One Mom in the Middle…
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Interesting Links for the week of December 2

Published 12.2.2016
An end of the week collection of interesting links found while procrastinating finishing the numerous drafts for longer form writing.

  • So vegetarianism and veganism are officially recognized as healthy options. At least vegans are told that they must supplement or eat fortified food for vitamin B12. I have nothing against a plant based diet, but remain unconvinced that a completely plant diet is healthy because it requires supplementation. I think it is the height of hubris to think that pills can substitute for the nutrients found in foods, and that includes animal foods. Vegans are guessing that the artificial B12 they consume will have the equivalent effect as that obtained from food. A healthy diet requires no supplementation.

  • Fruits and vegetables for the win! The healthiest diet will one that is mostly plants.

    African Americans with uncontrolled hypertension who didn't regularly include fruits and vegetables in their diets appeared to have faster decline in kidney function than those who did consume fruits and vegetables, a researcher said here.

    Although the article goes on to say that the measured difference was not statistically significant. The real point of the article is that people in poorer neighborhoods often don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Doesn’t matter how beneficial eating fruits and vegetables is if you can’t get them.
Read the rest.

I still don't like comment sections.

Published 11.30.2016
FiveThirtyEight (538) decides to ask commenters why they do it. In the end, the author decides comments are worth something. I remain unconvinced. There is one site where I very occasionally comment, however, overall not only do I not comment, I don’t read comments most times.

Moderated comment sections (and the above linked site where I comment is moderated) are infinitely better than unmoderated sites, but it is still rare to find a site where actually substantive conversation occurs. Disqus is a commenting app that many sites use for monitoring their commenting sections, however, Disqus allows anonymous commenting. If you allow anonymous commenting, trolling will occur. For the record, my own Disqus account uses only my initials, not my actual name, for the same reasons my name is not included on this site (see the About page for more.)
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Monday links: Leftovers

Published 11.28.2016
Thanksgiving is the one Time of year when using leftovers to create new dishes receives some attention. I've neglected the Leftovers-ture section of this site for quite a while now, but I did post a description of the turkey posole we made with leftover turkey.

I also collected Thanksgiving related links for what to do with leftovers for other sites. For the past few years we haven't had a ton of leftovers to deal with after the feast because we were not at home. This season, though, we chose to stay home and cook our own meal. Thus we have the raw material for leftovers-tures, which I will hopefully write up, as I did with the posole.

I have to say though that the "pickings" for leftover ideas was pretty slim. I will note that Food Network apparently derides the use of the word "leftovers," preferring "prepared" or pre-processed. Preposterous, say I. It's food leftover from a meal, and there's nothing wrong in calling it was it is.
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Turkey Posole

Published 11.28.2016
After far too long of a pause, a new leftovers-ture is here. Posole is made with hominy, which I realize isn't something common in most people's cupboards. We lived in the Southwest for a few years, and were introduced to it there. We had a can in our cupboard, so chose to make

The Leftovers

This is a post-Thanksgiving recipe, so naturally it uses leftover turkey.
  • turkey
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CVD: Lifestyle vs genes

Published 11.22.2016
When it comes to cardio-vascular disease (CVD), can lifestyle choices trump genetic predisposition? Certainly there are people on the internet that would answer that question in the affirmative, be they vegans, paleo or low carb adherents. Some even have MD's after their name, and very often they have a book or a program to sell you.

A recent paper presented a meta-study looking to answer that question. Note: I am not any kind of medical professional. The following comments are in no way to be construed as medical advice or analysis.

As in always the case in meta-analyses, the authors took the results from different studies and attempted to combine them to generate new information. Because the studies were developed independently, they had different participation criteria and collected different results. Thus the meta-study authors needed to determine how best to ensure they were comparing relevant results.If the reader is sensing that I am skeptical of meta-analyses, despite the relatively lofty perch in the hierarchy of results such are awarded, then the reader is perceptive.
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Monday links

Published 11.21.2016
A collection of interesting links from the weekend's reading. This weekend was busier than most as I took a day trip into Manhattan to meet a friend. Most of our conversation was political in nature, but some of it related to health and nutrition.

  • Vinegar rinsing might combat the effects of hard water on hair. As I wrote only this past Friday, my hair is quite short because I'm not one to spend time on it. Additionally, though it's always been thick and coarse, as it has turned gray it's gotten wiry and even harder to deal with. My friend suggested that it might not be due to my hair changing characteristics so much as the effect of the very hard water we have. Hard water means there's a high calcium content in the water that will be evident in scale formation in a coffee kettle (for example). Anyway, the vinegar rinse an easy thing to try, and my friend swears that it improved the texture of her hair. Based on the rinse I did this morning after the gym without shampooing (I shampooed on Sunday), I have to admit that there might be something to it. My hair does feel softer than it typically does after only being rinsed.

  • However, dumping acid (even a mild acid that been diluted) on your head daily doesn't seem like a prudent thing to do. There are apparently expensive shampoos designed to offset the effects of hard water, and others use bottled water to rinse their hair. Neither of those options appeal. Neither does getting a new shower head that includes a filter that would have to be replaced every six months because I know how things like that tend to go in my household. Instead, I'm going to give shampoo made with besan flour a try. Besan or gram flour is flour made from chick peas (garbanzo beans). It's inexpensive if you buy it from a Southeast Asian market (one that caters to people from the sub-continent or Pakistan). Besan mixtures can also be used as soap. I rather like the fact that legumes might be as good for my outside as my inside.
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Allowing hair and skin to age naturally

Published 11.18.2016
My hair is graying, with an ever increasing amount of white in it. Yet, there are patches, near my forehead and on the back of my head where the brown of my younger days still exists. Depending on the lighting, my hair can look brown with a bit of gray or practically white (if I’m in the direct sunlight).

The other night at the pub, I was showing a friend a picture of my extended family from about six years ago. Aside from the fact that I was fatter at that time, I was also still dying my hair. In fact, later that same year I would run out of supplies and stop dying my hair for good. Looking at that old picture, I can't say that I felt any regret for not dying my hair.

Although my actual color was not as gray as the image below, which is current, the top of my head was definitely no longer brown. In fact, as I've noted previously, the pattern of my graying was part of the reason I quit dying it. My roots became so evident so fast that I was having to re-dye my hair quicker and quicker. I never learned to do the roots-only technique, and my hair was short enough that it didn't make sense anyway to spend the time. I just re-dyed my entire head. Read the rest.

No obesity paradox

Published 11.17.2016
Cleaning out the draft bin a bit today. More evidence that there is no obesity paradox. The actual study, which was published back in July, can be read here. The first two quotes below are from the Med Page Today link.

A massive meta-analysis pooling data from millions of people in several countries reaffirmed that body mass index (BMI) has a J-shaped relationship with mortality, with the lowest death rates among those in the traditional "normal" range of 20-25.

The study of nearly four million people revealed that those in every BMI category above and below the normal range had significantly higher mortality rates.

The effects were worse for younger people. Smokers were excluded from the analysis.

This analysis pooled 239 studies across 32 countries and included about 1.6 million deaths. Only data from large, prospective studies was included, and only studies performed after 1970 were included. The hazard ratios of all-cause mortality were generally similar across different continents, though the risk was higher for underweight and for the highest class of obesity in Europe than in East Asia.

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When is NEAT actually TEA?

Published 11.15.2016
Not everyone uses my definition of NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). For some, NEAT means non-exercise adaptive thermogenesis, which refers only to unconscious movement such as fidgeting. In that case, what I’m calling NEAT is considered TEA (thermic effect of activity), which includes all movement. I still think standing increases NEAT even if you use that definition, because unlike when most people sit, when they stand they tend to move.

However, others do use NEAT as I do, and he points to simple walking as being a way to increase NEAT. As I've said previously, most people only have so much time in their day to devote to dedicated exercise or sport. On the other hand, standing up for a bit longer each day is something that most people could do without disrupting their current routine too much. Adherence remains the key, and the easier adherence is, the more likely it is to become the reality.

Seasonal switching of desks

So, I’ve been standing again rather than pedaling while working. Why? Well, the weather is getting colder (gradually) and thus we have started using our wood stove in the family room. Thus have have moved my standing desk (which has wheels) into that room so that I can work in front of the fire, which is pictured below (well, not today's fire, but if you've seen one fire…).
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Monday morning links

Published 11.14.2016
Interesting items found over the weekend.

  • More reason not to smoke during pregnancy. There are four patterns of BMI change in kids as they develop and mature. This was a study that followed the development in 17,000 kids in the United Kingdom (UK).

    Many factors were associated with which group a kid was in, but I'll note a couple of interesting ones. It's probably not surprising that minorities and kids with a lower socioeconomic background were more likely to be in the BMI increasing groups. But smoking in pregnancy just about doubled the risk of being in the rapid increase group. And kids who skipped breakfast had around a 75% higher chance of being in that rapid rising group.

    Playing sports, watching TV and "teh ebil" SSBs (sugar sweetened beverages) had no association with any of the trajectories. Not that this pesky fact will slow anti-sugar crusaders.
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Use it or lose it

Published 11.11.2016
For the first time all year (possibly for the first time in this site's history), five postings in five days. Here's to finishing the year strongly, despite it all. Or is it only in my yoga classes that the focus this week has become letting go of the bad to try and create good?

  • Exercise testing can indicate underlying health issues that would counter-indicate prescribing exercise as treatment. My interpretation: it's use it or lose it, and if you've been sedentary for a long time then you may have lost it. My experience is that most efforts to move more fail because people try to go from nothing to full-out gym rat too fast. It's not unlike weight loss, which is going to be slow if it's going to stick. You didn't get fat in size months, you won't healthily get thin in six months. If you haven't move much for years, you'll need to develop new habits to increase your movement slowly.

  • More evidence that there is no obesity paradox. Being obese long term has health consequences, it's just a matter of how those consequences manifest. Long term obesity increases the risk for some cancers, including breast cancer. Adipose tissue is an endocrine organ that secretes hormones. Those hormones then affect the body.

    A longer overweight duration significantly increased the risk of all obesity-related cancers combined (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio 1.07 per 10-year increment, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.09). For postmenopausal breast cancer and endometrial cancer, every 10-year increase in adulthood overweight duration was associated with a 5% and 17% increase in risk, respectively, with these rates rising to 8% and 37% after adjustment for degree of overweight.

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Blaming or taking responsibility?

Published 11.10.2016
I can't seem to get away from this topic this week, so this is another rumination on obesity and weight loss. This time the question is whether saying someone can take personal responsibility for choices equates to blaming that someone for his or her obese or overweight state. My position is that I have control over what I put into my mouth and whether or not I sit on my duff all day, therefore I am responsible for what I weigh.

This doesn't mean that I'm in control of all the variables that contribute to my weight via the energy balance. I understand that factors such as illness or prescriptions can alter a person's energy balance in ways that can be difficult to counter by eating less and moving more. And yet, I am completely unmoved by the argument that advertising and culture are to blame for my size. Sure, I accept that advertising can be persuasive, but it's not the ad that puts the food product or drink in your mouth— that comes down to your hands.

I also accept that the brain and the person's psyche play a role too, what I don't accept is that someone that fact eliminates the responsibility inherent in choosing to take an action. I suppose I should add a qualifier about drugging or mind control, but honestly, I genuinely don't think that's an issue for most people. There are people who believe that advertisers have manipulated populations into becoming obese. I just don't buy it.
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Lifestyle choices matter

Published 11.9.2016
Recent items of interest found while reading around the web, plus brief commentary on each.

  • How is this even news at this point? Yes, level of sodium intake is directly related to the ingestion of industrial processed foods. Preparing food takes time and energy, but to choose eating a more convenient diet of primarily processed foods means ceding control over the sodium content of the food. As I've written numerous times previously, there isn't any easy way to remove the sodium from industrial processed foods because of the scale of processing. This is one of those facts that too many wring their hands over as a societal problem that must be fixed, when the fix is an option already for almost every one. Heck, if people simply cut back on the amount of packaged, processed foods they eat, sodium consumption would decline. And until consumer begin to make that choice, food manufacturers aren't going to change their formulations.

  • Doctors don't talk to patients about their weight, even though they think they should.

    The survey results also showed that nearly three-fourths of healthcare providers (72%) stated that they felt they had "responsibility to actively contribute" to patients' weight loss efforts, yet only 55% of patients with obesity reported receiving an obesity diagnosis from that provider, and only 16% of patients had a follow-up appointment with their healthcare provider after initial conversations about obesity, the authors reported in presentations at Obesity Week, a joint meeting of The Obesity Society and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

    Barriers to communication included lack of time, but bizarrely somehow employers were considered responsible in some way for employees weight management. No, no, no— a thousand times no— each individual is responsible for their weight management. At best, a physician can discuss options and suggest goals, but if patients don't wanna do it, they aren't gonna do it. That's not the doctor's fault. Read the rest.

Obesity is not a disease, but shaming is wrong

Published 11.8.2016
I didn't expect to write about this topic again, but CarbSane chimed in regarding Dr Jason Fung's fat-shaming tweet and Yoni Freedhoff's response. (For the record, Fung has deleted and vaguely apologized for the tweet.

With all due respect to CarbSane (who I identify only by her blogger name because I don't know her personally, and will again encourage any who read this to visit and explore her site), I disagree that there was any ambiguity as to whether Fung's now deleted tweet was fat-shaming. It absolutely was. I think CarbSane didn't see it as fat-shaming because she ascribed a nuance to the intent behind Fung's tweet that he almost certainly did not intend because she had a different point to make. Kelly Brownell (one target of Fung's shaming tweet) has been a driving force behind the idea that obesity is a disease, and that doctors and policy makers should treat it as such. He's also advocating for actions such as taxes on sweetened beverages as a way to reduce the prevalence of the disease of obesity.

Not a disease

CarbSane does not think that obesity is a disease, and on that point we agree. Obesity is not a disease, it is the result of lifestyle habits that create a prolonged period of imbalance between energy ingestion and expenditure. Which is an overly fancy way to say obesity results when a person has a lifestyle or situation that results in eating too much and/or moving too little. No one escapes the reality of the energy balance.
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Monday morning links

Published 11.7.2016
A list of interesting items and short commentary on this bright Autumn Monday morning:

  • Not sure why the concept is so hard to accept, but it's not when you eat or what you eat (low carb, high carb, whatever) it's how much you eat. Eating within a specific time window alters rodent metabolism and fat content, but it does not in humans. We are not rodents… so don't eat like one. On the other hand, if for you limiting your eating to certain hours in the day results in either a calorie deficit (if you're trying to lose weight) or limiting calories to maintenance (if you're not) and enjoy doing it, then have at it. Just don't ascribe magical effects to your eating pattern— at least not to me, because I will tell you it's bogus.

  • Fatty acid and triglyceride (trig) levels may play a role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Researchers have noted a correlation between elevated fatty acid and trig levels and RA. I suppose this will open a new front for the cholesterol skeptics. Cholesterol levels are markers, and as with all markers in the human body there is a range that is considered "normal." Absolute values matter less than the trend in the numbers. If the numbers are changing, it indicates "inflammation" in the body. It does seem to me that cholesterol markers indicate much more than cardio-vascular health.
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Fasting, Tweeting, and Shaming Oh My!

Published 11.6.2016
  1. Can obese people study and opine on how to reduce rates of obesity?
  2. Should you take advice about weight loss from someone who is overweight or obese?
  3. Is it fat shaming to discount an obese peoples statements or contributions if they themselves can't "walk the talk"?
These questions arise from a recent tweet storm rant by Dr Yoni Freedhoff in response to this snarky tweet by Dr Jason Fung. Freedhoff's rant lasted 11 tweets, but amounted to: Fung fat-shamed the two Obesity Week 2016 (OW2016) keynote speakers, Sadaaf Farooqi and Kelly Brownell. OW2016 is an obesity conference occurring this week in New Orleans, LA in the US. On Twitter attendees are tweeting using the hashtag #OW2016, so that people can follow along.

I have never heard of Farooqi, but Brownell is one of the talking heads that regularly gets quoted in article, shows and movies about obesity. I agree that Fung was fat-shaming the two speakers, in that the clear implication of his tweet was "the blind leading the blind" and that people who are obese themselves ought not have the role of making policy to fight obesity. Body size does not indicate intellectual worth.
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Published 11.1.2016
Natto is a traditional Japanese dish of fermented soy beans. The link is to an ebook that presents the whole history of natto, but for my purpose here, it's enough to know that natto is prepared from thoroughly cooked or steamed soy beans that are then mixed with the bacteria bacillus natto then left to ferment at a temperature of 104 F for up to a day.

While natto has a distinctive aroma and flavor, the main objection that many people have to natto is it's texture, as the bacteria create a sticky, gooey (most descriptions will say slimy, but that's not quite right in my opinion, substance around the beans. That sticky goo is the essential bit of the natto, as that is where the vitamin K2 is found, which in the case of natto is the MK-7 variety. I don't actually think natto's aroma is offensive, and in terms of flavor, I've tasted funkier and more palate challenging cheeses in my time.

The Hunt

I first started looking for sources of natto over a year ago after beginning to learn about the potential benefits of vitamin K2, which I discuss in a separate piece. Of course there are vitamin K2 supplements, but I am no fan of supplementation and much preferred to get my K2 from food. Natto is the food with the highest amount of natto. Cheese, butter, liver and egg yolks also offer K2 (in the form of MK-4), but none have anywhere near as much as natto.

We have an awesome Asian market where we frequently shop— but could not find natto there. The reality is that it was always there in the frozen foods section, but the language barrier between us and the people who work at the store meant that they couldn't help us find it. In the end, a sushi chef told us where in the store to find it, and I've had a supply of fresh natto since.
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Vitamin K2 and osteoporosis

Published 10.31.2016
I only learned about the existence of vitamin K2 about a year ago, when I poster in a discussion at the Carb-Sane Asylum claimed that he'd used vitamin K2 supplements in conjunction with vitamin D and calcium supplements to reverse his osteoporosis. That's a big claim, one that I was (and am) skeptical of. The amount of supplements he was swallowing daily was substantial, which does not appeal to me on any level.

However, despite my skepticism, I was intrigued, especially as I didn't even know what vitamin K was. What follows is the result of my efforts to research vitamin K, learn what foods contain it and wether or not it has any role in bone health. I admit that I began the study with an expectation that I was about to descend into a pit of "woo," but that did not turn out to be the case. In fact, the evidence on vitamin K2 and osteoporosis, while not definitive, is very interesting and suggestive.

Vitamin K isn't a single substance.

"Vitamin K," the generic name for a family of compounds with a common chemical structure of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods and is available as a dietary supplement [1]. These compounds include phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and a series of menaquinones (vitamin K2) [2]. Menaquinones have unsaturated isoprenyl side chains and are designated as MK-4 through MK-13, based on the length of their side chain [1,2]. MK-4, MK-7, and MK-9 are the most well-studied menaquinones.

Phylloquinone is present primarily in green leafy vegetables and is the main dietary form of vitamin K [3]. Menaquinones, which are predominantly of bacterial origin, are present in modest amounts in various animal-based and fermented foods [1,4].

Vitamin K1 is abundant in green leafy vegetables, such as kale. Vitamin K2 is mostly found in animal products, with the exception of the Japanese fermented soybean dish called natto. In fact, natto hs the highest K2 content of any food. A healthy human body transforms K1 into forms of K2, which is why vegan doctors assert that if you eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, vitamin K2 levels should not be a problem. They seldom suggest that people eat natto, because not is an acquired taste for most people— even in Japan.
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Exercise IS important

Published 10.25.2016
I've ranted her a few times about medical professionals who downplay the importance of movement in weight loss and maintenance. Of course, these individuals use the term exercise, but I am deliberately using the term movement instead because while I'm not convinced that organized, structured movement (aka exercise) is required for weight loss and successful maintenance, I think overall movement is. What do I mean by movement? Mostly, I mean not being sedentary, in other words, not sitting on your duff for the majority of the day.

There's a reason I bang on here every so often about my standing desk— the phrase standing desk includes treadmill desks and stationary standing desks — I remain convinced that non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is a critical variable in altering the energy balance. Unless you're training for some sporting event, most people don't exercise more than an hour or so a day.

I noted in June that a friend dragged my a gyn with her and we both wound up signing up. I've made going part of my routine, she has not. I go five days a week at this point for at least an 60-75 minutes (depending on whether I do weights or not) each of those days. However, that leaves roughly 16 remaining waking hours. If I sit for most of those hours, I will mostly negate the benefit of going to the gym. If instead I stand (as I am now or pedal, though again, I recognize that few will ever have access to a bike desk), then even though the movement doesn't expend much energy, it does expend more than sitting. In addition, others have made this point as well, once standing, I tend to move around more.
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Vitamin D level target

Published 10.24.2016
After publishing the previous piece, it was pointed out to me that I did not actually discuss how I chose my target serum vitamin D level of 46 ng/mg (nanograms per milliliter), which corresponds to 115 nmol/L (nanomole per liter). I chose that level based on the information presented in this Dr. Greger video. As I always do when I link to a Greger video or blog, I acknowledge that the doctor has a distinct bias towards veganism. The answer to just about every question for Greger amounts to, "Eat more plants," or "Eat only plants."

In the video, he discussed what the “natural” level of serum vitamin D levels for humans, using the values seen in hunter-gatherers in Africa. The human race began under the African sun, so the thinking is that the "natural" human level of vitamin D is found in people who have lifestyles that have them outside most of the day wearing very little.

Per Greger, the normal human serum vitamin D level is greater than 100 nmol/L. In this video, the effect of vitamin D levels are not represented as a U curve, which would mean that too much is as dangerous as too low, but rather a backwards J curve. A backwards J curve means too little is bad, but then once the body has enough, the benefit levels off. Harm does not occur until you go much higher in level.
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Osteo Update

Published 10.21.2016
Today I saw my osteoporosis specialist. It was just the annual check up, she'd ordered a few blood tests and a urine test. All tests were normal according to the doctor, and as nothing in medical condition has changed over the past year, there was very little to discuss.

Except that is, until I asked specifically about my vitamin D level, which was measured at 54 ng/ml which corresponds to 135 nmol/iter. My target vitamin D level, as I've written previously, was 46 ng/ml, which means I overshot a bit. The doctor told me to back off the 4000 IUs dosage I've been taking because now that, "I'm replete" with vitamin D, there's no point in having excess.

I asked if excess vitamin D could be a problem, and her answer was yes, vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium (Ca), which can cause problems such as kidney stones. Too much vitamin D can cause other problems as well. However, since I'm not taking Ca supplements, she allowed that that was less of a risk for me. I didn't say that I wouldn't cut back, but I did note that my fingernails are much stronger on the higher dose, and if I notice that they soften on a lower dose I'll jump it back up.
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Supplements are Unregulated Drugs

Published 10.17.2016
I've ranted about supplements previously, so I will try not to belabor the point. Supplement use is one of those topics that sets me off. So before beginning, let me re-iterate and emphasize: I am not a medical professional of any sort. The opinions presented here represent my personal experiences as well as my learning from scholarly papers or other sources. Nothing written here should be considered medical advice.

Supplementation should NEVER be necessary— at ANY age, contrary to what this women claims. If her diet was better balanced, she'd have no need to hork down handfuls of supplements. Supplementation is not necessary as you age either, unless prescribed by a real doctor— meaning an actual licensed, practicing MD. Supplements are drugs, and interact with the other drugs that too many elderly wind up taking.

There should be no reason to supplement if your diet is healthy. especially if you're eating a so-called "ancestral" or "paleo" diet. Or are we pretending now that great-grandma or paleolithic humans popped supplement pills? Hint: They didn't. You got what you needed from food. And if you don't overly restrict one macronutrient then your body will have all it needs to be healthy.
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NFL ratings and reasons

Published 10.16.2016
I have kept to my resolution not to watch American football this season— and my husband for the most part is still with me, though occasionally he choosing to watch "his team," which is perfectly fine. Again, as I said in my in my original piece, football is not illegal and begrudge no one their indulgence in a sport they enjoy.

In the first weeks of the season, I was able to finish a painting project, but otherwise the extra time in my schedule has been spent reading or writing. In particular, the additional time writing has resulted in more postings at my websites, which is a good thing. But my dream of being able to finish long languishing projects, for the most part, has not been realized.

However, that's not why I decided to write this piece. The reason for this second entry about "hand egg" is that NFL ratings are down for the year. Ratings are down, and the articles offer every excuse imaginable, except that people are turning away from the NFL because of the brutality of the game.
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Body positive, or mind think?

Published 10.13.2016
Can you be "body positive" and still want to lose weight? Some say no. I call nonsense, and I'm not alone. I will say that I am body positive if I'm attempting to lose weight, no matter what anyone else thinks. Losing weight was part of my effort during and after menopause to become a healthier, happier me. I've written a number of times how I changed my diet and daily movement, so I won't go through it again here, readers can check the archive if they are interested.

Body positive does not mean you have the attitude that, "you do you" and "I'll do me." Watching this video made me think again, "How exhausting it must be to live this way." The following is a quote from the video:

Do not look me in the eye, tell me you are on Weight Watchers and then tell me that you are body positive

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Kevin Hall Answers Low Carb Skepticism

Published 10.11.2016
Kevin Hall, researcher at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and author of a recent study partially funded by Gary Taubes' Nutrition Science (NuSi) that disproved Taubes hypothesis about obesity, recently appeared on Jimmy Moore's podcast. I've written about the study and reactions to it previously.

I'm not a fan of Moore's podcast, not least because of the many, many ads he includes in them. I get why he does that, don't misunderstand., but I skip past as best I can (which is ironic, given that I have ads on this site… I like to think they aren't so invasive, but that's a subjective benchmark.) However, this episode was a surprisingly informative one.
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Fat-Shaming is having a moment

Published 10.4.2016
Thanks to the orange tinted candidate for the US presidency, fat-shaming is having a moment in the mainstream press. The issue of fat-shaming isn't unknown in the popular or mainstream press, but Donald Trump's rude and crude comments about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado have caused a spurt of articles about the topic. Overall, this is a good thing.

Gina Kolata in the
New York Times interviews Rebecca Puhl, an obesity researcher and Health at Every Size (HAES) proponent. I've written previously that I'm not a huge fan of HAES, but I am absolutely agains fat-shaming. Everyone should be treated with respect, and no one should be mocked for their appearance. If you're happy being fat, than I am happy for you. Where I fall off the wagon is when weight is said to be beyond a person's control. I know this to be untrue, and so I object every time I read it— whether the person spouting the nonsense has an MD, Ph.D or not.

In her article, Kolata catalogues the genera horribleness of fat-shaming and its effects— and she also notes that many fat people have the same attitudes. In my experience, most people don't want to be obese, thus fat people often stigmatize themselves. But what is "fat" in that comment?

Kolata provides no definition for obesity or fat. Someone whose body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30 is considered obese— but in my experience, most people seea difference between being 50 pounds overweight and being 150 pounds overweight. Having read extensively blogs in the "fatosphere," "paleosphere," and the low carb community, my impression is for women, roughly 300 pounds is when the body starts to be unable to compensate for the excess weight. For men, the number is is roughly 400 pounds. Obviously, height is a factor, and there are men and women heavier than that who are healthy. However, that's the anecdotal evidence I've seen and read.
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Tell me again Vegans don't need supplements…

Published 9.30.2016
Veganism is only possible in our modern world of supplements and fortified foods. Vegans MUST supplement to be healthy—and the doctor (Dr Greger) prescribing this is a vegan himself.

I have written previously about vegans needing supplements, but only in that a vitamin B12 supplement is essential. B12 isn't found in any plant foods, and a B12 deficit can have devastating effects on heart and brain health. Well, it turns out that B12 isn't the only essential supplement for vegans— particularly aging vegans. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a long chain omega three fatty acid that is important for brain health, as the human brain is roughly 50% fat.

DHA is not found in plants, but it is found in dairy, eggs and especially fish. Fish oil supplements are an attempt to increase omega three fatty acids— though obviously vegans would have no interest in fish oil, and recent news on fish oil supplements has not been good. If you want omega three fatty acids from fish, then you should eat fish.

Shorter chain omega three fatty acids such as linoleic acid are found in plants, and a healthy body will manufacture the longer chain fatty acids from the shorter chain fatty acids. However, the rate of transformation varies by individual and with age.

As we age, our ability to make the long chain omega-3s, like DHA, from the short chain omega-3s in plant foods, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and greens, may decline. And so, researchers compared DHA levels to brain volumes in the Framingham study, and lower DHA levels were associated with smaller brain volumes.

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