Archive for May, 2007

Thursday Finds…

Hat tip to Lou Schuler to the link featuring the level of stupidy some sink to as a form of protest – seems Mark McGowan, a “performance artist” and VEGETARIAN in the UK ate a dead dog to protest fox hunting.

What will he do for an encore?


PJ, over at the Divine Low-Carb, has a piece about Low-Carb and Gardens.

“Today I was reading the blog Weight of the Evidence, and she was talking about trying to successfully live, let alone lowcarb, on a pitifully small amount of money.

It got me thinking about gardens. You know, the last century’s radical shift away from gardening is not just about free time. If anything people have more free time than they ever did, culturally — they just have other priorities, of course. I suspect it’s more about a trend of basically avoiding responsibility, in a way. I don’t mean if you don’t have a garden you’re irresponsible (haha!), I mean that as a culture at large it seems like we grow more and more toward “paying someone to feed us or fix us.”

Go on…you know you want to continue reading….


The obese seem to be viewed with greater disdain than smokers, at least in the UK.

Poll data released shows 66% public there supports the idea of denying surgery to obese people; just 33% said those who smoke should be denied surgery.


Sounds suspiciously carbohydrate-restricted to me…


May 31, 2007 at 5:30 pm Leave a comment

Study: Pediatricians Failing our Kids!

Earlier this week the Buffalo News carried Pediatricians slow to treat childhood obesity; an article critical of pediatricians – they were found in a survey to be “failing in large numbers to take Step 1 in the manual of fat prevention — calculating a child’s body mass index, or BMI.” [emphasis mine]

Here readers are led to believe that Americas pediatricians are negligent in their basic duties of standard care for children – they’re not calculating out BMI to “prevent” obesity in children.

Never mind the fact that the large majority are indeed weighing and measuring children at their routine well-child visits; ignore they have eyes to see and recognize a child who is too heavy; and heck, let’s just forget they have experience, experience, experience, with years of taking care of kids to recognize the difference between an obese child and a normal child in their care.

Nope, let’s just chastise them for exercising clinical judgement in their practice of medicine because they’re not in lock-step with the additional recommendation to now calculate and chart BMI to “prevent obesity.”


Some days I’m just tired of the misinformation and misleading of the public.

Calculating a BMI is data collection – nothing more; nothing less – and like any data collection, its usefullness is only as good as what one does with the data in hand.

Data such as a calculated BMI does not prevent disease (obesity); it is only a piece of a larger picture, and is a piece of data that is considered by many to be highly unreliable as a predictor of health.

Imagine for a moment you’re a doctor, a pediatrician, and you’ve just weighed and measured this child:

He’s five, stands 3’10” tall and you’ve determined he weighs 54-pounds, thanks to the nurse who weighed and measured him then added those figures to his chart before you entered the exam room.

You give him the once over and note he’s lean and healthy; his mother tells you he’s very active, quite a little monkey outside climbing, running and jumping whenever he has a chance – and you note too that he is itching to get out of your office as quickly as possible, laughing gleefully as you continue along with your physical of him.

Do you calculate his BMI at this point in time?

No? No you say?

Why, you’ve missed this healthy and active kid is at the 95th percentile according to the BMI – in children, that’s “overweight,” the politically correct way of classifying a child who registers obese on the BMI chart.

In this example, this child is one of the roughly 15% in our nation classified as “overweight” for age.

So much for your clinical judgement – you failed to recognize the fat kid in need of intervention to improve their diet and activity levels before they develop other diseases correlated with obesity!


So what are we to make of the survey?

How about some context.

The researchers reviewed the charts of 400 children and found pediatricians calculated BMI in roughly 1 in 20 children; while 91% did actually weigh and measure height in kids.

Somehow the researchers failed to ask or look at those who were calculated to compare to those not calculated – perhaps these pediatricians fail not in their care, but rather fail to see the usefulness of calculating each and every child, especially those obviously a healthy weight.

Let’s do math!

According to the IOM, it’s estimated that roughly 15% of children this age are at or above the 85th percentile for BMI. A closer look defines an estimated 10% are at or above the 95th percentile for BMI.

Children who hit the 85th percentile for BMI are said to be “at risk for overweight” and those who reach the 95th or higher are said to be “overweight.”

Stated another way, 85% of kids are well within normal weight, and some are underweight (as problematic potentially as obesity) with BMI calculated below the 85th percetile; another 5% may be “at risk” for becoming overweight/obese because they fall between the 85th and 94.9th percentile for BMI.

Simply put – 90% of children today are not obese; 85% are not obese or at risk for overweight.

But we don’t hear or see that much in the media, do we?

The media and authorities, it seems, are working really hard to scare the beejeebers out of parents these days.

Yes, the prevalence of children who are calculated as having a BMI at or above the 85th percentile has indeed increased. Where in the 70’s roughly 5% of children were at or above the 85th percentile, today roughly 15% are.

But we’re communicating the increased prevalence in terms designed to make the increase an issue for every parent to not only worry about, but do everything in their power to change, when the fact is that 85% of children are normal weight (or underweight).

We’re not just targeting adults with the message we have a problem in the United States – today every child is being targeted – with messages about diet, exercise, risks to future health, and even the potential of premature death; hearing, repeatedly, they’ll die at an earlier age than their parents because kids today are too fat.

We really need to ask ourselves, must we target all children in our attempts to reduce obesity in some children, or are our resources and time better spent when they’re directed and focused on the children who really do need some help?

While it may seem useful to chastise pediatricians, whom are quite competent in their daily practice of medicine, for not calculating every child’s BMI – maybe a better question is why are they being asked to when 85% of the kids walking into their office each day are not too heavy?

Do we really think pediatrians are so daft they’d visually miss recognizing an obese child?

Do we really want to require a doctor to spend time calculating out the BMI for all children s/he sees and chart they actually did calculate it out too, when 85% of the patients are likely to be below the 85th percentile?

Add to this, a percentage of the children falling at or above the 85th percentile are not really overweight or obese – by the simple BMI they are, but as the above picture illustrates visually, the BMI is not always an accurate measure of true fatness that should cause concern.

How useful is it really, in the long-term, to have every parent in America wondering if their pediatrician is failing their child because they’re not calculating BMI at the office visit?

May 31, 2007 at 4:39 pm 1 comment

Delicious Wednesday!

Since I planned to make deviled eggs with dinner (I’ll explain in a moment), our day started with creating something from the chickpeas sitting in the refrigerator – hummus – spooned atop cucumber rounds and strawberries in yogurt. Lunch included chicken salad (made from our leftover chicken) atop a green salad and some iced tea with lemon.

Last nights dinner was simply delicious – we started with some deviled eggs, and then enjoyed wild salmon en souffle with a side of sauteed summer squash (green zucchini, yellow squash, scallions and 1/2 of a fresh tomato, sauteed in butter with a touch of salt and pepper).

Deviled eggs were an obvious choice to eliminate wasting the yolks of the two egg whites I needed for the “souffle” part of the salmon recipe (see below). Rather than toss them, I placed them in a shallow pan with simmering water until they were cooked and added them to the yolks removed from hard boiled eggs I had made earlier in the week to have on hand for snacking. With a spoon of mayonnaise and a touch of mustard, we had deviled eggs as our appetizer.

The salmon recipe is one of the simplest and tastiest I have in my collection!

Salmon en Souffle
1 pound salmon filets
2 TBS butter
2 TBS dill weed (or seed)
2 egg whites
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Fresh lemon wedges

Melt butter and add 1 TBS dill, stir and spoon onto salmon filets in a baking dish; bake at 350F until cooked to liking (15 to 30 minutes depending on thickness and desired thoroughness).

Souffle – While salmon is baking, in a bowl place two egg whites and whip to firm but not dry peaks; add 1TBS dill weed (or seed) and 1/4 cup mayonnaise; fold mayo and dill into the egg whites and place in refrigerator until needed (salmon cooked).

When the salmon is ready, remove from oven and place oven on “broil” setting (low is better, but high will do); top each filet with a portion of the souffle mix and return to oven for about five minutes under broiler until souffle topping is golden (not too dark).

Serve with a wedge of lemon.

May 31, 2007 at 12:37 pm 2 comments

Wired Wednesday

Hey, Wait a Minute!

Earlier this month, I wrote about an article in Diabetes Health, titled The Optimal Eating Plan for Type 2 Diabetes?, in my post Diet for Diabetes Mired in Half-Truths. It seems someone over at Diabetes Health changed the title – now “Why You Don’t Want to Go Low Carb or Vegan,” with the text appearing to be unchanged.

Why the change?

More importantly, why no disclosure to readers that the title was changed?

Be Careful what you Wish For…

Good article today over at Junk Food Science (Sandy Szwarc), who does some critical analysis of the heavily promoted healthcare reforms taking place in many states.Medical Privacy Update: Healthcare for all

Luxuriate in Low-Carb

As Jimmy Moore pointed out earlier this week, a survey is open for low-carbers interested in a vacation retreat. The data collected will hopefully be the basis for a low-carb retreat to learn about and live a low-carb lifestyle while enjoying a vacation too!

Stuck on Stupid Award

Some Frito-Lay Products to Bear Heart Claim

Vegetable oils, salad dressings, crackers and other oil-containing foods made by PepsiCo Inc.’s Frito-Lay unit will now carry claims that products with unsaturated fat can curb the risk of heart disease, U.S. regulators said on Friday.

“Frito-Lay intends to apply the claim to vegetable oils, spreads, and shortenings that have a total unsaturated fat content of 80 (percent) or more of total fat,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.

Packaging for such foods would say “replacing saturated fat with similar amounts of unsaturated fats may reduce the risk of heart disease. To achieve this benefit, total daily calories should not increase,” according to the agency.

The company notified the FDA in January about its intent to add the claim to some of its products. The FDA said any food meeting the agency’s requirements could carry the claim. It would also apply to sauces, dips and other snacks.

You can read the basis of the new health claim at the FDA website.


The Tao of Twinkies

Is That ‘thar Meat you Got in your Mouth?

Can you imagine a day when eating meat might be outlawed?

May 30, 2007 at 2:58 pm 5 comments

Taking Dinner to Lunch

After an interesting breakfast – omelets with pepperoni (salad bar item), ham (Carl Budding) and cheese; the last of the blackberries and some coffee – we started our day. I say “interesting” because I’ve never had Carl Budding meats before, and can honestly say I probably won’t again. It didn’t look like ham, nor did it taste like ham.
Lunch was some cut cantaloupe (we’re almost done with the melon too) and the leftover stuffed peppers. Each day you may notice we eat for lunch the leftovers from dinner. It’s something I learned long ago when Gil was following carb-restriction for weight loss – it’s easier to make a big dinner and pack that as lunch than try to create a new lunch each day or eat out. It’s also a lot less expensive!
Regardless of budget, it’s something I always suggest to those who ask for help with menu and meal planning – and it allows some great lunches the next day! For example, last night we started dinner with shrimp cocktail (served with cocktail sauce and lemon wedge), Gil had water, I had some V-8, our son had milk; and our meal was broccoli and grilled chicken legs/thighs.

For Gil and me, lunch today will be chicken salad made from the leftover chicken – just a simple mayo based salad with diced celery, onion and mayonnaise, served on a bed of romaine, some sliced cucumbers, grated carrots and dressing. My son will likely have some cut-up chicken, leftover broccoli and a kiwi fruit, along with some milk.
To do such a menu, where you can maximize you time cooking and preparing meals, takes planning and cooking a larger meal for dinner than you’ll eat at dinner.
Some food too are simply not going to work well for a lunch the next day – things like cheeseburgers don’t tend to taste good the next day. So on day’s following something like a dinner of cheeseburgers you need to plan what else you’ll have for lunch instead, or prepare something similar while you’re making dinner. One option I usually suggest for a cheeseburger dinner is to brown some ground beef and season it like taco meat – then the next day prepare yourself a taco salad using that meat prepared the night before.

May 30, 2007 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

Stuffed Peppers ala Controlled-Carb!

A quiet Memorial Day was our plan yesterday – a delicious breakfast of slow-cooked oatmeal, topped with yogurt, sliced almonds and strawberries started the day. It’s not often we have oatmeal, but it was among the things I bought to add some variety to our menu throughout the week – and it was a tasty change of pace!

When Gil arrived home from his morning patients, we enjoyed leftovers from dinner the night before and then headed out to get some things done in the yard and then Gil and Hunter went fishing for a couple of hours.

With a number of emails asking to see our lake, I decided to post one so my readers can see why we choose to live where we do now – two words: peace and quiet!

While they were fishing (it’s almost always catch and release relaxation fishing – the night before was an exception to the “gut-hook” consumption of fish from the lake) I got dinner started.

Last night was stuffed peppers and a small salad. I haven’t made stuffed peppers in years, mostly because recipes are based heavy on rice as part of the stuffing, but the green peppers were such a good bargain that I bought nine of them, thinking I’d come up with a recipe for stuffed peppers when the time came to make them.

So, with a little creative license, here is the recipe I created as I went along last night:

Wash 8 green peppers well, the cut tops off and set aside. Remove the stems and seeds and fill each pepper with cold water. Place in a large baking dish, with about an inch of water in the bottom of the dish and microwave for 10-minutes.

Trim tops and place in container/bag in refrigerator for use later in week.

While peppers are steaming in the microwave, saute in butter, one diced zucchini, 1/4 onion diced, and one carrot shaved/diced very small until the zucchini is tender and the onions are still not quite translucent. Remove from pot/pan and set aside in a bowl.

In same pot/pan, add one pound crumbled ground turkey, salt & pepper, and cook, then add one can of diced tomatoes.

By now the peppers are done, so take them out of the microwave and empty each one of the water and drain the pan of water…add 1/2 inch of cold water to the pan and place peppers back in the pan.

Back to your pot of ground turkey and diced tomatoes – now add 3/4 of a jar of picante sauce (thin salsa), 1 can black-eyed peas and your onion-carrot-zucchini mix. Stir all together and spoon mixture into peppers. Take one small can of tomato sauce and pour over the stuffed green peppers, allowing the sauce to also fall into the water in the pan….then, taking a spoon, dollop the remaining picante on top of each pepper. Cover pan with foil and bake in the oven at 350F for about an hour (until the peppers are tender) – remove foil and bake another ten minutes to set the sauce on top.

Serve and enjoy!

Each Pepper:
7.5g Fat
2.9g Saturated Fat
22.6g Carbohydrate
4.5g Fiber
18.1g net carb
12.4g Protein

May 29, 2007 at 12:45 pm 3 comments

Expect the Unexpected

Saturday was an uneventful day – a simple breakfast of bacon and cheese omelets started our morning, followed by a quick trip to the playground to play while we waited for Gil to return from his morning at work. When we bumped into a friend with her husbands kids, the old saying, expect the unexpected, rang true. With the kids in town for the weekend, she was hoping maybe they could all come over Sunday to play with my son and go fishing on the lake since her husband, also a doctor, was off for the holiday.

Running through my head – what to make for dinner?

They’d surely stay for dinner and if I was going to honor my commitment to this week, what would we have to serve as a meal for not just us, but two more adults and three more children? I quickly ran through the options and decided to explain to her what we were doing because, for the life of me, I couldn’t come up with a meal for all of us with what I had on hand. I offered up that we had enough chicken and salad and could cut up the cantaloupe and maybe make some frozen strawberry yogurt for dessert. She offered to bring the asparagus bunch she had in her crisper and anything else she could think would add to our meal.

When we arrived home and were preparing our lunch (tuna salad, romaine, diced celery, tomato, pecan pieces and dressing) I let Gil know we’d be having company on Sunday, he had a great idea – if they’re going fishing, why not have fish for dinner? So, that was the plan – the chicken would be our standby just in case, but if they caught some fish, that would be our dinner.

Saturday dinner was a salad, cheeseburgers and spinach. Yum!

Since Gil had the day off yesterday (Sunday), we prepared a family breakfast of spinach and cheese omelets with some blackberries on the side; coffee as usual and an addition – a small glass of V-8 with a twist of lemon rounded out our morning meal. Our friends arrived shortly after lunch – I didn’t have lunch (not hungry yet), Gil picked on what was in the refridgerator and our son ate some yogurt, blackberries, cucumber slices with ranch and roast beef from the salad bar I picked up – and had brought a big bunch of asparagus, cut up watermelon, a homemade lemon pie and a spinach & artichoke dip with rye rounds.

They liked the idea of eating their catch for dinner, so everyone was keen on fishing as planned with a fish-fry for dinner if they managed to catch some fish if the weather cooperated!

On and off thunderstorms throughout the day continued through most of the afternoon, so when a band of weather cleared, the kids and Gil headed to the dock with poles and bait and returned with dinner about an hour later. After cleaning the fish, we had about 4-pounds of filets for everyone to enjoy!

So, dinner was a meal of a large salad (romaine, tomatoes, pecan pieces, cucumber slices, scallions and dressing), fresh caught fish, grilled asparagus and fresh-brewed iced tea with lemon. The pie, for those not watching carbs, and added to the watermelon some cantaloupe and berries and we had a great dessert too, remaining within our commitment for the week.

Funny, but the kids didn’t seem to mind not having the usual junk-foods – no complaints at all – they were quite content with the meal and fresh fruits or homemade pie for dessert, and enjoyed the fresh iced tea to drink with not one asking for juice or soda.

And, yes, I’m fully aware most folks would not have the option to go fishing off their dock…and if we didn’t have that option available, we would have had the chicken legs/thighs in enough quantity to make grilled chicken for everyone. Fishing was just too tempting not to use as an opportunity to not just have fun (the kids wanted to go fishing – it was one reason they were coming over) but to feed ourselves from our own hands.

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” Chinese Proverb

May 28, 2007 at 3:34 pm 6 comments

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