Local Food

One thing I find is missing from the climate change discussions is a vision as to what a prosperous future could look like. There is plenty said about the need to reduce emissions and reduce carbon footprints, but what could this really look like? A major contributor to global emissions is agriculture, so how could this look in the future?

An obvious change is to transition away from globalised agriculture back to local agriculture. The presence of local markets as the main source of food, rather than the supermarket with food flown in from far flung locations requiring lots of transport, energy and a robust supply chain. Local markets reduce food transport miles, assist in the provision of local employment and help maintain local communities. It also slows the gradual descent into corporate controlled food, grown in mono-cultures and helps support organic farming and biodiversity. Local food supply also supports regenerative agriculture raising food quality and reducing the levels of herbicides and fossil fuel based fertilisers, both of which are contributing to the atmospheric carbon levels and pollution.

These possible changes could create jobs, support the community, quality of life and quality of food. Would it come at a higher cost, probably a little but the application of the same skills as applied to today’s corporate supply chains may be able to minimise this. Regenerative farming can provide food with higher nutrition, use less water, while sequestering carbon in the soil, unlike monoculture farming which depletes soils and releases carbon. This also supports one of the most important changes coming to your diet, which is the move to more real food with less factory processed food in your diet. If this interests you, take a look at my book, “Take back your health” on Amazon.

Of course we would still have food traded, but it should be food that has a low carbon footprint and is high value, unable to be supplied from the local market.

George Elder, Author, “Take Back Your Health”, Amazon $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com

My e-book is now online

After a long journey, my shortened e-book has made it onto the Kindle bookstore on Amazon.

You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Take-Back-Your-Health-medicine-ebook/dp/B08LKW42BJ/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=take+back+your+health&qid=1603614924&s=books&sr=1-8

Wow! What a fascinating revelation on what I eat and why I have dietary issues. A great summary of many complex nutritional issues and better still, provides references to research plus a way forward. It will be a challenge for me to be disciplined to apply the lessons learnt from this book but by taking it in stages, I am sure I will become more healthy. What a valuable find and so cheap buy! Unbelievably valuable.

Eric, one of my book editors.

My List of Kitchen Staples

To help you manage a transition to a Keto / Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) lifestyle I have had a look about the kitchen and here is my list of kitchen staples.

Almond flour

Coconut flour

Green banana flour, (expensive but only used as a fish coating)

Ground Psyllium Husk

Sesame seeds

Flax seed or ground flax seed

Baking powder

Pink Himalayan salt

Iodised salt

White salt in grinder

Black pepper in grinder

Oregano

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Apple cider vinegar

Balsamic vinegar (low sugar)

Mayonnaise (low sugar, low omega 6)

Tartare sauce (low sugar, low omega-6)

Butter

Camembert cheese or Brie

Cottage cheese

Cream (full)

Cream cheese

Eggs

Sour cream

Thickened or double cream

Unsweetened Greek yoghurt

Unsweetened tartare sauce (ideally)

Coconut oil

Avocado oil

Olive oil, (extra virgin)

Lemon juice

Lime juice

Cheddar

Mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

Bacon

Mince (fatty)

Pork rinds (can be ground to use as a coating on chicken)

Pork sausages

Steak

Sardines in olive oil

Tuna in olive oil

Tomato paste, (low sugar)

Almonds (Tamari)

Cashew nuts

Macadamia nuts

Dark chocolate, > 70%

Stevia or

Erythritol or

Monk fruit sweetener

George Elder, Author, “Take Back Your Health”, Amazon $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com

My Cracker Recipe

I searched the supermarket aisles, reading the nutrition information of many crackers, looking for something that could be used as a base for a snack. All crackers seem to be full of Industrial seed oils, sugars and wheat flour so I went looking for a recipe instead and here it is. You can have these topped with cheese, tuna, salami, egg, sardines, dip or huge numbers of other options to replace a meal or for an easy snack.

George’s Crackers.

Ingredients:

– 6 Tbsp of ground flax seed.

– Unground flax seed passes directly through the gut without digestion.

– Ground flax seed must be stored airtight in a refrigerator as it goes rancid quickly.

– 2 tsp of salt. (+ Extra grinding salt for topping).

– 4 cups of almond flour.

– 12 – 13 Tbsp of water.

– 4 Tbsp of fine grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Method:

Grind flaxseeds in coffee grinder. If necessary.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then mix in fine grated cheese if desired

Add water and hand mix until the dry mix turns into dough.

Place dough between baking paper layers and press or roll out to about 3mm (1/8 inch) or less.

I divide my dough between multiple mixes to suit the available oven tray sizes

Keep thickness very even to prevent the edges from burning during baking

Remove top baking paper layer.

Use a pizza cutter to cut cracker size squares. I make mine about 30mm (1-1/2 inch) squares.

Wetting the pizza cutter helps prevent the dough from sticking to the cutter wheel.

Don’t separate the crackers.

Grind a fine layer of extra salt over the dough and gently pat down.

At this point you could experiment with other toppings such as sesame seeds. I don’t bother as we like them without.

Bake in oven at 150 deg C for 40-50 minutes. Adjust baking time until they are golden brown.

When done, immediately slide off the baking paper onto a wire rack to air cool and crisp up.

Store in a biscuit tin once completely cold.

George Elder, Author, “Take Back Your Health”, Amazon $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com

Getting Started on Keto

Getting started:

If you decide that keto / low carb choice is for you, then I offer the following tips. Prepare to find your refrigerator full and your pantry with less in it, because you are eating real food.

First, what carbohydrate level should you be aiming to eat? There seems to be a magic number of grams of carbohydrates for each individual. If you are below this number you will most likely be losing weight. As the level of carbs rises your weight loss will slow. When you reach your magic number weight loss will stop and if you eat more carbs per day than the magic number, you will put on weight. So a good plan is to start with 20 grams or less carbohydrates per day and after you have fully fat adapted (maybe 3-4 weeks) add a few grams back each week, to manage your weight loss to stop losing weight when you get to your goal weight. Keep the carbohydrate level low if you have heaps to lose, but don’t get bored by the lack of food diversity. Add those carbs back gradually, but drop back if you start to put weight back on.

Make sure you eat plenty of good fat so that you are not feeling hungry. The aim is not to eat less calories, or you may kick your body into starvation mode and your metabolism will slow. So keep up your calories, ensure you are eating plenty of fat, but do not snack between meals. Remember your goal is to keep insulin levels low. Eating the required level of fat is quite difficult at first as it goes against all past conditioning.

However if you are trying to lose body fat, you should still eat plenty but not overdo the fat, allow for some of your calories to come from body fat daily. This is done by eating slightly less that you need and once fat adapted, the body will burn body fat to make up the difference once insulin is low. In my case I never had excess butter or bulletproof coffee as I never felt the need, and the extra fat just gradually melted away. Awesome. Remember that the Keto diet is very good at enabling you to eat less without getting hungry.

Plan your meals because there is generally more preparation required due to less off the shelf items available. An easy way to plan meals is to cook larger meals each dinner time and refrigerate the excess for the next days breakfast or lunch. This helps, as you are adjusting to a higher level of home cooked food. If on removing it from the refrigerator you can see it has set (like fat sets when cold) then this is a sign you are getting plenty of fat.

When you realise one day that you completely missed a meal without noticing, then you are ready to think about eating windows and 16:8 fasting. Maybe dropping breakfast and only having two meals per day.

Keeping hydration up is critical and you may need to supplement salt, magnesium and possibly potassium as the reduction in carbohydrates increases the water loss and with this you will also lose those essential minerals. Leg cramps can be a signal that you need more sodium. Drinking a huge glass of water as soon as I get out of bed each morning works for me.

Go easy on the exercise for the first 2-3 weeks as your body adapts particularly if you are not used to regular exercise, give yourself a good 6 weeks of adaption before starting. By then you may find that it is all much easier and you are chomping at the bit to start.

The early changes in your gut can result in mild constipation, so keep hydration up and if you are concerned, taking some psyllium husk in water (teaspoon in a glass) may help the transition. This can also be an indication of insufficient fat in the diet, so add more butter to the vegetables and olive oil to the salads. I expect you have already stopped trimming the fat off meat and are buying the cheapest and fattiest mince (hamburger). In my experience your body will soon settle down to a new regular.

If you slip up and have too many carbs, just double down and it will come right, but can take 2-3 days in the early stages. If you need something sweet, try eating one square of chocolate with above 70% cocoa solids. Check out my cracker recipe at the end of the book. These can be great when you have a craving or when you need a quick lunch.

When I want a real treat I take 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries, cover with cream and leave a few minutes for the cream to freeze. Then eat with a spoon. Yum. Like ice cream but without the sugar.

For traveling food, I suggest some boiled eggs in the shell, cheese, salami slices, ham slices, canned tuna or sardines, some nuts, cold sausages and some of my crackers. Green salad with some vinegar and olive oil dressing is a good option.

George Elder, Author, “Take Back Your Health”, Amazon $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com

8 Days sample meals on Low carb High fat.

Day 1

Breakfast: nothing.
Lunch: fried eggs, avocado, bacon and cherry tomatoes in olive oil with garlic and basil.
green tea.
Dinner: leg of lamb, carrots, peas, parsnip, roast fennel root, roast onion.
green tea, little piece of chocolate.

Day 2

Breakfast: nothing.
Lunch: at cafe in Littleton, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, sausage.
green tea.
Snack: keto chocolate slice and green tea.
Dinner: leftovers, pork, lamb, veges, roasted cauliflower dish, salad.
green tea, chocolate square.

Day 3

Breakfast: nothing.
Lunch: keto meat pie, cauliflower mash, home made vinegar and olive oil dressing (Geo).
George’s crackers, with chicken and cognac pate (Sue).
green tea
Dinner: big dinner party group, each person brought a keto dish.
green tea, little piece of chocolate.

Day 4

Breakfast: nothing.
Lunch: pate with crackers and cheese.
green tea
Dinner: left overs, sausage, salad, cauliflower mash.
green tea.

Day 5

Breakfast: nothing.
Lunch: 3 egg omelets with cheese, spring onions and salad.
green tea.
Dinner: fish, Terakihi pan fried in green banana flour with mixed salad.
green tea.

Day 6

Breakfast: nothing.
Lunch: at café in Akaroa, Thai dish without the rice.
water to drink.
Dinner: Liver, bacon and mushrooms with broccoli.
Frozen blueberries with cream.
green tea.

Day 7

Breakfast: nothing.
Lunch: nothing for George, 24 hour fast.
Sue, crackers, with chicken liver pate.
green tea.
Dinner: Sausage and vegetables gratin with cauliflower, broccoli, onion, sour cream,
cheese and salad.
green tea, little piece of chocolate.

Day 8

Breakfast: nothing for George, Sue had a muesli bar.
Lunch: pate with crackers and cheese. (Sue).
Sausage, liver left overs, carrots, 2 stuffed capsicum peppers (George).
green tea.
Dinner: chicken and vegetables.
green tea.

Daily supplements are:

– Vitamin C
– Magnesium
– Omega 3 fish oil capsule (now discontinued)
– Vitamin K2 with Vitamin D

George Elder, Author, “Take Back Your Health”, Amazon $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com

Insulin Resistance

Have you heard of Insulin resistance? It is a condition where excess insulin gradually eats away at your body without showing much in the way of symptoms until one day your pancreas gives up and you end up with full blown Type 2 diabetes because your glucose is now out of control. It is caused by a persistent high level of insulin which gradually causes insulin receptors in cells to become less sensitive to the hormone’s signal. This reduction in sensitivity forces the pancreas to manufacture ever higher insulin levels, to get the signal to work, which then reduces sensitivity further, and the cycle repeats.

This typically shows with some of the symptoms below:

1. Increased body fat levels, particularly in the central area.

2. Waist measurement greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.

3. Increased levels of facial and body hair for women.

4. Acanthosis Nigricans, which is a darkening of skin in folds and under arms.

5. Difficulty getting pregnant, (applies to women only of course).

6. Tendency to oily skin and hair.

7. Cravings for sweet or salty foods.

8. Skin tags.

9. Fatigue.

10. Increased hunger or thirst.

11. Erectile dysfunction.

A series of tests by the doctor can confirm IR, but it can be missed as there is a high proportion of the population which show these symptoms and the doctor may only be looking for elevated glucose. My study also highlights that most doctors tend to only treat what you complain about, rather than being proactive about your health. I have begun to realise that you need to do that yourself. If you have any concerns9, Insulin resistance itself should be tested with both a glucose tolerance test and fasting insulin test, because of the ability of the excess insulin to keep glucose levels down, hiding the real problem and causing fasting glucose levels to appear to be OK.

One often failing of current medical testing for insulin resistance is that it focuses on your inability to get glucose into cells rather than how much insulin you are producing. The result is that people can be sent away from the doctor after being told all is okay, because the massive level of insulin in their body manages glucose down and hides the real problem. Unfortunately for them the doctor only realises there is a problem when the “end stage” symptoms show up. Because serious micro-vascular damage is being done during this undiagnosed period by excess insulin, much of the damage to your body may be irreversible by the end-stage. If you have any concerns, you need to take a look at other signals yourself and insist on insulin resistance testing to avoid this disaster.

Family history can also be a clue. Check out direct relatives on both parents sides of your family tree, because some people are much more sensitive to this than others. Also don’t assume that because you are slim, you are in the clear. There is a body type known as TOFI (thin outside, fat inside) which presents as slim, but is still impacted by significant visceral fat around the organs.

If this is not reversed or treated in some way, your future health can be seriously impacted.

Here are some of the problems directly related to this condition:

1. Significantly reduced chance of getting pregnant, even with IVF treatment.

2. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

3. Non alcoholic fatty liver disease.

4. Metabolic syndrome.

5. Type 2 diabetes.

6. Kidney disease.

7. Cardio vascular (heart) disease.

8. Blindness due to damage in small eye blood vessels.

9. Nerve ending damage that can lead to amputations particularly in extremities.

10. Alzheimer’s (brain) disease.

People with Insulin resistance, Metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes are at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Insulin resistance doubles your risk for heart attack and stroke – and triples the odds that a heart attack or ‘brain attack’ (Stroke) will be deadly, according to the International Diabetes Federation. One single extra kilogram of visceral fat in a female is linked to a 4X greater risk for type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome are also linked with higher risk for cancers of the bladder, breast, colon, cervix, pancreas, prostate and uterus.  The connection: High insulin levels early in insulin resistance seem to fuel the growth of tumors and to suppress the body’s ability to protect itself by killing off malignant cancer cells.

The longer that the condition goes untreated the less the ability to reverse it in the future. It used to be believed that Type 2 Diabetes was not reversible and in fact many doctors still believe this because they have no understanding of the capability of a low carbohydrate diet to counter this. I have read that doctors are not really taught about nutrition at medical school as the current medical model instead focuses on drug prescribing and surgery.

How to reduce insulin resistance? A most effective way is to dramatically reduce the level of carbohydrates in the diet. In other words, cut out sugars, grains and starches , replacing these calories with healthy fat and low carb vegetables. For proof, ask your doctor for a continuous glucose monitor and watch to see what foods raise glucose in your body, remembering that when glucose rises, insulin will then rise to manage the glucose level in your blood. Before making any changes, consult your medical professional and take the tests.

George Elder, Author, “Take Back Your Health”, Amazon $3.99.
Now at http://www.eldergeo.com