Friday, April 17, 2015

Magic Mushrooms!

Just read a nice review of a new study on Medical Express, Mushrooms boost immunity, by Brad Buck.
Magic! Unidentified Mushroom Growing from a Willow Tree (Photo by me)!
 If you eat a shiitake mushroom every day, you could see changes in their that are beneficial," said Percival, an Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member. "We're enhancing the immune system, but we're also reducing the inflammation that the immune system produces.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What's all the Buzz?

Not that I don't have enough hobbies like fishing, hunting, trapping, gardening, and raising chickens, but I've been really interested in honey this past year, so I decided to get into keeping my own bees.

I just can't say enough good things about honey. We actually evolved as a species eating honey, but now we miss out on the full spectrum of a close relationship with the bees. Not only is the honey healthful, but also the wax comb, the pollen, and the propolis (a waxy substance bees make to seal holes). And getting stung by bees also has its share of health benefits as bee venom is shown to lower blood glucose and be of use in arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis.

This post isn't meant to be a dissertation on honey, but a starter guide to beekeeping.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Corn Dodgers!

One of my all-time favorite movies is True Grit.  Not the 2010 remake, but the 1969 original with John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn.


The only thing Rooster Cogburn liked better than shootin' and drinkin' was eating the "corn dodgers" that his cook, Chen Lee, cooked for him. In fact, he rode for days eating nothing but corn dodgers, and even used them for shooting practice.

So, let's make some, shall we?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Humans are Not Broken...Plant Paleo.

I've been talking to Angelo Coppola recently about his thoughts on diet.  Angelo is an awesome dude, has one of the best "radio" voices I've ever heard.  He does a podcast, Latest in Paleo, and puts out a quality show a couple times a month, interviewing all manner of people to discuss health issues.

Angelo also blogs a bit at Humans are not Broken. I've always liked that Angelo doesn't get stuck in the "24 hour newscycle" that a lot of blogs get caught in, jumping from headline to headline trying to keep ahead of the competition, but struggling to remain relevant.

Angelo's latest brainchild is a series he's putting together to focus on a high-fiber, gut healthy diet that does not use meat and fat as the backbone. He's calling this "Plant Paleo," (click link for an intro), and also wrote a blog, part 1 of a series, to explain his thoughts: Plant Paleo Part 1: The Gatherer-Hunter Diet.

And here you can check him out 'up close and personal' in a very brave photo-shoot.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

On the Art of Asking Questions

"He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever."

(no idea who the author is)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Farts...the new sneeze!



Farts were probably not vilified nor a cause of ridicule until our diet changed drastically in the past couple hundred years. Any population eating a diet with lots of fermentable fibers, be it from meat or plant, would be a population that knows gas. A diet that produces little gas, or intermittent levels of gas with asphyxiating properties, is not a diet that favors good populations of gut microbes. No one cringes and points fingers when a person sneezes, so should it be with the common fart.


A polite person sneezes into the crook of their arm or a tissue clad hand. Random passers-by may say, “Gesundheit,” “Bless you,” or “Mercy!” Our proposal is that farts should elicit the same courtesies from both farter and fartee...


When one feels a fart coming on, it shouldn’t be sphincter-choked out of existence, but it should be let out at a natural pace without worry of odoriferous quality or decibel. A passive observer should, at that juncture, respond in kind with, “Gut bugs!” “Microbes!” or “To fermentation!”



When the stigma of farting is gone, people will be under great pressure to eat a diet that feeds gas degraders and colonocytes, a diet high in fermentables that produce healthy, hearty gas. And, if this day never comes and flatulence remains confined to locked restroom stalls and dingy alleyways, just remember the words of Edward Fitzgerald,

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on.”

So, fear not the breaking wind...don’t apologize for a fart any more than you’d apologize for a sneeze, just move on. With improved health comes great farts, no longer do we need to fear “silent but deadly” instead, we embrace the “loud and friendly!”

Fart Man of Sheshatshit


The Innu are a group of First Nations, located in northeastern Quebec and southern Labrador. They’ve traditionally lived a life in the far north often living off the land and known far and wide as a healthy, fun-loving people with great respect for Nature. The Innu hold onto some of their pre-Christian beliefs, amongst them a deity known as “Matshishkapeu.”



Matshishkapeu, or “Fart Man,” is the spirit of the bowels who speaks regularly with the Innu. Fart Man is a god of humor and seriousness, imparting much laughter but one of the most powerful gods able to control both man and animal. He is omnipotent, always with you, both inside and out. Matshishkapeu can speak, sing, mimic, and predict the future, according to legend.



The Innu of Sheshatshit, Labrador (yes, really!) refer to Fart Man as Matshishkapeu-utshimau (the boss), tshitshue utshimau (the real boss) or mishta-utshimau (the big boss). Fart Man speaks through the anus of the Innu, but often in muffled, unintelligible sentences or words. It’s usually left to a wise elder to translate. Common messages from Fart Man are:

"Goose"

"It's cold"

"One, two, three" (Matshishkapeu can count but no higher than five)

"Fishing"

"Good, good, good..."

"No, no, no"

"I can go right through" [the wall like a ghost]

"The world is soon going to end my son"
To the gut bugs!
Tim

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Good Day Sunshine

I can't believe the sun is back!  The height of the sun in the sky makes such a huge difference, it's hard to describe unless you live somewhere crazy like Fairbanks, Alaska, where in Winter the sun barely rises above the horizon and in Summer barely dips below.  While the sun never really gets very high in the sky, even in Summer, it does get up high enough for the UV light to penetrate the atmosphere and warm things up, but more importantly, hit my skin at just the right angle to produce Vitamin D and give me a nice tan.

If you are a science geek like me, you'll like this online sun tracker. It tells the angle of the sun on any day in any city.  Today, here, the sun hit 27.6 degrees at its highest.  In New York, the sun was at 50 degrees of angle at solar noon.  In Southern California, 60 degrees.  I believe the optimum height for Vitamin D production is between 25-45 degrees, something to do with the angle and UV-A, UV-B light. Here is a study, if you like to read!