Imagining a New Normal

As I alluded to in my post about chauvinism in paleo, I'm not terribly hot on transformation stories from people who lost a ton of weight and now look like supermodels as incentive to clean up one's diet. There are other, more enduringly compelling reasons to do that, but they're not nearly so sexy - literally or conceptually - so they don't get told as much. Three blog posts in the last three days are different.


GDM and the Ketone Boogeyman

This was posted yesterday to a Facebook group to which I belong:
Gestational Diabetes. Sister in law is 32 weeks pregnant. Doc is telling her she needs 150-250 carbs per day. Yet her glucose is still high pretty much all day and especially in the morning. She is doing finger pricks like 4 times a day and if she doesn't get her levels below 130, consistently, she will have to have other interventions. I know this can be helped with food...
Being of personal and professional interest to me, I went searching for resources and got busy with some synthesis. The trouble is, ancestral health (AH) sciences have not had a chance to penetrate into the corners of human health conditions yet, meaning the vast majority of relevant published literature focuses on AH issues in adult men, or CW methods of addressing obstetric conditions. There's also a long-standing tradition in medicine to view the adult male as the default physical model, leaving women - and heaven forbid pregnant women - as de facto pathology cases. Combining that conceptual substrata with the diabetic disease state sets off any number of ringing bells and blinking lights that promptly summon the heavy pharmaceutical artillery.

But if we took a step back and changed the underlying assumption to one more in line with AH, and accepted that the female also functions, and that pregnancy is a normal aspect of female physiology, what would we find?


Phases of Pregnancy

Not that you'll ever need to know this, but there are 3 phases of pregnancy: mine, ours, and baby's.


Real Values

It's funny, isn't it, how themes sort of pop up like spring grass across vast prairies of thought. I have serendipitously encountered quite a few bloggers wrestling with the question of what is real to them. This is not an esoteric, 'do I exist if I leave the room' sort of enquiry, but rather an examination of value. More to the point, a re-examination, against cultural norms, of how value is defined. It's meaty stuff for the blogosphere. It speaks to what it means to be a reflective, deliberate adult and, as such, I find it essential, often neglected, and stimulating to observe. It's the kind of thing that inevitably (and I mean that literally, not the "usually/sometimes" meaning that seems common these days) forces a comparison to one's own values or the state of that enquiry on the home front. And that, to me, is an amazing benefit of blogging: universal human concepts shared across time and distance with a feeling of both immediacy and anonymity.


Commuting and the French Paradox

I'm listening to Chris Kresser on a Balanced Bites podcast, and they're discussing stress and its effect on nutrition. There are a lot of angles that topic could take, but they've focussed on how fight-or-flight and rest-and-digest are mutually exclusive modes of being, and what that means for family dinner.


Slow-Roasted Leg of Suckling Pig

An unexpected find of a large piece of meat at half price the day before the best-before date and an hour before end of business day, a little help from Google and online friends as to what to do with it, and a day to play led to an amazing meal of tender, juicy meat under flavourful crispy skin with a veggieful sauce and enough of everything for a second meal (which is a miracle in itself around here). Since I came up nearly empty-handed searching for English-language and gluten-free, paleo-friendly ways to prepare a joint of suckling pig, here's an almost wordless tutorial on what I did and what came out.

The Ambush of Humpty Dumpty

Like any reactor meltdown, a series of factors came together, gathered momentum and blew the lid off something such that Humpty Dumpty will never be the same. Fingers are being pointed, some ostrich tactics are being employed, and the smug I-told-you-sos are flying thick. I'm amused because it's all so expected and unnecessary.


Lipstick on a Pig

My three-year-old daughter is fascinated by princesses and lipstick. I had an unfortunate outburst once when she got into some cherry lip balm and she now has the word 'hooker' in her vocabulary. I'm not entirely remorseful about this because she knows it's not a term of praise, and it's associated with lots of makeup (actually, with any amount of lipstick - that is occasionally a problem). Negotiating the line between pretty and sexy and crass with her is a part of parenting I'm dreading but already rolling up my sleeves for. Then I saw something on TV last night that reminded me of how complicated the whole issue gets.


Faileo Pregnancy

Hello blog, my old friend; it's been a while. Please don't take it personally. It's not you, it's me. I'm pregnant, you see, turning inwards, and thought synthesis has not been much in evidence as a result of the minor queasiness and moderate exhaustion that caused/causes. Drafted posts languish in the lineup. Tabs left open to link to get closed after days and days of just sitting there. Late-night writing frenzies are a distant memory as I've been known to go to bed immediately after my toddler at night and wake when the mailman rings the next day, long after the others have left. Bless my husband for his fortitude in that!



It's been freezing and horrible for weeks, as of this morning the heat is not working, I'm feeling lousy and it's a midweek holiday. What to do? Bake!


Link Roundup 06/02/12 - salvaging the most common New Year's resolution

I'm working on some meaty research posts, but these tabs keep choking up my browser. They're valid, they're just not making my life easier where they currently are, so you get them!


Quick Thoughts on Vitamins D and K

Do you bruise easily? Did you suffer from "shin splint" bone pain as an adolescent? Were you or your children born by caesarian section due to cephalopelvic disproportion (baby's head too big for mother's pelvis)? Trying to conceive (maybe having trouble)? Are you dark-skinned and diabetic? At risk for osteoporosis or hardened arteries? Get your vitamin D levels checked.


Secular Graces

As much as I'd love to belong to a faith tradition and a congregation, I'm a heathen. A few people have offered to help me out with that, but there are just some hurdles I can't get over. I'm totally on board with the caring and community aspects, the devoting time to consideration of grand concepts of the divine or debased, I'd even consider getting out of bed on a Sunday (but not too early) to do that regularly because I think it's important to some intrinsic part of our humanity. I think there are a lot of rituals in religion that are worth keeping even if you don't share the relevant God.

One of them is the practice of gratitude. It is something that needs practicing; the more habitual it becomes, the better you'll feel on a normal day and the deeper you'll be able to dig on those days when you need to feel better. I don't do too much habitually except eat, so I've been considering ways to include the ritual of grace at our table without invoking a deity.


What We've Been Eating

Sometimes I forget to photograph tasty things. Sometimes the tastiest things aren't photogenic. Sometimes we're hungry and don't want to wait for photos. But more often than I realise, the food was fine, the photos are passable, but I just forget to post them. So here are a few of the meals we've had in the last while, in case it lends you a little inspiration.


Fats, B12 and Dementia

I can't think straight if my house is messy (so imagine how incredibly stimulating my posts would be if only I cleaned instead of blogging!), but no one can think straight if their belly's empty. What is in it is far more important - as you most certainly know - than how much. But have you ever sat down to investigate specifically what your doctor or friendly public health professional meant when they said that taking risks now would have consequences later?


Link Roundup 11.01.12 - videos

This film shows a big chunk of why we never want to move to the 'States, and why I'm even hesitant to move home to Canada with a young daughter in tow.

Yeah, I'm a bit behind on the I, Caveman thing. What surprised me (although it shouldn't have) is how unprepared a lot of those people were ("what do cattails look like?", "can't they just sneak me a cracker?") and how surprised the narrator sounds when he says that modern man could possibly hack it as cavemen. Um, WE ARE CAVEMEN! It drives me nuts to see, at every archeological site with a visitor's centre, comments about how aMAZing it is that "primitives" could do X, Y or Z. They are us. We are them. Whatever you and nine of your best friends could do with some planning, skills, a sharp stick and fire is what paleolithic people could do too. 'Cept they probably did it fifty times better because they had way more planning and skills and relevant culture and community. That group seemed to have a culture of laying around and a community fixation on ways to escape rather than survive. Geez.

Right, time to shake the seriousness out after that.


Over Kill

I've just finished watching the film 2012, about the end of the Earth and (American) humanity's attempt to save what we can aboard arks. Feasibility entirely aside, here's my question:

How long until movies have explosions in the first scene? 


New Year's Eve Feast

Our New Year's celebrations occurred at 8:30pm, when we could all take part. There was a slight revival at midnight to watch a surprisingly good fireworks display from our bedroom window, but we felt that the celebration of the years past and future had enough meaning to survive the slip in protocol. There was, of course, a fitting feast to accompany the occasion.


Books for Babymakers

We're well past the "top 10 gifts" list season, I know.

Good thing this list only has 4 entries then, huh?

Once again demonstrating their many similarities to puppies, babies aren't just for Christmas, so these books are as relevant now as they were two weeks ago or will be in 6 months. They're books for people planning babies, growing babies, birthing babies and raising babies to be the healthy, happy, robust little dirt-eaters they deserve to be. Personally I think this list of titles would make an outstanding wedding gift (you know who you are!).