Life in a small town

Salt … Who Knew?

“Àki”, Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

So, Jason Fung has cured my Type 2 diabetes. and helped me lose about 30 pounds, and you can see all the links to my previous posts on the Fasting Diet here.

Now I have come across another researcher who is blazing a wide swath of destruction through another colossal medical boondoggle, that is the crusade against salt on the part of established medical and dietary authority. At first blush it seems they are as out to lunch about salt as they have been about fat and the other sacred cows of modern dietary guidelines such as are found in the Canada Food Guide.

James J. DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D

James J. DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D

James J. DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D., is a respected cardiovascular research scientist, doctor of pharmacy at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, and the associate editor of British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) Open Heart.

He is the author or coauthor of approximately 200 publications in medical literature. His research has been featured in The New York Times, ABC’s Good Morning America, TIME, Fox News, U.S. News and World Report, Yahoo! Health, BBC News, Daily Mail, Forbes, National Public Radio, and Men’s Health, among others.

His new book, The Salt Fixis sure to change the national conversation about this historically treasured substance. The Salt Fix elegantly and accessibly weaves the research into a fascinating new understanding of salt’s essential role in your health and what happens when you aren’t getting enough—with far-reaching, even heart-stopping, implications.

We’ve all heard the recommendation: eat no more than a teaspoon of salt a day for a healthy heart. But there’s one big problem with this: the vast majority of us don’t need to eat low-salt diets. In fact, for most of us, more salt would be better for our health, rather than less. (Not to mention, much tastier.)

Now, Dr. James DiNicolantonio reveals the incredible, often baffling story of how salt became unfairly demonized—a never-before-told, century-spanning drama of competing egos and interests.

Robb Wolf

Robb Wolf

Not only have we gotten it wrong, we’ve gotten it exactly backwards: eating more salt can help protect you from a host of ailments, including internal starvation, insulin resistance, diabetes, and even heart disease. (The real culprit? Another white crystal—sugar.)  Some reviewers (whom I have read) follow:

“For decades, doctors and mainstream medicine have recommended that you lower your salt intake, but in this well-researched and surprising book, Dr. DiNicolantonio explains why this seemingly well-informed advice is, in fact, wrong. The Salt Fix provides the advice and the program you need to add back the salt and in the process improve your health and your waistline.” Robb Wolf, New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat

“The medical profession has done a disservice to millions of people by misleading them into thinking they need to avoid salt in their diets. Our blood is salty; our tissue fluids are salty; we need salt to thrive.

In The Salt Fix, Dr. DiNicolantonio charts the ill-begotten thinking that got us to this sorry state of almost universal salt avoidance, and imparts invaluable scientifically-sound advice for adding this healthful substance back into your diet.  Dr. DiNicolantonio’s book will help you improve your health by actually adding salt back into your favorite foods.” Michael R. Eades, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of Protein Power.

And of course, “The Keto Dudes have an episode on the salt problem. More to follow as I continue to investigate a discovery which somehow doesn’t surprise me even a little bit…



DIE! you scurvy salt thief

Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Pilgrim Strangers in a Strange Land …

  早春賦, William W. Spearman IV, from the album “Beautiful Japanese Songs” (2006)

Flowing BrookSo, fasting, how are things going? So far I have been following a 1 meal a day regimen and allowing myself a 4 hour window between 6 and 10 PM for eating and snacking. Blood sugars are testing at 5.0 to 7.5 international (the conversion factor is 18 for those who want to see that in American units , eg. 7×18=126, at least that is how I think it converts) and I think that is getting close to normal, or at least a close to normal as you can measure with meter technology that is + or – 20% accurate.  Resting blood pressure is 110/60 today and weight is 234 Lbs. (or 106 Kg). I am in trace keytosis and I feel great.

(If you haven’t read my previous posts on this topic here , and here, and here, and here, and here, then let it be known that when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 7 years ago I was 270 Lbs., blood sugars were in the high teens, and blood pressure was in the 140 over 90 range. I felt like crap! And for most of the last 7 years I have struggled with pills, diet, and exercise, mostly with little long term success.

In January of this year I was testing blood sugars of 16.0 to 17.0 while taking 4 Metformin and a Gliclazide daily. We were talking about starting on Insulin injections. Things were not getting better and the prognosis was not good. I started fasting in January as part of a spiritual exercise. Then good things started happening to my body. My first reaction was “What the heck is happening?” then I started digging and found Jason Fung. The rest I have blogged about.)

So back to the here and now. I have been watching a lot of videos on YouTube and some TED talks about weight loss, aging, diabetes and how to treat it and am observing that they fall into two broad categories.  The first category holds the vast majority of these presenters – who are basically using existing research (not their own) to debunk all the currently accepted or even medically recommended methods for dealing with weight loss and with “type 2 diabetes”.

This category contains all the specialists, gurus, consultants, program deliverers, diet preachers, experts, who are trying to turn sick folks away from the generally accepted practices of the medical community so that they can convert them to their “specialist” path to health.

They do not see generally accepted practices as wrong because of the bad assumptions made about causes but rather as wrong because they do not deliver results. For example, this doctor makes a pretty good presentation before he eventually sets his outrageous hook,  and he uses “medical research” from the 1920’s as his starting point.

Dr. John McDougal 2013I believe Dr. McDougall is a legitimate medical practitioner who just happens to still be living in the old “Blood Sugar is the cause” paradigm.

These Gurus without exception do not see the medically accepted practices and the people who deliver these practices as “wrong” because they have misdiagnosed the disease or misidentified the root causes but rather they see them as competitors in a marketplace.

They are pushing “Their Special Solution” as “The” only right answer, and they really want the sick folks to buy their product, or their method, or their “diet”.

The first flag that should go up when watching this category of practitioners is when you start feeling that they are spending an awful lot of time going into great depth and detail about what is wrong with everybody else’s solutions and you start wondering what their “special” solution is.

Inevitably, after they spend 3/4th of their presentation  running down their competition and dangling the bait of a miracle solution they then set the hook by presenting “their program” or “their product” and telling where you can sign up for only $19.99 U.S. per week or buy the product for “only” $49.95 or $99.95 or whatever.

A few years ago I coined a phrase “The Howler Jungle” to describe the outrageous behavior of all the raging tribes of Howler Monkeys found on Facebook. Now I have coined the new metaphor “The Snake Oil Opera” to encapsulate the legion of salesmen out there, with sometimes dubious professional credentials (because Dr. does not a doctor make).

This class of professional FUD salesmen are working their collective asses off to sell their “secret” solution to the legions of sick suckers who are always looking for an easy fix for the results of their own behavior, and who are currently mindlessly following the prevailing medical mantra about obesity and diabetes.

This FUD salesmen crowd is stuck in the same old tired, deadly, “blood sugar is the cause” paradigm that is killing fat diabetics by their thousands every year. What they are upset about is not about patients dieing, but rather it is all about who is making the money from these legions of fat diabetics. They want a slice of the pie.

“Yamanakabushi” performed by Jean-Pierre Rampal & Yuzuko Horigome, from the album “Yamanakabushi: Japanese Melodies”, Vol. 3, (1982)

Jason Fung 2017Then there is a much smaller category made up of medical and scientific researchers and practitioners who are not being funded by the Drug Companies or Big Agriculture, or Big Government and they have no special “secret Gnostic jewel” they are trying to sell to get their slice of the pie.

Examples of these presenters are Dr. Jason Fung, — ‘Therapeutic Fasting — Solving the Two-Compartment Problem’, also at The Aetiology of Obesity Part 1 of 6: A New Hope.

Dr. Jason Fung completed medical school and internal medicine at the University of Toronto before finishing his nephrology fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles at the Cedars-Sinai hospital.

He now has a practice in Ontario, Canada where he uses his Intensive Dietary Management program to help all sorts of patients, but especially those suffering from the two big epidemics of modern times: obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Fung uses innovative solutions to these problems, realizing that conventional treatments are not that effective in helping people.

Professor Valter Longo 2017Another researcher deserving notice (IMHO) is Dr. Valter Longo .  Dr. Valter Longo is the Edna M. Jones Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences, and Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California – Davis School of Gerontology, Los Angeles.

Dr. Longo’s studies focus on the fundamental mechanisms of aging in simple organisms, mice and humans. The Longo laboratory has identified several genetic pathways that regulate aging in simple organisms and reduce the incidence of multiple diseases in mice and humans.

His laboratory also described both dietary and genetic interventions that protect cells and improve the treatment and prevention of cancer and other diseases in mammals.

He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1997,  and his postdoctoral training in the Neurobiology of Aging and Alzheimer’s Diseases at USC. He started his independent career in 2000 at the University of Southern California, School of Gerontology.

Bert Herring 2017Another doctor I believe is on the right track is Dr. Bert Herring. Originally destined for the surgical suite, Bert’s experiences in the Marine Corps changed his outlook on medicine and the realities of global problems. After working at the National Institute of Health with a focus on cancer treatments, Bert found time to study global obesity.

The outcome of this research sparked the Fast-5 weight-loss tool, which has helped thousands of people overcome obesity. It’s a way of eating that is consistent with a lifestyle emphasizing simplicity and value—two virtues that are conspicuously absent in America’s booming weight-loss industry.

In 2005, Dr. Bert showed the world a way to maintain practical, sustainable intermittent fasting with his first book, The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle. In his latest book, AC: The Power of Appetite Correction, he’s added over a dozen tools—all sustainable lifestyle options—to help you achieve appetite correction and fat loss without calorie counting or food restrictions.

With a diverse range of experience, from the no-nonsense world of the US Marines infantry to cutting-edge cancer research at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bert maintains a strong sense of practicality and respect for real life.

“Life is for the living,” he says. “The way you eat has to be compatible with a life of spontaneity, fun and variety. Losing fat is almost impossible if you’re working against your body, rather than with it.”

Simplicity and value … that is really what it is all about. One unexpected benefit of our family diet is the dramatic reduction in food costs and the equally dramatic reduction in the time spent planing, shopping, preparing, cooking, eating, and cleanup. The savings are in the order of several hundred dollars a month in food costs and several hours per day which we no longer have to spend on the whole eating thing.

Canada Food GuideLastly, why have over 300 medical practitioners in Canada now signed on to a petition to health Canada to change the Canada Food Guide. These are highly intelligent, highly trained, highly professional medical practitioners. Why would they be willing to put their careers on the line to push government regulators to change the guidelines.

Is it really likely that they have all entered into some delusional episode brought on by eating too much fat and not enough carbs, or is it more likely that they are onto something important and are willing to push the truth at the risk of their professional careers.

Seriously, ask yourself what you could do with $500 to $800 a month in food and drug savings and an extra 4 or 5 hours in your day? Seriously!

Think about it!  $9000.00 dollars a year and 1500 hours a year. Couple that with vastly improved health, including complete cures for obesity, and type 2 diabetes,dramatic improvements in cardio vascular disease incidents and outcomes and cancer incidence and outcomes.  Isn’t something like that worth investigating.



Idiots HappenWhy do people insist on continuing to believe and do things and live lifestyles which have demonstrably bad outcomes every time?


Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Matthew 4:2 … on fasting …

“Aki”, Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner thoughts”, (2006)


Jesus In The Wilderness

Matthew 4:2 states: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.”

In the Christian tradition, fasting and prayer are often methods of cleansing and renewing the soul. Symbolically, believers empty their souls so that they may be ready to receive God.

Fasting is about self-denial, mortification, sacrifice, atonement and also about reaching for a focused spiritual state where one can better  commune with God and hear his voice.

001-a-hongyi2By fasting, you put your mind and body under submission to the will of the Holy Spirit, humble your soul before the presence of God, and prepare yourself to hear the voice of God.

For millions of people, regular fasting is a commonplace part of life and has been a part of spiritual practice for thousands of years. In ancient times, before we discovered agriculture about 10,000 years ago, fasting was the natural way of life.


Netsilik Inuit Camp on Ice near Gjoa Haven, King William Island, N.W.T.

For our native people here in Canada it was common up until the early 20th century as witness the near starvation catastrophe of the Netsilik Inuit  which prompted the Canadian Government to become more involved in the lives of the Netsilik.

With no way to preserve food and no agricultural products to stockpile our ancestors routinely experienced both feast and famine.

When game was scarce, seasons changed, or the pickings were slim, or the herds changed their traditional routes, the hunter-gatherers did without until the hunters could find the game.

Eating 3 or 4 or 5 or 6  times a day was an unheard of fantasy. So fasting is a time honoured traditional practice dating back thousands of years.

Christians follow various fasts on 180 to 200 days of the year. Buddhists are known to abstain from eating after noon, fasting until the next morning.


Nepalese Temple Maha Shivaratri Fast

Hinduism embraces fasting in the belief that our sins lessen as the body suffers. It is seen as a method of cultivating control over desires and guiding the mind towards peace. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.

We Catholics fast at various times and for various reasons. A few weeks ago I started what I now know as an “intermittent” fast, that is fasting from supper to supper three times a week. Also called a 24 hour fast, this fast is/was undertaken as part of adopting the recommended practices and norms of the “Flame of Love” movement.

I expected the effort to be fraught with difficulty and discomfort, which I actually thought was the intended path, that is, mortification for reparation. The result was not at all what I expected.


Clear Mind Like A Clear Spring

Were I not so firmly rooted in the modern medical paradigm I might have felt I was breaking through to a new spiritual plane of lucid clarity and freedom from physical distress.

I have been type 2 diabetic for almost 8 years now. It has been controlled by a combination of Metformin and diet.  I had accepted the modern medical view that Type 2 Diabetes was incurable, and that the best I could hope for was to control blood sugar levels using diet, drugs, and eventually insulin.

The inevitable future included declining health, assorted nasty complications and an early death. The last few months my sugars have been steadily rising, recently as high as 16.5 mmol/l where normal is around 5.0 mmol/l. Obviously the drugs were no longer working and I was discussing with medical folks the possibility  of starting to use insulin.

And then, for religious reasons as mentioned above, I started to fast.  I was a little surprised to notice that on fasting days my sugars declined back down to the 14.0 mmol/l range. Now, that’s interesting, I thought.


Dr. Jason Fung

Well, never one to shy away from going counter-culture I considered that if I had this result doing intermittent fasting (supper only) three days a week, maybe doing it every day would have a larger affect on my blood sugar. So that is what I did.

For six days I did daily 24 hour fasts eating only supper. And my blood sugar came down a couple of more numbers to 12.0 mmol/l. And I felt better over all, more energy, less appetite, clearer head, better sleep.

This was all good! And then I stepped on the scale and discovered  I had lost eight pounds. Click!  Something good is going on here and I like where this is going.

You can figure where this is going right? Yup … if 24 hour fasting gives me this much of a good result let’s see where a continuous fast goes. So the next day I just didn’t eat supper.

001-a-obesity-code-coverHas my usual coffees all day, added coconut oil to a couple of them, tasted good. Had some beef broth with a pat of butter added to pump up the flavour.  Drank a lot of water!

My bottle is the 1 litre size and I was drinking three or four of those a day. and I decided I had better start researching what I was trying before I got myself in trouble. Almost immediately I found Dr. Jason Fung.

Wow!  I downloaded his books from Amazon onto my iPad.  Immediately spent several days speed reading through them. Yea, I’m a speed reader.

I guess I read about 7 or 8 hundred words a minute. I took a speed reading course as a teen but the course never even came close to catching up to the speed I was already reading at when I started the course. Mom was pissed she wasted money on the course.

So as of today I have been on a total fast except for beverages and broth for four days. I have stopped all my Metformin, no diabetic medications at all.

001-a-complete-guide-to-fasting-cover2-1My waking blood sugars are down to 11.0 mmol/l  dropping to 9.0 mmol/l as the day goes on, and I am testing every two or three hours.

Testing urine with keto sticks and I am in moderate ketosis. I have dropped twelve pounds. I am assuming this is mostly water since this is early innings in this experiment but so far so good.

I experienced mild discomfort on day two of the total fast, feeling — I guess “hollow” best describes the feeling and kind of agitated and restless, and I visited the fridge about twenty times that day but always managed to turn away and stick to it.

Now I am almost done day four and feeling great, no hunger, no discomfort, feeling sharp with lots of energy!  I love this.

I will keep y’all posted as things progress. I wonder how long I can go. To get back to my fit combat weight from my twenties I have to lose another 60 pounds. How long can I go?



001-a-jigging-for-lake-trout D’ya want a snack?