Link-tacular!

I started writing a whole big post last week, but then got a bit lost in the middle of it and decided not to post the muddle that resulted. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to talk about, so I’m sure I’ll put some lipstick on that pig and trot it out eventually, but not just yet. In the meantime, I want to tell you about my weekend.

My food this weekend was pretty gnarly, I have to admit. I took my “no longer trying to restrict carbs” beyond the logical limit and went a little nuts. We had friends over, and so I ate a bunch of chips and chocolate and some delicious baked goodies some of them brought (gluten free, but still very sugary). I also ate at least one full plate of nachos and salsa, not to mention another meal at Outback that included a fair bit of Jenna’s sweet potato ending up in my mouth and a Thunder that also ended up mostly in my insatiable maw. Clearly, this is not ideal. I felt gross, and I’m hoping that the bit of a blowout is enough to satisfy the cravings that had been building up, so I can get back to a more normal low-ish carb paleo diet. It’s how I started, and it seems like the lifestyle I can best manage long term. So that’s what I’m going for. I’m adding back a little fruit, a little starch, but mostly sticking with my veggies and meat.

Also, I took my dog on a nice long walk (about 3 miles) which we both enjoyed a great deal. It took me about 45 minutes, I think, walking briskly. As the weather improves and the run rises a little earlier, I think I might be able to swing that a few times a week in the morning. Fingers crossed. A nice brisk walk was a lot of fun, and very good for me in a ton of ways. I think I might change my direction of travel, though, so I maximize the time that the sun will be on my face. I’m really trying to get at least a few minutes of sunshine on my face every day, which just highlights for me how rarely that was happening before. I’m an indoor creature for the most part, and unless I make a specific effort to get outdoors during daylight hours, it really just doesn’t happen all that much. So I’m making it a point to get some sun, and my wife is doing the same. Both of us have noticed that we just generally feel better, more energized and happier when we get some sun, so we’re going to continue to make a point of doing it. We’re also going to make it a point for our son, too. I’m thinking just a few minutes of sun at a time for him a few times a day, so he doesn’t burn, but he still gets some good sunshine time.

Okay, now for all the links.

Iceman Genome – Interesting stuff. Even 5,000 years ago, it sounds like heart disease was a problem. The question becomes whether this guy was living a hunter-gatherer type lifestyle or whether he was consuming agricultural products. Certainly, he wasn’t eating trans fats, refined sugars or heavily processed foods of any kind. Some of the theories I’ve heard (and even proposed) about heart disease are based on a pretty significant shift in our diet over the past hundred years. If this guys has heart disease that means either that his genetic predisposition to heart disease was enough to overcome his unprocessed diet, or that his diet (being only 5000 years old) might already have changed enough from his ancestral diet to interact with his genetics to cause heart disease. It’s interesting, either way. Definitely something to think about.

New Statin Warnings – This is an interesting piece by Tom Naughton, one of my low-carb heroes. The video he links in this article is very much worth watching. To the point that I’m going to relink it right here. I posted a few things last week in one of my rambling rants about the fact that researchers make mistakes when designing and reporting experiments. This video also points out that some of them may not even be mistakes, and that there is a dedicated, concerted effort by drug manufacturers to make their products look more effective and less harmful than they actually are. I’m not usually one for conspiracy theories, but this speaker brings up a lot of evidence that’s hard to ignore. If there really is as much “fudging” and outright manipulation of the data as she indicates, it means some very bad things for the current state of medical research. Please, don’t take this as an attack on science. I love me some science, and I’m learning to appreciate good science more than I ever have before. But what is becoming increasingly clear is that our current system of research and implementation (how studies are written and funded, how participants are chosen, how results are reported, how conclusions are written, how articles are reviewed and published, and how that information is utilized by healthcare providers) is very seriously broken. I have no great ideas about how to fix it, but I’m hoping someone much smarter than me is already working on it.

Bacon Mayonnaise – I’ve been talking about doing this for a long time, and I think tonight is finally the night. Wish me luck.

Caffeine During Pregnancy – This isn’t conclusive, but when you take it with the numerous other observational studies showing links between caffeine consumption during pregnancy/breastfeeding, it makes me very happy my wife didn’t follow the advice we heard from a lot of folks. No, there isn’t any conclusive proof that drinking coffee while you’re pregnant harms your fetus. I don’t imagine there ever will be, either. Imagine that someone proposes a clinical trial where they give pregnant women various amounts of caffeine. They believe that some of the women will have babies who have health problems as a result. So they’d be running an experiment wherein they fully expect that they would be doing harm to a number of unborn children. That’s what we call an ethical dilemma. There are a lot of clinical trials that simply won’t ever be run because of that issue. So while those may be the gold standard (and given my recent revelations, I emphasize “may”) you can’t wait for them before you start to act, because a lot of them simply will not happen. Anyway, that’s not really the point. The main point is that I’m glad we didn’t do a cup of coffee a day as our baseline, because I just don’t think it’s worth the risk, even without conclusive data.

Fruit Drinks: Soda’s Evil Twin – This is something I’ve been saying for years, ever since I first watched “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” but this breaks it all down into a nice infographic.

Paleo Diet Clinical Trials – Speaking of clinical trials, it looks like there are quite a few starting up or already ongoing regarding the paleolithic diet. They cover a wide range of topics, so I really hope we start getting results from them before too long. Fingers crossed!

Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher – More info on all the wonderful things done by drug companies to continue to move their products. I don’t blame them, honestly. They are doing no more and no less than what anyone would do in their position if said person wanted to maximize profits. I’m not even saying that profits shouldn’t be their goal. I love profits. Milton Friedman is my homeboy. I just think that the current system is screwed up, and really works for the drug companies and against the consumer. We think we have a lot more protections than we actually do. And a lot of the things we think are protecting us are actually doing more harm than good. I’m not going to get political here, because that’s not the purpose of this blog, but at a certain point we have to recognize that gov’t regulation of these things just isn’t panning out like we’d hoped.

Okay, that’s it for the link-splosion. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

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