Friday, March 31, 2006

Introduced!

I finally got Introduced today at BlogIntro.com. Check it out while I'm still on the front page! :)

Here's the permalink to my site's blurb.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

How much is your blog worth?

I thought this was kind of a cool little thing. The link was sent to me by e-mail.

First, mine:


My blog is worth $2,822.70.
How much is your blog worth?


Next I did Deb's blog:


My blog is worth $0.00.
How much is your blog worth?


Then I did Jean-Luc's blog:


My blog is worth $0.00.
How much is your blog worth?


And "Wize One," who hits this blog daily:

Poor girl, she had a falling out with J-L because she felt called back to Kathi's forum. I did notice that Deb and J-L no longer link to her.

My blog is worth a good chunk, and theirs aren't worth anything, lol! It seems to have to do with Technorati, so I am assuming that none of them are signed up there. I will say that since I started putting Technorati tags in my posts my hits have gone up. Blogger doesn't have categories, so I have to do it by hand, but it's better than not being able to do it at all. :)

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Brian pics

I promised pictures of Brian and Susan when they stopped by to visit me at work. Susan forbade me to use her picture, so here are pictures of Brian and I. Where necessary, I cropped Susan out. So if Brian is missing a shoulder, that's why!






Coincidentally, I'm wearing that same sweater today. :)

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Safe in Italy, praise God!

Italy Welcomes Man Who Fled Afghanistan

ROME - Italy granted asylum Wednesday to an Afghan who faced the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity, and Premier Silvio Berlusconi said the man was in the care of the Interior Ministry after arriving in Italy earlier in the day.

Abdul Rahman "is already in Italy. I think he arrived overnight," Berlusconi said, declining to release more details.


Full article here.

Afghan convert 'arrives in Italy'

An Afghan man who escaped a possible death sentence for becoming a Christian has arrived in Italy where he has been granted asylum, says Italy's PM.

Afghan MPs had earlier demanded Abdul Rahman, 41, stay in the country.


Full article here.

Thank God for small miracles. And thank You, Father, for watching over and saving Your servant.

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Atkins anniversary!

Today is my two year anniversary of beginning the Atkins diet. In 2004, after a month of seeing little results from exercising and trying to eat what I thought was healthier, I decided I needed to do something radical. Atkins was at the height of its popularity, so I started it. A lot of other people were starting it, too, but they were just fad dieters and soon fell away. Some of us stuck with it and now have the health benefits and the slimmer body to show for it. :)

Meat, veggies, and dairy. Oh, I am sooo deprived. ;)

Yesterday I took myself to Applebee's, I got their steak and shrimp meal all covered with melted cheese, subbed out the potatoes for veggies and told them to hold the garlic bread. I had two glasses of Merlot to go with it. I'm such a wine slut - it's just not a real celebration without some wine. It came to $32 including a good tip, and I'm okay with that.

Then I went around the corner to Loard's ice cream. They didn't have any sugar free ice cream, but they did have some little packets of sugar free chocolates. I bought one and ate that for my dessert since Applebee's doesn't have anything sugar free.

Then I stopped at Starbucks and got a black coffee with sugar free vanilla syrup for flavoring. It's my sugar free way of treating myself without ruining my diet with a mocha or latte.

Today I am going to the burger place near where I work and getting a double Swiss burger (no bun) topped with sauteed mushrooms and guacamole. Yum! Like I said, I'm sooo deprived. :)

And to think I have an anti-depressant to thank for all this...



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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Danish Mohammed cartoons

I know this is long past the controversy, but today I stumbled upon the original Danish cartoons. Amazing the stuff you find when you are not even looking, lol!

Check them out here. Some of them have English translations.

I have to say - I don't see what's so offensive about this. The "fake cartoons" (further down the same link) are offensive. Maybe these fake cartoons are what people were getting so worked up over?

Does anyone have an English translation for the paragraphs in the center? I'd be interested in knowing what it says.

In the gaggle of photographs from protests against the cartoons, one sign stood out among all the other placards people carried. It read, "We condemn freedom of speech that hurts other people's feelings." Aw, the poor people. They had their feelings hurt. We must coddle them and make sure they never feel bad about anything.

Oh my God, people, get a life! Freedom of speech means that sometimes people will have their feelings hurt. Oh horrors! I feel hurt every time I see a parody of Jesus in the American media. You don't see me protesting, holding a sign, do you? Exactly. These people need to grow a backbone and become adults. Sheesh.

Oh well. Perhaps they saw the fake cartoons and were protesting that. I wonder how many of the protestors actually saw either the real or fake cartoons.

And...um...you can't have true freedom without the possibility that somewhere down the line someone will be hurt. To erase hurt isn't freedom - it's censorship.

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Keep praying...he's not out of the woods yet...

Three news stories to keep you updated on this case.

Afghanistan frees Christian convert
Rahman reportedly released to the UN and awaits asylum


KABUL, Afghanistan -- An Afghan man who faced the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity, sparking one of the biggest political crises in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, was released late Monday.

Abdul Rahman, 42, was sent to an undisclosed location...


Rest of article here.

Italy to Offer Afghan Christian Convert Asylum, Ministry Says

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini plans to offer political asylum to an Afghan man facing a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity, the foreign ministry said on its Web site.


Full story here.

Afghan Convert Vanishes After Release

Abdul Rahman, 41, was released from the high-security Policharki prison on the outskirts of the capital late Monday after a court dropped charges of apostasy against him for lack of evidence and suspected mental illness. President Hamid Karzai had been under heavy international pressure to drop the case.


Rest of story here.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Can Atkins cause ketoacidosis and kill you?

Perhaps you have heard about the anti-Atkins study published in The Lancet? I blogged about it once before. Briefly, the authors claim that a woman got ketoacidosis from being on the Atkins diet. This is impossible as ketoacidosis is a condition found in Type 1 diabetics who's blood sugar is sky high. This woman's blood sugar was normal. But since when did truth ever stop someone with an agenda from making a claim?

Jimmy's blog has a couple articles (#1 / #2). Regina Wilshire also covered it quite well. But then I came across Dr. Michael Eades' Protein Power blog (and co-author with his wife of the book by the same name). Unlike Jimmy, Dr. Eades' is a certified MD, who also endorses a low- or controlled-carb approach. Because he knows medicine, he was able to rip the ketoacidosis diagnosis to shreds. It was such a well-written article, I had to blog it and tell you all to get over there and read it! Don't let the press dupe you. Get the real scoop on this woman, her real diagnosis, why it took two years to publish this study, and the bias of The Lancet. Seems they have an agenda.

Read Dr. Eades' blog entry:
Low-carb diet takes one below the belt

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

This weekend

Failed on Friday - I full out binged on most of a jar of organic peanut butter, using organic celery to dip. I don't know why. I just craved peanut butter so much. Isn't that weird? I'm wondering if peanut butter might be another unsafe food for me to have around. *sigh* Nut and nuts butter just aren't safe around me. (Quick, hide the children!) At least it was something healthy. It could have been pizza with a side order of CinnaStix.

Finished off the jar on Saturday for breakfast. It did keep me full through snack time so I hardly had any snacks, but lunch was late and I kept pulling the peanuts out and grabbing a mouthful.

I arrived home from church about 3:30. I had a protein snack and then left for the gym around 4. I got there around 5, and worked out until 6:30, arriving back home around 7:30. Public transportation sucks during the week, and is worse on weekends. I was frozen when I walked in the door and finally got off my sweaty, wet gym clothes and into dry pajamas.

Today was a 12 hour day, but I did have just enough time to walk the last leg to work. I took a different route, putting me on the 51 bus at Eastmont mall so it would have been easiest to take the bus all the way in to work, since I had to take it from Eastmont mall to the BART station anyway. It would be as easy as simply remaining on the bus when it got to the BART station. I'm proud to say I got off the bus at the BART station and walked the rest of the way. :)

Woohoo! God wins one!

I don't usually write about political or religious news stories, but this was (for once) good news. This poor man was turned in by his own family and refused to deny his faith. Like Daniel's friends, he was rescued from death. Praise the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!

Afghan Court Drops Case Against Christian

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan court on Sunday dismissed a case against a man who converted from Islam to Christianity...

Rahman has been prosecuted under Afghanistan's Islamic laws for converting 16 years ago...He was arrested last month and charged with apostasy.

Muslim clerics had threatened to incite Afghans to kill Rahman if the government freed him. They said he clearly violated Islamic Shariah law by rejecting Islam.


Rest of story here.

My favorite quote - and one that I could only hope to live up to in the same situation - is "I am serene. I have full awareness of what I have chosen. If I must die, I will die," Abdul Rahman told the Rome daily.

He said this while still in prison, before his case was dropped.

Picture courtesy Yahoo News.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Idolatry

Just a funny cartoon that ex-Witches might get a laugh out of. I thought it was quite amusing.



If you don't understand the context, here's the relevant passage from the 10 Commandments:
Exodus 20:4-6

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Vicki Box update

I got an e-mail from KellyLynn detailing the action she taking since my Vicki flaked on me this year. Vet bills in December are one thing - still not having anything sent by March is totally unacceptable.

Hello Victoria

I just wanted to let you know that you WILL be getting a Vicki box
this year..or perhaps more then one.....; )

I am sorry that your Vicki person didn't send the box out. I have
contacted them a number of times and they keep telling me they
are going to send it blah blah blah. At this point I don't believe she
will send it. I also feel that since it was my responsibility to organize
it this year it is my responsibility to make sure it goes well all the
way around.

So.....I have rounded up a couple ABC'ers and we are sending you
mini boxes from different parts of the country. So Enjoy!!

Meeting Brian & Susan, and other stuff

Today I got to meet Brian & Susan from Virginia (near DC). Because my apartment is a pig sty, I insisted on meeting them somewhere other than home. The downside is they didn't get to see Abby hiding under the bed and meet Xena.

They met me at work at 3 p.m. and we hung out until 4, then they had to leave to drive to Manteca. I've never seen Susan before and Brian seems bigger (bone-wise) than I could see in the one or two pictures I've seen.

We took pictures. Susan doesn't want her picture online, so I'll either not use pictures with her and/or crop her out. Pics of Brian and I shall follow as soon as I can get them on the computer, edited, and uploaded.

I did get to work out today - yay! I got in 30 minutes of weight training and an hour of cardio. I was sweating so much my towel was damp when I was finished.

I made the bed this morning, stripping off the twin bed blanket I've been using for the last week and putting back on my full/queen bed blanket. I really need another one. The cats keep shedding and I keep having to wash it. I threw a twin bed flat sheet over the bed. That will be easier to wash than the blanket. I haven't seen Abby shedding when I pet her, but Xena is in full molting mode - lots of fur comes off just from petting her.

I bought a shower kit at 24 Hour Fitness. It has a small mesh bag with the logo, a large towel with the logo, and a small, thick plastic bag with drawstrings containing a washing sponge, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion. It was just $10. I mostly wanted the mesh bag, but I can use all of the other stuff in practical ways so it's a good deal. :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

TheFatManWalking.com, take 3

We last left Steve in Oklahoma. Where is he now?

I can't get an exact fix, but this Yahoo article says he's somewhere in the Midwest, about 600 miles from his destination in New York. It also says he started at 410 pounds (reminds me of Jimmy Moore) and is now 296. Way to go, Steve!

There is also now a Yahoo group for Steve. I signed up, but I have to wait for approval before I can read the messages.

I will continue to follow his progress and update periodically.

Another change of plans

So I won't be meeting Brian & Susan before work tomorrow. I really don't want them to fall asleep at the wheel and could see them earlier if I skip my workout. I did go shopping today - a day early - and will just go to the gym tomorrow. And I finally got some exercise in today; I got to walk the last leg to work! Walking to work isn't something I enjoy per se, but any activity makes me feel better than no activity. And I do have my iPod to keep me company. FitDay says 81 calories. Weight this morning - a disappointing 144.8. :(

Check out the new "About me" section (underneath "Archives") in the left hand column. I made up some buttons last night and swiped a few from another site. I think the buttons pretty well describe who I am and what's important to me. Underneath the buttons are two link - one to my testimony on this blog, and one to my diet and fitness journal on FitDay. I don't know how I could do my diet without FitDay.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What kind of cat are you?

What kind of cat are you?


Aristocat! You're a sophisticated cat, proud to hold your head up high even when somebody ruins your day. You do have your bad hairball days, but instead of freaking out over something, you'd much rather take it in stride and move on.

Take this quiz!

Quizilla | Join

Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Zero workouts :(

No wonder I find myself beginning to work out on Saturdays. It's the only way to get one lousy workout in all week. I'm so frigging busy it isn't even funny.

Zero workout this week unless I go Saturday after church, which I really dislike because it's the Sabbath and all, but every other day is chock full. Look at my calendar! I was almost 40 minutes late to work today because my errands in San Francisco took much longer than anticipated. Calgon, take me away!

Because I was late today there certainly wasn't time to walk to work, so I got no exercise today or yesterday. I miss it. It's true when people say it's addicting. Even walking to work makes me feel better than doing nothing. And my gym days are the ones I most look forward to. It's a "get to" rather than a "have to." Unfortunately, most days I don't get to. My life is full of too many other "have tos."

I bought two new sports bras today - I have only one bra for everyday wear and it's old. Now I can wear a sports bra every day and finally get some good support! I didn't want black, but all they had in my size was one white and one black so I took what I could get. Also got some new undies. A girl can never have too many. ;)

With the chiropractor this Friday there will be only enough time to pack lunches but not cook, so I'll get something pre-cooked from the grocery store and just put up with it. I was looking forward to ground beef, but there just won't be time.

Meeting with Brian and Susan surprised me and is this week - ack! - so I have to skip the gym and move groceries to tomorrow so that I can meet them on Thursday before work.

Have I mentioned that I hate it when my schedule is upset and that I'm just a wee bit stressed right now? No? Well here it is - I HATE IT WHEN MY SCHEDULE IS UPSET, AND I'M JUST A WEE BIT STRESSED RIGHT NOW!!! I thrive on schedules and predictability. I hate any change to that schedule - especially when it means NO WORKOUTS! Argh! It's okay. I'll be okay. I'll just go have another cup of tea.

Monday, March 20, 2006

"Vicki Boxes"

Each year for the past three years I have participated in the "Vicki box" tradition at the Absolute Best Cat (ABC) forum on Delphi. Each year things have gone fairly smoothly buying, shipping, and receiving.

Until last year.

Last year I bought and shipped my gifts, but I never received a Vicki box in return. It is now mid-march. At first I was told my Vicki had a lot of vet bills in December, and the box should arrive in January. Two months past that deadline, and coming up on three months past Christmas, and still no box. My Christmas sucked anyway, but come on, this is getting ridiculous.

KellyLynn promised to contact the person. (I don't know who they are. We find out who they are when the box arrives with the return name and address.) She said this is not acceptable, and I agree.

Here's her e-mail to me:

Hello Victoria

This isn't a bother. I am glad you contacted me.

That is a little irritating I will contact your Vicki to see what happened. I understand she had a lot of vet bills in December but this is not acceptable.


The Vicki box is important. Often my family gives me things they want me to have, rather than what I really want. There's always something cool in the Vicki box so I know I will get cool presents, even if my family just sends me duds. And it's still not here. :(

PMS and rain

My Friday/Saturday binge has been explained - TOM came yesterday, so it was PMS cravings. One good thing about Atkins is it has helped put me in touch with my body - now that I'm not craving sugar (and chocolate) 24/7, I now know for the first time in my life that I do get PMS cravings. Before, I couldn't tell the difference between hormonal cravings and addiction cravings. Break the addiction and you know. :)

At any rate, it's making me feel bleh today, and a bit sick to my tummy. I just want to curl up with a glass of warm milk. :(

I wanted to walk to work today for the exercise, but it's raining and I have one hard and fast rule - no walking in the rain, or if there's a good chance of rain. I don't want to get caught halfway to work in a downpour. Also, none of the bus stops along the route have shelters. Maybe tomorrow. I think the storm is due to pass by then.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Diet and Exercise of late

Ok, I know I haven't talked about my weight control journey lately. Mostly I've been too busy and too tired. I didn't even get one single thing posted on Saturday.

On my official weigh-in day on Wednesday I came in at 142.8. One pound above goal. Not bad. :)

The downhill slide in my diet began Thursday when I forgot to bring my salad to work. I went out to Subway and had their tuna salad. It should have ended there, but I was still hungry so (and this is where it went downhill calorie-wise) I went to the burger joint next door and got a double burger with swiss cheese (no bun), topped with sauteed mushrooms. It's really good, and Atkins-friendly, just really high in calories!

And I just kind of kept eating the rest of the day. I figure I probably ate around 3000 calories and 100g net carbs (give or take). I knew Friday would be a binge day.

Friday morning I weighed in at 142.2, which is totally great. I'll spare you the details of my binge, but it involved McDonald's, a mom and pop Mexican place I used to love going to, a coffee shop with awesome smoothies, and some bad stuff from the grocery store. I couldn't even eat it all, which meant that the binge continued (albeit reduced) into Saturday.

Saturday morning I had the leftover gigantic double chocolate muffin (OMG, it was so good!). I was going to end it there, but Becky brought her homemade 100% whole wheat homemade cinnamon swirl bread to church, so I had one slice. After that I was good.

To burn off the glycogen stores I'd just replaced, I traipsed off to the gym after church. I ran on the treadmill between 4.5 and 4.7 mph. The thing that surprises even me is I managed to go for a whole hour! Sixty solid minutes of running! I didn't know I had it in me. I covered just over 4.5 miles. That is a new record for me! Yippee!

I thought I'd be hella sore today, but nope. My thighs hardly hurt at all. The last time I ran (3.5 miles in 46 minutes) my thighs hurt for three days afterward. Today I felt good enough to walk the last leg to work. I guess all the walking to work lately has helped in more ways than I knew. I never dreamed I could run 4.5 miles and not be hella sore the next day.

Anyway, FitDay says 377 calories burned on the run yesterday.

Can the Atkins diet kill you?

Last week there was yet another negative story in the news about the Atkins diet. Briefly, a 40-year-old white woman was admitted to the hospital. She was diagnosed with ketoacidosis, and they blamed the Atkins diet - which the woman was following at the time - for her illness.

Sound incredible? The news media sure ate it up. Wait until we find out from Regina Wilshire the holes she sees in this hypothesis.

First, some basic facts. The woman was following the 1972 version of the diet. In the thirty years following its publication, Dr. Atkins learned a lot more. That's why he published a new edition. While people can have success following the old version, the new version is healthier and should be the one followed. The 1972 book is interesting only as history.

Secondly, this woman was morbidly obese with a BMI is 41.6. A normal BMI is 18.5-24.9. Anything over 25 is overweight. So at 41.6, she was carrying around A LOT of extra pounds.

Now, to get to the meat of Ms. Whilshire's arguments against Atkins as being the cause of this woman's ketoacidosis. First, she calls into question whether it really was ketoacidosis that she had.

(H)er blood pH was normal - yet the case report states she suffered ketoacidosis, which would lower her pH to indicate an acid environment and her glucose would be high (at a level greater than 14mmol/l - hers was 4.2mmol/l) and her sodium would be abnormal, yet it was normal...

Wikipedia agrees with this:
Ketoacidosis should not be confused with ketosis, which is one of the body's normal processes for the metabolism of body fat. In ketoacidosis, the accumulation of keto acids is so severe that the pH of the blood is thrown off.

Ms. Wilshire than goes on to name several other possibilities of illnesses this woman could have that would have caused her complaints, other than her diet. She then continues:

We just don't know since none of the other possibilities were explored - the diet was the cause in the mind of her physician, so there was no further investigation.

That troubles me - we have thousands of participants from hundreds of studies to date and not one incident of ketoacidosis. Is it possible this woman's ketoacidosis was a result of her diet? I would say it's not impossible, but very highly improbable given the reams of data from clinical trials to date that have not found ketoacidosis as a complication, even in diabetic patients following a low-carb diet.

The reason it isn't a complication is that dietary ketosis, in and of itself, does not cause ketoacidosis. More likely this woman experienced ketoacidosis as a result of something else and unfortunately her diet placed an obstacle in front of a complete investigation as to its cause
(emphasis mine).

In short, there's simply too many unanswered questions, questions her doctors don't care to answer. It's much easier to blame a diet you personally dislike, and jump on this poor woman as "proof" of your own personal bias.

Tell you what - do a thorough investigation of this woman's health issues, and then come back and tell me it was her diet. Until other causes are ruled out (or proven) there's simply not enough evidence to convict Atkins. In a court of law, one case against thousands of others would garner a verdict of "not guilty." But in the media, it's a different story...

If you have read any of the news stories about this case, then you owe it to yourself to get the other side of the story. As we all know, every story has two sides, and the media usually reports just one. Read Ms. Wilshire's full article here.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I disagree

I found the following in someone's journal and it spurred me to take the opposite of the action desired. I'm always the troublemaker. ;)

I would have an abortion. The circumstances under which I would, might, have, or might have chosen to have an abortion are nobody's business but mine and those I choose to tell. They are not the business of any government. I do not accept the proposition that the state and/or my sexual partner(s) should have any say over when and if I choose to bear a child. I do not accept any sovereignty over my body and my reproductive organs but my own. If faced with the situation, I will do everything feasible to help other women and girls I know exercise their rights to safely terminate a pregnancy if they so choose. When a state treats women and girls as chattel, it is they that commit a crime.

If you agree, please place the preceding paragraph in your journal. Then use the following link to send a message to South Dakota's governor: Planned Parenthood's take action page.
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/pp2/portal/getinvolved/takeaction/
And thanks.


Well, I clicked the link, but of course, Planned Parenthood didn't have his e-mail address, just a form to fill out. I Googled him and came up with the following link to e-mail him. I sent him a letter saying I am pro-life and urging him to sign the bill. :)

Contact South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds

We must stop the killing of innocents in this country, and I am glad at least one governor is standing up for what is right.

This especially, jumped out at me:
I do not accept any sovereignty over my body and my reproductive organs but my own.

And isn't that America's problem? That we think of ourselves as gods over everything. I'm proud to say that I am not the only one to make decisions over my reproductive organs. There is One above me. I listen to Him because He knows best - He can see the big picture; I can't.

Do you know that abortion was legal when my Mom got pregnant with my brother? He was unwanted and unplanned. He could have been aborted. But I am sure he is glad he wasn't, as are his wife and child.

Here is my letter:

I heard about this through a friend who is pro-choice, but I wanted to take this opportunity as someone who is pro-life to urge you to sign the bill into law and stop the mindless killing of million through abortion.

Even though I am not from South Dakota, I want you to know you have supporters around the country. I only wish my own state would do as much as you have.

Stay strong, and stand up for what it right.

Sincerely,
Victoria (last name deleted)

A quick word about browsers and this blog

Lately, some of the minor changes I've made to the template seem to have major implications. I did my best to fix the problems, but I have viewed this blog now on four different browsers and two different computers, and it displays a little differently on each one.

It probably displays worst on Netscrape. The thread titles look little different from the main text, and are not bolded. If I bold them, it will look bad in IE, Safari, and Firefox.

The signature and timestamp below each message may appear somewhat large in Firefox and Safari (at least it does on my Mac). If I reduce the font so Firefox and Safari display correctly, then it's unreadable in IE and really tiny. Since IE is still the most popular browser, I'm going with what looks best there. Comments anyone on how the title and footers look on your computer?

Stupid computers...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Feeling pretty good...

...just totally wiped out. I had a hard time completing my weight training followed by 1 hour of cardio. And 45 minutes of that cardio was just treadmill walking at 3.5 mph. I just didn't have the energy for more. I'm wiped.

I haven't slept well all week and I'm not sure if it's my shoulders (bad enough again that I am seeing the chiropractor on Friday) or something else. I wake up at least 60 minutes before my alarm clock goes off and can't get back to sleep. I've also did three workouts in five days, plus walking to work more often on days I can't get to the gym. It could just be more physical activity than I'm used it.

At least I know that a couple of adjustments should fix me right up, and though he raised his price $5, I can still get an adjustment and a 1/2 hour professional massage for $50. Sure beats having to go to NHI with their month long waiting list and student massage therapists. The therapist at the chiropractor will just target your problem area, rather than doing your whole body.

142.8 this morning, a slight jump from yesterday's weigh-in. And today was my official one for the week. But I have been pretty much sticking to my diet, lifting weights, and eating plenty of protein, so I doubt that my inability to hit and stay at 142 is from fat gain. I did make it through yesterday without overeating. According to MyCycle.com, my period is late; I am wondering if this is PMS, or am I just wanting more food because gaining muscle has raised my metabolism? One can dream, no? ;) Most likely it's just one of those "hungry days" that happen now and then for no apparent reason.

Turning people against me

It seems that Del went far beyond bozoing me and deleting a bunch of my "nasty" messages at the Weight Loss forum. She also told Jeanne some outright lies about me. Jeanne told me, "I was informed that the nastiest of the messages that you'd posted and they'd deleted was written to ME." I have no idea if I posted something "nasty" about Del in a message to Jeanne, but I have no reason to attack Jeanne. We've always been cordial to each other. The implication here is that I was saying something horribly nasty to Jeanne, which is of course what Del wanted Jeanne to believe. THIS IS PATENTLY NOT TRUE!

Del knows that since I can't defend myself (because she will ban me if I try, and she is a mod) she can say anything she wants and do anything she wants. All she has to do is delete a post and claim it said something nasty. Most people will believe her because she's a mod. It's just like Brian said in the Insiders and Outsiders post. I will always be an outsider and be wrong. Del will always be an insider and people always believe her, no matter what.

If Speds can claim that I said having my thread title changed was a "mortal hurt" (a phrase I never used, and based on the Ash Wednesday post), just to accuse me of being "dramatic," then Del can pretty much say anything she wants to.

See what I mean? I said I was "hurt" by having the title changed (which I was, since there was no need to do so), but by the time it gets reported publically in the forum it's become a "mortal hurt." People always see me as wrong, and sometimes have to change what I said to support that view.

Here's the thread in Jeanne's forum. Jeanne's post is #9.

And here's a refresher on the whole mess in chronological order.
Ash Wednesday (before I was bozoed)
I got bozoed!
Mods and Threats of Banning

And the article that started a firestorm:
Why the Low-Fat Diet is Stupid and Potentially Dangerous

Let's start a meme

Let's start a meme and see how far this goes. I found this on Didditwife's blog. I'm making a few changes, and then tagging someone. :)

35 Things You Would Never Think To Ask

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops? Nope.

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters? Yes.

3. When's the last time you've been sledding? I don't think I've ever sledded.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone? I'd rather sleep with my cats.

5. Do you believe in Ghosts? I believe something is out there. Not sure what those something are, though.

6. Do you consider yourself creative? Most of us are in one way or another. :)

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife? Without a doubt.

8. Team Aniston or Team Jolie? I pick...neither.

9. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics? Not really and don't care to, though I know I should.

10. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? Maybe. I know I've pulled more than my fair share of 36 hour days and can think of a 40+ hour day in recent memory.

11. Do you kill bugs that are in the house? Sometimes.

12. Have you ever cheated on a test? Yes.

13. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run the red light? or stop sign? I don't drive, but no.

14. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you? Does God count?

15. Have you ever Ice Skated? Not since I was little.

16. How often do you remember your dreams? Not very, unless I'm in that half awake state. Then I do.

17. When was the last time you laughed so hard you were crying? Too long.

18. Can you name 5 songs by The Beatles? Um. No.

19. Do you always wear you seat belt? Yes.

20. What talent do you wish you had? To be able to sing on key.

21. Do you like Sushi? Only if it's cooked, but then I guess it wouldn't really be sushi, would it?

22. Have you ever narrowly avoided a accident? Hasn't everyone?

23. What do you wear to bed? Nightpants and a nightshirt.

24. Have you ever been caught stealing? No, although I have stolen.

25. What makes someone "hot" to you? Laid-back personality and a sense of humor.

26. Do you truly hate anyone? Anyone who screws me over just because they don't like me and have the power to do something about it.

27. Do you have a relative in prison? No.

28. Have you ever sang in front of the mirror like your favorite singer? Haven't we all?

29. Do you know how to play chess? I did once, but that was in high school.

30. What food do you find disgusting? Organ meats (such as liver).

31. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back? Not really.

32. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew? Yes. I do on the Internet all the time.

33. Have you ever been punched in the face? No, thank goodness. But a guy threw a rock that hit me in the face once.

34. When is the last time you threw up from drinking too much? Sometime in college.

35. Have you ever walked out on a movie at the theater? No, but I walked out on a movie last summer on a cruise ship.

I tag Gina.
-----

I tagged Gina. Gina tagged Jo and Pavel.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I'm hungry!, and some miscellaneous stuff

The good news today is that I had a whoosh last night and was 142.6 on the scale this morning. I don't expect that to hold since I know it was just water. But it's good to see a lower number once in a while. :)

The bad news is I am absolutely ravenous today, so my calories are higher. I had to eat a double breakfast just to take the edge off - two scrambled eggs and an Atkins meal bar. This does not bode well for the rest of the day.

Walked to work from the train station for a little exercise. FitDay says 80 calories.

One quick point on my New Year's Resolutions. I committed to doing a little devotional reading every day, starting with Our Daily Bread online, and using that until the print version arrived. I haven't been doing them, and the print version arrived today. So already that half of the resolution is a "fail."

Last, a quick note on links here. It used to be that all links in posts opened a new window. As of today, links off-site will still open a new window, but links on-site (going to another page of this blog) will NOT open a new window. The exception is all the links in the left column. All of them will still open a new window, whether the link is on-site or off. However, there's also an exception to that - the "Recent Posts" lists does not open a new window.

For example, this post has two off-site links that will open new windows, and one on-site link that won't. :)

Hope that isn't confusing and that it reduces any frustration you may have.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Outsiders and Insiders

These are portions of an e-mail sent to me by my good online buddy Brian (who I might get to meet in person next month!). He's one of the CH Refugee folks who have stood by me through everything the past 6 or 7 years and have proved true friends.

Anyway, this was in response to this blog post. The e-mail was so good I asked if I could reproduce parts of it here and he said yes. I've taken out some of the more personal stuff.

-----------

First, allow me to express my sympathy. I know you try very hard to get along with people. I know how much it hurts to be punished when you're doing your best. I can stand being punished when I know I'm doing wrong...being punished when I'm trying to do right sends me into a livid rage.

For whatever reason, you and I are perpetual outsiders. That means that, whenever there's a clash, we're the bad guys. It doesn't matter if in actual fact we are 10% at fault and the other guy is 90% at fault -- WE will get all the blame and the other person will be treated as the aggrieved victim, deserving of love and support while WE get kicked in the teeth.

In this world, there are people like former President Clinton who can do pretty much anything and people will overlook or excuse their failures and crimes. They are "insiders". There is another group of people who are always wrong, whose best attempts at doing right are met with scorn, and whose every blunder merely reinforces everyone else's perception of what shit they are. These are the outsiders. I believe you and I are in this second group.

God will judge us fairly...but in the meantime we have to live in a world with humans who will NOT judge us fairly. Ever. The problem is, whenever we dispute with other people, we're always going to be wrong. So the answer is: Be wrong as little as possible.

I'll pray for ya, sis. We outsiders have to look out for each other.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Diet Woes

I only have these problems on weekends (Friday/Saturday for me). First the bad news. I went on a mini binge on Friday eating TWO turkey and cheese sandwiches, too many strawberries, and most of a box of sugar free Oreos. I think there were only four cookies left when I finished.

Saturday was considerably better, though still way too many calories from the peanuts at church. Total net carbs came to around 100g, which isn't bad for a Saturday.

So after two days of bad eating I'm not going anywhere near a scale. I'm doing a really piss poor job at maintaining, though.

It's so hard to not eat when I'm home. During the week I only come home to sleep, so eating horribly is minimized. However, come Friday and Saturday when I am home more, I can't stop eating. I get bored watching TV and want to eat something and drink wine.

I'm back on plan today, of course, and trying hard to stay on track. And tried to burn off some of my guilt at the gym yesterday.
Friday was the worst day of my cold. By yesterday I was on the mend, and today I just have a slightly runny nose. Still dosing on the vitamin C and using the Echinacea-Goldenseal capsules and Zicam. My nose is sometimes bleeding when I blow it and I'm not sure if it's because I'm blowing it more or harder, or if it's the Zicam causing it. I'm using the nasal swabs. The nasal gel in the bottle is too messy, and the chewables (which the store didn't even have) are full of sugar that I really shouldn't be eating.

Twelve hour shift at work. Nothing unusual about that. I hate it, but I need the money.

Went to the gym yesterday. It's rare to go on a Saturday, but when else can I go? My freaking life is spent either at work, or in transit between work and home. My time isn't my own except on Saturday.

I did get a little exercise today by walking to work from the nearest train station. About 30 minutes.

I dug out my super warm winter coat. Temps have been unseasonably cold, in the 40s. I need my super-warm, fur-trimmed coat. And my warm winter hat. And my fingerless gloves. It's so cold that snow caused the closure of Highway 17 to Santa Cruz. It's not supposed to snow on Highway 17!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

My Atkins meals

Ever wonder how I eat but couldn't understand how the stuff in my food and fitness journal come together to make my meals? Here's a quick guide. :) Contrast this with "fake Atkins."

Breakfast is either a sugar free protein shake (Keto or Atkins brand), a sugar free meal bar (I only eat Atkins brand), 8 oz. plain yogurt, or (occasionally) two eggs fried in olive oil.

Lunch is always meat and vegetables, though the kind of meat and vegetables differ from day to day and week to week. This is eaten at the start of my shift (I work second shift).

I don't have dinner per se; I snack my way through the evening so that the food will last through my whole shift. Three hours before I get off I'll have 8 oz. of cottage cheese or yogurt. When I have cottage cheese I sometimes dip spicy pork rinds into it. Yum! Two hours before I get off I'll have a sandwich - meat and cheese on 100% whole wheat low carb bread. Then one hour before I get off I'll have a big salad. Romaine lettuce is my current favorite; before that it was raw spinach leaves, and sometimes I'll put some tomato pieces on top. I top all this with 1/3 cup of a low carb, lower calorie dressing.

When I get home from work I have one glass of wine (either Merlot or White Merlot) and one cup of sugar free Jello.

I limit my diet soda to one can a day, and drink two large mugs of unsweetened green tea. Net carbohydrates (total carbohydrates minus fiber) per day is about 60g.

And that's my menu. :)

A great low-carb treat I recently discovered - mix together one cup plain yogurt, 8 oz. strawberries cut into small pieces, and one packet Splenda. Much better than fruit flavored yogurt and infinitely healthier.

Friday, March 10, 2006

"Fake Atkins"

Just when I was gaining a little respect for the South Beach Diet, I came across the following item on my day-at-a-time calendar, clearly a slam against the Atkins diet. And whoever wrote it doesn't even understand the program. The whole thing is nothing but someone's fantasy of what Atkins is, and so far from the truth that I could feel my blood pressure rising. It is what us Atkinsers have come to call "fake Atkins." (For another example of fake Atkins, click here. A new window will open so you don't lose this page.)

From the Friday, March 10 entry:

Not everyone wants to give up vegetables, fruit, bread, and pasta forever - even in exchange for a regimen that allows a pound of bacon for breakfast followed by a pound of hamburger (with no bun, of course) for lunch, topped by a thick steak for dinner. And if people want bread, pasta, or rice, a humane eating plan should be able to accommodate that desire.

Since when does the Atkins diet make you "give up vegetables, fruit, bread, and pasta forever"? I eat all of these things. Vegetable are never cut out. Even in Induction you have to eat 20g net carbs a day, and 10-15 of those should be from vegetables. Since many vegetables are quite low in net carbs, you can eat quite a lot. And after the first two weeks you should be eating even more! Vegetables are a basic mainstay of almost every low-carb diet out there, and Atkins is no exception.

Fruit is also not cut out. Avocado and tomato (both fruits) are allowed from Induction all the way through to Lifetime Maintenance. And from Ongoing Weight Loss (Phase 2) onward, you can have berries. Most people also add other fruits.

Bread - I've been eating whole wheat bread for months now. You just can't have it during the first two weeks - as indeed even South Beach restricts bread during that time.

As for pasta, I can have Dreamfields any time I want. (By the way, I highly recommend this pasta. It's the real thing. I won't eat any other kind now.)

The only thing that has any truth is the rice, and some people can add that back in small amounts during Lifetime Maintenance, or even Pre-Maintenance, if they really want. It's not important to me, but it is to some people. Me - I'll take 100% whole wheat bread over anything, even fruit. I love whole wheat bread.

I have never eaten a pound of bacon or a pound of hamburger, much less all in one day! My diet is comprised of three basics - meat, vegetables, and dairy.

I bought this calendar because Atkins doesn't make one and I figured this one might have some good low-carb advice. I am sorely disappointed.

[Edit: I'm told the quote is probably from Dr. Agatston's South Beach Diet book. So the doctor himself is the one publishing this slander.]

Ok, I'm sick, take 2

Ug. I'm worse today. Woke up sniffly and congested. I was supposed to go into San Francisco but I really don't feel like it. I slept in a bit longer. I probably made the right decision. It's alternating heavy rain and hail outside! The birds that were flying when it started all headed for the nearest building to land on the roof.

I'm just going to stick to my regular Friday routine - cooking and packing lunches for next week.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ok, I'm sick

Well, my three day sore throat has developed into a nice cold, but thankfully just a small one. My nose is running and I'm a bit fatigued, but other than that okay. I went grocery shopping today, and on my way to work arrived early enough to walk from the train station, making a pit stop at Pac-N-Save to buy some Zicam. I was told that exercising when you're sick is good, as long as it's not a chest cold.

I think I have the same cold that Lisa has except that she works two or three jobs, doesn't eat right (high carbs/high fat), and doesn't take care of herself. She was out sick last night, totally knocked flat by it. And me - well if this is the worst it gets, I'm getting off easy. I credit this to getting enough sleep, taking my supplements, and eating healthy on Atkins. Never underestimate the power of the Atkins diet. All those vegetables we eat give us tons of good fiber and nutrition. :) Now I am dosing on Vitamin C and using the Zicam to kick this cold to the curb!

145 on the scale this morning. I really need to get to the gym more. :) I sense I'm retaining water today, so I'll be up tomorrow.

Safeway has stopped carrying the sugar free BBQ sauce. I had a feeling they might (can't say how I knew - I just did), and bought three bottles last week. Sure enough, it was gone from the shelves. I have no idea what I will do when my stash is gone. Not even the Carb Options Web site lists it anymore. I did e-mail them to ask about it.

Carb Options also no longer has the teriaki marinade, which was my favorite. The Italian Garlic is still listed on their site. In the store today it was marked "Reduced for quick sale." The teriaki has been missing from the store shelves for a while.

The Oroweat 100% whole wheat low-carb bread was missing, too. I bought the "Sugar Free" kind, which has only one more carb per slice, but the slices look smaller.

I can understand the "bad" low-carb products disappearing, but these are good products - low sugar alternatives to things that are normally packed with added sugar. Look at a bottle of BBQ sauce the next time you go to the store. Almost all its calories come from sugar. It's nearly impossible to live a low-sugar lifestyle these days.

*sigh* Even my grocery store conspires against my healthy diet to make me fat with things full of sugar. What is America's obsession with adding sugar to everything?!?

Birthday calculator

Found this great birthday calculator. It will tell you all sorts of things about the day you were born. Here's my results.

You entered: 1/11/1971

Your date of conception was on or about 20 April 1970 which was a Monday. (I know this is wrong. My parents know for a fact that I was conceived on May 1, 1970.)
You were born on a Monday under the astrological sign Capricorn.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2440962.5.
The year 1971 was not a leap year.

Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning 2/6/1970 and ending 1/26/1971.
You were born in the Chinese year of the Dog.

The date of Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 11 April 1971.
The date of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) on your birth year was Wednesday 24 February 1971.
The date of Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday) in the year of your birth was Sunday 30 May 1971.
The date of Whisuntide in the year of your birth was Sunday 6 June 1971.
The date of Rosh Hashanah in the year of your birth was Tuesday, 21 September 1971.
The date of Passover in the year of your birth was Sunday, 11 April 1971.
The date of Mardi Gras on your birth year was Tuesday 23 February 1971.

As of 3/9/2006 3:37:42 PM PST
You are 35 years old.
You are 422 months old.
You are 1,834 weeks old.
You are 12,841 days old.
You are 308,202 hours old.
You are 18,492,157 minutes old.
You are 1,109,529,462 seconds old.

Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 5.02583170254403 years old. (You're still chasing cats!)

There are 308 days till your next birthday on which your cake will have 36 candles.

Those 36 candles produce 36 BTUs, or 9,072 calories of heat (that's only 9.0720 food Calories!).
You can boil 4.11 US ounces of water with that many candles.

In 1971 there were approximately 3.7 million births in the US.
In 1971 the US population was approximately 203,302,031 people, 57.4 persons per square mile.
In 1971 in the US there were approximately 2,158,802 marriages (10.6%) and 708,000 divorces (3.5%).
In 1971 in the US there were approximately 1,921,000 deaths (9.5 per 1000).
In the US a new person is born approximately every 8 seconds.
In the US one person dies approximately every 12 seconds.

Your birthstone is Garnet.

Your birth tree is:
Fir Tree, the Mysterious
Extraordinary taste, dignity, cultivated airs, loves anything beautiful, moody, stubborn, tends to egoism but cares for those close to it,rather modest, very ambitious, talented, industrious uncontent lover, many friends, many foes, very reliable.

There are 291 days till Christmas 2006!
There are 304 days till Orthodox Christmas!

The moon's phase on the day you were born was full. (My sister and brother were also born on the full moon.)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ug!, take 2

My sore throat was worse when I woke up this morning, but has gotten progressively better throughout the day. Still no symptoms of anything - just this sore throat. I made the right decision to go to the gym today. :)

This sort of thing happened once before. I had a sore throat for three straight days, but no other symptoms. I even went to my doctor on the fourth day. He said there was some inflammation, but wasn't concerned since I said it was getting better at that point. So I'm not too worried. It could be any number of things, and fighting a virus is only one of them.

I took it a little easy during my workout - I did 35 minutes of weights, 20 minutes on the crosstraining elliptical, then 30 minutes of walking (1.75 miles), then finally 20 minutes on the crossramp elliptical. FitDay says 355 calories.

Weight today was 146. Since I've stuck to my diet (just added a few more healthy carbs), and the weight came on so fast, it has to be water bloat (from the extra carbs) and hopefully some muscle, too.

Gluconeogenesis - the body can make its own glucose

On the heels of my recent posts from Dr. Michael Eades about ketosis cleaning your cells, I found the following in Jimmy's blog about gluconeogenesis.

Gluconeogenesis is the process by which necessary bodily glucose is made when there are not sufficient carbohydrates to do the job.

According to Dr. Michael Eades, the body needs about 200g of carbohydrate a day. On a low-carb diet, ketones can replace about 70g of that, leaving a deficit of about 130g that the body actually needs that ketones can't provide.

That's where gluconeogenesis comes to the rescue. It is the reason that humankind does not need carbohydrates to survive - we can make our own as long as their is sufficient caloric intake of fat and protein. Blood sugar needs to stay in a tightly controlled range (generally about 65-99). My last fasting glucose test was 75 - well within normal range. Gluconeogenesis is responsible for that 75 number - without it the blood sugar of everyone on a low-carb diet would plummet.

It's also the reason the Inuit Eskimos exist at all - their carbohydrate intake is very low - if carbohydrates were so important to health and weight management, they would have died off long ago.

From the Straight Dope Web site on these Eskimos:

Much of what we know about the Eskimo diet comes from the legendary arctic anthropologist and adventurer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who made several daredevil journeys through the region in the early 20th century. Stefansson noticed the same thing you did, that the traditional Eskimo diet consisted largely of meat and fish, with fruits, vegetables, and other carbohydrates...accounting for as little as 2 percent of total calorie intake.

Why does the average American eat 300g of carbohydrate a day if 200g is all we need, and our bodies can function quite well on zero grams? Could this be the reason for the obesity epidemic is this country? We've done quite well lowering our fat intake, and yet as a nation we are getting more obese by the year. Perhaps it's time for a different approach.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ug!

I have a nice healthy sore throat today. Bleh. I hope I'm not coming down with a cold. :(

Got a little exercise in today since I had an appointment before work that took up what would be my gym time. I hopped on my exercise bike at home for a 1/2 hour before my breakfast (1 cup plain yogurt), and then walked to work from the train station after my appointment. FitDay says 210 calories. Better than nothing, but I miss my gym time! Tomorrow's the only day I can go and what if I am sick?!?

Weight today is 145.8, so 3.8 pounds above goal. *sigh* I wonder if the 100% whole wheat low carb bread might be bloating me.

So all in all feeling blah and praying I don't come down with anything. I can't get sick. They depend on me here and I may have to work while sick and that would suck.

*sigh*

Just not a good day.

Review: The Ultimate Weight Solution

As you may know, I've been reading Dr. Phil Graw's book The Ultimate Weight Solution. It purports to give 7 "keys" to losing weight and managing it for a lifetime.

I give it three stars out of five.

First, the book can have value to anyone who is struggling with food from a psychological perspective. Dr. Phil's doctorate is in psychology and this comes through in his book. If you are a binge eater or otherwise overweight because you can't "stick" to a diet plan, then Dr. Phil does have some good information on overcoming those problems. Some is common sense information - such as getting the junk food out of your house, and some is not so common - such as taking a bubble bath when you are tempted to eat. If you fit in this category the book is worth the read. It's worth the read even if you don't think you fit in this category.

The book also contains many "audits" that help you gauge where you are in life and therefore helps you know exactly what issues to work on. You'll need a pencil and a notepad. These audits are useful if you are brutally honest with yourself during them. Hey...no one but you will ever know your answers!

However, I have some bones of contention, which is why I am only giving it three stars. I'm knocking off one star because it's a good book, but not great, and another star for the horrible, 30-year-old dietary information he gives.

For example, he exalts canola oil over coconut oil. Why? Simply because coconut oil is a saturated fat. It doesn't matter that studies have shown it's healthy and useful for managing weight.

Two, he takes a swipe at all other diets, and says his program is not a diet, yet it is - it's got lists of good and bad foods and what proportion to eat them in. Furthermore, he says that when you go off other diets, you regain the weight. Well, duh. All "diets" should be lifestyle changes. If they are not, then yes, the weight will come back. I just recently hit goal on my chosen diet program. But if I go off it and start eating the way that made me fat, then I'll get fat again. It's a lifestyle change. His diet or any other has to be that.

Three, we find out toward the end of the book in the "When You Can't Lose Weight" section that he is insulin resistant: he had high triglicerides and high blood sugar. I can only imagine that he would follow his own diet, and if his diet caused him to have elevated triglicerides and blood sugar, then how healthy can it be? Plus, in my opinion both of these conditions can be treated with diet alone, but because it would require something other than a mainstream diet, he is keeping these things in check through both diet and medication.

What is his eating plan? One part lean protein, one part veggies, one part fruit (or a second serving of veggies), and one part starch. And after bashing other diets as quick fixes and fads (which would include all low- and controlled-carb plans), I came across this gem: "For greater fat loss, you may wish to reduce your intake of starchy carbohydrates...A slight reduction in starch intake is known to help your body burn fat." I would think a greater reduction would burn even more fat, but he won't take that step.

So on the one hand, he says these are fad diets, but on the other hand, he admits that reducing starch results in greater fat loss. Which is it? Am I the only one that sees this as a contradiction?

He also makes the statement that saturated fat causes insulin resistance. Um, no. According to a nutritionist I talked to, this is only true in a certain percent of morbidly obese individuals who have been morbidly obese for a while (and this applies to all fat, not just saturated). The rest of the time (which is the vast majority of cases) fat doesn't do anything to raise insulin and therefore cannot cause insulin resistance.

So, in summary, the book has its uses, but it my opinion Dr. Phil needs to stick with his specialty. Dr. Phil giving nutrition advice is like Dr. Atkins giving psychological advice - it just doesn't work because neither knows much about the other subject. Dr. Phil is a psychologist and should stick with the psychological aspects of diet. Leave the nutrition to those trained as medical doctors.

Read the book, but for God's sake, skip key #5 on nutrition. Read a book by a nutritionist or a medical doctor or two.

Three stars out of five. The psychological advice IS good and I've found things that can help me that the more traditional books (focused only on what to eat) ignore. It's worth the read as long as you skip key #5. I recommend Jonny Bowden, Dr. Atkins, or Dr. Michael Eades for advice on food.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dirty G-Rated Photo

I'm working a long shift, so you all get treated to three posts today instead of two. :)



Sometimes I wonder where I find these things. :)

skaters

Gratuitous cat pictures

Here's more pictures of the two best looking cats in the world.


Cat in sink!


Xena and Abby lick up tuna water - the water drained off from a can of tuna. I think it's disgusting, but they love it.

Aren't they just so cute?

One month on Maintenance!

I didn't realize until I looked at my tickers just now that today marks one month on Maintenance for me! :) Woohoo!


maintenance ticker

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Mods and threats of banning

I'm glad I didn't check my e-mail yesterday, because it was a mess of Victoria bashing from the two mods on the Weight Loss forum.

I am once again 100% wrong and Del is just the sweetest lil' angel that ever walked the earth. I will never get a chance to defend myself on the forum like Del and Speds will, so I'll publish it here where at least a few people will see it.

First, from Del:

Victoria was not BOZOed for posting an article. She was BOZOed for personal attacks and general poor forum behavior which happened AFTER the title of her thread was changed. The thread itself was not altered in any way other than that. Because Victoria's posts in the past have been generally supportive, she was not banned from the forum. She was temporarily BOZOed to give her a little time to calm down and start behaving rationally without taking the forum down with her.

Like I have that kind of power? Please. You way overestimate me.

And wait, you think you were behaving rationally?

This was not the first time we have had to delete personal attacks made by Victoria against another forum member.

What personal attack? Proof please.

Please keep in mind that if the personal attacks resume, then the same thing will happen again, and next time it will not be a BOZO, it will be a ban. And this does not only apply to Victoria. This applies to everyone who posts on the forum. Everyone is held to the same expectation of good behavior, and nobody is exempt.

But you can attack me and that's okay? I get it.

And what personal attack did I make? Post it in the comments section if this alleged "personal attack" truly exists. But I know you won't because it doesn't exist.

And next, from Speds:

Couldn't agree with all more - BUT we can't have escalations to the point of mean posts (the ones that you didn't see we extremely immature and mean) . This was silly on every level. The only thing that "edited" was a title to a thread THAT's IT!!! The content was not edited. This minor change, for some reason, was not taken in the spirit of trying to maintain civility on the forum and it was escalated (not by Del) to the point of insanity.

When I rolled my eyes at her, she threatened me, but she didn't escalate it? SHE was the one who bozoed ME, but she didn't escalate it? I was ready to drop it and would have if she hadn't pulled that trick. Del bears some responsibility here.

You have all seen how even "tame" topics can get out of hand on this forum - with ones that are coming out of the gate with inflammatory titles, the damage is done almost immediately and it gets worse from there - it's either edit the title or delete the thread after it becomes one hell of a bitch fest - no one wants that.

We all have a responsibility, especially as veterans to this forum, to behave like adults - this was very "immature" and not the impression we should be giving off to members. If the veterans can't behave, why should we expect anything more from the people who come in new to the forum?


So the moderators can do whatever they want, but members are held to a higher standard? Isn't that backwards?

I do agree, Victoria is an asset to the forum but the over the top reaction to this issue was at all beneficial to the forum and as asset to no one. Even after the apology, the jabs kept coming. I did not bozo Victoria (but did not disagree with the move at the time). I will undo that and I told her it would be undone if she would just let this go - but please EVERYONE let's not let this happen again. If you have a problem with a post, or whatever, be mature about it. The edit was not personal and never should have been taken in that spirit and this should not have resulted in such childishness.

Does that include Del, too?

That being said, I will life (sic) the bozo - but this cannot happen again...

Yes, I originally escalated it, later apologized and was ready to completely let it go, and then, and only then, was I bozoed.

Moderators are supposed to be held to a higher standard, but due to the "good old boys" way of doing things, it's almost always the other way around - the moderator can do no wrong, so therefore the member must be 100% wrong. When I have modded I have always been held to a higher standard (sometimes impossibly high). That's why Del getting treated with kid gloves is sooo wrong.

All I need to do now is copy any journal posts there that I want to save over here. That should keep me busy for quite a while.

Since I won't be posting my daily food and exercise totals in my journal anymore, you'll need to see my FitDay journal for the totals.

Saner Saturday

Well, my weight has skyrocketed the last two days. I'm now 4.5 pounds above goal. And I didn't think I did too bad yesterday. Last week my net carbs were around 150g. Yesterday they were about 100g. A big improvement. And my weight still went up. *sigh*

I had to come into work two hours early today, but I still managed to get some exercise in. I pedaled my ancient stationary bike at home while watching Mythbusters (a great TV show filmed in this area!). Then I arrived at the BART station early enough to walk the last leg to work. It is very windy today and the wind was right in my face, so it took about 30 minutes. FitDay says 210 calories burned. I also brought a couple fitness mags with me to look over. I've got to get more creative with doing something, because gym time is getting harder to come by each week. My current average is just one gym workout a week. All this courtesy of overtime. And yet the overtime is keeping me afloat right now.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Consumption of soft drinks and high-fructose corn syrup linked to obesity and diabetes

"Saying that high-fructose corn syrup causes diabetes and obesity takes about as much of a leap of faith as saying one plus one equals two. This is well proven. Heck, we even have doctors from Yale University Center backing this study and saying, yep, this is an obvious conclusion."

Read the full article.

Makes me glad I'm on Atkins where high fructose corn syrup is persona non grata.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Why the Low-Fat Diet is Stupid and Potentially Dangerous

I'm taking the day off from any heavy posting, and present to you this article that I found on Weight of the Evidence.

I present it to you in its entirety with permission to reprint.

When I posted this on About.com's Weight Loss forum, quite a furor erupted that resulted in my being bozoed. I was quickly attacked by several of the low-fat contingent who didn't even bother to read the article. Come on, people! Criticize from a position of knowledge. You wouldn't post a book review on Amazon without reading the book, would you? Why is it okay to bash an article online you've never read?

I present to you the article that got me bozoed.

---

From Regina Wilshire:
For years Anthony Colpo has maintained The Omnivore, a website bursting at the seams with articles and insights into studies and claims about being healthy - all with references to studies. [Later note: the site has had most of the articles removed.]

Recently, Colpo penned "Why the Low-Fat Diet is Stupid and Potentially Dangerous" - a lengthy and well referenced article about the null findings from the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial.



Why the Low-Fat Diet is Stupid and Potentially Dangerous

Anthony Colpo, February 23, 2006

On February 8, 2006, the Journal of the American Medical Association delivered a huge blow to advocates of low-fat 'nutrition' by publishing the results of the huge Women's Health Initiative trial. The results of the trial clearly showed that a low-fat diet failed to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer in women even when followed continuously for eight years. In women with pre-existing CVD, the low-fat diet increased the risk of CVD by 26 percent!

Since the publication of the WHI results, low-fat diet supporters have been working overtime manufacturing excuses for the failure of their beloved regimen. Foremost among these is that the women in the low-fat group did not reduce their fat intake sufficiently. I even had one sadly misguided soul write to me the other day telling me I did not "understand" low-fat diets, that the only reason they frequently fail is because people following them don't lower their fat intake enough.

Such stupidity makes my head spinÂ…

First of all, I understand low-fat diets only too well! Much to my regret, I followed one throughout most of the nineties, and the result was nothing short of disastrous.

My low-fat nightmare began in my early twenties, after a doctor told me that my cholesterol, at 213, was "moderately high" and placed me at increased risk of heart disease (something I now know to be nonsense). Following the prevailing dietary wisdom at the time, I soon adopted a low-fat diet. This wasn't your average low-fat diet--it was a VERY low-fat diet, with the kind of anemic fat intake that would have made lipid-phobes like Ornish and Pritikin proud.

For years, I ate only the leanest meats; in fact, to this day, the thought of eating another skinless chicken breast, kangaroo steak, or low-fat fish makes me want to puke! Fuelling the high energy demands of my daily workouts in the face of a low fat intake meant eating carbohydrates--lots of them! In keeping with the common advice still given to athletes to eat lots of 'healthy' complex carbohydrate foods, I consumed copious amounts of rye bread, brown rice, sweet potato, wholemeal pasta, rolled oats, buckwheat, and millet.

My dedication to the low-fat mantra was nothing short of religious, and my low-fat brainwashing so thorough that when I sat down and calculated the average amount of fat calories I was taking in, I was actually proud when I realized I was consistently consuming less than ten percent of my calories as fat every day!

Halfway through the nineties, reality began to bite--hard. Despite my 'healthy' diet, and my daily strenuous training regimen, my blood pressure had risen from 110/65, a reading characteristic of highly-conditioned athletes, to an elevated 130/90. I noticed it was becoming increasingly harder to maintain the lean, "ripped", vascular look that I had always prided myself on. Instead, my physique was becoming increasingly smooth and bloated. My digestive system became progressively more sluggish, my stomach often feeling heavy and distended after meals. I frequently felt tired after meals. I showed signs of leaky gut syndrome, racking up a rather impressive list of irreversible food sensitivities. I had never been much of a coffee drinker, but I was now frequently trying to fight off increasing fatigue by sipping a strong black or two before training sessions. My fasting blood glucose level was below the normal range, indicative of reactive hypoglycemia.

Basically, I felt like crap!

It wasn't until I abandoned the whole low-fat charade, and adopted a diet that went against everything preached by the reigning diet orthodoxy, that I began to reverse these symptoms. When I ate more saturated fat and meat than ever before and subsequently felt better than ever before, I quickly realized that most diet 'experts' actually had no clue what they were talking about. I quickly realized that they were mere parrots repeating an official party line.

When I look back on my fat-fearing days, where I really believed that dietary fat was some sort of heinous toxin, the first thought that comes to mind is "What a wanker!" I then think of the sad legion of brainwashed folks all around the world who still follow the idiotic low-fat paradigm. "Poor folks," I think to myself, "they really have no idea just how badly they've been had..."

While I feel sorry for many of these folks, I have nothing but utter contempt for those who write me in defense of the low-fat paradigm. To be fooled is one thing, but to vigorously defend those who have mercilessly deceived and shafted you is beyond pitiful--such self-destructive stupidity is an absolutely repugnant thing to observe!

Let's now find out why the participants in the diet group of the WHI trial should be glad that they did not lower their fat intake any more than what they did!

Why the Low-Fat Diet is a Big Fat Fraud

One of the first priorities of healthy eating is to consume the most nutrient-dense foods possible. Cutting your fat intake strongly impedes this goal via at least three mechanisms:
1) Directly slashing your intake of important vitamins and fatty acids;
2) Reducing the absorption of crucial fat-soluble vitamins;
3) Decreasing the absorption of important minerals.

You probably think you're being "enlightened" when you trim the fat from your meats and ditch your egg yolks down the sink. What you are really doing is lucidly demonstrating what a mindless, brainwashed dolt you've become. You are effectively throwing away nutrients that your body needs to survive and thrive!

The fatty portions of meat, dairy and eggs are where one finds the highest concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and beta-carotene. Stripping the skin from your chicken breast not only makes it less tasty, but reduces its vitamin A content by seventy-eight percent!(1)

Throwing away your egg yolks is equally dumb. While one large egg yolk contains 245 IU of vitamin A, 18 IU of vitamin D, and 186 mcg of lutein plus zeaxanthin, along with small amounts of other carotenoids and vitamin E, a large egg white contains none of these nutrients. Egg yolks, along with beef liver, are also an especially concentrated dietary source of phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) and choline, which the body requires for healthy liver function and for the formation of the key neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Lower levels of acetylcholine are associated with memory loss and cognitive decline(2).

The last time you chose skim milk yogurt instead of the whole milk variety, you nutritionally short-changed yourself; skim yogurt contains 93 percent less vitamin A than whole yogurt! And if you chose non-fat yogurt, then congratulations--you received no vitamin A whatsoever!(1)

Data from national nutrition surveys consistently show that American children have lower than recommended intakes of vitamin E, and this is reflected in below-average serum levels of the vitamin. Reduction in dietary fat further exacerbates the low vitamin E status of children(3). The consequences of low dietary vitamin E intakes may include impaired immune responses, and an increased susceptibility to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Willingly reducing your consumption of important vitamins and carotenes is not smart--it's downright stupid!

Absorb This!

Low-fat eating doesn't just decrease your intake of certain crucial nutrients. As researchers have shown time and time again, it will also dramatically reduce the absorption of whatever fat-soluble vitamins and carotenes remain in your diet!(4-7).

When subjects ingested equal amounts of lutein--a carotenoid that may protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataract--from either whole eggs, spinach or supplements, it was observed that lutein absorption was significantly higher during the period of whole egg consumption(8).

In another study, researchers compared the absorption of carotenoids from salads that contained either 0, 6 or 28 grams of canola oil. There was no increase in blood carotenoid concentrations after the fat-free salad, while the reduced fat salad produced markedly lower blood carotenoid elevations than the high fat version(9).

The addition of 150 grams of fat-rich avocado to salsa enhanced lycopene and beta-carotene absorption by 4.4 and 2.6-fold, respectively, compared to avocado-free salsa. In the same subjects, adding either twenty-four grams of avocado oil or 150 grams avocado to salad greatly enhanced alpha-carotene, beta -carotene and lutein absorption by 7.2, 15.3 and 5.1 times, respectively, compared with avocado-free salad!(10)

Only a true dumbass would think that reducing absorption of healthful fat-soluble nutrients is somehow beneficial. Don't be a dumbass.

Making a Bad Situation Worse

The mineral status of the typical Westerner is atrocious. Take magnesium for example, a substance vital for healthy heart function, blood sugar control, bone formation, and muscular contraction(11-16). A recent survey of U.S. adults found that the average daily intake of magnesium among Caucasian men is only 352 milligrams, and a mere 278 milligrams among African American men. Caucasian women consume an average of 256 milligrams per day, while African American women take in only 202 milligrams daily(17). The lower amounts of magnesium ingested by African Americans have been posited as a possible contributor to their increased susceptibility of hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease(18).

The situation isn't much better for zinc. Overt zinc deficiencies are common to Third World countries where animal protein consumption is low, while milder, 'sub-clinical' zinc deficiencies appear to be common in modernized nations. Nationwide food consumption surveys by the USDA have found that the average intake of zinc for males and females of all ages is below the recommended daily allowance (RDA). This is especially worrying when one considers that RDAs are generally based on the amount of a nutrient required to prevent obvious, well-recognized deficiency diseases (such as stunted growth and hypogonadism in the case of zinc), not sub-clinical deficiencies that may damage one's health over the longer-term.

Those who follow low fat diets are at even greater risk of zinc deficiency(19,20). Not only do low-fat diets discourage the consumption of zinc-rich foods like red meat, but a low dietary fat intake itself acts to impair mineral absorption.

It's ironic that red meat is typically denigrated for its saturated fat content, because saturates are the very fats that improve mineral absorption!(21-24).

A pilot study by researchers at the USDA Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center examined the effect of different fats and carbohydrate on performance and mineral metabolism in three male endurance cyclists. During alternating four-week periods, each subject consumed diets in which either carbohydrate, polyunsaturated, or saturated fat contributed about fifty percent of daily energy intake. Endurance capacity decreased with the polyunsaturated fat diet. The polyunsaturated diet also resulted in increased excretion of zinc and iron, while copper retention tended to be positive only on the saturated fat diet(25).

Optimal health is next to impossible to achieve with sub-optimal mineral status. Low-fat diets, most notably those low in saturated fats, encourage sub-optimal mineral status. Yet another reason why these diets suck the salsiccia, big time!

Low-Fat, Low Omega-3

Unless you've been living on a distant planet for the last few years, then you have no doubt heard about omega-3 fats and their pivotal role in maintaining good health.

Unlike low-fat diets, clinical trials utilizing the sole intervention of increased fatty fish or fish oil intake have produced significant reductions in CHD and overall mortality. The benefits of EPA and DHA-rich items like fish and fish oil are not confined to the cardiovascular system. In epidemiological studies and animal experiments, increased intakes of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with lower rates of cancer, depression and mental illness, adverse pregnancy outcomes, infectious disease, osteoporosis, lung disease, menstrual pain, cognitive decline in the elderly, eye damage, childhood asthma and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder(26-51). In clinical trials with human subjects, researchers have observed benefits from long-chain omega-3 supplementation in the treatment of asthma, alzheimers, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, schizophrenia, infant health, pregnancy outcomes, kidney disease, menstrual problems, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and cystic fibrosis(52-73). Hell, even the fat-hating vegetarian Dean Ornish recommends the use of distinctly non-vegetarian fish oil supplements! (Gee, can anyone see a contradiction there?)

So what has this all got to do with low-fat eating? Everything!

Similar to fat-soluble vitamins, the absorption of EPA and DHA increases when consumed with a high fat meal(74).

Again, not just any old fat will do when it comes to improving one's omega-3 status. Saturated fat improves the body's conversion of plant-source omega-3 fats into the longer-chain varieties EPA and DHA, while omega-6-rich fats impede the conversion process. In young males, elongation of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA) to DHA, EPA and AA was reduced by forty to fifty percent when dietary LA intake increased from fifteen to thirty grams per day(75).

When rats were supplemented with linseed oil, their serum and tissue content of the all-important omega-3 fatty acids increased, and omega-6 levels decreased, to a far greater extent on a saturated fat-rich (beef fat) diet than on a linoleic acid-rich (safflower oil) diet(76).

Cutting fat--as in saturated fat--worsens your omega-3 status. If you think that's a good thing, then low-fat nutrition has already scrambled your brain. My advice: Eat some fat before you become totally brain dead!

Speaking of scrambled brains...

Nature's Anti-Depressant: Fat!

Feeling moody? Irritable? Always snapping at your kids for no good reason? Are you known around the office as "Attila the Grump"? If so, eating a low-fat diet isn't going to help the situation. In fact, a low-fat diet may actually be the cause of your mental funk!

In 1998, U.K. researchers reported the results of an important experiment involving twenty healthy male and female volunteers. One group was placed on a 41% fat diet, while the other group consumed a 25% fat diet. After 4 weeks had passed, the groups were swapped around so that those originally on the low-fat diet were now consuming the high-fat diet, and vice-versa. Throughout the study, all meals were prepared by the university conducting the study and supplied to the participants. Both diets were specially designed to be as palatable and similar in taste as possible.

At the beginning and end of each diet period, every subject underwent a battery of psychological assessments, including various mood state questionnaires and an interview by a psychiatrist who was blinded to the participant's dietary status.

The study was tightly-controlled and adherence to the diets appears to have been high. HDL cholesterol levels declined during the low-fat period, a typical response on low-fat, high-carb diets, indicating that subjects ate the foods as supplied.

The researchers found that, while ratings of anger-hostility slightly declined during the high-fat diet period, they significantly increased during the low-fat, high-carb diet period!

Tension-anxiety ratings declined during the high-fat period, but did not change during the four weeks of low-fat, high-carb eating.

Ratings of depression declined slightly during the high-fat period, but increased during the low-fat, high-carb period, mainly due to two of the low-fat subjects reporting significantly greater depression-dejection ratings.

What is particularly alarming about this study is that the low-fat diet produced these symptoms in mentally healthy subjects. As the researchers emphasized, the participants were "a psychologically robust group who had never previously suffered from depression or anxiety, and who were not going through any 'stressful' events during the study." They further stated that "The alterations in mood observed in the present study may have been greater if subjects were feeling more stressed or were more susceptible to mental illness."(77)

Low-fat diets should be approached with extreme caution by those with a history of depression, anxiety, overly aggressive behavior or mental illness. Such individuals may be especially vulnerable to the nutritional inadequacies of low-fat diets.

The UK researchers' observations raise some interesting questions. Could the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets that have been so heavily promoted over the last thirty years be at least partially responsible for increases in anti-social behavior witnessed during the same period? If studies with our primate cousins are anything to go by, the answer to this question could well be affirmative.

Low-Fat Diet Makes Monkeys Go Ape

For almost 2 years, adult male monkeys were fed a "luxury" diet - (43% calories from fat, 0.34 mg cholesterol/Calorie of diet) or a "prudent" diet (30% calories from fat, 0.05 mg cholesterol/Calorie of diet).

Researchers observed that the low-fat diet monkeys were more irritable and initiated more aggression than the "luxury" diet animals.

The prudent diet resulted in lower total serum cholesterol levels, something that our absent-minded health authorities automatically assume is a good thing. The researchers, however, noted: "These results are consistent with studies linking relatively low serum cholesterol concentrations to violent or antisocial behavior in psychiatric and criminal populations and could be relevant to understanding the significant increase in violence-related mortality observed among people assigned to cholesterol-lowering treatment in clinical trials."(78)

Fatless Shrugged

It was Ayn Rand who once said that the most noble and productive goal for a person to engage in was the pursuit of their own happiness. If the achievement of your own happiness is important to you, then kick the low-fat diet's sad, sorry, melancholy butt right out of your life--it's a loser.

Low-Fat Diets Lower Testosterone

Testosterone is abhorred by politically correct weenies, who like to blame it for every instance of disagreeable male behavior, in much the same way menstruation was once cited as the catch-all explanation for uncharacteristically aggressive or irritable female behavior.

Of course, scientific reality is of little concern to the politically correct. The fact is, testosterone is an extremely important hormone for both men and women. Sex drive, muscle and bone health, immune function, cognitive function, mood, and cardiovascular health are all negatively affected by declining levels of testosterone. Testosterone levels typically decline with age, and, along with the decline of other key hormones, falling T levels are believed to be a major contributor to many of the deleterious changes seen during the aging process. As such, aging individuals should be looking at ways to preserve and even boost their testosterone status, rather than engaging in self-defeating habits that will speed the decline in T levels. Alcohol abuse, recreational drug use, pharmaceutical drugs, stress, and poor sleep habits can all lower testosterone levels.

So too can low-fat diets.

Research shows that reducing fat intake from around forty percent to 20-25 percent of calories decreases testosterone output. Low fat diets also increase levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein which binds to testosterone, thus reducing the amount of bioavailable, or 'free', testosterone in the body. It is free testosterone that is responsible for this hormone's favorable effects on growth, repair, sexual capacity and immune function(79-81).

Again, not just any old fat will suffice when it comes to optimizing testosterone levels. A study with weight-training men showed higher saturated fat and monounsaturated fat consumption to be positively associated with testosterone levels. In contrast, higher dietary levels of so-called "heart-healthy" polyunsaturated fats relative to saturated fats were associated with lower testosterone levels (82).

It's highly ironic that athletes and bodybuilders will take all manner of expensive, esoteric and often dubious testosterone-boosting concoctions--not to mention anabolic steroids--yet will follow hormone-damping low-fat diets with religious fervor. It's a little like putting on a weighted vest before a big race and expecting to run at full speed.

Hormones like testosterone play a fundamentally important role in stimulating and regulating growth and metabolism. Don't go throwing a low-fat monkey wrench into your metabolic engine!

Low-Fat Diets and Immune Function

Diet 'experts' assure us that a low-fat diet is the key to good health. The published research does not support such claims.

Despite the virulent ranting of anti-fat activists, trials comparing sedentary adult volunteers fed low-fat diets with those receiving higher fat diets has shown no improvement in immune status in the former group(83,84).

In children, whole milk consumption is associated with fewer gastrointestinal infections than consumption of low fat milk (85). Rats consuming diets high in milk fat show a significantly greater resistance to Listeria infection and higher survival rates than those whose diets were low in milk fat(86). Similar results have been observed in mice fed diets high in saturate-rich coconut oil(87).

In athletes, who are constantly pushing their immune systems to the edge with strenuous training, adherence to the commonly-recommended low-fat high-carbohydrate diet (15-19% of total calories) increases pro-inflammatory immune factors, decreases anti-inflammatory factors, and depresses antioxidant status when compared to higher fat diets (30-50% of total calories)(88,89). Such changes may leave athletes on low-fat diets with a lowered resistance to infection and a higher risk of chronic illness. This may be due to difficulty in obtaining sufficient calories from low-fat diets to meet the energy demands of exercise; increasing dietary fat intake and total caloric intake to match energy expenditure appears to reverse the negative effects on immune function reported on calorie-deficient, low-fat diets. Diets comprising 32% to 55% fat also improve endurance capacity compared to diets with 15% fat(90).

It was Scandinavian researchers who, in the 1960s, performed research showing that using extremely high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets for short periods could enhance athletic performance. This was achieved by using these diets as part of a "depletion-repletion" carbohydrate-loading strategy, which helped temporarily elevate muscle glycogen stores to higher than usual levels. One of the pioneers in this area, Dr. Jan Karlsson, points out that such diets were never intended to be applied for more than 3-4 days. Karlsson and his colleagues openly lament that these diets are now employed for extended periods of time, and refer to the prolonged use of very high-carbohydrate/low-fat diets by athletes as "voluntary malnourishment". They note that in Scandinavia, researchers use the term "Carbohydrate Trap" when referring to the widespread belief that these diets are required for optimal performance. These researchers consider a 50-55% carbohydrate, 35% fat diet to be eminently more sensible and nutritious than the >60% carb, <25% fat diets commonly used by athletes(91).

For athletes and non-athletes alike, the low-fat diet is a sick (pun intended) joke.

The Low-Fat Diet Does Not Protect Against Heart Disease, and May Actually Worsen It

The WHI trial confirmed what well-read cholesterol skeptics have known for a long time: The low-fat diet is a big fat fraud when it comes to preventing heart disease. Among the 48,835 women participating in the trial, no significant differences in CHD or stroke incidence, CHD or stroke mortality, or total mortality were observed(92). Nor were there any reductions in the incidence or mortality rates of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or total cancer(93,94).

There was however, one very ominous finding to emerge from the WHI trial. Among the 3.4 percent of trial participants with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, those randomized to the low-fat diet experienced a 26% increase in the relative risk of non-fatal and fatal CHD!

Low-fat advocates have remained deafeningly silent on this inconvenient finding, and would no doubt like to believe this was just a 'freak' occurrence. However, this is hardly the first time that low-fat eating has been shown to worsen the prognosis of women with existing cardiovascular disease.

In 2004, the world's most prominent nutrition journal, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published the results of a very, very interesting study. Harvard researchers had taken 235 postmenopausal women with established coronary heart disease, and divided them into four categories according to their level of saturated fat intake. They then performed coronary angiographies at baseline and after a mean follow-up of 3.1 years, analyzing over 2,200 coronary artery segments in the process.

After adjusting for multiple confounders, a higher saturated fat intake was associated with less narrowing of the arteries and less progression of coronary atherosclerosis. Compared with a 0.22 mm narrowing in the lowest quartile of intake, there was a 0.10-mm narrowing in the second quartile, a 0.07 mm narrowing in the third quartile, and no narrowing in the fourth and highest quartile of saturated fat intake!

Following a low-fat diet means adopting a high-carbohydrate diet by default. After all, it is exceedingly difficult and highly unpalatable to achieve the bulk of one's caloric needs by eating lean protein foods. It is of no small concern then, that carbohydrate intake was positively associated with atherosclerotic progression, particularly when the glycemic index was high. The intake of so-called 'heart-healthy' polyunsaturated fats was also positively associated with progression of atherosclerosis, but monounsaturated and total fat intakes were not associated with progression (it must be noted that the major sources of polyunsaturates in Western countries are refined vegetable oils which are rich in the omega-6 fat linoleic acid. The polyunsaturated omega-3 fats, which are underconsumed by most Westerners, have actually been shown to lower CVD).

After examining the baseline data for the study subjects, it is apparent that the results can not be explained away by otherwise healthier lifestyles among those eating the most saturated fat; the high saturated fat group, in fact, had the greatest number of current smokers! Women eating the most saturated fat were also less likely to take blood-thinning medications like aspirin(95).

If this study had found saturated fats to be associated with cardiovascular disease, its results would have been trumpeted in headlines around the world. Instead, they were largely ignored by the mainstream media and our ever-so responsible 'health' authorities. It appears only studies that support the cherished dogma of our health orthodoxy are considered suitable as press release fodder...

A major factor in the progression of cardiovascular disease--and most major diseases--is free radical damage. It is well-established that saturated fatty acids, because of their lack of vulnerable double bonds, are the least susceptible to free radical damage; polyunsaturates are the most vulnerable. We also know that increased carbohydrate consumption, especially of the refined variety, does an outstanding job of raising blood sugar and insulin levels, which accelerates glycation, free radical activity, blood clot formation, and arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation.

It should also be noted that increasing heart disease incidence throughout the twentieth century has been accompanied by increasing polyunsaturate consumption, while a marked increase in refined carbohydrate consumption during the last three decades has been accompanied by spiralling obesity and diabetes incidence. Animal fat consumption, in contrast, has remained stable over the last 100 years.

So what we have is two studies that show that women with pre-existing heart disease will experience WORSE outcomes if they shun saturated fat and opt for a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet! Furthermore, the validity of these results is supported by basic biochemistry and epidemiological data. So will low-fat advocates stop recommending this pattern of eating to women with heart disease? Does their concern for human life override their need to defend their precious low-fat dogma at all costs?

I truly doubt it...

If low-fat advocates won't be straight with you, then I will. Let's be perfectly clear on this: If you are female, and suffer cardiovascular disease, the published, peer-reviewed scientific evidence indicates that adopting a low-fat diet could be DEADLY.

The WHI is not the only dietary intervention trial to demonstrate the worthlessness of the low-fat diet in preventing CVD. In 1965, the prominent journal Lancet published the results of a trial conducted by the UK Medical Research Committee. In this study, 264 men under 65 were assigned to either a low-fat diet or their usual diet. Dietary records show that those in the low-fat group averaged 45 g/day of fat throughout the trial, while those in the control group actually increased their average fat intake from 106 to 125g. The average serum cholesterol measurement of the low-fat group was 25 points lower than that of the control group at 4 years. Despite nonsensical claims that "every 1mg/dl drop in cholesterol equals a 2% drop in CHD risk", there were no differences between the two groups in CHD incidence or mortality after 4 years.

In Search of the Elusive 'Negative Fat Intake'!

The hysterical anti-fat vitriole that spews forth from some anti-fat faddists leads me to believe that if these clowns could eat a 'negative-fat' diet, they would! As for their argument that the above trials didn't lower fat enough, one has to wonder how creating even greater deficiencies in valuable nutrients, and predisposing one to greater risk of depression and anger--all of which low-fat diets have indeed been clinically documented to do--will in any way help prevent heart disease! Maybe these folks have been eating low-fat so long that it's started to drain their brains; healthy human brains, after all, are 60% fat by weight!

The authors of the MRC trial concluded that: "A low-fat diet has no place in the treatment of myocardial infarction." Despite being written over forty years ago, these words have largely been ignored by a medical and health hierarchy which seems to earnestly believe that if only it keeps flogging the dead low-fat horse, it will one-day magically spring to life. In Australia, this is known as engaging in a 'wank', which means that people who push low-fat diets despite no proof whatsoever of their efficacy are wankers. This might be stating the obvious, but...you really shouldn't listen to wankers!

But the Japanese Eat a Low-Fat Diet...Don't They?

Supporters of low-fat nutrition cite the Japanese ad nauseum, claiming that their low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet is the reason for their low rate of heart disease. It is ironic that many of these same commentators exhort the benefits of whole-grains and tell us that the only 'bad' carbohydrates are those that come from refined sugars and grains. These folks need to get their story straight---a major source of carbohydrates in the Japanese diet is white rice--a refined grain! That means that if the high-carbohydrate Japanese diet is cardio-protective, then refined grains must be good for one's heart! Well, which is it? You can't have it both ways; either refined grains are heart-friendly, or they're not!

The truth is, the longevity and low CHD incidence of the Japanese owes nothing to carbohydrate intake, refined or otherwise. During the 1960s and 1970s, industrialization underwent rapid growth in Japan. This period of marked economic change bought with it greater consumption of animal protein and fat. This increased animal food consumption in Japan has been accompanied by a marked decline in both the overall incidence of and the mortality from one of that nation's biggest killers--stroke. This increase in animal protein and animal fat consumption has also occurred alongside Japan's rise to the top of the longevity ladder.(96,97)

If you're tempted to write this off as merely a consequence of improved living standards and medical technology, keep in mind that long-term follow-up studies with both native and migrant Japanese populations show that those who eat the most animal protein and animal fat enjoy greater longevity and a lower incidence of stroke than those who eat lesser amounts(98-101).

OK, So What About the Mediterranean Diet?

A diet low in saturated fat is purportedly a major factor in the low rates of CHD observed in Southern European countries. Just one wee problem: France, the Mediterranean country with the lowest CHD rates of all, is also the Mediterranean country with the highest saturated fat intake!

Oops!

Health 'experts' have tried to brush off this embarrassing observation as a 'paradox' (orthodoxy loves applying the 'paradox' label to uncomfortable contradictions) by claiming that red wine explains this difference. If that were true, then the Italians, who drink a similar amount of red wine, should have CHD rates even lower than France. But they don't; their CHD rates are similar to those of other Southern European countries where far less red wine is consumed(102).

Conclusion

I could go on, and on, and on...but I'll just close by saying that the low-fat diet has NEVER been demonstrated to do all the wonderful health-fortifying things claimed for it. The only trials showing favorable effects in people following low-fat diets are those that simultaneously employed other truly useful interventions, like exercise, stress management, increased fruit and vegetable intake and decreased processed food intake, and weight loss. However, there is absolutely no law whatsoever stating that low-fat eating is required for the implementation of any of these strategies. In fact, given the available evidence, one can only conclude that the inclusion of higher fat intakes in these trials may even have improved the results!

The bottom line: Not only is low-fat eating a boring way to go through life, it is a useless and often counterproductive hoax.

References and Assorted Disclaimers:
DISGRUNTLED WORSHIPPERS OF THE LOW-FAT RELIGION SHOULD READ THE FOLLOWING:I have not stated anything in this article that cannot be verified by published, peer-reviewed research. Nonetheless, my inbox will no doubt be flooded with angry emails from those who have been brainwashed by the low-fat paradigm, and who violently object to the thought that something that they have believed in so strongly for so long might actually be false. In other words, malevolent dimwits who want to shoot the messenger! For those of you who fall into this category, my suggestions are as follows: 1) GROW UP!; 2) Start placing a premium on discovering the facts, as opposed to doggedly defending what you have already decided you want to believe; 3) Instead of attacking me, start questioning the motives of those who profit greatly from the fallacious anti-fat, anti-cholesterol paradigm. This includes the food and drug conglomerates that make BILLIONS from the sale of low-fat foods and cholesterol-lowering drugs, the health and dietetic 'associations/organizations/institutes/foundations/etc' who receive millions in 'donations' from these very same companies, and the executives of these so-called 'non-profit' organizations who enjoy six-figure incomes and extensive perquisites.

To attack the owner of a non-commercial web site, who has nothing to gain financially by either supporting or opposing the low-fat paradigm, while defending those WHO DO, is so bloody stupid that it defies comprehension. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bloody stupid people in the world! If you are one of them, and decide to write me, please note that unless your email contains valid references to the scientific literature, it will be deleted immediately. After having established yourself as an ignorant goofball, your email address will also be added to my spam filter and any further emails will be delivered straight to my trash. Sorry, but I really am extremely busy and have no time or patience for ignorant, time-wasting twits.

NOTE: I have no problem with people reprinting this article on other web sites for non-commercial purposes. Heck, you can post it on the side of the Empire State Building for all I care (just be sure to seek permission from the owners first)! However, PLEASE ENSURE that you give full credit to the author, whether you reproduce the article in whole or part. A hyperlink to www.TheOmnivore.com would also be greatly appreciated! Those wishing to reprint this or any other article on TheOmnivore.com for commercial purposes should email: ac.theomnivore@gmail.com

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