but it doesn't seem to suit my appetite and physiology.  I quickly dropped back into VLC ... with a sigh of relief!  I need to waste too much time with calculation, when i'm trying to stay within such a fiddly ratio!

Back when I was fully immersed in the Strong Medicine regimen, I determined that Donaldson's prescription of three 8-oz servings of fatty meat per day was just too much -- it really taxed my digestion.  I reduced that to two 8-oz'ers, or three 6-oz, and everything got very comfortable.  According to FitDay, my happy-zone turned out to be about 90 g protein, plus/minus 20 g per day.  YMMV.

But wait -- even specifically saying "grams of protein" tends to confuse the new kids.  Some people interpret this to mean protein-foods, not the nutrition info we get on the hamburger package, and they under-eat, and then complain that the diet is NOT satisfying and the hunger overwhelms them so "LC diets don't work"....  [groan]  THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T INVENT YOUR OWN LOW-CARB REGIMEN.  You find people who try to go LC and LF at the same time, or use their 20-gram carb allowance for candy.

aside:  [People who fail on a LC diet truly are NOT "doing it right."  Sorry to all the people who will now accuse me of blaming the victim, but they're NOT.  Low-carb diets must be tweaked for the individual, but the tweaking needs to be done by someone with a great deal of experience, maybe even a professional who has treated all kinds of patients with LC.  Not your brother-in-law who effortlessly lost 100 pounds by dropping beer, bread and potatoes.  Not your 22-year-old niece who lost ten when she left the cafeteria at college and started eating vegetables by the bushel.  And time MUST be allowed for adaptation -- two weeks may not be enough.]

But I digress.  ;-)

Some people seem to improve weight loss by raising their protein intake and lowering fat.  Others, the other way around.  Which YOU are will probably depend on little things like how good your body is at gluconeogenesis, how well it harvests junk proteins in autophagy, and what kinds of protein-foods you're actually eating.  Your body needs protein -- full stop!  HOW much it needs is individual.  "High protein" to you may be "adequate protein" to me.  "High protein" to me may be "adequate" to a professional athlete.

The discussion is complicated further because of the positive aspect of referring to FAT intake in terms of percentages.  Objective quantity of one and subjective proportion of another require a lot of explanation!  Nevertheless, it's something a lot of us like to keep in mind.

But the easiest way to START investigating how much protein is best for YOU is probably to begin with 1.5 g per kilo of your ideal weight, and listen to your body and digestion as to how satiated and fueled you feel.  With time and practice, I found that I could perceive a difference in how I feel if i'm low on either protein or fat.  If adding a fat-bomb to your inadequate meal doesn't satisfy you, assume that you need a little more protein....  Or if your stomach feels "overly heavy" or "bogged down" after a moderate meal, maybe you need to back off a little.

I feel very strongly about the subject of optimal protein in one's diet -- both quantity and quality!  All amino acids are not created equal!  :-)  Eating nothing but muscle-meat is shortchanging yourself; things like good bone-broth, pork rinds (and other skin foods), and organs may be a challenge to embrace, but can do great things for your body!

Monday, June 2, 2014

reports on the stupidity of Americans are also engineered

As very few of my preferred bloggers have written fresh stuff since last night, my first-cup-of-coffee reading was a link on facebook, about the dumbing-down of America.  (I can't face "real news" until I have a little caffeine under my belt....)

There's no doubt in the world -- my poor country is embracing stupidity.  From right, left and center, unworkable "solutions" that could be picked apart by an intelligent third-grader bounce around the halls of government.  Respected purveyors of news and the opinions thereon are delivering products written by people who can't form a grammatical sentence, or pronounce all the words properly when they get on-camera.  Some of our more conservative and religion-saturated states are passing laws of jaw-dropping idiocy.  Getting rid of extreme bias through presenting only one side of a debatable subject has led to the idea that all sides of every argument deserve representation, no matter how brainless -- in our SCHOOL-BOOKS.

But it comes to my attention, via that article I was reading (and which I couldn't finish, it was such a piece of manipulation), that some of the "facts" about what my countrymen think have been crafted by questionnaire-designers very much like the guy who wrote the joke "so when did you stop beating your wife?"

The article made an example of the question, do people "consider vaccinations to be safe and effective."  Any half-way intelligent person answering such a question can see three major problems with it:  vaccinations?  which ones? ... effective, undoubtedly for SOME of them ... but SAFE?   Safe to give a newborn something that was tested on a much older animal?  Yes, measles vaccinations, given at a reasonable age, can save countless lives, but HPV's record is new and sketchy at this point....  So is it dumb to express a modicum of doubt on the "safety and effectiveness of vaccines"?  Expressed in this kind of terminology, I don't think so.

They also mentioned evolution and the age of the earth.  Again, depending on how the questionnaire framed the queries, "how certain are you that the earth is 4.5 billion years old" could sound like a trick question.  But phrase it, "choose one:  a) the earth is 4.5 thousand years old, or  b) the earth is 4.5 billion years old" and you might get an answer that's more consistent with reason.

Just as it's possible to design a nutrition study that will prove anything you want, it's also possible to get any answer you want to a query into "intelligence."  There used to be literacy tests for voting, in our southern states, which only a rare, canny individual could possibly answer -- certainly not the under-educated crackers (to which they were NOT given) OR the earnestly-trying black people there (who were the intended targets).  If you WANT to make the general population look dumb, it's going to be pretty easy, considering that almost half of them are below average already.  ;-)

You have to remember, people can't know something they haven't been taught (or self-taught).  If all the authorities in a child's life bombard them with UNtruths, half-truths, and unrealistic opinions, there's every reason to believe that the child's thinking-processes will be disabled.  ... APPALLING, but it explains a lot, doesn't it?