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Showing posts from January, 2014

Eldercare: Different Clothes can Help a Lot

I'm not one of those people for whom comfort is everything in clothes. But there comes a time when economy or sheer weight of clothing forces change for societies and individuals. Think of wigs, lace, blush and stockings giving way to simple suits around 1800. Women enjoyed a similar liberation around that time and around 1920. So did my parents this weekend. My father has always dressed in jeans and a western shirt. Trouble is, he's elderly and needs help getting dressed, and jeans are hard to pull on another person. So are suspenders. Being no youngster herself, it took my mother an hour to help him get dressed Saturday morning. She said "enough!" In the interest of easy dressing, I bought Dad some basketball pants. Since western shirts don't go with basketball pants, I also got some t-shirts. I thought it was going to be a battle to get Dad to change his style, but he actually likes the new clothes. He's always like convenience, and being able to dress h

My New Exercise: Why it isn't Crossfit

I knew my exercise program was failing when I got depressed from, well, lack of exercise. I'd been lifting weights and doing lindy hop (an athletic American partner dance from the late 1920s). But after ten years, six of which I lifted weights three times a week, I was bored with weightlifting. Even though Slow Burn doesn't demand much time, I wasn't making enough time for it. And there are so few men in Denver's lindy hop scene that I only got a few dances a night. When you subtract the people who only dance with their date or stand around in a huddle with their friends, the ratio of women to men is probably three or four to one. Why not crossfit--it's all the rage, it's a tough workout and there are several places to do it close to home or work. Mostly, I don't need to throw up from working out. Google "crossfit vomit" (without quotes) and you'll get 95,100 results. I also don't need the snooty attitude I've heard so much about. I&

If Rice is so Healthy, Why Fortify It?

Quite by accident, I came across an article proposing fortification of rice to prevent nutrient deficiencies. I'm not against fortifying rice, since it could greatly improve the health of people for whom it's a staple. But the fact that rice needs to be fortified belies that idea that rice, or grains in general, are nutritious enough to be a dietary staple. It hasn't done much good for people who depend on it: [A] concern [with fortification] may relate to the possibility of over-consumption of rice given the potential benefits of additional vitamins and minerals. As a public health intervention, the use of a vehicle would imply not encouraging the population to consume greater amounts of the ’fortified’ rice. Higher consumption of white rice is associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations. Micronutrient deficiencies of public health significance are all widespread in most high rice consuming co

Exercise Deficiency Syndrome

I've found myself frequently depressed over the past several weeks. It helped to think of it as my brain being depressed and that everyone gets sad sometimes and it passes. Thinking this way helped me start looking for causes and solutions. I haven't been dancing as much over the past few months: it's too discouraging when there are two or three followers for every lead. So much for Denver being "Menver," a term used by men who evidently look for women under the seat cushions. (Maybe I exaggerate, but Denver County is half women according to the last census and we leave the house a lot more according to my observations.) I've decided to quit being like the proverbial drunk who looks for his keys under a street light just because he can see there. I'm giving up dancing to resume martial arts because I need the physical exertion. (You didn't think it was to meet men, did you?) I noticed going to a difficult yoga class (with a bunch of women) impro

PPIs Associated with Acute Kidney Injury; USDA's Carb Addiction

Need another reason to give up proton pump inhibitors? Four years ago, I gave up PPIs and cured my GERD with a low-carb diet. I saved hundreds of dollars a year (even figuring in the cost of groceries ), dropped 20 pounds, got rid of aches and pains, improved my HDL cholesterol level, had more energy, and stopped getting cavities. Statistically, I lowered my risk of bone fracture. In case you need another reason to go low-carb and throw away the pills, PPI use is associated with acute kidney injury . Since this study is an association, it could be that PPI use doesn't case kidney injury, but that something else is causing both. It could be that a high-carb diet raises blood sugars to diabetic levels (while also causing GERD) and that high blood sugar causes kidney injury. We know that diabetics are prone to kidney disease. Wouldn't that be a rich irony--that it's too much carbohydrate and not protein that damages your kidneys? If that's the case, there's a double

Beautiful, Comfortable Shoes II

The previous shoe-buying excursion was a flop. The mary janes that felt fine on in the store rubbed my left foot almost raw and I had to make a long trip out to the suburbs to return the other pair I ordered at the store. While I waited to have my tire repaired this afternoon, I walked to a different shoe store and bought these and a few other pairs: Rebecca Black Net from Beautifeel. Image from Sensing a live one, three salesmen gathered round and brought out every size 38 Beautifeel shoe in stock. It reminded me of The Great Happiness Space. The shoes cost some serious coin, but I've had Beautifeel shoes before and I wear them for years in comfort. These will probably cost me around $1 per wearing; the shoes from Dillards cost me $60 for one wearing, minus whatever I can get from a consignment store for them. If you like Beautifeel, it might be time to stock up since they're changing the lasts to be more narrow and pointed and less comfortable, just l

More on Good Skin; Out with the Old; LCHF for birds

In writing about good skin in my last post, I should have remembered that taking vitamins and avoiding most dairy helps me, too. I started avoiding dairy after reading The Paleo Answer by Loren Cordain and noticed that indulgence in cheese or half-and-half led to acne and a few other problems. Avoiding it from there on has been a no-brainer. Taking GNC's Hair, Skin and Nail vitamins helps me avoid nosebleeds and improves my skin, too. Since I also have to take iron, which is an antagonist of zinc (a key nutrient in the vitamins), I've found it most effective to take the vitamins with breakfast and the iron with dinner. Being on vacation has made it easier to experiment. At the beginning of my vacation a few weeks ago, I was afraid I was going to fritter my time away playing video games. I did a lot of gaming, but also got my house in order. My dying computer and printer, software from the 90s, floppy disks, clothes and shoes I don't wear anymore, music I don't listen