Author Topic: Lex's Journal  (Read 523298 times)

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Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2000 on: September 29, 2016, 12:27:47 am »
Sabertooth.  Thanks for the detailed reply.  What you say makes a lot of sense. Get ready for it...  here is comes.... OK Now comes the "BUT"...

When I was younger (late teens through my thirty's) I was hung up on "perfection".  I was convinced that if I just ate the right foods, did the correct exercises, drank the purest water, that I'd live in robust health forever. I had the diet gurus telling me so.  Then I got older and things started going wrong, even though I was surely doing everything right.  How could this be?

The initial flaw in my thinking was that I knew what was right.  Clearly I didn't. At least if doing what was right meant that I'd live in robust health forever - or at least a very long time.

My next issue was how could people do so well on such a varied playing field. Eating all the wrong foods, sitting on the couch watching TV, and drinking beer, and sodas.  Many of these people were living as long or longer and in as good health as those of us that were doing everything right.  I'm still scratching my head over this one.

In your examples of allowing our food animals to eat their natural diet in unfettered circumstances is a wonderful ideal, but what does it gain us.  The Inuit certainly ate free range animals and their average lifespan was into their 80's - very much the same as the soda and beer swilling couch potatoes I described above.

The Garden of Eden you describe doesn't exist anywhere on this earth.  Every bio-habitat or region has it's own strengths and weaknesses.  All the wonderful herbs may be present but the soil may be missing one or more key nutrients.  The soil may also be contaminated by such substances as lead, arsenic, or some other bad thing that will be taken up by the animal either directly through consuming bits of dirt or through the plants they eat.

The wonder of it all is that despite everything being less than perfect, we seem to do rather well.  It is the fact that perfection is not required that makes animal and plant life so amazing.

The opposite side of the coin is also interesting.  Even if everything is perfect, assuming we even know what perfect is, we will live our same life span - say into our 80's or 90's.  Maybe in slightly better health assuming all the natural destructive elements all around us in our food and environment (the sun?)don't do us in, but none the less our lives are finite. 

So for me it comes down to a matter of degree.  It makes sense to me to eat as close to the diet we evolved on, food that eats as close as possible to the diet it evolved on, but as you get closer to perfection - assuming we know what perfection is - there are diminishing returns.  I think the oldest (validated) recorded living human is 120 years and 4 months.  There are people all over the planet, eating a wide variety of diets, and yet none have exceeded this age.  Many people today, again on varied (and some might think terrible) diets live into their early 100's.

So, let's say you find a way to meet your idea of a Utopian food source.  What do you expect to gain? Will it be worth the time and effort expended?  At 65, I'm faced with my mortality.  I have less time to go than I've already lived. If my genetic history has any bearing then maybe only 20 years or so.  No male member of my family has lived beyond 85, and most died in their 70's. Very sobering.  The question I have to ask myself is do I want to spend the next 20 years totally focused on trying to find or live some idea of perfection in an effort to gain an additional 5 years of life?  I've answered that for myself with a resounding NO!

For me it is quality of life. Right now.  Today.   I'm committed to doing practical things within my modern environment that will give me the best quality of life possible for whatever the remaining duration is.  I'm fine with dying tomorrow (or this afternoon) from a massive heart attack or stroke, because yesterday (or so far today) I'm doing everything I want to do. 

This implies that what I don't want to spend my remaining time doing is obsessing over my diet.  I eat my food (which I've chosen with the best information I have available, and from what is readily available in modern commerce), and then I spend the rest of my time on family and other interests.

Your choices are surely different from mine.  That's OK.  The only thing I'd ask you to consider is, if you are able look back in 30-40 years at what you've spent your life doing, will you find it time well spent?  Will the commitment be worth the reward?

So each of us must decide for ourselves,

Lex

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2001 on: September 29, 2016, 12:39:12 am »
TylerD! so good to see you're still around and as cogent as ever. Thanks for stopping by.

I agree that our food animals should eat as close as possible to their natural diets.  Commercial Chicken Chow is far removed from what wild chickens eat.  I find it humorous that the state of California has decreed that no eggs may be sold from caged chickens.  However, chickens in large open pens eating Chicken Chow is somehow more humane and better for us.

Such is the hubris and ignorance of our leaders,

Lex

Offline ys

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2002 on: September 29, 2016, 01:29:44 am »
How is your prostate after that procedure you went through?

Offline sabertooth

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2003 on: September 29, 2016, 03:28:47 am »
The perspective I am attempting to cultivate takes into consideration many of the points you have made, and Ive shared many of the same realizations, but there is something more difficult to explain I am attempting to communicate, which takes a little stretch of the imagination to follow. Its the spirit of the maxim "In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation." Though I see the irony in how even this insight could not protect the Natives from progress....and I personally fall short of doing this in some way just about every day.

I agree following gurus and eating what is deemed a pure diet by "nutritional science" hacks, then experiencing that they all failed to provide the ideal results, can make one question the rational of seeking such ideals or truths in a world of confusion, but this does not mean that there isn't an ideal to strive for, or a truth to stand for. The human mind is just not capable of taking in all the factors involved as it works out ways to decouple itself from nature, and so the results of even the "wisest" of lifestyle choices can be easily fouled up by the invisible variables which constitute the unknown and unknowable. 

I am in no way a fundamentalist who believes that there is only one singular ideal, because I know what is optimal in one environment is detrimental in another. What is heaven in one persons mind would be hell to another.... Still it seems there must be a larger unifying force that connects us to the life and the health of our earth? When I look out over land that a few generations ago was wild ecosystems and see the pinned up animals, in between fields of round up soy and corn that seem to go on forever, in a wasteland were no other life is permitted to trespass....I get a feeling of foreboding....as if our living world is undergoing a forced mechanized metamorphosis....which alas may be part of the inevitability of fate.
 
This is where larger perspectives are needed for greater understanding of our all too human dilemma. On the one side I agree, it does seem fruitless to struggle against the tides of a changing world out of clinging to ones ideals, but on the other-side it also seems like a waste of human potential to allow our progeny to be degraded and desecrated to lower forms without a struggle....the ideal in my mind would be to live a life thats balanced somewhere between the extremes.

Regardless of what happens life will find a way, but what kind our future will be inherited, and is there anyway we can alter it with our personal life choices?

There is this notion that perhaps it is not my purpose to stop progress. Life is a quantum force riding a wave of mutilation, and it will in some shape or form flow on regardless...but perhaps there is a purpose to be found in playing the role as an intermediary between the natural world and the mechanical civilization. We must hold back the machines from certain areas of a biological critical nature( such as food production, and in our own environmental spaces) long enough for our technical civilization to mature and begin to integrate technological advances in more balanced ways and with less destructive effects on the biological matrix. 


A man who makes a beast of himself, forgets the pain of being a man.

Offline Eric

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2004 on: September 29, 2016, 04:46:18 am »
I've long since given up on the idea that there's a perfect diet, either in general or for anyone in particular. The human body is very adaptable, and any individual person could probably live well on multiple different diets. Finding a diet that renders us free of disease is a useless ideal, in my opinion. This isn't to dismiss the value of eating clean, whole food, obviously. Just that it's important not to view diet as a perpetual work-in-progress rather than to turn it into a dogmatic ideology.

I honor Derek's pursuit of a better relationship with the landscape one inhabits. That's a huge driving force behind my dietary choices too. The healthy diet that one piece of land can provide might (and most likely will) be very different from the one another can, though.

Here in Vermont, for instance, there are a lot of farmers growing grass to feed cattle. But is the northeast really the place for cattle? Cattle are grazers, and prior to the introduction of domestic sheep and later cattle with the Europeans there were no large grazing animals here. None! Perhaps a wood bison wandered into the state once in a blue moon, but they were never here frequently enough for the resident indigenous peoples to even create a word for them. Given this reality, I don't think cattle have a place here. They're only here now because farmers force the landscape to be something they can inhabit, force the land to be pasture when it wants to become savannah or forest. What did live here? Browsers, like caribou, elk, deer and moose, all of which do very well in forests and savannahs. A grazer is very different, ecologically, from a browser.

Perhaps what Derek means by "beyond grass fed" is to rekindle an awareness of the ecological appropriateness of food animals?
Eric Garza
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Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2005 on: September 30, 2016, 01:11:00 am »
Sabertooth - I wish you well on your personal quest.  Right now I'm satisfied with the choices available to me in my current environment.  They meet my minimal needs, and I'm not sure that seeking an incremental improvement is a good use of my remaining time.  I'd rather spend it on other pursuits.

There is some truth to the saying "Shoot for the stars and with luck you'll hit the moon", I'm glad you have the energy and interest to do so.  It's how progress is made.  I'm beyond making progress.  I'm at the point in my life where I'm happy just to have the strength to continue hanging on by my fingertips.

Lex

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2006 on: September 30, 2016, 01:13:39 am »
Very wise words Eric.

Lex

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2007 on: September 30, 2016, 11:07:41 am »
Elk are grazers though, so are turkeys. Actually for that matter elk weren't in the americas 20000 years ago but horses were. Did the natives have a name for mammoth, ground sloth, giant armadillo, giant beaver etc?

Offline TylerDurden

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“The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. "Ayn Rand

Offline Eric

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2009 on: September 30, 2016, 08:11:14 pm »
And I would add that elk are browsers, not grazers, as RF asserts. You don't see herds of elk grazing in prairies like bison do, or like antelope. They form herds, much like deer, that move through forests browsing on herbs, fungi and shrubs, mostly, with mast, bark and other things making up important parts of their diet seasonally. Sure, they'll eat grass occasionally, but it's not their mainstay.
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Offline Eric

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2010 on: October 01, 2016, 07:40:15 am »
And I will further add that after a bit more research, I've found a few sites that suggest elk are both grazers and browsers, so it appears that both I and RF are correct on this front.
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Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2011 on: October 02, 2016, 06:48:58 am »
Interesting discussion on browsers vs grazers.  I would imagine that fauna that inhabit an area would be determined by the indigenous flora.  For me, the important question is, do I care which I eat since both are easily available in our modern food delivery system?  If so, why?  If not, why bring it up?

Paper describing b vs g in detail:

http://nature.berkeley.edu/classes/espm-186/Unit_II_(cont)_files/grazer%20v.%20browser.pdf

Offline sabertooth

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2012 on: October 02, 2016, 01:00:48 pm »
Grazing animals migration patterns have been shown to be in part directed by soil mineral composition as well as the actual kinds of forage available. There are higher levels of sensitivity which guide the food choices of both browsers and grazers... one might even suggest that (as is below so is above) in the food chain....and its likely the highest of apex predators (grazed on the grazers) and (browsed on the browsers) in their own quest for optimal balance.

Purely instinctive practices such as "prey grazing" have been almost entirely forgotten by even the most re-wilding enthusiast among us. After a lifetime of hunting wild game, it seems reasonable to assume that one would develop a taste for the optimal kill, and our ancestors would have sought out the best flesh the environment had to offer, and would be willing to chase it to the ends of the earth if need be.

Just as grazing and browsing animals would be driven by craving to seek out a certain variety of forage, so would the Hunter Gatherers seek out different types of animal flesh. Being highly adaptable, our hungry ancestors would have likely eaten whatever they could catch.... lightly grazing on wild birds, reptiles, fish and smaller mammals, as well as the mega fauna...Haven tasted everything Paleo Eden had to offer they must have developed their own instinctive preferences, which would direct them to drop everything and run off for days if they sighted the optimal animal that would satisfy that carving for the richest and most nourishing flesh possible.

I personally value taste, and if the animal taste bad I wont try another from the same flock, and have even thrown out entire animals if the taste was not right. Within the modern meat market situation, paying by the pound, most people seem content to chow on what ever the market has to offer, and very few venture to such lengths as to seek out and kill their own animals, in their natural habitat, but I have and the experience has lead me to be much more discerning in my choices.

There are markers of health and vitality in each animal which can be seen by those with eyes to see.... the brightness of the eyes, the body shape and composition, the skin and coat, the hoofs, the smell of the animal, the composition of the pasture....these factors must of been observed by our ancestors as well and guided their own decisions when choosing their optimal prey animals.
A man who makes a beast of himself, forgets the pain of being a man.

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2013 on: October 03, 2016, 06:19:07 am »
@Sabertooth - thanks for the interesting post.  I guess I'm more of a deadend kid.  I'm afraid my palate is not all that sensitive to subtle differences in taste.  Some here say they can tell the difference between fresh and frozen then thawed meat.  I suppose, side by side, I might be able to tell the difference, but when I'm hungry, I don't care, all I want is to eat and satiate my hunger, and when I'm not hungry, I don't care because I'm not hungry and won't eat no matter how good it tastes.

As a hunter I expect I'm in the opportunist category.  Assuming I'm hungry and haven't eaten in awhile, I'll kill and eat anything that holds still long enough.  If I'm not hungry I'd like to think that I'm like the industrious ant, working to put away food for lean times, but alas I'm probably more like the grasshopper, wondering where summer went and will probably spend the winter eating whatever i can scavenge.

As a paleo hunter, with not much more than a rock and sharp stick as my weapons and tools, I'm inclined to think that I'd have preferences, mostly based on the size of the animal and the fact that larger meant I'd have to hunt less often, (in my experience humans are lazy by nature), but most likely would eat whatever I could kill.

In any case, I'm not sure I'd pass up a meal because the animal I took down was a browser and not a grazer (or visa versa), but it is interesting to contemplate.

Lex

Offline Celeste

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2014 on: October 11, 2016, 07:37:06 am »
Hi Lex,
I was wondering if the shift in your bone density occurred while you were using salt, or before, or if it really does not make a difference. Do you still test for bone density? If so, how?
Thanks,
Celeste

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2015 on: October 18, 2016, 04:35:38 am »
@Celeste - Hi Celeste! I use lots of salt and have for many years now.  In the very beginning (2005-2007) I started getting nighttime leg cramps which got worse as time went on.  When I started adding salt they went away.  I think that was in 2007/2008 time frame.

A couple of weeks ago I had an ultrasonic bone density test where they check your heel bone.  They won't do a DEXA scan unless the ultrasonic shows a problem.  The heel bone came out above normal (+0.43 on the left foot and +0.57 on the right) so that's all I know.  To get anything more I'd have to pay out of pocket.  I also don't know what "above normal" means exactly.  I don't know if it is age adjusted so I'm better than most 65 year olds, or if it is better than most people of any age.

The machine gives a reading between +1 and -10 with 0 being "normal".

Lex

Offline sabertooth

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2016 on: October 18, 2016, 06:18:55 am »
Ive dealt with similar leg cramping issues, especially in the summer when I sweat out all my mineral salts.

For me drinking blood is the optimal way to remedy that situation, because the blood contains all the mineral salts the body needs, already assimilated into an optimal ratio. Blood contains more salts than the tissue, and when animals are butchered and hanged to drain, the mineral salt level drops below what would optimal sustain a raw low carb diet, so additional salt may be necessary in the long term, if blood isn't an option.

Lex, what kind of salt do you use?

I do get cravings for salt every now and then, and am curious as to finding the salts that would go best in some home made Paleo bratwurst.

A man who makes a beast of himself, forgets the pain of being a man.

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2017 on: October 18, 2016, 06:49:03 am »
@Sabertooth - haven't gone the blood route.  Not readily available and whatever I do has to be convenient or I just won't do it.

As for salt I take two approaches:
1) I use one of the unrefined "sea" or mountain salts when adding salt to food.  I probably add about 1/2 tsp to things on a typical day.  These salts have a lot of trace minerals that are removed from normal table salt.  Not sure if it makes much difference, but I spend the extra money on the premium salts anyway.
 
2) I make and drink chicken broth everyday.  I have a large grinder that I made for grinding jerky for pemmican and other odd uses.  I grind whole chickens bones and all, throw them in a large pot, add 1 quart of water per pound of chicken, 1/4 cup vinegar to help dissolve the bones, and then simmer, covered, on low heat for 24 hours.  I loose about 2 qts liquid over 24 hrs so if I start with 10 lbs of ground chicken and 10 quarts of water I end up with 8 finished quarts of broth. I strain out the solids and put the broth in pint deli containers which provides two 8oz servings and freeze.  As I use one container over two days I have one thawing next to it in the fridge.

To serve, I put 8 oz in a glass or mug, add 2-3 tablespoons of grass-fed butter ( usually KerryGold salted),  nuke in the microwave for about 2 minutes, then whip with a stick blender and add additional salt to taste. I use this as my morning beverage as I don't like coffee.

Lex

Offline Eric

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2018 on: April 24, 2017, 04:54:56 am »
...Just that it's important not to view diet as a perpetual work-in-progress rather than to turn it into a dogmatic ideology...

I realize there's a typo in this sentence. It should read: "Just that it's important to view diet as a perpetual work-in-progress rather than to turn it into a dogmatic ideology." Too bad we can't go back and edit old posts.
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Offline Grey-Cup

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #2019 on: October 15, 2017, 08:06:07 pm »
Hello Lex et al,

I just wanted to thank all of you for what has been a very fascinating education. I have adopted a zero carb diet over the past few months and have finished reading this journal, the discussion has been very helpful. Hope all are well.