Monday, November 22, 2004


A picture I took today, of leaves that looked like they were glued to the pavement, and almost transparent:


I would have just posted it here, but the formatting would not permit it. The picture was too large.

I'll figure out a way to do that later.

Ambitions of... .... ... .FOOD?

From Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary:

An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.

Or, as I like to say, "It's easy to get people to hate you. Just pass in front of their field of vision." There's a direct relationship between visibility and extremity of the reactions people have to you.

Given that, why am I trying to write in public?

I'm not sure. I'll have to think on that one.

ADD notes: Had a close call at work last week, and now I'm doing much better productivity-wise. I won't go into the personal details. Suffice to say, it's a rarity that I avoid disaster in such fine style.

A part of the reason why I'm doing so much better today than I was last week is movement. I began exercising again, over the weekend. For someone with foggy-brainitis (and a relatively small person who nonetheless has the medication resistance of a bull elephant), working out has become essential. My brain was staggering along quite well up until a few weeks ago on daily walks and large doses of caffeine, but then the rain struck, I stopped walking for several days in a row, I started this blog, and then work dwindled away to nothing.

So tonight we'll blog a little blog about fitness, ADD, diet, and apolitical (but nonetheless frequently religious) things like that.

I was delighted when a friend online gave me the link to this site, a training site for women who want to power lift, and just a dash of women's studies philosophy on the side.

I'll go ahead and weigh in on this: I like the idea of women's studies, and frankly, this particular woman seems to have her head screwed on straight. I also like the idea of men's studies, though. I would be very happy if we could do a bit of objective study on the sexes without a furor arising from every quarter of the world. I don't actually consider myself a woman, most of the time. I consider myself an entity in the body and mind of a woman. And frankly, that body and that mind frequently do things that make no sense. More study, please! I appreciate all the study I can get.

One of the things I really like about Krista is her approach to dieting. All my life, despite my own weight problems, I have had a tendency to avoid diets like hazardous waste. It wasn't the idea of dieting itself; more just the automatic repugnance I felt toward the attitude of the many, many, many, MANY MANY female friends and relatives who swore by diet after diet and spent their entire lives obsessed with their weight. Of course, these days I'm obsessed with my own, so what do I know? :) I do at least consider it a minor victory that I made it through this culture and into my mid-twenties before deciding to obsess over what I was eating.

In early college, I read all the way through Protein Power by the Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades. I highly recommend the book (as a book, not as a religious text). It's liberally dosed with facts and case studies, and frankly, whenever the authors say something they're not sure of, they say, "We're not sure about this," which rather nullifies any cultish effect it might otherwise have.

I, personally, had a very good experience with Ray Audette's Neanderthin book and diet plan. The idea of the paleolithic diet appealed to me on a very basic level; it was a stripped-down, unprocessed version of a low-carb diet with fewer rules but stricter. I found it more motivating to look at a chocolate bar and say, "That's poison, my body will have an allergic obesity reaction to it," than to say, "That has 50 effective grams of carbs and it will push me back into intervention stage of blah blah blah..." I stayed on that diet for six months straight, and lost thirty pounds, and then was forced to get off it again when I lost a job and my money ran low. Fresh meats and veggies are simply pricier than stale mac'n'cheese, alas.

Of course I gained all the weight back.

I did take a few things with me after dieting so strictly. For one thing, I've never quite gotten back into the habit of bread. Somehow, it tastes like pulpy paper going down, now. And it inevitably turns my stomach into a vat of acid. Then, there's milk: I used to love milk and cheese, and now I can barely tolerate the stuff, and milk... well... drinking milk just seems ridiculous to me. Why would I want cow juice? Nevermind the fact that I'm genetically privileged to be one of the peoples on this planet who drank milk for a few dozen thousand years earlier than all the other peoples, thus rendering me less prone to lactose intolerance. I just don't get it anymore. And cheese tastes like rubber most of the time. The only dairy product I really like these days, still, is ice cream. Ah... I have no clue about that one.

Unless I'm much mistaken, the Neanderthin site still sucks. *checks*

Oh, no, they've changed it! They've finally updated the site! How exciting!

And they're selling pemmican! With ALL GRASS-FED BEEF AND BEEF TALLOW!


Oh, you'd probably have to have done the diet to understand. Pemmican is something that very quickly becomes addictive. I have my own tub of beef tallow -- purchased from a soap supplies place, since not many people seem too familiar with pemmican materials marketing -- and I just bought some dried cherries and other fruits recently in anticipation of making a batch soon. The tub holds 20 gallons. Which is good, because otherwise I'd be tempted to buy some of that online pemmican, and I do not need to go and put $82 down the snack-hole.

But, oh, I'd still love to pick up some grass-fed buffalo steaks.

Neanderthin is a very short book, and a very easy read. The facts are kept a bit spare, compared to Protein Power (whose authors endorse Audette's program, incidentally), but the bibliography is substantial. The thing that makes the plan so compelling is that it's not really a weight loss plan. And that same fact is what made it possible for me to stay on it for so long, and what is making it possible for me to try and go back, now that my pay level is relatively stable again. Ray Audette put himself on such a strict diet, not to lose weight (he was a very thin man), but to treat his diabetes and his rheumatoid arthritis. The diet worked, not only well, but quickly. He's still touring and lecturing, it thrills me to see. When I read his story, I thought, "Perhaps it would help with my depression." I hadn't been diagnosed with ADD at that time. But it did, indeed, help with the depression. And there is a certain vindication you get from losing weight without having to eat a lesser volume of food.

At any rate, I was going to say, a few paragraphs ago, that the Neanderthin website used to be less than satisfactory; obviously it's been improved. But I still highly recommend the Paleodiet site for information on paleolithic diets. Just start at the top and scroll through until you see something that looks interesting ("aquatic apes?"); there is tons of fascinating data available. Don't miss The Weston A. Price Foundation site: it contains just about everything you wish you hadn't just found out about soy.

All that information is nice, but the fun is over at Paleofood... because that's where all the paleolithic recipes are. I have almost the entire site printed out and stored in the kitchen for quick-reference; the cookie section is particarly handy. Paleolithic cookies have a very wholesome flavor to them, which I've grown to prefer over the years. Cheap synthetic cookies, while convenient, now taste like paste and cardboard. And of course there is no match for paleolithic spaghetti (sans noodles): because it's just the same as regular spaghetti, except with all fresh ingredients.

I need to wrap this up, so I'll end on a less-healthy note:

Ginger-flavored Altoids. They burn a great and mighty ginger burn, not unlike true ginger beer.

I'll be all philosophical again tomorrow.

Incidentally, here's a deep, dark secret: you can always tell how conscientiously I have proofread an essay by counting the number of commas. The above is rife with comma abuse. We are operating on the "just write something, dummy," principle.