Reader Questions and Results

Let's plow through another group. First up is some results from Deborah.

I stumbled across your site probably on a blogroll from someone else (Mark Sisson maybe), and have been enjoying your writing immensely. I'm trying very hard to stick to a paleo diet (or the Eades plan or Atkins … anyway, a way of eating based on principles of all three), and I find that it really helps to read all the bloggers. I just turned 56, and have had the same 25-30 pounds on my frame for so long I surely can't call it "baby weight" anymore. The babies are 21 and 19, for pete's sake. My husband, who is most marvelous in every other way, isn't particularly supportive of this way of eating, though at least he doesn't try to sabotage it (he's been told by the doc to skip the chicken skin, lay off the butter, all the usual doctorly advice).

Anyway. Deciding to take control of my own diet, I've finally lost a few pounds (I need to get from 185 or so down to at least 160, which on a large-boned woman who does weight training is, I think, reasonable), by eating protein and fat, cutting the bad carbs (yay, cauliflower) and weight training. And though the fat is now starting to come off slowly, I just feel so much better that I really relate to the posts on your blog about the major changes in well-being fostered by this way of eating. When energy, sleep, concentration and mood improve so drastically, there's no question about falling off the wagon.

Absolutely! Patience. The fat will come off, and in the meantime you get to feel great. As I saif in my email reply to you, you're husband is more likely to "evolve" into a Paleo-like approach as he observes the results you obtain. Be sure to always gently point out when he's tired and weary, and you're not, and can go and go.

Next, minneapolis J asks:

If I just want to grill hamburgers what sauces could I use that are more accomdalbe to paleo eating?

Well, I personally like to do the same sorts of sauces that I do for steaks and other meats (see the Food Porn category). Use a beef stock, reduce, and go to work. The possibilities are endless. Here's a couple of posts showing what I did sauce-wise for ground beef.

Low-Carb Meatloaf

How About Some Food Pics?

Another thing you can do is make your own tomato sauce, or get canned, and then spice it up with various things to make it Italian like, or more wild, such as with rosemary, sage, savory and such. Again, possibilities are endless, experiment, and never do it exactly the same way twice. That's my policy. Let us know how it goes, J. Also, I'll point out that J has decided to do some blogging, so I wish him well with that.

Brock emails:

I know nanotechnology isn't your normal blogging topic, but I thought this was relevant to why we should approach diet as scientists: confidently assuming we can understand with enough data, but humbly assuming we don't have all the data yet. This fascinating protein structure is common to all forms of life (which means it must be -really- important to be genetically preserved through a billion years of evolution), and we have no idea what it's for. Humbling.

It's important, now and then, that I reiterate my profound respect for science, medicine, and technology, as well as my confidence in man's mind, along with its ability to continually gain knoweldge, build, and improve human life.

Frankly, I would like nothing more than to pop a pill every day for perfect optimal nutrition, and plug into the wall to recharge. Well, perhaps that's going a little far; suffice to say that I strongly support efforts leading to "escape velocity".

Next up is Mario:

Great blog. I've been following your progress for some time now. I am a university instructor at UNM and CNM here in Albuquerque, and I must say, your enthusiasm for D3 is persuasive, which is why I thought you might find the following line of thought interesting. Taubes (who's book I know you've read) tells us (p.439) that seasonal weight fluctuations in hibernators suggest that annual fluctuations in insulin drive the yearly cycle of weight. He then speculates that this same mechanism might explain the annual patterns of weight fluctuations in humans as well. He cites two studies and states that "when researchers have measured seasonal variations in insulin levels…they have invariably reported that insulin in late fall and early winter [is] twice as high…and lowest in late spring and early summer." What is signaling these changes? Vitamin D3 may be a likely candidate since it is the one thing we know of for sure that is radically influenced by seasonal changes, especially since its peak synthesis occurs in the spring and summer in temperate climates.

I found two studies to support this notion (though I didn't really look very hard). A study from the Int. J. Clin. Pract. 2003 May, 57 (4) 258-61 evaluated the effect of D3 supplementation on insulin resistance and found a 21.4 % decrease in insulin resistance after one month. Another more recent study in Diabet. Med. 2009 Jan, 26 (1) 19-27 showed a similar effect. In light of your recent trip to Mexico and your extensive reflection and experience with this topic (and supplementation), I was wondering what your reflections are regarding this line of conjecture.

Well, this is probably a bit out of my league, and so those better educated, please chime in on the comments. By coincidence, this very thing was alluded to in Jimmy Moore's interview of Dr. Steven Gundry I blogged the other day.

Enlightened Heart Surgeons and Cardiologists

Bears, for instance, actually become insulin resistant, i.e., temporary T2 diabetic (perhaps signaled by eating sweet berries, length of day, sunlight, internal clock, or some combination). The body seems to know just what to do to pack on massive weight in advance of hibernation.

So, some of the same is likely going on in humans, only the hibernation never comes and the fat just stacks up year after year.

Well, that's it for this session. I'll hopefully be able to get to the rest by tomorrow.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

1 Comment

  1. mamaholler on February 28, 2009 at 08:01

    Great question/answer session!

    I love those sauce ideas too.

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