A quick post just to let everyone know that Im still among the living and that I havent given up posting for good.
MD and I have taken off a few days and are in Dallas with kids and grandkids celebrating Christmas. It snowed like crazy all yesterday afternoon, and, according to the newspapers, Dallas has had its first white Christmas since 1926. And we were here to witness it. At left is a photo looking out the back door. Granted, it’s not a New England eight inch snow or a Colorado two foot snow, but it’s a pretty substantial snow for Dallas. Maybe its a harbinger of good things to come, although the last white Christmas preceded the year in which the Great Depression started.
Ive been absent from posting because MD and I have been incredibly busy with Sous Vide Supreme stuff. I just thought we were busy during the developmental stage. The post-developmental era has consumed enormous amounts of our time. Especially since our invention had such a nice write up in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago. Weve been inundated with requests for interviews from multiple media sources and for write ups for this and that. And all that is not to mention a weeks worth of filming in Seattle. Were making a true infomercial on the Sous Vide Supreme with emphasis on the info part. So many people are unaware of what the sous vide process is, so were going to tell them.
Weve teamed up with chef Richard Blais, whom many of you may know from Top Chef, Iron Chef America and other TV cooking shows. He couldnt be any nicer nor any easier to work with – a really great guy who can cook like you wouldnt believe. He will appear with MD on the infomercial that will start running early next year. Below is a photo of the two of them camping it up on the set.
The infomercial filming went without a hitch, and the food that Richard Blais prepared in the SVS was incomparable. On the eve of the filming my brother sent me a YouTube of an infomercial that had a few problems. I forwarded it on to the rest of the team, and fortunately the Sous Vide Supreme functioned a little better than the popcorn popper in the video below.
Weve also teamed up with the retailer Sur La Table. They will be carrying the Sous Vide Supreme in their stores and in their catalog right after the start of the year. MD and Richard will be doing demos in several of the stores, so if you want to see the SVS in the flesh, so to speak, head on over to a Sur La Table near you and take a look.
This entire sous vide experience has been different than anything weve ever done. Its really nice to see articles and reviews that are all positive instead of the hatchet jobs were used to getting while promoting low-carb. No one accuses us of being purveyors of dangerous fad diets, of encouraging people to eat more artery-clogging saturated fat, of being doctors of death (which weve been called on live radio) or of simply trying to make a quick buck at the expense of the health of those gullible enough to follow our recommendations. The new experience has been rewarding and a lot of fun but incredibly time consuming. Thus my absence from my blogging duties.
But Ive been absent in electrons only. Ive been flying all over the place carrying a satchel of scientific papers that Ive been reviewing and preparing to blog about. So Im fully loaded with ammo and ready to write after Ive taken a fews days of a breather.
I haven’t been totally offline, however. I’ve been keeping up with the blogs I read regularly and haven’t been able to resist commenting when something gets under my skin.
Food writer Michael Ruhlman did a great review of the Sous Vide Supreme, and in the comments section someone took me (and the SVS team) to task for profiteering. As you might imagine, this kind of thing really gets my hackles up, especially since we are still way, way in the red on this project. I kept myself in check (the good Mike won out as MD would say) and wrote a couple of mild but informative comments. You can read them here.
My friend Amy Alkon, the Advice Goddess, whose blog I read religiously, wrote a funny post on bacon featuring the kind of ill-disciplined child who gives the South a bad name. Amy, who is an inveterate low-carber, wrote the post from the perspective of how much she likes bacon. Of course some commenter couldn’t resist slamming low-carb diets in general and Gary Taubes in particular, so I couldn’t resist resorting to form (the bad Mike sort of won out on this one). If you’re interested, you can read that exchange here (two comments). The guy turned out to be pretty nice and even sent me a friendly email via Amy.
Speaking of Gary Taubes… he tipped me off on an interesting paper on HDL that I’ll post on soon and Ive uncovered a few others on the fallacy of the lipid hypothesis. It looks like the mainstream is ratcheting up its jihad against low-carb again with a few spurious papers badly in need of a public dismantling. Ill soon be tanned, rested and ready to shred. And to go after the statinators, the great medical menaces of our time. Plus Ill throw in a nice post on how long it might take the low-carb diet to become the diet recognized by all as the correct diet for most everyone.
Until then, Im going to lay low and try to catch up on my non-scientific reading. Speaking of which, I got a great book as a Christmas present from my grandkids today. It is Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson and is about US Air Flight 5149 that went into the Hudson River last January. Although the book extols the skill and courage of Capt Sullenberger and crew, its main emphasis is on the aircraft they flew: the Airbus 320.
Twenty five years before Flight 1549 took its plunge, a highly intelligent, charismatic French fighter pilot and test pilot named Bernard Ziegler talked the management at Airbus to let him design a plane that almost flew itself. Ziegler recognized that pilots exhibited a bell-shaped curve in their level of skill and expertise and that some of the less skilled had ended up killing themselves along with all their passengers after getting into situations that more skilled pilots may have gotten out of safely. He wanted to design a plane with layers of built-in redundancies that would allow all pilots, but especially those less skilled, to worry about the major goal of any pilot who is in trouble – getting safely on the ground – without being distracted by all the little details of flying. In other words – and in very simplistic words – if pilots could simply make the decision to land, the plane could almost fly itself. When pilots get in tricky situations it is sometimes difficult to get out of them without stressing the plane to the point of structural damage. As the pilots are trying to avoid disaster they have to worry not only about their main problem – a loss of power, say – but have to baby the plane to keep it from breaking up. Ziegler fixed all that with the Airbus by designing it to perform maximally under control of multiple computers while the pilots tend to the main problem at hand. Since the computers control these functions of the plane by electricity its called flying by the wire.
When Sully and crew brought the plane down safely in the Hudson, they were flying by wire. And as the author William Langewiesche puts it
They had no choice. Like it or not, Ziegler reached out across the years and cradled them all the way to the water. His assistance may have been unnecessary, given the special qualities of these particular two [the pilots of Flight 1549], but there is no question the practical effects were profound. At the moment of the bird strike, when the engines lost thrust, a conventional airplane would have tried immediately to nose down. It would have wanted to go into a sharp descent, and would have required whoever was flying to haul back on the controls with some strength and to retrim the airplane for a slower, more moderate glide, while disciplining the wings to stay level until the decision could be made to turn around. None of this is inherently difficult, but it imposes insidious demands on the crew in an emergency, when they are already busy with more important concerns. It is an accepted reality that the repetitive and menial jobs, associated with baseline control subtly impinge on a pilots capacities, and that during periods of truly high workloads, even simple thoughts are difficult to have.
Imagine trying to disarm a bomb while also having to deal with menial chores and talk on the phone at the same time.
This fascinating book doesnt detract from the skill and heroism of the crew of Flight 1549, but explains in detail why they were able to make it look so easy.
I loved this book. I opened it in the morning and had it finished before lunch (lunch was sous vide turkey, if you must know). If you have any interest in aviation, Fly by Wire is a must read. Despite the fact that the author dissects in detail a number of commercial aviation disasters in the recent past, the book actually makes one feel safer flying, especially in an Airbus 320.
This post is already longer than I had intended it to be, so I wish you all a Merry Christmas. Ill be back soon.
Merry Christmas from Dallas
I’ll leave you with a couple more photos. Below on the left is my Southern grandson testing the snow barefooted. On the right is MD slicing the sous vide turkey we had for lunch.
You must take a look at this 1937 article from Physical Culture magazine. It explains the latest craze in Hollywood, sun bathing. It seems you must be nekkid to do it right.
There may be a sunbath built on my deck this spring.
Maybe adding the link would be good. 🙂
Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year to you and your family!
We are enjoying experimenting with our Sous Vide Supreme. We have had some great successes. The only thing it has taken a little time to figure out is how long to cook a grass fed NY strip steak. With our particular steaks, 24 hours seems to be the right time. We’ve done chicken, salmon and eggs and they’ve come out great. I think we will do some pork next.
I have a book I’d like to send you. Can you give me a mailing address that would accept it? Should I send it to you through Crown Publishers?
Merry Christmas Mike and Mary Dan and family!
I rushed over to my local Sur la Table website (all ten fingers crossed they’ll send you here for a demo!) and they are already showing the SVS! (Along with a bunch of $1000+ bits of gear!). So far, I’ve only made swordfish steaks in MY Christmas present (which we loved!); and I’m on the hunt for more bags. Your letter with the SVS says y’all are working on an SVS/EAT brand vacuum sealer? I’ve been covetously hovering over the Tila (Tilia?) system at Costco — but I’d rather spend money into your pocket, so are there any details?
Hi Doc, and Merry Christmas.. I also got a few books for Christmas and thought of you while I was reading this one called Inbound Marketing: http://tinyurl.com/ygvq43p
I was thinking that the Protexid and the Sous Vida campaigns might benefit from the ideas in this book. I use the Protexid and it works great! I’ve already recommended it to a few friends. Thanks again for sharing about it and offering the product.
Happy Holidays! Here’s my review of the SVS (short version: I love it):
We move around so much that we use a Boulder, CO address to get most of our stuff. Our assistant lives there and forwards it along to us wherever we are. Send to me at the following address:
6525 Gunpark Dr., #150-504
Boulder, CO 80301
We are making our own vacuum sealer, but it won’t be available until late January. It is going through UL testing right now. We are also making our own bags, which we have tested six ways from Sunday to make sure they don’t leach anything into food cooked in them. These bags will be made to go with out vacuum sealer but can be used on other vac sealers as well. The bags should be available at the same time the vac sealers are. MD and I have used some of these bags, and they are a little more heavy duty than others we’ve found. They do a bang up job and won’t be all that expensive.
Thanks for the book tip. It looks good. I’ve ordered it to read on the plane on the way home. Glad the Protexid has worked for you. It really is good stuff.
Thanks for the nice write up on the SVS. I read it yesterday and posted it on both my own and the SVS twitter accounts. Glad you’re enjoying it. We’ve got salmon cooking in ours as I type these words.
Doc, reading your blog is like hearing from an old friend. I came upon the LC diet before Akins, as I have a gluten problem. It was a very big problem, which no Drs. had a clue. However by trial and error I doped it out. This was over 40 years ago. At the time I did not think I would live to be 30 years old. (I am 68 years old). I have been on the LC ever since. It is so nice to read your comments and reflect on all the Drs that told me it was all in my head.
Keep up the good fight.
they were “flying by wire” when they went down off South America last summer killing all aboard.
@H. Anthony Semone, PhD
It is true that the Air France flight went down, but since the black box was lost, no one really knows why for sure. The author of the book I mentioned actually got a bit into the book about that crash, an amazing thing since I’m sure the book was already in the printing queue when the crash occurred. As he put it
How do you read an entire book in one morning?
I’m a fast reader
Hello, Dr. Eades.
I wanted to let you know that your post directed Taubes himself to Amy’s website, who sent me a kind email by way of Amy explaining the phenomenon which he says is called the “Atkins flu” in the diet biz. An apt choice of words, considering the symptoms. I felt no nausea or indigestion, but most overwhelming (as I wrote on Amy’s blog) was a sense of torpor and an inability to focus. I daresay, since I’m an avid weight lifter and cyclist, that I probably compounded my symptoms with my daily exercise routines.
I do not exaggerate when I say I caught myself in the grocery store pushing my shopping cart like it was a walker and shuffling along with six-inch steps like I was a nonagenarian.
(His opening line to Amy was particularly hilarious: “I was reading Mike Eades’s blog which got me to your blog and the interaction with this guy Patrick who thinks I’m a buffoon.” I don’t mean to share an entire private exchange, but that was too funny to keep to myself.)
He mentioned that I have all the classic symptoms and that it is “apparently” (no studies done on this, I guess, since Gary Taubes was careful not to commit himself to this) caused by sodium depletion. Anyhow, he referred to the recommendation of one Steve Phinney of U.C. Davis: drink two cups of non-low-sodium chicken broth a day. This will apparently handle the symptoms completely.
So, anxious to put this to the test (I had been doing all-protein, no carbs for two days, and the symptoms had already begun), and picked up some full sodium beef bouillon. (I saw no difference in the carb or sodium levels between the beef and the chicken bouillon. Besides, I forgot he had said specifically chicken broth.) Without getting too graphic about it, I had been constipated all day and the torpor was building up. Within minutes, and I do mean minutes of drinking my first cup, the constipation was relieved and I felt more energetic.
Dr. Taubes also mentioned that you had suggested to your patients that they eat a dill pickle once a day, or drink the pickle juice. Always love alternatives to just doing the same thing every day. Besides, I like pickles.
Dr. Taubes further informed Amy and me that Eric Westman recommends the chicken broth along with the Atkins diet at his clinic at Duke University.
He further went on to say that salting my food excessively will have the desire results as well, but broth, of course, being a liquid, has the added benefit of replenishing some lost fluid. (And is he ever right about that. I have never been so thirsty all the time. But of course, keeping oneself hydrated is something most people are derelict in doing. Especially for a Florida resident, like myself. So, if I have added incentive to drink more water, so much the better.
The only other thing that Dr. Taubes mentioned in his email is that he appreciated my stance on the “scientific studies.” He made the rather commonsense observation that I don’t need scientific studies to know what works for me. As I mentioned, anyone who wants to try a diet has a ready made test subject.
Thanks very much for your thoughtful posts on the subject at Amy’s blog. I appreciate your taking the time to address my issues. I hadn’t realized that I was not alone in experiencing the symptoms and that the syndrome even has a (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) name. I had thought I was a rarity and that I was making myself sick by doing this. It was very helpful to me to have you explain to me that I wasn’t alone by any means, and what was causing my problems. I’ve asked Amy to repost on the subject (which she will eventually do anyway, most likely), because the topic is getting somewhat buried under her daily blog posts. And I wanted to share some of Dr. Taubes’ insights and the chicken broth remedy, for those who mentioned that they were experiencing the same symptoms I was.
Hey Patrick, good to hear from you. I’m glad you tracked me down.
I’ve been taking care of patients using low-carb diets for about 25 years and, believe it or not, I’ve never heard the expression ‘Atkins flu.’ I have observed a number of people experience it, however. People respond to carb restriction in a variety of ways. Some have no problem while those at the other end of the spectrum (which would include you) have a pretty dramatic response. When I see patients and get them started, I go over the possibility so that they won’t panic if and when the problem sets in.
As I mentioned on Amy’s blog, it arises from a loss of too much sodium and potassium that comes about because of a rapid improvement in insulin function resulting in a rapid release of fluid by the kidneys taking sodium and potassium along with it.
There are a few tricks to combat it. As Gary mentioned, you can use chicken broth. Or you can eat a pickle or drink some pickle juice. The method I probably recommend most is for patients to keep bouillon at hand and drink a cup several times per day or whenever they experience symptoms. The bouillon cubes are easy to carry around and, I think, are pretty convenient.
I’m glad to hear you’re giving low-carb a try again, and I apologize for coming across a little exasperated in my first response to your original comment.
Best of luck. Keep me posted on how things go.
You are a gentleman. I’m impressed. Keep going with the Low Carb, it’s worth it!
I had to grimace when you called “Fly by Wire” non-scientific reading. I’m an electrical engineer currently working in aerospace (not Boeing). Boeing also uses fly-by-wire as does the space shuttle. It’s all engineering (applied science) and computer science. I haven’t read that book but looked into it. It’s like so many popular books designed to sell by stretching the facts and creating a hero. I’m sure Ziegler was a pioneer, but if he had never existed we would still be flying by wire, it’s the result of thousands of people, not one man. It is true that the computers kept Sullenberger from operating outside the limits of the aircraft. However that only reduces the chances for error slightly. Even within the operating envelope and with fly-by-wire, the odds were overwhelming that they would have crashed without his skill. The computers can only do so much.
I think you got duped by a book that’s a lot like the books you so accurately apply your critical thinking skills to normally. Such as “Lose 10 lbs in a day by cleansing your colon”. 🙂
Patrick is a gentleman, and I love that he’s one of increasingly few people who doesn’t just intransigently hold his ground, but is willing to listen. Proven here!
And as I pointed out on my own blog, I’m always impressed by how generous both Dr. Eades and Gary Taubes are in respect to helping people understand the evidence-based way to eat and be healthy.
Please, as I do on my own blog, spread the word about evidence-based rather than hearsay-based eating. Blog it, tweet it, Facebook it, talk about it.
I actually eat well. Or at least with a conscientious desire to choose nutrient dense food. To borrow a conceit from Robert Louis Stevenson, I’m a regular Dr. Protein and Mr. Carb. I mean well, but once I get a taste of something sweet, it’s hard to stop. “Yes, this is a wonderful cookie,” says Dr. Protein. “Why, thank you, I would love another…” degrading into a feral snarl as Mr. Carb takes over. “…another SEVENTEEN!”
Frightening in its own way is the amount of sweet stuff I can put away. Amounts that would surely nauseate most people. When some people can eat one or two, I can eat the entire box, and experience no discomfort whatsoever for having done so. But, as I said, I do try to get at least 20 grams of protein every three to four hours.
No need to apologize, by the way. My only impression of your posts on Amy’s blogs only left me with the idea of your thoughtfulness, and (as Amy says) your generosity with your time and thoroughness of your explanations. I took no offense, so please don’t berate yourself for committing one.
I’m 62 years old. About 15 years ago I gained over 50 lbs in 4 years on a low-fat diet during a time when I had to quit doing Martial Arts because of injury. Dr. Phillip Maffetone, in his book,”The Maffetone Method” suggested that low-fat diets didn’t work for everyone, and if they weren’t working, to try a low carb diet. I picked up PP, and in less than 3 weeks my BP dropped from 140/90 to 110/70, total cholesterol dropped from 240 to 168 (now under 160) and I had more energy than I’d had in years!
Due to lack of dietary discipline on my part, I’ve only lost a net 10 lbs over the last 10 years, but my primary care doc says I’m the fittest fat guy she’s ever seen. I walk (using Maffetone’s program) about 4 times per week for an hour, I go to the the gym and do a 15 minute workout using the John Little/Pete Sisco program, “Max Contraction” (and I can dead lift over 750 lbs, single leg press 785 lbs), and once a week do 4 30-second sprints. I’ve finally regained full control over my joints and range of motion, and I plan to use the 6WC and the “trans-theoretical model of change” to kick-start my next improvement phase. (Do I really HAVE to give up my coffee?)
When you have the time, I’d sure like to see you test The Maffetone Method and Pete Sisco’s program http://www.precisiontraining.com/ for your middle-aged fans. (Anthony Robbins claims there is a study that shows 70- and 80-year-old geriatrics gaining the muscular strength of people in their 30’s using a program based on John and Pete’s “Static Contraction” program.) A study from McAlistair College in Canada claims to have tested 8 people doing 4 30-second sprints 3 times per week resulting in a 35% increase in muscle mitochondria in two weeks. My Rheumatologist calculated that for a period 5 years ago when I actually disciplined myself to follow both your program and Sisco’s program, I gained 9 lbs of muscle and lost 14 lbs of fat in 10 weeks. (And I wasn’t too careful about my diet.) I am convinced that if I hadn’t found your PP book and followed it (even poorly) I would be more than the 70 lbs overweight I am today. I’m looking forward to actually making some improvements this year.
Hi Dr. Mike,
A website gripe: I just used my last sous vide bag (first steak attempt), of the three that came with the sealer y’all sent with my extraordinary xmas present: the Sous Vide Supreme. I’ve been looking all over hell’s creation for more bags; no luck so far. So I thought (on rereading y’all’s letter about your own sealer-to-come in January) that I’d look on the Sous Vide Supreme site and see how close we are to it.
So, I come here first (I ALWAYS come here first!) to click on the link that I just know MUST be here to get to the SVS site. !!??!! Not on the home page, not on the blog, not on the resources page, not even on the products page. Please chase your web-guy around with a stick and get us an easy-to-find, easy-to-use link from you folks over to the SVS site! I know it’s a silly little gripe — and maybe I should have the SVS site in my bookmark list — but I don’t, because I always come here first! (For better or worse (I vote better!) — you and Mary Dan are now and forever associated in our minds with the SVS — so make it easy on us to find it from where we find y’all, would yah? Please?)
Good Idea. Until I get the link put up on our site, you can click here. Or just remember, it’s http://www.sousvidesupreme.com. Pretty easy to remember.
After running down to the local up-scale cooking store and being told that they had never heard of sous-vide I found mine at K-mart of all places! Two 8 packs (gallon size) for $5. I bought all they had.
It is only a matter of time before statins are added to water supplies and even foods.
Happy New Year Drs Mike &Mary.
Just finished the Wired article noted in your latest Tweet.
It is just brilliant the Jonah Lehrer keeps fulfilling the promise of “The Decisive Moment”. I’ve had a quick gallop thro’ Nicholas Fearn’s “Philosophy – the latest answers to the oldest questions”. During it I kept coming back to the notion that the ideas described by Lehrer answer many “philosophical” questions from a scientific viewpoint.
Will you be doing a Book Review for the New Year?
Please, from my husband, myself, and my kids (your writing is required reading)… we all hope you have a wonderful and prosperous New Year. We love you both!
Thanks for the kind words. I’ll keep on keeping on.
You posted about “fly by wire” which made me think of this book.
It talks about the Concorde crash, the Ocean Ranger (a state of the art oil rig), Three Mile Island, and other disasters where humans could not cope with the mechanical/electrical/physical systems and got people killed. I am sure you will find it interesting, if you haven’t already read it.
I would like to comment on your book recommendation.
Not only am I a chiropractic doctor, my background is very extensive in aviation:
USAF fighter pilot, F-15, T-38 Instructor
Major airline pilot, Captain B-737 and MD-80, as well as ratings on the B-727, MD-11, B-767, B-757, and B-777.
Capt. Sullenberger did a good job. So did his co-pilot and flight attendants. The flight attendants were the ones who got everyone out alive. He could not have done what he did without his crew. In my professional opinion, he should have given them more credit during the post-accident interviews. I hope he gave credit, where credit is due, in the book.
As a matter of fact, one of the irresponsible passengers opened up an aft exit by himself and that’s why the aircraft sank. That’s where all the water came in. That careless act could have cost many passengers their lives. My advice to all here is please follow the cabin and flight crews instructions; it will save your life in an emergency.
After 30 years of professional flying, I can estimate over 90% of every pilot I have ever flown with could have done what Capt. Sullenberger accomplished. He was at the right time and right place for this emergency. The starting conditions when the geese hit were perfect for a dual engine failure and dead-stick glide to the Hudson River. Capt. Sullenberger has seen this before, as well as thousands of other pilots, have done this in the simulator for many aircraft. The airplane had very little to do with it. Other aircraft without “fly-by-wire” would have performed the same way and successfully ditched in the Hudson River. They would not have “nosed down immediately”. All airplanes glide….some better than others. The Airbus is not safer than other commercial aircraft, nor do they glide better. It is based upon the aerodynamic lift to drag properties of the wing, camber, and current weight of the airplane….not if the controls are “fly-by-wire” or not.
Ask any experienced pilot (I currently have over 15,000 flight hours) if they would want to dead-stick a fly-by-wire electric jet that depends upon a battery to control it, or a cable-controlled aircraft with positive and secure connection to the flight controls. Most will want the latter. These are the Boeing type aircraft.
“If it ain’t Boeing, I ain’t Going!”
@ dr john mitchell
Thanks for the informative comment. What I wonder is if the fly-by-wire would have saved the other 10% of pilots from making a botch of the dead-stick landing in the Hudson?
On another note, did you during your time in the USAF ever run into a guy named John Boyd. If so, I would be interested in hearing your impression. If not, you should read the book Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. Now there is a book for you. I couldn’t put it down.
…saved the other 10% of pilots from making a botch of the dead-stick landing in the Hudson?
Maybe….I think the FWB jets can still be “man-handled” and not make it down safely. The computer can be overridden. So it still is up to the pilot to handle the emergency properly.
It’s the craftsman, not necessarily the tool, that makes the masterpiece.
Unfortunately, the same applies to golf equipment. 🙂
also….John Boyd was before my time! Never had the opportunity to meet him.
But, he did change the way we employed fighter aircraft and greatly improved our kill ratio….from nearly 1:1 to 10:1, ours to theirs…in Vietnam.
You gotta read the book I linked to if you haven’t already.
I love Richard Blais! On Top Chef he seemed like such a wonderful guy. And a big sous-vider (is that a word?). I’m so excited to hear that the three of you have teamed up in promoting SVS! Best wishes.