Tag Archives: saturated animal fats

Hair as an Indicator of Health

hair

Not too long ago I had very thin hair; I was using the flat iron a lot and eating the government sanctioned “healthy diet”. I was probably about 45 years old when I was at dinner with the family and one of my sisters mentioned that my hair was getting thin. She had just gone through a thin hair period (it runs in the family), and I’m pretty sure she fixed it with Rogaine or something like that.

I didn’t really do anything about it right away; I think I started taking gelatin and biotin supplements, but I tend to take supplements pretty haphazardly. A few months later I got a horrible haircut; I had been going to this girl and she was really great, and my hair looked awesome, but this time she butchered my hair. She took off about four or five inches and did something with my side bangs that just ruined that entire side of my hair. My husband was not happy with how short it was at all, and this was when I started concentrating on my hair in earnest.

Searching, the most common thing I read about growing hair was drinking bone broth, so I started making that. Just prior to this I had discovered saturated fats and animal fats and was experimenting with those. Seriously, saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, bacon fat, etc) changed my life. My body and brain LOVE them. I’m drinking coffee with raw heavy cream right now!

During this search and research, I discovered the Paleo/Primal Diet, and whereas I don’t religiously stick to it now, it really pretty much changed my life, too. Cutting out most of my carbs eventually cut out most of my inflammation. Before, I was mostly vegetarian, and after I was mostly carnivore. Not “you are what you eat” (who wants to be a grain or vegetable?) but “eat what you are” (you are an animal!).

For thick healthy hair, there is only so much you can do on the outside to help: you can quit using high heat appliances, you can oil your hair, you can only shampoo twice a week with a sulfite free shampoo and conditioner, you can go No Poo, but eventually you have to go to the source of the problem. You have to fix your body before you can fix your hair. If your body isn’t healthy, your hair probably won’t be either. A lot of hair is genetic, but if you give your body the necessary building blocks, you can maximize your hair growth.

I tried to use my flat iron as little as possible, and I thought that it was the main culprit as far as my thin hair went, and it did help, but I needed more. I was making bone broths and using them for soup but I didn’t really think of using them as lunch until I discovered intermittent fasting (IF), and broth fasting. I don’t constantly IF, though; I go on spurts of IF, resistant starch, and eating whatever leftovers that I happen to bring from home for lunch. I eat a full regular dinner with my husband each evening.

So, what is my current regimen? Monday morning I wash and blow-dry straight (I have very curly hair that is easier to straighten than it is to make the curls behave). Tuesday I use a YouCurl curling iron (I curl my hair in only three parts: back, and both sides for larger curls) to reduce bedhead ; it is damaging, but since it’s not used near the roots like a flat iron, it doesn’t thin your hair. Wednesday and Friday I shampoo and blow-dry, and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I use the YouCurl. Sometimes I wear a hat on Sundays, LOL.

The evenings before shampoo day, I will oil my hair with either coconut oil or Argan oil or both. Every day after drying/curling, I use a tiny amount of pomade (wax) from either Pantene or Herbal Essences to make my hair less static and look more polished. The main reason I don’t shampoo every day is because I do more damage to my hair when I do. I looked for a dry shampoo to try, but I couldn’t find one, and then decided that I didn’t want to put any chemicals on my scalp. I’ve heard you can use baby powder or baking soda, but I’m not that adventurous.

Recently, I have been taking a couple of tablespoons of Blackstrap Molasses before bed with the zinc and magnesium supplements that I take to sleep (excellent sleep aid!). Molasses is also good for sleep like raw honey is. The honey didn’t seem to help my sleep, but I’ve been sleeping like crazy with the Molasses.

To improve the gelatin in my bone broth, I have been getting chicken feet at the Asian Market to add to my chicken broth and I have been getting cow hooves, feet, and tendons for my beef broth. My hair is now nice and full, and I only have another four inches to grow it before it will be the perfect length. The funny thing is that before starting on bone broth, both my husband and I were going gray, but after, both of our hair went back dark. I hardly have any gray right now and I’m in my early fifties.

Everyone remarks on how young we both look, and I’m pretty sure it is the collagen and gelatin (and minerals?) in the broth. I think it is helping our bodies resist “going south”. When you get to our age, and I’m in the middle of menopause, which doesn’t help at all, everything starts to sag. There really isn’t any way to stop this, but I think that broth helps retard the process. With a good diet, lots of broth, tons of squats, kettlebell swings, and some weight training, you can be in really good shape well into old age.

Fat Burner

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I am absolutely addicted to the raw heavy cream that we get at this adorable little dairy in a town near us. It’s not even worth drinking coffee without it; I’m only drinking coffee right now to keep in practice for Friday, when I will be reunited with my cream. Not only does it taste so good, creamy, smooth, and sweet, but my brain really seems to need the fat.

Every once in a while, I’ll try life without cream, usually trying to skinny up for a meetup like Vegas and now Mardi Gras. The jury is out on whether or not reducing my calories by 350-400 per day and fat intake of 35-40 grams a day does any good at all in skinnying me up because frankly, I haven’t noticed any difference in the past few weeks of any sort of size change.

I have noticed a huge difference in my brain function. I noticed this the last time I tried it in late September, but the change wasn’t as noticeable for some reason, perhaps because I’ve been eating a lot of resistant starch in the form of cooked (in bone broth) and cooled parboiled white rice and properly soaked and fermented lentils cooked in broth with ham. These meals are higher carb and have a lot lower fat than I usually eat.

A few days after I quit the heavy cream, I got really manic. Really manic, like bouncing off the walls manic. Gibbering, mind and mouth going a million miles an hour manic. Then my moods started swinging: thrill, angst, doom, excitement, and the roller-coaster of emotions zooming up and down. Now, there aren’t so many emotions but I feel like I’m getting a migraine, and I haven’t had one of those in a long time.

I’ve been eating coconut oil to try to soothe my brain, and it sort of works, but it doesn’t work nearly as well as cream. I was going to use butter in my coffee, but the only butter I had around was salted. Luckily, Thursdays and Mondays are the days to go on a cream run, so I’ll have some for my coffee Friday. Whew!

Frankly, I’m done trying to get resistant starch. I haven’t noticed any differences there either. I’m not sure what to look for either, but I’m willing to bet that if I take Deep Strength’s advice and let my diet stabilize, I will be a lot better off. So, I’m done with resistant starch. It’s something that I will acknowledge and store in the back of my mind, but I’m going back to high saturated fat with meat, broth, whatever veggies that don’t hurt me, and the occasional carb or two.

The Lost Art of Lying

Lying

I’m a terrible liar; I learned early in life that I was no good at it, so I gave up trying. The problem is that the truth just pops out most of the time. The one thing I don’t have a problem with is lying to authority figures. In high school, I was extremely good at coming up with fantastic stories on why I missed a class. I got so good at it that I pretty much skipped school constantly with no repercussions.

The reason I’m bringing this up is the looming switch from paper medical records to a digital database under Obamacare. Now, there have been all kinds of reports saying that doctors are required to ask you if there is a gun in your home or how many sexual partners you have had or are currently having. I’ve read conflicting stories on the NRA getting most of the most damning language out of the new law, and I really don’t have time to research the whole topic, so I’m not going to delve into that.

The main thing is that now there really is a permanent record. You say something once to your doctor and it is put into the database forever more. A lot of people think that doctors are there to help them and that if you don’t tell your doctor about your alcohol/drug/tobacco use, they won’t be able to properly treat any ailments that crop up because of that use. This is a fallacy.

Doctors are not here to help you. Doctors are glorified pill and surgery salespeople. Sure, there are about 10% of all doctors that try really hard to help, and they have their heart in the right place, but they still try to push statins and blood pressure medication on healthy people “just in case”. Plus, if you read medical journals from the 1970s, you will see that the medical community and their pharmaceutical overlords keep lowering the bar for cholesterol and blood pressure, so that more people can be prescribed pills.

Now that your medical records are in a database for eternity, and all your medical expenses are soon to be socialized, your bad behavior will eventually be punished. I advocate lying. If a doctor asks you if you drink, say NO. If they ask whether or not you smoke, say NO. If they ask if there’s a gun in the house, say NO. All information you give them will eventually be used to determine all kinds of things about you.

If they ask how many sexual partners you have had and you say “only my husband” then you are not toeing the liberal line of sluttitude and might be a dangerous radical. If you reply “50 or 60” then you are engaging in risky behavior and might be required to undergo invasive procedures. I think the best answer to that question is “4 but only my husband since marriage”. That is pretty ambiguous, and doesn’t raise any eyebrows. The goal here is to blend.

I do all kinds of things that are considered commonly-accepted dangerous behaviors: I sunbathe, I eat a ton of saturated fats, I intermittent fast instead of eating seven small meals a day, I shoot guns, I smoke, I drink, I drive fast, etc. There is no way I’m going to tell a doctor about any of those things. Heck, I pretty much refuse to see a doctor except when I break something or am in dire health.

Even though I am disgustingly healthy and in good shape, every time I did go to a doctor, they always wanted to prescribe me statins and blood pressure medication “just in case”. My blood pressure is very low, and I like cholesterol; my brain is the most cholesterol-rich organ in my body. I like my brain and its cholesterol, and I don’t want to take a drug that lowers that cholesterol.

How long will it be before refusing to take statins and blood pressure medication is considered risky behavior? What will happen if you defy your doctor? When doctors are government employees, how much power will they have over you? Think of doctors as if they are as powerful as IRS agents. Soon there will be three things you can’t avoid: Death, Taxes, and Forced Healthcare.

Adventures in Freezing Meat

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While I’m fermenting my next introvert girl (care & feeding) post for a couple more days (in me braiin), I thought I’d talk about what I’ve been doing lately: dealing with a lot of meat. I’m talking a LOT of meat. We bought a chest deep-freezer a couple of months ago & have been slowly filling it with meaty sale items (also 90% dark chocolate & grassfed butter).

Not too long ago there was a sale on “extra meaty” baby back ribs (a rack for about $6), so we got a ton of them. Now there is a sale on T-bones & strip steaks for $4.99 lb, so we are cornering the market on those. The thing is that I’m new at this freezing thing, so I’m looking up a lot of stuff on ye olde interwebs.

There is a lot of conflicting info out there! My main concerns were BPA in plastics & freezer burn. I like the vacuum sealed meats because they deal with freezing pretty well & the ribs we bought came frozen, so it was easy enough to put them directly in the freezer, but do they leach BPA? You would think that this would be an easy search, but you would be mistaken.

After quite a bit of searching  I got this from from Wikipedia (so, grain of salt this info), which says that whereas there is no labeling requirements for BPA,

“In general, plastics that are marked with Resin Identification Codes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are very unlikely to contain BPA. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with the Resin Identification Code 7 may be made with BPA.”

Another site, Diapers, Etc, says:

“Choose plastics that use polyethylene (#1, #2, and #4) and polypropylene (#5), which require the use of less toxic additives. They also are non-chlorinated. Avoid choosing products that use polyvinyl chloride (#3), polystyrene (#6), and polycarbonate (#7) which often are found in clear, hard plastics used for water, baby bottles or sippy cups.”

Then there is this alarming, but thorough article from Chris Kresser that basically states that absolutely no plastics are safe. Yikes. Whatever. I’ve already quit using all plastics for preparation & storage of foods, but the meats I’m buying are already packaged in plastic & already exposed. I can’t be THAT concerned or I’ll starve to death. I’m trying to limit exposure, not go nuts trying to eliminate it altogether.

The T-bones, strip steaks & ground beef I’ve been freezing aren’t vacuum sealed, so I’ve been double-wrapping them in freezer paper. The freezer paper is coated with plastic on one side, so I went a huntin’ for info on the type of plastic used. Holy crap, this info is stupid hard to find! Finally I found this forum that said:

“Freezer paper is coated with polyethylene, the same stuff that plastic bags and milk jugs are made of. PE is not quite as inert as Teflon but it’s fairly close. No, it will not cause bisphenol offgassing because bisphenol is not used to make PE.”

Now all I need to figure out is an easy way to implement the FIFO (first in first out) method of inventory. Frozen meat is heavy & cold & unloading the whole freezer to get to the old stuff on the bottom is crazy. I started freezing a few months ago, so I have already done this once & it was no fun. As for freezer burn, I will just have to see how well my wrapped stuff lasts. I think this is something I will only know with time & experimentation.

[Note: as You So Would states in this excellent comment:

“Interesting. Reading further from that same study, it goes on to say that “The relative proliferative effects ranged from 19.8 to 50.2% corresponding to an estrogenic activity of 1.9 – 12.2 pg estradiol equivalents per liter bottled water”.

According to the Wikipedia article on Estradiol, the average male naturally has anything between 14 – 55 pg (picogram – trillionth of a gram) of Estradiol per millilitre of blood. Assuming an adult male has roughly 5 litres of blood, then this corresponds to a minimum total amount of 70,000 pg.

Therefore, at worst, each litre of bottled water can increase your overall Estradiol level by only 0.017%, which would subside again over time – I’m not sure this is anything to be concerned over?”

So, this is just another instance of me buying into “conventional wisdom”. I should know better!]

Raw Milk

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I went yesterday to an adorable dairy & bought some raw dairy items. It was pretty reasonably priced; I got a gallon of whole milk, 6 pints of heavy cream, a large block of jalapeno cheddar & 2 bags of fresh curds for $28.

So last night when we got home we had some White Russians with my homemade kahula. Regular kahula is way too sweet, so I make my own. It is super easy, you just make a pot of really strong coffee & put it on the stove until it gets really thick. Add a tiny amount of sugar – maybe 1/4 cup, or molasses, or whatever sweetener you feel comfortable with. Pour a teaspoon of vanilla & then finally add some booze to it. Rum or vodka is good, but I use everclear so it doesn’t get watered down.

The dairy I went to has been in business since the 1920s & is located in an older section of a small town. It is right smack dab in the middle of a not great neighborhood full of ramshackle Victorians, so you have these cows wandering around this piece of land in the middle of a neighborhood. It looked just like the picture above except it was only a couple of acres.

The Drinker’s Diet

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Ever since I discovered the hangover curative properties of butter and subsequently eliminated almost all grains, starches & sugars from my diet, whenever anyone pointed out the oddity of my eating a bunless burger I simply stated that I was saving all my carbs for beer. Little did I realize that I was doing the absolute correct thing (subject to change because everything changes).

After completely screwing up my entire system trying a potato diet for 3 days, I continued to experiment with resistant starch in an attempt to colonize my colon with beneficial bacteria. I look terrible: my body is kind of puffy, I haven’t lost the 10lbs I gained on the potato diet, I feel like crap, etc. SCREW RESISTANT STARCHES! No more. I’m going back to eating meat, fat & veggies. I’m once again saving all my carbs for beer.

After announcing this on Twitter, I joked about a Drinker’s Diet, but then I remembered there was one back in the olden days: The Drinking Man’s Diet.

The Drinking Man’s Diet is almost exactly like mine:

“Did you ever hear of a diet which was fun to follow? A diet which would let you have two martinis before lunch, and a thick steak generously spread with Sauce Béarnaise, so that you could make your sale in a relaxed atmosphere and go back to the office without worrying about having gained so much as an ounce? A diet which allows you to take out your favorite girl for a dinner of squab and broccoli with hollandaise sauce and Chateau Lafitte, to be followed by an evening of rapture and champagne?”

Except that I generally don’t drink lunch while working, but I could totally go for the hollandaise and rapture part! There’s even a sample menu! Sounds Fab! Then of course when doing a search for it, LiveStrong pops up with the most ridiculously unenlightening article about how drinking is BAAAAAAAAAADDDDDD!!!!! Every LiveStrong article is some inane bullshit that doesn’t inform; it just takes up bandwidth & time.

Then I found this delightful site: Drink your Carbs. Awesome! I have a few very very minor quibbles, but for the most part I cosign:

If you are ready to get started, but don’t want to spend hours studying the intricacies of Basic Drink Your Carbs, Austerity Mode and Nightmare Mode, we recommend that you begin by adopting our three simple rules. These rules are not as effective as the full Drink Your Carbs diet, but they will get you 90-percent of the way there:

  1. Avoid all deep-fried foods;
  2. Avoid all added sugar and other sweeteners;
  3. Eat nothing white (This refers to simple starch-based, white foods. Eat all the egg     whites and cauliflower you want).

They basically advocate unlimited booze & meat, which is super awesome, and they do include butter & rendered fats, but they also include industrial seed oils like canola. They do differentiate between some fats & have a list of limited fats, which are of the industrial variety.  Also, they go for low-fat dairy & all the nutrition in dairy is fat soluble, so I’ll continue on with high fat dairy. They keep talking about soy products & I think I’ll pass. Fruit, too; fruit is a treat not a staple food. Otherwise, I’m there. I’m all about it.

There are other things you find when you search for Drinker’s Diet; NexxtLevelUp has a good article on Drinking While Staying Lean, there is this site, Get Drunk Not Fat, which has calorie vs. alcohol by volume. There is a funny but critical review of The Beer Drinker’s Diet, and as always an unhelpful LiveStrong article about how alcohol is BAAAAAAAAAADDDDDD!!!!!

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My Drinking Diet consists of this:

  • Save all your carbs for beer.
  • Lubricate your hangovers with saturated animal fats (organic & grass-fed if possible – whatever).
  • Eat your meat (organic & grass-fed if possible – whatever).
  • Veggies are for flavor. Don’t worry about eating a ton of them, but they can be delicious.

I also try to eat as many bone-in meats like rotisserie or roasted chicken, ribs, etc. & then I boil up those bones for broth. It is also a good idea to eat as many organ meats as possible for the added nutrients.

I’ll let you know how this works out!

My First Red Pill: Butter

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There I was, minding my own business, bored at work & surfing the edges of the interwebs circa 2009, & I saw something about how cracking fresh black pepper on my food would increase the nutrient absorption by 2000%. I searched more on this & found Whole Health Source & started reading. I can’t find the original post I read (I heard that he culled his posts awhile back), but I started looking around on Stephan’s site.

Somewhere I stumbled onto a post about fats, which blew my friggin mind. I mean, I already knew about good fats & bad fats; in order of good to evil they are: olive oil, vegetable oil, & the very worst ever: Saturated Animal Fats. I can’t find anything that I remember reading on that site back a few years, but the gist of what I read was that saturated fats were pretty stable, but polyunsaturated fats (veg oils) when you looked at the molecule there were all these places where oxygen molecules (disclaimer: not a scientist!) could attach, thereby oxidizing the fat, rendering it rancid. I’m not even going into the chemical process used to extract veg oils.

I, like everyone else in the free world, was on a major Extra Virgin Olive Oil kick, so when in the comments of a post (that I cannot find, damn it) someone asked Stephan which was better for you, butter or olive oil, Stephan said Butter. Butter. I had like a million bottles of olive oil in the pantry.

My first red pill was the day I started melting a thick pat of butter on everything I ate. Much to my surprise, I did not gain weight; what did happen is that I noticed that I no longer had hangovers. Seriously. I have had maybe 20 hangovers total since 2010 & I like to hang out at bars a lot. Sometimes on a Friday I may visit 4 different bars.

The reason it was such a red pill is that saturated fats are the most vilified fat in the US, yet by eating a bunch of it I actually found a major benefit. What else was Conventional Wisdom wrong about? Well, I’m about to take you on a very slow hop down the rabbit hole because CW is wrong about pretty much everything.

Tl;dr:  Everything you have ever been told is a complete & total lie.