Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thanks for the Feedback!

Well, that was just what I needed to hear!  I'm new to this blogging business and was completely unsure if people were actually reading or not.

Now I know.

The Blogger Stats showed that about 850 page-views were initiated yesterday, with 400 people looking at yesterday's blog.  You all left about 80 comments.  So, how many really viewed it?  I guess I don't really care at this point. I doubt that 400 people really read that blog, but there were enough comments to make me feel really good about starting this blog last month. 

I recognized a bunch of your names from around the web, that was cool.  I've even had long conversations with many of you in the past.  It really has started feeling to me like one big family. 

And for the record...I love lurkers!  I'm one, too.  Nothing wrong with that, but it was really, really amazing to me to see so many die-hard lurkers de-cloak for a minute to say 'hi.'  

I know what it's like to be unhealthy and searching around for 'magic bullets.'  I guess what I found is that there is no magic,  just information.  Everyone is different and responds differently.  Some people really are broken and hormones play a big part of why we look and feel the way we do.  And sometimes we just have to accept we might not look exactly like we dream about.

That said, however, I'm a big believer in the healing properties of the food we eat.  No amount of kale is going to make you grow 4 inches taller, we are kind of stuck with our genetics. But the right food choices can go a long, long way towards making our 80-120 years on this planet much more bearable. 

I think one of the big problems is that we just don't know how to eat.  We go from diet to diet hoping for big changes and end up wrecking something else in the process.  Then another guru pops up offering easy solutions only to end up in disappointment.  Trust me, I've been there!

I think the best thing is to just slowly change your eating to get away from the Standard Western Diets filled with wheat, vegetable oils, and refined sugars and simply eat the way our ancestors did.  Lots and lots of good resources for this style of eating:  Mark's Daily Apple, Westin A. Price Foundation, and the whole list of paleo blogs and websites off to the right here.  I learn new things every day, you should, too.  Read all you can and incorporate the ideas that make the most sense.

I like that 'paleo' is slowly coming around to be more in line with WAPF as more and more people realize that potatoes, nuts, and other starchy carb sources are not as evil as they were first portrayed.  I do think there is a place for low carb dieting, even the very low carb type and ketogenic varieties, but I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all approach to any of this.  Even resistant starch has its limitations.

So, I guess in closing today, I'd just like to say thanks for the vote of confidence and I'll keep going.  Just put me on your list of blogs to read and hopefully some of what I say helps you out.

I'll make sure you get your money's worth!

Oh, and here's what I'm eating this week:

12 Pounds of Potatoes
Visit the MDA Potato Hack Thread where Mycroft Jones recently said:

Day 4: ...dropped another pound. Fat is melting away while I watch. This is amazing. Been eating a potato every hour or two. How is it my weight is dropping, yet I've been eating?

Normally I wait until lunch then weigh myself to get the lowest weight for the day. Today it isn't working like that. Weight is still dropping! Hurray!

This has put a spring in my step. For the last day or two I've felt like skipping around. Haven't felt this good in years. 





  1. Hi Tim,

    i am surprised not to see The Perfect Health Diet on your blog list.

    Also do you have any thoughts or seen anything on the idea of not eating too varied a diet in relation to a healthy microbiome?

    Ellen Ussery

    1. It's there, you have to click 'show all'. The list only shows the 10 most recently updated blogs at first. PHD hasn't been updated in a couple weeks so it slipped to the bottom.

    2. I don't think there is such a thing as 'too varied', unless the variations include processed oils, refined wheat flour, and lots of sugar. In my travels, the only thing that I see as harmful to the gut flora are long-term low carb diets.

    3. Okay, now I see that "show all" option. Great list. Many old friends but lots of new sources for me. Maybe that "show all" should be more prominent for others like me.

      But it brings up another dumb question....why are some of the headers in the list in red and others in blue?

    4. When you click on them, they turn red. I guess they are embarrassed that you clicked on them. Computer Magic.

  2. I'm all for PHD levels of *good* carbs with one caveat... eat all your daily carbs in the last meal of the day so as to keep lipolysis higher during the day when you are more active. Athletes and very active people excepted. Eating your carbs in one sitting will also tend to be self limiting. I have found no need to count/weigh while still keeping relatively good body composition.

    Eat carbiotics, not carbage™ ;-) laf.

    1. I love that! Good thing you trademarked it or I'd steal it from you.

      I usually do eat a mostly protein lunch and then a well balanced dinner. I think there is a lot of good sense in that plan.

      Did you look at the blogs I mentioned today, Kresser's and Fat-Head, and now Ancestralize Me? All are warning of long-term low carb dangers.

      I would whole-heartedly recommend any middle-aged overweight person to go on a low carb diet to lose a bunch of weight, but then they'll need to eventually get back on a "carbiotics" diet.

    2. Why then is the PHD so insistent about the necessity for safe starches in every meal? I too naturally eat my big carbs at night - for the embarrassing reason that I love to eat my bowl of carb/protein/fat mush at night. I often mix my PS right into it. I add a little coconut oil. It's like a paste. Okay, I love it.

      - Debbie

    3. lol, "carb/protein/fat mush"

      I do that, too. A big bowl with rice, beans, sour cream, hamburger, cheese, avocado, or just whatever...eaten with a spoon.

      Paul J. is all about balance. I think he wants people to eat very similarly composed meals. This is probably good for most people, but I find that eating just a piece of meat for lunch and a big omnivore dinner works just right for me. I can't see there would be any drawbacks to eating like this if it feels right to you. I know for me, if I eat a piece of fruit in the morning, I'm hungry all day. If I eat nothing, I'm fine until lunch.

    4. I don't mind eating a couple of reen bananas around 1 or 2pm, with a bowl of high protein dairy, after a work-out. If I eat some piece of fruit in the AM, i feel no hunger at all until late in the afternoon. Funny how these things vary from person to person.

  3. I have to tell you that just last night I got into a conversaton with someone about this whole topic and it was just great to have a single link to give them that would give them the entire story .

  4. This is all great. My husband wants to do a little 3 day health/weight loss makeover during our hols. I am going to persuade him to do the potato diet with me for 3 days. Can't wait! I'm weirded out by the thought of eating potatoes without salt though - is it disgusting at first?

    1. Try a meal or two without salt, then break down and use salt and vinegar. Salt makes this a lot easier, trust me, and seems to work out just fine. I've even been known to dabble a potato in ketchup! But just draw the line at eating anything substantial or fatty. A bite of something you can get away with, a chicken breast and a hunk of cheese--no.

      People always try to game the system...give it a day or two of just potatoes to see what it feels like, then make your own rules. Make a game of it, not a punishment. You know what it's like to eat normally, try something radically different.

      Did you watch the Denise Minger AHS video? There is a link to it about half-way into the potato diet page. She mentions the potato diet about half-way through...a very interesting idea she has. An all-carb diet is like the opposite of ketosis. I think she calls it 'carbosis'. A fun way to look at it.

  5. Hey, tatertot, I found you at FreeTheAnimal a few months ago. I'm a WestOnaprice.org chapter leader in KY, wild about that organization. Plus I'm a little primal, doing low carb with occasional rice, a little bulletproof (crazy for the coffee and get some ice cream), and doing my RS smoothie everyday. Thanks so much for adding your genius to the mix. Great, great stuff -- fits with everything I've been putting together over the last 8 years!

  6. Would love to read more about the mushrooms, new topic of interest for me :)

    1. Mushrooms are a superfood for real. I intend to write lots about them. If I had more free time, I'd get involved in WAP, too. I think Weston would give a big thumbs up to RS, and if he'd have been looking for it, he would have seen lots of RS consumption in his travels.

  7. My cousin George alerted me to a series National Geographic is starting on the future of food, how we're going to feed two billion more people by 2050. This month's issue is on Paleo, and focuses on present day hunter gatherers. Great photos ! of stuff like eating a hunk of honey, eating bloody liver, the rain forest, people. Thanks, Tim! We are all reading and learning - and hopefully accepting things we cannot change.

  8. Longtime lurker/follower here. I'm a huge fan of all your work from MDA to FTA.

    Today Dr. G tweeted out a link to the following study on gut bacteria and exercise performance ( http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2014/08/performance-enhancing-gut-microbes.html?m=1) which included a discussion of pre and probiotics. The mention of galacto-oligo- saccharides (GOS) and fructo-oligo- saccharides (FOS) sparked my memory to a protein bar I tried once or twice in the past.

    The bar (Quest) claims to have around 17g of fiber per serving. What's more interesting is that they state the fiber is isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO) a "natural prebiotic plant fiber" and a "form of oligosaccharides". Their explanation of the benefits of the fiber reads like an intro course in resistant starch ( http://blog.questnutrition.com/what-is-isomalto-oligosaccharide/).

    Have you heard of this type of mass-produced prebiotic? I have other issues with the bars (mainly the sucralose) but the fiber portion is really interesting.

    1. Hey, Wade! I just absolutely hate fake fiber. If you click on the "fiber" tab up top, you'll find everything I know about dietary fiber, including a lot of words about fake fibers.

      These fake fibers were invented by the food manufacturing industry to add 'functional support' to processed foods under the guise of being a prebiotic.

      Some of them may indeed have prebiotic qualities, like iso-malto-whatever, but they are not real foods found in nature.

      Here is description of these fake fibers:

      Commercially prepared prebiotic supplements can be obtained in four ways: Direct extraction, controlled hydrolysis, transglycosylation, and chemical processes. Though prebiotics, in theory, are extractable directly from plants, this method is rarely used in favor of chemically modifying the leftovers from other food manufacturing processes. Most prebiotic supplements are a conglomeration of plant fibers and monosaccharides, polysaccharides, and disaccharides. Further processing removes the mono, poly, and disaccharides, leaving only the oligosaccharides which are dried to a powder and sold as prebiotics.

      Directly extracted - Resistant starch, inulin, soybean oligosaccharides (OS)
      Controlled hydrolysis - Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) from inulin, Xylo OS
      Transglycosylation - FOS from sucrose, GOS from lactose+sucrose
      Chemical Process - Lactitol from hydrogenated lactose

  9. Hi Tim. Along with the PS, (which I've been doing for several months) I've also been adding a daily snack of potato salad with lunch (a green smoothie)

    I'm not really a rice eater, but I've been thinking that a good way to get cold rice into my diet is by way of rice pudding. Any recipes you like?

    Also, I'm about to slice some potatoes into thin slices then bake till done. After a night in the fridge, this also seems like a good potato snack, with olive oil, cayenne and salt, maybe reheated till warm. I think I read somewhere that you were luke-warm on getting RS this way?

    1. Rice pudding: Cold rice, coconut milk (or whatever milk you like), potato starch, coconut sugar (just a bit). You can liven it up with stuff like raisins, cocoa nibs, nuts, raw oats, whatever. You'll be surprised how much potato starch you can incorporate in this.

      Your chips sound like a good snack. I'm not a fan of using potatoes as a delivery system for fats, but those sound pretty harmless and would have a good bit of RS for sure.

  10. Hi Tim, thank you for your blog. Keep up the great work.

    I have a question about the potato diet. On MDA, it is stated that:
    4. Spices, salt, pepper, and vinegar OK.

    Yet, you state on this blog that:
    4. No spices, salt, pepper, butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon bits or vinegar allowed

    Can you clarify the discrepancy? I think that the first version makes the diet far more acceptable for most people. Would it really impact the results if you used a bit of salt or vinegar?

    1. The 'No condiment of any kind' rule was from the 1849 Potato Diet, and I like to see people try it.

      I think salt, pepper, and vinegar are fine, though, and use all three when I am on a potato diet. I try to draw the line at other solid foods (butter, bacon, sour cream, etc...)

      I've done several days at a time of 'no condiments' and you actually get quite used to it. If it's your first time, give it a good ol' 1849 college try for at least a day or two, then do how you like. There is no established, written in stone protocol.

      I'll tell you one thing, though. Doing it 1849-style, then going back to your normal eating...you won't believe how things taste! After a couple days of nothing but bland potatoes, a banana or piece of chocolate will almost blow your head off your shoulders. Seriously. I think that that aspect of the 1849 'no condiment' rule is a major part of why the potato diet is so effective, a reset of your senses and reward circuits.

      Hope that helps!