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!
Saturday, June 16, 2012
I just bought a copy for my Dad's Nook as a Father's Day gift (I also bought him a subscription to Scientific American, I'm not THAT patronizing), and I decided to buy one for myself as well. I downloaded Kindle for PC and bought it, and I read the first chapter.
I had NO idea that this book was written by an MD, let alone a cardiologist. I'm thrilled about that, since it lends credibility, and I was ecstatic to see mention of the effects of wheat removal on rheumatoid arthritis. My stepmother has RA really bad, so hopefully it will help them both.
I realized the last time I saw them that my parents are falling apart. There's no reason for them to be sick, tired, and in pain all the time at 58 and 59. I tried giving my stepmother Paleo cookbooks and the Whole30 Success Guide. I've given her testimonials on RA from Robb Wolf's site. I've been an example of the benefits, but I talked to my mom (who is not falling apart, but still needs to up her ante and she recognizes that) and she said I should stop trying to drop hints and just tell them how it is.
So I sent this book to my Dad's Nook with a note about how I love him and want to keep him around, and how he deserves to be healthy and awesome for being a great dad. I've led him to the water.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
So I'm on Facebook with my bestest best friend, and she asks if I can eat plantains.
Sure, I say, as long as I'm not face-stuffing, it's all good. Right?
She then tells me about these fried plantains that you smash into little wafers and fry in your choice of oil (she used EVOO like a boss), and then you top them with guac and sour cream...
I thought, hmm, that's tasty.
And then I thought,
OMG MY BEST FRIEND JUST INVENTED PALEO TACO SHELLS.
I would totally fold these bad boys up and fry them into taco shells, and stuff them with the Mexican-seasoned dead animal of my choosing.
Michelle, your brilliance is immortalized in cyberspace.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I was reading about Zoe Harcombe's book, The Obesity Epidemic, and in her videoed introduction she asked a few pointed questions (http://www.theobesityepidemic.org/):
"We want to be slim more than anything else in the world, so why do we have an obesity epidemic? If the solution is as simple as ‘eat less and do more’, why are 90% of today’s children facing a fat future? What if the current diet advice is not right? What if trying to eat less is making us fatter? What if everything we thought we knew about dieting is wrong?"
I browsed her site a bit, and read about the history of dietary recommendations. Since she is in the UK, much of her obesity research involves UK recommendations, but they followed our suit after the USDA's 1977 revision. It was controversial and the medical community at large did not support it. From a history of the USDA's recommendations:
"The issuance of the Dietary Goals was met with considerable debate and controversy, as industry groups and the scientific community expressed doubt that the science available at the time supported the specificity of the numbers provided in the Dietary Goals. To support the credibility of the science used by the Committee, the US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services (then called the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare) selected scientists from the two Departments and obtained additional expertise from the scientific community throughout the country to address the public’s need for authoritative and consistent guidance on diet and health." ( www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esr
That says to me that the scientists were hand-picked specifically to "prove" that the recommendations were sound. Take it as you will.
Continuing on, if the previous recommendation was that carbs and sugar made us fat, but we didn't skyrocket into obesity and diabetes until AFTER they changed their minds and said that fat made us fat, then why are we still pretending that our national waistline isn't the fault of this terrible, deadly advice? Well, here's a theory for you:
Of our ag subsidies here in the US, 59.2% of the money goes toward grain crops, seed oil crops, and vegetable oil products. If we go by wikipedia's references (which I usually check and find to be sound, even though it's not technically peer-reviewed), then corn is the top subsidized crop and we've been subsidizing since 1922. ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_s
ubsidy#United_States ) Big Agra gets LOTS of money.
Corn is massively produced to make HFCS and all kinds of other exciting things that go into those packaged monstrosities people think are edible. Maltodextrin, for example, is in pretty much every artificially flavored product you can think of, and it's corn-derived. I feel bad for popcorn, having to stand in a lineup with the other garbage called "corn products." I personally can't eat it because it tears up my stomach (family history of diverticulitis anyone?), but it's an angel compared to some of the other stuff. Wheat and soy are the other public enemies being mass produced on subsidy.
So where does the grain go to be made into food? Companies like General Mills own manufacturers of hundreds of brands. For example, HFCS goes into Coca Cola and Pepsi, candy bars, and Grok only knows what else. Wheat flour, corn flour, and rice flour go into all the cereals, breads, cakes, cookies, and crackers. This stuff fills the center aisles of our grocery stores, leaving the evolutionarily health-conscious to circle around the outside, darting in to find olive oil and vinegar among the dressings and coconut milk surrounded by chemically-modified seasoning mixes. Practically everything available to eat is packed with grain products, and we're told over and over again that to be healthy, lean, and fit, we must consume these foods in fairly large amounts while struggling vainly to stick to calorie counts and avoid the animal at all costs.
But we're hungry. We're hungry, unsatisfied, oatmeal and whole-wheat pasta taste gross by themselves, and we've either gotten fatter or plateaued with plenty of pounds still left before reaching our goals. Clearly this isn't working. No other animal wanders around hungry to keep its svelte figure, and humans are animals. Why are we hungry AND obese, even while we're avoiding fats like leprosy? The AHA and ADA are telling us that this is the way to eat for a long life and vibrant health, so why isn't it working?! Are we doing it wrong? Are they? If they're wrong, then why haven't they retracted this disastrous advice?
Enter the Current Corporate Sponsors of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly the American Dietetic Association ( www.eatright.org/corporatesponsors/ ):
Abbott Nutrition, makers of nutritional supplements. abbottnutrition.com/our-products/bra
Aramark, a commercial foodservice company. www.aramark.com/default.aspx
The National Dairy Council. www.nationaldairycouncil.org/
CoroWise, a manufacturer of plant sterols that are incorporated into many food products. www.corowise.com/
General Mills, which we should be familiar with from the cereal aisle but which owns hundreds of other nationally recognized brands. www.generalmills.com/ , www.bellinstitute.com/
Kellogg, best known for corn-ering the market for cornflakes (bad pun intended). www.kelloggnutrition.com/
Mars, Incorporated, another major food producer. www.marshealthyliving.com/
SoyJoy, a manufacturer of soybean snack foods. www.soyjoy.com/
Truvia, makers of a stevia-based sweetener (I read on a forum that stevia is apparently banned in the UK, just FYI). www.truvia.com/
Unilever, another company known for personal care products but which also owns food brands. www.unileverusa.com/
You tell me why we're still being told by our dieticians that whole grains and soy are health foods.
You tell me why we still insist on consuming milk long after childhood.
You tell me why we insist on stripping the fat from everything we can.
You tell me why butter is demonized in favor of the chemically synthesized, nickel-catalyzed mass that's artificially dyed and flavored and sold as heart-healthy.
You tell me why our diet food is soaked in high-fructose corn syrup.
And finally, you tell me why our nurses, doctors, and allied health professionals are still being taught, despite all biological, chemical, and physiological evidence to the contrary, that these things are true.
Follow the money.
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