Evil Genius Woman, Thrifty Mom's Diet progress slider

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How about we nip it in the bud?

Great article in the NY Times by an overweight doctor struggling to advise an overweight patient.

It's frank and up front about the awkward juxtaposition of a person reciting the same old "eat less, move more" rhetoric when that person clearly is either not following his own advice or - surprise, surprise - that advice is complete crap.

Charles Washington from Zeroing in on Health did a better job than I ever could of stating what is obvious to any of us low-carbers: stop the dogma and advise the slashing of sugars/starches/carbs.  Instead, these doctors not only follow the same old useless advice, but continue to espouse it knowing, from their own experience, that it doesn't work (obviously). Charles Washington says:

"This advice should not be based solely on the doctor’s experience. It should be based on an understanding of the science of metabolic syndrome and the advice of Dr. Spock and those who came before just 50 years ago. Carbohydrates are the key to fattening and if one wants to avoid weight gain, then they must decrease carbohydrate consumption. They used to know and teach this until Ancel Keys came along with his total cholesterol nonsense. Now, doctors must stand confused in front of their patients with only their experience to rely on. Is it any wonder that the patients glaze over? I think it’s only right. If an obese person came up to me trying to tell me about the unhealthiness of my diet, I would have to laugh. I mean, really."

Indeed.  My husband's own cardiologist* is an enormous bloke, at least 30lbs overweight.  While I don't in any way think that this affects his abilities as a doctor - I think he's a fine doctor and I love him as a person - but it does skew any diet advice he gives.  The nutritionist or dietitian or whatever she was at the hospital (the HEART hospital) was as round as a bagel and sipping an iced something crappy from Starbucks when she v. seriously advised me to get Bodog on a low fat diet "right away" and cut out all those nasty saturated fats that were damaging his heart.

I'm pretty sure his welcome home supper was two 1/4lb ground beef patties, fried in bacon grease and topped with cheese and chili. 

Eight months later Bodog's blood pressure and cholesterol is perfect and he's lost 30lbs. The sheaf of low-fat diet propaganda lined the budgie's cage (crap on crap, perfect!) and he has learned to live on less than 80g of carbs a day. Erm ... my husband, not the budgie, lol!

But overweight doctors aside, the patient in the article was a child, an 8 year old, and so of course that got me into Mommy Mode.  My thing is this: how can we avoid having the doctor even have to discuss diets with our children?  Answer: don't let our kids get overweight in the first place.

Can it be done?  One of the doctors in the article invoked a "omg been there, done that" response in me:

"But Dr. (Julie C.) Lumeng has struggled with her own weight — she says she lost 50 pounds in the past year after a gestational diabetes scare — and she understands how hard it is to translate her own beliefs into daily practice. When she gets home from a long day at work, she told me, she knows she really ought to tell her three children to turn off the television and ride their bikes, while she is cooking broccoli and salmon for dinner.

“I know it all, I do research in this,” she went on. “But in the moment I’m exhausted, it’s been a long day at work, everyone’s sort of irritable. You can know what you need to do, but when the moment comes ... .”"

As a mom I can SO identify with this!  Many many times I am tired, irritated, and have a dozen things unfinished to do in the house or online for my business and it's supper time. Throw in the fact that I've personally cooked a hot healthy breakfast, dinner, and tea for these kids and the urge to blow off supper (I dunno, popsicles as a meal? Popsicles have vitamins and stuffs, right?) grows strong like the force.

But this is where we moms must show our mettle. This is our Normandy Beach of our children's diet.  This is where we need to pull up our big girl underpants and say: "No. No I will not feed my child a microwave kids meal, or a fast food kids meal, filled with chemicals, sugar, soy, and carbohydrates!  Even two slices of whole wheat bread with plain turkey and cheese is preferable."  We also need to teach our kids to eat good foods.  If you wail that your toddler won't eat wheat bread or turkey or cheese and will only eat Frankenchicken nuggets and mac and orangefakesauce so that's why that's all you serve him, well, mommy epic FAIL.

They won't starve themselves. No really, they won't.  It's our responsibility to put good food on the table in front of our children.  It might take them 20 times of taking one bite per meal to learn to like something but we must do it.

The basic gist is this: an overweight 8 year old didn't take her own money down to the Micky Ds and gorge on Big Macs. She didn't do this. Her momma did.

There's nothing in the world wrong with fast food every now and again, or even sweet treats (popsicles!), on occasion, but the fact is that WE control what our young kids eat.  The opening lines of the article struck me as terribly, terribly sad:

"The mother came out of the exam room to intercept me: she knew I would probably have to talk to her daughter about how she was gaining weight, she said, but please don’t use the word “fat,” or even “overweight.” Don’t make her feel bad about herself. "

She allowed her daughter to get fat!  And only now is she concerned about her self image?  A bit late for that.  I never, NEVER want to be in the situation where my baby girl's self confidence is weakened by something I DID TO HER.

Nuff said.

*For anyone who hasn't been following my blog, my husband, Bodog, a type 1 diabetic, had a heart attack last November (at the age of 34) and had to get 2 stents in his heart.
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 4 Comments

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's really simple, duh.

Brilliant, brilliant video on what I rant about ALL the time: 

It is just idiocy to believe "the machine" and actually buy that processed, packaged, de-fatted, reduced, enhanced, fortified, CRAP is better for you than Just.  Plain.  Food.

Use your brains, people.

Many thanks to Zen To Fitness and his great post on how to nourish the body wherin he had this vid.
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 1 Comments

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Today's funny

Obviously a BritCom (a genre of which I am inordinately fond). I had to stop it and laugh.

"Meat eater":

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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 1 Comments

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dr. Sears is off his rocker and sugar is still bad for you

OK, I have been surfing around the net, like ya do, clicking a link, reading a bit, finding another interesting link in the text or sidebar, clicking that, etc, etc.

Well, I'm having a friendly debate with a Tweep who claims that Sugar in the Raw is healthier and more easily digested than regular sugar.

In researching the subject I came across a hilarious bit of stupidity from one of my least liked people: Dr Sears.  I consider this bloke a fool in general. Irritating and full of misinformation.  Now, I don't watch telly, so I'm blissfully not exposed to his wind often, but I encounter his "wisdom" via starry-eyed admirers of his.

Here's Dr. Sears's sage (read: laughably misinformed) thoughts on nutrition:  This guy is a DOCTOR!

"Sugars are one form of carbohydrates and carbohydrates are good for you, as long as you eat the right kinds in the right amounts. Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy. You couldn't live or work without them. Your body needs a lot of carbohydrates - around 60 to 70 percent of your total calories should be in the form of carbs."

This man shouldn't be allowed to practice medicine much less be on telly.  This is pure horseshite, the entire paragraph. Hans Adolph Krebs (of the Krebs Cycle) proved that the body happily converts fat, protein, and carbs into energy with equal zeal. If you "couldn't live or work without" carbs then how do you explain the Maasai, who lived for so long on mostly milk, blood, and meat, or the Inuit, who used to subsit on mostly meat, fish, and blubber?  Or how about the loads of ZC (zero carb) people out there right now? For that matter, what about me, a Very Low Carber?  I eat no sugar, no grains, no starches, no legumes, no fruit (and haven't for over 2 years) and eat a serving of vegetables maybe 3 times a week.  Throw in my wee bit of dairy and I'm lucky to rack up 10 grams of carbs a day. I never go above 20.

Yet I have an incredible amount of energy (much more than I ever had before - even back when I was at my present weight but on a low-fat diet). I am flabbergasted that people, people who are trusted by the public, no less, are still spouting this nonsense!

Then, on a better note, I found this, on wikipedia with accompanying graph. It's sobering to say the least.

"In the United States of America, a scientific/health debate has started[citation needed] over the causes of a steep rise in obesity in the general population — and one view posits increased consumption of carbohydrates in recent[update] decades as a major factor.[9] 

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I and Continuous indicates that the population in the United States has increased its proportion of energy consumption from carbohydrates and decreased its proportion from total fat while obesity has increased. This implies, along with the United Nations report cited below, that obesity may correlate better with sugar consumption than with fat consumption, and that reducing fat consumption while increasing sugar consumption actually increases the level of obesity. The following table summarizes this study (based on the proportion of energy intake from different food sources for US Adults 20-74 years old, as carried out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD[11]):"

 Year      Sex      Carbohydrate      Fat        Protein      Obesity

1971      Male         42.4%           36.9%    16.5%       12.1%

1971      Female      45.4%          36.1%     16.9%       16.6%

2000      Male         49.0%          32.8%     15.5%        27.7%

2000      Female      51.6%          32.8%     15.1%       34.0%

There it is in black and white, folks. More carbs, more sugar, LESS fat, and startling rise in obesity.

What more proof do we need?  What can we sensible folks do to get these idiot doctors and 'dietitians' to QUIT flogging the "fat is baaaaaaad" dogma?


By the way, I never found any evidence that any of the 'raw' sugars are more healthy or more easily digestible. Sugar in the Raw is just table sugar without the cane juice filtered out. They are both sucrose and both equally terrible for you. I also contend that one is not more easily digested. I think that's just wishful thinking, an old wives' tale perpetuated by the veggie/vegan/"healthy eating" (*snort!*) crowd. I think that folks mollify themselves with all the buzzwords "raw!" and "natural!" and plunk down the huge amount of money these vanity sugars cost, then pat themselves on the back for being so health concious.
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 9 Comments

Monday, July 20, 2009

I eat meat.

These people are incredible idiots.  Srsly. These morons are so laughingly stupid and uniformed that, if their 'advice' wasn't so dangerous to people's health, I'd be rolling on the floor.

As it is, they sickeningly regurgitate the putrid muck of conventional anti-science and embrace the lies of popular "health wisdom".

Realbuzz.com 'healthy active living' EPIC FAIL.

(thx to Dr. Michael R. Eades MD, for link via Twitter.)

I ask, again, how folks can actually believe such rubbish as a low-fat diet being good for you when Americans have been following one for over 30 years and getting fatter, sicker, and, apparently dumber (to keep mindlessly gorging on garbage like the above article).

It's right up there with people who actually believe that humans are supposed to be vegetarians.  What's next? The earth is flat? The moon landing was a hoax?

Dr. Eades happens to have a recent blog post on the very subject of what we are really meant to eat: meat.

"Au contraire to what our vegetarian friends would have us believe, we have the GI tracts of carnivores, not herbivores, and we were designed by nature to use every last speck of the nutrients in meat. We can survive on all-meat diets just fine, whereas we can’t survive on an all-plant diet without supplementation."

And a fact that vegetarians and vegans cannot seem to grasp (impaired brain fucntion due to eating no meat, maybe? I'm being serious.) that we evolved our large brains BECAUSE we ate meat.

"We’ve developed our large brains and our social instincts as a consequence of meat eating. I’m planning a post on this subject in the near future, so you can see how our very humanness arose because we developed a taste for meat. We are carnivores to our very cores – were we not, we would still be roaming the savannas with brains the size of grapefruits."


On the subject, I just couldn't resist this "I eat meat" funny t-shirt for all of us carnivores and low-carb folks.  I am SO getting myself one!:

carnivore, atkins, paleo, primal, warrior, VLC, ZC, low carb, meat eater funny t-shirt. I eat meat!

As I've said time and again, going low carb, punting grains and sugars and starches, moving your body, getting more sun, that is: getting healthy, doesn't have to be hard.  Really. There is no set plan, no ideal diet.  Like Tony, the anti-Jared (who has lost over 200lbs - thats 50lbs more than I have!) said: "Diets are like snowflakes, no two are going to be alike."

You have to experiment and see what works for you.

Take me, for instance. I dropped 100lbs like 10 sacks of hot potatoes by just slashing grains, starches, and sugars from my diet. I ate whatever else I wanted - spoonfulls of peanut butter, any and all meats, mayonnaise, margerine, chunks of cheese, etc, etc. 

By the time I discovered Paleo (or Lacto-Paleo for me since I still eat some butter, heavy cream, and cheese), dropping fruits, nightshades, and legumes was easy.  I continued to eat what I wanted and continued to lose weight.  Eventually I drifted into an easy equilibrium of eating mostly fatty meats, eggs, and trace amounts of butter, cream, cheese, nuts/seeds, and veg (I eat a small serving of lettuce, raw carrots, or cooked greens - cabbage/collards - abt 2-3 times a week).

My health is excellent, my blood pressure is great, and my cholesterol is the lowest it's ever been in my life. I feel good and have tonnes of energy, BUT, after over 150lbs lost, I've discovered that if I want to continue to lose weight, I have to watch my calories (and cut back on my beloved cheese and nuts).

So even on a plan that turns out to be great for you, you might have to make adjustments now and then. Take this Primal chick whom I follow on Twitter who is experimenting with going 100% carnivore (called ZC or zero carb)*.  She's had tremendous success and in that blog post does a good job of detailing her thoughts about the plan.

"VLC is poorly defined. Is it Atkins Induction with two cups of veg? Is it animal products only? What I like about meat-only is that it's a clear end-point, from which I can choose to reincorporate various foods and judge scientifically my body's response to them, without too many confounding variables. It goes without saying that grains and refined sugars will never be part of my diet; I may ultimately resume the primal lifestyle since it works very well for me, with perhaps a little more restriction on the frequency of fruit and amount of veggies, given my recent learning. I'm not predicting the outcome. I like this journey of discovery and learning, keeping it as pure as possible, with me just along for the ride. :) "

VLC is Very Low Carb, which applies to my own diet plan, and she's right about its being poorly defined. That's my point. There is no one perfect plan. Do like she and I both did and jump in with something that sounds good, whether its a DIY diet like Paleolithic or a set plan like Atkins, and roll your own.

Just stick to the basic principals of good health: eat whole fresh foods, not processed anything, eat meats, fats, nuts, and vegetables; dump refined flours and sugars, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup; move yourself, walk more, do some body-weight-training; get outside in the fresh air and sunshine, without chemicals on your skin.

You don't have to go carnivore, you don't have to go VLC, you don't even have to give up all grains and sugars (though I really recommend it), but just do something. Build your own diet plan and get healthier. Trust me on this: when you get to be my age (45), having the arthritis almost miraculously better and having the energy levels through the roof really, really makes a difference!

How have you adapted your eating plan for life? Are you still on the same plan or did you have to tweak it a bit?  How so?

*In case you are freaking out about the concept of 100% carnivore, I do it all the time. I have never done the pure version (which is just meat, no spices, and water. Period.) but I have gone for weeks eating nothing but meat as my food; no veg, no cheese, no nuts, no butter. I noticed no difference in energy level or well-being. It's great.
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 6 Comments

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Butter -vs- hydrogenated hormone filled oils, erm, margarine

Fabulous article on butter -vs- margarine here.

I love the opening lines: "Why anyone would still willingly eat margarine is beyond me. Seriously."

Indeed. Margarine is like coagulated death.  Not only is it loaded with hydrogenated oils, it's often soybean oil (and you can keep your female hormones to yourself, thanks, and my kids won't be getting any either.)

If you can get past the wincingly awful grammar gaffe* (twice!) of using "comprised of", the rest of the post if fab.

The author carefully details what's horrible about margarine: chemical solvents used to produce those trans-fatty acids, for example, and what's wonderful about butter:

"... short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids that come from butter offer antimicrobial and immune-enhancing benefits to the eater. [snip]
Butter is rich in vitamins and minerals that are not present in margarine. For example, butter is rich in real Vitamin A – a vitamin that is critical to reproductive health and vitally important to both babies still developing in their mothers’ wombs as well as young children. Butter is rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin D and the mineral selenium..."

I personally switched my entire family over to real butter at the end of last year - a hard row to hoe for a person as frugal as I am - and buy it in restaurant sized bulk packages. I am convinced, however, that it's best for my family, and by golly, our food tastes better!  I substitute olive oil in cooking and use butter mainly as a spread/garnish. I have also noticed that we use MUCH less butter on food than we did margarine. Quality over quantity!

Do you still use margarine?  Why? And if you've switched, what are you doing to offset the increased cost of using real butter?

*Grammar rant: "Comprised of" is a big grammar FAIL. You mean "composed of". Comprised means "to include" or "to be made up of", thus a library is not comprised of books, rather books comprise a library.
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 3 Comments