Melissa's blog

No, we don't know how much protein "cavemen" ate

 How hard it is to read a scientific study? Should you bother to learn? I recently commented on a blog post on that subject. 

A Trip to Montreal: Blood, Marrow, Butter

 This blog wouldn't exist if food wasn't important to me, but it amazes me how I can continue to have experiences relating to food that change my view of things. That's one of the reasons I haven't written a book. I'm just not there yet in terms of experience, even though I've made great improvements in my life and maintained them, there is still much to learn. How could I ever put the pen to the page knowing that my words would be a static representation of my views for months and even years?

Is Southern Food Unhealthy?

 Recently I've been researching Southern food in the 1800s for a dinner that I'm cooking for. Weirdly, this style of cooking is somewhat in revival in Chicago with restaurants like Big Jones and Carriage House serving fairly authentic period foods. I was at Big Jones recently and all their biscuits are made with pastured lard. That's pretty hard to find in the South these days.

Wheat and Playing with Fire

 Over the years I've been involved in this community, I've met many many people who have seen their health improve when they eliminated wheat gluten from their diet. But I also see it as part of a worrying trend that relies all too much on self-experimentation and self-diagnosis. Often when I meet these people they are noshing on a burger without a bun at a regular restaurant or ordering a salad a restaurant like Hanna's Bretzel where gluten-free ingredients are laid side by side with non-gluten free ingredients.

Dr. Mcdougall is uncivilized

 One of the most hilarious articles I've come across lately is by low-fat vegan diet promoter Dr. McDougall. It's titled The Paleo Diet Is Uncivilized (And Unhealthy and Untrue). Who the hell uses words like "uncivilized" these days? The whole time I was reading it, I imagined Dr. McDougall as a snobby British gentleman with a tophat and monocle, as well as a Richard Dawkins-like scowl, pontificating on the savages. 

Senza: Gluten-free dining exits the health-food ghetto

There is no doubt that gluten-free options are growing. However, at least in the places that I've lived, most gluten-free options are kind of sad. They are either bundled in with "health food" options and are also whole-grain/vegan/low-fat bundles or misery or are just regular menu items made with an assortment of mediocre processed gluten-free breads and pastas. Since the main problem for me with wheat seems to be the complex carbohydrates, often these options are worse than regular food.

When NOT to fast

Fasting, particularly the type known as intermittent fasting, has been popular in many health communities for awhile. Many people learn about it through Mark Sisson, Leangains, or Eat Stop Eat. Some people do it for weight loss, other people do it for its other potential benefits such as boosting cellular cleanup known as autophagy.

Saturday Nerdery: Games of Thrones in the evolution of menopause, and Doctor Who in minimalist shoes

Killer whales are one of the three known animals that experience menopause, with females ceasing reproduction in their 30s or 40s and living beyond that into their 90s. Some have said that evolution doesn't select for longevity because it only cases about you living long enough to reproduce. Nonsense. In species with complex social structures like ours and like the killer whales, every individual matters and the elders can play important social roles.

The Future of Seafood

Last year I paid a visit to Miya's Sushi, in New Haven, a restaurant that tries* to be sustainable

Reasons for your worsening stomach problems on a paleo/ low-carb/ ancestral/ gaps/ etc. diet

With all these success stories about people feeling better on various diets, I think we forgot the people who sometimes feel worse. Probably because those people give up and don't stick around. I'm known many people who have adopted paleo, primal, ancestral, low-carb, gluten-free, or whatever diet. And instead of feeling better, they have all kinds of problems, particularly stomach problems. 

There are many reasons why this happens, here are a couple I tend to come across: