Zughetti Carbonara

I’ve tried this classic carbonara recipe using spaghetti squash in the past, and it came out all wrong. But it was a slam dunk using spiralized zucchini tonight. My husband loved it, and that surprised both him and myself. This is a recipe to definitely try if you’re on Paleo.

Zughetti Carbonara
Click for a larger view

Ingredients (for 2)
* 3 medium zucchinis
* 6 slices of smoked bacon (6 button mushrooms for vegetarian)
* 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche or sour cream
* 1 egg
* Black pepper
- A spiralizer device

Method
1. Wash the zucchini. Cut the top and bottom of each zucchini and then cut it in two pieces. Spiralize each piece using the device, using the blade with the smaller triangles. Cut the resulted zoodles with a knife or kitchen scissors at about 8″ length. Set aside.
2. Cut the bacon in small pieces and add on a cooking pan under medium heat.
3. In a bowl, whisk together well the sour cream and the egg. Add black pepper.
4. When the bacon becomes crispy to your liking, remove from heat, and drain away the rendered bacon fat. Return bacon to medium heat, and add the zucchini.
5. Keep stirring for 1-2 minutes and add the egg-cream mix. Turn off the heat, stir well a few more times, remove from the stove, and immediately serve. The zucchini must not be fully cooked, or it will become soggy. The less you cook the egg-cream too, the more creamy it’ll be. Enjoy!

Per Serving: 320 calories, 4.5 gr of net carbs, 23 gr of fat. About 30%-35% of the RDA for each of the B vitamins, 12% folate, 36% vitamin C, 45% phosphorus, 35% selenium, 30% zinc.

Top-10 Must-Eat Paleo Foods, Part II

Two years ago I wrote a blog post about the most must-eat Paleo foods with the highest health benefits. Now, it’s time for a second part on this post.

1. Baobab dry powder
A staple among the Hanza tribal people (that are often a reference among Paleo dieters), baobab is a fruit similar to coconut. It has blood glucose stabilizing effects among other benefits.

2. Water kefir
This is good for those who can’t do any dairy, and so they can’t follow my original milk kefir suggestion. Water kefir grains are consisted by about 30 different bacteria & yeasts, compared to 40+ in home-made milk kefir (commercial milk kefir doesn’t have more than 12). The only downside of water kefir is the amount of sugar required to ferment. After fermentation for 48 hours, the generated soda drink is 5% sugar, which might not be ideal for some. However, if you’re not doing any other type of fermented food, and you want to be drinking sodas, then it’s a good drink to have, with lots of probiotic effects.


Raw cacao, baobab powder, amla powder, chia seeds, and a sea vegetable mix. I use the four first ones on my goat kefir smoothies, with added fruits.

3. Smoothies & raw food
On Paleo, fruit juices are out because they don’t contain fiber. However, smoothies are more acceptable, even if some in the Paleo community still talk against them. The idea is that according to Paleo gurus, we’re supposed to eat 2/3 in weight in veggies. Only 1/3 in weight is supposed to be protein, despite what you see on the Instagram #Paleo photos (huge steaks, miniscule amounts of veggies). Dr Wahls (the doctor with multiple sclerosis who overcame her disease with Paleo) suggests 3 cups of sulfur veggies, 3 cups of green leaves, and 3 cups of colorful veggies or fruits a day (as non-starchy as possible). That’s a lot of veggies to take down, so to reach such volumes you might need to eat big salads, do smoothies, or make soups.

4. Chia whole seeds & Flax ground seeds
The human body apparently can’t transform ALA type of Omega-3 to the useful EPA/DHA fatty acids. However, they do help out a bit in the whole process. I use chia on my kefir smoothies, and ground flax as breading for fish. I prefer flax to almond flour, because almond flour is much higher in anti-nutrients and Omega-6 than flax. These are also particularly useful if you have your own chickens. Chickens can convert ALA to DHA very efficiently, so eating their eggs and meat will be extremely beneficial, since they’ll have more a lot more O-3 than conventional chickens (most chickens/eggs, even the organic/free-range ones, are extremely high in O-6).


My milk kefir, water kefir, and two soda bottles for my water kefir.

5. Garlic, Ginger and Turmeric
These are the most potent “herbs” you can use in your cooking. Plenty of health benefits and anti-oxidant value. Prefer your garlic as young and as raw as possible btw. Cook with these very frequently!

6. Non-fluoridated water
This might come as a surprise to you, but on Paleo and especially on Paleo-ketogenic you must drink a lot of water. More than usual. But for water to work its magic, it must be spring water — not tap water. It must have minerals in it, no chlorine, but most importantly, it should not have fluoride (apart from a small amount that occurs naturally, rather than being added). Fluoride can’t be removed with normal water filters. Fluoride prohibits healing and must be avoided at all costs. Switch to a fluoride-free toothpaste too. It’s indeed not very nice that you would have to buy plastic water bottles for your drinking/cooking water, since they contribute to pollution, but the alternative is as grim too. Check on your county’s website to see if your water supply has added fluoride in it. In California, they all do, for example.

Greek Lentils with Ham

I don’t subscribe to dogmas, so the Paleo belief that all legumes are bad for you, doesn’t sit with me anymore. It’s true that legumes are high in lectins, but it’s also true that are very high in nutrients, and also, when soaked for 24 hours and cooked well, they become benign. Certainly more benign than nuts. Just do your own research for the truth of this statement.

Personally, I started eating legumes here and there almost 2 years after I went Paleo (by that time, my gut was mostly healed). I haven’t had a single issue associated with them (i.e. indigestion, gas etc).

The following recipe is the way my mom prepared lentils as a kid, plus 2 additional ingredients that I found that they bring more to the dish. My husband loved it tonight.

Greek Lentils with Ham

Ingredients (for 2)
* 1 cup of lentils (preferably sprouted)
* Half of a fennel bulb (optional)
* 250 gr (0.5 lbs) of ham (optional)
* 1/4 of a big onion
* 3 garlic cloves
* 2 bay leaves
* 1.5 tablespoons of tomato puree
* juice of half a lemon
* extra virgin olive oil
* Olives
* Salt & Pepper to taste

Method
1. If your lentils weren’t bought sprouted (Whole Foods sells some), you must soak them in water for 24 hours. Also, go through them carefully, sometimes there are small stones or barley hiding among the lentils!
2. Bring 4-5 cups of filtered water into boil, in medium heat. Add the lentils in it.
3. Roughly chop the garlic, fennel, and onion, and add them to the boil, along the 2 bay leaves. Cover, and cook until the lentils are done and some of the water has evaporated — about 30-40 minutes (depends how much soup-y you’d like your lentils or not).
4. Chop the ham into half inch cubes (1 cm). Add them to the boil, cook for 3 minutes.
5. Add the tomato puree, and the lemon. Add salt and pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes.
6. Remove from the fire, and serve hot. On each plate, add 2-4 olives, and pour olive oil on top (about a tablespoon for each person). Enjoy!

Meet Heva, my Higher Self (?)

It was late May 2013 when I turned spiritual, after over 10 years of pure atheism. My first reaction was to educate myself. I’ve read a lot of opinions online on things about who we are, where we come from and where do we go. Among popular opinion is the idea of “Higher Self”, a part of you that has a broader view on your life and is able to advise you — if you reach it.

My first glimpse of my higher self came at age 40, in mid-July 2013. I was feeling depressed, crying on my pillow that I’d never fulfill my life the way I felt I should. I cried for help, that if there’s a Higher Self out there for me too, to talk to me. After I ran out of tears, I fell asleep. I had various dreams, but the last dream was lucid. My first lucid dream in a while.

I’d say that 90% of my lucid dreams are “false awakenings.” Meaning, that I dream of waking up from sleep on my bed. So this time too, I get up from my bed, and I know I’m dreaming. I notice Christmas lights running from my bedroom to my apartment’s door, to the building’s hallway and right in to the apartment next door! So I followed the Christmas lights (“follow the light”, if you get the clever symbolism there).

The door of the next door apartment was half open. I pushed it. A handsome young man appeared behind the door. “Are you him?“, I asked. “Yes“, he replied.

We sat on two chairs in the living room of the next door’s apartment — that I’ve never visited in real life, neither I ever dreamed of before. I believe that the two apartments next to each other symbolized the conscious and unconscious mind. So I was deep in to my unconscious mind, paying it a visit. I ask for his name. “Heva“, he says.

Next thing I tell him finds him not be able to stop laughing: “You’re so good-looking. You should be an actor or something”.

Heva as Leonard DiCaprio
Heva as a Leonard DiCaprio look-alike (more on this below)

But my next sentence is far more serious: “what’s my purpose in life, what am I supposed to do?”. And that’s where things got fuzzy. He started explaining, but I couldn’t understand a word of what he was saying. I get up, and I tell him “stop, I don’t understand you”. That’s when he becomes frustrated, and his teeth become demon-like. I wasn’t afraid, I knew that he was not a dark figure. So I cynically told him “I saw that…”, and he immediately turned back to normal, trying once more to give me advice. But our “connection” was bad. He would disappear out of thin air, I’d ask him to come back, he’d appear, and disappear again. It really felt like a bad connection, an immature connection, should I say. Soon, I woke up.

I saw Heva 5 more times on lucid dreams since July. He would appear out of thin air every time I was lucid enough to remember to call his name. He’d just appear on the call of his name, poof! Twice now he told me to move off my butt and exercise (“take care of your totem” == physical body), because otherwise my laziness wouldn’t end well for me. He was very emotional when he showed me a possible future version of myself bound to a wheelchair after heart failure.

The most interesting of these dreams featuring Heva was around last October or so. I had a false awakening again, and I tried to fly. I usually associate lucid dreams with flying out to space, so I always try to do that, but there’s something always keeping me down. So I gave up flying, got out of my apartment, and I was joined by my brother. I suddenly remembered Heva, so I called out his name.

Poof! There he was!

I was so happy he was there. I hugged him and I held him very tight, since I knew that if I let go, he might disappear again. I was not going to let him go this time!

So we walk around the apartment complex, with my brother next to me. I ask Heva about what’s the name of my brother’s Higher Self. His reply surprised me: “I don’t know HER name” (more on this later).

On the same dream I ask him what is his true nature. His reply was “I don’t know what I am. I’m just I AM“.

Finally, I ask him about a situation that has been troubling me for many months.

Heva: “Oh, you still have these molecules?”
Me: “What? what molecules? Please feel free to read my thoughts and memories, I need closure.”

He then put his hand on my heart, and he immediately started crying. I knew that he had just felt all at once what I was feeling all last year.

Heva: “Yeah, you need to get rid of the molecules”.
Me: “What molecules?”
Heva: “Someone might have slipped them on your broccoli, or something”.
Me: “Dude, you make no sense. I know dreams are supposed to be surreal, but please make some more sense for me”.
Heva: “You need to fix this”.

And that’s when I woke up. His whole reaction felt like the whole situation I inquired about was a “fluke” (a “magic spell joke” going bad) that was supposed to pass by quickly, and he was surprised to learn that I had taken the whole thing way further than I should ever have.

Since then, I have found peace, and I’m free of that ordeal. Heva helped me see through it.

I feel good around Heva. I feel happy and positive. I feel whole. And I should be feeling whole, since he’s a part of my psyche that I don’t get to be in touch often.

A few other interesting tidbits around my experiences with Heva:
- Every time I try to be with him, I get resistance. Usually demonic or really bad figures are trying to prevent the meeting. I’m usually able to bypass them — the trick is to have no fear.
- Heva looks like a young Leonardo DiCaprio. Very much like in the picture above. Please note that while I find young DiCaprio “objectively handsome” (like one would imagine of a guardian angel or Higher Self), I never felt sexually attracted to him. I think that was the point of Heva picking DiCaprio’s figure to represent himself in a human form. Two birds with one stone.
- Heva is big on symbolism. Just like some people put extra care for “integration” after a psychedelic trip, it usually also takes me some time to realize what’s behind all the symbolism he uses in my dreams. I’m still fuzzy on the broccoli stuff though…
- He’s funny. He has the same type of humor I got. No surprise there, since I’m him and he’s me.
- Some of my artworks don’t come directly from me. I feel that often I’m given ideas inside my head on how to do things. They just appear there, in a way that’s different to my normal, logical thinking. This happened more often in the very beginning of my collage artwork career, which also was the same time when I was in a strict Paleo-ketogenic diet (which is known to have positive mental effects). It hasn’t happened for a while now, which is why I’m kind of running in circles artistically (fellow collage artists have probably noticed that already).
- I met Heva for the first time exactly a few hours following my collage artwork “First Contact with Higher Self“. This is clearly what Carl Jung would call a Synchronicity event. Or fate?

First Contact with Higher Self
First Contact with Higher Self

And speaking of Carl Jung. I was recently pointed on a forum online to Jung’s theory of animus and anima (females usually connect to male Higher Selves, and males to female Higher Selves). Upon reading about his theory of the unconscious parts of ourselves that is able to connect to the Collective Unconscious (another one of his theories), it all fell into place. I now knew who Heva was.

Heva is my animus AND my anima. Call him Guardian Angel, Spirit Guide, or Higher Self, he’s simply a part of my unconscious psyche that has a larger view of the world via his connection to the Collective Unconscious field. He is me, but also rather independent. When I’m united with him, I’m the full human being I’m supposed to be.

But it gets stranger than that, and I think it really shows the brilliance of Carl Jung (eat your heart out Freud!):

- I believe that Heva is BOTH my animus and my anima, combined. This is why he appears male, while he has a female name. Probably also why he… erm… cries a lot — for a male.
- There are 4 stages of development for animus and anima. Jung called the first anima stage “Eve”. “Heva” is the Hebrew name for “Eve”. Please note that I wasn’t aware of Jung’s anima and animus theory until a few days ago, so if there’s a significance for Heva picking that name up, it means that himself is aware of Jung, and so he picked that name as yet another of his symbolisms to riddle me in.
- When Heva told me that he didn’t know of my brother’s female Higher Self, again, I didn’t know that males are supposed to have female anima. I wasn’t aware of Jung’s theory at all. But Heva knew all that. He obviously has access to more information than I have about some things.
- Only on the 4th and final stage of animus/anima development your unconscious mind is of spiritual consequence. I believe that not only I have reached the 4th stage, but I have combined my two animus and anima into one (“Heva”). This is what Jung called personality integration, which leads someone to become a very balanced and complete person.

But there is one last stage before complete integration: to integrate with the other part of your subconscious, the evil part. Remember the demons I mentioned who have tried to block my access to Heva? The entities that strive for separation rather than Oneness? These are also part of my unconscious mind, every human has these according to Jung. To integrate evil, you must face it, accept it, and most of all, not fear it.

I believe it’s the last chapter in my spiritual development, and one that will probably take a few more years before I can master it in my quest to bring ultimate balance to my Being. You see, there’s not Unity, Oneness, without the All. Integrating all the benevolent parts of one’s psyche, it’s still only 50% of the job. Meditation is my next step.

Update: Had another lucid dream, this time the message was: “Look inwards, face your fears“.

My view on Buddhist Doctrine

These days, my existential beliefs are more in line with Buddhism, and to some degree, to the less crazy/commercial parts of New Age. Kabbalah, which I loathed for years as an atheist, is also one of my favorite sources for knowledge nowadays too. However, I don’t follow dogmas and doctrines blindly. Everything goes through the logic analyzer in my own head before I accept it as possible Truth. It’s in my nature to question everything. These are the things I have trouble believing in:

1. Re-incarnation

I do believe in re-incarnation, just not in the way Buddhism and other religions explain it. I have trouble believing that “me”, Eugenia, re-incarnates again as the “same soul” in another body. Sure, I accept that parts of the Source (“God”/Universe consciousness) re-incarnate constantly, but not that the SAME soul part is re-incarnating “as is” to another body. In other words, I believe in RECYCLING of consciousness, not in re-incarnation. This just makes logical sense to me if I try to visual it and understand it in terms of a computer program. For example, if you had some memory reserved for a 3D-generated human, let’s say, 25 MBs of data, and then you dump that data from memory (i.e. the person dies), that data then is lost (ego-loss). Then, the memory is freed and joins the rest of free memory (becomes One with the All). Then, it’s time to use some memory again, for another part of the 3D environment. You grab 35 MB of memory to depict a 3D elephant, or 2 MB of memory to depict a 3D insect. So, if you use that same memory range that previously the 3D human was occupying, it means that he either added 10 MBs to his “soul” to become an elephant, or he lost 23 MBs to become an insect. Which means, that the re-incarnated version of the human is not the same as before anymore. It makes no sense to use that memory range to depict humans only, because that’s a very gross way of optimizing things (plus, humans didn’t always exist). So, from this I conclude that the person that died earlier, is NOT the same soul-part as the one that get re-incarnated. So a more accurate description of the process would be “recycling”, and not “re-incarnation”. When you die, your soul doesn’t come back as another person. It gets recycled, and it can become a gazillion pieces, recycled to various things (inanimate things too, since these are made of “God” too). Everything is in as-needed basis.

But you see, this is an unpopular belief (I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere before). No one would follow Buddhism if the doctrine would be all about “you die, but PARTS of you come back as some random things in the universe”. It’s depressing to think of yourself re-incarnated as a bunch of rocks or bacteria, for example. But the described system of recycling makes more sense to me than the little fairy tales of hope that various religions have been indoctrinating to people for eons. I think it’s time to grow up, and understand that when we die, we lose our ego/identity, our “soul” temporarily becomes One with the All, and then it gets recycled into whatever is needed by the system, which is NOT necessarily “another human”. The chances of coming back with the exact same “soul” as a sentient being, is astronomically small in my view.

Now, having said that, I do believe that consciousness evolves, just like the physical universe, its planets and its life on them evolves. When we get recycled, we go through the Morphic field, as Dr Rupert Sheldrake has described it. We get information from it regarding the species we get recycled to (“instinct”), but we also contribute back to it by simply living as one of these species. The Morphic field is possibly ordered by species, with new subfields emerging when new species are getting emerged between neighboring species. There’s no real distinction between species or even inanimate things in reality, they’re just ordered arrays. When seeing the whole thing, it contains the consciousness of the universe, not just that of a specific species. So living as a particular species, it contributes consciousness back to the field, just like when our body dies it becomes food for plants (compost). Everything gets recycled. Everything is energy anyway, so it can’t be destroyed, it can only be transformed.

Regarding past lives, it’s possible that the information gathered during hypnosis is real, but that doesn’t mean that they’re “your” lives. They could be anyone’s, since in reality, you’re Everyone and Everything, and you’re “reading” these past lives info from the morphic field.

2. Karma

If my… calculations above are correct, this means that there’s no such thing as karma. After death, Hitler never got punished for anything either. Everything simply is. The Universe simply strives for novelty, and wants to experience itself any way possible. Including ways we humans perceive as “evil”. There’s no judgement after death, this is accepted nowadays among mystics. I’d go one level further and say that there’s no karma either. It’s impossible to think of a memory range being punished by reusing it in a way that makes it feel pain. It’s not logical to make a memory range have a negative recycling, because that would mean that the whole program would become unstable. All memory is equal, no matter what they were selected to depict. It’s stupid to think otherwise. You’re important to the system, but you’re not more or less special than everything else. Not even special enough to get in trouble to give you a negative experience if you were “bad” in your previous life. Therefore, I think karma is hogwash.

Please note that I don’t accept that these views are nihilism. I simply see them as logical interpretations of mystical beliefs: in how such a system/consciousness would work to manifest a holographic universe and to also loan its intellect to “power” conscious beings while at it. It makes no sense to create whole rules and laws of “this” soul and “that” soul etc. That’s redundant crap in the grand scheme of things. All it matters is going forward with the system.

Also, please note that I don’t equate our Universe & life with a dry computer program. But that doesn’t mean that this is not how the whole thing roughly works. It’s simply a way to visualize it in order to make sense of things. Besides, as above, so below. So whose to say that they’re not all too similar in function?

3. Nirvana

We established above there’s only recycling and constant growth for the Universe, for its quest for novelty and “experience”. And there you have a bunch of monks, who say “fuck this, I don’t want to get recycled again”. The way I see this, is like going against the program. They make their memory range unavailable by opting out of the program. Now, let me say that this isn’t a holy thing, neither it’s a sin. It’s simply a state of Being, a choice. A choice that I’m not even sure if it actually works (it’s possible that Buddha thought that if he reaches Nirvana he doesn’t get re-incarnated again, only to find himself recycled yet again after his death). But if it does work, well, that’s cool too. There are those “evil” people who want to thrive in separation, and the “holy” ones, who take the way out of the equation (or so they think). Either way is acceptable by the One, because all the One wants to do is experience “different things”. Life is an illusory game after all.

And this brings me to one point where I do agree with Buddhism in a big way: “The Middle Way”. The middle way is simply living a life as a normal person. Not a monk, and not a gangster either. But rather, a life proper to the species you got recycled in. Just live your life to your highest enjoyment, and experience life as lucidly as you can, and you have already fulfilled your role. You don’t need to “do” anything special, unless such instruction was given to you during the recycling (e.g. “find the cure for cancer”). But for most people, it’s not more complicated than the Universe telling them: “let me experience through your eyes, not much else you must do, just fucking live”.

I’ll have to reiterate once more on this blog: the meaning of life is life itself.

At the end, as many psychedelic users have been shown on their trips, and Buddhism also says, everything is as it should be. Everything is perfect. When you die, you’d know that for sure.

Update: I should add here that I find very beneficial for people to meditate or take the right entheogens in order to discover their true selves. The I AM. That part is indeed very useful since it ceases existential problems for most. Some call that “enlightenment”. But after your session of remembering of who you really are, you come back down, and you live your life the best you can.

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.

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 egg 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. Just 80 gr of meat and 80 gr of wild fish on a single dish can go a long way, for example.

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 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.

Shoot a professional-looking movie for $1500

I’ve written 1-2 such articles in the past, keeping the cost below $500. But this article actually aims to acquire professional-looking results, and so you’d need about $1500+tax for that. Which is still dirt-cheap if you think about it. You will also need a minimum of two people as crew, to help you with the shoot (in addition to the actors). One will have to take care of the audio part, and the other one the lighting, clapper, and decor, while you’re shooting and directing.

ON CAMERA:

Camera + lens: Canon EOS M + 22mm kit lens: $325
Best video camera for the money. It outperforms others in the sub-$500 range in bitrate, fps choice, color control, audio controls etc. And it comes with a really good lens! You will have to shoot with a “flat” color profile to get the best out of the camera (install the Technicolor CineStyle), and you will need to disable continuous autofocus in the settings.

Additional lens: 18-55mm STM kit lens, $130
If you’re going to have a second lens, this one is also very good and versatile for the price! These two lenses made for the EOS M are both very good.

0.6 ND filter: 43mm Tiffen: $15
0.4 ND filter: 52mm Tiffen: $10
ND filter for the two lenses when shooting under bright sun. Lets you open up the aperture more!

43mm lens hood for 22mm lens: $9
52mm lens hood for zoom lens: $8
Avoid sun flares for the two lenses.

Lens cleaning kit: $10
Trust me, you don’t want dust on your footage!

Two UV filters, at 43mm and 52mm for the two lenses: $10 both
This is mostly about protection of the front glass rather than anything else. Modern cameras don’t really need cutting down UV.

Class-10 SDHC cards: 32GB, 5 of them: $100
Always backup after finishing shooting to a laptop & external drive (double backup).

Batteries: Opteka LP-E12 2000mAh: 7 of them, $100
You only have 30-40 minutes of video recording on these batteries, so you’ll need quite a few.

STABILIZATION:

Fluid-head tripod: $45
The tripod head must be fluid for video panning.

Revo SR-1000 Shoulder Support Rig: $80
For run & gun or action sequences.

Revo Stabilizer: $140
If you must follow the subject down the alley or through a house, that’s the accessory you need.

AUDIO:

Audiotechnica Mono Microphone: $55
This is a good mic for the money. You convert to stereo in post-processing (Sony Vegas can do this). If you want an even better mic, you can go for this Senal one, for $99. Finally, have extra batteries for your mics.

Wind muff (aka “dead cat”): $29
For the times that there’s a lot of wind while shooting.

Boom pole: $49
Must-have accessory if you’re serious about audio. Forget mounting the microphone on the camera and be done with it. It will never sound right that way. You need a “booman” to hold the pole close to the actors.

Headphones: $30
For monitoring while shooting. If you’re recording audio via the camera, you’re wearing the headphones. If you’re recording via an external recorder, the booman is to wear the headphones.

3.5mm extension cable: $9
This one is good for 25ft (7.6 meters). Please note that if the cable touches itself while tangled, or other electrical cables, you might get audio noise.

Audio monitoring splitter: $26
So you can monitor via headphones while recording (since the camera has only one jack).

Microphone Attenuation Cable: $35
To cut off noise that is usual on non-phantomed 3.5mm mics, especially when using such long extension cables.

LIGHTS:

Lights: $134
Lights and audio are more important than how good your camera is. They literally “make” your movie. There are various tutorials online on lighting. If you have the extra money, prefer this model instead, which has a third, “fill” light. If you need more, or less light than these light bulbs provide in a shooting situation, you can purchase and use different watt bulbs.

Reflector: $17
To stop shiny, unprofessional-looking faces. Get your actors to do their own make-up btw. Ask them to bring their own clothes, but you will need to instruct them as to what kind of clothes, and what color.

Reflector Holder Arm: $32

Reflector stand: $21

Spring Clamps: $8
So you can clamp the lights/reflector in more places for more interesting lighting looks.

Light meter: $50
It helps you figure out how to be consistent between shots regarding lighting, especially outdoors where the light varies with time.

OTHER:

Clapper Board: $5
Important, especially if you’re recording audio externally and need to sync audio in post-processing.

Gaffer tape: $13
Even NASA uses tape, it’s one of these things you should always have around. Also useful to place it on the ground, so actors know where to stand while shooting.

Food for cast & crew: $50
A lot of people would be willing to come and help your movie for free, but they get grumpy and they lose interest easily if they’re not fed. This is a known fact among filmmakers: always feed your cast & crew.

OPTIONAL:

Canon EOS lens adapter: $100, or from Fotodiox for $60 (some claim that it doesn’t support IS).
This allows you to mount the rest of the Canon lenses (and with an additional adapter, Nikon-mount lenses), should you already have such lenses lying around.

Macro: Raynox DCR-250: $70
It lets you shoot macro on the cheap, should you need such shots for your movie.

External Recording: Tascam: $100
This is only useful if you have a dedicated audio guy, rather than just a booman. If you record via the camera, you, the shooter+director, will do the audio monitoring. But if you buy this, you will need the guy who holds the boom pole+mic to actually control the audio recording too, and he needs to have a good clue of what he’s doing. Otherwise, skip this, it will be a hindrance rather than a feature. Audio, just as lighting, is not easy to master.

Lavalier mic: $20
It’s tricky to use one of these between two or more actors, but some shots might require it. Don’t use more than one of these mics though, or you’d get into audio-mixer hell.

Sandbags: $24
So the light stands don’t trip over so easily.

Rails + follow-focus: $265 + $200
You don’t really need these, but hey. Let’s indulge!