Archives for the month of: December, 2015

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Yaayy! Ordering coffee with cream doesn’t result in death stares!

A couple of these should get me through a layover at Portland, which looks like the larger, American version of Trondheim.

And the food in this photo is breakfast, although technically dinner, Norwegian time. Eggs benedict on smoked salmon, spinach and kale. Holy yum yes please!

After nearly 40 hours with no sleep and swollen legs from a long-haul flight, I almost feel like a new person.

More coffee, please. 🙂

Happy Christmas, cholesterol!

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

As readers of this blog will know well, I do not believe that cholesterol levels have anything to do with heart disease, which would more accurately called coronary artery disease (CAD) or coronary heart disease (CHD). This is not a view that is widely accepted in the medical community, nor in society as a whole. In fact, this view places me very firmly in the ‘nut job’ category. I have been told that my views mean that I feature on several quack watch sites. Hoorah, fame – of a kind – at last.

So when I come across information that supports my position, I am always keen to make as much noise about it as possible. Today, or at least today as I write this, someone sent me an article entitled ‘Continuous decline in mortality from coronary heart disease in Japan despite a continuous and marked rise in total…

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I’m embarrassed to admit that I never, ever realised that milk is, in fact, sweet.

Of course it makes sense now that I know more about lactose, but it still blew my mind when I had a cup of coffee with warm, full-cream milk in it last week. Sweet.

My brain is re-learning many things that have been washed away in floods of sugar the last thirty-odd years.

I’m systematically eating my way through the fridge. The deadline for a clean fridge is 23rd December. I’ll be on a plane the next day.

Late last night I realised my seterrømme (Norwegian sour cream) was past the best before date, so today is rømmegrøt day: for breakfast and dinner.

I wrote a post on it some months back with the recipe, here.

The problem is that I love this too much! I just ate half of my sour cream porridge for the day and I think I am about to explode in slow-motion.

This also means that I’ll be attacking the other half later today. Muuuuch later. I honestly don’t know if I’ll be hungry ever again.

But for now I need to figure out the most comfortable way to roll down the hill to get to the office. And it just started hailing. Yay.

Photo on 2015-12-10 at 8.53 AM

Bad photo of rømmegrøt in a flask (keeps it a little warmer for longer).

November and December in Norway are busy months of feasting!
Every group, workplace or sports club or circle of friends organises a Julebord, i.e. a Christmas table. Dress up smart and be prepared for a great night of food and strong alcohol.

This year I was lucky enough to be invited to friends who were having an evening with saueskolt (sheep’s head) from Sunnfjord. I’m used to it being called smalahove, but I’ve learned that there are differences between the two, apart from just the dialect. (Smalahove is the term used in the Voss and Bergen area.)

My friend said that they always had sheep’s head on Skoltesøndag, or as it is also known, skitne-søndag. Dirty Sunday.

Dirty Sunday is the Sunday before Christmas where you wash everything and prepare your house for Christmas. So you end up wearing your dirty clothes, sparing the clean ones for the next week’s big gathering. (This just made me think that we have it too easy these days. I have enough clothes to get me through a week without needing this kind of Dirty Sunday.)

And so, in your dirty clothes, you eat salted, smoked and boiled sheep’s head for dinner for the last time before the next year’s autumn comes.

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Saueskolter pĂĽ bordet.

It’s not my first time eating Norwegian-style sheep’s head, so I was more excited than grossed out at the prospect. The first time I was a little bit nervous, but I figured my Afrikaans sheep-farmer ancestors would be rolling in their graves, and rolling their eyes, if I didn’t man up and enjoy the meal.

It was awesome. And on that night I learned that a lamb’s eyeball is delicious.

The sheep’s head is smoked and salted, and finally boiled the day that it will be served, giving it a heavy flavour that goes beautifully with whiskey or akevitt. Or a deep red wine.

The only part that creeps me out a little is the inner texture of the cheeks. It’s bumpy. Apparently I have issues with texture sometimes (the same reason why fruit bits in otherwise smooth yoghurt makes my skin crawl).

The rest is fantastic. And the eye! That’s the last part and the best. It’s very similar to bone marrow in both taste and texture. And since bone marrow has been one of my favourite things in the world since I was a baby, I am now an eyeball-lover. Just remember to remove the pupil…

Once you have the eyeball worked and scooped out of the socket, you prod it with your fork, pop into your mouth and wash down with a shot of akevitt.

Dirty Sunday is the best Sunday, even though we had ours on a Saturday evening in November. 🙂

 

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DONE! A plastic surgeon could probably have done a better job, but I tried my best to get every piece!

I’m posting this more as a “note-to-self” than anything else.

I haven’t done much research on this at all, mostly because it takes a lot of time to find sane and compelling sources, so it is highly likely that a lot of the answers I’m looking for are out there.

If anyone actually reads this and is involved in the field, please let me know!

There is such a wide spread of hormonal experiences when transitioning to ketosis on all the forums and groups I visit online. Some women lose their cycles, for how long I don’t know.  Many who stay on a ketogenic diet seem to regain a normal cycle after some months, but I have absolutely no idea what the norm is. I don’t know if a norm exists. And then some are on birth control, some not.

I don’t make any conclusions because all reported experiences end up being an echo-chamber. The only conclusion I have so far is that different things happen to different women, but there seem to be a few subsets of common experiences.

There are two things in particular that interest me:

  • the differences between menstrual cycles on a ketogenic diet, a non-ketogenic carb-restricted diet, a “normal” middle-of-the-road diet, and a very low-fat diet,
  • the effects of different forms of hormonal birth control on all of the above cases.

The first set of baseline questions seem to me to cover the continuum of metabolic regimes. (My background is in applied maths and fluid mechanics, so it seems that this is how I now process the world: hard definitions, mathematically defined regimes and effects during regime changes. What have I become!)

It should go without saying that this kind of data should be long-term data and tested for metabolically healthy women as well as those who have already developed shit like PCOS.

Then I want the corresponding set of data for the same questions, but during periods of active weight (i.e. fat) loss.

I really want good sets of data to exist with ALL the parameters available. Influences on mood, period pain (damn you forever omega 6’s and prostaglandins), bloating, PMS-cravings, flow rate, cervical mucous, give me everything.

With online food-tracking and cycle-tracking being as easy as it is these days, there really is no excuse. It should be “relatively simple” to get a first-pass investigation going with so many people voluntarily switching to different diet regimes.

Tools like MyFitnessPal, My Days, FatSecret and all similar apps are sitting on a wealth of information. I want it!

All the data. That’s my Christmas wish.