Wednesday, January 29, 2014

For Shame

Today, another first!  When I got onto a yahoo page, I saw that "low carb diets" were trending.  Curious, I clicked on the link to see what Yahoo would give me.

Well, I'll have ta say, I guess they really ARE a bunch of yahoos!  Wedged between two versions of the now-famous twin-doctor-brothers-eating-really-bad-diets (bro-science at its best?) story was a link to "Grain News".

Did you know that the newest low carb news is that diets are fads?  Yep, read it on the internet.  I wonder how much Grainnet has been paying for all this bread placement.  A quick look at what yahoo thinks are the top links were decidedly hostile to low carb, including the famous WebMD article that has been making the rounds in the lowcarb-o-sphere recently.

If you haven't yet seen it, here is the laughable post on WebMD.  It is so bad, it is even funny.  Now don't go and close that link yet, because there will be a quiz later.

Careful readers might remember that WebMD was investigated for it's chummie ties to the pharma industry, especially with its treatment of depression in their posts, and the tie-ins with a major sponsor.  (Read about it here!)   Looks like WebMD is still at it.

I don't know about you, but when I went on to the WebMD link, Belviq ads were all over the place.  On the right side, down on the left, with all sorts of helpful links to convince people to take the weight loss drug if for some reason that low carb fad diet thing isn't working.

Page 2 offered up a huge ad for Tradjenta, a drug that will help people reduce HbA1c if for some reason that low carb fad diet thing isn't working.

Now I am sure these are perfectly fine drugs, with wonderful clinical trials blah blah blah.  One way to increase sales is to get some pseudo-scientific site spoon out lots of mis-information about some fad diet that will probably induce weight loss and/or reduction in HbA1c, enough mis-information so most folks won't even try the fad diet.

For shame! 

OK, so here's the quiz.

1.  What are the effects of a low carb diet?
a.  weight loss
b.  reduction in HbA1c
c.  better mood
d.  less allergies
e.  all of the above

2.  What are the negative side effects of a low carb diet?
a.  bad breath
b.  constipation
c.  vegans won't eat lunch with you
d.  your kidney's will explode
e.  we do not know.  The diet hasn't been adequately studied by Harvard.

3.  What are the side effects of taking the drug Belviq?
a.  bradycardia
b.  painful erections lasting for more than 4 hours
c.  depression or thoughts of suicide
d.  valvular heart disease
e.  all of the above

4.  What are the side effects of Tradjenta?
a.  pancreatitis
b.  sore throat
c.  weight GAIN
d.  muscle or joint pain
e.  all of the above

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Interrupting Our Regular Program

Wow!  Where have I been?  How is the Paleo on 100 a month challenge going?

I didn't even last three days this time.  That nasty stomach flu came to our household, so I was playing nursemaid and top chef for others.  There was too much food that wasn't being eaten by others not on the challenge.  There was too much new food being purchased because said patients wouldn't eat this.  Or that.  Or that other thing.  And then throw it all up anyway.

The other really weird and sort of funny thing is when the advice nurse told us what foods to eat.  She mentioned soup and rice and Gatorade and we just laughed.  I don't have soup or rice or Gatorade.  She continues, "That's OK, just eat crackers," and despite being very sick, we got lots of laughs from that suggestion, too.

I didn't have any time to shop or cook for myself either.  I did purchase some liver for the second day, but didn't get around to cooking it until later.  I had to actually run to several stores to get the required food, and then was so overwhelmed by everything that I forgot to get the Emergen-C's and had to go back again.  It was very difficult finding a canned soup without either wheat or milk.

Anyway, with all this going on, I just didn't have the energy or will to continue the challenge.  And, I felt guilty for maybe giving my family food poisoning.  Wait!  I was the one eating all the weird stuff, and I was just fine.  Anyway, I threw out all the soup, cleaned out the fridge, cleaned off the counters dozens of times, racked my brains regarding what we ate and did not eat together.  Then I remembered that everyone else was getting the flu this winter.  Still, we threw away the carrots because that was the only thing we could think of that could have been contaminated and not properly cooked.

After a few batches of white rice, I eventually settled upon gluten-free waffles made with real butter as the go-to carb.  (No stick-um.)  I know, not Paleo.  Who cares.  Just getting some perspective.

My fridge is pristine and empty.  There is some bacon, neatly sealed off from anything it may contaminate.  There is a bag of shredded cheese, a tightly-wrapped chicken carcass, and a box of tangerines from a friend's tree.  A container of sour cream, a pack of butter, a carton of cream and a carton of eggs.  I have become one of THOSE people.  People who have no food.  The cabinets are full of various kinds of canned fish, nuts, spices, vitamins and teas.  There is still a small container of Trader Joe's gluten-free mix.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Paleo on 100 dollars a month 2014 - Day 1

I am ringing in the New Year either rising to new heights or sinking to new lows.  Yay!  Gotta love the outliers!

We celebrated New Year's Eve with good friends, with good wine and two very meaty pork ribs from the grill.  After gnawing on all the bones, holding them with our greasy fingers and feeling quite primal about it, I proposed we save all the bones "for my garden".

And I am looking at the bag of bones on day 1 of this challenge, thinking, thinking.....  Naw, I couldn't EAT them, the scrapings off people's plates?  Then I remembered that I would be simmering them for hours, killing off any evil microbes that any of my friends harbor.  Then I remembered that we were eating off the bones of dead animals, and somehow, after the harrowing night at the grill, we came out better than OK.  And I also remembered that I and my friends had sips of wine out of each others glasses, either because of a mistake, or just to taste the latest offering.  And I woke up ready for the Rose parade NOT DEAD, so maybe it wasn't so bad.

By noon, I was hungry, so the bones ended up in the soup pot with a few veggies from my garden.  I tasted it.  Other than a lack of seasoning, the broth did not kill me.

While waiting for the bone broth to finish, I went to the grocery store and found pork chops on sale for $2.66, and an avocado for 34 cents.  The purchases totalled 3 dollars, leaving me with 22 cents extra.  Yay!  Splurge time.  Maybe I can afford a brazil nut tomorrow.  The grocery store free coffee was nice.

This year I am not keeping track of trading partners, but after only the first day, I had food from about a dozen partners.  I still have the staples from last year, including salt, pepper, hot sauce and a number of different kinds of vinegar.  I cooked the pork chops in salt, pepper and vinegar, and made soup with the pan drippings, including leeks, celery, mustard greens and squash.

Today's menu:

Breakfast:  Coffee with cream, pan drippings, arugala, all from my traders
Lunch:  arugala, strawberry, mandarin orange, sapote, chicken soup with spinach, coffee, lemon balm tea, hemp protein powder
Dinner:  broth, pork chop, hot sauce, salt and pepper, avocado, couple of bites of pastry, trail mix, a kiwi
snack:  apple

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year and a New Challenge

It's time for a new "Paleo on 100 dollars a Month" challenge!!!!!

Was it supposed to be April this year?  I keep moving it to see how the challenge changes with the seasons.  On first thought, you might think that January would be the hardest month.  Them Paleo's say that we need to eat whale blubber in the winter because our ancestors couldn't get fresh food.  Well, everyone around here knows them Paleo's are stupid, right?, and that there is plenty of fresh fruit coming in at this time of year, and the greens have never been better.  In fact, today's menu includes my own fresh home-grown tomatoes and strawberries.

Of course, this is with a modern twist, 'cause unlike Grok, who didn't have no stinkin' freezer, I do.  And it would have been too hard for Grok to keep the wooly mammoths out of his stash of fall berries that he hung from a tree branch right outside cave, but apparently, once some food goes into my freezer, it rarely gets stolen.  That's the modern twist.  Outrageous abundance, or waste for some, and always new food coming in so you don't even really have an opportunity to use left-overs unless you work at it.

Originally I was just trying to free up some freezer space right before the holiday rush, but the food kept coming in.  Our "cave" is a mecca for heat-seeking friends and family in the winter.  They visit, take us out to eat, buy stuff like liquor, books, small appliances, medicines and extra clothing, and then can't fit it in the luggage, so we end up with more stuff than ever.  I thought, "I can't possibly eat down the fridge by the next challenge!"

Sooo, this early challenge is just really a way to incentivize cleaning out my freezer.  This challenge will be harder than last year's, mainly because the prices of meat and dairy have risen, and I don't usually get all that stuff for free.  The biggest challenge for me will be to eat healthy instead of just to eat for cheap or free.  There really is plenty of free bad food.  I don't want to eat so much of it this time.

Yes, there is some stuff I actually paid for in the freezer.  Staples like ice cream and liver, and probably a pound of grass-fed butter somewhere way in the bottom. (Just joking on the staples-thing there.  I know many reading this here blog don't "do" ice cream anymore.)  There are a few ice packs, and a tray of ice cubes for eating, but the rest is free stuff from people's gardens, bits of this and that, and a gaggle of plastic bags stuffed with various kinds of rendered animal fat.

Happy New Year, and wish me luck!