This blog has become mostly about pointing readers to things I find helpful in the world of ancestral health, weight loss, food policy and related matters. I want to provide one more voice in the wilderness, I don’t need to blog every race report, or personal mliestone. I will start putting things of possible interest into one digest, for the few family and friends that read this blog and have an interest in my personal well-being. But most of the time, I’ll go back to ranting about how the man is trying to poison us. Cool?
The Blog and The Doughboy
Actually, in ranting-about-the-man news, I was a guest on a podcast this week. Low Carb Conversations With Jimmy Moore and Friends. While he works on his book mentioned later in this post, his usual co-host Dietitian Cassie has on a few guest friends,mostly bloggers. I don’t pretend to be an expert about anything, just a guy who pays attention to the news, how it’s reported, and how the press misses a lot of things. You can get information about the podcast on the website. We talk about death by coca-cola, my blog on the AHA selling its soul, top myths in nutrition, drinking raw egg yolks, and why McDonald’s can’t give out apples without caramel. And some other stuff.
My post last week on the FDA petition to put aspartame in milk was the most viewed post in the blog’s history, I posted a followup the next day clarifying the labeling rules. I plan to stay on top of this story.
And, just for housekeeping’s sake, I ponied up the $18 to buy myself a year’s worth of a domain. This is still on wordpress, but officially reachable at http://www.doughboytoironman.com
My Food Sources
I have long been a food geek. I want to make the most of living here, so we have done pastured beef for years, we join CSAs, I just started keeping a hive of bees in 2012, and I am finally getting back to the farmers’ market on Wednesdays. We have several pounds of low-sugar cured bacon in the freezer that I custom-ordered from our local meat shop.
This has been an especially fruitful week for my local food focus. This week, I won’t say where or when, I am picking up a product that is technically not to be sold, so I won’t put out details publicly. I don’t want anyone to draw potential heat. Let’s just say you can make this yourself, and you could buy it a couple generations ago. No it’s not moonshine, and it’s not weed. But legalizing industrial hemp should be on the agenda of any food movement.
Last week I made a major find at one of the many local Amish bulk food stores I visit. They reflect one of the sad dichotomies of our area, in that alongside real local produce we have aisles upon aisles of surplus foods that are far below retail, but 99% of them are processed carbs. Cereals, granola bars, candy, etc….. However, I made a discovery of packaged macadamia nuts. I wouldn’t normally buy small jars of Planters nuts, but they are already in the surplus stream, and at $4 per 2 6.25 cans, that’s under $6 per pound. They’re $15 a pound in every grocery store., With the sealed packages, I hope they last longer and do not go rancid. I took a gamble and spent $48 on a whole lot of them. If I believed advertising logic, I’d say I just “saved” $92. There are still several cases there, so anyone near Middleburg, check out L&L near Shade Mountain Winery. They’re right beside the check out.
The really exciting start to my day came by accident. I don’t usually read our local paper, but I had to look for an obituary, and happened to see this article.
I had to go to Selinsgrove anyway,and Sunbury is not much further, so I printed an order form and took a check right to the farm. I love to meet farmers who belong to PASA. I met Caroline and she took me to see the new lambs. I am thinking of getting Olivia signed up for sheep camp, where the kids learn about how ruminants eat and digest, and then about how we humans do the same. They take care of a sheep. They also learn about how to kill a sheep, though they don’t actually do it themselves. Of course, this would probably turn my sweet little carnivore into a sweet little vegan, so I am on the fence about sheep camp.
They will sell out of lamb reservations soon, so if you’re interested, go to their website now. I got put on the pig list, and may see one next spring. They’ve been in PA since 2008, when they moved from New Hampshire. I’m thrilled to see the traditional foods movement become so strong in my own area, which is the birthplace of the modern organic movement, and where the PA German settlers brought sustainable practices hundreds of years ago. More on that another time.
My Health Stats
In a previous post, I went into great detail about the blood test that I wanted to have done. Here are the highlights from the main test as well as the subfractionation panel.
The Good News
Since Christmas, I have dropped 29.5 pounds
My A1C is 4.9%
My total cholesterol is 188
My triglycerides are 71..
The Not-Bad But Pay Attention News
The panel I asked for specially is intended to break down the LDL number into particle sizes. I thought that my LDL might be somewhat high, and indeed, I was right. This is what we refer to as the bad cholesterol in the short hand. And unfortunately, my good HDL was still low. Even though the total cholesterol is low, the ratios are important. I did freak out a bit when I saw that the small dense particle number for the LDL was in fact high. This is the problem. So now what?
I exchanged some emails with Jimmy Moore, who is currently researching and writing a book on cholesterol. He looked at my numbers and we discussed some dietary factors as well as genetic ones. His basic message is this
I’ve only been making these changes for a short time, and the LDL number is only slightly elevated. I will be checking again in a couple months. As for changes, I’m incorporating more coconut oil, and only eating pastured eggs. I’m diligently avoiding any omega 6 fat sources. I did some digging, and fell further down the rabbit hole. I feel like I’m in level three dreamland in Inception. I found Paleo Hacks and more information from Dr. Davis on some genetic variants that may cause problems for a paleo approach. So now I’m strongly considering paying the $99 to 23andme to find out if I am an APO4E carrier. Considering this service would have been thousands of dollars a couple years ago, and now the test just dropped from $299 to $99, I think we’re going to see an explosion in personalized dietary advice based on genetic markers. Right now I’m waiting for some blog reader to sponsor my test. 😉 Tae Kwon Do and ballet lessons aren’t free, and even at $6 a pound, macadamia nuts can be an expensive habit. But Jack will eat them, and anything that gets him away from boxed mac and cheese is worth the investment.
Biohacking can get really complicated and confusing. so If the last paragraph means nothing to you, that’s cool. The bottom line is that the real driver for problems is triglycerides, and those are great. I’m also losing weight, and eliminating diabetes. If I’m really worried about LDL particle size, and the dietary tweaks don’t yield progress, I will try to get a CT Heart scan which will actually tell me if I have any buildup in the arteries. If not, literally no worries. So this is a continuing research area for me.
My Racing Life
Back when this blog began, it was just about watching a formerly sedentary guy do some races. That gets boring if it’s all there is. So I don’t talk about every event in detail. Here’s a quick recap of 2013 so far.
SELINSGROVE WINTER SERIES
I ran this last year as well. It is set on four consecutive Sunday afternoons (which used to be nap time for me). Instead of four tshirts, you get a sweatshirt. I wore last year’s all the time. I had a little bump in the road this year. The first week’s 5k went well, not a PR or anything, but I felt like I had made the energy switch into ketosis that was still not complete mid-January. The second week was a 5 miler. I had a bit of an emotional meltdown at the end. Not that it was especially hard or anything, but I was so so so far behind the next person on the course, that I started to get really self-conscious about making all the nice volunteers wait so much longer in the freezing cold. I ended my race and had a minor tantrum of self-pity and false martyrdom. I declared I wouldn’t be back, since I couldn’t bear to make people wait so long for a longer course the next time.
Well, I got my head together later, assessed where my emotional reaction came from, and emailed the RDs to apologize. Mark and Robin Sullivan reflect what I love about the running community so much. They are level headed and tolerant. I resolved to return in two weeks. The third run is always the same day as snowfest, so I do miss the shortest one. I went out on the last day for the 6.5 miler, and left 35 minutes ahead of schedule, as some folks do the course early. The 2pm start time was delayed a bit, so I had at least a big 45 minute lead. I got passed by the fast runners on Sassafras street, and got back to the finish line in a reasonable time, so I could announce the Night/Day Running Award and Bike Ride.
After the race, sporting last year’s swag, with Girls on the Run Director Cheryl Stumpf.
This year’s shirt
That third Sunday I was back to Snowfest. This was my first organized race in 2011, making it the first course I’ve done three times. The first time took me 78 minutes. I was dead last. The next year, I got further up in the standings. 127/139. I hoped to break an hour, but came in at 1:02:58. For 2013, we had less snow, and I was certain I would break the hour this time. But alas, I added ten seconds to last year’s time, 1:03:08. But as I found out this past weekend, going up hills is still exponentially harder with this weight still on me. And, I was 165/194, moving from 90th percentile to 85th. So that was nice.
Three years of Snowfest.
HUMDINGER TRAIL CHALLENGE
And finally, the Humdinger. The picture at the top of the page is from this past Saturday. As you may be able to deduce, I was celebrating Dr. Suess’ birthday in style. This is one of those challenge events that encourages costumes. I ended up ditching the hat before the race, but may appear in some sort of video they shot before the event. I didn’t know why everyone was dancing, so I stood as still as possible, to be THAT GUY.
There were many other costumes, but I didn’t want to be weird old man photographing girls in superhero outfits, but I had to get this beastie chap right here before someone Sabotaged him. If you don’t get it, go here
And I don’t know of any Irish Vikings, but hey why not?
The Stay-Puft guy did not race in that, for the record. He was one of the volunteers from a Bloomsburg fraternity at a water stop. But the Sabotage guy did actually run in the jacket and tie.
OK, that looks fun and all, but what about the actual race? I think my feelings can best be summed up in this monologue from Rocky III by the inimitable Mr. T as boxer Clubber Lang.
I did this race last year, and wasn’t crushed, but it was challenging. I finished ahead of one person, who is over 70 and definitely my hero. This year, the course was significantly longer, with way more up and down. I got to spend a lot of time with Larry the course sweeper. We’ve met several times before on the trails. It was just rough on me this time. And, I had already made the bold decision when registering months ago to do the dual dinger, which meant coming back for a night run over most of the same course. I realized at mile three of the humdinger that I would not be doing this again today. When I got back to the registration, I traded my dual dinger shirt for a humdinger, and called it a day. It was extra cold Saturday night, I was more wrecked than after a half marathon, and I thought it would be best if I showed up to church on Sunday morning. Next year, ah next year.
So while I am focused on dietary ketosis and paleo-inspired eating, local food sources and overall health, I still get out there to have some fun that I wouldn’t have been capable of a few years ago.
Upcoming Events in 2013
Directing the Roger Snyder Memorial 5k/10k and Sponsoring the Day/Night running award in conjunction with Night Flight.
Hyner Challenge April 20 (DNS last year)
TriRock Annapolis (3rd year running)
Great Hudson River Swim (1.6 mile)
Eagleman 70.3 (DNF last year)
After that, the race schedule isn’t completely set. I’ll post updates as it comes together.