Dawn Hoff

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since Jun 30, 2013
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Recent posts by Dawn Hoff

R Jay wrote:

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
I know some people consider this to be 'racist' but studies of intelligence have shown some pretty low average IQ scores from the African nations.  I don't know what all factors into that (IQ scores of American Blacks are also lower than average, on a modern American diet), but I do wonder if we might want to do more research before adopting their diet wholesale.  (We have contacts in Kenya, and there -- and probably in other African nations -- the diet for poor people seems to be mostly starches, corn, cassava, yams, rice, etc.  So that undoubtedly has some effect on the overall scores.)

I find it interesting that diet is used as a possible intelligence indicator.   In the 19th century, they measured the sizes of skulls.

In the 19th century, the British used craniometry to justify policies toward the Irish and black Africans,
whom the British considered to be inferior races.

Irish skulls were said to have the shape of Cro-Magnon men and were compared to those of apes, proof of their inferiority.
Black Africans were compared to the same standard.

Also,in France, Paul Broca demonstrated that women are  inferior to men because of their smaller crania.
He argued against higher education for women because their puny brains couldn't handle the demands.

In the 20th century, the Nazis used craniometry to distinguish Aryans from non-Aryans.

There seems to be more of a correlation of higher IQ between {any} children who live in "good" neighborhoods who go
to "good" schools where teachers actually teach; and the IQ of those children who live in "bad" neighborhoods who go to schools
to be warehoused for 8 hours to keep them off the streets.

The IQ is very much a cultural measurement which measures some qualities that are appreciated and encouraged in our westerm culture. But even saying that - most of the "science" into IQ and "race" have only measured African Americans and extrapolated that "evidence" to applied to Africans, since they are supposedly that same "race" (yes "race" bc. there aren't any, we belong to the human race). Problem is that there is a strong case for claiming that African Americans are mixed "race - the racist laws under Jim Crow would make anyone black if they had just 1/8 or less "negro blood" in their veins (e.g.. Obama is considered black even though he is just as much white as he is black and grew up in a white culture), and the culture and abuse that African Americans have suffered in the US have generated a collective trauma that still plays out in families - and then the fact that more African Americans eat a poorer diet and go to inner city schools skews the picture entirely.

In Europe you can meet many many Nigerians at Technical Universities - and they are super smart, and do very well at these schools. In fact the only place I see this racial bias playing out in Europe is in the UK, and even there is it not even close to how it looks in the US (but all over Europe you can see the same picture play out in Arabian families for many of the same reasons - and it was the Arabians who invented math and brought it to Europe). So no - there is no scientific proof that Africans have a lower IQ than other "races.

Saying that I do believe that the nutrition a child receives in infancy very much does affect the development of the brain - including IQ and motor skills, and breast milk is very high in cholesterol. But it also has the highest content of lactose of any mamal, so it would seem that nature believes that sugar is in some way necessary for the developing brain.
2 months ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:

My husband has Crohn's. To keep in remission, he's on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (the diet that GAPS is based off of) and as such he avoids all starches and any sugars that aren't honey or fruit/vegetable. Those sugars and starches (as well as soy and vegetable oils) feed the bad bacteria in his colon, which leads his body to attack his colon, creating ulcers and fistulas, as well as body-wide ailments like ulcer/sores on his feet, uveitis in his eyes, debilitating arthritis, fatigue, and diarrhea.

Sometimes, when one has an already compromised gut, avoiding all the things that can feed bacteria is a good thing, especially for a while so that the gut can heal and more probiotic/prebiotic foods can be introduced. I have limited internet, so I haven't been able to watch Matt's videos, but I read in this thread that he had gut issues before going to an all-meat diet.

But, my husband--before he was diagnosed with Crohn's--also used to try a lot of paleo/primal diets. He ate just potatoes for weeks (the "Potato Hack"), and also ate zero carb for a while. I don't know if this constant change in diet (with the resulting die-off of both good and bad bacteria) contributed to his Crohn's occurring. With him, there were a lot of other factors that probably influenced his Crohn's more, such as living on a diet of mostly sugar and starch and processed foods as a child, being on multiple courses of antibiotics (a few of those times, his dad gave him antibiotics from the fish store, because they couldn't afford a doctor), and having a family history of gut problems. But, I can't rule out that sudden changes to very restricted diets might contribute to things like Crohn's. I personally wouldn't go to an all-meat diet unless things were really bad in my gut, for fear of killing off both good and bad bacteria. But, for some, an all-meat diet might just be the ticket to healing. If SCD ceases to be enough for my husband's gut health, we might just try an all-meat diet.

I agree that cutting out certain fibres etc. might be very good for you for a while. And I am not at all convinced that we need any carbohydrates... But I have heard some functional medicine practitioners say that eg. the SCD/GAPs diet should be a short term intervention to heal your gut, but if you continue for a very long time it might lead to SIBO bc. Some of the bacteria in your colon begin to travel up the digestive system in search of food. But what will then happen if they find nothing further up the digestive trackt? Will.they then die off completely? And is that a good thing? The body is a complex system, and that means that we are all very sensistive to the initial conditions and our results and needs can vary immesely. I certainly do not have THE answer - don't even think there is one. But it is an  immensely interesting subject.
2 months ago
I have heard of the zero carb diet in ancestral forums before, and while I have considered it as a fast I am still a little sceptical

One of my concerns us the gut biome- the results from the current science says that the more variety we have in our diets, the more variety we have in our biome, and the research seems to suggest that the more variety we have in our biome the healthier we are... another concern I have is the activation of the mTor pathways, which is activated by an overabundance of protein - and the mTor pathways seem strongly linked to cancer. But maybe if you eat 80% animal fats you aren't actually eating that much more protein compared to what I am currently consuming... and if you are zero carbs then maybe there is nothing to feed the cancer-cells...

Wrt. Ancestral diets - there are a wide variety of them across the globe. Some nearly 100% carnivorous (but none are actually 100%), some are nearly 100% vegetarian (but none are 100% that either). It seems like the longest living people on this planet currently eat a lot of veggies. I personally eat very very few carbs - mostly limited to tomatoes and peppers, maybe some berries once in a while, but ALOT of veggies - more than many vegetarians I know. That is how I feel best I think - but as I have never actually been zero carb I cannot say. I haven't been vegetarian for more than a few days straight - but since I am allergic to nuts and legumes that does not seem like a viable option for me - and honestly I am not convinced that it is all that healthy either (lacto/ovo/pescetarian on the other hand I believe is immensely healthy - if you tolerate dairy and eggs).

Congratulations on finding something that suits you and seems to heal your health issues. I will give your podcast a listen one of these days.
2 months ago
I have so many times in my life experienced sitting in a living room with one of those little fat bellied ovens - and it was so warm that.people ended up sitting in t-shirts even with a snow-storm outside. Next morning the oven is out and the house is freezing cold. In those Sweedish houses with the old masonry heaters, the heater would still be warm in the morning, but you would have to litteraly hug it to feel the heat. The new modern ovens that I have seen in Denmark does burn the exhaust AFAIK, but only on max heat - which has the same problem as the old fat bellied ovens - the room almost gets too warm to be in. And they still let most of the heat out through the chimney... The ovens I have seen here in Spain are almost all a complete waste of wood... mostly there for the ambience. Guess people in the Nordic countries have had to make more efficient ovens, otherwise they could spend all summer collecting wood and not have time to grow food... (I have actually met some homesteaders where the husband spent all summer collecting wood and the wife would grow food... very inefficient).

I have never experienced a RMH, but intuitively it maLes sense. I am an engineer too - and I don't understand how and engineer can fail to understand that industry standards are not the same as the laws of physics....

Wrt. how they look - I personally prefer a sort of a conservative minimalist look in my house, and most RMHs that I have seen are much too hippue for my taste. But there are pkenty of conservative looking RMH pictures out there - this one esp. Comes to mind, not much hippue feel about this one: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/onyone/4149423745/
3 months ago
Wrt. the medical industry. I used to work there, and slowly lost my faith in much of what is done there... worked for an insulin producer, one of the worlds largest, and  I saw dollar-signs in their eyes when they talked about the diabetes epidemic. Worked for a producer of anti-depressants, who behind closed doors admitted that they had no idea how their drugs worked in children - all the while their drugs are pushed on more and more children, and that cannabis and psychedelic were probably not the reason people people became psychotic, but more a question of self-medication prior to diagnosis... I have become more and more alternative over the years, but still remain a sceptic.

I do believe that people seek alternative solutions, because the conventional system is failing them. Cancer is a disease that the conventional system still hasn't cracked the code of. But I would still - if I was ever to get cancer - be scared of going the alternative way 100%. Steve Jobs did, and he died from a cancer that is generally considered curable... many people have done so, and died. Many people go the conventional way and die too - but I do believe that the conventional way has a better success rate. If I was diagnosed with incurable cancer - as my father in law was - I would not do chemo therapy. I do believe that it cut months of his life and made his last months insufferable. But if there was a chance of survival, I would take it - and combine it with cannabis and diet and herbs etc. etc.

But first and foremost - I will try to focus on not getting it.
3 months ago
I haven't had cancer, fortunately - but I have been going deep down a rabbit whole about the ketogenic diet and fasting recently, and come up-on some very exiting research.

Dr. Walter Longo has some really exiting results with his "Fasting Mimicking diet", which has been clinically tested on cancer patients - and it appears that the fasting in combination with chemo is extremely effective in knocking out the cancer cells, and in protecting the healthy cells from the toxic effects of chemo. I have an acquaintance who is currently in chemo, and her Doctors are really impressed by how well she is doing - not just wrt. killing of the cancer, but esp. wrt. side-effects: the deeper in ketosis she is prior to chemo, the less side effects she has. It seems like the ketone bodies have a neuro protective effect.  Most kinds of cancer feed on sugars - they use this fact in diagnosis, so it is well established scientifically. If you starve the body of sugars, the cancer cells can't survive. Also the fasting starves the body of protein for a while, which kicks it into autophagy - which is the mechanism with which the body eats itself. Not only will people loose fat, which in itself can reduce the risk of cancer, but they also loose protein. But as opposed to what is commonly believed, this protein is generally not muscle (except if you are already underweight), but most often it is old cells that are already dying, or possibly mutating - ie. this can be cancer cells, or the plaques and tangles found in Alzheimer, or the loose skin you get when you loose weight. It is really very interesting - I myself have noticed that as I fast i get less wrinkles and less loose skin on my body - not more, which is usually what occurs in people who loose weight. So I actually look younger now than I did a year ago. Dr. Ronda Patrick (she has an amazing YouTube channel for anyone who wants to geek out on this) has done a study on how people look and the length of their telomeres - the protective region on the ends of your chromosomes. What she found was the the way you look corresponds very well to how long your telomeres - and previous studies have shown, that the length of your telomeres are indicative of your risk of cancer. To get back to Walter Longo - he believes that if everybody would fast for 7 days every years, we could get rid of cancer. I'm not sure if that is a bit too optimistic - but I do believe that it would reduce the incidences significantly.

The cool thing about both keto and fasting - is that it can be done regardless of wether you are vegan or paleo. Fasting can even be done while you continue to eat a SAD diet when not fasting... though I wouldn't recommend it...

I am all for botanicals - I think they are extremely healthy, but I do think that the most important thing we can do is to not eat all.the.time - give the body some time to clean up once in a while.
3 months ago
OK - this is my absolute favorite subject...

The books I currently own on this subject is:
The GAPS diet
The Wahl's Protocol
The Salt Fix
Unconvetional Medicine
The Complete Guide to Fasting

I have others but those I really like, esp. The Wahl's Protocol and The GAPS diet - I look things up in them frequently.

You can learn a lot on the web - but having these books as references is really helpfull, and often they are way more in depth, or the information is more organised than a blog (like you can learn everything about rocket mass heaters here on permies, but if you buy the book it is all much more accessible).

I like Dr. Mark Hyman, Chris Kresser, Paleomom (though don't agree with her about the ketogenic diet) - and lots of lots more. 
3 months ago
Back again - read all the replies.

I think it is a question of testing honestly. So if veggies irritate your gut, cut them out for a week - maybe go on a bonebroth fast like the GAPS diet, you can actually add meat and veggies to your broth in that fase, but only specific kinds. Warning though... I had terrible die off when I tried it, I was SO sick - pain in my entire body, all my muscles and joints were hurting so much that the only state that was tolerable for my was walking - 24 hours a day, for 3 days straight until I caved and ate a bowl of rice. Now, a year later I go on bonebroth fasts regularly (no meat or veggies), and I have no die off symptoms. I did that by easing into a keto-AIP diet - where I started off going paleo, then AIP and then cutting out more and more carbs as I found that I was reacting to them - eg. I could be symptom free from my seasonal allergies and eat 1 dried apricot and start sneezing at once, or have my eczema disappear all together and drink one glass of sugar-free horchata, or one glass of kefir - and have my eczema flare immediately. Towards the end I was maybe eating a little carrots or sweet-potatoes - but I feel better if I don't. Still miss them though, and do cheat on occasion. I pretty much try to eat as many greens as prescribed in the Wahl's protocol - the paleo plus version which is keto - ie. 6 cups of greens pr. day, but I don't eat one of them as berries, because it makes me crave sweets even more.

Actually most of my symptoms of IBS went away just on a weight watchers diet... because it is pretty low carb. But it is also very low in fat, so I just couldn't continue on it.

I agree that the smell kan be ketones - they smell like amonia... get some chew some peppermint leaves or something (or xylitol chewing gum) it helps. And die of can make you smell awful too. But die off ends, and you don't have to be in ketosis all the time to reap the health benefits (except I have heard of people being in ketosis for like 2 years straight and they say the benefits just get better and better - esp. mental clarity and general energy).

Cooked food is easier to digest, you get more calories out of them too (one of the reasons we were able to develop our big brains were that we learned to use fire to "predigest our foods). Raw food is super healthy though and many minerals and enzymes are destroyed in the cooking process, like vitamin c and CQ10 - but you can only digest them if your gut has not been recked already. I can eat tons of raw veggies now, and I enjoy it, some people get awful gas from the amount of cruciferous veggies I consume... I have heard that it is because of an imbalance in their gut bacteria - the good bacteria don't produce those foul smelling gases... don't know if it is true though. Paleo/keto etc. does not have to be 100% carnivore - it is a huge spectrum from 97% vegetarian to 97% carnivore, and you can find your sweet spot. The thing is though that a lot of research shows that the greater variety of veggies that you eat the greater variety of beneficial gut bacteria you have. Makes sense to me. So for me it would always be a goal to get back to eating more different veggies. I just have to constantly make sure that I am not feeding a carb addiction, which I believe I have bc. of the pathogenic bugs that are still in my gut. 

The new intolerances that you are experiencing is possibly due to a leaky gut - and whole undigested proteins will enter your bloodstream, which the body will react to. Again bone broth is THE best way of healing a leaky gut - and going gluten-free (not with that awful gluten free bread you can buy in the stores though). If you do an elimination diet, sticking to a whole foods - possibly gluten free - diet for the rest of your life, might be a good idea. Natacha Campbell-McBride talks about this in the GAPS book - and she explains that once your micro-biome has been disrupted you will need to be more careful for the rest of your life, because it simply is more likely that you will get out of balance again more quickly. I do however think that one can get back to something that resembles a "normal" diet (not the SAD of course)... some people even record that they can eat a little organic sourdough bread once in a while with no ill effect. I have recently reintroduced nightshades and butter, and I do eat a little cheese once in a while. Though still no eggs and not seeds, and absolutely no nuts...

I can't find the article I was referring, will need more time to search - but I need to clean my house now. 
3 months ago
Primer: I haven't read all the replies

The absolutely most important thing for IBS and other gut issues is bone-broth - you can buy kettle and fire, or make your own, from pastured animals. And lots of it - several cups a day. And probiotics - I'm personally a big fan of sauerkraut, and make it with loads of probiotics in it - but many people with IBS have problems either with mastcell activation (ie. histamin sensitivity) or high contents of fiber. You can make sauerkraut with low histamin levels, and if you have problems with the fiber you can drink the juice instead of eating the kraut.

FODMAPS is a good idea (I saw it mentioned), but the AIP protocol has recently been clinically tested on IBS and it is showing really promising results (something like 70-80% of the participants were symptom free within like 6 weeks - I'll try to find the article). One can go low FODMAPS and AIP together - but both are pretty hard diets.

I have "something" like IBS - like painful bubbles of air travelling through my intestines, and me feeling every single turn inside me... takes about 24 hours to clear each time - used to be pretty chronic 15 years ago, now it is rare and there are months between incidences, back then I also had very frequent GERD, actually chronic (my entire time at university I got drunk something like twice because one beer would give me severe reflux). But I'm not really sure what it is bc. I haven't had it diagnosed - when I was 25 I was diagnosed with ulcers, but that was without any testing, just the Dr going of my description of my symptoms. Mine is off-set by too much sugar, gluten and unfermented dairy (esp. cows). A low-carb diet helps me a lot, so I am currently on a keto-AIP diet - not so much chasing ketones, as chasing that feeling I have in my entire body when I'm not ingesting carbs (not even the complex ones). If I had a Functional Medicine Dr. nearby, and I could afford all the testing, it would have been a lot easier to find my way in this jungle, because it is a jungle and the solutions are very different for each person depending on what the root cause of the problem is.

One thing is absolutely certain - the SAD diet is not good for any of these inflammatory disseases.

Now I will go back, read the thread and find that article for you.
3 months ago