Club NoMed

“Hello, long time no see!” I said.

I had not seen Eddie for a long time, not since the 25th reunion. He had changed, but had not all of them? He still had his hair, but he was a lot bigger than I remember him. There was a paunch, and he seemed laboured in his movements.

“How are things with you?” I asked.

“Well, I can’t complain. All the normal problems that you can expect when you get beyond 60. But it is all under control. I’m taking medication for it. But you’re looking good!”

“Well, I do my best to keep healthy.” I said.

“You know, it was easy to recognise you because you don’t look much different than when we started at work,” he said, catching his breath a little.

“Yes”, I replied, “I’m about the same weight as a was those days. So what medication are you taking?”

Statins for Cholesterol

Eddie replied, “Well, I take statins for my cholesterol.”

“What’s wrong with your cholesterol?”

“It’s too high, so the Doc recommended that I took them to prevent me getting a heart attack”.

“What do you mean it’s too high?” I asked.

“The doctor just says that it’s too high and I have to do something about it. He told me that having high cholesterol was a cause of heart attacks, and if I took these, I would reduce the risk.”

“I am not too sure about that.” I replied, “Cholesterol is produced naturally in the body, and you need it to function normally.”

Doctor’s Advice

Eddie continued, “The Doc says that if I take the statins, and stop eating fat, especially saturated fat, like in meat, then it would further reduce the risk.”.

“Have you noticed anything since you been taking these?”

“Funny you should say that. I have begun to wonder whether I’m getting Alzheimer’s, because of my brain feels a bit foggy. I also get some muscle pains,”

I thought to myself that it was shocking how people blindly follow authority. Patients believe every word the doctors say, and doctors believe everything they read in research papers and information from the drug companies, it seems.

“So, what do you eat these days?” I asked Eddie.

Keep taking the tablets

“While cutting down on fats was a problem, because I stopped having butter and cream and eating the fat off of the meat years ago when I switched to low-fat stuff like margarine. I like eating bread although I have to be careful it doesn’t give me acid indigestion. But that’s no problem either because taken some tablets to stop the reflux.”

“I’ve also started to put on weight in the last few years, but I guess that’s natural. I mean, it’s normal to put on about a pound a year, isn’t it?” Eddie asked.

“Well, you have to watch that weight gain, in my opinion. You may be heading for type II diabetes”.

“Funny you should say that. After a year or so taking statins, I went to the doctors and he told me that I have type II diabetes. So I am taking some tablets for that as well.”

“Aren’t you fed up with taking all these pills?”

When you age, you take pills

“Well, it’s a fact of life. When you get older, you to take a lot of pills to stay alive. Everyone around here takes lots pills. If we didn’t have the pills, will be dying earlier. So it stands to reason that we should keep taking the pills”.

“I’m a member of Club No Med.”

“Club no Med.? Is that a club for older swingers?”

“No!” I laughed. “It means that I am not on any medication.”

“So you live with your illnesses?”

“As far as I know, I don’t have any illnesses.”

“What you mean you have no illnesses? You are the same age as I am, so you must have some of these things. Is it all that healthy natural living in Scandinavia that keeps you away from the doctor’s?”

“I’m not sure about Scandinavia bit. There are quite a few people on medication there, too. There are obese people as well. But I do think people are better informed about their health choices.”

You pay your taxes, you take your medicine

Eddie said, “But I mean if you have a national health service which you’ve paid the tax for, and get pills or something to sort you out, isn’t it best just to go there and get the prescription?”

“Yes, that would be the easy way out. Not having to think about it, or do something actively about your health.” Just a touch of sarcasm in my voice.

“You can’t do anything about your health, can you? I mean, it’s all in your genes, isn’t it? If sickness and death come, you can’t do much about it. Your number is up.”

” I beg to differ on that point,” said I

I had not eaten breakfast that morning, but now it was approaching lunchtime, I felt like having something to eat. So I took out a bag of coconut pieces. I offered one to Eddie.

It’s full of fat!

“No thanks,! I’m not eating that. It’s full of fat!”.

Eddie reached for his backpack and took out some food.

He said, “I get very hungry if I don’t have a snack. But I’ve got some healthy stuff here.” He produced a banana, some orange juice, and one of those muesli bars. I must admit, I raised my eyebrows.

I could not help myself from commenting, “Full of sugar, that lot.”.

“No, it’s not. It’s full of fruit and fibre. Good stuff!”.

Whatever, I thought to myself. What a disaster it was for my fellow countrymen. Such a contrast to visiting a country like Sweden. Not that everybody is super thin and healthy in Sweden, but they do seem to be able to look after themselves better. Perhaps it’s because they have inverted the food pyramid a couple of years back. Or perhaps it’s because they have low carb sections in the supermarkets.

7 million on statins in the UK

In the UK, a nation where 7 million people are prescribed statins, out of a population of 60 million, looking around me, all I saw were obese, and unhealthy-looking people. It is appalling. Have statins reduced the risk of heart attacks in the UK? There is no doubt that there are fewer deaths from heart attacks.

Survival rates are better. There are fewer transfats in the diet, and people are smoking less.

I believe that better education to encourage people to change your lifestyle would be a far more effective way of preventing heart attacks. Along with the acceptance by health professionals that cholesterol is not the cause, but an indicator, and that they accept the latest research, which shows the real reason.

Are illness and sickness really an act of God? Philosophically, I suppose the answer is yes. But I would like to believe that by taking responsibility for my health and trying to understand the physiology according to the latest research, that I could do something about it.

Join Club NoMed today – it’s free!

I am very proud not to be taking medications. I’m sure that if I went to my doctor, she would find something or another for which I should be taking medications. But my blood pressure is normal; my pulse is low, my BMI is 22.5, I am physically active, I sleep well, I think clearly, Beyond the age of 45, the best benchmark one can have is to feel as if you are 45. But my benchmark is also to be a member of Club No Med after the age of 45.

Anti-inflammatory Porridge

kale smoothie
The original smoothie with kale

It started as a smoothie. I have often made a smoothie that includes some healthy nutrients. At the same time, I try to keep within the bounds of a low-carb diet

One of the factors in integrative health is the immune system.  Along with nourishment, breathing, mental training, and movement. These 5 vectors are all interlinked. Working with these areas and “connecting the dots”  is the key to good health.

What is our immune system? The system in our body that fights disease and foreign bodies. It consists of the lymphatic system. Part of the function of this system is to transport white blood cells to and from the lymph nodes. In this way, it helps rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials.

What is inflammation? It is the body’s response to harmful stimuli from foreign organisms. This is a biological reaction to the work of the white blood cells, sent by the lymphatic system.

Is inflammation bad? Not at all, when it is acute. It tells you to stop injuring yourself further – by movement, for example, in a joint injury. In other words, acute inflammation is a good thing. The body repairs itself this way.

So when is it bad? When in becomes chronic, or systemic. Many factors cause systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation can lead to major health problems, such as cardiovascular disease. We do not want systemic inflammation. We want to avoid it.

What has food got to do with it? Certain kinds of food cause systemic inflammation. Not in everyone. Some people have a genetic predisposal to react to some foods. For example, foods from the nightshade family – potatoes, aubergines, tomatoes and sweet peppers. Hardly surprising when deadly nightshade (belladonna) is a poison. At a cellular level, the toxins present act as an irritant, thus causing inflammation.

Luckily, there are many foods that are anti-inflammatory. They reduce inflammation.

I recently saw a list of 24 foods that are anti-inflammatory. There are more than this number.  I noticed that several of them were in my smoothie. So I tried to expand my smoothie to include more. Only my smoothie became a porridge. On account of chia seeds, I suspect.

I will explain my porridge.

The base is buttermilk. Nothing too anti-inflammatory here. 250 ml. Organic. To this, I add a little fruit. Not too much so as not to kick me out of ketosis. As I have this for breakfast, or “break fast”, I drink a bullet-proof coffee before. I add a small piece banana, just 20g. A good source of potassium and soluble fibre – good for the gut. You can substitute this with cauliflower for less sugar. Red seedless grapes. 20g.  They contain anthocyanins and resveratrol.

Blueberries. 30g. Blueberries are sometimes called a superfood because of the antioxidants and vitamins. Pomegranates, 30g. Contain phytochemicals

So that was the fruits. Now the seeds. I mix seeds together, adding 40g in total to the porridge. Chia seeds (16g) are the reason it becomes a porridge. They undergo a dramatic expansion when put in liquids. Lots of omega-3 fats. Not as bioavailable as those from oily fish, but still. Important in reducing the inflammation related to heart disease. Flax seeds (8g) for similar benefits to chia. Hemp seeds (8g), anti-inflammatory due to gamma linolenic acid. Sesame seeds (8g) contains sesamol. Also, these seeds contain lots of minerals.

seed mix
Seed mix – chia, flax, sesame and hemp

 

Then we add the spices. Ginger (10g) is the one you are most familiar with. Contains gingerols. powerful stuff. Turmeric is also touted as a superfood. The active ingredient here is curcumin. Be careful handling this (as a root). It stains everything! Do not get it on white plastic appliances! I also add a fair amount of cumin, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. Almost like a curry!

Sometimes I will cut a sprig of kale from the garden.  Kale is available the whole winter. 

That is 11 of the list of 24. I don’t think I want to add fish or olive oil! I take 5ml of cod liver oil on the side to get DHA and EPA plus vitamin D. Garlic would be useful. It tends to screw your social life.

All this can be a little bitter, so I add some vanilla flavoured stevia drops.

Then I use the hand blender and after I have liquefied everything, I leave it for a while. This lets the chia seeds bloat.

Yes, there are other things I could add. You can vary the recipe a bit. Apple peel and cherries might be a tasty addition.

What does it do? For me, it eliminates joint pain. I used to have to wake up every hour to roll over at night. This was due to pain in my back and my hips. I do not do this anymore. I get a good night’s sleep.

I know that by eating or drinking this concoction, I am reducing inflammation. I am including other factors that reduce chronic inflammation. I am following the integrative health protocol. This is the key to good health. A life without pain. This is important when you are over 60. No – this is vital when you are over 60. It is the difference between living and existing.

Diabetes Disaster

I have just watched the BBC documentary “Diabetes Disaster”. Please watch it? The link is above. What you will see is tragic and avoidable. This is such a great shame for the United Kingdom. Indeed, for the world.

Forget the threat of radical Islam, Russia, North Korea, Aids and Climate Change. This can, and so it seems most likely will, threaten your existence. Especially if nothing changes in the way we deal with T2D (type 2 diabetes)

1 in 10 of the residents of Birmingham, England,  have T2D. This is causing incredible strain on the NHS (National Health Service). The complications include cardiovascular problems, kidney problems (nephropathy), neuropathy, joint inflammation and blindness (retinopathy). Sores that do not heal may lead to amputations of feet and legs.

gangrene photo
This man had his leg amputated because of gangrene in his foot

I would say that the main causes are too many carbohydrates in the diet and lack of exercise. But then again, I am not a doctor. What do I know? More to the point, what do they know?

In the documentary, we hear that the blame for the situation is “the system not working”.

Hospitals in Birmingham and other parts of the UK are being flooded with T2D patients. This is ruining the country and incurring massive costs.

We learn that there are 3 times the number of T2D cases than all forms of cancer.

We see John, who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 41 (obese) who finds it hard to control his diet. He takes medication: Metformin, Victoza and insulin. Why insulin? Surely this makes his obesity worse?

Yet one surgeon says the problem is too much fat and too much sugar. Why too much fat?  Have they never heard of LCHF, Paleo or ketogenic diets? Dear surgeon and T2D sufferer: Understand this. Eating carbohydrates is as damaging as smoking. Sitting still is as damaging as smoking. Yet everybody acknowledges the dangers and risks of smoking.

40% of diabetics are on dialysis (according to the commentary), which means they have degrees of kidney failure. Their blood needs to be cleaned by a machine. We see a former sportsman who is on dialysis. It surprised him to learn that he had T2D. I do not understand that people prefer amputations, Bariatric surgery or dialysis. They could learn an alternative lifestyle. Structured movement, correct breathing and low-carb diet. It is not hard. It takes time and choosing to take responsibility for one’s health.

Before the Millenium, T2D among children was unheard of in the UK. Now there are ever-increasing numbers. Wow! Is it contagious? (My joke.)

We meet a boy of 15 with T2D. He says “It can happen to everyone and anyone”. Wrong! Carbohydrate “poisoning” can happen to anyone and everyone – and it obviously does.

A Doctor says (of a youth with T2D) “He is eating more calories than he is burning off in exercise”. I suggest he looks at what Prof. David Ludwig, Zoe Harcombe Ph.D , or  Kris Gunnar Ph.D has to say on the subject. He might learn something new.

The frightening part of adolescent T2D is that the complications are serious. More so than with older people. Children are suffering from fatty liver and sclerosis of the liver.

We learn that there are 4 million diabetes sufferers in the UK. The NHS will have to make choices. Who and what to treat. Or run out of money. The NHS spends £1 billion per annum on treating T2D. An amputation costs some £38,000 including aftercare.

We see a 57-year old woman with both feet amputated. She has complications, so one leg is to be amputated above the knee. She almost looks happy with the attention she receives from the doctor when he informs her of this. Strange.  Was I really born and brought up in this strange country? I can conclude that eating carbs makes people dumb. I do not need research for that. It is evidence-based.

Another woman has Bariatric surgery. The surgeon butchers her stomach. He wants to do many more such operations. He claims it is “cost-effective” as it avoids later complications. Evidence? He says the problem is lack of resources. He means money.

So, the cause is bad diets? Can these doctors be specific? No. One says that the disease is unrelenting. What disease? T2D or eating carbohydrates?

At the end, we see John on a diet. He eats a plate of porridge (carbs) and looks forward to an apple (carbs) later. No one has told him that the carbs are exacerbating his hunger. If he had an omelette, for example, he would not feel so hungry.

I was sad and also angry watching this. It is not a phenomena restricted to the UK. It is global. It is not only treatable without drugs and surgery, it is in most cases preventable. There is a waste of resources. The beneficiary is the medical industry. The losers are the victims and society.

But hey! I live in Denmark! We are better informed! Only the biggest company here makes drugs to treat T2D. I should not rock the boat. This country can continue to build its wealth on the misery of others.

About the author: Steve Pickering lives in Denmark, is English and born in 1953.  Health and fitness has always been an interest. He was startled by the positive results of adopting the Sakharoff Protocol. So he decided to help Misha Sakharoff produce and promote a video course to help people improve their health. Along with his work with Misha, he teaches English privately.

 

It’s the Insulin, stupid!

 

Steve before
Steve 87 kg
Steve After
Steve 71 kg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you did not know yet, I am a subscriber to the notion that insulin is the root cause of lifestyle disease. Or rather, insulin resistance. Insulin – isn’t that something they give to diabetics? The man in the street might well know nothing more than this. The fact is that we all have (and need) insulin in our bodies to survive.

The problems start when you don’t have any or you have too much. Having none is a condition known as diabetes myelitis, or T1D. In this case, your pancreas stops producing insulin and you die. You waste away. Unless you get insulin from other sources as medicine injecting into your body. It stops your muscles withering. It requires the monitoring of blood glucose levels to be able to regulate the insulin dose.

The cause of Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is by one of two conditions. The pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to maintain control of blood glucose. The second is where the pancreas produces enough insulin to control glucose in the blood. The resulting high concentration causes diseases – lifestyle diseases.

The diseases caused by T2D include retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke. Also, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, sleep apnea and cancer.

Insulin Resistance (IR) is the term for elevated levels of insulin in the blood. This is whether of not T2D is present.

This makes me more worried about IR than high cholesterol. This is why I have cut sugars, refined foods, bread, potatoes, rice and pasta from my diet. I have replaced them with saturated fats. Animal fats and vegetable fats. Dairy fats. Butter, cheese, cream, meat with fat, oily fish, avocados, coconuts. Cold-pressed virgin oils (flax, olive, coconut). Nuts – walnuts, coconuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almond nuts. Seeds -Chia, sesame, hemp, flax.

I still eat some carbohydrates: leafy greens, berries. Other fruits and vegetables that have a lot of fiber. 100 grams max. per day. I enjoy my food.

I was born in 1953. That made me 62 at the time of writing. I do not want to be ill. I do not want to have to visit the doctor. I do not want to take medications. I want to live a full life with no restrictions. That is why I eat a low-carb diet. To keep my insulin levels at an optimal level that will stabilize my blood glucose levels.

It is that simple. Anyone can do it.

I want to enhance this, so I do other things. I follow a protocol. This protocol integrates nutrition, breathing, building immune resilience, structured movement and mindfulness.

I swim. I bike. I do yoga. I exercise 90 minutes every day. I expose my body to sunshine when I can, to get vitamin D. I am aware that I need to balance the oils (omega-3 vs. omega 6).

I take magnesium and zinc tablets and vitamin c tablets as required. I take magnesium to control the amount of calcium in my blood. Calcium in the arteries is a reliable biomarker of impending heart attacks. More so than cholesterol or LDL.

I weigh 71 kg. That is the same as I was when I was 22. I was 87 kg a year or so ago. People ask me if I am ill. I say “Why?” They say “Because you are so thin”, so I say “Are you ill?” and they say “Why?” and I say “Because you are not thin”.

I hope this is an inspiration for you. I wish I had read this 30 years ago. Never mind. I live one day at a time – to the full.

(Follow me also on Sakharoff.com)

 

How dietary misinformation kills

Have a look at this video. Dr. Malhotra explains in scientific detail while saturated fats aren’t bad. Then along comes a rather large dietist, who tells the audience that they should look at the evidence, not anecdotes.

Perhaps she should look at the evidence!

The Governments of the world are in deep pooh on this one. Why? Because faulty and misused research was used to dictate nutrition policies in the 1970’s, with absolutely catastrophic results – results that can be seen on every street – obesity and the resulting life-style diseases, such as diabetes 2, Alzheimer’s (or Diabetes 3 as it is becoming known as), coronary heart disease and auto-immune diseases.

This is costing our health services a fortune and could trigger their collapse. But a deeper problem lies in the fact that Governments are now reversing the advice they gave 45 years ago until recently; namely, that the population does not need to eat low-fat, high-carb diets. The Swedish are in the forefront, by turning the food pyramid upside down. The corporate lobby in the UK and US, has seen to it that the latest research results are watered down (and in some cases deliberately mis-intepreted).

However, another reason that they are slow to admit the mistake is that it undermines our whole system of government, because when the population wake up from the low-fat induced stupor, they will be angry, and into the bargain will find it hard to believe what Governments say on the subject now.

Let me recap, if you don’t know the story: As a result of the “7-nation study”, saturated fats were demonized and to counter the consumption of foods containing cholesterol, companies starting making “low-fat” foods, which conveniently have a longer shelf life and use the surplus corn production, in the guise of high-fructose corn syrup.

The result was that people started consuming huge amounts of sugar and carbohydrates (as well as polyunsaturated vegetable oils). The effect? insulin resistance, high serum insulin levels, and the inability for the fat (converted from the carbs) to be burnt off. The result? Well, just look around you!

I hope you are aware that there is a problem, but contrary to global warming and terrorism, you can do something about it yourself. Take responsibility. Don’t be a victim of the pharma holocaust.

Diet is not the only aspect of the way back to “normalization”. You need to work on several areas which are integrated. Misha Sakharoff’s Lifesaver course will bring you back to optimal health and perhaps save your life – hence the name- “Lifesaver”.  Believe me, see the 50-week course through and you will realize just how bad things were before you started!

You can read more and sign up for the course here

 

 

 

 

 

Keto Yogurt

Draining off the whey
Draining off the whey

Yogurt – or is it Yoghurt, or Joghurt? Never mind – we will call it yogurt.

Defined as a milk product that has been fermented by  lactobacilli and bifidobacteria to produce a sharp-tasting food that in its un-adulterated (i.e. without fructose added) form, has some amazing properties for the health of the gut, therefore the health of the brain and therefore for your health.

I prefer the high-fat organic Turkish yoghurt, with 10% fat, only it costs 35 DKK per litre – about £3.50 or $5. Now, I think that is fairly expensive, so I investigated how to make it myself. I found out that it is surprisingly easy – and cheap!

At our local supermarket, you can buy non-homogenised full-fat milk (required for yogurt making) and double (48% fat) cream. They are specially produced at a certain farm and are therefore more expensive than the run-of-the-mill A**a crap. Hence, they cannot always sell it BUT if you buy it on the last sales day, it is CHEAP, so I can make my own yogurt for around 7 DKK per litre – 20% of the price of the commercial product. I buy the “gaardmælk” (farm milk) which has a fat content that varies between 3.5% and 4.5%, and the double cream, as components for the “brew”.

The process is quite easy: Heat the milk and cream (140 ml for 10% fat yogurt) to 85 degrees C. This stops the milk curdling when the bacteria does its work. Let it cool down to 45 degrees C and add 100 ml of the organic yogurt, or, even better,  from some you made previously. Place in a bowl and cover in a tea cosy and let it stand somewhere where it will maintain warmth. I put mine on the bathroom floor, where the underfloor heating keeps things nice and warm.

Leave for 5-12 hours – more and the yogurt will taste more acidic. When it has fermented, it has a thicker-than-milk consistency. I like it really thick, so I strain it in a cool place through a tea cloth, to remove the “whey”, a kind of watery protein. When it is nice and thick, I put it in a kilner jar (the ones with a rubber seal) and in the fridge. Luvly Jubbly!

But, hey, why stop at 10% when we are going for the ketone bodies? I have successfully made 20% yogurt. Strange that there are no references to yogurt over 10% on the Internet. It tastes BRILLIANT! It seems everyone is still in the eat-low-fat-and-get-obese- era when it comes to yogurt.

Additionally, I have added the contents of a probiotic supplement capsule to my yogurt. I had these from when I had an infection in a finger due to a cut getting infected with bird poo, which caused it to go septic. Therefore I was on antibiotics, which positively wreck gut flora. I think it works – doesn’t seem to affect the taste or consistency adversly.

I am very pleased with this yogurt and the double-whammy of being an ideal way of complementing nuts and seeds at breakfast and being good for my gut flora. I have discovered lots of things you can make with yogurt – especially, from a keto standpoint, of adding olive oil, for example. keto+fermented foods – yey! Another enhancer is to add a few drops of organic vanilla essence to make a super dessert.

But why the silence on supercharged fat yogurt? IMHO, it tastes absolutely great. And now it is cheap. So I am eating lots of it.

Try it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Obesity a Disease? Or is it a Choice?

weight

This is a graph of my weight loss. I have calculated precisely my daily calorific requirement. I know my shortfall. So I can calculate very precisely how to control the loss or gain almost daily. IMHO, anyone can do this, if they have a computer with a spreadsheet. IT AIN’T ROCKET SCIENCE.

Link to Periscope video on katch

The above video is a Periscope video I did on the subject of obesity, where I show how I went from 87.5 kg on 1st June, to 76.4 kg on 11th November just by changing my diet.

I do not think that obesity should be treated as a disease, unless it is a mental disease. If you eat the wrong “food” (if you can call it that), you will gain weight, if you do not use the energy.

The wrong stuff is any wheat product (bread, pasta, noodles), rice, potatoes, sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, alcoholic beverages. Go easy on fruits (contain fructose) and protein (in meat, mainly).

Eat FAT, FAT, FAT!!!! Nuts,(Coconuts, walnuts) Olive oil, flax oil, eggs, meat (grass fed), fish, chia seeds, hemp seeds, butter, yoghurt (esp. probiotic yoghurt), avocados, green leafy vegetables, berries.

Make sure that 60% of your energy intake comes from fat and that you do not eat more protein in grams than your body weight in kg.

Get off your backside and exercise – walk 10,000 steps a day – it is not difficult. Ride a bike. Go swimming.

Get rid of stress in your life. Meditate. Do yoga. Make love.

GO FOR IT!