January 1

Happy New Year!

18  comments

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MD and I would like to wish you all a happy, safe and prosperous 2008. Thanks for hanging in there with me for the past couple of years and putting up with my dilatory answers to all your comments.
Speaking of comments (of which there are now about 30 stacked up on me), one of my new year’s resolutions is to try to be more diligent in getting all the comments dealt with. You can help me do so by not asking specific medical questions related to your own health or that of a friend or family member. If I weren’t a physician I could answer these questions all day long, but since I am a licensed physician all kinds of medico-legal issues are involved. I hate to just blow people off when they ask these kinds of questions, so I simply procrastinate and don’t answer.
An example of the kind of question I’m talking about is one like this:

I just got my lab back from my doctor and my total cholesterol is 220 mg/dL, my LDL is 140 and my HDL is 60. My doctor wants me to go on a statin. What do you think I should do?

Or…

Here is my whole list of recent lab tests. Do you think I should stop my statin or do you think I should take krill oil or …

You get the picture. I can’t give specific medical advice, so please do me a favor and don’t ask.
Having gotten that little bit of administrative detail out of the way, let’s look at some photos.
In a previous post you got a look at our granddaughter. Below is a photo of MD and me roughhousing with the two grandsons.
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I’ve got to brag on my wife a little. We had a small get together with some friends to ring in the new year last night. Take a look at this table setting from a couple of different viewpoints. MD did it without any help from me – not that I would be much help in such an endeavor. I’m an appreciator of beautiful tables, not a creator of them.
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Here is a close up of one of the table settings with our favorite holiday dishes gifted to us by our agent for giving her a bestselling book.
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While I was at it with the camera, I took a photo of our library showing my cave bear skull that I wrote about on page 1 of The Protein Power LifePlan. You can get some sense of the size of this skull by comparing it to the bear skull and the mountain lion skull just to the right of it in the picture. The brightly colored dragon in the forefront was a gift to me from MD years ago. On one of our trips to Mexico I found a place that sold the things by the zillions, and I was mesmerized by all the detail in them. They are made of papier maché and are phenomenal in their color and minute detail. I don’t know that I would have ever bought one myself, but shortly after we returned home, here came one with my name on it. Because of its wild colors we don’t really have a good place to put it, so there it rests in its temporary home.
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Speaking of The Protein Power LifePlan when all the dust settled, it looks like we gifted over a thousand copies last month. I hope those of you who got a copy, enjoyed it or gave it to someone who did. I got in big trouble with our able assistant Kristi, who told me in no uncertain terms to never, ever again do such a thing to her right before Christmas. She had to package, address and send each and every one. Big Kudos to her for getting them all out on time and still speaking to me.
MD is going to post on the entire meal we had last night, showing how a truly elegant meal can be low-carb and no one will be any the wiser. I’m going to focus on just one element of the meal: the seared foie gras.
I posted on foie gras a couple of years ago, describing how it is created. It’s worth reading if you’re concerned about the treatment of the ducks and geese. It’s also worth reading to learn about how many of us are turning our own livers into foie gras.
This photo shows what a fatty duck liver looks like. A recent study on folks in middle America (Dallas, to be exact) a few years ago showed that a little over a third of normal adults (those without diabetes or any of the other obvious diseases of Westernization) had fatty livers. It’s reaching epidemic proportions nationwide, and is deserving of a post soon. At any rate you can see in this photo just how bad it looks. The bizarre thing is that the duck from which this liver came was functioning just fine – as are many of the seemingly normal people who are walking around with livers that look just like this one.
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You can see the fatty infiltration in this photo even better. The liver has been sliced so that you can see the fat throughout.
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Here the foie gras is searing in a hot, hot skillet, a tricky operation. Or so MD tells me. I wouldn’t have a clue.
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And here it is plated out with a delicious sherry and sherry vinegar reduction.
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As I say, MD will post on the entire meal in a day or two giving recipes, tips and more photos. All I can say is that it was absolutely delicious. And we didn’t have any complaints from our guests that they were eating diet food. I love low-carb for this very reason. There would be no way you could serve an ultra-low-fat meal with multiple courses to guests without their thinking something was very wrong. With low-carb, no one notices. No one even asked for bread, which was conspicuously absent from the table. Serve a great meal like this one, and no one will notice.
Once again, have a happy, happy new year. And hang on for the ride as we continue to go after the never-ending idiocy that masquerades as serious nutritional science. I don’t think I’ll run out of material in 2008.


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  1. Happy New Year to you and MD!!!
    Thank you for keeping up this blog! I know you must spend a lot of time working on the comments and posts! I have learned so much from you, and I’m looking forward to learning more!
    I ordered 2 of your 30 Day Solution and sent them to my sister (66,DMx20+yr, listens to nutritionist) and niece (44,DMx1yr, in denial). No comments or reactions yet. I sent them with a note saying if they didn’t want the book to give it to someone else or donate to the library. Both have said they’d read it if I sent it, so we’ll see.
    Love seeing the pictures! The kids are adorable and the table looks great! I’d love to see a close up of that dragon! I love dragons! And oh man would I love to have a library like that!
    The foie gras looks wonderful! I imagine it has to be purchased in a specialty store? Can’t wait to see MD’s posts! I’ve been without a kitchen for the past 3 months, but should have one starting this weekend. I’d love to try out something new! But mainly I can’t wait to be able to cook again!
    Hi Cindy–
    The foie gras was wonderful. I’m sure MD will post on where she got it – I know it was shipped because I had to go pick it up.
    The library is great, but it is a pain as well. At least all the books are. I think we have something in the neighborhood of 8,000 or so books, and every time we move them it’s a giant pain. And it’s also a pain to find a house that has space for them. We always have to find one that has a room able to be converted to a library.
    I hope your sister and niece enjoy the books you sent them.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  2. Happy New Year to you, Mary and family.
    And thanks a lot for your BLOGs and for your answering to all of us.
    Marco
    p.s. – Would it be possible (at least in a near future…) to insert INTERNATIONAL orders in your site’s products page?
    Hi Marco–
    I’m working on the international thing. One of my goals this month is to get the whole shipping part of our shopping cart changed. It’s too expensive right now because we use UPS, and UPS out of Idaho is just expensive for some reason.
    Stay tuned.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  3. Any chance of writing (or getting MD to write) on Protein Power and the menopot? Somehow, I thought I’d escape since I’ve eaten the PP way for several years…but I haven’t. (since you haven’t had the delightful experience, menopot is the sudden appearance of a 4 mos. pregnant belly). And a huge THANK YOU for the blog and books,
    Theresa
    I’ll see if I can get MD to blog on the menopot, and expression, BTW, that I had never heard. Along with fat accumulated by all the normal causes, there is fat that comes from the hormonal changes of menopause. We call this the middle-aged middle, and we’re working on a book on the subject right now.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  4. Happy New Year Dr. Mike, to you and MD! What a lovely Holiday table she sets. Will be anxious to read her blog about it… also will be patiently awaiting your writing on Fatty Liver Disease. I have NAFLD, but really don’t know exactly what it means. Had to start with a new Dr. last year and it was never mentioned. My annual physical is coming up next month and will be anxious to see where all my numbers lie this year… I will have been on PPLP for about 6 weeks! Will be asking for additional blood tests this year (iron, TSH, vitamin D). I’m new to your blog and am truly enjoying it! Keep up the good work!
    Hi Marcia–
    A lot of people have NAFLD: non-alcoholic fatty liver disorder. This is a disorder that is indistinguishable from the liver disease caused by too much alcohol, except with no alcohol involved. It can usually be cleared up by a low-carb diet and by adding saturated fat to the diet, which usually happens with a low-carb diet. I really need to post on this subject sooner rather than later.
    Keep me posted.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  5. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!
    I thought it was trick photography. The grandchildren you are holding each look like the holder. I thought maybe you used your own childhood photos and photoshopped them into a recent photo. That thought occurred for a milisecond though. Lovely table setting. Kudos to Mary Dan, I’m sure the meal was excellent. I have long enjoyed her recipes from the first time I tried them when I read Protein Power back in 1998.
    No photoshopping if for no other reason than I don’t know how.
    The recipes in Protein Power weren’t all MD’s. The publisher made us hire a professional recipe developer for Protein Power. MD worked closely with her to develop all the recipes, but most of the actual creation was done by the pro named Barbara Witt. At the time MD wasn’t the great cook she is today – a fact our children never tire of whining about. They feel that they got the pedestrian food and now that they’re gone, I get all the great stuff. MD responds that now that they’re gone, she has the time to hone her cooking skills and develop her own recipes.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  6. Happy New Year Dr. Eades!!
    Anthony Bourdain of the Travel Channel show “No Reservations” had a show where they showed how they feed the ducks in case any one wants to watch out for that episode. Believe it is one where he traveled to France. In any case, the process of feeding the grains appeared to be quick and painless for the duck and all in less than three seconds as you indicated in your blog on that subject. He has no issues with the process of how foie gras gets created as well.
    Hey MAC–
    Thanks for the heads up on this. I found in on YouTube, and I’ll post it for all to watch.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  7. Happy New Year!
    That foie gras looks wonderful! Unfortunately for us, (I think) it’s totally outlawed to farm for foie gras here, except in humans, of course.
    By the way, one of our high professors of the food administration claimed that fatty liver in ducks (and humans) can be equaly easily promoted by fat in the diet as with carbohydrates in the diet, but French farmers use carbs because they are cheap. I can add that he was very agitated when he suggested this, countering someone mentioning the study about fatty liver in children. Can fatty liver come from excessive fat comsumption? I think this was just a way to defend the current Swedish dietary advice to eat bread with every meal. And fruit in between. Do you know?
    Hi Theresa–
    Fatty liver comes from excess carb consumption, not fat consumption. Which is why it is given to ducks and geese by feeding them high doses of grain.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  8. I once had a chance to enjoy some delicious foie gras in full view of some PETA knuckleheads protesting that very dish just outside the restaurant! I couldn’t resist hamming it up and exaggerating the pleasure of every bite, mahahaaaa!
    mrfreddy–
    How could you be so insensitive?
    Cheers–
    MRE

  9. Drs. Eades, you’ve given me the very best Christmas present I could hope for — word that you’re working on a book on the topic of menopause! THANK YOU!!! There’s a lot written about menopause out there, but none that address it from a sensible low-carb (hmmm, is “sensible low-carb” redundant?) perspective.
    Also, I wanted to mention that several Christmases ago, my husband bought me a saber-toothed tiger skull. I cried when I opened the package. As a child, the saber-tooth was my favorite “dinosaur,” and I’ve always wanted a skull, but never mentioned it because I thought people would think I was crazy.
    The skull has a place of honor in the center of the coffee table in the den (packed to the gunnels with books, ala your den!). At Christmas I put a Santa hat on the skull and surround it with a decorated wreath. Now THAT’S a sight to see! Too bad I can’t include a picture for your amusement.
    Thank you ever so much for taking the time to write this blog and answer all the comments, and for writing your series of books. I, too, am eagerly awaiting MD’s recipes!
    Hi Kathy–
    I, too, once had a saber-toothed tiger skull, but, unfortunately, it was taken in a burglary. Oh well, maybe at some point I’ll get another.
    I hadn’t thought of putting the Santa hat on the cave bear skull, but now maybe I will next Christmas.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  10. Happy New Year to you and your family,
    One of the best things that happened to me at the close of the old year was to return to low-carb eating and to run across your website. I just spent 10 days in Paris, eating foie gras whenever I could as well as other lc delights and losing 2 lb in the process. It helped to have rented an apartment, so breakfast and lunch were taken care of, but there is no law in France that compels you to eat bread; and high-quality produce, grass-fed beef, and free-range poultry (or “raised in liberty” as the label on our Christmas guinea hen read) are very easy to find.
    On the topic of international shipping, it would be nice if you find a shipper that does not use a customs broker. On shipments from the US to Canada, UPS holds your package ransom until you pay exorbitant brokerage fees (I’ve paid half the value of a software program). The joke is that with NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) there shouldn’t be any duty on US-made goods shipped to Canada. I usually only buy things from the States that are shipped USPS. Canada Post has a look at the declaration and if it’s over a certain value bills me for the sales tax and a $5 handling fee. I don’t mind that at all.
    I look forward to another year of reading your excellent posts.
    Hi Susan–
    Sounds like your Parisian trip was a blast.
    We are looking at the USPS to see if their services will work for us. I’ll keep everyone posted.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  11. Happy New Year!
    From the Washington Post:
    Diabetes Group Backs Low-Carb Diets
    Friday, December 28, 2007; 12:00 AM
    FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) — For the first time, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has come out in support of low-carbohydrate diets for people with diabetes who want to manage their weight.
    The ADA voiced its support of low-calorie or low-carbohydrate diets in its newly published 2008 clinical practice recommendations.
    The recommendations are intended to help physicians guide their patients in diabetes prevention and management.
    The ADA estimates that more than 20 million children and adults are living with diabetes in the United States. However, about one-third of those people have the disease but have not yet been diagnosed, according to the association.
    Prior to the release of the 2008 recommendations, the ADA did not support low-carbohydrate diets for diabetes management due to a lack of evidence supporting their safety and effectiveness.
    Whether a person can stick with a diet is more important than the diet’s theme, according to the association. Low-carbohydrate and low-calorie diets are equally effective in helping people lose weight over a year. However, the recommendations do also include guidelines for monitoring the lipid profiles and kidney health of people who choose a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet.
    The recommendations continue to support sustained, moderate weight loss and increased physical activity for people who are overweight, obese, living with diabetes or at risk for becoming diabetic.
    “The risks of overweight and obesity are well-known. We recognize that people are looking for realistic ways to lose weight,” Ann Albright, president of health care and education for the ADA, said in a prepared statement. “The evidence is clear that both low-carbohydrate and low-fat calorie restricted diets result in similar weight loss at one year. We’re not endorsing either of these weight-loss plans over any other method of losing weight. What we want health-care providers to know is that it’s important for patients to choose a plan that works for them, and that the health-care team support their patients’ weight-loss efforts and provide appropriate monitoring of patients’ health.”
    Being overweight and physically inactive both increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the ADA. Being overweight or obese also make the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes more difficult. The 2008 recommendations state that all adults who are overweight and have an additional risk factor for diabetes should be tested for diabetes or pre-diabetes.
    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have pre-diabetes can avoid diabetes if they lose 7 percent of their body weight and get more than 150 minutes of activity a week.
    Developing and maintaining a disaster kit for diabetes self-management is also included in the new recommendations, along with revised guidelines for care of diabetes in older adults.
    Hi Jon–
    As you will see when I get around to posting on it, this big step forward by the ADA isn’t really all that big a step forward. Their insistence that there is no difference in weight loss between low-carb and low-fat at one year shows their bias. The reporting of this move on the part of the ADA to semi-sort of embrace low-carb is one of the few instances of the press leaning in the direction of carb restriction.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  12. Happy New Years!
    I hope that you both had a wonderful Christmas. I’ve got to say that table does look nice and I am sure your feast was amazing. I’d love to eat anything you two cook up. I had picked up a copy of Protein Power, but I am only 46 pages into it. I’m greatly looking forward to reading it. So far it’s been a very good read. Keep up the good work and I am looking forward to continuing reading your blog this year!
    Hey Thomas–
    Glad you’re enjoying the book. Happy New Year!
    Cheers–
    MRE

  13. Dear Dr. Mike,
    HNY to you and your family. You have an excellent site that I visit occasionally, but I get your newsletters regularly. In chapter 9 of your book titled the Mg++ miracle, your dose range in certain cases, and mine is one of them, is 400 – 600 mg. daily. I’ve been using 400 mg. liquid softgel caps each night for the few mo. since reading your book. This is the first time in many years that my leg cramps have significantly reduced in frequency and the very few times I have had an episode since taking the Mg++, the cramps have not been as miserable as in the past. (They are always miserable, but less so). I had taken Quinine for years until it is no longer has been available since earlier in ’07. I am very grateful that the Mg++ discovery has been effective, not something that I can say about all supplements. Since the capsules I take cannot be broken and I would like to up the dose, would it be ok to take the 400 mg. caps, one each, twice daily or would you suggest that the next time I buy it that it be in strengths that either alone or in combination would not exceed 600 mg.? Thank you very kindly for your advice……..mln
    Hi Mary Lou–
    It would be okay to take the 400 mg tabs twice per day if that works for you without giving you diarrhea.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  14. Question:
    I have been on a variant of your diet for a while now, and I love it. But I recently have read various sources indicating that meats promote a pretty significant insulin response (it seems peanuts and eggs are the proteins that result in the lowest insulin response). How does this figure into your overall view?
    It doesn’t figure much into my overall view. The studies I’ve seen that I trust show that meat doesn’t particularly cause an insulin or blood sugar response. I don’t worry about it.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  15. A Very Happy New Year and a big thank you for such an entertaining and informative blog.
    As a UK resident I hope very much that USPS proves the most attractive option for shipping. We are allowed 17UKP value on personal imports before tax and charges are triggered. The charge levied by Royal Mail is 8UKP but sometimes more expensive items slip through uncharged. This is NEVER the case with UPS.
    Hi Brian–
    We’re supposed to have a presentation by the USPS next week to determine if we switch our shipping to them. I’ll keep everyone posted.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  16. Thanks for all your recent pictures and writings. I DID put the Krill oil in my hubby’s stocking, and he was amused, but pleased. He never gets around to ordering the things he wants, so I have to keep my ears peeled for anything, no matter how small.
    Your table and food look gorgeous, but I have to say I’m most impressed with the skull. I remember reading about it in the original PP. How nice that you have posted a picture of such an awesome and thought-inspiring specimen. Nice Library, too (I really need to do that).
    The ‘brilliant’ Mayor of Chicago has banned Foie Gras. It is illegal to sell it at Chicago restaurants. Ridiculous, IMO, to ban Foie Gras yet still allow the sale of feed-lot CAFO animal flesh. Duh.
    Fortunately, restaurants have been successfully fighting back by offering an expensive plate of greens with “free” Fois Gras on the side. 😉
    Your Grandkids are adorable! The little one looks to be about the same age as our son. What a great (yet challenging for us) age!
    Thanks again,
    K
    It’s a lot less challenging age when you’re a grandparent than when you’re a parent.
    Great idea about serving the foie gras.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  17. Happy New Year to you and your family! I’ve enjoyed the pictures of you and MD with your grandkids, they are truly beautiful children.
    MD not only sets a gorgeous table, it looks like she’s very good at interiors, as well! My compliments on your lovely home.
    I’m also very interested in the menopause topic so I’m looking forward to see what you have to say. For me, menopause hasn’t been too much of a problem, the hot flashes and night sweats are already gone but it’s the long term effects like the aforementioned menopot that I’d like to avoid. I agree with Kathy that a book from the LC point of view will be most welcome.

    Thanks for the kind words. MD does keep a nice house and a nice table. I’m a lucky guy. Most of the time.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  18. Sir ye know that shop Evolution Nature Shop in NYC ?
    Its placcy and not cheapo but a great shop nonetheless..aside form the Jewelry which is crappy.
    http://www.evolutionnyc.com/IBS/SimpleCat/Product/asp/hierarchy/020O1G/product-id/29143.html
    For that see Crazy Pig Designs in Londinium (where our wedding rings are from )
    I’ve been there many times. Evolution not Crazy Pig Designs. I like Mandible and Maxilla a little better, though
    Cheers–
    MRE

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