Fat, Dumb & Happy Day 11 – No Bonking

March 20, 2014 – 220.8

 On this particular day, I ate nothing until after 8pm. Cream in my coffee was the only thing I had.

This wasn’t intentional. It was a combination of busyness, lack of appetite, and stupidity.

The authors of “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable“, Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff Volek (http://amzn.com/0983490708) discuss ‘bonking’ in the context of athletes, bring up an interesting aspect of living ketogenic low carb.

‘Bonking’ or ‘hitting the wall’ as some long-distance runners call it, is when in an endurance event you run out of glycogens in your body to fuel your 26-mile run or whatever long-duration athletic event. You literally run out of gas and can’t go any farther. This is why there’s all these people lining the marathon route giving the runners Gatorade – and in this context, Gatorade makes perfect sense – you need the glucose as well as the minerals for both energy and to maintain electrolyte balance.

But people who are keto-adapted, having switched over to burning ketones for a month to six weeks have created a body perfectly adapted to running on ketones. You can only store  very small amount of glycogen in your muscles and liver, but you store WAY more fat – and being keto-adapted means your body knows how to efficiently turn that fat into ketones and use it.

Their assertion is that keto-adapted long-distance runners never ‘bonk’ because they realistically will never run out of fuel.

While I’ll let others debate if this is true, it might explain my experience not eating: I was so busy that I forgot to eat. Since ketosis is an appetite suppressant, I wasn’t hungry, and because my body is adapting to living mostly on ketones, there was an abundant fuel supply throughout the day – my own body fat.

While not running a marathon (except metaphorically), I had more than enough energy, my head was clear, and I didn’t experience the shakiness or other symptoms that glycogen-fueled mortals would experience in the same situation.

It’s kind of a neat trick, eh? But – from a weight loss perspective – a dumb one.

I think the whole simplistic ‘eat less and you’ll lose weight’ is a neat, simple and wrong approach.

You have to eat *enough*. Not too much and not too little.

While I don’t believe this harmed me in any way, it might have slowed down weight loss because if the body enters starvation mode it can become very miserly about expending energy.

I don’t think this happened to me. I was energetic all day, then came home and spent 2 hours cleaning the kitchen, still wasn’t tired, and went to bed later than usual.

I did have more Kerry Gold Irish Swiss cheese with roast beef and mayo in the evening, as well as wine and chocolate. Other than cream and coconut oil in my coffee, that was my total eats for the day.

As I occasionally do, a reminder: please remember I’m not giving advice – I’m reporting.

Fat, Dumb, & Happy: Day 8 – Solanine

Monday, March 17, 2014 – 225.8

6am

Nice jump in the scale. I attribute it to a lot of bulk and water from yesterday’s meal, as well as less fat overall. I’m not concerned. I think I’ve shown my actual weight, minus the water I am retaining, is maybe 219. If the scale does not follow a smooth path downward I won’t be worried – you need to give your body time to adapt to the new regime. The scale is a handy tool when it doesn’t become an emotional rollercoaster that dictates your mood for the day.

What jazzes me is the ketones. Both yesterday and today they are running dark – great. Every day in ketosis means another day of my body adapting to it – and another day where I did not given in to carbs. You can’t fake this test, and while imprecise, it does tell you you’re in the zone.

While I might have been better off to switch to roast beef and butter, I want to finish off that great soup I made yesterday. It’s not bad to add some variety of quality vegetables into the mix also – even if the number on the scale doesn’t show what you’d like it to show.

This isn’t entirely about the scale. If it was, I could go on the ‘Walter White Blue Meth’ diet and be slim and trim in no time – but *how you get thin* is important.

8pm – 223.0

Today was the worst I’ve felt so far. Extremely tired, sore knees, achy legs, couldn’t wake up no matter how much coffee I drank, head not clear. It was a struggle to get through the day. And I was way more hungry than last week. I had more of the soup for lunch and *again* it did not satisfy but left me hungry. For the first time since I started this I was fantasizing about going out and getting a sandwich.

Instead I hit the bag of macadamia nuts hard. I even found my last Atkins bar left over from a business trip in November hidden in my bag and ate that.

Let’s pull back a moment and try to analyze the situation.

First, I’m going to assume for analysis that psychology is irrelevant. I’m not saying it isn’t – I’m assuming it isn’t and see where it takes me.

The crock pot of beef and veggies was very tasty – but more so than any meal I’ve had so far, I was hungry after it – 3 bowls worth in fact.

What’s with that?

A few things come to mind.

– it was the least fatty meal I’ve e had in a week. While low carb for the vast majority of humanity, it probably had, per bowl, maybe 10 grams net carbs. It was also the most fiber I had in a week. Sounds great – right? Low carb, high fiber – where’s the problem? The hunger afterward was the problem.

So what was it about the soup? I had 2 ingredients in large quantity: artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Of lesser quantity were the sweet peppers and 1/2 onion at most for the entire pot.

Was it the high fiber, the overall higher carb count or one of the ingredients that got me?

I’m going to give the stuff I ate and drank afterward a free pass at present. I’m also going to remove the onion because of the small quantity.

I’m going to focus on the artichokes, peppers and tomatoes.

I did a little research as I lay in bed, ready to hit the sack right after I came home. Before that, still ravenously hungry and talking myself out of stopping at one of the half-dozen fast-food joints on my way home by reminding myself I’d ruin the ketosis, I made 4 eggs with a lot of butter and cheese and ate that for dinner. This was after eating lunch, the Atkins bar and a half bag of macadamias so it wasn’t like I needed to eat more.

This meal – nothing but fat and protein – satisfied.

The research came up with this: solanine. It’s a toxic compound found in some plants that supposedly exist to prevent insects and animals from eating them. They are found in nightshade plants as well as a few other plant types.

Here’s some examples of plants containing solanine: tomatoes, peppers and artichokes.

What are some of the symptoms?

From one website:

An enzyme present in the body called Cholinesterase originates in the brain where its responsible for flexibility of muscle movement. Solanine, present in nightshades, is a powerful inhibitor of cholinesterase. In other words, its presence can interfere with muscle function – the cause of stiffness experienced after consuming nightshades. All people are not sensitive to nightshades in the same degree. Research has proved that when an inflammatory condition exists, consuming nightshades is like adding “fuel to the fire”. That said, there is no scientific evidence that for those not afflicted with inflammation that nightshades will cause it.

http://haydeninstitute.com/additional-resources/additional-resources-diet-and-nutrition/inflammatory-foods-nightshades

I also found some evidence, though much less, that solanine might cause hunger in sensitive individuals, but so little it seems tenuous at best. I’ll be the first to say that it’s a bit of a reach to say there’s a cause and effect here without lots of testing – but it’s a worthy hypothesis to pursue. What if I avoid plants with solanine and notice this doesn’t happen again? Outside of a slightly more restrictive approach – what do I have to lose?

From the same link above, here’s a list of the offending foods:

Nightshades – Avoid in order to decrease inflammation:

  • Potatoes, all varieties (sweet potatoes and yams are NOT nightshades. Beware of potato starch used in many seasonings and as a thickening agent)

  • Peppers (red, green, yellow, orange, jalapeno, chili, cayenne, pimento)

  • Tomatoes, all varieties (including Tomatillos)

  • Paprika

  • Eggplant

  Foods that contain solanine although not directly in the nightshade family:

  • Blueberries & Huckleberries

  • Okra

  • Artichokes

  Other Substances to Avoid:

  • Homeopathic remedies containing Belladonna (known as deadly nightshade)

  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications containing potato starch as a filler (especially prevalent in sleeping and muscle relaxing medications)

  • Edible flowers: petunia, chalice vine, day jasmine, angel and devil’s trumpets.

  • Atropine and Scopolamine, used in sleeping pills

  • Topical medications for pain and inflammation containing capsicum (in cayenne pepper)

What’s relevant to me from that list is three of the items from my crockpot meal, as well as eggplant, blueberries and paprika. I’ve had okra and liked it, but I don’t eat it. I don’t take homeopathic remedies, nor do I eat flowers. I *have* used capsicum, but maybe once every few years, so I can avoid that.

So I’ll proceed from here under the assumption that I am sensitive to these compounds and see what happens – at least for a while. This sucks, of course, because I like these foods – and they are low carb.

But if I *do* find a stronger cause and effect link by experimenting along these lines, avoiding these foods might be worth it

Fat, Dumb, and Happy: Lost 7 pounds in 36 Hours

[I thought I might try a bit of an experiment. What if I just post what I write? It’s the editing that kills me – most of my stuff ends up on the cutting room floor, unpublished. Instead, I’m going to just post what I’ve dashed off. It’s a bit of a ramble, but let’s see if it leads anywhere interesting. It’s only a blog, you know.]

Monday, March 10, 2014 – 10am

I bought the butter and the roast beef – I went for the store-cooked on the off-chance that it might be less processed. Even something like roast beef frequently has monosodium glutamate added. They also had Kerry Gold Irish Swiss cheese and as it’s entirely possible that the Kerry Gold cheese was made from grass-fed cows I bought a pound on impulse.

I am in a very odd mood that I am challenged to explain. I’m neither happy nor sad. Somewhat ‘robotic’ is perhaps one description.

I did weigh myself before leaving the house – 228.8.

Meh. Indifferent.

I wasn’t particularly hungry until mid afternoon when I had some of the roast beef with butter. Perhaps a 1/3rd stick with maybe 2-3 ounces of roast beef. I also had salt with it. I don’t add salt as a condiment normally, but I do with roast beef.

I didn’t try the swiss cheese until I got home. I had this with a leftover grass-fed hamburger and boy, was that good. I also had a glass of vanilla unsweetened almond milk while I cooked some grass-fed beef that needed to be cooked before it went bad. I also stopped at the Whole foods and bought 2 very fatty pork bellies. These will make for very ketosis-friendly meals – one I stored in the fridge, the other I froze.

Is it a placebo effect or do I already feel a little better? I think maybe it *isn’t* a placebo effect as I *have* been doing low carb for 10+ years.

Putting weight loss aside, I feel better mentally on a low carb diet. Not as indifferent – and it’s only a day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 –  225.8

I woke before the alarm and felt OK. It was a big contrast from the day before when my back was hurting so much that I had a hard time getting out of bed.

While my diet might seem extreme so far, there’s a reason for it beyond calories and carbs: by narrowing it down so I have a better chance of leaving out the potential that a myriad of food ingredients – natural and man-made – might cause undetectable problems. By undetectable I mean undetectable by doctors – not that there aren’t symptoms.

Low carb bread, for me, is a prime example. Despite the fact the label states 5 grams of net carbs per slice, it seems like more than a slice impacts my weight loss. The same amount of carbs from other sources would not impact me the same.

Atkins bars are another example. When I’ve used them, I’ve found more than one or two a day can cause a slowing or stalling of weight loss.

So here’s the quandary: there is something suspect in some foods that are low carb that impact me. Unless I were to have a battery of expensive and dubious medical tests, I can’t know what they are. So what if I ‘act as if’ these substances are in a lot of what I eat and limit my eating to a few very simple items and see what happens?

There’s no ‘believing’ involved here. I don’t know what these substances are and will probably never know, but by removing as many of them as possible I can test a simple hypothesis: are there substances in my food that affect my mood and weight loss?

Yesterday I consumed 7 items: roast beef, ground beef, swiss cheese, coffee, cream, almond milk and low carb ketchup. Aside from the last two, there’s no ingredient labels – these are minimally-processed foods.

The ingredients more than double when you add in the actual ingredients from the almond milk and low carb ketchup. Together they have about 17 different ingredients (a day of eating processed foods can run into the hundreds). I cannot know if any of these chemicals have an impact on me individually, and it will be damn tough to determine if they have a threshold level below which they are innocuous and above which they cause mischief.

What can be determined is very crude, and one is hard to measure. The first is my weight. A scale can be very accurate, but peoples’ weight varies from day to day based on how much water they retain. A low carb diet causes a rapid drop of water weight because the body needs water to handle carbs. Ditch the carbs and you ditch the water. But there are other body processes that occasionally need to store water and a daily weigh-in will sometimes show a weight gain when there actually was a fat loss – just because the human body is, well, unknowable on a chemical level.

Sure – researchers can do tests, produce papers, and make conclusions, but frequently their methods are suspect and their conclusions don’t match the data. You can’t know this unless you read all these papers, decipher the unnecessarily professorial language, analyze the data, then scrutinize their analytical methods to see if any monkey business went on to give them the numbers they were hoping for.

This whole topic could turn into a very big rant but I’ll stop here and cover the second item that I can measure, though this one is perceptual and even worse than the weight on the scale.

That is hunger.

I’ve already written about the different types of hunger: cellular (you are actually hungry), food-based (something you ate actually triggers hunger), and psychological (comfort food, social pressure, and scores of other things). I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing my own hunger and a real, honest-to-goodness symptom of what I’ll call a ‘false hunger’ is having food fantasies even though I know I have eaten an adequate amount.

I notice the difference. Hunger is still present, of course – it’s a natural and necessary reaction to not eating. It feels different, though – it’s of a different type – one that is easier to manage – at least right now.

3/11/14 – 7:30pm

My day consisted of a few tablespoons of cream in my morning coffee, then more coffee at work. Early afternoon I finally got hungry and I started to feel the familiar weirdness that I have come to associate with a ‘high’ because I know what it means.

I had brought 2 roast beef ‘sandwiches’ – a few slices of roast beef with maybe 2 tablespoons of butter, along with salt and pepper. I position the butter carefully, slide it into a sandwich bag and squish the butter with my palm. This leaves a relatively flat sandwich-like object – sans bread – that I can eat out of the bag. I had one of the two I brought. I had a bit more coffee late afternoon with some coconut oil and along with my slight headache – another good sign.

When I got home I tested for ketones. The test strip turned a dark red.

The ol’ roast beef and butter trick works again – within 36 hours I’m in ketosis.

The next things might seem outlandish or preposterous, but I promise you it is true: I weighed myself and was 221.6. I lost slightly more than 7 pounds in 36 hours.

No wonder I feel weird – can you imagine what a profound change this must be for a human body to alter a weight that quickly? Granted – I am a ‘special case’ – I’ve been doing this stuff for years. My body has a LOT of practice with running on ketones. Most assuredly it’s primarilt water weight, but my pants still enjoy the extra room and my wedding band goes on easier.

I throw in the low carb mix tape my body knows so well and it’s ready to party with little resistance.

I was hungry when I got home so I put a few ounces of roast beef and that awesome swiss cheese on a romaine lettuce leaf heart, slathered it in mayonnaise, and topped with pepper and another leaf. I had that with a cup of plain yogurt made from grass-fed milk.

This was adequate. I went to bed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – 221.4

Woke a few minutes before the alarm. This is another curious side-effect I’ve noticed about ketogenic low carb: I seem to need less sleep and wake refreshed.

To be continued…maybe.

The 2014 Diet: The Mental State of Ketosis on Day 8

At the time of writing this I am starting day 8 of my own version of ‘Atkins Induction’ or ‘Ketogenic Dieting’. To briefly recap, I’ve stopped counting calories and just focus on what I feel, for me, are the ‘right’ foods: unsweetened yogurts and cheeses, eggs, meat, and non-starchy veggies have been the basis.

I’ve been doing low carb for a long time so I have a pretty good feel for carb counts. I’d say I’ve been below 50 grams per day pretty solidly. Even the bad days where there have been some cheats, I can’t imagine that the carb count went much above 50.

I went into Ketosis on day 5. I was at work and knew something was up. A first-time low carber might be a little freaked by the symptoms – mild headache, a kind of listlessness and a feeling of not thinking clear. It sounds awful – but I know what lies on the other side of this – at least in my case.

It happened the evening of day 6. Usually I come home from work exhausted, mentally and physically. This evening the energy came. My mind had cleared, my mood had brightened, and since then I have been feeling better both emotionally and physically.

Please note that I have essentially lost no more weight than since my last post so it isn’t a ‘scale high’ a dieter gets when they see a drop on the scale number. I haven’t gotten that scale rush in days – but I still feel better.

I’m paying more attention to this mental effect this time around because of the book ‘Grain Brain‘. I don’t want to go into too much detail on it at the moment (no time) but its premise is that ketones are a superior fuel for the brain and a very low carb diet is good for you mentally.

It kind of spins the whole ‘diet thing’ on it’s head if this is true: go on a low carb diet as a possible mind-enhancer and mood enhancer – oh, and you might lose weight while you’re at it.

It was rough going to get here – even for an old pro like me. Living with people who drink wine and can eat carbs does not allow me to ‘clear my pantry’ of the foods I try not to eat. The first 24-48 hours of a cutover from my body cutting over from burning glucose to burning ketones makes me feel ill.

But I find the me on the other side of this has energy, clarity, and calm. I tend to take the bumps and bruises of life with more grace and humor. I am probably a more pleasant person to be around.

This might or might not be an actual effect – but if I am deluding myself, what harm is there in it if it helps me adhere to my diet because I attribute positive mental effects to it?

I do want to state again that there is some research that supports a mental effect, and I have noticed it myself in the past and when I read about this effect in ‘Grain Brain’ I put two and two together. I am being very careful in writing this to be sure I don’t come off as if I am certain there is a direct cause and effect between ketosis or ketogenic diets and a positive mental state, but is something I personally have noticed time and again and find it a wonderful side effect.

Low Carb Confidential for 2014

CoolWhip-Frosting-1024x685

When Dr. Oz, Cameron Diaz, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kim Kadashian all talk up low carb diets, you know that low carb has gone mainstream – again. It did so a decade ago but I think things are different now. In the past decade a lot of new research seems to show that, at the very least, low carb is not the ‘killer diet’ naysayers warned about 10 years ago and a ‘well-managed’ low carb diet might possibly be good for some of us.

For the sciency folks, 2013 brought this viewpoint published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: A Call for the End of the Diet Debates. The central point I take away from this is there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ diet and divergent diets such as low carb, high protein, veganism, paleo, and even old-fashioned calorie-counting, will work for some subgroup of people based on their age, predisposition, genetics and current medical conditions. It is not the diet itself as much as it is how the person responds to the diet and how well they can manage living on it long-term that matter.

Your doctor might try you on a half-dozen different medications to treat a given condition until you both find one that works – why would we have ever suspected that our diets would be any different?

Yes – the diet wars will continue I am sure. There are a lot of people who believe there is one right way to do things – usually theirs – and will argue endlessly for the self-validating honor of ‘being right’.

Meh. I’ve come to find this excruciatingly boring – except for the blogs of Anthony Colpo and Adele Hite, both of whom argue their (very different) positions with such passion and rapier wit (as well as some well-played cheap shots) that I can’t help but to enjoy their posts.

Me? I do what I do and have little desire to convince anyone of anything. I also don’t recommend you thinking anything I write is ‘advice’ – I’m in no position to advise anyone on anything. I’m just a crazy anonymous blogger who likes to string words together for his own amusement and post them on the Internet for the amusement of others and to clutter up search engines.

Low carb is my plan, and I will continue to play with the finer points, but this past year I have found myself looking at a lot of things in a new light – partly because it’s been an awful year for me from a diet perspective.

For the past few months I wasn’t even trying.

A year ago today I was 210. This morning, January 1, 2013, I am 225. 15 pounds is not all that much, but this minor fender-bender of a year is going to turn into a major car-wreck if I don’t break the current pattern.

In October I wrote that I was taking a break until my weight got under 200 – then promptly dropped all but the most superficial pretense of low carb dieting and here I am on the eve of 2014 – fatter than I’ve been in a while.

Meanwhile, this year, perhaps more than in others, I’ve read less and less on the science of low carb itself and more on the history of diets, the psychological and social aspects of food and nutrition, as well as the nature of science itself. Among the books and lectures I have read and listened to – and sometimes struggled to understand – are:

So – yeah – the diet part, the science stuff with all the molecules and compounds, micronutrients, macronutrients and the like have not ceased to be important, but even if you full well knew with 100% certainty what to do in order to lose the weight, slay the dragon, get the girl (or guy), and bring about world peace, it doesn’t matter if you’re still eating Cool Whip Frosting out of the container with a spoon. (Which I did last night – I was amazed how this nightmare of partially-hydrogenated oils and sugars bound together with a panoply of other multisyllabic ingredients was able to produce something that tasted so real – it was devilishly good.)

All this research has led me in new and interesting directions. It’s not just the diet, stupid – it’s how you diet – aside from the food – that has intrigued me the most this past year. Just a few of the things, to be specific, are:

  • The mind game that surrounds dieting. This mind game is played by us as we think we know what a diet is, as well as the mind game played upon us by a society that – especially in the US – worships indulgence and excess while promoting a body type that can only be attained by waifish teenagers and photoshopped celebrities. Where did this paradox come from?
  • What different diets do to the brain. I myself noted a mental change when I did a prolonged bout of ketogenic low carb – what’s up with that? I did some research on that subject and while the science is new, it is intriguing.
  • I have also been researching human disgust. Yes – this is actually a branch of science. Disgust is a fascinating human emotion because while it is universal like fear or anger, each culture defines it differently so foods that elicit a ‘yum’ in one part of the world elicit a ‘yuck’ in another. What this has to do with diets is that often you need to abandon certain foods and try new ones to make a diet work but some people find the notion of new foods truly puke-inducing to even think about. Their choices then narrowed to only a few items, their diet becomes unsustainable and they fail. Why is one person’s delicacy another’s food dare – and can we change this about ourselves or is it fixed and immutable? And another thing: why CAN some of us eat the same thing over and over and not be bothered by it?
  • Habit and willpower. How do we quash old habits and replace them with new ones? How do we stick to our plan when fatigued, stressed or distracted? What exactly *IS* ‘willpower’, where does it come from and how can we make more of it?
  • Exercise. I’ve long-held that exercise is useless and counterproductive for weight loss because it burns such a tiny amount of calories that you would have to spend hour after hour exercising to lose weight. I still believe this, but what if ‘burning calories’ isn’t the point of exercise as part of a weight loss program at all? What if the last thing you ever want to do is try to count the calories burned after exercise but you still should consider it because of other properties it has to promote weight loss?

My hope is that in 2014 I will tackle some of these interesting aspects in more detail and make some sense of them – at least to me – and get to my goal weight of 185 partly because of low carb and partly because I intend to apply some of this new thinking.

From a Paper in the AMA Journal: Let’s End the Diet Debates

Right after I posted this last post, I read an article that makes it seem like I’m not alone in my thinking.  The authors of a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association just last month seem to be thinking along the same lines as I am:

As the obesity epidemic persists, the time has come to end the pursuit of the “ideal” diet for weight loss and disease prevention. The dietary debate in the scientific community and reported in the media about the optimal macronutrient-focused weight loss diet sheds little light on the treatment of obesity and may mislead the public regarding proper weight management.

I find the ‘science wars’ on nutrition and weight loss tiring. Looking for the ‘best’ approach to weight loss is the wrong approach. ‘Best’ needs to be defined by the individual. Everyone who wants to lose weight should experiment with multiple approaches and find not only the approach that works for them, but also makes them happy. It’s a lifelong thing – and I hate the word ‘struggle’ – I’d rather call it a ‘practice’. Every day, show up for your diet, ‘punch the clock’, make the effort and then after giving an approach a chance, evaluate how you feel physically and psychologically. Continue reading “From a Paper in the AMA Journal: Let’s End the Diet Debates”

What is ‘Nutritional Ketosis’ (Without the Gobbeldygook)

I’ve used the term ‘nutritional ketosis’ in a few posts but I haven’t taken the time to explain it – as if everyone’s a nutrition nerd like I am and knows what the heck I am talking about.

I could get all ‘sciency’ on you, but I’d rather not. Most people aren’t all that interested in the sciency details – and I would just be lifting from a book that has become a bit of a bible to me in my current approach to low carb:

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable by
Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek

I’ve read the book twice and it is well-highlighted in my Kindle. Recommended for all you nutrition nerds, but many of you aren’t nutrition nerds and don’t want to read a book written by two doctors written for other doctors. It isn’t a breezy read.

Instead, why don’t I give you the explanation I give myself – dope that I am. For goodness’ sake – check this out for yourself if you have even the slightest curiosity. I give no promises for accuracy. You have been warned.

Continue reading “What is ‘Nutritional Ketosis’ (Without the Gobbeldygook)”

The Skinny on Fats – Without the Gobbledegook

[First, a quick disclaimer: while there’s a chance that I might end up in bankruptcy court because of my habit of obsessively buying books on health, food, and nutrition, reading a lot does not mean I truly understand what I am reading. It was once said that the inherent danger in books is it can create the appearance of knowledge in some – and people not versed in the area might not be able to tell the difference.

Because of this I want you to promise that you will keep this in mind while reading what follows. It’s not meant to be advice for anyone else but myself.

Actually, it’s a gamble. I’ve chosen to take an unorthodox approach to eating based upon what I’ve learned, but this is a personal decision – not an expert opinion.]

The problem with ‘fat’ is it is a gross simplification – and a dangerous one. It’s sort of like thinking every species of fish is the same and handling an interaction with a goldfish the same way you would with a great white shark.

One you might eat on a dare (in college and involving alcohol in the 1920s perhaps) and one might eat you – it’s a very different interaction. Continue reading “The Skinny on Fats – Without the Gobbledegook”

A Short Breezy History of Diet Gurus Part 1

The history of dieting is a fascinating subject, filled with some decidedly interesting characters. Some of these people devoted their lives to nutrition, and some accidentally stumbled onto it as part of their other lives. While you might not have heard of some of these people, many were the Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil of their times. I’ve done a lot of reading on the history of diets and dieting and below is an incomplete list of some of the ones that stuck in my head.

It is interesting to note their ages and compare to the diets they promoted, though you can’t read too much into this: longevity is based on a number of factors, some of which have nothing to do with lifestyle. Still fun, however.

Warning to lazy researchers: do not use this post as a reference! This is just a fun post dashed off from my own amusement and any ‘facts’ presented here might be wrong – I’m not doing any excruciating fact checking. Do real research.

To make absolutely sure no one confuses this with real research done by a real historian, I have added the subheading ‘Cheap Shots’ to each listing so that I could list unsubstantiated personal attacks by others as well as my own snarky remarks. Continue reading “A Short Breezy History of Diet Gurus Part 1”