Yee gads. I mostly ignored this study about diet soda being equivalent to meth or crack as far as your teeth are concerned when it showed up in my Twitter feed. I’ve mentioned here before I have periodically had a diet soda “problem” and at the time thought, well, good thing I’ve been drinking my diet soda through a straw … figured that made a big difference.
Well. This whole study is based on a dentist’s three person case study. As in three. One more than two. Seriously?!
The diet soda drinker in the study drank “two liters of diet soda daily for three to five years.” Well she’s got a long way to go to catch up to my 3+ decades! Not sure all the confounds (sorry Yoni, I’m writing this post without reading the full study), but after looking at the pics (click thru to HuffPo to see them), I call total BS. I’m sure the dentist has “observed hundreds of similar soda-caused erosion cases” over his career. That’s why he used just one in his case study.
Sigh. I am certainly not defending diet soda or the beverage industry, but puh-leeze. There are plenty of reasons for cutting back or eliminating diet soda, but “meth mouth” isn’t one of ‘em.
Posted in Food industry, Health & wellness, Research | 4 Comments »
Michael Allen Smith of Critical MAS has an interesting idea: approach “nutrition from the mindset of an investor.”
Nutritional gurus love to wrap themselves in their PubMed blankets and dish out narratives that they believe work for everyone, but a simple observation shows that isn’t working. The fact that some succeed on any plan is not proof that it works for everyone. There are are too many failures.
How does one succeed in nutrition when nobody seems to agree on anything? How can one get the benefits that arrive in the early stages of a diet without staying too long and compromising their health? What has worked well for me is thinking about nutrition like an investor thinks about investment opportunities.
There are lots of interesting concepts there (like “stop loss nutrition”), but the one that resonates with me right now is hedging. For example, if you’re trying to decide between fructose and glucose as a better sugar, you could choose one or the other, limit both or, you could hedge and consume both “evenly.”
Hmmm. So maybe if you like paleo but don’t want to give up grains? Maybe you hedge and do part paleo, part Weston Price. Like meat, but want to cut calories? Do part paleo, part vegan.
Crazy? Or crazy like a fox?
Posted in Ancestral health, Diet, Real food | 3 Comments »
Alton Brown did an AMA on reddit today. Here’s his take on paleo:
I have to say that although I do think the American diet is too grain dependent, I don’t think that the meat-heavy Paleo approach is right either. We’ve evolved as omnivores and that means we should eat a bit of everything…in my opinion.
I doubt any of the Paleo-TM gurus will lose any sleep over AB’s two cents, but there it is.
Posted in Ancestral health, QOTD | 1 Comment »
Wow. Balpreet Kaur, a Sikh woman with “an abundance of dark, untrimmed facial hair” responded when her picture was posted with the caption “i’m not sure what to conclude from this” on reddit:
[B]aptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. :-)
I <3 this!
Posted in Meaning & purpose, QOTD | 1 Comment »
Author Josh Kaufman is making the rounds with his TEDxCSU talk The First 20 Hours – How to Learn Anything.
Kaufman points out that most of us aren’t trying to become experts at a skill (where the so-called “10,000 hours” number comes from). What really prevents us from becoming skilled is the difficulty getting past what Kaufman calls the initial “frustration barrier” — when we’re really aware how bad we actually are at the skill. At this point, we’ll often use any distraction (TV, email, etc) to keep ourselves from practicing and getting over this hump, and thus don’t get any better.
There are four basic steps to Kaufman’s “first 20 hours” approach:
- deconstruct the skill
- learn enough to self-correct
- remove practice barriers
- practice at least 20 hours
Committing to practicing 20 hours is meant to get most folks past the steep part of the learning curve where the “frustration barrier” is found. It’s pretty much the 80-20 rule … you get 80% of the benefit from 20% of the work (and 20% of the benefit from the remaining 80%, a la the 10,000 hours):
Interestingly, Kaufman’s approach is very similar to Tim Ferriss’ in The 4-Hour Chef. And this is what intrigues me about my recent comments about wanting to improve my cooking skills. A few commenters said something pretty similar: just practice!
Point taken ;).
BTW, Kaufman’s book — The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast! — is available June 13th.
Posted in Cooking, Psychology | Leave a Comment »
Fit and Feminist thinks we “deserve better” than “strong is the new skinny” … at least when it comes to swapping one unrealistic ideal for another:
We don’t need a new “skinny.” We don’t need a new beauty standard, nor do we need yet another physical ideal hanging over our every thought and move like a little black cloud of doom. What we need to do is change the paradigm so that we value our bodies for all of the amazing things they let us do. We need to expand our standards of beauty to recognize that beauty shows up in all kinds of bodies. And we need to get over this idea that the most important purpose we serve on is to be beautiful for other people. We have a right to have healthy bodies, to take up space, to have appetites, to cultivate our strengths in whatever form that may take. Our time on this planet is precious and we will never, ever get it back, so let’s stop squandering it in pursuit of meaningless ideals we will most likely never attain anyway. We deserve so much better than that.
HT Shari on Facebook.
Posted in QOTD, Weight stigma | Leave a Comment »
Mark Sisson offers up a bunch of reasons Why It’s Important to Cook Your Own Meals. Here’s one that I think is key (emphasis Mark’s):
The better cooks we are, the richer and more varied our diets can be. The principle worked for our ancestors’ collective health, and it applies to us individually today. Like our ancestors, the right techniques open up new food possibilities for us – like cheaper and otherwise tougher cuts of meat. Additionally, many foods may be wholly uninspiring on their own but become fast favorites when paired with the right sauce or some novel herbs. As we expand our repertoire, we lessen the chance that we’ll get bored with our choices.
It occurs to me that if I could cook like Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet, I’d find far less reason to deviate from the Perfect Health Diet!
Aye, there’s the rub. I suspect cooking is a skill that is best learned the traditional craft way — essentially by apprenticing yourself to someone who knows how. Using your average cookbook seems to me a terrible way to learn (unless you like to be intimidated by scary ingredient lists) and with a few exceptions (like America’s Test Kitchen or the now retired Good Eats), food TV isn’t a great route to learning to cook either.
But where there’s a will there’s a way I suppose! Here are the books I’ve found that seem reasonably promising in terms of teaching actual technique (in no particular order):
Posted in Cooking, QOTD | 10 Comments »