Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three Large Problems With SAD (Standard American Diet)

"Wheat

Wheat contains starch, which is fine, but along with starch there is gluten, a complex of proteins that has been linked to a variety of diseases, and wheat germ agglutinin, a lectin antinutrient designed to protect the plant seed from consumption. Celiac disease, obesity, diabetes and mental illness have all been linked to wheat consumption.

The problem in wheat is proteins, not the carbohydrate. White flour is dense with these problematic proteins and antinutrients. Wheat causes problems even in popultations who've been eating it for thousands of years.

Stick with potatoes, sweet potatoes or root veggies for your starch, and stop eating bread, cookies, cakes and other baked goods.

Excess Fructose

Fructose is a carbohydrate, but metabolically it is quite different from the glucose that comes from starch. In small amounts or in moderate amounts in real food, fructose is not a problem, but the ubiquity of fructose in the modern diet creates obesity, insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and abnormal bacterial growth in the gut with consequent inflammation.

Fructose is easily minimized by simply refusing to eat processed food that comes in a box (especially 'low fat' foods), and by refusing to drink caloric drinks like soda pop and fruit juices and sports drinks.

Excess Linoleic acid

Linoleic acid is an omega 6 fatty acid, a polyunsaturated fat or PUFA. Along with n-3, the other type of PUFA, it is technically an essential fatty acid, but the actual requirement is so small it might be better considered a micronutrient. A hunter-gatherer or paleolithic human might have had a total PUFA intake of 3% of calories. Modern north americans have a PUFA intake of around 15%, most of it due to n-6. The problem with this is twofold:

1) As n-3 and n-6 precursors compete for the same enzyme in the eicosanoid pathway, the excess of n-6 in the diet means that n-3 is outcompeted at the enzyme level. The result is a preponderance of inflammatory signalling molecules. Increased cancer and inflammation - both too little and not enough immune activity - are both likely related to this.

2) Many are aware that 6:3 ratio of fatty acids is important, so they try to compensate by taking fish oil to balance the ratio. This doesn't really work to well - you can't realistically eat that much fish, and if you take fish oil supplements, you exacerbate the second, more important problem. Your total PUFA intake is now evan higher and total PUFA, especially including the added highly unstable n-3, leads to oxidative damage to your cells. Your arteries, liver and other organs are not happy. Your insulin resistance and other metabolic control systems may become disturbed.

The way to correct the modern excess of n-6 linoleic acid is to avoid the modern sources of it. Stop eating all temperate vegetable oils and veggie oil fried food- cooking and frying oils like corn, soy, canola, flax, all of it. And go easy on the nuts and factory chicken. These are big sources of n-6, especially the nuts and nut oils."

Article in its entirety:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/p-nu/201103/dietary-manifesto-paleo-20

Doctor Kurt Harris' blog:  http://www.paleonu.com/

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Song of the Soul






















The noise.
The babel.
The meaningless chit and chat.

But do you hear it?
Amidst all aberrations, the soul sings boldly, eloquently, and beautifully.

Listen to the music, and soon you will dance.
Dance, dance, dance, you will dance, unable to stop--not wanting to stop.

The soul sings pure, and its power is truth.
When you dance with truth, you dance the sacred.

Be warned:  This song--this music--your soul--it will change you.

Things may get hairy every now then.
If you shave your beard it will grow back.

The others may think you have lost your mind.
They will not dance to your soul song.
No one else can even hear it.  Only you.

Dance with your song, and your song will dance with you.

Poetic Synergy.

What's that?  You don't want to dance?
It can be ignored, sure.  But it will never stop singing.
The soul cannot be quieted,
no matter how big your salary or good-looking your spouse,
no matter how many sports games you watch or shopping sprees you go on,
no matter how many friends you have to boost your ego.

Busyness cannot tame the soul.
The soul will not be overpowered.
You run, it follows.  You hide, it seeks.
If you shove it outside, it will keep knocking at the window,
like little Timmy on a cold winter's night, every night, for the rest of time.

Amidst the lovemaking, during the office hours,
deep within your dreams, and all the in-between,
it will sing.
It sings, sings, sings.
The singing never stops and the music never ends.

It's never too late to learn how to dance.
And it's a hell of a lot better than prom.

- Teddy Grahams

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chris Hedges On The Ills Of Globalized Civilization


"We are seduced by this childish happy talk. Who wants to hear that we are advancing not toward a paradise of happy consumption and personal prosperity but a disaster? Who wants to confront a future in which the rapacious and greedy appetites of our global elite, who have failed to protect the planet, threaten to produce widespread anarchy, famine, environmental catastrophe, nuclear terrorism and wars for diminishing resources? Who wants to shatter the myth that the human race is evolving morally, that it can continue its giddy plundering of non-renewable resources and its profligate levels of consumption, that capitalist expansion is eternal and will never cease?

Dying civilizations often prefer hope, even absurd hope, to truth. It makes life easier to bear. It lets them turn away from the hard choices ahead to bask in a comforting certitude that God or science or the market will be their salvation. This is why these apologists for globalism continue to find a following. And their systems of propaganda have built a vast, global Potemkin village to entertain us. The tens of millions of impoverished Americans, whose lives and struggles rarely make it onto television, are invisible. So are most of the world’s billions of poor, crowded into fetid slums. We do not see those who die from drinking contaminated water or being unable to afford medical care. We do not see those being foreclosed from their homes. We do not see the children who go to bed hungry. We busy ourselves with the absurd. We invest our emotional life in reality shows that celebrate excess, hedonism and wealth. We are tempted by the opulent life enjoyed by the American oligarchy, 1 percent of whom control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

The celebrities and reality television stars whose foibles we know intimately live indolent, self-centered lives in sprawling mansions or exclusive Manhattan apartments. They parade their sculpted and surgically enhanced bodies before us in designer clothes. They devote their lives to self-promotion and personal advancement, consumption, parties and the making of money. They celebrate the cult of the self. And when they have meltdowns we watch with gruesome fascination. This empty existence is the one we are taught to admire and emulate. This is the life, we are told, we can all have. The perversion of values has created a landscape where corporate management by sleazy figures like Donald Trump is confused with leadership and where the ability to accumulate vast sums of money is confused with intelligence. And when we do glimpse the poor or working class on our screens, they are ridiculed and taunted. They are objects of contempt, whether on 'The Jerry Springer Show' or 'Jersey Shore.'

The incessant chasing after status, personal advancement and wealth has plunged most of the country into unmanageable debt. Families, whose real wages have dropped over the past three decades, live in oversized houses financed by mortgages they often cannot repay. They seek identity through products. They occupy their leisure time in malls buying things they do not need. Those of working age spend their weekdays in little cubicles, if they still have steady jobs, under the heels of corporations that have disempowered American workers and taken control of the state and can lay them off on a whim. It is a desperate scramble. No one wants to be left behind."

Entire Column:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_collapse_of_globalization_20110328/

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mumford and Sons, "Awake My Soul"

BPA-Free Or Not, Plastics Are Bad Stuff

"In a new study for the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers found that most plastic products leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals — and that was true even for products labeled 'BPA-free.' Scientists led by George Bittner, a neurobiologist at the University of Texas, looked at 455 common plastic products and found that 70% tested positive for estrogenic activity. Once those products were subject to real-world conditions — microwaving or dishwashing — that proportion rose to 95%. As the study concluded:
Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled, independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source, leached chemicals having reliably-detectable EA, including those advertised as BPA-free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA [endocrine activity] than BPA-containing products.
BPA is particularly worrisome simply because it is so common. Nearly every American has some amount of BPA in his or her body, in part because plastics are so ubiquitous. (And the U.S. seems to be especially contaminated — a recent study found that Americans have twice as much BPA in their bodies as Canadians.) The Food and Drug Administration expressed 'some concerns' last year about the potential impact of BPA on the brains of fetuses, infants and children — but no federal agency has yet said that BPA or any other potentially endocrine-disrupting chemicals are unsafe."

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/08/study-even-bpa-free-plastics-leach-endrocrine-disrupting-chemicals/

Friday, March 25, 2011

Simon and Garfunkel, "Sound of Silence"

Dancing






"Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another."

- Author Unknown

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Impossible Hamster

Study: Facebook Users More Narcissistic And Lonely


"'Firstly, Facebook users have higher levels of total narcissism, exhibitionism and leadership than Facebook non-users,' they write. 'Secondly, individuals with higher scores on exhibitionism also have higher preferences for photos and status updates (than the site’s other features).'

These findings 'substantiate the proposition that Facebook is particularly appealing for narcissistic and exhibitionistic people,' they conclude. 'In fact, it could be argued that Facebook specifically gratifies the narcissistic individual’s need to engage in self-promoting and superficial behavior.'

'One of the most noteworthy findings was the tendency for neurotic and lonely individuals to spend greater amounts of time on Facebook per day than non-lonely individuals,' they add. 'For lonely people in particular, it appears they are mainly using Facebook to partake in passive activities, instead of providing active social contributions.'

It’s worth repeating that these findings are exclusively from Australia, and thus not necessarily representative of Facebook’s worldwide membership. And the number of nonusers in the study was relatively small. So this study cannot be called definitive.

Nevertheless, its findings suggest narcissists use Facebook to inflate their already puffed-up egos, while lonely people passively navigate it, observing the life that is passing them by. Perhaps both groups would be better off watching a good movie — say, The Social Network."

Article in its entirety:  http://www.miller-mccune.com/culture-society/australian-study-links-facebook-use-with-narcissism-29129/

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Causal Relationship: Diet And ADHD

"According to Pelsser, 64 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD are actually experiencing a hypersensitivity to food. Researchers determined that by starting kids on a very elaborate diet, then restricting it over a few weeks' time.

'It's only five weeks,' Pelsser says. 'If it is the diet, then we start to find out which foods are causing the problems.'

Teachers and doctors who worked with children in the study reported marked changes in behavior. 'In fact, they were flabbergasted,' Pelsser says.

'After the diet, they were just normal children with normal behavior,' she says. No longer were they easily distracted or forgetful, and the temper tantrums subsided.

Some teachers said they never thought it would work, Pelsser says. 'It was so strange,' she says, 'that a diet would change the behavior of a child as thoroughly as they saw it. It was a miracle, a teacher said.'"

Article in its entirety:  http://www.npr.org/2011/03/12/134456594/study-diet-may-help-adhd-kids-more-than-drugs

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fat is Your Friend? Carbs Kill?

"Gary Taubes, an award-winning writer for Science, the New York Times Magazine and other publications, came to Stevens to discuss his controversial new bestseller, Good Calories, Bad Calories which argues that much of what we have been told about the relationship between body weight, diet and exercise is wrong."



A personal comment:  Taubes' book, Good Calories, Bad Calories is incredibly informative and very revolutionary within the medical field.  I highly recommend it.

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Calories-Bad-Controversial-Science/dp/1400033462/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

- Teddy Grahams

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hair

If you look up at the sun, and your bangs partially shield you from its colossal brightness, little rainbow dots will appear on your hair.

I really like them.

- Teddy Grahams

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Academia


"A colleague once defined an academic discipline as a group of scholars who had agreed not to ask certain embarrassing questions about key assumptions."

- Mark Nathan Cohen, Health and the Rise of Civilization

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Existential Questions

I thought this was going to be a very bad video, but really, it is great.  Funny, honest, and great.



Via WolfsGotYourTongue's Blog, I asked the moon to make me open.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Different Lens


"Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures."

- Jessamyn West

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mass Producing Fake Internet Identities To Sway Public Opinion

"A post on Daily Kos reports on a leaked email from HB Gary Federal, a U.S. defense contractor, about using 'persona management' software to create a whole cast of sock-puppet marionettes. The software makes one person seem to be many--the manipulation of online discussions has never been easier.

The Kos article reports that according to an embedded Word document discovered in the leaked email, it appears the intention behind using these confabulated crowds was so that one person could easily gang up on bloggers, commenters and otherwise 'real' people to smear enemies and distort the truth,'in the equivalent of an entire Brooks Brothers riot online.'

Faking identities online is nothing new. Many users express themselves in something like a digital charade and play with an invented privacy that ultimately protects their ‘real' lives. While this may be considered part of the human fusion with the Internet – a questionable process that needs crucial reflection but may be considered widely harmless in its intentions – once it aims at affecting and infiltrating public opinion, it is highly alarming and not harmless at all.

If software enables one person to pretend there are many individuals attacking blogs and swarming diaries, it ultimately and effortlessly creates the illusion of consensus. And distorts the truth, because the opinion of many weighs more than a single voice: sometimes for better, but often for worse."

Link:  http://www.realitysandwich.com/master_internet_puppets

Civilized Downfalls


"Cancer, like insanity, seems to increase with the progress of civilization."

- Doctor Stanislas Tanchou

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pirates and Emperors

A comedic yet honest political cartoon, Schoolhouse Rock style.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lost Instinct


"As any earthquake survivor can tell you, disjunctions can be hazardous to your health.  And indeed, every day brings more evidence of the dangers of disconnection.  In the wake of the Tsunami of 2004, Sri Lankan wildlife officials were stunned to discover that all of the animals at the Yala National Park had survived.  Park workers and tourists perished as floodwaters surged through the refuge but the animals evidently sensed the danger in advance and retreated in time.  Accustomed to scanning the newspaper or the television rather than the skies, modern men and women do need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.  Like the park rangers of Sri Lanka, even people who are relatively more attuned to the natural world have lost their animal ability to sense and respond appropriately to impending natural disasters."

- Pattrice Jones, Igniting a Revolution

The Dangers of Homogenized, Pasteurized Milk (Milk That Is Not Raw)

"Homogenization means equalizing the fat content in milk by stirring it. The reason homogenization is bad is that when milk is stirred, air gets mixed in, turning the milk’s fat component into an oxidized fatty substance — fat in an advanced state of oxidation. In other words, homogenized milk produces free radicals and exerts a very negative influence on the body.

The milk containing oxidized fat then gets pasteurized at high temperatures over 212°F. Enzymes are sensitive to heat, and begin to be destroyed at temperatures 200°F. In other words, milk sold in stores not only lacks precious enzymes, but the fat is oxidized and the quality of the proteins is changed due to the high temperature. In a sense, milk is the worst type of food."

- Hiromi Shinya, The Enzyme Factor

Prayer

"The activity that we commonly call 'prayer' springs from just such a gesture, from the practice of directly addressing the animate surroundings. Prayer, in its most ancient and elemental sense, consists simply in speaking to things--to a maple grove, to a flock of crows, to the rising wind--rather than merely about things.  As such, prayer is an everyday practice common to oral, indigenous peoples the world over.  In the alphabetized West, however, we've shifted the other toward whom we direct such mindful speech away from the diverse beings that surround us to a single, all-powerful agency assumed to exist entirely beyond the evident world.  Still, the quality of respectful attention that such address entails--the steady suspension of discursive thought and the imaginative participation with one's chosen interlocutor--is much the same.  It is a practice that keeps one from straying too far from oneself in one's open honesty and integrity, a way of holding oneself in right relation to the other, whether that other is a God outside the world or the many-voiced world itself.

Nonetheless, the older, more primordial style of prayer sustains a very different stance toward the local terrain than that which resolutely directs itself toward a divinity beyond the world.  While the latter feels the sensuous landscape as a finite and restricted realm relative to its transcendent source, the first experiences the sensible world as the source of itself--as a kind of ongoing transcendence wherein each sensible thing is steadily bodying forth its own active creativity and sentience."

- David Abram, Becoming Animal

Documentary: "Pickaxe"


"An eclectic mix of activists take a stand to protect an old growth forest from logging at Warner Creek in the Willamette National Forest of Oregon, blockading the logging road and repelling the State Police. Over months a community builds around the illegal blockade as it develops into the Cascadia Free State and similar actions spread across the region. Years after its release, PICKAXE has become a classic document of the potential for grassroots direct action to achieve victory against the forces of both government and big business. Lovingly crafted by the participants themselves, the film expertly presents every moment, from confrontation to celebration."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Rainbow Princess


When I gaze inwards from the edge of the forest, I see her.  

I sing.
She sings.

I dance.
She dances.

I cry.
She cries.

I smile.
She smiles.

This girl is my soul.

Pure.

Unhealthy you say?
Ha!
If you only knew her the way I do.

She is nothing short of dazzling,
authentically wild and true.

Alive!

I wish I could be as wild as her,
so vividly pristine, gushing with life.

But things are complicated.
In this life you must be black or white.
Nothing else.

She understands,
as she always does,
but the middle confuses everyone else.

Or is it the edges?

Truths are rare in this foggy reality.
Anger and confusion overwhelm.
Hate and fear run amok.

They do not like to look within,
those people,
those common folk.
The fear stems here.

The whole world is afraid.
Afraid of me, afraid of you, afraid of anything that glows.
Vibrant hues are ostensibly overlooked.
The masses fear colors.

The masses fear her.

But I fear not!
I am in love with this girl,
this glowing, brilliant being,
and that will never change
as she is held captive,
by me.

Yes, I hold her hostage.
But true, too, she holds me.

We each have no choice,
as the laws of nature have molded us together.

How silly it is to separate.

These colors I see?
I see them because of her.

Together we bathe in a vast kaleidoscopic ocean.

This girl is my rainbow princess,
and without her, I am colorblind.

- Teddy Grahams