Happy New Year

      32 Comments on Happy New Year

Welcome to The Twenties. That’s got a nice ring to it, eh? The two previous decades had sucky names. First we had The Aughts, or The O’s, or whatever. We couldn’t call the next decade The Teens until three years had passed, and even then it was a namby-pamby name. But now it’s The Twenties.

Thirties, Forties, Fifties … given my age, I’m pretty sure the decades will have catchy names for the rest of my life.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions until at least the weekend after January 1st. I figure if I make resolutions the day after celebrating New Year’s Eve, I’m likely to let guilt cloud the process … you know, like when a guy wakes up with a hangover and swears he’ll never drink again. Better to let a little time pass so reason reasserts itself.

One resolution I’ve already made is to get back to posting more than once per month or so. I believe I had a mild case of burnout happening in 2019. As I mentioned a few times, it was an … uh … interesting year at the programming job. We seemed to have an unusual number of emergencies and/or major projects happening last year. Sometimes the major projects created the emergencies. I wasn’t working 60-hour weeks all the time (although I certainly had some of those), but I frequently went home feeling brain-fried from spending the day solving sticky problems. Then I’d think to myself, I could write a post or watch this series on Netflix … yup, Netflix it is.

I’m rested now. My last workday of the year was December 13th, which gave me nearly three weeks off. For the most part, I spent my end-of-year vacation chilling. I slept late, watched movies and series that have been sitting in my Netflix watch list for months, and watched almost every NFL game shown in our market. I was of course delighted when our Titans made the playoffs. I don’t expect them to go all the way to the Super Bowl, but if they win this weekend and spare the world from another Super Bowl featuring the Patriots, I’ll consider it a successful season.

Another resolution I’ve already made is to get back on my anti-fungal-overgrowth program. I ran out of the CandiBactin tablets some weeks ago. Then we had a batch of the not-yogurt go bad on us for some reason. It had a spoiled-milk odor, so we dumped it. With all the holiday hubbub, I didn’t get around to making new batch. I wasn’t in a hurry because the symptoms of the fungal overgrowth had gone away, so I considered myself cured.

Ha! Riiiight … and Santa Claus is going to bring me a pony.

A few weeks off the program, and the symptoms started returning. A bit of itchy skin here, a bit of we think it’s your prostate but it might be your colon or maybe both discomfort there, followed by some weight gain as a bonus. I’ve since re-supplied the CandiBactin and made a new batch of the not-yogurt. Apparently keeping this thing at bay will require regular maintenance.

The only Fat Head activity I did over vacation was to start reading Real Food On Trial, by Tim Noakes and Marika Sboros. The publisher sent me a copy months ago, and it’s been sitting on my desk waiting for me to have the time and energy to tackle it. When I finally cracked the thick book, I found myself reading very small type. I remember how as my dad got older, he started buying those large-print books for seniors. I hoped I’d never need to do that – and I haven’t. Instead, I bought the Kindle version of the book and increased the font size. I still have a few chapters to go, but when I’m finished, I’ll write a full review.

Consider that a New Year’s resolution. Happy 2020 to you all.

If you enjoy my posts, please consider a small donation to the Fat Head Kids GoFundMe campaign.

32 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. Kathy from Maine

    Hi, Tom! Great to have you back writing. I kept coming back here throughout December, hoping I just didn’t get the notification.

    I, too, ended up bailing on the not-yogurt, but for other reasons. At the end of October I had my second knee replacement. The batch of yogurt ran out that week and I didn’t have the energy to make a new batch. I did put a couple small jars of it in the freezer to use later, but when I got one out it had separated and looked awful. There’s still one in there, likely in the same shape. Think it will work for a new batch?

      1. John In Seattle

        Hi Tom, Happy new decade name.
        We too have bailed on the yogurt, too many bad batches.
        I mentioned I bought a microscope to troubleshoot the bugs.
        We have a much simpler and more robust bug multiplication method now, although not nearly as tasty as the yogurt.
        I make a batch of quart canning jars with distilled water and about 1/3 cup of inulin in each quart, then boil them for 20 minutes with the lids on, just like canning.
        At this point they are canned and sterile. and can be kept on the shelf.
        When ready for bugs, I carefully open one, not touching the inside of the lid, crush a 1/2 a l. reuteri inside a plastic bag and carefully pour the powder into the jar and reseal it.
        Put it in the Sous-vide at 97F for about 40 – 48 hours.
        The resulting liquid doesn’t look much different but is about 30-50% l. reuteri by volume.
        It will keep for about 3 days at room temp then starts to smell bad, haven’t had much better luck refrigerating it.
        We just keep starting a new jar about every 3 days.

        If you taste the crushed pill powder, it tastes Identical to this liquid.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Your method sounds excellent. I made a batch recently and it came out fine. That last batch must’ve gotten something in the mix that spoiled all three containers.

          1. Kim Øyhus

            Bacteriophages, I suspect, infecting your yoghurt bacteria.
            Boiling containers should help, keeping them closed, and general cleanliness too.
            Light should also destroy them.


    Hahah, I’m laughing out loud at your scoot-around for the print size problem!

    All the young people who so virtuously tell me about how they just loooooove real paper books…my answer is always “yeah, wait a few years and you’ll be right there at the Kindle like I am!” The large print books DO help (when you can get them) but even then, they are missing one of the other major advantages of Kindle, which is a light that’s bright enough you can actually see the (enlarged) print.

    Actually I may have that wrong. My Kindle APP on my iPad has a light, but I know that there are some Kindles that aren’t backlit themselves. In any case, getting old ain’t for sissies!

  3. Firebird7479

    Docs just found iron overload. I begin phlebotomies next week. In the six weeks between seeing my primary care and the hematologist, dietary changes alone have dumped ferritin levels by 250 points. Two ways I accomplished it:

    Ditch beef, increase dairy. I’m in between dwellings at the moment and haven’t been able to make the L-reuteri yogurt, but have been taking a supplement. I too have experienced weight gain…almost 20 lbs in one month!

    My biggest concern is getting my ferritin levels down to an optimum level and still feeling like crap.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Good look getting the excess iron out of your system. I’d be curious to know if you feel a big difference afterwards.

      1. Firebird7479

        Test results for hemachromatosis is negative. A whole bunch of jibberish that I don’t understand and will learn more on Monday (next appt. with hematologist).

      2. Firebird7479

        Just got back from the doctor. I don’t have hemochromatosis, BUT I have a mutation that makes me a carrier (The price of being Lithuanian). Suggested I follow a diet for hemochromatosis as if I have it.

        I was scheduled to begin therapeutic phlebotomy but he cancelled it. Suggested donating to the Red Cross. If he does phlebotomies he just throws the blood away. Prefers donating instead to help people. So, I have to donate within the next 2 weeks and follow up in 6 to see where the levels are. Said I could have beef but to go easy on it.

        Interesting side note: His senior partner, while a resident, treated the late singer Jackie Wilson in the Emergency Room after Wilson collapsed on stage at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, N.J. He helped revive Wilson, but Wilson remained brain dead for 7 weeks before passing away.

      1. Firebird7479

        I had Hep-A in 1999 and was told until recently that I could not donate blood. Now they say that if you are free of the disease that you can donate. I drink a lot of tea, always have, but that never solved the problem I begin therapeutic phlebotomy next week. I am taking turmeric, IP-6 and other supplements that help with dumping iron. Also a lot of dairy, mostly cottage cheese and yogurt.

        1. margaret in vermont

          I researched a lot about iron and ferritin and Type 2 diabetes. There is a definite correlation, but the mechanisms are complex. My ferritin was a little high for a female. I was already doing reduced carb. So I did a n=1, and donated blood to see if it helped. It helped, but not in the way I expected…
          After recovering from the trauma of the donation, I just felt better. More energy and more alert. Weird. I continued to donate until my ferritin was less than 60 ng/ml, 4 donations spread out over 2 years. Now I continue to donate about once a year, to keep the ferritin down.

          1. Firebird7479

            What bugs me is for 20 years I was told I could not donate blood because of Hep-A but that has changed. I cannot imagine how much better I would feel had I been able to keep those levels down. I’ve spoken to a few others who have had high ferritin levels that say they have felt so much better once they got their levels down to the levels you are at now.

  4. Kathy in OK

    I was beginning to worry that this blog was going the way of your other one. Good to know that’s not the case.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Nope, the other went dormant when I picked up the full-time job and had to accept that there are only so many hours in a week. I may not be posting twice a week like clockwork, but I’m not going to let a month go by between posts. At least that’s the plan for now.

  5. Deb

    Glad you’re “back”, Tom, and hope you enjoyed your down time! We missed you! I made no resolutions this year, since I figured that life itself would impose certain priorities on me. And I have been indulging in reading all kinds of books I don’t normally take the time to savor; it feels kind of decadent and wonderful. I also got back to the gym, which I really needed (for physical health, yes, but probably more for stress reduction).

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Sitting and reading is one of those activities that goes to the back burner when I’m busy working. When I retire, I plan to spend a lot of time with a book in my hands.

      1. Elenor

        Happy New Year Tom! Have you ever considered/might you like listening to books (or podcasts) on an MP3 player? I spend many hours a day with ‘ear bobs’ in my ears sucking up info. Can’t do it when I’m reading or writing — o otherwise need my brain… but cooking, cleaning, gardening, driving — and often while doing my finicky brain-tiring — but not mind-involving — work (assembling microscopes and gauges). If you got a good MP3 player and — I use the ‘sport-type’ ear-bobs with the over/around the ear wires so they don’t fall out when e.g., I’ve got my hands in garden soil… Obviously, not while you’re swinging a chain saw (EEK!!) — but shoveling chicken coops out?! Not mind-involvement, just muscles!

        I don’t do book, because I’m not willing to commit to hours-and-hours of the same ‘topic.’ I do podcasts on very topic under the sun — and podcasts are free! I also have noise-canceling headphones I wear, as yesterday, when I was putting the finish on metal gauge bodies with an orbital sander… Protects my hearing AND keeps me from being bored!

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I used to listen to quite a few podcasts, but now I mostly listen to books. If I’m doing anything other than driving or sitting just to listen, I tend to zone out. I’m going to look for sport-type or over-the-head headphones because ear buds tend to drop out of my ears. Perhaps my ears have an unusual shape.

  6. Robert

    Good to see you back posting again. Happy New Year to you and the girls. Congrats on the Titans pulling off the upset in Foxborough last night. Too bad my team (the New Orleans Saints) fell victim to an upset by the Vikings at home.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yeah, I really wanted to see Drew Brees get to the Super Bowl, especially after being screwed out of it last year.

  7. Don

    Happy New Year to you and your family.
    I think as we age we lose our fighting spirit and this whole movement had a lot of fight in it in the beginning.
    When I was sick and bedridden for two plus years, I began reading everything I could on health, sometimes twelve hours a day, and found your movie, website, and a host of others. It turned my life around, but it seems most have lost their will to fight, maybe because we think we’ve proven our point. Or maybe just age.
    There is, however, still a lot of misinformation out there that needs countering. Just this week my daughter’s health teacher told her class that fried chicken should be outlawed and that vegetarianism was the healthiest diet. I wish we had continued to homeschool her lol.
    Keep up the good fight, Tom!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I agree; age probably figures into it. I feel pretty good for 61, but when I have those mentally-draining days at the programming job, I don’t seem to have the quite the same fighting spirit or energy reserve I did 10 years ago.

  8. TAP-N The Night Away

    My wife and I have been making “non” yogurt successfully for many months.


    Our last two batches using the tablets FAILED!

    The reinforcing batch (adding tablets to a previous batch of yogurt) looked like yogurt but smelled funky?!?
    So we tossed it and started a fresh batch using NEWLY PURCHASED tablets.
    The result was very “watery” (50% whey), all lumps and smelled like rotten milk?!?

    Has anyone else had a failure to produce “non” yogurt from RECENTLY PURCHASED tablets?

    My fear is the good doctor may have “modified” the formula so Lactobacillus reuteri will grow in our “guts” but not in our incubators???

    Hope it is not true… this strain of “non” yogurt really helped us.

    Yearning for Yogurt
    TAP-N The Night Away

  9. Micky P

    Have you ever explored water fasting? If I ever experienced symptoms like yours that would be a course of action I’d consider.

    I reckon to go into full ketosis is quite a hostile place for foreign organisms in the body. By extension of your paleo style experiment in the fathead movie, wouldn’t cavemen have also gone days without food too?

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ve never tried water fasting. I do some intermittent fasting, which usually means eat dinner one night and don’t eat again until dinner the next night. Unfortunately, I’ve found that if I try to go completely without food for an entire day, it triggers insomnia — I experience occasional bouts of insomnia anyway.

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