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Showing posts from November, 2010

Are you Cold?

If you're like me and work in a climate-controlled office, a lot of your female coworkers say, "It's freezing in here!" I used to chill easily, but now I wonder what they're talking about. (No, I'm not in menopause.) I'm not running the heater in my car nearly as much as I used to, either, even when it's nighttime and in the 30s and 40s. I usually don't feel the need to. Where is credit due here? The type of clothes I wear hasn't changed: usually slacks, a cotton shirt and a wool blazer for the office and a coat and alpaca hat and gloves outdoors. I did buy a long down coat, being inspired by my new style icon Mello (on the right) from Death Note, but it just replaced my slightly shorter down coat. I've even worn sandals and short skirts recently. Not together, though: if I'm bundled up in pants and a coat, I can wear sandals; if I'm wearing a coat and tall boots, I can wear a short skirt and save the tights for work. What changed

Both Feet on the Ground

My mother is one step closer to walking again. Four years ago, my mom had back surgery, which started a chain of disasters: she developed deep bed sores from lack of care, she was assaulted in a rehab center, and she ended up in a wheelchair. One of the sores was on her heel, and so even putting weight on that foot was out of the question. My mom's heel pretty much healed in July . There was a scab on it until a few weeks ago, but no depth to the wound. With the scab gone, one roadblock to walking again is gone. The other roadblock was that she couldn't put her heel all the way down to the floor. Being in a wheelchair for four years, her muscles had tightened and atrophied. My parents and I discussed three options: One doctor recommended making a small incision in the leg to either stretch or cut a tendon or muscle, allowing the heel to move downward. (Isn't that what some people have done to racehorses to end their careers?) Another doctor wanted to fit a boot to Mom's

A Shout-out from Jimmy Moore

I'm feeling a bit puffed up, but not from overindulging on Thanksgiving. (My indulgence was expensive red snapper and other low-carb fare.) Jimmy Moore, author of the Livin' la Vida Low Carb blog , has recommended my blog, among several others, to his readers: As has become my tradition when I leave for vacation, I have searched far and wide for the best and brightest new and exciting low-carb diet and health blogs on the planet that have come on my radar screen in recent months. Many of these feature the talented writing skills of people you should probably be paying more attention to which is why I like giving them a boost featuring them here at my blog. Moore's blog features interviews, podcasts, videos and links on health and diet. The focus is on low-carb, but he interviews people with other viewpoints as well. He himself struggled with a weight problem: 1999 I did an ultra low-fat (almost no-fat) diet because we have always been taught that eating fat makes you

Dodging a Bullet: Avoid Unnecessary Meds

Back in May, I wrote that my continual nosebleeds had mostly stopped since taking large doses of zinc. That's still the case. What I didn't know until a few days ago was that the Flonase my doctor prescribed for my nosebleeds could have given me diabetes. (The other alternative he presented was cauterization. However, I tend to shy away from treatments that remind me of a Civil War battlefield hospital.) Jenny Ruhl at the Diabetes Update blog reported that a study showed a 34% increased risk of diabetes from taking inhaled steroids . When I asked her if Flonase was one of the steroids, she said it was, and added that a steroid wasn't likely to heal my nose and might have made it worse with time. As I've written here before, there is diabetes on both sides of my family, and I may have genes for the disease. Continuing to take Flonase might have made me diabetic. Why did I decide to take zinc instead of Flonase? The Flonase helped a little, but not much, and I was alread

Fruit Fail

My healthy diet doesn't include fruit. Shocked? You're not alone: this surprises people who continually hear "eat lots of fruits and vegetables!" I initially stopped eating fruit when I read Norm Robillard's theory of carbohydrates causing acid reflux in susceptible individuals. I found fruit to be the worst food for giving me acid reflux, and I've rarely touched it since. Anytime I have, I've almost always regretted it within 20 minutes. Non-starchy vegetables quickly became a much bigger part of my diet: they're low-carb and full of nutrients. Am I missing anything by avoiding fruit? Lots of vitamin C and fiber? I made a chart to find out. Using, I chose five fruits and five vegetables that I eat (or used to eat) and looked up how much of certain vitamins they contained. I chose vitamins that most of them had at least of little of. I also noted their total carb and fiber content. (Click for larger image.) Note that the bottom lines

Does it Matter where you Eat your Food?

Have you heard the advice not to eat at your desk, not to eat alone, not to have the food on your plate touching, and not to eat while watching TV? It seems the idea is that if you eat under those conditions, the food you're eating must be the kind that will make you fat. Or you'll mindlessly eat large enough quantities to gain weight. I almost always eat under those conditions, and haven't found any of this to mean anything. Would it make a difference if I plopped down with some coworkers to eat the lunch I packed? Or if I took my plate to the dining room table instead of here at my computer? Maybe it would be even better if I put my dog's dish on the table so she could join me. I really might end up eating less that way: she's a terrific scavenger. I don't think it makes a bit of difference where you eat your food. It's what you eat. Of course, if you don't plan and prepare, you can end up eating whatever is handy, and that, I suspect, is a real reaso

Dana Carpender: Food and Thought

I'd like to introduce you to someone I've added to my blog list: Dana Carpender at Hold the Toast. She's written several low-carb cookbooks and once struggled with a weight problem. In her book How I Gave up my Low-fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds, Carpender describes eating a high-carb, low-fat diet: "hungry enough to eat the carpet" and unable lose weight doing cardio four or five times a week. As a kid, she stole money from her parents to support her sugar addiction. A low-carb diet got her out of reverse. The book begins with an introduction by one of her Internet friends who wanted to prove her (or any other woman) wrong. He goes on, sounding like a real piece of work, but tells a compelling story of how a low-carb diet saved his life. Then Carpender tells of her own experience with different diets and sneaks up on you with science backed up with a 17-page bibliography and her own experience and that of friends and family--and even a few complete strangers she c