Saturday, June 30, 2012
I have a new goal.
I want to look like a pinup girl from the 1950s.
Nevermind that pinup girls from the 1950s didn't look that way from exercising and building strength. We'll overlook my methods.
My other new goal is to pwn Organic II the same way I pwned Organic I. I got an A- in six weeks! My TA is really pushing the PhD program, saying that I really don't understand how hard it is to do what I did, that I'd be really awesome at synthesis, and that if I get my minor in chemistry and make nice with my current professors and my biochem professor who works in the same lab, I could convince them to give me an undergrad position and then I'd probably score a spot in the PhD program no problem.
I feel like he exaggerated the ease of getting into the PhD program, but I also think he's being honest as only someone working in that lab can be.
Only problem with going into a PhD program in chemistry is that... I've kinda been working my butt off to get into medical school. Do I love organic chemistry? Yes. Will I love biochemistry? Since it's basically the next step and it's being taught by a funny little Jewish man, yeah, I will probably love it too. Biomolecules? Sounds great. I'm quite surprised that I'm having more fun with chemistry than with genetics, which I thought would be my forte. Its just that autoimmunity, metabolic syndromes, and inflammatory disease are becoming my pet interests, more so even than biomechanics (which are what got me interested in becoming a physician in the first place.) I want to do research while I'm in medical school, so doing research during my last year will be a huge help to me, but... I really do want to be a physician. Medicine can only change if the people going into the field are willing to work to change it, and I can't do that if I'm staying above the fray doing chemical syntheses.
I'm also Whole30ing tomorrow. I'm basically Whole30ing today, too, but I have to clarify butter and whip up some olive oil mayonnaise today while I'm studying so I can be ready to rock tomorrow. Also, Mom and I are eating up the fried chicken tenders we get from Publix tonight, so not a Whole30-approved move. The other non-Whole30 move I'm making is taking a day off. The 13th is MICHERU's birthday, and if we go anywhere near a cheesecake you'd better believe I'm eating it. I'll be good all day long and I'm even stretching it out to the 31st to make up for the lost day, but if my best friend wants a birthday treat with her girls, I'm not going to disappoint. So there.
Speaking of, there are some delicious Whole30 recipes right here whole9life.com/2012/06/a-whole30-fou
rth-of-july/ that look amazingly tasty. I must make some of these things to nom on.
So off for the day... I have enough homework for three people. Stupid accelerated summer terms...
Saturday, June 23, 2012
I really should watch more videos on TED.
This was an excellent video. It's 17 minutes, but please find time to watch it. Skip the LOLcats and the PHD webcomic and watch this.
Further, I've been thinking to myself about how highly polarized nutrition is. Every side is too busy arguing about who's right that no one wants to come together and see what's right about each idea, and put it all together to build something better.
Vegans are constantly citing the latest research that says eating meat will promptly skyrocket our cholesterol, stop our hearts, and give us cancer with just one more bite.
Raw foodists claim we can't cook anything or risk turning the most nutritious foods into nutrient-poor blobs.
Paleos cite all the evidence that grains will kill us all immediately and without remorse.
CW's like the calorie counters and the Weight Watchers are too busy chanting about moderation to bother with any of it, and everyone else (the vegans, the veggies, the raw foodies, the cavepeople) is fairly convinced the calorie counters are wrong anyway. I know I am, and that's a personal bias I have to square with.
THEN we have all the people interspersed between these groups for medical or personal reasons. I can't even name most of them. And what about the people who eat a whole food diet in general and do seemingly fine, like the Clean Eaters?
Who's right? Are any of us right? Are we all right? And most importantly, why isn't anyone asking this question and sitting down with biochemists and biologists to figure out the how and the why?
The answer to the second part of that is money... no one wants to fund anything that will reduce our dependence on big companies, agencies, and the like. But that doesn't explain why we aren't having Vegan-Paleo mixers at the local sushi bars. The rest boils down to being really terrible scientists about the whole thing. We all do it. I do it. You've done it. We've found The Way, and seek out anything to support The Way and anything to debunk, defray, and destabilize The Wrong Way. Vegans do it to us. We do it to them. CWers do it to everyone. And we're all guilty of bias, when the truth is that there's a grain (heh) of truth everywhere.
Cavepeople acknowledge we're omnivores and debunk all that silly heart disease talk.
Vegans admit we need to eat way more plants than we currently eat.
Rawists know that some things are meant to be eaten as they're found.
CWers, as much as I knock their psychologically damaging pound-loss calculations and merciless mathematical torture, acknowledge that food is not just fuel. It's also the common denominator of all people, and this life is way too short to deprive yourself of enjoying food prepared with love just to stick to a rigid nutritional doctrine. (Some people use it as an excuse to eat crap "in moderation" every day, but we're talking about the healthy ones here.)
I know healthy, vibrant vegans, striking rawists, and gorgeous cavepeople (one of my dance teachers went Paleo through her Crossfit box so I have a local buddy now!) and despite the differences we're all the same.
Less food-related stress.
Hunger, not numbers.
Joy in eating.
So I have a hypothesis (not a theory, we're using the scientific definition here!), and I plan on (when I have time) reading up on actual legit science on metabolism and cell biology, physiology, and biochemistry, and learning about what it is we need to function optimally. This will take a while because I'm enrolled in cell biology and biochemistry for the fall and won't be matriculating medical school until 2014, but stick with me.
My hypothesis is this:
The cavepeople are right: humans are omnivorous. There are compounds and nutrition we need from both plants and animals, and without it all, we will miss something.
The vegans are right: we don't eat enough plants, and the cavepeople need to remember that not every day brought a successful hunt for our ancestors.
The rawists are right: there's a time and a place for cooking stuff, and soaking is awesome for eating the stuff the cavepeople call toxic.
The overarching hypothesis: Every single person is different. Each body requires different things at different times, so if Kelly eats steak four times a week and no fruit, but Bob eats steak once a week, Jim eats steak and dairy, and Jill eats steak, fruit, and soaked buckwheat, and everyone keeps his or her body in prime condition that way, then who is doing it "wrong?"
It MUST be brought to bear with actual scientific information. Not an agenda, not a philosophical battle of wills, but pure scientific fact regarding physiological function, cellular metabolism, and chemical synthesis.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
I decided on the fly to make zucchini "pasta," after reading that I could use a vegetable peeler to strip the flesh instead of julienning the whole thing. Win for the internetz.
I melted some butter in a pan, mixed a little olive oil in, and added some crushed garlic to make a nice sauce, then sauteed the zucchini "noodles" until they were softened.
It's delicious, but I should have salted and squeezed the zucchini first instead of just squeezing it.
I then took the seedy core, sliced it, and tasted a slice of raw zucchini core. It was also delicious! I saved the cores and the actual skins to put on salads. Waste not. I really will eat anything green.
In the meantime, we're eating the breaded chicken tenders from Publix tonight. I know it's not Whole30 approved, but I'm at a point in my income (read: broke) that I eat whatever is for dinner. Most of the time we eat separately anyway, and she's pretty much down with me eating "weird," so consider it a modified Whole30 in that, if Mom serves, I eat. Period.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
"Folks, if you see “retrospective cohort” it should not be taken with a grain of salt, it should be taken with several hits of LSD so that you have a valid reason for perpetuating this fantasy." --Robb Wolf
I don't care what your food philosophy is, you cannot win with bad science.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
1.) I think I bombed my genetics test because I haven't been studying enough, and how I have been studying is not conducive to genetics. Not enough detail, not enough computation practice. I started fresh this evening after we fed the buffalo (fiance is farm-sitting for a friend this week), and I feel better about the upcoming exams. If I did as badly as I think I did I can pull a B if I really crack down.
2.) The chickens we are chicken-sitting escaped yesterday. Huge fiasco... tears and yelling and clucking... I couldn't get these chickens back in their enclosure for anything! Normally they mob whomever is holding the bucket of chicken food, but they squeezed out the door and immediately had their heads in the grass, chomping on bugs. "Layer crumble? 'Cluck' you and your layer crumble... we've got beetles to eat." The fiance got them back in fine. Turns out they're social and you can just pick 'em up and throw them back inside.
3.) There are also buffalo, and they look delicious.
4.) I am backing off on reading nutrition stuff until weekends, when I have nothing else to do (like study genetics properly). I'm the poster child for procrastination and ADD, together.
5.) My fiance told me to STFU already about the food industry and our nutritional recommendations. I think he's about had it with hearing about it all, but I am less about the conspiracy and more about bad science. Even he admitted, though, that bad science abounds... experts form a conclusion and then seek to prove the conclusion no matter how tenuous the evidence, instead of proposing a hypothesis and experimenting to accept, reject, or modify the hypothesis.
6.) Haven't heard back on the Wheat Belly thing yet. I don't think it's an attention-grabber for Dad... he's an engineer, not a biochemist.
7.) I started a fresh Whole30 on Monday and noted this morning that my weekend of revelry (adult beverages of the processed variety) gained me almost 5 lbs. I've been stuck in "OMG, I'm fat again!" land all day. Sucks. The only thing I haven't done to 100% comply is to clarify butter. I'll get around to it later this week.
8.) My organic chemistry TA told me that I'm his top student this semester. SUPER HAPPY FACE!
9.) Mom and I finished the last season of Merlin available on Netflix (Season 3). We can't wait 'til Season 4 ends and we can watch that, too, along with the next season of Grimm in September!
10.) I found my Day-Timer at my dad's house while I was there. I didn't realize how much I used it until it wasn't here.
So until this weekend, lots of study study, less MDA, more reviewing, and more delicious grain and dairy-free eats!
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