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Living Vicariously thru Celebrity Chef

Friday, May 30, 2008

I dig Anthony Bourdain. He's my alter-ego. I watch his show and what he eats in all those countries and I know I'd never be an appreciative guest there - so I let him do it for me. I am very curious about other cultures and countries, so I love that he shows us backroads and real people. And the food? Most of it is BLECH to me! Did anyone see his trip to Iceland? I can appreciate fermenting as much as the next person, but shark? And what about the sheep's head? I was chuckling. Oh, I'm SO sorry I missed out on the porcupine in Vietnam. I wonder what his cholesterol is? He's a smoker and he loathes exercise, so I wonder about his vascular health - that's all :).

He guest judges Top Chef, which I also watch. I can't get enough of looking at and living FOOD through these chefs. I saw the Top Chef recipe book at the store, and decided against buying it cause I'd have to adapt too much for my needs. But the show makes me HUNGRY and want to cook!

Here's a touch of his boldness:

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

He's honest about his feelings and I like that. None of this viewing has any calories; in fact, I'm gonna start using my free weights while I watch. I'll be waiting a loooong time for him to do a "special" diet show: gluten-free and low-carb, or GFCF yada "some splinter faction"; but don't put it past me to ask him! ;).

I write. I EAT. I don't travel much, so I watch Tony. I'm hungry for more.

P.S. I just watched his visit to New Zealand. He ended the show with references to Charlie Trotter and Woody Harrelson and their clean colons ala raw dieting and being "non-adventurous." He's missing the mark on the reason why, but he still amuses me.

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HTG_ZOO 6/1/2008 11:48PM


My fiancee & I watch the cooking shows too... Top Chef & Hell's Kitchen mostly, knowing that half this crap would kill me. I like Anthony Bourdain sometimes too. The episodes where he went to France with his brother and to his young Asian assistant's homeland (Japan or Korea, I can't remember which one she was from & which one he just went to without her), were awesome. But those are older, I only catch his show on re-air.

Are there ANY gluten free cooking shows? I think it would be an awesome Top Chef challenge. They did diabetic cooking for kids last season, and this season they did a "balanced meal" for the family.

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KEROSENEGIRL 6/1/2008 7:39AM

    LOL, I will check him out. I have been watching Hell's Kitchen. Now that is a man with an anger problem!! I think I would pass on the porcupine as well..

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Blubbering over blueberries.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just a quick note to remind myself how much I'm missing fruit on a continual basis during my low-carbing. I had some after not having much sweet ... and it was like a party in my mouth! I about fell to my knees in gratitude for such a sweet, natural, fresh taste. What a treat I'll soon not forget. See? I'm still thinking about them, they were that good. Scrumptiddlyicious.

Blueberry facts here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYMINNIE123 5/26/2008 10:13PM

    Hey girl! Blueberries are very high in fiber and the one of the low-carbiest of the bunch. So I say, enjoy frequently!

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TRACY368 5/26/2008 12:54PM

    I di low carb about 4 years ago, but couldn't maintain it. I am now losing the same weight again but do it with a little more carbs. I still do not eat a lot of carbs (around 60-80 daily). I even will eat a banana, which I would run from before. Natural, whole foods are good for you. If you still want to limit your carbs, eat bluberries once aweek or so. Did you know blueberries are considered a "super food"? I'm not preaching to you, I just don't want you deny yourself. I denied myself a lot of different foods and lost 74 pounds. I gained 64 back.

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Tan, don't burn.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I got a great synopsis of Krispin Sullivan's work on Vitamin D. Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE on Dr. Kim's link for the complete rundown - it's thoughtful and encompassing work. Her own website has great information regarding Essential Fatty Acids, lectins, etc. I've learned so much -- but I forget, so I make references in my blog to jog my memory.

Pick up any popular book on vitamins and you will read that ten minutes of daily exposure of the arms and legs to sunlight will supply us with all the vitamin D that we need. Humans do indeed manufacture vitamin D from cholesterol by the action of sunlight on the skin but it is actually very difficult to obtain even a minimal amount of vitamin D with a brief foray into the sunlight.4,5

Ultraviolet (UV) light is divided into 3 bands or wavelength ranges, which are referred to as UV-C, UV-B and UV-A.6 UV-C is the most energetic and shortest of the UV bands. It will burn human skin rapidly in extremely small doses. Fortunately, it is completely absorbed by the ozone layer. However, UV-C is present in some lights. For this reason, fluorescent and halogen and other specialty lights may contribute to skin cancer.

UV-A, known as the "tanning ray," is primarily responsible for darkening the pigment in our skin. Most tanning bulbs have a high UV-A output, with a small percentage of UV-B. UV-A is less energetic than UV-B, so exposure to UV-A will not result in a burn, unless the skin is photosensitive or excessive doses are used. UV-A penetrates more deeply into the skin than UV-B, due to its longer wavelength. Until recently, UV-A was not blocked by sunscreens. It is now considered to be a major contributor to the high incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers.7 Seventy-eight percent of UV-A penetrates glass so windows do not offer protection.

The ultraviolet wavelength that stimulates our bodies to produce vitamin D is UV-B. It is sometimes called the "burning ray" because it is the primary cause of sunburn (erythema). However, UV-B initiates beneficial responses, stimulating the production of vitamin D that the body uses in many important processes. Although UV-B causes sunburn, it also causes special skin cells called melanocytes to produce melanin, which is protective. UV-B also stimulates the production of Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH), an important hormone in weight loss and energy production.8

The reason it is difficult to get adequate vitamin D from sunlight is that while UV-A is present throughout the day, the amount of UV-B present has to do with the angle of the sun's rays. Thus, UV-B is present only during midday hours at higher latitudes, and only with significant intensity in temperate or tropical latitudes. Only 5 percent of the UV-B light range goes through glass and it does not penetrate clouds, smog or fog.

Sun exposure at higher latitudes before 10 am or after 2 pm will cause burning from UV-A before it will supply adequate vitamin D from UV-B. This finding may surprise you, as it did the researchers. It means that sunning must occur between the hours we have been told to avoid. Only sunning between 10 am and 2 pm during summer months (or winter months in southern latitudes) for 20-120 minutes, depending on skin type and color, will form adequate vitamin D before burning occurs.9

It takes about 24 hours for UV-B-stimulated vitamin D to show up as maximum levels of vitamin D in the blood. Cholesterol-containing body oils are critical to this absorption process.10 Because the body needs 30-60 minutes to absorb these vitamin-D-containing oils, it is best to delay showering or bathing for one hour after exposure. The skin oils in which vitamin D is produced can also be removed by chlorine in swimming pools.

The current suggested exposure of hands, face and arms for 10-20 minutes, three times a week, provides only 200-400 IU of vitamin D each time or an average of 100-200 IU per day during the summer months. In order to achieve optimal levels of vitamin D, 85 percent of body surface needs exposure to prime midday sun. (About 100-200 IU of vitamin D is produced for each 5 percent of body surface exposed, we want 4,000 iu.) Light skinned people need 10-20 minutes of exposure while dark skinned people need 90-120 minutes.11

Latitude and altitude determine the intensity of UV light. UV-B is stronger at higher altitudes. Latitudes higher than 30° (both north and south) have insufficient UV-B sunlight two to six months of the year, even at midday.12 Latitudes higher than 40° have insufficient sunlight to achieve optimum levels of D during six to eight months of the year. In much of the US, which is between 30° and 45° latitude, six months or more during each year have insufficient UV-B sunlight to produce optimal D levels. In far northern or southern locations, latitudes 45° and higher, even summer sun is too weak to provide optimum levels of vitamin D.13-15 A simple meter is available to determine UV-B levels where you live.

What the research on vitamin D tells us is that unless you are a fisherman, farmer, or otherwise outdoors and exposed regularly to sunlight, living in your ancestral latitude (more on this later), you are unlikely to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D from the sun. Historically the balance of one's daily need was provided by food. Primitive peoples instinctively chose vitamin-D-rich foods including the intestines, organ meats, skin and fat from certain land animals, as well as shellfish, oily fish and insects. Many of these foods are unacceptable to the modern palate.

For food sources to provide us with D the source must be sunlight exposed. With exposure to UV-B sunlight, vitamin D is produced from fat in the fur, feathers, and skin of animals, birds and reptiles. Carnivores get additional D from the tissues and organs of their prey. Lichen contains vitamin D and may provide a source of vitamin D in the UV-B sunlight-poor northern latitudes.16 Vitamin D content will vary in the organs and tissues of animals, pigs, cows, and sheep, depending on the amount of time spent in UV-B containing sunlight and/or how much D is given as a supplement. Poultry and eggs contain varying amounts of vitamin D obtained from insects, fishmeal, and sunlight containing UV-B or supplements. Fish, unlike mammals, birds and reptiles, do not respond to sunlight and rely on vitamin D found in phytoplankton and other fish. Salmon must feed on phytoplankton and fish in order to obtain and store significant vitamin D in their fat, flesh, skin, and organs. Thus, modern farm-raised salmon, unless artificially supplemented, may be a poor source of this essential nutrient.

Modern diets usually do not provide adequate amounts of vitamin D;17 partly because of the trend to low fat foods and partly because we no longer eat vitamin-D-rich foods like naturally reared poultry and fatty fish such as kippers, and herring. Often we are advised to consume the egg white while the D is in the yolk or we eat the flesh of the fish avoiding the D containing skin, organs and fat. Sun avoidance combined with reduction in food sources contribute to escalating D deficiencies. Vegetarian and vegan diets are exceptionally poor or completely lacking in vitamin D predisposing to an absolute need for UV-B sunlight. Using food as one's primary source of D is difficult to impossible.

For even MORE vitamin D info:


Freedom from Fibromyalgia

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A thread on the Gluten File led me to this link, and I had to share. There's a spectrum to fibromyalgia symptoms just like any other autoimmune problem. This person's experience is very interesting. In celiac (an autoimmune response from eating gluten grains with subsequent nutrient malabsorption which can go undiagnosed for years) circles you often hear of people struggling to win over their fibromyalgia. I have to admit, my daily pain has subsided since going gluten-free (what a blessing!), but my pain after the slightest of exercise can slow me down for days. You really can't overdue it or the circle of pain repeats itself. I mean, the body is telling you something! So often, doctors help by giving you pain relievers (I really can't say, as I never got any) ... but is our body really low on drugs?

My belief is that autoimmune problems stem from obviously some genetic propensity, and can be triggered by stress, even the stress of malnutrition or nutrient deprivation. It's compounded by our lifestyles and lack of exercise, and the chemical soup we swim in.

That "Italian Stallionette" found great help with vitamins she was obviously lacking is telling. I looked through some of her other vlogs and there's one where she had to go to the hospital for anaphylactic shock. Now she has to stay off flour(!), nuts, and a few other things. Coincidence? I don't think so. I wonder if she knows about the Big G - GLUTEN?!

My Vitamin D, as I said in the last blog post is low. And my muscles are still painfully stiff and sore after simple gardening ... I'm on " D " therapy & taking other vitamins now (and can't imagine that I'm not low on others if I'm low on D), so I'll keep you posted if this is going to help. It's better than doing nuffin.
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Carbo Glucose Insulin Roller Coaster Ride

Friday, May 16, 2008

I've been looking for health in all the wrong places. First, being a vegetarian did me no good. Who'd have thunk gluten could do all that to a person? Now it's sugar's turn. Even fruit sugar (sigh). Gluten-free diet doesn't mean it's a healthier diet. A ton of gluten-free manufacturered food is full of high-glycemic replacement grains: rice flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, etc. Granted, we can always turn to quinoa or amaranth, but then again, depends if your body can handle the sugar load. Have you had your insulin tested lately?

I took a look at medical records from 2003 (because I always ask for copies - always) when I started having heart palpitations and SOME iron deficient labs (remember, I was diagnosed with celiac finally 2-06), I see the doc DID check my insulin and glucose. It was fine and dandy back then at 6.2 and 84.

However, since? Well, my insulin has gone up to 10.8 and my glucose was 83. This insulin level is "normal high" or bordering on insulin resistance. I think because I'm absorbing more nutrients, I'm also absorbing more calories and therefore what goes with it: glucose/fructose or the HFCS in my Yoplait. How does a person change their glucose: grains or sugars. Much less an extent with protein, not fat.

I believe this is pervasive in our culture as I'm in good company with about 60% of America. I HAVE medical insurance (no wonder people W/OUT it can't manage ... they're working their butts off, malnourished and don't have time to research!), and because of my undiagnosed celiac symptoms can say that I've visited my share of doctors over the years. I guess I would have wanted a doctor to pick up on this sooner. I really had to work to get to this understanding! I don't have any diabetic friends, but even if I did, I doubt they understand it the way I've come to understand it. I'm trying to prevent diabetes, not "manage" it. Hope. Hope.

I've worn my emoticon to many an appointment, and I guess I wish doctor's would have continued to check my insulin levels before October 07. I've read about the abdominal fat being a precursor for diabetes, but thought because I ate so well, that it didn't apply to me (wishful thinking or denial? No: ignorance). I thought most overweight people were eating lots of unhealthy carbs (well, some are, can't argue that -- and I wonder how many of them are gluten intolerant?). I thought I was healthier. Bah! I didn't recognize that a carb is a carb is a carb (except for carbs that barely raise your blood sugars - emoticon emoticon emoticon).

After 30 months gluten-free, I find that gluten is only a piece of my puzzle: I should have been looking also to carbohydrates. I've been unknowingly tweeking my way toward lowering them by taking grains out of my diet. For a couple weeks I took out all "white" foods (grains, rice, bananas, dairy, corn), but craved yogurt ... or was it really the HFCS in the yogurt (Yoplait cherry)? I really think food can be drug-like for some people. I believe that on one hand I WAS in need of calcium and vitamin D (being the dead of December and all .. and my blood labs indicated as much in hindsight), but also I craved the sugar from the Yoplait.

Soo, I've given up potato chips (again) and Yoplait cherry, which I emoticon emoticon. When I look back on my food journal (yay, I'm always so glad I took the time to capture my day that way ... for different reasons/medical questions, I've researched back months and been so bummed I didn't log that day), I see now that a lot of my carbs come from fruit/fructose. And this is why I don't lose weight despite my "clean whole foods gluten-free" diet. I've tried a week or so now on lower-carb and have responded with weight loss. What a concept! THIS is my answer: CARB/fructose control!

In researching (you know I like to do that), I find that it's no wonder my insulin hasn't been checked. Why are some doctors not preventative in their practice? Do they get in a comfort zone of going through motions? Do they get disappointed with people who don't comply so they manage with drugs? So often they wait for you to have "horizontal disease" about dying on their floor or before crisis-mode before getting to the real diagnosis. Do they get discouraged and don't believe people can be held accountable and follow rules? Do they see every fatty as a weak glutton slob incapable of self-control (see the book, How Doctors Think by Dr. Groopman)? Even thin or normal-weight people get diagnosed with insulin resistance or Type II diabetes ... why IS that? Are they gluttons?

Doctors don't think people with IBS should maybe try a gluten-free diet because it's "too hard". Well, give a person the option! Let us make informed choices. Don't think FOR us, think WITH us! You know what's hard? Living with IBS ... or for me, insulin resistance; the sure-road to diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease? Now I understand why my cardiologist (I never met her, I met the tech who did my echo) is on the Atkins diet herself.

It's a shame. The medical community confuses me. Is it about money and forwarding you on to the next specialist/buddy? I know there are good doctors out there; I'm still looking for a few. (When I brought up alernative subjects with my gastroenterologist, he said I was lucky I got him because he can think outside the box; the others in the practice would drop me as a patient for ASKING!) Read it all, but esp YOU DID NOT EAT YOUR WAY TO DIABETES
podcast interviews #21 with Jack Challem, nutrition reporter ( ) and #33 with Michael Murray, ND, ( ) about diabetes and diet (he also sells products I have no experience with, but you don't have to buy - the info is relevant regardless if you purchase.) Sugar Blues, by William Dufty Get the Sugar Out, by Ann Louise Gittleman

For my celiac friends: guess what helps insulin regulation? Vitamin D, your Bs, K, chromium -- listen to Jack Challem! I have no idea about my chromium level, but my Vitamin D3 was 20 in Sept, then 15 by Feb (different labs tho). I'm crazy trying to get it up because I think about all the articles I've read about increased risk for breast and colon cancer. Bring on the sun! Tan, don't burn! Your body can soak in only so much D at a time, so when they say 15 mins. of sun daily, that's why. You want your natural oils to soak it in for another 20 mins (?I think) so don't wash right away. Normal levels are around 50. Lifeguard levels avg 150!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAWNATONY 5/17/2008 8:56AM

    hey you ..came over just to say congrats on the loss so far with getting out those icky carbs! then seen this GREAT blog!!! Love it girl!!
Im trying to stay closer to the zone, which is lower carb but with less sat fats..and a lil harder..but I feel well on it.. Happy Sat!

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