Saturday, December 24, 2011

Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe

I have found that making mayonnaise from scratch is very easy! It may seem counter intuitive, but doing it by hand is actually easier than trying to get an emulsion in a mixer or blender.

There are a few things that I have learned that will be helpful to you if you decide to try to make your own. The first is, use fresh farm/yard eggs. I don't know what they've done to our commercial egg supply, but the yolks are not the same. I know, you find that incredibly hard to believe. {/snark} Fresh yard eggs will make an emulsion and keep it without you even having to do anything, I mean unless you just dump all the oil in. If you pour the oil slowly and stir fast, the emulsion makes itself (or in Soviet Russia emulsion makes you!)

Secondly, you will want to use "light tasting olive oil" like this here (or whatever brand you'd rather have). Other types of olive oil can have a very strong flavor, which might be okay in some instances, like if you're making dressing out of it. Don't use lard. Trust me on this.

Finally, I've found that a mixture of sherry wine vinegar and lemon juice really makes the best mayonnaise.

So the recipe? There are literally dozens of them, maybe hundreds, but I've found the best one to make by hand is based on the one from Mastering the Art of French Cooking* by Julia Child, et al.

I've altered it though, because it says either sherry wine vinegar or lemon juice, but I insist that using both is better. I also reduce the amount of boiling water needed, maybe because I add more vinegar/lemon juice than she says to. I also suggest you buy the book, because it is one of the best cookbooks ever :)

Homemade Mayonnaise by hand
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 T. sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp prepared or unprepared mustard
  • ~17 oz bottle of light tasting olive oil
  • Sherry wine vinegar and lemon juice as needed (about 3T. of each)
  • 3 T. boiling water

All you need is a bowl and a whisk to make this. Make sure your bowl is warm (but dry!) so to take the chill off your eggs. Beat the egg yolks until they are thick and sticky, about two minutes.

Add the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and mustard. Beat for 30 seconds.

Then add the oil, a teaspoon at a time at first (don't stop stirring until you have an emulsion!), then once you have an emulsion (after about a quarter of the bottle) you can add a Tablespoon at a time. Once you do have an emulsion, make sure you whip it good after adding oil, before adding any more. When the mixture gets thick, add more sherry wine vinegar or lemon juice to thin it out, alternating between the two. I generally add about 3 T. of each during the course of adding the oil, a Tablespoon here and there. Once you have added all the oil, you'll want to add the boiling water to keep the mayonnaise from turning.

And buy the book! There are a lot more details about making mayonnaise in it, and all about how to fix turned mayonnaise and how to save a mixture that has lost the emulsion. I can't recommend it enough, it's really one of my favorite cook books of all time.

*The edition we have is an old one, so I don't know if they've changed anything in the newer versions

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Squirrel Stew (also known as Brunswick Stew)

You're going to want to start this recipe really early in the morning because it will take approximately nine hours to make, most of that simmering on the stove. The squirrel can be frozen. I had harvested the squirrels I used to make this a couple months prior and they were stored in freezer bags in the freezer. See youtube on how to field dress a squirrel (not kidding, that's how I learned!)

  • Five squirrels, skinned, field dressed and quartered
  • 2 qts chicken stock
  • water
  • 4 T. salt
  • 4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 c. frozen or fresh lima beans
  • 2 c. frozen or fresh okra
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 3-4 celery stalks
  • 5 c. cherry/porter tomatoes

In a very large pot, first put squirrel meat in the broth adding enough water to cover the meat. Add salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat so it is lightly boiling. Cook meat for about three to four hours, adding water as needed, until the meat falls off the bones.

Using a slotted spoon, remove meat from stock. Add vegetables to stock, all of them should be well diced. You can use any vegetable really, but NOT rice. Rice is never used in Brunswick stew.

Next, remove meat from bones (this can take a while) and then add meat back into pot. Add more salt to taste. Let simmer/lighthly boil, stirring fairly often (it will stick to the bottom of the pot) until vegetables are reduced to mush. Add water as needed. You can make this the day before you need it and reheat it on the stove.

This recipe is really, really good and based on one from a late 19th century cookbook. My husband does not like fried squirrel, but he did love this stew. The long cook time takes a lot of the gaminess out of meat. You might use this recipe for other game meats as well.

They're trying to kill us!

Or at least that's what the mum-in-law said when I told her about this stupid email I got with a link to a page with tips on how to control your blood sugar. Lies! That's what I call it. They basically say to remove meat from your diet and add whole grains and fruit as a means to control your blood sugar. Yeah, you know what the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results. I don't suppose one should expect anything different from a site that is run by a bunch of corporate jackals and overseen by quacks *cough* Dr. Oz *cough*.

Good thing they have a medical disclaimer that states "[this] information is not to be taken as medical or other health advice..." Good advice, that.

By the way, we had a delicious thanksgiving dinner, with deep fried (in lard) turkey, squirrel stew (really! from a late 19th century recipe), jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon, mashed cauliflower, and I don't know what else, plus a bunch of nut flour based deserts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Texas Diabetes Council is Murdering Diabetics

The Texas Diabetes Council is trying to murder diabetics. I downloaded their food guide on a lark, and it basically mirrors the crappy food pyramid that the government advocates. They tell diabetics to eat six or MORE servings of bread per day. Hello? Bread is the same as sugar. But oh, sugar is okay for diabetics according to their food guide, but fat isn't.

Excuse me, but what the hell is wrong with these people? Why? I feel some days like I'm living in Orwell's 1984. Freedom is slavery, war is peace, sugar is good for diabetics.

They advocate a no to low fat diet. Since one can only eat so much protein, that means they advocate a high carbohydrate/sugar diet for diabetics. I'm sorry, Texas Diabetes Council, 1960 called. It wants it's diabetic diet back.

If you'd like to call them and ask why they're killing diabetics, their phone number is 1.888.963.7111 Ext 7490, or you can write them at PO Box 149347 MC 1965, Austin TX 78714-9347.

Or you can go in person:
Next Quarterly Texas Diabetes Council Meeting: October 27, 2011, 1:00 p.m., Texas Department of State Health Services, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, TX 78756

THEY'RE KILLING PEOPLE WITH THEIR BAD, INACCURATE AND FRAUDULENT ADVICE, FUNDED BY OUR TAX DOLLARS. These "authorities" publish a message that is contrary to all of the scientific evidence, a message that makes people sicker so they have to rely on drugs, which ultimately makes them so sick they tax our healthcare system, which we ALL pay for. This nonsense, it makes me absolutely livid. How many more people have to DIE because of their bad advice?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Which Industry Funds Your Study? Sun Exposure and Vitamin D

I decided after reading up about Vitamin D the other day, and hearing that it may prevent sunburns as well, that I would look for more articles on that. Well, I found an article that made me want to laugh when I read the abstract. In fact, if it weren't for the erroneous statement they made, I probably wouldn't have bothered reading it. I found more erroneous propositions in it of course. And these people call themselves researchers? This is the problem with medical research in this country today. Seemingly educated people make stupid assumptions and it gets translated into "common knowledge." So what has irked me so? This from this article, about how terrible the sun is for you:

"When nature gave man the appealing capacity for vit D photosynthesis, the expected lifespan was far less than 40 years."

And these people are "educated"? First of all, average lifespan during the paleolithic is arguable. Secondly, the "average" is dragged down by infant mortality. During the paleolithic if one lived past the age of five and did not succumb to infection disease, one probably had just as much chance to live to eighty as they do now. So the whole "expected lifespan" is irrelevant to their argument. Completely irrelevant. I learned this in introductory archaeology.

Secondly, when evolution chooses for something, it has to be before child bearing age. In other words, it has to happen before you pass it onto your offspring. So, things that are bad for us later in life, are not evolutionarily chosen for. This is basic biology. Who are these people? And who is paying them to write this crap?

"The causal role of UV irradiation in both non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and melanoma has been suspected by experienced clinicians and epidemiologists for well more than a century and was demonstrated repeatedly in studies of hairless mice and other animal models beginning in the 1920s."
Yes because we're genetically altered hairless mice. And they suspect UV irradiation causes skin cancer, so therefore it must be true. Wait. What? This doesn't convince me of anything except that whoever wrote this article has the critical thinking skills of a dung beetle. What's even more amusing is they cite an article from 1928. Yes, I'm not making that up. In 1928, they had just figured out that Pellagra wasn't an infectious disease. Incidentally, that's the same year that Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. My, how far we've come. I need a sarcasm font, but I digress.
"Photoaging changes, even aside from the strongly associated skin cancer risk, is a source of distress for a majority of fair-skinned adults beyond the age of 40–50 years and has spawned a multi-billion dollar skin rejuvenation market. The cause-and-effect relationship between UV exposure and photoaging, like the relationship with skin cancer, has been well documented in mouse models."

Again, I'm not a mouse. I've heard of this type of argument before, it's called an appeal to the vain. Someone should make a snark font, I could use it now. I'm sorry, but no one's skin looks very good at 70, sun or no, unless they've got a plastic surgeon on call. And what does this have to do with cancer?
"...the attractiveness of a tan became embedded in the public psyche and remains there to this day, nearly a century later, despite the revised medical and scientific perception of a tan as a DNA damage response and widespread appreciation that UV exposure often leads to skin cancer."

So now we're at the museum. One of my favorite pieces that I have an appreciation for is Meindert Hobbema's Avenue at Middelharnis. It gives the perception that one is standing, looking down a road in 17th century Holland. Are we in Art History class or doing medical research? I call shenanigans.
"In the 1980s, studies employing normal human volunteers and multiple narrow band UV light sources determined the relative efficacy of different wavelengths of light in producing sunburn and suntan as well as epidermal DNA damage."

In other words, they stuck people under artificial UV light sources. Not the sun. I would think that makes the study pretty irrelevant when it comes to actual sun exposure. How is artificial light the same? I know that it could be composed of the same UV rays, but is it the same? Might there not be some difference, that without doing an actual study where you, oh I don't know, put people in the sun, you'd never know there was a difference? But what do I know, I'm just an artist.

This article has a real problem with what they call the "tanning bed" industry. However, I'm thinking that since they put a large plug in for sunscreen, I believe I know where their funding came from.
"If 2–8 min of unprotected summer sun exposure is required to optimize cutaneous vit D synthesis..."
Except it's not. If 2-8 minutes of sun were enough then no one would be deficient in Vitamin D. What the rest of that sentence goes onto say, is that 10-20 minutes is plenty if wearing sunscreen. Yeah, you can't make this stuff up.
"The confusing and misleading media coverage of the “vit D controversy” over the past few years has unfortunately indeed undermined the campaign to reduce the current excessive sun exposure in our society."

Is that anything like the low-fat campaign? I'm to the point that if authority figures tell me I should do something, I believe I should do the opposite.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Vitamin D deficiency and Type 2 Diabetes

In the early part of the 20th century, a disease called Pellagra was thought to be caused by a virus or bacteria. It was common in the lower classes, but also did show up on occasion in more wealthy people. It was thought to be a "dirty" disease, and there was a stigma attached to contracting it. One of the people who contracted Pellagra was my husband's great-great grandmother. She died at a hospital in Dallas in 1922 from the disease. However, her death, and thousands of others were completely preventable. It turned out that Pellagra was a vitamin B3 deficiency.

Now we blame obesity and type 2 diabetes solely on what people are eating, but what if the catalyst for obesity and T2D is really something else entirely? What if it's a vitamin D deficiency? I found the following article at Science Direct:

The role of vitamin D deficiency in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus

Vitamin D can be obtained either through dietary intake or produced endogenously. It is found in foods such as oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), egg yolks and fortified milk and juice; however dietary intake only accounts for about 30% of the vitamin D obtained. The primary route via which people obtain vitamin D is through exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) sunlight at wavelengths between 290–315 nm, occurring predominantly in the summer months (June–July) in the Northern hemisphere (latitude >= 42° N).

In other words, if you're not getting a lot of sun, you should probably be supplementing Vitamin D3. I find it interesting that the pushing of the use of sunscreen coincides with the rise of obesity and diabetes in this country. Of course that's when our sugar intake increased too. Maybe it was the perfect storm?

Sunscreen wasn't in widespread use until the 1980s. Prior to that, beach goers might put zinc oxide on their noses, but that was about it. Then with the erroneous idea that the sun causes malignant cancer, enter the sunscreen industry. Like many things, drugs, food, etc. most research about sunscreen is funded by the sunscreen industry. They're out to sell you a product. If you die in twenty years because of it, well, they've made their money.

Glucose sensors located on β-cells sense increases in blood glucose levels despite increases in insulin secretion; the persistent hyperglycemia triggers a series of events which ultimately leads to an increase in β-cell expression, β-cell mass and enhanced secretory capacity of the pancreas. This compensatory increase in insulin secretion explains why some highly insulin resistant individuals never develop T2DM. In a study which examined pancreatic tissue from obese, non-diabetic individuals, relative β-cell volume of the pancreas was 50% greater in obese individuals than in their lean, non-diabetic counterparts (2.6 ± 0.39% vs. 1.71 ± 0.28%, P = 0.05), suggesting that these obese individuals did not progress to T2DM because they were able to increase their insulin production capacity by increasing β-cell mass. Individuals with T2DM do not experience this increase in β-cell mass, in fact there is a significant decrease in β-cell mass.
So long as your body can continue to manufacture insulin to store fat, you will probably not develop Type 2 Diabetes. It is only when this system fails that T2D occurs. Some morbidly obese people do not develop diabetes and it is because they can continue to get fat. A deficiency in Vitamin D may make it difficult for your β-cells to fucntion properly. Another explanation for why some obese people may not develop diabetes is because they're not vitamin D deficient, or if they are, for some reason they require less vitamin D than others.

The identification of the 1α(OH)ase in β-cells suggests that 1,25(OH)2D3 may play a role in overall β-cell function. In vitro and in vivo studies have ascertained that 1,25(OH)2D3 is essential for insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis. VDR mutant mice show a significant decrease in insulin mRNA levels when compared to controls, suggesting that 1,25(OH)2D3 may be required for insulin synthesis.
This isn't just something they've tried in a test tube. In vivo studies show that Vitamin D3 is essential for keeping blood sugar levels normal.

Lastly, obese individuals are often vitamin D deficient due to a decrease in the bio-availability of vitamin D metabolites which may explain why obesity is a risk factor for developing T2DM, although this association is only speculative...

Vitamin D deficiency increases peripheral tissue insulin resistance in addition to decreasing insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells.

I would argue that they've forgotten that correlation is not causation. Say it with me, correlation is not causation. Associations are also not cause. Did it occur to them that (besides eating way too much sugar and way too many processed vegetable oils) that a deficiency in Vitamin D3 may be a catalyst for obesity? Obesity and insulin resistance go hand in hand. One may cause the other, or both may be caused by something else entirely. Or it's a chain reaction. Something causes insulin resistance which in turn causes obesity. I'm voting on that last one.

Another interesting article I found that has to do with how vitamin D deficiency may lead to breast, cervical and ovarian cancer. If you're not getting enough sun, I think it's a good idea to supplement Vitamin D3. It's cheap and the pills are small and easy to swallow.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Vegan Bacon

At Hunter-Gatherer.

Who would eat such crap? That's what I'm asking. Look, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you want to wreck your health being vegan, well fine. Go for it, but why would you eat something that is manufactured by some corporation and that doesn't even resemble food?

Veganism is one of THE stupidest things that exist, and the people who follow it like a religion are even stupider. I understand if you do it for "ethical" reasons (which I think is misguided but whatever), but it certainly ought not be for "health" reasons since it's one of the most unhealthful diets you can eat, right after the Standard American Diet. I blame the lack of saturated fat. Saturated fat is really important for developing and maintaining cognitive function. So is cholesterol, but I digress.

The thing that really burns my biscuits though, is that vegans act like theirs is the natural diet man is supposed to be eating. This couldn't be further from the truth. Do you think that paleolithic man had greens, bananas and other stuff that only grows for part of the year in most places, shipped to them from a tropical location? They ate meat and lots of it. Some archaeologists think that paleolithic people were partially responsible for the mass extinction of mega-fauna at the end of the paleolithic.

If one wanted to be "ethical" about the way we treat this planet, they would eat local. They'd eat what was in their back yard. Of course, that would require having a back yard. I despise living in a city. I've done it, and I really don't like it. The only place I despise living more is in the suburbs. The neighbors are always a bunch of wackos.

If you eat vegan bacon, I'd suggest finding some real food to eat instead. The ingredient list on this vegan bacon reads like any other crap-in-a-box you might find in the frozen food section. Hint: soybean oil is very bad for you

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What have they done? Genetically modifying food, low-fat, and declining mental health

I made some homemade mayonnaise today. This is the first time that I used yard eggs in it. The last few times I made it, I used store bought eggs. The yard eggs are expensive, what can I say? I have always noticed that the store bought eggs' shells seem to be very brittle and easily broken. The yard eggs have shells that you have to actually tap hard to break. If I get used to cooking with yard eggs and then go back to the store bought ones, I will make a mess hitting that first egg on the edge of the bowl, because the store bought eggs' shells shatter. What have they done to our food supply?

What prompted this post was, while I was making the mayonnaise, I noticed that it emulsified easily. The store bought eggs don't do that. It's actually kinda crazy. I remember reading that they had been breeding and feeding chickens (or more than likely genetically altering the chickens) to produce lower cholesterol eggs.
"Why the shift [in cholesterol]? The decrease in cholesterol might reflect an improvement in hens' diet, the agency says in a statement. Here's the full USDA Statement."
Because I'll turn into a pumpkin at midnight if mother nature would know what to feed a chicken!

Cholesterol is vital for cell membrane stability. If you don't understand the importance of that statement there, I suggest you pick up a basic biology text book. To top it all off, if you don't eat enough cholesterol, your body will make it for you, because you NEED it.

Add into the mix the fact that Monsanto has a gigantic monopoly on what is grown in this country, to the point that they can sue farmers because their genetically modified seeds are spread by the wind or birds, and they win(!?!?!WTF?!??!?!), one has to ask themselves, where are we going here? There will come a point (if we are not already beyond it) where there will be no turning back, and we will have permanently screwed up our food supply.

Beyond that, we come to an even more important thing. The astonishing rise of mental illness in this country. Saturated fat is important. I think that's an understatement of immense proportions. And what have they done? Told people to avoid eating fat, but especially saturated fat. Saturated fat is important for brain health. It's why we are intelligent. Our ancestors eating more saturated fat is probably what set us on the evolutionary path that we are on, and is what allowed our brains to grow bigger and more powerful. The drugs they prescribe people for ADHD, bipolar, depression and other mental illnesses like schizophrenia, do not work in the long term. The long term outcomes are actually worse for people who stay on their medication.

After one starts reading all this, they can't help but wonder if this low-fat crap is perpetuated by greed in what would rival even the most outrageous of conspiracies. By eating low-fat and high carb crap, people wreck their physical and mental health, needing drugs for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression (which many of the anti-depressants trigger bipolar), ADHD (which ritalin leads to violent and aggressive behavior and wrecks the development of the brain).

What have they done? The powers-that-be are profiting off of this, they have destroyed countless lives by doing so, and worse, I think they KNOW what they're doing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


A report has come out on the most popular drugs that are taken. Nearly all of them could be avoided if people would just toss this whole "low-fat" crap, dump the excess carbohydrates (especially sugar and HFCS) and start eating more saturated animal fat.

At number two, with 94 million prescriptions is generic Zocor, or simvastatin, a cholesterol lowering medication. And if you've read Uffe you'll know that this is unnecessary drivel. We have a population a little over 300 million... so that's almost one prescription for every three people in the country!

Metformin (for diabetes) is on down the list at 48.3 million prescriptions. Type 2 diabetes is a completely avoidable disease in most cases, and yet we have how many people with diabetes?

What else is on the rise here? Anti-psychotics. I think that the ad they run on television for Abilify is designed to MAKE you depressed. Seriously. Anyway, I suggest you read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Big pharma has pushed anti-depressants and other anti-psychotics as 'wonder drugs' and they are not. They're possibly worse than the statins. Most people would see their mood improve if they'd just eat more saturated fat, for example butter or coconut butter/manna.

If your doctor tries to prescribe something you should ask questions and research it before agreeing to take it. It is your health that is at stake after all.

The only pill you should be taking is the red one.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Squirrel Lunch

I harvested my first squirrel yesterday and we fried it up today for lunch. I had never had squirrel before, but my dad and my in-laws grew up eating it. I have to say I liked it and I'll probably try to harvest another one soon. The little bastards tore up our deer feeder last year and that means we have too many running around.

Some cities also have too many running around and they won't even let the residents do anything about it. A elderly neighbor of my uncle in Austin contracted typhus, which was probably transmitted by fleas living on the squirrels that have overrun the town since it's illegal to kill them. A female squirrel can have six offspring a year, so without predators, that quickly gets out of control. You can nearly kill little old ladies but you can't have squirrel for breakfast. Makes me glad I live out in the country.

Anyway, all this squirrel hunting made me think about how things used to be and why the amount of meat they say our ancestors ate is probably a huge under-estimation. Our grandparents and their parents, unless they lived in some place like New York City, did not rely on grocery stores for food. They also did not rely on huge commercial farms that grow genetically modified crops that can withstand bad weather. Go out in the woods and tell me how much you can gather. It ain't much. You're way better off trying to hunt something than to find edible plants, at least where I live. Our ancestors may have relied on other farmers or other hunters, but most of their food was not grown far away. Most people who lived out in the country hunted whatever they could get their hands on and it was never counted by USDA morons. Nowadays you'd probably go to jail if you tried selling meat to the neighbors, but I digress.

I thoroughly suggest for all you paleo types out there to go hunt your own food if it's possible. There's nothing like being out in the woods on a lovely spring morning. I know some people live where it's not possible, and all I can say is, I feel terribly sorry for you ;)

“Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping across the country on a clear, frosty morning with a good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to enjoy life.” ~Annie Oakley

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lies, and the Vegans that tell them

I've been busy the last few days and haven't had a chance to write anything. While going through my email tonight, I have yet more spam from the Eat Right America morons. Tonight's theme was too much not to write about. It basically said I should eat less meat but they weren't trying to promote veganism. Yeah and I'm the Pope. {/snark}

The thing though that prompted me to write though is this, they lie. Liars, liars, pants on fire. (Should I be surprised? Probably not, most people propagating the vegan diet have to lie because if they told the truth, few would be vegan.) So what reason do they give for eating less meat?
"In fact, [animal products] are rich in substances that scientific studies have shown to be associated with incidence of cancer and heart disease: saturated fat, cholesterol and arachidonic acid, an inflammatory acid found only in animal products." [emphasis mine]

Ah yes, the big old boogie men of saturated fat and cholesterol. We already know that's BS, but what is this arachidonic acid? Only an essential fatty acid, vital for visual and cognitive development of infants and found in breast milk. In fact, if the mother is deficient they need supplementation. Arachidonic acid is vital for neural function. And these asshats are basically saying you don't need it.

See this kind of crap makes me madder than hell. Why, do you ask? Because these idiots have an air of authority, and many people who read this crap will take them at their word without looking into what the thing actually does.

They go onto say that meat causes osteoporosis. Yes, you read that correctly, I'm not making this up.
"In addition, animal products are very acidic for the body and cause calcium to be released from the bones to help neutralize the acid in the blood. This in turn leads to calcium loss and weak, brittle bones."
That's gotta be the biggest load of BS that I've read. And do they quote a source, a study? Hell no, of course they don't. If it were true, that eating animal products made your bones brittle, then body builders would be breaking bones all the damned time because most of the ones that I've read on the internet are eating paleo. These idiots just keep piling it on. Forget the shovel, someone get them a backhoe so they can dig their lying asses deeper faster. Maybe the pit they're digging will cave in and bury them. But remember, they're not advocating a vegan diet by any means. *rolls eyes*

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The problem IS veganism

Props to Free the Animal:

Only in the "civilized" world would people be so stupid as to prescribe to a diet that would kill their child.

And only in the "civilized" world would people make excuses and say that it's not the diet that killed the baby since there are plenty of healthy vegan babies. That's a bunch of codwallop. The diet did kill the child, and the parents believed said codswallop. In both English and French press, there are people saying it's not the diet that killed the baby, but something else that was responsible, like the parents' ignorance, etc. I won't say it wasn't their ignorance that killed it, indeed it was. Ignorance that a diet that leaves you deficient could possibly be good for their infant daughter.

Let's explain this in terms that even a child should understand. Vitamin B12 deficiency can kill you. Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products. Therefore, many vegans are B12 deficient. As an adult, you have a store of B12 that might take years to deplete. If you metabolize B12 well, you might never become deficient. If you don't metabolize it well, you might become very sick.

A child has no choice. A child also does not have the vitamin stores that an adult has. I'm not going to beat around the bush and pander to your PC sensibilities. You are an absolute idiot to be vegan while pregnant or nursing.Ask any pediatrician. I blame a lack of saturated fat, which so happens to be essential for brain development. I think it makes them have a hard time thinking. If you're an adult and you want to be vegan, more power to you. Go for it. It's a free world. If you get sick and die, that was your choice. But don't damage your child's health by having them be as well. And the stupid thing is, you don't have to eat meat to get vitamin B12, you could be vegetarian. So long as you consume cream and eggs, you'd be fine.

Why must another child die for a lie? The lie is that veganism is healthy. It isn't.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Spam that keeps on giving

The Eat Right America people have been emailing me everyday about 2pm to let me know that I should start their vegan-wanna-be diet. I wasn't going to write any more about this, but as I was browsing their site, I just had to talk about what they say about diabetes.

"When we have more fat on the body, more insulin is required to deliver glucose to the cells as the coating of fat around them makes it difficult for the hormone insulin to transport the glucose into the cells." (emphasis mine)

Coating of fat around the cells makes it difficult for insulin to work? Wow. These people should contact all those biochemists who have struggled to find a concrete and indisputable reason for insulin resistance and let them know this. They also might want to let them know that fat people have their cells bathed in fat too. The year 1920 called. It wants it's understanding of biochemistry back.

There's only one problem with their crappy logic, besides the fact that it has nothing to do with biochemistry. Obese people are not the only ones who are insulin resistant, as type 2 diabetes strikes normal weight individuals as well. In fact, it seems that the inability to become fat might cause type 2 diabetes in normal weight individuals, as in the case of Pima men.

"Even five pounds of excess fat on one’s frame can inhibit the ability of insulin to carry glucose into our cells. Twenty pounds of extra fat and the pancreas may be forced to produce twice as much insulin to do the necessary job."

Citation? Really? I call shenanigans.
"The vast majority of diabetics who adopt a high-nutrient diet [as in their vegan diet] and exercise regularly become thin and non–diabetic. They are able to gradually discontinue their insulin and eventually other medications. They simply get well."

Pictures, or it didn't happen. I'd like to know who they're talking about. I really like how they have absolutely no citations whatsoever to any study anywhere.

And then I clicked on the Heart Disease tab.
"There is irrefutable scientific evidence that high cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). " (emphasis mine)

Liars. But we knew that.
"It has become increasingly evident that the direct relationship of cholesterol level to risk of heart attack exists at all but the very lowest cholesterol levels."

Yeah, people with very low cholesterol die of suicide and are violent, and if that doesn't' kill them they have a much higher incidence of cancer. Read Dr. Uffe Ravnskov.
"The new recommendations of medical authorities are to maintain your LDL cholesterol below 100. Less than 10% of the adult population in America actually has the cholesterol levels that meet these newest recommendations."

That's because they've lowered the recommendation because big Pharma wants us all on statins.

I'm kinda annoyed that they keep emailing me. I suppose that I could remove myself from their mailing list, but then I wouldn't have stupidity-in-my-inbox to write about. I'd have to go looking for articles at that point!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Vegan Cult of the Flying Orange Monster

So today, after taking that stupid survey from yesterday, I get an email in my inbox urging me to watch a video about their diet. Curiosity did indeed kill the cat. I couldn't help myself so I watched all six minutes of the vegan Dr. Joel Fuhrman looking like he was sitting in front of a green screen, with what looked to be tears in his eyes (for no explicit reason), telling me how eating animal products was killing me.

About a minute into this, I noticed something. He was using this strange speaking method, where he would pause at odd places. I've also seen preachers do this, but they typically vary their voices. Dr. Fuhrman's no preacher and his monotone voice got on my nerves after about another minute.

I did manage to watch all six minutes of his stupid video, but frankly, unless you're just a masochist, don't waste your time. It basically says if you don't eat vegetables, fruits, and seeds you're going to die a horrible death because you'll have cardiovascular disease, and who knows what else.

So why is this like a cult? The use of fear and "Join us so you won't be alone in a sea of sinners, er I mean SAD eaters..." has been successfully used by plenty of cults from Jim Jones to those crazy people in California who thought they were getting on a comet. From a marketing point of view, it's kinda intelligent that they sent me an email today. After all, gotta reel people in if they forgot about the survey they took yesterday. Gotta remind them that they're going to kill themselves if they eat animal products.

What I want to know, is when they'll mention supplements for B12, an essential vitamin found only in animal products. After all, they recommended to me that I eat 94% of my calories as vegetables, fruit, wheat and nuts. Excuse me, but that's mostly carbohydrates (with the exception of nuts, lets hope no one's allergic!). There are no essential carbohydrates, but there are essential fatty acids (fats) and essential amino acids (protein). If you got 94% of your calories from vegetables, wheat, fruit and nuts, and did not take supplements, you would be killing yourself. Except not for a little while, because first your body would start eating itself. It really likes to eat the heart muscle when it doesn't get enough protein. If people get sick after following the Eat Right America fallacy, it'll only be the American way to sue the hell out of them ala Heidi Diaz.

So, I can eat meat 4% of the time. To put that in perspective, I can eat meat 14 days of the year on their diet. If anyone thinks that what they're pushing isn't veganism, they should probably re-examine their critical thinking skills.

Word of advice. Don't join cults. Especially vegan cults. After eating that way for a while, you won't have the energy or the brain power to think about leaving. Why do you think that cults actually are typically vegetarian or vegan? They don't want you thinking. All that cholesterol and saturated fat your brain needs to think, that's the last thing they want you consuming.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We Worship the Almighty Flying Orange Monster

Forget spaghetti! Bring in the orange!

(props to Jimmy over at Livin' La Vida Low-Carb)

I'd like to deconstruct the above image. It's part of the header and used repeatedly on the website, which is run by a bunch of Vegan-not-really-called-vegan-call-it-Nutritarian idiots. Maybe the uneducated and/or unaware would look at this image and think nothing of it. Maybe they'd think it promotes good health, or fitness, etc. But I've had one too many classes in art history, and I never look at a picture as just a picture. Every picture has a meaning behind it, this is especially true of marketing images, and this one is no different.

For starters, this picture is full of religious iconography. Did the people who created this website do that on purpose? Maybe they weren't aware that they did. In the image we have a woman, in white, worshiping an orange. Yes, that is what that image says. She has her hands raised in adulation/adoration, just as many evangelical Christians might do during a sermon. She's wearing white, the color of innocence and purity. The orange is meant to represent the sun obviously, and what's better than sun worship? Many ancient cultures worshiped the sun, so there you have it. Even the tag line hearkens back to religion, as being a "life-changing" thing, or bringing you a "new life." In this case, your current life isn't "whole" enough.

This isn't done by accident typically. I mean, sure sometimes designers may accidentally associate something with something else and it's completely unintentional (or maybe they just claim it is to avoid the backlash). But most designers have had some art history, and they're typically not just throwing images together laissez-faire.

I have said before that a good deal of people treat diet as a religion. This was what Dr. Oz did when Taubes was on his show, repeatedly calling food "sacred." Food is not sacred. Neither is any diet (although I suppose one could argue it is if it is part of your religion, like in the case of the Hindus). I also think it's ridiculous that what I'm putting in my mouth gets some people as riled up as talking religion or politics.

Anyway, about the Eat Right America site. I put in my information. I couldn't remember my exact numbers for the blood tests (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc) from when I was at the doctor last but I know they were all normal, so I put in something close to normal. What did their stupid form tell me? I'm at extremely high risk for all kinds of death and destruction! zOMG, what ever will I do? I'm at risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes(!) and all manner of ills.

My diet is on the right pie chart. The processed food must be bacon, because I don't eat anything else that could be considered "processed." I don't eat sugar, I don't eat out. I rarely eat any meal outside the house, low-carb or no. So, how did they determine that my health and diet are "poor"? Because I eat meat and dairy. In fact that's primarily what I eat, and yet I'm perfectly healthy. Indeed, I feel better than I have felt ever before in my life.

These people would be so much better served if they attacked what is wrong with most peoples' diets, which is excess sugar and high fructose corn syrup (and the fact that it's added to everything and used to replace fat). Instead, they quote studies that support what they want to promote, which is that animal products are bad for you.

They say at the end of my report:
"Of course, there are some ingredients that must be eliminated from your pantry. Salt needs to be avoided, even though we are used to adding it when we cook, and using a shaker on the table at meal time. Luckily, it takes only 1 week for your taste buds to recover from excess sodium. After that, the natural occurring sodium in food will be enough to tantalize your taste buds.

Oil is another ingredient that can easily be cut dramatically, or eliminated, without robbing your dishes of flavor or texture. You can sauté with water, or a little vinegar, or just let the ingredient release it's own liquid by slowly cooking with the top on your pan. You will be amazed at how quickly you will forget that oil and salt were ever essential ingredients.

Meat must become something special, never the main dish. Occasionally, reasonable portions of chicken or fish, 4 oz or less, will satisfy that craving, as long as vegetables remain the centerpiece of the meal. This is another one you will be shocked at- because today's focus on meat will change quickly, and you and your family will be amazed that meat "used to be" a daily essential. Another revelation will center on soy " meat " substitutes... Even lifelong carnivores won't feel deprived." [emphasis mine]

Thank you, but I don't think I'll be taking any cooking tips from vegans. Or worshiping oranges for that matter. Hell will freeze over first.

"Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans ... are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit." --Anthony Bourdain

Lard Mayonnaise

I had read somewhere online that you could make mayonnaise from lard. And indeed, you can. But, just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. The thing is, it didn't taste too bad right when we made it, when it was warm. I thought it was a bit strong but okay. But then we refrigerated it, and used some of it later. It was disgusting, for lack of a better word. I'm not sure why, but I suspect it may be because when there's a lot of fat in a food, it's usually better heated up.

So, if you're thinking about trying it, I wouldn't.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Difference a Few Years Makes

I got to looking at some pictures of myself from a few years ago, and I have to tell you, I see a huge difference. In fact, my own mother nearly didn't recognize me when I posted a picture on facebook a couple of months ago. That says something I think. I haven't seen my mom in four years because I live so far from her, and I've lost a lot of weight since then.

The picture on the left of me was taken at my brother-in-law's wedding in July 2006. I could barely squeeze into a size 42 in men's. I had gained weight like mad at school, and struggled to keep from gaining any more, much less lose any. The picture in the middle is me in October 2006. The picture on the right was taken at Pompei in May 2009. You can see at that point I had lost some weight but it was a struggle to keep it off. I gained back somewhere in the neighborhood of ten to fifteen pounds right after my trip.

This is me today. I wear a 34 in men's.

And I don't have any pictures of me from when I was really heavy. That was before there were digital cameras. I think my mom may have some. I really tried to avoid ever having my picture taken then.

Hubby has lost a lot of weight too, but he forbids me to post any pictures of him LOL We've both lost all this weight, and haven't been hungry to do it. We've also been rather lazy and haven't even worked out. I do need to get motivated into a walking routine again. I think it would help me lose the rest of the weight I need to at a quicker pace, and maybe tone up the backside some ;)

Anyway, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, in the pictures.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Low Carb should not be High Protein

Over at Primal Wisdom I read this post today. I have my own comments on the news article, which can be found here. I really wanted to read the original journal article, but it's new and the library doesn't have a subscription to the journal. Going off the abstract, it sounds first of all like a bullshit study.

Why? Well let's start with this. The assumption that a low carbohydrate diet is high in protein. It isn't. Or shouldn't be anyway. Unless you're a body builder. A low carbohydrate diet should be high in fat, not protein. The amount of protein they fed these 17 obese men is more than I consume on a typical day, some days by double. My protein intake is generally 70g to 130g. They fed these men 137-139g of protein.

My other main problem with this study, and why I think it's really irrelevant without even having to read it, is it's short duration and it's use of 17 men as subjects. Under powered and sexist to boot LOL

I think it's an obfuscation, what they're doing. They're attacking animal protein by attacking the low carbohydrate diet. In the case of the above study, I assume that they fed the people in the low carbohydrate group primarily animal protein. How else would you keep your carbohydrate count so low?

This whole attack on animal protein brings me back to something I was reading last night. They blame the protein in dairy for cancer. How did they come to that conclusion? By feeding people skim milk. The study I was looking at also lumped "all dairy" together and implied that "all dairy" had protein.
"Except for cheese with an insulin score of 45, milk and all dairy products including yoghurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, and fermented milk products have potent insulinotropic properties."1 [emphasis mine]

All dairy? Really. What about butter? Heavy cream? They have no protein. They have very little lactose, if any. You tell me how that's possible. I say it isn't. I say someone has an agenda and it's against animal products. Gee, I wonder who would have an agenda against animal products. I'll let you draw your own conclusions on that one.
"In a one-week intervention study of 24 pre-pubertal eight-year-old boys the effect of daily intake of 53 g of either lean meat or skim milk (1.5 l per day) was studied with regard to insulin and IGF-1 responses. In the skim milk group insulin significantly increased by 105% (from 22 to 45 pmol/l) and IGF-1 significantly increased by 19% (from 209 to 249 ng/ml) [12]. There was no significant increase in either insulin or IGF-1 in the meat group."1 [emphasis mine]

Of course their insulin levels are higher in the skim milk group, the meat didn't have sugar (lactose) in it, and second of all, skim milk is not milk as you drink it from the cow. I mean, how stupid does one have to be? I went back and looked at the study that they're talking about, and talk about some confounding variables. The children were allowed to choose the diet they ate. Yes, you read that correctly. The children ate whatever they wanted, and simply were required to drink 1.5 liters of skim milk (12 of the boys) or eat 250g of low fat meat (the other 12). Consuming the milk apparently raised their IGF levels. But did it? Was it the milk? The protein in the milk? The lactose in the milk raising their insulin levels? The lack of fat in the milk so there was nothing to mediate their insulin levels? Some other dietary factor since there was no set diet? I mean, it could have been anything. I won't even get into the fact that it's under-powered and was only one week in duration.

Is drinking a large quantity of skim milk good for you? Hell no. I say you should never drink skim milk. If you want to consume milk, make sure it's whole, and better yet is straight from a dairy cow, not processed commercially.
"Milk consumption results in a significant increase in insulin and IGF-1 serum levels comparable with high glycaemic food. Insulin induces hepatic IGF-1 secretion, and both hormones amplify the stimulatory effect of GH on sebocytes and augment mitogenic downstream signalling pathways of insulin receptors, IGF-1 receptor and fibroblast growth factor receptor-2b."2

In other words, is it really the protein alone, or is it more likely that it's the lactose? And when they say "milk" do they mean skim, whole, or what? Because each kind should in theory have a completely different effect on your insulin levels.

One place to look for good information on what ketogenic diets do is in the one place that they're standard and acceptable. And that is in the treatment of epileptic seizures. About half of people, children included, will have a positive response to a ketogenic diet in helping control their seizures. This study found that IGF-1 was greatly reduced in a ketogenic diet, to the point where it stunted the growth of the children.3 A ketogenic diet is extremely low carb, basically near zero carb and low protein too (it's a high fat diet), and these children undertook it because being short is preferable to having seizures.

In fact, a lot of the literature is rife with making low carb synonymous with high protein. Like this study where they fed mice more protein than fat (46% v. 35% respectively). That's a lot of protein. Not to mention it throws in a confounding variable, so that when they declare that low carb diets do not slow tumor growth, one has to wonder how they know this. If they had fed them a higher fat diet, they might have noticed some benefit, since we know that protein affects insulin production, and insulin levels are probably a driving force behind a lot of nasty things. In fact, in this study IGF-1 was higher in the low carb group than in the high carb group, and I'm sure that is due to the protein, since insulin drives IGF.

So the point of all this? When eating a low carb diet, it should be primarily animal fat (none of that synthetic vegetable crap), your protein should probably be 15-20% depending on your activity level, and your carb count should be as high as you can tolerate and still lose/maintain weight. And don't listen to stupid journalists, and be wary of researchers, because I don't think most of them know what they're talking about.


1. Milk - The promoter of chronic Western diseases. Medical Hypotheses 2009; 72(6): 631-639

2. Role of insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, hyperglycaemic food and milk consumption in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Experimental Dermatology 2009; 18: 833–841.

3.Growth dependence on insulin-like growth factor-I during the ketogenic diet. Epilepsia 2009; 50(2): 297-303.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sometimes commercial is better?(!)

The mum-in-law found this recipe over at Linda's Low Carb a little while ago. It's for a quick peanut butter pudding. On that day, I had been wanting something with peanut butter, but didn't know what. We tried making it, and the first bowl didn't mix up at all. The second one did. We were using raw cream. I finally figured out that you couldn't put one bit more cream in than what the recipe called for. The bowl that didn't mix up, I had spilled a bit extra in. It also took five minutes of whisking to make. Needless to say, I didn't want to make any for anyone else.

This week we went to get more raw cream, and the dairy didn't have any. So sad, I know. We're hoping to get a special order in for next time. Anyway, we're not purists, so we went over to the store and bought some commercial cream. I like my cream, a lot LOL. So today when I made that recipe from Linda's Low Carb, you're not going to believe this, but it whipped up in thirty seconds, and was way thicker than the recipe made from the raw cream. I'm thinking it probably has something to do with the carrageenan that's in the commercial cream. The hubby was happy too because I offered to make him some! If you use raw cream and need to whip it for a recipe that requires it be very creamy, you might want to get some commercial cream instead. It was very interesting that for making recipes, the commercial cream might be better.

Exercise away the plateau?

I have to admit it, I'm lazy as hell. I've never been all that keen on exercising, or when I was a kid, playing. Back then, I liked to stay inside and read instead.

One summer when I was in college, I did a summer program where I was a camp counselor glorified baby sitter for high school students. We were expected to stay in the dorm pretty much around the clock with the kids. The gym however, was an acceptable place to be if we weren't in the dorm. So I started going to the gym to get the hell away from the dorm and the kids. I exercised everyday almost for about two or three hours. I had never been to the gym so much in my life. Why did I do this? I'm sure you've heard of the 'freshman 15' where the new college student gains fifteen pounds from eating the crap that Sodexo (used to be called Sodexho), or some similar food service, serves. I had gained something like 90 pounds in the two years that I had been at school. I never thought I particularly stuffed my face. I simply ate until I wasn't hungry. Skinny people do that all the time and don't gain weight. Anyway, I was approaching 250 pounds, and this after I had been down to 163 pounds (after eating Atkins no less!), from a high of 270 pounds when I was in high school. Let's just say, I wasn't having any of it.

This is before I understood how low carb works, so in addition to going to the gym I cut back my food intake. I was hungry all summer, but I lost twenty-five pounds (which left me at about 225 pounds) and in the end found it easier to do the elliptical machine for nearly an hour. I also lifted weights too. The last time I went to the gym, which was just before school started for the fall, this skinny bitch approached me and told me that I ought not to lift weights until I had lost more weight. Really? People seem quite capable of poking into your personal business. I shut her up by telling her my doctor had told me to. Well, I didn't have a doctor, but most doctors would tell you that resistance training is beneficial, especially if you're overweight.

I stopped going to the gym because during my senior year, I barely had time to sleep, much less exercise. I did maintain my weight though, and I credit that to living in an apartment-style dorm and not eating at the cafeteria very often. I think Sodexo makes it a point to inject sugar, er, I mean High Fructose Corn Syrup, into all of their food. Typical fare was a burger with fries, or mystery meat with potatoes and some other vegetable. Don't get me wrong, if I had understood how low carb worked, I could have probably eaten there on it. I just didn't know at the time. Ignorance is not bliss.

When I graduated I stayed about 225 pounds for a while. Then I decided that I really wanted to lose some weight since I was going to Europe, so I started restricting calories and going to the gym again. I typically walked on the treadmill for an hour with it set to being inclined. I did lose another twenty pounds. After my trip, all the weight came right back the second I started eating until I was content. That's a great thing about low-carb. You can eat until you're not hungry, and you don't gain weight. The same could never be said when I wasn't doing low-carb.

Anyway, I was back at 220 pounds when I started this low carb journey back in May of last year. I'm currently at about 180 lbs, which I haven't weighed since before I went to college.

So what's the point of my story? About exercise. When I used to walk a lot, especially before my trip to Europe in 2009, I would be so sore. All the time. My legs used to feel like they were on fire the next day, especially if I skived off of walking for a few weeks and then started doing it again. (Maybe the pain is what made me not ever have the inclination to be a gym rat.) The first day after walking a few miles was always hell. And it often didn't get much better. I would think, 'I have been walking five miles every other day, shouldn't it get easier?'

Well, I've been stuck at 180 pounds for about a month now, and it's kinda annoying. I am 5'9" tall, and I think I probably ought to weigh 160 or maybe a little less. My BMI is currently 26.6, which is slightly overweight. I might ought to weigh 150, I'm not sure. I'd have to see when I get to 160. Anyway, I decided that I could do one of three things to break this plateau. I could try exercising, which I haven't done, because as I said at the beginning of this, I'm lazy as hell, not to mention I'm not masochistic. I don't like pain. The second thing I could do is cut out the diet coke and splenda sweetened kool-aid I drink, since artificial sweeteners could be a problem because they do raise insulin levels (I hate plain water, and I have cut back on the diet coke, you don't even want to know how much I used to drink). Or I could cut out the bit of dairy I eat (mostly cream or half and half) since I have read of other people who said dairy caused them to plateau. I decided I wanted to try exercising first. Walking is probably good for us, and I want to go backpacking in Europe again someday, so if I keep up being able to walk long distances, that would be a good thing.

I walked two miles yesterday. This after not walking, much less exercising, in months. I'm not sore today. I suspect it's the low carb diet, which reduces inflammation. (Inflammation causes pain, particularly in the joints). It's pretty amazing actually. I'm hoping this breaks the plateau. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lindt changes ingredients in it's chocolate

It pisses me off that Lindt has changed their 85% dark chocolate. They have doubled the carb count and the sugar. I had been buying it because four squares only had eight grams of carbs and three grams of sugar. Now it has fifteen grams of carbs and five grams of sugar. I suppose it's not a whole lot of difference, especially if you only eat one square here and there as I do, but I don't understand WHY they had to change it. It was good the way it was. I like bitter chocolate.

A lot of people are mad that they changed their 70% chocolate to have soy lecithin in it. I suppose they've done this to make it more like American chocolate. To which I think, why would people buy European chocolate to have it be more like American chocolate? If you want American chocolate, there's already Hershey's.

I probably won't be buying any more of it. I'll find something else. Probably something made in Europe and not here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

When you're metabolically screwed up, the study of "normal" people tells you nothing

Is it possible that sugar is the culprit behind metabolic syndrome? It seems that glucose and fructose together are bad news. I found an article to read last night, and saved it because it was late at the time. I've spent the last couple of hours reading it (and looking up biochemistry terms LOL).

The following are pieces of the article that I found the most interesting. Remember, if you don't have access to scholarly databases and want to read the article, you should be able to get a log-in for your local public library's proxy and then be able to look up journal articles.

1.) Low glycogen promotes insulin action, whereas high glycogen promotes insulin resistance. Glycogen is primarily elevated by eating carbohydrates.
"Prevention of glycogen synthesis, by fasting or feeding a low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet, results in a persistence of contraction and insulin-mediated glucose transport that lasts as long as carbohydrates are not consumed. This line of work shows that low glycogen promotes increased insulin action, whereas high glycogen promotes insulin resistance."

2.) People who are metabolically damaged respond more positively to restricting carbohydrate intake than people who are not metabolically damaged.
"That patients with MetS [metabolic syndrome] might be particularly sensitive to carbohydrate restriction was suggested by Cornier et al. [28] who compared the response of obese insulin-sensitive and obese insulin-resistant subjects randomized to either a high-carbohydrate (60%) or lower carbohydrate (40%) diet. Weight loss was similar for the insulin-sensitive group irrespective of carbohydrate level. The most striking result was that only the insulin-resistant group showed a major change in any lipid parameter with a 42% average decrease in TG on lower carbohydrate, and a 27% increase on higher carbohydrate. That individuals with MetS or insulin resistance syndrome respond better to restricting carbohydrates than fat is consistent with intolerance to carbohydrate as the fundamental metabolic problem."

3.) The saturated fat levels in your blood are higher when eating carbohydrates. Go figure.
"If carbohydrate intake were low enough to decrease levels of glucose and insulin, however, a high SFA intake would be processed very differently. We recently showed, for example, a disconnect between dietary SFA and plasma levels of SFA apparently due to the regulatory role of dietary carbohydrate in controlling de novo lipogenesis (DNL)...

A notable result was that, despite a 3-fold higher intake of dietary saturated fat during the VLCKD [very low carb], saturated fatty acids in TG [triglyceride] and cholesteryl ester were significantly decreased compared to subjects consuming the LFD [low fat diet]. That this was due to a decrease in DNL [de novo lipogenesis] was shown by a corresponding reduction in palmitoleic acid (16:1n-7), an endogenous indicator of this process."

4.) Glucose, independent of insulin, also has an effect on fat storage.
"Expression of the lipogenic genes occurs without any apparent effect of insulin indicating one way in which glucose directly regulates nutrient partitioning."

5.) It's not about calories per se.
"It is worth noting that many changes in lipid metabolism during fasting are due to the specific removal of carbohydrate as opposed to a general elimination of calories."

6.) This was the most interesting one. Insulin resistance occurs in the muscles and liver first, and when this happens, your body has no choice but to convert the glucose in your blood stream into fat (either de novo lipogenesis or manufacture of triglycerides). This is an interesting concept on a few levels. One thing is, any studies done on people who are NOT insulin resistant could be IRRELEVANT for those who are.

("There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times."--Voltaire)
"The fate of a dietary carbohydrate load in lean insulin-resistant and insulin-sensitive men was determined using a combination of 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy to assess liver and muscle triglyceride and glycogen synthesis, respectively, and deuterium enrichment to assess de novo lipogenesis. The insulin-resistant men showed impaired skeletal muscle and hepatic glycogen formation following intake of dietary carbohydrate. Consistent with the paradigm presented in Fig. 1, dietary carbohydrate in the insulin-resistant group was instead diverted toward hepatic DNL [de novo lipogenesis] and TG [triglyceride] synthesis that contributed to a significant increase (60%) in plasma TG levels."

7.) A short study probably shows jack when it comes to metabolism.
"The time course of metabolic adaptations is also variable; some lipolytic adaptations occur within a week (e.g., gene expression of FAT/CD36 and b HAD) while others take longer (e.g., FABP and CPT I). Several weeks may be necessary for complete switch to optimal fat utilization."

8.) Fatty acid oxidation is increased with carbohydrate restriction. According to Lippincott's Illustrated biochemistry text, fatty acid oxidation is the primary source of fuel when starving. We know that decreased carbohydrate intake is similar to starving when it comes to how your body mobilizes fat stores.
"The hormonal changes that accompany carbohydrate restriction, fasting or continued physical activity lead to inhibition of glycogen synthesis and inactivation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase and a fall in malonyl-CoA levels which, in turn, relieves inhibition of carnitine transport and thereby stimulates fatty acid oxidation."

All very interesting stuff.

Low Carb Diet Side Effects: How to deal with them

Salt and fat are very important on a low carb diet.

If you've being doing low carb for a while, you may have heard of people saying that they had a "bad reaction", or suffered "side effects" on the diet. One of the most obnoxious side effects constantly stated is that you'll get bad breath. The press likes this one, as if bad breath was the worst thing that you could have happen to you. Personally, I never had a problem with this, nor did any of my family members who went low carb. Maybe we were just lucky? Anyway, the side effects people encounter are probably from them either not getting enough fat, from not getting enough salt, or from going on and off the diet regularly (see my post about how your body makes enzymes and hormones based on what you've eaten recently). Or maybe a combination of all of that. So, what to do about these unpleasant "side effects"?

First and foremost, throw your fear of fat out the window. You don't want a lot of protein. You want fat, mostly saturated animal fat. It's best to avoid synthetic, man-made vegetable fat. Eating a low-carb, low-fat, high protein diet will make you sick. They call it "rabbit starvation" because rabbits are such lean meat, you'll die if that's all you have to eat.

Some things that can happen while on a low carb diet are tachycardia (racing heart). What can cause this? Low blood pressure. Eating a low carb diet lowers your blood pressure, and if you have low blood pressure already, you know that you sometimes get a fast heart beat. The mum-in-law has low blood pressure, and she sometimes gets a racing heart. She says that it's because your heart needs to get that blood pumped around your body somehow, even if it has to beat faster to do it. It's usually nothing to worry about, although I would suggest seeing a doctor just to be sure.** Something that may help this, is to increase your salt intake. Salt intake does raise your blood pressure slightly (between 1 and 6 mg/Hg) and it may be enough to avoid the side effect of low blood pressure. In fact, increasing your salt intake on the low carb diet, especially in the beginning, can prevent you from losing too much salt from losing too much water. You retain water when you eat carbohydrates (chemically speaking, water is required for their metabolism, and they're made of water, hence the 'hydrate' part). That leads to the point that if you eat a high carbohydrate meal once or twice a week, you will gain water weight, sometimes crazily so. This is not because you've eaten too much per se, it's because you're retaining water. It can take a week or two of eating low carb again to lose the water weight.

Another cause of low blood pressure may be if you're on medication for your high blood pressure, and you go on a low carb diet, well, you may need to have your doctor adjust your blood pressure medicine down to compensate.

I personally (and I know this is anecdotal) do so much better on a low carb diet when it comes to my heart. I have a hard time getting enough potassium when I eat the standard American diet, and I once wound up in the emergency room with sinus arrhythmia, my heart was stopping momentarily, literally skipping beats. Needless to say, it scared the hell out of me. The doctors told me that my potassium was low. I don't get sinus arrhythmia on the low carb diet. Probably because red meat is a great source of potassium. I also noticed that my heart doesn't beat as "hard" as it used to when I would lay down to go to sleep. I used to be able to feel it beating loudly, and it doesn't make so much noise any more. My pulse is normal, it just seems like it's working more efficiently or something. And again, this is all anecdotal, so take it with a grain of salt (pun intended).

**Please note, that if you are having problems, especially to do with your heart, see a doctor. Have blood tests, get hooked up to an EKG and make sure you don't have an underlying medical condition.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Faith Based Diet

You know why a lot of people hate Gary Taubes so much? Besides the fact that Good Calories, Bad Calories blew their idea of what was 'truth' out of the water, they're pissed because what he shows is that if you're overweight or obese, it isn't your fault. Basically, you don't eat too much, and you've been lied to. OMG, how can that be? Aren't fat people just gluttonous? Slothful? How can it be that they're not?

How can it be that you'd be such a prick to think otherwise? Or isn't that how society sets everyone up to be? It's a sort of blame-the-victim game. This can even be seen in texts on biochemistry. In Lippincott's Illustrated text, they say that β-cell death in Type 1 diabetes is caused probably by a virus. With Type 2, people don't become diabetic until their pancreas can't keep up. In other words, their β-cells have failed to produce enough insulin. What's Type 2 caused by? Obesity. Yes, you read that right. Obesity caused Insulin Resistance, which lead to Type 2. But, really? This is after they say that Type 2 (as well as weight) is heavily influenced by genetics. Is it not possible that Insulin Resistance is caused by a virus? Or that Insulin Resistance is the cause of obesity, not the other way around. It's a chicken-or-the-egg argument. I've also read that some people are insulin resistant, and not overweight. Normal weight people can become Type 2 diabetic. When it's a disease, it would be rude to say it's the person's fault. Therefore we can't call obesity a disease, or how else could it be socially acceptable to degrade fat people?

Also, who *wants* to be obese? Besides this crazy woman... Most people who struggle with their weight do so while trying to do something about it. Eventually they give up because they figure by starving themselves, they're doing more harm than good. And who likes to go around hungry all the time? I did lose weight eating a low calorie diet. But you can't keep doing that, so you go back to eating enough food to satiate you (as all skinny people do), and you wind up gaining what you lost back, and then some.

And then people like Atkins and Gary Taubes come along, and they tell you it isn't your fault, it's *what* you're eating, not how much. And all the little skinny ass people who have never been fat a day in their life and can eat however they like self-righteously tell you that people like Atkins are full of it, and if only everyone would eat the way they eat (which it seems is usually vegan or vegetarian, even though there are plenty of overweight vegans and vegetarians, because YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!), they'd lose weight.

That whole "you're doing it wrong" mentality is about as brilliant as some of the trolls I've seen on message boards. Just because you're not insulin resistant and/or don't have a hormonal imbalance with insulin, doesn't mean that you're doing something "right". It just means that you're not metabolically messed up.

I also doubt that most people who criticize Atkins or Taubes have ever read what they wrote. And in the case of Good Calories, Bad Calories, *if* they read it, they probably didn't understand it. This is where they resort to ad hominem attacks, because they have nothing else. I've read GCBC twice, and it's not an easy read. And I read plenty of intense books all the time. What artist do you know who reads Lippincott's biochemistry for fun? If you know of another artist who does, I'd love to meet them LOL!

I also understand that there is a group of people who don't have any critical thinking skills, who will follow whatever their doctors or their gurus tells them. They never look into anything for themselves. These are the same people who go on statins because they're scared of their cholesterol (hello! cholesterol is required for cell wall stability). They're the same people who parrot crap on message boards as if it's incontrovertible truth. I tell you, some diet advocates that I've seen put Catholics to shame when it comes to faith. Evangelicals, if you want to convert someone, target the diet crowd. I'm betting a near 100% success rate.

Basically, it's a bunch of codswallop. If some diet works for you, great, do it. If you can drink a two liter bottle of Coca-cola every day and not gain an ounce, that's fantastic {/snark}. I'd prefer to cook my liver on something tastier than soda though, just so you know (pain au chocolat comes to mind). If a diet doesn't work, then don't do it. But don't stand there and tell me that it won't work for me, or that it will work for me. How in the hell do you know what works for me? Are you me? And also, why do you care what I put in my mouth? If you care so much about what I, a complete stranger to you, eats, I suggest you do something important: Get a life.

If low carb diet isn't working for you, before you give up on it, a suggestion is to add more fat and less protein. A lot of low-carbers fall into the "fat is bad" mentality and don't eat enough fat. Depending upon how screwed up your hormones and cells are, too much protein may be triggering too much insulin, which if you're trying to lose weight, may cause you to plateau.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Usual Fare: How your body adapts to what you're eating

After reading some of the comments on the news articles I read for what I wrote last night, about how McDonald's made the commenters sick, I got to thinking about it and the mum-in-law pointed out that most of them probably are vegetarian and perhaps ate it in a pinch, and then did get sick because their bodies did not have enough of the enzyme to digest the meat. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was McDonald's. If they'd eaten at Austin Land and Cattle, they'd have had the same response, and I don't think a $42 steak should make you sick. Unless your body just isn't used to eating meat.

Your body responds to what you usually eat by making enzymes (like protease) and hormones (like insulin) to deal with your daily food intake. This goes for all food components, fat, carbohydrates and protein. I personally don't eat very many carbs, usually. I still need to lose about twenty pounds, so I'm going to keep on the very low carb band wagon until I lose all the weight. Now, yesterday, if you read my post about what we ate for lunch, you'll know that we all felt like crap afterwards. This is because your insulin production is based on what you ate for the last meal and maybe overall on what you ate in the last day or two. If you do very low carb and want to eat sugar again, just like with a vegetarian who hasn't eaten meat in a while, you have to go gradually off of it. If you are vegetarian and decide that you're going to eat meat again, and you eat a double Whopper, you're probably going to be sick. And it isn't because of the food itself. The same happens if you're a low carber. Say for instance, you go to France on holiday and you eat half a dozen pain au chocolat, you're going to be sick. I suggest ramping up for that LOL

According to Lippincott's Illustrated biochemistry text, the things that stimulate insulin synthesis (production) are glucose, amino acids, and gastrointestinal hormones, and it says that "the synthesis and release of insulin are decreased when there is a scarcity of dietary fuels [i.e. carbohydrates]..." p.310

In other words, if you don't eat carbohydrates, your body isn't making very much insulin. Why would it? That would be inefficient. Luckily the body is highly adaptable, and in the case of former vegetarians will go back to making the enzymes for digesting meat in a couple of days. Same for the low carb folks. Fall off the wagon, and your body will start making insulin again. If we weren't so adaptable, you wouldn't be sitting here reading this because your ancestors wouldn't have lived.


And a little tangential thing I read today while I was researching the above, for your amusement. It's about the stupidest thing I've ever read actually. From a study,

Protein dietary reference intakes may be inadequate for vegetarians if low amounts of animal protein are consumed:

"The health benefits of vegetarian diets are well-recognized; however, long-term adherence to these diets may be associated with nutrient inadequacies, particularly vitamins B12 and D, calcium, irno, zinc and protein...

Results and Discussion...

Furthermore, two food groups (nuts/seeds and fruits/vegetables) contributed to nearly 20% of dietary protein, sources not recognized by the DRI report. These are important distinctions because protein from cereals and vegetables (particularly if these foods are less refined) has poor digestibility. Traditional vegetarian diets (e.g., Indian and Guatemalan vegetarian diets) with low amounts of animal proteins and large proportions of cereal and vegetable protein have protein digestibility scores averaging 70% (range 54–77%) compared with plant-based diets with a large proportion of animal protein (mean 88%, range 78–93%)..."

Now you tell me how a diet is simultaneously healthy and yet long-term adherence causes deficiencies. And not only that, in the results of this paper, they even say that plant protein is not as digestible as animal protein. The prior is codswallop if I ever read it and the latter should really have some vegans and vegetarians raising an eyebrow about what they've been fed (hint: lies). Someone has an agenda, and it ain't in the interest of your health. If I eat meat only, as Stefansson (and the Inuit) did, no supplements are required. Chew on that.

McRunner Eats McDonald's for a Month

The news is going nuts over a guy preparing to run a marathon, by get this, eating only McDonald's for the month before. He's raising money for Ronald McDonald house. I immediately thought of Fat Head. Especially in response to some of the comments this guy is getting. People are complete sheeple. They believe anything they're fed.

I think some of the militant vegans are upset.

What I don't get about that last article I linked to, is people say they get sick off McDonald's. I think that's codswallop and/or all in their head. I worked at McDonald's in high school and ate plenty of it, and it never made me sick. The stores that I worked at were very strict on cleanliness. They were probably cleaner than your kitchen at home. If this guy does well in the marathon, it will probably give some vegans a heart attack.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Cholesterol Lie: They'll never let it go

If you've read anything by Uffe Ravnskov, you'll know that cholesterol does not cause heart disease. So, when I read this article this evening, I thought, they'll never let it go will they?

Fat Alone, Not Where It Sits, May Be Key to Heart Problems

"That challenges the widely adopted notion that not all obesity is alike, with so-called apple-shaped people, who carry fat mainly in their midsections, facing a bigger risk for heart problems than those whose excess fat is carried on the hips or elsewhere.

Not so, say the researchers behind the new study. When it comes to obesity and heart disease, no excess fat is good fat, regardless of where it ends up, their analysis has found.

"Society has accepted the idea that if you carry more weight around the middle, your risk of heart disease is higher," said Dr. Emanuele Di Angelantonio, the study's co-author and a lecturer in medical screening at the University of Cambridge in England. "But actually this study shows that it doesn't matter where your fat is located. If you're overweight you're at risk, full stop."...

They also found that tracking a person's blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as monitoring their history of diabetes, appeared to be best way to assess heart disease risk. When such indicators were readily available, they noted, adding in BMI and waist measurement information did not improve risk diagnosis..."

So, basically they do mention that diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease. What causes diabetes? Elevated blood sugar over a prolonged period of time that causes insulin resistance. What causes elevated blood sugar? Eating carbohydrates. Bleeding simple, and yet they're like Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. Forget testing for cholesterol. It's irrelevant! Test for blood glucose levels instead. That would give a better idea of whether someone is healthy or not.

If you are overweight, then you probably have elevated blood sugar and/or are insulin resistant. In fact, I'm not sure that it's possible to be overweight and NOT be insulin resistant. Hence why being obese is associated with cardiovascular disease, because every time your blood sugar is elevated, you are damaging your internal organs. Yes, you read that right. Every time you drink a Coca-Cola, every time you eat a piece of chocolate cake, you are DAMAGING YOUR INTERNAL ORGANS. In fact, even if you are not overweight and even if your insulin works well and it brings your blood sugar down quickly, it is probably never quick enough to completely avoid the damage that is done. Add this up over days and years, and you have cardiovascular disease. Not to mention all the other disease of civilization, like cancer. If you damage your cells repeatedly, they repair or regenerate themselves. If your cells are required to do this frequently, the cells regenerate quickly, leading to high cell turnover, leading eventually to a cell that doesn't regenerate in the right way, which leads to cancer.

The good thing is, your cells will repair themselves if given a chance. The bad news? You can never go back to eating the way you did if you want to remain healthy. You have to ask yourself what is more important. The slice of chocolate cake or your health? Death is inevitable. Health is your choice.