Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy, Healthy 2018!

Hello, Veggie Pharmers!  I hope you all are well.  I just read a nice little article over at MedicalXpress that I found extremely helpful.  As we head into 2018, please keep in mind that it's the simple changes that make the biggest differences in our lives.

Six Steps to a Healthier You

1. Keep a personal health calendar.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
3. Cook at home rather than eat out.
4. Support healthy gut bacteria.
5. Don't underestimate the benefits of healthy lifestyle changes.
6. Don't neglect your sinus passages.


Keeping a calendar is a very valuable tool for personal accountability in exercising, eating, or remembering birthdays. It's empowering to mark off days when you eat according to plan, eventually seeing more good days than bad in a month.  FitDay.com has several free food logs that can be used to track your eating, but anyone with a smartphone has innumerable apps for that.  If you want to go old-school, like me, just use a cheap wall calendar to track your weight, miles run, and important dates, like when you planted tomatoes.

Eat. More. Fruits. And. Vegetables.  'Nuff said.

Eating out is probably the cause of most of the civilized world's health woes. A Big Mac, fries, and Diet Coke is not a meal. Olive Garden does not care that you eat healthy foods. If you must eat out, get a giant salad with salad dressing on the side. Don't feel compelled to use the salad dressing at all...most likely it's crap, anyway.  Most anything besides raw veggies in a restaurant will be served in a way that's adulterated with unhealthy cooking oils, unneeded salt/sugar, and just too damn much food for a single meal.

Supporting a healthy gut bacteria is now easier than ever since the world has discovered resistant starch. A spoonful or two of raw potato starch is all it takes, folks. Cooking and cooling your starchy foods helps, as does eating lots of fruits and vegetables.  If you eat a big serving of beans a couple times a week, your gut will thank you.  If you are looking to lose weight, the potato hack is the gut friendliest diet ever devised. It makes me very happy to read articles every day about ways to create a healthy gut, and most of these articles include mention of resistant starch, fiber, or prebiotics found in real foods. Big Pharma probably has a hit out on me, lol.

A healthy lifestyle does not require much effort. Get to bed earlier, stop smoking, don't drink too much.  Exercise, walk, get out in nature.  Remove stress from your life as best you can.  Start eating better.  Lose weight.  Be happy.  Sadly, most people reside at the other end of the spectrum...stress filled days, late nights, and bad food.  No exercise and more time on the couch than in the yard.

#6 surprised me a bit, and I must admit I do neglect my sinuses. Back when I was obese and unhealthy, I had terrible sinus infections 2-3 times a year...the kind where you cannot believe that so much snot can be produced in a human head.  I'd go through 2 boxes of Kleenex in a day, and sleep was out of the question. I became addicted to nasal decongestant sprays (yes, you can become addicted!). Somewhere around 2010, I started eating better and sought out more natural ways to keep healthy.  I discovered neti pots and started irrigating my sinuses when I'd get a sinus infection.  But within about a year, I stopped getting nasal infections altogether and haven't had to use a neti pot, nasal sprays, or boxes of Kleenex in 6 or 7 years.  Perhaps my oil-pulling regimen also keeps my sinuses clean?

Anybody else have any good tips to share? Did you all see Wild Cucumber's latest post?  Sometimes you just need a good slap.

Happy New Year!
Tim    

57 comments:

  1. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/12/19/1715687114.full

    Interesting... Comments?

    Missed your presence, Susan from San Diego

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  2. Most cool find! The gist of the article is that "we propose that there is a sensor for body weight in the long bones of the lower extremities acting as “body scales.” This is part of a body weight homeostat, “gravitostat,” that keeps body weight and body fat mass constant."

    I have no doubt that fat-storage is hormone related. I've witnessed many lean women who mysteriously start getting fat when they go through a pregnancy or menopause, much to their chagrin, and no amount of dieting and exercise helps them lean back out.

    I've also watched as people have been trying to use leptin to lose weight. Never works unless you take direct shots of leptin, but this leads to all sorts of other problems (http://joe.endocrinology-journals.org/content/223/1/T71.full).

    I think that people are just too darn unique and different in so many ways that a one-size-fits-all drug will never be developed to prevent unwanted fat storage.

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  3. Thanks, Tim, for your reply. I've been eating in a 6-hour window for the past three weeks, and have trimmed from 111 to 107. But, not all of the menofat love handles and muffin-tops (who names these things?) have disappeared, though they are reduced, and I can miraculously fit into my skinny jeans again. The rest of me is fine, and I'm eating lots of good food during the window.

    Think I'll try toting around an 8-lb dumbbell in an old fanny pack while I'm upright, and see if that spurs fat loss like the rats in the above paper. If another miracle occurs and my menofat disappears, you'll be among the first to know so you can tell all your women friends! One must have hope...

    I, too, am sick and tired of reading articles and papers touting health breakthroughs, only to read in the last sentence the profound hope that the studies will lead to a new drug!

    Susan from San Diego

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    1. Please do report back! If your plan is correct, though, wouldn't gaining weight lead to losing weight? Or does the body somehow sense weight from fat and ignores it? Just being facetious, but it does seem a bit naive to think that fat loss is a simple as carrying around some extra weight to stress your lower limbs.

      Being healthy is much more important than having a "perfect" body. The diet industry would like us to believe that we can all have 6-pack abs and perfect butts. The liposuction industry knows this is not quite true.

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  4. Sidney

    cool paper! "the antiobesity effect of standing" Love it!

    Have you tried any exercises targeting your problematic parts?

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    1. Perhaps I read too fast...did you take it that the weight loss hormones were released in response to standing, or to the weight they bear? There have been many studies the past couple years dealing with the dangers of sitting for too long.

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    2. "We propose that much sitting time results in decreased loading of osteocytes in the weight-bearing long bones and, thereby, the homeostatic regulation of body weight does not activate its afferent signal to the brain, resulting in obesity."

      I have understood that they mimicked the standing efect by loading as they obviously couldn't make the rodents to sit.

      Sorry Susan, I have no idea why I called you Sidney and why I didn't reply directly to your comment! My apologies!

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    3. Hey, Gemma and Tim,

      I read that paper three times before I got the gist of it, and even then I may have misunderstood. The folks who write those learned papers do everything they can to make them difficult to understand, it seems.

      Surprised this morning when I stepped on my Tanita scale. Beginner's Luck: My fat % was down .7, visceral fat down from 7 to 6 (it's always been 7), and sugar-free icing on the cake, my metabolic age dropped from 31 to 30! Those figures are enough to keep me wearing this eight extra pounds around today. Who doesn't want to hear you're less than half your age, even if it's totally metabolic and arbitrary?

      Tim, I wish I could distill this paper, but there's just too much of importance that's dotted all through it. I tried, honestly.

      Gemma, no apology necessary! Yes, I have tried. Yoga for three years and then the Y for a couple of years. No joy at losing LH's and MT's. Now I exercise at home. No real harm done if these menofat things never disappear, but if somehow I could coax them to go away, I'd be thrilled. Thanks for responding. I've enjoyed reading your comments.

      Susan from San Diego

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    4. Gemma and Tim, I'm reporting back after a week or so of wearing a fanny pack containing an 8-lb dumbbell. The extra weight seems to have kick-started fat loss around my middle. I've lost 2 pounds in 9 days. My husband even remarked that I was looking slim and trim at my waist and hips! Will play around with this technique a bit, maybe trying it one or two days a week to see if there's a maintenance sweet spot.

      Susan from San Diego

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    5. Susan,

      Your experiment is so cool! I listened to a podcast analyzing that study (in Swedish) and I was fascinated by the concept. But wasn't it so that the mice gained back the weight when the weights were taken out? So even if you lose weight now, you would have to carry the fanny pack the rest of your life to keep the weight off ;)

      Anyway, anecdotally I've heard several people saying they have a set point regarding weight, so that if they gain a lot of muscle, their weight stays the same, although fat mass decreases a lot.

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    6. Thanks, Robert A. I laughed about the thought of wearing an awkward fanny pack the rest of my life!! I did not wear it yesterday just to have a break. My weight popped up a little this morning for some reason, but my fat percentage stayed down and muscle mass went up! Metabolic age dropped again, to 29! jejejejejeje So funny. We're talking very small amounts here, as I weigh just over 100 lbs. Makes for quick and easy comparisons, tho. I sure hope Bimuno works for you. That would be wonderful!

      Susan from San Diego

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  5. 'it makes me very happy to read articles every day about ways to create a healthy gut'

    What's your favourite sources Tim?

    I've also missed the blog posts

    Rob

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    1. I'm still a big fan of raw potato starch because it's cheap, mixes easily with liquids, and shows good results in study after study and in real life as well. I like eating a diet that contains lots of starchy/leafy veggies, whole grains, and fruit with minimal fatty meats and oils.

      I like to watch how "real people" eat. It seems that when given a choice, the average person will choose deep-fried, breaded meats over a meal based in veggies every time. Or French fries over veggies. Sugary pastry/pie desserts over fruit for dessert. And have you seen how much soda and "sports" drinks people consume?

      Grains, as in oat meal, polenta, whole-grain breads, and seeds are missing from most people's diets. About the only grain people get is in refined flour or breakfast cereal. A bowl of steel-cut oats and a plain potato is a good start for most people. I just do not think people can thrive on the typical SAD diet.

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    2. Thanks for that Tim. Recon I have that mainly nailed down. When I look back my guts have much improved, but I wouldn't call them robust.

      In terms of your reading - where do you frequent? Other than yours I don't know many (any?) decent gut blogs/ resources.

      PS - my homemade kombucha seems to be improving things. I wish I could say the same about kefir - Im still only tolerating 2 tbsp per day.

      Keep up the much appreciated good work.

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    3. I tend to just read links that people send me, lol, but I see even mainstream media outlets, ie. CNN/MSN health articles, Dr. Oz, etc... all discuss gut health and fiber/RS. There is still lots of research being done and reported on PubMed, I like to search through PubMed every couple months for new fiber/gut health studies. I check my blogroll frequently for new posts as well, but I see that my list has dwindled down quite low the past year as bloggers go commercial or start charging to read.

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    4. Cheers Tim, I'll give PubMed a whirl. Its also nice when people get talking on your blogs. The comments can contain a wealth of knowledge!

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    5. Hey Rob - one of my favourite ways to up my fibre is to snack on slices of dried green banana. I just buy a bunch as green as I can get them, slice thin(ish), dry them on the dehydrator or near the wood stove for a day or so. It's stupidly easy. I keep a jar of those near to hand and nibble as the day goes on. No idea how much I eat in a day, it varies, but it keeps my mouth busy and seems to do me some good. They taste, well, kinda almost like nuts. I stir some potato starch into my orange juice most mornings too.

      Tim, remind me, if I grind these into a powder, can I bake them into recipes and not lose the prebiotic fibres?

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    6. Hi Wildcucumber - thanks for the tip. I used to do this with plantains, but they've been difficult to get lately - green bananas much easier.

      Both me and my lad like these - Ill get some fired up again.

      PS - I liked the native American post!

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    7. Rob - yeah that post turned out to be a hit, and there I was afraid some would find it offensive.

      See my comment below Tim's for the other way I used dried bananas.

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  6. I'm afraid that dried bananas and plantains cannot be cooked, must be eaten raw to get the benefits of RS. But, if cooked, they still have lots of other fiber and nutrients.

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    1. Dried green bananas, ground to powder, make a great addition to fake truffles. My "truffles" are just nut butters, honey, cocoa, a bit of whatever dried fruit I have kicking around, and the above powder. No baking or heating, so the RS is intact. Thanks for the reminder Tim.

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    2. I can sometimes get very green plantains here in Alaska, when I see them, I always buy 10-15 and slice then dehydrate to eat as crackers or grind up for recipes. When I did my big RS experiment last year, my homemade dried plantains beat all of the commercial green banana flour products by about 15%. Lol on the "truffles." I make them, too, but have to be careful because I can eat a big batch over a couple days. I usually roll them in balls and keep in the freezer, makes them harder to eat, haha.

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  7. I agree with the other Rob, there are not so many other places to go to when you're interested in gut health, so glad to see a new post here!

    But Tim is right, pubmed is quite good, although it requires plenty of time to sift through.

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  8. On facebook there are 2 sites that I follow, and who regularly post on microbiome issues.

    The Gut Club
    Gut Buddies

    Jo tB

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    1. Thanks for these Jo - I'll check them out

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    2. Thanks Jo, that's great stuff. I don't have Facebook, but it doesn't stop me from viewing Facebook pages like this and benefitting from the material. I do the same with the Ketotard page.

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  9. Here's a nice full-text PubMed article from 2018: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/1/39/htm

    "Fat, Sugar, Whole Grains and Heart Disease: 50 Years of Confusion."

    Bottom-line: Eat more fiber, less fat and sugar. Duh.

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  10. Does anyone have experience with histamine intolerance? Seems like I've finally figured out what's been bothering me the last 1.5 years. When I avoid histamine rich foods, I can breathe clearly through the nose, at least the acute response to food is eliminated then. But I'll get some reaction eventually, I imagine it's when undigested food (or just protein?) reaches the colon, and the gut bugs start producing histamine.

    Is the theory of one reason behind histamine intolerance being an unbalanced microbiome plausible?

    I've ordered some bimuno and B. Longum, supposedly an histamine degrading strain, will see if it makes a difference.

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    1. Sorry, I have not looked much into histamine intolerance. PubMed searches turn up very little and mainstream medicine treats hist intolerance as a hoax, ie.

      "Histamine intolerance (HIT) is a controversial syndrome, in which the body is believed to react to histamine released by certain foodstuffs. Symptoms include among other things headache, urticaria and abdominal discomfort. Several fruits, nuts, spices and food additives have been regarded as pseudoallergens. Since there is no objective investigation to prove HIT, the diagnosis is based on symptoms. On the basis of literature, better clinical studies are needed. Because the phenomenon remains unclear, use of the terms histamine intolerance and pseudoallergens is not recommended." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22667048

      I've read enough that it certainly seems like a real thing, but aside from avoiding certain foods, there is not much known.

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    2. Robert, there is a lady Jasmina Ykelenstam who is a histamine sufferer and runs the website Healing Histamine (used to be called the Histamine Chef) which has extensive information on the subject.

      https://healinghistamine.com/

      Jo tB

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    3. Just having had a look at her site, I came across this post on chicory root (witlof in Dutch)giving all the health benefits of this vegetable. I should eat it more. It reminded me that the high fiber powder INULIN is made from chicory roots.

      https://healinghistamine.com/chicory-root-an-antihistamine-food-for-histamine-intolerance/

      Jo tB

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    4. Thanks Jo, I'll check it out. I have ordered some inulin (FOS) as well, it might help as well.

      Tim, there are a number of different explanations to why it could occur, too many histamine producing gut bacterias is one of them. I'm going to try upping the histamine degrading strains, it certainly won't hurt to cultivate some more bifidos.

      But I'll try some other things as well, quercetin is said to help many. Copper deficiency could be a reason as well. Or simply bad genes.

      But it's more fun to play with the microbiome. Maybe time to try the new Elixa? And combine it with a serious fiber mix...

      Anyway, I surely don't plan to consult a doctor, it's of no use probably. As you say, they would regard it as a hoax.

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    5. Bimuno, which I have taken daily for over a year, stopped all my allergy symptoms. I sincerely hope it helps you as much as me. I noticed the difference in two or three days. BTW, I also take Inulin, chia seeds and ground flaxseeds daily, as well as incorporate beans and other whole food fibers into my diet.

      Susan From San Diego

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    6. Thank you Susan, in fact it was your comment at the potatohack blog that inspired me to order bimuno. Of course, we're all different, and often what works for one person doesn't work for another. But it's certainly worth a try. I've ordered a bunch of supplements and fibers, but I'll try bimuno on its own to see if it has effect.

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    7. Here's an interesting study, explaining why bifidobacterias might help against histamine intolerance and allergies:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18544899
      "Our findings indicate that oral administration of Lac-B showed significant anti-allergic effect through suppression of both H1R and HDC gene expression followed by decrease in H1R, HDC protein level, and histamine content. Suppression of histamine signaling may be a novel target of probiotics in preventing allergic diseases."

      Benadryl blocks H1R receptors, but as seen here, B longum and B infantis not only does that, they also reduce production of histamine (HDC).

      Further evidence:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25045310
      "This study evaluated the efficacy of Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1 (BBG9-1) on antigen-induced nasal symptoms using guinea pig models of allergic rhinitis. Oral administration of BBG9-1 significantly inhibited antigen-induced allergic nasal reactions such as sneezing and nasal obstruction. Our results suggest that BBG9-1 may be useful for alleviating nasal symptoms in patients with allergic rhinitis."

      GOS (bimuno) is supposed to be targeting the growth of bifidos.

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    8. Robert A., Thank you for sharing those papers. Bifidos are obviously so very important to us.

      Susan from San Diego

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    9. A question for Susan, or someone else who have tried GOS:
      I just received my bimuno (although I won't begin taking it yet, I've started quercetin, so I need to be able to separate the effects). Did you follow the recommended dose of one sachet per day? It's seems to be such a small dose, just 2 g of GOS per day. Wouldn't the effect be crowded out by other fiber intake, feeding other bacterias?

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    10. Robert, I use a different brand of GOS that is loose powder. I use only about a teaspoon, which might be 2ish grams. My gut feels that about right. I used to have bad allergies, but haven't had any at all in about 4 years. I can't say it's GOS because I wasn't paying attention then, but my wife does get significant relief when she takes GOS. My wife, however, is not consistent in taking it. I take it every day virtually without fail.

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    11. Robert A, I stir one sachet of Bimuno into my first cup of coffee every morning. As Wilbur said above, without fail.

      Susan from San Diego

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    12. Thanks guys, that's really interesting. It thus seems like GOS can do a lot of good in small doses. Quite impressive.

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  11. This study is fascinating, although on mice (actually the mice aren't studied, their gut bugs are, so results probably relevant):

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5611707/

    A mix of GOS/inulin/soluble/insoluble fibers gave more diversity in the microbiome. Feeding single types of fiber reduced diversity and caused the gut bugs to produce unwanted metabolites, such as TMAO.

    It's been said before, but once again we see that it's best to combine different fibers, in the way fibers are naturally found in natural foods. Beans come to mind, and ideal blend of different fibers.

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    1. Interesting! Yes, always best to eat a variety of fibers, but this is very easy to do. When I was testing my own gut bacteria, the highest diversity I saw was when eating only potatoes. Seems counter-intuitive, but a potato is filled with many different types of fiber and resistant starch. A diet where beans were the primary fiber source would also produce high diversity. What would be bad, in my opinion, is a low-fiber diet, like keto or SAD, supplemented only with an isolated fiber, like potato starch. However, a well-balanced diet that contains 15-20g of various fibers, supplemented with potato starch (or inulin, FOS, etc..) would be very good for the gut.

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    2. When you say it's bad to be low fiber and then add let's say RPS to that, do you mean worse off than a high fiber diet? Or do you actually mean it's worse to add RPS to keto than eating keto without RPS?

      They generally see improvement in fasting BG, sleep, bowel movements etc. There's the TMAO issue of course, the gut bugs might produce it in that context, but there's not really any evidence of TMAO being dangerous.

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    3. Robert, keto is by definition low fiber because in most cases they limit carbs to under 30 grams. If they got them all from leafy green vegetables and not from coconut flour muffins they could be all right. They won't add RPS as it will bump up their carb count, and then they drop out of ketosis, which they don't want. Of course, this affects the composition of the gut flora, and they're back to square one health wise.

      Jo tB

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    4. Jo,

      some low-carbers take potato starch. Question is if that is better than nothing, or are they better off without it? Is an isolated fiber better than no fiber?

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    5. "When you say it's bad to be low fiber and then add let's say RPS to that, do you mean worse off than a high fiber diet? Or do you actually mean it's worse to add RPS to keto than eating keto without RPS?"

      I just meant that I think, based on all of the studies I've read, and personal experience, that it is more advantageous to eat a diet filled with whole, starchy plant matter (potatoes, whole grains, etc.) than to try to supplement fiber while avoiding "carby" foods. From what I gather, the sweet spot for humans is 40-60g per day of total fiber. If all of this came from whole foods, perfect. But, it's really hard to get much over 20g/day eating normally (unless you like raw potatoes and green bananas). I think a good tactic to get 40g+ of fiber is to target whole food fiber and then supplement with a spoonful or two of an isolated fiber such as potato starch, banana flour, or inulin.

      A bowl of oatmeal, a green banana, and a big salad daily will get you close to 30g of fiber. I know that for me, personally, I find it difficult to get 30g in a day unless I eat some very targeted high-fiber foods like oatmeal and green bananas.

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    6. Some insight of Dr Art Ayers might be relevant here. As I interpret it, also relevant is the consistency across time. So there's the cross-section that measures the diversity at a point in time. A meal of beans. Or a meal of potatoes. Variety is goodfor gut diversity in the cross-section, probably a day or two.

      Then there is the time-series. What you eat over a week, a month, a year, or perhaps years. Do you vary your food a lot? Beans and greens one day, pasta and cake the next? Diversity would seem to be bad in time-series. Food for various populations arrive randomly with no chance to organize into a colony.

      The Potato Hack is good on both measures. Lots of nice diverse fermentable carbs cross-sectionally, but no diversity in time-series (just potatoes, day after day).

      So I think this might be where powders (not necessarily all isolated fibers) could play an Important role. I love beans and potatoes, but I'd never eat them more than a few meals a week. But I've taken potato starch, inulin, GOS, PHGG, arabinogalactan, baobab, chia, flaxseed, and so on every day for years. And this maybe 75% of my fiber intake (90g or so?). It's a lot of different things daily, but it's easy to maintain because I can vary the rest of my diet around it. FWIW, I still notice effects on my bathroom habit if I vary my food diet: eating beans or okra after a long of not has fun effects!

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    7. "I love beans and potatoes, but I'd never eat them more than a few meals a week."

      I'm similar - rarely do I seem to find the time to cook beans these days, but what I do is add a lot of "BRM's black bean powder" and also "BRM's garbanza and flava powder" to green smoothies. This get beans into my diet regularly. I also grow and eat a lot of crunchy bean sprouts.

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    8. Wilbur,

      Thanks, that makes sense. And it clears up some confusion and conflicting information I've seen on what's best for diversity. I too find it difficult to eat a staple daily, maybe easier to stick to a fiber blend. I've ordered a blend of inulin, oat brans, psyllium husk, apple fiber and B. Coagulan. What do you think should be added to such a mix?

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    9. MadMax,

      That's a good idea, I have some garbanzo flour (gram flour). But I'm not sure if it's safe to eat raw, is it from cooked beans or raw beans?

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    10. Robert, I understand BRM's bean flours are from roasted beans. For sprouts, I always eat raw, and often blend into smoothies as well. Raw bean sprouts are found in blue zone diets and shouldn't be feared, especially if you are making your own (which everyone should, imo).

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    11. Robert,

      It depends on how you want to go. For isolated fibers, things like GOS, partially hydrogenated guar gum (phgg), glucomannan, and larch arabinogalactan are winners. None do the same thing, but all are shown to be beneficial for some things. But I really like non-isolated powders. Dandelion root powder. Baobab powder. Maca powder, particularly a blend of red, black, and white. Amla powder. Chia seed and flaxseed. Then there are spices you add to your food that are overlooked, like freshly ground peppercorn and cumin. Really, really strong coffee.

      You and MadMax reminded me of something: About a year ago, I learned a new way of cooking beans. First, rehydrate overnight. I'm not sure this step is necessary, but it's the way I do it. Also, it's probably ok to ferment the beans over several days in salted water for an entirely different effect. I plan to try this. Second, roast the beans in a 350'ish oven for a few hours. I'm leaving this vaguee because it depends on a lot of factors. But what you should have is crunchy dried beans. It definitely works with garbanzo beans, pintos, black turtle, and pinto. Pintos are awesome.

      At this stage, you can use them as substitutes for, say, croutons in salads. Or crunchy snacks. We had garbanzos on a carrot tahini salad at a nice dinner, and it took me several months to recreate. Awesome.

      Beans on a road trip!

      Or at this stage I think you could use a food processor to convert to a flour. I don't know how it behaves when rehydrated a second time. But I bet the processed beans would be great over some type of salad.

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    12. Whoops, one of the pintos should have been white beans, like flageolet or Aruba. I tried a runner bean, maybe black,that didn't work. Too thick, I think.

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    13. A few days on my new fiber mix, and I'm loving it! TMI is much better than on potato starch, although a confounding factor could be that the mix is spiked with B. Coagulans. I'm reading the old post here about creating your own fiber mixes, and loving all the good comments also.

      Wilbur, how big of a role does potato starch play in your mix these days? Also, thanks for the suggestions on adding powders and spices, it's a good idea and I'm reading up on the health benefits. Nigella seeds seem nice. How do you take the spices and powders? Just ground up in a glass of water with the other fibers?

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    14. That's great!

      I use several tablespoons of potato starch daily, but as a percentage of my overall mix it's not huge. Hope that's a good answer.

      For spices, it depends. I eat black pepper, cumin, and hot sauce daily. A lot of black pepper. Others like black seed, ginger, and turmeric I don't eat daily. So I might use capsule versions. Study spices carefully because they can interact with other meds or do things like inhibit clotting. I'm channeling wildcucumber here, but listen yo your body. It takes practice, but it will let you know what you need and when. When you had enough and need to quit, or when you need to restart.

      Teas are another way to get spices. Turmeric-ginger is nice. Chai tea. Infinite options here.

      I'm also learning tinctures. Peppermint is my recent fascination, and I've hated paper mint since I was a kid. The universe seems to give me what information I need just as I'm ready for it, and wildcucumber has some recent great posts. So many ways to benefit. But it's all about listening-feeling. It's very hard to describe and takes practice. I think the fiber and the improvement in the gut both re-establish gut-brain communication and make possible the ability to feel what the body needs to perform at its best.

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  12. I recently found two programs on the gut shown on Australia's ABC Catalyst program. They have done several programs on gut health which are all available on You Tube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWvZUFqddbw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgLimUoN3SQ

    Worth watching.

    Jo tB

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  13. Hey Tim, just wanted to stop by and say I appreciate your various blogs and Potato Hack Book. I've learned a lot from you over the past year or so, despite never taking the time to comment or chime in.

    Also...I just completed my first 3 day hack and lost 6 pounds!

    I'm a 29 year old male who started the hack at 210, and after 3 days, ended it at 204. I'm fairly tall and muscular, so 195-200 is a pretty good target weight for me, but over the past few years I've seen weight slowly creep up on me and it's been hard to manage. Strangely enough, every year I'd promise myself to "paleo harder", and yet, that only made the issues worse. I now feel much better eating starches and more carbohydrates.

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