Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hsieh Forbes OpEd: The Battle of the Narrative

By Paul Hsieh

My latest piece was published by Forbes on 12/26/2012, "The Battle Of The Narrative: How Ordinary Americans Can Fight ObamaCare".

Here is the opening:

The 2012 election ensured that ObamaCare will not be repealed anytime soon. But opponents continue to fight back. 26 state governments have declined to establish insurance “exchanges.” 40 lawsuits are still pending against various aspects of ObamaCare. Ordinary Americans may not be able to directly affect these battles. But they can play a key role in the all-important battle of the “narrative.”

As the problems of ObamaCare inevitably emerge, the big question will be whether they will be blamed on the residual free-market elements of our health system or on the new government controls. This will be the battle of the “narrative.”
I discuss how ordinary Americans can take part in this battle for their health freedom.

(Read the full text of "The Battle Of The Narrative: How Ordinary Americans Can Fight ObamaCare".)

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Philosophy Weekend: Philosophy in Action Radio Preview

By Diana Hsieh

On the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I will answer questions on the good in American culture, romance between an atheist and a believer, the limits of humor, and more. I thought that might be of interest.

This episode of internet radio airs on Sunday morning, 30 December 2012, at 8 PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can listen to the podcast later.

This week's questions are:

  • Question 1: The Good in American Culture: How is American culture better today better than people think? I've heard lots of depressing claims about the abysmal state of American culture lately, particularly since Obama won the election. You've disputed that, arguing that America is better in its fundamentals that many people think. What are some of those overlooked but positive American values? How can they be leveraged for cultural and political change?
  • Question 2: Romance Between an Atheist and a Believer: Can a romance between an atheist and a religious believer work? What are the major obstacles? Should the atheist attend church or church socials with his spouse? Should they have a religious wedding ceremony? Should they send their children to religious schools? Do the particular beliefs – or strength of beliefs – of the religious person matter?
  • Question 3: The Limits of Humor: When does humor work against my values? Sometimes I wonder whether my jokes work against what I value. (For example, what's the most selfish sea creature? An Objectifish!) How do I draw the line?
After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.

Again, if you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: 30 December 2012.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning, but if you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later!

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives. Be sure to follow Philosopy in Action via our blog, RSS feeds, and Facebook too.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

The Paleo Rodeo #142

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions of the Rodeo are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Amy Kubal presents Paleo Bus Accident - The Wheels Fell Off... posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "Did your 'wheels stay on' over the holidays? Regardless of if they're still intact or rolling away - check out this post and the comments for reports of 'flying wheels' all over the Paleo world."

Max Shippee presents Getting Bulky: What It Really Takes posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "Still afraid of lifting weight because you don't want to get 'bulky"? This blog post explains what it actually takes to get huge."

Nell Stephenson presents Tread Lightly with "Everything in Moderation" posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson suggests not following the often given advice to eat whatever you crave in moderation."

Danny J Albers presents Wonderful, Aromatic Turkey Bone Broth Soup posted at Primal North Recipes, saying, "Primal North's new spin off recipe blog, seperating the food from the debates by request :) This week featuring a wonderfully flavorful and aromatic turkey bone broth soup. Low carb but I am sure the PHD followers can add some chunked potato for some added thickness and flavor. Enjoy!"

Danny J Albers presents Placebo Effect and Confirmation Bias posted at Primal North, saying, "A review with examples of the way confirmation bias and the placebo affect can serve to produce a metric tonne of both anecdotal and clinical evidence for pretty much any health treatment or diet you care to concieve of. Punctuated with a highly personal sharing of how my own retired mother continues to spend her way into poverty and even worsening health by this very same marketing mechanism. Most people will not like this post but I feel it quite honest and certainly from my heart."

Jennifer Hunt presents What is Stress? posted at Vibrant Sexy Strong, saying, "This post outlines different types of stress that affect mind, body, and soul."

Christa Crawford presents New Year, New Torture Regimen: Ladies, Let's Talk! posted at Training for Life, saying, "Tempted to join the New Year torture wagon of crazy exercise programs and boring chicken breast diets? Let's talk about overtraining in 2013 and the real solutions to the New Year dilemma."

Wendy Schwartz presents 3 New Year Resolutions to Go Paleo! in 2013 posted at Go Paleo!, saying, "Helpful tips and ideas for making your Paleo New Year's resolutions for 2013 attainable and long lasting."

Brittanie presents Leftover turkey curry posted at Three Diets One Dinner, saying, "December Paleo pen pal fail but a great recipe for all those leftovers!"

Jess presents A Nutmeg Noel posted at The Paleo Professional, saying, "Here's hoping that everyone is enjoying the holiday season! Please stop in to check out my Paleo Pen Pals December post - Paleo Hot Buttered Rum and Spiced Shepherds Pie. Happy Holidays!"

Carmen Eat Joy presents Traditional Christmas (or Fruit) Pudding posted at Carmen Eat Joy, saying, "A paleo version of your favourite Christmas dessert, there is no need for it to be Christmas to enjoy such a delicious treat!"

Kristopher Cleary presents Real Food Fermentation - Free Giveaway posted at Real Constipation Remedies, saying, "A great interview with Alex Lewin, author of the awesome book Real Food Fermentation. There is also a Free Copy of the book to giveaway!"

Michelle Norris presents Eclectic Kitchen Evolved: The Scoop — Oh and Some Awesome Frozen Yogurt, Too posted at Ancestral Momentum: Eclectic Kitchen Evolved, saying, "My rendition of Pinkberry's Eurotart Frozen Yogurt sans the toxins and sugar! Except my version rocks!"

Michelle Norris presents Eclectic Kitchen Evolved: Grilled Lamb and Citrus Creamed Spinach posted at Ancestral Momentum: Eclectic Kitchen Evolved, saying, "A lovely dinner of grilled lamb blade chops and citrus creamed spinach, join me!"

Shamra Byrne presents Nurturing Yourself Through the Holidays posted at Native Nutrition, saying, "The holidays are a time for friends and family, feasts, and enjoyment. However, they can also be stressful! Here are some of my favorite ways to make the holiday season the most relaxed, intimate, and joyful time of the year."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! We love new members! So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:
Enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

celery root and onion rösti

By Julie

I'm having a real crabby week. And it might have started Saturday. A high school kind of moody, little things are getting me down kind of week. I had a meltdown at the gym. That was real cool. I am sick of my bum wrist... both bum wrists and I don't want to have to think about them anymore and I'm tired of getting setback in trying to get betterstrongerfaster. I'm going to be the worst old person, when all sorts of things start to ache and give me problems. Saturday I got mad when I tried to make this recipe. I burnt it. And I got mad at our stupid stove whose biggest burner isn't big enough for my cast iron pan so the rimmed edge hangs off and doesn't allow the pan to heat evenly. The edges of the rösti were only lightly browned, and the center was black, but I still ate most all of it. It's pretty great, so I remade it on Sunday for some friends I had over. I don't think they thought I was too weird for taking pictures, and they gave it their thumbs up.

Celery root is a real miracle worker. Roasted, mashed, hashed, rösti-ed, whatever. It's like a celery scented potato. I think I shall plant some celery next year in my garden - which I plan on expanding. So, is it okay that I have two potato cake type things posted so closely to each other? Is it ever not exciting to have a potato cake? I'm just thankful that this could be called some fancy foreign language name, and I am so fond of those you know, so that I didn't look so redundant. I'd hasten to say that you could use many a root vegetable for this little shredded cake. Rutabaga and celeriac? Potato, turnip, and sweet potato? Oh, and caramelized onions? If you're in the mood to babysit onions for 45 minutes on the stove, you should put them in this.


So, what is everyone making for Thanksgiving?? I'm going to Minnesota and wanted to do a very lovely regional wild rice stuffing, but Joe voted me down for cornbread. That's okay all-cornmeal cornbread stuffing will be pretty great. Our menu will be some sort of heritage breed turkey (Joe and I insisted - how fancy) with that cornbread stuffing, long-cooked green beans with lemon zest and fresh herbs, mashies, cranberry sauce of some sort, pumpkin pie, and apple crisp with a food-processed pecan, walnut, and oat topping, OH and...homemade ice cream. I think that's going to be the best part. Overall, very simple, and I'm excited about that. I do love to go bonkers with menu planning, but it'll feel good to not feel stressed. It's not my kitchen and we're flying in the night before anyway. There'll probably be a terrible snowstorm and we'll get stuck in an airport somewhere and we won't even have Thanksgiving. It'll be good to not have gotten my hopes up with megamenu.

Oh hey, I just realized this isn't a weekend meal! Especially if you have a food processor. I guess it is pretty brunchy... and brunch is for weekends unless you're real fancy and work from home... but it would be a very nice starchy side dish for a dinner. Like, maybe meatloaf. Something peasant-y. An egg dish - quiche or frittata - sounds wonderful, but a dinner of pie slices seems silly. Also, you could do this rösti in two batches if you'd like to make it thinner. Save half of the veggie mixture and make it the next day. The potatoes will be a bit oxidized, but what, are you too good for oxidized potatoes?
celery root and onion rösti
adapted just a bit from ol' Martha Stewart. I love her. Serves 6-8 as a nice little side
note: I'm very sorry if you don't have a food processor with a grating attachment and have to grate this all by hand. I hear it builds character. Or will make you crabby.

1 medium celery root, peeled and shredded
1 medium onion, shredded
4 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Place all the shredded veggies in a fine mesh strainer and punch them down to squeeze out excess liquid. Put in a bowl and toss with salt and pepper.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 10 - 12 inch ovenproof skillet over medium low heat. Add the veggie mixture and lightly press down to even it all out. Cook for 10 minutes.

3. Run a spatula around the edge and add a bit more oil - about 2 tablespoons - under the edge. Cook about 10 - 15 more minutes, lowering heat to low if you can see it getting too dark.

4. Loosen the edge of the the cake and invert onto a plate. Add 3 more tablespoons of oil to the pan and slide the cake back in. Cook for 20 minutes.

5. Put the skillet in the oven and cook for 15 - 20 minutes.

Cut it up in wedges and you're done! I just had a thought - you could add cooked crumbled sausage in this. Mm!

Here is my burnt one. Blast.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

savory spiced nuts

By Julie


My aunt Suzanne made some wonderful spiced nuts one Thanksgiving she came to our house for when I was little. I remember thinking they were the absolute most wonderful things - and this coming from the string-cheese-for-dinner-girl - and how the herbs just smelled so, so wonderful. I forgot about them for a long time, but then when I started getting into cooking for myself in college, I remember each time I would use thyme I would think of those nuts. I don't have too many nostalgic food memories, if anything most of them would be traumatizing memories anyway, reminding me of all the ridicule I'd get for only eating bread and butter at Thanksgiving, but man those spiced nuts still stick in my mind. Probably good I don't have too many childhood food attachments. Otherwise I'd still be eating frozen Eggo waffles, just the edges of frosting-less strawberry Pop Tarts, Tupperware bowls full of Better Cheddars, and ohhh man sour cream and cheddar Ruffles. My poor mom. Totally just gave up with me. Worst kid ever.
Tomorrow I'm going to make pumpkin pudding, I believe. My friend Samantha had been listening to me with my nose stuck up in the air about the necessity of making a pumpkin pie with fresh roasted pumpkin purée for the past like 4 years so she finally did it in a Thanksgiving practice run. They turned out terribly, apparently. I'd like to blame it on her and say her palate just isn't sophisticated enough...but that's not true at all. I feel like I let her down. And what a let down. All this time, leading up to this one stupid pie, and the two pumpkins she'd gotten were crap. I must convince her to try again! It's okay, you'll get a nice pumpkin!! Nature is good! So, I thought I'd make one from scratch and send her pics along the way, just to show that indeed she somehow picked the two worst sugar pumpkins in the whole store. If this pudding is any good, perhaps you'll see it later. I'm thinking it's going to be with coconut milk and cardamom.
So, this is kind of my general recipe when making spiced nuts in the winter. Really, there are just so, so many possibilities, but I do like to keep these truly savory with no sugary substance. I've made them almost like an everything in the spice rack but the kitchen sink (?) kinda recipe, and that's pretty fun - not only the spices below, but dill, oregano, allspice, anise, paprika...etc. It's really pretty awesome. But, it's nice to pare them down and really make them super seasonal tasting. If you happen to have tons of fresh herbs in your kitchen or garden, please use them! Just mince them up nice and small and use a bit more than the dried quantities. You can also use whatever nuts you want, of course. These are the three that I most like. But heck, if you like Brazil nuts or hazelnuts or cashews or uh what else, add 'em in.  Or just use one. Doesn't matter.
savory spiced nuts

1 egg white
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/3 teaspoon ground marjoram
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup each of raw almonds, walnuts, pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the egg white until it's nice and thick and foamy and there's no clear liquid leftover.

2. Mix together the herbs and spices and stir into the egg white. Then stir in the nuts and evenly coat.

3. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

4. Take the nuts out and reduce the heat to 250. Toss around then spread out again and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

These are great for a holiday party to have around the house in little bowls, or to box up for a nice food present for someone!
This was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Value of Gift Exchanges: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

In the 16 December 2012 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I discussed the value of gift exchanges, and I thought it might be of interest. The question was:

What is the purpose of exchanging gifts during the holidays? To me, gift exchanges seem meaningless: they're a waste of time and money. What am I missing?
My Answer, In Brief: The practicing of gift exchange can be deeply meaningful, as a way of revealing your knowledge and affection for another person, as well as integrating your lives. If instead you're feeling burdened and unseen, then it's time to change your practices.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:


Tags: Communication, Family, Gifts, Holidays, Honesty, Psychological Visibility, Relationships Relevant Links:
To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on right to work laws, deception in a crisis, philosophy versus psychology, the value of gift exchanges, and more – is available as a podcast here: Episode of 16 December 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Paleo Rodeo #141

By Diana Hsieh


Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list.  The past editions of the Rodeo are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"?  As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Danny J Albers presents The Role of the Skeptic in Paleo and Low Carb posted at Primal North, saying, "The importance of skeptism in paleo and low carb and science in general.  A discussion of the role of a good skeptic and why they are important, and some bemoaning about how they seem to have vanished."

Neely Quinn presents Q&A: Navigating A Non-Paleo Holiday posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "With the holiday season in full force right now, a lot of you are stressing about how you’re going to navigate Christmas dinner and dessert without offending, confusing, and/or alienating your family…."

Nell Stephenson presents Paleoista Holiday Tip of the Day # 22 posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson suggests not trying to force the whole family into a paleo meal, while at the same time, staying true to your own Paleo meal."

Meghan Little and Angel Ayala Torres presents Paleo Puerto Rican Coquito, A Holiday Drink with Rum posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "This Puerto Rican Classic is similar to a coconut-style egg nog and it is just perfect for the holidays!"

Wendy Schwartz presents 3 Paleo Protein Mistakes to Avoid posted at Go Paleo!, saying, "If you have gone Paleo with your diet, you will want to learn more about how you can optimize your diet by making good decisions regarding the type, amount, and preparation method of your protein sources."

Jennifer Hunt presents Cortisol Basics posted at Vibrant Sexy Strong, saying, "The first post in a five-part series explaining the basics of cortisol. Complete with stick figure drawings."

Crystal Fieldhouse presents The Dieter's Christmas Conundrum posted at Eat Sleep Move, saying, "Christmas is upon us.  It might look slightly different for each of us but one thing is for certain…THERE…WILL…BE…FOOD.  And there will probably be a lot of it.  These are my tips for getting through the Christmas season with your waistline, hormones and mind intact."

Hadass Eviatar presents Top 5 Reasons to Love Your SCOBY posted at My Coat of Many Colours, saying, "A Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast is the secret to making kombucha and kefir, both of which have been considered beneficial for generations. Find out why you should love that weird-looking thing."

Carmen Eat Joy presents Traditional Fruit Mince Pies posted at Carmen Eat Joy, saying, "It's Christmas time - why not make some traditional Fruit Mince Pies to celebrate? A think almond crust pastry with a spicy fruit filling - these are delicious!"

Amy Kubal presents Top 10 In Paleo 2012 – The Top Buzz From The Year That Was posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "Check out the biggest Paleo news of the year - it's the definitive year-end wrap-up!"

Diane Sanfilippo presents Easy Recipe: Tart and Creamy Applesauce posted at Balanced Bites, saying, "Just in time for the biggest group of 21DSDers ever launching January 1, 2013…  Here’s a fresh take on a delicious way to make applesauce that’ll surprise your taste buds with its tartness but delight you with it’s creamy texture. Enjoy!"

Carmen Eat Joy presents Pineapple, Mint and Coconut Gelato posted at Carmen Eat Joy, saying, "On a summer’s night, sometimes there is just nothing better than a fresh gelato. Pineapple and mint has always been one of my favourite combinations, and with some coconut cream it just adds to the exotic feeling!! Okay – perhaps that is a touch melodramatic – but really, the combination is just heaven and this is such an easy recipe to make (again) – but it does require a little planning ahead. That is all – and trust me – it’s worth it!"

Susie T. Gibbs presents Quick Carpaccio is Paleo Goodness posted at Fluffy Chix Cook, saying, "Want an easy and elegant Paleo appetizer for Christmas Eve or for New Year's Eve? Quick Carpaccio fills the bill. It's light and delicious, especially when served with a mixed salad and cup of creamy asparagus or tomato basil soup."

DePaw presents Evolutionary Trade-Offs: Fast Versus Famine posted at Mostly Meat Is What I Eat, saying, "The implications of gluconeogenesis in ketogenic exercise."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo!  We love new members!  So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list.  You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.
Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:
Enjoy!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

No Gluten, No Migraines

By Diana Hsieh

Since high school, I've suffered from periodic migraines. Mostly, they were manageable with pain medications, although quite unpleasant. However, I had certain periods in which they were so frequently and painful as to be debilitating. (In college, I had to drop two of my five classes one semester due to unbearable and frequent migraines.)

Happily, eating paleo largely eliminated my migraines. As a result, I could safely leave the house without my migraine medication for the first time in years. That was so liberating!

I still had migraines but only rarely -- perhaps just one per month. I noticed that I was particularly prone to get them when pre-menstrual, but I couldn't detect any pattern otherwise.

However, in the summer of 2011, I had two experiences that made me think that gluten might be the lingering culprit. While at the Ancestral Healthy Symposium, I ate some "brown eggs" made by my mother-in-law. They were made with regular soy sauce, which includes a tiny amount of wheat. Result? Days of migraines. Then, a month or two later, I ate some chicken wings at a restaurant that had been dusted in flour. Result? A sudden migraine in the middle of the night.

So I decided to experiment, to see if I could give myself a migraine by eating gluten even when I wasn't already feeling prone to a migraine. So I bought a loaf of bread. (Yes, that seemed very strange to me!) I ate a one slice with butter for lunch.



The next day -- just about 24 hours later -- I had a migraine. Since that experiment, I've been super-strict about avoiding gluten. I don't make assumptions about the menu when eating at a restaurant: I ask.

As a result, I've had just two migraines in the last six months -- and one was due to something "gluten-free" not being really gluten-free. (Yup, I knew better.) Hence, when someone tells me that paleo is just pseudo-science or a fad... well, you can imagine my reaction.

I don't think that gluten causes everyone's migraines. But I think that people with migraines would be smart to try a gluten-free diet -- or better yet, full-blown paleo. It might do a world of good!

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Radical Honesty: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

In the 9 December 2012 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I discussed radical honesty, and I thought it might be of interest. The question was:

Should people be 'radically honest'? Psychotherapist Brad Blanton claims that people should be "radically honest" – meaning that they should say what they think all the time. Is that a life-serving policy – or simply an excuse for rudeness? For example, if my friend is telling me a story that I don't care to hear, should I tell her of my disinterest? Would that foster a more authentic and valuable relationship? Should I try to gently signal my disinterest? Or should I try to cultivate some interest in her story? In other words, is tact a value – or a destructive form of pretense?
My Answer, In Brief: "Radical Honesty" is not a way to practice the virtue of honesty. It's a destructive rule requiring a person to share every stray thought or feeling – meaning that a person must be a rude, creepy bore without any privacy.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:

Tags: Communication, Emotions, Ethics, Honesty, Psycho-Epistemology, Relationships Relevant Links:To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread. A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on nihilism, radical honesty, poor effort in a terrible job, and more – is available as a podcast here: Episode of 9 December 2012. Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap.

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Philosophy Weekend: Philosophy in Action Radio Preview

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on right to work laws, deception in a crisis, philosophy versus psychology, the value of gift exchanges, and more with Greg Perkins. I thought that might be of interest!

  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • What: Philosophy in Action Internet Radio: Right to Work, Deception in a Crisis, Gifts, and More
  • When: Sunday, 16 December 2012, 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: Philosophy in Action's Live Studio
This week's questions are:
  • Question 1: Right to Work Laws: Do "right to work" laws violate or protect rights? Some states are attempting to pass "right to work" laws, despite massive union opposition. Under such laws, employers cannot require employees to be a member of a union – as often happens due to federal law. These laws aim to empower employees against unwelcome unions. Are these laws legitimate – perhaps as defense against unjust federal law or a step toward freedom of contract? Or are they indefensible because they violate the rights of employers to dictate the terms of employment?
  • Question 2: Deception in a Crisis: Is it moral to deceive to someone to help him through a crisis? Imagine that a man is about to break up with his girlfriend (or divorce his wife), but then he discovers that she has a serious disease or she suffers a serious accident. Is it moral for him to help her through the crisis under the false pretense of a stable, loving relationship? (What if that would take months of deception?) Or should the man be frank with the woman as soon as possible about parting ways, perhaps only only offering help as a friend, if that? Would that be cruel?
  • Question 3: Philosophy Versus Psychology: What's the proper distinction between philosophy and psychology? Given that psychology concerns the mind, I don't see how to clearly distinguish it from philosophy. For example, when would emotions be a philosophic concern versus a psychological concern? In other words, where is the dividing line between philosophy and psychology? Can they be separated?
  • Question 4: The Value of Gift Exchanges: What is the purpose of exchanging gifts during the holidays? To me, gift exchanges seem meaningless: they're a waste of time and money. What am I missing?
After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio podcast from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 16 December 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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Friday, December 14, 2012

The Paleo Rodeo #140

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions of the Rodeo are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
The Cavegirls presents Apple Cider Muffins posted at Northwest Cavegirls, saying, "‘Tis the season for apple cider! This morning when I got up, I was in the mood to make muffins, and once I looked into the fridge and saw the jug of apple cider, I knew just what kind to make. Apple Cider Muffins! I was also sadly lacking in my usual muffin starter of almond flour, so I used coconut flour instead. They turned out very apple-y and cinnamon-y and were a big hit with both small and large family members!"

The Cavegirls presents A few Paleo Christmas Recipes posted at Northwest Cavegirls, saying, "Looking for some yummy paleo christmas recipes? Here are a few of our favorites: Paleo Egg Nog, Coconut flour cut out cookies, and Mulled cranberry sauce. Enjoy!"

Ute presents Tsatziki and cookies and rum balls, oh my! posted at Grokette's Primal Musings, saying, "Cookies and other treats for the holiday season."

Ute presents IF... done the right way posted at Grokette's Primal Musings, saying, "A post about intermittent fast and how to do it right, when you're a woman."

Nell Stephenson presents Keep The Figs, Ditcht the Pudding- Holiday Tip # 15 from Paleoista posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson writes about a paleo option instead of figgy pudding."

Hadass Eviatar presents Enjoying Manitoba's Bounty - but no Raw Milk posted at My Coat of Many Colours, saying, "Many jurisdictions are struggling with the question of legalising raw milk. Some discussion about raw milk in the province of Manitoba. Also - what defines local food?"

Crystal Fieldhouse presents Is a Paleo Diet Just For The Snobby Elitist? posted at Eat Sleep Move, saying, "My response to the Time Magazine article that has caused such an uproar, '"What To Eat Now The Anti-Food-Snob Diet"" written by Dr Mehmet Oz."

Tarah presents Kevin's Famous Chocolate Chili posted at What I Gather, saying, "As the name suggests, the secret ingredient here is chocolate. Cocoa powder to be exact. It does not give the chili a chocolate-y flavor...more of a deep, rich taste. Add to that a little heat from some jalapeno peppers (we were a little heavy handed here, feel free to use less if spice isn't your thing) and traditional chili ingredients, and you have yourself one tasty winter meal!"

Melissa Bishop presents Do you feel trapped i n your kitchen? posted at Paleo Connections, saying, "Cooking from scratch does not have to keep you tied down to your kitchen. Here are some tips and tricks to make it easier and more economical to cook the paleo way."

Melissa Bishop presents Weight loss or a waste of money? posted at Paleo Connections, saying, "Planning on being one of the millions of Americans to hit the gym come January 1st? Read this before you do."

J. Stanton presents Book Review: Perfect Health Diet (Scribner Edition, December 2012) posted at GNOLLS.ORG, saying, "A comprehensive review of the new 2012 Scribner edition of Perfect Health Diet, by Paul Jaminet, Ph.D. and Shou-Ching Jaminet, Ph.D."

Melissa Joulwan presents 10 Paleo Gifts From The Kitchen posted at The Clothes Make The Girl, saying, "Spice blends and paleo snacks make great gifts – plus they're as much fun to make as they are to receive. Happy holidays!"

Jennifer Hunt presents 4-Week MovNat Training Program - Yes Please! posted at Vibrant Sexy Strong, saying, "Inspired by the women who filmed Movement of 3 (video included), I'm embarking on the 4-week MovNat program being published on Breaking Muscle."

Meghan Little and Angel Ayala Torres presents Paleo Cranberry Tangerine Muffins, A Breakfast On-The-Go posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "These Cranberry Tangerine Breakfast Muffins are seasonal and fluffy. They're perfect for those shopping days when you are on the go, or great for visiting relatives and family!"

Paul Jaminet presents What’s New in the New Edition, I: Evolutionary Dieting posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "Our new book has just been released by Scribner, and we're discussing what's new and original in the book – a lot! Please check it out!"

Amy Kubal presents TOUCHDOWN! Paleo “Souper Bowl” Chili Contest posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "Break out your chili makin' skills and send us your best recipe! The heat is ON!!!"

Neely Quinn presents Why Your New Year's Resolution Sucked Last Year (And How You Can Make This Year's Better) posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "A few tips to make this new year's resolution stick."

Mary Catherine presents Gathered Gifts: 10 Presents for Paleo People posted at Nourish Paleo Foods, saying, "I thought it would be fun to share a list of 10 awesome gifts for the paleo person in your life and, of course, for you too!"

Carmen Eat Joy presents Prunes in Prosciutto - an old (paleo) classic posted at Carmen Eat Joy, saying, "Such an easy starter for a dinner party, or just a delicious snack! An old favourite revitalised!"

Wendy Schwartz presents Online Supermarket - Playground for the Paleo Minded posted at Go Paleo!, saying, "Review of a new one-stop-shop online Paleo Supermarket - Wild Mountain Paleo."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! We love new members! So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:
Enjoy!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Podcast Interview: Dr. Doug McGuff on Strength Training Using Body by Science

By Diana Hsieh

Last week, I interviewed Dr. Doug McGuff about "Strength Training Using Body by Science" in this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio. If you missed the live broadcast, you can listen to the audio podcast any time. You'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page, as well as below.

Podcast: 5 December 2012: Dr. Doug McGuff about "Strength Training Using Body by Science"


Episode Note: My podcast on finding good prospects for romance and friendship is available for sale for $20. It makes a great gift for the holidays!

Most people suppose that fitness requires long "cardio" sessions of running, biking, stair-climbing, or the like. In contrast, Dr. Doug McGuff advocates brief, infrequent, and high-intensity weight training using slow movements. Does this approach work? What are its benefits and costs compared to other fitness regimens?

Dr. Doug McGuff is an emergency medicine doctor practicing in South Carolina with a long-time interest in fitness, weightlifting, and high-intensity exercise. In 1997, he opened Ultimate Exercise, where he and his instructors explore the limits of exercise. Dr. McGuff is the best-selling co-author of Body by Science and The Body by Science Question and Answer Book. You can read Dr. McGuff's blog at www.BodyByScience.net.

Listen or Download:

Topics:
  • The nature of fitness and the purpose of exercise
  • The "Body by Science" or "SuperSlow" method
  • Safety in Body by Science workouts
  • Other benefits of Body by Science
  • Dr. McGuff's discovery of the Body by Science method
  • Workouts for older, overweight, and weak people
  • What's wrong with "cardio"
  • The injury rates in CrossFit
  • The role of evolutionary theory in fitness
  • Doing CrossFit as a sport
  • The value of a trainer (or workout partner)
  • Sticking with Body by Science over time
  • Calf raises
  • Leg extension and knee injuries
  • Leg extension and leg press
  • Optimal strength gains
  • Timed static contractions
Relevant Links: Tags:

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored the incomparable Audible.com. I've subscribed to Audible since 2005. With my "Platinum Annual Membership," I enjoy 24 books per year for just under $10 per book. I read more books, thanks to Audible. I listen to books while in my car, as well as while cooking, cleaning, gardening, and more. I enjoy books more too, particularly fiction: a good reader adds a rich layer of color to the text. If you want to try the delights of listening to books, be sure to take advantage of our special podcast-only offer of free 30-day trial subscription. You'll get a great deal, and you'll support Philosophy in Action in the process. It's a win-win – and I love that!

Philosophy in Action

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. To automatically download every new episode of Philosophy in Action, subscribe to the podcast RSS feed in your music player: Keep in touch with Philosophy in Action:
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Saturday, December 08, 2012

Moral Luck: Dissertation Preview: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

In the 2 December 2012 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I discussed moral luck, and I thought it might be of interest.

Basically, it's a preview of my soon-to-be published dissertation on the problem of moral luck, in which I defend our ordinary practices of praise and blame of persons via an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility. When the dissertation is available, I'll announce it here, but if you want to be emailed about it, just email me with that request at diana@dianahsieh.com.

The question was:

Is 'moral luck' a self-contradictory term? What does it mean? Does it exist?
My Answer, In Brief: Moral luck is a philosophical puzzle about the extent of a person’s responsibility for his actions, their outcomes, and his character—given the pervasive influence of luck. It’s a puzzle that can be solved—as I did in my soon-to-be-published dissertation—with an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:

Tags: Ethics, Justice, Luck, Moral Luck, Philosophy Relevant Links:To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread. A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on moral luck, parental support of adult children, guaranteed pensions for government employees, right to die, and more – is available as a podcast here: Episode of 2 December 2012. Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap.

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Philosophy Weekend: Philosophy in Action Radio Preview

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday morning's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on nihilism, radical honesty, poor effort in a terrible job, philosophy versus psychology, and more with Greg Perkins. I thought that might be of interest!

  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins
  • What: Philosophy in Action Internet Radio: Nihilism, Radical Honesty, Psychology, and More
  • When: Sunday, 9 December 2012, 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: Philosophy in Action's Live Studio
This week's questions are:
  • Question 1: Nihilism: What is philosophic nihilism? Some people seem to be quick to apply the label "nihilistic" to a broad range of phenomena, particularly art and ideas. So how should the term be used? Can a philosophy be very harmful and destructive without it being nihilistic?
  • Question 2: Radical Honesty: Should people be 'radically honest'? Psychotherapist Brad Blanton claims that people should be "radically honest" – meaning that they should say what they think all the time. Is that a life-serving policy – or simply an excuse for rudeness? For example, if my friend is telling me a story that I don't care to hear, should I tell her of my disinterest? Would that foster a more authentic and valuable relationship? Should I try to gently signal my disinterest? Or should I try to cultivate some interest in her story? In other words, is tact a value – or a destructive form of pretense?
  • Question 3: Poor Effort in a Terrible Job: Is it wrong for a person to do less than his best at work? At work, I used to go above and beyond my basic obligations routinely. However, I was never recognized or rewarded for my superior performance. Instead, I was paid the same as those who barely functioned in their jobs. To this day, my employer uses only collective or team recognition; he does not appreciate individuals. Also, those who do poorly or make serious mistakes are not being disciplined, while those of us who work hard are given more duties. My response has been to lower my own work output. While I meet the minimum standards of my employment and still do far more than my equally paid coworkers, I am not performing nearly close to the level I could. Is that wrong of me? Should I do my best at work, even though my employer doesn't seem to value that? Should I continue to suggest ideas for improvement – and perhaps work on them on the side, in secret, if ignored?
  • Question 4: Philosophy Versus Psychology: What's the proper distinction between philosophy and psychology? Given that psychology concerns the mind, I don't see how to clearly distinguish it from philosophy. For example, when would emotions be a philosophic concern versus a psychological concern? In other words, where is the dividing line between philosophy and psychology? Can they be separated?
After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio podcast from the episode posted here: Q&A Radio: 9 December 2012.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning!

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Friday, December 07, 2012

The Paleo Rodeo #139

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions of the Rodeo are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Rafael B., PhD presents Soda junkie anyone? posted at Eat Better = Better Health, saying, "Wonder why someone, like this guy who drinks 42 liter of diet coke a week, is so addicted to certain types food. Check out this post and you will know it!!!!!"

Diane Sanfilippo presents FAQs: How can I eat Paleo without a gallbladder? posted at Balanced Bites, saying, "Evidently quite a few of us who have undergone a Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) or know someone with Cholelithiasis (gallbladder disease). There was a cry for more information, but since I’m not a nutritionist or medical professional, I didn’t feel qualified to speak further than what’s worked for me. Problem is, like most modern day diseases, the medical community just doesn’t get it. I appear to be one of the few voices in the paleo community who has this problem and can provide insight and recommendations – after having done a LOT of research."

Neely Quinn presents How Do I Convince My Husband to Eat Paleo with Me? posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "Some tips to get your loved one on board with you eating Paleo."

Julie Campbell presents za'atar posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "if you're looking for new flavors for your meals, give this middle eastern spice mix a try!"

Nell Stephenson presents Handling Non Paleo Family Holiday Traditions posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson shares a tip about handling difficult family members trying to pressure you to eat non Paleo foods."

Julie & Charles Mayfield presents Paleo Comfort Foods looks back on 2012 posted at Paleo Comfort Foods, saying, "Cookbooks, eBooks, conferences, babies and more! 2012 has been chock full of fun stuff in the paleosphere - check out what you might have missed!"

Susie T. Gibbs presents Low Carb Eggnog - Yum! posted at Fluffy Chix Cook, saying, "Don't we all wish it was simple to roll our carts up to the dairy section and pick up a quart of organic, no sugar added eggnog? That won't happen, but this easy recipe makes it possible to go Primal or Paleo with a few small alterations."

The PaleoMD presents Vitamin D Update posted at PaleoMD, saying, "A roundup of several studies on Vitamin D and how low levels negatively impact our health in numerous disease and metabolic processes!"

Kristopher Cleary presents Change Your Gut Flora, Cure Your Constipation posted at Real Constipation Remedies, saying, "The connection between gut flora and constipation is huge and fixing my gut flora was the main piece of the puzzle in curing my own chronic constipation."

Kristopher Cleary presents Delicious Food Ideas posted at Real Constipation Remedies, saying, "Curing constipation through diet and lifestyle does not have to mean a you'll be eating a boring diet. You want proof? Here it is!..."

Meghan Little & Angel Ayala Torres presents Paleo Pomegranate Apple Salad, A Mixed Greens Side or Entrée posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "Pomegranate is in season and with all of the holiday parties, its good to have some light winter greens to even out the holiday eating! Try it with our Sesame Ginger Dressing!"

Amy Kubal presents The Paleo Road Trip: Across The Country Caveman Style posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "If you're taking a road trip and want to keep it Paleo - here's how it's done!"

Diana Hsieh presents Podcast Interview: Dr. Doug McGuff on Strength Training Using Body by Science posted at NoodleFood, saying, "I interviewed physician and fitness expert Dr. Doug McGuff about 'Strength Training Using Body by Science" on Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio. Don't miss this fascinating discussion of how to develop and maintain your physical fitness without any risk of injury in a short workout once per week."

Jennifer Hunt presents A Review of Paleo Slow Cooking: Gluten Free Recipes Made Simple posted at Vibrant Sexy Strong, saying, "Chrissy Gower's Paleo Slow Cooking was a big hit in our house."

Carmen presents The Fabulous Whole30 Wrapup - and continued choices posted at Carmen Eat Joy, saying, "The Whole30 is not the kind of thing you just 'end" - well I haven't, anyway. This is pretty much a wrap up of my Whole30 journey so far, and where I'm at right now (spoiler: feeling the best I have in years!)."

Jess presents One Love, One Paleo Mon posted at The Paleo Professional, saying, "The Paleo Professional goes to Jamaica! Find out how I stayed Paleo (and didn't) while on vacation."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! We love new members! So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:
Enjoy!

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dr. Doug McGuff on Strength Training Using Body by Science: Tonight on Philosophy in Action Radio

By Diana Hsieh

In tonight's episode of Philosophy in Action Radio Interview, I'll interview Dr. Doug McGuff on "Strength Training Using Body by Science."

I've used Dr. McGuff's methods for over a year and half now, and I've kept myself in great shape for riding horses and skiing with just 30 minutes of weight training per week -- with little soreness and minimal risk of injury. (You can read my periodic reports here.)

  • Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh, with physician and fitness expert Dr. Doug McGuff
  • What: Philosophy in Action Internet Radio: Strength Training Using Body by Science
  • When: Wednesday, 5 December 2012, 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET
  • Where: Philosophy in Action's Live Studio
Most people suppose that fitness requires long "cardio" sessions of running, biking, stair-climbing, or the like. In contrast, Dr. Doug McGuff advocates brief, infrequent, and high-intensity weight training using slow movements. Does this approach work? What are its benefits and costs compared to other fitness regimens?

Dr. Doug McGuff is an emergency medicine doctor practicing in South Carolina with a long-time interest in fitness, weightlifting, and high-intensity exercise. In 1997, he opened Ultimate Exercise, where he and his his instructors explore the limits of exercise. Dr. McGuff is the best-selling co-author of Body by Science and The Body by Science Question and Answer Book. You can read Dr. McGuff's blog at www.BodyByScience.net.


To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can call the show with your questions and experiences, as well as post comments and questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio from the episode posted here: 5 December 2012: Dr. Doug McGuff on Strength Training Using Body by Science.

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.

I hope that you join us tonight!

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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

On the Validity of an Evolutionary Approach to Nutrition

By Diana Hsieh

The following comments on the validity of a evolutionary approach to nutrition are from an email that I wrote to an Objectivist philosopher skeptical of the paleo diet. (The email was sent many moons ago, and I only just found it again.) My comments stand pretty well on their own, I think, and I hope that they'll be of interest to folks interested in thinking about paleo in a philosophical way.

I cannot point you to a single study that definitively proves the superiority of a paleo diet. For a hundred different reasons -- most of which probably aren't on your radar -- such a study is not possible. (Gary Taubes and Mike Eades have written on that problem.) Nonetheless, a whole lot of smaller, more delimited studies (as well as well-established biology) support the claims made by advocates of a paleo diet. Plus, people report looking, feeling, and performing better -- with improved lab values -- on a paleo-type diet. Each of us has our own experiences and experiments to draw on too.

Hence, as I said in a thread on Facebook: "I think I've got very good grounds for saying that a paleo diet is (1) healthy for most people, (2) far superior to the diet of most Americans, (3) exceedingly delicious and satisfying, and (4) worth trying to see if you do better on it, particularly if you have certain kinds of health problems."

I'm not claiming certainty, nor do I assume that my current diet is optimal. We have tons to learn about nutrition and health. Yet that's hardly a reason to ignore what we do know -- or to suppose that we can just keep eating however we please without experiencing pernicious consequences down the road.

Moreover, people are doing themselves harm by eating the standard American diet. In my own case, I was on my way to type 2 diabetes (based on my doctor's blood glucose tests) and liver disease (based on a CT scan showing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). We can't assume that the standard American diet is a safe default just because it's all around us -- just as people shouldn't assume that the standard American religion is a safe philosophical default.

To address your skepticism about an evolutionary approach to nutrition, let me ask you the following... Imagine that you were given a dog to care for, but you'd never seen or heard of a dog before. Would you say that the fact that dogs are very close relatives of wolves is irrelevant to the question of what you ought to feed this dog? Wouldn't that evolutionary fact suggest that the dog needs meat, meat, and more meat -- not tofu or corn or alfalfa?

That evolutionary inference certainly wouldn't be the last word on proper diet for the dog by any stretch of the imagination. Yet that inference would help guide your inquiry into the optimal diet for the dog -- and guide your feeding of him in the meantime. That evolutionary perspective would be particularly helpful if the government and its lackeys were busy promoting a slew of false views about optimal canine diet. Ultimately, it would help integrate and explain your various findings about canine nutrition, since the nature of the canine was shaped by its evolutionary history.

On this point, your comparison to evolutionary psychology is not apt. Evolutionary psychology is a cesspool. But that's not because inferences from our evolutionary history are difficult, although that's true. Evolutionary psychology is a cesspool because it depends heavily on some false philosophical assumptions -- particularly determinism and innate ideas.

The same charges cannot be made against an evolutionary approach to nutrition. We know that every organism is adapted to eat certain kinds of foods rather than others. We know that human biology was shaped over the course of millions of years, during which time we ate certain kinds of foods but not others. That suggests the kinds of foods that we're best adapted to eat. Moreover, we can see in skeletal remains that when people switched to other kinds of foods, particularly grains, they declined remarkably in basic measures of health. Then consider what know about the nature of wheat, including its effects on the gut. Top that off with the positive effects people experience -- improved well-being, fat loss, better lab values, less autoimmunity -- when they stop eating wheat. Then you've got a compelling case against eating wheat.

The evolutionary perspective is not merely a useful starting point in such inquiries, to be discarded with advancements in modern science. It's relevant causal history: it explains why we respond as we do to wheat. That enables us to integrate disparate findings about wheat (and other foods) into a unified theory of nutrition. That's hugely important to developing nutrition as a science.

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Saturday, December 01, 2012

Podcast Interview: Dr. William Dale on End-Of-Life Medical Choices

By Diana Hsieh

On Wednesday, 28 November 2012, I broadcast a new episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, interviewing Dr. William Dale about "End-Of-Life Medical Choices."

This was one of my favorite episodes ever, because I learned so much more than I expected. It would be a great interview to listen to and then discuss with your spouse, siblings, parents, and adult children.

If you missed the live broadcast, you can listen to the audio podcast any time. You'll find the podcast on the episode's archive page, as well as below.

Podcast: 28 November 2012: Dr. William Dale about "End-Of-Life Medical Choices"



Many people struggle with difficult decisions about complex medical problems as they near the end of their lives. That time is wrenching for family too. How can people make good decisions about medical care? What mistakes should they try to avoid? How can people prepare for that future now?

Dr. William Dale is a geriatrician at The University of Chicago Medicine with a doctorate in health policy and extensive experience in oncology. He has devoted his career to the care of older adults with cancer – particularly prostate cancer. Dr. Dale has a special interest in the identification and treatment of vulnerable older patients who have complex medical conditions, including cancer. He is actively researching the interactions of cancer therapies with changes associated with aging.

Listen or Download:

Topics:
  • Dr. Dale's work
  • End-of-life challenges for the patient
  • End-of-life challenges for others
  • The choice of more versus less treatment
  • Doctors telling patients the whole truth
  • What patients can do to get more and better information
  • Patients' regrets about treatment
  • The importance of knowing one's own preferences
  • Dealing with family problems
  • Living will versus power of attorney
  • Talking to the person with your power of attorney
  • The emotions of dealing with death
  • Being a supportive and reasonable family member
  • Conflicts between in-town-and out-of-town family
  • Conflicts in the family over care
  • The "five stages of grief"
  • Differences between ethnic groups about end-of-life care
Relevant Links: Tags:

Episode Sponsor

This episode was sponsored the incomparable Audible.com. I've subscribed to Audible since 2005. With my "Platinum Annual Membership," I enjoy 24 books per year for just under $10 per book. I read more books, thanks to Audible. I listen to books while in my car, as well as while cooking, cleaning, gardening, and more. I enjoy books more too, particularly fiction: a good reader adds a rich layer of color to the text. If you want to try the delights of listening to books, be sure to take advantage of our special podcast-only offer of free 30-day trial subscription. You'll get a great deal, and you'll support Philosophy in Action in the process. It's a win-win – and I love that!

Philosophy in Action

Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. To automatically download every new episode of Philosophy in Action, subscribe to the podcast RSS feed in your music player: Keep in touch with Philosophy in Action:
    Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedPhilosophy in Action's YouTube Channel

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