Archive for the ‘General’ Category (feed)

Why Planet Colonization might be a Pipe Dream

Dr Alessio Fassano, a world renowned researcher on celiac disease, said recently that even travelling from one continent to another changes your gut microbiome, and for some people this exacerbates autoimmune disease.

This made me think that if that’s true, then there’s no way in hell that we will ever be able to colonize other Earth-like planets. Not even if we terraform them. Humans require very specific bacteria & yeasts to stay alive, we are actually a shell made out of these colonies. We are not “I”, we are “them”, science has found in the last 3-4 years. Some doctors now wonder if we’re “humans with trillions of bacteria within us, or bacteria having a human experience”. Ponder on this for a second.

So just because a planet might have good levels of oxygen and gravity won’t mean sh*t. We won’t be able to leave our space suits and sealed colonies to just breathe that air. IF we do, and IF we survive that (I don’t believe we can), then in a few generations these people won’t be humans anymore. They’ll be something else.

In that light, I believe there are only two ways to visit “other places” out there. One, is a hybridization program. You make a hybrid between a native species, and humans. It’s possibly the way we’re going to go. Second way is to never leave your planet, learn to live sustainably here, and then visit other worlds with mind alone (e.g. meditation). Now, that second method is a more “out there” than most people feel comfortable with, but it’s the least intrusive method.

I, too, wish that the sci-fi wishiful thinking of simply finding a “habitable” planet was possible, but I just don’t see it happening. And that’s not because there aren’t any Earth-like planets, or that we don’t have the right inter-stellar travelling technology for it. I feel these are easier problems to solve than going around the problem of gut microbiome and actually surviving on a planet that we weren’t evolved with.

How to stop wasting food world-wide

A new paper says that billions of tons of food are wasted every year, both because of producers and transporters not taking a good care of them, but also because the average person is simply letting food rot in their fridge (in the Western countries, that is).

30% of all purchased meat & fish goes to waste, and 19% of veggies. Here’s my own analysis of the problem in my personal experience, and how to stop it.

Veggies & Fruits

I cook what I eat, the vast majority of the time. And yet, even myself I occasionally waste food. The reason being is this: I was sold too much of it. When I need 3 leaves of kale for my stew, I need just that: 3 leaves of kale. Not a bunch of 15 leaves! When I need 1 carrot for my soup, I need just that: 1 carrot. And when I need 5 tangerines, I need 5, not 30 in a big bag.

Instead, 90% of what’s sold in the produce aisles (and even in farmer’s markets!) are in big bunches/packages. If we were still living in the wild, I’d only pick what I needed for the day, not the whole field. This philosophy must come to all supermarkets too, by law, otherwise, we over-farm (and this has many consequences), we over-produce, we over-consume, and at the end we’re making heaps of garbage. Sure, what I’m suggesting here is not very capitalistic, but it’s logical, and it’s how we evolved to consume.

So here’s my idea on how to bring the “buy only what you need” philosophy to the market:

– Create three color-coded areas in the produce aisle: Yellow, Red, Blue (so all color blind people can see them too). Plastic bags for produce will have such colors too.
– Fruits and veggies that cost (let’s say) $1 per pound, are in the Yellow area. Produce in the Red area cost $3/lb, and Blue cost $5/lb. More expensive super-markets or organic produce can be sold more expensively, but still at this 3-tier pricing scheme (the actual prices are something to be decided by the parties involved, not the focus of this article).
– The trick is that none of these veggies are sold in bunches. Big veggies (e.g. cabbage, iceberg), are sold as whole, 1/2 and 1/4 sizes. People can mix and match what they buy, as long as these are part of the same color-coded area/price.

This type of selling goods have the following benefits:
– People are not going to waste so much food anymore, because they will be buying exactly what they need. Since everything is sold by weight, they will be careful of how much they buy. There’s now incentive for it.
– People will also have incentive to try more veggies! People who never tried collard greens before, they will buy just 1 leaf (since they won’t be paying much for it for that weight), just to try it once. The next time, they will try something else they never had before. Eventually, that’s how you make people acquiring healthier habits.
– Food consumed will be fresher, since people will be buying, let’s say, 1 potato and some salad greens for dinner, instead of trying to finish big packages they bought a week earlier.
– Larger package produce can still be sold (e.g. for restaurants), but only as frozen.
– Fewer plastic bags and packaging will be needed.

On the downside, less produce will be sold overall (about 25% less), which might be something that super-markets and producers won’t like. But we should be seeing the bigger picture of all this, rather than the profit of few. Producers might find an incentive to move to organic-only food, so they can sell at slightly higher prices, for example. Or, since they will be producing less of their main crop, they can use the rest of their land to produce something else. This is good for rotating crops too. Overall, I think producers will find a way to make a profit, it’s the super-markets that will mostly lose with this idea. But it’s something that has to be done.

Meat & Fish

For meat & fish, my idea is to not sell meat packages with more than 80gr to 150 gr (depending on fat and bone content of the cut). For a low-fat cut for example, 80gr is enough for one serving size for one person. Instead, what we see today, are huge meat packages sold, sometimes with huge steaks in them. 30% of all food going to waste is meat!

Humans don’t require that much of it. An egg in the morning with fermented dairy, an 80gr fish/shellfish for lunch, and an 80gr of white or red meat for dinner are more than enough to get your protein needs going. Instead, people are over-consuming meat nowadays, and it’s driving our animals to farm prisons (in order for these industries to meet demand), and our wild fish in extinction (farmed fish are worse than farmed animals food-wise).

In my country, Greece (and other traditional countries to my knowledge), people would eat red meat once or twice a month. They had wild game or chicken once a week. Eggs 3-4 times a week. Seafood twice a week. Dairy daily. But red meat, well, not that often. On top of that, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday were strict vegan days for Greeks, since the Orthodox Church required it.

Sure, the whole turkey, whole chicken and the occasional roast can still be sold as such, since they’re easily freezable after they’ve been cooked, and so they rarely go to waste. But when it comes to individual pieces of beef, lamb & pork, or huge packages of poultry pieces, these do go to waste. Providing small packages of a single serving is how you fix this problem. A family of 3 can buy three ~80gr packages of such meat, while a single person will only buy one.

The benefits of such a system are this:
– No need to over-fish our oceans. No need to over-farm fish (which are kept in terrible conditions and are toxic to eat too often).
– No need to over-produce meat. Since we would be buying less meat, we can fit these animals easier in our plains, to live a more respected and natural life. No need to fill them up with so many hormones and antibiotics. Less farming, less toxic waste in our environment.
– Since small packages will be sold, the people would be more curious to try more types of fish and meat, e.g. ostrich, bison, goat, duck, goose etc.

Again, the people who will lose the most are the super-markets and the meat industry. Well, bad luck. It’s time to see the big picture and where we go as a species on this rock, than just to be looking straight at our pockets and profit.

The true key

Finally, it’s more than possible that this type of market will drive food prices up for the consumer too. This is why people need to leave mega-cities, move back to smaller towns, and have their own vegetable garden and hens. It’s easy to say “I’m going to live in NY or SF or LA because that’s where it’s so cool to be right now”, while in order for you to be living there and having a cool life and a smashing career, you DEPEND on a relentless food industry that commits CRIMES against the Earth and all its living creatures, on your BEHALF. It’s easy to close our eyes and think that food arrives in the supermarket from the clouds, but it isn’t so.

For the record, I’m not a vegan or vegetarian. I’m in fact, Paleo. But I’m also not blind. Which is why I keep my own herb garden while all my neighbors waste precious California water to water fucking useless grasses and ornamental bullshit. I can’t wait to leave this place one day, and move back to Greece, cultivating my father’s land up in the high mountains of Epirus. Probably have a few chickens too. That’s life. That’s responsibility. That’s true freedom.

Supplementation for Vegans

Disclaimer: I’m not a dietician or a doctor, so don’t take the following as medical advice.

IF I was to become a Paleo-vegan (I won’t), a version of veganism that follows the most healthy practices of Paleo to be added in, it would look like the following. But even that healthful diet won’t be enough on getting all needed nutrition. Have a read about any possible needed supplementation below.

1. A vegan version of the Paleo diet

– No glutenous grains, at any point (no wheat, barley, rye, and most common oats). Always read labels to make sure you’re not eating gluten.

– Avoid vegetable seed oils and margarine (they’re either trans-fats, or too high in omega-6). Don’t fear the good fats, and use liberally: coconut oil (for medium heat cooking), extra-virgin olive oil (for salads), avocado oil (high-heat cooking), coconut cream.

– No excess sugars/carbs. Keep it between 100 and 200 gr net carbs, depending on your physical activity. Avoid artificial sweeteners and soda.

– Avoid GMO corn. Organic, whole corn is fine.

– Avoid GMO soy. Whole, organic soy is fine, tamari gluten-free soy sauce is ok too. Non-GMO unpasteurized miso is ok too, as long as it doesn’t contain gluten/barley in it. Natto is ok. Eat logical amounts of soy, don’t overdo it. Soy can mess up with your estrogen if eaten a lot, as a replacement for animal products, rather than as a legume.

– No processed foods. This means: no things like tofu, cereals, cakes, sweets, egg/meat-like substitutes, which are extremely processed and industrialized. Eat limited amounts of gluten-free pasta/pizza/bread or soy milk, since these are still considered quite processed or have additives.

– Legumes, rice, quinoa (which aren’t allowed on normal Paleo) are a go in this veg*n diet. From these high-carb foods, lentils are the best in terms of their nutrition/carb ratio. Make sure you soak legumes for 24 hours before cooking. Sprouted lentils are best, avoid peanuts.

– Also eat plenty of fresh veggies, tubers, fruits. Some nuts and seeds are ok, but don’t overdo it with these, as they’re extremely high in anti-nutrients and Omega-6. For nuts, it’s best to soak them first, to render their anti-nutrients inert.

– Cook with garlic, ginger and turmeric very often. These are the 3 most potent “herbs”.

– To get enough B1 on this diet, you’ll need nutritional yeast (sprinkle it on kale chips).

– Eat different types of sea vegetables 3-4 times a week. You’ll need the iodine.

– Drink plenty of no-fluoride-added water (spring water). Herbal teas are ok, caffeine is out.

– Walk barefoot on soil almost daily, out in the sun, showing some skin too (for UV and D3).

– Meditation, yoga, exercise (weights and short sprints — not endurance or aerobic/cardio).

2. Supplementation for vegans and vegetarians

Of course, we should be getting most of our nutrition via alive food (some of it raw, too). Supplements can only go so far, compared to real food. But on veg*n diets, some compounds and vitamins either don’t exist at all, or they’re found in very limited quantities. Vegans might need all of the supplements proposed below, and vegetarians most of them. Even full Paleo eaters might need a few of the supplements proposed, since our modern food options are lacking.

– Compounds that the human body needs and are found only in meat or fish:

– Taurine
– Carnosine
– L-acetyl-carnitine
– Creatine
– The bio-available version of B12 (sublingual)
– The retinol version of vitamin A
– A vegan DHA supplement. Chia/flax only offer the ALA version of Omega-3, not the DHA version, which is the one bio-available to humans. This is the only supplement that you might need to take a bit more often than the rest.

– Compounds found in limited quantities in plant food:

– Coq10 Ubiquinol (not ubiquinone). Mostly found in offal normally. It’s the life of our mitochondria, and one of the most important nutrients. In the western world, where people don’t eat offal, pretty much everyone is deficient of it (veg*n or not).
– Calcium. Might be an idea to drink almond milk, or minimally-processed coconut milk with added Calcium, if you don’t want to supplement with it or eat dairy.
– Magnesium Malate (20 mins before sleep). Almost everyone needs more magnesium, even folks on full Paleo, due to our soil/water being depleted of it after the Industrial Revolution.
– Zinc. Mostly found in oysters. Boosts the immune system.
– Lysine. Mostly found in pork meat. Helps fighting various viruses.
– D3 2000 IU. Taken in mornings. Use only if you’re not going out in the sun a lot, or if your blood test shows that you’re deficient of it (definitely check D3 out via a blood test).
– K2-Mk4. Take this, unless you eat natto (fermented soy beans) routinely.
– PQQ. Mostly found in animal hearts. Provides neuroprotection, cognition and cardioprotection.
– Iron. Take this only if your blood tests show that you need it, if your doctor approves it, and if you’re not in menopause. You gotta be careful about this one.
– Collagen types I, II, and III. Since you can’t drink bone broth on vegan-paleo, you might need collagen (especially if you’re low in CoQ10, which helps produce it). Also an interesting supplement if you’re over 35 years old, or have joint/knee pains.
– Choline, but only if you’re not eating eggs.
– B1, but only if you’re not using nutritional yeast on some of your snacks.
– E tocotrienols, but only if you’re not eating almonds, or other seeds and nuts daily.

IF you’re a female, trying to get pregnant, you might need folate for 6 months prior to getting pregnant (make sure it’s folate, not folic acid). Discuss this further with your doctor.

DO NOT take all these vitamins every day. I’d say, just spread them around in the week, taking no more than 3 per day. Do a list of what to take on each day of the week. Give your body a rest for some weeks in the year, and don’t take any such pills at all. Also, don’t take A and D3 together, as they’re antagonists. Use cronometer.com to track what you’re eating every day (enable the “net carbs” option in its preferences)!

3. Further actions

Finally, set money aside to have blood tests once a year. Check D3, iron, Mg, B12, DHEA/s, thyroid (including T3 and REVERSE T3, that most doctors don’t test), Calcium, A, E, HS-CRP (inflammation status), liver status, estrogen, cortisol, insulin, cholesterol/trigs status.

The solution of Lite-Paleo

Not everyone has to go full Paleo or very low carb to get health benefits. Some people might not need such extreme solutions as much if they’re relatively healthy, or if they can’t afford it as much, or if simply they don’t want it as much. If I had to suggest just a 5 bullet-point version for a Lite Paleo diet, that is less restrictive but it still has major health benefits, it’d be this:

1. No gluten, ever. This is the only no-no, persisting even in the Lite version of Paleo. So, don’t consume anything made out of wheat, rye, and barley. Unfortunately, most oat cultivars are also problematic. Read all labels, use gluten-free “tamari” soy sauce, and avoid beer, and fries fried on oil that flour’ed food was previously fried in it (as in most restaurants).

2. At home, never use vegetable seed oils or margarine. Cook or fry with coconut oil, grass-fed butter or animal fat, and use extra virgin olive oil for salads. Don’t be afraid of the right fats!

3. Limit sugar/carbs & processed foods. This means, avoid (even if gluten-free): cereals, pizza, bread, pasta, cakes, processed GMO soy (e.g. soy milk, tofu etc), high fructose corn syrup, candy etc. Particularly avoid these during the first few months of your diet (healing time), but it’s not necessary to cut them down completely afterwards. Sometimes, indulge on the gluten-free versions of these foods if you must, but in moderation, and rarely. However, completely avoid industrially-prepared trans-fats.

4. Give priority to wild, oily fish (e.g. Alaskan salmon), shellfish (especially oysters), and seaweed (multiple varieties) over meat. Have some type of seafood almost everyday, even if in small quantity.

5. ADD the following to your diet: kefir (home-made is way more potent), bone marrow broth (cook with it often), offal (especially liver & heart), and unpasteurized sauerkraut/kimchi. Soak your beans/lentils for 24 hours before cooking. Eat a lot of veggies (2/3s of weight compared to protein in each meal must be veggies), some raw. Also, fruits, tubers, nuts & seeds, dairy, pastured eggs, seafood & meat, raw & local honey, are all ok to consume freely! Rice, non-GMO whole corn, and quinoa are ok too, but not as often.

That’s it, really. Basically, it’s just about removing or limiting 3 types of high-inflammation foods from your diet, and adding back foods we evolved with. Here are some recipe ideas!

Bonus! Try to drink plenty of water, but with no added fluoride in it (check with your county to see if they add any). If they do add fluoride, move to natural spring water. If they don’t add any, tap water is ok, but filter it anyway to remove its chlorine. Also, move to a fluoride-free toothpaste. Avoid all sodas and drink very little alcohol.

Bonus 2! Go out in the sun (with some exposed skin) for at least 15 minutes a day. Also beneficial: walk barefoot among vegetation! Maybe even meditate!

Eggs and Paleo

One thing that bugs me with Paleo eaters is that they often accept dogmatic views and they don’t use common sense. So you’ll often see heaps of eggs on the breakfast pictures of Paleo eaters. Often, as many as 8 eggs for a frittata, but usually, at least 2-3 eggs daily are consumed!

Now, think of the following: a tribe of 100 people. To find eggs or tubers or meat, they usually walk as much as 15-20 miles per day in the periphery of their village. Given the amount of people scourging the surroundings for food, it’s unlikely that a gatherer among them will find more than 2-3 eggs per week. And that’s to feed themselves, their children and their elderly. So from my point of view, eggs, just like most food in the Paleolithic times, were not that easy to find.

Note that I’m not suggesting that people should consume just 1 egg per week. Just because the Paleolithic people didn’t have access to a lot of them doesn’t mean that eating more than they did is bad for us. Neither I’m on the side of the people who say that eggs elevate cholesterol levels. What I’m suggesting is that 1-2 eggs per day might be more balanced in terms of nutrition, rather than heaps of it, or too little of it. I find it to be a quantity that makes sense to me.

I just wanted to share that out, and also say that this is true for red meat as well. Use more veggies, more wild fish, shellfish, and less animal meat. It’s how we evolved.

Dr Jack Kruse’s Epi-Paleo Protocol Explained

Dr Jack Kruse is a controversial Paleo neurosurgeon doctor. Not only because his suggestions go many steps beyond normal Paleo, but also because few understand what the heck he’s actually writing on his blog (I don’t understand absolutely everything that he says either). His belief is that while Paleo can make asymptomatic or prevent many diseases, his Epi-Paleo regiment can also reverse some diseases and have a higher degree of success than plain Paleo. He believes that going fully natural is the way to heal our bodies, and that food is simply just one part of the whole picture (maybe 30%-50% of what you’re supposed to be doing to fix your health). He explains his opinions in terms of not only biology, but also quantum physics: how this machine called “human body” works. This article is a gross generalization of what he preaches, in plain English.

Step 1: Epi-Paleo-ketogenic seasonal diet

This means that you follow the Paleo diet as described here, but with these added modifications:
– No more than 50 gr of net carbs per day on winter (ketogenic). Up to 75-100 gr of net carbs per day on summer as organic fruits and starchy veggies become available naturally in season (plain low carb). You slowly add more carbs on Spring, and you slowly wind down from them in Autumn.
– Way more seafood than meat. This means that some form of WILD seafood must be eaten DAILY. Oysters must be eaten very regularly (I buy them canned from Trader Joes, since that brand comes with olive oil instead of PUFA oils). Shellfish are on the top of his pyramid, then it’s wild fish. For the few days that would be eating meats and offal (preferably grass-fed), have sea vegetables on the side. For poultry, eat them rarely, and prefer duck or wild fowls instead of industrialized chickens (even free range chickens are badly grown).
– Dairy is ok for those who are low in inflammation, but only if it’s from a casein A2 animal (goat/sheep/buffalo), and if it’s fermented. Consider home-made goat kefir, fermented for 24 hours.
– No nightshades (e.g. tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes) or dairy IF you have high inflammation. This can only be known if you make lab tests, and he highly suggests you do so before you start this regiment, in order to know how to individually modify some of these aspects. Info on lab tests here.
– No sweeteners, not even stevia. A bit of raw, local honey on summer is ok, I guess.
– You never miss breakfast, and your breakfast must be high in fat and protein. No snacking in the first few months between meals (in order to reset the leptin hormone).
– Eat lots of raw cilantro, because it can remove a number of heavy metals that you might have been developing all these years. If you can afford it, do a heavy metal hair analysis as you start this regiment.
– Do NOT practice IF (Intermediate Fasting) unless your ailments have being made asymptomatic and you’ve become a fat burner. IF can be very bad for you if you’re still sick.

Step 2: Fluoride-free water, and lots of it

You must learn to drink lots of water. For example, if you’re drinking 2 liters a day, up them by half to a liter a day (this all depends on the individual’s age, sex, exercise, height etc). Water is the catalyst that will make your cells work in this regiment, so you will need lots of it daily. The catch is that you will have to drink and cook with fluoride-free water. If your county adds fluoride on your tap water, you’ll need to buy bottled water (do a google search about which companies sell such water). Plain filters won’t remove fluoride (you’ll need a reverse osmosis machine to remove fluoride from tap water, not cheap). Also, make sure you buy a fluoride-free toothpaste (or make your own) and your beauty products/shampoos are SLS- and gluten-free.

Step 3: Supplementation

Especially in the beginning, as you’re still sick and you can’t absorb much real food, you might need to supplement. Don’t replenish these boxes after you’re done with them (except maybe for Magnesium and CoQ10, depending on the person’s needs). His suggestions are:
– DHA/EPA or krill oil
– Iodine + Selenium for best thyroid function (I buy this)
– D3 1000 IU (with breakfast)
– CoQ10 Ubiquinol (not Ubiquinone)
– High absorption magnesium (30 mins before sleep)
– K2 Mk-4 (not Mk-7)
– PQQ
– B-complex with folate (instead of folic acid)
– Progesterone cream IF you have adrenal issues (e.g. chronic fatigue)

Step 4: Circadian rhythms and Sleep

None of the above will work if you don’t live the life of our ancestors. This means that you go to sleep at night, and you wake up with the first light. You must sleep at night because that’s when all the healing is happening! You’re supposed to turn off the lights at night, and use candlelight or any other type of non-blue light (because these simulate sunlight and won’t let you sleep). Harvard University suggests:
– Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.
– Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed (ed: forget your laptops, tablets and cells at night, read a book or do art).
– If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses.
– Expose yourself to lots of bright light in the AM (7 to 10 AM). and during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.

When you get up the next day, have breakfast almost immediately after you wake up. Then, you go out in the first sun with little clothing and NO shoes, in order to get its UV rays (open your mouth to it too, the place under your tongue can get most of the UV rays) and to connect with Earth’s magnetic field. Wear something if it’s cold after that, meditate a bit outdoors, then maybe have some light exercise (e.g. yoga, have your sprinting outbursts exercise before dinner instead). Then have a shower (with hot and cold changes as the water’s temperature) and go about your day. And yes, all this means that you sleep more in the winter than in summer. Also, don’t forget to walk among vegetation/trees, they release substances that your body reacts to positively.

Step 5: Cold Thermogenesis

CT allows you to reduce inflammation and heal bone and muscle problems — among other things. Bathing in the sea or salt lakes is the best from all the types of CT. Dr Kruse has a HOW-TO about this here, and there are many other places online to find CT info. If you find all these ice baths too much, consider to at least start with a warm shower for a few seconds, gradually turn it into a completely cold shower, and at the end have a minute of warm shower again (just enough to take care of your hair with warm water).

Step 6: No non-native EMF

Of all his suggestions, this is the most difficult thing to implement in our modern life, because it’s almost unavoidable for people who live in big cities (which are by definition unnatural, btw). Non-native EMF means that you minimize to absolute minimum usage of cellphones, no wifi, computers, tablets, microwaves etc. You’re allowed close to such machines for the absolute minimum required to function as a modern person (e.g. to quickly answer your email, or file your taxes electronically, or to read the news quickly, or to watch TV no more than 2-3 hours a week). You should also not live close to cell or electrical towers, or freeways, or airline trails. Additionally, if you can afford it, you should consider a magnetic bed sheet. What all this means is that you can’t have a job in computers or live on an apartment with a gazillion wifi routers around you. What it REALLY means is that for optimal results you must move away to the country, buy a house there with a garden (and work on your vegetable garden barefoot), find a non-electronic-based job there, and live a very “ancestral” kind of life. I know that this last step might be over the top for you, since you might like your city life, but the truth of the matter is, you’re zombiefying and sickening yourself under these conditions, as time goes by. On his blog, Dr Kruse explains in terms of physics how EMF is destroying your body.At the end of the day, it’s your choice. But maybe you could minimize the damage of EMF by taking some precautions (e.g. minimizing electronics usage, blue lights, walk barefoot on soil sometimes etc), even if you eventually decide to live in a city.

Paleo foods missing from the Greek market

I wasn’t able to find the following products when I was in Greece earlier this year. It will be a challenge going back there to live without being able to purchase them, since I need them for my health.

– Sea vegetables (mixed varieties)
– Wild salmon (it’s all farmed, no matter where you look)
– Other Pacific or Atlantic wild fish (you can either find small Mediterranean wild fish directly from fishermen, or farmed)
– Gluten-free “tamari” soy sauce (only glutenous soy sauce is available)
– Coconut oil (very expensive in Europe, completely missing in Greece)
– Kefir grains (difficult to locate them, few have them or share them)
– Antibiotic/hormone-free red meat (by law, every animal gets inoculated)
– Duck or other game meat (unless you go hunting yourself)
– Raw or at least unsweetened cocoa
– Northern European veggies (turnips, parsnips, kohlrabi, kale, rutabaga, endives etc)
– Exotic fruits (except bananas or pineapple, you’re mostly out of luck)
– Mushrooms (only 2 common kinds are sold)
– Berries (only strawberries are easy to find in the market)
– Oysters (I can find mussels, but not oysters, not even canned!)
– Some ready-made products, e.g. almond butter, oriental spices etc.
– Specific vitamins & supplements (e.g. Ubiquinol)

What Greece has while the US doesn’t have as easily:
– Greek Mountain Tea (most healthy herbal tea)
– Lots of offal options
– Lots of wild, green veggies (about 6-7 kinds)
– Lots of garden-grown veggies & fruits offered by neighbors
– Real olive oil
– Wild sardines and other small fish (when bought directly from fishermen)
– Real goat/sheep yogurt
– Real eggs (especially my aunt’s, nobody has ever topped her quality, not even her neighbors)
– No GMO crap (at least this is what we’re told)

Overall, Greece fairs well if you’re careful of what you’re eating, and you can certainly follow Paleo successfully. However, I personally want to be eating things that don’t exist in Greece. I hope that by the time I move back for good, these products exist there too.

Η Παλαιολιθική δίαιτα

Η παλαιολιθική δίαιτα, πιο συντονισμενη στα Ελληνικα δεδομενα και παραδοσεις.

ΑΠΑΓΟΡΕΥΟΝΤΑΙ:

1. Τα δημητριακα (“κόκκοι”) ολων των ειδων: σιταρι*, σικαλη*, κριθαρι*, βρωμη*, καλαμποκι, καστανο ρυζι, κινόα, teff, sorghum, millet, buckwheat κλπ. Επισης, και τα υπο-προιοντα των: κορν φλαουρ, αλευρια, ψωμια, μακαρονια, πιτσα, νιφαδες και κορν-φλεικς ολων των ειδων, κλπ. Για τα ειδη δημητριακων τα οποια περιεχουν γλουτενη*, ουτε ενα μικροσκοπικο κομματι δεν πρεπει να φαγωθει απο αυτα για να δουλεψει αυτη η διαιτα σωστα για την υγεια σας. Θα πρεπει να διαβαζετε ολες τις ετικετες απο τροφιμα οταν αγοραζετε κατι, για να ειστε σιγουροι οτι δεν περιεχουν σιτηρά (ή αν τρωτε σε ταβερνες, οι τηγανιτες πατατες να μην εχουν τηγανιστει στο ιδιο λαδι με αλευρωμενα φαγητα, πχ αλευρωμενο κοτοπουλο). Απαγορευεται επισης η μπύρα, αφου γινεται με σιτηρα! ΜΟΝΑΔΙΚΗ ΕΞΑΙΡΕΣΗ: το ασπρο, και αγριο, μαυρο ρυζι (οχι το καστανό) ειναι σχεδον ενταξει για καταναλωση, αλλα οχι πανω απο 2-3 φορες τον μήνα.

2. Τα βιομηχανικα λαδια (πχ καλαμποκελαιο, σογιελαιο, κανολα, ηλιελαιο, μαργαρινη κλπ). Διαβαστε παρακατω ποια λαδια ακριβως μπορειτε να χρησιμοποιήσετε.

3. Ζαχαρη. Απαγορευονται ολες οι ζαχαρες, οι ζαχαρινες, τα αναψυκτικά, οι χυμοι, τα γλυκα, και ολα τα επεξεργασμενα βιομηχανικα προιοντα. Οταν νιωθετε οτι χρειαζεσθε κατι με ζαχαρη, θα τρωτε φρουτα, και λιγο τοπικο, ΩΜΟ μελι (ρωτηστε τους μελισσο-παραγωγους στην περιοχη σας για ωμο και ατατεργαστο μελι). Με το μελι μπορειτε επισης να κανετε σπιτικα ωμά γλυκα 2-3 φορες τον μηνα.

4. Απαγορευονται μερικα οσπρια. Φατε ασπρα φασολια (φασολαδα, γίγαντες), φακες, πρασινο αρακας, φασολακια. Αποφευγετε ολα τα αλλα φασολια οσο μπορειτε (περιεχουν επικυνδινες λεκτίνες). Μαγειρεψετε τον αρακα και φασολακια οπως παντα, αλλά υπαρχουν οροι για το πως θα πρεπει να προετοιμασθουν τα ασπρα φασολια ΚΑΙ οι φακες. Θα πρεπει να καθαρισετε τις φακες καλα (συνηθως περιεχουν κοκκους κριθαριου), Θα πρεπει να βαλετε τα φασολια στο νερο για 24 ωρες (οχι μονο αποβραδυς, αλλα για μια ολοκληρη μερα & νυχτα). Αλλαξατε το νερο 2-3 φορες. Ακομα και με αυτην την ειδικη προετοιμασια που σκοτωνει τις περισσοτερες λεκτινες, τα ασπρα φασολια και οι φακες δεν πρεπει να τρωγονται πανω απο 1 φορα την εβδομαδα! Απαγορευται η σογια και τα φυστικια (τα οποια ειναι οσπρια στην πραγματικοτητα). Σαλτσα σογιας ειναι ενταξει μονο να δεν περιεχει γλουτενη/σιταρι (δυσκολο να βρεθει στην Ελλαδα).

ΕΠΙΤΡΕΠΟΝΤΑΙ:

1. Ολα τα κρεατα, εντοσθια, ψαρια, και οστρακοειδη. Αποφευγετε τα κοτοπουλα της μηχανης, και ψαρια εκτροφειου. Παντα προσπαθηστε να αγοραζετε υγειη ζωα και άγρια ψαρια (ειδικα σαρδελλες, και αγριο σολωμο – δυσκολο να βρεθει στην Ελλαδα). Δωστε ειδικη μνεια στα εντοσθια (φάτε τουλάχιστον μια φορά την εβδομαδα), και στα οστρακοειδη (ειδικα στα στρειδια και μυδια).

2. Ολα τα λαχανικα, αγρια λάχανα, κονδυλους, ριζες και βολβους. Δωστε ιδιαιτερη μνεια στα πρασινα. Παντα να καθαριζετε την φλουδα απο τις πατατες (τοξινες). Δυστυχως, οι περισσοτεροι Ελληνες τρωνε μονο 9-10 διαφορετικα ειδη λαχανικων. Προσπαθηστε να φυτεψετε ή να αγορασετε και αλλα ειδη, οπως πχ. παστινάκι, γογγυλι, ρεβα, γουλι, λαχανιδες, γλυκοπατατα, κοκκινογουλό-φυλλα, βρουβες, γλυστριδα, σελινοριζα, διαφορετικων ειδων κολοκυθων, και πολλα αλλα. Επισης σημαντικο ειναι να τρωτε “σάουερκραουτ”, “κίμτσι”, και τουρσί (δηλαδη, λαχανικα τα οποια εχουν υποστει ζυμωση). Χρησιμοπειηστε την σπαγκέτι-σκουάς κολοκύθα, ή κολοκυθακια κομμενα σαν μακαρονια για ενα ειδος “μακαρονάδας” (υπαρχουν εργαλεια και συνταγες για αυτα στο ιντερνετ).

3. Φρουτα. Ολα τα φρουτα ειναι ενταξει, ιδιαιτερα αγρια φρουτα με λιγοτερη περιεκτικοτητα ζαχαρης, και τα μουρα. Επισης, τοπικο, ακατεργαστο, ωμό μελι ειναι ενταξει με μετρο.

4. Φυσικα λαδια. Μην φοβαστε τα λιπαρα. Σε αυτην την διαιτα, τα λιπαρά κανουν καλο! Φατε λιπη απο τα κρεατα, και μαγειρεψετε με παρθενο ελαιολαδο απο λιοτριβι που εμπιστευεσθε (τα τελευταια χρονια, τα αγοραστά, εμφιαλωμενα ελαιολαδα ειναι νοθευμενα με φτηνο-λαδια). Επισης χρεισιμοποιηστε αληθινο βούτυρο, και ΕΑΝ τα βρειτε στην αγορά: λαδι ινδικης καρυδας (το καλυτερο λαδι για μαγειρεμα), λαρδί, γκί, και λίπος απο προβατο, κατσικα, αγελαδα, ή παπια.

5. Αυγά (καλης ποιοτητας, απο ελευθερης βοσκης κοτες). Τρωτε 1-2 αυγα την ημερα για πρωινο. Τρωτε πρωινο καθημερινα (το ιωδιουχο θαλασσινό αλατι ειναι καλο επισης). Προσπαθηστε να μειωσετε τους καφεδες στον εναν την ημερα αν πινετε, και να πινετε χαμομηλι, και βουνισιο, Ελληνικο τσαι (το πιο υγiεινο τσαι στον κοσμο). Καλο ειναι και το δικταμο!

6. Ξηροι καρποι, και σπορια (με μετρο). Τον μοναδικο καρπο που θα πρεπει να αποφυγετε παντελως ειναι τα φυστικια (βοτανικώς, ειναι επικινδυνο οσπριο, και οχι ξηρος καρπος).

7. Γαλακτοκομικα. Τα γαλακτοκομικα επιτρεπονται, αλλα υπαρχουν οροι: τρωτε γαλακτοκομικα κυριως απο αιγω-προβατα και βουβαλια (αποφευγεται απο κανονικες αγελαδες, λογω της Α1 κασεινης τους), και τρωτε γαλακτοκομικα που εχουν υποστει ζυμωση (πχ το τυρι, σαουρ-κριμ, γιαουρτι, κεφίρ περιεχουν πολυ λιγη λακτοζη). Μην πινετε σκέτο γάλα, λόγω της λακτόζης του. Το ιδανικο θα ηταν να αγορασετε απο το Ιντερνετ “κόκκους κεφίρ”, και να κανετε το δικο σας κεφιρ στο σπιτι απο γίδινο γαλα. Το σπιτισιο, γιδινο κεφιρ ειναι 10 φορες πιο υγεινο απο το γιαουρτι. Αν ο οργανισμός σας δεν αντέχει τα γαλακτοκομικά καθόλου, μπορείτε να κάνετε κεφίρ με νερό και ζάχαρη (αυτοι είναι ειδικοί κόκκοι, για κεφίρ σε νερό). Μπορειτε επισης να πιειτε “γάλα αμυγδαλου”, γάλα ινδικης καρυδας, αλλά ΟΧΙ γαλα σογιας (η σογια ειναι επικινδυνο οσπριο).

8. Πιειτε πολυ λιγο αλκοολ. Ολα τα κρασια, ουζο, ο μηλιτης και τα περισσοτερα αλκοολουχα ποτα ειναι ενταξει, με μετρο. Μονο τα ποτα που γινονται απο σιτηρα απαγορευονται παντελως, πχ η μπυρα.

ΣΗΜΕΙΩΣΕΙΣ:

1. Παντα να διαβαζετε ετικετες! Το ξερατε οτι τα περισσοτερα λουκάνικα εχουν σιταρι για να ριξουν την τιμη;
2. Μην φοβαστε να δοκιμασετε νεα ειδη λαχανικων, μανιταριων, μπαχαρικών, οστρακοειδη κλπ.
3. Στο Ιντερνετ θα βρειτε συνταγες για το πως να “ζυμωσετε” λαχανικα. Επισεις, εκει θα βρειτε πως να μαγειρεψετε ολα αυτα τα νεα φαγωσιμα. Ιστοσελιδα συνταγων: http://chowstalker.com και Pinterest.
4. Μπορειτε να χρησιμοπιεισετε αλευρι αμυγδαλου, ινδικης καρυδας, και ταπιοκας, αλλα σπανίως μονο (πχ να αλευρωσετε κάποιο ψάρι, να κάνετε ενα γλυκο για καμια γιορτή). Ξεχαστε τα ψωμιά, μακαρόνια, πίτσες — ακόμα και αυτά με χωρίς γλουτενη!
5. Να σας βλεπει ο ηλιος χειμωνα-καλοκαιρι. Αν μπορείτε, περπατηστε καθημερινά, ή αλλιώς, κάνετε λιγες επι-τοπου ασκήσεις. Μην πολυ-αναβετε καλοριφέρ! Ετσι πιανονται οι γρίπες!
6. Να τρωτε πιο πολυ οστρακοειδη και (αγρια) θαλασσινα, απο κρέατα! Στρείδια μια φορά την εβδομαδα αν τα βρείτε στην αγορα (δεν είναι αναγκη να είναι παντα φρεσκα/ωμά).
7. Να δοκιμασετε ειδικα θαλασσινα “φυκια”, τα οποια περιεχουν ιωδιο. Μπορειτε να βρειτε αυτα τα ειδικα φυκια που τρωγονται σε μερικα Ασιατικά καταστηματα.
8. Μην κοιμαστε αργα το βραδυ. Κοιμηθητε >8 ωρες απο τις ~11 το βραδυ μεχρι τις ~7 το πρωι.
9. Προσπαθηστε το 40% με 50% των συστατικών της διαιτα σας να ειναι ωμά!
10. Πιειτε και μαγειρεψτε με σπιτισιο ζωμό από κόκκαλα σχεδον καθημερινα! Μην αμελήσετε!
11. Μπορείτε να φάτε ενα μικρο κομματι σοκολάτα την ημερα, αλλά μονο απο αυτές που έχουν πανω απο 80% κακάο (παντα διαβάστε ετικέτες). Οι σοκολάτες υγειας Παυλίδης είναι της πλάκας, έχουν μονο 43% κακάο. Το σουπερ-μαρκετ Lidl έχει μια με 81%.
12. Αν δουλευετε χειρονακτική εργασία που χρειαζετε περισσότερους υδατάνθρακες για να ανταπεξελθετε, φάτε λιγο πιο πολυ άσπρο ρύζι και λιγο ποιο πολλές πατάτες, στις αρχές μονο. Μετα απο 3-4 μηνες στην δίαιτα αυτή, όταν συνηθίσει ο οργανισμός σας, θα πέρνετε την ενέργεια σας απο το λίπος (απο καλες πηγες) και αλλά υγειεινα έλαια, όχι τους πολλους υδατάνθρακες. Μην φοβείσθε το λίπος! Και μη φοβασθε τα αυγά (προτιμηστε χωριάτικα αυγά).
13. Αν είστε ηδη άρρωστος, θα χρειαστεί να πάρετε βιταμίνες. Αν δεν σας βλέπει ο ήλιος κάθε μέρα για τουλαχιστον μισή ωρα σε όλος σας το σωμα σχεδόν, τοτε πάρτε 2000 με 3000 IU βιταμινη D3 κάθε πρωί (γράφει το κουτί πανω ποσά IU έχει το κάθε χαπι). Πάρτε Μαγνήσιο 3-4 φορες την εβδομάδα, μισή ώρα πριν κοιμηθείτε. Επισης, πάρτε 100mg coQ10 Ubiquinol (όχι Ubiquinone) καθημερινά, το μεσημερι, στην μέση του φαγητού. Αν δεν τρώτε πολλά ζυμωμένα φαγητά (πχ σαυερκραουτ, κιμτσι, κεφίρ), πάρτε Κ2-ΜΚ4 μονο 2-3 φορές την εβδομαδα (όχι απλή Κ βιταμίνη, και όχι ΜΚ7). Εαν και μονο εάν δεν τρώτε ψάρια ή οστρακοειδή για κάποιο λογο, θα πρεπει να πάρετε επισης και καλης ποιοτητας omega-3 fish oil, καθημερινά. Αν δεν τρωτε στρείδια μια φορά την εβδομαδα, πάρτε Zinc 2-3 φορές την εβδομάδα.
14. Αν πασχετε απο κάποια βαριά μορφή ασθένειας θα πρεπει να μαγειρευετε και με παρθενο λάδι ινδικής καρύδας (δυστυχως, πολύ δύσκολο να το βρείτε στην Ελλάδα).
15. Μια κούπα απο πράσινα φύλλα παντζαριού, έχει πιο πολύ κάλλιο απο οποιοδήποτε άλλο φαγητο. Μαγειρεψτε τα όπως τα βλητα, συχνως.
16. Αν είστε άρρωστος, τουλαχιστον μια φορά την ημερα θα πρεπει να τρώτε τριων ειδών λαχανικων. Παράδειγμα, ενα πιάτο θα εχει: 1/4 πράσινα φύλλα (με τα ήμερα υπαρχουν και τουλαχιστον 10 αγρια ειδη που φυτρώνουν στα χωράφια μόνα τους και τρωγωνται), 1/4 χρωματιστά λαχανικά (πχ τομάτα, πιπεριά, κολοκυθες), 1/4 λαχανο/παντζάρια/σπαραγγια/αγγιναρες κλπ, και 1/4 κρέας/εντόσθια ή αγριο ψάρι/οστρακοειδή. Δηλαδη, τουλαχιστον 3 κουπες απο 3 ειδων λαχανικα, και όσο πρωτειινη θελετε. Τα λαχανικά προτίμηστε τα πιο λίγο βραζμενα απο συνήθως, για να μην καταστραφούν οι βιταμίνες τους.
17 Αν είστε πολύ άρρωστος, αποφύγετε τον ρύζι, άσπρα φασόλια και φακές παντελώς, και πιείτε μονο σπιτικό, γιδινο κεφίρ απο τα γαλακτοκομικά. Αν τα προβλήματα υγείας συνεχιζονται με την ίδια ενταση μετα απο 3 μηνες, κοψτε και το κεφίρ για εναν μήνα, για να δείτε αν τα γαλακτομικα σας πειραζουν. Αν το πρόβλημα συνεχίζεται, κοψτε αυγά, τομάτες/πατάτες/πιπεριές, και ξηρούς καρπούς για ενα μήνα. Σαν τελευταια λύση, αν το πρόβλημα συνεχιζεται με την ίδια ενταση μετα απο όλα αυτά, κάντε τεστ για παράσιτα και ιούς.
18. Κομμενα τα αναψυκτικά και οι χυμοί, ακόμα και αυτά με ζάχαρινη light. Να αγορασετε ενα blender και να κανετε smoothies (με λιγα πρασινα φυλλα μεσα επισης). Μην παρετε αποχυμωτή, οι αποχυμωτες μονο κρατανε την φρουκτοζη, οχι τα υπολοιπα του φρουτου.
19. Βάλτε κήπο! Πολλά απο τα λαχανικά που γράφονται εδώ, δεν υπαρχουν στα μανάβικα, πχ οι κολοκύθες σπαγκετι. Αυτές οι κολοκύθες βοηθούν πολύ να μην σας λείψουν τα μακαρόνια! Η λαχανιδα kale είναι δύσκολο να βρεθεί στην Ελλάδα επίσης, και όμως, είναι το λαχανικό με τις περισσότερες βιταμίνες απο κάθε άλλο.
20. Τελικώς, πιείτε νερό ΧΩΡΙΣ φθόριο (fluoride), ειδικα αν είστε αρρωστος. Αγοράστε μπουκάλια με νερο φυσική πηγής, χωρίς προσθετο φθοριο. Τα φίλτρα βρυσης δεν βγάζουν το φθόριο. Επισης ψαξτε για οδοντοπαστα χωρις φλουράιντ. Το φθόριο είναι σχεδόν ίδιο με το ποντικοφάρμακο.

The Benefits of Braces

In addition to learning that I’m possibly celiac (well, more than possible), I also put braces on my teeth this week. I have a crooked tooth since I was a kid, and now this really needs fixing. My parents were very poor, and could not afford braces for me, while later in life I was hit with more serious health problems, so my teeth took the backseat. Well, now that I’m healthy again overall, it’s time for that overdue fixing. But of course, I’m in pain, and I can’t eat properly. But thinking about it, it has its benefits too:

– It teaches you to cut the food in small portions. I used to gulp down huge pieces.
– It teaches you to chew slowly. I used to chew minimally, and have eating manners that would resemble wild animals.
– It teaches you to brush your teeth after eating. I’d only brush before going to bed.
– It teaches you to floss every night. I used to floss 2-3 times a week usually.
– It teaches you to not snack. Because if you do, you’d have to brush your teeth, again.

My new braces

My new braces, new glasses, and an old friend

So, that’s how I’m going to learn good manners: by having braces for the next 2 years of my life.

My Paleo shopping list in the Bay Area (Peninsula)

I’m living in the San Mateo county for over 10 years now. I don’t know why it took Paleo/Primal, 1.5 years ago, to find all this amazing food around me. I was always complaining that I can’t find this or that in my area (usually sheep offal), but now that I’m actually actively searching, I’ve found nearly everything that I want. Here are my weekly stops now in San Mateo:

– 99 Ranch: most types of fish/shellfish (compared to 5-6 kinds in mainstream supermarkets, these guys are kings of wild fish and shellfish), frog legs, rabbit, pheasant, quail, squab, duck, (old) stewing hens, pork rinds (snack), pork belly (way better than bacon), duck gizzards, pork hearts, cheap mushrooms, amaranth greens, dried seaweed, avocado, fresh herbs, non-GMO mung bean sprouts (yes, they’re Paleo).

– Trader Joe’s: kale chips, goat milk for my kefir, organic free-range eggs, cheese, almond meal, organic chicken, berries, cheap bananas, mache salad, nuts, smoked oyster cans in olive oil, grass-fed ground beef, wild salmon cans (go for Alaskan, it’s healthier), 82% dark chocolate, fermented creme-fraiche, European style full-fat yogurt (now, that’s REAL yogurt), organic sweet potatoes, organic ketchup, mustard, grass-fed butter, spring water.

Mediterranean shop: lamb/goat meat and offal (the butcher there doesn’t know if they’re pastured, but most are), Greek Mountain Tea, feta, chestnuts, canned cod liver, spices.

– San Mateo’s Farmer’s Market: most veggies/fruits, *raw* local honey, pastured beef & bones (pastured offal runs out fast), duck eggs (you must specifically ask for them from the lady there, she has them hidden), French deli, sauerkraut/kimchi, wild forest pig sausage, grass-fed offal/bones from the meat stand.

– Costco: wild sardines cans, seaweed/calamari salads, organic chicken, some wild seafood, coconut oil, (true) olive oil, olives, beef for jerky, gluten-free jerky, bacon, spring water.

– Mollie Stone’s: Cheap prosciuto (in bag), cheap bones for bone broth.

– Dollar Tree: oysters can, mussels can (strain their vegetable seed oil, and use them with olive oil in a salad).

– Whole Foods: buffalo steak, organic Tamari, kelp noodles, and some special-interest things that we might need rarely.

– Piazza’s: calf’s liver (more nutritious than other livers), local soy-free dark chocolate, fruits/veggies on their reduced-price aisle (it’s hidden behind the veggie aisle), European-style sour cream (probiotic). Too expensive for anything else.

– Draeger’s: Fresh crab, deli meat. Too expensive for anything else.


Our pheasant feast last Sunday

The only things that I still *can’t* find in my area are: sorrel, purslane, wild greens, wild (bitter) fruits, some types of berries, pastured offal, Saint-Jacques shellfish, deer, venison, more buffalo meat, horse meat, guinea-fowl, boar, antelope, kangaroo, emu, ostrich, turtle meat, insects, larvae worms.

I did find alligator meat at 99Ranch though. Not interested…