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Showing posts from 2023

New Year's Eve Snack Haul from Kroger

One thing I've always missed on a low-carb diet is chip and dip. There are low-carb alternatives, but most of them are full of junk ingredients like emulsifiers or vegetable oil. Surprisingly, Kroger (and probably other chains it owns ) has chips, dips and more that are low-carb, free of junk ingredients and taste great.  Pork rinds, chicken drumettes, seed crackers, cheese crisps, dip, and guacamole. The seed crackers are thin and crunchy and hold up well under a scoop of dip; the cheese crisps are crunchy and filling (great to take on the road); the dips are delicious and even dairy-free. Look for the dips and guacamole in the refrigerated section.  The chicken drumettes from Miller Poultry (no relation) come from "egg to table" farms whose barns are certified by the Global Animal Partnership and meet or beat Step 2 standards. This particular brand isn't available at all stores, but there are probably similar brands near you. 4505 chicharrones (aka pork rinds ) are

Sleep Hack: Automatically Shut Down your Mac

I'm an incorrigible night owl. Never in my life have I wanted to get out of bed; none of the tips and tricks I've tried to go to bed and get up early have worked long-term. This hack will hopefully prevent me from staying up really late, since I'm usually on my laptop when I'm up past midnight.  Hat tip to Coach April at Dr. Davis's Inner Circle site from prompting me to find a solution for staying up too late.  It can't be morning already. Photo from Pixabay . There are two ways to schedule your Mac to automatically shut down depending on your operating system (OS). To find your OS, click on the apple in the upper left, About This Mac, Overview. Full instructions here .  Monterey OS and Earlier Open System Preferences Go to Energy Saver on a Mac, or Battery on a Mac laptop. Find Schedule (In older versions of macOS, the Schedule button was at the bottom of the Energy Saver tab.) Choose your start up time. Choose your sleep time. Source:

Before & After Weightlifting Pics; Great New Dips for Sale

Readers might recall that I started doing strength training this year. I work out with free weights, a stability (Swiss) ball and do some bodyweight exercises so I'll have strong bones and better metabolic health. (Muscle burns energy; fat mostly sits there.) I use 10- to 25-pound free weights. Some women worry that lifting heavy weights will make them look like body builders. ( Here's what actual Olympic female weightlifters look like ; they wouldn't get far in a bodybuilding contest.) In my case, I'll let readers be the judge.  March 19, 2023.  Around December 20, 2023.  It's not a dramatic transformation, but you can see my shirt is looser in the bottom picture. I'm about five pounds lighter and had to get new pants last month. Oh--and I don't look like a lumberjack. Dip! Kroger's organic brand, Simple Truth , has some terrific dips that are less than half the price of Primal Kitchen. The tzatziki is like onion and dill dip that I haven't had in o

Peppery Pumpkin Pie

It's almost Christmas. Are you sick of sweets yet? Then you might like a hot, rich, savory pie on a cold winter's day. Savory pies are more common in England than America, but the pumpkin (a North American vegetable) and the buffalo ranch dip (a combination of American sauces--hot sauce that originated in Buffalo, New York and creamy ranch salad dressing) make this an American dish, made by an American who's had it up to here with pumpkin spice everything.  Ingredients Savory low-carb pie crust, cooked and cooled (I made the almond crust variation on the hazelnut crust recipe from 500 Low-Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender , page 436) 1 small pie pumpkin 3 eggs 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Buffalo Ranch dip (it's medium heat) Directions Stab the pumpkin a few times at the top, through to the center. Bake it at 350F for one hour or until it gives when you touch it. Let cool. Cut off the top, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits and discard. Scoop out the flesh and mash or chop

Are Coupons and Deals Worth It?

Coupon savings: pennies or Benjamins? Photo from Unsplash .   When you think of coupons, do you still imagine cutting out 25-cent coupons for canned goods or junk food from a newspaper? These days, you can get coupons online or in the mail and save a lot more than spare change. I'm not an affiliate for any of the stores mentioned here.  CVS With an Extra Care card (it's free of charge), you can go to  and virtually clip coupons or get them printed out on your receipt. They also mailed me a coupon for 30% off my entire regular-price order--and I made a CVS haul with it. I stocked up cleaning supplies, toilet paper, toothpaste, drinks, coffee, and even avocado oil. The coupon was worth $55. Totally worth the three seconds it took to cut out. Credit Card Rewards The trick to using credit card rewards is to buy only what you'd buy anyway and then pay the balance . Banking online, autopay and reminders on your calendar make this easy. My credit card gives me 2% cash back

Save Time with these Hacks (but not others)

Have your groceries delivered During the pandemic, I had groceries delivered whenever I had a cold. Back then, delivery time slots filled up fast and there were a few odd substitutions because of shortages, but those problems are pretty much gone. When I use Instacart now, I can get groceries the same day and I'm happy with items (like produce) that the shoppers pick.  Whole Foods now delivers groceries  even if you aren't a Prime member.   Instacart delivers from Kroger, Wal-Mart, Target, some regional grocery stores, and a long list of hardware stores, dollar stores, drug stores, etc. I don't recommend meal services, though--the kind where someone delivers a recipe and just enough ingredients for one meal. You still have to cook, you still have to clean, and you still have to shop for coffee and eggs.  Use a Food Processor I used to be a prep cook at a restaurant, so I'm pretty fast at chopping, shredding and slicing ingredients. Even so, I use a food processor to pr

The Captain Jack Sparrow Workout


I Needed New Pants after Thanksgiving

When you have steak, salad, fermented apple/cranberry treat and keto brownies for Thanksgiving, your pants aren't uncomfortable later...unless you've been losing weight and they're starting to fall off. After several months of lifting weights a couple of times a week, I've had to start wearing a belt and cinch it two or three notches to keep some of my pants on. My other pants are just wearing out.  Lettuce and arugula in my garden in late November--can you believe it? So I made a rare Black Friday shopping trip this year. I couldn't just order my old pants in smaller size since my shape had changed--my waist got smaller but my hips stayed about the same. A nearby Ross didn't have any jeans that fit; everything at the Salvation Army store had more wear than what I was wearing. A young woman who seemed to be having a conversation with herself followed me around the racks. I left and headed for the outlet mall in Edinburgh 36 miles away.  If the crowds there were

Myoxcience Electrolyte Mix Review

Since I've resumed regular workouts, I thought I'd try a different electrolyte mix called Electrolyte Stix . Mike Mutzel over at High Intensity Health (no affiliation) sells an electrolyte mix with calcium, salt (Redmond's Real Salt from Utah), magnesium malate, potassium citrate, creatine, and taurine. There's no junky ingredients and even though lemon-lime was the only flavor available when I first bought a box, I liked the taste. I usually hate lemon-lime.  Image from . The good: When I have a packet of it mixed with a glass of water during workouts, I feel good. I don't end up feeling tired or off, or having a pounding heart. When I feel that way, it's often from a lack of electrolytes (especially salt or potassium). I've also built up a noticeable amount of muscle over the past few months without overly strenuous workouts; maybe the creatine helped. The bad: If I have this every day, my face swells up, which I found out is from too much

Cultured Cranberry-Apple Treat

My best fermentation recipe yet! Perfect for fall. Ingredients 4 small apples, peeled and shredded 1 cup chopped raw cranberries (a food processor with an S blade works well) 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced 4 T brown sugar 1/4 cup maple syrup* Filtered water Your choice of sugar-loving probiotics (I used Biotiquest Ideal Immunity) Special equipment Canning funnel Quart jar and lid  Fermentation weight (optional) Fermentation device (I use a heating pad in an insulated grocery bag) Combine the apples, cranberries, celery, maple syrup and brown sugar in a bowl and mix. Put the canning funnel on the jar and spoon in the mixture. Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Put in the probiotics, opening the capsules if applicable. With a clean spoon or knife, push the probiotics into the jar and move the ingredients around to bring air bubbles to the surface. Put the fermentation weight in the jar if using. Put the lid on loosely (or use a fermentation lid).  Ferment until the mixture is no l

Losing Weight by Gaining Muscle

I'm down to a weight I never thought I'd see again. It's not because I was trying to lose weight, but trying to gain muscle. After a couple of months of lifting weights for two one-hour sessions a week at home, I'm down five pounds and I've had to start wearing a belt. Not me--but those look like the 15-pound weights I curl. Photo from . This is a pleasant side effect of working to maintain strength and bone density instead of becoming weaker as I age. Body composition is something Dr. Davis and others have begun hammering home. A large portion of weight lost on a diet is from muscle--some of it in your heart and organs.  I've been using the weight training method described in the book  The Resistance Training Revolution by Sal Di Stefano. (If you're an Inner Circle member, you can watch a meetup with Di Stefano on the site.) What I love about his method is that I don't feel exhausted and beaten up during or after workouts, even though I use

Sinus Pain? Maybe you need a range hood

How do you recognize a bad situation when it's like the air you breathe? Literally is the air you breathe? A couple of really bad days, years apart, finally clued me in that cooking fumes were giving me sinus headaches, which led to neck pain. So I ordered a range hood and stopped cooking onions in the meantime. Sinus problems and neck pain--absent. To the best of my recollection, no house I ever lived in (until last week) had a properly working range hood, or any range hood. My previous house had a small, east-facing window next to the stove that might have helped. But when I lived in a dorm, I don't think I ever had a cold, and the only sinus pain I remember from that time was during a bad allergy season. I put in a range hood last weekend. It's ductless--it doesn't vent to the outside, but filters the air through charcoal filters and recirculates it back into the kitchen. For its maiden meal, I sautéed peppers, onions and zucchini. I could smell the peppers cooking,

Food Freedom, Mask Mandates, COVID Strategy, and How I'm Doing (Labs)

The PRIME Act Remember the panic buying and food shortages of 2020? When grocery store shelves were cleaned out and restaurants closed, I recommended a family farm that raised beef (previously bought by closed restaurants) to my coworkers. The PRIME Act has been re-introduced to help family farms like this. It was introduced in 2020 to remove the requirement for most livestock to be processed at a relatively small number of industrial-size slaughterhouses.  Smaller, local "custom" slaughterhouses could be used instead for meat staying within the state and would eliminate the need for those animals to travel for hours in trailers. Custom slaughterhouses "must follow federal, state, and local health and safety guidelines and are periodically inspected for cleanliness and safety— similar to how restaurants are inspected," says the Institute for Justice . Critics say the PRIME Act would make the meat supply less safe, but similar laws already apply to poultry.  The Fre

Onions: A Pain in the Neck?

Sometimes it takes a lousy day to make you figure out what's wrong. And today was a lousy day. First, it took an half an hour to get through the line at the understaffed Kroger. When I came home, the house still smelled like onions from canning chili the day before, and my headache and sore neck started getting worse. I ate some leftover chili and roused myself to go shop for a new washer, since mine is leaking from the bottom, as the plumber I called for a clogged drain discovered. An appliance repairman on YouTube said washers are badly built nowadays; I bought a brand unlikely to break down for a good seven years or so. It set me back three times what I paid in the 90s for a Kenmore that lasted at least 20 years. There was no use shopping for a used one here in Indianapolis: people here use appliances until they're worn out. By mid-afternoon, I was back home and took some Mucinex for my sinus pain...and realized I'd felt OK while I was out shopping. It was like Christmas

Food and Drink to Beat the Heat

My glasses had never fogged up in the summertime until last week. T he heat index (temperature with humidity) was 100 to 115 F , or 38 to 46 C. Hospitals saw an increase in heat-related illnesses last week , and even with a reprieve on Saturday, the glass doors to the grocery store had so much condensation, they looked like someone sprayed them with water. Hopefully, the knuckleheads who think the heat warnings are just climate change propaganda have had the sense to come in out of the sun. Or the moon: even at 10 PM, it felt like a sauna outside. Photo from .  For an easy meal and to avoid heating up the house even more, I made a charcuterie plate of sausage, bleu cheese, pâté, hummus and avocado and a salad and had a glass of magnesium tea . For dessert, I made  frozen yogurt . I also picked up a chicken at the store. Read ingredient lists when you buy sausage or roast chickens--some contain carrageenan (a sickening thickener). Or roast chickens can taste like teddy bear s

Fermented Bread and Butter Pickles ft. L. Plantarum

These sweet-and-sour pickles are the tastiest I've ever made. There's just a little added sugar (some of which the bacteria will consume) and turmeric that gives the pickles their bright color.  Special equipment Quart jar (or two pint jars) with lid(s) (or a fermentation jar) Weight for holding down the pickles (I ordered these ; glass fermenting weights or a small, clean stone that's been boiled and cooled are other options) Ingredients 1 pound pickling cucumbers (not salad cucumbers) 1 t turmeric 2 T brown sugar 1/2 c apple cider vinegar 1.5 T pickling salt (or other salt with no iodine) 1 T pickling spice Filtered water 1/4 t pickle crisp (optional) Directions In a medium bowl, combine turmeric, brown sugar, vinegar and salt. Stir well to dissolve the salt.  Wash the cucumbers. Remove and discard the ends. Cut crosswise into 1/4" slices.  Put the pickling spice in the jar. Add the cucumber slices and pack them down. Pour the vinegar mixture in the jar and top off w

Zucchini Bread in a Jar ft. Lactobacillus plantarum

Super-bacteria L. plantarum might be as close as your garden. Zucchini is a good source of the bacteria, and by fermenting it, you can up the benefits like slightly lower blood sugar, improved insulin, improved exercise capacity, improved sleep and mood, and many others. Don't give away that zucchini--ferment it! This recipe has a milder flavor than most fermented foods--it's only slightly tart. And of course it's an alternative to yogurt.  Equipment needed 1 quart jar (or 2 pint jars) with lid(s) Canning funnel (optional) Fermentation device (I use an insulated grocery bag, plastic grocery bag and a heating pad)  Ingredients 2 apples, peeled and cored 1 medium zucchini, unpeeled 4 dates, chopped 1 T cinnamon 1/2 T ground ginger 1 t salt 1/4 t ground cloves 1/4 t nutmeg Filtered water 2 capsules or equivalent of your favorite probiotic that ferments at ~95F (I used Biotiquest Antibiotic Antidote) Shred the apples and zucchini and put them in a large bowl. Add the spices, s

Medical Articles, Bank Accounts Getting Canceled

Preprint Servers Reject CDC Criticism If you're doing your own research on MedRxiv or SSRN, they're rejecting articles critical of CDC policies.  We have had multiple articles removed from SSRN and MedRxiv solely because they are critical of CDC-- which is a broken and failed agency This is concerning censorship — Vinay Prasad MD MPH (@VPrasadMDMPH) July 27, 2023 In another tweet , Dr. Prasad added, "We analyzed every preprint to come out of my lab at UCSF  @vkprasadlab What it reveals is that the servers routinely reject papers that are critical of CDC and Biden Policy They also rejected our analysis of the servers.  "Odd behavior." The analysis, along with a paper on the re-analysis of the Boston school mask study , is now on a physics server. You can still find at least one of the articles through Google and Google Scholar. And please tell me you're not doing your own  COVID research on Facebook .  Lit

Do-the-Opposite is Stupid

Lately I've seen people online eager to stick it to The Man by doing the opposite of what they're advised. When the air in New York City was orange with smoke from Canadian forest fires and people were advised to stay inside, some petulantly insisted people should carry on as normal. It's just more climate scare! Or lockdowns, like 2020! After all, you can be inside at school...just don't ask how kids are supposed to get there without going outside.  New York City in June. Photo by  Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office Likewise vaccines. Looking at risk vs. benefit on a case-by-case basis, or whether other countries similar to your own recommend the vaccines you're considering, isn't a bad idea. But rejecting them wholesale because autism  (long debunked) or because COVID is stupid. A major reason many of us were vaccine hesitant with regard to the COVID shots was because they were so different from previous vaccines. Now it's subjecting yourself to

Federal Funding to Wuhan Institute of Virology Halted

"On behalf of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)," says a memo dated today, "I hereby suspend and propose the debarment of Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Capital Construction (WIV) from participating in United States Federal Government procurement and nonprocurement programs." Photo from Pexels . "It is important to note that suspension is a temporary action, used where immediate action is necessary to protect the integrity of United States Federal Government procurement and nonprocurement activities." "... there is risk that WIV not only previously violated, but is currently violating, and will continue to violate, protocols of the NIH on biosafety." More at Fox News:

Low Carb, Keto, Grain-Free Popcorn Substitute

On the theory that popcorn is just a vehicle for fat and salt that's lightly crunchy, I have a great substitute: chard chips. You can even eat them hot! They're full of vitamins and nutrients, too, and don't contain glyphosate (unlike corn). I like this recipe better than others I've tried because pre-drying the leaves makes them crispier and greatly reduces cooking time. Note that Swiss chard is high in oxalates if that's something you have to watch.  Photo from Pexels .  Recipe 1 batch Swiss chard, washed Nutritional yeast (available in the spice aisle) Avocado oil Salt Separate the Swiss chard leaves and hang them out to dry for a few hours until they're wilted.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut out the center vein and any other large veins in the leaves. Cut the leaves into sections about 3" to 4" square. Place them on a wire rack on a cookie sheet. Brush them on one side with avocado oil. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and a little bit of s

DIY Neck Pain Relief

Dr. Google--or rather, Dr. YouTube--has come to my rescue again. This morning I was in terrible pain at the base of my skull. I don't know what caused it, but I was miserable and nothing was helping. Finally, I did what I any sensible person should do: google it.  Up came a 10-minute video from a chiropractor promising instant relief. What? Chiropractors normally schedule several visits. Nevertheless, I got a spoon and some lotion and got the promised relief.

RFK, Epidemiologist on Vaccines: Watch Here!

YouTube removed some of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy's videos because of their vaccine misinformation policy and several legacy media outlets are dismissing RFK as an antivaxxer. Many may disagree with what they think are his views (he says he's never been anti-vaccine, but wants more stringent safety tests and less regulatory capture). But Twitter doesn't censor viewpoints on health--see RFK's discussion with a family medicine MD below (click here if you're getting this message by email). RFK Jr. debates both a doctor and the moderator of this NewsNation town hall on his stance on vaccine safety. Legacy media is going to have a tough time with this. — Dire Report (@DireReport) June 29, 2023 Responding to RFK's claims is Dr. Vinay Prasad, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UC San Francisco. He agrees with RFK on some points and disagrees on others, always with eye towards reclaiming people's confidence in

Dr. Davis's Podcast Added; Quest Bars get Worse

After adding some new blogs and YouTube feeds yesterday, I added Dr. Davis's podcast feed  so that readers can simply click and listen to his latest episode. Just to be clear for email subscribers, all of these are on my site ( ) and the three bars at the top right (where you can click to see feeds and other features) are for people with smaller screens. If you have a bigger screen, you should be able to see all the feeds on the right side of the page.  If you'd like to put some YouTube or podcast feeds on your site, leave a comment and I'll reply with instructions since there's no widget in Blogger for putting them in and the RSS feed widget doesn't work. Nor does the podcast player from Elfsight. At least, I couldn't get them to work.   * * * * * Quest bars used to be a great snack--they were one of the first healthy, low-carb protein bars out there. Ten years ago, the ingredients were   Protein blend (whey protein isolate,

New Bloggers and YouTube Feeds

Let me introduce you to some bloggers and YouTubers whose feeds I've added here. (Click on the three lines at the top right and scroll down to see their feeds.) Nina Tiecholz, author of the book  The Big Fat Surprise , writes Unsettled Science for "people who share an interest in better understanding how the world of food politics. Getting to the truth about nutrition is so difficult—why is that? And how can we make it better?"  Dr. Suneel Dhand is a "Physician specializing in Internal and Lifestyle Medicine, with a focus on Metabolic Health and Natural Medicine." Dr. Dhand's videos of him reading reported news and studies about COVID earned strikes from YouTube; nevertheless, he's still there interpreting news and studies and criticizing processed foods.  Dr. Vinay Prasad is a "hematologist oncologist and Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at University of California, San Francisco." He has a substack (blog) and a YouTube c

COVID Lies are Funny

 Comedian Jimmy Dore marvels that it's OK to read up on anything but COVID shots.

Magnesium Tea: Peachy, Minty, Refreshing

Most readers know that magnesium supplementation is important, especially on low-carb diets. Magnesium deficiency is common, and low-carb diets require more magnesium--a mineral that's important for heart, muscle and digestive function and helps regulate blood sugar.  Photo from Unsplash . The magnesium powder in this recipe is the best form I've found--I had a lot of trouble with magnesium supplements during the pandemic not working, or giving me diarrhea, or (in the case of all the milk of magnesia) being contaminated with bleach. This magnesium powder doesn't require a carbonation machine, unlike some other powders. The peach flavor is only mildly sweet.  Note--limit servings to two per day, preferably spaced out several hours apart. Too much magnesium at once can have a laxative effect.  4-5 mint tea bags filtered water (enough for 1 medium pitcher) Doctor's Best magnesium powder, peach flavor Boil a cup of the water and add tea bags. Let steep for five minutes. Add

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Recipe: Low Carb, High Fiber, Full of Friendly Bio

 Tonight I set out to create the perfect summertime dessert: Low-carb: check. Full of prebiotic fibers: check. Full of beneficial bacteria: check. Cold but light and delicious on a hot day: check, check and check. If you serve this to someone who isn't used to lots of prebiotic fiber or high doses of bacteria, it could upset their stomach. For those guests, make some  XXX chocolate  or  lemon ice cream . * * * * * 1 green banana 1 can coconut milk (full fat, unsweetened) 2/3 cup yogurt (either Greek style or Dr. Davis style) (amount is 1 glass container that comes with some yogurt makers) 3 large strawberries, chopped Slice and puree the banana. Put the coconut milk in a large mixing bowl; puree if separated. Add the banana and yogurt, stir well. Stir in the strawberries. Process in an ice cream maker for 10 minutes. To serve leftovers, bring them out of the freezer 30 minutes ahead of time. 

Beyond Back to Normal

Four years ago, I was headed for disability. I mowed my lawn in sections over a period of days. I was so exhausted at the end of workdays that I held assignments until I could review them the next day. I often found mistakes.  Three years ago, I was up to rehabbing my garage, but after a few hours' work I felt like I'd been run over. Progress was slow.  Yesterday, though, I mowed the lawn, finished painting the fence, put up a trellis, planted a honeysuckle under it, put down two bags of mulch and two bags of top soil, fixed the gate, touched up the paint on that fence, and painted the Great Stuff on the house. This may be the most I've ever gotten done in one day. For the first time in my life, a long to-do list became a to-done list in one day.  The weather helped: it was 55-78 degrees and not very humid. I took a lot of breaks. But still--I got it all done. I am now beyond back to normal. Regular readers know I follow Dr. William Davis's program over at DrDavisInf

Cultured Apple Recipe ft. Ideal Immunity

By popular demand, I'm finally posting this recipe. People want cultured food besides yogurt--and here it is. It's tasty, it's non-dairy, and you can get apple and date goodness without the sugar.  After starting Ideal Immunity probiotics, my heart palpitations, which I've had since 2014, started improving. I can't remember the last time it happened. Another member at Dr. Davis's site said her atrial fibrillation improved on Sugar Shift (also made by Biotiquest), and now that she's taking Heart Centered (yet another formula they sell), she's better. I haven't tried fermenting those products, but they contain some of the same microbes as Ideal Immunity. It should go without saying that you need to make sure everything is very clean. No need to boil anything (I never do--everything around here is hand-washed); just remember that all microbes in the jar are going to multiply exponentially. Ingredients 2 apples, peeled and cored 2 carrots 4 dates, pitted