Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In 20130328

In my previous post, Notes on the Science of Skinny, I include a paragraph about how MSG is hidden in foods. I think it explains why the turkey breakfast sausage seems to make me more hungry after I eat it. Even if I decided to make my own, finding ground turkey that doesn't have Natural Flavoring added to it is very hard.

Waist = 37.5"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Conversing with Cat

I watched in utter disbelief Friday morning as my favorite cat squatted on the bowl of dry food and peed.  It was a long drawn out pee, as if he'd been holding it in all day.  And because the bowl was small and the stream forceful, the pee shot out behind him onto the floor, forming a rivulet that meandered in front of (and under) the stove.

Ordinarily this kind of undesired behavior is not tolerated in any household.  Most cat owners would intervene immediately.  But I had sympathy for this cat.  I've been in very similar "urgent pee" situations, and I'd be rather upset and indignant if, during my moment of ecstatic release, someone were to scream at me or spray me with a water bottle or wrap me up in a towel and toss me into a bathtub.  So I watched in rapt fascination for the 45 seconds it took for his bold effluence to taper down to nothing.

Besides, I was certain there was a very good reason for the new behavior -- one that would be addressed with a caring intelligent solution, as opposed to disciplinary measures.

One might jump to the conclusion that he's sick of the food.  No, that wasn't it.  Well, to him it's not really food.  He eats the dry food only when it's mixed with wet food.  So the first thing I surmised is that he was avoiding the litterboxes.  Indeed, the other three cats have been acting aggressively toward him.  The morning ritual was that after they ate their morning meal, and moseyed downstairs to do their business, they would chase Pee-meister back upstairs in a fury of hissing.  Now even the timid new cat is involved in the chase.  So he must have decided to stay away from the litterboxes.  For how long, I have no idea -- probably a full day.

I noticed afterwards that he was looking intently in the direction of the basement stairs.  So I carried him calmly and gently downstairs, and we walked over to the litterboxes.  I placed him on the floor.  He went immediately toward the nearest box and Pooped.

The next day he did the exact same thing, only this time I wasn't there to witness it.  Again he pooped as soon as I placed him near the boxes.  And again this morning.

Experts say that you should have at least one litterbox for each cat plus one extra.  Also the litterboxes should be on all levels of the house.  And they should be placed in various locations.  We break all three recommendations.  We have only four litterboxes for our four cats.  They are all downstairs.  Three of the litterboxes are tucked into an alcove that once served as a dry bar.  If some cat bully wanted to make another cat's life miserable, it would be easy for him just to prowl near the narrow stairs and pounce on the other cat during every bathroom break.

On Sunday there was not a repeat pee incident (or would that be a re-peet?).  Here are the actions I took:
  1. Carry the cat to the litterboxes twice each day.
  2. Use the piss-bowl for water instead of dry food.
  3. Switch to a previous brand of dry food (which he sort of eats) placing into a different bowl.
I will also somehow install a new litterbox in the upstairs master bedroom.  (I write "somehow" because the dog sleeps in the bedroom at night, and he's partial to the delicacies that cats leave in their litterboxes.  He really enjoyed the pee-marinated kibble.)  I will also fully trim the bully-cat's claws so that instead of deadly daggers of death, they will be merely blunt bully boogers.

One lingering concern I have is that Pee-meister might be sick.  The humans from Biblical times had no qualms about ostracizing and attacking the weak, diseased and decrepit, so I wonder if our cats are this way, too.  Fortunately, Pee-meister is still eating and drinking well.

Stay tuned to this cat channel for more on this topic!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Notes from The Science of Skinny

The following notes / quotes are from The Science of Skinny:Start Understanding Your Body's Chemistry--And Stop Dieting Forever, by Dee McCaffrey

...two excitotoxnis -- monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame (found in Equal) -- [are] two causative factors in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and other neurodegenerative diseases. - page 21

All four generations of the cats fed raw meat and raw milk remained healthy throughout their normal life span. The groups of cats receiving either cooked meat or processed milk developed diseases and illnesses earlier in their life span with each succeeding generation, to the point where they were no longer able to reproduce their species. The cats eating only raw food were disease free and healthy, generation after generation after generation. - page 30

One Harvard scientist has proposed that the health benefits of at least one phytonutrient, epicatechin, is so important that it should be classified as a new vitamin.  Norman Hollenberg, a professor of medicine At Harvard Medical School, has spent years studying the benefits of cocoa drinking on the Kuna people in Panama.  He found that the risk of stroke, heart failure, cancer, and diabetes is reduced to less than 10 percent in the Kuna, where the people drink up to forty cups of natural cocoa a week.  Actual cocoa contains high levels of epicatechin. - page 41

A manufacturer is only required to list trans fats if the food contains 0.5 gram (half a gram) or more per serving.  Therefore, if a serving contains 0.4 grams, it does not have to be listed on the nutrition fact panel.  This misleads the unsuspecting consumer into thinking that the product does not contain trans fats.  The tricky food industry even boasts claims on the front of the packaging of "0 grams trans fat," but if you read the ingredients and still see "hydrogenated oil" listed, the product is not trans fat free. - page 129

The most alarming effect of MSG is its link to obesity.  Scientists have observed that animals fed glutamic acid  become grotesquely obese. No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so in laboratories scientists feed MSG to them to induce obesity and pre-diabetes. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing rats to become obese; the researchers even have a title for the race of fat rodents they create: MSG-Treated Rats.

The real scary thing about MSG is that it can be hidden in nearly 40 other food additives.  When food chemists make their concoctions to enhance flavors and textures, MSG is one of the ingredients they use to make new compounds.  If an additive contains less than 79 percent that MSG, the FDA does not require food manufacturers to list it as an ingredient... - page 137 - 138  Follow linked paragraphs to find a list of additives that contain plenty of MSG.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth, video presentation by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology.  It explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin.

Follow this link to find a list of the "Dirty Dozen," the most contaminated conventionally grown produce, and the "Clean 15" with the least amount of pesticide residue. Select page 162.

Here is a link to the list of top ingredients to avoid: - page 154

Find organic food online at featuring many of the foods recommended by the Science of Skinny author.

Sources of raw milk: More information on raw milk:

The best protein powders: whey protein concentrate, hemp protein powder, brown rice protein powder. - page 216 - 217

Bee pollen has worked wonders for many of my clients with sugar withdrawal.  It also allows you to think more clearly and feel more positive and focused, and improves the quality of your sleep.  You can purchase  bee pollen granules at natural food markets.  I recommend taking 1 teaspoon of bee pollen, placed under the tongue, and allowing it to dissolve. - page 219

A recipe for homemade sunshine burgers can be found on page 370.

Links to more resources:
Processed Free America (website featuring the Science of Skinny author)
Weston A. Price Foundation
Dr. Mercola's Optimal Wellness newsletter
Environmental Working Group

My own comment is that while the author encourages her readers to eat organic, unprocessed whole foods to reduce the amount of sugar in the diet, she does not acknowledge that many of today's foods have been selected over hundreds of years for their sweetness.  So even today's raw foods really do contain more sugar than the foods our ancestors ate.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In 20130320

Both the switch to Daylight Savings Time and the rapidly lengthening day have made my appetite increase. I look to get four sturdy meals in each day if I can. I do not gain weight this way -- it helps me maintain what I have.

Waist = 37.25"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In 20130313

My wife continued to buy ice cream, despite the fact that she started the Ideal Protein diet last week. She did not seem tempted by it. But then again, she bought a flavor that she doesn't like.

But I was certainly tempted by the ice cream. I ate it right after supper, but I did so as discretely as possible.

Waist = 37.75"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Ideal Protein Diet

The Ideal Protein diet is a low carb and low fat diet that relies heavily on protein supplementation.  The protein is designed to be easily assimilated to ensure as little muscle loss as possible.  The dieter makes the transition from burning carbohydrates to burning fat, a metabolic state called ketosis.

My wife started the diet on Thursday under the weekly care of a multi-specialist clinic that includes a nutritionist/cardiologist.  She's been having the diet drinks for breakfast and lunch, diet snacks plus a meat and vegetable dinner, which she prepares herself.  The meat portion is 8 ounces, and the vegetable portion is 2 cups cooked, plus some raw.  She must also drink 8 glasses of water each day, and she eat or drink anything else that's 0 calorie, such as tea, coffee, diet soda.  She's allowed to have skim milk.

How's it going?  She feels like shit.  Totally.  I've never seen her so inflamed.  We don't know whether the inflammation is due to the diet or from the undiagnosed MS-Sjogrens-Fibromyalgia-Lupus that has been torturing her since Fall of 2006.  The primary care doctor recently stopped prescribing the $3 prednisone, which allowed her to function well.  Instead, he wants her to undergo the $35-copay physical therapy and work with a $35-copay rheumatologist.  The most intense pain appears to be from flare up of sacrolitis.

Anyway, and inflammation aside, this diet seems to be a good fit for my wife because:
  1. You pay a shitload of money upfront.  Anything that's expensive must work.
  2. All literature and products feature a special logo and graphic layout with pleasing colors that must've allowed an advertising agency to buy its own tropical island.
  3. The diet tells you exactly what to eat.  You don't need to think about it or know anything about the relationship between various foods and their impact on your weight and health.
  4. You need to buy most of the stuff that you eat and drink.
  5. You need to check in every week for evaluation.
The above list of reasons are the reasons it wouldn't work me.  Besides, the food they give you is highly processed.  The sweet desserts and snacks certainly use some artificial sweetener that will probably give you cancer or seizures eventually.

But if I had to choose between the Ideal Protein diet and, say, bariatric surgery, I'd pick the diet without hesitation.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wednesday Weigh-In 20130307

Today is the first day of my wife's Ideal Protein diet.  So in the days leading up to this "foodal" cliff, I've been bulking up on ice cream and chocolate because I might not see any for several weeks at least.  This should explain the increase in weight, fat and waist size portrayed in the numbers that follow.

I'll have more to write about the diet in another post.

Waist = 37.75"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Concrete Stairwells with Red Trim

I'm on the school campus on a special day in which the schedule is different.  I find a classroom from outside the building.  I open the brown louvered doors along the back of the classroom.  Then there's another set of them, and another after that.  Finally I get inside, after attracting much attention.

Off to the side I see a wooden bathtub with yellowish shower curtain.  The side of the bathtub is undulatingly curved.  And I notice that there's a puddle of water on the floor up against the side of the bathtub.  The floor is also wooden.

I need to go to the next classroom, but it's in another building.  I have the room number written down on a small piece of paper, and it's hard to read.  I'm distracted by a gun in a box on the floor.  Then when I look closer, it's a box full of plastic toy gun parts that are yellow and dark green.

I leave the classroom and the building.  I walk toward another building that I think might be the one I need to enter.  But the name on it isn't right.  Perhaps I need to go around it.  I ask a nearby student and she tells me to follow her.

So I follow her and she leads me to aonther building.  We enter and I find myself in a narrow stairwell with concrete steps and red painted metal railing and trim.  All the stairwells in these buildings look like this.  She runs down the stairs encouraging me to follow.  I know this leads to a place of entertainment like a night club or game room.  I say, "I know where this leads.  I'm not going to follow you there!"

I run out of the building.  Now she's following me, and I try to lose her.  I duck into another building and take a sharp left turn to run up a narrow staircase.  But as I climb I find myself exposed to bright sunshine.  I reach the top.  Before me is an enormous water slide.  I'm fully clothed and have sneakers on.  I can't possibly go down the slide.

Car Crash at the Street Corner

I wake up to the sound of construction machines and their beeping.  It's odd because today is Sunday, so I get up (I can't sleep anyway), and I go to the large window in the living room to see what's going on.  Although I can't see anything going on, I can hear that the sounds are coming from the street corner.  I slip on my old pair of sneakers and toss on a jacket and go outside.

I'm at the corner where Philips used to live.  I see a large blue sedan on the opposite corner on Redmond's property.  It's spun around so that it's facing me, and slightly crumpled.  I can see a woman inside.  She's wearing eye glasses -- large, dark, plastic, cat eye style frames.  Her eyes are frozen open in surprise.

There are four grapple hooks somehow stuck into the four corners of the car as if it's going to be picked up by a crane.

Now I'm on a long school bus slowly approaching the other trucks.

I enter the house that the construction crew is working inside.  They are working in the first room right near the front door on the blue carpeting.  The house is huge and sports a cathedral ceiling in another part of the house.  An enormous Christmas tree fills the room that has the cathedral ceiling.  I think it's totally ostentatious, but I refrain from commenting out loud in case the owner is nearby or in case someone in the crew has a similar house.

I walk through the house.  Now it's my aunt's house.  She is preparing a huge Thanksgiving feast.  If she invites us to visit, I will decline saying that we have our own dinner planned, even though we don't have any.  But the topic doesn't come up, so I walk back to the first room.  I see a plastic threaded ring on the floor -- a piece from our vacuum clearer.  I pick it up and say to the crew that it's a piece from our vacuum cleaner.  I say this because I think they're looking for evidence, and I don't want them to think that I'm trying to hide anything.