Dr. Art Ayers’ blog comments alone are some of the best health writing out there…



From a recent comment by Dr. Ayers on his site:

on bad germs…
I have stopped believing in bad germs and pathogens and lean more toward sickness being a deficiency. The deficiency, however, is not usually a missing nutrient. As you might guess, I think that the predisposed, presick body is deficient in the right …….gut flora.

The fun aspect of these thoughts is that health is dominant. (Remember that I am a molecular biologist and that means that alleles that code for an active, functional enzyme are dominant in genetic terms.). That means that sickness is recessive, so intimate kissing between sick and we’ll yields two well people. Lactose tolerance is contagious. Food tolerances are contagious, but gluten intolerance is a dominant exception, because it is not actually a food intolerance. (That would be like saying that “vitamin” D is a vitamin, when it is actually a steroid hormone.)

So… In most cases we get sick because we have compromised systems, because we have compromised gut flora, because we have compromised diets, because we have processed foods, because we have subsidized crops,
because we have politicians, because we want to make lots of money, because we are human.
We get sick because we are human. The germs didn’t do it and there is no point in trying to make ourselves feel safer using antibiotics and antibacterial soaps.

via Cooling Inflammation blog

I use Yahoo Pipes and RSS to get only the comments written by a few bloggers that I don’t want to miss. I don’t need the public noise but some of what gets commented on by site owners is really quality stuff for free.

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Geoffrey Miller called a “fat-shamer”



Wow I wondered why Geoffrey Miller’s (otherwise solid) twitter feed went silent:

Fat-shaming professor faces censure from university | Inside Higher Ed.

Not going to get a comment on that from me..

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Grass fed meat, soils, and sustainability



This one has been hitting paleo blogosphere quite a bit which is so great to see (Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser). But I still have to post up a link to Allan Savory’s TED talk, because it is just so good and such an important message.

This hits home in so many ways for me. For years since I became interested in food and diet from an evolutionary perspective I knew it is about more than just some narcissistic attempt to perfect oneself. The fact that our species is all in on row farming and eating whack foods is holding down the IQ of impoverished populations, destroying soils and disconnecting us from an interest in where we live, is surely to blame for much of current mental illness and diseases, and connects in to the most critical economic issues of our time around asinine agricultural subsidies. I stopped preaching to people around me about what makes sense to eat a long time ago, but it’s very hard to disassociate food from so many other issues.

Having an environmental science background I’ve been wanting to dig in to some writing on food and local/regional environmental management for some time but for now I’m glad to see it get covered. I’m so over exposed to the term “sustainability” at this point that I tend to distance myself from “environmentalists” who often take up the most ridiculous causes. But I hope one day I can fold in more meaningful action into my work and personal life. For now I’m happy to see select folks like Robb Wolf in this post last year take it up and represent thoughtful “sustainability”, and hope that more high profile economists like Tyler Cowen continue to recognize that soil management should be at the very top of the list of environmental issues.

If you’re looking for some inspiration from people with boots on the ground actually managing land properly with pastured animals check out these podcasts with Polyface’s Joel Salatin or Alderspring’s Glenn Elzinga. Scientist Mat Lalonde gets credit for mentioning the disaster of grains in the middle east on many of his gem podcasts as well, such as this one.

Other links:
Savory Institute

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Bulletproof Coffee Aboutface



Okay so I may have been wrong about Bulletproof Coffee being a waste of time.  I am embarrassed that I didn’t know the difference between cream and butter until doing a bit more research spurred on by Dave Asprey himself leaving a comment on the site.  I’m on board that if you’re going to drink a significant amount, daily butter has the advantages of (a) less likely to cause unnecessary inflammation, and (b)  has more butyrate, which you can google around about to see some awesome health benefits.

EDIT: Nice infographic on butter.

I gave the method a try for a few weeks ago and have to say I’m still going with it for now.  I like how I can get a lot more calories in using butter and some MCT.  Makes morning intermittent fasting more viable if the 2-3 meals to follow balanced with work/family are more likely to hit a sufficient number of calories to let me get some training in when I get a chance.

Of course I have a few refinements/questions I’m exploring:

– Still using my cherished espresso machine to make the shot.  Is it worth the effort if I’m not savoring a crema?  I think so based on preferring the taste over drip coffee.. but there are some other cool brewing methods I’d be interested in if when my wife goes back to work we need to save more time.

– Do espresso machines store/affect mycotoxin content in coffee?  Asprey seems a legit dude and if he is so worried about mycotoxin’s, it occurs to me that I’d be interested to follow that up. I haven’t seen him comment at all about espresso actually. I should at least backflush my machine regularly.

– I can’t find any damn 100% guaranteed grass fed butter in Canada.  L’Ancetre or Organic Meadow are good options but they are only grass fed seasonally and it’s hard to weigh their feed claims seriously if it’s not a clear message.  So, I actually this place that sells grass fed ghee that I might try.  I posted a message to the Toronto Weston A Price Yahoo group to see if anyone would split the shipping costs.  Works out to about $12 / pound for 100% grassfed ghee.  I’ve never tried a good quality ghee.  One advantage is it doesn’t require refrigeration.  We’ll see if I get to give it a try.

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Bulletproof Coffee



A lot has been made lately in the blogosphere of bulletproof coffee.  Avoid mold toxins and see if it affects how you feel after a coffee.  I get the interest in bean sourcing but more interesting to me is the number of folks buying in to the method of adding butter, MCTs, and employing a blender/mixer each morning.

Covered on Chris Kresser and Robb Wolf podcasts.

Why not just get a decent espresso machine and use the steamer or hot water valve?

My setup:
Rancilio Rocky grinder (found a used one on Craigslist from someone in the neighbourhood)
Rancilio Silvia machine (took it on the chin but we decided no xmas gifts!)

Greg's Rancilio setup

Easiest possible awesome brew:
1.  Double espresso with beans from roaster down the street in my fave Syracuse mug.
2.  ~1/4 cup heavy cream.
3.  Fire up the steam wand and just use the water valve to froth it up lazy style (can’t be bothered to do a real steam job).

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