Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

By Diana Hsieh

A few nights ago, I made a variation on this recipe for roasted brussels sprouts.

Basically, I washed and trimmed a large bag of brussels sprouts, then tossed them with about two tablespoons of bacon grease, a head of garlic cloves (peeled), dried thyme, salt, and pepper -- all in a glass pan that I'd used earlier that day to make perfect bacon.

I roasted them in the oven at 400F for about 30-ish minutes -- basically, until cooked through.



They turned out delicious! I'd like to try making them in coconut oil next time.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Homocysteine, Mutations, and Sulfur Sensitivity

By Christian Wernstedt

[Originally published on the VitalObjectives blog]

Homocysteine is a molecule created in the process of what's broadly called "methylation", and is believed to be toxic to the endothelial cells that line blood vessels, and an association has been found between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and homocysteine. Some practitioners and researchers even believe that homocysteine is much more important than LDL cholesterol as a risk factor in CVD.

High homocysteine is associated with an extensively researched genetic variant (or polymorphism) named MTHFR C677T, and which if present can often be effectively addressed by eating more foods that contain natural folates such as green leafy vegetables or egg yolks, or by carefully adding a L-5MTHF supplement. (Not "folic acid"which may be toxic in this situation.)

Given the above, low homocysteine levels are typically lauded as a sign of good health. In fact, as with cholesterol, many clinical laboratories have recklessly (or by government decree?) put 0.0 at the low end of their reference interval for homocysteine.

Being no less flattered than most by such follies, I have been proud of my low homocysteine at 5.8 umol/l , seeing it as a sign of health.

However…

The body detoxifies homocysteine essentially through either recycling the molecule back to methionine (the essential amino acid which it was built from in the first place), or by putting it through a pathway that ultimately converts it into sulfite/sulfate, alpha-ketoglutare, ammonia, and glutathione.

Given these options, if homocysteine is low in the body, it could be for three major reasons:

  1. A high rate of conversion back to methionine. (A good reason in most cases.)
  2. Low production because upstream processes are not working correctly or because a precursor such as methionine doesn't exist in enough quantity. (A bad reason because the ongoing generation and regeneration of homocysteine and methionine from each other drives other crucial processes in the body.)
  3. A high rate of conversion of into sulfite/sulfate etc. (A bad reason if levels of sulfate, alpha-ketoglutarate or ammonia generated this way become toxic - more below.)
Let's look at the pathway in #3 because this is what I have researched when looking into my own issues and biochemistry,

There is an enzyme, CBS, responsible for the first step of conversion through this chain by turning homocysteine into an intermediate called cystathionine. As it happens, the CBS enzyme may be working too fast due to certain rather common variants of genes related to CBS activity. I have several of these variants (e.g., CBS C699T, A360A and BHMT 2,4,8) which make the CBS enzyme work up to ten times faster than normal.

When homocysteine is excessively pulled in this direction by CBS, the following compounds are created at possibly toxic levels:
  • Sulfite and ultimately sulfate - both toxic to the body, but sulfate less so. (When I recently peed on a test strip for sulfate, results came out very high.)
  • Alpha-ketoglutare - high levels can create excess glutamate in the presence of mercury and lead. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter involved in anxiety, ADHD, and pain sensitivity. (I have mercury fillings, by the way...)
  • Ammonia - high levels act as an irritant and may cause excess cortisol and contribute to the downward spiral of adrenal fatigue and hormone problems that is common in so many (euphemism for "virtually all") people. (Personally, I seem only mildly affected by this as my urinary ammonia is only slightly elevated, and my hormone profile fairly good.)
So what to do? It depends on the person (including which other road blocks are present) and how severe the problems are, but in outline: Reduce sulfur foods and meats (yes, even a vegan diet may be needed in extreme cases), support the detoxification and elimination of ammonia and sulfur. (There are some protocols for this that go far beyond what I have room to discuss here.)

Take away points:
  • One can have low homocysteine and therefore receive a "clean bill of health", yet suffer from mild to severe health issues due to common metabolic pathway problems that result in low homocysteine.
  • If a person has homocysteine, say, below 6 umol/l (some practitioners say 7), it is reasonable to investigate underlying issues. Helpful in that case as a first step would be a 23andMe test, using a sulfate detection strip, or even better a sulfite detection strip (let me know if you know where to find one).

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Solutions to Widespread Racism: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on solutions to widespread racism. The question was:

Should the government intervene when widespread racism makes life impossible for some people? Given that the effect of strictly respecting the rights of private property owners in the South was that blacks could not find accommodations, health care, transportation, food, and other basic necessities of life, shouldn't the government have intervened? Didn't civil rights legislation help eliminate racism – and wasn't that a good thing – even if that meant violating the right to property of racists?
My Answer, In Brief: Severe and widespread racism can only survive when enforced by government. As such, the solution to such racism is the elimination of the government's violations of rights based on race. That will radically change a culture in and of itself. To attempt to do more – particularly to ban racism in private transactions – violates the rights of innocent people and sets a terrible precedent.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:


Tags: Activism, Capitalism, Culture, Discrimination, Economics, Ethics, Free Society, History, Law, Race, Racism Relevant Links:
To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I also answered questions on recommended works of Aristotle, veto power over abortion, staying in a marriage, and more – is available here: Episode of 20 January 2013.

About Philosophy in Action Radio

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.

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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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 nature of addiction, unions for government employees, materialism and romance, mandatory child support, and more. This episode of internet radio airs on Sunday morning, 27 January 2013, 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 Nature of Addiction: Is addiction a genuine phenomena? Can a person become dependent on alcohol or drugs to the point that he cannot prevent himself from consuming it, except perhaps by a supreme effort of will? Is such addiction physiological – or just a matter of bad habits of thought and action? Similarly, can a person be addicted to certain foods (such as sugar or wheat) or certain activities (like gambling or pornography)? If so, what does that mean? If a person is addicted to something, is the cure to he abstain from it forever?
  • Question 2: Unions for Government Employees: Should government employees be permitted to unionize? In your 16 December 2012 discussion of "right to work" laws, you said that business owners should have the right to refuse to hire union members (or to fire them). How would that work for government employees? In a free society, could legislators (or departments) forbid government workers from being union members? Could they require union membership? Might unions serve some functions – like providing insurance and other benefits to members – but not engage in collective bargaining over wages or benefits?
  • Question 3: Materialism and Romance: Are materialistic couples less likely to have a lasting relationship? A recent study by Brigham Young University claims to show that concern for money causes stress in a relationship and that people who love money tend to be more impersonal and less passionate towards their loved ones. (See: ) Is that right? Does it reveal some defect with a morality of worldly values?
  • Question 4: Mandatory Child Support: Isn't mandated child support basically just welfare for needy children? What is the moral difference between compelling parents to support their children and compelling all people to support the needy in society? Many critics of the welfare state believe that parents should be compelled to support their children with basic levels of physical sustenance and education, such that failing to provide these constitutes violating children's rights. But how is that different from compelling people to support other needy or vulnerable people? Is the blood relationship what creates the obligation to support the child – and if so, how?
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: 27 January 2013.

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.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

The Paleo Rodeo #146

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:
Kris Gunnars presents 7 Reasons Not to Have Cheat Meals or Cheat Days posted at Authority Nutrition, saying, "It is commonly believed in many circles that cheat meals and cheat days have important benefits. I completely disagree and here are 7 reasons why."

Neely Quinn presents Q&A: I Can't Exercise - Will I Still Lose Weight on Paleo? posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "Here’s a quick Q&A between a Paleo Plan reader and me, just in case you have this same question…."

Nell Stephenson presents Why Am I Hungry? posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson writes about why some people might feel too hungry when they begin Paleo eating and suggests some solutions, such as her Paleo food log analysis and consultations."

Ute presents STEP AWAY FROM THE SCALE! posted at Grokette's Primal Musings, saying, "Why sometimes you should just avoid stepping on the scale."

Alison Pierce presents A Snowy Farm Dinner posted at Counterculture Cooking, saying, "Recipes for farm-grown food raised right on the farm, in Bethel, Maine: roasted beets, parsnips and carrots with tangerine juice and balsamic vinegar, and rabbit braised in garlic and red wine."

Julie Campbell presents country style pork ribs confit posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "if you're looking to slow cook your pork ribs in fat, then render them deliciously crispy, then click here."

The PaleoMD presents Glycemic Index versus Glycemic Load posted at PaleoMD, saying, "Amid much debate of the worthiness of Glycemic Index versus Glycemic Load, a new study strongly suggests the importance of Glycemic Load, especially for those of us who incorporate anaerobic exercise into our regimens!"

Chris Hiestand presents The Difference Between Living a Paleo Lifestyle and Following a Paleo Diet posted at PrimalPal, saying, "This post is for anyone who has ever said, heard or read the words, 'It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle." What is the differences between living a paleo lifestyle and following a paleo diet? This article explains the difference."

Hadass Eviatar presents Be Serious or Be Sick posted at My Coat of Many Colours, saying, "My new motto for 2013 comes from the SCD Lifestyle people, but it is just as applicable to the reasons most of us took up Paleo. Be Serious or be Sick - you aren't fooling your body!"

Carmen Eat Joy presents Golden Fried Banana and Chocolate Hazelnut Dripping Sauce posted at Carmen Eat Joy, saying, "Satisfy pregnancy (or any!) cravings with a paleo substitute for nutella!! Yummm..."

Carmen Eat Joy presents Golden Fried Banana and Chocolate Hazelnut Dripping Sauce posted at Carmen Eat Joy, saying, "Satisfy pregnancy (or any!) cravings with a paleo substitute for nutella!! Yummm..."

Paul Jaminet presents Chicken, Why Art Thou So Mediocre? posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "In our book, we give chicken grades from C to B+ depending on how it was raised, whereas beef, lamb, and seafood get a grade of A. In this post I discuss why chicken is such a mediocre meat."

Amy Kubal presents Top 9 ‘BLOW YOUR MIND’ Reasons To Attend Paleo FX 2013 posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "Do you have your tickets yet? If not, DON'T WAIT!!! Check out why this year's Paleo Fx is a can't miss show!"

Suz Crawt presents Keeping it Paleo Whilst Travelling posted at The Paleo Network, saying, "I had intentions of being strict Paleo whilst backpacking through Indonesia. But it didn't quite work out like that..."

Tarah presents Spicy Key Lime Shrimp Grillers posted at What I Gather, saying, "My Paleo Pen Pal sent me a bottle of Florida Key Lime Juice and I made these spicy, lime marinated grilled shrimp!"

Jess presents Spaghetti Bolognese, Paleo style. posted at The Paleo Professional, saying, "Let me tell you, nobody was missing the 'real" thing when this Spaghetti Bolognese was served and I made the entire meal after a long commute home. The keys to quick preparation were jazzing up a pre-made pasta sauce and a new favorite kitchen tool."

Wendy Schwartz presents Air Fresheners and Your Paleo Lifestyle? posted at Go Paleo!, saying, "How Paleo is your home when it comes to cleaning and freshening the air? Here are products to steer clear of, along with some tips for good home scents . . ."
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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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Philosophy Weekend: Philosophy in Action Radio Preview

By Diana Hsieh

On the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I will answer questions on solutions to widespread racism, recommended works of Aristotle, veto power over abortion, staying in a marriage, and more. This episode of internet radio airs on Sunday morning, 20 January 2013, 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: Solutions to Widespread Racism: Should the government intervene when widespread racism makes life impossible for some people? Given that the effect of strictly respecting the rights of private property owners in the South was that blacks could not find accommodations, health care, transportation, food, and other basic necessities of life, shouldn't the government have intervened? Didn't civil rights legislation help eliminate racism – and wasn't that a good thing – even if that meant violating the right to property of racists?
  • Question 2: Recommended Works of Aristotle: What works of Aristotle do you recommend reading? As a layperson interested in philosophy, I'd like to educate myself on the philosophy of Aristotle. I'm particularly interested in developing a better understanding of epistemology and metaphysics. What works should I read, and where should I start? Do you recommend any secondary sources?
  • Question 3: Veto Power over Abortion: Should a man be able to prevent his pregnant girlfriend from aborting his baby? Sometimes, a man will get his girlfriend pregnant accidentally, and they disagree about what should be done. If the man wants the woman to carry the pregnancy to term, whether to give up the baby for adoption or him take sole custody, while the woman wants to get an abortion, should he be able to prevent her? It's his baby, shouldn't he have some say?
  • Question 4: Staying in a Marriage: If a married couple wouldn't marry again, should they split? Many married couples seem to stay together due to inertia, not because they truly value each other. My view is that if a couple wouldn't marry again, they should get divorced. Is that too high a bar in marriage?

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: 20 January 2013.

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.

Read more...

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Paleo Rodeo #145

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:
Mary Catherine presents Mashed Plantains with Crispy Brussels Sprouts posted at Nourish Paleo Foods, saying, "This super simple sweet and salty dish was inspired by a meal I enjoyed at a local resturant. I don't know how I never thought of the combination before!"

Neely Quinn presents Q&A: I Don't Have Time for Paleo posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "Some tips to make Paleo easier for the time challenged."

Carmen Eat Joy presents Paleo Sushi posted at Carmen Eat Joy, saying, "Paleo Sushi. Simple, inexpensive, easy and better than the 'real" thing."

Nell Stephenson presents Sanitas Per Escam…Via Paleo? posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson ponders the idea of a restaurant stamp indicating items on the menu that are Paleo."

Victoria Prince presents An Offal Weekend posted at Principle into Practice, saying, "Being an ethical meat eater means eating nose-to tail. Check out how much offal you can fit into one weekend!"

Chris Hiestand presents Why Do I Crave Sugar? posted at PrimalPal Blog, saying, "Do you often find yourself fighting sugar cravings? Here's why sugar cravings happen and what you can do to fight them off."

Kris Gunnars presents Top 9 Healthiest Foods to Eat to Lose Weight and Become Superhuman posted at Authority Nutrition, saying, "If you want to lose weight, feel awesome and improve your health in every way imaginable, then these are the 9 healthiest foods you should eat every day."

Meghan Little and Angel Ayala Torres presents Paleo Asian Pork Chops with Ginger and Garlic, An Easy Meal Idea posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "These Asian-style Pork Chops are SO EASY and delicious! Great for those nights when you just don't want to cook! And they taste great with our Chinese Fried 'Rice"!"

Tony Federico presents Paleo Magazine Radio Podcast Episode 1 posted at Paleo Magazine Radio, saying, "Paleo Magazine Radio, a new podcast brought to you by Paleo Magazine and hosted by fitness expert Tony Federico (LiveCaveman.com), is dedicated to bringing together experts and everyday people. Episode one introduces the show and features Cain Credicott the editor and publisher of Paleo Magazine."

Wendy Schwartz presents 3 ½ Paleo Strategies to Prevent the Flu posted at Go Paleo!, saying, "Flu season is upon us in a wicked way. Here are some Paleo strategies to combat and prevent the illness now and all year long."

Jennifer Hunt presents When Cortisol Is Too High posted at Vibrant Sexy Strong.

Suz Crawt presents 8 Reasons Why You Should Have A Regular Massage posted at The Paleo Network, saying, "When did you last have a massage? Here are eight health reasons why you should book one today!"

Amy Kubal presents What the Paleo World Eats - Our Food In Pictures posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "Back by popular demand! Here's the second installment of What the Paleo World Eats. Check it out to see how your fellow paleo followers do it - in pictures!"

Paul Jaminet presents Reader Feedback: A Roundup with My Reflections posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "We roundup some of the reader feedback on our book, discussing along with way the path of Paleo into the mainstream, our theory of obesity, reactions of doctors, reactions of vegetarians, and some experiences of readers using our diet to address serious psychiatric disorders."

Diana Hsieh presents Roasted Brussels Sprouts posted at NoodleFood, saying, "Oven-roasted brussels sprouts are easy and yummy!"

Jess presents Bacon Chicken and Detox Spiced Mousse posted at The Paleo Professional, saying, "This week I took a stab at some recipes from two awesome bloggers - Paleo Parent's Bacon Roasted Chicken and my own take on PaleOMG's 21DSD carrot cake pudding (hint: white carrots!). These two dishes make detoxing a breeze!"

Tarah presents Paleo Pregnancy - What I Feed My Face posted at What I Gather, saying, "A sneak peek into how this pregnant Paleo lady 'eats for two"!"

Marc presents Vitamin K2, Collagen Hydrolysate, magnesium and a primal snack posted at Feel Good Eating, saying, "Some self experimentation and a snack."
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, January 14, 2013

Link-O-Rama

By Diana Hsieh

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Manipulating Finances to Qualify for Welfare: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh


On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on manipulating finances to qualify for welfare.  I thought that might be of interest for our Saturday philosophy post.  The question was:

Is it wrong to manipulate your finances to qualify for welfare?  An acquaintance of mine – who is moderately wealthy – feels justified in manipulating her finances to get government aid whenever possible on the grounds that it is "getting back" some of what she has paid. For example, she had her elderly mother buy a new car for her own use, in order to have her mother deplete her savings faster and qualify for Medicaid. However, while she had paid much in tax, her mother collects more in social security every month than she ever paid in taxes. Is it rational to view this as "getting back" money that was taken inappropriately, or is it actually immoral and self-destructive?
My Answer, In Brief: It's wrong and destructive to game the welfare system.  To do that is different in its essence from seeking to maximize tax breaks or attending a state university.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:


  • Duration: 19:41

  • Download: MP3 Segment
  • Tags: Ethics, Government, Honesty, Integrity, Law, Welfare 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 manipulating finances to qualify for welfare, initiating contact in friendship, poking fun at values, gay "conversion" therapy, and more – is available as a podcast here: Episode of 6 January 2013.

    About Philosophy in Action Radio

    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.

    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

    Read more...

    Philosophy Weekend: Philosophy in Action Radio Preview

    By Diana Hsieh

    On the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I will answer questions on free will and natural law, romance between an atheist and a believer, bringing children into a statist world, recommended works of Aristotle, and more.

    This episode of internet radio airs on Sunday morning, 13 January 2013, 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: Free Will and Natural Law: Is free will merely an illusion? While I dislike the idea that we're just puppets of physics and natural law, I wonder whether our seemingly "free'' decisions are actually determined by the combination of our biology and our environment. After all, if our brain is merely a physical and chemical system, how could any any decisions be made freely? Wouldn't that violate natural law? In essence, how can our knowledge that the physical universe is deterministic be reconciled with our subjective feeling that we choose our actions?
    • 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: Bringing Children into a Statist World: Is it wrong to have children in an increasingly irrational and statist culture? People should think about the long-range effects of their actions, and act based on principles. So if a person thinks that our culture is in decline – and perhaps even slipping into dictatorship – is it wrong for that person to have children? Is such an assessment accurate? Along similar lines, were people wrong to have children in Soviet Union and other dictatorships?
    • Question 4: Recommended Works of Aristotle: What works of Aristotle do you recommend reading? As a layperson interested in philosophy, I'd like to educate myself on the philosophy of Aristotle. I'm particularly interested in developing a better understanding of epistemology and metaphysics. What works should I read, and where should I start? Do you recommend any secondary sources?
    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: 13 January 2013.

    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.

    Read more...

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    The Paleo Rodeo #144

    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:
    Kris Gunnars presents Top 7 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid Like The Plague posted at Authority Nutrition, saying, "A list of the top 7 unhealthy foods you should avoid if you want to lose weight, feel better and lower your risk of chronic diseases."

    Nell Stephenson presents No Research Behind Paleo? Excuse Me? posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson expresses disgust at the premise that there is no research behind Paleo."

    Victoria Prince presents Ship of the desert, shaper of human evolution… posted at Principle into Practice, saying, "When you think about camels, you probably don't think about how they shaped human evolution. While it may not be 'paleo", camel milk has been drunk by people in the Middle East for millennia, and camels have helped shaped the human genome. Now, new research is showing camel milk has benefits for those with diabetes and alcoholic liver disease... It's kind of tasty too!"

    Wendy Schwarts presents Food News and Reviews: KeVita, Jif and Special K posted at Go Paleo!, saying, "A Paleo rundown of what's new in the food world: the good, the bad and the nutritiously ugly."

    Neely Quinn presents Toadally Primal Wellness Bundle: 33 eBooks for $39 posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "Lots of info for not a lot of money."

    Peggy Emch presents Fatigued? Maybe It's Iron Deficiency - Raw Meat Can Help posted at The Primal Parent, saying, "Eating cooked iron-rich meats is great too, but cooking decreases iron's solubility. When you need a quick boost of iron, raw liver is the way to go."

    Jamie Peterson presents Lunch Box Ideas posted at Groks Big Family , saying, "Lunch box ideas for kids and Sugar Detox."

    Holly Woodcock presents 5 Things To Do With: CAULIFLOWER posted at Holly Would If She Could, saying, "Trying to find creative ways to expand your veggie rotation? Cauliflower is on your side! Healthy doesn’t have to mean plain and repetitive."

    Melissa Joulwan presents The Enchanted Broccoli Forest posted at The Clothes Make The Girl, saying, "Epic kitchen fail! A tale of when paleo-izing a beloved recipe turns disastrous..."

    Angie presents A New Year and a Better You...and Yoga posted at Angie's Suburban Oasis, saying, "I've discovered a great new free Yoga video by YogaYak. I've been using this video for my morning yoga routine and highly recommend it."

    The Cavegirls presents Swedish Cream Cookies posted at Northwest Cavegirls, saying, "Although I originally made this as a christmas cookie, you could make this yummy cookie anytime of the year, whenever it suits your fancy. The cookie part of this recipe is a pretty basic cracker/cookie wafer. You can top it with chocolate frosting to make a sandwich cookie or You could even spread it with something savory and serve it as an appetizer at a dinner party. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!"

    Tarah presents Paleo Pregnancy - First Trimester Recap posted at What I Gather, saying, "A recap of my first trimester and how it through my diet, sleep and exercise for a major loop!"

    Paul Jaminet presents A Tale of Recovery from Panic Disorder and OCD posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "A reader discusses her infection induced mental health problems, culminating in a devastating panic disorder, which was ultimately cured by an ancestral diet and antibiotics."

    Suz Crawt presents Are We Too Developed? posted at The Paleo Network, saying, "Perhaps third world countries haven't got it so wrong after all?"

    Brittanie presents 92% off 33 e-book Paleo Wellness Bundle posted at Three Diets. One Dinner, saying, "My friend Todd Dosenberry has come up with a brilliant package of Paleo wisdom that is perfect for all you New Years Paleo Newbies. If you have any confusion or concerns about the paleo lifestyle, here is your answer. Check out this fabulous bundle on sale for just a few days. I just downloaded my bundle and it really is an incredible education package that will help you on your paleo journey. I hope my book will be part of his next promotion when it launches in the fall! Happy Paleo reading!"

    Michelle Norris presents Eclectic Kitchen Evolved™: Fancy Eggs – No Fuss posted at Eclectic Kitchen Evolved, saying, "Love a fabulous weekend brunch breakfast? But hate all the muss and fuss of it, don’tcha? Me, too! That’s why I love this breakfast it is so flavorful and fancy looking but definitely not a lot of work. Easily adapts for a Whole 30!"
    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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    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    roasted winter squash with tahini and za'atar

    By Julie



    I lost the homemade candy contest. 3rd place out of 3. That's okay, I guess the judges just preferred marzipan squeezed from a tube with shitty chocolate melted on top. Actually...I probably deserved it. I gave my friend some of my toffee and there was a hair in it. Maybe the judges got a hair piece, too. How embarrassing. How am I supposed to make cookies for people for Christmas? I should be in exile.
    I'm really not feeling like writing much here. I had all sorts of wonderful things written down, then I accidentally deleted everything and whenever I do something stupid like that, I freak out and make everything worse. So instead of -Z-ing, I clicked somewhere else on the page to really confirm that I had deleted everything, thus really truly confirming the delete. Idiot. I don't even remember what I had written. Other than griping about losing the candy contest. And probably Christmas, something, something, cookies. Trying to rewrite what you'd deleted is such an awful feeling. Even when it's something as silly as a blog post. It makes me want to pull my hair out.
    So here you are. The second part of my two part recipe. It's wonderful. I'm so happy I've reacquainted myself with tahini. It'd been so long since I'd eaten it. Middle Eastern food was a much larger part of my life during college, mostly in the form of falafel. Then shawarma when I finally wised up to eating meat. And hummus, of course. I used to make hummus all the time, so I always had a tub of tahini in the fridge. Haven't done that in a long time. Oh man, maybe I should make tahini Christmas cookies!
    I hope you're not tired of winter squash yet. Try a couple kinds of squashes with this recipe - butternut, acorn, buttercup, kabocha, acorn, delicata, whatever. I used dumpling squash and butternut. You could even use root vegetables, instead of or in addition. I left the dumpling squash unpeeled for a little differentiation. I don't know, I think I'm still a little torn about whether to peel or not peel some winter squashes. Sometimes the peels can get too hard when you roast them and get stuck in your teeth. Ick. So, peel or don't peel - whatever you want.
    roasted winter squash with tahini and za'atar
    adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook

    2 medium-sized winter squashes, peeled (or not), seeded, and cut into about 3/4 by 2-inch wedges
    2 red onions, cut into wedges
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup tahini
    juice from 1/2 lemon
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 tablespoon za’atar
    coarsely chopped parsley
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1. Preheat the oven to 475°F. In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash and onion with the oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and some pepper and toss well. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 40 - 50 minutes, until nicely browned.

    2. In a small bowl, mix the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add a little water, or extra lemon juice, to get it to a nice honey-like consistency.

    Serve the vegetables warm or room temperature with the tahini sauce drizzled on top, and sprinkled with the za’atar and parsley.

    Next I guess I have to make shawarma.

    This was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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    Saturday, January 05, 2013

    The Good in American Culture: Philosophy in Action Podcast

    By Diana Hsieh

    On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on the good in American culture. I thought that might be of interest, particularly given the depressing political news of late. The question was:

    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?
    My Answer, In Brief: American culture, while not perfect, is so much better than most people realize. Notice, enjoy, and promote that goodness!

    Download or Listen to My Full Answer:

    Tags: Activism, America, Apocalypticism, Business, Culture, Ethics, Politics, Rights, Technology 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 the good in American culture, and more – is available as a podcast here: Episode of 30 December 2012. About Philosophy in Action Radio 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.
    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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    Philosophy Weekend: Philosophy in Action Radio Preview

    By Diana Hsieh

    On the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I will answer questions on seeking welfare, initiating contact in friendship, poking fun at values, gay "conversion" therapy, and more. I thought that might be of interest.

    This episode of internet radio airs on Sunday morning, 6 January 2013, 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: Seeking Welfare: Is it wrong to manipulate your finances to qualify for welfare? An acquaintance of mine – who is moderately wealthy – feels justified in manipulating her finances to get government aid whenever possible on the grounds that it is "getting back" some of what she has paid. For example, she had her elderly mother buy a new car for her own use, in order to have her mother deplete her savings faster and qualify for Medicaid. However, while she had paid much in tax, her mother collects more in social security every month than she ever paid in taxes. Is it rational to view this as "getting back" money that was taken inappropriately, or is it actually immoral and self-destructive?
    • Question 2: Initiating Contact in Friendship: Should friends initiate contact with each other roughly equally? Some of my friends never initiate contact with me. They are friendly, loyal, and otherwise great friends. But for any interaction or get-togethers, I must initiate conversation, suggest activities, and so on. Sometimes, I feel as if I value the friendship much, much more than the other person does. Is that an accurate assessment or is something else going on? Should I just seek other friends? Should I talk to these friends about this issue? (If so, what should I say?) In the future, should I seek out different kinds of friends?
    • Question 3: Poking Fun at Values: When does humor work against my values? Sometimes, I wonder whether my jokes undermine what I value. Is it wrong to poke fun at my friends or myself? Is it wrong to joke about principles that I hold dear? How do I draw the line?
    • Question 4: Gay "Conversion" Therapy: Was California right or wrong to ban "gay cure" therapy for minors? Recently, California banned "reparative" or "conversion" therapy – meaning, therapy that aims to make gay teenagers straight. Such therapy is widely regarded as dangerous pseudo-science by mental health professionals. The ban only applies to patients under 18. So adults can still choose such therapy for themselves, but parents cannot foist it on their minor children. Is such therapy a form of child abuse? Or should parents have the power to compel such therapy on their children, even if they're morally wrong to do so?
    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: 6 January 2013.

    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.

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    Friday, January 04, 2013

    The Paleo Rodeo #143

    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:
    Melissa Joulwan presents 30 Reasons To Do A Whole30 posted at The Clothes Make The Girl, saying, "Thirty days of no-compromise, clean eating can change your life... here are 30 Reasons To Do A Whole30, with lots of helpful resources to keep you going when it gets tough. Happy New Year!"

    Kelly Fitzsimmons presents How to Lose Weight Fast: Just the Facts, Without the Fiction posted at Weight Loss Ninja, saying, "Read the most comprehensive and factually correct, free diet guide on the internet. Start Now and learn how to lose weight fast. Change your life."

    Paul Jaminet presents What’s New in the New Edition, 2: How to Lose Weight posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "In the second installment of our discussion of what's new and original in our new book, we look at the problem of weight gain and weight loss: what are some of the puzzles that need explaining, what does our book achieve, and how is our book different from all the others."

    Ute presents Water retention... what can cause it! posted at Grokette's Primal Musings, saying, "A couple of surprising (for me) reasons why you might retain water."

    Susie T. Gibbs presents Easy Cranberry Pomegranate Chutney posted at Fluffy Chix Cook, saying, "This quick and easy cranberry pomegranate chutney works great as a condiment for proteins, but also plays well with cheeses. Serve over warm brie cheese or over cream cheese for quick and festive appetizer."

    Rafael B., PhD presents New Blogs on 2013 posted at Real Food is Great, saying, "New Year, New Projects Paleo related. Learn about them!!!! Hope you keep supporting them!!!"

    Neely Quinn presents 4 Ways Paleo Plan Can Help You With Your New Year's Resolutions posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "A round-up of all of our Paleo diet and fitness tools to help you stay on track."

    Nell Stephenson presents It's January 2nd, Are You Moving posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson reminds readers to get out and get moving."

    Yael Grauer presents Book Review: Paleo Slow Cooking by Chrissy Gower posted at Yael Writes, saying, "If you're a Paleo eater but don't have time to cook (or wash 500 zillion dishes), this cookbook is for you!"

    Suz Crawt presents Kick Start Your Paleo Diet posted at The Paleo Network, saying, "How to refocus on health, fitness and nutrition in the new year."

    Julia Campbell presents roasted carrot and caramelized onion soup with caraway posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "roasting carrots and slow cooking onions lends this simple soup lots of character."

    Danny J Albers presents Potato Latkes posted at Primal North Recipes, saying, "I have certainly done my level best to counter the PHD claims that low carb diets cause everything from scurvy to nuclear winter, but as a a sort of peace offering in the new year let me offer up... Potato latkes!"

    Jess presents Lubia Polo and 21DSD Day 1 posted at The Paleo Professional, saying, "A dear family friend gave me her traditional Lubia Polo recipe. It's completely 21DSD and Paleo friendly - and not to mention extremely flavorful!"

    Christa Crawford presents Slow-Cooked Brisket with Celery Root and Parsnip Puree posted at Training for Life, saying, "Sticking to a New Year's Paleo diet resolution was never this delicious. Try out this slow-cooked brisket. It's not only tender, but it also tastes amazing. Serve it over a celery root and parsnip puree."

    Carmen Eat Joy presents Top 5 Recipes of 2012 posted at Carmen Eat Joy, saying, "The 5 most popular recipes of 2012!"

    Laurie Donaldson presents The Beauty of Paleo posted at Food for Primal Thought, saying, "A success story shows the beauty of paleo."

    Tarah presents December Paleo Pen Pals Roundup posted at What I Gather, saying, "A roundup of all the recipes and Paleo food reviews submitted by December's Paleo Pen Pals!"

    Brittanie Duncan presents Stegosaurus Breakfast Sandwich posted at Three Diets. One Dinner, saying, "A few purple potato experiments ending in one DELICIOUS, whole30 breakfast sandwich. Kids will LOVE this. Mine did."
    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!

    Read more...

    Thursday, January 03, 2013

    PaleoTreats: NOM NOM NOM

    By Diana Hsieh

    A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to receive this sample pack from PaleoTreats, in exchange for blogging about it:



    Paul and I enjoyed these goodies immensely... so much so that we ordered more for ourselves, plus some for friends for Christmas too. We particularly liked "Mac Attack" and "Mustang Bar." They keep nicely in the freezer, and they're substantial enough to split for dessert.

    They're also strictly paleo -- meaning: no gluten, grains, dairy, stabilizers, preservatives, or other junk. You can check out the ingredients and nutritional information here.

    You can order them here. I'm delighted to be able to recommend them!

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