Mushrooms, To Your Health

Netflix has an interesting documentary about mushrooms and other fungi called “Fantastic Fungi”. Not sure many people realize that mushrooms are technically not plants but, instead, their own separate class of organism: fungus, which live off of and decay dead organic matter.

Mushrooms have been getting a lot of recent attention by nutritionists and other scientists relative to their beneficial effect on the human body — Lion’s Mane for the health of the brain, Turkey Tail for fighting cancers, Chaga and Reishe to support the immune system, Cordyceps for the respiratory system.

The above types of mushrooms are just not available to me locally, but their mushroom powders are all available to me online, although expensive. But if their benefits are half as good as what is claimed, they are worth it.

Best Philosophy

48 Hour Fast

I ate quite a bit of food at the end of this fast, in a very short amount of time. I wonder if that is typical — overeating at the end of a longer fast? I didn’t realize how hungry I was until I took that first bite, and then food craving kicked in big time. So now I’m thinking the next time I do 48 hrs., I’ll try to limit the amount of food when the fasts ends. Seems counterproductive to do a long fast, and then eat an enormous number of calories when it ends.

Relishing Food

Back to Veganism

If you want to go back to being a vegan or want to try it for the first time, start by going meatless just 2 days a week, but pick specific days, like all Mondays and Thursdays. And after you’ve done a while, expand to 4 days a week, etc.

There is no question that vegans live the longest — by far — and that a diet that includes meat, particularly one with heavy meat consumption, is much more correlated with both heart disease and cancer, which has been known now for decades, ever since the seminal China Study. If you want to live long and without the two biggest risks to your health (heart disease and cancer), then veganism is a no brainer…if you can manage to do it.

Relishing Food

Weight Control

Not weight loss but weight control — what can you do to stabilize your weight, not to lose weight per se, but instead to help ensure that it doesn’t creep back up?

One thing that I do is once a week, on a designated day that I know I’m obligated to use for that purpose, I have a low-calorie day. I shoot for 550+ calories lower than what I usually eat (Cronometer helps a lot with this). Tuesday is my low-calorie day, and I usually eat the same assortment of foods, which tend to be very low in fat calories. But there are little nuances on that particular day that help me get to minus 550 calories. For instance, instead of my usual 3 prunes I only have 2, instead of 2 figs, just the 1. Instead of my usual mouthful of walnuts, I’ll skip nuts entirely, and have an extra slice of lean turkey. With enough of these nuances, it is surprisingly easy to have such a low-calorie day — and you don’t feel deprived.

Having such a lean day one day a week means that on those other days when you inevitably go “over budget,” sort of speak, it all gets compensated for in the end — and the weight stays amazingly stable, no longer so erratic.

Omega 3 Fat Hurdles

Omega 3 Fat Hurdles

Food in general has to go through quite a thicket of hurdles before its nutrition can actually be used by the body. First, there’s digestion that begins in the mouth, accelerates with the acid in the stomach, and really takes off in the small intestines with digestive enzymes and all those critical bacteria doing their thing, but then the nutrition that the small intestines admits into the body must first pass muster with that filtration system of the body, the liver, before it finally gets admitted to the blood stream and can actually be used by the body. Any inefficiencies in any of these processes along the way and that means the food you think your body will take advantage of — because you did eat it — won’t actually be fully utilized by the body but, to the extent it was not properly “processed,” instead passes right through you with no benefit.

This brings us to what many nutritionist speak about constantly — the all-important ratio between the very valuable Omega 3 fat and the commonly overconsumed Omega 6 fat. Why is this ratio so important, you may ask? It’s important because both fats use the same digestive enzymes in the body, and therefore compete for their use. And there is a finite number of these specific digestive enzymes in the body at any given time, (although the healthier your diet, the greater the number). If the ratio between Omega 3 fat and Omega 6 fat becomes too skewed in favor of Omega 6 fat, then the Omega 6 fat utilizes a disproportionate amount of those limited number of digestive enzymes, and the Omega 3 fat gets left out in the cold, so of speak. So this skewed ratio, which is very common in the SAD diet, produces a huge inefficiency in digestive processes mentioned above relative to the Omega 3 fat you ate versus the Omega 3 fat that the body actually ends up using.

They think the modern contemporary diet can be become as skewed as 1:16 when our caveman ancestors had a diet that was 1:2. Exactly what ratio is the ideal ratio is a controversial subject, but there is no question that the SAD diet is hopeless skewed in favor of Omega 6 fat, and therefore those people who have this skewed ratio in their diet may think they are getting enough Omega 3 fat in their diet, but because of their warped Omega ratio, are in fact not fully utilizing the amount of Omega 3 fat they eat, perhaps to an alarming degree.

And so it is not enough to know how many grams of Omega 3 fat are in your daily diet — you have to also know your ratio.

Omega Ratio

My Almost-Vegan Diet

My Almost-Vegan Diet

High carb, high fiber, high protein, but low fat (except Omega 3); GBOMBS (Joel Fuhrman); plant-based with a small amount of turkey each day for the lysine (thus the “almost”); dairy-free except for the use of Pillars Greek yogurt as almond-milk substitute for cereals (ditto “almost”); no processed foods with the exception of Dave’s bread, cereals (Alpen, Muesli, Grape Nuts), and Pillars, which has live culture, but low fat and no added sugar (unlike most commercial yogurts where they add so much sugar that it’s practically candy). Macros: 50% carb, 30% fat, 20% protein — fat has been trending down and protein trending up, intentionally. Incorporate all high-nutrition foods and avoid or minimize low-nutrition or downright unhealthy foods. Therefore, say yes to all vegetables and fruit and various fermented foods, and say a big fat no to almost all processed foods. Avoid or minimize saturated fat, salt, and sugar — the 3 demon S’s. Reduce meat consumption to an absolute minimum, especially processed meats (carcinogenic) and red meats in general. No alcohol except red wine for cooking. 19:5 intermittent fasting every day. Learn how to make plant-based dishes that are nevertheless delicious — garlic, onions, tomato paste, lemon juice, and curry powder are your allies.

You’ll live to be 100 but in good health.

I use Cronometer each day, and it will tell me if I’m weak or outright deficient in anything at a very granular level. For instance, it has shown that my diet was weak in lysine, calcium and iodine, and so I’ve take measures to address these shortcomings.

Don’t but negligent. Be good to yourself. Eat healthy food.

Nutrition Challenge

Nutrition Challenge

Make your meals as intensely nutritious as possible — as in way over-the-top nutritious — but still be savory. I practice the GBOMBS diet, and Cronometer is indispensable to achieve super duper nutrition. It’s your body…you are in charge of it, no one else.

Super-duper nutrition involves two very different elements — finding the foods that have powerful nutrients and including them; identifying the foods that undermine your health and avoiding them. You have to do both.

Weight Loss

Weight Loss

Weight loss from 198 to 155 in one year. Nutritarian diet (Joel Fuhrman) with intermittent fasting.

I’ve recently found that baked potatoes are also a useful tool, as they are filling and very low in fat. Having days with a very low number of grams in fat really accelerates weight loss. It may not be true that “fat makes you fat,” but it is clearly true that low fat will make you skinny because low-fat days tend also to make for low-calorie days.

What Don’t You Know?

You Don’t Know What You Need

If you use Cronometer religiously, you can find out what your diet is deficient in, and then make the adjustment either with foods that have the missing nutrient or with supplements. Without Cronometer, you won’t know. For instance, I now know that I’m routinely deficient in iodine, choline and lysine and often low in calcium.

Cronometer even has a function where you plug in the missing nutrient, and it will tell you the top 25 foods that contain it.

Over 60?