Fat of the Land

Take Me to Your (Nutritional) Leader

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Because, when the government gets involved, what could go wrong?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has hired an environmental nutrition consultant to oversee its Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which has already faced criticism for introducing climate change into nutrition policy.

Because who else would you hire but an environmental nutrition consultant to advise the public how not to get fat and sick? Meet Angela Tagtow.

A “good food” activist, Tagtow founded Environmental Nutrition Solutions, whose mission is to change the food system by making it more “sustainable, ecologically sound, [and] socially acceptable.” She formerly was the endowed chair for the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.

Tagtow explained her definition of a sustainable food system during a guest lecture at Utah State University in 2011.

“A sustainable and resilient food system conserves and renews natural resources, advances social justice and animal welfare, builds community wealth, and fulfills the food and nutrition needs of all eaters now and in the future,” she said.

Socially acceptable? Advances social justice and animal welfare? Perhaps I’m a cheap date, but I’d happily settle for dietary advice from the so-called “experts” that doesn’t send us barreling toward poor health and misery.

“If dietitians are empowered to be the nation’s food and nutrition leaders, dietetic education and practice must encompass the ecological, political, social and economical implications of a healthy diet,” she added.

Tell ya what, Toots: When you bozos get within a mile of nutritional science, maybe we can talk. Until then I’ll watch from afar as you follow in the footsteps of our illustrious leader in the field of community organizing.

Fish Fry FAIL

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Have been wanting to try my hand at pan-fried fish for some time now, and I finally got around to it. I’ve mostly only seen this done by my grandmother when I was a kid visiting the farm. Hers was fresh-caught by Grandpa, cooked to perfection and, if we were lucky, served with fresh-picked string beans and sliced tomatoes from the garden, along with a big square of MaMa’s cornbread slathered with butter.

Mine? Let’s just say I’ll optimistically be trying it again sometime!

After some poking around the internet, I used frozen cod fillets, which I dipped in egg wash and coated with seasoned coconut flour. These I fried in butter in an iron skillet, and ended up with a finished product that was much too soggy. The flavor was decent (the mild coconut taste combined with the nuttiness of the toasted butter was a nice combo); it was definitely the texture that needs another try.

If you have any favorite recipes or tips, PLEASE drop something in comments. As you can see by the picture, I need all the help I can get. Brian’s fingers are crossed!

Doctor Does 180 on Fat


After decades of stringently advising anyone who would listen to eat a low fat diet, British doctor and author, Michael Mosley, now says the medical community had it all wrong. (H/T Diet Doctor)

Milk, cheese, butter, cream – in fact all saturated fats – are bad for you. Or so I believed ever since my days as a medical student nearly 30 years ago.

During that time I assured friends and family that saturated fat would clog their arteries as surely as lard down a drain. So, too, would it make them pile on the pounds.

Recently, however, I have been forced to do a U-turn. It is time to apologise for all that useless advice I’ve been dishing out about fat.

Mosley details the huge impact that Dr. Ancel Keys had on dietary advice (infamous in the LCHF and Paleo communities) with his manipulated study data and campaigns to silence those who disagreed with him publicly. Mosley himself gave up or avoided red meat, butter, and full fat dairy products based on the bad information being disseminated by the medical community. That, plus regular exercise, led to a steady weight gain over the years…and becoming a borderline diabetic.

So to what conclusion has the good doctor come now?

Eggs are a prime example of how we got it wrong on fats. In the Eighties we were told they were cholesterol time bombs and were warned to eat no more than one a week. So I gave up eggs and tried to persuade my family to do likewise. What a mistake that was.

A study in the British Medical Journal in 2013 concluded: ‘Higher consumption of eggs is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.’

So eggs are back, and the protein means you’ll feel fuller for longer.

It’s always terrific to hear from a doctor who’s seen the nutritional light, so to speak. But readers in the extensive comment section under the original article do have a valid beef with Mosley. Take Alan from Newport, for example, who writes:

Why does he keep referring to “we”or “us” getting it wrong? It was him who was earning money from TV & books that got it wrong causing uncountable harm to people who followed his advice. What is he doing to put it right? Refund all the people who bought his books and whose health suffered as a consequence? No! He is trying to flog another book!

The man has a point.

Confessions of a Carb Junkie

Once a junkie, always a junkie they say. Whoever “they” are, they’re right. Time to confess that I fell off the wagon a couple of days ago.

I was shopping at the dollar store in town when out of the blue a strong desire for something sweet came over me. It’s not that this never happens, but neither has it been frequent since we went low carb nearly two years ago. On this particular day, however, I gave in to the desire and purchased candy.

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One 6-pack of mini candy bars later I was left with a much larger portion of regret than enjoyment. They tasted okay, but that’s the best I can say…and this disappointment actually overrode any urge the sugar might have prompted to crave more.

It took me a day to screw up the courage to confess my “transgression” to Brian; I place that word in quotes because we make a conscious effort not to fall into the trap of seeing what we eat as good or bad, but rather healthy or unhealthy. I encourage you to do the same…seeing it as a moral issue only adds to the psychological appeal of “being bad” or “cheating,” which takes no one in a positive direction.

And that, dear readers, is my confession. I hope it will provide someone with the encouragement to avoid a similar brief moment of pleasure that is far outweighed by everything it didn’t provide for me!

The Government in Your…SHOPPING CART?

Don’t ever be fooled into thinking your government has run out of ideas to thrust a nanny state on its subjects citizens.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is suggesting major changes to grocery stores to “nudge” Americans to purchase healthier foods when they shop.


“Most Americans, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, do not purchase enough whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and legumes, and purchase too many items with excess calories from fats and added sugars,” the report said.

Whole grains = carbs = glucose = insulin over-production = diabetes/metabolic syndrome = obesity = poor health and diseases of civilization…what could go wrong?


The USDA said the ideas are “intended to change the choice architecture of the food retail environment to make healthier choices more prominent,” which is in line with first lady Michelle Obama’s stated second term agenda to “impact the nature of food in grocery stores.”

Change the choice architecture?

Sounds like government-speak for this famous Ronald Reaan quote to me:

78-Year-Old Athlete Touts Ketogenic Diet

Jay Lehr Unicycle

Meet Ironman competitor Jay Lehr.

A 78-year-old man says he feels he’s found the diet version of the Fountain of Youth. It’s a high fat low carb diet featuring foods like eggs, butter and lard. And Jay Lehr believes that his ketogenic diet deserves the credit for his participation in Ironman competitions, reported the High Plains Journal on July 14.

“I’ve never been inside a regular doctor’s office,” boasted Lehr. “I have lived my entire life on high fat—dairy, eggs, butter and lard—which as you all know has not been the recommended diet for the last 50 years, and I’m going to convince all of you to help make it the recommended at least through the next generation will take us some time.”

A professional, Ph-D holding agriculturist, Lehr is on a mission to discredit the 30-something Food Pyramid (now known as MyPlate), claiming that the government’s nutrition policies have only harmed the American public by damaging their health.

He said he recognized many consumers fear fats based on “half of a century of a terrible diet based on government advice.” Lehr also highlighted the research done showing that using butter is healthier than using vegetable oils when cooking.

In championing high fat low carb diets, Lehr highlights the message from many health professionals recently about low-fat diets that are designed to control calories. They don’t work for weight loss.

Right on, Dr. Lehr!

Alchemy: Will Chocolate Cure What Ails You?

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Dark chocolate…if belly fat is what ails you, according to a new study.

A new study shows that enjoying dark chocolate leads to a reduction in abdominal size. Participants ate about 500 calories worth of dark chocolate per day.


Fifteen women with NWO syndrome participated in the study, and for one week they received a standardized Italian Mediterranean diet without chocolate. After this phase, anthropometric measurements and immunological tests were conducted. Then all patients were placed on the same standardized Italian Mediterranean diet for seven days, but included 100 grams of dark chocolate. Participants ate about 1700 calories per day, but this wasn’t a diet plan because calories were adjusted to maintain body weight. The chocolate was divided into two doses. No alcohol or antioxidants were allowed. The chocolate product contained a total of 42 grams of fat and 32 grams of sugar.

Aah, alchemy rears its ugly head once again. The fact that the Mediterranean Diet on its own did nothing to address belly fat is much more informative than what occurred with the addition of dark chocolate. Alchemy is looking to one element (a food, a beverage, an herb — whatever) to solve your problem.

For starters, if you followed every piece of alchemy advice you could get you hands on — to cover all the bases, you see — you’d literally have to stay awake 24-7 just to take in all the different elements for optimum health.

But beyond that, I always go back to indigenous folks. No matter what part of the world they call home, as long as their diet remains unchanged by the introduction of a contemporary diet, they don’t get obese and they are not afflicted with the diseases of civilization like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

They don’t have to OD on grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice or lemon juice mixed with maple syrup. They don’t have to choose their food based on color. They don’t have to add cinnamon to everything they eat. And they don’t have to buy capsules filled with some herb that only grows in the mountains of Bolivia.

As a matter of fact, despite having very limited access to the doctors, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and “knowledge” we have here in first world countries, they avoid many of the health problems we face by simply continuing their traditional, local diets. Which tend to be high in fat and extremely low in carbohydrates. Ketogenic, even.

Sing it with me: ALCHEMY! What is it good for? HUH! Absolutely nothing.

Homemade Classic Ranch Dressing

Homemade Classic Ranch Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: About 3 cups

Homemade Classic Ranch Dressing


2 eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar

1 1/2 cups olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried dill

1 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. dried chives

1 cup sour cream


Combine eggs and lemon juice or vinegar in blender container. Put lid on and blend on high speed for one minute. Leaving blender running, remove cap from lid and drizzle olive oil into blender in a slow, steady stream. Blend for one additional minute. (Mayonnaise made)

Add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, parsley, chives and sour cream. Replace lid and blend on high for two to three minutes, rocking blender gently, until well combined.

Transfer to desired container and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

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