Friday, September 30, 2011

Still getting it wrong -- a rant

Authorities, under the direction of Michele Obama, are once again attempting to tackle the "Obesity Epidemic" in America with the new ChooseMyPlate campaign. The hook of this latest campaign is to make half your plate fruits and vegetables, which has some nutritional merit; but take a look at their graphic (just another glorified replacement for the FoodPyramid in a different shape... because triangles are so much more complex to understand than circles, apparently).

OK - notice anything at odds with their intention to reduce obesity?  No? How about that over 75% of the plate is carbohydrates... SUGAR? Now, the carbs in most vegetables (starchy root veg excluded) are negligible compared to the vitamin and mineral content. Arguably the portion size limits the carbs from natural fructose while still providing all the lovely antioxidants and enzymes that (fresh) fruit provides. But, AGAIN, we've got a grain portion way higher than necessary, and most grains (unless you're Vegan) don't provide enough unique nutrition to warrant their carb costs.

And it that the protein (meat) and milk portions just keep getting smaller. What do these people have against animal products anyway?! Humans are omnivorous, and continuing research indicates that our metabolisms have evolved to derive and process nutrients from animal sources more efficiently than from plant sources. So why is over 75% of our plate plants? A misguided belief that the fat contained in animal products are bad for you, maybe? Bullshit!! Natural animal fats are healthy, provide long-term energy, and our bodies actually need them. And fat has a lovely side effect of actually making us feel full faster and longer -- you can eat a ton of carbs before your satiety switch is triggered, and you're likely to just wake up from your carb coma (insulin shock) hungry again.  <-- Can you say "diabetes" and "overeating"?

Let's be honest, that's a pitiful amount of protein to support a growing child or an active adult -- even with the incomplete proteins in most grains, that we don't absorb and utilize as well any way. Our bodies need protein to build healthy tissue and muscles, including your heart and other organs. Our bodies will also use protein for energy, at the same caloric rate as carbs. More and more studies have indicated that previous concerns regarding kidney problems caused by high(er) protein diets were unfounded. A person can, and should, eat a gram of protein for every pound of optimal body weight unless they have a pre-existing kidney malfunction.

So, we've got an obesity epidemic and diabetes is on the rise. It has been slowly happening since the mid-50's when they switched from the Basic Seven Model (the wartime "survival rationing" nutritional guide):

to the Basic Four model, which eventually turned into the Food Pyramid we all learned in the 90's:

Which was updated in 2005:

Only to be abandoned just 5 years later for the MyPlate circle.

What's the common factor? WAY TOO MANY CARBS and an unbalanced diet.

If you look at the Basic 7 -- you've got essentially 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat. And that pretty much appeared to work... obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease were all MUCH lower then than they are today. You think that's a coincidence??

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Still Among the Living

Quickie update to let you all know we're still alive.

We've been busy doing roof prep and getting the floors laid, properly installing the doors, as well as doing general clearing and firewood stuff. Moving the cast iron woodstove so we could properly align the hearth before doing the downstairs floor was a serious biatch since it weighs nearly 500 lbs... G-man gunned up for the heavy lifting with the aid of the Hi-Lift jack while I frantically placed braces and attempted not to get crushed.

The walls and floors we can get to (bath & pantry are full of stuff) have been installed, all we need is to sand and poly the floors so we can move in -- we'll deal with mud & paint, etc once we're in residence. Nights are getting chilly and we're running the stove in the tent a little, but only need a tiny fire at the cabin to keep it nice and toasty... insulation is such a wonderful thing. We're getting frost nearly every night and even a few early morning snow flurries. Winter is definitely on its way.

Anyway, hoping to have the floors poly'ed and curing by the weekend, so we should be able to transfer the electrics down and move in some time next week if all goes well. I think I've found the card reader for the camera, but I can't get to it until we can clear out the piles of stuff in the pantry. I promise tons of pics as soon as we move in though!