Information and support for low carb and gluten free eating.

Michael's blog

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Mood, Food, and Cravings

Found a couple of interesting things today - possibly related to chronic tryptophan deficiency.

Chronic Tryptophan Deficiency and Carbohydrate Cravings

Brain serotonin (5-HT) levels may interact with use or intake of alcohol, morphine, amphetamine, and cocaine [37,50,57]. It has also been argued that craving for carbohydrates may be influenced by levels of brain serotonin. The major hypothesis of this type is that ingestion of carbohydrate (in the absence of protein) increases the availability of the serotonin precursor, tryptophan, thereby raising the level of brain serotonin. In view of the role of low levels of 5-HT in depression, the increase in levels caused by carbohydrate ingestion is particularly reinforcing to depressed individuals and this leads to self-medication with, or craving for, carbohydrates.

Chocolate cravings

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Revenge of the Pink Slime

Just when you thought it was safe to eat processed meat... (OK, you probably didn't think that...) Check out this freaky chart over on ProPublica:

"Lean finely textured beef," aka "pink slime," sparked an uproar when the USDA bought 7 million pounds of the stuff for school lunches. The agency maintains it's safe and healthy; critics say it's not fit to eat. But the burger filler isn't new, nor is it the only way that meat packers maximize production. Here's how it stacks up against two other mechanical processes.

And You Thought It Was Just ‘Pink’ Slime

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Carbohydrates and Glucose!

Hm... what changed after the '50s and '60s?

Answer: Everyone got fat. (OK, not everyone. But lots of people got fat.)

And, when you're done watching the above video, here's a fascinating (but long) talk about sugar:

Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin.

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Rethinking school

Here's a cool presentation describing the ways in which schools hurt, rather than help, children. Stay with it, there's an interesting segment about the current ADHD 'epidemic':

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Mmm... tasty wheat!

Here's a cute little photo to keep in mind the next time you think about munching a cracker or making a sandwich.

Geneticist Ann Blechl and colleagues are the first to insert modified Fusarium chitinase and glucanase genes into wheat plants, which may lead to wheats that are more resistant to Fusarium head blight.

Photo by Jack Dykinga.

Source: USDA ARS

Now, doesn't that sound just yummy? Where do I get mine? Oh, yeah, just wait a couple of years, it'll be in our bread.

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Updated book review: Wheat Belly

Just a quick note: I've updated my recent Wheat Belly book review–I've added a few paragraphs addressing the skeptical position and the need to challenge the modern dietary guidelines issued by the USDA and other organizations.

Whether you've read my review previously, or have yet to read it, you might want to visit the review and share your thoughts in the comment section.

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The most beautiful television commercial I've ever seen...

In all honesty, this is the most beautiful advertisement I've ever seen.

Perhaps because it touched my heart. For decades, I've railed against the over-labeling of children as having mental disorders. Against the drugging of children who don't behave quite the way the adults do–the 'problem' children.

More info: Visit

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Lifehacker: How to Get a Complete Workout with Nothing But Your Body

Here's an interesting article: how to get a full-body workout without gym equipment.

Topics include:

  1. Cardio
  2. Upper Body
  3. Core / Midsection
  4. Lower Body

If you want to get (or stay) fit but can't or don't want to spend money on gym equipment or memberships, this is worth reading and bookmarking.

Lifehacker: How to Get a Complete Workout with Nothing But Your Body

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Cardio may be hurting you

Here's an interesting study described by Dr. Harris (Archevore):

Among the interesting tidbits:

The more marathons run, the higher the likelihood of heart disease. The number of marathons run was an independent and significant predictor of the likelihood of myocardial damage.


It's time for some Kuhnian iconoclasm. Let's take the hammer to some "normal science".

I think that atherosclerosis is not caused by lack of sustained high-level aerobic ("cardio") exercise.

Just like I don't think lack of "cardio" is the cause of the obesity epidemic.

I think premature atherosclerois is mostly caused by diet. Our susceptibility to a bad diet is contributed to by genetics.

I think that not only does sustained "cardio" not protect you from atherosclerosis, I think it is quite likely that through repetitive shear stress with endothelial damage and promotion of an inflammatory state, that it may promote atherosclerosis and/or direct cardiac muscle damage.

Further, I think that excessive "cardio" might precipitate the thromboembolic and acute inflammatory events like plaque rupture - acute heart attacks, even if it does not directly contribute to atherosclerosis, which I think it does.

Source: "Cardio" may cause heart disease - Part I

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