Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Here's a Benefit - Eat Less Clean Moore

One of the nice things about being kicked off [redacted]people is that now I have time for my real life.  Instead of handing out goodies, I am handing out excess produce to casual friends in grocery store parking lots.  Yum.  A whole trunkful of eggplant and thyme seedlings has much more fiber than any of the virtual goodies.

I am also free from searching for un-banned peanut butter.  Yippie!  We do have some peanut butter left from the last trek to Costco.  But, I need to get back there now that, like some other independent countries, I have run out of butter.  I did get some non-organic Challenge butter on sale, but it is insipid.  I don't know what they feed those Costco cows, but their butter actually tastes like food instead of a stick of fat.  Costco is always out of peanut butter, and that is fine with me.

Anyway..........I think it is due to the re-introduction of progesterone in my beauty/wellness regime regimen.  (Been reading too many lipstick magazines????)  Since I have been using it for almost two weeks now, I have had fantastic sleep, have been completing all my daily action items, have reduced my appetite and changed my body composition.

Here's the weird thing.  Am I normal?  I few weeks ago, I discovered something really unusual.  I was out for the day and had a piece of fruit and some other carby stuff, and found that I was no longer hungry.  Hey, this was just like the experts say happens.  You eat, and then you aren't hungry anymore so then you don't eat any more.

Yesterday I cheated by having a pastry bite.  I like to call it arugala because it sounds so healthy, but we all know that those concoctions of wheat and fat, filled with a homeopathic amount of fruit and topped with chunky sugar does not contain any real arugala.  Yep, I ate it, and then had a burst of energy, so ran around for ten minutes or so, decluttering and clearing out a bunch of projects.  Lunch time came and went, and oh, did I forget to eat again?  Off to the store, and the distribution of the turnip-truck of veggies, and another free baby coffee.  Still not hungry.  I ate a handful of nuts around 4 pm.  Then, someone mentioned,

"What's for dinner?"  Dinner?  Oh yea, the reason I went shopping.  OK, I think I got some chicken.  Guess somebody should go into the kitchen and start making some.  OK, that would probably be me.  Maybe by the time it is done I'll be hungry.

It took me a long time to peel and chop all the tomatilloes, yellow tomatoes and long fresh cayenne peppers.  I also had the last zucchini of the season, and a fresh red onion.  I ate a bowl of chicken with the vegetables, and then a few extra pieces of chicken, but I was really too full for much else.   I don't think I even got 60 grams of protein for the day.

Oh, weight?  Hmmm, I think I am losing, hey, don't care.  I haven't been weighing myself because I am too busy getting up before dawn, organizing the yarn closet and then making a 4-alarm breakfast for anyone who is also up that that hour.

Oh, now on to Moore.  It's really about More magazine.  I got an old copy from friends, and read all about the right and wrong ways to do a detox.  Here's a sampling of More's clean detox, developed by a venerated RD, Keri Glassman.  Day one is a bunch of tofu, green tea, lemon, pear, kale, salmon, walnuts, lime, edamame, spinach salad with other veggies, olive oil, broccoli, turkey, raspberries.  If this sounds a bit like Perricone, that is what I thought too.  Notice the abundance of healthywholegrains.  Except for all the nasty soy, it looks pretty much like paleo/low carb, except for the third day, which introduces dairy and turns it into a primal-type/low carb thing.

Here's what Leslie Bonci, RD, says, "There's something to be said for limiting choices.   You're giving your body a chance to rest, and that's a good thing."  Of course, unless you are "resting" with a good paleo or LC diet and you are eliminating entire food groups, and then the coaches[redacted] seez its dangerous for you.

Thank goodness it is only for three days.  'Cause after that, the diet that makes you feel better and "more energetic" will kill you due to the loss of B vitamins in enriched healthywholegrainfoodgroups that you have eliminated entirely from your diet.  But no worry, the article says.  "This 1,000-calorie-a-day regimen is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, lean proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and fluids -"

I am impressed just with the fact that they call it a regimen and not a regime.  That is a pet peeve of mine.  A diet regime would be the ADA or the academy or whatever they call themselves these days.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Butter and a Movie

It's better with butter!

Check out this movie trailer.  This movie about having fun with butter is now on my viewing list.

Sculpting with butter is an art form I can embrace.  Wouldn't this be fun to do while doing CT?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Coconut Cream

Hi folks!  Here's my take on coconut, and coconut "manna".

This stuff comes in either a small jar or a larger bag.  Either way, it will probably have melted and solidified many times, and the coconut oil will have separated from the dried coconut meat.  If you buy a bag, it has to be split up and stirred and then put back away into smaller containers.

Before you eat it, you need to stir it, and in order for that to work, it has to be warm enough for the oil part to be liquid.  It works sort of like almond butter.  You stir a bit, and realize it is not mixing well, and so dig a spoon all the way down to the bottom and then the slippery stuff on top goes sailing right on the counter (or worse, your computer screen!) so you have to lick it up or get a dog to do that for you.

Here's what I do.  First, get it warm, then stir the top portion carefully.  The bottom will be dry, almost flaky.  To get to it, put a dull knife straight down and cut across.  Lift the knife up, move it, and cut again.  It is just like making cheese, when you want to preserve the curd, only for the coconut, you just don't want to try lots of stirring from top to bottom at first or there will be a mess.

When all the dry chunks at the bottom are small, then take a strong spoon and mix the chunks with the more oily part at the top.

I waited until summer to stir up one container.  I stir it every few days just to keep it mixed well.  When I am away for a few days, I just stick it in the fridge so it doesn't separate out again.

I don't know how much of this stuff people eat.  When I first got it, I was limited by how hard it is.  Now in the summer, I can eat quite alot of it if I want to.  But, really, I don't care that much for the texture and prefer grated or shredded real coconut.  Real coconut is cheaper and waaaaaay easier to eat.  I didn't care for it in coffee either, preferring either coconut milk or real heavy cream.

What I looooove about coconut manna is that it is one of the few products these days that comes in a wide-mouth glass jar.  These are keepers!  I use them for small batches of sauerkraut or pickles.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The State of Research - (and the Elephant in the Room)

Last night I visited the NuSI site to read a bit about the current state of obesity research before retiring to my yellow bedroom to read a recent issue of Scientific American.  I was reading all about how the brain works, and then drifted off, and later, drifted into this dream.

It was the first day of a new class.  I taught the second section of a multi-part research methods course.  After sign-in and introductions, the room broke out into several groups to discuss their projects.  When I brought everyone back to the main classroom, I noticed that many of the students had ditched class.

I thought, "Hey, this isn't good!"  

Apparently, the students had learned some very bad habits from the first teacher.  They had felt that it was not necessary to approach research methods seriously.

I pulled out some paper, and asked the remaining students to pass the sheet around and sign in a second time.  While getting ready to elaborate on the class project, I noticed that the remaining students weren't signing in.  I reminded them several times.  I also went to the adjoining classrooms, looking for lost students. 

A couple of professors who would teach the later sections were hanging around, shaking their heads.  They told me that my expectations were too high, if I actually wanted attendance or participation.

"The students do everything by cell phone now, they don't feel they have to attend, listen to the instructions, or sign their name on any roster," they said.  Well, I knew they know how to do a roster, they weren't fooling me.  How could they possibly complete a project adequately if they would not receive instruction, or be accountable?

One of the professors pulled me aside, explained to me about mediocrity and then handed me a glass-blown elephant.

"Here.  This will help you in your class."

I went back to class and put the elephant front and center on my desk.  The elephant didn't do any good, so decided that I would rather wake up than accept the current situation.

I woke up, thinking, gosh, do I need some more carbs?  What a nightmare!

Hey obesity researchers, there is a new teacher in town.  Will you listen to instructions, or continue to hand in the same tired papers, expecting credit?

P.S.  It appears I was channeling Adele Hite last night.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rowing for dinner

What a heat wave we have been enduring!  I had the opportunity to spend one of the hottest days on the other side of carmageddon, at the ocean, kayaking and paddle boarding near the Channel Islands. 

I had hoped to get in a bit of CT, but the water wasn't too cold.  Granted, I wasn't out in open water, where the cold water and most of the waves reside.  When I got hot, I just dunked my feet into the water to cool down.  When I tumbled off the paddle board, the water felt so refreshing that I stayed in, and swam the board to shore.

There is something both relaxing and serene about personally powering a water craft, and it is more than just the lack of a gasoline motor.  I was able to glide into a flock of resting seagulls without causing them to fly away.  If I had a net, there could have been something on the grill that tastes like chicken.

There is time to think when out on the water, and time to pull up the oar and just keep gliding.  My thoughts drifted to the first people, who would have traveled this area in straw kayaks for food and fun.  I could do this.  The water is not too cold.

It was also a time to have fun with physics.  I tried paddling the board while on my stomach, butterfly style, hoping to get enough speed to pull along another surfboard, to go so fast that the kid on the surfboard could stand up and start surfing.  If you have lived in a very cold climate, you have probably attempted the same thing on a frozen pond.  The last kid on the chain can get pretty fast.

This morning, as I watched the local news, I had to grin at the coverage of a local triathlon.  All the world-class people lining up for their day in the surf.  Every single athlete had a wetsuit on.

I am not sure where I am going with this.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Yesterday I cleared out and donated the bread pans.

I know to some, this seems small, but maybe their lives didn't revolve around bread and other healthy whole grains as much as mine did.

As soon as I went out on my own, I get several popular vegetarian cookbooks, a grain grinder, some bread pans, a few sifters, and a whisk.

I started grinding the flour and making bread weekly.    I made at least four loaves of wheat bread a week, and a dozen or so oat flour muffins that were to last the week but usually lasted only a few days.  I usually made two large sheets of thick-crust pizza several times a month.  When I was too busy, I just went to the bread outlet store and filled my freezer with stale Bobolis.  Later on when I became a consultant, my schedule was flexible enough for me to make some kind of bread every day.  Real authentic bagels, pita, chapatis, tortillas, nut roll.

Pretty soon I started receiving all sorts of bread-related gifts for every occasion:  fancier whisks, kneading boards, spring-form pans, fancy cast-iron muffin tins, baby loaf pans, cinnamon-roll forms, a gingerbread house mold, crumb-catchers, cutting boards, fancy artisan bread-slicers.  I was easy to buy for.

During the 2009 Locavore challenge, I even grew wheat.  And if the movie is ever finished, you'll get to see me stomping all over the stuff in my crocs, trying to remove the chaff.  What fun!  It is just like making wine, only drier.

I realized a couple of weeks ago that I was finally finished with bread when I offered to help a friend with a party.  She needed food.  What could I make?  She suggested cookies and I had that deer-in-the-headlights feeling.  I couldn't even articulate how I felt about it.  Speechless.

All I could think about was trudging to a conventional grocery store.  What do I need?  Flour, chocolate, baking soda?  Of course, I would complain about the prices.  I would make tons and they would smell wonderful and we would eat the broken kinds and fall back into the wheat abyss.  I would gain 40 pounds before Christmas.  It would be very ugly.

OK, time to do something about this.  I feel lighter already.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Yesterday, I ranted to myself for my memory lapse.  While out doing some errands, I discovered that I had forgotten my purse, so I didn't stop by my favorite food store on the way home.

After enjoying a nice cup of winter squash soup for lunch and attending to other life details, I ventured out again, much later than usual.  Oh, I hate using up more gasoline, but it was just too hot and miserable to walk, and I was still on a 24-hour exercise restriction after the blood donation.

Just as I wheeled up to the meat counter, they were putting out the quick sale items.  I got a couple of packages of salmon for $1.99 a pound and a buffalo "london broil" for $3.99 a pound.  Score!  The price of the steak was half what I usually pay for ground buffalo.

I am still venturing into the land of the meat-eaters, and had never cooked london broil before, and never eaten a buffalo steak.  Good thing for the internet.  My internet search made the process even more confusing, and I had no clue as to the actual cut of the meat.  I decided to just throw some salt and seasonings on it (cumin, cinnamon, garlic, my own very hot pepper), let it sit on the counter for half an hour, and then fry it in a pan with coconut oil. NOT a french recipe, then again, buffalo meat doesn't come from France, so there.  I grilled some San Marzano tomatoes.  (I cooked some additional San Marzanos in the pan drippings, for some soup for a later time.)

OK, now I get what the fuss is all about.  The rare steak was delicious!  I can't believe that I am here, eating bloody meat with a few vegetables, and loving it.  I imagine myself as Suzanne Pleshette, gliding through my modern kitchen appointed with a set of chrome-finished appliances in avocado and harvest gold, waiting for Bob Newhart to return home from the clinic, serving just steak and salad.  Then I glide along to change from my apron to my caftan, and we are ready for the evening.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Drawing a Pint

I gave blood today so be nice to me!!

One of the recent topics at that [redacted] place was blood pressure reduction on a low carb diet.  After posting some (research-related) sites explaining how blood pressure can be reduced on a low carb diet, I never did get around to the topic on this here blog, so here it is.

This week marks my two-year anniversary of going on a lower carb diet.   One of the nice things about giving blood is that you get a mini-physical.  It gives me an opportunity to check up on a few things in between doctors visits.

Hmm, did I eat today?  Check
Feeling OK?  Good to go
Weight?  Yep, within 10 pounds of my goal weight after a year and a half in maintenance
Pulse?  Pretty low, especially since I have discontinued chronic cardio
Iron?  14, whatever that means.  Really, it means they smile and continue.  This is not like in the vegetarian days when half the time I would be sent packing.
Temp?  Hmmmm, the thingy beeps.  Could it be that my metabolism has been lowered and my T3 has tanked?  She looks unconcerned.
Blood Pressure?  Hmmm, the same pressures I had as a teen the first time I gave blood at a high school blood drive for an ailing teacher.
Track marks?  Nope

As I go through the questions, I am realizing how stationary I have been, and not just in the cardio way.  I haven't been to any of the long list of banned counties recently.  Then I remember what Coach [redacted] says about blood pressure.  A low carb diet doesn't do anything for blood pressure that simple weight loss doesn't do.  I remember when I saw that, thinking "hmmm, did she just admit that you can lose weight with the disastrous and dangerous diet?"

When I started on the lower carb plan and lost a bunch of weight, the blood pressure went down, too.  Not that it was all that high, but like many, over the years it started to inch up, along with my weight.  For a time, I even tried removing the salt from my diet., and had a tough time in the early weeks of lower carb until I added back the salt.  My blood pressure went down immediately, and it has been going down gradually ever since, even though I have been in maintenance for such a long time.

I love n=1'ing, another myth exposed.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

How to reset your leptin - part 1

Hi folks, yes, I AM reading. 

Recently I saw a commenter wanting to know of other ways to do a leptin reset.  Both Drs. Rosedale and Kruse feel that they have the answers to this.  Their plans are quite similar.  Both call for a low carb paleo/style diet, limiting feedlot meats, cow's milk, and fake foods.  Both limit snacking after dinner and don't recommend lots of exercise.  Both would agree that a can of sardines is the most ideal meal/snack, although it looks like Kruse would rather you have them raw, with the heads on, and in the blender.

They differ in the amount of protein.  Rosedale's protein recommendation is quite low compared to Kruse's.  Their passionate arguments are on Paleohacks, if you even dare to go over there, but here's the gist.  Rosedale thinks protein should be kept low to limit gluconeogenesis, and that doing so can also reduce the risk of cancer.  Kruse says that doesn't matter, because the diet already reduces the risk of cancers.

To me, the Kruse argument is a little bit of "if you do what I say, and get so-and-so into balance, then it is not a problem".  I think he might be putting the cart before the horse.  It doesn't really address the transition phase.  Rosedale's plan also limits fat in the early weeks.  He said that he is a big fan of coconut oil, but did not put that in his book due to the editor/publisher pressure.

Kruse is trying to elicit certain outcomes by limiting food during certain intervals.  In order to keep from being hungry during that time, he front-loads with plenty of protein at breakfast.  Rosedale says not only is that not necessary, it is detrimental, since it encourages gluconeogenesis.  He feels people would be better off if they ate when they were hungry and that snacking is not a problem as long as there aren't many carbs in the snacks.  I think he might be putting the cart before the horse, too.  When people get adapted to the lower-protein, low carb approach, they are fine with fat-burning, they lose their hunger and then it is easy to not constantly snack or to constantly be snacking on protein.  The first few days can be really tough for people.

Rosedale's book came out in the 90's, and to me at least, it is the first "paleo" diet book out there.  He is working on two new books, but seriously, Rosedale, you need to finish them.

My personal experience with both diets I will cover in another post.  But I'll add here that I follow a modified Rosedale plan now.  I did well on the leptin reset, but after awhile I gained all the weight back.  I found that Kruse's leptin reset plan elicited many positive changes for me, but lots of weight loss wasn't one of them.  Restricting my protein has been more helpful.

If you want to learn more about the two protein approaches, read Jimmy Moore's posts about his n=1 experiment with the ketone blood monitor, and also his recent ATLCE podcast featuring Dr. Layman.  Dr. Layman is an expert in protein.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Do Carbs cause cancer?

Hmmm, well maybe they do!  Or, at least, the elimination of carbs can stop cancer in its tracks.

One of the probably most-offending links recently provided to [redacted]people consisted of Dr. Feinman's wonderful blog linking a paper he co-wrote with Dr. Fine and others.  I posted both the blog post link and the link to the paper on the main message board's "pros and cons of carbohydrates" or something like that.  That post has probably been removed, so you can read the link here.

When the topic came up, I had remembered that there was some research done on the connection between carbs and cancer, so I went looking.  Concidentally, Dr. Feinman posted his blog that very day.

Folks who follow Jimmy Moore might remember that since checking his blood ketone levels and adjusting his diet, his skin tags fell off.  Now it turns out that high levels of sugar cause the skin tags to grow.  Turns out that higher sugar also causes some cancers to grow.

Dr. Feinman's paper outlines a study using a ketogenic diet for people with resistant cancers, and the types of cancers that they thought would probably respond favorably to lowered amounts of sugar in the blood.  Turns out the patients did better when they had a bunch of kidney-trashing ketones running about.

I hope you will check it out.  Here's the plan.  Here's Dr. Feinman's blog.  And here's the results of the study.  After so much fixation on the low carb diet and weight loss, it is time to really take a look at the data indicating that the diet not only is not disastrous and dangerous, it may be more health-promoting than some "experts" want it to be.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How I get into fat-burning mode

I promised to get back to y'all about what I have learned about getting into fat-burning mode.

First, just want to remind newer readers who haven't read all the history, I lost most of my weight on a lower carb diet, and did not get to the 20-30 carb gram level until much later in the process.  But eventually, even while on LC plans like Protein Power, I found I couldn't lose weight, maintain my weight or even contain cravings.

It wasn't really carb creep in my case.  Well it was sort of.  What it was was that I just couldn't quit eating, just like how I was before I started losing weight, only this time, I was eating protein and fat all day instead of grilled cheese sandwiches.

What was going on?  Well, I read that after a while, people on LC get used to it and are able to extract more glucose out of whatever very efficiently.  It was probably the case that I went out of fat-burning mode, stayed out, and didn't even realize it, because, "well, I'm on a low carb diet, aren't I?"

Just two or three carby meals in sequence would knock me out of whack for weeks or even months.  I tried to get back on the plan, but just couldn't.  Eventually I went on the VLC Rosedale plan, but after a couple days of hell, I realized how much different I felt.  How could I have been on a LC diet for most of the time and probably not be in ketosis all that time?

Diving into that state was very difficult, resulting in a night of anxiety and agitation.  No wonder I wanted to eat food to calm it down.  Eventually I knew what to expect, and so would white-knuckle my way back in.  Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night with dread, my heart beating.  Not too fun, but I already knew it was coming, so learned to handle it.

Last year I took advantage of Dr. Eades offer for free Metabosol.  While I didn't lose much weight for the week I used it, it did curb food cravings enough to get me back on track.  I eventually abandoned Metabosol to start the leptin reset.  I gave one free container to my sister, who was also having trouble with carb cravings.  The other container I guarded with my life, because at the time, Metabosol wasn't available.  I used it to get back into whack.  I had to only drink about two or three servings, and then I would enter this nice state where I was no longer hungry.  For some reason, taking Metabosol also made me relaxed and sleepy enough for a great night's sleep. (Something I never had whenever I tried Rosedale.)

Eventually I tried CT, and found that it worked much the same way.  I started CT'ing every time I ate a carby meal, kind of like the exercise recommendation recommended by Rosedale, only I didn't have to worry about over-exercising and  the accompanying exhaustion.  CT was just wonderful.  I would start hungry, but end up relaxed, pain-free and no longer hungry, and all that was topped off with the most wonderful night of sleep ever.

Now I use both the Metabosol and CT to get back on track, and find that while they both help all by themselves, if I am having a particularly tough time (like after a holiday!!!), I'll do both.

Another interesting thing that I have noticed about CT is that ever since I have been doing it, I never get cold when I restart a low carb diet.  I used to always get cold, and though not as bad as when I did calorie restriction diets in the past.

In the future, I'll do posts on several of my n=1 experiments with different diets.  It is not really a set of fair comparisons, because I confound everything with my life, the seasons, advancing age and my continual improvement.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Final Letter from [redacted]Coach Jen

"In June, 2011 you were given a final warning about giving members advice that goes against [redacted]People’s program recommendations.  Many of your posts link to non-research supported sites, and I know you’ve also been giving members unsolicited advice through [redacted]Mail when they post about something on the general Message Boards.  It’s great if you’ve found a style of eating that works for you, and it’s fine that you don’t agree with our recommendations.  But because we believe our guidelines are based on sound research and they are being applied to a wide range of people with a wide range of medical histories, we consider it dangerous to be giving advice outside of these guidelines.  Therefore, your account has been closed.

Best of luck in your healthy lifestyle journey, [redacted]

I suspected a set-up when I started getting unsolicited [redacted]mails from people, asking me for advice.  This is weird, since I don't give advice but only tell people to keep reading.  There have been a few people on the main message boards who have been saying that I have been giving advice and putting other words in my mouth, so I am not surprised at all.  I think the main message boards have become infested with some seriously mentally ill people who have been demanding compliance to their way of eating.

So, goodbye [redacted]peeps, and I hope you will come over here more often.

Here's the last "non-research supported" site that I posted.  I think some of y'all will find this very funny.