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Moved to ancestralhealth.info/vegan-to-primal.htm

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Cold season

Woman sipping hot water for cold.A friend of mine stubbornly refuses to consider primal. (I have mentioned but not pushed.)

However, a while back she informed me that carbs and sugar were poison and she was going on a low carb diet, which she did for a while. During that time, she got a couple of colds. I was able to convince her to take lots of vitamin D. They were the shortest colds she ever had.

Then, as usual, she dropped off low carb and started nomming bread. She came down with a cold. I reminded her about vitamin D, but I don’t think she took much. As usual, I made her soups and reminded her to sip lots of hot liquids, which she didn’t much. As usual, she coughed 24/7 for 6 weeks before going to the doctor, who chewed her out and gave her antibiotics for bronchitis.

By the way, when she started to come down with this one, I started to get one too. I did what you are supposed to. It never got me. I am not a doctor but here’s what works for me:

  • Lots of vitamin D3. I take 40,000 IU for three days after I feel a cold coming on.
  • Sip hot liquids constantly. And I do mean constantly.
  • Make soups, like “Thai penicillin” or or just plain old “Jewish penicillin” – chicken soup.
  • Take it easy. Recline but don’t just stay in bed. Get up frequently, e.g. to get more hot tea.
  • Stay warm, maybe even uncomfortably warm. That helps your body fight the virus.

If you follow the Primal (or other Paleo) lifestyle, your immune system should improve dramatically. Mine has. I went from a winter of having 3 cases of the flu and lots of colds to one of having a couple very mild colds. I can’t promise, but . . . .

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I have been doing this lifestyle for about a year. I have lost lots of fat. Just about every part of my body is thinner. It used to be hard to find a watch band or ring big enough for me, gloves too. Now, the ones I have are loose. A top hat that used to be snug now falls down over my eyes. I touch my face and am shocked to feel cheek bones. My belt has tightened at least a couple of inches. When I walk, I feel light.

I HAVE LOST A GRAND TOTAL OF ABOUT 7 POUNDS!!!

Throw away your scale! Go by how your clothes fit.

How come I haven’t lost more “weight”? In my opinion, it is mostly from greater bone density. (Some greater muscle too. But I haven’t done much weight lifting or other resistance training.) About a year and a half ago, I had to have a tooth pulled. My body was reabsorbing it and my dentist couldn’t save it. My doctor recommended calcium.

From Mark’s Daily Apple I found out about the importance of vitamin D for calcium absorption, and started taking lots of it. Later, I learned that we need vitamin K to direct where the calcium goes. Magnesium is important too. But because I eat dairy, I no longer take calcium.

Vitamin D: Sun Exposure, Supplementation and Doses
Vitamin D: Confounding Factors
Deconstruction Vitamin D
Vitamin D: Loose Ends

Vitamin K: Should I Supplement? (Personally, I do take vitamin K. From other reading, I think most of us don’t get enough, even if we are Primal.)

Unfortunately, I don’t have bone density tests to prove that I have greater bone density. But it’s my story and I am sticking to it!

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A part of me is profoundly sedentary. That part of me wants to sit in an easy chair with a book or laptop. Coffee pot, mini-refrigerator, phone, radio, liquor cabinet and other conveniences within reach, so that I only have to get up for biobreaks. I give in to this evil part of me less and less now. I know that it would kill me.

Sitting is Killing You
From: http://www.medicalbillingandcoding.org

Now, most of the data about the ill effects of sitting is correlational, i.e. lots of sitting is correlated with medical problems. That does not necessarily mean that the more you sit, the worse health you have.

Some people respond to the above information by getting a standing desk. If that works for you, fine. But is this a case of more not necessarily being more? We now know that just because getting some aerobic exercise is good for your heart and lungs, it does not follow that you should run five miles per day. Just because lifting some weights has many health benefits, it does not follow that you should spend an hour a day in the gym pumping iron.

Research shows that just getting up frequently to stand, walk around, lift something, stretching, etc. significantly reduces the negative effects of sitting.

Update 9/26/2011: Researchers say getting up and moving every 20 minutes is better than standing. Yeah, right. I make a point of getting up once an hour but I’m not getting up every 20 minutes. Pfft!

My work involves 99% computer time. I have no interest in a standing desk. At my age (68) and given my training, there is no standing job that would keep me much above the poverty level. By doing web design, I can make a very good hourly rate and still have some time to enjoy my semi-retirement.

That’s enough for now. I have to get up and move around.

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Moved to ancestralhealth.info/potatoes.htm

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The Jungle Effect

The Jungle Effect by Daphne Miller, M.D.

This is sort of a travelogue. The author visits five health “cold spots” – places where there is very little of certain health problems: Copper Canyon, Mexico – Diabetes. Crete – Heart Disease. Iceland – Depression. Cameroon Africa – Bowel Problems. Okinawa – Breast and Prostrate Cancer. She also works at a clinic on the Amazon and notes how healthy the people are. (That’s where the title Jungle Effect comes from.) She implies that what the natives in these places do is the answer to the diseases. Critics have accused her of “cherry picking” locations. I don’t think that is quite fair. But you can’t study one location and say that it has the answer to a certain disease. (She also talks to conventional wisdom “experts” too.) Much of what she learns is good, just not always as good as the primal/paleo answers to the health problems.

Positive
Here is an MD who realizes that she needs to learn more about nutrition because the conventional treatments she prescribes do lots of harm to her patients. She travels to remote locations to learn from native people who seem to be doing something right. She is very open to hearing both sides on issues such as fiber. Her writing style is quite charming. I really enjoyed learning about the places she visited. She includes recipes. The one I have tried so far, ndole, was delicious.

Negative
Miller still buys the conventional wisdom about meat, saturated fat and fiber. (She is not anti-meat. In fact, she recommends using lard, in moderation, of course.) She still, from my perspective, is too quick to prescribe medications rather than trusting in lifestyle changes. She talks about traditional methods of making grains and beans more digestible (soaking). But why not just eat the foods we were designed to eat by evolution?

I honestly believe that if one was articulate enough, and could sit down with Miller and go over the evidence about saturated fat and grains, she might change her thinking. I do recommend the book to anyone who understands why primal is a better answer.

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You probably have heard of “Jewish Penicillin” – chicken soup.

I take the “Jewish penicillin” route for colds. But generally I do Thai penicillin – tom yum gai. You can find authentic recipes online. But I substitute lemon and lime juice for lemon grass and kefir lime (although I have one of those trees) to increase the vitamin C. Also, I throw in shiiitake mushrooms, plenty of ginger and fresh tomatoes. If you don’t normally have hot peppers or fish sauce, be careful.
Really, one of the most important things is to sip hot fluids all day. My colds now last only a few days. [Also, take lots of vitamin D3. Maybe 40,000 IU/day for 3 days.]

The recipe is not precise nor authentic. You are sick. You probably don’t want to worry about authenticity. And you won’t taste the subtle differences anyway. If you want an authentic recipe, Google.

I have a bowl of jasmine rice with the soup. Or toss the rice in it. Not primal/paleo and maybe not the best thing for a cold. It is comfort food – emotional healing.

  • Chicken broth – however much you want
  • Cut up chicken. Breast is standard, but other parts give you more schmaltz (fat).
  • Mushrooms. Straw ones are traditional. I use shiitake if I have them.
  • Tomatoes. I generally use Roma tomatoes.
  • Slices of ginger to taste.
  • Garlic to taste. Smash and dice a while before putting in the pot to preserve the good stuff.
  • Whatever veg you like, e.g. snow peas.
  • Lemon and lime juice. Lots, to taste.
  • Heat. Whatever you have. Red pepper flakes are fine.
  • Fish sauce, if you like. See above.

Throw it all in a pot and simmer until the chicken is done – white inside. About 20 minutes. Top with cilantro and diced red bell pepper.

Having learned the healing properties of coconut, I often make Tom Kha Gai – Thai penicillin with coconut milk. Equal parts broth and coconut milk – not the lite stuff. Sometimes leave out the tomatoes. Whatever sounds good.

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