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Showing posts from May, 2014

Blog Lineup Change

Bye-bye, Fathead. I've enjoyed the blog, but can't endorse the high-fat, high-carb Perfect Health Diet that somehow makes so much sense to some otherwise bright people. An astrophysicist makes some rookie mistakes on a LC diet, misdiagnoses them, makes up "glucose deficiency," and creates a diet that's been shown in intervention studies to increase small LDL, which can lead to heart disease. A computer programmer believes in the diet and doesn't seem eager to refute it because, perhaps, scientists are freakin' liars and while he's good at spotting logical inconsistencies, lacks some intermediate knowledge of human biology. To Tom's credit, he says it's not the right diet for everyone, but given the truckload of food that has to be prepared and eaten, impracticality of following it while traveling (or even not traveling), and unsuitability for FODMAPs sufferers, diabetics and anyone prone to heart disease (i.e., much of the population), I'm

Eating a Ton of Vegetables Isn't a Good Idea

I love vegetables. There are so many foods that I can't eat that meals would be boring without them. In fact, I like them so much that I planted five kinds of lettuce and two kinds of tomatoes in my garden today. All the same, stuffing yourself with vegetables (or anything else) isn't good. 1. Fibrous vegetables can drive up your blood sugar if you eat enough of them. In one of his books, Dr. Richard Bernstein discussed a patient who ended up with a very high blood sugar after eating a head of lettuce. There are stretch receptors in your intestines that, when they sense you've eaten a big meal, release hormones that can end up raising your blood sugar. Bernstein calls this the Chinese Restaurant Effect. 2. All food is inflammatory. As Michael Eades put i t, Eating is an inflammatory process. A number of scientific studies have shown that eating a meal, regardless of the macronutrient composition, causes acute inflammation, which makes sense when you think about it. F

Coconut Milk, Kale, Karate, and Macadamia Nuts: Fails and Wins

Coconut in a Can This can of Natural Value coconut milk from Natural Grocers (fka Vitamin Cottage)... ...looked like this... ...and made a gloppy, eggy mess out of a custard dish I've made successfully many times. (I added 3T lime juice to the custard, which I hadn't tried before, but I don't think that would have ruined it.) From now on, it's Thai Kitchen coconut milk or Sprouts premium organic. Thai Kitchen coconut milk (full fat). Sprouts premium organic is similar. Kale Chips Today I ruined a bunch of lacinato kale making kale chips. 500 Paleo Recipes says to cook the chips at 375; some recipes on the web call for 300 degrees when using lacinato kale. They're probably right; at 375, the chips filled the kitchen with smoke and tasted exactly like you'd expect burnt leaves to taste. Red Russian kale has worked well at at the higher temperature, though. With some salt and dip made of mayonnaise, chives and lemon juice, they were way be

Adopt a Troll, Do Some Good

I've decided to adopt a troll. What does that mean? Every time the troll leaves some troll dung on a blog I read, I'll donate a dollar to charity. (I'll send a check at the end of the month.) Heifer International seems appropriate. HI provides livestock and other agricultural projects to needy people around the world for income, self-sufficiency and more protein in their diet. An example of their work: One of Heifer International's biggest projects is EADD - the  East Africa Dairy Development  project. It was started in 2008 with a $42.8 million grant from the  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation . It's helping about 179,000 small-scale dairy farmers to double their incomes. Now, we're happy to announce that we've received a one-year,  $8.5 million grant  from the Gates Foundation to continue that work. The grant will support existing projects in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda and explore possibilities for expansion in Ethiopia and Tanzania. “We are excited f

Nuts: A Condiment, Not a Snack

Nuts seem like the perfect snack: they're portable, they keep well, they don't need to be cooked, and they're tasty. Problem: I don't feel good when I eat too many of them. Recently, I started snacking on macadamia nuts, which are high-fat, so I thought they wouldn't be a problem. But my stomach was upset, I got a bit of acid reflux and nosebleeds, and generally didn't feel up to par. Nuts have phytates, which bind to zinc and other minerals. This might have caused my nosebleeds. And I don't know what it is about macadamia nuts, but they don't seem to digest well for me; they felt like they were sitting in my stomach causing bloating. I've felt pretty much the same way eating more than a little bit of nuts or goodies made with nut flour. It could be that nuts are seeds and don't "want" to be eaten. Like grass seeds, they defend themselves by sickening those who ingest them. 

Food Revulsion

After four years eating mostly real food, I'm having the opposite of junk food cravings. For awhile now, a lot of foods have no longer looked like food to me--noodles, pastry, cake, most snack foods that come in plastic bags. (Cookies and brownies still do.) Later, most fruit didn't smell good. I recently made the mistake of getting some shea butter liquid soap, not noticing "honey-citrus" on the label. It smells bad, but I'm too cheap to throw it out. Pizza has long smelled like a wet dog, which is unpleasant but tolerable, but today the pizza in the break room smelled disgusting. So did the burnt toast. Has anyone else had this experience? I never imagined I'd prefer steak tartar to pizza, but steak tartar looks, smells and tastes great to me. A bonus: I've never eaten anything that sat so easily on my stomach. I get full, but it's like there's nothing in my stomach. Steak tartar and salad with Doreen's dressing. Recipes from 500 Paleo

We Hate the ADA; Why does the Perfect Health Diet Get a Pass?

Some people keep touting the Perfect Health Diet as low-carb, but carb levels that are mostly in the triple digits aren't generally regarded as low-carb; in fact, one of the authors says low-carb diets are unhealthy. A lot of us hate the  American Diabetes Association's advice for diabetics: start with 45g to 60g of carbohydrate per meal and go higher or lower from there. That's 135g to 180g of carb. Perfect Health Diet advice for diabetics: eat 20% to 30% of your diet as carbohydrate. On 2,000 calories, that's 100g to 150g of carb. On 1,700 calories, that's 85 to 128g; on 2,200 calories, that's 112 to 168g. Depending on your carb and calorie intake, carbs would be 85g to 168g per day. That's not a mile off from the ADA's recommendations. Paul Jaminet, one of the authors of the Perfect Health Diet, says, "the basic biology here is that the body's physiology is optimized for a carbohydrate intake of about 30%." He warns against a

My Long-Term Experience Eating Safe (and Other) Starches

Years ago, before the Perfect Health Diet came out, I followed a program that involved eating quite a bit "safe starch." It was called Body for Life. It involved eating six small servings of carbohydrate along with six small servings of protein, plus two servings of fibrous vegetables per day. (A serving was the size of your fist or the palm of your hand.) There were six workouts a week (three weightlifting, three cardio) and one free day every week where you ate whatever you wanted and didn't exercise. In all fairness, these two programs are different: BFL allows certain grains, legumes and low-fat dairy and discourages fat. It doesn't call for a wheelbarrow full of vegetation. Nevertheless, my experience eating lots of fruit and lots of starch is relevant to the PHD because the amount and type of digestible carbohydrates are similar, and for the first few years, I didn't eat wheat except on free days. At first on BFL, I felt great. Before, I was continually

My Vacation: Lots of Work, a Few Cookies

I'm on vacation, and it's wearing me out. Yesterday, I laid down insulation in my parents' attic, had a meeting with a Medicaid consultant, and fixed my toilet. My father may need to take out Medicaid, and I wanted an accurate picture of what the options were. Home care and a nursing home are viable; assisted living is not since the facility would take nearly all of my father's income. The Medicaid consultant said we may have to open yet another account to keep a minimal amount of money in my father's name. I'm still transferring direct pays from US Bank to the credit account that Mom opened a few months ago (since US Bank charged fees left, right and center). As of today the insulation project at my parents' house is finally finished. I'm relieved that I never have to see that attic, feel its sharp little nails, or breath its dust again. My next project at my parents' house is to landscape an unirrigated hillside, but it'll have to be rototil

In Defense of Fast Food

Another modern trend - healthy food should be expensive, not nutrients-dense and preferably exotic, or you would be eating like plebs who live on a dollar McD menu. --Galina L. I don't try to jump over seven-foot hurdles, I look for one-foot hurdles I can step over. --Warren Buffett, pleb who eats at McDonald's Despite all the talk about wild-caught v. farmed, grass-fed v. CAFO and the vilification of fast food, a lot of us plebs benefit simply from carbohydrate restriction. But even though diabetes and obesity are rampant, and carb restriction alone would help millions of people, the impression is out there that you need to eat in a very specific way, far beyond just watching the carbs. Following a low-carb diet is already a high hurdle for many people. If some people want or need to raise the bar for themselves, that's fine with me, but there's no need to turn low-carb into a hurdle that a lot of people can't jump over. Organic produce and grass-fed or p