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Did your friends and relatives shove an article in your face that seemed to say a high fat diet causes brain damage? Read the two following blogs and learn the truth. The study mentioned wasn’t about the effect of high fat diets. It was about how the brain changes when an animal (in this case rats) becomes obese. The researchers added fat to the rats’ normal lab chow to get them fat. (Dr. Guyenet was one of the authors of the study.)

Does a High Fat Diet Cause Brain Damage? Mark Sisson, Mark’s Daily Apple, 1/9/2012.

High Fat Diets, Obesity and Brain Damage, Stephan Guyenet, Ph.D., Whole Health Source, 1/2/2012.

More on Vegetarianism

See ancestralhealth.info/vegetarian.htm

Sriracha Guacamole

Bowl of guacamoleMy guacamole has never turned out to be very interesting, until now. On a whim, I mixed avocado, lime juice and sriracha sauce, a spicy Thai paste of hot peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. (The sriracha known as “rooster sauce” in the U.S. is Vietnamese, made by a Vietnamese immigrant. But my Thai daughter-in-law uses it.) Ignore the “sugar” – you can’t eat enough sriracha to be harmed by the sugar unless you are Thai, Mexican or a person from some other heat-loving culture. (Joke. Not even if you are.)

Ingredients

  • Avocado(s)
  • Lime juice, maybe one teaspoon per avocado
  • Sriracha sauce. Start with a small dash and adjust

Directions

  • Peel and roughly smash the avocado
  • Mix in lime juice and sriracha.
  • Taste and adjust

You could add cumin, cilantro, tomato, onion or something else. I didn’t have them. And the recipe stands on its own. My approach to guacamole is K.I.S.S.

Vegan to Primal

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

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 . . . .

All Things in Moderation?

1950s Thanksgiving dinner

[Warning: Rant]

“All things in moderation, nothing in excess.” Pericles (or some old Greek).

This has to be the most tiresome quotation of all time. None of the world’s great achievements have come from people taking that as their motto. Steve Jobs started creating Apple with the idea of making something “insanely great” – the Apple computer. He continued to be a jerk about demanding products beyond Microsoft’s moderately good. He tried to live every day like it was his last.

Mark Sisson is not going to bring health to a million people by being moderate. He got his credibility by being an immoderately driven athlete. There is nothing moderate about his daily Big Assed Salad. Our ancestors haven’t eaten daily big assed salads since they came down out of the trees. The Primal exercise concept could be called “moderate,” but Mark would probably immoderately spend 60+ hours/week in “play” exercise if he could.

Doctors and other health “experts” infuriate me when their automatic, cover-your-ass reaction to everything is nervous nelly caution. When I am exposed to a virus or feel like one is trying to get me, I take a totally immoderate dose of vitamin D3, like 40,000 IU daily for three days. The “moderate” approach would be to take “a little extra” D. Why? For any scientifically valid reason? No, just because they have a namby-pamby attitude.

True, something like moderation is often the best course. Kurt Harris articulates it well for me in William Munny eats his vegetables. Harris is definitely not namby-pamby. The title of this blog entry comes from him being called the Clint Eastwood of nutrition. “I’ve killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I’m here to kill you, Ancel Keys, for what you done to nutrition.” Hehe. I love it.

Don’t tell me this is “Moderation in all things, including moderation.” Grrrrrrr! That’s a swell namby-pamby slogan for living in 1950s suburbia. Screw moderation. Screw moderation in moderation.

On a practical level, I am thinking about people who would benefit from primal but take the attitude “Sprints are fine, but we shouldn’t get close to our maximum heart rate. Lifting is good  but I play it safe and use the isolation machines at the gym. I take a multivitamin for insurance. Red meat can be part of a healthy diet, just eat it in moderation. Eat bread but watch your calories. And so on.” (Of course, they think it’s fine to eat a vast amount of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, although, if pressed, they would call this moderation.) Ok, these people are going to be healthier than folks pigging out at McDonald’s. But not as healthy as they would be on the “dangerous Primal diet.”

Chose wisely when to be immoderately passionate. But be passionate about some things. I should note that I often see this attitude in Mark’s Daily Apple forum members.

Roasted Vegetable Stew

Vegetables and stew

by Art Favor

Primal hasn’t changed my tastes all that much, unlike some people’s. And I do eat potatoes. But the traditional mushy stew doesn’t do much for me now. I wouldn’t turn it down on a cold, rainy night, but . . .

I wondered if there was a better way. The idea of roasting the veggies first seemed promising. I adapted the one that popped up most often in Goggle.

Note: The recipe I adapted called for roasting the meat for 30 minutes in the 450 degree oven. I tried that despite knowing I shouldn’t. The meat came out tough. This recipe is based on how I do stir fry. I lightly brown something tender before adding liquids.

If you want to roast the meat, do it around 300 degrees. That will mean roasting the veggies longer. Alternatively, you can start simmering tough meat with broth or water when you start roasting the vegetables.

Ingredients
(Use whatever root vegetables you have on hand. This is what I used.)

  • 1 lb tender stew meat. I used grass-fed beef.
  • 2 med. parsnips, scrubbed and sliced into rounds.
  • 2 med. carrots, scrubbed and sliced into rounds.
  • 1 med. leek, sliced and washed.
  • 6 tiny blue potatoes, scrubbed.
  • 6 med. mushrooms, brushed off.
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced.
  • Whole peeled garlic cloves. As many as you dare.
  • 1/2 cup red wine.
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste.
  • Thickener, I used corn starch. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Use something else or skip if you want.)
  • Olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. (I didn’t use any. Roasting really concentrates the flavor of the veggies.)
  • Water.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a rack around the middle.
  • Put veg. in roasting pan and brush with olive oil.
  • Put pan on lower rack in oven.
  • Mix wine, tomato paste and thickener (if used).
  • After 30 minutes, check the veggies. Don’t let them get too brown.
  • Put a dutch oven on the stove, heat until nearly smoking and add the beef. Fry until just brown. Do two batches if necessary to avoid crowding.
  • Turn burner down to med. low. Add wine/tomato/thickener and stir.
  • Take veggies out of oven and add to meat.
  • Add water as needed.
  • Taste and add salt and/or pepper if desired.
  • Cook for just a few minutes and serve.