Some of my current favourite recipes

Beanless Chilli

2 lbs ground beef (1/2 Costco package)
2 lbs ground pork (1/2 Costco package)
9 hot Italian sausages skinned (one Costco package)
1 large onion diced
20+ stalks of celery diced
2 large cans Italian tomatoes (from Italy)
2 cans chicken broth
2 cups water
4 Tbsp basil
4 Tbsp oregano
2 Tbsp ground cummin
6 Tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cayenne (optional depending on how hot the chilli powder is)

saute the onion and celery in lard, coconut oil or butter and transfer to large cooking pot
mix the spices in a bowl
fry the ground meat and sausage in batches, adding spices to each
batch, transfer to large pot
add tomatoes, chicken broth and water and simmer on low heat for about an hour

Let it sit at room temp for a day and then put it in meal-sized freezer containers with a dollop of sour cream and green salsa.

This makes about 20 servings.

Frittata recipe

12 omega-3 eggs
2/3 cup cream
8 strips bacon cooked and chopped
2/3 cup diced onion
2/3 cup chopped mushrooms (one Costco can of Money’s mushrooms)
1-1/2 cup grated cheese
optional –  1/2 can of chipotle peppers, finely chopped (adds a bit of hot spiciness)
salt
coarse pepper

mix eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a large bowl

in a large skillet, fry onions and mushrooms in bacon fat or lard on medium/high heat
add bacon and chipotle pepper

add egg mixture and stir with spatula until mostly cooked
top with grated cheese and cover pan on low heat until fully cooked

put under broiler until cheese starts to turn brown

transfer to cutting board, let cool and cut into wedges

Can be stored in a container in the fridge for up to a week and
microwaved for a quick breakfast.

You can use different veggies, spices and cheeses for variations on the theme.

I eat it accompanied with fresh tomato and Hellman’s mayo.

Enjoy!

Pork Pesto
2 pork tenderloins
2 cans Money’s mushrooms
1/2 jar of Costco Pesto
1 cup cream cheese (+/-)
1 cup whipping cream (+/-)
small onion, finely chopped
chopped garlic
1 cup grated Parmesan
salt
 
slice the pork into medallions and saute with the onion and garlic in a large skillet
add remaining ingredients while keeping the heat to a low simmer so as not to overcook the basil
 
That’s it!
 
 
Salad Dressing
 
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp mayo
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
course pepper
salt
pinch of Equal

 

SNAP

The US Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program released their most recent data yesterday. At the moment, a record 23,116,441 American households are receiving food stamps. To put that in perspective, let’s assume that the average frontage of a household is 25 feet (houses would be bigger, apartments would be smaller). If you lined them up side-by-side, the total frontage would equal 577,911,025 feet or 109,452 miles. If you got in your car and drove 60 mph for 10 hours a day, every day, it would take a full six months to drive by all those households. And, yet, the DOW is trading at all time highs. Something is seriously amiss here. It looks like the dual policies of zero interest rates and sustained Quantitative Easing by the Fed are creating a Potemkin Village economy, where the facade is represented by the apparently robust stock market and the enrichment of a few while, behind the scenes, the bitter reality is that millions of people are descending into poverty and despair. This will not end well.

Good fat, bad fat.

There was an interesting publication in the British Medical Journal last week on the topic of saturated vs poly-unsaturated fats. Apparently, data from the Sydney Diet Heart study that has been “lost” was rediscovered, analyzed and published. The original study was a randomized controlled trial where the intervention group was asked to substitute polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat. The subjects had proven cardiovascular disease. As it turned out, the oil they were using was high in omega-6 content (linoleic acid – LA). When the newly found data were analyzed, it turned out that the intervention group had higher all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. It is noteworthy, that the n-6 LA group did, as predicted, lower their cholesterol which was supposed to lower the CVD risk yet their mortality rate went up.

The authors propose that a process independent of our paradigm of high cholesterol and heart disease can explain this finding. When linoleic acid is exposed to free radicals, the result is the production of oxidized LA metabolites (OXLAMS). It turns out that OXLAMS are highly implicated the formation of atherosclerotic plaque and in virtually every process involved in atherogenesis. OXLAMS are more abundant in oxidized LDL which is more atherogenic than normal LDL. Smoking and excess alcohol are sources of high oxidative stress and, in the study, the smokers and drinkers did have higher risk ratios.

What to take away from this new (old) evidence? It certainly reinforces what I have been telling people for awhile now, that you should focus on reducing your intake of omega-6 fatty acids. The major sources of these in our diet are the vegetable oils. Olive oil is fine. Canola has omega-6 but also has omega-3 and the balance of these two may be an important mitigating factor. Many people have a problem with canola because of the amount of processing and the risks of oxidized fatty acid consumption. My take on it is that, while not ideal, a little of this oil in your diet is not going to upset the apple cart. Olive oil is far and away the preferable oil for non-cooking applications. For cooking, I am squarely in favour of the saturated fatty acids like butter, lard, coconut oil and bacon fat. Saturates are much more tolerant of heat and are, therefore, the preferred cooking fats.

If you are convinced that omega-6 oils should be avoided, you will need to be vigilant with labels. A lot of processed and pre-prepared foods use the cheap vegetable oils like corn oil, soya, and safflower. Unfortunately, many food outlets cook with these, as well. This is one argument for avoiding the fast food outlets as much as possible.

The research paper also included information from an updated meta-analysis of trials that substituted n-6 LA for saturated fat. Again, when the newly analyzed data was included in the updated meta-analysis, there was no benefit. It appears, however, that when a combination of omega-6 and omega-3 is substituted for saturated fat there is a reduction in CVD risk. It was from these kinds of trials that the generalized advice to substitute vegetable oil for saturated fat was supported. In light of the new evidence that n-6 LA is actually harmful, it seems incredibly sloppy to have advised people to use this oil without clarity in terms of which PUFA was doing what. The evidence that omega-3 is preventative is still standing, although that is being somewhat questioned now, too.

All this suggests to me that once the anti-fat bandwagon got rolling, people weren’t too discerning in terms of the quality of the evidence as long as it was supportive of that dogma. The Sydney study was done in 1978. One wonders how much harm has been done with these cavalier recommendations since then.

The role of oxidative stress is an important factor here. All the evidence I have seen supports that idea that a very low carb diet lowers oxidative stress. So, bottom line, get your carbs as low as you can and avoid those cheap, nasty vegetable oils.

And she’s off – the tether, that is.

My little low-carb baby has been off the tether for awhile now. I have been having problems with my GoPro which is why I haven’t posted any video. This is one from my iPhone. She’s approaching three and a half. She has already skied a black diamond run, done the jumps in the terrain park and skied the gates of a race-course. More video to follow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6G2wh7wXR8

This gives me hope.

There is an annual diabetes update course, primarily for physicians, that has included me in the program over the past few years. I am encouraged by the interest that my lecture generates. I have presented four times and, each time, I have received the highest evaluation from the attendees. My perception is that both the organizers of the conference and the audience are growing more receptive to the idea of using a ketogenic diet for the management of diabetes. I attach FYI the evaluation report from my most recent lecture. It gives me hope.

Diabetes Conference Evaluation

Issy’s ski season has started

The ski season at Whistler is off to a good start with lots of early season snow. My little 39 month old, low-carb n=1, Issy, was eager to get on the slopes. It took only a few runs for her to get back to form, having skied 27 days last season. She is still on the tether but has figured out how to stop and turn independently. I expect she will be skiing free of the tether by the New Year. She is enrolled in the ski school starting in January. We are looking forward to a great season.

Low Carb Cruise 2013

I have been invited to speak on the next Low-Carb Cruise which departs Galveston, TX on May 4, 2013. I have booked the flights and reseved a cabin so it is safe to make the official announcement. Since my wife and son are unable to come and, because I would have to pay double for a single cabin and, because she is my beautiful little girl, I will be bringing Issy along. I am really looking forward to this trip with my little daughter and so is she. I showed her the Carnival Magic website and she has already claimed her bunk and made plans to visit the pool.

Ski season is underway and she is back skiing the big runs at Whistler with her daddy. This will something to look forward to when ski season ends.

See you all there!

http://www.lowcarbcruiseinfo.com/

 

Whipped cream chocolate mousse and artificial sweeteners.

One of the questions that I am always asked relates to the use of artificial sweeteners. The primary concern is whether they are safe. My short answer is that, based on my reading of the literature, they are far safer than sugar. We now know the metabolic consequences of consuming sugar in spite of the largely successful efforts of the sugar industry to confuse the public on this issue. If you surf the net you can find more information about this. Here is a recent article by my good friend, Gary Taubes, on the topic of sugar industry deception:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign

The popularity of Dr Robert Lustig and his YouTube video, “The Bitter Truth About Sugar”, is another example of a public awakening to the fact that they have been deceived:

At the same time, if you search the web about virtually any of the artificial sweeteners, you will find all kinds of scary stories of your imminent demise should you consume any of those products. Aspartame is the target of the most intensive attacks. There are two things to be considered here. One, when you actually look at the scientific literature it is very hard to convince yourself that any of the sweeteners have any significant adverse effects. Aspartame has been rigorously studied and has been in use for over two decades now and, still, there is no conclusive evidence of any serious harm.

The second consideration gets back to sugar and the industrial lobby. Who has the most to lose should artificial sweeteners displace sugar? The sugar industry has a long history of obfuscating the science and distorting health information about their product just as the tobacco industry did when their product was under attack. Would the sugar industry hire people to promote the idea that artificial sweeteners are harmful and that a “real, natural, popular food” such as sugar is preferable? I don’t know the answer to that question but when I see the plethora of paranoid nonsense about artificial sweeteners that is propagated on the web I wonder what is behind it. Follow the money, perhaps? At any rate, my general advice to people is to avoid sugar and if they must have something sweet, to choose an artificially sweetened product based on their personal preference.

Dr Peter Attia has posted what I consider to be a thoughtful, informative and much more definitive piece on this topic at:

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/what-are-the-side-effects-of-aspartame-stevia-and-other-sugar-substitutes

Now, your reward for reading this is that you can now try my favourite recipe for chocolate mousse. This is one of the treats that my kids love. It is quick and easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for a few days. It goes really well with a couple of thinly sliced strawberries or it can be eaten on its own.

1 litre whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 packets Equal

3 Tbsp pure chocolate powder

Chill a large bowl and the beaters from your electric mixer in the freezer. Pour cream into the chilled bowl and mix until it just begins to stiffen. Add chocolate, vanilla and Equal. Whip until stiff. Serve alone or with a few berries. Store in a covered container in the fridge. Can also be frozen in re-usable popsicle containers.

Breakfast, lunch.

Here are two recipes, one for my usual breakfast and the other for my usual lunch. Because I am basically lazy, I prepare large batches and save individual portions which I microwave before eating. Both these are very portable, so I carry servings with me when I travel. If you are in a hurry in the morning, you can take the breakfast with you to work and microwave it there, something I used to do when I still had a desk job. Ditto for the lunch. The frittata recipe is my own invention and the chilli recipe is adapted from Sarah Fragoso’s book, “Everyday Paleo”. If you make the chilli using the proportions below, you will need a very large pot. I like these two recipes so much that I eat them virtually every day. I hope you will find them to your liking, as well.

Beanless Chilli

2 lbs ground beef (1/2 Costco package)
2 lbs ground pork (1/2 Costco package)
9 hot Italian sausages skinned (one Costco package)
1 large onion diced
20+ stalks of celery diced (one Costco package)
2 large cans Italian tomatoes (from Italy)
2 cans chicken broth
2 cups water
4 Tbsp basil
4 Tbsp oregano
2 Tbsp ground cummin
6 Tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cayenne (optional depending on how hot the chilli powder is)

saute the onion and celery in lard, coconut oil or butter and transfer to large cooking pot
mix the spices in a bowl
fry the ground meat and sausage in batches, adding spices to each
batch, transfer to large pot
add tomatoes, chicken broth and water and simmer on low heat for about an hour

Let it sit at room temp for a day and then put it in meal-sized freezer containers with a dollop of sour cream and green salsa on top.

This makes about 15-20 servings which can be frozen and re-heated in the microwave.

 

Frittata

12 omega-3 eggs
2/3 cup cream
8 strips bacon cooked and chopped
1 cup diced onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms (one can of Money’s mushroom pieces)
2 cups grated cheese
optional – 1/2 can of chipotle peppers, finely chopped (adds a bit of hot spiciness)
salt and coarse pepper to taste

mix eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a large bowl

in a large skillet, fry onions and mushrooms in bacon fat or lard on medium/high heat
add bacon and chipotle pepper

add egg mixture and stir with spatula until mostly cooked
top with grated cheese and cover pan on low heat until fully cooked

put under broiler until cheese starts to turn brown

transfer to cutting board, let cool and cut into wedges

Can be stored in a container in the fridge for up to a week and
microwaved for a quick breakfast.

You can use different veggies, spices and cheeses for variations on the theme. I eat it accompanied with fresh tomato and Hellman’s mayo (made with olive or canola oil – avoid mayo made with any other type of oil).
Enjoy!

The Dr Peter Centre

When I wrote about my AIDS work in the previous post I was unaware that preparations were being made to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of my friend and colleague, Dr Peter Jepson-Young. On November 15th, there were a number of tributes in various Vancouver media which brought back poignant memories for those of us who were close to Peter. Here is a link to an article that describes the AIDS care facility we established in his name:

http://www.straight.com/article-834906/vancouver/hiv-care-transformed-dr-peters-legacy