Nutrition

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Knowing when to eat is important, but there are no bad times. One of the most obese people I have known personally was our family Kosher (traditional Jewish) butcher back on the east coast.  He said his weight was immeasurable on a normal scale; I didn’t know then that I would become that way later.  He was the kind of guy who was so heavy he was in such pain whenever he got up from a chair to serve a customer, he invoked God in rapidly recited Hebrew.

He said he ate very reasonable “balanced” (which is not what obese people need) meals during the day, but every night he got “crazy hungry” and “snacked” on everything imaginable, mostly sweets, from the minute he finished after-work dinner until his late bedtime, while in front of the television. He said his doctor was irate and told him to stop eating at night because eating in the evening and before bed made people fat and sick. Read more on Meats or Sweets For Weight Loss…

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I am opening a new practice in Orange County, California.  You may have seen me mention it on IU.  Those of you who have followed me know what I stand for.  My affiliation with New Day Psychotherapy Group in Brea, California will be structured to permit me to practice the way I believe psychiatry should be practiced. Read more on I’m Back In Business In The OC…

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Everyday health advice. If I read any more “health advice,” mental or physical, that is supposed to be practical advice but is totally wrong and built on mythology, I might explode. Given the “mainstream” unproven drivel that gets reproduced in popular magazines, I think it is pretty amazing any Americans are still alive at all. A little relaxation (deep breathing and focused meditation) — I am doing a lot better.  After all, we still have freedom of speech, although it sometimes gets fragile and needs loving protection.  And you have me, the Renegade Doctor, to tell you what is truthful and right. I didn’t start out to trash “Reader’s Digest” (RD).  My parents of blessed memory had some kind of lifetime subscription, and kept it with a very few cherished books by their bedside, on top of my mother’s premarital “Hope Chest,” which she told me contained clothes she could only “hope” she would fit into again one day. She never did. Read more on Everyday health advice drives me nuts!…

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They call it “the French Paradox ” but it isn’t really.

I first heard this expression around the end of my surgical residency, when I hung out sometimes with some professorial internal medicine types. The real question was, how come the French with all their rich sauces had so much less heart disease than the Americans?

Read more on They call it “the French Paradox “…

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I am always amused by how people make decisions.  The decision about what to eat is a complicated one.  I will admit to having made and changed the decision multiple times in my own lifetime. I am a scientist who goes by data–and I will admit that my most recent choice reversed my diabetes as well as my high blood pressure and myriad evils, so that I am medication free for the first time in several years. There is, however, a subculture devoted to diets that can’t work, don’t work, or probably don’t work.  I don’t expect people to make rational choices — I’ve been a psychiatrist too long to believe that one, even for an instant.  I do know that there is more distance than anyone would imagine (some estimate it at 30 years or more) between science and medical practice.  Add that to the amount of “emotional baggage” people carry around about what they love eating, what they hate eating, and why. Put it all together and the best you can usually do is pseudoscience.  This means there is lots of space for humor. The demands on people to get thin or thinner in the entertainment industry are indeed often “unachievable.”  I am convinced most people resort to simply not eating, or “fasting.” This is maybe not the worst thing possible, for both ancient tradition and modern scientific research have validated it, for brief periods with plenty of water.

Read more on Most Diets Are At Least Good For A Laugh…

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How lovely that the first lady carries the banner high – save our children through nutrition, and deliver it through public schools.

How lovely that the United States as a whole and a first lady in particular can plead for the  health and future health of children in a world dominated by politics and commercial interests that are simply not assailable with idealistic claptrap.

We may have actually achieved an amazing amount in the past few years, on this incredibly difficult task. Guess who has been saying, for a couple of years now, that any attempt to reform school lunches is in trouble?  Coca-Cola, and other large food companies that make things like frozen pizza a French fries. Read more on School Lunches Are A Mess…

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I was in college when I convinced my parents to let me spend a hunk of my Christmas vacation  with my girlfriend Susan and her family in Bucks County, PA. I assured my folks that we would do a lot of cultural and intellectual kinds of things.  We would go to the symphony, where I could see Eugene Ormandy conduct some Tchaikovsky.  We would do the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall — great because I loved the Founding fathers so.

I bought a little gold plated Liberty Bell, which I so loved that I wore it around my neck for many years when the gold plating had long worn off.

Her father, a design engineer, loved making toy soldier models which My-Father-Of-Blessed-Memory loved collecting.  Susan’s father had told her to tell me I would bring home a new soldier for my father — that clinched the deal for sure. Read more on Don’t Eat The Blue Stuff — Or Yellow Either!…

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I remember the first time I saw a young patient with older person’s diseases.  I was in a public clinic, not far from the industrial waterfront in California.  She was 24 years old, weighed 380 pounds, had already had what she claimed was a “slight” heart attack.  She had type 2 diabetes which I thought was virtually impossible to get at such a tender age.  She was able to do little other than to shrug her shoulders.  She said something about health problems having been in her family.  Me, the only thing I could think of was that I was only through 3 years of so of a seven year medical school at her age.  I was quite overweight, but if I had been struck with her degree of obesity or her medical problems, I don’t think I would have had the stamina to get by.  Sure enough, she was neither working nor going to school.  When you are an adolescent, you think you are going to be strong and healthy forever.  I remember looking at patients and never thinking I would be as ill as they were. I remember seeing patients in intensive care in comas, never thinking for a moment that I would have three of them in my life before I was able to figure out the hereditary metabolic that had caused them. Read more on Patients Avoiding Hospitals and Doctors…

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baby with open cabinet full of poison household chemicalsWe have taught our American consumers to be cheap –to be obsessed with the lowest possible price — and the cost is higher than we should be expected to pay.

Retailers have been urged to remove products from their shelves that might contain harmful (toxic) ingredients.

Why is everyone surprised?  Does anybody actually expect cheap products to be safe?  things you buy at Target or K-Mart to have been made with your safety or well being in mind?  why?

Not that I am demonizing these particular companies.  It is impossible to expect them to spontaneously think of these things.

They want to make profits to send their own kids to college, and improve their own lifestyle.  This is the sort of thing businesses in America DO — the greed

Read more on You Want It Cheap or Safe? Try Grandma’s Solution…

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No, I’m not being paranoid.  Jumbo squid are showing up in record numbers off the southern California coast.  And these suckers can get mighty big. 

Me, I love squid. To eat, that is.  My husband fixes me some that are not over four inches long — really cute little guys with tentacles. They secrete this inky stuff that makes a sweet and gentle taste for pasta. This is the time of year when folks come to San Diego and take cruises to watch whales.  They go down to Mexico to have their little whale babies because the water is a bit warmer.  I have done one of these cruises myself, and I saw some of the fountains coming out of blowholes and it was pretty awesome.  Me, I always look for the science.  But never did I see a squid – let alone hundreds of even thousands of them – and never did I get face washed by their ink.  The facts — well, we are talking up to six feet long and one hundred pounds.  I used to have at least a dozen little bitty ones with my plate of pasta.  I don’t think these would fit on my plate. Is it only me, generally fearless, or is this starting to sound a little scary?  Hmm, I’d say so.  Increased acidity of the ocean, gigantic squid coming up from the deep, and who knows what else. I am looking very hard for positives.  If people have more squid than they can eat, maybe we can feed the hungry.  Are they like zucchini?  I mean, does their meat get tougher the bigger they get? Read more on California Attacked by Giant Squid!…

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