Sunday, November 24, 2013

Made another great frittata today.

The one last week was a tiny bit dry so on PPW's suggestion (PaleoPathWife) we baked it for 15 minutes instead of 20. Also it has more vegies and...jalapenos!  Yeah baby. Here is the link with the basic recipe.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Low Carb for Native Peoples in Canada

Take a look at the post by Dr. Jay Wortman, a Canadian physician. Dr. Wortman tells the story of the First Nations peoples of Canada who have not responded well to the SAD (Standard American Diet.)  Guess what? They DO respond well to the traditional "eskimo" high fat, moderate protein, very low carbohydrate diet.

I've seen native peoples in Mexico and Nicaragua who have gotten very rotund, and on my mission trips see seventeen year olds with type II diabetes.  Diabetes is epidemic in south Asia as well. It is becoming a major cause of death, disease, and unhappiness world-wide.  The way we're working on diabetes is not working.

Something to think about. Drug companies, "Big Pharma", and Big Government

Before a drug company, part of "Big Pharma" (whatever that propaganda phrase means) can sell a new prescription drug, they have to do big clinical trials. This is expensive, overseen by the FDA, and they have to prove safety and efficacy. The process is imperfect but most new drugs are really pretty good.

What about Big Gov? They had big televised hearings and told us that we should cut fat from our diets, eat a lot more HealthyWholeGrains, cut back on cholesterol. We did so. America blimped.

Did they do a big clinical trial before making sweeping recommendations and regulations that affected the health of hundreds of millions of us?


They very likely have killed more people than any bad drug ever came close to. Did we vote McGovern and his other senators out for fattening up an entire generation?


The lawyers that advertise on cable TV go fishing all night for the few people who have bad reactions to medications. How come they aren't fishing for people who got diabetes, heart disease, obesity, bad knees from following untested government guidelines?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"eat like a predator, not like prey." Fun little article.

I heard J. Stanton interviewed on Jimmy Moore's LivinLaVidaLowCarb show. He seems like a smart guy and so I went to his website while waiting for specimens from a cancer case to show up. (Welcome to the strange and wonderful way I make a living as a pathologist!)

J. Stanton has a nice plan for "paleo" eating here.

I like his steps: Eat meat, not birdseed; eat food, not biodiesel fuel; consider some supplements (like vitamin D); play like a predator; optimize; and never stop hunting.

His writing style is pretty crisp and to the point. Just shows that an intelligent layman can learn how to read medical and scientific literature and draw good conclusions. Give a visit.

Monday, November 18, 2013

But what do you eat? My breakfast frittata

In the Doctor's Lounge sometimes we talk about different ways to eat. When I mention that I've been doing Low Carb for the last 15 months, one question that continues to come up is, "You can't have bread? I couldn't live without bread!"

In response, here is my breakfast this week:

Fry in one pan, several strips of bacon chopped; half an Andouille sausage, and about six ounces of fresh elk sausage.
In a large cast iron pan, put a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil and stir fry about 2 cups of chopped sweet yellow, red, and orange peppers, part of a chopped onion, then add a box of Shiitake mushrooms and a couple of handfuls of baby kale. Stir and fry until the kale is limp.

Dump the meat in the cast iron pan, then pour in a dozen eggs (yes, a dozen eggs) beaten. Stir it up and put in a 350 oven for 20 minutes to harden up.

Six slices of goodness. Beats the heck out of a bagel! Serve with some green tabasco sauce and plenty of salt.

Basically, I eat every day like most people eat when they are on vacation. I don't miss the bread at all actually.

But Doc, what about your cholesterol? Aren't you killing yourself?

Actually no. My HDL went from 50 to 77 in six months, and triglycerides from 90 to 38. My doc couldn't believe it; he had never seen such a change in HDL.

It's not the fat. It's not the fat. It's not the fat. It's the carbohydrates that are killing us. But more on that in another post.

High intensity weight training (HIT) for beginners

A bit over a year ago I re-instituted Low Carb a la Atkins. My belly weight had crept up, and as a doc I knew that was not good. My dad had had a mysterious heart "event" in the previous couple of years. My age keeps increasing and had reached upper fifties. And the final straw was the birth of two perfectly fabulous grandsons that summer. Time to make changes.

As part of my obsessive-compulsive trait (a good thing in a physician) I did a lot of surfing and found Mark's Daily Apple. In the forums, someone mentioned "high intensity training." Perhaps you've seen the BBC documentary on high intensity interval training? I had just restarted weight training and of course hurt my shoulder doing the stupid Steinborn Lift (hurt for months.) Then I found a Forum post on "Body by Science."

Could it really be true that half an hour, once a week, could give as good a result as the usual prescription of 3x/week, complex circuits, rapid movements? It turned out to be true. In the past six months my weights have basically doubled and I continue to gain strength.It feels great.

There are a couple of other resources I like. First is an article about the evidence for various types of weight training, which basically says that working muscles to momentary failure, once per week, gives as good gains as more frequent schedules of less intense exercise. A followup article which I can't find right now says that the HIT schedule also does a good job of training aerobic capacity.

What about machines vs free weights? Either is probably fine. At my age I'm liking the machines. Strength gains are just fine and I'm not hurting myself.

So, in brief, my workout is a "slow movement to failure" workout. For each exercise, the trainer sets the weight based on the previous session. I sit on the machine and start pushing the weight, slowly, out and back, out and back, usually to a count of about ten. It is KEY to never let the muscle relax--the important measures are the weight and the total time under load.

The first push is pretty straightforward, and usually the second one is as well. Third push starts to feel difficult. Fourth is when the lactic acid really builds up and it gets really tough. At this point I'm huffing and puffing! You do it slow in part so that you don't injure yourself by doing a momentary overstress of muscle or tendon.

My current goal is to reach 2 minutes under load, then he raises the weight for the next time. Abs, leg extension, isometric leg curl, lower back machine, leg press, lat pulldown, chest press, and horizontal row. 30 minutes once a week.

My trainer is at TruFit in Denver and they have been terrific. The Body by Science Website has a list of trainers around the country. So efficient, so safe, such good results! Highly recommended.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Welcome to the PaleoPathologist Blog

Welcome to the PaleoPathologist blog! Where does the name come from? Paleo means old, pathologist is, well, a doctor who does pathology! That would be me, an old pathologist? Well I am pushing 60. but as they say 60 is the new 40, unless you are hiking up a steep snowcovered mountain with your two sons in law, one a former Army Ranger, the other a high school baseball player turned marathon runner, in pursuit of the Mighty elk. Then 60 is the new, uh, 55? Another kind of paleopathologist is a scientist who studies the disease of ancient folks (no, not 60 year old ancient like me, more like 600 or 6,000 or 60,000 year olds.) That would definitely NOT be me. Another meaning of "paleo" comes from the "Paleo community" which is a movement trying to figure out how we are supposed to be eating and living based on evolutionary ideas. Other names are "primal", "Cave man", etc. The Paleo community generates a lot of interesting hypotheses and I'll link to some of the sites that I've found most interesting. There is an older, more scientifically solid community that also interests me, the low carbohydrate community (the best known is Dr. Atkins of the "diet revolution.") Modern players: Volek, Phinney, Westman, Taubes, and Attia come to mind. Follow along; I'll try to link to interesting stuff and also try to figure out how the blogger interface works! Doc Jim