Archive for July, 2013

While I’m taking a week off (mostly) and enjoying having Jimmy and Christine Moore as guests, I thought I’d post more letters from viewers.

Tom,

I know your movie has been out for quite some time but my husband and I just watched it and LOVE IT!

Over the past few months we’ve been following the paleo lifestyle. We are in our early 40s are recognize that carbs are not our friends. We realized this as we did research to help our daughter combat ADHD without meds. We have cut out most sugar (she can have cake at school etc and a cheat night each week at home) and dyes, most carbs, etc. After changing her food consumption she’s been as good as gold. I think her diagnosis has saved the entire family.

As I was eating lunch at work today (beef patty, cauliflower rice made with onions and olive oil) and a pile of sauteed vege’s (made with coconut oil) I was struck at what my co-workers eating….progresso low everything soup. I was so glad to have a huge meal with saturated fat. I won’t be hungry for hours. I was reading your blog about Fatty Patty and how she craves carbs to keep her account up. That resonates with me. I was a weight watchers member for 12 HUNGRY years. I did get to goal but under an extreme amount of stress, lack of sleep and starvation. Did I mention I was up to running 20-25 miles per week to maintain? I feel so good today. I walk as much as I can and play.

Thanks for continuing to inspire.

Becky

Thank you, Becky. These letters keep me inspired too.

 

Tom,

I don’t know if you recall this exchange from 2 years ago or not but I wanted to give you an update either way. 3 years ago I barely knew what a marathon was except that it involved something I never thought I’d even try, running. Well, a little more than a month ago on May 5th, 2013, my wife and I finished our first marathon hand-in-hand in 5:04:38!! Figured I’d attach a picture too!

The one on the left is from, I believe, September of 2010 at my peak weight of 265# and the right is at the finish of the 2013 Pittsburgh marathon at around 170#!! I settle at around 185 I think but obviously weight isn’t the best judge either way!

Thanks again for the inspiration!!

Alex

Nearly 100 pounds lighter and running marathons? You’re in the inspiration here, Alex. Congratulations to you and your wife.

 

Tom,

Thank you sooo much for your movie. It literally changed my life. I was on the verge of trying to become a vegetarian (again) after seeing so many documentaries about the evils of meat. Like you, I tried a lot of diets that didn’t work. The only one I believed in was Atkins, which is too hardcore for me but definitely enlightened me about carbs. Atkins works!!! But after seeing documentaries like “The Gershon Miracle” and “Forks Over Knives,” I was confused. There’s so much misinformation out there. Thank God I decided to check out your movie before delving back into the depressing, strict and almost impossible vegetarian lifestyle.

Thanks to you and your documentary, I now look forward to eating. My mood has improved, my depression is gone, the weight is flying off, and I’m much, much more happy and content. I eat salads, yes. But I also eat chicken, steak, eggs … you name it. I almost never eat sweets. I probably consume under 39 carbs a day. I no longer skip meals, starving myself for no reason. Food is no longer the enemy.

There’s much more I could write, but since I’m on my iPhone and texting a long email isn’t fun, let me just say again… thank you. You’ve improved my life immeasurably.

Yours,
Vince

You hit the nail on the head, Vince: Food is no longer the enemy.  I remember all those years of feeling guilty pretty much every time I ate a meal I really enjoyed.  That’s the great thing about a diet that allows you to eat foods you like and lose weight without having to endure being hungry all the time.

 

Hi Tom!

I loved your movie! I’ve watched it twice already and will probably watch it again with my family as I unapologetically stuff my face with saturated fats!

Your movie gave me permission to eat the things I know my body wants to eat but have always felt guilty eating. For the past few years everywhere I turn I’ve been bashed over the head with some self-righteous vegan judging me and my cheeseburger with ‘facts’ about health. I even tried to go green myself when the noise got too loud. I now realize that the times where I have been most depressed (standing on a balcony ledge kind of depressed) are the ones where I was living off of soy, white flour, and sugar.

I can now see that when I eat red meat and dairy, I feel happier, more satisfied after a meal, and I don’t crave carbs or sugar! Thanks so much for the PERMISSION to eat, and for the permission to flip the bird to passing vegans. (I won’t really do that, I’ll just tell them to watch your movie as I smugly eat my steak!)

Thanks again for this amazing film!

Jasmin

Heh-heh-heh. I don’t encourage people to flip the bird to vegans, but if they get in your face, well …

 

Hi Tom,

I just wanted to be yet another person to thank you for your Fat Head movie. I first watched it about a year and a half ago. My wife was out of town, so I was home alone and decided to search Netflix for an interesting documentary to watch. I came across your movie with the description that it was a rebuttal to “Super Size Me”. I thought it might be kind of entertaining, so I decided to watch it.

Since I was a bachelor for the weekend, as I watched the movie, I ate a bag of caramel candies and a bag of chips with some cream cheese dip (the cream cheese was probably the healthiest thing I was eating, and I shudder to think that I actually used to eat like that). By the time I got to the end of the movie, my thought was, “Oh man, he’s just pushing that Atkins crap!” … but something stuck with me…the more I thought about the movie and the points you made, the more I kept thinking about how much sense it made.

A few months later, my wife was out of town again, and I once again decided to watch Fat Head so I could re-absorb all the info. This time I decided, “What the heck? Nothing else has worked. I may as well give it a shot.” I texted my wife to pick up a couple of dozen eggs on the way home, which she thought was kind of odd, but did it anyway.

I then started on my lower-carb diet. I still had my honey-nut cheerios in the morning, but I was having less of them, and I was having them with half-and-half instead of milk. I also had a side of eggs. My lunch consisted of more meat and fatty foods, but I was still having my sandwiches. So even though I was switching to a lower-carb diet, I still hadn’t switched completely to a low-carb diet (I calculated I was down to about 70-80 grams a day, which was still a considerable improvement).

I was surprised to find that when I left work, I was no longer hungry, and I used to ALWAYS be hungry leaving work and couldn’t wait to get home to have dinner. I was also finding that the sandwich in my lunch, which used to be the most satisfying, was now the least satisfying.

My wife was not quite on the low-carb bandwagon yet, and she thought I was maybe being a little bit obsessive by reading everything I could find online and watching every youtube video relating to low-carb. Eventually, I bought the Atkins book, which has led to the diet I eat today. My wife did eventually come on board, and I had even asked her once if she wanted to watch Fat Head. She said, “No. Just tell me what to eat” … LOL

What has surprised me the most about this experience has been my sweet tooth – it’s gone! And I loooooooooooved sweets. Which just goes to show how much your appetite can change when you start feeding your body what it really needs.

I can’t thank you enough, and my life (and many others’) have been changed forever because of your movie.

Dallas

I never thought of Fat Head as the kind of movie men watch when their wives are out of town, but I’m glad you watched it and were inspired to give up the sweets.

 

Hi, Tom

I emailed you back in February after watching Fat Head, and you were gracious enough to give me dietary advice and pointed me to a couple different resources.


Nearly five months later, I just wanted to respond back with my eternal gratitude. At 5’6, 230lbs, I was never able to get my weight and health under control no matter what diet I went on. Today, I am hovering in the 150s and love it! I’ve also had significant health improvements. My cholesterol levels are normalized, blood pressure went down, severe allergies that I’ve dealt with my entire life have vanished, and my migraine headaches I would continually get are gone! Thanks so much for the time and effort you spent making Fat Head and are still spending today by continuing to point people ahead on the road of health! Bless you!

Warmest regards,

Chris

In a follow-up email, Chris also told me this:

I even managed to convert my doctor, so I’m pretty happy about the whole thing!

Anyone who can convert a doctor deserves three cheers. So three cheers for you, Chris.

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I’m having an enjoyable week off, playing multiple rounds of disc golf per day with Jimmy and Christine Moore.  Later today, we’ll be heading out for the Meet ‘n’ Greet in Franklin.

In the meantime, I thought you’d enjoy this “Kitchen Raid” video by Shauna Young of the Wellness Research Center.

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For a guy who spent most of his years writing, performing, programming, and living in apartments with no yard, I ended up having what may have been the most chest-beating, outdoorsman-type weekend of my life.

On Saturday, I spent a chunk of the day attacking that huge wood pile with a chainsaw. (Yes, I’m the guy who used to be afraid of chainsaws.) It’s slow going, but the plan is to cut up a log or two each weekend until the job is done.

In the early evening, Chareva and I went out back and test-fired her new 20-gauge shotgun several times – which I guess makes it a chest-beating weekend for her too. I shot my 12-gauge as well to compare the recoil. I think Chareva could handle the 12-gauge in a pinch, but I wanted her to have something more manageable.

When I first fired my 12-gauge a few months ago, I made the mistake of holding it like I hold my rifle; i.e., just sort of resting against my shoulder. Ouch. I had a bruise for three days. I’ve since learned to hold a shotgun tight against my shoulder so the recoil produces a shove, not a punch. The plan is to take up turkey hunting later this year, since we get plenty of wild turkeys in these parts.  I may go for a deer at some point as well.

On Sunday, I attacked the jungle around the property both with the chainsaw (for the really thick bushes) and with the blade attachment on the Weed-Whacker (thus giving myself another opportunity to lose an appendage). Yes, I’ve cleared the jungle before, but I came to a startling realization lesson this summer: jungles grow back. In fact, they’re relentless. With Jimmy Moore coming to town and a hundred or so rounds of disc golf on the schedule, the jungle had to go — again. Hunting for a bad shot in the overgrowth is a good way to pick up chiggers or ticks.

Speaking of insects that bite, I finally learned why they love me so darned much. And I mean it: I attract them like models attract professional athletes. Chareva and I will go to sleep, and I’ll wake up with a dozen spider bites, while she’ll have one or (more likely) none. Same thing with mosquitoes when we both work outside.

Chareva’s theory was that biting insects find me delicious. My theory was that they don’t bite her because she’s nice. (Naw, leave the nice lady alone, guys. Let’s go bite the sarcastic bastard next to her.) Turns out her theory was probably correct:

Roughly 20 percent of people are more frequent meal tickets for mosquitoes than the rest of the population, and Smithsonian Magazine set out to investigate: Why?

Beer drinkers beware. Mosquitoes love the brew.

Just a single 12-ounce bottle of beer can make you more attractive to the insects, one study found. But even though researchers had suspected this was because drinking increases the amount of ethanol excreted in sweat, or because it increases body temperature, neither of these factors were found to correlate with mosquito landings, making their affinity for drinkers something of a mystery.

No, this isn’t about me drinking beer. I rarely drink beer anymore. I drank way too much beer in my young and stupid days, but I doubt I’m still seeping the stuff from my pores. Let’s read on:

The pests also like Type O blood twice as much as Type A. And they’re attracted to high levels of carbon dioxide and can smell the gas from 164 feet away. That means those with larger frames and bigger bodies are more at risk for bites.

Bingo. I have type O blood. Chareva has type A blood. I also have a bigger body by about 70 pounds. Mosquitoes do find me more delicious. Based on my track record, so do spiders. And chiggers. And ticks.

The garden isn’t providing a whole lot of food yet, but we’ve had a bumper crop of Swiss chard. Man, that’s good stuff. Chareva chops it up and sautés it in olive oil and garlic, or with chopped bacon. We’ve also had some green beans and sugar-snap peas. Foods from a grocery store don’t come anywhere close for flavor.

I’ve strapped my trail camera to a tree behind the house a few times in hopes of figuring out what makes the dogs occasionally bark like crazy in the middle of the night. I guess it might be this:

For the past couple of weeks, however, the dogs have been focused on trying to find a way into the rest of the house so they can pay a visit (friendly or not … too soon to tell) to our newest addition:

The kitty’s name (after much debate and negotiation between the girls) is Rascal. I’m not a cat-lover and had no intention of ever getting one, but some idiot stranger forced me to capitulate.

A few weeks ago, Chareva saw someone in a pickup stop halfway down our long driveway, sit there for a minute, then drive away. She thought that was odd, of course. Then we noticed we had a kitten hanging around our house. Okay, now it made sense. Someone apparently bought into the “drop your unwanted pets at the nearest farm and all will be well” idea.

All wasn’t well. The girls were of course immediately smitten, but within a week the kitten became listless, stopped eating and drinking, and seemed on the verge of death. Our local vet took a look and said if we wanted to spend several hundred dollars on tests, he might be able to figure out what was wrong … but his guess was that the kitten was going to die anyway. It hadn’t been cared for, hadn’t had any shots, and was riddled with ticks when we found it.

So Chareva and I had to sit the girls down and explain that was it best to put the kitten to sleep. Chareva drove the grief-stricken girls back to the vet’s at their insistence so they could say goodbye to the kitten. Then she came home and dug a grave, in tears. She was never a cat person either, but after days of holding the kitten and trying to feed it with a syringe, she’d bonded with it.

The sort-of-happy ending is that the vet’s nurse decided to take the kitten home and try to save it, since she’d been wanting a cat anyway. At least we could tell the girls (after hours of weeping) that the kitten wasn’t going to be put down. But before the sort-of-happy ending, Chareva had promised the grieving girls that we’d get them another kitten.

That’s how Rascal ended up being their new pet. By the time I came home from work the next day, they’d already picked him up from a shelter.

So some idiot stranger traumatized my girls, left with me a vet bill, and pushed me into owning a cat – all because he thought it would be a good idea to dump his unwanted pet on our land. Thanks, moron.

Rascal is a mellow little dude and seems to like me. He demonstrates his affection by pouncing on my shoulder late at night when I’m watching TV alone in the dark and have forgotten we own a cat. Then he helpfully slurps up the drink that tumbles out of my hand when I jump halfway out of my chair with what’s left of my hair standing up. I guess he doesn’t want those chest-beating weekends to give me a big macho ego. Getting the poop scared out of you by a kitten certainly provides a dose of humility.

On another farm somewhere in Illinois, my future dinner is growing up nicely on a diet of grass, as Mother Nature intended.  The Older Brother sent a picture:

Jimmy and Christine Moore will arrive on Thursday. I’ll keep up with comments, but may or may not write any posts during their visit.

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A friend of mine sent a link to this video, which is supposed to (I think) promote veganism.  I say supposed to and (I think) because if I wanted to produce a video that made vegans look like idiots, this might be it.  My immediate reaction was along the lines of “If these people think this is an effective promo for veganism, their brains are seriously deficient in fatty acids.”

I mean, what’s the takeaway message here? That cows are perverted and creepy, so we shouldn’t drink their milk?

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In this video, Sara demonstrates how to take an old recipe for cookies and convert it to low-carb version.

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Jimmy Moore and his wife Christine will be dropping in for a visit next week. Jimmy called me and explained that after losing 80-plus pounds while gaining 16 pounds of muscle, he could use a major smackdown in a disc golf tournament to prevent his ego from getting all puffed up. I accepted the job.

To make sure Jimmy doesn’t accidentally beat me and thus undermine the purpose of the visit, I’m going to populate our pastures with several blacksnakes. Blacksnakes are harmless, but you wouldn’t know it from Jimmy’s reaction to them. During one of our rounds last summer, Jimmy reached down to retrieve a disc that happened to have landed a few inches from a blacksnake. I whirled around at the sound of the ear-piercing yell (which prompted all birds within a square mile to take flight) just in time to see Jimmy jumping far higher than ought to be possible for a man of his size (at the time). In fact, I’m convinced that if someone could hypnotize Jimmy into believing there are snakes on basketball courts, he could play in the NBA. He’d not only be capable of dunking, he’d be in danger of banging his head on the scoreboard.

Anyway, while Jimmy’s in town, we’re going to have a meet-up (a meat-up?) at a local steak house.  I’ll be there along with Chareva and the girls, and of course Jimmy and Christine.   Jimmy will probably give his talk on nutritional ketosis at some point. Any of you Fat Heads or LLLVC fans who live in the Nashville area are invited to attend. Here are the details:

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013 – 4:00-6:00PM
Logan’s Restaurant
7087 Bakers Bridge Ave.
Franklin, TN 37067

If you can make it, please let Jimmy know.  He’s handling the logistics.  Here are the instructions from his blog:

If you plan on attending either the Indianapolis or the Nashville events, then please RSVP via e-mail with the city of the event you are attending in the subject line to livinlowcarbman@charter.net no later than Saturday, July 20, 2013 so we can have an accurate count of who all is coming.

I apologize for not making the announcement sooner. Time flies, and I forgot the date was coming up so soon.

Hope to see you there.

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