Another fun tactic

Accuse anyone who counters Taubes or LC Dogma of being me.  I've noticed an increasing trend in my Inbox.  Yes, from time to time folks who frequent other blogs and such will shoot me a "have you seen this?" alert.   When I first started blogging, I still had time to participate in comments elsewhere.  That's really diminished a lot of late.  I may not get 1000 comments here, but I very much enjoy that we really have discussions here and I try to at least answer all comments and questions.  If I miss you, please don't take it personally, sometimes I read a comment, intend to reply, but by the time I get around to it, I just plain forget or get distracted. Still, the occasional getting sucked-in with recent events aside, I don't have time to read, let alone participate on other blogs (that is, those that haven't put me in the blacklist queue) much anymore.  So if you're one of those sending me these types of emails, I do thank you for keeping me apprised of what's being said or claimed about me, etc.

So for quite some time, some anonymous guy going by "FrankG" has been claiming on Taubes' blog that someone named jocko something-or-other is really me.  He's apparently taken that schtick on over to Eenfeldt's blog ... although now he's expanded his fantasy to my commanding some army of cronies or something. 
comment #6 here
Ya gotta love the wimp factor here where people can't just come out and say who they are talking about, right?  And oh the irony when it's now been almost a year since I've ceased being anonymous.  But I suppose such is the level of commentary on the blog of a man who thinks it's appropriate to smear people based on rumor and not even have the decency to walk it back once everyone and their uncle (except apparently some who already drank too much Krusel Aid)  knows it was more likely than not an elaborate hoax, and at the very least nobody being fingered had anything to do with whatever-the-heck went on.  (Still waiting on Jimmy Moore's public statements on all of this).

Next up we have "Dave" on LLVLClue forum

So let's see.  The LC community is soooo theatened by any criticism of their dogma, they are reduced to accusing anyone who challenges it of being me rather than engage in constructive debate?  Seems so, and that's pretty sad.  No "Dave", Jimmy Moore would delete me in a heartbeat if I were to create another log in there, and I have no reason nor desire to do so.  I really can't be bothered with proxies and all that just to interact with a bunch of closed minds that will never be changed anyway.  And anyway, you should know by now that the only banned member Jimmy allows back is the detestable Razwell!  LOL.  Ahhh but being pointed to that discussion does offer me the opportunity to address the topic of "proper" dissent.  

Poor, deluded Texasgoldengirl (very next reply).  

If they said that Gary Taubes is flat out wrong and they find it hard to believe that he didn't know some of the information he put out was incorret so that makes them believe he is a liar, she could accept that???  Ummm Earth to TGG, that's what I have been doing from day one here.  I didn't just start calling him a liar.  Heck, listen to the second half of my interview with Jimmy and see how reticent I was to even use that word (taped 11/9/2010).  JUST looking at his own references from GCBC we have:  

The two in red are the most damning.  And {tease} look for a 2-year anniversary of "Da Bomb" special where Gary can't stop digging his own grave for his reputation still today.  All of this doesn't even touch on his lies about the Pima, his absurd fantasies that the Japanese eat no sugar and brown rice, and his mangling of the works of Hilde Bruch.   Not to mention the mountain of research evidence more contemporary than circa my undergraduate college years he just ignored.  Including some texts he's fond of citing .... 

It's getting pretty desperate and pathetic out there.  If the facts were on your side, you wouldn't have to work so hard on character assassination to make your points.

Throughout this process, I necessarily made judgments about the quality of the research and about the researchers themselves.  I tried to do so using what I consider the fundamental requirement of good science:  a relentless honesty in describing precisely what was done in any particular work, and a similar honesty in interpreting the results without distorting them to reflect preconceived opinions or personal preferences […]  I hope that I, too, will be judged by the same standard.    
~ Gary Taubes in Good Calories, Bad Calories

I have done nothing Taubes doesn't say he did -- out of some necessity. Although I would submit my own judgments were grounded more deeply in the quality of his research than in the researcher himself. I'm not the one calling science journalists idiots because of the error of Taubes' ways, nor am I the one calling them all liars as friend Fat Head likes to paint scientists. But I do think I've laid out a rock solid case that Gary Taubes is lying to you.  He has been for going on half a decade now.  And he compounded the lies of GCBC with WWGF, every lecture he's ever given, and pretty much at some point or another in every interview he's ever given as well.  


Tonus said…
So you've gone from anonymous rabble-rouser to bonafide internet urban legend! Not bad for a failed LCer with a mean streak. :)
I can't remember where--Fathead or Diet Doctor, both of which I read, and I'm not at all anti-LC, anyway--that your name came up as the critical person.

And people should always be glad of the rational critic. I remember hearing debates of high-profile atheists versus Christian apologists, and it was when both men, each in their camp, most graciously presented their views that it felt like, "Ah, this is the kind of atmosphere where we make progress. Let people debate frankly and without retribution."

I think the reason they get riled is cause you do use humor/sarcasm/nicknames and they feel it minimizes the "other".

I read you because you present the SCIENCE. And that's what I want. Not anecdotes, though I never discount the validity of it, as I remember being the one with teh anecdote and telling my doc X and Y, and then seeing 10 or so years later, the science back up my personal observation of cause/effect.

If the LC folks are secure in their position, like those Christian apologists in the debates, they can take criticism graciously. In the end, they should focus on what you say--the content of the science--and try to ignore the more personal-criticism sort of thing that comes with the humor (ie, Leptin Manm etc) and not be afraid. They should CRITIQUE , too. Do the comebacks to your critique. Offer information, not just "reaction".

It's easy to react, tag people as enemies, and entrench. It doesn't help us solve the problems we face with obesity/diabetes/etc. It does not help at all.

I hope that they extend the hand and say, "Let's debate graciously, Evelyn. Let's find what's useful and good and true."

Well, I can dream.

But the part of humans that wants to see enemies all around, that doesn't seem to want to die off...
Lesley Scott said…
"The LC community is soooo theatened by any criticism of their dogma, they are reduced to accusing anyone who challenges it of being me rather than engage in constructive debate?"

My hubs thinks there's a distinctly religulous aspect to much of what I tell him about what I read when it comes to diet & nutrition. In particular, he pointed out to me one day that it's actually a lot like A.A. - you discover "the truth" and find success, then you fall off the diet wagon & then get lots of attention when you are welcomed back into the fold. And the cycle of sin/redemption/sin/redemption...continues indefinitely. If you simply follow the plan, lose the weight & keep it off (ie no sinning that requires a group hug & commiseration party), well where's the fun in that? And just like with religion, it's predicated upon faith, not science, oh Evelyn of Scienceville. Every religion needs a convenient "bad guy" for the believers to coalesce against, not have intelligent, possibly mind-opening discourse with.
Anonymous said…
Woodey said…
"If the LC folks are secure in their position, like those Christian apologists in the debates, they can take criticism graciously."

Another reason I can't respect the diet gurus like Wolf, Taubes, Sisson, Naughton, they won't go toe-to-toe in professional debates with people in the nutritional field. I watch Shermer, Dawkins, and Hitchens publicly debate people like Deepak and Craig Lane because they stand by what they know to be right, they have confidence in what they talk about and aren't afraid of their critics.

Face it the people in the LC/Paleo community would get crucified in a debate with anthropologists, chemists, biologists, physicists, dieticians, and nutritionists. So they avoid them and stick to their blogs and feed the rank and file their bullsh*t. No need to explain yourself to the underlings, they won't question. If they do then they will be shunned or ignored. "Give me your money and praise, but if you question then you are not worth my time" is a common attitude one will encounter with these people. I'll need to double check, but I believe Robb Wolf eluded to something close to that on a post here not to long ago.
Woodey said…
One of my favorite authors Anton LaVey wrote a nice essay called the "Good Guy Badge". I think you should read it and see if it fits what they are trying to do to you, but in the end all they are doing is revealing how pathetic they truly are by making you out to be the "bad guy" (girl in this case). Jimmy Moore, Gary Taubes, and Tom Naughton spit shine their badges and wear them proudly.

This is a link that breaks down the essay. I think you will like point two about made-up enemies and the 4th point about vegetarians.

This link is a scanned version of the essay, scroll down to page five to read it.
Susanne said…
This idea of the "prodigal son" effect in reinforcement is very interesting to me. I teach archaeology/anthro in university and I'm developing a class in food and society for next semester, so I've been thinking a lot about "diet tribes". There are also links to religious language when people talk about foods being
"clean" or in moral terms like good and evil ("wheat is evil" type comments come up a lot on Paleohacks or blog comments from posters who are professedly unreligious or anti-religion in other posts). One thing that still puzzles me a lot is why some diet plans have gurus and more fervent evangelists (vegan, low-carb, paleo, WAP) than others (calorie counting, weight watchers and other commercial plans). Even though many of the former express anti-establishment views in other areas: skepticism about and distrust of government or medical authorities like the FDA, USDA, American Heart Association or the AMA. (This is supposed to be a reply to Lesley's comment in case it shows up somewhere else.)
Unknown said…
I think it can be pretty cult-like, similar to the Church of Sciento____ (I'm so scared of them I won't even type the full name).

Some of the people who drink the Kool-Aid probably have problems other than their weight judging by the bewildering array of illnesses that they suffer from ("I had some wheat and my big toe fell off" "Help hack the ringing in my ears I get when I smell bacon"). Having one or two disorders I can buy but when a poster starts rattling off six or seven of them I have to wonder if these are psychosomatic.

If you want to fit in with some of the blogs and be a member of the club step one is to profess a half dozen disorders and step two is to describe the miraculous nature of your paleo cure, now you are one of "us" and can join in the battle against the carb-eating heathens.
I read the jocko271 comments thread. Didn't sound like you at all. And anyway he/she was just asking very obvious questions that continuously go ignored in the low carb "community" (read "religion").

Not one of them tried the "fat challenge" the commenter proposes in order to determine once and for all, in your very home, if insulin really causes obesity, and they seemed to run screaming from the very thought. Very telling that not one of them could try it and thereby think for themselves for once.

Of course any dissenter like that is going to be treated like a heretic. This is a Sect we're talking about for crissakes!
Lesley Scott said…
@Susanne oh what a good way to sum that up, the "prodigan son effect" - love! I'm actually one of those "fervent" Weight Watchers of which you speak, er, write - mainly because it does work. I'm one of the small percent that has able to maintain my weight loss - that is, once I realized that TWICHOO didnt work & went back to the way I ate that got me to goal weight in the first place. The "what" part is more and more strongly in favor of food that's as unprocessed as possible & "real" and as far away from "processed" & junk as possible. Ditto any focus on macronutrient ratios, other than to veer well away from anything too high in fat. I guess it's kind of what's now considered to be "Paleo" although I'm not keen on that particular label when for me, it's about overall caloric restriction, getting enough exercise & eating real foods. (Plus weighing myself once a week to eliminate any fudge factor or dietary-wishful thinking nonsense.)
LeonRover said…
"All publicity is good, except an obituary notice."
Brendan Behan

"Publicity can be terrible. But only if you don't have any."
Jane Russell

Grin, bear it and think YES!!!!!!!!!!
Galina L. said…
The problem with belonging with your body and soul to any group that advocates particular way of eating is that it robs you of a flexibility. You body requirements may change, or you may miss some signal your body sends you because you set your mind on what is right. I eat a LC diet, but because my n=1 proves it is working.
I was accused by Frank G. some time ago for getting under evil Carbsane influence, while I just tried to share my experience that I had to do much more that lower my carbs in order to loose weight, I also tried to support Jocko because people have a right to share their experience, and it is better not to sit in a personal bubble.
LeonRover said…
And another from Dear Oscar Wilde:

The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.
Susanne said…
Ha! I am a calorie counter, maintaining 2 years after going from BMI 27 to 22. Also very whole foods focus, Mediterraneanish. But see, if you look at, say, the comments section of a New York Times or Huffington Post article on obesity, you will see some comments like "I lost weight with portion control/WW/calorie counting/watching my fat intake/cutting out sodas, and exercising a bit more, it can be done." But they are almost always outnumbered by the folks posting umpteen messages saying THE ONLY ANSWER IS IN GARY TAUBES BOOK YOU HAVE TO READ IT ITS ALL A CONPSIRACY BY BIG WHEAT!1! or flinging poo at the vegans.
CarbSane said…
Congrats Susanne! Yeah, I read about as many of the comments on Parker-Pope's article as I could stand. Clearly it was a bit over the top to suggest "superhuman effort" was needed to maintain, but more over the top were the onslaught of low carbers flooding the comments.

I took a stroll over to LLVLC forum the other day to check in on some friends. I really do wish these people well, but I get so sad reading their journals and the challenge threads. So many are back at, near, or over their start weights *again* and climbing on the wagon *again* it makes me want to cry. It seems to me that being wedded to LC is the best and only way and ELMM always fails dogma is what is preventing at least some of them from moving forward. Three years of "knowing" these people and struggles for many dating back another year to when Jimmy started the forum.
CarbSane said…
I've always asked two questions back in the day on Jimmy's forum: (1) Why is the Atkins fat fast calorie restricted (1000-1200 cal/day)? and (2) What happens to the excess fat?

Never did get many responses to that one.

It's odd how people who don't seem to be able to think for themselves think anyone who disagrees with them also can't. Just strange really.

Speaking of fat challenges and such, Naughton reported eating a lot more (LC of course) on the cruise and losing a pound or not gaining. It's funny that he also said that he knows he couldn't go on eating like that all the time or he'd gain weight. WHY? The answer is the same for most of us, even metabolically deranged obese people and formerly obese ones too.
Galina L. said…
I always felt sort-off pissed-off while reading how somebody lost 50 lb after he/she started to walk around the block and cut-on sodas, or, on LC blogs, how some girl gave-up sugar in all forms and lost 50 lb in 6 weeks. I have been exercising and eating healthy all my life, and it didn't make me immune to a weight-gain. Probably, it prevented me from getting obese. I think people who can loose weight by small and easy changes in their life-style probably very little prone to be fat, or at least less than me.It could be done, also somebody could eat whatever and be sedentary and stay thin, so it could be done too, but not by everybody. It took me 3.5 years to loose slightly over 30 lb (the number slightly fluctuates all the time, now it would be 32 lb after almost 5 years since I started my diet). As far as I remember, Frank G. lost 70 lb by eating all he wanted in LC foods. I wouldn't be able to do it the way he did, or may be at all, luckily, I don't have to.
Galina L. said…
I can tell that on a LC diet weight gain happens less easy that on "balanced" eating for me. When I go in a restaurant with friends, or go to a party, I always stuck with LC foods. A stake with zucchini is much better option for me than a stake with mushed potatoes. I always skip deserts. I don't know what happens with fat, but I prefer not to mix fat and carbs. We all know, there is always room for a cake, and it is easier to refuse a cake when staffed with that piece of meat. Refusing a bread bucket requires more effort, but I do it too. I have to have some respect for my huge effort to loose my mere 32 lb.
Susanne said…
I'm glad you found what worked for you, and by no means am I saying calorie counting is the only way -- I'm saying the opposite: everyone needs to find a way that works for them (which to me, is a way to reduce calorie intake that they can live with). On the weight loss forum I use a lot, I think most would agree. But why do so many LC or Paleo people insist that they have the ONLY truth for everyone? And why do they trust to much in their particular authority (Taubes, Sisson etc) when so many of them don't trust traditional credentialed authorities like the medical establishment? This puzzles me from an academic viewpoint. (The black and white opinions of some vegans/vegetarians I can understand if they are coming from an ethical/sustainability rationale.)

BTW calorie counting was not easy for me either, especially since I was never much of a junk food eater in the past, so there was no soda, etc to "just cut out." Those people annoy me too -- my neighbor has done it by "cutting out the beer." Arrgh.
Galina L. said…
I can't be a spokes person for everyone who used a LC diet to loose weight, in my case it was the absolutely necessary first step because it normalized mine appetite (and eliminated several health issues), and sure , initial loss of 20 lb without any discomfort was not a bad thing. I wouldn't be able to eat less now without going just LC first.I try to eat less by controlling portions and eating less often LC food. Medical authorities put emphasis on counting calories, which logically leads to the low-fat advice. Many people are too hungry on low-fat diets, can't follow it long-term without a superhuman effort, and got upset that they were given a wrong advise that set them for a failure. Lowering carbs is a very potent tool for many who need to loose weight, and medical authorities completely ignore it. Not hungry people can spontaneously eat less. I don't advocate LC diets indefinitely for everyone. According to what I see on the web (Richard Nicoley blog is an example), many can reintroduce more carbohydrates back into their diets without any problem. Weight-loss is not easy for most , it often requires changing tactics and experimenting, individual micro-management. Probably, any simple advice which sounds like "just do one thing..." may sat anyone into a diet trap.
Let's not forget that FrankG is still overweight, regardless of how much weight he lost. And we all know about Jimmy. And Loren Cordain, and Atkins was over 200lbs and apparently had 40% artery blockage when he died.

Any overweight person will lose initial weight just by giving up junk food. Nothing to do with insulin. Doesn't stop Taubes from taking the credit though.

Everyone on Taubes' and Eades' sites is still "struggling" with their weight, even after years on the LC diet. They "went off the wagon", "stalled", "need more advice and guidance", "can't understand why they can't lose the last 20(or 30 or 50)", etc. Doesn't that say it all?
Galina L. said…
You were not right when you said "Any overweight person will lose initial weight just by giving up junk food." How could you speak for everyone? Not everyone eats junk food. I gave-up sourdough rye bread I baced myself, wholegrain sprauted bread,buckwheat, very small amounts of sugar,I also severely limited fruits and potatoes, and lost 20 lb easily (for me) eating LC foods. Then stuck on a long plateau.I don't know all details of Frank's story, but 70 lb of a weight loss and control of his diabetes sounds not bad for me. I think he is not young. Out of the people you mentioned , I know only about JM's diet, it looks like he eats too much. People who have to loose a lot of fat face more challenges, and if they decided to stick with only one tool to do it, they made their task even harder, if not impossible.
CarbSane said…
Galina I think we can cut Gunther some slack here. What he's trying to say is that the overweight person who got that way eating junk food (which incidentally tends to include wheat and sugar -- can you say donut!?) will likely lose weight cutting it out without any other deliberate attempt to restrict. This is how LC works for most, and cutting wheat, or cutting sugar, or cutting out all "white" foods, or not eating out if one does so regularly, or quitting drinking (beer especially works for most men in particular), etc.etc.

I'm in total agreement with the second part of this comment. But somehow slack is only given to those who follow the LC line. See for example all of the "she's fat" crap about me. I don't pretend to be thin, but have lost around 100 lbs so ... what?
bentleyj74 said…
I wonder just how much the "shortcuts" like low fat or low carb contribute to problems in the long term. It seems reasonable to me that things which are capable of creating problems socially and psychologically might be problematic physiologically at a level that is just too sophisticated for us to really grasp.

Since I'm nicely preggo and obnoxious atm I think I'll just track the cals of completely mundane foods that haven't been doctored or altered in any way and see what happens.
Galina L. said…
I have to be completely honest,and to admit that such sort of concern doesn't look mature for me. Probably, it is more from the repertoire of people who want embracing each and every body size and shape. People may have different priorities. Many are very happy in their private life and in loving relationships despite being more curvy than it is in fashion.For me letting thing go is more self-damaging that not eating bread and desert on regular basis, and my health is much better when I limit my food choices. There is always a room far compromises and diplomacy in social settings. May be I just don't understand physiologically fragile people. Also, I wouldn't call a necessary diet strategy a short cut. Some people could eat whatever they want and to be in shape, while others have to choose between looking good and often health and the relaxing approach to food. My guess, bentleyj, you are between 35 and 40. It is the age when many women start to notice they have to make more effort than before in order to fit into their old jeans. It gets harder with time. Most of us live in the environment that sets us for a fat gain. It is easy to get comfortable now with the idea of permanent diet limitations and find the most comfortable way not to feel deprived, and, probably change your inner dialog from pitying yourself to cheering yourself up. It is better not to be caught in the yo-yo pattern now. After 40 things get harder.Right now my husband is in Moscow in order to celebrate 30-th university graduation anniversary. His first impression - everybody got fat even thous who had been looking naturally thin even 10 years ago.
Galina L. said…
Yes, after 70 - 100 lb of a fat loss the powerful body system that exists to prevent a rapid weight-loss, must be working in a full swing. Fighting own body is hard. Theoretically, it should be harder for you than for JM because you are not a relatively young man.
Susanne said…
This is OT (and possibly also insensitive given that you can't eat it anymore), but Galina, I would love to have a recipe for your sourdough rye bread, because I bet it's really good. The only "rye bread" they have here where I am is some kind of weird smooshy stuff that probably doesn't have much rye in it. And I find a good sturdy 80%+ rye works better for me than wheat.
Galina, I'm not saying it's easy to lose weight. It certainly wasn't for me. I'm saying that low carbers who lost weight did not lose weight due to lowering their insulin or "healing insulin receptors" or any bunk like that. They lost weight simply because they started to eat healthier while doing LC. If they were really overweight to begin with, obviously the weight loss is more dramatic. But then they stall because they are STILL eating too many calories.
Galina L. said…
The easiest new grain thing to try for you would be buckwheat pancakes I don't waste yogurt what the recipe suggest, and don't use sugar and vanila. My son avoids gluten, and that recipe is a nice compromise for him.He often eats such pancakes with cold-cuts for a breakfast.

I didn't bake the rye bread for 5 years, and I will try to find the exact recipe, but I will explain some details, and probably it will start you in the right direction. Rye bread backing is quite tricky, the most challenging food I ever made. First of all, it is difficult to make a beautiful well-raised loaf without adding gluten and yeasts. My bread was 1/3 wheat and 2/3 rye, sometimes I even add some gluten which I bought separately. So I made i/3 of wheat dough with yeasts, it was raising in my refrigerator like Alton Brown suggested, and 2/3 of of 100% rye dough which was raising in a refrigerator with a starter too because in a warm environment taste was more bitter. Before baking I mixed two types of dough together. I have to admit, it was a pain in ass, much more trouble than a normal wheat bread. The typical for real rye bread taste is achieved only after fermentation, that is why the rye bread in a regular store doesn't taste appropriately. The only factory-made bread that tastes like the one I used to make is sold in Russian ethnic stores and is made in New-York. The rye breads imported from Northern Europe are fermented,have the right taste, but have very dense texture.
I used to buy Hudson mills whole grain rye flour in 5 lb packages through special order in my local food store (Publix). If you have any health food store where you live , just buy one 1lb for experimenting. It would cost more for lb, but convenient.
I took some recipe from internet , like that and experimented with it because I was making my bread in a bread machine. I advice to you not to use caraway seeds and exchange one Tsp of sugar for I Tbs of molasses. In order to make a starter you may use a not-pasteurized sauerkraut brine, if you have it in the nearest heath-store. There are many tips for starters on the web.
Galina L. said…
You sounded so sure that it was plainly annoying (for me) because most people who are dealing with a weight loss know well how tricky it is with any diet approach. I don't think you know why everyone couldn't loose all the weight he/she wanted. It is just too darn difficult. As Evelyn mentioned, the line "she/he is still fat" often is used too arrogantly. Personal examples fell all over the place. Some bloggers like Tom Naughton enjoy more success with their LC then others (he definitely cut-out junk and stopped being a vegetarian). It looks like Dr. Eades takes a lot of "diet vocations". Jemmy Moore eats too much of LC food. I don't keep truck of many LC folks like Eveline does. I think LC diet has advantages, not everybody know how to use it intelligently, and many people crave simple solutions.
I based my strategy on the insulin theory of a weight loss, which is not the same as the carbohydrate theory of a weight loss, because I kept in mind that not only carbs consumption raises insulin production, but also eating of any food, big portions of food, things like that. I never measured my insulin, so I can't prove the numbers changed. Diet low in carbs made food less rewarding for me, normalized my appetite and allowed me to eat less. Yes, I lost weight, but I think the normalization of my attitude toward food to be the most significant result. According to what I see, such normalization of appetite doesn't happen for everyone who go on a LC diet, may be something else causes such people to eat more, and they need to figure out what to try next. I am convinced in the value of a calories restriction for a health and the delaying of aging, my diet allowed my to eat less without being hungry.
bentleyj74 said…
"I have to be completely honest,and to admit that such sort of concern doesn't look mature for me. Probably, it is more from the repertoire of people who want embracing each and every body size and shape."

It certainly isn't a scientific hypothesis, more a combination of observation and intuition. People who are very concerned with what's "healthy" are almost never the people who easily maintain their preferred body composition lifelong. Seems to be an easy hole of self sabotage to fall into. The system seems designed for disorientation. Eat this, don't eat that, supplements, no supplements. Gah. Even the gurus are not immune. As a population they have ridiculously early expiration dates possibly as the result of rationalizing obvious bad results like persistent muscle cramps or fainting episodes.

"People may have different priorities. Many are very happy in their private life and in loving relationships despite being more curvy than it is in fashion."

And many are very happy in their private life and in loving relationships despite being a size zero. The healthy and sane OR fashionably thin sadistic choice paradigm is as invalid as the rest.

"My guess, bentleyj, you are between 35 and 40. It is the age when many women start to notice they have to make more effort than before in order to fit into their old jeans."

Who is "they"? How many 35-40 year old women do you know that wear the same size jeans they did in high school after 5 or 6 pregnancies? Show of hands? I had issues during the years I was still supposed to be getting my free pass. BTW, I didn't notice anyone else getting one either. Not a shortage of fat young ladies pushing strollers :) Go to any mall on any weekend for easy verification. Good hunting grounds around the petri dish known as the play land. I stopped looking like them when I stopped living like them.
Galina L. said…
I left Russia at 35 yo, had my son at 32, many of mine observations are based on my lady friends who belong to the same generation than me (I was born 1960). Most of them had to change jeans size after 35 or go on a diet, but no one of my lady friends had more than 2 children, usually much earlier than me. Observing my female friends, I came to the conclusion that after 35 yo female body naturally stores fat more easily then before. I noticed the abundance of fat young women in US in Canada who pushed strollers, but most of the time they also chew something or carry a latte cup or soft drink in hand. How they could look normal if they participate in something like unnatural mass-overfeeding rituals? Even many teenagers in a hygh school in US and Canada have flabby midsections.
bentleyj74 said…
"I noticed the abundance of fat young women in US in Canada who pushed strollers, but most of the time they also chew something or carry a latte cup or soft drink in hand. How they could look normal if they participate in something like unnatural mass-overfeeding rituals? Even many teenagers in a hygh school in US and Canada have flabby midsections."

Exactly. Sadly they really do and what's "normal" about that? It seems and feels "normal" to them though. Nothing like that first can of Dr Pepper in the morning :).

I found 30's easier than 20's because I was more familiar with navigating/negotiating the territory to my advantage. My mother and aunts both reported the empty nest years as even more optimal than late teens early twenties because your assets greatly outweigh your responsibilities by then.

I'm not surprised that people *do* gain weight around that time [either childbearing or 35ish] but it's not a biological imperative. It is lifestyle related.
Galina, you sound kind of defensive for someone quite sure of the "insulin theory of weight loss". There is very little proof of it either in studies or anecdotes, from what I can see. Remember that I was VLC for 4 years, and before that paleo for 2 years.

Neither of those got me down to my goal weight. But they did give me 3 very painful kidney stones, very high trigs and high blood pressure.

I'm speaking from experience, not arrogantly. If you want to lose weight, eat mostly high volume, high water and high fiber fruits and vegetables. They carry much less caloric value and fill you up. You'll be able to eat and act normally and not like a freak putting butter on your steak because it "lowers the insulin spike" of your food and other such crap. All it does is shovel very dense amounts of calories into your body.
Anonymous said…
I'm pregnant with twins and nursing a toddler, am VLC/LC for three years now and have maintained a weight loss and body composition changes towards more muscle. I eat normal whole foods but stick with tubers for starch and only occasionally mess about with grains/rice/etc, though not ad libitum, as I need more calories than ad libitum would provide. I'm unlikely to start shovelling the rice and bread in just because some people think eating meat and vegetables and fruit is somehow unhealthy in the long term. My fertility suggests otherwise for me.
bentleyj74 said…
I think the only food item listed you're likely to approach consensus approval on is the vegetables and even then there are a few VLC factions that consider them poison. That's kind of the point.
bentleyj74 said…
It's interesting though from a psychological perspective that your list of food rules permits you to just be eating when it's in agreement with your dietary philosophy but the bread and grains aren't eaten...they are shoveled [like manure?]. It's not an unusual distinction to be made and it gets made by all factions.
Anonymous said…
No, I eat bread and other grains and rice and the like on an occasional basis, but I have been repeatedly told that not eating 300-400g or so of carbs (usually bread/whole grains are named, less often rice) per day means that my diet of whole foods from healthy, mostly local plants and animals is unhealthy and damaging. If I didn't specifically hear that I have to eat A LOT of grains/bread/rice to be 'healthy' (usually of course from people ping-ponging around many different diets and still struggling with various health problems), I wouldn't use terminology like shovelled. It's frustrating that I don't supplement beyond a multivitamin and occasional vit D in colder months (I live in the Northwest US), I can and do eat a wide range of foods, but stick with meat+veg+fruit as my staples, I have much better physical conditioning and stamina and strength, and I still get told I'm not really healthy and my diet sucks. My toddler is healthy and super strong and receives no supplements and has never come up with the common infant/toddler deficiencies. And is also top of the charts in milestones and development and height/weight. A bright, well-developed, physically robust child.

But I don't eat bread every day, and neither does my kid (although my kid gets more carbs more often because a toddler has different needs than a pregnant, lactating adult woman). I eat 0-200g/day of carbs, usually tubers. And apparently this means we are both unhealthy and screwed. Yeah, I'm going to use 'shovelling bread into the old gob' when I get the joy of that kind of response to my dietary choices.
Galina L. said…
@Ganther, I remember reading your comments on LC blogs, I know who you are. I am in the defense of a LC diet as a weight loss tool.If somebody used such tool in order to fool himself/herself that it is safe to over-eat all the time, it was not the tool's fault. It helped me to eat less , which was my goal. I am against over-eating of any food. I think many people who embrace LC diets and Paleo eating are looking for the safe way to eat to satiety without gaining weight, but many manage to over-consume anyway. It is ridiculous to make a stake to swim in a butter and expect to loose weight. According to mine observation, trigs are correlated with an excessive food consumption. If your trings went way up, you ate too much, which is not a healthy practice. You found out it didn't work for you, and immediately assumed it was the case for everybody else. There are plenty of ways to screw-up. I know personally some people who consume huge volumes of low-calories food , snack a lot at the same time, and as a result carry more weight than they want. There is a "China buffet syndrome" described by Dr. Bernstein. I am not implying it is your case, probably not if your trigs went down. It is amazing how many ways for people to compromise their weight-loss goals, if they are prone to see what they want to see instead of what it is. Again, in some cases people still can't achieve a thin state on any diet.
Just mine anecdotal evidence - I had a first(so far last) very painful kidney stone before I gave LC a try, after I followed Dr. A. Weill anty-inflammatory diet for about a year with a lot of veggies, whole grains, tofu and limited meat, mostly olive oil as a fat source. May be it was a great diet for the people who previously ate junk-foods and drunk soda. I was hungry all the time, health was down, weight and trigs up, I increased my exercise dramatically, but all was getting worse. Probably, when everything is wrong it is a message what you are doing is wrong for you, no matter how many people swear by it.
bentleyj74 said…
That's not really countering the paradigm though, just voting for your personal favorite brand. Is shoveling butter into the old gob a better choice? There's no shortage of healthy people who eat meat...but not every day? There's even a whole bunch of "healthy" people who eat no special foods whatsoever and sometimes eat pizza from Pizza Hut, probably not with a shovel though :).

Even though people know this intellectually I really think it wanders almost unavoidably into the realm of belief wherein you trot out your fav cherry picked studies and I trot out mine and neither one of us is really interested in anything other than being right [righteous?]
Anonymous said…
But I don't actually run around telling other people that they aren't really healthy and will get sick if they don't eat meat every day, because it's not true and not necessary for optimizing health to do so. And why on earth is what I eat (which most rational people would call 'normal food') 'special food'? You're doing the very thing I'm talking about, trying to set up an artificial frame.

When I hung out more in the paleosphere, I used to get it from the other side, that eating a potato would doom me for eternity and that meat-only was the path to true health, but that was from (silly) dudes. The bread stuff is mostly women (often women still struggling with weight and fertility and hormone issues), which is why it's much more frustrating. We can't all eat the exact same foods and be healthy, although there are some broad general patterns that hold true (like, we all need animal products at least every few days). It's just the broad general patterns don't fit anyone's narrative perfectly.
Galina L. said…
Sure stress level and sleep hours matter a lot, it is much more difficult to eat reasonably when is sleep-deprived. I noticed age matters for me as well, especially when body approaches a menopause. You are lucky if your family members see no difference at all.

The sad think about many normal foods people are almost addicted to - it even doesn't taste good for many. You have to drink Dr.P. from a childhood in order to tolerate the taste, Coke-cola for many tastes like a medicine, most breakfast cereals remind either candies or a cardboard.
Not only foods go in and out of the "norm" category, but other standards of behavior. Fifty years ago non-smoking people may look awkward. Us not going to any church while being residents in a South state in US sometimes feels not quite socially acceptable.
bentleyj74 said…
I'm pointing out the framework not employing it.

"I used to get it from the other side, that eating a potato would doom me for eternity and that meat-only was the path to true health, but that was from (silly) dudes."

Right, you are going to die of cancer *at least* and your kids will be autistic as well [thank goodness you'll have early onset dementia so you won't notice] if you eat an apple/potato/insert poison here. [Vegans- same dish different day. Drink a glass of milk and you are toast, bacon...only if you've got defibrillators handy. Rinse and repeat, no wait don't...that sulfate will kill ya.]

"The bread stuff is mostly women (often women still struggling with weight and fertility and hormone issues)"

Yet here you are drawing an invalid association between women who eat bread being A) over weight and B) infertile as though there was a shortage of lean grain eating fertile women on the planet. Walk into any fertility clinic and say that with a straight face and as much authority as you can muster, seriously. "Ma'am, you ate 12 Doritos too many. Or your parents did. Sorry. No babies for you."

Re "special"

"my diet of whole foods from healthy, mostly local plants and animals"

You didn't say organic or blessed by monks but there's a clear distinction between this and walking into the local piggly wiggly to buy fruit/veg/meat. When I mentioned people not using any special foods I was referring to people who do not employ any seeking or avoidance behaviors.
Anonymous said…
Well, I don't get diet hectoring from lean, fertile grain eaters, only the strugglers.

And everyone employs seeking or avoidance behaviors regarding food, even the old hunter gatherers, privileging some foods over others. My seeking/avoidance behaviors are different than 'cheapest this week' or 'cool commercial'. But those people at the piggly wiggly are hardly just grabbing stuff without any attempt to be selective in some fashion. We all pick and choose, sorry.
bentleyj74 said…
"But those people at the piggly wiggly are hardly just grabbing stuff without any attempt to be selective in some fashion. We all pick and choose, sorry."

I'll concede that point. I was not looking outside the nutritionism aspect but yes, people do exercise discretion no matter what.

How does "cheapest this week" compare with "belief based on fraudulent, cherry picked, or inconclusive science" really?

Do you think it's more likely that lean, fertile grain eaters don't exist or that they just actually don't care what you prefer to eat or why as they are not currently in the throes of food neurosis?

Do you think that people who study infertility at a professional level agree that the primary contributor to either obesity or infertility is grain consumption?
Susanne said…
Thanks Galina! I have a rye and wheat starter, I didn't know that about the sauerkraut. I have not had the best result with the English rye flour I can get here (I am in the middle east) and as you say the rye dough is such a pain to work with. But I hauled back five kg of different rye flours from a trip to Germany at Easter, so I want to try again. I find the dense bread and sourdoughs much more satisfying than the mushy "Western style" breads here, although the fresh pitas are good. I will have to try the pancakes too! I brought back a bag of buckwheat groats along with other whole grains to show to my students when explaining the Neolithic revolution, now I can actually try cooking them.
CarbSane said…
The Goodguy Badge ... perfect!
bentleyj74 said…
"Sure stress level and sleep hours matter a lot, it is much more difficult to eat reasonably when is sleep-deprived."

Yes, they do. It really goes far beyond that though.
Tsimblist said…
I am currently baking a sourdough whole wheat & oatmeal bread. My method is influenced by Mark Bittman's no-knead bread articles ( ) and the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" ( ).

Warning: This is not an artisan bread. It has a moist, dense crumb that is quite sour. It is nutritious real food, not a delicacy.

I use a home mill to grind wheat berries into flour. I weigh out 16 oz (454 gr) of the flour into a freezer box and stick it in the freezer right away. I usually grind about 20 lbs of flour on a weekend and freeze it for later. The freezing slows the oxidation of some of the nutrients in the flour. Ideally you should mill your flour just before baking it.

Earlier this spring I caught my starter by mixing equal amounts of whole wheat flour & water (about two cups each) and left it set on top of the refrigerator for a few days until it got ripe. Then I took a few tablespoons of the starter and mixed it with these ingredients:

32 oz whole wheat flour (2 freezer boxes)
200 gr rolled oats (I use Quaker Old Fashioned)
6 tbsp flaxseed (grind in coffee grinder just before using to prevent oxidation)
1 tbsp sea salt
994 gr water

I keep the dough batch in the refrigerator until I am ready to bake it. This may be only overnight or up to a week or longer.

I start the baking process in the morning by dividing the dough batch into two balls and placing each into a separate Romertopf clay baker that I have sprayed with olive oil. There is no kneading done here, I just use wet hands to form the ball and put it in the clay baker. I set the two clay bakers into the oven and leave the oven light on to warm them up. The dough balls will spread out and rise some but not a lot. I will leave the loaves to rise for at least 6 hours or more depending on how ripe the dough was to begin with.

I mix a new batch of dough in the same bucket and the bits of dough that were left sticking to the sides and bottom will seed the new batch. I pour the water into the bucket first and use a spatula to clean the sides and bottom with the water. Then add the salt and dissolve it in the water. Next I dump in the oats to start getting them hydrated. Then the flour and ground flaxseed. Once I have the flour completely hydrated, it goes back into the refrigerator for next time.

After the dough has warmed in the oven and smells sour enough, I cover with the Romertopf lids and turn the oven up to 500F and set the timer for 1 hour. There is no preheating done here. My electric oven takes about 25-30 minutes to reach 500 with all that clay mass involved. I also have a baking stone on the lower shelf to try to shield the clay bakers from the lower heating element.

After 45 minutes at 500, I turn off the oven and remove the lids from the bakers and set the time for 15 minutes in the slowly cooling oven. Then I dump the loaves out onto a cooling rack. I let them cool at least overnight or even up to 24 hours. Then I slice the loaf and freeze it in a bag.

I usually pull a few slices out of the freezer and put them in the toaster to thaw before applying hummus, jam or a tahini/miso spread.
Galina L. said…
I am so glad you found my post useful! You sound well prepared.I don't know what to say about your flour, my guess, if it is made out of rye kernels, it should taste right after fermentation. My mother-in-low told me that when her mother baked rye bread, she also often made small flat breads besides big loafs, smoothed it with watered hands, and made a cress-cross pattern on the top. Something like rye pita in shape. My guess, it could be not a bad idea to form such pitas with wet hands on a parchment paper, probably smear some sour cream on the top in order for top layer not to dry-out,live in in a refrigerator to rise, and bake when it is ready and rises.
What type of buckwheat grouts did you bring with you? Roasted or not? In case if there are un-roasted, cook it in the usual way (one cup of water goes into 2 cups of boiling salted water), do not mix or touch at all until it is completely cooled down after cooking(otherwise it will turn into a gooey mass). Worm it up in skillet with butter before eating, it is often better in a such way than freshly cooked. In Russia people often add sauteed onions and mushrooms into buckwheat before cooking, or worm it up with sauteed onions and mushrooms. Instead of salted water you can use some broth as a cooking liquid.
Did you experiment with a millet? I also used to make a millet gruel with a pumpkin - it was delicious.
Anonymous said…
I know lean, fertile grain eaters. They eat pretty much how I do, except grains and/or rice where I tend to have tubers and somewhat less meat.

As for the infertility thing, I'm saying that for whatever reason, the most hectoring about what I eat comes from women who happen to have struggles going on and take it personally when other women eat vlc/lc and are doing fine. Women who are past childbearing age who eat a diet that pans out to vlc/lc don't seem to get this guff nearly so much, more women who are childbearing. It's probably stupid cultural stuff around meat/fat/protein being masculine and bread being feminine, but whatever, it's super irritating and dumb.

Grain consumption probably affects twin birth rates negatively (lowers them). Not infertility related, but suggested by twinning data.
Anonymous said…
for bentleyj74:
Susanne said…
Thank you Tsimbalist and Galina! (Sorry for totally taking over your comments, Evelyn.) I think the problem with the first rye flour was that it was very coarse (lots of bran pieces) and I was using a German recipe which assumes you have a finer flour; the bread kept coming out much flatter and more spread out than in the pictures, although it still tasted fine. They have many more different "grades" of flour there than we have here, even the whole grain ones come in fine or coarse. I also got a rising basket which will help with the shape I think.

I just went to check the buckwheat and it says "toasted", which is good to know because I was thinking of trying to sprout some. :) Although the package also gives a recipe which sounds like yours with the onion and mushroom and starts with sauteeing. I have not found millet for humans here yet but there is a big natural foods store up in Dubai which I might visit this weekend. For my students I have a millet spray from a birdseed packet to show them -- I put it in a different bag so they wouldn't get the wrong impression.

You two have all got me excited to try some new recipes this weekend. I masses of bags of whole grains and seeds left after taking out the small samples for the Neolithic class. The neighbor who gets my extra breads will be happy too ...
Galina L. said…
Conversation with you inspired me to finish what was left of mine coarse rye flour. Good thing it was kept in a freezer because 5 years past since I used it last time. Also, my husband eats bread, unlike me, and can appreciate the end product.
I used a small amount of homemade sauerkraut brine to make a starter, when the starter became bubbly, I mixed it with approximately 1 cup of rye flour and a water without any chlorine, added salt and a small amount of sugar , left it in a fridge until it became full of bubbles, mixed it with enough of all-purpose wheat flour to make it a right consistency, shaped it in a 1" thick disc, placed it on a circle of parchment paper for easier transferring, brushed a generous amount of sour-cream over the surface (to prevent drying), made a criss-cross design with a knife and left it for a final rise on a plate.After the rising, I put the dough dick together with the parchment circle on a cast iron skillet, left it on a stove until the skillet became hot and placed everything in a 450 F oven for approximately one hour. Such method created more crust which is the best part in a sour rye bread.I wish I had a form for long bagets, but I didn't.

About sauerkraut, there are three things that could be started with the same thing - sourdough bread, sauerkraut, and the national Russian drink kvas, all that are staples in the native cooking. Kvas is made by adding starter to any carbohydrate containing solution, like dry leftovers of rye bread got soaked in a boiling water, cooled, liquid got separated from solids, some molasses and a starter are added to the liquid; starter could be added to a beet juice. My mother-in-low tried in Siberia kvas made out of just a wheat flour and water mix. It was not tasty, but good for quenching thirst and as a base for cold summer soups.
Susanne said…
Aw, what a nice thing to do for your hubby. That sounds like a great idea for my rye sourdough discards, I will have to try it. (mine needs several steps in feeding before it rises a bread properly, so I have a lot to spare.)

If you have an IKEA near you, I found a neat kit for a rye/wheat sourdough bread with lots of whole kernels (kind of like what they call German pumpernickel sometimes in the US). It it is labeled "rogbrod" and comes in a milk carton and you have to only add water to make a "soup" which you pour in a bread form. It sounds goofy but makes a very good, moist dense bread, excellent with herring or smoked salmon. Not with hard crust, though.
Galina L. said…
thank you for answering - I was not sure you checked that box (request to receive all comments) and would notice my comment. No, IKEA it not close. Since I am a cooking nut, the absence of a ready-to-use mix is not problematic. I normally don't have a lot of problem with starter, just do not rinse the dough container, add non-chlorinated water into some dough left-overs, some flour and keep in cold.
I have some wheat gains, I think about sprouting it, crashing and adding into my rye bread.
Let me know if you are interested in cold soup recipes made with kvas. If you decide to make a kvas out of bread leftovers, slightly roast pieces of bread first.