Archive for the ‘General’ Category (feed)

Collages: Paper or Digital?

Let’s address something: paper or digital collages? Here are my thoughts about it:

1. Paper collages are more beautiful in person than prints. The real scissor cuts add to the surrealness.

2. The crafting part of paper collages is more pleasurable, as is everything that is being realized with our own hands. You do get some street cred for it too. Digital collages on the other hand are much faster to work with.

3. Prints on the other hand, look exactly the same, no matter if they’re digital or on paper (they only look different if you use soft cuts or if you boost the colors on digital collages).

4. Paper collages usually go for anywhere between $100 to $500 on gallery shows. Digital collages go for $20 to $100. Digital special edition prints though can also go for $500, as long as they’re resized up! At the end, it depends on the quantity sold.

5. Galleries rarely want to work with digital artists. This means that if you are a digital artist, you must do all the marketing and promotion yourself. It does take time.

6. Paper pop collages are usually up to 12″ size (usually smaller, and customers often complain about that). Digital collages can be resized and printed up to 36″ without much loss of quality. My most usual digital size is 18″ though.

7. Commissions for big publications or big clients is asked to be done digitally because they’re very demanding and they ask about changes all the time. Most of these changes can only be realized digitally (eg enlargement or flipping of a single element). About 1/3rd of my income comes from commissions.
8. Digital collages allow modifying elements when exporting for products (eg iPhone cases, pillows, t-shirts etc). Because these exports have specific sizes (e.g. too tall, too wide etc) visual changes must be made to accommodate a collage to that product’s ratios. This can’t be done with an already glued paper collage properly.

9. Digital collaborations are easier. Nothing to mail out or wait weeks for it.

10. Digital workflows liberate the artist. You don’t have to deal anymore with limitations of sizes and decisions made in the 1950s by some editorial guy who put together a magazine back then. The decision on the size, direction, flip, colors etc are now yours. I understand that some people like the limitations. I witnessed a similar thing with Linux: people would install and use it exactly because they wanted to beat its limits as a desktop operating system. I personally am over that phase in my life. I don’t have the need to beat anything anymore, or fight with it. I just create as uninhibitedly as possible.

The Fall of the Bronze Age and Us

I was watching the Director’s Cut of “Troy” last night, so I soon got interested in reading about the Late Bronze Age.

Right about 1100 BC, all hell broke loose in the Mediterranean: there was massive depopulation & famine, ALL cities were destroyed and burned (not one was left unscathed, and some were burned up to 7 times!), and civilization almost disappeared (we have only small villages with very simple geometric art, while people forgot how to write). So basically, we’re talking about Greece, Asia Minor and Hittites, Israel area and Egypt, all but destroyed. That era is called the “Greek Dark Ages” or “First Dark Ages”, and archaeologists consider these 300 years as much more “dark” than the Dark Ages that followed the fall of the Roman Empire 1500 years later.

Historians give a number of reasons why this happened: raids from the north and from the “sea peoples” (people of different origins got together to pirate), drought and other natural disasters.

Honestly, I think historians got the causes wrong here. Yes, these things happened, but they were not the root of the problem. I believe what happened is rather obvious after a bit of digging among geologists’ information instead: the mines in the Mediterranean ran out of tin!

Tin is a rather rare metal, and without it, they couldn’t forge bronze. Without being able to create bronze, in the Bronze Age, well, you have no Bronze Age anymore. You see, the whole high civilization starting in 3000 BC in the greater area was basing itself on bronze. When that went bust, their trades and economy collapsed. When economy collapsed, massive famine arrived. The ones who survived were trying to kill everybody else to get their hands to a little bit of tin that some might had left.

I base this opinion on the following:

1. There is absolutely no reason to completely burn all cities and kill so many people when you’re simply trying to conquer them. You only burn the cities if you don’t care about the cities, and you only care about what these people had control over that was of little availability: tin.

2. People from completely different nations coming together to pirate (“sea peoples”), only happens when the economy has collapsed. Humans of different origins don’t band together and choose violence, unless there’s no other way. Humanity 101.

And the most damning argument:

3. Iron was known as a metal that could be used by 3200 BC already (pretty much the same time that Bronze was becoming popular). But because it required a special furnace and smelting technique, iron was used very little by blacksmiths. The Bronze Age happened before the Iron Age simply because Bronze was simpler to deal with, not because they didn’t know what iron was.

So, there was no reason for people to switch to iron (especially because we would have to wait many more centuries afterwards to invent steel). And yet, we see a gradual turn from bronze to iron during the Late Bronze Age, despite the practical problems iron had. This to me makes it clear that the people simply ran out of tin, and they were FORCED to *slowly* turn to iron. In the meantime, until they got iron right, the Dark Ages were upon them!

Now, there’s a reason why I’m writing such a post here today.

Think about it for a moment: we have major civilizations that they based their successes on a single metal. When that metal went bust, so did their civilizations. The few who survived, resorted into extreme violence.

Always use History to decode the present and to get a good glimpse of the future.

So, does the above situation remind you of anything? Could this what will happen to us in as few as 50-75 years from now, when our fossil fuels go bust?

We’re in a similar boat, you know: our fossil fuels are going away rapidly, and our solar panel technology is not nearly as effective (the best ones only have 25% efficiency compared to fossil fuels, just like iron was difficult to forge compared to bronze).

Unless Lockheed Martin comes through big time with their announced fusion reactor, we should expect nothing but a similar result: the collapse of our economy, wars over the little bit of oil (and water) that’s left, and a rather Mad Max-like world.

So, I hope I’m gone by that time, and not be re-incarnated for quite a while. 😛

Regarding tap water & farmed fish

I wish some people stopped asking others to “not drink bottled spring water”. While bottling is indeed harmful for a variety of reasons, my health would be harmed even more if I was to drink that fluoridated, chlorinated, DISGUSTING tap water. So, no, I will not stop drinking spring water (bottled or otherwise), and I won’t stop buying wild-only fish (another such thing the same kind of people ask).

Farmed fish is in worse fate than farmed mammals are because it’s treated worse: it’s fed food that it didn’t evolved with at all, like soy and beef bone meal. At least the farmed mammals, while miserable in these nightmare farms, they eat food that resembles the food they evolved with.

So if you want me to drink tap water, the quality must become as high as spring water. And if you want me to eat farmed fish, then I need the nutritional composition, health of the fish, and feed, to be the same as in the wild. For example, farmed salmon is advised to be eaten *only* once a month, because even the government agrees that it’s a sick fish. While true wild salmon, it can be eaten daily, without any consequences (only benefits).

So, fix all that, and then we’ll talk. But under no circumstances I would put my own health into jeopardy just to be among the few who fight for environmental causes that never have any true impact. I have been very sick for 38 years, so now, well, now, it’s my turn to be healthy. Having spent 10 years of these 38 years in nightmare health situation, I now owe it to myself to get the best damn water/food I can. Even if it’s detrimental to the rest of the environment. At some point, being selfish only means self-preservation, and not necessarily arrogance.

So get off my face with your “bottled water is evil” shiz. I don’t care.

Are Smoothies Paleo?

Some say that smoothies aren’t Paleo, but I don’t agree with that sentiment. I would instead say that not ALL smoothies are Paleo, for example, the ones with just exotic fruits in them. I would also argue that it’s all fruit juices that aren’t Paleo, because they lack the fiber that stops fructose from running havoc in the body. But smoothies retain all fiber!

Yes, smoothies have more carbs than most Paleo meals (usually up to 30 gr net carbs, in the versions I make them as), but if you eat 80-100 gr net carbs per day overall (as I do — I will never go Paleo-keto again, I did that mistake once and I lost my hair), this fits perfectly into that diet regiment. Heck, I’m still low carb!

Smoothies are important in my diet for other reasons too: I get to add some powders that are not palatable otherwise (e.g. exotic berries that I can’t find in my grocery store, added fiber via psyllium husk, home-made goat kefir, goat whey, ginger & turmeric for extra health, ceylon cinnamon for extra blood glucose control), but most importantly, I pack my smoothies with GREENS, and often, other veggies too (e.g. raw carrots, beets). So basically, I get to eat more raw veggies this way!

If some fat is required on breakfast for satient/leptin/cortisol reasons, one can add a tablespoon of nut or seed butter in it too (except peanut butter, which is a legume and not a nut)! And sure, have an egg on the side too (why only have a smoothie?).

Having said all that, I would argue against the “Paleoification” of baked goods. These are not Paleo, even if they might be using coconut/almond flour and honey (which are Paleo ingredients on their own). When these nuts are flour-ed they become acellular (which is not so good to consume them often), when they’re baked they oxidize, and finally, honey loses ALL its medicinal properties when heated. So, for desserts, I would suggest people make RAW desserts (with the exception of adding some warm-ish grass-fed gelatin if the recipe asks for it), and even then, only ONCE a week, as a treat. Let green smoothies, or plain fruit, be your daily dessert otherwise.

How to make people give up processed foods

To make an educated guess or decision, you need to first have the educational part checked out. Unfortunately, for most matters, people don’t have the time or the interest to get “educated”, so they end up making bad decisions.

This is true for the subject of nutrition too. No matter the amount of “alternative blogging” and instagraming about how healthy Paleo is, the majority of people won’t follow it unless the government tells them so clearly.

This has worked with smoking. A lot of measures were taken against smoking in the last 40 years, however, one measure that is always omnipresent is that message of “Tobacco severely damages health”, on each and every cigarette product. It has worked for most!

What if we had something similar for all packaged food?

What if, we had an indicator score about the nutrition and anti-nutrition present in the said packaged food? For example, given that we know that wheat bread has many phytates, lectins, and other antinutrients going on, along with its capacity to bind into certain nutrients and neutralize them, it could get a score of, let’s say, 30 out of 100.

But kale or blueberries, having no major antinutrients to speak about, but instead having many nutrients, antioxidants, polyphenols etc etc, would get a score of, let’s say, 80 out of 100.

Yes, this would require re-sending all these products onto labs for full measurement on much more than just the 4 basic vitamins found on each label today (CoQ10, PQQ, iodine etc anyone?), but I’m confident that such a nutritional index could have such an impact.

I’m an artist, and it’s my job to know what makes people tick visually. Such a nutritional index could have huge implications in the decision of an individual to buy or not candy, donuts, bread, or cakes. When they can QUANTIFY how bad they’re doing diet-wise, then they have to ACT.

But right now, things are too abstract for them: eat this but not that, eat vegan not paleo, eat paleo not vegan, etc etc. There’s too much information flying from all over the place, so much, that most people simply prefer to shut out their ears and just ignore the whole thing.

But when they see an easy to understand number (without even knowing all the details behind it), clearly labeling the nutritional value of a product, they won’t be able to ignore it anymore.

Towards a more Pegan Diet

What do you know? I’m actually a Pegan (or as I call it, the Chris Kresser’s version of Paleo: Paleo +fermented dairy +some specific soaked beans +rarely some rice). Basically, in my updated Paleo diet regiment, there’s little red meat, due to it being loaded with sialic acid (which creates inflammation). As long someone doesn’t have Neu5gc antibodies or has Hashimoto’s, eating medium amounts of mammalian meat is not hurtful. But if you’re inflamed for no good reason (as I am), then taking out or reducing mammalian meat is probably the logical thing to do (poultry and seafood don’t exhibit much Neu5gc).

So here’s how I’ve decided a few weeks ago to go about it:
– 1 meal a week (probably Sunday lunch): mammalian pastured meat/offal.
– 1 meal a week (Wednesday dinner): organic poultry (I’d eat it more if it wasn’t so loaded with omega-6 here in the US).
– 2 meals a week (dinners): Wild fish.
– 2 meals a week (dinners): Shellfish (farmed ok).
– 1 day a week (3 meals on Monday): totally Vegan (detox).
– For the rest 12 meals in the week, I’m Vegetarian.

Plus, even just up to 40 years ago, my ancestors didn’t used to eat too much meat (they’d eat red meat 4-5 times a year only, poultry once a month, some fish from the nearby river occasionally), so I think this is what makes sense for me. My grandma lived such a life, and the first 20 years of my parents were as such too (even if they were goat & sheep herders!). Taking into account that I’m coming from steep, mountainous terrain that life hasn’t evolved much for thousands of years prior to 1970s (when electricity finally came about), it’s safe to assume that most of my ancestors ate that way too (soaked beans were a staple). So I believe it’s detrimental to my health to gorge on meat so much.

Living with $29 a week in groceries

Gwyneth Paltrow got a lot of heat lately, claiming that $29 a week (SNAP food stamps’ allowance) buys you enough food to eat. Her visual example of $29 in groceries was something of a disaster, showing… limes as a must-have food, and extremely low calorie density to the point of malnutrition.

So I put together a list of groceries that are both nutritious, and healthy. These items, calculated from prices found at the DollarStore, Walmart and other very cheap stores are on the bottom line of what’s possible for $29 a week, while staying somewhat Paleo (according to the Chris Kresser Paleo version that allows beans/rice/dairy). But in all reality, to really get proper nutrition, you’ll need about $50 a week. At $29, a lot of shortcuts had to be made.

So, in my list, you get 12,000 calories a week (1715 calories a day on average). According to this calorie calculator here, that’s (barely) enough food for a 6′ tall male, doing a job of medium activity (e.g. a cleaner). The average of “net” carbs are 157 per day, which is lower carb than the national average, but higher than a low-carb diet. Finally, olive oil was added to the calories consumed, even if olive oil was not calculated in the $29 per week limit. The reason for this is because neither Paltrow did calculate it (and it’s obvious that you can’t just plainly boil everything in her list and expect people to eat it as such). We should consider olive oil in this list, like we would also consider salt & pepper: “extras”, that are on everyone’s pantry by default.

So, here’s my $29 list:
$1.50, 1 lb lentils
$1.50, 1 lb garbanzo beans
$1, 1 lb white rice
$1.50 for 12 eggs
$1.50 for full fat milk

$3 for 4 frozen drumsticks
$2 for 2 cans of sardines
$1 for 1 can of tuna
$3 for 3 cans of shellfish (mussels, clams, or mix)

$3 for fruits (bananas, frozen fruits)
$8 for veggies (e.g. carrot, onion, greens, zucchini, potato)
$1 canned tomato sauce

Extra: Olive oil (20 tbpsoons a week)
Extra: salt & pepper

And here’s the actual nutrition breakdown (rice & beans are calculated as raw):

$29 a week

This is a very solid nutrition (MUCH better than the average Westerner’s nutrition), with only a couple of hiccups: more vitamin C is needed, and more vitamin E too (found only in nuts & seeds in ample quantities, which unfortunately are too expensive for this list). For these two vitamins, the person might have to supplement (if there’s no financial ability to buy nuts/seeds or more fruits). Also, supplementing in Magnesium and D3 are suggested for all people too, either poor or rich (most Westerners don’t get enough of it).

For maximum nutrition, here are some additional ideas:
– Boil the drumsticks for 3 hours on low, and keep the water (which is now bone broth). Using that broth, you can later add the tomato sauce, and some carrots, to eat with rice.
– Don’t drink the milk as-is: ferment it to kefir. Add the fruits and blend them with the kefir, as a smoothie for breakfast.
– Buy veggies in season for more variety and better prices. Get a bit of everything found in a plant: tubers, roots, bulbs, greens, fruits. Prefer greens though.
– Place the lentils and beans in water for 24 hours before cooking, to remove most of its lectins. Cook them in high heat for the same reason.
– While more expensive, always prefer olive oil to industrial seed oils. The money you would save buying seed oils, you’d pay later to doctors.

So, anyway, all this is kinda possible, but $50 a week per person is probably what’s needed for a more optimized nutrition.

Diet for Athletes

I recently started exercising again (I’ll be doing endurance, weights, and sprints). My lungs are pushed to their limits, so I need to be on top of my game everyday. To accomplish this, I became much more strict with my diet. Not everybody has to be as strict though. This below is the diet I’d personally do to maximize casual sports performance, reduce inflammation, and be overall healthy without cutting down too many foods. Disclaimer: I’m not a nutritionist.

Processed foods and ‘weird’ ingredients: None. Not even gluten-free processed foods.
Grains: None, except for fermented/sprouted brown rice (you can do it at home, or buy it from Amazon, TJ’s also brought some in recently too!). Have such rice only up to one or two meals per week.
Pseudograins: None, except for soaked quinoa, up to once a week (I personally do none at all, irritates my gut). If you can avoid quinoa though, do so.
Dairy: Fermented-only, e.g. European style full-fat yogurt (TJ’s), cheese, sour cream, home-made full-fat goat kefir (I personally do none anymore). For milk, you go for unsweetened almond milk.
Eggs: Pastured-only from Whole Foods or Farmer’s market (or at the very least, free-range organic). 7-10 eggs a week (cholesterol from eggs is a myth).
Nuts & Seeds: All are ok except peanuts, but they have to be raw, and then soaked (each kind of nut has different soaking times, look it up online). After draining them, these nuts & seeds keep up to 3 days in the fridge. Eat these only up to a small handful a day.
Flours: Almond, coconut and a bit of tapioca flour is permitted only in a few, special occasions in the year. Avoid all these “paleo gluten-free desserts/breads”. These don’t really exist in this diet.
Legumes: All are ok except soy and its byproducts, but they have to be soaked in water for 24 hours before cooking them in high heat. Check out lentils carefully, they tent to have barley and small stones among them. Gluten-free tamari soy sauce is ok to use (the only soy product allowed). Have legumes up to twice a week.
Fats: Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, animal fats. Don’t restrict these healthy fats. Instead, avoid all trans-fats and most vegetable seed oils (particularly margarine).
Veggies: All, including white potatoes and other tubers/roots. 2/3s of what you eat daily in weight, should be veggies, and some of it should be raw. Include many kinds of new veggies in your diet, even the ones you never had before (e.g. sorrel, raw young garlic etc). Also eat fermented foods almost daily, e.g. unpasteurized kimchi, sauerkraut, water kefir.
Sea vegetables: Yes, from parts of the ocean that are clean. A tablespoon of various types of seaweed, daily (prepare it yourself to ensure they’re gluten-free, or get a GF one from Costco).
Fruits: All in season. Juices are not permitted. Smoothies are permitted, but the whole fruit goes in it, not just the sugary juice.
Fish: All, particularly the fatty & smaller ones (low in mercury). They all must be wild. Best options are wild Alaskan salmon and wild sardines with bones (canned ok).
Shellfish: All. They don’t have to be wild. Canned are ok too. If they’re in vegetable seed oil, strain them, and add lemon. The most nutritionally-dense shellfish is oysters.
Meat: All, but only wild or pastured/grass-fed (3-4 times a week). Seafood in this diet is the primary source of protein, get seafood daily!
Offal: All, from pastured animals, once or twice a week. Liver twice a month. Heart has lots of CoQ10 and PQQ, which is great for mitochondria support.
Sugars: None, not even artificial. Some local, raw, unfiltered honey is permitted in RAW desserts (or added in gelatin-based but otherwise raw desserts). Organic brown sugar is permitted only if you’re using it for your water kefir (the kefir bacteria will eat it up during fermentation, so sugar is not an issue in this case). Don’t use honey in water kefir (honey kills the kefir bacteria).
Salt: Yes, Celtic sea salt. Avoid Himalayan, because while it’s otherwise very healthy, it’s also very high in fluoride (a little known fact).
Spices: Yes, particularly turmeric and ginger. Avoid ready-made mixes of many different spices, because these tend to have wheat fillers.
Bone Broth: At least 1 cup, daily (reheated and drank as-is, or used in soups). Slow-cook it for 24 hours with filtered water, pastured bones, 1/4 of a lemon OR 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and celery/carrots/onion only at the last two hours of the cooking process. Keeps up to a week in the fridge in jars, or up to a month in plastic bags in the freezer. Bone broth will keep your joints and knees healthy during exercise.
Coffee: Avoid all caffeine. It’ll take you two weeks to become free from it (drink less and less every day). Expect withdrawal symptoms, like headaches.
Teas: Herbal-only. Best are chamomile, and particularly Greek Mountain Tea (found in Mediterranean stores only).
Alcohol: If you have to party, rarely have some cider, or some wine. Particularly avoid beer at all costs because of its gluten.
Vitamins: The modern food and water don’t provide as much nutrition per weight as they did in the paleolithic times. Take D3 with breakfast, and get its level up to 80 ng/ml (test yearly to make sure you don’t overdose). Magnesium 2-3 times a week, 20 mins before bed. CoQ10 Ubiquinol 3 times a week, and K2-Mk4 2-3 times a week (lunch time). B1 only once or twice a month, with dinner. B12-sublingual or other vitamins only if a blood test reveals that you’re low. Take Zinc once a week — if you’re not eating oysters weekly. Avoid multi-vitamins.
Drugs: Avoid NSAIDs, steroids and other drugs that aren’t absolutely essential for your health condition (always with your doctor’s approval).
Water: Lots of it, but with no fluoride added (so avoid most tap water).

Regarding GMO/Organic: for some veggies/fruits it makes sense to get them as non-GMO and organic, for others it doesn’t. It depends on the kind of veggie/fruit we’re talking about. There are lists about this topic online.

Typical Diet:
Breakfast, after exercise: 1 egg, kimchi, tablespoon of seaweed salad, reheated baked sweet potato with butter on it, a reheated cup of bone broth, fruits. The sweet potato will refuel you.
Lunch: Seafood (I usually open a shellfish or sardines can for lunch) with green veggies or salad, cheese, and fruits or smoothie.
Snack: Chamomile, or almond milk, or home-made milk kefir, or a handful of soaked nuts/seeds.
Dinner: Seafood or meat/offal with veggies and 1 cup of starches. Also, salad, and fruits or yogurt with berries.

Regarding the mentioned starch at dinner time: use only for the days you exercise. For example:
Mon: Beans (soaked)
Tue: White Potato
Wed: Rice (sprouted)
Thu: White Potato or parsnips and other starchy roots
Fri: Lentils (soaked)
Sat: Quinoa or rice (soaked)

On Sundays, presumably the only day you don’t exercise (change it around if you are), go lower in starch:
Breakfast: Just a smoothie.
Lunch: Semi-starchy roots (e.g. carrots, beets, rutabaga, turnips), along the rest of the lunch.
Snack: Bone broth, or herbal tea.
Dinner: Green veggies (low carb), along the rest of the dinner.

This is a lower carb diet compared to the western diet, but it’s not very low carb, and it’s definitely not ketogenic. Don’t count calories/carbs. Just eat as much as you need, and have enough of the right fats (don’t skip them).

Fuel with more starch than usual for two days before an official race/game.

General info:
Get recipes using approved ingredients, here (minus the non-raw desserts & breads shown there, but plus the soaked legumes/quinoa/rice).

For pasta lovers, this is your pasta from now on. I personally prefer these over real pasta (especially the one made out of zucchini).

For pizza lovers, there are options, but none taste authentic I’m afraid. I’d suggest some rice-based pizza dough, in very special occasions only (Trader Joe’s has one that’s a bit acceptable).

How to do this cheaply in the US: veggies/fruits from Asian/Mexican stores, and the Farmer’s Market. Costco for seaweed salad, kimchi, organic ground beef. Trader Joe’s for raw nuts, canned sardines, canned Alaskan salmon, canned oysters. Dollar Store for other canned shellfish. Asian stores for shellfish, rabbit, duck gizzards, wild white fish. Pastured meat/offal/eggs is going to be expensive no matter what (although most goat/lamb is pastured in the US, find it in Mediterranean shops at acceptable prices).

Finally…

You’ll do worse before you do much better. It’ll take 3-4 weeks to adjust to this diet. During that time you will also be detoxing from sugar, gluten etc, so it’s to be expected that you will under-perform. But when that part is done, you should get much better than before, and quickly.

Good luck!

10 Foods to Survive on a Deserted Island

Let’s assume you shipwreck on a deserted island (knock wood). Somehow, half-buried in the sand you find a magic box with a message in it. The message asks you to specify 10 foods that the box will magically bring to you every day. These will be the same foods every day, so your choices have to be very specific. If you choose foods like pizza, which hold no nutritional value, you will die within a few months.

I was inspired to write this blog post because of a folklore story about Napoleon. He was imprisoned for a while in the 1800s, and was asked what food he would like in prison. His captors would serve him the same food daily, hoping that he would expire “naturally” out of malnutrition.

But here’s how to trick the magic box (or your captors) to give you the highest bang for your buck, not only keeping you alive until rescue arrives, but to make you thrive!

1. 150 gr of pastured beef or goat heart
The heart must be cooked in bone broth with onion, garlic, sea salt, and grass-fed butter. We pick a heart over muscle meat because it’s more nutritious and it has the highest levels of CoQ10. We don’t pick liver because its extremely high levels of copper and A will work against your health if consumed daily (although liver must be consumed once a week on different living conditions, of course).

2. 150 gr of wild Alaskan salmon, sashimi raw
Very high levels of omega-3 and many other nutrients. Wild sardines or wild trout would be my No2 choices.

3. 100 gr of wild, raw oysters
If liver is the most nutrient-dense food of all, oysters is the No2. We pick it because of its high levels of zinc among others.

4. 1 pastured duck egg, raw or fried
Chicken eggs hold nothing to duck eggs. Duck eggs are more nutrient dense per gram, and they create fewer allergies than chicken eggs. Cooked in coconut oil if fried.

5.30 gr of sunflower seeds, soaked for 4 hours
These have very high levels of B1 and E (higher than that of almonds). Extra B1 is needed on a diet that doesn’t contain legumes or enriched flours.

6. 100 gr kale, raw
The most nutrient-dense vegetable. Served with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

7. 250 gr of white potatoes, baked
We need some starches, no matter what keto people say. We carry friendly bacteria in our gut that can only live on starch. White potatoes also carry the important resistant type of starch.

8. 100 gr of asparagus, or 100 gr of an avocado
Asparagus seared in coconut oil. Avocados would be my personal second choice, but you might want to pick that instead, if you are after more fiber and even more nutrition.

9. 500 gr home-made raw, full-fat goat kefir
Fermented foods are needed, and some calcium too. Kefir is the definite powerhouse in this case.

10. 1 pink grapefruit per day
Antioxidants and enough vitamin C. If grapefruits are unavailable (due to season), 150 gr of blueberries will do.

And of course, lots of natural, spring water.

As you can see below (click to view larger), that set of foods daily give you pretty much over 100% of your daily needs for most needed nutrients. You can’t go wrong with these!

Don’t be afraid about the trans-fats shown there and the low omega-3 shown in the chart. The database that contained similar foods did not include their pastured/wild versions, and so the data in that respect are a bit skewed. The vitamins/minerals are pretty much correct though.

Regarding honor killings

“Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death after marrying for love. ‘Honour killing’ in broad daylight outside Lahore high court involved father and brothers,” says The Guardian.

Terrible news, of course. But the also disturbing thing is that the commentators at the Guardian continue to get it wrong. They place “religion” and “non-education” as the reasons why these honor killings happen. I’m sorry, but these people, these supposedly progressive and smart readers of The Guardian, think only skin-deep.

YES, religion is often the vehicle where this terrible action materializes. But it’s not the reason why it happens. As someone who was beaten rather regularly by my traditional Greek father for having my engagement break apart in the early ’90s, I can tell you, there was no religion behind it. And education has often little to do with all this too.

It was primarily social pressure.

You see, when you live in tribal-like communities (like most non-Westerners do), where everybody kind of knows everybody else in the vicinity at large, there’s extreme social pressure to maintain status and control within both the group, and within the family. My father constantly used to tell me that “we live with others”, hence, in his mind, he was supposed to maintain an IMAGE. The image of a strong family man. A man who had everything under control. A man where you could TRUST to give him a job (my father was a house builder, a profession that requires trust).

As such, having a daughter breaking up her engagement to a man from the same village, it was a social disaster for him (in his own mind at least). The gossip that ensued was unbearable for my family. So he acted out any way he knew how to maintain his illusion of control.

I have forgiven my dad, I hold no grudges whatsoever. In fact, there is nothing to forgive, because I know where he’s coming from. Exactly because I can understand his limited point of view, and even if I don’t agree with it, it’s enough for me to not hold grudges.

Besides, the people who carry out these acts are victims themselves. Victims of their own inability to escape cultural programming, and victims of the closed society they’re in. Close societies like that do have their advantages (they never let one of their own go hungry, for example), but you gotta play with their unwritten, irrational rules to gain their support. Societies are exactly as twisted as humans can be, because they’re made out of humans.

So, Primary reasons of honor killings/beatings:

– Re-assuring of one’s social status by doing what others expects you to do according to the local societal rules.
– Power and control within the immediate and extended family (ego and super-ego at play).
– Illusion that this way they save the rest of the family (by taking out the bad apples, the family is again pure enough for the society’s expectations).

Secondary reasons that act as permission, rather than as the main reasons:
– Cultural traditions masquerading as religious laws
– Low educational status
– Dowry and other such financial assets getting lost

So there you have it.