Two months later, I'm coming up on two years of eating one (solid) meal a day. I still find this to be a good strategy.
However, I have gained weight - I think due to the COVID situation. I've been told that some people who are tracking calories in and out carefully have found they are gaining weight lately, just from the stress.
I'm just wearing scrubs at work these days, so I don't know what size of non-stretchy work pants I'm in right now. (I kind of don't want to know.)
Yesterday I ate a bunch of nuts and then some beef jerky staying late at work and when I got home we weren't having an organized meal (this is very unusual) so I just decided I would skip eating any more. My stomach actually growled this morning, but I can't say I was suffering from hunger, more like I just noted the noise.
I still haven't gone more than 2 days without eating. I think I would have to set up a retreat where I get away from my family to do a longer fast. It's hard to skip that many meals, as we make a point of having a good dinner together every night (our kids are in 9th and 12th grades this year).
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Probably the crock pot is non-existing here too (like with Skandi in Denmark). So I don't have one. I never made caramelized onions, I always sauté them (or stir fry).
Maybe I can make caramelized onions in the oven? Can someone explain me how to do that, please?
I think in the oven, you'd start with a medium hot oven, sliced onions and fat in a casserole dish, with the lid on, until the onions are translucent. Then turn the heat way down and maybe turn the lid sideways. (I'm a little nervous that no lid in an oven might dry things out too much.) Check it every half hour or so, stirring once an hour.
I've canned several things, but this time I think I have the required pictures. Yesterday I made apple pie filling. It took most of the day, although I will say I was also making roasted applesauce and doing some other things, like making carnitas. The key thing about canning pie filling is that you have to have the right sort of starch. Ordinary corn starch, or flour, is not good for canning. I used the recipe on the back of the starch bag, to be safe and also because it was exactly the same recipe as 3 other places on the interwebz when I went looking for alternatives. Canning recipes are that way - you don't mess with them.
The recipe called for 6 quarts of sliced apples, but that was not enough. Maybe they meant 6 quarts after blanching? For this recipe, you peel and slice the apples (that's the time consuming part) and then blanch them in small batches for one minute. They end up smaller and softer, but not fully cooked. Anyway, I did not get 7 quarts of pie filling. I got 5 and a half, and then that 6th jar got filled to the brim with leftover goo. I made a lovely apple cobbler with the leftover, utilizing several more apples.
I usually lid the jars right after I fill them, but I was dealing with the "not enough apples" problem so I had them all still open, on the rack over the boiling water which helps keep pathogens away. Half inch head space, per the recipe. I had a bit of siphoning (where preserves come out the lid either during or after the water bath) but not too bad. I left the jars sitting in the water for 10 minutes after the time was up and I turned off the burner, and then I let them sit above the water another 5 minutes as I'd been warned that apple pie filling is known to siphon.
Yes, although I'm thinking cattle, not goats. Goats are browsers, they eat the leaves from forbs and bushes and thus help with fire control in forest. Cattle can be used to create healthy grasslands, a la Alan Savory:
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:
So I found out the mosquitoes always went to someone else, not me. Then I remembered in my childhood the mosquitoes did bite me, and it itched. And I remembered one holiday we went to Norway, to a region with mosquitoes everywhere, like clouds of them. We had to wear long sleeves and hoods and long trousers and high boots to cover as much of our skin as possible ... and still I had many of those itchy mosquito bite spots. But, then I thought ... in fact that was the last time I got those itchy spots, as far as I remember. My conclusion was: if you have plenty of that mosquito-bite-poison in your body, they don't want to bite you anymore. Of course this isn't science, it's just my idea.
What I've been told (and what was my husband's experience) is that the more times you get bitten by mosquitoes, the less you react. Toddlers get giant welts, and the reactions get smaller over time. My husband did a walkabout through the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Vanuatu, etc) and was eaten up by mosquitoes. He never gets welts. He will be bitten, but he doesn't really notice and it doesn't bother him.
I remember reading that the people who test mosquito repellant, who stick their arm into an enclosure full of mosquitoes, they have to concentrate and count the bites, because they no longer get any welts.
Catie George wrote:
If i recall, one of the theories i have seen for these effects is how damaging some of their illnesses are to the immune system. So basically, you get measles (i think measles was cited as one of the most damaging), it wipes out your immune system, and during the recovery over the next year or so, you die of something your immune system normally could handle. I know, for example, my aunt, who had diptheria and scarlet fever as a child, (possibly also tuberculosis? There are some translation issues) has had a delicate immune system for the rest of her life, and took months to recover from those illnesses, stuck in a hospital. I am sure during those periods of recovery, she was far more susceptible to whatever disease was floating around. (She was lucky, of my grandmas 4 kids, 2 died by age 3 of things we now vaccinate against, and several kids my dad knew were in a wheel chair from polio).
I think there was also some evidence about recent vaccination for tuberculosis being effective in reducing severity of infection from COVID, which was interesting.
One of the other interesting things about even incomplete vaccination success is the reduction of severity of infection. I am mildly immunocompromised, and ended up catching chicken pox as an adult, despite being vaccinated against it (we now know you need two doses for good long term immunity, i only got one). Instead of being this horrific experience as it often is for adult patients, i had a few (<10) itchy bumps, far milder than even most childhood cases.
Yes, and that correlates to what I've seen with flu shots over the years. I used to be very skeptical of flu shots because I knew that their efficacy was not high. I got one every year because I had to, but I wasn't really pushing it for generally healthy kids. Then in the past 7 years I've been in a private practice that is pretty good about giving flu vaccines to a significant number of the patients. I have noticed that even though a kid who got the flu shot might still come in with a fever, get swabbed and be positive for influenza, the quality and severity of their illness, compared to a kid who didn't get a flu shot, is striking.
When I was in med school, long long ago before rapid flu tests, I remember a professor said "If you are trying to decide if your patient has influenza, ask the patient if they want to die." The kids who come in unvaccinated with influenza are often just curled up in mom's lap, hiding their face on her chest or shoulder. They look like everything hurts. The kids who got a flu vaccine may say they have a headache (if they're old enough to talk), but they are interested in the toys, they're moving around the room. It's the difference between a 105F fever and a 101.5F fever. So, the kid who got a flu shot and then tested positive for the flu, technically that's a "fail" for the vaccine but experientially, they are having a much better time with it.
Similarly, your one varicella vaccine didn't give you complete immunity, but it made a difference. I took a class on vaccine development in like 1989, and I think they said that 75-90% of people gain immunity from the first of a three shot series, the second shot brings that up to 95% and the third one up to 98%. Every little bit helps, decisions about vaccine schedules are made based on public health calculations.
It was around a year after the vaccinations began that they made an extraordinary discovery: those who had been vaccinated against measles were 50% less likely to die than those who hadn’t. “It was stunning,” says Aaby – but not for the reasons you might at first think.
The thing is, measles was never killing anywhere near half of Guinea Bissau’s children. Based on the proportion who were dying of the disease originally, the vaccine should have been far less beneficial than it was. The numbers didn’t add up. “We were asking ourselves ‘How can this happen?’,” says Aaby.
In the large-scale trials that followed, it emerged that the vaccination was reducing the chances of children dying by a third (other studies led to significantly higher estimates) – while only 4% of this decline was explained by the fact that it was preventing them from catching measles. This is the power of a mysterious phenomenon Aaby has called “non-specific effects”.
The above was about the MMR vaccine, but other vaccines have had similar positive effects:
Research in Guinea-Bissau found that people with scars from the smallpox vaccine were up to 80% more likely to still be alive around three years after the study began, while in Denmark, scientists discovered that those who had the tuberculosis vaccine in childhood were 42% less likely to die of natural causes until they were 45 years old.
I need to find an article my boss shared with me about the MMR vaccine being protective against COVID-19. Remember that Navy ship that turned back to shore because COVID was spreading like wildfire on board? Hundreds were infected, but very few got seriously ill. It helps to be young and strong, but apparently it's routine for every new sailor to get an MMR vaccine, regardless of their immunization status. There's evidence that this made a difference...
The attenuated live vaccines may be more effective than killed vaccines in general, but I also saw a simple medical record study that showed hospitalized COVID patients who had gotten a flu shot (which is not a live vaccine) had better outcomes than COVID patients who had not gotten a flu shot.
I find it interesting that vaccines can be good for you just in general.
I have found a difference if I'm taking a vitamin with excessive amounts of the B vitamins. You know the kind that makes your pee a fluorescent greenish yellow? If I'm over-fortified to that extent, I think the B vitamins are exuded in my sweat as well as my urine and it changes my scent.
I go from being the first person bitten in a group to being among the last. I still get bitten, but not as much.
I ended up with a big mixing bowl full of roasted tomatoes and brownish juice. Next I run that through a tomato mill. I've learned to run it through three times. The strained sauce goes into a big slow cooker pan, to prep for canning.
While I am bringing the water to boil in the big canning pot, and cleaning/sterilizing the quart jars, the sauce is heating up in the slow cooker, set to "high." I use my oven to dry the clean jars, and I wear two pairs of medical gloves so I can pull the hot dry jar from the oven, set it down near the slow cooker and fill to 1/2 inch from the rim. Then the lid and ring go on and the jar goes into the rack over the bubbling water. I've got my tea kettle set to boil as well, in case I need more boiling water after all the jars are filled and lowered into the water. I want at least an inch of water over the tops of the jars.
I got 7 quarts of sauce, plus maybe 3 cups extra. I did a traditional water bath - 40 minutes at a rolling boil. It's so delicious from the browning reactions, and I never had to do any stirring at all!
I have a method for canning tomato sauce that is efficient in terms of effort, but maybe not in terms of time. I roast the tomatoes and then run them through a tomato mill to remove the skins and seeds.
So, I started with a box of "ugly" tomatoes - funky heirloom tomatoes from a local farmer. Red Truck Homestead posted that they were doing a pop-up shop at their home today (Sunday). The farmer's markets have all been cancelled due to the terrible smoke situation, but they had already picked tomatoes.
I showed up and was concerned because their stand looked super Portland, super fancy and the heirloom tomatoes were $3.50/lb. I asked if they had sauce tomatoes, and they answered "No, we just grow the heirloom tomatoes, no paste tomatoes."
However, I asked again if they had any seconds, any ugly tomatoes, and it turned out they had a whole box. I got 26+ lbs for $20 (plus a loaf of challah bread from Mt. Tabor bakery). I already had maybe 8 lbs of tomatoes from my garden cut up and roasting when I drove to their house so I think I used 34 lb of tomatoes, but don't quote me on that.
My mom had a pin cushion shaped like a tomato with a sand filled strawberry for cleaning the points of the pins and needles. My daughter is doing a lot of sewing and has made a pin cushion, I've been thinking we should attach a little sand bag. Any advice as to a particular sort of sand to put inside?
We don't require that patients sanitize their hands prior to being roomed or seen in our pediatric office. We do require that they wear masks. (My own pet peeve is those who get roomed and then remove their mask, subsequently filling the small, poorly ventilated space with whatever viruses they may be carrying. Yes, I ask them to put the mask back on, but it's frustrating - I spend my work day meeting 15-17 different groups of people in these tiny exam rooms. The windows don't open.)
I consider most of the surface cleaning to be security theater. There is very little evidence for COVID spreading via fomites. All evidence points towards airborne infection.
My personal theory is that there is a period of time, prior to developing any symptoms, that a person is like a dandelion of COVID, just spewing it all over the place. This is how you get all the "super spreader" events. But it's not happening the whole time they have it. The transmission rate to household members is surprisingly low - less than half. The effectiveness of simple cloth masks is surprisingly high.
Your mask is like your handkerchief. Wash it regularly, don't share with others, but it's not rocket science. There's good evidence that wearing a simple cloth mask lowers your chance of a severe infection and increases the likelihood that if you catch COVID, you will have a mild or asymptomatic infection. There is growing evidence that many "asymptomatic" infections damage the body, so the best thing is to not catch it at all, of course. We're still learning about the long term effects of this new infection, some people are sick for months.
Having your own hand sanitizer made from alcohol with some essential oil of white thyme might be a good strategy. Thymol is antiviral and antibacterial, I mix it with honey (just a few drops!!) for a powerful cough syrup, and it's got that medicinal smell to satisfy the receptionist. (Thymol is the active ingredient in Listerine.) I just looked it up and thymol is approved by the EPA as a COVID killing substance. So, there's that.
If you watch it and love it, you can buy lifetime digital access for $7, and now they have put together a big package of digital video content, including the full interviews with all the people in the movie, and some video courses on things like composting, gardening, and feeding your gut microbiome (that's Dr. Zach Bush) and you can get that for $67. It's all on the above page, just scroll down past the Vimeo window to see.
My understanding is that the green power house is located at a lumber mill, and is being fed the off-cuts, which are a waste stream of a lumber mill. It seems like there should be one of these at every current lumber mill, to mitigate the waste. What I found interesting was that the soil amendment, which was made from what was left over after making biodiesel from the algae, plus biochar? was super loved by Erik Cutter's plants.
It's systems feeding systems feeding systems, but in a more industrial context, not a horticultural or agricultural context. (I asked Paul about it at the staff meeting this morning, but he's not really interested in industrial solutions.)
This link is active again. They are selling the movie for $7, but you can watch it for free at the above link.
They're also selling a big packet of video content, including the full video of the various interviews from which they made the movie, and a few video courses on things like composting and gardening, also something from Dr. Bush on the gut microbiome, etc etc etc for $67.
I'm still curious to hear if anybody has visited this site, in Columbia Falls Montana at the Stoltze Land and Lumber Company. I asked Paul and it's not within his area of interest.
Although now that I think about it, it's kind of interesting that Mike Smith, the inventor of the green power house, started out as a computer programmer as well.
If you click on a person's name (on the left side of the screen), it will take you to a page that's all about that person. On the top right part of that page, there's a little picture of an envelope. Clicking on that will take you to a page where you sort of write an email to that person, but it's not an email, it's a direct message, or "purple moosage" to that person.
I get an email to tell me about new PMs, you may or may not have that set up. I sent you a PM to see.
I've been reading about BB's, and then I saw there's one that lined up with my dinner plans, and just needs photos. Terrific!
I made a "clean out the fridge" stir fry. We had 3 chicken thighs (to feed 4 people), a few mushrooms, a couple of bok choy, the paler inside of a bunch of celery getting soft in the veggie drawer. I added in one small carrot and a couple purple cabbage leaves for color. I cooked all that, in that order (saving the leafy part of the bok choy for last) and then realized I needed onion.
So, I pulled the mostly cooked vegetables into a container and started over with a thinly sliced onion (I'm using lard as my fat as I have a lot of it.) I then added one Anaheim pepper, left over from last night's enchiladas, and then the chicken, which had been cut into pieces and marinated in coco-aminos. I added diced garlic and ginger, also some peanut butter and hoisin sauce I made last year from plums and spices. Served it over white rice, cooked in the pressure cooker. We ate it all up, so I'll call that a success.
(Oops - the pictures are in reverse order. I'll keep learning....)
I had to look up symphylans - I don't think I've had a problem with them.
I think the main question for your gardening plans is - how's your sun exposure? You can improve the soil, but if your yard has giant trees (have you noticed how almost all the trees in Portland are giant?) then you will be growing greens, but not tomatoes. Land to the north of a building can grow veggies in the summer, but not at other times.
If the previous owner was regularly adding wood chips, and also a load of sand, but you think it feels like clay, it sounds like you are well on your way to good soil. I would plant some cover crops ASAP, also consider if you're going to do anything cool like build a hugelkultur berm.
I can't wait to see what happens with this really big hugelkultur berm! We built a nice medium sized hugelberm three years ago, and this summer it's been growing big artichokes and many, many perennial kale plants without any irrigation. I'll see if I can find a picture of that.
Here are some pictures I took of our hugelkultur berm in process:
As a doctor, it's wonderful when a patient (or a parent of a patient) wants to work on non-prescription responses to a problem. I'm a pediatrician, so I do a lot of "well child checks" and I get to talk about trying to create healthy habits for babies and kids.
The medical system in the United States doesn't encourage holistic care. When the HMOs showed up in the 1990's, everybody thought that this would be the way forward to rewarding preventative care - see, they're called Health Maintenance Organizations! There was this idea that a primary care doctor would be paid $X "per life" even if they never saw the patient (as long as the patient stayed out of the hospital? I'm not entirely sure how that worked).
Sadly, the HMO's quickly became horrible cost-cutting, corner-cutting machines, I think due to poor decisions at the upper management level. The horrific failed experiment of the "drive through delivery," where new moms were being discharged from the hospital 24 hours after delivering their baby, whether or not they were ready to do home, was apparently the product of HMO policies. A few dead babies and the resulting lawsuits brought that to a halt, and I think most of that sorry experiment was limited to California (in case you never heard of it, that's probably why).
So, we're mostly back to "fee for service," except for Kaiser, which is a closed system. I don't know that much about Kaiser, but I've heard they're having some trouble maintaining patient numbers.
In Oregon they use a public-private partnership system to administer Medicaid. There are multiple private, non-profit corporations that administer the Oregon Health Plan - OHP. For over thirty years, FamilyCare did a great job at this. It was like the folks in charge had read the research about what works for maximizing population health. They put an emphasis on primary care, and as part of that, they paid family doctors, internists and pediatricians well for seeing their patients. Our pediatric office is in Gresham, far from the hipster parts of Portland, and most of our patients have OHP insurance. We encouraged them to sign up for FamilyCare, because they paid us as much as Blue Cross for sick visits, well checks, etc. There were more barriers put up in front of specialist referrals, but we never had a problem with that, because if we were referring a kid to a specialist, they needed the special care and we could prove it. They also made it more difficult to get surgeries and MRI's, I think. Over the 30+ years they were in existence, the people they covered stayed healthier. Hurray, right? Nope. The state's response was to pay FamilyCare less.
FamilyCare was consistently paid the lowest of all the coordinated care organizations in 2015, 2016, and 2017 before moving up a notch to second-to last for 2018 -- rates it rejected as its board voted last month to fold. Greenlick justified these low rates by arguing that FamilyCare has a patient mix that is much healthier than its lead competitor, Health Share, as well as all the other 14 CCOs across Oregon.
FamilyCare engaged in multiple lawsuits against the state agency that sets the rates. At the end of 2017, they threatened to go bankrupt if they weren't given better rates. The state called their bluff, and poof, FamilyCare was gone. I was so glad I never followed through on my pipe dream of opening up a FamilyCare only clinic in the Cully neighborhood! Our office had to lay off several employees as our income dropped precipitously. I had to give up having a scribe, which is a young person who went with me to see patients and wrote up the note for me. Oh, that was so nice. . .
Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes organizations do the right thing, and when they do they don't get the reward and recognition they deserve. I hope we can continue to develop a health system that emphasizes health rather than quick fixes for symptoms.
It sounds like you have a great system! If you are getting the kitchen back to clean on a daily basis, you're doing better than me.
I've got two teenagers who only help with food preservation when a metaphorical gun is held to their head. (They help with meals, so it's not a complete loss, but food preservation is considered to be my thing.)
Update: I'm 5 months in to the COVID-19 weirdness, and still limiting my intake until 6pm. I've been doing this for what, 20 months? Started on January 1st, 2019.
On workdays I have coffee with half'n'half when I get a chance (one, maybe two cups), a latte' with probably 12oz of whole milk and 4 shots of espresso at 1pm, and no solids until 6pm. I share an office (I share a bizarre giant side-by-side desk, actually) and it doesn't bother me that my office mate is eating lunch nearby while I'm just having the latte. Really.
I typically have a snack at 6pm (nuts, dried shitake mushrooms, dried cheese are all things I have in my desk) while I'm working on charts, and then dinner with my family closer to 8pm these summer days. I'm not all that good about stopping at 9pm - it varies.
On other days I don't have any coffee, just the latte' and I still wait until 1pm. I may have water or tea prior to 1pm. I may have a snack at 6pm or I may just wait for dinner with my family. I have dessert if there is any - I don't try to limit intake in any way.
I was able to regain maybe 8 pounds between March and July. In July I did a few 2 day fasts and lost some of it again. I am not exercising like I should, not even close. I can't really say why - I think it's stress. Still, limiting my intake until after 6pm has been a really useful strategy for me. I don't get hungry until 5pm, and even then, it's not ridiculous. I never count calories, or fat grams, or anything else. I eat anything I want.
When I made kefir, I just added kefir grains to milk. I'm not sure what you mean by "double" fermentation? Also, it looks like this is your first and only post, so I'm confused about the reference to a thread made previously.
I got some kefir grains from a person with a kefir practice, I put them in a jar and covered them with cool milk. I kept them at 68-72F and to harvest the kefir I poured it through a sieve.
On the plus side, kefir is easier than yogurt - you don't have to heat up the milk before fermenting it. On the minus side, I couldn't get my kids to eat it, so eventually I stopped.
I’ve realized what I have taking over a lawn is not the mouse ear version, with netted roots. I have a hawkweed with a sturdy tap root. Yellow flower.
Last Sunday I filled a big lawn waste bin with hawkweed rosettes. I was using a curved serrated root knife to cut under the rosette diagonally and sever the taproot. I would then toss the rosettes- some with and some without flower stems, into the yard waste wheelie bin. That’s a lot of hawkweed! I still didn’t get it all. It wore me out.