A commenter brought up something today that made me think of the radical view that we need to get rid of all industrialization and live like...I don't know what. Following herds that don't exist in any great number and living off the land with skills almost nobody has anymore? Living like Mennonites? Like gentlemen farmers, who (it has been argued) needed slave labor to have the leisure to pursue scholarship and culture? I have nothing against going off the grid if that's what floats your boat, but people who would, say, blow up dams to force other people off the grid remind me of a TV series called Death Note. In the series, a high school student finds a notebook that kills by heart attack anyone whose name is written in it. He starts writing the names of criminals in it because he wants to create a world with only good people in it. "So," someone predicts, "you'll be the only bastard." Sure enough, the student (Kira, taken from the English word for killer) also kills his pursuers, anyone who can out him as soon as they're compromised, he threatens heads of state, and plans to eventually kill useless people (that is, force people into servitude) in pursuit of a goal that's turned into becoming the god of a new world. Hubris: a timeless theme.
I'm not even on an extreme ketogenic diet; I know I'm eating more carbs than allowed on Atkins induction (20g/day). I've gotten some vegetables that are a little higher in carb, like tomatoes and portobello mushrooms, and inadvertently, butternut squash instead of spaghetti squash. I tried fried sweet potatoes a year or two ago but they didn't agree with me.
On a happier note, I've been eating fewer nuts and more meat. I cut down on nuts because too many bother my stomach. As a result, I've felt less hungry and look like I've lost a few pounds, but have had to start taking a magnesium supplement again. My dog might lose a few pounds, too: she likes to eat when I eat, and I'm snacking less often at home. I've also had to start taking a potassium supplement again. When I go below a certain carb level, my heart races sometimes and I feel jittery. Peter at the Hyperlipid blog talks about problems some people have on ketogenic diets:
The first paper which had me thinking was this one:
"Both the pre-and post-exercise levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol were enhanced"
This is the sort of thing I file as interesting. That is, until the anecdotes trickle in about people who have gone to extreme ketogenic diets and have developed abnormal cardiac rhythms. You know the thought train that grabs you when you discover LC eating, that moment of realisation: Carbs are bad. Followed by: All carbs are bad. Most people can do zero carb with absolutely no problem. With reasonable protein intakes it is really very easy and doing a "Stefansson", using an all meat diet, is not difficult. But a few people will get in to problems. If you are wired for a heart problem along the lines of Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome, cranking up your adrenaline and noradrenaline levels might not be a good idea. If you have atrial fibrillation, ditto.
I had to look up Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome. In my younger days, I was sometimes told when I went to give blood that I had sinus arrhythmia. My biological mother had four leaky heart valves. Another relative had Addison's disease, an illness of adrenal failure. Sure enough, though, some case studies have shown that administering potassium normalized patients' heartbeat. Potassium makes me feel better, too. I should take a bottle with me wherever I go. I'd hate to go the way of Kira's pursuers for the lack of a pill.