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Books, Documentaries, Reviews: Sally Fallon Morell’s Thumbs Down Review of Robb Wolf’s THE PALEO SOLUTION

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  January 28, 2014

Sally Fallon Morell’s Thumbs Down Review

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Robb Wolf’s THE PALEO SOLUTION:  THE ORIGINAL HUMAN DIET

 

In the fall 2013, in Wise Traditions, the journal of The Weston A. Price Foundation, Sally Fallon Morell gives Robb Wolf’s version of the Paleo diet a THUMBS DOWN.

Why?

Here’s Morel’s summation:

The fact is, while The Paleo Solution diet contains plenty of meat, it is just another version of food puritanism–a diet so lean, dry and deficient that it is impossible to follow and bound to lead to health problems.  No “paleolithic” or traditional culture ever ate this way, and we shouldn’t either.”

One problem Morell has is that Wolf, while saying that saturated fat has been demonized, stresses monounsaturated fats and LEAN meat–which can lead to something called “rabbit starvation“–characterized by, writes Morell, “muscle wasting, lethargy, diarrhea and eventually death if one relied too heavily on lean game animals such as rabbits”–which is what Morell claims Wolf’s diet does.  

Morell notes that Artic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who described rabbit starvation, noted that “primative peoples never ate lean meat”:  “according to Stefansson, the diet of the Eskimo and North American Indian did not exceed 20 percent protein, with the remaining 80 percent of calories, as fat.”  (Wolf cites Stefansson’s work.)

Saturated fat is where the fat soluble vitamin A resides.  Morell writes:  “Our bodies need saturated fat in large amounts–to build cell membranes (which need to be at least 50 percent saturated to work properly) and to support hormone formation and the immune system.”

Morell notes that there are two major dangers with Wolf’s “Paleo” diet.  First, the  high protein content and the recommended 2,000 to 5,000 IU of Vitamin D daily can rapidly deplete vitamin A in the body–which sets in place a serious health situation.  Second, the deficiency of saturated fat combined with low consumption of carbohydrates means the body cannot use carbohydrates to compensate for the lack of saturated fats.

Morell claims that Wolf’s stance on grains and nuts/seeds is inconsistent.  Grains are not ok, but nuts/seeds are–based on Wolf’s understanding of the role of palmitic acid.  Yet both grains and nuts/seeds contain palmitic acid writes Morell.  And she undertakes a very nuanced discussion of palmitic acid that more or less refutes Wolf’s claims that it is dangerous.  (Recent research also refutes the connection of palmitic acid and heart disease.)

Nor can Morell find a problem with raw milk or dairy from raw milk–which Wolf forbids.  Morell sites a number of nomadic people who thrive on dairy–an argument I’ve always found persuasive.

Wolf claims lacto-fermented foods contain too much salt and are not worth the hassle–which I’m sure represents a misunderstanding of these super foods.

So….

I personally liked–as I wrote some time back–Wolf’s attempts at showing how nomadic paleo peoples fared better healthwise than settled agricultural peoples.  And, like Luise Light’s work, I think we are eating waaaayyyy too many grains every day.   And there may be a problem with modern wheat.  But there are a lot of other grains…  We do need to prepare them properly.

I like the focus Paleo Diets have put on eating traditionally–as many of the traditional foods have been demonized or lost.  Since moving to Maine and getting back in touch with traditional foods, I have held a place for saturated fats, raw dairy, fermented foods, and good meats in my diet.  I also eat a lot of vegetables, avoiding the starchier ones except as treats, and I have a genetic gluten intolerance gene, so do better avoiding gluten.  And when I eat too many gluten-free substitutes, my joints start hurting.

As I’ve written before, when a group starts to take a diet out of its context (macrobiotic, Mediterranean, Paleo), not all of the parts translate–and we just get an Americanized version that’s something new again.  What Wolf has done is to not really lose his fear of fat…

Morell takes on a client  Wolf describes:  Charlie, who is trying to follow Wolf’s diet, but is listless.  What does he need to eat?  Charlie is suffering from rabbit starvation on Wolf’s diet, writes Morell.  And,

The truth is, his diet is terrible.  Desperate for fats, his body craves sugar.  His paleo diet has depleted him of vitamin A, needed for mental function and the formation of stress and sex hormones.  Poor Charlie needs more than blackout curtains [for dark, to sleep]–he needs rich, nourishing foods including butter, cream, bone broths, properly prepared grains, organ meats and cod liver oil.  Raw whole milk before bedtime is a wonderful, soothing food to induce sleep.  Calcium and tryptophan in milk help the body manufacture sleep-inducing melatonin–but Wolf insists we can get all the calcium we need from vegetables and fruit.

There’s more, of course.  If you’re interested, you can read the review for yourself.

http://www.westonaprice.org/thumbs-down-reviews/the-paleo-solution-byrobb-wolf

Turkey Tracks: Learning to Love Liver: A Simple Chicken Liver Pate

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Turkey Tracks:  January 28, 2014

Learning to Love Liver:  A Simple Chicken Liver Pate

 

I like the Radiant Life Company.

I order Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil from them on a regular basis.  It’s the ONLY cod liver oil that has not been overly processed and had its vitamins added back–making those oils a human concoction based on guesswork.

Anyway, the Radiant Life Company has a blog now that is putting up some good recipes.

I love liver!

But chicken livers are probably my favorite.  Maybe followed by lamb’s liver.  And then, cow liver.  The cow liver I cook with onions and bacon and add in swirls of cream at the end to help make a sauce.  It’s important not to overcook liver.

And chicken liver pate—-for me, it’s divine if made right.

Unfortunately, my generation is probably the last one that actually eats liver.  It’s been so demonized.  And that is a real loss as we are no longer eating nose to tail with animals.  We’re eating their muscle meat, a habit which has its own set of problems.  Liver is so chock full of good things for the human body.  But, of course, you want the livers of animals that have been pastured and grass fed, etc.

If all else fails, put dessicated liver tablets–found in any supplement store–into your diet.

But, take a chance and try this recipe and see if you don’t like it…

Radient Life Company:  Learning to Love Liver: A Simple Chicken Liver Pate.

http://blog.radiantlifecatalog.com/bid/69319/Learning-to-Love-Liver-A-Simple-Chicken-Liver-Pate

Written by louisaenright

January 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Turkey Tracks: Quilting Celtic Solstice and UNBROKEN

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Turkey Tracks:  July 26, 2014

Quilting “Celtic Solstice” and Unbroken

I spent most of Friday and Saturday quilting “Celtic Solstice.”

On Friday I had a perfect storm of problems with thread breaking and tired and discouraged, I walked away and wrote to the long-arm quilters on the Facebook site dedicated to quilters making this 2013 mystery quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter.  (See earlier posts on this whole process.  Bonnie releases a mystery quilt design every year the day after Thanksgiving, and I’ve had such fun making this quilt that I suspect I’ll make this quilting with Bonnie every year.)

Anyway, the long-arm quilters came back with a host of suggestions–some I knew, some were new and very helpful.  And, on Saturday, with renewed energy, rested, and ready to go, I started again.  I did not have one bit of trouble and finished the quilt, trimmed it up, sewed on the binding, and cheered.

Here I am starting out–before the perfect storm.  I listen to music while quilting as I can’t always hear words over the noise of the long arm

Here are a few blocks quilted–with a medium green.  I didn’t want a thread color that took away from the quilt itself.

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Above you can see the two blocks that make up the quilt.  Bonnie designed the one on the left, and it’s in a book of 100 blocks published, I think, by Quiltmaker magazine.

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While piecing or cutting, I am now listening to Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken.  It’s the story of an Olympic runner (1938 in Germany) who is a bombardier on a B24 (flying coffin) in the Pacific theater.  I’ve learned so much about this plane and about running in the 1930s in the opening chapters.  And about Pacific sharks and the men’s terror of being captured by the Japanese.  I’m pretty sure both of these “guns on the wall” are going to make their appearance shortly.

My father–Jammie Mendall Philpott– flew B17s over Germany and was a decorated pilot.  These men were so brave…  And, often, such sitting ducks against enemy fighter planes or ground fire.  The crew loss in the Pacific–just to accidents or plane failure, not the enemy–was a shock.  And unlike Europe, the vast stretches of open ocean and little tiny islands made finding a downed crew a miracle.

Turkey Tracks: Diva Update

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Turkey Tracks:  January 26, 2014

Diva Update

Today has been bright and sunny, if cold.  It was 18º when I cleaned out the chicken coop around noon.  After I had emptied the coop of old bedding, I discovered that the bench top where I store birdseed and chicken bedding was frozen shut–but I was able to pry it open with the trusty trowel that I keep at hand.  Fortunately I had an extra bale of chicken bedding in the garage if I had not been able to get the bench top open.   But, I had not thought of testing that bench top before emptying the coop…

Before going out, I cleaned out Diva Queenie’s kitchen box while she strolled around the kitchen.  This is a daily task, and I wash the towels every two days with hot water, good soap, and bleach.

Here’s a little video–you can see her feet have healed nicely and that her neck and head are healing and that she is quite perky:

Here’s Queenie’s kitchen box all clean for the day:

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I put a clean towel in the box each day, over the newspaper layers, as it gives some traction for her feet.

Do you know what all the chickens love best in this whole world?

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Mealy worms are full of fat and protein.

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Here’s Queenie back in her kitchen box with the window screen holding her inside:

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Written by louisaenright

January 26, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Turkey Tracks: Thats Nuts! A Complete Guide to Soaking Nuts and Seeds

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Turkey Tracks:  January 26, 2014

That’s Nuts!

A Complete Guide to Soaking Nuts and Seeds

 

This posting from Radiant Life came in on my email a few days ago, and I thought I’d pass it along.

Soaking nuts and seeds is very important as these foods contain chemical elements (phytates) that can seriously hinder your body’s ability to absorb much-needed nutrients.

This “recipe” uses the oven to dry out soaked seeds.  I use a dehydrator–less chance to burn delicate nuts and seeds.

http://blog.radiantlifecatalog.com/bid/69542/That-s-Nuts-A-Complete-Guide-to-Soaking-Nuts-and-Seeds

Written by louisaenright

January 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Turkey Tracks: “Clamlicious” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  January 24, 2014

“Clamlicious” Quilt

 

This little quilt has been my hand project for months, over the course of, literally, hundreds of hours, so there is a bittersweetness to the moment of finishing it.

I started the quilt back in July.  The clamshells were hand-sewn.  And the quilt is hand-quilted (something I have not done for some years).  I did put the borders and binding on with the machine.

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I outlined each clam shell–and didn’t worry to much about the perfection of my quilting.  This quilt is still meant to be used and loved.

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The fabric was collected by Susan Barry, who was an amazing, wonderful quilter.  When she died some years back now, her fabric stash was sold at Coastal Quilters and the money made was donated to our local hospital’s cancer wing.   Susan, herself, put together this little collection of fabrics, and they drew my eye as being really nice for a baby quilt.

Here are the inner and outer borders.  I got carried away with the pleasure of hand-sewing on the pink rose trellis border and quilted the whole grid.  Mercy!

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What to do for binding?  I finally went back to the blue to bring the center of the quilt out to the edges…

The backing was from my stash and chosen to be forgiving to my quilting–you can’t see it at all on the backing unless you catch the backing in a certain light that shows the stitches.  I might do the backing over in order to show the stitching as it turned out to be pretty good after so many years.  It’s like riding a bicycle.  And I use a quilting spoon and very short needles.

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This quilt is as soft as butter to the touch.

It’s No. 93, so I am homing in on my 100th quilt.

 

Written by louisaenright

January 24, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: Patricia Cornwell’s PREDATOR

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  January 24, 2014

Patricia Cornwell’s Predator

I downloaded and listened to this book from our Maine Library System.

I thought I’d try out a Cornwell as I’d heard off and on over the years that her books were good and are centered around a very cool woman forensic scientist, Kate Scarpetta.

Remember that I’d just finished P.D. James’ Devices and Desires and thoroughly enjoyed it.

After James, the Cornwell is a real letdown.

The characters seem really stereotypical, for one thing.  For another, much of the “plot” revolved around being inside the bad person’s head while perfectly horrible, terrible, scary, gory, inhumane acts took place–and all from a the always-very-rare serial killer.  Or, inside the victim’s head while they are being tortured.

Who on earth would want those kinds of images in their heads?

James kills people and has them do insane things all right.  But the Cornwell is different.  The experience felt very voyeuristic, and, frankly, not at all interesting.  Just…gory.  The story made me feel…dirty.

There is nothing of James’ elegance, or depth, or attention to the nuances of people in all their complexity.

It’s probably unfair to damn a writer from one book–especially when there are so many here from this writer–but I won’t go back to this well until I totally run out of other books to enjoy.

I worry about the United States with all its engagement with these kinds of stories…over and over and over again–and especially when they are visual as with television/movies.

And, good heavens!  The Grimm Fairy Tales certainly are…grim.   There’s plenty of blood.  But Cornwell and all the forensic shows are something different yet again.  There’s something here that does not just create express horror at what all a twisted person can do, but which, instead, begins to inure one to what should remain terrible.  In this process, the boundaries just get pushed further and further into the truly…rare and terrible.

Written by louisaenright

January 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Interesting Information: New Breakthrough: Roundup DOES Harm Humans

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Interesting Information:  January 21, 2013

New Breakthrough:  Roundup® DOES Harm Humans

 

Roundup®, which is mostly the chemical glyphosate, is “the most popular herbicide used on the planet,” according to Stephanie Seneff, PhD, in “Roundup®:  The `Nontoxic’ Chemical that May Be Destroying our Health,” Wise Traditions, Fall 2013, 30-38.

Roundup® is produced by Monsanto (it went off patent in 2000), and Monsanto has claimed that Roundup® is nontoxic for humans–even though glyphosate is “an established endocrine disruptor.”

Yet, there are many real-world examples of people sickened in all kinds of ways by exposure to Roundup.   But up to now, that I know of, there’s not be an explanation for HOW glyphosate affects humans that can stand up to industry’s insistence on using it.

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The “nontoxic for humans” argument is that glyphosate kills weeds by “interfering with what is called the shikimate pathway–which is “essential in plants for the synthesis of a class of amino acids called the `aromatics.’ ”

The shikimate pathway is “nonexistent in any mammalian cell.”

BUT, BUT, BUT…AND HERE’S THE BREAKTHROUGH–“all of the microbes that take up residence in our digestive tract do have this shikimate pathway, and exposure to glyphosate…will cause them serious stress as a consequence.”

And, hopefully, each of you has become aware of the rapidly increasing knowledge of how important these gut “flora and fauna” are to human health.  And, how, if the opportunistic microbes get out of balance in our systems (sugar), they can be a real wrecking crew to your health.  This knowledge is the basis of Natasha Campbell-McBride’s work with the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome).

Studies have shown that glyphosate disrupts the gut bacteria in chickens, cows, and pigs, causing inflammation in the gut along with an overgrowth of pathogenic forms and concurrent loss of beneficial bacteria.  It is now becoming apparent that our gut bacteria, which outnumber our own cells by a factor of ten to one, play many important roles in supplying nutrients and protecting us from toxins.  There’s also an intricate connection between the gut and the brain, such that an unhealthy digestive system translates into pathologies in the brain.

AND we are NOT healthy in America–likely at least in part because we–unlike western Europe–are awash with chemicals like glyphosate.

Despite spending nearly two and a half times as much on health care as our peer nations, the U.S. lags behind many of these other nations in basic metrics like infant mortality and life expectancy.  The most recent figures for infant mortality place the U.S. at number forty-six, behind Cuba and Guam.  Clearly we are doing something wrong, and our wholesale embrace of GMOs is an obvious candidate.

Autism used to be rare, affecting one in ten thousand children.  The latest numbers put out by the CDC in March 2013, show one in fifty.  This is an alarming number, and, what is even more alarming is how quickly the number has been rising in recent years.

Ninety percent of the GMO crops (GMO corn, soy, cotton, sugar beets, and canola) are engineered to be “Roundup Ready,” which means that they can be sprayed with Roundup and they will happily soak it up into their tissues.  The practice of “desiccating”crops like wheat and sugar cane just before the harvest by spraying them with Roundup is also becoming more and more popular as a way to reduce the amount of vegetation that needs to be cleared in preparation for planting next year’s crop.  These two changes in agricultural practices almost certainly mean that Roundup is entering our food supply in record amounts.

Here’s more on the mechanics of why the shikimate pathway in our gut microbes affect us, but it’s not the whole description Seneff discusses as it is complex and too long to synthesize here:

Plants and microbes use the shikimate pathway to produce the aromatic amino acids, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine.  Because they don’t have this pathway, mammals can’t produce these essential nutrients, and therefore we depend on plants and microbes to provide them for us.  So it is logical that glyphosate, by interfering with this pathway, would lead to a deficiency in these nutrients.  Tryptophan is the sole precursor to serotonin, and serotonin deficiency is implicated in a litany of diseases and conditions that are prevalent today, including autism, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, suicide, and homicidal behavior.  Serotonin is an appetite suppressant so it’s hard not to overeat when it is in short supply.

Autism is associated with two comorbidities that may yield hints as to its underlying etiology:  disrupted gut bacteria and impaired sulfur metabolism.  A characteristic feature of children with autism is an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria in the gut, which can lead to neurological defects arising from exposure of the brain to toxins produced by these bacteria.

Two pathogens exist in our gut, and they can play a beneficial role if kept under control by other microbes:  Clostridia difficile and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  (Both are “causing a major crisis in hospitals in the U.S. and elsewhere due to their increased prevalence and multiple antibiotic resistance.)  Pseudomonas aeruginosa can metabolize glyphosate.  BUT, formaldehyde, “a known carcinogen and neurotoxin,” is the by-product.  Clostridia diff. is a yeast pathogen that thrives on sugar.  It can punch holes in your gut that let food particles escape into the bloodstream which, in turn, cause all sorts of food allergies and autoimmune problems.  BUT, in terms of autism, Seneff has a long, involved explanation of how this pathogen is connected to sulfate transport and autism.

So, what can you do?

Eat organic foods.  Refuse to buy industrially grown, poisoned, monocrop, and/or GMO foods.  Insist on labeling of GMO foods.  And tell people who question WHY, what’s at stake.

And you can also tell them that chronic illnesses are incredibly, incredibly expensive.

Dr. Seneff works at the intersection of technology and biology.  She is a Senior Research Scientist at MITs Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.  She has a Bachelor’s degree from MIT in biology with a minor in food and nutrition, and her PhD from MIT is in computer science.  She has done groundbreaking work with the importance of sulfur in foods humans eat–and sulfur has seriously diminished with industrially grown produce.

Here’s her heavily researched article in total–where you can see all her citations:

Roundup: The “Nontoxic” Chemical that May Be Destroying our Health – Weston A Price Foundation.

Turkey Tracks: Look Who Came To Live With Me!

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Turkey Tracks:  January 19, 2014

Look Who Came To Live With Me!

Isn’t she beautiful?

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I’ve thought about her since October.

She’s the sister of the doll I sent my granddaughter for her birthday.  And this sister comes with her own baby!

I called Becky Morse of Gallery on the Lake in Greenville, Maine, and she had not sold her yet.  Becky packed her up and mailed her to me this past week.

I am in awe of whomever it is who is making these dolls.

This one will stay with me until my granddaughter’s baby sister is old enough for her.  Three years, I think.  Which means I can have her until then.

Written by louisaenright

January 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Turkey Tracks: Quilt Projects

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Turkey Tracks:  January 19, 2014

QUILT PROJECTS

I promised you pictures of the blocks I’m (mostly) hand sewing for a quilt–from Material Obsession 2.

Here are two blocks finished:

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And here’s one in progress:

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They are so much fun to work on.

Here is what my design wall looks like at the moment–now that Celtic Solstice if down:

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The red and green quilt and the brown quilt at the top are leader/ender projects.  And, for play, I made a fish block yesterday and cut out a few more blocks…

When I finish quilting “Sails Up” and “Celtic Solstice,” the fish quilt will become a primary task.

The trip to Alewives’ BIG sale (quilt store) was fun yesterday.  Lunch out was, too.  We got home just as the snow started coming down in earnest.

I bought two greens and 7 yards of this ORANGE backing for Celtic Solstice.  The dark green will be a border, and the light green the binding.  The orange just seemed…to fit the quilt.

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So…one more border for Celtic Solstice and then, quilting.

What a fun project this Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt has been.

Written by louisaenright

January 19, 2014 at 3:09 pm