Back to the Pool

I m finally getting back to the pool regularly.  My weight has crept back up to 112.2kgs, so something must be done.  Walking is out, X rays have revealed severe arthritis in my long ago broken left ankle (never picked up on or treated by the 2 doctors I saw back in 1988) and the right knee, from compensating for the dicky ankle all those years.  I can walk on smoothish grass but everything round here is unrelentingly paved.

I cut my thumb almost to the bone back in April and had to wait until it was really healed over.  Still sore and lumpy, but I can go back.  In the last couple of weeks I have been to 3 shallow water aerobics classes, loved them and hope they are offered again (it was a trial).

So I did 30 x 25m laps on Friday, and today 40 x 25m laps, consisting of 12 freestyle (300m); 5 each breaststroke and backstroke (250m), 8 kick board (200m) and 10 walking & aerobics (250m) for a 1km total.  I’ll build up to 2 km over the next few weeks.

Since taking more care to ensure I have NO gluten at all (I had been careless about it) my digestive pain is slowly disappearing.  I am coeliac, but some dope suggested it was actually FODMAPs diet I should try, I wasn’t gluten intolerant at all.  Well, that was a failure.  I’ll stick to gluten free.

Let’s Talk About Knives . . .

Have you ever wondered why chefs have all those different knives?  And what they are for?   The kitchen knife is the most essential of cooking tools. Knives Cooks Love is a comprehensive 180 pages of knowledge on buying, sharpening, using, storing, and otherwise getting great use out of a good knife (or three).  And it has lots of photos of beautiful knives – the damascus steel ones are works of art.

The best book on knives you'll ever find

I have something of a weakness for  knives, to the extent of my partner going ‘ack!’ when I wave one around, so was delighted to get my copy of Knives Cooks Love for just $5 at a pop up stall in a mall a couple of years ago.  I’ve since bought one for a wedding present (along with a old cook’s knife and sharpener), and hones my knowledge (sorry, couldn’t resist) on the finer points of knife terminology, use and care.

If you get geeked up about kitchen knives and their uses, Knives Cooks Love is a book you’ll actual

ly sit down and read. It has some recipes too, so it’s a 2 in 1 bargain.

via Fishpond link  Knives Cooks Love: Selection. Care. Techniques. Recipes..

A few links to sites about damascus steel knives – just eye candy for knife-a-holics!

Mastersign      Esford (Australian)      UniqueJapan      DevinThomas

And of course we couldn’t NOT include Bob Kramer‘s beautiful works of art

I’m B a c k!

Sorry to have been MIA so long, severe lack of get up and go, I’m afraid.

However, I hereby promise to try to post more often.

Dietary friends or foes?

Coffee, eggs, salt, oil. One week they are good for you, the next they’re not. So what’s the real deal?

Good article with the pros and cons of these 4 foods.

Current medical knowhow says 3-5 coffees a day in mid life can help prevent dementia in your later years – but conversely – that amount can have an adverse effect on visceral fat.  Persoanlly, I’d rather be fat and have all my marbles!

Eggs, of course, have been ‘undemonised’ for a long time.  Up to 7 a week are now recommended, good for diabetes and a whole lot of other conditions.

Salt is vital to life.  But we should avoid added salt and if we do use salt in cooking or at the table it should be iodised.

And oils – as they ay – oils ain’t all equal!  It’s the processed oils in processed foods that are so bad for you.  Full fat in food is fine, cold pressed natural oils are fine  – but you need to be careful when heating them as some produce bad compounds.  Olive oil is best for cooking.

Full article here

Exercise makes your fat healthier

Terrific article in today’s Sydney Morning herald newspaper on another recent;y discovered benefit of exercise.  Who would have thought your fat could get healthier.  It seems the it turns your white fat (very bad dude) into brown fat (much nicer dude).

“In a separate study in mice, brown fat was linked with better glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, suggesting the substance may play a role in preventing diabetes.”

So get moving!

Read the full article here 

So You’re eating ‘Healthy Oils’

Are you sure?

How many of you attempt to eat ‘healthily’ by replacing  of dietary saturated fats (from animal fats, common margarines, and shortenings) with omega 6 linoleic acid (from sunlower,  safflower and canola oils, polyunsaturated margarine)?

You may be interested in this report on the the Sydney Diet Heart Study, a single blinded, parallel group, randomised controlled trial conducted in 1966-73, in BMJ 2013;346:e8707 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e8707 (Published 5 February 2013).  And you may get a nasty surprise.

(Italics are mine, not the original authors.)


The intervention group (n=221) had higher rates of death than controls (n=237) (all cause 17.6% v 11.8%, hazard ratio 1.62 (95% confidence interval 1.00 to 2.64), P=0.05; cardiovascular disease 17.2% v 11.0%, 1.70 (1.03 to 2.80), P=0.04; coronary heart disease 16.3% v 10.1%, 1.74 (1.04 to 2.92), P=0.04). Inclusion of these recovered data in an updated meta-analysis of linoleic acid intervention trials showed non-significant trends toward increased risks of death from coronary heart disease (hazard ratio 1.33 (0.99 to 1.79); P=0.06) and cardiovascular disease (1.27 (0.98 to 1.65); P=0.07).


Advice to substitute polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats is a key component of worldwide dietary guidelines for coronary heart disease risk reduction. However, clinical benefits of the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega 6 linoleic acid, have not been established. In this cohort, substituting dietary linoleic acid in place of saturated fats increased the rates of death from all causes, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. An updated meta-analysis of linoleic acid intervention trials showed no evidence of cardiovascular benefit. These findings could have important implications for worldwide  dietary advice to substitute omega 6 linoleic acid, or polyunsaturated fats in general, for saturated fats.”

So butter, and cream, and natural fats are not the big nasty horrors we have long been preached about.  You do not have to cut them entirely from your diet.  Of course, all fats should be eaten in moderation, and their calorific values should be considered a smaller part of your total intake.  But the seed oils, sunflower, safflower, canola etc are, due to their extraction methods, NOT beneficial to your health.  The best oil is cold pressed olive oil, which I use as my cooking oil, along with butter – sometimes together and sometimes one or the other.

Break out the butter and bon appetit!

I’m B A C K !

Hi to all.

I have been AWOL for quite a while and been had ups and downs in my weight loos / health seeking goals.

The big news – nothing to do with Primal really but – we are moving to Tasmania. House is bought and settles on 4 July and we will be living at beautiful Glenorchy. You can see images of our new home at my Flickr set.   The HUGE pack up / weed through / throw out is in progress, and we hope to be ther by mid Septemebre but end of Sept is the deadline.

In one way this will be beneficial to my health as my sister has offered to pay for my monthly membership at the (indoor) Hobart Aquatic centre so I can swim and have a spa every day! She goes 5 days a week and swims 3-4 kms, so I will be going with her and building up my laps. I haven’t swum since mid March, when I caught an URTI and conjunctivitis from the pool we use. The doctor told me it was the 90 day cough and he was so right – I am only just over it. A most unpleasant three months.

My sister is also following the 5:2 lifestyle ( I no longer use the word ‘diet’). She has gone from 90.8 to 77 in 20 weeks and looks fabulous. It’s basically just intermittent fasting 2 days a week. I started 1 June and have gone from 115kgs to 112.4, so it’s working. It also fits in well with my Primal lifestyle.  See all about it at the Fast Diet site.

I have gone totally grain free – I had a few VERY painful and unpleasant reactions to rice and corn products (my last remaining grains) so have bitten the bullet and done it. My gut feels much better. I’m also using a lot of herbal teas for my health now. When I had the bad cough I tried the doctor’s remedies and they seemed to be having little effect. So in desperation I unearthed my two herb books, raided the pantry (it was a Sunday) and came up with a tea of fennel & fenugreek seeds, thyme, honey and a dash of lemon. After two cups I practically stopped coughing. So I have laid in a big supply of various herbs and am treating myself. the digestive one I’ve made up calms any gut spasms much faster than drugs, and I have a big pharmacopeia of anti cough stuff, as that is my weak area.

So that’s it from me, I’ll report in once a week or so at least and see how I go, and try to find interesting and relevant articles to share..

Cheers from Odille

Are We Over Medicated?

I was reading the paper with breakfast today and it struck me how many ads there are there, and on the idiot box, for medications to control ‘conditions’, especially lifestyle related ones.

I  searched on by condition and even sticking to mostly diet & weight related conditions turned up startling results:

  • Plain old treatment of Pain with 511 medications available is a standout.
  • Constipation is a class winner with 165 choices.
  • Osteoarthritis – often weight related – 200.
  • Heartburn – Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)  113.
  • Type 2 diabetes – 104.
  • Diarrhoea – 49.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (incl Crohn’s disease) – 48
  • Obesity –  42.
  • High Cholesterol (please note IMHO this should not be a condition at all!) – 32

Why are we such an overmedicated society?

Why do we let doctors drug us into submission, endure side effects, spend large amounts of our income on medications, when in many cases the problems can be more effectively treated with diet and lifestyle changes?

Why don’t doctors insist?  Why doesn’t the government take a more pro-active stance and rather than fund drugs for lifestyle/obesity related conditions instead fund lifestyle education to help people make the necessary changes? Are we so blind to reason we cannot see the daylight for the fields of waving wheat?

Why are we so reluctant to make changes for the better in our lives if they involve giving up temporary and fleeting oral/taste pleasures for lasting health improvements?

Do we actually want to die early?

I know since giving up all grains I never need any medications – even the paracetamol & ibuprofen tablets in the kitchen drawer hardly ever see the light of day. They’ll pass their use by date before they are taken at this rate!  Another of the wonderful benefits of eating right.

My Progress to end March 2012

I have  weighed and measured myself on 31 March – a good result for the month.

Weight – down 2.4kgs from 106.4kgs to 104kgs since 27/02/2012 (in lbs down 5.2 from 243.6 to 229.3)

Measurements (in cms)


< Bust



Upper arm





Total Lost










Since last










And  my body fat % is 5% down since mid Feb it has dropped from 35% to 30%. Very, very pleased.

Last Friday (30/03) I had an early dental appointment to get my last crown, I had a temporary and the ‘real’ one had to go on. So  I laid out clothes the night before –  skirt (size22 – note this is 2 sizes less than the = US size, ie US size 18) and when I put it on in the morning it fell down to my feet. I was stunned and delighted. So I rooted around in the cupboard for the nice size 20 one – too loose to wear.

Did I mention I was pleased! I think I floated off the floor for a minute there . . . .

All that swimming (6 days a week) and walking (I am now walking  3 days a week in addition to swimming) is paying off.

Why We Get Fat – why is the evidence so hard for doctors to accept?

Gary Taubes, in his books Why We Get Fat and the earlier Good Calories, Bad Calories, plus his seminal article “What if it’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” in the New York Times of 97 July 2002, presents compelling evidence that the high carb low fat solution embraced by the majority of the medical world does not work to reduce weight, body fat, heart disease or diabetes risks, we are still being preached this incorrect mantra and we are, as nations, getting fatter and unhealthier and dying before our times.

In Why We Get Fat, he outlines hiow the Cochrab=ne Commission, set up to do unbiased revierws of scientific studies in the literature, set out in 2001 to assess the benefits of eating less fat or less saturated fat by reviewing literature from the 1950s to 20001.  They could only find 27 clinical trials which had been well enough conducted for reliable judgement ont hem to be made.

As Taubes states, the evidence was anything but compelling (direct quote below):

“Despite decades of effort and many thousands of people randomized,” the Cochrane Collaboration authors concluded, “there is still only limited and inconclusive evidence of the effects of modification of total, saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fats on cardiovascular morbidity [i.e., sickness] and mortality [death].”

In plain speak, there is no support for the low fat diets!  None!

So why is it still being prescribed, when a low carb (ie removing all processed carbs), hig fat, moderate protein diet lowers LDL and triglycerides, raises HDL and has other positive effects on blood chemistry and other health indictaors like blood pressure.

In the words of the great Australian Julius Sumner MIller “WHY IS IT SO?”!