Monthly Archives: March 2012

W3D5 – Folate Good, Folic Acid Bad

Kind of dry, but important nonetheless.

Folate vs Folic Acid


W3D4 – Moussaka

Today’s lunch is Moussaka, with GF Ground Beef in lieu of Lamb.

And your reading for the day is an illuminating explanation of the “Obesity Epidemic” from a researcher in the field:

Seduced by Food: Obesity and the Human Brain

W3D2 – On Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are your friend. It’s a special kind of friendship, in that you should eat them (1,2,3).

The bullet points:

  • Potatoes (both white and sweet) are great sources of “safe starch”.
  • You should avoid the skins (especially on white potatoes) due to glycoalkaloid content.
  • Organic is best, especially for white potatoes.
  • Sweets may be a better option, because white potatoes have been shown to interfere with human gene expression (this may or may not be a terrible thing – we’re not really sure yet).
  • Check out their nutritional profile below.


W3D1 – Fajita Frittata

Today’s meal is a fajita frittata, and it looks delicious.


I would like to introduce you to a wonderful (and comprehensive) series on achieving perfect health. Enjoy!

9 Steps to Perfect Health:

  1. Don’t Eat Toxins
  2. Nourish Your Body
  3. Eat Real Food
  4. Supplement Wisely
  5. Heal Your Gut
  6. Manage Your Stress
  7. Move Like Your Ancestors
  8. Sleep More Deeply
  9. Practice Pleasure

Nine steps seems like kind of a lot to get a handle on – especially compared to the promises of 6-minute abs and the fountain of youth that is a glass of red wine per day. Fortunately, you have your whole life to get this stuff nailed down; just make sure to be moving in the right direction most of the time.

W2D5 – On Sleep

The weekend is just about upon us – here’s hoping that you’ll dedicate a good portion of it to sleep.

Apologies for the brevity of this post.

W2D3 – Don’t Read This Near Meal Time

Work (and life) got in the way a bit and I have nothing prepared for today’s post. So instead, I’ll direct you to an article I like from one of my favorite sites. Enjoy!

Does Meat Rot In Your Colon?

W2D1 – On Vegetarianism

Today we’re back at it with salmon, rice, and shredded brussels sprouts. Pretty similar to last Monday’s meal, and I apologize, but fish is good for you, is best on Mondays, and Salmon is widely available / palatable to most.

Since we already learned about how great fish is – and I don’t have much desire to talk about brussels sprouts – let’s talk about carnivory (or lack thereof) instead.

Thanks to everyone who filled out the first week wrap-up survey, you provided invaluable feedback. One respondent requested some meatless options once or twice a week.

My first thought when I hear talk about eschewing meat is this or thisBasically, vegetables are animal food, animals are people food.

The fact of the matter is that some people are going to be vegetarians, and that’s ok. In fact, a vegetarian diet can still be a healthy one, as I outline in this post.

So, moving forward, we’ll shoot for two “meat-optional” meals per week.

I’d be remiss not to mention that modern wide-scale meat production (CAFOs, chicken houses, and the like) is well worth protesting, and talking with your dollars is the best way to be heard (sometimes they even get the message!). That’s part of the reason we are buying responsibly-sourced meat for our meals. 

W1D5 – First Week Wrap-Up

So far this week, we’ve covered some benefits of the real food we’ve been eating. Just as important though, are the benefits of avoiding the processed food products we haven’t been eating.

The Big Three Things We Haven’t Eaten:

  1. “Vegetable” Oil
  2. Wheat
  3. Added Sugar

Press on for some of the reasoning behind avoiding these three “neolithic agents of disease” as they’re sometimes called.

“Vegetable” Oil

You may have noticed that I keep putting vegetable in quotations. I do this because “vegetable oil” is quite a misnomer:

Not to mention that, with the exception of fruits like olive and coconut (and a few oddballs like cold-pressed peanut oil), all “vegetable” oils are extracted using the poisonous solvent hexane—and this chemical process is responsible for over two-thirds of the hexane emissions in the United States. Soybean processing facilities emit a gallon of hexane for each ton of soybeans processed—which means a large soy processing plant emits over five million pounds of hexane per year!

Even more importantly, hexane processing strips the remaining nutrients from the oil, and turns a significant quantity of polyunsaturated fats into inflammatory, artery-clogging trans fats! (Anywhere from 0.5% to 4.2% of the total, according to this paper…and you won’t see them on the nutrition label, either.) Since replacing just 2% of calories with dietary trans fat is associated with a doubling of death risk from cardiovascular disease, this is a significant health issue.

“Vegetable oil” isn’t a food. It’s an industrial product, and it has no place in our diet.

“Vegetable” Oil has a few other problems as well. Being primarily MUFA and PUFA, it is highly unstable (vulnerable to oxidation), and as such, shouldn’t be stored at room temperature in clear bottles (like at the grocery store) or heated (like in most restaurants in the country). Also, the majority of that PUFA is of the Omega-6 variety, which as we learned on Monday, is pro-inflammatory.

In the future, use this article to decide which oils to use.


First, go learn a little bit about wheat. (This is an excerpt from a book reprinted on a blog).

Second, read about two gluten studies.

Third, take in this “Case for Going Gluten-Free“.

Fourth, check out this study that showed elevated inflammatory markers in non-coeliac subjects in response to gliadin (a glycoprotein in wheat).

And if you’re still not convinced there may be something here, review this study titled “Gluten Causes Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Subjects without Celiac Disease“.

From the abstract:

On a visual analog scale, patients were significantly worse with gluten within 1 week for overall symptoms (P=0.047), pain (P=0.016), bloating (P=0.031), satisfaction with stool consistency (P=0.024), and tiredness (P=0.001).

Added Sugar

Definitely the least detrimental of the three in my opinion, but still not your friend; the issue with added sugar is primarily large doses of fructose.

The Bottom Line

I’ve found that a very productive way to approach your diet is the following:

Only eat foods that improve your health.

You can argue all day about whether the big three above really damage your health (they do), but it doesn’t matter. At the very least, they are displacing other foods in your diet that could actually be improving your health.

So throw out the french fries, bagels, and soda – and eat some real food instead.