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Showing posts from March, 2022

New Food Reviews; Optimizing Projects

I love novelty. Despite getting in trouble for trying new foods (I ended up in an ambulance once), I enjoy new foods enough to keep trying them.  With the flu going around the office, I thought I'd try fermenting L. casei shirota in pawpaw fruit puree. Pawpaw is a mango-like fruit native to eastern North America. It's very sweet, but fermentation reduces sugar. I cooked the raw puree before fermenting it, then had a few bites with some pork. A few hours later, I was vomiting. It's been days and I'm still not feeling right.  Despite the web full of articles on the amazing properties of pawpaw fruit, it contains neurotoxins . Even members of the Lewis and Clark expedition might have gotten sick on it .  Fortunately, I have fermented pear juice. I put a few capsules of Floristat in the bottle and left it on the counter for a few days. It tastes good and makes my stomach feel a little better.  Finally, Mark Sisson has come out with a healthy queso dip in his Primal Kitchen

Better without Guar Gum & Erythritol

Since ditching the guar gum and erythritol, I feel like I'm 41 again. It was the age I started doing low-carb and had the energy I should have had in my 20s. The problems I had until recently--the pounding heart and breathlessness--are gone.  With this newfound energy, I dug up a boxwood bush and a juniper and potted them for a focal point among my raised beds, having dismantled the fire pit and put the stones along a border by the garage. Tonight I moved some of the beds a few inches to make room for pavers. The spaces between the beds have a thick mat of weeds, thick enough to make weeding a major undertaking, but not thick enough to stop erosion. Back in Denver in a dry, shady part of my yard, it took me years to win the battle of the goatheads in the driveway reclamation area. I'm not going to win such a battle in lush, green Indiana where my weeds are inches from rich soil of raised beds.  "Use gravel for paths!" people say. "Use wood mulch!" "Use

Quest Bars, Coconut Milk Hazards, and More

I used to love Quest bars. They were an easy snack or even a light meal replacement with low carbs and no junky ingredients. Those ingredients have changed, though. They now contain erythritol (sugar alcohol) and corn fiber. Since I'm one of those people who can't eat erythritol without getting stomach cramps, I won't be eating any more Quest bars.  Likewise, certain brands of coconut milk. Several brands contain guar gum, a thickener, which also gives me a stomach ache. Emulsifiers like guar gum can thin the mucus in your gut, allowing things into your bloodstream that don't belong there. I was feeling bloated and getting facial edema after having coconut milk with guar gum. Since changing to a brand without it (Native Forest), the problems have disappeared.  Oddly, Splenda (sucralose) doesn't seem to bother me.  * * * * * A friend who gave me a little bit of a hard time about being unvaccinated just got COVID. Fortunately, he's doing OK. Three years ago, I tho

Pandemic Hair GONE! Wide Canvas Tennis Shoes are Back!

Tonight I got rid of my pandemic hair.  I'd only had three haircuts in two years. I'd been going to a Korean salon where they did a great job, but the stylist didn't speak English. Sometimes the owner spoke to me in Korean until she realized I had no idea what she was saying, then repeated herself so I could understand her. After a few months of social distancing, working from home and a month-and-a-half-long quarantine, I wanted a stylist I could make human contact with. I went to another salon and got a good haircut. When I went back months later, a 90-year-old German emigre cut my hair while we had a good chat. I called the salon months later, but they'd gone out of business.  A year after my second pandemic haircut, around Thanksgiving last year, I went to a Mexican salon down the street. We yukked it up while the stylist cut my hair in a chunky and asymmetrical style that I did my best to fix when I got home.  This month, my hair was so long it didn't fit in my