Archives for the month of: September, 2015

Diabetes vs Dietitian Association of [insert your country here]


I am emerging (briefly) from grad school hibernation–my husband jokes that I’m taking all my classes “pass/flail”–for a special cause that hits close to home, even though Jennifer Elliot, a dietitian who has been going the rounds with her various professional organizations and institutions, lives in Australia.

She apparently had the gall to suggest to a patient with type 2 diabetes that a low-carbohydrate diet might be beneficial.  Heavens.  What is the world coming to?  Next thing you know, people will start telling us that if we are allergic to poison ivy and it makes us itch all over, we might not want to roll in it.

If you haven’t had a good eyeball roll or facepalm for the day, you should check out her blog, where she recounts one episode after another of Orwellian-level doublespeak with the Dietitian Association of Australia.  It’s a situation I’m quite familiar with, albeit on…

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Shameless smear of bacon grease on egg.


What a weekend.

1. Japan outplays South Africa. (I love it!)

2. Richie McCaw gets yellow carded. (Yes, I cackled like a maniac.)

3. This very sober report on fat from Credit Suisse’s Research Institute sees the light!

Fat: The New Health Paradigm (PDF warning)

The conclusion of this report is simple. Natural unprocessed fats are healthy and key to the evolution of a society that focuses on developing healthy individuals, not just on treating those who are sick. Natural foods high in monounsaturated and saturated fats are one of the preferred sources of energy for our bodies to use and store. Omega-3 has strong protective properties for our heart and brain. Welcome to the new world of fat.

From the report. My revulsion of bananas has been vindicated!

From the report.
My revulsion of bananas has been vindicated! 

This report follows a 2013 report on sugar and sweeteners:

Sugar: Consumption at a Crossroads (PDF warning.)

What a time to be alive!

I thought it was about time that I compile a list of videos on YouTube that could put food and health into perspective.

This is not a full compendium of every video out there, but rather a collection that, in my opinion, covers the map of what I consider relevant at the moment.

The list below is not in an order of good to best, but rather grouped together and ranging from introductory to more involved, although a lot of their content almost overlap entirely.

As always, by linking the videos and recommending them, I am by no means implying that every single idea in them is true. They are there to make you think a bit.

Okay here we go!

— General overview —

Grant Schofield: “How Can We Change the Way We Eat”

Professor of Public Health at the Auckland University of Technology, Schofield goes through some of his first-hand experience of being a public health advisor.
This one goes at the top because Schofield describes, to me, what this is all about. Do you think about the way you want to die and how you want to be able to live up to that point?

“If you don’t, you should.”


Grant Schofield

Grant Schofield

Gary Taubes: “Adiposity 101 and the Alternative Hypothesis of Obesity”

The latest of the many, many versions of this lecture on YouTube.

What drives fat accumulation?

Why do we think about being fat in the way we do?

Just… watch, and consider what is being said. Taubes gives no advice, so you can make up your mind.

Edit: here is a 9min concise summary of the whole thing.

Gary Taubes

Gary Taubes

Stephen Phinney on The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living and Performance

If anyone has the authority to speak from experience, it’s Dr Phinney. He has been living the nutritional ketosis lifestyle and as you can see, is very much alive and well.

This talk covers starts with treading through the background of particular native populations who found themselves to be living on the cusp of dietary revolution. Luckily there are records of what these peoples most likely ate before their diet, culture and health changed dramatically.

Dr Phinney also discusses his own academic work regarding athletic performance on ketogenic diets.
Watch and learn!

Stephen Phinney

Stephen Phinney

Tim Noakes on The Great Diet Controversy

Noakes, professor of exercise and sports medicine at the University of Cape Town, talks about his own experience of being the king of carbo-loading (my words) to realising, oi vey, he was wrong.
Noakes was a lean, active marathon runner who ended up with type 2 diabetes.
A lot of people wonder what you should eat, and I think Noakes sums it up pretty well:

“What is food? Food is something which was alive until quite recently.”

This is a long presentation, but well worth your time! Especially if you are South African and totally confused about all this Banting business. Hopefully this places Noakes’ journey in context.

Tim Noakes

Tim Noakes

Robert Lustig on Sugar: The Bitter Truth

The Authors@Google version of Dr Lustig’s presentation on sugar and fructose metabolism.

Robert Lustig

Robert Lustig

— Dieticians and personal stories —

Caryn Zinn on Low-Carb, Healthy Fat: Weight loss and sport.

Dietician Caryn goes through her set of tips for starting out a low-carb lifestyle. I’m happy to say that I can say yes and yes to every single one of these! It was nice to watch this for the first time and go “oh cool, I must be doing this right then”. 🙂
And here’s another vote for big food prep days with loud music and wine! Sometimes I put a movie on. Either way, I make food for the entire week.

Full fridge, empty pantry.

Confirmed! My pantry is now contained in a single kitchen drawer and this includes tea and coffee. SPACE!
Both the fridge and freezer are full. So many eggs. Mmm.

Caryn Zinn

Caryn Zinn

Vicky Kuriel on Case Reports from an LCHF Dietician

Some more practical guidelines from a dietician actively involved in the effects of low-carb, high-fat on the lives of real people.

Vicky Kuriel

Vicky Kuriel

Eric Westman on how to practically implement a low-carb, high-fat diet.

Dr Westman goes through what and how you eat if you are interested in a ketogenic-type diet. He has some very useful tips and ideas, especially if you are not interested in precisely tracking your calories.
Remember, salt is your friend, especially in the beginning if you get inexplicably exhausted. Broth is excellent.

Eric Westman

Eric Westman

Peter Attia on how he changed from burning sugar to burning fat.

Dr Attia’s personal journey to an LCHF lifestyle. He has done self-experimentation and has built up a fascinating understanding of his body’s use of fuel.

Peter Attia

Peter Attia

— Health & Disease —


Craig B Thompson, current president of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, on basic cancer ideas and research trends.
(The first ~5min are introductory.)
What is cancer and why do we do so much research on it?  He gives a very good, understandable intro into the basic ideas of cancer growth which is invaluable to someone like me.

And what does food have to do with cancer?

He discusses overeating as the cause of obesity and links it to the profuse availability of food. However, he doesn’t differentiate between the different types of foods we are able to consume. Compare this is to the ideas in Gary Taubes’ Adiposity 101 lecture.
Thompson asks:

“Why do we turn that food sometimes into growth, and other times just into storage, and fat.”

In other words, we’re all asking the same question and the answer is not, in fact, entirely obvious.

Craig Thompson

Craig Thompson


Sarah Hallberg on Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Starts With Ignoring the Guidelines

What are we telling people with diabetes to eat?!

Sarah Hallberg

Sarah Hallberg

Jason Fung on the perfect treatment for diabetes and weight loss

Dr Fung also treats patients with diabetes and has seen that diabetes is in fact not an irreversible, chronic disease. Eat, and maybe fast, your way healthy again.

Jason Fung

Jason Fung

Fertility and PCOS
Michael Fox on How to Eat to Get Pregnant
Dr Fox treats patients with fertility problems and has gradually come to learn from his patients’ experiences. His treatment starts with nutrition if there is any evidence of insulin resistance.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a sign that you have insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome).

Michael Fox

Michael Fox

Alzheimers and dementia

A discussion with Grant Anderson, Robb Wolf, Peter Attia, Tara Dall, Malcolm Bacchus and Gary Taubes.

1. Malcolm Bacchus

A neurologist discusses Alzheimers and dementia and his experiences when diagnosing patients.

My grandfather had Alzheimers. It is absolutely not the way you want to go if you could avoid it.

Malcolm Bacchus

Malcolm Bacchus

2. Grant Anderson, Peter Attia, Robb Wolf, Gary Taubes, Malcolm Bacchus: ketones, coconut oil, carbohydrates… Alzheimers.

This touches on a fear of mine: ending up in hospital or an old-age home and being fed things I would not otherwise want near my body. I think of my grandmother who is 101 and will probably live forever, but who has no real say in what goes into her own body. This is a woman who was cooking for herself well into her late nineties and fasting every Friday. (I should’ve listened to her advice a long, long time ago!)

Malcolm Bacchus, Tara Dall, Gary Taubes discussion.

Malcolm Bacchus, Tara Dall, Gary Taubes discussion.

3. Tara Dall (lipidoligst)

The role of insulin resistance in various chronic disease states and how to address the risk factors before the onset of disease.

Tara Dall

Tara Dall

4. Gary Taubes, part one

A neurologist’s take on the Alzheimers chapter in Good Calories, Bad Calories:

I reviewed the chapter in the book you provided. This man is right on.
The theories about insulin and Alzheimers have been well-known for a while.
Coincidentally, in our Journal of Neurology, this is recently reported on. This is not theory anymore, it is fact.

Cheers, sugar and bread.

Gary Taubes

Gary Taubes

5. Gary Taubes, part two

More on dementia and Alzheimers.

Gary Taubes

Gary Taubes

— Some more interesting and technical stuff —

Ken Sikaris asking Does LCHF Improve Your Blood Tests?

A presentation on the effects of a low-carb, high-fat diet on the typical values in a lipid panel. This could be interesting for anyone trying to make sense of all the numbers and have no clue where to start.

Ken Sikaris

Ken Sikaris

Interview with Kenneth Brookler, ENT specialist

Ivor Cummins has posted two wonderful interviews on his blog, The Fat Emperor.
The first interview is with ear, nose and throat specialist Dr Kenneth Brookler. (The fancy name for this is an otorhinolaryngologist… Try saying that with your mouth full.)
This conversation is overflowing with insight from Dr Brookler’s experiences across medical specialties over the years. Do your curiosity a favour and have listen.

Kenneth Brookler being interviewed by Ivor Cummins (

Interview with Joseph Kraft, pathologist

The second interview is with Dr Joseph Kraft, a lifetime pathologist who administered over 14 000 insulin assays. He authored the book: Diabetes Epidemic & You.

Dr Kraft indirectly summed up scientific paradigms beautifully when he addressed the common notion of “fat clogging the arteries”:

Well see this business of clogging the arteries, this is not something that’s been demonstrated. It’s a concept which they think will explain where they are in regard to their interpretation and management of cardiac disease.

This is a truly wonderful interview with what seems to be a great and humble scientist at the end of his career (he’s in his nineties!).

Joseph Kraft

Joseph Kraft

Here is today’s post on Andreas Eenfeldt’s

“The First Drug to Reduce Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes Revealed! And it’s Low Carb in a Pill!”

My only response: lol.

Hazelnut butter was on sale… I didn’t know and got there too late!

These other secret low-carbers also raided all the other shops where it was on sale. Good work, I would’ve done the same.

This stuff is delicious and satisfying, even in tiny amounts.


Vanishing trick!

Fårikål sesong!

Fårikål is a traditional Norwegian dish in autumn and is literally boiled mutton and cabbage. As simple as that.

Now, I’ve made the real thing and it’s quite okay, but as a South African my soul cries a little at the thought of boiling wonderful meat, especially good lamb or mutton.

Boiled mutton.

Boiled mutton. Good, but not quite as grand as it could be.

That’s when a phone call to Mom is priceless. My mom makes the best lamb ribs in the world. It is not possible to find better food on this planet. I even end up eating the bones, because I can. So who better to ask for advice when you walk into the shop and there is lamb on sale at a ridiculous price! For realsingtons. This is Norway, land of the most expensive everything, and the price seems reasonable by South African standards. TIME TO FEAST!

First, let me show you the spoils from my shopping trip:



Now, my mom says her method of preparing lamb is pretty easy:

  • rub salt and olive oil into the meat,
  • lightly rub whole coriander seeds onto the meat (I love this taste, so I’m not shy to use a whole lot of coriander seeds),
  • bake at 200°C in an open dish for about 20min – this is to brown the meat, and then
  • bake for another 40-ish minutes at 180°C covered.

It’s best to use a large dish with a lid for this, but I only have access to a smaller, deep dish with a lid, so my meat was packed on top of each other. Not perfect, but that’ll do, sheep.

Rubbed in and ready to go. Coriander is more than worth its weight gold.

Rubbed in and ready to go. Coriander is more than worth its weight gold.

After about an hour of tantalising smells, you have great meat with crispy pieces of fat. And now I have food for the next week… I cannot believe I’m lucky enough to have a piece of lamb every night for dinner in Norwegia! This is better than eating out.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

But wait, there’s more…

Since it’s no longer necessary to fear the fat, I don’t throw it away! I poured the left over juices from the baking dish into an empty jar and refrigerated it overnight. Now I have broth and fat that I can use!


Freshly poured fat…

I’ve been making omelettes with the lamb fat. It’s delicious and I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this forever.

Solidified fat floating on top. Yum yum yum!

Solidified fat floating on top. Scoop it off and save in a separate jar.

So, plan your next trip to Norway during the autumn! It’s beautiful and the meat is phenomenal. You can also be sure that the sheep lived a happy life, especially when they get to roam free in the mountains during the summer months.

After the miserable find of the not-so-great USDA nutritional debate video from 2000, The Fat Emperor made my day and released his interview with Dr Joseph Kraft, an American pathologist with a literal lifetime of invaluable experience.

This is a wonderful interview, not only because of the insight into the proposed true prevalence of type 2 diabetes, but also because it is just a great conversation with an incredibly interesting and humble man at the end of a fascinating career.

Dr Kraft tested over 14 000 patients with a 5-hout test (insulin assays) he developed to find more accurate levels of hyperinsulinemia and found that many patients who passed the usual glucose tolerance test would fail his own test, himself included. Furthermore, he proposes that anyone with diagnosed with cardiovascular disease is by default diabetic, albeit simply undiagnosed.

I was fascinated with the involvement of ear, nose and throat specialists (ENT’s) with his work. I obviously know next to nothing about human biology and the plausible link between tinnitus and raised insulin made me really sit up and go “wait, what, I really don’t know anything”.

My favourite quote from Dr Kraft in the interview:

Well see this business of clogging the arteries, this is not something that’s been demonstrated. It’s a concept which they think will explain where they are in regard to their interpretation and management of cardiac disease.

That’s an elegant little summary of most science: concepts developed that explain the current interpretation of a problem, with emphasis on current interpretation.

Dr Kraft’s 2008 book, Diabetes Epidemic & You, is available here (with some reviews available here).

Do yourself a favour and watch the full interview!

Some days you come across something that just makes you want to toss your laptop out the window.

Today that something is this video of the “USDA Great Nutrition Debate” of February 2000. (The USDA here is the United States Department of Agriculture.)

At first I was confused what Dean Ornish was doing there, because I’d never seen Dr Atkins speak in person and the video looks like it’s from 1980. My mental timeline was apparently severely messed up. I also realise how far we’ve come in the last 15 years with regards to video quality… Thank goodness! (“Next slide. … Next slide, please. Slide.”)

Well, that’s the debate.

And what do you know, there is Atkins himself sounding like a very rational man. I grew up amongst the “Atkins and meat will kill you” culture, and firmly believed it, even though I knew absolutely nothing about biology or nutrition (I’m still deeply embarrassed about everything I used to say as if I “knew” it).

A lot of the debate in the video really just feel like adventures in missing the point. I was going to go through a few thoughts, but it feels pointless and I’d honestly get more satisfaction from seeing my laptop sail through the rainy Norwegian skies. That is until I have to replace it, of course.

Seriously. Around 2:46:00 the question of keto-breath arises. Pffffff honestly. Choose between some potentially slight bad breath and diabetes or worse? That’s the definition of a no-brainer. The bad breath also generally goes away quite quickly, in case anyone reads this and is wondering about it. I was very happy to hear Dr Atkins saying “This is serious stuff.”

2:47:20-ish, Atkins replies to a concern about his high-protein diet: “I am concerned by the American Heart Association’s recommendations of Fruit Loops and Pop Tarts having their seal of approval. If that’s their recommendation, then I’m certainly happy that they’re not in my camp. I wouldn’t want them there.” YES. It seems there were at least two enlightened audience members in attendance.

I wish we had seen this video back in 2000. That way I wouldn’t have had to watch my dad eat his way through low-fat, hypertensive misery into a stroke. I’m not claiming the stroke could have been prevented, but I know I’d much rather live eating very happily and heartily and then keeling over. It most definitely beats the guilt and stress of stupid diets and dying anyway.

I’m having eggs for breakfast. And I’ll be cooking them in lamb fat.

Lemon cheesecake goes exceedingly well with blueberries!

My cheesecake was a bit intense for me and the blueberries took the edge off just enough. Perfect partnership.


Yes, I’m scooping straight out of the cupcake mould… No shame.