One out of two…

… music lessons today. Nice guitar lesson but my bass teacher succumbed to food poisoning…

Fertilizing

After many days of procrastinating, I finally got the lawn fertilized today. I’m trying Menard’s fertilizer instead of my usual Scott’s. It’s about ten dollars cheaper for the big bag.

Yes, I lead an exciting life…

Fat for Fuel, Dr. Joseph Mercola

I (metaphorically) hang with a certain crowd in the area of nutrition. One of those guys is Dr. Mercola, although I haven’t really read any of his books until now. I have seen him interviewed on a number of podcasts and watched a few of his videos. As a point of trivia, I frequently drive past a building with his name on it on route 72. He used to be based in Illinois but moved to Florida because it allowed him to do more healthy things than he could here in the Midwest.

Fat for Fuel was inspired by Dr. Mercola reading a book that I have previously reviewed (in multiple parts) on this blog: Tripping over the Truth. He wanted to write a book that got more into the “how to” alluded to in that book, which was more about research and history. This makes Fat for Fuel an appropriate companion to Tripping over the Truth.

The title of the book refers to eating ketogenically. This involves a high fat, very low carb, and moderate protein diet. This is the nutrition regimen proposed as part of dealing with cancer metabolically (and proposed for cancer prevention as well).

The first half of the book describes the “why” of Mercola’s ketogenic approach which he calls Mitochondrial Metabolic Therapy of MMT. Compromised mitochondria was shown in Tripping over the Truth to be present in nearly all cancers. Many of the enemies of healthy mitochondria are components of our current food system – synthetic fertilizers, food additives, Glyphosate. In addition, the unjust demonization of saturated fat has made those who followed the official dietary guidelines unhealthy. Diabetes, obesity, cancer, and heart disease have all been on the rise since the dietary guidelines have come out. But it turns out that good quality fats (not vegetable and seed oils) are necessary for good health.

MMT offers many benefits: mental clarity, reduced food cravings, reduction in chance of getting cancer, weight loss, increase in energy, and decrease in inflammation. This happens because the program changes your metabolism from using carbohydrates to using primarily ketones (byproduct of fat metabolism). This program differs from earlier low carb diets in that you also restrict proteins. Proteins above the requirements for maintenance can be converted into carbs which will prevent you from going into fat burning mode.

One thing I learned in the first half of the book is that too much iron can be a big problem health-wise. There is a list of all the health problems that can accrue from excess iron. This made me want to get tested for iron to see if I have to take steps to get my iron to the right level.

MMT also emphasizes food quality (organic, pasture-raised, wild-caught, etc. are recommended), something I’ve been paying more attention to lately. There are lists of healthy carbs, proteins and fats, as well as what you can eat in moderation and what to avoid.

The second half of the book is the “how to.” There are things you should do before you start, different ways to get started, what to expect along the way, and how to continue on after the initial part of the program. One thing I like about the program is that there are objective measurements that you do that will tell you if you are on the right track. This is important because there is no “one size fits all” in a healthy lifestyle and it’s important to get feedback to know if things are working for you.

One powerful adjunct to the program, fasting, has its own chapter in the book. I have been incorporating fasting in my life for the past year and a half to good effect so this part is not new to me. Dr. Mercola does, however, detail multiple approaches to fasting and where to go to get more information.

The final chapter talks about other non-food-related ways to improve mitochondrial health – grounding, sun exposure, avoiding artificial lighting, sauna, exercise and supplementation. The book ends with a list of resources and appendices on diseases states that can be improved or alleviated using MMT and a guide to recommended nuts and seeds.

For me this book was a mix of information I was already aware of and new information that I found helpful. In addition, MMT is something that I do want to experiment with and I will try this after my July fast. That experience may show up in some blog posts here.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to those who would like to know more about a ketogenic diet, how it can improve your health and a detailed but flexible approach to actually doing it.

RIP Greg Allman

It started for me with Eat a Peach. Heartbroken to find that the great guitarist Duane Allman had died before completing the album. And at only 24 years old. Then came Brothers and Sisters. Berry Oakley, the bass player, died a year after Duane. Through it all was the voice and keyboards of Gregg Allman. And now he’s gone too.

Seems we’re losing a lot of great musicians lately…