I have had good success with Cedarcide, which is a cedar oil from Texas. I bought it to deal with wool moths (turn a banker box into a cedar trunk, sort of!) and also brought it along almost a dozen years ago when we took the kids to Disney World in Florida. Bedbugs in hotels were/are a thing.
When I visited family in Southern Illinois in August (deep deciduous forest, hot and humid - tick heaven) I sprayed my dog's feet and legs, and my feet and legs and of all the people that took a hike in the woods, we were the only ones who couldn't find any ticks afterwards.
Ticks don't drop down, they crawl up. The most ticks I've ever had on me was after walking through waist high grass in the San Francisco Bay area, so obviously humidity isn't needed for ticks to be numerous.
It's interesting to me that you say it gets easier after the 4th day of fasting, but then you say that you are choosing to fast 5 days each month.
Sounds like maximal willpower required!
I still have not gone more than 2 days without eating. I've gained a few pounds over the holidays so I'm thinking I should do something. . . .
My work is not physically demanding but it is mentally demanding, so I've been nervous to try going days without eating while I'm working. On the other hand, it's much easier for me to fast on work days because I'm busy and away from food (other than the omnipresent candy and frequent treats - I'm doing pretty well with those).
Ah, sugar. It was many years ago that I watched a lecture by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, that at that point had 3 million views (it's had 9.2 million views now):
It's a long video, but worth your time. In this, he explains that fructose, the part of sucrose (sugar) that makes it sweet, is as toxic to your liver as alcohol. He put up the Krebs cycle and showed why fructose can't go 'round like a glucose can. So, only the liver can metabolize fructose. Fructose doesn't make you drunk like alcohol, but it is metabolized in the same way as alcohol, and if you eat/drink too much fructose, you damage your liver.
Back in Wisconsin I had a morbidly obese teenager, over 300lbs and I checked some blood tests because I was worried about him developing type 2 diabetes. His hemoglobin A1C was high, but not at diabetic levels. However, his ALT and AST, the liver enzymes, were highly elevated, indicating hepatitis. He had no risk factors for infectious hepatitis. I referred him to a pediatric gastroenterologist, who performed a needle biopsy of his liver. The pathologist looked at the tissue from his liver and called it "non-alcoholic fatty liver syndrome," basically saying this teenager has a liver that looks like the liver of an alcoholic.
At the time I was still a bit of a sugar addict, and I was buying Agave syrup from Costco to sweeten my coffee. The label said it was a "low glycemic index sweetener" and that sounded good. After watching the video I realized that the reason that agave syrup has a low glycemic index is that it is almost all fructose, which is toxic. I stopped using the agave syrup. I learned to drink my coffee without sweetener.
Kyle Neath wrote:If you haven't read the book this is from (1491), I'd definitely suggest it. (snip)
Once I was able to rearrange my perspective from Americans were technologically behind Europeans to Americans were innovating in food while Europeans were innovating in war, it really helped a lot of things click into place in my head.
That is an excellent formulation, I might steal that! (As you can tell from my previous post, I steal wonderful phrases all the time.)
"Many parts of the Americas now thought of as pristine forest are really abandoned gardens," Christopher Fisher, an archaeologist at Colorado State University who was not involved in the study, told The Wall Street Journal.
The Amazon rainforest, once thought of as completely untouched before European colonization except by small bands of hunter-gatherers, may actually have supported a kind of large-scale sustainable agriculture that influences the growth of the forest to this day.
"The forest is an artifact of modification," de Souza, the study's lead author, told The Washington Post. "It has nothing to do with the kind of practice we are seeing nowadays — large-scale, clearing monoculture. These people were combining small-scale agriculture with management of useful tree species. So it was more a sustainable kind of land use."
A lot of environmentalists like the idea of removing humans from places. I think what we're learning is that humans can make things better as well as making things worse. One of my favorite permaculture ideas is to stop worrying only about your footprint and start worrying about your handprint. What can each of us do to maximize photosynthesis?
I truly think the solution to the world's problems can be found in a garden, if you define garden as land where humans influence how things grow.
I'd encourage you to read the article, it's very interesting. Nobody is saying that humans planted the entire Amazon, the conservative estimate is 12% Given the lifespan of trees, that's not so hard to imagine.
Another similar lesser known fact is that the "Great Dying" in the Americas after the introduction of European diseases led to such regrowth of forest that it likely caused the mini Ice Age of the late 1500's and early 1600's
“The great dying of the indigenous peoples of the Americas resulted in a human-driven global impact on the Earth system in the two centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution,” wrote the UCL team of Alexander Koch, Chris Brierley, Mark Maslin and Simon Lewis.
The drop in temperature during this period is known as the “Little Ice Age”, a time when the River Thames in London would regularly freeze over, snowstorms were common in Portugal and disrupted agriculture caused famines in several European countries.
Humans have been influencing the climate for a long time. I find this hopeful. I think we can save the planet by transforming scrubland, currently with very little photosynthesis going on, to grasslands and forest. We need to get on this!
I don't think intermittent fasting will make your poo black. Black sticky poo can be from bleeding of the stomach or intestine. Black poo with a more normal texture can be from iron supplements, or other things you ate.
It's pretty easy to check for the presence of heme in stool - I think any primary care doctor can do it.
Before it became the New World, the Western Hemisphere was vastly more populous and sophisticated than has been thought—an altogether more salubrious place to live at the time than, say, Europe. New evidence of both the extent of the population and its agricultural advancement leads to a remarkable conjecture: the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact
(You can read 4 articles/month for free from The Atlantic, FYI)
I just read this 17 yr old article and thought I should share it. It goes over the theory that the Americas were as heavily populated as Europe back in the 1500's and 1600's, but the introduction of European diseases (by explorers and by the pigs they brought with them) devastated the native populations.
I have previously heard that much of the "untrammeled wilderness" of America "discovered" by Europeans, was actually tended by humans. In the Pacific Northwest, the people kept the Douglas Fir in check, because it wasn't useful to them. Edible Camas flowers were encouraged, on the other hand.
I hadn't heard that there's evidence the Amazon rain forest is maybe the world's biggest forest garden.
For many millennia the cave's inhabitants hunted and gathered for food. But by about 4,000 years ago they were growing crops—perhaps as many as 140 of them, according to Charles R. Clement, an anthropological botanist at the Brazilian National Institute for Amazonian Research. Unlike Europeans, who planted mainly annual crops, the Indians, he says, centered their agriculture on the Amazon's unbelievably diverse assortment of trees: fruits, nuts, and palms. "It's tremendously difficult to clear fields with stone tools," Clement says. "If you can plant trees, you get twenty years of productivity out of your work instead of two or three."
Planting their orchards, the first Amazonians transformed large swaths of the river basin into something more pleasing to human beings. In a widely cited article from 1989, William Balée, the Tulane anthropologist, cautiously estimated that about 12 percent of the nonflooded Amazon forest was of anthropogenic origin—directly or indirectly created by human beings. In some circles this is now seen as a conservative position. "I basically think it's all human-created," Clement told me in Brazil. He argues that Indians changed the assortment and density of species throughout the region. So does Clark Erickson, the University of Pennsylvania archaeologist, who told me in Bolivia that the lowland tropical forests of South America are among the finest works of art on the planet.
At the end, there's an interesting idea presented that some of the species present in huge numbers when the settlers arrived: bison, elk, passenger pigeons - were all having population explosions because the humans that had kept their numbers in check for ages were suddenly gone.
Anyway, it's a very interesting article and I recommend it.
I've had a similar experience: my waist has gotten thinner even when my weight has held steady.
I'm finishing my 10th month of eating "one meal a day." To be more precise, I'll have coffee (with half and half) in the morning at work, a latter (with whole milk, made at home and brought to work) for lunch, but I don't eat any solids until 6pm.
On work days, I usually have some mixed nuts after 6pm. Our family eats dinner pretty late, usually not until 7pm and sometimes not until 8:30pm. I eat dinner with my family. Sometimes I make myself a sweet thing after dinner - this was brownie in a cup for a while, more recently decaf black tea with honey. Then I don't eat again until the next day at 6pm.
Still working great. I went to New Orleans for three days, had three very nice meals, and actually lost half a pound (because I really did walk almost 6 miles each day). Travelling is easy when you don't have to worry about feeding yourself. It's good to know you could go a whole day without eating and you'll be fine.
I second PokPok. I think Alberta Street in NE Portland, between 15th and 25th (roughly) is an excellent slice of Portland life. Salt and Straw, near 21st on Alberta, is another big Portland thing - it's gourmet and unusual ice cream.
If you like planned city parks, Laurelhurst Park is a gorgeous place to spend some time. You can take a stroll, have a picnic, watch people, watch dogs. . . (from Wikipedia:)
Laurelhurst Park is a city park in the neighborhood of Laurelhurst in Portland, Oregon. The 26.81-acre (10.85 ha) park was acquired in 1909 from the estate of former Portland mayor William S. Ladd. The City of Portland purchased the land in 1911, and the following year park superintendent Emanuel Mische designed the park in accordance with the Olmsted Plan.
In 1919, the Pacific Coast Parks Association named Laurelhurst Park the "most beautiful park" on the West Coast, and in February 2001 it was the first city park ever to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
So, the trees planted for this park are now over a hundred years old. If you like lovely old houses, the homes around and especially to the north of Laurelhurst Park are very nice.
One great thing about Portland is the bike system. There are neighborhood greenways - city streets that are set up as bike "highways." They get priority over cross streets (no stop signs) and when they cross busy car streets, there are special crosswalks and buttons you can push that STOP the cars pretty quickly.
There's a bike share system, so you can rent a bike easily. I do recommend some biking.
I don't think stripping the natural oils from your face helps. There are people getting great results washing their face with water and oil. Seriously. You splash water on your face, then a few drops of oil onto your hands, then rub that all over to loosen up dirt and oil, then rinse with hot water.
Powell's is still there, still huge, still awesome.
What do you like? Portland is a great place to try unusual food. It's a great place to find unusual clothes (if you like that sort of thing). There are amazing ferny hikes. You're not that far from the ocean and if you don't get to the ocean much, you should allow a day trip to the coast at least. You could drive to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood and see snow and eat a nice meal in a gorgeous WPA project (if you're into 1930's timber framing and craftmanship).
What about measuring the amount of fuel required to bake a pizza, and compare to the amount of fuel needed to bake a pizza with a cob oven (if you can find a cob oven - where I live in Portland Oregon that wouldn't be hard).
I am eagerly looking forward to seeing pictures of that gorgeous pit garden (I think even the circular walls are beautiful) after there have been some rains!
I want to second the request for regular pictures taken from the same location. Humans respond well to "before" and "after" pictures. Taking the picture on the same calendar day every year, or like you said previously, every 6 months.
Probably 15 years ago I bought a VitaPrep, which was Vitamix's professional version. It lasted maybe 12 years, which I guess is pretty good. I hear that there are 20 and 30 yr old Vitamix blenders still going strong.
Now I have a Vitamix, purchased at Costco, and it's fine. We bought a stainless steel container for it, for a plastic free experience. This is an expensive route, though.
If you could find an old Vitamix in good shape, that would be an excellent purchase. I think the best bet would be estate sales.
Paul and I talked about dealing with all the hawkweed in our pastures in a podcast (not yet released). We have a 40 acre property south of Portland in Beavercreek. It has 15+ acres of pasture, and there's a lot of hawkweed. Also Queen Anne's lace, or wild carrot. Also Doug firs, although those aren't in the pastures!
I'm hearing that it grows in acidic infertile soils: check, check. Paul pointed out that in the area where we had the cattle while we were feeding hay last winter, there is no hawkweed. I don't think cow poop is basic, but it certainly increases the fertility of the soil, particularly combined with the hay they wasted.
We scattered crimson clover and rye seed on this area of compacted and almost completely bare soil this spring, and it's mostly growing those two species. The rest of the pastures are going golden with the seasonal lack of rain, but that area is impressively green in comparison. So, one strategy is to locate the small cattle herd (<10 Dexter cattle, so a small herd of small cows) on the worst patch of hawkweed this winter.
Curious to see if anybody has come up with new strategies in the past few years.
The bricks are held together with a clay slurry. It's bright white because when building the oven we used a bag of purchased clay, like for making pottery. I'm thinking it's porcelain clay or pure kaolin, given the color.
Yes, I think the blocks surrounding the duraboard are just concrete. They are protected from the heat by the duraboard.
Same same - I'm hypermobile and I never had a systolic BP over 100 until I was 37 yrs old and pregnant.
Drinking LOTS of fluids is helpful, and have as much salt as you want. Limiting salt is helpful for just some people, those who are "salt sensitive." Telling the whole population to avoid salt is a bad idea.
Back in high school I was on a low salt diet because my dad had high blood pressure and my mom put us all on a low salt diet. I often had the experience of jumping up from the couch to get the phone (yes children, the phone was on the wall, in another room, in the early 1980's) and having to grab something as I felt woozy and had gone temporarily blind. Never learned the Valsalva technique, but it's intriguing.
I googled Michael Mosley and it looks like he wrote a book about 5:2 fasting and made a bunch of money. He's now pushing a new book where you do a couple of weeks of 800 calories per day, then I think follow up with 5:2 for maintenance. He looks thin and healthy, so there's that.
r ranson wrote:Today I'm watching the BBC documentary: Eat, Fast and Live Longer
I would love to see a follow-up documentary - how is he doing 8 years later?
What I'm getting out of this the most is that there are a lot of different meanings of the word 'fasting'.
Some fasting is water only
some fasting allows food consumption.
I watched that documentary months ago, when I was first researching fasting, but I just watched it again and it's still super interesting. I want to get my IGF-1 level checked! (I don't think that's a routine blood test, however.) I am also interested in seeing what Michael is doing 8 years on.
It does seem like there are many ways to define fasting - it could be zero calories, or it could be 25% of normal (that's what the goal was on the alternate day protocol). I find it comfortable to do the same thing every day, but I wonder if I'm missing out on some effects that come from longer fasts. (I have done a few almost 2 day fasts.)
I definitely feel like I've lost the fat in my belly the most, and that's terrific, and I think that's because of the fasting.
I clean out the ash by scraping it forward with something flat and small enough to fit in the burn tunnel, like a cedar shingle. Then I lift the ash out where the wood goes in. I don't have an ash door - this is a very simple design. It's working great.
We are using a wooden frame for the oven. The J-tube is duraboard supported by bricks - you can definitely build your J-tube from firebrick if you plan on a permanent installation. (The duraboard version helps if you want your rocket oven to be mobile, like the one Paul has up at the Lab.)
Do NOT look for a hi temperature cement to use in place of cob. Cob is not hard. You need SHARP sand (not sandbox sand) and clay and chopped straw, there are recipes all over the place.
Just to keep updating this thread, I'm generally down 20 pounds now, sometimes up to 23 pounds of weight loss from January. I've had one meal a day (or less) ever since January. I've gone two days between meals a few times, never more than that. On Wednesday I ate too much (I brought a bunch of leftover Chipotle food home from the office to feed my family, and after dinner my 16 yr old had a long talk with me during which I finished off ALL the guacamole, on chips). On Thursday, when I got home from work, my 13 yr old was heating up leftovers and burning a bagel, but there was no sign of an organized meal, so I went up to my bedroom to work on charts. When my husband came up to say hello, I said I was thinking about just not eating, and I did. He ended up cooking steaks for himself and the 16 yr old, but I declined.
I'm impressed with how easy it was. (Maybe it helped that the kitchen smelled of burnt toast, but later on it smelled delicious.) I just stayed away from the kitchen and worked on my computer, then went to bed. The next day, yesterday, I was fine. I noticed hunger a bit more, like when I drove my 16 yr old to a sewing lesson I was noting restaurants that looked good (crepes!) but nothing terrible. Then we went out to eat last night to celebrate a birthday.
Today I'm at 21 pounds down, so I think the extra day of fasting mostly just helped to counteract the overeating on Wednesday (and Friday). Oh, and I wore a sundress yesterday that I haven't worn in probably 10 years, so that was cool. My clothes hoarding tendencies are now useful, as I just transition back into smaller clothes that I had packed away.
I've been fighting some terrible summer cold (it felt like influenza, in the first week) and my exercise routines have sort of fallen apart, but since I'm still doing intermittent fasting, that hasn't led to any weight gain. I think exercise is good for your health, but it's unlikely to lead to weight loss. I'm continuing with two yoga classes a week, but I haven't been on the treadmill since before my trip to New York.
I'm still pondering an extended fast. I'm out of PTO for the year, so I will likely be alone for a week or more in August when the rest of my family travels to California to see relatives. I'm thinking that would be a good time to do a longer fast. I have a bunch of bone broth in the deep freeze, which I could have instead of dinner. I would add salt to the broth, that seems to minimize side effects of longer fasts, according to those with more experience. I could easily lose another 10-20 pounds and still be a healthy weight. When I was young, I weighed 40 pounds less than I do right now. I was also ridiculously skinny, despite eating all the things, all the time. I don't really want to get that thin again - I'm not any taller than I was then, but I am bigger. People's bodies, particularly their rib cages, do continue to grow. But, losing more weight would be nice - I'm enjoying it thus far.
I can't believe it's this easy to lose weight. I know it sounds really hard (not eating) but the simplicity makes it easy. I get a bit of hormesis every day, and that's a good thing.
Fascinating project, I don’t know if it’s starting or still needs funding.
A quote (I’m on my phone and don’t see how to format this):
“My own journey has led me to understand that it is possible to rehabilitate large-scale degraded landscapes, including restoring vast areas degraded over historical time. I have also learned that while this is possible, it is in no way easy. There are certain natural principles that it is necessary to understand—including that biodiversity, biomass, and accumulated organic matter are central to evolutionary outcomes and ecological function. When humans shift away from this scenario to degradation of these essential processes, it inevitably leads to ecosystem collapse.”
I have now gone longer than just a day three times. The first time I was out busy in the garden, got hungry about 5:30pm and texted my husband, but got no response. Both kids were eating with friends so I just kept working in the garden (I can get a bit obsessive with the ol' chop n drop) until I noticed it was getting dark. Here in northern Oregon that meant it was 9pm, so I just decided not to eat. I was a little concerned I'd have a hard time at work the next day, but I was fine. This almost 2 day fast dropped my weight about 3 pounds.
I noticed that according to my fancy scale (it tells me my total weight and then it tells me how many pounds of fat I have) I am burning 3-4 pounds of fat every day, and then re-making that fat at night after eating. So I suppose it makes sense if I can go two days, I will drop 3 pounds.
I'm at a retreat at the Omega Institute in the Hudson River Valley (beautiful). I ate dinner with friends in New York City Saturday, then spent Sunday traveling north. I decided not to eat Sunday as I didn't have any really good options. Then this morning I noticed that breakfast is the only meal here where they offer animal products (eggs and cheese). So, I've decided to switch my single meal to breakfast. We'll see how it goes! I'll probably feel hungry tonight at 6pm, but there's lots to do here, I should be fine. Hunger never goes on and on, it just pipes up for a while and then settles. At least, that's what it does for me, since I've got all this fat to burn. That's what it's for, after all.
The myth of kudzu has indeed swallowed the South, but the actual vine’s grip is far more tenuous.
In news media and scientific accounts and on some government websites, kudzu is typically said to cover seven million to nine million acres across the United States. But scientists reassessing kudzu’s spread have found that it’s nothing like that. In the latest careful sampling, the U.S. Forest Service reports that kudzu occupies, to some degree, about 227,000 acres of forestland, an area about the size of a small county and about one-sixth the size of Atlanta. That’s about one-tenth of 1 percent of the South’s 200 million acres of forest. By way of comparison, the same report estimates that Asian privet had invaded some 3.2 million acres—14 times kudzu’s territory. Invasive roses had covered more than three times as much forestland as kudzu.
And though many sources continue to repeat the unsupported claim that kudzu is spreading at the rate of 150,000 acres a year—an area larger than most major American cities—the Forest Service expects an increase of no more than 2,500 acres a year.
The hype didn’t come out of nowhere. Kudzu has appeared larger than life because it’s most aggressive when planted along road cuts and railroad embankments—habitats that became front and center in the age of the automobile. As trees grew in the cleared lands near roadsides, kudzu rose with them. It appeared not to stop because there were no grazers to eat it back. But, in fact, it rarely penetrates deeply into a forest; it climbs well only in sunny areas on the forest edge and suffers in shade.
Still, along Southern roads, the blankets of untouched kudzu create famous spectacles. Bored children traveling rural highways insist their parents wake them when they near the green kudzu monsters stalking the roadside. “If you based it on what you saw on the road, you’d say, dang, this is everywhere,” said Nancy Loewenstein, an invasive plants specialist with Auburn University. Though “not terribly worried” about the threat of kudzu, Loewenstein calls it “a good poster child” for the impact of invasive species precisely because it has been so visible to so many.