Friday, December 2, 2016

I'm Moving!

Not moving from Alaska, but from VegetablePharm. I've been playing with a Wordpress blog for the past year, and created www.potatohack.com to coincide with the release of my book back in March. While I like some of the features of Blogger, I find that WordPress has more features and the comments are easier to manage, and don't disappear like they do here. I've also been plagued with loads of complaints that some people cannot leave comments at all here.

Yesterday was my last day of classes for the master's degree I've been working on the last 2 years! Just waiting for the diploma to be unceremoniously mailed, not even sure I'll open it when it comes. Having a master's degree opens the possibility of a promotion at work, or a complete career change should the opportunity arise, and might look good in future writing gigs. Did I mention I ended up with a 4.0 grade point average?   

My plan is to revive my most popular posts from here and re-post them at potatohack.com until Christmas. I'm leaving most of the comments "off" as I populate the new blog, but eventually I'll start back with new content and comments there.

What the blog statistics analyzer shows me is that I have about 200 regular readers, but another 1000-2000 people find me each week through web searches, the most popular being "potato diet." These readers land somewhere in the middle of my blog, click an average of 2.5 other pages, and depart. When I write a new blog post, about 200 people read it in the first couple days, then it lays fallow until random strangers stumble across it. My new blog is going to be aimed more at these 2000 people, trying to keep them engaged and coming back, and building the number...I'd like to see if I can get 20,000+ visitors a week.

As 90% of my readers never leave a comment, it's apparent that the comments are not what draws readers. However, I have really enjoyed interacting with everyone here and developing a very intelligent audience who help each other out and add tremendous value. I know that when I started my health journey in 2010, I would trawl 15 or 20 popular blogs, reading through 100's of comments to find nuggets of information that pertained to me. I see that same pattern around here, and I love it when someone comments on a long-dead blog post with a question, comment, or more information. Sad to say, I can count on one hand how many blogs I've commented on in the past year. But it was a fun journey!

In some ways, the "old guard" blog commenters are what kept the blogging community alive. Who remembers seeing lengthy comments by ItsTheWoo everywhere?  Gemma, Tatertot, DuckDodgers, et al?  I've noticed a distinct downturn in the number and quality of blogs, preferring now the blogs of friends over the mainstream media blogs which seem more interested in getting you to sign up for package deals, courses, and special offers. In many ways, the blog posts I've written here the past year have been written specifically for the handful of people who regularly comment, and I felt I owed it to you all to dig deeper than most readers care to delve into the topics. I've also come to realize that I don't know nearly enough about biology and science to dissect some of the topics we discuss.

I've thought about ways to monetize my blogs, and it turned out to be a real goat-rope. The Amazon links I put up are attached to an affiliate account, and I get gift cards I can use on Amazon that average about $100 a month. I think this is fair compensation for what I do in my spare time, and it lets me advertise only the things that I actually use, and it lets me illustrate what I'm talking about by showing real-life examples. Then of course links to my book, which, by the way, is still selling well nine months after release. In November, almost 2000 copies sold, which tickles me to no end. The royalties are terrible, and the publisher and Amazon are the real winners, lol, but that's fine. People are being exposed to gut health and maybe there will be a second edition or cookbook one day.

Anyhoo. Go check out my new blog and let me know what you think. I'll start writing new content there in 2017 with comment sections, maybe we can all get back together and have some fun threads again.

Veggie Pharm will be here until the internet burns down, feel free to leave comments if you want to discuss anything here, and I'll answer as quick as I always do. Seems kind of sad to be leaving here, but I'm not really going anywhere, lol.

Most of you already have it, but feel free to email me at akman2014 (@) live.com. I always enjoy hearing from you guys.

A special thanks to Wilbur, Christine, Barney, Gemma, GabKad, Terri F., Navillus, Dr. Ayers, Mycroft Jones, Lauren, and the numerous "Anonymi" who've graced the comments over the years. And everyone else whose joined in the comments and helped me with blog posts from time to time.

Happy Holidays!
Tim

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas

Black Friday nears.  You all know I live in North Pole, Alaska, not 10 miles from Santa's Workshop, right?  Take it from me, the elves have been busy this year.  Here is a list of gift ideas for you.



Friday, November 18, 2016

Fiber, Gut Bugs, and Mucus...Oh, my!

The holy trinity of gut health, and, indeed, overall health, can be viewed as fiber, gut microbes, and the intestinal mucus layer.

Picture Credit

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Psychobiotics

Here's a short article about the brain-altering chemistry of the gut. The brain-gut axis is the latest target for Big Pharma. Rather than trying to see the effects of different foods and fibers on the brain, they'd much rather develop synthetic drugs that they can sell many, many times over the cost of Raw Potato Starch or Hi-Maize.

Read the article if you like, The current state of psychobiotics, but I really just wanted to share this very well-thought-out diagram of the interactions between gut and brain:
Source

Friday, October 14, 2016

Weight Maintenance - Part 2

Two weeks into my post-potato hack weight maintenance phase, and I am still holding steady. My diet now is almost exactly like it was pre-hack only now I seem to be maintaining a much lower weight. I'd like to share a couple tricks I picked over the last couple years in this week's post.
Photo from: USC News


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Let's Get Political! Hillary? Donald? Resistant Starch!

If you are as sick of the election as I am, let's all shift gears and vote for something that really matters: Resistant Starch.

[tl/dr - click this link and sign the petition to allow health claims on foods containing RS]

The FDA has been sitting on a petition to approve a health claim that resistant starch may help prevent diabetes. This petition was sent to the FDA in March 2015, and they've just announced that for the third time, they will again delay their ruling...with absolutely no explanation why. We are in a position to change this!  All you have to do is VOTE.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Weight Maintenance - Part 1

Seven days after my month-long Sputember eating adventure, I am at the exact same weight as I was on Day 30.

For those that did not follow along, I took up Andrew 'SpudFit' Taylor's "Spudtember Challenge" to eat nothing but potatoes for an entire month. Andrew, in contrast, was working on his ninth month of a yearlong potato diet.