May 7

Back in the saddle

29  comments

I’ve taken a brief hiatus from posting for a couple of reasons. First, MD was in charge of the auction board the annual gala thrown to raise funds for the Santa Barbara Choral Society that took place last night, and, although my responsibilities were negligible (read: none), I got caught up in the whole thing.
Never one to tread the common path, MD decided to do an entirely different type of auction than the typical silent auction that has been done at this function for the last umpteen years. Problem was a number of the other folks involved in the gala couldn’t understand MD’s idea and were concerned that the auction – which is a huge fund raiser – would be a bust. My advice to MD was to play it safe and conduct the auction as it has always been done, but once she got the bit between her teeth, she wasn’t to be dissuaded.
As you might imagine, the tension and angst levels at the Eades’ household has been at stratospheric levels for the past few days leading up to the event. And I, wonderful husband that I am, abandoned my own pursuits (including this blog) to give her a hand, though probably not much of one.
The auction was a big success, at least in terms of fund raising, so MD wasn’t the goat she feared she might have become had the thing flopped. She is going to take a survey of the attendees to see how the people liked the auction the way it was. If most did, then she will propose it again next year. If everyone loathed it, but went along just to keep the funds flowing, then she’ll abandon the idea and go back to the standard silent auction.
Second, I got a new computer. A Mac. A 15″ Macbook Pro, to be exact. This past few days I’ve been in the process of switching over from a PC, the type of computer I’ve been using for as long as I’ve been using computers. It’s not as easy as everyone told me it would be, but once I get the hang of it, I think I’ll like the Mac much better. I’m still having real trouble getting used to not having a right click button.
What provoked the change? I had just one too many blue screens of death on my PC while I was right in the middle of something. It finally put me over the edge.
Plus, most of my work is with scientific journals and other academic publications, and virtually everyone in academia uses Macs. I’ve had enough instances where I’ve asked presenters at medical meetings how they made a particular slide, and they say, Oh, I did it with Keynote (an Apple presentation program). The first time this happened, and asked the guy what Keynote was, he responded with: “It’s a program for the Mac. You do use a Mac, don’t you?” When I said ‘No’ the guy looked at me like I was some kind of moron. I”m not usually a follower of crowds, especially academic crowds, but in this case, since most of the work I do lends itself to easier production on the Mac, I broke from tradition and followed the crowd. I’m hoping this will be one of those all too uncommon situations in which the crowd is actually right.
So, I’ve finally gotten a Mac, and I’ve now mastered it to the point that I can at least use it to write this blog.
Nutritional posts to follow.


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  1. Enjoy your Mac, and if you find you can’t adjust to OS X, remember that you can run Windows on it. We’ve stopped buying any hardware other than Apple even when we do plan to use Windows. It costs a ton more to get a retail license for Windows and takes time to install alongside OS X, but we find the hardware to be worth it in lack of problems and longevity.
    Having said that, OS X is a nice OS even if I do hate the keyboard shortcuts and form controls…
    Hi Hap–
    Thanks for the confirmation that I made the right choice.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  2. I just switched to a MacBook a couple of months ago after using Windows since the beginning of time, and I love it.
    If you’re using a mouse, you can right-click. Or you can tap two fingers on the trackpad. There’s a setting in System Preferences that you may need to change: Keyboard & Mouse, Trackpad, and (I think) check “Tap trackpad using two fingers for secondard click”. I ran into talk about this technique for weeks, wondering what people were talking about before figuring out the setting change.
    Hi Betsy–
    Thanks.  I’ll give it a try.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  3. Mike, two suggestions to get right-click function on the 15″ MacBook Pro:
    1. Press the Control key and click.
    2. Invest in an Apple Mighty Mouse (with Bluetooth for wireless connection). While no left and right button appear to be present, clicking the left side of the mouse with your index finger does a left-click; clicking right side of the mouse with your long finger does a right-click. This mouse has an added feature in that there is a button for scrolling.
    As a graphic designer, I’m also a Mac specialist. If you have any questions, let me know.
    Incidentally, as you have switched to Mac, there is no reason to use Windows – unless you want to run a Windows application not available for the Mac.
    Hi Gary–
    I’ve figured out the Control Key and click.  I may invest in the mouse you suggested if I don’t adapt in a day or two.
    And I may hit you up for advice.  Thanks for offering.
    In fact, I will right now.  I’m having trouble playing videos that aren’t Quicktime or YouTube.  I downloaded the Flip4Mac.WMV but I still can’t play WMV files.  Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance. 
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  4. Your Mac will work with any USB mouse, and you can have your right-click back. 🙂 I bought a $4 HP two-button mouse with scroll wheel from a discount store, and it worked just like that. Of course I also bought a wireless bluetooth mouse (two buttons plus scrollwheel) with my Powerbook for presentations and class lectures.
    Enjoy your Mac! I’m so jealous. I’m still using my barely-two-year-old Powerbook, but DH bought a 24″ iMac last Christmas, so we’re not totally out of the Intel loop. He loves Parallels for those times when he absolutely has to use Windows programs.
    Hi Anna– 
    If I keep on liking the Macbook Pro as much as I think I will, I plan on getting one of the 24″ iMacs to replace my desktop computer at some point.  Before long, though, I’m sure MD will start whining for a Mac, too.  So far, she’s willing to let me go through the frustration of the learning curve alone.  If and when she gets hers, I’ll be her tech guy.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  5. Blue screens of death? I haven’t seen a BSOD since switching from Win98 to Win2000, seven years ago. I switched to XP last summer and still no BSODs.
    Hi Alex–
    I never saw a BSOD until I got XP.  Since then, I’ve seen way too many.  And the problem is that I can’t (couldn’t; I don’t care now) figure out what’s causing it.  I started sending the little things back to Microsoft and would get messages from them that a ‘driver’ was causing the BSOD.  But they would never inform me of which driver was causing the problem.  I hired a tech guy who came out and spend several hours updating all the drivers, including all the printer drivers.  The thing didn’t show the BSOD for about two months, then, bingo, it happened again.  Then it started happening with more frequency.  I had been wanting to get a Mac for a while, so I figured this was the time.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  6. Sir thanks yr post on sunlight..i was hoping you’d be inclined to go into the neurobiology of it but no matter.
    So a q for you. If you knew someone was very tryptophan deficient would you just suggest they hit the red meat and turkey asap ?
    thanks as always
    Hi Simon–
    I was just kind of yanking you around on the answer to your comment.  Actually the subject is one that interests me a lot, but I’ve got a number of posts I’ve been formulating that I need to get up before I start on to new subjects.
    If I ‘knew’ someone were tryptophan deficient, I would certainly send them running for the turkey.  But I would want to know why this person was tryptophan deficient and how such deficiency was determined. 
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  7. I’m looking to buy a new computer in a couple of months and I’m also thinking of going to a Mac. It’s not like I like Microsoft or anything, I’ve just kept with the PC because until recently more was available for PCs.
    I have a friend that is a Mac nut and is going to show me everything, if I decide to go that way.
    Hi Cindy–
    I’ve only been at it for a couple of days, and I can tell you already, I like the Mac a lot better.
    Let me know how it works for you.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  8. I recently switched back to the mac myself (used to use them a lifetime ago, back in 89-90), and I love it. The thing boots up in seconds, rarely crashes (though it does, it does… once in awhile), much easier to load and better yet, unload software…
    I am also planning to switch my desktop over to Mac and be done with windows, at home anyway.
    anyway, here’s a book you should get to ease the transition, it helped me a lot:
    The missing manual, by David Pogue (the New York Times tech reviewer).
    http://www.amazon.com/Mac-OS-Tiger-Missing-Manual/dp/0596009410/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-9447581-5615348?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1178625912&sr=1-1
    Thanks Mr Freddy–
    That was the first book I bought.  Now I just have to be patient enough to read it.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  9. Hi Dr. Eades,
    Congrats on getting a Mac. I know you won’t regret your decision. I started using Macs back in ’84 when my uncle (an architect) bought the original to do some simple CAD drawings. At that time PC’s were nothing more than “the dark place” (DOS). It was some years later in ’93 that I was reunited with them at my college job where I learned the nuts and bolts. Anyway, I’m a Mac addict now. To let you know the longevity of the platform, I’m currently using a 6 year old iMac that I restart once a month or so. It’s been a real workhorse. Coincidentally, tomorrow my 17″ iMac arrives and I’m donating my current machine to my mom (who still thinks the internet is something fishermen use to haul in fish). It should be interesting. If you have a second check out the Airport Express wireless router that Apple sells. It’s a great travel companion for using in hotel rooms with high-speed ethernet connections.
    Enjoy,
    Ned
    Hi Ned–
    Thanks for the tip on the Airport Express.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  10. Welcome back and welcome to the Mac. You’ll be surprised I think that after the novelty wears off you will just lose yourself in the work and both the hardware and OS kind of disappear. A mark of truly good design. Consider yourself lucky if you are not subjected to the rants of fanatics from both sides of the OS debate! Anyway, have fun.
    Quick question I have not seen addressed here or on the boards – can you suggest an easy way to find a GP locally who subscribes to the PP way of thinking? I have followed your nutrional advice for years, and most of the comments I get at my annual physical are in the tone of “Wow, your cholestorol is great, BP normal to low, keep up with that diet and excercise (meaning low-fat, of course)”, but if I ask for more detail on the blood work I get all kinds of weird looks, like I am a nut job for wanting to know my glucose or insulin markers when my LDL/HDL levels are so good.
    Anyway, thanks for all you do!
    Dusty
    Hi Dusty–
    I’m finding what you say about the Mac is correct: I am beginning to ‘lose myself’ in the OS.  I’m still having a little trouble simply because I forge ahead pounding keys trying to get it to do what I want it to do instead of taking the time to look up the proper steps to take in one of the many books I have on the subject.
    I don’t know how to tell you to find a PP-friendly GP.  There are more and more these days, but finding them is not always easy.  You would probably do better looking for a younger doc who is trying to build a practice.  I would then tell him/her what I was doing on the first visit and ask if he/she would support me in my efforts.  Most probably will.
    Good luck–
    MRE 

  11. Sir thanks.
    Yes it seemed as much
    Interests me a fair bit in Paris, Seattle and Vancouver in Oct i became depressed at the same time of year yet in betwixt WA state and Can-Ardour were 3 yrs in Afrique where of course never happened once.
    I got myself a Solux bulb(check them out MR16 connections and the bulb that most replicates nat light if buying the 3500k seems best as they replicate morning light, anf the 24 degree 50 watts spots have plenty of lux within a few feet for you to get sufficient lux etc within a 30-60 min period) et voila within a day the Fall blues were gone.
    ref tryptophan…cos of depletion due to alcohol consumption..thats why .
    Thanks much as always.
    Hi Simon–
    I wasn’t aware that alcohol depleted tryptophan.  That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, just that I wasn’t aware of it.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  12. If you want something to fill in the video playback gap, I highly recommend the VideoLAN client. It plays almost all common video types, including Windows Media, and is available for a plethora of platforms including OSX. It does not play RealMedia, however, so you will have to get a separate player for that.
    http://www.videolan.org to download.
    Thanks, Bradley–
    It worked like a charm.  At least for the few videos I tried to open.  Now if I could only set it up so that these things would play when I click on them instead of having to go through the ‘Open With’ function and all that.  On my PC I simply click on the video and off it goes.  On the Mac (at least so far in my limited learning process) I have to go through a few extra steps.  I’m sure that with time I’ll get it all set up properly.
    Thanks again for the help.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  13. Here’s a tutorial that might help soften the learning curve a little:
    http://www.macinstruct.com/node/124
    tuaw.com also frequently comes up with tutorials and miscellaneous Apple-related posts. And if you’re ever stuck on anything, know that Apple forums (fora?) tend to be very helpful and patient with newbies. Also, if you do think you have a weird, intractable problem, just google it. Someone somewhere has already encountered it, asked it online, and been provided an answer. That’s how I learned.
    Have fun!
    Anna
    Hi Anna–
    Thanks for the tips.  I’ve looked at the site you linked, and I think it will be very helpful.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  14. Yaaaay, another Mac team player!. I’ve got a MacBook Pro, too. Even though I get hand-me-down Mac laptops from my husband’s lab, they rock!
    Welcome to the Mac World. You’ll love it!
    I’m glad to be there…I think.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  15. Sir fancy having a deconstruct on Judith Wurzmans book The Serotonin something book ? She has the dubious honor of being hitched to Dickie Wurtman (MIT uber honcho) who was the co creator of phen-fen !
    Come on Sir sharpen that rapier
    Hi Simon–
    Read the book years ago; didn’t make much of an impression on me.  Wouldn’t want to read it again simply to take the rapier to it.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  16. You may need to tweak some settings in the Flip4Mac software. Check the Flip4mac properties (you can find it under System Preferences). Make sure it’s set to play WMV automatically.
    Mine is actually setup to use Quicktime instead and I use Firefox rather than Safari. Not sure how pertinent this is but my setup works flawlessly for WMF.
    Hi anita–
    I’m continuing to fiddle with it constantly.
    Thanks for the info.
    MRE 

  17. Kudos to MD for a successful auction! My mom used to spearhead a lot of fundraisers so I know how nervewracking it can be, especially when you get down to the wire.
    Hubby and I are just about ready to finally get a computer for our house. It’s a long story as to why we don’t have one already but it involves an 1890 house with smallish rooms and the desire not to have a hulking big computer set-up hanging out in the corner of one of our parlors. Now that the components have gotten smaller, that’s changed. I’ve always wanted a Mac and now my mind is made up for sure. The only hurdle is going to be convincing hubby.
    Hi Esther–
    Show him an iMac and he’ll be convinced.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  18. Sir i might have got it wrong.. you’re the ‘bod’ about physiology but there seems to be a fair bit of research..however i might be misunderstanding it.
    I’ll take a look when I get the chance. 

  19. Dear Dr. Eades,
    Glad to know you’re back in the saddle. However, that was two days ago. Mac got your tongue? Looking forward to your next post.
    Best,
    Tim
    Hi Tim–
    I’ll return soon.  Right now I’m in the throes of dealing with the tech guys who run my website.  It’s difficult to get them to move quickly.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  20. You will love the Mac, I know I do mine. Just remember that it has an iSight built in. This means you could do video blogging!
    Hi Freddy–
    I’ve contemplated podcasting, but not video blogging as of yet.  But who knows?
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  21. Congratulations on your Mac! May you both be happy together.
    As a writer, you might be interested in my favorite piece of software, Scrivener:
    http://literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html
    Only on the Mac. In fact, I am so pleased with this writing software that I recently replaced my 7 year old Mac laptop with a newer model that can run OS X.
    It’s that good.
    Hi WereBear–
    Thanks for the recommendation.  I’ll check it out.  I can’t believe it’s as inexpensive as it is.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  22. Dr. Mike,
    I recently found your “Thin So Fast” book and have been really enjoying reading it. I have been thinking about going the PSMF route to get rid of the last few stubborn pounds and your method looks interesting. I did have a couple of questions, though.
    Why the skim milk? Why not just protein powder? Is it for the calcium?
    Using your method only provides 65 g of protein. According to PPLP, someone my size need around 120. Is it a problem for someone to up the protein powder amount to cover that?
    I know the book is out of print and is probably superseded by PPLP, but it is still something that is relevant today, as the PSMF diets are popular with bodybuilders. Your way looks more doable than eating just chicken breasts and salad. Any thoughts to updating the book with new research (it is a little saturated fat phobic and almost *gasp* praises trans-fats)? It has one of the best treatments of maintenance of any “diet” book I have ever read.
    Thanks.
    Hi Ryan–
    Thin So Fast was superceded first by Protein Power then the PPLP
    I used skim milk because, hard as this might be to believe now, at that time there were no protein powders available other than a few used solely by body builders.  The powders available were made to be mixed with other food to hide the wretched taste.  I used skim milk powder simply to have something tasty to use as a base to which were added the disgusting tasting protein powders available at the time.  Were I doing a PSMF now I would simply use one of the good protein powders available almost everywhere.
    The increased protein intake as recommended by PPLP is fine.  In fact, it’s better.  A number of studies have come out since Thin So Fast showing an increased weight loss with increased protein intake.
    I was probably a little saturated fat phobic and took a less hard line on trans fats as compared to my views now.  But, I’ve had a couple of brain transplants since the Thin So Fast days.
    I haven’t contemplated updating the book.  Each book is more or less an update of all the ones before.  I’m glad you enjoyed the section on maintenance; I really enjoyed writing it.  It was my favorite section of the book…that and the part about the Eado-Eado tribe.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  23. Thanks, Dr. Mike.
    I have been trying out the PSMF from “Thin So Fast” and having good results. It is good to know that I don’t need the skim milk as I really don’t care for the taste. It also added a lot of carbs. Were the carbs necessary or just a necessary evil to mask the taste of the protein powder?
    Just a necessary evil.
    Good luck.
    MRE 

  24. There is always a better way to do things than the “typical” way.
    This is why authoritarian regulation of any industry does more harm than good, even in the way the regulation intended to help. It stagnates things as they are, which is never, ever the best way they can be.
    Bravo to MD for standing up to the bureaucratcy-minded.

  25. Just adding my two cents on “Thin So Fast”…
    Thanks for the update on TSF. I acquired the book in January and have had wonderful results (down by 47 pounds)! I had similar questions to Ryan’s and greatly appreciate the info. I removed the fructose early on, and have added cinnamon (for blood sugar benefits and taste). Other than adding a hard-boiled egg in the morning and/or afternoon, I have been attempting to follow the plan to the letter.
    I look forward to re-calculating the protein content and reducing the milk a bit (some days it gives me an unpleasant buzz).
    This is the easiest plan that I have been on, and am looking forward to getting back to PP afterwards–which I should have never allowed myself to get off of in the first place!
    In an earlier post (NutriSystem stock hitting the skids) you said “The thing I found remarkable about this is that almost no one ever went back to the same place twice.” But the thing about PP is that it WORKS, and it makes sense–so people like me pick ourselves up and come back!
    Keep up the good work and enjoy your Mac!
    Hi Lena–
    I am enjoying the Mac a lot.
    Thanks for the kind words about TSF.  A lot has changed in the 20 years since it’s was published, but you’re right, it really does work.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  26. I’m doing a Thin So Fast type of plan. I read the book for motivation as well, I like the chapter on exercise and the thoughts on being disciplined and in control of your life.
    Any thoughts on how to keep metabolism boosted while on a low cal diet? I’m getting in shape as quickly as possible (have about 50 or 60 fat pounds to lose), will more exercise (cardio and strength training) help? I’ve read that some say that too much exercise (like two hours a day) while on a low calorie diet might not help.
    Hi Jen–
    The best way to keep metabolism boosted is to increase lean body mass.  You can do this in three ways: first, by making sure that you get plenty of protein so that you can build and maintain lean body mass; second, by following a rigourous low-carb, low-cal diet since the carb restriction seems to have a metabolic advantage of about 300 calories; and, third, by doing a Slow Burn workout about once every five or six days.
    Hope this helps.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  27. Thanks for the reply. I really appreciated how in Thin So Fast you explain how to exercise, how the goal is not to push yourself until you feel sick, but to actually train and strengthen the heart. I bought a heart rate monitor watch and it’s really helped me to stay motivated and feel good about my efforts.
    I’m eating one gram of protein per pound of LBM. I’ll have to check out that Slow Burn workout. I lifted weights in the past (12 reps, 1-3 sets) but I felt like even when I was a much healthier weight (5’6″, 150 pounds, Size 8) my lower body still needed to be thinner. I’m hoping a mix of strength training and cardio will help. I’ve been doing about an hour of moderate cardio a day and also taking walks.
    Two questions if you have time —
    1. Any thoughts on if interval training cardio would help on a low-cal, low-carb diet in terms of keeping metabolism boosted?
    2. I’m trying to determine how much fat I should be losing each week. Would you recommend a calorie multiplier of 12 times body weight for a woman that doesn’t have a physical job to calculate current maintenance calories? I want to lose about 50 pounds and my body fat is maybe about 39% (according to scale and Thin So Fast chart). If I use a mulitplier of 12, how much then do I add in for calores burned with exercise, is any of that exercise included in the 12 multiplier? For example, today I burned 800 calories from exercise (four miles elliptical, four miles walking). I know this sounds like I’m focusing too much on the details but I’d like to know technically, if it really is calories in and calories out, how much fat I should be losing.
    Hi Jen–
    First, metabolic rate is set primarily by your weight.  If you train extremely strenuously you can burn a few more calories, but not nearly as many as you think.  Why?  Because a significant portion of the calories you think you’re burning in whatever activity it is your doing are represented by your resting metabolic rate, which goes on whether you exercise or not.  An example.  Walking moderately burns about 220 calories per hour.  So you say, okay, I’ll walk a couple of hours and burn off about 500 calories.  It doesn’t work this way because sitting around working at the computer burns off about 120 calories per hour, so you only end up burning an extra 200 calories by walking that you wouldn’t burn just sitting around.  And that 200 calories can be replaced by a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter or any number of other items you might snack on.  Here is a good calculator for determining the caloric expenditure for various activities–make sure and subtract the number of calories you would burn doing office work or housework or just sitting around to determine how many extra calories the activity in question gets rid of. 
    Second, I don’t have a clue about all the multipliers you’re talking about.  In many years of practice with patients – many of whom followed a Thin So Fast type diet – we found that most women lost about 2-3 lbs per week while men lost 3-5 lbs per week.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  28. Thanks for the informative blog. Your thoughts are very much appreciated.
    On a low cal, low carb plan like TSF (about 500 calories a day of mostly all whey protein shakes with vitamin supplements, fish oil, and CLA/GLA for a 170 pound woman who wants to lose 40 pounds) should it be possibly to work out daily (cardio and strength training)?
    After the first few days of getting adjusted to being ketosis, should there be an energy burst where a person could work out enough so that they burn more than just the average 2-3 pounds a week? I looked at the exercise calories burned link you mentioned above which was very helpful but what if a woman is doing many hours a day of cardio exercise, is it possible to burn 1000 additional calories through working out (and therefore possibly lose another 2 pounds a week)? Does the body let that large of calorie deficit occur or does it start adapting somehow? I know this wouldn’t be an ideal situation but I’d like to jump start fat loss especially since I have been somewhat stuck on the scale for a few weeks despite working out and eating about 800 calories a day (my doctor said based on a blood test that I may have mild hypothyroidism but I’m hesitant to start taking any medication and I don’t know how much of a difference it would make). I’m hoping if I exercised seriously for a few weeks I could drop 10-20 pounds and stay motivated.
    I have seen some people mention how people on that Biggest Loser television show lose many pounds in a week (not sure if that’s all fat though?) by doing four hours of exercise a day and was wondering if the same concept to applied to someone on a low-cal diet who is in ketosis. It may be tiring, it may be exhausting, but technically should it be possible?
    Hi Erica–
    I’ve long maintained that exercise is not a particularly efficient way to increase weight loss.  The medical literature is starting to catch up.  Several papers have been published recently that confirm my view.  Exercise is good for many things and I heartily recommend it, but it doesn’t speed up weight loss all that much.  People would be better off focusing on their diet and being diligent there than fudging on the diet and trying to make it up with exercise.
    Technically, if you worked out like a fiend and – and this is important – DID NOT increase your food intake as a consequence (most studies show that people in general; women in specific do tend to increase their food intake when they crank up the exercise), you would increase your rate of loss somewhat.  You’ve got to remember that if you go out and workout hard, it doesn’t take much more than an extra forkful here or there to replace all the calories you burned.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

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