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Food for a year

 
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Ludi wrote:
Evidence seems to indicate this to be true, by looking at humans who don't eat carbs, like the pre-industrial Inuit.  They seemed to do fine.

That doesn't mean a modern European/American  living a sedentary life is going to be fine eating nothing but protein and fat, however.   

Well nobody ever died of a carbohydrate deficiency.
 
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Warren David wrote:
Well nobody ever died of a carbohydrate deficiency.



Nope, but we have lots of people dying of too many carbs these days (diabetes)! 
 
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Before I met my wife she had spent a lot of time living on a boat for several months at a time around places like Indonesia. She said they took a lot of beans, nuts and rice with them. They also took eggs that they would coat in vaseline to keep them fresh for a few months. Keeping veg fresh was very difficult so they would sprout mung beans. They would try to buy food from the islanders but those people very often didn't have food to sell because they were only had what they needed and would often had to have  made a boat journey to buy it in the first place.
It wasn't an enjoyable diet but it kept them alive.
 
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jmy wrote:
Food calories are made up of Carbohydrates , protein , and fat

some say 80-10-10 is the best mix

Some say other mixes. Honestly, we could sit here all day posting stuff like this. It's just opinions. What we need in this thread are some hard facts and actual real life experiences. 
 
                                
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Ludi wrote:
Evidence seems to indicate this to be true, by looking at humans who don't eat carbs, like the pre-industrial Inuit.  They seemed to do fine.

That doesn't mean a modern European/American  living a sedentary life is going to be fine eating nothing but protein and fat, however.   




  More recent research indicates that there very much could be biological or genetic factors at play in peoples that do eat those types of diets.  There has also been quite a lot of research done on genetic factors in the higher incidence of disease such as diabetes in North American native populations over the decades since diets became more European, namely genetically they don't process sugars in the same capacity and peoples from European descent. 

These and other factors is one of the reasons that I've stepped away from the whole 'diet' debate that attempts to find a one size fits all approach.  People are different.  I don't believe that there is one best one size fits all diet that everyone, everywhere will do well on.  People need to learn about nutrition and figure out what works for them by learning and listening to their own bodies.

    I've done the high ratio of protein diet.  It did not work for me. I ended up not feeling well.    It works fine for other people I know.    I've done the 100% vegetarian diet.  It also did not work for me.  I tried all sorts foodstuffs and variations and spent a few years trying to make it work.  In the end my body said no thanks and  I gave up.        I didn't go back to eating anywhere near the amount of meat as I ate before but if I don't eat a little bit of meat in my diet I get and feel unwell.    Took a while to figure out what was going on but it looks like it's related to how my body absorbs B12.  It has issues in that department and for whatever reasons it does not process it as well as it does from animal sources.  When I was veggie I went out of my way to ensure I was getting B12 but no matter what I did my levels were in the basement and I experienced health consequences because of it.  The only thing that helped was getting a shot in the arm.    As soon as I added a bit of meat back in my diet my levels went up, stabilized and those health issues went away.    My sisters have the same issues with B12  which to me speaks to something genetic going on. 

However that doesn't mean that variations of vegetarian diets are bad or not healthy.  Many people are perfectly healthy and fine with them.    I'm just not one of those people.

Over the years though by listening to my body I've figured out what works and what doesn't.  I really have no idea what ratio of carbs to protein to whatever my diet is.  I've also found, especially since I've moved to where I'm working more closely with the land that what my body wants changes with the season.  In the winter I crave heavier  starchy foods like potatoes and oatmeal.  In the summer the thought of eating a lot of those makes me feel ill.  Trying to eat oatmeal for breakfast in July makes me feel nauseous and I can barely get it down.  Right now I can easily eat two bowls for breakfast.    Right now I find eating a lot of fresh greens difficult.  They're just not as appetizing.  I do because they're good for me but it's more of chore.    Talk to me in a few months though and I'll be chowing down bowl fulls off them and think they're the best tasting things in the whole world. 
 

 
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Odonata wrote:

   I don't believe that there is one best one size fits all diet that everyone, everywhere will do well on.  People need to learn about nutrition and figure out what works for them by learning and listening to their own bodies.




100% agree! 
 
                  
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What would a non carbohydrate diet consist of ?

anyone doing this ?  any links to anyone doing this ?
 
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I followed a very low-carb diet for a few years.  It really agreed with me and I lost a ton of surplus weight and felt better physically than at any other time in my life.  I kind of slipped off when my stress levels got out of hand, but I'm going back on it as soon as I can.

Meat, eggs, cheese and anything 'green' like cabbage, broccoli and salad stuff were my mainstay.  Loads of coleslaw, loads of raw food.  I think that it's very similar to the paleo diet in that you end up living on meat and raw greens.  Or at least, that's how I interpret the paleo diet, but it might not be a very accurate interpretation. 
 
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jmy wrote:
What would a non carbohydrate diet consist of ?

anyone doing this ?  any links to anyone doing this ?



Atkins. My uncle does it when he wants to lose weight and it works for him. Personally eating nothing but cheese, jerky and diet soda would kill me in a week though  .

Maybe one can survive on a diet completely devoid of plants stuff (carbs) but I sure don't think anyone is going to thrive on it or survive for very long.

We eat very little overt protein, only eggs, and very little fat, nuts and seeds olives avocado and coconut, and the kids are I are incredibly healthy. I take an iron supplement but I had to do that even when eating a diet heavy in red meat, for me it's an absorption issue.
 
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Ludi wrote:
Evidence seems to indicate this to be true, by looking at humans who don't eat carbs, like the pre-industrial Inuit.  They seemed to do fine.

That doesn't mean a modern European/American  living a sedentary life is going to be fine eating nothing but protein and fat, however.   



First off animal foods store a whole lot better in the north, which reduces the carb advantage.

Secondly northern animals store more sugars in their body tissues to fend off the bitter cold.

Thirdly (and this is the biggie) the Inuit and other northern people also ate plants! 5-20% of their calories came from plants.

In advanced diabetes the cells can no longer do insulin induced carb uptake, which means that they have to make the carbs that they need for biochemical processes (ones that you need to survive) and they do it by breaking down proteins and the end result is diabetic ketoacidosis, which is not a good thing. Many stories of shipwreck survivors and people stranded at sea involve descriptions of smelling like acetone (nail polish remover) because the body cranks out ketones as a biproduct of trying to make the carbs it needs to survive.  If you have no carbs then your brain gets all kinds of fuzzy, because nerve cells are literally completely unable to uptake any other source of energy!
 
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lipid metabolism plays a big role in energy supply and reserve.  an only protein diet would lead to the ketoacidosis described, but with enough fat, there should be plenty of energy

http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/620fattyacid.html
 
                    
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Emerson White wrote:
First off animal foods store a whole lot better in the north, which reduces the carb advantage.

Secondly northern animals store more sugars in their body tissues to fend off the bitter cold.

Thirdly (and this is the biggie) the Inuit and other northern people also ate plants! 5-20% of their calories came from plants.

In advanced diabetes the cells can no longer do insulin induced carb uptake, which means that they have to make the carbs that they need for biochemical processes (ones that you need to survive) and they do it by breaking down proteins and the end result is diabetic ketoacidosis, which is not a good thing. Many stories of shipwreck survivors and people stranded at sea involve descriptions of smelling like acetone (nail polish remover) because the body cranks out ketones as a biproduct of trying to make the carbs it needs to survive.  If you have no carbs then your brain gets all kinds of fuzzy, because nerve cells are literally completely unable to uptake any other source of energy!



Agree that storing food 'on the hoof' is a very useful strategy when people live in far from the equator or wherever there is a pronounced winter.

1) How do animals store sugar? As triglycerides?? I don't think that is a huge reservoir compared to fats. Triglycerides are more of a transitional form between sugar and fat as I understand it. Is there some other mechanism? 

2) The brain and heart can use ketones quite efficiently, they are not a generally inferior source of energy. They do have a direct inhibitory effect on some nerves (similar to the ketone drug GHB), which can actually be good ... a ketogenic diet is often prescribed for children with epilepsy, and I know of adults who have used it for panic/anxiety disorders. Most people adjust to a ketogenic diet and are not walking around in a fog.

I don't think that any one diet is the right diet for every person or every situation. I do well on low-carb/ketogenic for a while, but am concerned about potassium deficiency and other nutrients over the medium to long term. There is evidence of some traditional cultures being quite healthy where starches make up a large proportion of the diet ... but these people are quite physically active, get lots of sunshine, etc ... not the typical western cubicle lifestyle.
 
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1) No, not on the hoof, on the dead. Meat lasts for months in the arctic. When night time temps are below 28 and daytime temps are around 34 meat lasts for months. I've had whale blubber that I know was stored in a shed in a grass basket for more than a year. The same way you or I might store a box of cheerios. When you have to catch the migration you have to kill it when it's there and eat it the rest of the year.

2) Triglycerides are primarily fat. I'm talking about glycogen and free short chain carbohydrates. If you've ever had reindeer sausage it is sweet, because the meat is sweet. Muskox is even sweeter than reindeer. The natives favored the fresh liver of everything (except polar bears) more than any other part, the liver has more carbohydrate stores than any other part of the animal.

3) There is nothing efficient about ketones. Ketones are a byproduct of cleaving short chain sugar alcohols out of some of the amino acids. They build up in the system and acidify it very badly, which leads to a suite of problems.

All cause morbidity and mortality is much higher for people on the low carb diets, even after you correct for demographics and prior health conditions. Uric acid builds up and there is a higher incidence of gout. Bone density decreases because some of the cofactors needed to maintain bones can only be made from carbohydrates, which floods the blood with calcium, which reaches a saturation equilibrium with oxalic acid (also released as the body struggles to make it with out carbohydrates)

Carbohydrates are not needed for just energy, there are a whole suite of biochemical reactions that build things that your body needs to live that use carbohydrates. I cannot remember off the top of my head just what those reactions are, but rest assured I did quite well in biochemistry, at a very good chemistry school. Over short periods of time the liver is releasing glucose, and saving you from the pain, but over long periods of time you have to get carbohydrates from somewhere.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Emerson White wrote:

Thirdly (and this is the biggie) the Inuit and other northern people also ate plants! 5-20% of their calories came from plants.!



Again, goes to show what I know - not much! 
 
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"Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition?"

http://www.ajcn.org/content/75/5/951.2.full
 
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Emerson White wrote:

All cause morbidity and mortality is much higher for people on the low carb diets, even after you correct for demographics and prior health conditions.



Are there references for this you can link to?  Thanks!

 
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I think it was in this http://www.theskepticsguide.org/archive/podcastinfo.aspx?mid=1&pid=291 but I'm not 100% sure.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thanks.  I'll try to find something to read, I'm not very good with podcasts
 
Emerson White
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All of this is a little beside the point, if you are eating mushrooms or nuts or beans or peas or tomatoes or potatoes or squash or virtually any plant with a significant calorie content that grows in temperate areas then you are going to be getting all the carbs that I am saying that you need, given that your food supply stays constant.
 
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Yeah, it is.  I bet all of us in this thread are eating some carbs.   
 
Warren David
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Emerson White wrote:Many stories of shipwreck survivors and people stranded at sea involve descriptions of smelling like acetone (nail polish remover) because the body cranks out ketones as a biproduct of trying to make the carbs it needs to survive.  If you have no carbs then your brain gets all kinds of fuzzy, because nerve cells are literally completely unable to uptake any other source of energy!

But aren't these people, people that have run out of food, not just run out of carbohydrates?
 
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Emerson White wrote:
All of this is a little beside the point, if you are eating mushrooms or nuts or beans or peas or tomatoes or potatoes or squash or virtually any plant with a significant calorie content that grows in temperate areas then you are going to be getting all the carbs that I am saying that you need, given that your food supply stays constant.

What if you were eating just a few leafy greens?
 
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flaja wrote:
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2770/2

A 299g baked potato- which presumably is cooked without adding water to it and which has had some of its water removed- has only 7g of protein or 2.3% protein.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/breakfast-cereals/1630/2

A 242g serving of grits, which has been cooked with water, has 3g of protein, or 1.23% protein.


A 174g serving of white rice, which has been cooked with water, has 4g of protein or 2.3% protein.  In other words you have to remove water from a potato for it to compare favorably with rice that you have added water to.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5784/2

140g of whole wheat spaghetti, cooked with water, has 7g of protein or 5% protein.

So, whole grains that have water added to them still have as much, if not more, protein as potatoes from which water has been removed.  You have to eat more volume of potato to get the same amount of protein found in smaller volumes of other staple foods.

Like I said, cooking potatoes as they are removes water from them, when cooking other starchy foods means adding water. 



Is this the right way to go about this? What happens if you eat a steak and a beer at the same time? I think it's by Calories, not weight...
 
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Warren David wrote:
But aren't these people, people that have run out of food, not just run out of carbohydrates?



Many such stories involve people who still have fat on their bodies as well as people who have limited supplies of meat or blubber or can catch some food (like fish, or sea turtles).

You would need quite a bit of leafy greens to get the carbohydrates you need, and probably the tender new growth rather than the older thicker leaves (so think baby spinach not tough kale or super market broccoli) but I think it could be managed. I think eating a lot of leafy greens would be what you wanted to aim for, not a few. Also keep in mind that net calorie negative foods can still be your carbohydrate source, you just need to add calories from other sources to make up for the loss. The fiber slows uptake so it's not a "carb" from the perspective of a glycemic indexed diet, but those carbohydrates are still there.
 
                    
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travis laduke wrote:
Is this the right way to go about this? What happens if you eat a steak and a beer at the same time? I think it's by Calories, not weight...



Yes, right - it is the total number of grams of protein, or the % of calories that are protein that are critical. The water is only a factor if excessive. If one eats a potato that has 7 grams of protein instead of getting 7 grams of protein from wheat or meat, the body will easily adjust.  You might drink a little less (or pee a little more) but it has not been recognized as a problem. Potatoes and milk will not make one explode!!
 
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The difficulty of getting one's calories and nutrition from potatoes is the large quantity of them one must eat, versus for instance eating some meat, a few potatoes, and some leafy greens.  The Irish ate several pounds of potatoes a day and the "One Circle" diets based on potatoes have one eating pounds of potatoes.  This is especially difficult for men, who have trouble getting enough calories on a vegan diet low in oils.
 
Emerson White
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It may be worth noting that the British marvled at how big and strong the Irish grew on meals of potatoes, cabbage, and milk.
 
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Emerson White wrote:
It may be worth noting that the British marvled at how big and strong the Irish grew on meals of potatoes, cabbage, and milk.



I think the cabbage and milk helped a lot!  Especially the milk.  No milk in the "One Circle" diets....
 
Emerson White
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Potatoes are about twice as calorie dense as whole milk.
 
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Ludi wrote:
... men, who have trouble getting enough calories on a vegan diet low in oils.



I hate linking to this abrasive man but here is a raw food high fruit vegan athlete.
http://www.youtube.com/user/durianriders

And he is only one of many. 2 years ago an online acquaintance, David Mason, and long time fruitarian underwent extensive testing (by a party wishing to illustrate the shortcomings of a fruitarian diet) to see where his nutrient levels were at and had INCREDIBLE results, not one deficiency, not in B12 or D3 or anything else at all.

Many diets for many people, there is no one way that suits us all.
 
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Emerson White wrote:
Potatoes are about twice as calorie dense as whole milk.



They ate a LOT of potatoes. 

 
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craftylittlemonkey wrote:
diets for many people, there is no one way that suits us all.



Are most of the calories from fruit?

My interest is, if we're trying to grow our own diet to survive, we need to make sure we're getting enough calories as well as nutrients.  So interested to know what people are eating as their staple calorie sources. 

 
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That is nearly all he eats, sweet fruit. A small amount of other plants but mostly sweet fruit. Some fruitarians are more moderate in their diets including non-sweet fruit like cucumbers etc but not that guy. That isn't sustainable in lots of parts of the world, not here in Canada anyhow, but he's in Oz.
 
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Slightly OT but James Randi once tested a bretharian for his million dollar prize. They brought him to a hotel room and set him up and checked his bag to make sure it was only clothes and books and told him they would be in the room right next door if he needed anything then left him to his own devices. That night they had a PI wait down in the parkinglot, they filmed the bretharian walking out of the hotel and across the parking lot, then across the road and into a Burger King. He got a Whopper and fries and a large soda, then crept back up to his room. As soon as he was back Randi knocked on his door and asked him what he was doing with the food. His answer was that he was just going to breathe in the vapors coming off the food.

I'm sure I'm the type of person to believe that response.
 
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Emerson White wrote:
Many such stories involve people who still have fat on their bodies as well as people who have limited supplies of meat or blubber or can catch some food (like fish, or sea turtles).

But going into ketosis isn't a big deal really and seems to be a phase that you go through while the body adjusts to burning fat instead of carbs.

You would need quite a bit of leafy greens to get the carbohydrates you need, and probably the tender new growth rather than the older thicker leaves (so think baby spinach not tough kale or super market broccoli) but I think it could be managed. I think eating a lot of leafy greens would be what you wanted to aim for, not a few. Also keep in mind that net calorie negative foods can still be your carbohydrate source, you just need to add calories from other sources to make up for the loss. The fiber slows uptake so it's not a "carb" from the perspective of a glycemic indexed diet, but those carbohydrates are still there.

So how long would it take before somebody that was only getting their carbs from a few leafy greens to start showing symptoms of a deficiency?
 
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craftylittlemonkey wrote:]Many diets for many people, there is no one way that suits us all.

Yep. If there was one ideal diet for cyclists for example then every rider would be on it.
 
Emerson White
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No, it's not a phase, it's a terminal condition that eventually leads to death. People have a powerful innate urge to not starve to death, as a result they adjust their diets, it gets harder and harder to not cheat until they start cheating. Often times it's as simple as switching salad dressings or finding a sweeter tomato.

I don't know how long it takes for symptoms to show up, I think it depends on a lot of different factors, both genetic and environmental.
 
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craftylittlemonkey wrote:
Atkins. My uncle does it when he wants to lose weight and it works for him. Personally eating nothing but cheese, jerky and diet soda would kill me in a week though  .



The Atkins diet (at least the part that has no carbs) is only meant to be temporary. The maintenance diet does include carbs (other than greens). The carb fast is there to teach the body to get its energy from fats. However, Atkins says that staying on that diet too long can be unhealthy. (I read the book)

BTW diet soda has other problems... in the right circumstances it really could kill you. It has been known to bring out latent epilepsy. Long term it is bad for your eyes.... even short term it decreases night vision. Sugar  (cane or corn syrup) is poison, but still better for you than some of the substitutes.

The way I have heard it explained (and this is probably someone's pet theory is that natural foods come as a complete package that includes things that help it digest itself. Often processing them destroys or removes those things.... even over cooking does these things. In the far north where there is not much plant life they eat raw meat which still has Vit C. .... I wouldn't want to eat a raw factory cow or pig! I would think they have berries in the summer though.

Planning a years cache is not a simple thing, it doesn't have to be completely healthy as a short term measure.... but why not make it as healthy as possible. To make it work well one needs to be cycling their cache though to keep it fresh... first in, first out. so it should be foods you want to eat all the time... or at least frequently. The foods in a cache might last 5 years or 10... but you may find you need it at year 15 and it has started to decay. Time passes faster than we expect.

Seeds need to be cycled too and with permaculture having something to restart yourself is needed too. A fire could level your food forest... recovery would be more than 1 year, so having seeds for annuals is important too.
 
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Emerson White wrote:
No, it's not a phase, it's a terminal condition that eventually leads to death. People have a powerful innate urge to not starve to death, as a result they adjust their diets, it gets harder and harder to not cheat until they start cheating. Often times it's as simple as switching salad dressings or finding a sweeter tomato.

I don't know how long it takes for symptoms to show up, I think it depends on a lot of different factors, both genetic and environmental.



Well it's a phase that I've been known to keep myself in for two years at a time.  The way I understand it is that when you're in ketosis, the brain switches from burning glucose to burning ketone bodies, and my brain *only* seems to work properly when I'm in ketosis.  Try googling 'ketone bodies' and see what turns up in relation to 'brain food.' 
 
                                
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Location: Elmira, ny
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jmy wrote:
What would a non carbohydrate diet consist of ?

anyone doing this ?  any links to anyone doing this ?



Last spring I went on a low-carb diet, aiming for less than 60g carb/day in order to lower my blood sugar. It did work for that, and I lost 25 lbs and felt pretty good, but I hit a serious bump in the road when winter started and no matter what I did, I could not get warm. One night, just to see what would happen, I ate some raisins. I felt warm almost right away. This warmth thing has been a problem for me all winter. I don't know how people living in the Arctic who don't eat much in the way of carbs stay warm. They must be very stoical. "Yeah, it's cold. Deal."

Being low-carb has meant I have had to seriously modify my food cache and garden plans. Not fruit trees but currants, gooseberries, and sunflowers. Not fruit preserves but pickled vegetables. Not potatoes but leafy greens and pole beans. Not lentils and barley but soybeans and nuts. One project for this summer--growing flax for seeds.
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