Monday, May 25, 2015

nicotine gum "cures" restaurant-food shortcomings

I ate lunch today, on the Low-Carb cruise, from the carvery table in the Windjammer Cafe:  probably about 4 oz of delicious roast pork, a marinated chicken drumstick, and less than a cup of the lamb curry dish (containing a few carrots and slices of zucchini).  Not a big meal, and certainly less protein than when i split a Costco package of organic ground beef with my husband, as i frequently do at home.

I sat down to listen to the afternoon speakers and started feeling crummy.

This isn't the first time such a thing has happened after eating a restaurant meal.  I feel sleepy, slightly cranky, vaguely uncomfortable.  Today, i popped a couple of betaine-HCl supplements and then got out a piece of nicotine gum.  I buy (again, at Costco) the 2mg size, so the dose isn't very high, especially since i always throw the gum away before its full content has been extracted.  It invariable makes me feel better.

The problem is the histamine/tyramine/salicylate issue.  Nicotine "cures" it.  I've praised its antihistamine and anti-inflammatory qualities before, but i never fail to be pleased and grateful for how quickly nicotine improves my well-being.

It's a pity that it has addictive properties for susceptible individuals.  A bunch of people are not going to be able to profit from a great anodyne ... kinda like kratom and melatonin in Australia.  :-(

Saturday, May 23, 2015

doubling down

Not in the casino:  I was disappointed to discover a couple of decades ago that there's a vice that doesn't really do much for me!  I strongly prefer gluttony and sloth, and a few others of the "deadly sins."  ;-)

It's glutathione that I decided to increase my dosage of (please pardon my bad grammar). 

Any book that's worth reading at all is worth reading multiple times.  This goes IN SPADES* for Datis Kharrazian's "Why Isn't My Brain Working."  It occurs to me that this may be the single most USEFUL book I've read in the past few years!

Sure, "Good Calories Bad Calories" was great, but more explicatory than prescriptive.  Dr. Yasko's books are full of suggestions for improving health too, but not as user-friendly.  Lots and lots of other books I've read on nutrition and well-being have been great contributions to my knowledge-pool without being iconic.  But at this point, DK is ahead by more than a length (whew -- we've left the card-table and are now dallying with the gee-gees).

Although he points out that oral glutathione is poorly absorbed, I found a few years ago that it improved my energy SO rapidly and well, my body had to be drinking it in like Nick did cocktails in "Shadow of the Thin Man."  During a particularly stressful afternoon a few days ago, I took Kharrazian's advice and got some GABA agonists, which I found notably helpful.  I read in his book also HOW the valerian I started using recently is beneficial to my stress-hormone levels.

Interestingly, in discussing some nutritional supports, he doesn't often suggest specific quantities of the supplements he recommends for particular uses;  he frequently just uses the adage "start low, and increase till you see a difference." 

Years ago, I started at the ordinary dosage amount of glutathione, and it worked so well I didn't even think of increasing the amount.  Now, i'm thinking that more might be even better.  He reports, "Glutathione depletion is also a major contributing factor to leaky gut, a leaky blood-brain barrier, and even leaky lungs.  As I discussed in previous chapters, many other dietary and lifestyle factors can break down these immune barriers, increasing the risk for both loss of chemical tolerance and autoimmunity."  Aging and stress are two prime reasons for such depletion.

Is the current "epidemic" of autoimmune disease partially driven by lack of glutathione in its sufferers?  I suspect there might be something in this possibility.  At any rate, I think it worthwhile to test my hypothesis. 

When you think of all the celiac disease, hypothyroidism, autism, MS, and other gluten-influenced problems proliferating nowadays, it's tempting to place the whole blame on modern wheat, but we know an awful lot of illnesses are multi-factorial.  One factor could easily be glutathione depletion.

*  uh-oh, another card-playing analogy -- what is this telling me?  ;-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

still short on sleep (thank you, dog!)

...And we drove back to Texas yesterday, all of us, so my daughter can watch Spense and Pip (the canary) while we take our vacation.

Yep, it's that time of year again!  Friday we fly to Florida, and Sunday take off for our third Low Carb Cruise.  :-D  [cue the Jimmy-haters....]

Both the previous times, i had ambitions of writing actual full POSTS about the speakers, but even sitting with my notes in front of me i couldn't seem to pull them together.  This year, i'll take notes on the laptop instead of on paper, and see if that doesn't work better.  Thing is, i get so busy enjoying the ship i lose all ambition to "work," and it doesn't hurt (help?) that my husband likes to get the "ultimate beverage package"!  It's like trying to read outdoors -- i get myself all equipped and comfortable, and then am distracted by Nature.

It occurs to me, too, that if i'm typing instead of writing my notes by hand, i can keep my eyes on the slides better.  Win-win!

There's an exciting lineup of speakers -- some we enjoyed before, and some new ones i've never even heard of.  One of the ports of call is San Juan PR, too -- my BIL got married there back around '80, but J and i haven't been back since;  it's going to be fun to revisit!  I'm having a hard time deciding if it would be more fun to take a horseback-ride there, or just wander through the streets....

Yeah, THAT is why my sleep has been interrupted the last two or three nights -- when things wake me up inappropriately early, instead of drifting back off my mind starts saying "hey, i just remembered something we need to pack!"  :-D

This time i'll also try to include some decent  photographs -- i'm not very talented at taking them myself, but the husband is.  We plan to explore the ship's amenities better than we did last year (when our daughter and family accompanied us);  i might even try the spa's accupuncture service and see if it helps my bad knee!  ...We are so ready for this vacation from our YEAR LONG backyard project.

So when i'm even less responsive than usual it will probably mean i'm out enjoying myself!  Soaking up vitamin D ... hearing the latest from Westman, Lundell, Childers, Wortman and the rest ... sipping Norcal Margaritas on the adults-only deck....  If the trolls show up and leave unpleasant comments, i'll just assume that part of their attitudes come from not being on the ship having a good time, too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

enough is enough

I've been reading some ZC-community discussions recently, and something that comes up from time to time is leaving me chronically astonished.  Now, anyone who reads here much knows that "i love me my meat" but some people out there are eating really outrageous quantities.  I have a sneaking suspicion that those who are consuming more than a pound, multiple times a day, are doing it for other reasons rather than for true hunger.

Certainly, people who work hard (or work OUT hard) burn a lot of fuel, and when that fuel is almost entirely "meat" it takes quite a bit of steak and eggs to match that ol' "energy out."  But a lot of the people who eat like that don't seem to have a lifestyle that requires so much input.

Are they eating to appetite, but with the appetite driven by inadequate nutrition?  Despite some individuals who claim to have eaten nothing but ribeye steaks for years, mere muscle-meat does NOT contain every vitamin and mineral needed by humans.  Even the most ardent meat-lover who has read anything on the subject knows that the Inuit and "Plains Indians" did not live by steak alone -- organs and specialized tissue containing rare-from-animal-source nutrients were the most prized parts of any harvest.  If one is not willing to eat liver, brains, hearts, kidneys, or to add other foods like nuts and eggs ... or to SUPPLEMENT (which some of these people disdain insistently), one is going to miss out on important dietary requirements.

...And we know that nutritional deficiency can drive excess appetite.  Stanton covers it definitively, and i'm sure plenty of other writers do as well.

Another reason for surprisingly-large meat-meal size might be the reaction from a red-meat-deficient diet before -- a badly-stretched gut longing to be filled, and making up for lost time.  If this is the case, i'd be inclined to counsel them to retrain their innards to thrive on smaller portions.  It won't happen overnight, but i believe their systems will thank them!  If it's true that our bodies have a finite capacity for making enzymes, these people are going to hit the wall someday!

Somehow, probably as a reaction to the chronic-starvation that is CICO, it has become en vogue to overfeed -- to make the body burn more fuel by providing more hot-burning food TO burn.  The desire to do so is understandable but again of dubious wisdom.  Another "if it's true" moment:  Rosedale claims that keeping one's "motor" revving too high will lead to burning it out more quickly;  he might have a very good point there.

People often come to ZC with a history of diabetic (or prediabetic) blood-sugar issues.  If they begin eating huge amounts of protein, are they functionally "getting their carbs through the back door" by taking in so much meat that much of it is converting to glucose?

I've long been a critic of the "everything in moderation" philosophy -- by that way of thinking, regular doses of known trouble-makers in the diet are granted legitimacy they don't deserve.  However, i cautiously support the idea of "EACH thing in moderation;"  it's very easy to get too much of a good thing!  And no, i'm not reverting to the anti-hedonic puritanism that too often infects the nutrition world -- i'm instinctively reacting to what a logical person might perceive as excess.  So what if men on the Lewis & Clark expedition ate nine pounds of meat per day -- does that REALLY seem like a good idea to you?

People who are not satisfied until they get supraphysiological quantities of protein in their daily diets probably need to take a long look at why that might be.  They also should read up on what it might do to them.  Happily, we do know that "high" protein isn't going to damage previously-healthy kidneys, but a very-high muscle-meat-only diet (as opposed to a high-fat one, based on animal products) is just as "unbalanced" as any regimen a vegan advocates.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

why are careful eaters considered a bunch of nutters?

I actually have an answer -- this question is NOT "rhetorical" as are so many in article titles;  it's NOT an exploration of possibilities that leaves the reader complaining that the article didn't actually address its purported issue, but left him/her as clueless as before reading it.  You may not agree with me ... but i'm used to that.  ;-)

There are actually a lot of answers to the question, and I won't try to foist a be-all-and-end-all solution.  There are as many answers as there have been "reelly stoopid" eating plans.  Here is just one example, which yanked my chain the moment I set eyes on the graphic:


Ever since magazines started printing beauty advice -- no, long before that -- ever since the first prototype spa/salon started up, in the Far East or Mesopotamia or ... Ancient Atlantis, for all I know, there have been rumors about what you can eat or drink or rub on your skin to make you more attractive and desirable.  This article is just another in a LO-O-O-O-ONG series that isn't going to end any time soon.

Who is bloody ignorant enough to imagine that, if your skin has deteriorated to the point you'd contemplate using a product like botox, you could possibly dial back the damage of decades by drinking broth instead?  Obviously some people must, or headlines like this wouldn't happen.

OH, you say, no, they aren't suggesting an old crone like your authoress can benefit -- it's much too late for that!  They're talking about FORESTALLING the need for such desperate measures thirty years down the line! 

( which time, you'll have forgotten the glowing promises which never came true, and botox will no longer exist anyway.)

And you'll never get cancer if you're a veg*n, cuz it's the meat rotting in your colon that will lead to nothing but disaster.

No -- no!  You'll never get cancer if you never let your meat be cooked at a high enough temperature to get that luscious caramelized crust on it.

NO!!!  You'll probably get cancer anyway, but it's all in the luck of the draw!  It's ALL in your genes unless you're a smoker, or you wash your hands with benzene, or ....

Good diets and good lifestyle choices are NEVER a bad idea, but you have to do your due-diligence.  Just because an idea sounds like "common sense" does not make it reasonable.  Just because the suggestion some "authority" makes has a degree of appeal and you WANT to believe it, doesn't make it any more likely to be true than something your great-grandmother said a century ago.

The biggest reason that our nearest-and-dearest roll their eyes at us, when we say we don't eat sugar/gluten/soy/aspartame/MSG etc is because we've all been lied to so many times.  Nobody believes our "conspiracy theories" about the addictive properties of wheat or snack foods or sweets, because we all drank tap-water out of the garden-hose when we were kids, and lived to tell the tale. 

Funny, they believe smoking is damaging, despite the fact that their Uncle Floyd smoked like a chimney all his life and died in his bed at age 97.  The also believe that saturated fat and fried foods DO make you fat, diabetic, and unhealthy -- cuz TV! -- despite the fact that Great-Grandma Jones lived on eggs, bacon, and fried chicken till the tractor fell on her when she was 104....

Exaggerating ridiculous minutia is what makes names in the food-fad business as well as in the highest echelons of obesity research.  If they told us the truth, it would not be noticed ... or at least we'd turn away in distaste, because we don't WANT to live the rest of our lives eating ONLY what is good for us.  We don't WANT to get evolutionarily-appropriate levels of exercise and rest -- "we" want big muscles that impress the other bros, and a hormone-killing body-fat-level and six-pack to impress the other "gals" (gawd, I hate that word).  "We" want to text our buds while watching the showtime-series-du-jour, not to read to our kids before bedtime, and hit the hay soon afterward ourselves.  "We" want to hit the gym at 5:30am instead of cook breakfast and pack lunch.  We want to be cool;  we want visible results and we want them NOW.

To tell the truth, the bit with the bone-broth article is another thing that irritated me about a few books in my library, whose contents didn't live up to their titles.  Deep Nutrition tells us why some of us have been physical wrecks all our lives, but doesn't offer much hope for OUR futures -- just the futures of any children we may yet have!  Oops, too late.  The Eat, Drink and Be Gorgeous Project is only for people who can already look at photos of themselves and manage to not have an inferiority complex.  Defying Age with Food:  Reclaim Your Health, Energy & Vitality! was a complete crock from start to finish;  the thirty-something author may think that it was miraculous that she could "defy her age with food" but someone my age thinks she's a dumb pup and JUST WAIT....

[evil grin]

The point is, it's only the instinct toward religious-thinking that people have, that makes them believe things that are too outlandish to be true.  People want to believe in super-foods, and that more CAN be accomplished than is reasonable, with ketosis or aerobics or supplements or whatever.  Often, the best that we can achieve is to stave off the misery of those of our friends and relatives who DON'T watch what they eat.

I could be worse off.  The number of friends near my age and younger who have contracted debilitating or fatal diseases has been shocking.  I may struggle with allergies, hormones, energy, and even mood sometimes, but I rarely catch viruses and I haven't had a round of antibiotics in decades.  I use no pharmaceuticals, unless you count my vitamins and herbs.  I drink a lot more mineral-water than alcohol, though I consider the latter to be therapeutic.

But my diabetic relatives and friends think I needlessly eliminate "whole food groups" from my diet, and the lame and obese and sugar-addicted around me believe that forgoing bread and dessert and condiments with toxic ingredients is being "too picky."  I hold my tongue more and more all the time (to their faces), and just rant to my poor readers as an abreaction.  :-)  I want to say, "LOOK AT YOURSELF!  Do you think you look healthy?  Don't you realize that the reason my belly is flat and my eyes are clear and my skin is as good as it is, is because I DON'T eat what you do?  Believe me -- my genes are not that good."

Okay -- I got that off my chest!  ;-)  Sorry, gang, sometimes the stoopid just gets to me.  So many promises that are obviously empty but believed anyway;  so many real possibilities for improvement that require just-slightly-less-tasty eating-patterns and habits that are sneered at....  It may take several months to see a difference, and that difference won't be mind-blowing, just a boost.  People who hate swallowing pills might just benefit from taking some;  people who hate liver might need to bite the bullet and learn to bear it.  Progress CAN be made, but expecting that botox will EVER be made superfluous by drinking your bone broth?  Don't count on it.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

hopelessly behind....

Busy, busy, busy!  :-)  Between enjoying the spring weather (and FLOWERS) at the Missouri Botanical Garden, getting out and choosing the smaller details for our construction project, and helping our neighbor transport some auction-purchases she made, it's been a wild week.  I'm HOPELESSLY behind on my reading, because it takes quite awhile to read some of the venues where i pick up worthwhile tidbits.

I definitely need to recalibrate my pedometer -- although i know i covered a lot of ground walking to-and-fro carrying Joyce's purchases from house to car to house, i don't THINK i managed to get in six miles....

Yesterday, being rainy, i sort of just "took the day off" to watch movies and be unproductive ... but i failed at that a bit, too.  ;-)  I removed the barrier which our insurance company made us install in the "MIL room" door to nowhere (or rather, a 15-foot drop).  Although the decking hasn't been installed, the roof over the back porch is now a supportive surface.  The balcony there will be a nice amenity that has been missing from the house for i-don't-know-how-many years.  It's south-facing, so on cool days it will be a good place to drink morning coffee -- when we moved in, the east balcony was present, but it's mostly pleasant on very warm afternoons, and it's visible to our slightly busy street.

Oh -- we tried a new restaurant yesterday, too.  It didn't blow us away, but we feel the need to revisit on Thursday for Happy Hour ... on-account-o'-because Thursday is OYSTER DAY.  :-D

I recently revisited an herb that i had bought some months ago, but hadn't explored extensively -- valerian.  Although i had to do some very specific googling to confirm a suspicion, i really believe it does help tame excessive cortisol secretion.  I have this funny experience when trying to fall asleep....  I can feel sleepy and drop off easily, but it was getting to be chronic that i would awaken about an hour later with a touch of anxiety, and/or come awake in the morning with a pounding heart.  Valerian seems to tame that reaction.

Now, i had been trying vitex to lift my mood during the most stressful times this last winter and early spring, and i felt it was helpful.  I tried Wooo's favorite herb, kratom, too, but though it is good for mood, i don't like the way my stomach feels for hours after ingestion.  Valerian at bedtime seems to excel over both of them, because i've long been convinced that i over-secrete stress hormones.  And this winter has been BAD for stress -- i feel as though my subcutaneous fat has moved around in an unbecoming fashion!  And here i was trying to dump a little fat before shorts-season....  :-(

Well, first things first!  No way can i improve my body composition without straightening out stress! Getting out in the pleasant weather and looking at flowers is good.  Valerian is good.  LCHF is good. Taking the day off and watching movies, while the rain washes the air, is good.

...Even though our previously-favorite neighbors are no longer speaking to us....  We're interacting more with the OTHER ones, in a good way.   Today is grey but the rain has stopped.  There's a primo bottle of bubbly chilled downstairs, and J is thawing some lobster tails as my Mothers' Day dinner.  Tomorrow the brick-layers should be starting to face the garage, and when they're done i believe the landscaper can begin work.

YES!  :-D  ...Happy Mothers' Day, everyone!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

"and [yet] another one bites the dust"

"Children's breakfast cereals loaded with sugar, study finds -"....

As a recent cultural heroine once said, "Does the word DUH mean anything to you?"

Here is yet one more reason why non-clinical research scientists don't really contribute much to the world's accumulation of knowledge.  Their entitled decision of what constitutes "data" short-circuits information which is actually useful to actual human beings.  (<-redundancy intentional)

The "paleo" community is inclined to be influenced by what time-honored cultural wisdom has gleaned through the centuries.  What our ancestors have observed and treasured from time immemorial is respected by individuals who have become disillusioned by the hubris-inspired "scientific" reasoners like Ancel Keys.  Cherry-picking "serious researchers" find ideas they like, which agree with their personal paradigms, and consider themselves misunderstood but vindicated geniuses, as a result of finding (sometimes pathetic) studies which theoretically confirm their personal biases.

"The plural of anecdote is not DATA," says one of these sky-pilots (recently on twitter, NOT addressing ME who challenged him ... but obliquely).

Sorry, asshole -- yes it is.

The accumulated wisdom of millennia is EXACTLY THIS:  the observation of n-1 experiences of thousands of individuals.  THIS is cultural wisdom.  THIS is the collective experience of mankind.

That which our foremothers decided was important to hand down to posterity is exactly what is reflected by the common-sensical observations of intelligent individuals.  Is the "study" quoted above really better evidence than the multitudinous n=1 observations of our ancestors?  "Study finds cereal full of sugar" ... what shit-for-brains "moran" didn't know this already?

Or is such a "study" just academic BULLSHIT dressed up in the robes of scholastic graduates, putting on the semblance of respectability where it isn't actually earned?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

back from the dead

Well, kinda....

Forgive my neglect, all you dear readers and commenters!  I've been under the weather a bit, but the oak pollen is dwindling away and i'm beginning to feel a little more human.

It's May -- well and truly springtime here in the northern hemisphere!  Our construction project is finally beginning to gain a little momentum.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!