The Comment Dr. Michael Eades Doesn’t Want You To See

Well first, from a best-laid-plans scenario, this was supposed to be the final post in this matter: Lies, Damned Lies, and The Inuit Diet. That's an excellent background overview. But then, Dr. Mike goes and posts this comment on his ironically titled "Beware the Confirmation Bias" post, that begins in what has become his typical dismissive tone when implying that he just can't be bothered—but then gets bothered anyway, pretending to be doing everyone a favor.

This whole issue is like a vampire that refuses to die. It would be less aggravating if it were of any consequence, but in my view it isn’t.

Doesn't he know that Original Vampires can't be killed? And while I may tend towards the troublesome comportment of Claus, Duck's conscientious Elijah persona tends to keep me in check. Moreover, what Dr. Eades means by "of [no] consequence" is actually his own insistence on completely avoiding the central point of the whole issue (the mythical very high-fat, ketogenic diet of the Inuit); instead, choosing to focus primarily on glycogen degradation which, while a point, is a minor one (very high protein consumption with attendant gluconeogenesis is The Point).

So with that, here's Duck's 10-point rebuttal to Dr. Eades, submitted in his comments about 5 days ago, but still "awaiting moderation." I held up posting this in order to give a fair chance for him to put it through moderation—so I could merely link to it in a link roundup—but then yesterday, I saw he approved two other comments; so I have to rule out that he was just tied up.

~~~

Dear Dr. Eades,

While I appreciate the sentiment of your "confirmation bias" post, there are a number of errors in this post that should be corrected.

1) You cited John Murdoch incorrectly in your comments. His observations did not match up with Stefansson's as Murdoch observed the Eskimo's moderate fat intake (as stated in your quote). At Point Barrow he observed their blubber conservation for lamp fuel, low reindeer availability and consumption of seal as a "staple".

From: Ethnological Results of the Point Barrow Expedition, By John Murdoch (1892)

Page 56: "The most important sea animal is the little rough seal, which is very abundant at all seasons. Its flesh is the great staple of food, while its blubber supplies the Eskimo lamps, and its skin serves countless useful purposes."

Page 268: "The flesh of the smaller seals forms such a staple of food, and their blubber and skin serve so many important purposes, that their capture is one of the most necessary pursuits at Point Barrow, and is carried on at all seasons of the year and in many different methods."

Page 264: "Reindeer are comparatively scarce within the radius of a day's march from Point Barrow, though solitary animals and small parties are to be seen almost any day in the winter a few miles inland from the seacoast."

Murdoch even went out of his way to make this clear in another paper:

From: On Some Popular Errors in Regard to the Eskimos, by John Murdoch (1887)

"The enormous consumption of fat, supposed to be a physiological necessity to enable them to withstand the excessive cold, is probably the exception rather than the rule, to judge from the accounts of actual observers. It seems quite probable that the amount consumed in most cases is little, if any, greater than that eaten by civilized nations, when we consider that the people who eat the fat of the seal with the flesh and use oil for a sauce to their dried salmon, have no butter, cream, fat bacon, olive oil, or lard.

We found, indeed, at Point Barrow, that comparatively little actual blubber either of the seal or whale was eaten, though the fat of birds and the reindeer was freely partaken of. Seal or whale blubber was too valuable,—for burning in the lamps, oiling leather, and many other purposes, especially for trade."

Murdoch's observations clearly disagree with Stefansson's. And even when they were able to find reindeer, even Stefansson admits that the reindeer are too lean to support ketosis.

2) While it's true that researchers use liquid nitrogen to eliminate errors in a warm lab environment, it's been well established that glycogen degradation falls on a curve and is temperature-dependent. The colder the temperature, the slower the degradation. Rigor mortis, which is the process of exhausting glycogen in the muscle to lactic acid, takes hours to complete, and takes a particularly long time in colder temperatures. It's odd that you don't mention this.

However, you seem to be unaware that diving marine mammals have even larger glycogen stores than had been previously assumed—particularly in their organs, blubber and skin [1][2][3][4]—and B) marine fish and marine mammals are unique in that they are unusually resistant to postmortem glycogen degradation and can even take days to degrade at 0°C (whales are particularly resistant even at 98°F).

3) Simply pointing out that researchers use liquid nitrogen to freeze glycogen does not tell us what the freezing point of glycogen metabolism is. Studies have shown that fish glycogen degradation can be halted at -10°C, while bovine glycogen degradation can be completely halted for months at -18°C (0°F) according to a 1980 study. Interestingly, some fish don't easily deplete their glycogen when they struggle. Did you really think that glycogen metabolism can only be stopped by liquid nitrogen? I hope you have evidence to support such a claim.

Nevertheless, the slow degradation of marine-based glycogen has been known for a very long time.

From: Observations On The Glycogen Content of Certain Invertebrates and Fishes, By L.G. Kilborn and J.J.R. MacLeod (1919)

Until recently very little information existed concerning the presence of glycogen in the fishes. That some at least is present in the tissues of marine fish had been shown by Cl. Bernard, Pavy, Brücke, and others. It was stated by Bernard that this glycogen is unusually resistant to the influence of post-mortem changes, and that it does not readily disappear during hunger. During asphyxia, however, the glycogen rapidly disappears.

And, while you are correct that most muscle glycogen degrades via ATP (making at least land-based muscles a poor source of glycogen), you neglected to mention postmortem glyocgenolysis, until now, which is the conversion of glycogen to sugar particularly in non-muscle organs, such as the liver. For instance, glycogen in the liver (which is obviously not a muscle) will degrade via glycogenolysis, converting nearly all of the glycogen into sugar.

Interestingly, blood sugar will actually rise in the body of a dead animal, mainly due to postmortem glycogenolysis and bacterial breakdown of carbohydrates in the tissues and GI tract. When we consider that an average human liver has roughly 100g of glycogen in it, we can see that a liver has the potential to be very sugary. And in fact, universally, livers were eaten quickly and highly prized by hunters in virtually every culture—including the Inuit.

If the Inuit were consuming dietary glycogen (which does happen with carnivores, by the way) they likely got much of it from non-muscle organs, such as skins, hearts, livers and glycogen pools. These happen to be in locations in an animal that do not "contract" in the way that muscles do. For instance, Muktuk (narwhale skin) is said to be rich in glycogen and tastes sweet, like hazelnuts.

I'm unsure why you pointed us in the direction of "post-mortem glycogenolysis" since that was exactly my original point in that some glycogen degrades to sugar postmortem. And the very first study you asked us to look up when searching, "post-mortem glycogenolysis" says, "In all tissues glycogen was degraded rapidly and was accompanied by an increase in tissue glucose and lactate concentrations." Even your own citations show us that you aren't telling us the whole story when you say that, "the glycogen to lactic acid conversion upon death is all really basic science, not in dispute by anyone." Well, actually, it's clearly more complex than you are letting on. Granted I already pointed this out to you in the beef industry time tables, which you dismissed.

4) You stated that early Inuit researchers didn't know what keto-adaptation was or how to test for it; however Joslin, Heinbecker, Rabinowitch, DuBois, McClellan and others all wrote about keto-adaptation and used a half dozen approaches to rule it out, including urine testing of acetone, diacetic, and β-hydroxybutyric acid; acetone bodies in the breath; respiratory quotient; as well as documenting protein intake. Their tests were sensitive enough to detect keto-adaptation in the Bellevue Experiment as well as in the Inuit during starvation ketosis, which they even mention in their writing.

5) In the comments, you claimed early 20th century researchers did not know about the speed of glycogen degradation. However, the rapid degradation of glycogen at room temperature was how Claude Bernard discovered glycogen in the first place.

From: Claude Bernard and The Discovery of Glycogen

At this time Bernard's estimations of the sugar content of extract of liver tissue were made in duplicate by titration with copper reagent of Barreswil, a modified Fehling's solution. He relates (Bernard, 1865, pp. 2291-295) how one day he was pressed for time and was unable to make his duplicate determinations simultaneously. He made one estimation immediately after the death of an animal and postponed the other until the following day. The second estimation gave a value very much higher than the first, and the difference was so great that Bernard investigated the reason for this discrepancy. Hitherto he had not ascribed significance to the length of time which elapsed between the death of an animal and the determination of the sugar content of the liver tissue. He now found that time was of great importance. Immediately after the death of an animal the liver was found to contain very little sugar, but within only a few minutes the amount of sugar had substantially increased, and at the end of two hours a large quantity had usually made its appearance.

So, from day one, glycogen was known to degrade rapidly. However, it was also known early on that glycogen in marine life was observed to degrade more slowly.

From: Observations On The Glycogen Content of Certain Invertebrates and Fishes (1920)

Until recently very little information existed concerning the presence of glycogen in the fishes. That some at least is present in the tissues of marine fish had been shown by Cl. Bernard, Pavy, Brücke, and others. It was stated by Bernard that this glycogen is unusually resistant to the influence of post-mortem changes, and that it does not readily disappear during hunger. During asphyxia, however, the glycogen rapidly disappears.

We can see that it is well known that glycogen in marine mammals was observed to degrade more slowly. So, perhaps it should not come as no surprise that, in 1952, Marsh found that whale glycogen depletion to rigor mortis took an exceptionally long time, even at 98°F!

And in the Simpson & MacLeod study you referenced, it clearly says, "It is well known that sugar accumulates as glycogen disappears when liver is allowed to stand after death." So, again, we can see that you are not giving us all the details when you focus on muscle glycogen at room temperature. The literature is very clear that liver glycogen degrades to sugar, via post-mortem glycogenolysis, and this is what contributes to post-mortem blood sugars rising.

6) Their glycogen intake is probably not even worth scrutinizing given the well-documented very high protein and moderate fat consumption in every published study.

7) An article by Per Wikholm was published in this month's LCHF Magasinet, where Per demonstrates that the Inuit could not have been in ketosis given that the scientific literature is abundantly clear, over and over again, that the Inuit consumed too much protein and not enough fat. And more importantly, Per debunks Stefansson's claims for high fat with writing from his own books—Stef admitted in the pemmican recipes that Arctic caribou was too lean to support ketosis. And as the literature shows, the Inuit were saving their blubber and fat for the long dark Winter to power their oil lamps and heat their igloos. Again and again, we see that in the literature, as even Stefansson admits this.

As was stated above, the most popular LCHF bloggers in Sweden, Andreas Eenfeldt/Diet Doctor and Annika Dahlquist have reluctantly agreed with Per's findings—admitting that the Inuit were likely not ketogenic from their diet.

8) You referenced a post by Bill Lagakos, on how "relatively" high protein consumption can be ketogenic, however the post clearly says that "Negative energy balance promotes ketosis even with relatively high protein intake...It was, however, a rather severe caloric restriction...The point is that high protein won't 'knock you out of ketosis' if you're losing weight." In the comments of that post, Bill clarifies, "You can easily maintain ketosis with 30% protein if it's divided into a few meals, and especially if there is a mild energy deficit. That's how most of the studies in this post were designed (except Phinney 1983 which had no energy deficit). The participants in Phinney 1980 were able to get 50% protein and still maintain ketosis because of a larger energy deficit." Phinney's 1983 subjects were eating 45% less protein than the Inuit and twice the levels of fat, according to detailed measurements from Krogh & Krogh (1914) and Rabinowitch (1936). So, unless you can show that the Inuit were chronically starving themselves every day, or at the very least obtaining most of their calories from fat, Bill's post doesn't show us anything that relates to the observed Eskimo diet.

I already showed evidence that the Inuit went through times when food was scarce, and this is why even in the early 1930s the Inuit were only shown by Heinbecker to be adapted to starvation ketosis. If your argument is that the Inuit were only in ketosis while they were starving, I would agree.

9) I should point out that NOBODY is saying that the Inuit were a high carb culture. I have no idea where you ever got that idea from. In fact, nobody (not even Ho, 1972) is saying that the Inuit obtained 15%-20% of their calories from glycogen. The Kroghs clarified in their 1914 paper that glycogen accounted for a little more than half of the 54g/d of carbs in the diet (the rest was from bread and sugar, which had been available since at least 1855). That's what Ho meant when he said "largely." So, the estimation of glycogen is actually fairly low. But as far as I know, you are the only scientist to dispute the idea of dietary glycogen. In fact, the main reason marine fish evolved amylase is to digest the glycogen in the tissues of their prey.

From: Amylase activity of fingerlings of freshwater fish Labeo rohita fed on formulated feed, by M.P. Bhilave (2014)

"In fish amylase is needed to digest glycogen, an energy source which is found in animal tissue."

10) And let's be clear here. I did not go out of my way to pick 20+ studies from Google to confirm a bias. I honestly could not find any studies confirming ketosis from the traditional diet of the Inuit. And I honestly could not find any reliable evidence that the Inuit consumed a high fat diet beyond Stefansson's contradictory statements or Schwatka's sledging diet. Even when we look at a dietary survey of Inuit food preferences (Free Download), we still don't see a preference for high fat! The idea that the Inuit were eating a lot of fat is nothing more than a myth that Stefansson perpetuated. I challenge you to find scientific evidence that concurs with Stefansson. Even McClellan and DuBois admitted in the published literature for the Bellevue Experiment that their Western ketogenic diet did not replicate the Eskimo diet.

Frankly, I find your post and follow-up comments to be more than a little ironic. Here I've been unable to find any evidence that the Inuit were in ketosis from their traditional diet, or that they even consumed a high fat diet. And I've found a large body of evidence showing that they have never been observed in ketosis or consumed large quantities of fat, and all you've done is casually dismiss 150 years of research, while only referring to Stefansson's flawed observations. If that's not the very definition of confirmation bias, I don't know what is.

As to why you are reluctant to accept 150 years of detailed research on the Inuit diet—while only accepting the words of just one explorer who was well known to lie and exaggerate—only one reason comes to mind. It seems, to me at least, that rather than showing an interest in what the scientific literature actually says about the Inuit, you are hoping that Stefansson's loose observations absolve you from having to show long term safety of a LCHF diet. The evidence suggests that LCHF is the modern invention of white polar explorers who needed to pack lightly while sledging. Shouldn't the long term safety of a diet rise to higher standards than the word of a controversial polar explorer? I should certainly hope so.

Cheers.

~~~

I await the next hand-brushing dismissal from Dr. Eades.

Public Memo to Dr. Mike Eades

Sir Dr. Mike. There's a substantial comment in your moderation queue on this post.

Perhaps in the business, it's been overlooked. It's a very serious 10-Point treatment about how you're wrong on all 10 points. But, Duck is always good about being nice, even from a Toni sock puppet.

It's Monday. If I don't see it approved by Wednesday, then it gets posted here, with adverse commentary.

Update: The Comment Dr. Michael Eades Doesn’t Want You To See.

What In The Hell I’m Up To: I’m Telling Myself to Fuck Off Regularly

If it's Monday evening and Thursday was the last time I put up a post, I get emails. I'm OK. Barely, but OK. Thanks for the concern. I'm in the midst of one of these deals, somewhat of a revisit of about a six-month period in 2010:

Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS): Can Your Mind Really Heal Your Back, Neck, Shoulder, Butt, and Leg Pain?

That was a post about 2/3 through the ordeal of getting over a cervical disc herniation that left me wanting to cut off my right arm and/or eat lead for lunch. Thankfully, Dr. Kurt Harris and Dr. Doug McGuff saw instantly from earlier mentions in posts and turned me onto John Sarno: Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection. It's a long story. In short, I wanted neither a shot in the neck, nor someone cutting around my spinal cord—especially where it's quadriplegia territory.

Call me chicken if you like. But, Kurt Harris said he wouldn't do it either. I sent him my MRI (he's a radiologist) and he confirmed the diagnosis. But here's what's important. He said that a majority of MRI images he looks at from those over 50 have various cervical and lumbar herniations and in the vast majority of cases, patients don't even know it. They have no symptoms. Their MRIs were for other things and Kurt was just taking note. At the same time, he told me he's had people with very minor herniations pacing his office talking suicide.

Ah, the dots connected.

I started looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself (verbally, audibly) to just go fuck myself. Literally (for me, strong medicine is required). And you might be amazed how well it can work. But it takes weeks to overcome your mind like that if you're not practiced in meditation—in the art of getting personal insights into how fucking stupid you and I are, generally. It gives you insight also into how much might be automatic "thinking" where you think it's ideas you've evaluated and held.

Or, you can drug up and get surgery. I'm not without some drug therapy myself. Primarily, that would be alcohol and herb. That's because sometimes, either can give you relief, or added and multiplied torture and you can't predict which. And that in itself is part of the larger picture to get your own mind around.

I tell people: the pain is there for a reason; It's a raw material for thinking. You don't need to know why; i.e., the ultimate source. In Sarno's world, it suffices to understand that your own mind is capable of making any little part of your body hurt like hell (it restricts oxygen supply to blood vessels—hint: localized heat application fucks with this). Understanding leads to an onion of enlightenment.

...Anyway, a few months ago this began as a lower back issue that went away after a week or so. I was surprised when it came back so soon. Then came the telltale signs I was dealing with a disc herniation. Phantom chronic, serious injury-like pains in places that had no perceptible injury. For instance, my left calf aches like it just got chewed up in a wood chipper; right now, as I write this. My left buttocks feels like I need a whipping to get my mind off the deeper pain. And if I stand up, someone's going to jab a knife into my left hip and twist it. This is my existential reality.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, eh?

...Yesterday, all of a sudden, I have massive, tightening left-chest pain where every breath hurt. I began my thought process wondering how many people would jump up, end up in hospital with a suspected heart attack. But, I noted: my mind is perfectly clear. I'm not short of breath—though it hurts to inhale and expand my chest cavity. This is totally skeletal-muscular. I'm clearly not being deprived of oxygen to the brain and I'm seeing nothing that's leading to that.

But it was great it happened, because I'd been taking it real easy for more than a week. Ha, you fucker! You just played your hand, "Richard," and now I know for sure you're fucking with me! This happened about noon and throughout the day, the pain moved from my left pectoral to whatever it is under my left shoulder blade. No possible injury, yet if I move just wrong, sneeze, or cough, it lets me "know" that I have a very serious injury that must require immediate medical attention.

This has to be a genetic shortcoming. My dad and two of my younger brothers have had lumbar surgery. Similar symptoms. They are all super fine, now. So, ultimately, I know a similar surgery is an option and I'm confident it would come out OK; and if it doesn't, it's only paraplegic territory.

For now, I'm coming up on a week in mostly solitude, taking it easy, but also doing lots of stuff gently, just enough to touch the pain and get what I want doing, done.

I'll be in touch.

Ancient Chinese Secret of Longevity: Corn, Potatoes, and Women Bathing Nude Together

Other than the Chairman Mao worship (just another doG), this is a pretty cool video. I think its best attribute is to demonstrate that super longevity is very multi-faceted. I took note of how often it was mentioned to be rather "even keeled" in disposition (my metaphor).

I suppose I took note because that's probably my own biggest issue.

...Anyway, of the local population of about 250,000, there are more than 70 centerinarians and over 200 in their 90s.

Funny thing is, the only foods really mentioned are corn & potatoes that they grow themselves.

Well, meat, seafood, and the fatty acids in both aren't harmful—human evolution falsifies such fucktardiness. But, in the context of an omnivorous diet, there is great potential variety and hell fuck: if you can live to 100 on corn and potatoes if that's what you have and it's cheap-ass peasant food then well, what the fuck is there to say about it?

I loathe dogma and promoters of dogma, especially peddlers of the offering plate (now, they're landing pages).

Beyond that, at a point in the video, after asking about the secret to longevity, this still popped up for only a couple of seconds, signifying to me that it's a true secret.

Screen Shot 2014 10 23 at 9 34 22 AM
The True Secret to Longevity

...And here I always thought it was girls' weekends and the topless pillow fights in panties....

C4 Grasses and Sedges In Human Evolution: Gatherer-Gatherers

Here's an example of the intransigence I see so often when considering new pieces of the puzzle, or even considering new perspectives on existing ones.

A Grassy Trend in Human Ancestors' Diets

...But new studies show that human ancestors expanded their menu 3.5 million years ago, adding tropical grasses and sedges to an ape-like diet. The change set the stage for consuming more modern fare: grains, grasses, and meat and dairy from grazing animals.

In four studies of carbon isotopes in fossilized tooth enamel from scores of human ancestors and baboons in Africa from 4 million to 10,000 years ago, researchers found a surprise increase in the consumption of grasses and sedges--plants that resemble grasses and rushes but have stems with triangular cross sections.

I recall when that came out back in 2013 to great wailing and gnashing of teeth by the anointed. Can't be right! You're totally fucking with our cool narrative! We're meat and fat hunters! Look at our big brains and small guts! We're supposed to be keto-adapted! We're natural fat burners! Like war, starches are unsafe for children and other living things!

A very nice comment conversation took place the other day between Duck Dodgers and Dan Bassett, PhD  (some may recall Darwin's Table from way back). It begins here with Duck.

Interestingly, Cordain tried to refute the June 2013 revelation by the National Academy of Sciences that multiple studies had shown increased C4 intake from eating sedges. But, his argument was fairly weak as while he acknowledged that the researchers had concluded that plants likely contributed to the bulk of C4 intake, he responded, "Nevertheless, when the isotopic data is triangulated from archaeological, physiological and nutrition evidence, it is apparent that the C4 signature in ancestral African hominin enamel almost certainly is resultant from increased consumption of animals that consumed C4 plants."

Well, no. Unfortunately for Cordain, anthropologists had already tossed aside the idea of a carnivorous hominid, since dental morphology did not present as carnivorous and hominid tools were too primitive for butchering when the timeline showed a significant jump in C4. And just a few months after he wrote a formal letter to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences complaining about the findings, researchers from Oxford University discovered that it was indeed Tiger Nuts that contributed to higher C4 intake in P. boisei making his scrambled rebuttal look fairly weak. If I remember correctly, researchers showed evidence that these early hominids ate nutrient-dense sedge tubers, ate termites and likely scavenged animals when they could obtain them. So, I guess you could say Cordain tried to refute the National Academy of Sciences, but he soon quit once the evidence piled up against him.

I'll not copy the whole thing here. Read the nicely organized, mutually respectful thread if you please. Nice to see this level of discourse on FTA. Here's one additional comment by Duck in reply to Dan that really gives and excellent overview of the science of this new discovery.

Daniel,

I'm familiar with the Hadza as an example. National Geographic recently referenced that sentiment, explaining that most anthropologists believe that these "fallback" foods likely made up the majority of the diet, as the hunters usually come back empty-handed.

National Geographic : The Evolution of Diet

They even use the Hadza's reliance on "fallback" foods in the article to prove their point.

"Every ecological study that tracks predator and prey populations (even if prey is grass) shows that predator populations grow in relation to the prey population."

Well, I believe that's a gross oversimplification. For instance, if that rule were always true, we'd expect to see anteaters everywhere, since there is virtually an unlimited supply of ants. But that isn't the case. Clearly there are other factors involved that limit populations (higher prey, disease, etc). With hominids, the factors limiting populations were likely disease and infant mortality (just guessing).

"I draw this conclusion because in your post you mention there incredible abundance and growth rates, and how the paper you mentioned talks about how it would take a few hours to get enough calories for the day. If this was true, however, it would mean we would expect to see a population increase in hominids to match that abundant food source."

Let me clarify. It supposedly takes 3 hours of foraging for a single hominid (like P. Boise) to obtain 80% of its calories from tiger nuts. If you are gathering for two or more, it will take longer. If you are gathering tiger nuts for a population of people, you need the skills of agriculture and lots of slaves—which is what we see in Ancient Egypt.

In other words, it's "easy" for a single hominid to gather tiger nuts for 1 or 2 individuals. But it's much harder to gather other people's tiger nuts. You need slaves or machinery for that.

Finally, P. Boisei was not just a "snapshot". P. Boisei was one of the most successful hominid species—its reign lasting millions of years. Though we aren't descended from them, the same shift in C4 isotopes was simultaneously observed a wide array of hominid species, as shown by multiple studies covered by the National Academic of Sciences announcement last year. So, this isn't just one snapshot. It's actually many snapshots showing the same thing over and over again as homo moved into the grassy savannas.

Now, another clarification... P. Boisei is only significant because it had the largest levels of C4 of any hominid—nearly 70%! Combined with its dental morphology and dental calculus, all signs point to high tiger nut consumption.

But, Homo was a bit less (50-55% C4), indicating that our diet was more varied than P. Boisei. If we consider that Homo consumed animal foods, and we know they did (we are omnivores after all), then we can imagine that early humans probably consumed tiger nuts alongside a wide variety of foods. I never said that homo sat around just eating tiger nuts all day.

P. boisei is mostly useful because its diet probably wasn't very varied (and it did evolve with a very unique jaw musculature...they called it "nutcracker man"). But, as I pointed out in my last comment in that other thread, we still see evidence that our direct ancestors ate starchy sedges as well as Neanderthals and early humans ate them too. But, again, I never said that humans sat around eating tiger nuts all day. They were likely just part of a varied diet.

I think that tiger nuts were used to fill in the nutritional holes in the homo diet and were a reliable source of carbohydrates. Tiger nuts are very rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, Vitamin E and folate. Not coincidentally, these are the very nutrients that are often lacking from a modern "Paleo" diet.

So, while tiger nuts are easy for a foraging primate to pluck right out of the ground and chomp on—dirt and all. I think that tiger nuts are a massive pain in the ass for agriculture. The Egyptians figured out how to cultivate them, and even turn them into flour, but it required a ton of work and skill. Unlike wheat, tiger nuts are by no means easy to harvest in large quantities. The Paleo Indians at Mashantucket only used wild / weedy tiger nuts as a supplement to their maize and sorghum, but never figured out how to cultivate them—nor did they care to.

Read more about The Incredible Edible Tigernut. Did you know they have the same macronutrient profile as mother's milk and pack more micronutrient nutrition than red meat?

What Childhood Image Does the Word “Beans” Conjure?

For my wife, of Mexican descent, it's solidly pinto beans. We make them a lot around here. Had them for breakfast with an o/e egg and bowl of fruit both Saturday and Sunday.

But when I was a kid, I knew nothing of pinto beans. Chili was chili. There was baked beans, but like chili, not very often.

Nope, for me, "BEANS" meant we were having navy beans with ham in it. I didn't much care for it as a kid. When mom said "BEANS," it was always a disappointment. Not sure why. Perhaps it was just the least favorite; or more likely, that a single dish was the meal in itself. ...And hell, even breakfast had eggs, bacon, toast, and jam.

Yesterday, I made it for the first time. As you might imagine, these days and ages afford perhaps more of the ham than 4 growing boys got on a single plate in the early 70s.

The "recipe" is ridiculously simple:

  • Navy beans
  • Ham
  • Onion

Here's how I did it.

  • 2 pounds navy beans
  • 1 smoked pork shank (about 1 pound, w bone)
  • 1 pound ham steak, trimmed of fat
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock

I didn't soak the beans (sometimes I do; I do both). Rinsed and into the crockpot with the shank, ham steak, onion, quart of Kitchen Basics UnSalted Chicken Stock, and water to cover the shank. Took about 5 hours on high for the shank meat to melt off the bone, then I let it sit there on high for another hour, uncovered, so some of the liquid would reduce off, thicken a bit, and concentrate flavor.

I needed to add zero salt. I say again, never add salt to a dish where liquid will reduce, until you're done. Sometimes, it might not need any—most commonly with cured or smoked pork in the mix.

IMG 2718
The way to get "bone broth." Put a bone in your damn dish!
IMG 2719
No salt or fat added, but I do like finely ground pepper.

If there's any recipe or dish I post you might be inclined to try, do this one, exactly as outlined. Sit down when you eat because your knees might buckle from flavor intensity and pure mouth-feel satisfaction.

Someone recently asked me in comments what I think in terms of weight loss. We've been doing rice, beans and potatoes as staples around here recently. I have leftovers for days on that one above. Of all three, I think beans hold the best promise in terms of satiation leading to eating less, while getting very decent nutrition. I had that bowl at 7m last night and it's 9am next morning. I am only just beginning to feel the first tinges of hunger, and it'll be another bowl of that, reheated.

Taking a Self Accounting: Losing Favor With The Who’s Who of Paleo

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. - Groucho Marx

November 2nd of this year will mark 11 years blogging. I'd break it down thusly:

  • 2003 - 2007: Strictly as a hobby / diversion / outlet. Never any designs on being full time, having an extraordinarily popular presence, or influence. I didn't even open up commenting for about the first year. It went from about zero visits to 10-20,000 visits per month in that time.
  • 2008 - 2012: Paleo happened. Low Carb happened. Food Blogging happened. No Soap / Shampoo happened. I became poop-u-lar. Got invited to speak places. Got implicitly held to standards external to me for both decorum and confirmation bias of accepted dogma. It went to about 80-100,000 visits per month during this time.
  • 2013 - 2014: Dumped all that shit and returned to blogging whatever I want, without a care in the world to anyone's expectations of me. In terms of dietary dogma, I think for myself, consider everything, assume we're all still wrong, but strive to be less wrong each cycle.

That last one rubs some the wrong way, results in bunched panties, etc. I was admonished the other day in an email, the same day I got tagged in a tweet by someone with 18 followers notifying me that I was irrelevant:

Make a list of the most interesting / meaningful / fun / engaging / smart people in your life over the last 5 to 10 years. Then ask yourself if those people are moving closer to you or if those people are moving further away from you.

And if they're moving away from you, you might want to stop and ask yourself why.

It's actually an excellent question and nobody ought shy away from it. But for me, it's a really complex deal. My life has changed so radically in ways apart from the blog. So, let me limit it to the general paleosphere for purposes of this post.

As for making a list, that's simple enough. I pretty much rubbed shoulders with all of the who's who in Paleo back in those heady days of 2009 - 2012, culminating in the high water mark that was the inaugural Ancestral Health Symposium, 2011, where I was one of the anointed speakers. I spoke at 2012 as well—just barely, thanks to Melissa McEwen and Seth Roberts' persuasion, on the heals of 'cuntgate'—but my caché amongst the tried and true was unmistakably waning.

But here's where some measure of begging the question (assuming the premise) arises in that admonition, above. It's both. There's no doubt many of the great who's who have distanced themselves from me. It's pretty simple (and shallow) to chalk it all up to using the c-word, being labelled a misogynist in reams of out of context stuff, or inebriated blogging and social engagement for fun.

I think I get some credit for distancing my own self, too. The simple fact is, I just don't operate like most other people in this realm. From my perspective, I see the vast, vast majority of them asking the same limited questions, advancing the same romantic Paleo Myths, "debunking" the same stuff in exactly the same way, and striving to confirm the same set of assumptions and biases. Add to that endless whoring maneuvers to make lots of money off Paleo (and some have made pretty enormous sums). Need I go into it? Endless gimmicks, same books, affiliate programs, summit launches. Mountains of paleo treats, dubious recipes, and baked goods in packages available for order.

I think everybody is always all wrong, including myself. But I strive to be less wrong tomorrow, so that I can look back and laf at how fucktarded I was today. By implication, I'm calling a lot of who's who fucktards, and they're perceptive enough to know that.

They don't like it, and including myself is no comfort. They hate being wrong. I love and adore being wrong. There are exceptions. So far, I have a list of about 4 prominent who's who personalities, for whom this doesn't apply and have been more than willing to question everything. There's probably more.

The other fallacy in the admonition is that if indeed it's true that I'm distanced from all these great folk from the past, that it's a net loss to me.

  1. If these are the sorts of people not continually questioning their assumptions and integrating every new piece of relevant data, how can it be my loss to no longer be tightly affiliated, in no way beholden or sensitive to their feelings?
  2. How about the new set of "most interesting / meaningful / fun / engaging / smart people in [my] life?"

It's true I was being quite a pill on-blog in the 2012 timeframe. A lot of that was due to off-blog issues like closing down a business that I hated—but that also provided significant income over a long time. Pictures were changing rapidly for me on all fronts and I didn't always handle it in the best ways.

But more importantly, other things happened too, that converged.

  1. I'd come to reject the LC/Paleo fantasy that "calories don't matter." No, a "calorie is NOT a calorie," but calories count. The idea that so long as it's LC/Paleo, one can be a glutton (first of all, supermarkets 5-min away are not "Paleo") struck me increasingly like snake-oil schtick.
  2. The "Potato Hack" clearly demonstrated to me that all of this is way more complicated than "carbs drive insulin drives fat storage." More snake-oil schtick.
  3. I found the trend towards chronic states of deep ["nutritional"] ketosis by means of less and less carbohydrate, protein restriction, and eating sticks of butter alarming. I was miffed that many of the who's who were going right along with it.
  4. I noted that while lip service was being given to the burgeoning science of the gut microbiome, it was limited to confirming Paleo bias and almost never new data that calls many Paleo assumptions into serious question.
  5. New science on C4 plant sources, and the recognition that it was starchy sedge tubers that were being eaten (and that baboons still eat in great quantity to this day) turns the entire Paleofantasy on its head in terms of man the animal and fat hunter. It's getting little to no coverage (except here), all while the who's who still think we should be talking about ketones.

Now it's history. The potato hack led to resistant starch and a host of gut-bug stuff. Now it's all over the place. I have more links from other websites to the more than 100 posts on resistant starch over the last 18 months, than links in the previous 5 years combined. The science on the gut biome is more Paleo than "paleo," and overshadows it. It's where all the news and science is, now. Microbes have been evolving for billions of years. Paleo is a blip on that map—a comparison often used to illustrate the puny Neolithic, compared to the rest of hominoid evolution.

So surely, my falling out of favor with many of the great who's who must have come with significant consequences in terms of success with the blog, right? Well let's look at the numbers.

  • Previous 12 months (Oct '12 - Oct '13) visits and page views: 1 million visits / 1.7 million page views.
  • Last 12 months (Oct '13 - Oct '14): 1.4 million visits (40% increase) / 2.5 million page views (47% increase).
  • Unique visits increased from 600k to 700k over the same period (17% increase).
  • I don't have an exact count, but since the gut biome / resistant starch explosion, I've done well over a dozen podcast and print interviews, as many or more than the previous years combined.

How about the money?

Well, I started off misguided. The blog had never been about money, though I thought about various ways along the way. Once I closed the business, I was faced with lots of options and turning the blog into some sort of income stream was one of them. So, I joined a bunch of affiliate programs, participated in a couple of those "book bundle" deals where for only $39.95, you get 40 books you don't need, a "$2,500.00 Value!"

All of that put too bad of a taste in my mouth, so I decided it would be a combination of Google Ads and Amazon Associates, or nothing. Why?

  1. Google primarily serves up ads according to your cookies. Accordingly, it's pitching you stuff you're likely to already have some need or interest in. The ads you see are not the ads others see.
  2. People primarily buy stuff from Amazon they want or need. In terms of me pitching stuff explicitly, everything is stuff I use myself and recommend. It costs nothing. Amazon pays me out of their cut.

So how's it going?

Revenue from Google ads is more than triple (up 210%) over the last 12 months compared with the previous 12-month period. That's dwarfed by Amazon. I'll use screen clippings, otherwise you're not likely to believe me. Number of items shipped went from 1,009 to 11,144 (1,045% increase) and retail revenue went from $16K to $285K (1,673% increase).

2012  2013
Oct 2012 - Oct 2013
2013  2014
Oct 2013 - Oct 2014

So, while some part of me does lament that I'm not quite part of the in-crowd club as I once was, I feel pretty decent about what I've accomplished. I also feel pretty decent about some of the new alliances and affiliations I've formed, with people more inclined to question what they know, over searching for bias-confirming "facts."

Moving on in life is part of life itself. C'est la vie. Evolve or die. For this and all of the forgoing reasons, I must conclude that I generally know what the fuck I'm doing.

Self-accounting complete, for this round. Ongoing, always.

A New Svelte Dr. Robert Lustig

I get endless shit over being a friend of Jimmy Moore.

Let it stink.

I'm also a fan of Dr. Robert Lustig.

Go pound a pound of sugar.

Way back when, Dr. Bob (I hope he hates that) came on the scene with this, blogged in 2009: Dr. Robert Lustig on Fructose: “Alcohol without the buzz”. I can't even account for how much shit he got from all those out there looking to get Attention By Picking Nits ("ABPN"). ABPN is an ancient disorder whereby, people seek to pretend to have created values greater than those created by the (typically prominent) subject value creator, by means of picking at nits.

OK, I just made that up.

But I like Lustig. I can't help it, and it's in spite of the fact that when I spoke with him face to face at AHS11, he looked so very condescendingly at me when I mentioned fasting as part of my own truc. Oh, well. Nobody's perfect.

Anyway, if he's following his own advice, it appears to be working.

Lustig
Lustig

There's a PBS program premiering tonight, Oct 18: SWEET REVENGE: TURNING THE TABLES ON PROCESSED FOOD. You can find out about it here.

Beyond that, I learned of this new film, Fed Up. Believe I'll rent and watch that tonight.

Girl: You Can Tell Everybody. I’m The Man. Go Ahead And Tell Everybody. Yes I Am.

It's rather fun to be internet savvy at 54, since before Al Gore jerked off to Internet porn. For every invention, there's a need.

Some fantasize about manhood.

Oh, Myyy. Tilted head for the promo still? Obvious lip sync for the vid? Well, it did make a good TEEVEE commercial for Colin Kaepernick. Not way off, particularly juxtaposing him, with the artist. I'll admit though: catchy tune. Message? "Girl you can tell everybody I'm a man man man I'm a man, the man, really, really, really, the/a man." Laf. Do you even need a hint? No? Onward, then.

The other day, It was laf and mok over James Fell and his "Body For Wife" pussyness.

Looks like today, it's URBAN ANTONIOThe Paleo Problem with Racism and Sexism. Like James "All My Life, For Wife" Fell, Antonio "Untypically Not Macho" Valladares kicks it up a notch.

Nobody gets out alive from this 18 MILLIONTH MOST POPULAR WEBSITE IN THE WORLD! My only lament is that I got mentioned last, not first, as in the 1.6 Millionth most popular BodyForWife. Thanks James. Here's a link for your your troubles: Body For Wife.

People generally hate it when I argue these irrelevancies, comparing to my 0.13 Millionth most popular website in the world, that occasionally ranks 0.08 million. But, this is sport for me.

  1. I spend little time going into the forrest to carry on conversations with screeching monkeys.
  2. Don't care how much monkey sex they get, from monkeys who think they're the man, and tell everybody, because they can.

But it's true that it's irrelevant in meaningful respect. That's a popularity metric, most of the world is fucktarded, etc.

But, what if James and Antonio, with their dismal and dismal-er blogs, actually have more fucktards than I?

See? I'm a one individual mind at a time guy, representing the true understanding of the power of the Internet. I'll take my vegan commenter Gina over 20 of James' or Antonios' regurgitating, stupid cunts any day.

The other part is, those who know me best always tell me not to do this sort of thing. Why give a link or promote someone who's fucking with you, that won't be heard much, but will get many more eyeballs if you blog about it?

Yin. Yang. Lemons. Make lemonade. Negative publicity from "nobodies" is better than positive publicity, unless it's Oprah. Stench lasts longer that sweet perfume.

I'm gratified that anyone in the world takes the time & effort to hate me. Love is easy. I get lots of love, but it's the hate I yearn for, because it's solid. When someone hates you, they're simply not lying. Passion is two sides of the same coin. But hate? It's bankable.

Truthfully, I haven't even read Antonio's post, yet (I will, though; I'm the man, and girl, you can tell everybody). Sorry, I just scanned for my name like a cheap whore. This is the sum total of what I've read:

Nikoley speaks at AHS for some odd reason and is friends with Jimmy Moore (LOL). He is a case study in modern day ‘health blogger’ dysfunction. He has also done workshops on dating...

Well, it is an oddity that I've spoken at AHS. Actually, I led off the inaugural '11 with just that perplexity. I'm assuming Antonio hasn't listened to it. In short, it has to do with my friends, Aaron and Brent, paying the hundreds of attendees to come see me, rather than Andreas Eenfeldt in '11, and then Terry Wahls in '12. Complete scandal, but not public, yet.

It is true that I'm pretty much friends with Jimmy Moore. It's very odd, since I go out of my way more and more to trash many of his ideas, but always stop short of attacking him or Christine personally or, of what I have zero idea of in terms of their life together. I've been on his show 2 or 3 times and even guest hosted recently with carte blanche. What more can one expect from someone you're at odds with?

Yep, so dysfunctional qua blogger that the entire paleosphere is talking about resistant starch while resisting taking about James and Antonio Living For Wife, or being the man, man, man...that girl, you have license to tell everyone about.

And holy doG. Can someone sign me up to do dating workshops? I did speak at The 21 Convention twice. The first time was about diet and the second, philosophy. I didn't make the dating cut on those. But: "great research."

Anyway, it's Friday...

James. Antonio: Go have a drink on me. You're getting more undeserved attention from my posts that you'd get from a few dozen girls telling everybody that you're the man, you're the man, you're the man.

Refining The Starch-Based Paleo Message: No Added Fat

First, here's the background for review, if you're just getting wind of all this.

  1. See the first sections of this recent post on Tiger Nuts and consider that it's very plausible that starch consumption played a major role in our big brain / small gut evolution. Tiger nuts, a starchy tuber, have roughly the same macronutrient profile as mother's milk, and are more nutrient dense than red meat.
  2. What If You Modified Dr. McDougall’s Program To “Starch-Based Paleo?”
  3. What If You Ruin A Vegan Potato Salad With Chicken Stock?
  4. Cooking, Cooling, and Reheating Starches For Even More Digestive Resistance.

Those last three are posts over the previous three days in succession. Note the comment threads. Nearly uniform acceptance as a plausible idea.

But let's refine it a little more. In #2, above, the primary focus was an introduction using Denise Minger's AHS14 presentation on what we might learn from vegans. Moreover, the emphasis was on VLFHC vegan diets that reverse T2 diabetes (yes, reverse; since diabetes is a dysfunction of carbohydrate metabolism; and since this is high carb, it's reversal; VLCHF diets merely control). So in terms of these reversing diets being 10-15% fat from whole foods with no added fat, I'm looking to them as experimental for those curious who wish, diabetics, and the metabolically superfucked. Plus, I allowed for small bits of all whole animal products.

#3 was a fun post with lots of calls out to fucktardedness on both extremes.

#4 demonstrates we've probably been right all along about resistant starch, but this in a food and not supplemental context. It includes a chart, so neener.

...Let's talk about old Art De Vany, the granddad. So yesterday, I'm sitting around a lot in contemplative lafing: at myself. So sad his blogging archives from back 'round 2007 and 8 aren't around. He was the original "Paleo Food Pic" guy. Let me tell you what I recall in fundamental terms:

  1. Always animal protein (beef, pork, seafood, typically) in substantial portion.
  2. Always raw, cooked, or both kinds of non-starchy veggies.
  3. Very often substantial portions of non-starchy fruits. He didn't eat bananas, for example, but lots of melons, berries, etc.
  4. Salads were very simple and if dressed much at all, very light. He didn't cook with fat as I recall, except a little bit of olive oil brushed on grilled veggies. You never saw drawn butter or mayo-concoction next to his plate of crab, for instance.
  5. In short, while anti-starch, not anti-sugar from fruit. While not anti-fat, he primarily got his fat from what's in the foods he's eating and he trimmed excess fat from meat.

And so, I wonder. Was Art more properly described as a moderate carb (plenty of fruit, beer and dark chocolate sometimes), moderate fat (almost all from the whole foods he ate), and moderate to high protein (although, many of his plates of protein were leftovers from a bigger plate of protein)?

Folks have brought up Cordain in comments in some of those posts above, but Art seems like a better guiding light to me. Both are generally anti-starch, but Art wasn't afraid of fat, nor was he a lean protein guy. And, apart from the low fat experiment above, I'd like to see a place where we're not afraid of fat in any foods, but that's where we keep it. We don't refine and isolate it, then augment all of our meals with added fat from an elsewhere.

So, here's some off the top of head thoughts on how this might work.

  • If you feel a hunger for fat, eat a whole food with fat in it. If trying to drop pounds, choose leaner whole foods (crab instead of pork ribs).
  • Instead of eating butter, cheese or drinking cream, have a glass of whole milk. Do we really know the totality of the hormonal and metabolic effects that comes with rendering and isolating the fat from the whole?
  • Learn to make sauces without added fat. It's easy. Reduce out the water, concentrate the flavor. Kitchen Basics unsalted chicken and beef are my go-to stocks. Use unsalted so you can reduce without making your stuff taste like a salt lick. Season when it's done.
  • Check out the vegan recipe sites for no-added-fat dressings and dips for salads, veggies, and meats (plus, using on meats will piss off vegans). Millions of options using vinegars, fruit or veggies purees, hummus, etc.
  • Use isolated fats only minimally, for cooking (greasing a pan with butter or coconut oil, a pat to do some eggs, but leave 90% in the pan, etc.). This mimics grilling, incidentally. If you leave the cooking fat or whatever's rendered from the food you cook in the pan, it's similar to having grilled it.

Here's a few theory-to-practice applications from the last few days.

IMG 2711
Broiled Chicken Thigh and Potato Salad With Tarragon Chicken Stock Reduction

I blogged the potato salad here. It's no-added-fat vegan, but rendered poisonous because there's a few tablespoons of chicken stock in the recipe.

That would be a skin-on, bone-in chicken thigh, but I was pressed for time and it's all I could source. The reduction (for 2 servings) is three soup ladles of my recent chicken-apple soup broth, reduced to about 6 tablespoons. A pinch of tarragon (less is more with tarragon) and some black pepper. The soup had been seasoned, so no salt (I was reducing), and I didn't salt the thigh either, for that same reason.

IMG 2713
Breakfast at Gunther's

Gunther fries my eggs in butter (always perfect o/e), as well as finishes the German potatoes in butter, too. The potatoes are previously boiled, taken from the fridge to finish (remind you of something?). But as you see, no pools of fat on the plate. Used to be, he'd serve with fresh butter and I'd create those pools. No Paleo Bacon! Fruit in place of the toast or English muffin dripping with butter. Gunther's fruit salad is prepared the day before and marinades in the fridge overnight...in orange juice. Fucking best fruit salad you'll ever have.

IMG 2715
Chicken and Mushroom Rice

This was crazy good. Made it last night in the rice cooker. Remember, small fats for cooking, no added fat. So, I first toasted 2 cloves of garlic in a tiny bit of butter, then added about 6 chopped crimini shrooms  and 1/3 chopped yellow onion to sweat and bring out the flavor (1tsp salt). Added about 1TBS chicken stock to help. Into the rice cooker, along with a chopped stalk of fresh celery, 2 broiled chicken thighs left over from the dish above (none of the fat rendered from broiling, just like grilling), 1 cup of parboiled rice, and 2 cups of the aforementioned chicken stock.

When done, I opened the cooker to let moisture escape. Don't want soupy for this dish. Then, I added chopped green onions and stirred them in. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then I served with a fresh green onion garnish, plus liberal finely ground black pepper.

So, 2 chicken thighs and their included fat, but no added fat, and it rendered dinner for Bea and I, and it's lunch for both of us today as well (cooled overnight and reheated).

I will continue to experiment with all of this. Go and do likewise.