The Diet from Another Planet

I frequently feel as if I’m from another planet when it comes to diet. I’m reminded of a scene from Woody Allen’s 1973 movie ‘Sleeper’ where he plays The Happy Carrot health food store owner Miles Monroe and ends up being brought back to life 200 years in the future after some botched surgery. Here’s the dialog of two doctors talking:

Dr. Melik: (listing items Miles had requested for breakfast) “… wheat germ, organic honey, and… Tiger’s Milk.”

Dr. Aragon: “Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.”

Dr. Melik: “You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or… hot fudge?”

Dr. Aragon: “Those were thought to be unhealthy… precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.”

Dr. Melik: “Incredible!”

In 2007, our ‘charmed substances’ all seem to have removed any trace of fat – and nearly everyone I meet who is trying to lose weight is obsessed with these charmed substances. I see them check ingredient labels to look for as little fat as possible – I look for as much fat as possible. I go to the store and see ‘low fat’ on every other label, which to me screams ‘low-quality, over-processed, high-sugar’, and yet I see overweight people filling their carts with the stuff.

When I hear other people talking about how they were struggling to just maintain their weight and battle hunger on their low fat, portion-restricted diet and I mention that I drink cream and eat cheese yet lose weight, they look at me like: ‘you poor delusional bastard.’

I sometimes think they must be right – surely I can’t be right when all of these other people believe otherwise.

Then I look at the facts:

  1. I lost 60 lbs. following a strict low-calorie diet with intense exercise yet put it all back on with a little extra within a year because I couldn’t sustain it.
  2. A number of years later I lost 70 lbs. following a strict low-calorie diet with intense exercise yet put it all back on with a little extra within a year because I couldn’t sustain it.
  3. Four years ago I went on a low-carb diet and lost 80 lbs with no exercise and little hunger and have kept 70 of the 80 lbs off since reaching my target.
  4. I never lost a pound when attempting a low-fat diet.

Call me delusional, but I’m still a size 34 waist – down from 42. – Food for Thought

I am reticent to make too many recommendations of products or services because I think it’s kind of cheap, so when I do recommend something, it’s usually because I really know and like it – and think you might as well.

As a person who enjoys reading, I believe that Alibris is a well-kept secret. Alibris sells used books – new books as well, but their focus is on used books. This is opposite of Amazon, which pushes the new books but lets you buy used ones if you want.

I think I’ve been using Alibris since before Amazon started selling used books. I’ve never used Amazon to buy used books because Alibris never gave me a reason to stop using them. The books are cheap, the service is fast enough for me, and I’ve enjoyed the easy availability of many out-of-print books.

Why this is on a blog about low carb is simple: I’ve recommended that you put your mind on a diet and replace the junk food you feed your brain with something better – books are a good place to start.

Here’s what I do: when I find a topic that I’m interested in, I look it up on – they have the best reviews. I check the price, then go to Alibris. Usually the price for used is much better than new, and I buy it there.

Occasionally I end up buying it at Amazon – but usually not. I like used books both for the cost savings as well as the thought that there’s one less book being printed because I’m buying used – and maybe one less book that I wanted to read padding a landfill. I just bought Atkins’ book on diabetes – ‘Atkins Diabetes Revolution’ – for $1.99 – add $3.99 for shipping and it’s at my door in a week or two for $5.98.
If you haven’t read a book in a while – buy one and take your brain out for a spin. Your neurons will thank you.

Can Sugar Actually Shorten Your Life?

As someone living low carb, I know sugar is bad for my waistline, but can it ruin your health to the point where it takes something like 15 years off your life? Are free radicals – the stuff in our body that make us believe that antioxidants are good for us – actually beneficial?


Check out this article titled Eating Fewer Calories and Less Sugar Could Boost Longevity
by Rallie McAllister, M.D., M.P.H. citing recent research on worms. Now, people aren’t worms (at least not all of them), but research on lower animals sometimes holds true for humans.

As if the take on sugar wasn’t enough, there’s also the assertion that the free radicals in our bodies that we fight by buying anything that slaps the word ‘antioxident’ on the label might actually be beneficial to our bodies to some extent. Read this article at – I don’t agree with everything this fellow is into, and his site registration process is obnoxious, but I find some of his material to be very interesting.

If that’s not enough, the article goes on to discuss the notion that calorie restriction can increase lifespan. If you don’t know about this research, you should. There is actually a group that call themselves the Calorie Restriction Society ( that provide guidelines on reducing your calories without hurting yourself so that you can extend your life.

There seems to be a connection that begs to be made here: if sugar shortens your life by as much as 15 years, is it possible that the folks restricting their calories suffer hunger needlessly – and could get a similar benefit of life extension by just reducing their intake of sugar and other simple carbohydrates?

It doesn’t stop there. Is it possible that Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Diverticulitis, Appendicitis, Heart Disease, and a boatload of other diseases can be traced to excessive carbohydrate consumption? I’m reading Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubs, and while it’s slow going because it is some very detailed and technical content, what I’ve read so far tells me that not only is a low carb lifestyle good for my maintaining my weight, but it might just protect me from a number of diseases – including heart disease.