Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for May 15th, 2019

Political reporting in the US has been very bad for a long time: A trip down memory lane

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Kevin Drum points out this post by Bob Somersby:

When “Trump before Trump” took us down: The role of The Crazy has been substantial in modern American discourse.

Crazy people advance crazy claims; millions of people believe them. American discourse bows beneath the weight of this widespread crackpot behavior.

In yesterday’s report, we tracked this phenomenon back to the pious Reverend Falwell and the endless crazy claims about all the people Bill and Hillary Clinton had murdered. The syndrome extends to more recent claims by radio crackpot Alex Jones, and by the disordered Donald J. Trump himself.

That doesn’t mean that this destructive syndrome only exists “on the right.” The mainstream press corps has been mired in this type of conduct too.

Future scholars are now calling such conduct “Trump before Trump.” They sometimes refer to this mental erosion within the press as “The Rise of Leadership Down.”

The Crazy flourished within the mainstream press during the era of Falwell. Consider a crazy statement which appeared in Marc Fisher’s weekly column in the Washington Post magazine.

The crazy statement to which we refer concerned a White House candidate’s clothes. The candidate in question was also the sitting vice president. He was the odds-on favorite to receive the Democratic nomination in Campaign 2000.

In late November 1999, Fisher wrote a highly peculiar essay about Candidate Gore. His crazy claim was lodged among a raft of other peculiar and unfortunate statements. Here’s how his essay ended:

FISHER (11/28/99): So when Al Gore sneaks around and spends $15,000 a month to hire an oddball like Naomi Wolf, a controversialist who campaigns against the tyranny of the beauty culture and then plasters soft-lit glossies of herself and her perfectly teased hair all over the Internet and on her book jackets, we have two choices: We can say Gore’s a good man who’s been duped by over-eager aides, or we can say this is a man who does not know himself, a man who is unknowable, unreadable and therefore not fit to be president.

A person who makes her living by writing pop philosophy about sex tells a man who would be president of the United States that he must be a different kind of man, that he must be more assertive, that he must wear a brown suit of a sort that is alien to virtually every American. And he says, “Okay.”

To call him unreadable is to be charitable.

Just for the record—back in those days, we pseudo-liberals slept in the woods when people like Wolf were savaged in such identifiable ways. We let that kind of thing go.

That said, did Naomi Wolf “make her living by writing pop philosophy about sex?” It’s pretty much as you like it! For the record, two of the three books she’d written by that time had been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year.

One of the books, The Beauty Myth, had been chosen as one of the top hundred books of the century. But now, the disordered men and women of the upper-end mainstream press were spreading a web of noxious claims about Wolf, a campaign adviser to Gore.

These slanders included the noxious claim that Candidate Gore had “hired a woman to teach him how to be a man.” Candidate Gore was “today’s man-woman,” Chris Matthews loudly proclaimed on his crackpot TV show, Hardball.

These disordered figures were also convinced that Wolf had instructed Gore to wear “earth tones” on the campaign trail. This unfounded assertion helped lead to months of disordered claims about this targeted candidate’s clothes.

By Sunday, November 28, this ordered discussion had been underway for more than a month. This apparently forced Fisher to bump his roving band’s craziness up a notch.

Does Donald J. Trump make crazy claims? Yes he does, quite often. But on this day, Fisher was making crazy claims too. The craziest of his crazy claims may been this crazy statement:

Naomi Wolf had told Candidate Gore that “he must wear a brown suit of a sort that is alien to virtually every American.”

Truly, that was a crazy claim. As such, it was an example of the phenomenon known as Trump before Trump.

Had Naomi Wolf advised Gore about wardrobe? Like Fisher, we have no idea.

Candidates do take wardrobe advice, and Wolf was a campaign adviser. (With a crackpot press corps like the one we’re now describing, a targeted candidate must pay substantial attention to both wardrobe and hair.)

Wolf and Gore had both denied the claim that Wolf had offered wardrobe advice, but denizens of the upper-end press enjoyed the tale they were telling. In this case, Fisher seemed to be referring to a brown or perhaps olive suit Gore had worn to his first Democratic debate with Candidate Bradley, his only campaign opponent.

More than a month had passed since that time. But manifest crackpots of the press were still obsessed by the choice.

In fact, there was nothing outrageous about Gore’s suit, except in the mind of the crackpots. New Hampshire voters who watched that first Democratic debate had scored the event a draw. No one seemed troubled by Gore’s choice of clothes, and conservative icon Kate O’Beirne had praised the two candidates for the erudition each had displayed in discussing health care that night.

But alas! Inside the press room at Dartmouth College, three hundred journalists were hissing, booing and jeering every time Gore spoke. (On the record sources: Slate’s Jake Tapper, the Hotline’s Howard Mortman, Time’s Eric Pooley. We heard about this astounding conduct in a phone call from the site that very night.)

The children had been hissing and jeering every time Gore spoke! At the Washington Post, a Pulitzer winner decided to tell the world this:

MCGRORY (10/31/99): Vice President Albert Gore came to his fateful encounter with newly menacing challenger Bill Bradley carrying heavy baggage. He was wearing an outfit that added to his problems when he stepped onstage at Dartmouth College: a brown suit, a gunmetal blue shirt, a red tie—and black boots.

Was it part of his reinvention strategy? Perhaps it was meant to be a ground-leveling statement—”I am not a well-dressed man.” It is hard to imagine that he thought to ingratiate himself with the nation’s earliest primary voters by trying to look like someone seeking employment at a country music radio station. Maybe it was the first step in shedding his Prince Albert image.

Mary McGrory, a veteran columnist and a Pulitzer winner, was writing live and direct from the realm of The Crazy.

She never mentioned the health care discussion whose erudition O’Beirne had praised. Instead, she chose to savage one candidate’s clothes in a pre-Trump manifestation.

McGrory was typing at the start of the war against Gore’s wardrobe. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2019 at 6:32 pm

Kevin Drum takes an honest look at worker pay (in contrast to Michael Strain, who takes a dishonest look)

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The epidemic of outright lying by the Right is unstoppable. Kevin Drum points out another deliberate effort to mislead, this time by Michael Strain. Read the post and look at the graph.

I am really tired of GOP lies.

Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2019 at 4:43 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, GOP, Math

Exxon Predicted 2019’s Ominous CO2 Milestone in 1982

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But they kept quiet about it. Brian Kahn reports in Gizmodo:

Atmospheric carbon dioxide sets a new record every year. This year’s cracked the ominous milestone of 415 parts per million (ppm) thanks to ever rising emissions from human activities. The sharp rise might seem like something nobody could’ve predicted but there’s at least one group of scientists that were on the money 37 years ago: Exxon’s ace team of scientists.

Internal memos unearthed in InsideClimate’s Pulitzer-winning 2015 investigation into the company revealed all sorts of solid science being done even as the oil giant sowed doubt in public. Bloomberg reporter Tom Randall revisited the memos in light of the world’s new carbon dioxide milestone and tweeted a graph from one showing just how much Exxon knew what our future would look like.

It’s eerie seeing how well the company understood both climate science and the world’s patterns of economic growth built on the back of fossil fuels. Here’s that chart, annotated for ease of reading:

Red lines show where Exxon thought the world’s carbon dioxide levels and temperatures would be at around 2019.Image: InsideClimate News

The prediction is a pretty damn good one. The world is now about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than it was and carbon dioxide levels are at 415 ppm. The estimate was part of Exxon’s “high case” scenario, which assumed fossil fuel use would quicken and that the world would be able to tap new reserves in the late 2000s from at the time unreachable shale gas. The memo also warned that the extra carbon dioxide would enhance the greenhouse effect and that an “increase in absorbed energy via this route would warm the earth’s surface causing changes in climate affecting atmospheric and ocean temperatures, rainfall patterns, soil moisture, and over centuries potentially melting the polar ice caps.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2019 at 1:21 pm

After men in Spain got paternity leave, they wanted fewer kids

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Apparently they had not realized that taking care of newborns is a lot of work.  Corinne Purtill and Dan Kopf report in Quartz:

In March 2007, Spain introduced a national policy granting most new fathers two weeks of fully paid paternity leave. The policy proved exceptionally popular, with 55% of men eligible in the first year opting to take the paid time. The amount of leave covered by the program was doubled in 2017 and expanded to five weeks in 2018, with additional increases expected between now and 2021.

Economists studying the effects of the original 2007 policy examined what happened to families that had children just before and just after the program began, and found differences in the outcomes. While the early cohort of men who were eligible for paternity leave were just as likely to stay in the workforce as the men who weren’t eligible, they remained more engaged with childcare after their return to work, and their partners were more likely to stay in the workforce as well. In that sense, the program seems to have done what policy makers would have hoped.

Unexpectedly, though, the researchers also found that families who were eligible for the paternity leave were less likely to have kids in the future. In a study published in the Journal of Public Economics (paywall), economists Lídia Farré of the University of Barcelona and Libertad González of University of Pompeu Fabra estimate that two years on, parents who had been eligible for the newly introduced program were 7% to 15% less likely to have another kid than parents who just missed the eligibility cutoff. While the difference dissipated further into the future, even after six years, parents who had been eligible for the leave were still less likely to have a child again.

The researchers suggest an intriguing reason why.

After paternity leave was instituted, surveys of Spanish men ages 21 to 40 showed they desired fewer children than before. Farré and González think that spending more time with their children—or the prospect of having to do so—may have made men more acutely aware of the effort and costs associated with childrearing, and, as the researchers put it, “shifted their preferences from child quantity to quality.”

At the same time, women started showing preferences for slightly larger families—perhaps a sign that having more children seemed more desirable with a slightly more equitable balance of labor at home. . .

Continue reading. Graphs at the link are interesting.

Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2019 at 1:15 pm

Sailors Report Enduring Concerns About Navy Readiness and Leadership

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Kengo Tsutsumi reports in ProPublica:

This story was originally published in our Disaster in the Pacific newsletter. Read earlier reporting from this series here, and sign up to get emails when we publish updates.

The responses by the sailors — consistent, repeated — can be jarring to read:

Are you getting enough sleep? “No.”

Do you feel well-trained to do your job? “No.”

Have there been scenarios in which you or your bosses had concerns about the safety of the ship and crew but felt they could not say no to new tasking? “Yes.”

Please rate your confidence in Navy leadership in the Pentagon. “I am not confident.”

On Feb. 26, ProPublica published a callout aimed primarily at active-duty men and women in the U.S. Navy. We had published two stories about neglect, exhaustion and deadly mishaps in the 7th Fleet, the largest armada anywhere and once the Navy’s crown jewel. Now, we wanted to take a measure of the confidence in the many reforms the Navy had announced in assuring the nation that it was addressing the systemic shortcomings laid bare after two fatal accidents in the Pacific in 2017.

We’ve received dozens of responses from active-duty sailors and their families, but also from people who retired from the Navy, academics and contractors.

Thirty active-duty sailors have completed our callout so far. Twenty-eight of them testified to some combination of fear, lack of training and an absence of confidence in the Navy’s leadership. Almost one-fifth of them described working 100 hours a week or more while underway.

One officer in the 2nd Fleet lamented that there was still not consistent training to enable men and women to master the wide variety of steering systems in place on the fleet’s ships. A sailor on a 7th Fleet aircraft carrier worried that the widespread problem of sleep deprivation was leading to profound mental health issues, with some sailors being placed on suicide watch. Another 2nd Fleet sailor said that the promised reforms aimed at improving training, adequately staffing ships and better caring for overtaxed service members sounded fine on their face, but that they ran the risk of proving to be a largely empty exercise.

“If the Navy paid more attention to the job satisfaction and intrinsic motivation of sailors, then a lot of these other systemic issues will fix themselves,” the sailor wrote. “All of these recommendations are great, but if it is not a joint effort for change, with ideas and suggestions from those expected to implement the change, then it will just continue a ‘culture of compliance,’ which Navy leaders have stated they want to transform into a ‘culture of excellence.’ This change cannot be forced down, but must be grown from the ground up.”

A spokesman said that Navy leadership continues to take “aggressive action” implementing changes meant to address the issues revealed by ProPublica’s reporting. “The reform process will take time, resources, and most importantly, trust,” Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey said. In response to sailor feedback, some commanders have “taken action where appropriate,” including canceling deployments for ships that weren’t ready.

The callout, to be sure, is limited, and it is perhaps not surprising that responses have so far been dominated by people who felt alarmed or found fault with the Navy. But the responses certainly echo the themes the Navy has already conceded are problems. As well, almost two years after the deadly crashes involving the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain, the Navy has yet to fully satisfy its congressional overseers that the reforms have been accomplished. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2019 at 12:18 pm

Posted in Daily life, Military

A good resource for those moving to a plant-based diet

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I mentioned in this post the “Daily Dozen” foods advocated by Michael Greger MD, and noted that there is a free app for iPhone and Android that lets you track those foods. One of the resources he suggests is Plant-Based on a Budget and they list several resources on this page. The last item listed is “The Daily Dozen (On A Budget) Meal Plan.” It’s a PDF that you can download for $5, and IMO it’s worth it. With that, planning meals becomes much easier, starting with making the shopping list.

Take a look.

This video is also interesting (the awful soundtrack at the beginning stops fairly soon, so just endure it). I find that I respond negatively to the word “vegan” but positively to “plant-based.”

Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2019 at 11:24 am

Donald Trump Is a One-Man Foreign Policy Catastrophe

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Kevin Drum posts at Mother Jones:

Doyle McManus reviews Donald Trump’s foreign policy:

As president he named himself negotiator-in-chief and tried to cajole North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to abandon nuclear weapons. He reimposed tough economic sanctions on Iran, betting he could force the ayatollahs to change their ways. He vowed to force China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union to give up what he called unfair trade practices. He backed an uprising in Venezuela aimed at toppling its leftist president, Nicolas Maduro. He declared victory against Islamic State and ordered U.S. troops home from Syria. In his spare time, he asked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to arrange peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

He has achieved none of those outcomes.

But he might declare war on Iran. And impose tariffs on European cars. And commit the United States to . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2019 at 11:09 am

Canada’s new dietary advice is to avoid sugar substitutes. Will U.S. follow suit?

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I avoid sugar substitutes because once I decided to avoid refined sugar, it made sense to me to retrain my taste to prefer savory to sweet. (I do not like artificial foods in general, and that includes artificial sweeteners in spades.)

The gut microbiome can drive food cravings, and cutting sugar and simple starches from your diet quickly results in a change in the gut microbiome population: those microbes that depended on sugar and simple starches give way to others.

To develop a taste for the savory, rather than the sweet try this: after tasting the foods on your plate, construct your “last bite.” That is a bite-size portion of the food(s) in the meal that you want to be the last taste you have of the meal. Cut out and move aside that bite and save it for the end. That bite will be the final taste of the meal.

If you consistently make that last bite savory, you’ll train your taste to prefer to end a meal with something savory—i.e., not with dessert. It will seem natural to enjoy the savory ending, and you won’t want to spoil the last-bite taste. For example, the last bite may be (depending on the meal), a bite of turkey with a little dressing; or a good combination of vegetables and sauce; or a small piece of bacon with a bit of egg; or a bite of steak or chop from the best part; and so on.

If you do want a dessert, go for fruit that is low in net carbs. I thaw mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries) and eat 1/2 cup of that for dessert. See this post for the best low-carb fruits.

Christy Brissette writes in the Washington Post:

As a Canadian dietitian who works and lives in the United States, I like to keep up with health policy in both countries. So, I was quite interested to see that Health Canada, the governmental agency responsible for public health, is charting a new course when it comes to dietary advice, particularly in the area of sugar substitutes. It’s a track that sharply diverges from the one the United States is on.

In a significant departure from the past as well as from the U.S. approach, Canada’s new food and dietary guidelines, released this year, say zero-calorie or low-calorie sugar substitutes are neither necessary nor helpful. “Sugar substitutes do not need to be consumed to reduce the intake of free sugars,” the guidelines say, adding that, because “there are no well-established health benefits associated with the intake of sweeteners, nutritious foods and beverages that are unsweetened should be promoted instead.”

In contrast, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans(DGAs), issued by the U.S. Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments, suggest sugar substitutes may have a place in helping people consume fewer calories, at least in the short term, though “questions remain about their effectiveness as a long-term weight management strategy.” The guidelines neither encourage nor discourage their usage.

The differences may seem subtle, but dietary guidelines in each country shape what is served at public institutions such as schools and influence the recommendations made by health-care professionals. Language matters. But before we try to explain the difference in advice, let’s have a quick primer on sugar substitutes.

What are sugar substitutes?

Sugar substitutes include many categories, such as high-intensity sweeteners that are at least 100 times as sweet as sugar. They can be “artificial,” such as aspartame and saccharin, or “natural,” such as stevia and monk fruit. They can contain a negligible number of calories or be classified as low-calorie sweeteners, such as sugar alcohols.

In much of the research and in most policy documents, sugar substitutes are often discussed as a single category rather than a heterogenous group of compounds. This makes it challenging to know whether certain types are preferable.

Most concern seems to focus on artificial sweeteners. Six are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as ingredients in foods and drinks and as table sweeteners people can add themselves. The most ubiquitous is aspartame (sold as brand names NutraSweet or Equal), which is found in more than 6,000 food products, followed by sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame K (Sweet One or Sunett) and saccharin (Sweet’N Low or Sugar Twin), and the lesser-known neotame and advantame. You’ll find artificial sweeteners in a range of foods and drinks, including light yogurt, diet sodas, protein bars and chewing gum as well as baked goods and frozen desserts. Carbonated drinks are the top source of artificial sweeteners in the American diet.

What does the research say?

Research suggests that stevia and monk fruit, the natural sugar substitutes, are safe for human consumption, though it’s not clear that they lead to weight loss. There has been conflicting research, however, about the safety of artificial sweeteners. Some studies have suggested that artificial sweeteners could increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and cancer, and may have a negative influence on the microbiome and mental health.

For example, research based on data from 37,716 men from the Health Professional’s Follow-up study and 80,647 women from the Nurses’ Health study published in Circulation last month found that consuming artificially sweetened beverages is associated with a greater risk of death as well as death from heart disease. The risk was found specifically for women consuming four or more servings of artificially sweetened beverages a day. The authors say this finding needs to be confirmed by future research, but it does raise questions about whether artificial sweeteners are necessary — or should be recommended at all.

As for the U.S. contention that sugar substitutes might help people cut back on calories and sugar to improve their health or lose weight — that seems doubtful.

review by the nonprofit research foundation Cochrane, conducted for the World Health Organization, examined 56 studies into the effects of sugar substitutes on health. It found that there is no evidence sugar substitutes provide any benefit — and that they may even have some risks.

An analysis of U.S. dietary intake from 2003 to 2004 shows that people tend to add artificial sweeteners to their diets rather than using them to replace sugary foods and beverages.

The same seems to be true for children. This month, researchpublished in the Pediatric Obesity journal revealed that in U.S. children, drinking artificially sweetened beverages is associated with consuming more calories and sugar.

Why the difference in advice?

U.S. and Canadian health officials are looking at the same research and have populations with similar health issues. So why the difference in guidelines regarding sugar substitutes?

The new Canadian approach seems to be that if a food or beverage doesn’t have a demonstrated health benefit, it doesn’t belong in your diet. Their 2019 guidelines suggest that people’s taste buds will adapt to less-sweet tastes when they reduce their consumption of sweetened foods and beverages — and using high-intensity sweeteners delays that process.

This is a marked change from Canada’s last dietary guidelines, released in 2007, which advised the general population to consume sugar substitutes in moderation and cut back on them if they noticed any digestive symptoms such as gas and bloating.

The new Canadian recommendations may seem tougher, but I see them as being clearer and something for people to aspire to. (Canada’s latest Food Guide takes a stand on several other divisive nutrition issues. For example, it promotes whole grains as the only grains to put on your plate, while the U.S. guideline is that at least half your grains be whole grains.) The U.S. view seems to be focused on encouraging health behaviors that are thought to be more achievable.

Alice H. Lichtenstein, a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University and member of the 2015-2020 DGA committee, seems skeptical of an all-or-nothing approach to sugar substitutes. She expressed her stance in an editorial in Circulation, responding to the study that said consuming artificially sweetened beverages is associated with a greater risk of death. “To a certain extent, as a community, we can take the high road about beverage recommendations: Drink water (or flavored water) in place of [sugar-sweetened beverages]. However, continuing this simple approach would be disingenuous because we know that it has not worked well in the past and there is little reason to expect that it will work well in the future.”

Over email, Lichtenstein said: “For some people, I suspect the use of high-intensity sweeteners is helpful in avoiding excess energy intake. For others, it might not be helpful.”

2018 advisory from the American Heart Association also takes a more middle-ground approach to sugar substitutes than Canada’s, stating that they can play a role in helping people to reduce the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages they’re drinking. The advisory also says that beverages containing low-calorie sweeteners could be especially useful for people who are used to sweetness and find water unappealing at first.

For insight, I turned to Marion Nestle, a renowned American author and professor emerita of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. She said over email: “What we know about artificial sweeteners is for sure that they are not necessary. On a population basis, they do not seem to help people lose weight, but they may help some individuals. So, both approaches are valid. Personally, I follow a food rule not to eat anything artificial, so these sweeteners are off my dietary radar.”

When I asked what she thought was the reasoning behind the differing approaches to sugar substitutes taken by the U.S. and Canadian governments, she responded, “One can only speculate that the lobbying for artificial sweeteners worked better in the U.S. than in Canada.”

Whatever the reason for the disparate approaches, I found one hint that the viewpoint in the United States might be changing.  . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2019 at 9:41 am

How structure affects food and my new standard breakfast

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NOTE: The following was updated on 12 July 2019, after two more months of experience with making vegan meals. /note

I’m now reassessing my entire diet. I have found to be an eye-opener, with food recommendations based on solid research. And I now use to track my food and nutrients—it’s a free program and allows me to check that I’m getting all necessary nutrients. Once I started using Cronometer, I stopped WW, since I get better information from Cronometer.

The video below was mentioned in this morning’s NutritionFacts newsletter. I knew boxed cereals were bad, but I didn’t realize (a) how bad, and (b) that whole grains are so much better.

My preferred form of oats is oat groats (whole-grain oats). However, I now use a variety of intact whole grains—oat groats, hulled barley, wheat berries, whole rye, whole kamut, whole spelt, and so on—and sometimes instead I use quinoa or amaranth. I cook a batch to have on hand, storing it in a Glasslock storage container labeled with food name and date cooked, using masking tape and an extra-fine Sharpie (“fine” is too thick).

For most of those, the recipe is to add 1 cup of the grain to 3 cups of boiling water, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer until the water’s absorbed. This generally takes an hour and sometimes two: just keep checking. I stopped using salt to keep my sodium intake below 1200mg/day, the recommended level for my age group. At first foods tasted bland, but within a few days my taste buds adjusted and food now tastes fine.

I refrigerate the cooked grain, which makes the starch resistant and thus further lowers the glycemic index. (See this fascinating 5-minute video: resistant starch serves somewhat the same role as dietary fiber.) Each morning I’ll take 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cooked grain and use it in my standard breakfast.

I also cook dried beans in advance (after soaking overnight) and store and use them in the same way, taking a portion for each meal. In thinking of a meal, I start with the beans and grain and then think of what vegetables to include and whether the dish will be hot (a stew of sorts (with low-sodium vegetable broth), a stir-fry (with a little extra-virgin olive oil), or a salad (with fresh arugula and/or shredded red cabbage).

I do keep a supply of cooked vegetables in the fridge as well, labeled as I do the grains and beans, and generally use 1/2 cup servings, normally two different vegetables. I might have diced steamed beets, roasted butternut squash, steamed broccoli, chopped squash or zucchini sautéed with onion, cooked kale or chard—whatever vegetables looked good at the store. I cook them when I get home from shopping and store them in Glasslock containers in the fridge, labeled as above.

I use my 2-qt All Clad Stainless sauté pan because it has vertical sides (food doesn’t slide out) and a lid. I put into the pan:

• 1-2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil  or 1/4 c low-sodium vegetable broth.
• 1 bunch scallions, chopped (including leaves) – lots of nutrients, always use
• 1 large jalapeño, chopped small, including core and seeds – capsaicin helps diabetics
• 4-5 ounces chopped mushrooms, either oyster or domestic white – mushrooms, I’ve learned, are an excellent source of pantothenic acid (B5)
• 10-12 cherry tomatoes, sliced
• 1 tablespoon dried mint
• 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
• 2 tablespoons horseradish ( = two servings of a cruciferous vegetable)
• a lot of freshly ground pepper (to assist the turmeric)

And I add the beans and the grain, and usual two of the cooked vegetables I have on hand. Specifically, today I add:

• 1/2 cup cooked black beans
• 1/3 cup cooked spelt
• 1/2 cup diced steamed beets
• 1/2 cup roasted diced butternut squash (roasted with cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and pepper)

Beans and grain are in every breakfast, along with one or two vegetables.

Sauté that a while, then cover and stir occasionally with a wooden spatula, until the vegetables have cooked down a bit. (While it cooks and between stirrings, I wipe off and put away the chopping board and rinse, dry, and put away the knife.) Then add:

Once it’s cooked and simmering (and you might have to add a little water or vegetable broth), stir in:

• 2 tablespoons flaxseed, ground
• 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (I use Red Star)
• 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric – sometimes instead I’ll add some fresh turmeric with the vegetables so that it cooks with them

I did a search for a low-carb vegan breakfast and found this: Easy Low Carb Superfood Breakfast Bowl (Vegan). It is very high in calories—not for me. In looking through a variety of vegan recipes, I’m struck by how many are heavy on  calories. “Superfood” in those recipes seems to mean “Supercaloric Food.”

BTW, I did discover that pepper sauce (Tabasco, Frank’s, Louisiana, etc.), fish sauce (I’m a big fan of Red Boat fish sauce), and Worcestershire sauce are very high in salt, so I no longer use them. (I wasn’t bothered by the anchovies used in fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce because it’s a trivial amount, and I switched to a whole-food plant-based diet for health reasons. The health drawback of those sauces is the salt, not the anchovies.

That breakfast makes a lot. It is in fact serves me for breakfast and for lunch. One big surprise for me has been how very filling a whole-food plant-based diet is.


Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2019 at 9:05 am

Super-smooth shave with a great fragrance

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Phoenix Artisan’s CK-6 formula is wonderful, and Dapper Doc’s Old Time Lilac & Fig Shaving Soap is a wonderful incarnation of the formula. I love the fragrance, and the lather is a killer (as it were, perhaps in honor of the Doc: Dr. John Henry Holliday). The RazoRock Old Type is a wonderful razor and I easily achieved a wonderfully smooth result, with a good splash of Dapper Doc’s aftershave to carry the fragrance forward: a great start to a sunny day.

Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2019 at 8:23 am

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

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