Friday, December 25, 2015

the resolution to NOT make

My autumn was absolutely out-of-control-busy.  We had a houseful of guests in August, spent two or three weeks in Texas in both September and November, took another cruise in the Caribbean earlier this month (with our son and his wife, staying an extra few days in Panama before flying back), and are now still in Texas once again.  Whenever being gone-from-home a long time, we have to take our elderly dog and the canary to stay with our daughter;  having returned right before our granddaughter's birthday, we naturally stayed for that, and for Christmas....

When we got back "stateside," my husband came down with a cold -- probably caught on the plane.  I did everything i know to avoid catching it too, knowing that adequate sleep and good nutrition are far more central to staying healthy than anything else.  Over the last week, i've had at least two nine-hour nights!  So far so good ... until yesterday....

Yesterday, Christmas Eve, we covered a lot of ground.  The preceeding week we were crazy-busy, repainting the bedrooms of both the grandchildren while they were staying with their other grandmother, and my fitbit racked up unprecedentedly-high mileage, if you look at consecutive days of movement.  Yesterday, though, i topped 10,000 steps by a generous amount with all the last-minute arrangements, and i have two things to say:  the kids loved their bedroom-makeovers, and ... OUCH.

Our society loves to glorify activity.  The ultimate insult is calling people lazy, unmotivated couch-potatoes, whereas "go-getters" are praised, no matter how stupid or assholish.  It's almost a badge of honor to have a heart-attack as a result of running marathons or being a "type A."

That shit will kill you.  Not just in extreme doses, either.  If you've never read the book "When the Body Says No," you might find it as interesting as i did.

After weeks of not being able to sit still enough when i needed it, of driving myself to do a lot in uncongenial climates, of constantly being alert in foreign places and in the presence of communication issues, of being "on" WAY too much, i finally crashed.

It's only a cold, but brother do i feel like death-warmed-over.  All i want to do is lie with my feet up and drink hot beverages to lave my rough throat, not even watch the movies we traditionally enjoy at this time of year.  My energy level is a 2, and i'm profoundly grateful to be able to leave the cooking of Christmas dinner to my husband and daughter.

If you've put on a few pounds during the last couple of seasons of biologically-driven tendency to fatten, with which Nature has gifted us, do think twice before you jump right into a regimen of exertion and deprivation.  The diet-and-exercise industry has convinced America that now that "the holidays" are over it's a perfect time not to de-stress, but to get ourselves all revved up and WORK those oversized fat cells down!  Motivate yourself to sweat away the blubber that Nature DESIGNED YOU TO CREATE, so that the stresses of winter (for all of us in the northern hemisphere) could be outlived!  From day length to ambient temperature, our environment is conditioning our bodies to conserve energy and protect ourselves.

Do yourself a favor and wait one little month.  Resist the flu and cold viruses with a well-rested, low-stress approach to life;  don't frustrate your system by following too much junkfood with not enough food in general. Let your body as well as your bank-account recover from all the feverish activity of the last month or two.  When day-length becomes perceptibly longer, THAT is the time to work WITH Nature to get more active.  Cooperating with her, rather than trying to fight your physiology, is the best way to accomplish what you BOTH want.

Friday, November 27, 2015


So much of the sentimental chatter around Thanksgiving in the US has to do with being with FAMILY, and SHARING....  We have this Norman Rockwell or Currier-and-Ives vision of an extended family clustered around the dining-room table, oohing and ahhing when the huge turkey is brought in on a platter the size of a bistro table, looking more like a plastic prop than something actually edible -- and the last observation tends to be depressingly true, because to make a roast turkey look like that, the breast-meat WILL be horribly overcooked and dry.

Then there's the oh-so-traditional occupation of watching fucking FOOTBALL after the feast.  GRRRRR....  So some stupid twentieth-century display of barbarism became the arbiter of WHEN the feast-of-thanksgiving should begin and end?  To hell with the convenience of the people doing the actual WORK of the day, so that the couch-potatoes and do-nothing guests can enjoy their vicarious-conquest emotion-and-sloth-fest in all its ingloriousness?  ...I don't think i really NEED to turn myself loose in describing my contempt....

From my critique, above, you might think that i'm shockingly un-thankful and anti-traditional, but you'll be missing the nuance of my discussion:  i AM thankful indeed, and i appreciate tradition, even if my view of it is slightly ... uh ... untraditional.  ;-)

I have a great deal to be grateful for, despite or even perhaps because of a frustrated life.  I'm very fortunate in the comfort i'm enjoying in my "old age," and in the support of my husband and daughter.  And anyone who has read my blog for awhile has learned that i'm very keen on history, both "recent" (including about the last three thousand years, but concentrating on the last couple of hundred) and truly ancient history (back to hunter-gatherer times).

So my Thanksgiving Day yesterday was informal and not very traditional, but nevertheless heartfelt.

First, NO TURKEY.  ;-)  I like turkey, though J was never was very fond of it.  In my birth-family, we always had turkey not only for Thanksgiving but for Christmas dinner ... but we never had it at any other time, save in restaurants.  It was therefore an Annual Treat.  After replicating this pattern for over a decade after my marriage, i started thinking that this was not very fair to "the founder of the feast" and our kids -- why make something that everybody didn't really LOVE, just because we usually did it?  In casting about for a worthy replacement, Christmas Dinner became all about a TRUE delicacy, a roast prime rib of BEEEEEEF!

When we started having much smaller Thanksgiving Day assemblies, turkey went out the window too.  We played with goose and various other less-usual meats, and are settling on duck when it's just the two of us.  The recipe for Unsightly But Delicious Duck in Dana Carpender's books is the preparation of choice.  Yesterday's cooked unusually quickly, and totally fell apart before the last stint in the oven, but that did not damage our enjoyment of it one particle!

In beginning the preparation yesterday morning, my general plans started falling apart almost immediately.  I couldn't find the can of pumpkin that i just KNEW was in the pantry!  (In fact, i believed that i had not one but two.)  Okay!  Some of J's outstanding mincemeat filling (with honest-to-god real minced MEAT) was in the freezer from last year;  we got it out to thaw.  Besides, who needs pumpkin when you've got some gorgeous baby Japanese sweet potatoes to bake ... except i didn't ... in choosing the nicest-looking baby sweet potatoes i accidentally picked up garnets instead.  [sigh]  Oh well, i'll bake those tiny little sugar-bombs, taking care not to get them overdone, which is rather disgusting....

Ooh, then i meant to make a loaf of flax-bread, but while sitting down after making a bite of brekkie i noticed what a beautiful day it was, cool and sunny, and i sat down in the new sunroom with a window cracked and the fireplace going, and watched our "traditional" annual viewing of "Miracle on 34th Street" while drinking mimosas....  :-)  The afternoon drifted pleasantly on, and we watched the two Despicable Me films after Mo34S.  I managed to get the duck in the oven at about 3:00, the hour at which we tend to feed the dog.

During the poking around i did, trying to find the canned pumpkin, i came across a leaking can in the pantry (BOO), but also a small can of jellied cranberry sauce, and a carton of cottage cheese in the fridge, which needed using.  When God closes a door He opens a window, right?  ;-)  I added my altered version of pineapple-orange-cottage cheese salad to the menu.  Spent a whole quarter-hour chopping canned mushrooms and cobbling together a whole-food version of green-bean casserole, chilling the cranberries, making the salad, and preparing the sweet potatoes for the oven.  Decided we had enough food and didn't need a composed dessert on top of everything else.

Dinnertime rolled around and we ate side-by-side on trays in the sunroom, watching Shrek.  Thanks to the addition of therapeutic quantities of magnesium in my supplement line-up, i was not stressed by the multiple changes-of-plan in our dinner, but actually enjoyed making changes on the fly!  I had some leftover poultry gravy in the fridge, to which i added the minced cooked liver from the duck and a little more of the collected juices (i nibbled the heart and gizzard away during the course of the afternoon), and it provided the perfect sauce to the already tender and juicy meat.  As predicted, we were quite full after one plate-ful of the dishes i provided, and didn't miss having a formal dessert at all.  I didn't even top off the meal with coffee or port!

Altogether, we enjoyed our untraditional Thanksgiving Day feast, not least because it was NOT the collection of bickering relatives, NOT one group grousing that they worked hours making a meal which people hurried through in 15 minutes so they could be in time to watch the kick-off, NOT bearing with brainless nattering about politics and religion and sentimental BS thanking Jesus for something he had no hand in (Jesus and a few of his followers made some contributions to civilization, but he sure as hell didn't provide the dinner).

No, J and i had an unusual feast of things we don't treat ourselves to very often.  We have leftovers that we actually WANT to eat, not a vista of meal after meal of gradually-degrading junk.  We had a pleasant and cheerful day of comedy and humor and a sense of indulgence even if it wasn't "wicked" by objective standards.  We had a Thanksgiving Day for which we can honestly give thanks.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

vive la France!

Let's have a digression from our usual topics, to express our sympathy and sorrow about the disgusting assault on Paris yesterday!

France was the first ally the USA had, and i always get tears in my eyes, thinking of how her people risked their families' lives, assisting downed American pilots during WWII.

To me, the best of American culture is largely a melding of English and French influences, with valuable additions from the Spanish, Native American, Germanic/Scandinavian, and many others.

Not least important, the best cuisine in America -- that of New Orleans -- is based largely upon the French, with NA and Spanish contributions.

The most rousing scene in "Casablanca" was when Laszlo (not a Frenchman) leads the orchestra in La Marseillaise when the Nazi officers begin singing their objectionable anthem.  THIS is how i feel right now.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

the fad fad

In an age when such large proportions of our populations are sick and/or overweight, when the medical industry is more interested in prescribing pharmaceuticals than counselling about proven health-enhancing habits, when media sources of advice for improving well-being are mostly wrong and very contradictory, people have to do their own "research."  We read countless sources of information that we think might possibly help, and tweak our own practices to try to get it all better.

The world at large calls our trials of low-carbing, gluten-avoiding, fast-food-eschewing, processed-junk-refusal, and farmers'-market-frequenting ... FADS.

Sometimes they're called CRAZES.

If someday i go on a murderous rampage, i think i'll go after ignorant health advisors even before i go after the lawyers and politicians.  ;-)

Yeah, those FADS -- we see people who were PERFECT followers of conventional wisdom fail miserably, and then when they go on Atkins, effortlessly lose significant amounts of weight.  We see them go on fasts and manage to discontinue medications.  We see people drop problematic dietary items, and intractible DISEASES go into remission.  But oh, we mustn't consider doing them ourselves -- we mustn't follow one of these "extreme" practices for more than a couple of months, say the "experts" -- because they're FADS which are untested.

Right.  A multi-year, many-participant, expensive-food RCT!  Why oh WHY is nobody doing these studies???!!!  Why has nobody yet proven the existence of God?!

The ultra-conservatives in American politics didn't invent the system of code-word use to subtly slam ideas they don't like, but they were far from being the first.  Don't have evidence that those ideas are actually BAD, but want to manipulate your ignorant voter-base?  Use words like "everybody knows" and "short-term gains" and ... "fad," "craze."

Whole-food eating is a fad.  We're crazily not eating things which we know make us feel bad.  We're parroting and slavishly following these DANGEROUS regimens which clear up our allergies and bowel complaints cuz bread is SO NUTRITIOUS....

Anti-science is a big problem in America on so many levels.  Anti-GOOD-science even more so.

And don't get me started on how i feel about using the word "movement" when it comes to a LOT of people following a "fad" like the removal of problematic food additives.  (It always makes me think of BOWEL movements....)  ;-)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

THIS kind of shit...

100,000 times more potent than metformin!!!


This sort of thing makes me very VERY angry.  All of us here realize how potent diet is in bolstering health, but bitches like this, who claim that eating an occasional curry is equivalent to a CURCUMIN experiment, make everyone look stoopid.

No wonder most of my friends don't believe certain foods impact health.  Frauds and grifters dominate the conversation with their ravings about the benefits of junk and unrealistically-necessary quantities of medicinal substances.  Resveratrol, raspberry ketones, acai, blueberries, cinnamon, turmeric....

If these shills REALLY had the well-being of their fellow humans at heart, we'd get rational, practical, PRACTICABLE recommendations, with caveats for those who might have trouble with their suggestions.

NO.  We get blanket raves for dangerous exercises and worthless "supplements" of things NOBODY needs.  Hypothetical tweaks that were never tested.  Extrapolation of the results of one group to entirely different and inappropriate groups.

When reputable INDIVIDUALS present these promoters, they're lending a mantle of respectability where it is not deserved.  It doesn't matter whether or not they're on our LC or clean-food team -- if they're not being scientifically straight, they're the enemy of the message, and i resent it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

more highway musings

We're on the way to Texas again to do some grandparenting.  :-)  As observed before, when you're traveling -- especially when you're traveling with pets -- low-carbing actually requires some preplanning and/or voluntary "diet vacationing."  This time, i decided for the latter.

Of course, i already know what the downsides are to eating a higher percentage of carbs, and "bad" carbs at that.  But i also already know that fasting significantly ameliorates them.  ...Which leads me to this nutritional thought for today:

Kitava is not an example of victory for carbohydrates.

Those people, as i've heard it said, eat one meal a day comprised mostly of yams, coconut, and fish, late in the day, and then abstain from food until the next day's dinner.

So you see, my highway habits reflect a very old practice, albeit one on the other side of the world.  ...Hmmm, maybe my visit down south should include an experiment in which i spend extended hours in the sun, and a lot of fish and sweet potatoes?  ;-)

*  I'm adding Dr. Fung's blog to my list on the right, he being the modern-most advocate of fasting for health ... or should i rephrase that to say "fasting for health through knocking insulin back from pathological levels to physiological ones"

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

yet another thyroid-suppressing supplement you may want to avoid

It's happened to me more than once -- hell, it's happened to me a LOT.  A darling food or supplement in the ancestral-health world not only didn't help me, it was an outright obstacle to my well-being!  Green leafy vegetables, fermented foods, high-fat dairy....

At the top of the list, i reluctantly add fish-sourced omega-3 oil supplements.  Yep, the CLO everybody raved about is great for preformed vitamin A and extra D in the wintertime, but i don't believe anymore that "balancing PUFAs" did a lick of good for me.  "Contrarywise!"  :-)

I discontinued daily CLO use this past summer, and concentrated on getting plenty of sun for my vitamin D intake.  My multi already contains it, too, as well as "both kinds" of vitamin A, and i've been making an effort to eat liver at least every fortnight.  On a couple of occasions when special restaurant meals have contained something fried, i've come home and taken some CLO, though, to do that balancing thing.  In those cases, i've noted but not considered significant that on some occasions my hypothyroid symptoms have flared up badly -- was it mystery ingredients in the restaurant food?  Was it excess omega-6?  Was it mere coincidence, having to do with stress or allergies?  I was suspicious but not convinced.

Well, with the coming of cooler fall weather and less time spent outside in the sun, i decided to start the daily CLO again.  Immediately, the low-metabolism hypo symptoms made themselves visible.  I find it harder to believe that the extra PUFA, even "healthy" omega-3, is NOT driving this situation.

The FitBit my husband bought me for my birthday even backs up my perception:  my resting heartbeat is even better than temperature readings for showing me how my metabolism is responding.  Having had to change my principal thyroid-support supplement (fucking FDA...), the dose-adjustment has been much easier.  Heart-rate in the sixties, dose is too low;  in the upper seventies, perfect.  When i supplement with CLO, the HR drops like a stone.

I noted a couple of years ago that a mouse study showed lower thyroid-hormone-receptors on cell walls in the high dietary presence of PUFAs, moderate levels with MUFA predominancy, and the best with SatFats.  My own self-experimentation seems to mirror their findings very well.  My on-again-off-again use of cod-liver oil confirms it to me.

The only technically-essential fatty acids in the diet are the PUFAs, but they are available in adequate quantities in ANY protein-sufficient paleo-style diet.  There are more PUFAs and MUFAs than we need, merely in pastured/grass-finished animal products from eggs to beef.  I believe firmly that if we eat good-quality "paleo" protein regularly, we have NO need for supplementation of PUFAs.  Trying to increase one's omega-3s?  Probably one big hairy mistake.

Your liver will thank you -- it hates PUFAs too, no matter what kind!

Monday, November 2, 2015

odd realization

It occurs to me that my increasing appetite for mineral water this year was a marker for my diminishing magnesium supplies -- perhaps my body sensed that drinking San Pellegrino was a very pleasant way to get the mineral i needed?

Funny, i don't tend to crave chocolate as some people do, ostensibly when they need a magnesium boost.  Nor do i often get a yen for nuts and seeds, although the salt on them DEFINITELY calls my name (mmm, Penzey's grey sea-salt!).  At one time when i was doing Atkins pretty strictly, i experienced some cravings for greens, but it's been a long time since i had that urge.  Our bodies' intelligence about nutrition seems to evolve as our experiences change.

But a few days ago, when i was taking at least double the RDA of magnesium by way of experimentation, i lost my interest in mineral water.  Yesterday, after a decadent brunch at the Tower Grove Park's lovely Piper Palm House, and a lively hour of housework, i sat down to a big bottle of SP on our new patio ... and then i had a bath ... and then i sat down and demolished ANOTHER bottle....

It may be hypothesized that when i stopped losing excess water via stool, i had less NEED of water in general, but it's not that i DRANK LESS, rather that i drank less mineral water specifically.  It must also be noted that with the cooling weather, i'm also drinking more coffee (decaf), which is also a magnesium source.  Definitely confounders!

There are cravings we should obey, and those we shouldn't -- when it comes to foodstuffs with a minimal down-side, like a juicy ribeye, cooked greens dripping with garlic-butter, or a good mineral water, i think we're the loser if we say no!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

the latest in poop....

One of the refreshing things about our community here and in our blog-lists is, nobody thinks it's "gross" or weird to talk about poo.  Naturally, when we were kids, it was considered a not-nice subject, but when we grow up it should be just looked on as another aspect of life, without an "ewww factor" ... however, to many adults it still has that.  Television advertisements for products wanting to cash in on the "elimination problem" market tend to talk about it in coy terms that remind me a bit of "Keeping Up Appearances"....  [evil grin]

Wooo's recent blog-resurrection, interestingly enough, mentions her trial of a new probiotic product at just the time i was looking into what i can do about that famous side-effect of magnesium supplementation.  When one has loose stools long enough, one's microbiome becomes depleted, so i wanted to do a little replenishing of my supplies.  The last brand i tried, featuring a popular-in-Japan variety of clostridium, just didn't impress me, so i started reading about her experience with Elixa, and other stars in the market.

Inspired by her historic experiences, Wooo has some interesting hypotheses concerning gut-bugs -- she finds that she has less bloating and discomfort when using substances which "sanitize" her innards, like vinegar, bleach, coconut oil, antiparasitics, and metformin.  This is directly in opposition to the claims of many in the ancestral-health world.  She IS a fan of fibrous vegetables, so it's not like she is a ZCer who doesn't need bacteria that break down cellulose.  The probiotic she recently tried caused increased bloating for her, and it touts itself on containing huge quantities of an unusually-broad range of "beneficial" microorganisms.

She has some good points.  If "germ-free" mice are lean and healthy, why are we in a rush to populate our colons with a microbiome which our own lean and healthy great-grandparents did not have?  And we should not forget about our small intestines, either -- a diet higher in starchy vegetables, which the carb-apologists love, also feeds SIBO, which is not a fun thing.

I believe that the paleo blogosphere jumped into this microbiome thing before enough data was even available.  The best sources say that we just don't know enough yet to be claiming some of the things we hear as truth, when it comes to intestinal bacteria.  I've said for years, myself, that just because the last hunter-gatherer tribes of Africa have certain gut-bugs we don't, does NOT mean we should rush out and try to procure them -- our lifestyles and food environments are just too different.  And just because our healthy friend has other things we don't, doesn't mean we should ask THEM for a specimen, either.

Very often in the health-sphere, more is not better.  Having "more" can make things tricky -- more variety means more potential complications, and more quantity can take "hormetic" to "toxic" pretty fast.  Other adages i like are "start low and go slow," and "less is more."

I picked up a probiotic four days ago with only a few bifidobacteria varieties in it, and my poop quality is improving nicely.  Gone is the early-morning urgency i was experiencing even before increasing magnesium.  I still have more bloat going on than i like, but ... hey, i eat in restaurants a lot, and you just don't know what goes into a lot of dishes....


There's "poop" of the figurative kind to report, too -- my one-year anniversary of putting a tablespoon of gelatin (or collagen hydrolysate) in my coffee passed without comment last month.  Yes, i'm still using it, and yes, i'm still delighted with what it has done for me.  As promised in "Nourishing Broth" and many other sources, my hair and nails are very strong and fast-growing.  As promised NOWHERE, i swear it's diminishing my grey!  In other busy-and-stressful periods of my life, i used to see fountains of silver hairs sprouting from my crown;  despite this last year's craziness ... i HAVEN'T.  Many causes are proposed for hair-greying, and both carnitine and copper in the diet are included;  for years i've been consuming significant quantities of the former, though, with no apparent progress.  Over the last year I've admittedly increased the latter through my love-affair with oysters.  Do I credit gelatin or oysters, then -- or maybe it's both...?

Skin:  i'm not sure.  I don't really perceive much difference, if any.  Maybe a little less wrinkling?  I abstain from expressing an opinion.

When I started gelatin, I noticed right away that my meat-craving was diminished.  I've come to believe pretty firmly that our ideal diets should include MUCH more glycine than most of us currently get.  For a few years I've had the ambition of simply increasing the frequency of bone-broth-based soups in our menu plans, but I rarely get around to it.  Taking that tablespoon of collagen-hydrolysate in my first cup of coffee every morning is something that's MUCH easier to do!  I don't have to dissolve it in cold water first, as I did with gelatin.  The big green canister from Great Lakes sits beside the coffee-maker with a measuring spoon on top, and the coffee-spoons are right there too.  I sometimes put even more in an evening beverage, or in my evening vitamin drink.  We've been buying the two-pack from Amazon;  maybe buying it by the case, like I do coconut milk, would be better?  Hmmm....  ;-)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

yep, magnesium!

The old adage goes, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" ... not that i've had more than a couple of forkfuls of REAL pudding since i went low-carb!  :-)  I keep promising myself to make a LCHF version every winter, and keep procrastinating....

But i like that expression:  to me, it means that no matter what theorists and armchair "researchers" claim, if it doesn't pan out in the real world, it just ain't SO.  Especially in the diet-and-nutrition sphere, there are a lot of things which are assumed to be true about food and absorption which may have been "proven" in tests on young, healthy subjects but which fall very flat when practiced by time-worn and metabolically-faulty people like me.  For that reason, i'm very skeptical of claims surrounding supplements and regimens -- especially those touted by gym-rats who are younger than i am.  I NEVER assume that what works for others will be beneficial for me, so i'm always surprised and delighted when some things ARE.

Over the last five years, i've tried SO many new things it would be hard to enumerate them -- from patterns of exercise to meal timing to hygiene practices to individual-micronutrient supplementation to microbiome-tweaking to neurotransmitters to variations of diet....  Some worked and some didn't, despite the fact that numerous people out there swore by their efficacy.  And none of my experiments were one-day-and-give-up situations -- i read up thoroughly beforehand so i was usually convinced i didn't just do it wrong.  A lot of things i gave a second chance before marking them as failures, and EVERYTHING that worked i stopped and restarted, to make sure it wasn't just coincidence or placebo effect.  An old lab-tech like me does know a little about proper experimentation.

So with my mood and fatigue issues going distinctly downhill over the last year, I set out to fix the situation before i turned into a complete basket-case.  I researched what has been found to treat stress successfully, from a nutritional point of view, and increased my magnesium supplementation by about double.  Within a few days i started feeling better.

Stress, both physical and psychological, depletes magnesium.  Caffeine does too, AND alcohol.  Guess what i've used more of to combat weariness and irritation?  So do things like antihistamines ... and this has been a hellish year for weather that promotes mold.  As with so many other things, older bodies like mine tend not to absorb magnesium well.  My levels must have been at gutter levels -- no wonder i was beginning to melt down!

When one gets to the nutritionally-stressed stage, things go bad at a geometric rate.  One's coping mechanisms are GONE.  It's not possible to pull oneself together because the tools with which to do it are no longer there.

Figuratively speaking, i dug out the box and got me a POWERtool which i had stashed away -- magnesium.  Even though my multi contains the RDA, i increased my intake to a level found to be effective for severely-deficient people ... and it was.

But "the RESSSST of the story" is, i think that either some of the soil brought in by the landscapers had god-only-knows what kind of contamination in it, or maybe, the cement blocks they're cutting (with much dust going everywhere) are "poisoning" me.  There are times when it's almost as though something is overriding my brain-function!  Despite the beautiful autumn weather we've been enjoying, i'm having to close windows facing the backyard;  i even got my husband to dyson the bedroom and empty the dust-container directly into the outdoor garbage, to try to get any tracked-in dirt out of the room in which i spend so much time.  I replaced both kinds of filters in the air-cleaner, too.  Then we bought a new microfiber mop, to efficiently clean the tile floor in the sunroom.  I'm looking forward to the time that the landscapers have the autumn planting done, and we get grass and mulch holding down the bare soil out there!  Till then, there won't be a prayer of me giving up my Benadryl.

Monday, October 26, 2015

magnesium ... oy vey

I procured and read "The Magnesium Miracle" last week.


Having been undergoing a lot of extra stress for a WHOLE YEAR, and certain rather over-the-top symptoms that it was actually undermining my health -- not to mention the goddamned FDA's demand that my most important supplement be discontinued -- i went searching for SOMETHING that would take the strain off.  Magnesium WOULD seem to be "it," but i tell ya, some of the literature is really full of shit.

The "authorities" (the very word has been making me cringe for several years now) have awfully narrow vision.  Everything seems to be a nail requiring their particular hammer.

It's no secret that magnesium intake in the modern western world has taken a nose-dive.  The sources where we used to find it -- like nice clean ground- and well-water -- just aren't there anymore.  Farmland has been sucked dry.  The "best sources" are anathema to my system:  phytate-rich grains, seeds, legumes, and the kinds of green vegetables that are virtual toxins to me unless cooked ... which leaches out the mineral i seek.  Shellfish have a modest amount, and i am an avid eater of it, but not every damned day.  No, magnesium MUST be supplemented.  In quantity.  Which tends to be laxative.

Because it's a component of hundreds of crucial enzymatic processes, and also acts as a calcium-channel blocker, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, many writers i respect give magnesium pride-of-place in micronutrition.  The doctors Eades and Emily Dean eulogize it, and deplore the lack of "real" studies about it;  because of the way magnesium works with other nutrients, it's very hard to tease out what it can take credit for, in epidemiological and observational work.  And as the book says, "As long as people are given false hope that there is some magic bullet in the pharmaceutical pipeline that will 'cure' osteoporosis, or any other chronic disease, they will ignore the underlying diet-and nutrient-related reasons for their health problems."  Nobody, anymore, cares to do research that doesn't have a potential cash windfall at the end of the rainbow.  Our universities are merely introductions to the world of pharmaceutical "research," not sources of work for the public good, as most citizens -- who are footing a lot of the bill -- would probably imagine.

And these are a few reasons why Dr. Carolyn Dean's book is so frustrating -- despite a bone tossed to the Weston Price people and a couple of mentions of "paleo" (which she doesn't seem to understand properly), she is firmly ensconced in the dietary paradigms of the '70s.  She repeatedly decries meat, protein and fat, especially the saturated kind, of course.  She insists we should be eating vast quantities of raw greens, soaked legumes, and untoasted seeds DESPITE THEIR CONTENT OF OTHER MINERALS WHICH BLOCK THE ABSORPTION OF THE ONE WE'RE ACTUALLY LOOKING FOR.  ...At least she has HEARD of phytates....  :-/  ...But as i said above, OY.

Most of the book's sources are VERY old, and in place of chemistry we get a lot of anecdotes.  Most of her chapters seem to be not much more than dumbed-down versions of a Dr. M. S. Seelig's decades-old book.  I'm in the process of reading the latter now, which is available online, but the major focus seems to be cardiological rather than metabolic ... which is of course the part i really want to know!

So although magnesium DOES seem to be a mineral i need to know better, i got far more solid info on its potential from Mike Eades in ONE blog-post, and from Emily Dean in two, than from the most-touted book i've found.  I WILL keep looking as well as continuing the extra supplementing i do (above what's already in my multi), but at least i can report that my mood HAS already improved.  It's far too early to report positive metabolic results.

Monday, October 19, 2015

consider it "pumpkin juice for adults" :-D

J discovered a delicious recipe for sangria not long ago, made with strawberries and Campari added to lambrusco wine -- we ended up using a basic dry red, as the bubbly stuff was sorta lost in the mixture.  Yum!

Well, being my favorite time of the year now -- autumn -- it occurred to me that a slightly altered version might be very seasonal ... at very least in COLOR!


1/2 medium papaya, about 1 c. puree
15 drops liquid sucralose or 2/3 c. bulk splenda
1 t. coarse sea salt
3/4 c. Aperol
1 qt/litre dry white wine

Blend all together thoroughly, and serve on the rocks ... or maybe use frozen blackberries for a seasonal color look.  I actually added a few drops of Holy Trinity Bitters, but i think a couple of drops of tabasco or a small sprinkle of cayenne would make a good replacement.

It's a beautiful shade or orange, inspiring the description i offered in today's blog-title.  :-D  Happy October!

Friday, October 9, 2015

delightful surprise

I spent a lovely afternoon with our "Exceptionally Brash" friend from California, who is visiting right now in St. Louis!  :-)  What a wonderful surprise to hear from her, and a joy to meet one of my "blog family"!

We enjoyed lunch together, in company with her charming mother;  we even ate "innocently!"  :-D  i sure hope she gets in touch again, next time she's in town!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

autumn starts the soup season

This begins my favorite time of the year!  The temperature drops so that even if it is on the humid side, it's not uncomfortable.  Trees here become outstandingly beautiful.  And i enjoy wearing boots and jackets and scarves -- dressing for the weather means more dashing outfits are appropriate.

Autumn also means that soups and stews are good choices.  I've been a soup enthusiast all my life!  Chili and gumbo CAN be eaten year-round, but they're much more attractive when their heat as well as their HEAT is appealing ... and who wants to toil in the kitchen when it's 90 in the shade?!

Last night's forecast was temperatures in the 40s;  i came out to our almost-finished sunroom this morning in my kimono and drank my coffee in front of the gas fire, feet on the hearth.  [sigh]. Lovely!

When lunchtime came around, i pulled out a can of minced clams, cream, and the konjac flour, and made us a batch of chowder:


small can minced clams, undrained
2 T bacon grease
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 t minced garlic
1/2 c clam juice
1 c heavy cream
1/4 t pepper
konjac flour in a shaker-jar

In a medium saucepan, melt the bacon grease and brown the onions slightly.  Add the garlic and stir a minute, then add the clams with their liquid and the juice.  Bring to a boil, then add the cream;  when it returns to a simmer, whisk in some konjac flour SLOWLY -- it's very easy to overdo!  Correct the seasoning, which to my tastebuds was just a little black pepper.


Monday, September 28, 2015

fasting works, part 42

And the busy-ness goes on!  All the visits we've paid, and the visits paid us....  All the new restaurants we've tried....  All the coming and going and stress with our backyard makeover....  ALL THE DIETARY CHEATING I'VE DONE ... and i haven't gained!  As the man said in "High Spirits":  there IS a god!

Yes, i've been pretty "bad" this spring and summer.  I ate things i usually eschew.  I even took in more grains than i usually allow myself (before, about one serving per month), protected by the hint i got from Dr. Kharrazian to double-down on my glutathione supplement* and also the generous daily portion of gelatin/collagen i take religiously.

One thing i do "right" consistently, though, is minimize meal numbers and eliminate snacking.  That boils down to drinking black coffee for breakfast, having one good-sized meal, and having another usually smaller.  Therefore, i end up with one long fast, and another 6-8 hour one, every single day.  It's been working.

Yesterday i put on a pair of jeans for the first time in quite awhile -- i've been almost living in shorts all summer.  And since i'm not a fan of shopping, these were shorts i've had several seasons, a size larger than my jeans (which are also a couple of years old).  To my absolute delight, they didn't require sucking-in to get fastened.  No muffin-top action going on, either.  :-)  There HAVE been times in my life when i've had to lie on my back over the bed to get jeans zipped ... but not now.  Them size sixes jus' FLOWED on.

It has to be the fasting.  And it shows that even such a metabolic train-wreck as i CAN reprogram my body to pretty effortlessly switch fuels like a normal person.  Indulge myself, have nothing but coffee and water for 18 hours, and go back to normal....

Don't misunderstand:  I didn't eat the FOUR HUNDRED grams of carb that some people advocate, but there were days when i certainly ate over ONE hundred.  And if i did it every day, the results wouldn't be pretty -- i'd definitely be retraining my body to operate off glucose to the detriment of my fat-burning ability.  I also think it would be dangerous to try, for a person prone to diabetes.

I'm absolutely the LAST person who would claim that "if i can do it, anyone can."  I reject that notion utterly!  But the power of fasting as a metabolic and hormonal regulator seems to have an almost-magical effect on fat storage, as Dr. Fung has been insisting for quite awhile now.
*  It DOES seem to help protect the gut, but i'd be surprised if it would work if i hadn't already healed.

Monday, September 14, 2015

is America's biggest problem the result of being TOO kind to children?

Amidst the worst social problems in the USA -- shootings and environmental destruction and the abolishment of "safety nets" -- the biggest barrier to solutions tends to be ... STOOPID PEOPLE.

It's SP who think that their right to carry weapons everywhere trumps your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  It's SP who believe that all the unfortunate amongst us deserve their hardships  It's superficial scientific understanding that makes even intelligent people underappreciate the human contribution to climate change, because the history of the earth shows many climatic ups and downs, but it's SP who say that "global warming" isn't real at all.  It's SP who make SP famous.  It's SP who make it possible to say things like that idiot preacher did -- that if the bible said 2+2=5, he'd believe the bible over the demonstrable fact that it ISN'T.

I'm coming to suspect that the late-20th-century tendency to coddle children's self-importance may be at the bottom of it all.

In the desire to make sure our kids know we love them, and to make sure their self-confidence isn't too impaired to allow them to aspire in life -- to me, important goals -- some parents go WAY too far.  Those children learn that they're the center of their parents' world, but are never taught that they're NOT the center of the WHOLE world.  When they give an incorrect answer in school, they're not told they're WRONG as often as applauded for saying SOMETHING -- teachers often bend meanings and contexts around, to make an answer seem partially right.  Children are given a trophy for participation, regardless of the quality thereof.  Why should they study, or practice, or TRY to excel, when they can get the approval they need simply by showing up and going through the motions?

Now that the first generation of this kind of treatment has reached adulthood, we have a society full of people who think that their beliefs and opinions are on equal footing with verifiable facts.  We have people who think "faith" is as good as science.  We have fucking idiots running for president, who say that you don't have to obey laws if you don't think they're "right."

^^^I'm not kidding you.

We have a problem.

I've read that the 20th century's me-first issues started in the 1920s.  The war-to-end-all-wars (hahaha) was over, and women were acknowledged as actual human beings with a right to express themselves, and the world looked like a promising, exciting place -- even common people saw an opportunity to be a bit self-indulgent.  Laissez les bon temps roulez!  Unfortunately, because of the moronic morality-based ruling known as PROHIBITION, millions of people had to defy the law in order to enjoy a simple, civilized glass of wine with their dinners.  We now have organized crime which was perfected during that era -- talk about unintended consequences!  I hope Carrie Nation and her cohort are currently roasting in hell!

The generation born in that decade came of age to fight WWII.  I believe that was the last time that Americans felt "ownership" of any national action -- home folks grew victory gardens and participated in drives to collect scrap-metal, rubber, ... even cooking fats!  If you ask me, THAT was the pinnacle of America being "great" or "exceptional."  It's all over now, though, even if some people still claim it.  When that war ended, veterans and civilians alike had tough adjustments to make.  The former felt rebellious and entitled, and the latter (ESPECIALLY women who kept industry going in the absence of the men) felt disenfranchised.  Gotta get out there and grab your share!

Baby-boomers, to whose generation i belong, had it both good and bad -- America enjoyed a great deal of prosperity and the widening of opportunity across many demographics, but all that caused us to have an exalted sense of what "normal" is.  One income in the family was enough to thrive on, and television showed us that no matter how complicated a problem was, it could be solved within an hour ... with time out for commercials.

Our schools and infrastructure blossomed during this golden age, but all that is gone to hell now.  Moneyed interests have managed to exert their powers with the help of Saint Ronnie.  (Trickle-down economics = large corporations and rich people pissing on the rest of us.)  Booming post-war business is no longer paying its share of holding things together, nor are the ultra-rich, and our middle-class is buckling under the strain just like our roads and bridges.

Pop-psychology, which really took off in the first half of the century, came to fruition with bad interpretations of Freudianism heavily influencing child-rearing practices.  Pop SCIENCE, based not on tried-and-true experience but on academic hypotheses, influenced schooling and home behavior alike.  We must not break their little spirits by holding them back, if they don't do adequately in an age-appropriate classroom!  We must not make the lowest-performing students feel "different" by shunting them into "special" classes!  No, we should advance them with others their age, and hold back the rest of the class, so that the VERY SLOWEST set the pace for everyone, in the steadily-growing class sizes.  Teachers must warp the performance of all their students by making allowances for the kids diagnosed with ADHD and autism ... who MUST be allowed to take part with the "normal" kids.

And here we are.  We have antisocial behavior ruining everyone's experiences, in schools, restaurants, shopping venues, and outdoor spaces.  We have classrooms in which teachers have NO control over the bad behavior of a few, no matter how it impedes the education of everyone else, AND where lessons are dumbed-down so that there is "no child left behind" -- no, no ONE child is left behind, ALL OF THEM ARE, when compared to global standards.

I believe that the answer to the question posed in the title of today's post is YES.  America has raised several generations of selfish, immature, stubborn, besotted, and willfully-ignorant swine ... and now the problem has come home to roost.  The country is a hotbed of stoopid assholes, and not a one of them know it -- they have the delusion that their failings are actually virtues, and hide behind notions like "faith" and "patriotism" instead of the less-flattering labels the rest of the civilized world would use.

Monday, August 31, 2015

new favorite brunch casserole!

:-D  ...Cuz my old favorite, while delicious, is a pain in the rump to prepare....

Again, it's a personalization of a Dana Carpender creation  In her HoldTheToast blog-post called EGGS! she outlines an infinitely-variable egg casserole -- she's a big afficionado of those things.  Me, i tend to not have my appetite satisfied by eggs, even in the presence of bacon or sausage, but when a steak is added, obviously it's THAT which makes me feel full and fed.

But i do love me a simple breakfast that can be prepared in advance!  I never was a morning person, though i CAN function at dawn if i need to.  If i were living in more primitive conditions (as extrapolated by camping experience) i COULD rise with the sun and turn in with it too, but i enjoy my civilized habit of waking when i've had enough sleep, regardless of the hour, and slowly readying myself to face the world with the aid of coffee, interesting reading material, and COMPLETE LACK OF CONVERSATION.  ;-)  Call me spoiled....

While my guests were in town i thawed a pound of breakfast sausage, with the intention of preparing my daughter's recipe for stuffed jalapenos, but alas i was "enjoying" one of those periods when just running around drains me out;  i never made them, or contracted to have L or J do it for me.  Thus i had a pound of thawed Jimmy Dean's Natural to use up.

I fried it up and drained it well, and set it aside.  This morning, i remembered it and added a couple of tablespoons of Dijon mustard, about 1/4 c. of boxed Chianti and a little filtered water, and let the liquid simmer down to nothing.

Then i cracked 6 eggs into the food-processor and added about a cup of cottage cheese and a little salt, and beat the hell out of them.  Greased an 8x8 baking dish.  Poured in about half the egg mixture.  Sprinkled on the sausage, then about a cupful of grated cheddar.  Topped evenly with the rest of the eggs.  Placed in a preheated 350-degree oven.  Baked 45 minutes.  Served with salsa.

YUM.  My husband liked it, too.  We discussed possibilities, and decided that the innards of a Denver omelette would be our next try, with italian-sausage-and-peppers-and-mozzarella-with-marinara definitely on the must-do list.  Then maybe bacon with tomato and mushrooms like my favorite Spanish omelette recipe ... and also bacon-avocado-swiss with a creole sauce....  INFINITELY variable.

Making omelettes for more than two people at once is awfully time-consuming:  i think this will be the perfect alternative.  And compared with my sister's outstanding breakfast casserole, SIGNIFICANTLY less work.

Friday, August 28, 2015


I participate in a ZC facebook group -- compared to many nutrition groups I've read, this one is outstanding.  Most of the people there are kind and supportive, even though some are pretty dumb and others pretty hard-line;  thanks to great leadership, people who aren't truly ZC (like me) are tolerated, and potential trolls are given the benefit of the doubt until they get really obnoxious.  Just as is my policy here, ASKING a sensitive question (hello, Charles) is not the same as being a jerk ("Christopher," why do you even try).

Over and over again though, on that ZC page, people report problems with how their bodies respond to what they're eating.  The page-owners leave their experienced-and-knowledgeable replies in amongst the comments of -- ahem -- people with considerably less of both qualities.  One of my "favorite" excuses for unpleasant bodily responses is DETOX!!!  "Your body is detoxing!"

Our bodies detox CONSTANTLY.  That's what the liver and kidneys and other systems do -- filter out potential trouble-makers and send them out of the body.  That's one reason we get the runs and breakouts of our skin, sure, but I subscribe to the thriftiness hypothesis -- the simplest, most obvious explanation is often the best one.

The kind of detox I mean is the sort in which bad fat-soluble substances get stored in our fat cells, and when we start burning fat, they get released again into the body.  Those kinds of detox symptoms are logical -- and I wouldn't call them "detox" as readily as I would "RE-tox."  With any kind of luck, our bodies are now more capable of filtering them out and successfully eliminating them than it was the first time around.  But when other people talk about detox it seems to describe a situation in which one is killing off the bad actors in one's system, and they then respond by throwing a riot -- a Herxheimer reaction to candida die-off sort of situation.

I'm not saying it CAN'T happen, I just suspect it's an "easy explanation" of a much more complicated response.  You've been getting pimples?  "Your body is detoxing through the skin" seems much more far-fetched than "you're sensitive to modern dairy products" or "you're STILL getting too much omega-6 in your diet," when it comes to a VLC-eater.  Most of them eat conventional meat, for convenience or economic reasons, and those meats are heavier in O6 than is ideal -- ditto when it comes to cheese and cream.

Okay, in the case of newbies to LC, we can expect a goodly amount of learning curve -- and those who start burning decades'-worth of stored fat WILL set free undesirable contaminants and PUFAs as their fat-cells shrink.  What tends to really get my panties in a bunch is when detox products on the market are touted by people who should know better.  How many programs as "Dr" Oz promoted in the course of his television career?  :-P

Wanna detox your liver, really?  Go on a fast, a good long one.  Drink very clean water.  When you get off of it, eat pristine paleo with lots of grassfed saturated fats.  No fructose AT ALL.  No alcohol.  No oxalates or hormetic-response foods.  Don't stuff yourself with more food than your stomach feels comfortable with digesting in a few hours.

Hmmm, I think I just described a cleaned-up version of Strong Medicine....

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

quiet house

Back to the post i was writing before that infuriating newsletter started pushing my buttons....

Whoa, that was a busy week!  Before school started, our daughter and SIL and their two kids came to visit for a week.  Our backyard project is far from complete, but the interior of the sunroom is at least "functional," and they wanted to experience it.  We also got a visit from our "borrowed daughter" and her fiance -- LM lived with us for a couple of years, because she was in an abusive home from which she moved out when she turned 18.  Her mother left her and her sister with a MONSTER when she divorced him, and LM was strong enough to get out as soon as she legally could;  we were delighted to help her.

Well, we toured and feasted and hot-tubbed and went through a case of wine!  I put on fat -- i can feel it -- but am now back on the VLC wagon, to my great physical relief.  Even amidst all the jollification, i learned things:

  • The warmth-thyroid-carb connection is far more complicated than anyone has ever written about, to my knowledge.  My carb intake was highER, but not high.  I felt as warm as i usually do -- uncomfortably so a few times.  On the other hand, i had some symptoms i haven't felt for awhile, including puffy eyes.  I would have a burst of energy right after eating which faded into increased fatigue, leading me to the next point...
  • FATIGUE.  Granted that on a few days i was sleep-deprived, this was the kind of fatigue that made me sequester myself to recharge.  It was the kind that kept me less communicative for a full 36 hours after everyone left.  And it was the kind that had me pawing among my sporadically-used supplements for a boost.  Guess what helped?  High-dose sublingual methylcobalamin.  I was getting "enough" from my liquid vitamin and diet, but some of us just don't absorb it in the digestive tract well enough!  More evidence that malnutrition (this time, via malabsorption) is a cause of some symptoms of hypothyroidism....
  • Ten thousand steps is a HELL of a lot of exercise.  We went to the City Museum and a special event at the Missouri Botanical Garden and covered a LOT of ground ... and i never reached the goal according to my fitbit.  As i mentioned before, its accuracy isn't perfect, but probably pretty close.  On the museum day i logged 26 flights of stairs (a flight being defined by it as walking upward ten feet)!  We all arrived home completely tuckered out, and the step count was only eight-thousand-something....
  • That hot-tub is going to be a very good sleep-promoter!  :-)  
The " California Contingent" flew back home on Friday afternoon, but the Texas bunch stayed till Saturday morning;  the last evening's dinner was a beginning sushi-rolling party.  J and i had practiced a little beforehand, but for L and S it was new.  It was a moderate-carb night, what with the rice, but at least we didn't make the sweet sauces that can be found on the restaurant rolls.  Our technique has improved to the point that i'm ready to try the riceless rolls, made with grated vegetables in place of the starch.  Starting with smoked salmon or even leftover meats, this could turn into a favorite quick supper for us!  A bowl of broth with a little miso stirred in, plus some mushrooms or green onions or seaweed, a few rolls ... i'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

Once again, fat-fasting is a lifesaver for reestablishing a ketone/FFA metabolism.  I can understand why some people dare not increase their carb intake during holidays and vacations -- the temptation to continue the practice is strong.  After the van took off southward, i napped and coffeed and ate LC leftovers like pork rinds, guacamole, tapenade and deviled eggs till dinnertime when we cooked up a couple of steaks to go with our SF coleslaw ... or was it the red cabbage that evening?  :-)  No matter -- we're back on the Atkins wagon, and completely happy about it!

Monday, August 24, 2015

"i'm only human!"

Right, left and center, the biggest PATHETIC EXCUSE out there has got to be "I'm only human!  I make mistakes!  Haven't YOU ever made a mistake?"

The big problem, of course, is that the only people I'VE ever heard using this line are always falling back on it when their attempts to bully or assault from a "higher moral plane" didn't work.  Their dumb-ass bleats being stood-up-to with courage and/or logic, they ALWAYS excuse themselves with the "human and fallible" defense.  Do you suppose they'd "forgive those who trespass against" them, if their adversaries used it?  HAhahahahaha.....

The "I'm only human" excuse actually reminds me of the CICO argument -- superficially true but a million miles from being significant.  They're weasel-words, designed to gain our acquiescence without getting us anywhere.  YOU are human?  Technically.  "You" are trying to create a bond where one does not exist -- you're trying to say that you and I are on the same team, just long enough to wriggle out of the underdog-position you find yourself in.  The quarter you would NEVER grant to an adversary, you try to claim from me, because i'm a human being, and "you're only human" too.

NO.  Just NO.

An email from Robb Wolf's kingdom talks about how, oh sure, there ARE lousy medical practitioners out there, but they're maybe like FIVE PERCENT of the total.  And ya know, doctors are like ONLY HUMAN.  A quote:

Today’s Medical Nightmare: A Day in the Life of a Practitioner

Imagine you’re an M.D. in modern medicine. Showing up to work, you know you have a fully-packed day. Every minute is scheduled, from the moment you walk into your office or hospital. Your staff is stressed and the paperwork from yesterday still isn’t done.
You’ll be lucky to have a lunch break today.
The patients start arriving in pain, sick, and upset. Most expect you to “save” them in the 15 minutes allotted to each appointment time. The responsible ones expect you to stay longer than 15 minutes and talk about every possible option.
Almost all of them have no desire to spend more money than what their insurance company covers and the company says 15 minutes is what you get.
The appointment starts…
Right away, you must try to defuse strong emotions that accompany their pain. You quickly scan their health history, listen to symptoms, and do some physical checks.
Now, you have 5-7 minutes left.
The patient is staring back at you waiting for a miracle. Your gut tells you, you need more time.  You need to tell them all kinds of things…
But the medical insurance industry, laws, and malpractice insurance dictates what your next move is… so you push those thoughts deep inside and lock them away.
Instead, you write a prescription or order further testing and tell them to come back in a week.
There are 2 minutes left, so you quickly skirt their questions because you know you are already behind for your next appointment. You have to go, to be fair to the next sick person.
So you walk out, even though the look on their eyes is saying “Wait, but can’t I get more help?”
You now have 30 seconds to reset your mind and prepare to tackle another case. And you know deep down, if you miss something critical someone might get very sick, even die… and you could be faced with a lawsuit at any moment. 

Oh, the POOR THING!  Having set himself up to do this job, he resents it that the patient actually expects HELP!  Expects to be HEALED!  And they're EMOTIONAL!  WHAT A NIGHTMARE!

Excuse me a moment while I go throw up.

The medical nightmare is what medical laissez-faire made it.  The AMA -- YOUR professional association -- is responsible for this mess, not your patients.  Dig your own way out with your colleagues who also helped create your "nightmare" ... and don't expect the sympathy of the people you KNOW you're not giving quality in exchange for their money.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

steam release


I was all ready to write a general "stoopid people" rant this morning, because i couldn't on facebook.  Oh, i COULD, but when some of the nicest people in real life write mind-bendingly stupid things, it makes one terribly conflicted -- you want to say "WILL YOU LISTEN TO YOURSELF?  Are you REALLY that dumb, or just blindly sentimental?  How do you manage to stay employed, if your grasp of logic is so tenuous?"  I like DJ, DM and GL, but some of the stuff they post is ... astonishingly brainless.  "If i can get 1000 likes, my daddy will stop drinking!"  ...WHAT???

But then i thought, i'm not the only one.  And it's not easy to find the right place to vent -- it's gotta be somewhere "they" can't accidentally find it.  So i offer you the opportunity to get shit off your chest!  :-D  Wanna "out" your boss' or MIL's vacuousness?  The comment section is open!  Have at it!

Friday, August 14, 2015

sleep ... when you need it most

We all know that sleep is often elusive when we need it most.  Times of excitement, times of busy-ness, times of stress, times of overload....

Sleep is the thing which keeps us sane.  I just read the other day that the latest thought on WHY we sleep is to give the brain a chance to take out its garbage.  A surprisingly large proportion of our energy is utilized by the brain -- somewhere in the neighborhood of 20%, and in mentally-challenging work, even more;  all forms of energy-burning have waste-products, and to export them from the walled enclave which is the inside of our heads, we have evolved to sleep.

Sleeeeep ... i hear the word as spoken by Henry V in the Kenneth Branagh version.  :-)  It sounds so seductive.  Kids resist it, and adults have a hard time understanding why, because to us it's delicious.

I used to sleep very well, except the night before a fencing tournament or a major vacation trip.  I've always been a sensitive sleeper, though -- my husband has learned the hard way that if he touches me and wakes me up there'll be hell to pay.  ;-)  Time, the great bitch, has changed that -- i'm one of those who usually dozes off pretty quickly if i haven't been overstimulating myself on the computer ... but within minutes i get a sense of dread and wake back up -- probably some of those afore-mentioned waste-product disturbing the chemistry.  I reach out for my bed-side book (with the little book-light attached), read another five or ten minutes, and then get properly to sleep.  But if my husband tosses too much, i can wake up to a too-great extent and have to read an hour or more to settle back down.  My bedside book is usually a piece of fiction i've read before, so i'm not on-edge about how it'll turn out -- the current one is a Nero Wolfe, which i enjoy because of the mental atmosphere of the series more than the mysteries themselves.

All kinds of sleep-tricks exist out there -- I've tried eating more carbs at dinnertime, but they too can be disruptive -- probably because i overheat under those circumstances and i like to sleep cool.  When we've been out for the evening, to dinner then to the theatre, i frequently come home and read for a good three hours before i get sleepy -- my supposition there is, too many carbs AND over-stimulation.  More than two glasses of wine at dinner can also ruin my night for me.

No, if i feel the urge to consume something near bedtime to aid sleep (rare!), i prefer a light-but-fatty protein.  I've taken to mixing a tablespoonful of collagen-hydrolysate into my evening vitamin drink, and sometimes i add a little liquid coconut oil too.  That seems to help.

I "used-to could" just pop a low-dose melatonin to help me sleep, but i now have a much larger stable of sleep-encouraging supplements.  I've mentioned valerian before, which is wonderful for dampening the cortisol/adrenaline rush that causes me to "wake up too much" in the wee-sma' hours.  There's magnesium too, of course;  even though my diet and multivitamin provides it, stressful times require more, and with our backyard project stretching well over the one-year mark, the stress his been both chronic and occasionally acute!  I recently bought some theanine as well, and my most-effective antihistamine (benadryl) is a famous sedative.  I layer these products as needed ... and this last year, HOW i've needed them!

Sleep is too important to let myself go too short -- when sleep suffers, it begins a cascade of effects which become catastrophic for weight, health, MENTAL health and life performance.  Some people may find it worthwhile to go the pharmaceutical route, but as much as possible i prefer to lull than "force" relaxation.

A new bed would probably help too -- our vintage one tends to creak, groan and wobble when my 200+-pound, 6-foot husband has a restless night, himself....

Monday, August 10, 2015

how the mighty have fallen

This morning, out of sheer reading-material-dearth, I clicked into Mark's Daily Apple's Sunday edition he calls "Weekend Link Love."  Right here in front of me, "Research of the Week" lists five items and four of them include "linked to," "associated with," "probably," and "might" ... and the fifth one is about dogs.

The man who taught us what weasel-words in the press to watch out for, because correlation does not prove causation, uses them himself.  But that's okay, right, because he's on our side and would never lead us down the garden path? 

The Diet Doctor has a headline that reads "The 2 Big Lies of Type 2 Diabetes."  Open his page and find that he's promoting the impressive message of Dr. Jason Fung;  he says there are two places to see this video, one where you buy a package for $70 or you can sign up for his service for $9/month (first month free).  He doesn't mention the same material presented elsewhere, free on

Some of my favorite writers, like J Stanton and Anna, don't blog anymore at all (and some have completely eliminated their sites).  Some print nothing but testimonials, or recipes, or ... oh, look, Mark has a special day for each category.  Some are all about their favorite exercises.  Yet others are sales portals and not much more.  Sad.

People in the LC-paleo world seem to be running out of things to say.  Well, once we all figure out what works for us, and what we each need to avoid, what else IS there to say?  The alternative on some sites (some of which I looked at years ago, but never read NOW) is a series of personal squabbles on the assumption that what THEY can tolerate surely can't be a problem for anyone else.  I STILL have a problem with wishful-thinking promoted as truths, but i'm less inclined to get my panties in a bunch about it -- seekers after nutritional truth CAN find reliable information if they want to, and they're the only ones who can determine what's the best answer for themselves, IF THEY WILL.  Meanwhile, I go out in public and see the bulging waistlines ... and the grocery carts full of corn, wheat, sugar and vegetable oils.  Have those people given up entirely, or are they doing their best using Conventional Wisdom?

I'm grateful for the bloggers who keep on keeping on;  I eagerly click on a few favorites regularly, and sometimes go digging into classic archives.  I just miss the thrill of the new ideas I used to read almost every day.  :-)  My morning reading is less exciting than it used to be, but I can't really blame people for spending less time at their keyboards, and more time living their lives.

Friday, August 7, 2015

another curiosity

A few years ago, i started using cod-liver oil.  I believe that the boost i felt, at that time, came from the pre-formed vitamin A in it, though i had been convinced by various writers that its omega-3 was a good balance for any excess omega-6 that i was getting elsewhere in my diet.  I'm not so sure about that latter part, now.

I decided to discontinue the CLO, as i am concentrating on eating liver more often ... and my husband bought a large lot of grass-finished ground beef which comes with a better o-3 ratio.  Almost immediately i started seeing better energy and fatigue-resistance.

Ray Peat would be nodding his head.  ALL polyunsaturated fats have shortcomings -- on this we both agree.  And despite backpedaling by some "obesity experts," there IS convincing data that PUFAs inhibit thyroid uptake by cells ... not least my own subjective experience.  Cuz who cares what experts say if your body tells you they're wrong?

I have a LOT of ambivalence about Peat's ideas.  Some of his writings reflect my nutritional experiences, and some of it seems a bit too far "out there" to be thoroughly believable.  Certainly, his opinion of gelatin/glycine APPEARS to be completely on-target ... but when it comes to his point-of-view about sugar?  No.

Over the last five years i've tried a lot of things that other people have reported worked for them -- some worked for me too, and others did not.  It really amazes me how much difference there can be between two comparatively similar people, and how much similarity between very different ones.  Well, of course microbiology IS microbiology for us all, even though it's affected by our histories of infections and deficiencies, and directed (in the theatrical sense) by our genomes.  Starting from a paleo template, we can suggest possible solutions to people having health problems that are strongly influenced by lifestyle, but there doesn't seem to be any such thing as a never-fail answer ... despite SOME things being an always-fail situation -- like the ADA diet!

It just looks like the vitamins A and D don't make up for the downside of CLO -- its polyunsaturated oils.  So i'm bidding adieu to a supplement i thought i'd always use.  Cod-liver oil IS a good product for some people in some situations, but i don't think it's optimal for ME, when compared to weekly liver and plenty of grassfed beef/lamb.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

a month of monitoring

My husband gave me a Fitbit for my birthday last month.  Using it has been ... interesting.  :-)  Our daughter had been wearing a "Jawbone" she won in a drawing and she piqued my curiosity, though i wasn't inspired enough to run out and get a tracker of my own;  i hadn't gone farther than to start looking at what might be the best product out there.

Well, after weeks of wearing the thing most of the time, my Charge HR has shown me some thought-provoking data.  First, a note on its inaccuracies -- the assumptions built into its algorhythms seem to be based on a hip lifestyle, not mine.  I noticed almost from the beginning that it was very lax in counting my trips up the staircases (it doesn't count flights DOWN, just the steps involved), but it increasingly dawned on me that it was when i don't carry anything that it does the best job -- the arm-swings are significant to it.  If you keep your "fitbit arm" on the bannister, or if you're carrying a laundry-basket, or a meal tray, or a couple glasses of wine, you're not likely to get credit for the stair-flight in question.

Conversely, i do get credit for "steps" even before i'm out of bed in the morning.  Merely adjusting a pillow is enough movement sometimes (though "sensitivity" is adjustible).  And speaking of sleep, the f-b was a little disruptive at first, because its display turns on, as a default, when you raise your arm as if to consult a watch!  I learned to turn that off, and to slide the f-b up my arm to mask the bright little lights on the back.  Not being in the habit of WEARING a watch since i retired from my last "real job," i've also been unusually conscious of having it on my arm -- i've always disliked watch-wearing.  I see that the moving around and getting comfortable before drifting off is shown as "restless sleep" ... and then there's the "awake" periods which can be truly periods of wakefulness or merely of increased movement and heart-rate.  I wonder if it might see dreaming as wakeful?  This morning, i woke up fully and got my ipad out and started reading, and the f-b interpreted that as being asleep a half-hour longer than i really was.

Despite my extreme variation in amount of "exercise" taken from day to day, the "calories burned" function seems remarkably consistent in the 1500kcal/day range.  To me, this echoes study observations in which people who are active in their jobs or hobbies subconsciously do less spontaneous moving around when they get home.  I do intensive shopping, then i come home and sit down with a book;  if i spend the afternoon with a movie and ipad-puzzle, i spend more time and effort in cooking dinner, and make more trips up and down all my stairs.  There's a "workout start and end" function, but telling the f-b what you're doing is a little cumbersome -- you have to look at their activity database in the computer software and match your chores with what they consider to be basic movement patterns.  Can't just look at the wristlet and choose from a list.

The software also allows one to track dietary intake, but the list is long on fast-food and deficient in the kinds of things i actually consume.  Naturally, it's CICO-oriented.

But i do find it very instructive, after taking into account what it can and cannot perceive.  One can enter a weight, sleep, exercise, or food-intake goal and it will report status.  One gets a weekly summary, and/or congratulatory emails on milestones reached.  The first time i achieved 10 flights of stairs climbed i got a commendation, but haven't received another one for even higher readings;  ditto for the first "marathon" walked.  For a person who appreciates acknowledgement of goals achieved, these things are probably supportive.

I'm enjoying it ... taking into account that it's a cross between an expensive watch and a pedometer.  I also like the heart-rate feature -- it already has informed me that the T-100 supplement i take is effective, when i ran out for a few days and my basal metabolism visibly slowed -- not something i would have noticed otherwise!

Monday, July 27, 2015

summertime, and the livin' is ... what?

See, that's the difference between fiction/movies and real life.  Summertime, here, and the livin' is hectic, uncomfortable, edgy, and anxious.

It's been a "funny" spring and summer in the Midwest.  It stayed cool and damp for a long time after the early spring flowers came and went.  Since we got back from our cruise it's continued mostly cool and damp, and the worst part has been the atmospheric allergens.  By the time the tree-pollens faded away we started having constantly-high mold readings -- weirdly constant!  The rain stops, leaving lots of puddles in our torn-up back yard, and the temperature gets high for a few days, till the next storm-front rolls in to dump another load of rain -- Nature's ultimate "rinse and repeat" cycle!  Most days are in the "high" to "very-high" range for mold, with two separate "moderate" days ALL SUMMER so far!

I'll bet a lot of people don't realize how this affects them.  The sneezing may stop, but the more subtle allergy symptoms don't go away.  Inflammation in the upper and lower respiratory passages remain, plus gut problems -- bloating and signs of candida overgrowth.  There's not a prayer of losing weight when the bowels are fighting to keep inimical fungi and bacteria at bay.  The dull ache over my eyes and behind my ears, my throat either rough from the drainage or dry from antihistamine....  Mostly, though, I just find it drains me out and when it's hot, it's exhausting.

I feel fortunate that the gelatin has helped my joints so much.  People with weather-sensitive arthritis must be very uncomfortable indeed, with the frequent pressure- and temperature-changes. 

Weather has unseen impact upon us, beyond hot and cold, dry and wet, dark and bright.  When things are otherwise going well in our lives, an unfortunate heat wave or arctic stream can invisibly spoil our moods;  a pressure front can make us feel crummy without any idea why, if we're not alert to the possibilities. 

So cut your loved-ones some slack -- and yourself, too!  Pamper yourself a little, and don't try to do too much when you don't feel like it.

...But remember that sugar isn't the answer.  When thunder is in the air, the last thing you need is a sweet cocktail or added-sugar treat.  Those are just encouragement for the worst processes already going on in your body.  If iced tea or coffee isn't a favorite with you, maybe a Norcal Margarita can be relaxing without stirring up the candida or other irritants.  Yeasty things like wine, aged cheese, salami, nuts, or mushrooms might not be as good a choice as clear spirits or mineral water, plain (rather than flavored) pork rinds or crudités with fresh-mozzarella or cottage-cheese based dips.

The second Atkins book, the New Diet Revolution, was an eye-opener to me about how dietary and environmental allergy issues affect our bodies' processes, impacting weight-loss as well as sense-of-well-being.  We can't do anything about the weather, but we can ameliorate our discomfort significantly through what we choose to eat and drink.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

get ready for the push-back

I just read an interesting article, and even Dr. Ioannidis -- Mr. Medical-Industry-Is-Flawed -- is unhappy!  It's here:

For over 100 years, the medical establishment in America has ruthlessly attacked anyone outside their club who has threatened to cut into their profits.  Midwives, herbalists, alternative healers ... the list is probably longer than I suspect, and when looked at world-wide it's bound to be huge.  Hell, even INSIDE their club, if a doctor tries to reform a bad practice he gets stomped -- just google Semmelweis.  And HEAVEN HELP any dentist who finds an promising treatment for cancer!

Get ready for all their heads to explode at once!  An entrepreneur has developed some testing procedures OUTSIDE THE PEER-REVIEW SYSTEM!  That electric fence that protects their monopoly has been breached with the complicity of the FDA -- heads are gonna roll for this.

Although very exciting indeed, for those of us who think we have a right to know what's going on inside our own bodies, i'm not going to get my hopes up TOO far yet.  There WILL be a backlash, and I can imagine that access to this technology will be delayed as long as possible.

Of course, the chorus from the AMA has been, all along, that they're just protecting us from our simple-minded credulity.  They're protecting us from faith-healers (not acknowledging that they do that, too).  They're protecting us from snake-oil salesmen (whose products were probably not much worse than today's pet pharmaceuticals ... just higher in alcohol).  They're protecting us from our misguided attempts to HEAL OURSELVES.

Some of the "protection" has been beneficial, but some of it has not.  If they honestly CARED about our well-being, they'd be open to us being proactive in safeguarding our health.  If they had our best interests at heart, they'd want us to change our habits before they get out-of-hand, while they're easier to manage. 

It would waste less of their time -- fewer check-ups where nothing really gets accomplished.  Doctors, complaining that they don't have enough hours in the day to see all the people they need to deal with, SHOULD be delighted to find their work-load reduced, but I doubt that will happen.  The proportion of "intractables" would go up -- hypochondriacs, "munchauseners," and people who are worried about the results they got from their self-tests would increase, and I imagine such patients ARE their least favorites.

Of course, their time would be taken up more by people who NEED their services.  But what a bad precedent -- for patients to come to the office KNOWING what is wrong with them....  Next thing you know, they'll refuse to take their statins, or go on a low-fat diet!  ;-)

Jokes aside, I didn't begin writing this to pick on the medical profession as a whole.  My mockery is for the INDUSTRY which does its very damnedest to disempower its clients for its own aggrandizement.

I certainly acknowledge that poorly-informed people must drive their doctors crazy with the notions they pick up on goofy television shows, advertisements, and facebook postings from nutcases and profiteers.  But I also believe that brushing aside legitimate notions about averting illness through nutrition and supplementation is actively damaging to their patients' health.

IF (that big "if"...) on-demand testing for various parameters does reach people in a meaningful way, a health-care revolution will have begun in this country ... and it's long, LONG overdue.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


[evil grin]

I'm not going to pick on the poor overweight person who doesn't have the energy to work out -- no!  I'm going to pick on people who are too intellectually lazy to do their own googling.

Still reading the archives at Hold The Toast ... and shaking my head at all the people who insist on asking questions they could answer themselves.  How much of this artificial sweetener should I substitute for THAT artificial sweetener?  I don't have/can't afford/don't like/can't find X ingredient -- what should I do?  Or my favorite (in the comments after a cheesecake recipe) i'm lactose intolerant --  what can I use instead of cream cheese and sour cream?


I had this happen to me a dozen or so years ago, with a new reenactor.  She kept emailing me with questions that she could so easily have found the answers to with the help of any search-engine.  I ended up answering off the top of my head if I knew it already, cuz I was going to have to reply to her anyway.  When she asked things I didn't know, I told her* to go look it up herself.  She finally got tired of me not doing her thinking for her, and moved on from Living History to SASS -- it doesn't matter what they wear because most of them wouldn't know authenticity if it bit them in the ass -- they just want to look old-fashionedy.

I have sympathy for human-energy conservation, because I have a history of fatigue problems, but there are very few excuses for not doing your own reading in this day and age.  We live in a wonderful time of information availability, and if we're already online an awful lot of it is free for the finding.  It's even pretty easy to figure out which costuming site is giving good advice and which isn't ... though it's significantly harder on the subject of nutrition.  ;-)
* nicely -- I used to be nicer to idiots than I am now.  It's a serotonin/dopamine thing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

red herrings

One of the problems with observational studies just occurred to me, after reading a couple of articles about "the obesity problem" -- people who don't want to face what modern foods do to us grab at straws of conceivable "causation" and waste a SHITLOAD of professional time exploring absolute nonsense.

...Like "food reward."  While ignoring the PHYSICALLY addictive properties of grains and sugars.  Significant difference.

...Like demonizing "high-fat" foods such as the large McDonalds' combos ... without observing that they're MUCH higher in carbs than fats.

People believe what they want to believe, no matter how much data piles up that their ideas don't pan out in real life.  This is why obese people who don't *like* low-carbing insist that carbohydrates are necessary -- they love their "fix" too much to abstain long enough to kick the habit, i.e. find out how much better they'll feel without it.

I feel that this is the cogent bit about the microbiome hypothesis of obesity.  Yes, sick people have sick intestines.  Yes, children born via C-section are more likely to be one of those people.  Yes, swapping gut-bugs between fat, sick people and lean, healthy people makes an impact on the wellbeing of both types. 

But I think of the microbiome as just another red herring.  What lurks in your colon depends ENTIRELY upon what YOU, as an adult, have ingested.  Get a candida overgrowth after a single high-carb day?  It's because of what foods, drinks, and antibiotics YOU took in, sometime in your history. 

Modern-day African hunter-gatherers with great health have an entirely different set of "bugs" in their poop than the average American?  WHY THE BLOODY HELL SHOULD THAT BE ANY SURPRISE TO ANYONE?  I'll bet the most perfectly healthy American ALSO has an entirely different set of "bugs" from the Africans'.  The latter got their mothers' bugs at birth, never took antibiotics, drink non-tap-water, eat tubers grown in entirely different soils having entirely-different bacteria in them.... 

Red herring.  Too many variables.  Inconclusive.

WHAT people eat is the important part.  Diet composition sets the stage for EVERYTHING that comes after.  Eat things that feed bad gut-bugs and you'll have bad gut-bugs.  Eat an all-meat diet and the bugs that love sugar will languish.  IF you eat an all-meat diet, you don't NEED the bugs that a fibre-eater REQUIRES.  Why try to cultivate them?  They're COMPLETELY SUPERFLUOUS.

We of the "western world" too often think we should be able to do/have/eat anything we want.  FREEDOM!TM ya know?  That's just plain stoopid.  This is like the lactose-intolerant insisting on the "right" to drink milk, or celiacs demanding their share of the wheat supply without the repercussions.  Ought we ALL to think we should be able to drink alcohol, despite the existence of people who haven't the enzymes to metabolize it properly, and despite the existence of alcoholics? 

Many people -- many many MANY -- simply behave like spoiled children.  If we can't eat our cake and have it too, it's NOT FAIR.  Sorry, but biology doesn't work like that.

If your biology calls for a low-carb Paleolithic diet and what you *want* is the SAD, you can whine and deny all you like, but your genotype will win every argument, every single time.  Trying to find a loophole -- chasing the "perfect" microbiome might distract you for awhile;  you might even improve a little for awhile;  but it's NOT going to solve all your problems because it is very unlikely to be the main thing wrong with your physiology.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

continuing the archive-reading

I'm still working on the archives over at Hold the Toast -- what a pity Dana isn't blogging anymore, but ... so many people aren't.

Well, over the weekend I read the posting about "pork-rind cookies," and the idea just kept nagging at me, so yesterday I gave in.  I LOVE them!  :-)  "Cookies" isn't exactly how i'd describe them, though -- they're more like homogeneous Reese's.

I didn't have the sugar-free chocolate chips she used, and my pork-rind bag didn't contain 5 oz, and the peanut-butter left over from the grandkids' visit last year maybe wasn't the exact right amount (and I wanted to use it up), thus my concoction is a LEEEEETLE different.  SO!


3.5 oz. bag of nice fresh, plain pork rinds
~1/2 c. peanut butter
~4 oz. 100% (baking) chocolate
2 T. erythritol
2 T. bulk sucralose
1 bulb-squeeze-worth of vanilla flavored liquid stevia

In the top of a double-boiler I melted the chocolate and peanut butter together till smooth.  Meanwhile, I poured the pork rinds into my food-processor and rendered them into crumbs.  When the chocolate and peanut butter were homogeneous, I added the sweeteners to taste (knowing that the lightly-salted chicharrones would "dilute" the sweetness).  Finally, I stirred in the crumbs, and spooned the resultant mixture into those little Wilton candy-cups I bought on sale after Christmas....

They're delightful -- the candy which is real food!  The batch made 24 servings, and if it were later in the day i'd do the math for you.  ;-)  All the skin-y goodness which is the chicharron, plus nuts and chocolate....  Next time i'll use almond butter in place of the peanut, or -- hell! -- coconut butter would be even better!

It was nice to make something with erythritol that didn't come out bitter or over-sweetened;  I think the old Atkins trick of mixing the sweeteners is the very best way to go.

This also opens the door to other appetizer-like ideas based on pork rinds.  Salmon and cream cheese, plus the crumbs, rolled in more crumbs, chopped nuts or fresh herbs, maybe?  We all already know that the crumbs are the PERFECT substitute for bread or crackers in meatballs. 

There's every reason to believe that the "perfect amino-acid intake ratio" includes more glycine/leucine/isoleucine/valine and less tryptophan and cysteine -- two AAs which hit one's bloodstream en masse when:  1)  we eat only muscle-meat; and 2)  we break down our own muscles during starvation.  Ray Peat -- whose writings I take with a lot of grains of salt -- swears that the latter two AAs are inhibitory of the thyroid for that reason, which i'm willing to take as a working hypothesis.

Gelatin, collagen, and cartilage have a long and proud history of healing.  I'm going to be doing even more experimenting with both supplements and traditionally-made gelatinous foods, given my good experience with the former!  A few days ago, I got my husband (with his shoulder problems) started adding gelatin or collagen hydrolysate to HIS coffee too -- i'm hoping he'll see relief even sooner than I did, with my damned knee.  I'm going to start making more fish-head soup, too -- my first experiments have been encouraging.

Short version (too late) -- I've learned to welcome more foods into my diet which originate from connective tissues.  This recipe is a keeper.

Friday, July 10, 2015

what does not destroy me...

For years I've been reading about hormesis, and for MORE years we've all been encouraged to eat foods which are rich in antioxidants.  Of course, "we" know the connection, but those who get their nutrition education through advertisements, or magazine/newspaper articles which are hardly more than that, only know the A-word as a magical, superfood-related concept. 

Short story:  antioxidant foods tend to be micro-stressors which act positively by making our immune systems rev up to counteract them.  The revved systems also take on other threats, which by themselves ... weren't potent enough to provoke the same response ...?

I still find the "hormetic hypothesis" a little iffy.  It's related to a concept handed down to us (originally from Greek philosophy) by Nietzsche, who expressed a huge number of highly questionable notions:  "What does not destroy me makes me stronger" -- how does that follow?  I might be more inclined to end that sentence, "...weakens me, and may shorten my life." 

I was reminded of the almost-universal canonization of antioxidants by YET ANOTHER paean to the anthocyanins of blueberries, in the popular press.  More than red wine!  Low in vitamins, but still a superfood!  Sing HO for ....


Probably the chief hormetic aspect of anthocyanins (or anthocyanidins) is the CN -- cyanide -- part.  The favorite quick-acting poison of mystery writers is NOT something to flirt with ... especially if you tend to be hypothyroid.

HUH?  An enlightened hypothyroid individual knows that "cyanide"-containing substances like yucca/casava are goitrogens.  Avoiding goitrogens should be the NUMBER-ONE STRATEGY FOR OPTIMIZING THYROID PERFORMANCE.  Don't eat lots of raw or undercooked cruciferous vegetables;  don't ingest brominated or fluoridated food-like products (including tap-water in some places);  limit fermented cabbage (etc);  look upon millet and teff as NOT-FOOD....

Of course, this isn't going to put me off blueberries -- they might have "high in antioxidants" written all over them, but that are still very low indeed in the questionable compounds that we actually need to be concerned about.  Blueberries, red wine, other "antioxidant" foods, are a big YES -- concentrated supplements isolated from them, NO.