Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cellular War, the Battle Rages on within us. Omega-3 vs. Omega-6

What everyone needs to know about the Omegas!

No, not the sorority sisters, I mean the King of Fat, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. There are lots of different types of fat out there in the food world, but there are only two that are considered essential. (Well, except in some extreme rare and weird cases concerning dietary deficiency that no one wants to hear about here) So, essential fats. We all know from school about the essential proteins, there are eight absolutely essential amino acids and without them you will have long term problems. And carbohydrates, which basically are glucose chains and of which glucose is the molecule that the brain uses for energy. And some out there will tell us that glucose is not essential, that you can get all the brain food from the breakdown of proteins in a process called Ketosis. (Read why it's bad here) This article isn't about all that silliness, it's about the only two essential fats, Omega 3 and 6. Without them, you will have long term problems. With too much of Omega 6, you will have long term problems. With little or no Omega 3 fats in your diet, well, you will have very serious long term health problems and if your mama didn't ingest enough when she was pregnant with you or you didn't get them as a child, then your IQ will be lower, your overall health will be diminished and in all probability you wouldn't understand a word written here. It's pretty simple, Omega 3 is brain development food and is a requirement for good health and proper life. 

So, all that said, Omega 3 is really three different long chain fatty acids. They are named ALA, EPA and DHA. Realistically, the only one that we need is the DHA. It's the one responsible for development of brain functions. It is indeed, essential. The human body takes the short chain ALA, and to a lesser extent the EPA,  and converts them to the DHA needed. Here's where it gets a bit weird, ALA is the most common Omega 3 acid out there, with it being found in all vegetable oils, nuts and especially walnuts, leafy green vegetables, flax seeds and yes, in animal fats. Of course the only ones worth consuming are the grass fed ones. The horrific foods and chemicals fed to commercially raised meat animals pretty well taints those sources as being entirely inedible. That and actual scientific research has shown that commercially grain fed animals have very high ratios of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats. Which is bad. Grass fed animals have more ideal 1 to 1 ratios. And the problem with commercial vegetable oils is that although they may contain Omega 3's they also contain very high amounts of Omega 6's in them. So, this is where the battle rages.    

So this is what we know at this time. Researchers actually have a pretty poor understanding as to why Omega 6 fatty acids cause the problems that they do. (It's true, scientists don't know everything) We know we need them, for certain functions; but we know that excess intake of Omega 6's cause inflammation. And that is the root cause of so very many things in humans. Everything really, from heart disease to arthritis to cancer to Alzheimer's to other mental disorders especially bipolar disorder. Yikes, wish I had known this when married to my first wife, we could have taken steps to work on that. Loved the woman, 22 years together, but what a roller coaster ride. Anyway, what we do know is that when taken together in reasonable ratios, like 1 to 1 or even having greater Omega 3's in up to 1 to 4 Omega 3's, then the battle for brain development and all the good things in life is won. And yet when in the ratio that most Americans have that consume the SAD (Standard American Diet) with Omega 6's being in up to 20 to 1 they compete for the same rate limiting enzymes needed for conversion of the fatty acids to usable substances for cell development. The entire war, not just a single battle, is lost to the Omega 6 team. 

So this is pretty much all bad news for the giant food manufacturers in America today. They don't want any potential consumer to learn that eating healthy foods and avoiding their processed meats, oils, farmed seafoods and really most of the crap they make, to  know that eating healthy food will not cause the multitude of problems associated with living in a modern world. And in fact there is some recent research out there that removing high Omega 6 fats and increasing Omega 3's in your diet has been shown in a number of scientific studies to reduce prostate size, decrease incidence of prostate and colorectal cancers as well as lung and ovarian cancers. To a lesser degree. And here's the kicker, in older populations, over 40, the intake of ALA's through vegan sources, did nothing to decrease these diseases. The only viable reduction was seen through the consumption of cold water seafood and ocean sea algaes. 

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!

Yikes, that sort of backs up the research done about the whole Paleo diet thing where all those weirdo Paleo people keep telling the world that the only reason humans evolved into the thinking cognizant modern humans is because they learned to hunt and ate copious amounts of meat. Well, that's just not true. New research done where these guys took bone samples from skulls of proto humans, Neanderthals, and Paleolithic humans and in some very very cool measuring the stable isotopes of the bone collagens have been able to determine that brain size never really began to increase until the introduction of seafood into the diets. Ooooooohhhhh, yeah. Cool huh? Just having a larger increase in proteins from the savanahs of Africa did little to increase brain size up until monkey boys struck out toward the coasts and started eating clams and little fishys. This page anyone can get to, you don't need to pay for it, and it is a fun read. (Omega 3 in Paleo development)  

So, what does all this mean? Well, if you are young, like this incredibly beautiful young lady friend I know, you can get away with eating a pure vegan diet. But when she gets a bit older, she will have the same problems that I am having, and will need to expand our dietary range to include seafood. Or pasture raised eggs and tons and tons of kelp. 

I think I'll stick with the wild caught salmon.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Holy Cow!!! Mushroom Avocado Curry with brown rice

Well I am trying to eat more and more vegan type foods. I read, watch documentaries, research it all, and find that at my age, my body's needs need to come before desires. Well, and this other thing as well, this very beautiful young maiden I'm friends with is vegan and that's what prompted me to look more into it. Although I do feel that wild caught fish are still my best bet for Omega 3 fatty acids. So, to that end, I made this stuff. Pictures still need work, but it tasted pretty fantastic. 

So, I started out by coarse chopping 8 big crimini mushrooms, a medium onion and a red pepper, then chopped a couple ribs celery. Chopped some cilantro and cut up two avocados. In a big skillet, film with olive oil and add the crimini mushrooms. Cook and stir every few minutes until well browned. If you
desire, add some sea salt and pepper. I don't eat a lot of salt, so here this one is up to you. I believe Americans normally consume way too much salt and anyone that ever eats any processed food at all is getting a huge dose of the stuff. But then I weigh 270
(on good days) and my BP is generally about 115 over 60. Salt. Anyway, next add the chopped vegetables and saute about 4 or 5 minutes, just enough to begin to soften. Then add a half cup of the Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste. Stir it around and let it sort of begin to melt. Add a can of coconut milk and stir the whole thing until the paste mixes into the coconut milk. Add the avocado. Bring to a boil and turn down
and let simmer a couple minutes. Add the chopped cilantro and stir it in. That fresh cilantro adds a nice fresh touch to the dish. I served it with some brown rice. Easy peasy, I knew I was making this dish so last night I put two cups brown rice in a bowl and covered with water and let soak. I also took 12 ounces of garbanzo beans and covered with water and let soak all night as well. I drained the rice, put in a pressure cooker and added 3 cups water and brought to a boil, covered and pressure cooked for 20 minutes. Let the pressure drop on its own and served perfect brown rice with the curry. I also took the garbanzo
beans and rinsed, put into another pressure cooker (YES I HAVE 10 PRESSURE COOKERS) and covered with water an inch over the beans. Same, bring to boil, cover and bring to pressure, cook 25 minutes. Let cool, then drain some of the liquid and save for fake egg whites. (Aqua faba) Now, in a blender jar, juice a lemon, add about ten cloves garlic and dump in the beans. Add a quarter cup of good olive oil, a bunch of black pepper and blend until smooth. Spoon it out and serve the stuff on the side with the curry as beans and rice make a complete protein. Maybe to some that makes sense. I should do some stuff on protein complementarity some time to explain why it's good to eat a variety of foods to ensure that you get all eight of the essential amino acids. 

Anyway, just to mention here about the Mae Ploy. I like the stuff, it's my favorite curry. Paste type curries are a lot better than the dry powder stuff in the stores. Most stores have the stuff anymore although I love to shop at the oriental store near the house as lots of other cool stuff there. And seaweed as well. Been eating that a lot lately.I know, to some, curry is the easiest thing to make from scratch. I'm not some people though, I use Mae Ploy. But perhaps some day in the future.


Starbucks reinvents coffee

Well, that's the understatement of the century. They already did that in the twentieth century. Starbucks became the brand name synonymous with elitism and fashionista coffee based beverages. It's all in the way it's presented, and good ol' Howard Schultz, who bought the company in 1987, did the unthinkable; he promoted a company that produced mediocre sugar based hot and cold beverages to the ultimate in pomposity and elitism. And all at 5000 to 6000 percent markup. Yeah the crown jewel of wet dreams for Wall Street capitalism, with the share price of Starbucks stock valued at over 600 times its earning potential. 

Only in America

So Starbucks has got a pretty well deserved big head. I mean really, they've done what no one else could do except the likes of Gates, Jobs, the Woz etc. So now Starbucks knowing full well that they have the Midas touch and that anything they do will turn to gold because, well, because they have that elitist brand mentality. Next on the list, instant coffee. Yeah, I know, it sucked in the past, and Starbucks tells us that they can make it so everyone will love the stuff. Because the Starbucks name will be on it.

In Augusta Georgia the company built a modern state of the art plant to make their new technological wonder, VIA instant coffee. At a cost of 178 million dollars, the facility can produce over 4,000 metric tons of instant coffee per year. And because of the modular design of the system, it can be expanded to increase production by another 2,000 metric tons per year. The new facility has 178 employees of which most are technical jobs. I mean they have to be, the process is proprietary and highly secret. I will tell you though that Starbucks did a fantastic job designing the facility. It's green throughout, highly modern energy saving and ultra ultra cool technologically. 

So, now they make their own instant coffee. It's termed VIA coffee. They used to contract it out. Now it's all their own stuff. How is it? Criminy, it's fucking instant coffee. I suppose that there are people out there that will pour in soy milk and spoons of fake sweetener and flavored syrup and drink the stuff. Because it's got that brand name on it, Starbucks. I don't know of a single person that drinks coffee, and I mean real coffee, black, no sugar, that ever buys their coffee at Starbucks. I'm pretty sure none will buy this stuff. 

But, I'm a realist. I understand that buying that cup with the weird logo on it and drinking frufru crap is what some people need to exist and feel superior to their coworkers or the other drivers on the clogged freeways each day. Brand name elitism, it makes the stock valuable.

Only in America.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

More fiction from the Chef -- A Wisp of Air

Still recovering from the surgery, don't feel like writing anything new and researching is just a pain right now, so an old story I wrote a while back. A love story really

A love story
A Wisp of Air


Roy Marshall

In the swirling mist of fog, the approaching sunrise revealed the trees about the young couple as glowing visages that loomed skyward.  Foreboding masses in the strengthening daylight.  Heavy with child, she sank to the forest floor.  Sayli, sighed, and breathed in the mist.  Becoming one with the vapor, she gained strength.  Her mate, Boolay, floated above her, helpless, anticipating the birth that was so near. 

 Breathing in the life giving moisture, Sayli set herself for the ordeal.  The birthing cramps came, and she breathed deeply, ignoring the pain.  Within seconds, they came again.  Moments later, the child appeared.  A boy.  Wispy, he was newly birthed from the cloud of gases that formed his mother.  Breathing in the moisture rich air of the fog, he strengthened and rose above the forest floor to meet the dawn of the day of his birth.  This small thinking gaseous life form began a new generation.  Boolay dropped to the forest floor next to his mate.  There, the two caressed, intertwining boughs of semi cohesive gases in a gesture universally recognized as love. 

Soft and soothing sounds emanated from the pair, and soon, the new born child took notice of the parents below him.  Sinking to the forest floor beside them, he embraced his parents.  He allowed the love to slip into his very being.  Slowly, the child began to murmur, and then as recognition dawned about him, he started to speak.  He was after all, born with fully developed consciousness, and the memory of conversations that took place during the lengthy pregnancy. 

A wisp of air, a cohesive mesh of gases that form a complex gossamer web of living vapor; the family of beings inaugurated a new generation of their kind into existence.  The newborn was named Soolay by his mother.  Immediately he wanted to float away, to feel his freedom, to explore.  Freed from the prison womb of his mother, he floated with the mist and breathed in life giving moisture.  His hunger came about suddenly and he fed for the first time, enveloping airborne mold spores, bacteria, and organic dust particles.  Sated, he floated above the forest floor and disappeared into the fading mist.

His mother called after him as she saw him leaving, “Soolay, don’t go too far, and always remember, stay away from the humans.”

Pacing back and forth from the living room to the back door of the house, Candace walked as if in a trance.  She thought she had coped with the death of her husband, the funeral with all the cloying condolences from friends and his colleagues; but she truly hadn’t.  Max had been her life; he had been and done everything for her.  Now, today, she had to begin a life without him.  Here in this huge old house on the outskirts of Sausalito she had met with Max’s attorney and his five sisters with all of their children.  The attorney read the will and gave news that did not make the sisters very happy.  She was now very well off.  Thirty-two years of marriage and she had no idea of the wealth that Max had accumulated.   

Candace had paced the same route in the house for several hours now thinking about what to do.  She had the means to do things, things that most people only could dream about.  She and Max had gone on cruises before, and she had fun.  They had taken their nieces and nephews on trips, and enjoyed their excitement.  But everything she had done, had been with Max.  She missed him already, and couldn’t even imagine life without him.  For the first time in her life, she understood why people took their own lives.

Stopping her pacing, Candace had made the decision.  She went into the room that served as an office and hand wrote her last will and testament, evenly dividing her inheritance between Max’s sisters. She then took out a stamp pad and put her thumb print next to her signature.  Placing it into an envelope, she addressed it to Max’s attorney and placed it into the mailbox.  She then went up the stairs of the house, looking around at all of her treasured possessions.  For the first time realizing just how huge the old Victorian was.  And now just empty and lonely. 

The bathroom cabinet contained all of Max’s medications.  She took all the bottles and got a glass of water, then took it all into the bedroom where she lay down on the bed.  As she lie there thinking of all the good times with Max, she dosed off.

Feeling the freedom that only a creature of the mist can feel, Soolay drifted with the wind amongst the trees and soon the forest ended.  Confused for a moment, his limited experience did not prepare him for the sight before him.  A giant structure, dark, and curiously compelling to him.  The admonition from his mother was of little concern to him, he after all had no idea what humans were. 

As the light breeze allowed him to float closer to the old Victorian home, Soolay felt a kind of excitement growing in him.  When next to the house, he moved around the sides, inspecting the solidity of the walls.  Wood, he knew, but this was different; a thick substance covered the cut trees.  Periodically there were transparent openings that he was unable to move through.  Glass, a new experience for him.  Finally, on the upper level, an open area, an open window.  Moving inside, he was mesmerized with all that he saw around him.  The bathroom was a place full of new things, and food as well.  As he enjoyed a meal of mold spores, and bacteria, his faint luminescence spread and he developed into a wispy white veil of moving, glowing radiance.  Once again sated with his fill, he again turned to exploration.  Moving in front of a mirror, it was disconcerting to him.  The creature before him moved when he did, in exactly the same way, at the same time.  Unable to reach it, or to communicate, he soon left and floated out the door into the next room. 

There he discovered many wooden objects, and a sadness overcame him at the state that the once beautiful trees had become.  As he approached the large flat object in the room, he came upon Candace as she lay sleeping.  Drawing close to her, there was a sense of life about her.  And a sadness as well.  A sadness that permeated her sleep, her entire being, a feeling that Soolay could sense and was drawn to her because of it.  As he came close to her face, her breathes tickled him and he felt a mixture of emotions.  Excitement at discovering this huge living creature, perception of emotions from her, and wonderment were all mixing together to confuse and delight this newborn being. 

Tickling about her nose brought Candace awake and with a start when she opened her eyes and seeing the wispy glowing creature right in front of her face she sat up and screamed.  Soolay scooted to the end of the bed and floated there, watching with fascination as Candace jumped from the bed and cowered in the corner of the room, staring at him.  She began to bob her head around, looking at him, confusion and fear now evident.  But soon, her demeanor softened, she became at ease with his presence and she spoke to him, the first words he ever heard, “You’re a ghost.  I mean, a real ghost.  Are you, are you Max?”

Her words were harsh and cut through the air with a texture that he could feel as well as hear.  When he was in the forest, the sounds there were palpable, he felt them.  Those sounds were soft and melodious.  These sounds were jarring and bounced off the walls of this structure and reverberated within his being.  He shook his whole being, the glowing rippled in response.

Candace looked at him and saw the movement, interpreting it as acknowledgement.   As she began to cry, her entire demeanor changed from the fear, to one of love.  Soolay understood love and was attracted to the emotion.  Floating toward her, she sucked in her breathe, the held out her hand toward Soolay.  Unsure of the gesture, curiosity overtook him again and he floated toward her hand and gently caressed it.  Silky, luminous, almost a mist, Candace felt him against her hand as an unworldly caress of what she now believed was the soul of her dead husband Max. 

“Oh my god, oh my god, this is unbelievable, Max, you came back to be with me.  I knew our love would be forever.  You’re being here must be to stop me from doing something so stupid.  Really, now that I think about it I see how it was the wrong thing.  So stupid.  I’m so sorry Max, I’m so glad you are here.”  And with that last outburst, Soolay shuddered and floated out of the room toward the open window.  Candace stood and walked after him.  “Max, come back, please, I need you!”

Soolay stopped, turned and shimmered.  He could feel that universal love that she emoted and was pleased.  He thought about the easy feeding here in this giant wood structure, the emotions and just the unique curiosity factor.  Soolay knew he would return, the noises this creature made were not that bad.  He turned, shimmered and then floated out the window.  Candace watched as he disappeared into the darkness toward the forest back from the house. 

“Max, Max!”  She called out after him.  Staring out the window at the forest, she stood there watching the gloomy darkness.  After an hour, she walked back into the bedroom, then threw all the pill bottles into the trash.  Walking the wastebasket out to the garbage bin, she hummed a little tune, for the first time in over a week, happy.

  Over the following years, Candace would live her life full of joy as she enjoyed the family that Max had left behind.  His sisters, their children and even his friends from work.  She became the dutiful widow, generous with her time and fortune.  And most every evening, she waited for the spirit of Max to return and spend time with her.  On occasion he did, Soolay came to the unique structure to feed, and to shimmer when the inhabitant spoke to him. 

The end.