not serving paleo

Tecfidera invitation--love  that safety info

Tecfidera invitation–love that safety info

I received this invitation to a MS Smart Session in the mail the other day. It’s an advertisement for Tecfidera;, the new pill for the treatment of MS.

Yes, my neurologist put me on their patient list. Yes, I’ve received their little info kit, and yes, they continue to call and ask when I’m going to begin taking their drug and start handing over a startling amount of money for the privilege (Tecfidera’s wholesale cost is nearly $55K/year; your insurance decides how much you “contribute”).

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The Big Fat Surprise

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  • This book lays out the scientific case for why our bodies are healthiest on a diet with ample amounts of fat and why this regime necessarily includes meats, eggs, butter, and other animal foods high in saturated fat.

I loved this book. It is full of research, citations, personal interviews, etc. detailing the facts surrounding how our diet content has been swayed and manipulated for the last 50 years.

From the perspective of a scientist, the recounting deeply disturbed me. It embarrassed me because the way data was fudged, squelched, buried, and ignored is not how the science I was involved with was accomplished or undertaken.

This said, I’ve worked in academia…within the ivory towers with all of the control freaks and over-sized egos. I, unfortunately, can easily see and believe how this travesty took place.

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Grain Brain

2014-06-09 17.50.27I’m paleo; it’s no secret. Because of this, reading Dr. David Perlmutters’s book, Grain Brain, was an easy sell. We’re not big carb eaters, and I don’t consume any type of sugar except for the occasional taste of dark chocolate. I also carry HLA-DQ2 and anti-gliadin antibodies; I’m, obviously, gluten-free.

The amount of information contained in this book is simply astounding. The listing of scientific citations is most impressive, and it definitely served to activate my inner-geek. Of all the quotes, however, I think I like this one the best:

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edible education

An absolutely brilliant article by Alice Waters, The Fate of Our Nation Rests on School Lunches.

  • The idea of school lunch as an egalitarian mechanism to nourish our nation’s potential has long been discarded and devalued. We are faced with an enormous crisis of health, education and inequality.
  • We need to have the courage and conviction to establish a nutritious, sustainable, free school-lunch program for all.

Her video, above, speaks volumes with the young expressions being the most compelling feature. These kids are having a great time learning about food, where it comes from, how to prepare it, and how it sustains them. This is change we NEED.

extra credit:
What’s in It?: The Domino’s Smart Slice Goes to School
Former USDA Child Nutrition Director Resigns in Protest from School Nutrition Association
Michelle Obama Pledges To ‘Fight Until The Bitter End’ For Lunch Standards
Paul Ryan’s heartless idiocy: How to defeat GOP’s school lunch politics

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smile

Not that I thought it would be terribly useful information, but I was holding out hope for a list that at least included soda pop and sugar-laden breakfast cereals. Instead we have those treacherous avocados. Just goes to show you that “most dangerous” is in the eye of the beholder. Hmm, leaky gut or a sliced hand? Go ahead. Click the green button on the bagel pic and “view slideshow”.

It did make me smile which goes to show that I probably read too much science and health-related information about how bad what most humans eat is for them.

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fatty liver

This morning’s NY Times contains a very disturbing article: Threat Grows From Liver Illness Tied to Obesity.

Medical professionals have been predicting this problem as they watched our collective waistlines balloon. The problem we speak of is “fatty liver”:

  • Doctors say that the disease, which causes the liver to swell with fat, is particularly striking because it is nearly identical to the liver damage that is seen in heavy drinkers. But in this case the damage is done not by alcohol, but by poor diet and excess weight.

The article contains quotes from several afflicted people:

  • With no drugs to offer him, Gavin’s doctor warned that the only way to reverse his fatty liver was to exercise and change his diet. “They told me to stay away from sugar and eat more fruits and vegetables,” Gavin (13 years-old) said. “But it’s hard.”

Now, one can be unsympathetic to “it’s hard,” but for a 13-year old boy who probably isn’t in control of what is put on the table, you can see the dilemma. He eats what is put in front of him whether it be at home or at school.

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neuro-regeneration

I remember when I was diagnosed with MS in 1991. Being a scientist, I read everything I could about the disease and the process by which we believed it operated and took apart the nervous system. The thought was that remyelination and adult neuronal repair was not possible. I never believed that. As a trained biologist, it simply didn’t make sense, so I kept believing otherwise.

I’ve witnessed my body repair itself over the years. My initial deficits were on my right side. Those no longer bother me, and current issues are now on my left side. I could at one time fish tea bags from scalding water—that is, thankfully, no longer the case.

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Gluten Freedom

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Dr. Alessio Fasano’s book, Gluten Freedom, is phenomenal. From the seemingly endless useful tips and references for those of us who must be gluten-free, the painstakingly simple explanations of the science, detailed difference between allergy/sensitivity/celiac, bountiful recipes, personal stories, and heart-felt recounting of the evolution of his Center for Celiac Research, it is a must read for anyone with gluten issues or anyone who knows someone who is afflicted.

For the closet scientists, his work is beautiful. See page 104 discussing tTG isoforms for proof.

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school lunches

The struggle continues as the House Committee votes to allow schools to opt out of the nutritional program mandated by the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. Somehow we’re not surprised by this action. How much money do you think changed hands for those votes?

It seems, however, that things are just about to get interesting.

• The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing next Thursday on reauthorization of the child nutrition programs, including school meals, a full year before those programs need to be reauthorized.
• Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., supports the healthier meal rules, and her decision to hold the hearing a year early seems to be a reaction to the House proposal.

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