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Showing posts from July, 2014

Freakin' Fabulous Pâté

I'll admit it: even though my dietary requirements include organ meat, it was a chore to eat it...and you know what happens when that's the case. I ended up eating Atkins bars instead of liver. Partly, I've been too busy the past few weeks to eat many home-cooked meals, but mostly, there are a lot of things--even on Atkins induction--that I'd rather eat than liver. Last Saturday, needing some wind in my sails after a few weeks of family emergencies, uncluttering my parents' house with a room temperature of 85 degrees, and being too wound up to get much sleep, I checked out a book called Freakin' Fabulous by Clinton Kelly from  What Not to Wear and The Chew. Just looking at the pictures at red lights on the drive home inspired me to stop at the store--the grocery store. I knew Kelly was a stylist, but didn't know he could cook, too. He's quite the meat eater--his good looks attest to that. That, and it sounds like he eats little or no junk food. I

It Hurts When I Eat This!

Newbies in the low-carb and paleo community often say, "the diet is great, but I still have problems eating (fill in the blank). What should I do?" Maybe they're too young to remember a certain old joke. A man goes to see his doctor and says, "Doctor, it hurts when I do this." (Picture the patient holding his arm in odd way.) "What should I do?" The doctor says, "Stop holding your arm that way." This old joke now represents a radical idea. If you have trouble eating something, then stop eating it. Or eat smaller amounts of it if the smaller amount doesn't give you problems and you can stop yourself at a little bit. I have FODMAPs problems--polyols in particular. I can't eat more than a strawberry a day or a few spoonfuls of lemon juice without getting an upset stomach and acid reflux. Too much alcohol sugar gives me gas. I could try probiotics, resistant starch, fermented foods and the other latest things that purportedly heal

Adventures in Eldercare

This week has found me at a beautiful assisted living home, at the emergency room, and then at a shady-looking storage unit on the outskirts of Longmont to meet a stranger. First, though, the week started with my doing some housecleaning at my parents' place. I cleaned out magazines, catalogs, junk mail, and other old papers--some 15 trash bags full. I found a vacuum cleaner, a printer, a tub of cassettes, family photos, old hunting and fishing licenses, a letter of condolence from my grandparents on the death of my brother Marvin, a letter from someone telling my parents to "kiss the baby" (me), and a bunch of unpaid bills. My parents' assistant and I organized and boxed up a lot of the stuff to get it ready for an estate sale. The room we worked in is beginning to look like a room. Yes--this was all in one room. It's the worst room, but there are several more to go. Monday, a woman who runs several assisted living homes came by, interviewed Dad, and took me

Want Something? The Universe Doesn't Care

Wouldn't it be great to think, picture and believe your way to a wonderful life? Being a science geek, it's easy to forget how popular that belief is, even among educated people. Call it The Secret, the law of attraction, positive thinking, or affirmations. I call it wishing for a no-effort solution; Richard Rumelt describes it aptly in Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: But I do know that believing that rays come out of your head and change the physical world, and that by thinking only of success you can become a success, are forms of psychosis and cannot be recommended as approaches to management or strategy....Nevertheless, the doctrine that one can impose one's visions and desires on the world by the force of thought alone retains a powerful appeal to many people.  This hit home lately because my mother is in the hospital and I have to take time off from work to be with my father since my nephew works afternoons and nights. My parents have an assistant and she's do

A Bumpy Ride off the Bed

Summertime keeps finding me in trouble: a bike wreck, carrageenan poisoning, a badly stubbed toe, and mineral deficiency. Now it seems to be my mom's turn. Saturday, I took her to the emergency room because she was having so much pain in her lower back. Since she's disabled, they called a paramedic to help her on to the stretcher, and she remarked how much she liked big, strong men like him. Hey, she's eighty-four, not ninety-four. Since she'd just had several x-rays of her back a few days before that showed nothing was broken, the doctor gave her some pain medication and sent her home. The pain medication made her woozy. This morning, she lost her balance and fell into her wheelchair while getting out of bed. Dad wouldn't call 911 (he has dementia, and even in better days, he wasn't one to overwhelm you with help). Luckily, mom called 911 herself. Having called for help some 30 times in the past three months, my parents are personae non gratae with the f

A Bumpy Ride on Atkins

It's been three and a half weeks since I first started Atkins induction. I had to stop for several days because of magnesium and potassium deficiencies (I unfortunately started the day before oral surgery, where I had a shot of epinephrine, which can also cause low potassium, and couldn't eat very much in the days following). I lost a few pounds right away, then another few when I restarted. Then I gained it all back due to, ahem, female hormones. That's never happened to me before. I didn't change the way I was eating: no chocolate indulgences or anything saltier than what I'd been eating, and a keto-stick showed large ketones. But I'm back to losing about 0.6 pounds a day. I started at 130; this morning I was 127 and had moderate to large ketones. My energy level is beyond what it was before I started. Sunday, for the first time in far too long, I took my dog for a long hike in the mountains, where she loves to swim in the creek. (She's doing her own

Troubleshooting Low Energy, Low Mood & Other Problems on Atkins Induction

Do Calories Matter on Atkins? As the saying goes, just because you're not counting calories doesn't mean that calories don't count. Dr. Atkins wrote in Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution that you'll lose weight faster on fewer calories, but you won't necessarily have a sense of well-being. Most readers knows what he means: low mood and flagging energy. Lack of Energy, Low Mood This was how I felt Sunday afternoon and Monday. Part of my low mood was from having to fill out an application for Medicaid for both my parents, mostly so that my father can go live in a nursing home. It's too hard for my mother to take care of him and I can't be with them enough to help day-to-day. I was thinking about my parents during yoga that evening and fighting tears. I didn't have a physical sense of well-being, either. The climb from the train station up to the street took more energy than it should have; so did the yoga class. I went back to the book for advice and r

Troll-Inspired Water Buffalo Gift: Promoting Peace and Prosperity

There are some wacky people commenting on LC sites. Over at Perlmutter's blog (Dr. Perlmutter wrote Grain Brain ), someone going by a name that sounded like a plant-based doctor was trolling, poaching and writing in ghetto English. Doctor, my eye. On another site, someone else pointed out that there was, indeed, a reference to calories that wasn't in the index of a certain biochemistry book. Thank god we were alerted. And a groupie warned me not to look to Jimmy Moore for information (after I'd mentioned that he started losing weight again by limiting protein). This was right before Rick G. had a terrific success using that strategy. To all you wacky ones, I dedicate my $25 gift of a share of a water buffalo through Heifer International. (I'm donating $1 to the organization for every troll comment I read.) These animals not only make life easier for subsistence farmers in Asia, but they're promoting peace between warring tribes : In 2008, the International Ass