Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kids and AntiPsychotic Drugs: I am furious.

I have a very bad emotional habit. If something in particular is making me angry, or upset, I tend to seek it out, just to make myself more upset. It's a very bad habit, but in this case, I'd like to think my anger has a good point behind it.

My girlfriend is 17 and takes antipsychotic drugs. Now, I am not all too thoroughly upset by this. She is a young adult now, and she has had trauma and abuse in her life. But as I thought about it, I ended up watching the documentary The Medicated Child, which was posted, on Tom Naughton's Fat-Head blog about a month ago. You can watch it here http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2011/02/19/the-medicated-child/ Once the first 20 minutes of embedded video is over, you can click in the video to finish the documentary.

Tom makes a fantastic point that it's no surprise children will act very strangely when given a diet that is made up almost entirely of processed shitty sugary low-fat foods. Number one, these children's brains are in development. 60% of the human brain is made up of fat. And because the government's idea of a healthy diet almost completely strips you of the natural fats that young minds need to stay healthy, their minds are being deprived of essential nutrients they need to grow healthfully.

"You become depressed when fat [in the diet] is low, and particularly when dietary cholesterol is low. The human mind becomes depressed. Even the primate mind, monkeys become depressed on a low cholesterol diet. So they [people on low-fat low-calorie dies trying to lose weight] end up kind of blue, and miserable, and hungry...."
Mary Eades.

Second of all, due to the lack of fat, amongst other things, the amount of empty carbohydrates and sugars in children's diets has become astronomically high. Bread here, rice there, corn here, potatoes there, flavored, sugary drinks everywhere. I happen to think sugary beverages are a gift from Satan, but that's just me.

Thirdly, even a glance at the ingredients in all the processed foods kids' diets are based on are unpronounceable, unnatural additives, preservatives, flavors, colors... I tend of think of it has "the pharmacy on your plate" in terms of the amount of chemicals found in processed foods.

A child's developing mind is being fed this utter horse **** every day, stripped of essential nutrients and fats for their brains, fed sugary, chemical-laden foods, with their blood sugar spiking all day long, and somehow are expected to develop normally mentally? Surprise! More and more young children everyday are being medicated because of abnormal behaviors, being labeled with disorders such as ADHD, Depression, and Bipolar disorder. Let me just get this straight... Kids are being fed fat-free, high-carb, high-sugar, chemical laden foods, they don't behave normally, and the solution is? Put their young developing minds on antipsychotic drugs that will interfere with their brain chemistry. That's brilliant!

Who really knows after all what kind of long-term mental effects can occur from giving them these drugs? Who cares, as long as they act normally with them, right? By God I cannot even begin to describe how disgusted I am with this practice. It's happening everywhere. I don't want to grow up in a world where all of my co-workers are almost mentally disabled because as a child they were fed processed garbage food and a barrage of antipsychotic drugs.

It's really very frightening. With the combination of poor diets and mind-altering drugs, I can't help but fear that parents are causing severe, irreversible psychological damage to their children, the drugs sometimes making things worse than before they were first introduced to a child. And I'm willing to bet the bare minimum of maybe 60-80% children on mental medications could drop them, if they were on a healthful diet, and many children, if raised on a healthful diet, would never have to start taking them at all. Of course, some children are simply born with psychological disorders, or develop them later in life, and diet and/or therapy are not in and of themselves enough for them to live their lives fully. I know that. But I have faith in the idea that much of this national problem could be remedied.

Parents of the country, mark my words. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, feed your kids real, whole foods. Don't feed them frozen shit that comes in a box, or shelf-stable starchy crap on store shelves, or drinks that contain about as much sugar as a cupcake. Real, whole, unprocessed meats, natural full-fat dairy, fresh, even frozen non-starchy vegetables, nuts, a few fruits, natural fats... Stop feeding them starches, grains, and sugars. Stop stripping the fat out of everything thinking someday it'll kill them. The processed fatless diet is what will kill them and their precious minds. It doesn't have to be organic or raw or grass-fed to be more healthy than the typical kids' diet in this day and age. Don't give into this agricultural money-based B.S. logic that says a diet should be based on plants and grains. It's all completely wrong. Look up Weston A. Price, Sally Fallon, Gary Taubes, Tom Naughton, Jimmy Moore, and Mike and Mary Eades. They'll give you the truth about this dietary disastrous mess.

God bless.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gary Taubes in the media again! Woo! And my interview with Jimmy Moore.

The beginning of this year Gary Taubes released his book "Why we Get Fat and What to do about it." Because of that, so far in this year he's had dozens of interviews, some of them poking out into more mainstream audiences. I'm a self-proclaimed Gary Taubes "Fangirl," to the point where I get excited and tell my friends about his interviews, and they look at me like I'm speaking Chinese. Nonetheless I'm glad he's getting some recognition in places other than the "already converted" who would look to websites like Jimmy Moore's Livin' Low Carb Show, or the Underground Wellness online podcasts anyway. when Gary Taubes gets to be interviewed by media such as Reader's Digest and the Dr. Oz show, I keep getting the creeping feeling that a "nutrition revolution" is coming, then I imagine a painting of the French Revolution. Not really the same thing, but I can dream, can't I?

The February issue of Reader's Digest caught my eye when I saw the cover, consisting of two fried eggs and a bacon slice forming a smiley face, with the caption "EAT THIS, LOSE WEIGHT." It also made me flashback to the similar bacon and egg frown face of the TIME magazine cover telling us cholesterol would kill us. I flipped to the page while waiting in the checkout line at Wal-Mart, to find "Gary Taubes" in the headline. I proceeded to have a small freakout as if it was an interview with Justin Bieber, and pleaded that my Mom buy the issue for me. Once I got home and put the groceries away, I locked myself in my room and absorbed the article.

I was very pleased to not find any significant bias in the article, as well as the size of it.8 whole pages of text with a few pictures of random foods like steak and bread for accessories. They dedicated a whole page to 5 commandment-like guidelines to a low-carb diet, written by Dr Westman, who wrote "The New Atkins for a New You" book.

They basically boil down to "1, don't try to limit fat [Insert pat of butter with a checkmark on it.] 2, say goodbye to pasta, bread, and rice [Insert bowtie noodle with an X on it.] 3, be picky about vegetables [Brussel sprout and checkmark.] 4, say no to hidden sugars [Orange slice and X.] And 5, eat as much as you want [Plate of bacon and checkmark.]"

I honestly get a slight twinge whenever Gary Taubes and Atkins are mention in the same interview, but honestly in the past 60 years he's the poster child for it, even though William Banting wrote "Letters of Corpulence" following the same type of diet way back in 1869. But not a lot of people know that. -Adjusts glasses like a nerd-

Other paragraph headlines include "The obesity experts are wrong," "Diets don't work," "It's impossible to count calories," "Exercising won't keep you thin," "High fat is better for your heart," and "If you have a weight problem, it's not your fault."

Over all I'm really happy that Lisa Davis, the interviewer, gave Gary Taubes a chance to put out a thorough article on his views about obesity and nutrition science. It was long enough to cover everything, but short enough to fit into a magazine. Pretty awesome.

Also, on March 7, Dr. Oz is going to have Taubes on his show! Set your Tivo! Hopefully it'll go better than his last interview with him on Larry King Live, which was frankly uncomfortable to watch, and Oz will let him speak as well as RD has.

My interview with Jimmy Moore was posted today, so I guess I can expect a bit more traffic on the blog than normal. To be honest the interview was recorded about, 4 months ago I believe? Also it's my first interview. So please excuse me if I sound nervous or don't answer as directly as I should. I'm not one to enjoy myself talking, and as a female, I tend to ramble.

P.S. Green and Black's organic dark chocolate 85% is amazing. It's so creamy and delicious, it's definitely in the top 3 now along with Lindt and Ghirardelli.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Low Carb Snack Tip: Dark Chocolate.

I am in no way affiliated with any brand mentioned in the following post.

Many people, especially women, find a pitfall in dieting being chocolate, sometimes calling themselves "chocoholics." Honestly I'm not a big fan of mainstream chocolate, my sweet indulgences fall more into soft baked goods and fruit-flavored chewy candies personally. But if chocolate is a pitfall on your low-carb diet, here's a tip; very dark chocolate.

Benefits of very dark chocolate include antioxidants, low sugar content, high in fat, and feeling fancy. Also because the cocoa content is so high, it's very hard to pig out on chocolate of this calibre. Usually one to two large squares is plenty for me. If you're new to very strong concentrations of cocoa, at first it's going to suck. Bad. When you take the first bite you'll run to your sugar or sweetener and dump a scoop into your mouth. Or maybe that was just me. But continual nibbling throughout the next 2-3 days and the bitterness soon disappears, probably because you become acclimatized to it. After that you can really savor the rich, deep flavor.

I'm not talking Hershey's dark, either. I prefer mine to be over the 80% cocoa range. The best dark chocolate always has a percentage of cocoa content on the package.Two brands that I prefer are Lindt Excellence and recently, Ghirardelli.

Lindt Excellence is the first brand I spotted in the candy aisle at my local Wal*Mart. It honestly caught my eye for the idea that the antioxidants in dark chocolate helped to aid in acne, only later to find out it's a great idea for a low-carb high-fat diet.

Excellence comes in many different flavors, but the plain chocolate bars is what I'm focusing on. They come in 70%, 85%, 90% and 99% concentrations of cacao. I advise to avoid the 70% due to a controversial new formula change that isn't very popular according to Amazon reviews. Also, 99% seems to be a rare find... At least for me. In the mean time, there are the 85% and 90% cocoa concentrations, as I like to call them, "80 bars" and "90 bars."

Onto nutrition facts. The 90% bar has a 40g serving, in which there are 210 calories, 170 of which come from fat. 20 grams of total fat, 11 of which are saturated. Yum. Total carbohydrates are 14 grams, Dietary Fiber is 5, leaving 9 Net Carbs and 3 grams of sugar. Finally, there are 5 grams of protein.

The 85% bar's 40g serving also contains 210 calories, 160 coming from fat. 18g of total fat, 11 of which are saturated. 8g of total carbs, 3g fiber, 5g net carbs, and 5g sugar. 4g of protein.

Now, how a bar with a slightly lower concentration of cacao can have lower net carb content boggles my mind, but y'know, whatever.

While I was grabbing Lindt bars the other day at Wal*Mart, I spotted just underneath, Ghirardelli is also making a line of extra dark chocolate. However, because the concentrations come in 60%, 72%, and 86%, most of them fall short of my personal preference, but it's totally up to you how many carbs you will allow in your chocolate. I've only tried the 86%, called Midnight Reverie.

Midnight Reverie is noticeably sweeter compared to Lindt, and as a result I was able to actually eat a real serving size as opposed to a half or a quarter like usual. A bit worrying for me, personally.

A 45g serving size of Midnight Reverie contains 240 calories, 210 of which come from fat. Whoa. 23g total fat, 14 of which are saturated. 14g total carbs, 5g of dietary fiber, 9g net carbs, and 5g sugar. Finally, 3g protein.

Most of Ghirardelli's products go either too high or too low for my tastes. Their baking bars come in 60%, 70% and 100%. Needless to say while baking some funky granola bars with my Mom, I tried a bite of the 100%, and almost died. Not really, but it was far too bitter even for my tastes.

But even then, go on ahead and explore your local giant grocery store and check out the chocolate aisle for once, and look out for any cocoa percentages, and you might save yourself from having a milk chocolate breakdown binge. It also helps to keep it in your desk drawer for munchies.

See ya'll later.

UPDATE: I just picked up a Green & Black's Organic 85% Cocoa bar. It's very nice, has a hint of sweetness and very creamy. 40g serving, 260 cals, 190 fat cals, 21g total fat, 13g saturated fat. 14g Total carbs, 5g dietary fiber, 9 net carbs, 6g sugar. 3g protein.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I haven't posted. Random ramblings

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. I know if I want to keep this blog alive I have to think of continual things to post. But really, my life isn't so eventful that I have continual things to blog about just on the subject of low-carb or nutrition in general.

I've gotten Gary Taubes book Good Calories Bad Calories, and I'm slowly trudging through due to the, in a sense, "calorie dense" pages. It's not a book you can skim, and I'm the queen of skimming, and since it's time for mid-terms with my school the book is in the same place as other magazines in the bathroom, to get 3 or 4 pages read with every passing..... *cough*..... "rest."

So far, I'm hoping the two beginning chapters are the ones based more on science than the rest due to their titles. I appreciate Taubes' thorough analysis of the science in his writing, but the lazy teenager who skim textbooks in me sometimes goes "this could be so much shorter." But really I have to focus that the book tries to carry a really heavy load in terms of trying to change a perspective on weight loss strategies, and that it has to put up the greatest offense and defense to try and trudge through any and all misconceptions that say, all my town's East Indian doctors, might believe. I'll definitely be suggesting the new condensed "Why We Get Fat" for friends, though.

What else.... Since January 12th and 2nd are both family birthdays, I felt no shame in having birthday cake. But now that the birthday influx is over, I'm getting back on track. I am now on "grocery store flyer watch" to watch for sales on foods to combat the idea in my house that a healthy diet is expensive. Smith's just had "7 DAYS OF INCREDIBLE MEAT SAVINGS," for example.

Hm.... Drew Carey lost 80 lbs by cutting out starches, have you heard? I didn't even hear about this until I saw an old low-carb video blog about it. I know on PETA sites they have lists of celebrity vegetarians and vegans, they should comprise a list of low-carb celebrities somewhere as well.

I've found out my interview with Jimmy Moore is going to be posted on Feb 24th. I am so nervous, really. I hate listening to myself talk in general, and I'm trying to sound intelligent on the same blog as doctors and authors. Watch Birke Baehr, who's reportedly around 11 years old, sound 10 times more versed in nutrition than me. Just watch. *Ignores font change*

Actually there's nothing really else of value to report on. I just wanted to post something so the blog doesn't die.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Low-carb food review: Dreamfields pasta: Spaghetti and Penne

Coming from an Italian family, and with a mom whose homemade speciality is spaghetti sauce, you can imagine how hard that would be to deal with on a low-carb lifestyle. I'm not exactly sure how, but between amazon reviews and Jimmy Moore's interview with the founder, Dreamfields looked like a really promising product. It's not very available in my area, but the fact it's even available at all shows it's pretty widespread. While not available at my #1 grocery store, Walmart, (Don't judge, my parents choose where to grocery shop, not me.) it managed to take up 2 tiny spaces in the pasta aisle at my Albertson's, so I had to grab it up.

The only two available cuts were the spaghetti, and the penne. The penne is actually cut pretty thick, but otherwise they just seem like regular noodles. If anything I would advise during the first few times you cook up some Dreamfields, to test with your own palate how long to cook each cut. The times on the box don't do it for me. According to me preference for al dente, it tells me to overcook my spaghetti and slightly under cook my penne. So I'd advise doing your own taste test to find the right cooking time for you.

Most people can very much tolerate Dreamfields, but if you are diabetic, tread with caution. There are a few select people who can't tolerate Dreamfields because of a glucose spike, but they are few and far between.

Taste: Wow. By some kind of scientific, patent-pending miracle, me and my parents all liked the flavor and texture of this pasta. It does, in fact, taste "real." My Dad, usually hating any kind of alternative healthy food, asked me, intrigued, "What is this made out of?"

Because of the high fiber and protein content of the pasta, it's very satiating. Coming from someone who used to eat spaghetti portions half the size of basketballs, that means something. Of course the normal serving size, 2 oz or 6.5 per box, is BS to me, a 13.25 oz box of pasta managed to feed 3 hungry people, and we all had to stuff it in and have fullness-groans afterward.

Price: Averages at my Albertson's at $3 per 13.25 oz box.

Ingredients: The flavor and texture mimic that of normal pasta. Which isn't surprising due to the fact Dreamfields is made with semolina wheat, just like normal pasta. But according to the box, "Dreamfields' patent pending formula and unique manufacturing process creates a matrix within the pasta, protecting 31 grams of carbohydrates from being digested." The ingredients are mostly semolina wheat and added fibers and proteins, none of them from soy. Hooray!

Recommend?: Yes, yes, yes. Dreamfields is the saving grace of the Italian low-carber, or even anyone who loves white pasta but considers it unhealthy and easy to binge on.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Subsidizing & why I think it's awful.

Right now it's evident to me that the 3 most subsidized, hence processed, foods in the US today are soy, wheat, and corn.

For soy, it's quite obviously in the form of soy protein, soy lecithin, and soybean oil. God, I can't stand the prevalence of soybean oil in the food supply. It's what most bagged, fried snacks are fried with, it's the basis of margarine aka "fake butter," and it's often used as a replacement for natural fats because it's cheap. Try to find a bottled salad dressing without soybean oil. Now, a margarine. Now, a mayonnaise. It's in, the damn, peanut butter. The peanut butter?! The peanut butter.

For wheat, the prevalence is a bit more obvious if you thought about it long enough. Go to any chain grocery store. Look at how big the dairy aisle is, the meat, the produce. Now look at the bread aisle. The bakery that isn't the bread aisle (you KNOW there's both.) The cookies, the crackers, the cakes, the cereal, and breakfast bars. Agh, good lord, it's everywhere! Try to compare the sheer SIZE of food groups or types in a grocery store, and wheat has a much larger chunk of any store than it should. While my favorite low-carb snacks, including almonds and jerky? Tiny. No, it's chips, chips, chips in the snack aisle, with their soybean oil... And honestly how many different types of crackers can a store possibly have?!?!!??@Q#%?W$Q&WT

Ahem, sorry.

Finally, one of the most popular and demonized of the three, is the corn. Ohhh the lovely corn, and the high fructose corn syrup. It's now the nation's most prevalent sweetener. Anything with sugar, even without sugar, has HFCS. Soda? Um, duh. Cookies? Forget about it. Ice cream? Of course. That 'healthy' flavored yogurt? Yup. Spaghetti sauce? Sure! Ketchup? Yessir. 90% of bagged bread? Why the hell not.

Jarred dill pickles.
Jarred. Dill. Pickles.
Oh yeah, it's in there. As well as other products I just haven't found yet. It's in almost everything! Why is it in everything? Subsidies. You make a food prevalent and cheap enough, it won't just be everywhere around you when you shop, it'll be processed. What bugs me the most about subsidized processed food like this, is that it's not even being used to it's full potential. You take acres of corn, wheat, or soy crops, and process it into a tiny amount of sugar, flour, or soybean oil. You concentrate all this actually useful food, and not eat it whole on it's own, but extract sugar from corn, or processed low-fiber flour from wheat, or fat from soybeans. Fat from soybeans? Does this make sense? The grain is so cheap now, they're feeding it to livestock. You have corn in the beef!

It's like how some people have an issue with fruit or vegetable juicing, taking a whole large apple, putting it into a machine, and extracting the sugar and some vitamins, and tossing away the fiber and pulp and flesh and skin of the fruit. To me, subsidized processed food has the same problem.

This whole subject came up today in a conversation I had, where I was asked, if I wanted to change the nutrition and diet world on it's head, how would I go about it? And if anything, this cheapened, processed, overly prevalent crap should definitely go first.

As far as subsidizing the right food, I honestly don't know. I mean I'm all for making good food cheaper, but what might happen? Will we end up with partially hydrogenated spinach oil, or high fructose apple syrup? Soy, and corn, and maybe even wheat alone are not evil after all, but they are after being put through chemical extraction processes. Maybe if subsidies were used more responsibly than they are now, could they be used for better purposes. Subsidize the grass so the livestock can eat it's natural diet, and grass-fed dairy and beef won't be an expensive underground product for people in big cities or people with internet shopping privileges, would be first priority for me. Put more subsidies into fisherman of wild fish, into other natural foods like nuts, so even the families of 6 with foreclosed houses, can't look at a tub of nuts or a salmon filet and say they're too expensive of foods, and go for soybean oil fried poofed corn balls, or the dinner of cheap white pasta or bread, and subsidized wheat cupcakes with HFCS instead, which, in the end, will only leave them hungry.

Even if we were to try and put this plan of responsible subsidies (Or "responsidies" =D) into action, how would one go about it? Would we go around like PETA, giving out flyers, educating people, making a website, gaining followers, and going to congress? Would we make an online club of people, with blogs and interviews? It's not something I've given thought of as how to execute a plan of, "responsidies."

It's certainly something to think about. Now it's 1am, I believe it's time for sleep.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The stuff I eat now, and the stuff I ate then.

I suppose a collection of the foods I now eat is in order, as well as what changed.

Before, I would actually typically eat a sandwich for breakfast, due to the fact that cereal really didn't appeal to me, and neither did eggs. I ended up eating either a lunch or dinner food for breakfast. Honestly I didn't eat potatoes very often because I wasn't a huge fan of fries or potato chips, thank God. Another odd thing was I was never a big cereal or toast eater. Probably because Mom brought home such appetizing delights as "Shredded wheat and bran, unfrosted" and "Grape nuts flakes." Eugh. Although I must say, large bowls of the sugary carb bomb that is "Maple frosted mini wheats" Did end up being a few breakfasts here and there.

I LOVED sandwiches. Soft bread, juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, zesty mustard... meaty meat and cheesey cheese! I mean do we really need adjectives to describe how good meat and cheese are anyway? I don't think so. The only food that really was the bane of my existence was..... pasta. I, could eat, pasta, all, day, long. And not just some dinky little cupful. The bowls of pasta I would eat could fit a basketball inside of them. And here's the kicker, I somehow felt like snacking shortly after my endorphins were throughly extorted through pounds of white flour, tomato sauce, and cheese. Mmmmm.

Pasta still is pretty tempting for me when I'm asked to make it for dinner. Along with bread, cake, canned soup, and sweet, sweet cans of corn. I'd just drain and heat the whole can and eat it plain. But now that I can happily include more fatty meats and dairy into my diet, I'm learning to be thankful for that and saying no to the foods that just make me hungry again.

Now I'm actually using the skillet most everyday, if not multiple times a day. Everything is either fried with olive or coconut oil, or butter.

Often times for dinner I throw frozen vegetables, chicken or steak meat, and a few eggs in a wok.

I've actually learned how to make eggs appetizing without drowning them in ketchup or salsa.

I also have adopted the fried burger patty, along with turkey or beef sausages and turkey bacon. If I can find them, I buy lunch meat with the fat still in it. It's a rare find.

As far as cheese, I try to find the realest cheese walmart can offer me, since 90% of the family's groceries are bought there. Cheese with actual names, like cheddar, provolone, and monterey jack.

I still sometimes enjoy a very large salad, this time with slices of turkey or a few chunks of chicken breast, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and maybe some parmesan.

I still enjoy canned vegetables, as well as frozen, but they're green now, such as peas, asparagus, spinach, and green beans, all with a good amount of butter.

Avocados are amazing on just about everything, and I'm learning how to incorporate sweet potatoes into my diet as well.

As far as vitamin D milk, it's something I've almost always had ever since I was a kid. Skim milk was only a phase to me and I thank low-carb for giving me back my milk. Not only that, I also dribble some heavy cream into my milk now, so it almost feels like a snack instead of a beverage. I now like to sip off the half n half, as well.

Sometimes I'll try to replace bread in a food with a vegetable. Salami snack crackers? Cucumber slices with salami. Crackers scooping cream cheese? Carrots scooping cream cheese. Sandwich? Lettuce wrap.

As far as fruits, there isn't a lot of variety. I'll have to begin buying more berries to pour heavy cream over, because the typical fruits here are bananas, apples, maybe peaches and pears. I'll have one of these every day or so. After low-carbing strictly for about a week, an apple tastes that much more amazing.

As far as beverages, I was never a big soda drinker. With how much diet soda my family buys, you'd think it was a staple. I do have those every so often, along with hot cups of tea, Maxwell house international sugar free decaf, and no sugar added hot chocolate. If anything is sweetened, it's typically done with organic stevia extract.

And that's just about everything. The most important thing for me now though, is that I don't see whole wheat bread, fibrous cereal, corn, potatoes, or whole wheat pasta as "healthy" anymore. If I indulge in these foods, as I'm almost 17 now and not on a strict diet, I know now that they aren't doing anything healthful for me now.