Sunday, May 24, 2015

Accounting for a lack of virtue

In the comment section over at Alpha Game, commenter Jack Amok responded to this comment:
I have often thought that much of Game and Red Pill theory assumes a general lack of virtue, especially in women.
You can look at it as either accounting for a lack of virtue, or assuming it. Those are different attitudes, and both are exhibited by different sets of people in the manosphere. 
 Our relationships with our daughters and other women become simplified and more productive if we, as women, embrace what men, who are successful in the socio/sexual realm, embrace.

As the more social of the sexes, we, as mothers, will witness or learn of our daughter's social interactions and will be in a position to give them advice and mentor them on how to respond and react to various social exchanges. We entertain more banal or trivial conversations with them than their fathers generally do. It is within those conversations that we can help our daughters the most with their perspectives, reactions, and attitudes.

For example, one of my daughters had a, for lack of a better word, stimulating social interaction with some friends. I could tell that whatever they talked about energized her. However when I learned what she and the girls were talking about my mother's heart sank and my concern for her relationship with God prompted me right into mentoring mode. Their conversation was about another girl. Their conversation was pure gossip.

The girl who was being gossiped about had done something they didn't like and they decided, as women do, to tighten the ranks of their herd by casting out the member who had gone afoul and solidifying solidarity among the remaining members with the fear of shame and becoming an outcast if the they themselves should make the same error.

There are several different ways I could have approached parenting this situation.

- The worst way would to have given tacit approval of the gossip by either not disciplining her or by agreeing that whatever the outcast member had done was grounds for a gossip session. This would be justifying her sin and engaging in gossip myself - a very tempting option for mothers who are in the habit of seeing their daughters as infallible extensions of themselves or are unwilling to take the time to mentor, correct, and instruct them at every opportunity that presents itself.

- I could have appealed to "ought" -
You ought to have known better.
This is an expression of expectation of someone's virtue that can be very frustrating to the wrongdoer. If I hadn't explicitly taught her this lesson she was about to learn, how should she have known better? Should it have been innate?

If I believe I, as a woman, innately posses the virtue that prevents me from joining in gossip then perhaps this expectation is warranted. But what now? My own daughter doesn't posses the natural virtue that I believe we are born with?

Also, my own honesty betrays me with the truth that I too have engaged in this type of gossip before. In fact I really don't know a woman who hasn't. I've met some really devoted Christians who are honest with fighting back the temptation to gossip - which means they too don't innately posses the virtue needed to prevent the temptation.

Ought doesn't work here. And to tell her "You ought to have known better," keeps "is" in denial.

Which leads me back to Jack's comment:
You can look at it as either accounting for a lack of virtue...
- I could respond to may daughter in a manner that accounts for her lack of virtue in this area. Which is what I did. When she told me of the conversations that were had, I calmly said to her, "Honey, you participated in gossip. That's not good." I then took the time to have a long conversation with her letting her know I understand how this happens, why it happens, and how to prevent it from happening in the future. We discussed the other girl's perspective and what she would feel like in that girl's shoes. We discussed how this sort of thing does not help anyone, in fact if we continue to engage in it and relish the false fulfillment we get from it, we are led down to deeper pits because as it is sin, it is insatiable. It leads to a damaged relationship with God and our own health and well being. I explained that resisting the urge to gossip isn't as much about protecting the girl who is the subject of the gossip, it is about protecting our own selves and choosing the path, though it is oftentimes difficult, that leads to a more fulfilling and joy filled realization that we have chosen God's Truth over Satan's lies.

RLB has been very good at accounting for the virtues that I have lacked. I appreciate the fact that he doesn't allow me to stay in my sin or keep my vices. He doesn't assume I ought to know better. He's not disappointed in me or disgusted by that which I don't naturally possess yet he does. He just corrects me as he believes he should.

Just yesterday I had an emotional reaction to a news story: "This is just ridiculous!" He listened for just a few seconds as I escalated my outrage. He then stopped me and said, "Don't be emotional about this." And then demonstrated how he shares my opinion but is able to do so without changing his mood.

Funny, I talk with my daughters about that quite often. "External circumstances do not determine our moods."

Recognizing that I lack this innate calm, rational approach to mood regulation helps me to account for it in my daughters and other women.

I am still accountable and responsible for my failures. Merely not possessing an innate trait does not relieve us, as women, from the consequences. We need to wisely learn from each situation and commit ourselves to pursue possessing the virtues that don't come naturally. While RLB is very patient with me, there is a limit to what he will put up. If he knows I have demonstrated the internalization of virtuous behavior, but am choosing presently to act as if I lack the virtue, he correctly sees it as rebellion to God and addresses that instead. Which is another thing we, as mothers, should be on the lookout for with our daughters. It's neither "You ought to have known better," nor an accounting for her lack of virtue,  at that point it is: "I know you DO know better - it's time to talk about rebellion."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Honor and Empathy

A reader emailed interested in other posts I've written that support my statement and belief that: 
Courage is not an innate female trait. Nor is honor or empathy.    
In Vires et honestas I stated:

I know not one woman who has always naturally embodied honor. Nor do I know many who truly understand the definition. We presume it is subjective, relative, and circumstantial. This doesn't even make sense to a man. It may be the hardest thing a man can express verbally to you. As difficult as explaining the pain of childbirth, is the ability for a man to explain honor. It is of such value to them that they will even be put off and discouraged to even have to define it. Many believe wrongly that women understand it or even have it as a trait within them.

We don't need to look much further than our current divorce statistics to see the damage inflicted on the family due to women's lack of the virtue honor.  The data shows that with no fault divorce laws, women will break their vows at a much higher incidence than men. When we look at the top reasons given for destroying their marriages one has to wonder what women even think vowing to do something means. Certainly we wouldn't need to make the vow "to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part" if it were something that was going to be easy to do. It is honor that holds us to these vows when we are faced with the temptation to break them.

Honor is a culture preserving virtue but not necessarily a self-preservation virtue. It involves sacrifice of will. Women, by their biological nature, are the more self-preserving sex. The rise of feminism has clearly demonstrated that women are prone to exerting their will, regardless of cultural, moral, and spiritual implications, when given the choice and opportunity to do so rather than sacrificing their will, as seen in the divorce statistics.

This isn't to say that all men possess the virtue of honor or that no women do. In fact as we continue down this course of high divorce rates, broken homes, and churches who have strayed from teaching Truth, we are witnessing more men consciously abandoning honor as a virtue and replacing it with self preservation and other dyscivic behaviors.
It is increasingly common among Millennials to dismiss religion, God, churches, authority and tradition.
Perhaps the biggest transition of all is the entry of millions of women into the skeptic ranks. In 1993 only 16 percent of atheists and agnostics were women. By 2013 that figure had nearly tripled to 43 percent. This enormous increase is not because the number of skeptic men has declined. In fact, men’s numbers have steadily increased over the last two decades—but not nearly as rapidly as among women.
Empathy - the experience of understanding another person's condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.

If what we observe with women can be called empathy, then we must also recognize that it is very fluid. Generally she'll feel empathetic for others within her social group and only when she is positively correlated with the members of that group. That empathy wanes considerably at the first signs she's is being outed from the group. Is it possible to even call it empathy then?

If empathy is conditional and can be withdrawn due to negative feelings, it really ought to be called what it is - approval and agreement. She agrees with how a person feels because she would feel that way too, in that moment, in those circumstances, with that particular person. She approves of that condition. In other words, it's an expression of solipsism.

How many times have you witnessed women assume the motivations of another individual without evidence. Again, this is not empathy, it's also not likely to be psychic ability, it is psychological projection - another expression of solipsism. 

This "assuming the motivations" is rampant in feminist theory and the feminist mindset. Their reactions to Truth as found in the Bible or in the writings of great philosophers is based on assuming their motivations, and being wrong in doing so. What they claim to be misogyny and men's need for control and a devaluation of women couldn't be further from the truth. We see evidence of this being projection now that our society has abandoned heeding the advice of the civilization minded philosophers and Apostles and has welcomed women into the public arena with their unusual and illogical expressions of "empathy": 
Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat. Women often have to flee from the only homes they have ever known. Women are often the refugees from conflict and sometimes, more frequently in today’s warfare, victims. Women are often left with the responsibility, alone, of raising the children.- Hillary Clinton
Because being dead is not having been the primary victim? 
"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
Where is the empathy for those who will have these things taken from them?

The evidence that it was projection that was the foundation of feminism and assumed motivations of those who are civilization minded could not be expressed better than this:

Everyday we witness the fall out of feminism:
Health problems in single moms
Psychological repercussions from having an abortion
Lesbian partner violence
Work related stress, injury, and other disorders for women
The rise of SSRI use in women

And finally, the most ignored inconvenient truth - the decline of female happiness.

Really...Lean In for what?

When the overwhelming evidence is that feminism is harmful to women, we can conclude that the opposite of feminist philosophy is one of tremendous empathy for women. The instruction in the Bible and the writings of men like Aristotle are vindicated in being compassionate, benevolent, rational, and reasoned protection of women. Quite the opposite of misogyny.

Further evidence of the lack of empathy in women is found in two of their greatest weaknesses - the sin of coveting and proclivity to gossip. Two behaviors that, if you have daughters, you would do well to root out at every sign and expression of them. Don't let them gossip about other people. Correct them when you see them longing for something someone else has.

Teach them empathy!

Courage is intricately involved in the virtue of honor and I will write more on it at a later time.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fix yourself before you fix your health

Every morning I read somewhere around 5-10 articles and studies relating to health and nutrition. Many of which I am notified of by a closed Facebook group that I've joined whose primary purpose is to support people who are eating a zero carbohydrate/ketogenic diet or "woe" - way of eating.

The group has around 800 members who only have one thing in common - how they eat. Naturally the members are comprised of every political persuasion and religious faith. And of course there are feminists.

One woman decided to bring her personal life to the group looking to gossip for support about her situation with her husband: 
 What do you do when your family can't stand woe? My husband is not supportive of this woe he has the whole mentality of meat is full of toxins nonsense and it's not healthy to not eat fruit and veggies. He also doesn't want me to feed meat to the kids with fat. He said look at you you're fat, I told him that is bc of all the carbs and sugar I was eating before not the meat with fat, he thinks eating fat is crazy. This is arguing even though I've lost 8 lbs so far. He said when I lose all the weight he wants me to return to eating "normal" again or there is going to be problems. Bc of him I'm eating mostly eggs bc they are cheaper. He also gets upset bc any form of sugar even from fruit gives me a migraine now. So today i slipped I ate carbs the worst kind.... a bowl of mini wheats and a strawberry greek yogurt. Carbs are all over my house it's hard to avoid temptation. And with a husband who is not supportive it makes a constant struggle. He says some other stuff too like anyone could come up with a diet on the internet and people fall for it just eat less of everything.blah blah he is reallly annoying he won't hear anything I have to say about this woe.
 The responses she received were predictably tragic:
-It seems you need to remind your husband that you are his wife and an adult and not his child so he cannot tell you what to do. Also who is cooking the food in your house and who is paying for the groceries?
 -I'm so sorry, my first thought is that your husband is a dick...
-Sounds like he is a narcissistic asshole I might be wrong sorry doll.
 The OP comes back to say this:
He is close minded sorry to say and he is 11 years older and does treat me like a child you both hit the nail on the head. I am going to continue with this woe all the benefits are worth it... It's hard with all the smells of fruit around the house. But I will continue these carbs suck immediate migraine.
 And more responses like this start to pile up:
-Sorry. I don't get it. What I eat is a dialogue between me and my body. Unless I specifically consult another for the benefit of their expertise the opinion of others is irrelevant.
-Is divorce out of the question?
-Its so much easier for us single people, no one telling us how to eat. Reading this makes me happy I'm not married
-yup he is a garden variety narc get out he will destroy you
In light of this, I have decided to form a closed group of my own where I can link and catalog all of the articles, videos, and studies I've been reading and watching. It will be open for those of like mind who seek to build, not destroy, the most important contributor to health for a married woman which is the proper relationship with their husband and obedience to God's commands.

No matter how thin, fat, achy, depressed, or anxious you are, no matter what illness you are afflicted with, no matter the hope you have in taking a magic pill or in eating a special diet, you do yourself no favors until you purposefully turn away from rebellion.

I remember the physiological affects my rebellion had on me. I remember the increased heart rate and flushing I would experience with rage. I was unable to focus or think rationally when I was bowing up to my husband. This was all very stressful to my body. In fact, I experienced the greatest amount of weight gain during the time when my rebellion came to a head and prior to it being lovingly and successfully dealt with by my husband.

Through my own observation and self administrated, unscientific, epidemiological study of one person (me), I have proven that I feel healthier when I am Calm. My hypothesis is that this is the case with most women and it's been reported to me by other women that they've experienced the same phenomenon. The Bible supports these findings and in over five years of searching, I have yet to find evidence that disproves my hypothesis.

The woman who wrote about her husband above has much more to work on before she should concern herself with diet. Satan will use anything he can to breed dissension in your marriage. If he can get you to say, "I need to do this for ME" or "I will do what I desire against my husband's wishes" or if he can get you to publicly gossip and disrespect your husband, he wins. And when he wins, he takes you down very ugly paths. No amount of weight loss or temporary improvement in physical health is worth it.
 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  - Matthew 16:26
Do not covet weight loss or health.

If you are in a marriage that is broken, that is where your attention needs to be. 
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. 1 Peter 3:1-6

If you would like to join me in the closed group I'll be creating on Facebook, you are welcome to send me an email (bottom of page). All members will be vetted and trolls will be kicked out. If you don't believe the Bible is the Truth and the Word of God, but can keep your mouth shut about it, you're welcome as well.

I've found I need somewhere to quickly access information when I am asked questions about this style of diet. That is the primary purpose for the group. I'm opening it up as a service to anyone who is interested in the research, studies, testimonies, support and information about ketogenic/high fat diets. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made

Confession time - several years ago, I participated in something immoral. We were living on an Army Post in these four unit homes - two units upstairs, two down. The third floor had old servant's quarters, one per apartment with a shared back stairway.

They were beautiful homes. We loved the fireplace and woodwork (which had unfortunately been painted). The only drawback, outside of living so close to others, was that there wasn't a piece of carpeting in the whole building. When you live on top of someone with only hardwood floors, you end up being able to hear everything from the apartment beneath you. They could hear us as well.
Our three children were young, the apartment was long, and the hallway made for a great runway.

Our downstairs neighbors bought carpet for all of their bedrooms, hallway, and living room which helped absorb a little bit of the noise problem. We really couldn't afford to buy carpet (the neighbor outranked my husband a bit). So, when an acquaintance was telling me that she and her husband's home was in foreclosure and they were gutting it, I joked, "you don't have any carpet you're looking to get rid of, do you?" And low and behold she said, "Sure, come on over, take what you want!"

It's terrible, I know. Does it make it more palatable if I say it was stained and would have needed to be replaced anyway?


That's what I thought.

Needless to say, I have asked for forgiveness and repented of that sin.

I also take full responsibility for the consequences. It has become clear to me that God has a tremendous sense of humor.

Fast forward six years to us moving back to our home state and finding a perfect ranch home on seven acres of land. It was exactly a year ago that we bought it. When we toured the house and property, it was evident that it had gotten away from the previous couple who owned it. Where beautiful landscaping once was, tall weeds and invasive plant species were taking over.

 Before                                                                        After

 I think they had a bit of a hoarding problem as well. For just the two of them, the house was busting at the seams with...stuff. I asked that they remove most of the excess but when it came time to do the walk through, we knew there was no way they'd get it all out in one day.

We closed on the house a couple weeks before we could move so I began the very large project of cleaning and painting. I also started trying to get the overgrown lawn and property under control.

I started finding very strange things in the first section I was working on in the backyard.


There was a long strip of carpet going from the back door to the outdoor wood furnace. We figured he had put that there to cover the snow/ice/mud. Weird but no problem, we'd roll it up and throw it away.

But what on earth possesses someone to literally carpet their back yard?

I removed all of the ground from on top of the carpet, cutting the carpet into manageable strips, rolling it up, and bringing it to the end of the driveway when the neighbor came by. He stopped to chat so I asked him what all this carpet was about. "Oh yeah, he didn't want to mow his back yard so he threw down some carpet to keep the weeds back."

Well that plan failed miserably. I have wound up many many carpet strings in my weed eater.

There was carpet everywhere. Even the kitchen was carpeted. There were carpet pieces on top of the carpet in the living room and family rooms.

If the carpet along the fence, under the woodpile, along the back of the garage, around the propane tank, and in the storage shed wasn't strange enough, we found out that in an attempt to tile the back yard and keep the water flowing, he devised an even more bizarre plan. He buried two layers of plastic pallets covered in carpet three feet under the ground extending a 50 foot long and 10 foot wide strip of the backyard that butts up next to our steep ridge.

We found this when we set out to dig our garden. We could only go down so far with the shovel until we hit something impenetrable.

We did actually find one single piece of drain tile.

All told, we have disposed of a minimum of 10,000 square feet of carpet. There is still some more under the ground that will be covered by the chicken coop RLB is building. He's convinced me to stop digging.

I'm not a huge fan of the concept of karma. I'm even more not a fan of anything that could be construed as the evidence of it. Especially when it means countless hours of manual labor to rid that evidence.

I was a trooper about dealing with the consequence of my covetous desire for carpet. I did what I could to not think strange things about the person who placed all of this carpet there. Instead I took my lumps and just kept digging.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"What do we do now?"

"They have a perfect house, Mom. Perfect furniture, perfect paint on the walls, perfect decorations and it all is immaculate. Their yard has no weeds and is perfectly landscaped. They drive perfect vehicles and wear perfect clothes."
The observations of our fifteen-year-old daughter on a dual career, two child, last of the baby boomers, upper middle class couple whose youngest daughter will graduate in June. 

I got to sit next to one of these fifty-something women at a banquet celebrating our Senior student's top ten achievement the other night. She was petite and tidy, wearing a plain blouse and pants. She had a sweet demeanor and was very kind.

Her husband was the quintessential average everyday guy. Holding on to his good looks from his youth but for an extra thirty pounds in his gut. He wore the appropriate North Face jacket, was clean shaven and quiet.

As the woman, myself, and another mom discussed our children's plans for after graduation, she started to become emotional and said to us:
"What do we do now?"
Her daughter will be moving out to live on campus where her son already is. She hasn't seen him since Easter - he's busy, though campus is less than a 30 minute drive from their home.

If her children are anything like their peers in this generation, grandchildren are a long ways off - if they ever come at all.

Her life for the last twenty years has been very busy; babies, career, making the perfect looking home, school activities, sports, and church.

So, fast approaching is the beginning of a period of time where everything is completed. That rat race we run to "get it all done" and "have it all" is winding down for her.  And like I've said before, what she now has is time. Lots of it.

Time at an age where grocery trips are few and far between, nothing needs to be repaired or replaced in the home, no carpooling needs to be done, no traveling on the weekend to whatever sporting event her children are participating in, the house is clean and doesn't get very dirty, two loads of laundry a week doesn't take much time - so what now?
"What do we do now?"
The question alone tells a story of what hasn't been done for the last twenty years. That man, sitting next to her, has been a co-parent with her and obviously a great provider. But to ask the question is to reveal that he has not been her priority.

Her purpose.
 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. - Genesis 2:18

 As difficult as it may be to understand, moms, we were not created for our children. Feminists, we were also not created for our own selves.

While it may be too late for any Gen X'ers reading, who are in the midst of the rat race with their children - pouring all of their time and focus into their children's lives. Hopefully the younger moms reading will hear what I'm saying.

Your children are temporary visitors. You were not created for them.

The best gift you can give your children is the example of living the life you were created for on this earth.

You were created for him.

Raise your children well, set boundaries on the amount of time they consume, and cherish the time you have with them. But set your priority on your husband. Do this so when the time comes for your children to leave home you will only feel a small pang of missing them but you will feel an excitement of what's to come.

What is in store for you is an abundant amount of time for you and your husband to do anything you want to do. You now have time for all of the hobbies, interests, entertainment, and intimacy for you and your husband to indulge in.

Tell your children to call before stopping in because you may be running around naked in your house. Stay up until dawn giggling with him and drink in the sunrise. Sleep all day. Feed each other chocolate dipped strawberries by the fireplace. Go fishing. Go hunting. Go hiking. Hold hands as you walk through the Zoo. Go to sporting events. Spend a week laying on a beach drinking frou frou drinks and eating seafood.

Don't get to this precious time in your life in the habit of not spending time together having made your children your sole priority. Live life in such a way that you can't wait for your husband to get home from work and can't wait until the children are in bed so you can be alone. Live with your husband as God has told you you should and you will never have to ask:
"What do we do now?"

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Boiling bones and few drinks

The chicken carcass left over from Mother's Day is on the stove in a pot of water simmering, and the beef marrow bones I bought today are in the oven for 30 minutes before I start them in another pot of water.

In addition to adding more fat to their diets and following them around with glasses of potato starch mixed in water until they relent and drink it, my family will be drinking a cup of bone broth everyday as well.

I pulled out my printed copy of this post of Keoni's that I keep with my recipes: Soluble Synergy.
Your gut bacteria is the engine of your immune system. Bone broth is rich in vitamins, minerals, collagen, can heal damaged guts and boost your immune system.
I found this handy reference as well listing all of the benefits of bone broth:

I'm hopeful RLB will experience more relief from his sciatic pain by drinking this daily. Here's another site extolling the many benefits:  Bone Soup: Miracle Food

A benefit to the high fat diet I've been on that I haven't mentioned yet is the lack of hangover I feel if I drink too much. I usually only have a 3-5 ounces of alcohol in a night if I drink. But, on occasion, we'll be up late playing games and talking and we'll just keep pouring. It is those nights that I brace myself for the yuck I'm going to feel in the morning. 

In the past my recovery would consist of: sleep as late as possible, eat as much as possible, and spend the day on the couch in and out of sleep watching movies. 

I noticed something two weekends ago, on a morning after a late night with RLB - I didn't feel bad. 
I drank my bulletproof coffee like normal and went about my day. I mentioned it to my husband but didn't look into it more. As I was reading Keoni's post again I remembered having read about this phenomenon two years ago but had completely forgotten about it. From his post:
With the disappearance of my hangovers, I began to suspect that the increase in coconut oil consumption was most likely the factor. So I googled and found some PubMed abstracts that confirmed my suspiscions.
Check out these excerpts from this PubMed abstract:

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of saturated fatty acid (SFA) and unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) diets on ethanol pharmacokinetics.
METHODS: Sprague-Dawley male rats were fed modified AIN76 diets containing 10% coconut oil (SFA) or corn oil (UFA) for 120 days. A single dose (3 g/kg bw) of ethanol (13% solution) was orally administered using a gastric canula on day 30, 90, 105 and 120. Tail vein blood samples were collected at various intervals following ethanol dose and were analyzed for blood-ethanol concentration (BEC).

RESULTS: Compared to the UFA group (corn oil fed), the SFA group (coconut oil fed) exhibited significantly higher BEC, larger area under the curve, longer half-life of ethanol, and lower rates of ethanol elimination.

CONCLUSION: Dietary SFA protects liver from alcohol injury by retarding ethanol metabolism, and carnitine may be involved.
So my increased coconut oil consumption appears to be my alcoholism enabler.

Check out this PubMed Abstract too:
CONCLUSION: A diet enriched in saturated but not unsaturated fatty acids reversed alcoholic liver injury. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Where God was leading me all along - fighting the big "C"

While I've been testing this low carb/high fat diet on myself, I've been reading as much as I can get my hands on about it. The benefits for me, someone who is overweight, yet relatively healthy, have been extraordinary. That which I wanted from the diet, I've gotten; gradual weight loss, significant reduction of pain caused by inflammation, healthy digestion, and I've defeated sugar addiction and cravings that I once believed were due to lack of self control and will power.

I've read countless stories and testimonials from individuals achieving the same results I have. Some on various blogs like these: 
My Zero Carb Life - written by a woman who has lost 122 pounds
Eat Meat. Drink Water Where I read about Charlene Anderson and how she overcame Lyme Disease with her meat and fat diet. This blog also has a very helpful page of resources.

Other stories I've found on this Facebook page: Principia Carnivora.

Since I am the food preparer of the home, I've been adding more fat into the meals I make for my family and have been noticing that our "Carb Pantry's" contents aren't being depleted at the usual rate. RLB has been mentioning some interesting changes that have been going on with him as well.

His Army career was ended due to a extremely painful back injury. Since then he's been diagnosed with Facet Syndrome. He has been receiving facet injections every three to four months for the past year, which have been very successful in relieving the lower back pain he had. Unfortunately he now has new, excruciating, sciatic pain running down his right leg. He's been unable to sit for more than five minutes without reeling from the pain. He's had another MRI but is waiting patiently to be seen by a neurologist (VA health care - and that's all I'll say about that). We've accessed his MRI results through his online account and saw that he has: L3-L4 disc protrusion. He's back on morphine and oxycodone to manage the pain.

For RLB, one of the side effects of morphine is food cravings. He'll wake up ravenous in the middle of the night. Sour cream and onion potato chips and Heath candy bars are usually his go-to food. However, he can get through the night if he has a healthy dose of fat for dinner. He was confused the other day that he didn't wake up hungry, when all he had to eat was homemade macaroni and cheese. I smiled at him and told him that he had a bowl of fat with a few gluten free noodles in it. My daughter and I had used extra butter to make the roux, 3 cups of heavy whipping cream instead of milk, and a lot of extra cheese. "No wonder it was so good!"

We'll know as the days progress, but yesterday he mentioned that he hasn't needed as much oxy for breakthrough pain the last few days. Could this increase of fat in his diet be reducing his pain?

Our children are making additional changes to their eating habits on their own. Their breakfasts all consist of fat and protein which they've reported has helped them get through to lunch without hunger. They're taking hand fulls of almonds, pecans, or olives as snacks instead of candy bars or fruit snacks.

Another health issue has come up in our family. My sister has recently been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. They caught it early and the prognosis is very encouraging. This is her second bout with cancer, several years ago she had malignant melanoma. She hasn't been fearful and remains very positive which is fantastic.

Sadly, our mother lost the battle with breast cancer 23 years ago this month. Thankfully the internet provides abundant information for us to be confident that a diagnosis does not, at all, mean a death sentence.

I remember my mother's fear. She called her cancer the big "C". For five years she fought that monster, sporadically upbeat and positive but for those of us who knew her well, we got to witness the sorrow and helplessness she faced. She underwent extensive treatments during one recurrence - three one month stays in the hospital for chemotherapy. The X-rays showed all of the cancer was gone and she had won. Unfortunately her brain was not scanned. Several months later she was having seizures and passing out. A scan revealed 25 metastasizing tumors that were reduced as far as possible with radiation only to regrow and take her life.

Today, through the information I've been reading and studying - God's hand - I've come across some remarkable stories. I won't rewrite what is written or told, I'm just going to link them here:

Man Beats Terminal Cancer without Chemo using High-fat Ketogenic Diet

Greymadder - a woman story of following a high fat/low carb diet to achieve “therapeutic ketosis” that she hopes will prevent progression of her slow growing brain tumor.

Starving Cancer: Ketogenic Diet a Key to Recovery

 Take an hour to watch this. I beg of you.

Thomas Seyfried: Cancer: A Metabolic Disease With Metabolic Solutions


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pretty Phalarope or Loquacious Quail

My fifteen-year-old daughter has become quite an artist. She is also very funny. Here is the Mother's Day card she made for me:

This is the Northern Phalarope (female). 

I decided to draw it because it was one of the prettier birds I found in this book and thought it'd be a nice Mother's Day gift. Well, then I wanted to read what the author had to say about this bird, hoping it may relate to you in some way. All I got was: "She leaves all the family duties to the less handsome, more modest male..."

This bird is not very motherly at all! It is almost the opposite of you! So this didn't really work out. I should have made the California Valley Quail who is described as: "Beautiful, lively, and loquacious" - loquacious means having the tendency to talk a lot :) - but it wouldn't work because that quail is actually quite ugly and it would be almost painful to draw.

So, to sum up, I messed up my Mother's Day project, but I hope you like the sentiment! 

I love you Mommy! 
My youngest daughter has already made me a very generous breakfast and will be roasting a chicken for me for dinner.

Later tonight, while they don't know it yet, they get to entertain my new obsession and watch another documentary that I've found called Cereal Killers. Just to let some other loquacious person talk to them about fat.

It is cool and overcast today. I'm going to finish cutting down our abundant, natural, pain in the rear, harvest of Burdock and then we're all going to take a walk in the woods to hunt Morel mushrooms and dig up some Trillium bulbs to replant. 

I hope all of the mothers reading have a pleasant and peaceful Mother's Day!

Update: Our first Morel mushroom hunt was a success! They are as delicious as we were promised they'd be.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The ketosis concern

In my recent post: My new love of fat, commenter Serioiouslyservingthesavior brings up common concern about high fat/low low carb diets:
I have read before about a low-carb/high fat diet, but I've always been hesitant to jump in because a lot of sources say that severely cutting carbs puts your body into ketosis and that no one has studied the long term risks of this.
Is that something you've come across in your research?
The conclusion of this study states:
The data presented in the present study showed that a ketogenic diet acted as a natural therapy for weight reduction in obese patients. This is a unique study monitoring the effect of a ketogenic diet for 24 weeks. There was a significant decrease in the level of triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and glucose, and a significant increase in the level of HDL cholesterol in the patients. The side effects of drugs commonly used for the reduction of body weight in such patients were not observed in patients who were on the ketogenic diet. Therefore, these results indicate that the administration of a ketogenic diet for a relatively long period of time is safe. Further studies elucidating the molecular mechanisms of a ketogenic diet are in progress in our laboratory. These studies will open new avenues into the potential therapeutic uses of a ketogenic diet and ketone bodies.
There is actually so much information packed into that study that I highly recommend reading it for yourselves. I'll admit, several things mentioned in it, I had never thought of. For example, consider breast fed babies and what their diet consists of. I read further on that and found this article about weaning a baby to a ketogenic diet may be healthier than weaning a baby to a high-carbohydrate diet:
  • The period in which human brains grow the most, and in which food is least likely to be different from evolutionary conditions, is a ketogenic period. This suggests that a ketogenic metabolism is excellent for learning and development.
  • Breastfeeding in humans is particularly ketogenic. We hypothesise that the positive associations between health and longer breastfeeding may be due to extending the period of ketosis in infancy.
  • A related hypothesis we offer is that extending the period of ketosis after breastfeeding, by weaning onto ketogenic foods such as homemade broth [*] and fatty meat, rather than cereal, fruit, and starchy vegetables, would further promote brain development and reduce risk of disease.          
Thinking back to when my children were infants, I remember when there was a drastic change in their diapers from stools that had no smell to foul smelling stools. It was when they started drinking sugary formula and the introduction of "baby food" - which, looking back, was extremely high in carbohydrates. Interestingly enough, while I don't claim my crap doesn't stink - heh, I don't remember the last time I passed gas. The digestive process in my body has been very consistent, predictable, gentle, and lacking in gas and bloating.

I'll admit, I had been of the mind set that any diet that seemed as drastic as the one I was about to try had to be unhealthy. They say it is. However, for me it was worth trying because I know what else not only they say but is objectively true: obesity is unhealthy, sugar addiction is unhealthy, inflammation is painful. I remember Gabriel Iglesias (Fluffy) saying that his doctor told him if he didn't lose the weight (he weighed almost 400 pounds) he would not live much longer than two years. He joked that while his low carb/high fat diet might cause heart disease (something we know it doesn't), that it would take ten years for that to happen. Dead in two years or dead in ten, he saw eating the way he has as an eight year win. Seeing his successful weight loss of over 100 pounds was enough for me to adopt that same mentality - which led me to research as much as I could. I still have not come across a reputable source that has objective data that losing weight this way is bad or unhealthy.

My weight loss has been gradual and consistent. One to two pounds a week. I am now down from 189 (BMI 28.7) in the beginning of March to 175 (BMI 26.6) today. That's not at all drastic or cause for concern. I don't plan on adding more carbohydrates back into my diet until I reach my goal weight (145) or until I have convincing evidence that my health is at risk if I don't. For now I maintain approximately 5 grams of carbohydrates per day with the occasional 10-20 gram day if I eat a strawberry or two.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Too young to feel this old

Several years ago, when my set point weight was around 180 pounds, I utilized the Nutrisystem diet to lose weight. At the same time I began running 2 - 4 miles a day. I kept both up for about three months and my weight dropped around 17 pounds.

The Nutrisystem diet, is a relatively low calorie, low fat, high in carbohydrate diet that has you eating six times a day. It is expensive but because weight loss results are obtained it is easy to be convinced it is working and should be continued. Since I was running at the same time, I wasn't sure which was contributing most to my weight loss but I didn't want to change a thing, the combination was successful.

Until my knees yelled at me. I had developed a very painful condition called runner's knee. Naturally I thought it was caused by running so I stopped running. I also lost interest in the diet, I was at a decent weight and figured I could take it from there. I went back to eating the food I serve my family - meals that focus around, as RLB likes to call it, some kind of dead animal; roast beef, roasted chicken, hamburgers, meat loaf, steak, eggs and bacon, etc.

The pain in my knees subsided and gradually I regained all the weight I had lost with an additional few pounds.

The next time I experienced pain like that I was doing Crossfit five times a week. This time the pain was in my right toe. Again, I was following a diet that was high in carbohydrates ("good ones") full of lean protein and obviously low in saturated fat. The pain shot through the roof on the unfortunate day when I tried to forcefully move my 70 pound basset hound away from our new baby kitten. Okay...I kicked the dog, there, I said it.

I honestly thought my big toe was broken. I went in for an X-ray and a follow up doctor's appointment. He was a funny old doctor, in his mid 80's, who teased me for kicking the dog, and then said, "No, kiddo, you didn't break your toe. You've reached that fun age where you need to start taking some ibuprofen before you exercise. You have an inflamed joint, that's all."

That inflamed joint persisted for a couple years and was joined by my other big toe. Now both screamed at me so I upped the ibuprofen. Last summer my right thumb had the same pain. Then my right hip, then my left hip. I started to get really concerned about how Ill be feeling when I am 50 if at 39 I am in this much pain. At my yearly physical with my new doctor (we moved), I told her about all of my pain. She convinced me it is not arthritis or cancer or gout or any of the other things I was worried about. It was just inflammation and she put me on a regimen of 500mg of naproxen twice a day. She told me it needed to "build up in my system to work so no matter the pain level, keep taking it." When I was consistent about taking it, the pain did subside. I'm terrible at remembering to take pills though and I hate the idea of being so dependent on medicine but when RLB would see me limping or wincing in pain he'd remind me that there is something I could do about it.

I had been eating like crap at the time and continued through Christmas. Over the holidays I indulged in all of our family favorites knowing that shortly I'd be turning 40 and I would again start the attempt to lose weight. "I'm going to get serious about losing 40 pounds when I'm 40, but for now I'm going to pig out."

At about the three week mark of my high fat/low low carb diet it dawned on me that I hadn't taken naproxen for a while and that my toes didn't hurt and my hips didn't hurt. My thumb hurt a little when I put pressure on it but not enough to need pain reliever. Today, two months in, the pain is gone. Also gone is 2 1/2 inches of fat around my waist, a nice aesthetic benefit. 

Could what I had been eating or not eating been the cause of this inflammation and pain?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The first time I felt full

This could be another post regurgitating the widely available information on carbohydrate addiction. I could rewrite the science of it all. But you're more than capable of looking that all up.

It is a real thing. It is more than lack of self control. And in my experience, there is a way to defeat it.

Some of what I have read recommends replacing white carbohydrates with brown - what I hear with this advice is: "replace the food that tastes so good with food that tastes like crap but does nothing to stop the craving for the food that tastes so good." Been there, tried that. I can eat whole grains and what seems to have more in common with bird feed than human food and still want a Snickers. For me there is no relief from the craving for Doritos if I just "avoid them" and eat an organic wheat cracker.


How many "10 ways to lose weight" or "10 ways to fight cravings" articles offer the advice to avoid the food you are craving?

For me, avoiding these foods is impossible. I'm the grocery shopper of the family, I'm the cook, I'm the baker, and I'm a human living in a world where sweets and treats and chips and goodies are everywhere. I have no interest in having the government regulate the marketing of these foods, nor do I want them to be taxed so I can't afford them. There are people who don't need to avoid these foods, why should they have to pay extra because some of us have issues?  How about a solution where I don't have to worry about avoiding these foods? How about a solution that ceases my desire for them altogether?

In our pantry and freezer, right this moment, you would find: five varieties of chips, fruit snacks, granola bars, a huge bag of snack size chocolates, cereals, crackers, french bread, ice cream, pizzas, and frozen french fries. (I live with four skinny people who don't overindulge and don't show signs of addiction or hormone issues - though they are all changing their food choices due to my blabbering on about it all).

I haven't had to avoid any of it. I haven't waited until I'm all alone to indulge in "just a little bit." I haven't had to convince myself that a little bite here and there won't hurt. I don't go through any mental anguish or moodiness while I dig deep for the will power to not give in to the craving - a craving, from what I've read, is much like a cocaine addict's craving.

With all the reading I've done I have only found a handful of rogue blogs run by "zero-carb eaters" that have suggested eating the way I have been eating to successfully overcome carbohydrate addiction.

I've explored all the warnings of a high fat/zero carb diet and I'll be writing about what I've discovered.

There are several contributing factors to why I have won the battle with carbohydrates. Part of it has been getting the carbs out of my system by using fat to become so fully satiated that I literally have no room to eat more. Another has to do with a hormone called Leptin - which I'll get into more later.

When I started, I just...started. I read and learned as I went. The first ten days I ate as much as I needed to of fat and protein. It wasn't organized at all. On the first day I ate some bacon and eggs fried in butter, then I tried this bulletproof coffee thing (coffee with a scoop of coconut oil and a scoop of butter blended until frothy), then I ate some olives, and then some more bacon. I stopped eating for a bit. Then for lunch I had some more bacon, cheese, ham, and almonds. For supper I ate a lot of chicken wings slathered in blue cheese dressing. And that night I had some cream cheese sweetened with Splenda topped with Reddi-Whip and pecans. - Sounds like a glutton's paradise, doesn't it?

The next few days were similar to the first but I couldn't quite eat as much.

By the fifth day something strange was going on in my stomach. I made a chicken/Caeser salad pizza for my family and reserved a healthy amount of toppings in a bowl for me to eat (~5 oz chicken, cream cheese, Caeser dressing, black olives, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and some lettuce). This is one of my favorite combinations of food. I was so excited to eat my big bowl full.

I ate about one half of it and literally could not eat another bite. I felt that if I did I would throw up. I had only eaten about 300 calories worth of food but I had to stop.

I felt full.

I asked RLB, "Is this what happens to you when you stop eating with food left on your plate? Do you quit eating because you're exhibiting self control or do you stop eating because the food wouldn't taste good anymore if you ate more of it?" He told me it was because the food would no longer taste good if he tried eating more of it.

Fascinating! I don't remember if I'd ever felt that before.

This was on day five. On day six I tracked all of my food and added up the calories: ~1800

I physically could not eat more than 1800 calories.

There is nothing that can convince me that eating massive amounts of fat and protein for five or six days will have affected my health negatively. And if that is all I ever did, it was so worth it to learn that I could actually eat until I was done eating and not have overeaten.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My new love of fat

The last time I wrote about starting the process of losing weight I weighed the same as I did two months ago. I lost a dozen pounds and....quit. I didn't quit exercising, I quit watching my diet.


For the hundredth time! 

I looked back and read that post where I said:
So, what made me succumb to eating more than I needed and not exercising? ME. Just me. My very own personal lies, laziness, excuses, and indulgences. I'm like that. It's like I'm a five-year-old performing the vinegar/baking soda volcano experiment over and over again thinking that it might not work this time. But just as the little kid will delight in watching the bubbly liquid expand and flow, I watch as too much food + not enough movement makes my fat multiply. Crazy how that works, huh?
What I do know, though, is that this experiment can be reversed with rewarding results. A disciplined diet + commitment to exercise makes ugly cellulite DIE.
I read that now and want to cry and laugh at the same time. I've learned so much over the past two months that I'm embarrassed as I see my former ignorance of the metabolic process written out.

I'll be posting what I've learned so that one day, when my grandchildren read this they'll say to their parents, "Why was staying a healthy weight so hard for Grandma?" - and my hope is they'll say that because the medical community will have finally become honest and the little known secrets today are widely known then. (I hear you all laughing).

I am not a doctor and my Google University degree doesn't mean much. But I have become my own guinea pig and have some fantastic discoveries to share.

In January I turned 40 and my cousin sent me a "your life in pictures" email that included a picture of me less than a year after our first child was born. I was 22 and almost 40 pounds lighter than I am now. It doesn't seem too drastic does it? Gaining 2 pounds a year over the course of time. Except those years really add up.

My motivation to start researching all that I have came from a peculiar source - his name is Fluffy.

We watched Gabriel Iglesias's, The Fluffy Movie where he talks about having lost 100 pounds on a low carbohydrate diet. He mentions eating all the fat and protein he wants he just stays away from carbs.

I've heard that story before, haven't we all? But this time, 40 years old, still overweight and frustrated I decided it was time to thoroughly research all of the pros and cons of a diet that virtually eliminates carbohydrates.

My biggest concern was my own self. I was a huge sugar tooth who craved different carb heavy foods all the time. I have previously attributed my inability to control my cravings to the sin of gluttony and that very well may be part of it - but it certainly isn't all of it. I'll go into more detail on this later.

As I mentioned, I'm only two months into making changes to the food that I eat. This would be a much more trustworthy series if I was a year in but I wanted to start cataloging the links to the information I've been reading and documenting my own progress.

I'm not starting from a point of poor health. I don't recommend anyone who is in poor health to do what I am doing without careful consideration and trustworthy advice from someone who is not me. (There's my disclaimer.) I started with a set point weight of 189, I'm 5'8" which means my BMI was 28.7. Today, as I write this I weigh 177 with a BMI of 26.9.

The benefits, outside of the 12 pound weight reduction I've achieved so far, have been nothing short of amazing for me.

I am no longer hungry.
I don't have cravings.
I have less joint pain.
I don't feel deprived.
I don't feel sad.
I don't hate everyone around me who can eat whatever they want. 
I don't have cravings.

I don't have cravings! None. At. All.

I have not had a candy bar in over two months. Even during Easter. I didn't eat a single jelly bean and didn't feel sad. Something has changed so drastically in my system that I have not chosen to eat (cheated) a single food item that I've cut from my diet. Not one chip, piece of french bread, french fry...nothing. In fact, I have not tasted anything with real sugar in it for two months.

I've done this before. But I didn't do it exactly this way. I attempted to cut sugar and starches out of my diet by replacing them with "better carbohydrates" and protein and inevitably I would go through a period of depression. My brain screamed at me to cheat on my diet. Food consumed my thoughts. Not being able to eat food consumed my thoughts. Feeling very bad things about people who can eat the food I wanted to eat, consumed my thoughts. Failure consumed my thoughts. And then failure set in. "I'll try again tomorrow."

So, what have I been doing different this time?

I eat a lot of fat.

A LOT of FAT! Fatty, greasy, fatty fat FAT!

My fatty fat fat diet consists of about 70% fat and 30% protein. My carbohydrate intake is minimal at less than 5 grams/day. And, I still have cocktails with my husband in the evening.

The fats that I eat are: coconut oil, butter, lard, and the fats found in other meat, nuts, and diary products. I'll get into more of the food I'm eating later.

For now I'll end with this, no matter how this change of eating turns out for me, I went into it with the hope that I could overcome the emotional challenge of not eating sweets, chips, breads, and desserts. If you have the addiction I did, you know that it is likely one of the hardest addictions to overcome. I'll tell you more about what I physically went through as I "detoxed" later. It took about ten days. Ten days and I don't have a single temptation to eat sugar. The sweet tooth that made me fat has been defeated, with FAT.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Why would he be prescribed a Statin?

This post is to request information pertaining to Statin Drugs. Thank you for allowing me to solicit any knowledge you may have on the subject.

My father was advised by his doctor to start taking Lipitor.  He declined. What I can't understand is why it would have been advised in the first place. He doesn't fit any of the criteria (that I had previously understood) for prescribing Lipitor.

He is a non-diabetic, 73-year-old, non smoker, with a cholesterol level of 140 (I'm unsure of the breakdown), and a BMI of ~29. As far as we know, there is no heart disease in his family, his paternal line has an extraordinary history of longevity. His father lived well into his 90's and had a grandfather who lived until 104.

I know some of you who stop by here are in the medical profession and/or are well read on these subjects. I'm looking to compose a list in the comments of links to further information on the subject.

Thank you so much!