Thursday, April 26, 2012

I was Almost a Scofflaw

You've probably heard about the blogger Diabetes Warrior, a type 1 diabetic who's in hot water with the state of North Carolina for talking up the paleo diet that has restored his health. Officially, he's in trouble for giving medical advice, but come on: what are the chances he'd be in trouble if he had recommended a low-fat diet and healthy whole grains?

There but for the good sense of the Colorado legislature go I.

A few month ago, Rep. Massey introduced a bill to require licensing of dietitians, and defined dietetics as 

THE INTEGRATION, APPLICATION, AND COMMUNICATION OF PRINCIPLES DERIVED FROM FOOD, NUTRITION, SOCIAL, BUSINESS, AND BASIC SCIENCES, TO ACHIEVE AND MAINTAIN OPTIMAL NUTRITION STATUS OF INDIVIDUALS THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT, PROVISION, AND MANAGEMENT OF EFFECTIVE FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES IN A VARIETY OF SETTINGS.

Sounds like what goes on here and on a lot of other blogs. The bill continued,

A PERSON WHO WISHES TO PRACTICE DIETETICS IN THIS STATE SHALL APPLY TO THE BOARD, BY A DATE AND IN A FORM AND MANNER DETERMINED BY THE BOARD BY RULE, FOR A LICENSE AND SHALL PAY THE FEE DETERMINED BY THE BOARD. THE APPLICANT SHALL CERTIFY AND FURNISH EVIDENCE SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD THAT THE APPLICANT MEETS ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:
(I) IS AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
(II) IS OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER;
(III) HAS RECEIVED A BACCALAUREATE OR POST-BACCALAUREATE DEGREE WITH A MAJOR COURSE OF STUDY IN HUMAN NUTRITION,NUTRITION EDUCATION, PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION, FOOD AND NUTRITION, DIETETICS, OR FOOD SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT OR AN EQUIVALENT MAJOR COURSE OF STUDY AS APPROVED BY THE BOARD. AN APPLICANT WHO OBTAINED HIS OR HER EDUCATION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND ITS TERRITORIES MUST HAVE THE APPLICANT'S ACADEMIC DEGREE VALIDATED BY THE COMMISSION AS EQUIVALENT TO THE BACCALAUREATE OR POST-BACCALAUREATE DEGREE CONFERRED BY A REGIONALLY ACCREDITED COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY IN THE UNITED STATES.
(IV) HAS COMPLETED A DOCUMENTED, SUPERVISED, PRE-PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE EXPERIENCE COMPONENT IN DIETETICS OF NOT LESS THAN ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED HOURS UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A REGISTERED DIETITIAN, A LICENSED DIETITIAN, OR AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A DOCTORAL DEGREE WITH A MAJOR COURSE OF STUDY IN HUMAN NUTRITION, NUTRITION EDUCATION, FOOD AND NUTRITION, DIETETICS, OR FOOD SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT. SUPERVISED PRACTICE EXPERIENCE MUST BE COMPLETED IN THE UNITED STATES OR ITS TERRITORIES. A SUPERVISOR WHO OBTAINED A DOCTORAL DEGREE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND ITS TERRITORIES MUST HAVE THE DEGREE VALIDATED BY THE COMMISSION AS EQUIVALENT TO THE DOCTORAL DEGREE CONFERRED BY A UNITED STATES REGIONALLY ACCREDITED COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY.
(V) HAS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE EXAMINATION FOR DIETITIANS ADMINISTERED BY THE COMMISSION.
Even most MDs couldn't recommend a diet under this bill. I wonder if vets would be allowed to tell their clients to stop feeding their dogs muffins. The bill was, after all, before the House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources.There are some exemptions, but blogs about foods relieving allergies, improving lipids, eliminating GERD, and so on have to do with the medical benefits of diet.

Despite several dietitians (who else?) talking up the bill, it failed in a 9-3 vote. Otherwise, I'd be in contact with the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit "merry band of litigators" that takes on nonsense laws that chill free speech and drive honest people out of business.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hay Fever Season is Here

As our friends on the East Coast dry off and dig out from under a foot of snow, it's a beautiful 80-degree evening here in Denver, Colorado. Truth to tell, though, I wish it were snowing here too: it would stop my hay fever in its tracks. If you have pain in your upper teeth, in your face, and behind your eyes, a runny nose, and itchy eyes, you may have allergies, too. Some say that this has been one of the worst years for allergy sufferers.

I've had allergies most of my life and I've tried a number of different things for relief. Here's what has and has not worked for me:

  • Allergy shots. They worked--but they're inconvenient and expensive.
  • Antihistamines. They work, but they make you drowsy.
  • Avoiding dairy. This doesn't necessarily prevent allergies, but it may keep you from getting even more congested. (Milk, whey and certain brands of cream bother me.) For alternatives, try coconut milk or almond milk, or even another brand of cream.
  • Avoiding wheat. Here we have a winner. In the two years since I stopped eating wheat, I haven't had allergies until now. Many others say the same thing. If you want wheat-free recipes, Dr. Davis has several on the Wheat Belly Blog; the book Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife has recipes for baked goods that are even better than you'd get at a bakery. (The honey muffins are as moist, fluffy and tasty as anything I've ever tried. All paleo, too.)
  • Mucinex. A godsend. Cheaper store brands have less active ingredient (guaifenesin, a mucus thinner) by one-third, but it may be enough for you. Doesn't cause drowsiness.
  • Sudafed. This works, but you may have to take it as frequently as the directions allow to get any relief.
  • Nasal irrigation. Some people swear by it, but it doesn't do anything for me.
  • Think about something else. This really has helped keep me from going on sneezing, wheezing, eye-watering jags amidst pollen, dust and dander.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another Cavity Healing Diet Update; Another Liver Recipe

It's been a year since I started the cavity healing diet. Last week, I went back to the dentist for a routine cleaning and exam. Results:
  • Dr. Michelangelo (not his real name) still wanted to fill the small cavities he found last year. I had this done today. I don't think the fillings will hurt anything, and having them should prevent crud from finding a place to settle for the day. And I don't think he's given to drilling and filling for the sake of it: he never gave my best friend a filling while he was her dentist, and back in February when one of my wisdom teeth hurt, he said the tooth was fine and diagnosed a sinus infection. (Infection can raise your blood sugar, which probably didn't help my teeth over the last six months.)
  • After he was finished, Dr. Michelangelo said the cavity had probably been forming for years.I know the groove on my lower tooth was there for years.
  • He remarked that how white my teeth were, down to the roots (he used A2 colored fillings for my upper teeth; it looks dark against the white background, but it's a light tooth color). Even before I started the cavity healing diet, they started getting whiter.
  • Both the dentist and one of his hygienists recommended avoiding sugar and starch. They all but came out and said "Atkins!" They also recommended a Sonicare electric toothbrush. I replaced my broken one last weekend and was pleasantly surprised that starting it again didn't hurt my gums as it did years ago when I first got one. (My experience is that it also makes your teeth whiter.)

On one hand, some small cavities did continue to form (but stayed small) while on the cavity healing diet. OTOH, since starting a LC diet, my teeth are whiter than before, my TMJ problems and tooth grinding are gone, my teeth and gums aren't very sensitive (something Dr. M. remarked on the last time) and no new cavities have formed in the past year. While I haven't had perfect results, there's been a lot of improvement.

Dr. Michelangelo and I started talking about diet (I mentioned Drs. Price and Mellanby). He told me how he fixed liver, and I made a variation on it tonight.

Liver Curry
1/4 pound of liver
1 T coconut oil
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c coconut milk
1 T tomato paste
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t curry powder

Heat the coconut oil on medium low heat. Cook the liver for five to ten minutes, just until it's no longer bloody. Place on a plate. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add the coconut milk and tomato paste; stir well, and bring to medium heat. Add the spices, stir well, let simmer for a few minutes and spoon over the liver. Serves one.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Liver & Gravy: Paleo, Low Carb and Down Home

Liver is Mother Nature's multi-vitamin, and at two dollars and change a pound, it's an inexpensive meal. The challenge is eating it if you don't like it. How about giving yourself a reward while you eat it: gravy!

Chicken Fried Liver
1/4 pound chicken livers
3 T coconut flour
1 egg, beaten
3 T almond meal
Pinch salt
Few dashes of savory spice mix (herbes fines, jerk spice, Mrs. Dash, etc.)
2 T lard or coconut oil

Heat the lard or coconut oil over a medium-low flame. In a small bowl, mix the salt and spices with the almond meal. Roll the liver in coconut flour, then egg, then the almond meal mix and put on a separate plate. When all the livers are ready, put them in the pan, using tongs and an oven mitt for safety's sake. Gently turn them after one minute. Let them cook for five to ten minutes until they're no longer bloody. Place them on a clean plate.

Gravy
Pan drippings from the liver
2 large chopped button mushrooms
1/2 c chicken or other meat stock
Dash pepper
2 T coconut flour
Few pinches of xanthan gum

Add the mushrooms to the pan and saute them for a few minutes on medium heat. Add the stock, coconut flour and pepper, stir well and bring to a boil. Take a small pinch of xanthan gum between your fingers, hold it over the pan, and rub your fingers together so that the xanthan gum disperses finely on the gravy, and stir well. Do NOT add it in a clump--it will stick together. Add xanthan gum until the gravy is thick enough.

Pour the gravy on a plate and add the liver. Serves one.