Sunday, June 30, 2013

It Doesn't Have to Be This Hard

If I'm ever in a trench defending my homeland from barbarians, I want Linda Wells, Editor-in-Chief of Allure magazine, next to me. She's spent her last couple of vacations at a boot camp eating vegan food, sans booze, caffeine, gluten and sugar and going on five-hour hikes, getting blisters along the way. She doesn't feel (or sound) self-righteous. She's lost eight pounds, but says she's ready to "re-tox."

The same issue of the magazine describes the program of a weight loss clinic called Medi-Weightloss: 500 to 800 calories a day of protein (around 125g to 200g), supplements, laxatives, and a prescription appetite suppressant called phendimetrazine.

Jesus wept. Starvation diets--and this diet is well into starvation territory--have been well studied. They're known to cause weakness, fatigue, loss of libido and psychosis. Low-fat diets can cause depression, among other problems. And what's with the heaping helping of protein? Plugging in the author's height and weight into Jenny Ruhl's protein calculator and assuming she's 35 years old and sedentary (the program forbids exercise for the first two weeks), the calculator recommends 90g of protein a day. Your body needs protein for maintenance and repairs, but it can't run on it. It can only run on fat or carbohydrate.

The program is supposed to employ ketosis, which one expert interviewed says is "debunked":

While many physicians used to believe ketosis could permanently reset your metabolism, that theory has been debunked, says Robert Kushner, the clinical director of the Comprehensive Center on Obesity at Northwestern University and chair of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. "Ketosis is your body's last resort to keep you alive. It's an unhealthy situation to be in," he says. During ketosis, your body forms ketones, which, if they build up, can cause bone damage and may affect brain and kidney function.

Jesus wailed. In 2013, there's a medical VIP out there who doesn't know the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis? Wikipedia describes ketoacidosis in a similar way as what I've generally read:

Ketoacidosis is a pathological metabolic state marked by extreme and uncontrolled ketosis. In ketoacidosis, the body fails to adequately regulate ketone production causing such a severe accumulation of keto acids that the pH of the blood is substantially decreased. In extreme cases ketoacidosis can be fatal.[1]
Ketoacidosis is most common in untreated type 1 diabetes mellitus, when the liver breaks down fat and proteins in response to a perceived need for respiratory substrate. Prolonged alcoholism may lead to alcoholic ketoacidosis. (emphasis added)

Ketosis just means you're using fat for fuel. We're in ketosis when we wake up. This is bad?

The author (Hallie Levine Sklar) says elsewhere in the magazine, "They told me to eat 500 to 700 calories a day. But I work and have three kids under five, so I can't imagine realistically subsisting on that." Good for her. And may she and Linda Wells both come on over to low-carb living: lattes made with heavy cream, all the calories they want, and the energy to run around with three little kids. No drugs, boot camp or blisters needed.

Source: Allure Magazine, July 2013.

Cereal Killers Documentary Reaches Milestone; Breakfast without Cereal

Re: the movie Cereal Killers, a documentary about a man who starts researching heart disease and puts his own hypothesis to the test, has reached a milestone. This just in:

We are delighted to report that Cereal Killers has reached the 100% funding milestone on kickstarter folks!

To each and every one of the 183 persons who have carried us over the line and into new terrain - THANK YOU!

SO...What happens next?

Well for us, we just take a deep breath and we keep going....
The momentum, awareness and goodwill generated by a successful kickstarter campaign is only bettered by a super successful kickstarter campaign. Sometimes projects REALLY catch fire and that's where we're aiming next.
Kickstarter promotes projects that look like they're gonna take off, and they do that based on the number of pledges and the hype a project is creating on the internet.
Now that we have reached our target, every £1 pledge or tweet or facebook share adds weight to our visibility where it matters.
We have 11 days to make the most of all this, so we're getting back to work to make your pledge work harder for Cereal Killers.
I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie.

So if you're not eating cereal (or toast, or bagels, or pastries or "heart-healthy-whole-grain-oatmeal") for breakfast, what's left to eat? What about a BLT without bread? If you don't like vegetables, maybe you've never tried any from a farmer's market or someone's back yard. The taste and texture are very different from what passes for lettuce and tomato from the grocery store or most restaurants.

BLT without bread. Homemade mayonnaise (recipe here) at right.
Yesterday, my mother asked me to pick up some bread for my father. Sorry, no can do. I'm not getting sugar for a diabetic. Instead, I made them a loaf of coconut flour bread (it's mostly eggs and butter; recipe from Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife). My father hasn't tried it yet, but my mother liked it and remarked how filling it was.

But some people really, really love to have cereal. Mom is such a person, so I made her a hot "cereal" mix of flax seeds, coconut and ground almonds (recipe from Wheat Belly by William Davis--click for a bunch of his recipes). It was a bit more work than throwing a box of cereal in a cart, but again, it's filling and it isn't a box of flour and sugar that will raise her blood sugar.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Should your Teeth and Heart Follow Two Different Diets?

There's a lot of conflicting dietary advice around, but conventional wisdom contradicts itself on diet for a healthy heart v. diet for healthy teeth. The commonly recommended heart-healthy diet is low-fat, little meat, lots of whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. That doesn't quite square with "Foods and Drinks Best for Your Teeth" from that pillar of medical dogma, WebMD.com:

The best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).

Other food choices include firm/crunchy fruits (for example, apples and pears) and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid). Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.

Take away the apples, pears and milk, or limit them greatly, and you have a low-carb diet. They add,

The more often you eat and snack, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay.

What--no little meals throughout the day? Well, if you're eating just chicken, other meat, cheese, nuts, and crunchy vegetables (i.e., no potatoes), you probably won't need to constantly snack because with little starch and sugar, you shouldn't have roller coaster blood sugar levels and frequent appetite throughout the day. Further,

Poor food choices include candy -- such as lollipops, hard candies, and mints -- cookies, cakes, pies, breads, muffins, potato chips, pretzels, french fries, bananas, raisins, and other dried fruits. These foods contain large amounts of sugar and/or can stick to teeth, providing a fuel source for bacteria.

So those heart-healthy whole grains aren't so good for your teeth. For benefit of those who don't cook, starch is sticky. Fat isn't. Fatty food (without starch or sugar) doesn't even get stuck in your braces. But starch (which turns into glucose on digestion) not only sticks to your teeth and braces, it sticks to certain proteins in your body in a process called glycation (see AGE or advanced glycation end products). In laymen's terms, it gums up the works of different cells and eventually causes serious health problems including heart disease.

Starch and sugar provide a fuel source for bacteria not only in your mouth, but throughout your body. There's a school of thought that infection contributes to or causes heart disease.

Conventional wisdom tells us that whole grains and a starch-based diet are good for your heart, but bad for your teeth. On the other hand, cheese is good for your teeth, but too fatty for your heart. There's low-fat cheese out there, along with a thousand other low-fat products, but have foods that are good for both hearts and teeth been around for only a few generations since someone created them in a lab?

Humans and our ancestors have had two and a half million years to adapt to a diet of mostly protein and fat  along with plenty of cholesterol, but with little starch and sugar. To be sure, we didn't evolve perfectly and our paleo ancestors didn't enjoy perfect health. But it's an extraordinary claim to say that the heart--an organ that has to work pretty much perfectly at all times--isn't adapted to the diet we evolved on, and yet our teeth are very well adapted to such a diet, even though you can get cavities or lose some teeth and, even without dental care, go on living. If anything, it seems to me that vital organs with no backup (the heart, brain, liver and pancreas) would be the best adapted to our evolutionary diet. That low-carb and ketogenic diets are so therapeutic for patients with heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and diabetes points in this direction.

Except in some special cases, there's no heart diet, GI diet, dental health diet, and so on. There are just good health diets.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Eat Sugar, They Eat Sugar, Why Can't You?

The polite brush-off answer: because I'm not you or them.

Answers that require more thought:

Metabolism doesn't improve with age. I could eat crap, or have nothing but a bun or soda for lunch, when I was nineteen and it didn't bother me. Much. Most people that age can say the same. Now that I'm 44, I usually can't fast and more than a little carb makes me tired and hungry and gives me a stomach ache. A high-nutrient, low-carb diet and three meals/snacks a day is my way of dealing with it.

Genes. I'm from a family full of diabetes and hypoglycemia and used to have most of the symptoms of hypoglycemia listed in Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution. Expecting someone like me to do well on a "balanced diet" (i.e., lots of starch, little meat) of three meals a day is like putting gasoline in a diesel truck and wondering what's wrong.

Natural and Artificial Selection. Richard Dawkins has written about animal species undergoing natural selection within a few generations of living in new conditions. Why would humans be different? In isolated places where a high-carb diet is all that's available, people who can't tolerate such a diet from a young age are winnowed out.

Culture. If you're hunting antelope or digging up and carrying thirty pounds of roots all day, every day, like the Hadza (see Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham), you can probably get away with more starch and sugar in your diet than a suburban desk jockey. If you have to walk half a mile to the train station, pay dearly for food, and pack groceries and everything else up three flights of stairs to an expensive little apartment, you can probably get away with more Big Gulps than a New Jersey housewife, and might not be eating as much food.

Some people care more than others. Yes, I know diabetics who eat "normally" and enjoy crap in "moderation." They don't have any tricks--they're covering the carbs with medication, burning some excess blood sugar off with exercise, or having high blood sugar. Some of us know people who get drunk every night but go to work every morning. But just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hot Ex-Vegans; Donal O'Neill Can Turn a Phrase

If you read Fathead, you've heard of exvegans.com and the documentary Cereal Killers. But if you didn't follow the links, you've missed out on some great stuff.

Want some eye candy or a good laugh? You must check out www.exvegans.com. The site is a directory of "ex-vegans" and "vegan sell-outs" that names names gives the cities, descriptions and photographs of vegan apostates.

Where can I meet one of these ex-vegan guys? Most of them look like magazine models and sound more interesting than dating site bios that try to sound interesting. Raw Brahs, San Diego: "Pretty boys who make videos famous-for-being-famous but not much more." Sean Dunaway, Las Vegas: "Originator of 30 bananas a day sucks.   Was vegan and 'got too skinny' so is now a meat-eater and body builder.  This guy plays favorites on the forum and takes sides.  He is  very cruel how he socially manipulates the forum and you get a sick feeling around him .  He encourages no judgement but then is the most judgmental and nepotistic tyrant there.  Carnal, cruel, cunning, status-climbing, hitting on women.  A convicted hacker and felon.  If he was gentle as a vegan what could have possibly happened since then?" Ah, there's something about a good boy who's gone bad.

The site is so earnest that it makes me wonder if it's really a joke. "Now eats pure murder," it says of Chris Kresser. Athlete Devon Crosby Helms must be a liar or a malingerer: "She also claimed a long list of bogus health ailments. Maybe these ex-vegans should keep it realistic and keep it to one or two ailments." The webmaster even outed her roommate: "Found her on Craigslist and when looking for a STRICT vegan roommate. Seven months later she started eating meat again and leaving dead corpses in the fridge even though we AGREED to have a totally animal-product free household." Emphasis in original.

EDITED TO ADD: New entry: "Sheryl was one of my best fiends from college and we shared our beliefs about food and animal rights. Whe she married her husband Ricardo Busatamante she began to eat seafood and even meat in occasions. I just want to sell her out for preferring her husband over me and changing a healthy lifestyle for one where the murdering of poor animals is acceptable." OK, this site has to be a joke--and it's hilarious and brilliant. People have been ostracized and even threatened for leaving the Holy Church of Veganism, and this site can, I hope, make them laugh and reach out to others like themselves.


*****

Donal O'Neill, marketer, former athlete and now a filmmaker, has one of the best-written low-carb blogs I've seen: LetFatBeThyMedicine.com. Some lines from his posts: "Wasn’t Ancel Keys a member of Guns n Roses?"  "I started spending hours in the Pub. Pubmed that is." "Humble apologies mother. You were right after all." "The benefits of exercise are wide, varied and certainly compelling, but over time you simply cannot outperform a poor diet." "Avoidance of illness is your job. You get to listen to whomever you want and try anything you care to. But know this – YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN." If you want to help get the word out about the documentary, you can help fund it at Kickstarter.com.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Frosted KrustyO's

Tom Naughton's post on breakfast cereal inspired me to post photos of a box in the window of my neighbors' house down the street. Click photos to enlarge.



Almost makes crap-in-a-bag sound good.

All Better? Why go to Rehab?

They tried to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no. -Amy Winehouse

My mother is home from the hospital, where she arrived weak and dehydrated last Thursday. She thinks that an antibiotic made her ill.* My mother uses a wheelchair but she can stand up and she can walk with a walker. She couldn't use her legs when she went to the hospital, but by Monday, she could transfer herself from the bed to the wheelchair with no help, just someone to spot her.

The hospital wanted her to go to rehab, but like Amy Winehouse, she said no, no, no, for good reasons:

  • She felt well enough to go home.
  • Rehab is expensive.
  • They feed you a crappy diet at rehab--crappy meaning full of carbage. It's especially unhealthy when you're diabetic, like my mother.
  • Got normal blood sugar? They're johnny-on-the-spot with the orange juice to jack it back up.
  • Mom was assaulted at a rehab center a few years ago. The person was never brought to justice.

Being home and careful about her diet, Mom's fasting blood sugar is getting back to normal--111 this morning, down from 257 after the regrettable waffle breakfast at the hospital. She's back to puttering around the house. It helps that she refuses to take the statins her regular doctor ordered and lower her insulin dosage as the doctor at the hospital recommended. She doesn't have heart disease and her A1C is 5.0--that's a normal level. Why should she change her medication?

I think most medical professionals are caring people, but some are too eager to sell their services and products, which can do a lot of harm to patients' health and bank account balance in some cases. Let the patient beware.

*Too late, I found that coconut oil might have cured the infection.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

One Reason Diabetes is Out of Control

Short answer: many health care providers don't attempt to control it.

Reading medical literature from the early 20th century, it looks like doctors of that era fought diabetes with everything they had: low carb diet, urine testing for diabetics, a hospital stay with a strict diet if there was sugar in their urine, and yearly testing of family members of diabetics. Insulin started being used in the early 1920s.

Now? Some health care providers call a low-carb (diabetic) diet "old dogma" and don't counsel patients on diet or blood glucose testing. This was the case with a friend of the family, who was recently diagnosed, and my parents. While my mother was in the hospital recently, she was allowed to order any breakfast from what was basically a dessert menu: cinnamon rolls, cereal, juice, bread, waffles, french toast, pancakes, fruit, etc. Hopefully, patients who want to control their blood sugar aren't allergic to eggs, the only LC option for breakfast.

Some doctors take a casual attitude towards medications as well. When my mother ordered waffles (we all make mistakes, especially under stress), her blood sugar went up, but the staff didn't have the proper insulin to give her because the doctor didn't order it. She normally takes two shots a day; she didn't get them at the hospital. When the doctor saw that her A1C was 5.0, he lowered her recommended dosage. A patient is maintaining normal blood sugar on a certain program, and the doctor wants to change the program in a way that may send it into the diabetic range?

Mom is back home and eager to get her blood sugar back under control under her DIY program.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Complaining that Fast Foods Joints Don't Serve Health Food...

...is like complaining that there's no sign that reads "Employees Must Wash Hands" in the bathroom of a house of prostitution.

(See Reno 911!, season 1, episode 3)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Decadent Diet

Dedicated low-carbers like to describe their way of eating as nutritious, filling, healthy and traditional. But what about people who want to eat decadently, not Puritanically? Who are sick of busybody goody-goodies and diet police? Low carb is good for them, too. On what other diet can you eat dip for dinner and dessert for breakfast?

Guacamole, pork rinds, crispy fried pork (fried in lard, seasoned with salt).
This isn't a cheat meal--you can have this every night and eat until you're full since there are hardly any carbs there. (Note that you can't substitute corn chips--they're too carby. And don't get guacamole that's full of carbs.) If the dinner looks a little skimpy, it's because I saved room for dessert.

Low carb, non dairy chocolate ice cream. It does have carbs in it, so go easy. Recipe here.
I'm not sure if this is what some people call "rewarding food," but I'm full. Granted, I was never obese, but I'm from a family full of wonky blood sugar and I know how it feels to be hungry enough to eat the wallpaper a couple of hours after a low-fat, starchy meal. Before I started low carb, I could put away a bag of cookies in a sitting. People knew not to get between me and a pan of brownies or pizza. In all other areas of life, I'm self-controlled: I've never bounced a check, never missed a deadline at work, and never tried drugs because I knew I'd be addicted to anything I really liked.

For most people, a low carb diet quells their appetite. Various clinical studies have found that people on low-carb diets spontaneously reduce their calorie intake.

You can be decadent on LC, but not out of control: starchy and sugary foods are out (or limited to very small amounts). Without the blood sugar swings those foods can bring on, though, it's easier to stay in control.

Starch Tolerance: From Ancient Genes?

Anthropology professor Brian Fagan on diets of human ancestors:

The Neanderthals were expert hunters, but when did hunting begin? Once again, the answer lies in Africa. Homo ergaster [a human ancestor from two million years ago] was an omnivore, completely accustomed to quite drastic environmental changes in the distribution of open grassland, forest, and semiarid terrain and the dietary shifts that went with them. Unlike their predecessors, these people were serious hunters and meat eaters--because they dwelled for the most part in open country, where meat was the dominant, though not, of course, only food source. We know this because the bones of numerous large mammals appear alongside stone butchering tools in some of the archeological sites that document their wanderings, whereas none appear in sites that predate them.
....
Brain size is largest among species that hunt large mammals opportunistically while cooperating with and depending on one another. Brain size also correlates with time spent as a juvenile, which in turn relates to exploration, learning and play. Complex social organization such as that possessed by Homo ergaster required intelligence gathering, analysis of that information, and creative uses of it.

These hunting skills, and the weaponry that went with them, developed in Africa after two million years ago and survived virtually unchanged among premoderns everywhere for almost all of that time, until the late Ice Age, some fifty-five thousand years ago.(1)

Yet why do some people tolerate high-carb diets so well? My thinking is that over two million years, some humans lost their ability to thrive on a high-carb diet, while others retained it from their very ancient ancestors, who were largely herbivores. (Or people severely intolerant of high-carb diets were winnowed out through natural selection. Or both.) Diabetes, for instance, has a genetic component; you won't get it without the genes. There's a wide variation in how many copies of the salivary amylase gene people carry. (The article mentions "intense positive selection" in populations eating a starchy diet.) (2) Dr. William Davis notes that people who carry the gene for lipoprotein (a) tend to be "the perfect carnivore": intelligent, athletic, tolerant to dehydration, tolerant to starvation, and resistant to tropical infections. But they're prone to heart disease and diabetes--even the marathoners. Davis says carbohydrate consumption and vegetable oils worsen their tendencies toward heart disease and diabetes.(3) Native Americans and First Peoples of Canada, some of whom have had only a few hundred years to adapt to a high-carb diet, have some of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. Even going to an agricultural diet of "real food," not flour and sugar, created problems for some of them, including more infections, iron deficiency anemia, infant mortality and cavities.(4) 

Our ancestors' diet shifted greatly two to three million years ago from plant-based to meat being a substantial part of the diet, as Richard Leakey put it. We definitely adapted to meat eating--our teeth and short digestive tract show this. But we all know people who can eat quite a bit of starch and stay healthy and trim. Perhaps they retained some very ancient genes, while others are children of Homo ergaster.  



1. Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans by Brian Fagan. 2010, Bloomsbury Press, New York. pp. 24-26.
2. "Copy number polymorphism of the salivary amylase gene: implications in human nutrition research." by
Santos JL, Saus E, Smalley SV, Cataldo LR, Alberti G, Parada J, Gratacòs M, Estivill X. J. Nutrigenet Nutrigenomics, September 3, 2012.
3. "The Perfect Carnivore." Track your Plaque blog by Dr. William Davis. October 2, 2012.
4. "Nutrition and Health in Agriculturalists and Hunter-Gatherers" by Dr. Michael Eades. Protein Power blog, April 22, 2009.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Does LCHF Work for 40+ Women?

A commenter on another blog said, "Calories count: ask any woman over 40. Oh wait, you notice LCHF never mentions them or shows their success stories."

I'm not sure where this person got that idea. Maybe he's new to LCHF; it seems to me like there's a lot of us out there who eat this way without counting calories. Three years ago, at age 41, 20 pounds fell off when I whacked back the carbs. I've kept it off and stayed pretty close to what I weighed in high school. Amy Alkon, Mary Dan Eades and Jackie Eberstein come to mind as LC ladies of a certain age; I'm sure I'm forgetting dozens more.

Here's a photo of me taken June 3, 2013, age 44. (I wanted to show my best friend what I wore to see Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson, since she pictured me in a lavender shirt, white linen pants, and starchy bag with a bottle of Perrier.)


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Skinny Plants

Living in an area with hot, dry summers and poor soil, the plants in my yard live in spartan conditions. I don't constantly water them or use chemical fertilizers. And look how skinny and healthy they are!

Festuca glauca.

California poppy.

Achillea 'Moonshine.'

Iris.

Clockwise from top: tansy, iris, lavender cotton, California poppy, indigo, juniper.

Sundrops.

Legacy buffalo grass.

Love in a mist.
Kidding aside, the plants don't have thin leaves because they live on scant rations in harsh conditions. They thrive in those conditions because they shed heat and collect water well with those thin leaves. California poppies have a tap root and irises have shallow tubers, which help both of them thrive in poor, dry soil. Buffalo grass has a short growing season--it doesn't green up until late May. Most of them come from places like the Sonoran Desert, the western Great Plains and the Mediterranean that have hot, dry summers. They're skinny, hale and hearty through natural or artificial selection. But if they're overwatered or overfertilized, they'll get floppy.

Some other adaptations for hot, dry summers and poor soil:


Rosa glauca: small leaves, short blooming season, can grow in shade.
























Rosa alba semi-plena. Same story as R. glauca.

R. woodsii. Same strategies as R. glauca. New Mexico locust has small leaves, which it sets late and drops early, like many other North American trees.

Lamb's ear. Fuzzy leaves provide insulation. Needs more water and shade than the other plants shown.























The point is, there are things going on, obvious or not, that determine how plants do in different conditions. Some are delicate flowers, some can thrive almost anywhere, but it's a function of the plant's genetics.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hold the Fries; Shut up, Lady, Don't Upset Us*

It's day 2 of being back on a very low-carb diet. I'm off the sweet potatoes (you know, those wonderful safe starches) and I've cut back the dark chocolate. I thought it would take a couple of weeks to keto-adapt and get back to feeling good, but I'm already feeling like my old self: no more upset stomach, no dragging myself out of bed late this morning, no nap on the bus tonight, and no mid-afternoon grogginess. And no more humiliating thought that Alice Cooper, who started his band before I was born, could probably run circles around me.

Blogger Kia Robertson could use some shame. She's the activist who made a useful idiot of her nine-year-old daughter at a McDonald's shareholders meeting. Mrs. Robertson, through her spokeschild, whined about McDonald's food and marketing.

I doubt the Robertsons are shareholders in McDonald's. Call me a traditionalist, but a shareholders meeting is for shareholders, particularly grown-up ones who understand the business (or want to) and know the difference between marketing and fraud. If Mrs. Robertson wants to hold corporations accountable, she ought to go after pharmaceutical companies that have performed misleading research, buried research whose results they didn't like and whose products have actually done a lot of harm to people. Or she could go after the Girl Scouts, those wicked little flour-and-sugar-flogging cuties. Where are the fruits and vegetables in those cookie boxes? The flaked coconut doesn't count.

Unlike the Girl Scouts, McDonald's has food I can eat without getting sick. I have food sensitivities, and a bunless burger avoids them well enough for me. They list all their ingredients and nutrient counts on their web site. And some of us think of meat--food we've been eating a lot of for two and a half million years (see this and this)--as healthy. Poor little Hannah doesn't appear to get much meat in her lunch.

McDonald's success tells me that a lot of people do want meat in their lunch. Joel Greenblatt, an investor who got annualized returns of 40% for over 20 years, came up with a fictitious money-losing business for literary purposes in The Little Book that Beats the Market. He called it Just Broccoli.

Even when renegade shareholders get an initiative on a ballot, it's usually a waste of time--at least, I've never seen such a measure pass. If the board of directors doesn't go for it, they'll recommend a vote of no.
What the Robertsons did was nothing but a publicity stunt--perhaps to sell their wares? Hopefully not to parents of kids with FODMAPS problems.

*Parody of an old Burger King ad: Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, shut up, lady, you upset us, all we want to do is throw it away, do it my way!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Carb Creep

Dark chocolate and sweet potato fries are taking up too much of my diet--so much that I probably got up to about 70g of carb a day. That's probably too much carb to make ketones and too little glucose to feel energetic. Walk down the middle of the road, Margaret Thatcher said, and you get hit by the traffic from both sides.

This might be the reason I've been tired and my stomach is upset so often these days. (Upper GI problems were the original reason I started a low-carb diet.) I overslept by an hour this morning after forgetting to reset my alarm, even after nine hours' sleep and my dog trying to get me up. My dog is going on a stricter diet, too, since she's up to 70 pounds. She eats low-carb home cooking, but needs to eat less of it.

Bye-bye, balanced diet. I'm going to use pork rinds and emulsion sauce* instead of sweet potato fries as a vehicle for fat and salt. And no more denial about my chocolate habit.

I was good today--I had about 30g of carb--and my stomach, at least, feels a lot better.

*The emulsion sauce recipe by Niklaus Ekstedt in Scandinavian Classics calls for butter, eggs, lemon and salt. It's a good substitute for cream cheese.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

From the I-Thought-He-Was-Dead Files

I hope I have this much energy when I'm 64. I know people my age who complain that they feel old.


I just hope I look better and don't have to get any body parts chopped off.