Thursday, August 30, 2012

My reply on Dr. Rosedale's blog

Dr. Rosedale recently posted an interesting "finale" to the latest AHS12 safe starch debate.  This response is from js 290:

"I’ve often wondered if the people claiming to have thyroid (typically low energy) problems on a VLC simply are not eating enough? That is, the claim is that by adding back carbs into the diet, they miraculously solved their low energy/thyroid problems. Perhaps all that really happened was they ate more, which happened to have been carbs. My guess is they would have experienced the same effect by eating more fat.
This is really a very fundamental concept that anyone who’s gone through a differential equations class should pick up very quickly: the concept of a coupled system. That is, energy input and energy output are coupled in the mathematical sense; therefore, they cannot be treated independently. Changing one affects the other, probably in very non-linear ways. So, if one understands coupled systems, then one can immediately reject the notion of “eating less and moving more.” Because eating less may cause one to move less. And, in order to move more, it may absolutely require eating more.
As an unqualified skeptic, that’s my guess on the supposed “thyroid problems” that people claim to experience. They either aren’t fully keto-adapted, they aren’t eating enough, or both."

Gotta luv it when diffyQ is invoked, like that makes the argument sound more plausible, especially for those folks who cover their eyes during the mathy parts.  Clearly, this person hasn't a clue with what is happening to some of us on this type of diet.  JS also seems to be quite caught in the lure of thermodynamics.

I was on the leptin reset for several weeks with little weight-loss success, and feeling colder and a bit tired.  When I went off the diet with one carby meal  it immediately kicked me into something that worked better.  My energy was better, my mood was better, sleep got better and I started losing weight.  Yes, the calories were higher than a typical evening meal, but overall not as high as many other days on the plan.  On days I was eating the Big A$$ Breakfast featuring fatty hamburgers lots of un-drained bacon, the overall calorie level was relatively high compared to the caloric level on a more typical pre-leptin-reset day.

I responded:
"Your calorie explanation sounds plausible, but untrue in my case. I think one of the problems with many of the theories and chatter about this effect is that it is very difficult for people who have few problems transitioning to the diet to understand or even believe that the issue exists.
The problem with the explanation by many low carb experts is that it oftentimes does not adequately address that transition phase. I know in my own case, had I not backed into a lower carb diet accidentally, I would never have stuck with it. Returning to the “safety” of a high carb diet can really make a difference to people who are on the edge hormonally, at least adrenally.
It doesn’t help much when people continue to insist that we are all doing it wrong. I followed a number of plans religiously. Now that I know how it feels on the other side, I have no problem going through a bit of hell to get back into a fat-burning state if I get out it for some reason. I have developed short cuts. Before I did Kruse’s leptin reset with CT, re-entry meant certain loss in weight, but also loss of sleep ability, libido, energy, and feeling constantly cold.
I do not think it is wise for the low carb community to ignore such data. There are plenty of people in the high-carb community who are more than ready to bash us for their perception of the failings of our diet. Let’s not give them any more ammo by not dealing with it. Instead of sweeping such data points under the rug, it would serve us well to stir them up, take a look, and make the diet more workable and successful for everyone."

And, lucky for the state of my low carb journey, adding back carbs more than a meal here and there always makes me feel much worse.  I would never want to pitch my tent in the "safe starch" camp for very long, preferring to view the extra carbs as more of a temporary drug with significant negative side effects.  Better, ya'know, in those one-pill-per-prescription bubble-packs so it is hard to overdose and kill yourself.

I read Animal Pharm's leptin reset post with great interest.  She was unable to successfully do the leptin reset as written.  It sounds like her experience was similar in some aspects to mine, and people should be reading and talking about it.

I would suggest that Dr. Rosedale and others not have his post be the final word in this matter.  Just take a look at his quote picture at the top of his post.  People who don't do as well on VLC aren't even fully into the ridicule stage yet.  It is still pretty much total denial.  Nobody over on his "team" even responded to my comment.

I listened to Jimmy Moore's podcast with Dr. Phinney, and came away disappointed in the range of the doctor's answers to stalls.  When a questioner mentioned thyroid and adrenal issues as possible players, he strongly denied any thyroid issues based on his experience, but he never even approached the adrenal question.  And another thing that really bugged me is that he discounted one thyroid comment that he heard because the comment was from someone who had a "terminal" degree.  Hey, Dr. Phinney, Dr. Schwarzbein does not have a terminal degree.  Maybe you should stroll on over to her site and see about what she has to say.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Data White-Out

Dang!  This is unfortunate.  It was always a joke in the halls of statistics.  If you don't like a pesky data point that seems to blow holes in your fave theory, just get a little bottle of white-out.  Apply liberally.  Poof!  Problem's gone.

Trouble happens when it is MY data point.  Now, to compensate, I am going to write a series of blog posts.  I hope you read them and send a link to EVERYONE YOU KNOW who has anything to do with the low- and lower-carb world because they really need to read this stuff.

I posted a thoughtful reply on Ron Rosedale's end-of-safe-starch-discussion blog, and eventually it got past the moderator, but while I was waiting, I thought it best for me to collect my thoughts here, where I have some control over what is included. (You can find Ron's post by finding the link on the right.)

If you have always wondered what it is like to actually live in a place such as Morovia, untouched by any 7-country study, 22-country study or other serious anthropological inquiry, well, stay tuned.  You'll be able to see that lost demographic right here, eating, sleeping, struggling with both.

Here's a general outline of what I intend to cover:

1.  Review my original comment on Rosedale's blog.

2.  Elaborate on the tricks I now use to get back into VLC-fat-burning mode.

3.  Respond to another poster (somewhere?) who mentioned he thought that people who tried many diets carefully were just neurotic.  Yep, I hope I don't get too Portia on you, but this topic deserves a blogpost all on its own.

4.  A post on the general state of "discussions" about carbs and the lack of science.  From a certain point of view, there is really no difference between many of the luminaries who coo to their audience segment, kick out the comments of those who have a different experience and otherwise ignore or discount their data.  They all deserve some time in the science doghouse.

So, to get started, I hope new readers will visit some of my earlier blogposts about what happened to me.  You can find them here and here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

AHS12 and the Search for the Lost Demographic

Just as I predicted earlier this year, the ancestral health community is still embedded in the throes of discovery and re-discovery!!!

This just in:  The Paleo's are uncivilized.  They don't like fat old ladies.  Oh Wait!  This is a repeat post, isn't it?

I just have to share my experience of AHS11.  I was a fly-on-the-wall.  I met or saw EVERYONE.  I found all the speakers cordial and friendly, even folks who are absolutely not that way on their blogs and websites.  I was actually surprised that some of the participants even acted human, except of course, right before their talks, when they were deep in thought and pacing around.  I tried to not confuse concentration and intensity with unfriendliness.

It was a slightly different story with the participants.  Many were friendly, chatty and nice (and grateful for the fresh veggies I brought).  Others were not friendly.  Young men obvious with their Robb mancrushes encircled him the whole time like burly bodyguards in some conflicted country and wouldn't let anyone else in.  The folks on paleohacks who said they were so eager to meet everyone were nowhere to be found.  I met a doctor who was quite rude and condescending

Oh, I know, if you are thinking that was Jack Kruse, you are wrong.  He was friendly and talkative.  He didn't seem to have a problem chatting it up with the little people, either during someone else's presentation or on a grassy knoll in some quadrangle.

What I don't get about this volunteer's post is that she and her angry friends feel left out of the overall paleo community, but they also try to kick out the low carb people and others they feel don't meet the requirements.  I know in my case, I have had lots of difficulty with several of those "whiners" attacking me because I follow Jack Kruse's recommendations.

Call me silly, but I think if you are a neglected demographic looking for a lost demographic, oh yes, that group you just voted off the island, you aren't going to find very many buddies.  Simply, it is more likely that the lost demographic is on a more low-carb version of paleo, and also entertaining Kruse's and others' cutting-edge ideas that the self-appointed paleo hall-monitors reject.  I read the exchanges of this bloggers "feminist" friends, many paleo luminaries and the paleohacks participants, and then said to myself, "Nope, I am done with this," and then went on over to the low carb community, where they are more friendly to my demographic.

Seriously, it is just like what they say in kindergarten.  If you want friends you have to be a friend.  The uncivilized paleo community will never get anywhere if they keep excluding people.

Note:  Since I first posted this, the person who complained about AHS12 has deleted her blog.  I am so sorry I did not get to read all of her posts before she took the whole thing down.  I think she had some really valid points to make about the paleo community, even though my experience hasn't been totally the same.  The responses to her post were an eye-opener, hopefully, for some people who say that they value the direction that the paleo community has taken.  Hey paleo community, if you really want to include the fat old ladies in your tribe, it is probably better to not call them ugly, undesirable cunts.  It is also not OK to attempt to take an entire community hostage to certain infantile demands, no matter what side they are on.  Just sayin'.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Can we really have a cheeseburger?

I read the article about how impossible it is to make a real burger.  And about all I can say about THAT is that if you are going to use a cheeseburger as the gold standard recipe, and all the stuff you put on it identifies it as a California burger, it might be a good idea to try it in California first before declaring that it is impossible.

I am sure the typical hamburger can easily be made in the fall.

Although I don't have a steer to slaughter this fall, I am sure people could butcher a goat at any time.  Of course, with goats being about the only local livestock, one would expect an abundance of goat milk in the spring and summer.  No need to wait a year to harvest some rennet.  Goat cheese can be made in a couple of hours with plain ole goats milk and some lemons.  Now if you insist on that square orange stuff, there is no hope for you anyway, and it is probably best that it is impossible for an average person to make just so you don't hurt yourself.

Cucumbers come into harvesting from June to September, giving any cook ample time to make pickles and store them hassle-free until the rest of the ingredients are ready.

Lettuce grows extremely well in the fall, and people here harvest lots of lettuce right about the time when the last of the summer tomatoes are harvested.  Of course, the tomatoes can be picked and the vine hung up right out on the patio, and you can have a fresh sliced tomato up to and including New Years day.  (Ask me how I know this....)  If that isn't good enough, you can grow tasteless winter varieties that will mimic the one they put on your fast-food meal perfectly.

Mustard is just about the easiest condiment to make.  My mustard seeds would be ripening by now, had the goldfinches not stripped the plants clean of all seed pods and flowers.  If I really had to have mustard, I would have planted more.  If I hadn't gotten around to fermenting last fall's apples into vinegar, I'd just make mustard with sauerkraut or pickle juice.  It works really well.  The reason I didn't get around to planting more mustard for seed is that I grow plenty of hot mustard plants in the fall, and a nice hot mustard leaf can do double duty on the hamburger instead of the mustard and the lettuce.  And it is much easier since after the goldfinches get into all the seed, they toss it all around and it reseeds itself everywhere and all I have to do is sit around and marvel at the efficiency of laziness.

The hardest thing to duplicate is the bun, but that is easy for me since I don't eat that stuff much anymore and would just leave it out entirely.  But in earlier times I have actually planted, harvested, winnowed, ground and baked wheat.  Believe me, the people who say our diet should be based on healthywholegrains and other seed foods just don't know diddly-squat about growing and securing their own food.  It is really hard to grow seeds.  You might plant a whole row of something, and then have mice come by and take much of it at the last minute, or have it shatter all over the place.  Even for something super easy like amaranth, gathering even a cup of the seeds takes many hours and it tastes like red poi.  (Ask me how I know this...) There is good reason why the Chumash put a much higher price on chia seeds than on acorns.  If you have actually tried to harvest chia or basil seed or acorns, you will immediately notice the difference in time needed to get a cup of seeds vs. nuts.

Around here, I might be able to make a steamed pile of acorn flour, and this would take quite a bit of time.  I don't know how it would taste because every time I attempted to make food from acorns, it was a failure.  There is a good reason why the Chumash acorn-grinding stones were near the ocean.  They could have just grabbed more seawater for soaking, bypassing the moldy stage that my acorn mess got into.  And they did.  Acorns made up around forty percent of their diet.

Actually, the hardest food around here to replicate in a fast food meal is the potatoes.  They only grow in the spring, and are usually rotten by summer.  I grow a few of them, but mainly it is "you want sunchokes with that?"  And if you want to supersize THAT, well there is still no hope for you.