Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
19 Dec

Dear Mark: Sun Beds, Skipping Breakfast, Cooking with Essential Oils, and Glycerol

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for another round of Dear Mark questions and answers. This week I’m answering four reader inquiries. First, I discuss the suitability of tanning beds, and try to give the best answer I can muster given the lack of hard evidence either way. Next, I cover whether or not a guy should definitely eat breakfast. Dr. Jack Kruse’s leptin protocol, which prescribes eating a high protein breakfast upon waking, is getting pretty popular and having some incredible results, but is it necessary for everyone? Then I field a question about cooking with essential oils. They may not be the powerful healing agents promised by aromatherapy, but can they replace dry and fresh herbs and spices? Looks like it (maybe). And then I give a quick response about glycerol-bound stevia versus powdered stevia. All in all, a nice little selection of questions, I think.

Let’s dig in:

Hello,

I live in Ontario and love spending time in the sun (as well as following all that is contained in your regiment). From October to May, there is little option available. I take your recommended vitamin D supplements, and also like to stay looking ‘tanned’ during the winter months and use indoor tanning beds once or twice a week. Do you feel this is safe? It keeps me feeling much better than if I do not use the tanning beds.

Thanks,
Jamie

Recent epidemiological research (PDF) links tanning bed usage to malignant (read: bad) melanoma, but it’s, well, epidemiological. Correlative. For a nice writeup on the study, check out John Durant’s take. Of course, this particular correlation has a pretty sound potential mechanism of action – we know that excessive amounts of ultraviolet rays definitely can damage the skin and precipitate the formation of cancers like melanoma. That’s not controversial in the least.

In theory, a tanning bed could be useful and even beneficial. If you modulated the intensity of the bulbs and the ratio of UVB to UVA to emulate or at least closely resemble the sun’s rays, and you understood that pressing your skin right up against the bulbs isn’t exactly analogous to laying out in the late morning sun, I see no issue with using it. But you’re not running the salon. The salon owner is, and unless you can obtain absolutely irrefutable evidence that the salon owner is a student of UV and vitamin D metabolism science, I would be wary. If they have signed photos of the cast of Jersey Shore up on the walls, I would be wary. If they’re trying to sell you on a tanning package to turn you dark orange with visits thrice a week, I’d be wary. If they balk at your insistence on naturally attainable doses and ratios and intensities and act miffed because you want to limit your time under the lamps, I’d be wary. They’re probably not interested in giving you a lovely, relaxing day at the beach. They want you in and out, fast, to make room for the next customer. If corners are cut, if the intensity is magnified beyond what you’d receive sitting in the sun, if you’re sitting too close to the bulbs for too long, you’re exposing yourself to an evolutionary novel dosage of a known stressor. That could be okay, but it might not.

And I wouldn’t take my chances.

Unfortunately, there’s very little solid data out there on the safety of sunbeds that isn’t tainted with kneejerk reactions from dermatologists (“it’ll give you cancer!”) or from sunbed manufacturers. I know Joe Mercola has a sunbed, but I’m not sure if it’s legit. It very well could be, but it remains to be seen. This is probably worth a further look later down the line. Be sure to check out That Paleo Guy’s (Jamie) last couple posts on sun science. Very helpful stuff.

Remember what I wrote during last week’s “Dear Mark” – heed your ancestral homeland’s climate. If your distant ancestors weren’t sporting tans during winter, you may be okay a little paler for a few months out of the year. From what you’ve said, it sounds like you’re using sunbeds very responsibly. If you’re going to keep using them, maybe keep it to once a week, and don’t chase the ultra tan look. Go for a little color instead. Depending on your melanin, you can actually make a lot of vitamin D (and, presumably, all the other compounds our bodies make in response to UVB) before you tan.

The poison’s in the dose. And when the toxic dose is unknown or as-yet unquantifiable, you take small, cautious nibbles at the thing (if at all).

Hello Mark,

I am never hungry in the morning. I’d rather break my fast about midday with a big lunch and a big dinner in the evening (essentially 2 meals a day) and this suits me. Is this a problem, not having breakfast, as Jack Kruse talks about leptin resistance and the fact that you need 50-75 g of protein within 30 minutes of waking up. I cannot do that. I just am not hungry in the morning. What are your thoughts on this? Am I ok to stick to what I am doing, or do I need to force feed that amount of protein first thing in the morning?

Thanks,
Rich

Are you making progress? If you’re still moving forward and hitting goals and everything is proceeding as desired, I see no reason to mix things up just for the sake of mixing things up.

Are you feeling good? If you’re overall feeling satisfied with the current state of your physiology, keep doing what you’re doing.

How’s your energy? If you’re enjoying a smooth, constant level of energy without the need for regular infusions of caffeine, that’s a good sign that your current routine is working.

Are you at your goal weight, or are you trying to lose weight and having little success? If you’re stalled or gaining, you might try giving breakfast a go.

Never let someone else’s prescription for optimal health and rapid fat loss control your life – whether it’s mine or anyone else’s – if it isn’t producing results. Don’t stick things out if they haven’t been working for several months, but on the same token don’t go rushing around trying out every new protocol just because. As I understand it, Dr. Kruse’s leptin resistance protocol is intended for folks who are leptin resistant, for people who can’t really trust the satiety and hunger signals their bodies are sending. You may be. But if you’re not, I would say (and I believe Jack would, too) that skipping breakfast is fine as long as it doesn’t negatively impact your life, your weight, your health, or your progress.

If you’re leaning out, have leaned out, regained your health, and/or all other health markers are in good shape or trending that way, and if you’re still not hungry in the mornings, I’d say you can probably trust what your body is telling you and maintain the fasting. On the other hand, I say give it a shot if you think your current eating schedule isn’t doing you any favors.

Making breakfast mandatory can definitely work, but so can plans that make skipping breakfast mandatory. There is no one way. People have had success with both methods.

I understand that clove essential oil has an ORAC score of over 10 million (the highest of any fruit or herb). What are your thoughts on essential oils, especially clove? Given its high ORAC score, is it safe to assume that it contains potent anti-inflammatory/anti-aging properties?

Kellan

While I’ve written about the inconsistent evidence of any benefits to using essential oils in aromatherapy, I’ve never actually considered using the stuff in cooking. Your question really intrigued me, because it occurred to me that in a lot of the studies that I cite in my various herb and spice posts, the researchers often use essential oils of the herb or spice rather than the herb or spice itself to test the various compounds with antioxidant and/or medicinal attributes. Since they’re using the oil rather than the herb, all the “good stuff” – the active ingredients, if you will – should be found in the oil.

And I guess that’s why they call it an essential oil – it holds the essence that defines and truly makes the herb or spice what it is. If that’s true, then couldn’t we use the essential oil in our cooking instead of or in addition to the herbs or spices themselves?

Food producers already use essential oils of things like rosemary, thyme, clove, and sage to preserve the oxidative stability of fats in processed foods, because those oils are highly bioactive and confer all of the benefits of the dry or fresh herb (PDF). As long as the essential oil is “food grade” and it’s from a plant that people actually eat (I would strongly recommend against using oil of eucalyptus in your cooking, for example, mostly because it’s toxic but also because it tastes terrible), I see no problem with experimenting. Start with single drops applied directly to the cooking fat of your choice; don’t treat essential oils like condiments. It’s not sriracha. A rosemary oil applied to an olive oil, perhaps, or a drop of cinnamon oil administered to a pot of coffee? The possibilities are myriad.

Before you go crazy, make sure the essential oil you’re considering is food grade and check the toxicity levels. This Excel doc (Excel) from 2009 is a handy comprehensive guide to toxicity levels for most essential oils.

Possible sources for food grade oils: NOW Foods (available on Amazon) and Aftelier Chef’s Essences.

Hi Mark,

Is there any difference between glycerine Stevia and the powdered kind? It tastes so much better, but I want to make sure it’s ok since I add it to my 3 iced coffees per day.

Thanks
Kaycee

Glycerine in your stevia is fine. It’s another word for glycerol, which is a naturally occurring substance (a polyol, a type of alcohol) that forms the structural backbone of all triglycerides (hence “-glyceride”). Most animal and vegetable fats, then, contain glycerine. In pharmaceuticals and consumables, glycerine is used as a carrier and even a sweetener (it’s slightly sweet). It also holds moisture well – endurance athletes sometimes utilize it to retain hydration – so adding glycerol to low-carb junk food can make it stay moist and “delicious.” That’s why you’ll often find it in protein and energy bars.

At any rate, it’s impossible to avoid glycerine. We get it when we eat dietary fat and when we burn stored body fat for energy. And even though glycerine is classified as a carbohydrate, and a teaspoon of it contains about 27 calories, it follows a unique metabolic pathway. Nothing to worry about if used as a carrier for stevia.

That’s it for this week, boys and girls. Keep ‘em coming and I’ll do my best to get to them. Thanks for reading!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Rich, I’ve had success both with fasting in the mornings – eating only during ~6-8 hour “windows” – as well as with eating high-protein breakfasts in the morning. I’ve found that a combination works best for me.

    Some mornings you’re hungry, some mornings you’re not. Listening to your body is far better, in my opinion, than force-feeding yourself or starving yourself when you are hungry.

    Abel James wrote on December 19th, 2011
  2. I agree 100% with what Mark is saying in his post on breakfast. The general rule is that skipping breakfast is not a good idea. You need it to get the fire burning in the morning, helping to increase your metabolism, and burn calories. However, one size doesn’t fit all and if you are meeting your healthy lifestyle goals then don’t change what you are doing. Common sense should rule as always.

    Michelle

    Michelle wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • “You need it to get the fire burning in the morning, helping to increase your metabolism, and burn calories”.

      Myth

      Dave, RN wrote on December 19th, 2011
      • I have been wondering for a while, is it a good thing to aim for the high intensity metabolism all the time? Will we age faster with a better burning flame? If a person feels energetic, not cold, what does he/she need to increase his metabolism for? In order to eat more without feeling guilty?
        Often the advise to eat breakfast is giving together with the advise to snack in order to “keep fire burning”. I am not buying it as well.

        Galina L. wrote on December 19th, 2011
      • All that eating breakfast does for me is make me want to go back to bed and take a nap. I don’t eat in the morning because a) I’m not hungry in the least, b) it makes me sluggish and sleepy if I do, and c) I’m extremely sharp, clear and have a predatory task focus that results from letting the hunger build throughout morning to midday. I don’t think stuffing your face as soon as you hop out of bed has the support of either evolutionary rationale *or* efficacy.

        John wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • The Breakfast Myth series on gnolls.org is well worth checking out as well. As are the comments on both posts.

      John wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • Common sense tells me that slowing down my metabolism will make me live longer, especially since I am fit already. Skipping breakfast is a fine practice. It also makes it easier to keep the eating window small. Big lunch, big dinner within five or six hours, fast for the rest of the day.

      knifegill wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • I would not say this is a good “general rule.”

      Here is a good general rule…

      The answer to everything is “it depends.”

      Fasting works wonders for some while it can be detrimental to others. Same deal with eating lots of protein. Same deal with going low carb.

      I think everyone in the world should go Primal. This is a good general rule. In general, stay clear of grains, legumes and dairy. Butter is probably ok for most and perhaps a few other dairy products. Some can’t touch gluten while others can eat it here and there without much problem.

      But, in general, get primal. Now!

      Primal Toad wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • Don’t think Mark was saying that, and he was certainly not saying that you need breakfast to boost metabolism et al. He was simply saying that one recommendation is a high protein breakfast, and this contrasts to another approach which is Intermittent Fasting in the morning.

      Adam

      Adam wrote on December 19th, 2011
  3. Wow and the topics are endless and complex!

    Grokitmus Primal wrote on December 19th, 2011
  4. Before I went PB i made some great essential oils for aromatherapy…but i used safflower oil. Poop. Guess I can’t use them for cooking.

    Maureen wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • Hi Maureen,

      What you made was infused oils, essential oils can’t be made at home. You could go ahead and make another batch infusing spices in olive or coconut oil instead.
      Mark, I’m glad you are stressing that folks ensure essential oils are food grade! It’s important to understand that essential oils are stripped of some of the protective qualities of the original spice, they can be very very toxic, even in minute quantities, which is why without a carrier oil they can burn the skin – imagine what that could do to your innards! Sorry to get longwinded, just wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt.

      Christine wrote on December 19th, 2011
  5. I skip breakfast almost every day. The only exceptions occur when I’ve put in a lot of work at the dojo the previous night: I don’t get hungry until a good few hours after I work out, and by then I’m usually asleep because I usually train in the evenings. So those mornings I’m ravenous and I’ll have a few eggs and a tomato. Otherwise, all I’d be able to force down would be some far-from-satiating carbohydrates, and that’s on the bad side of useless.

    Kate wrote on December 19th, 2011
  6. In my opinion, it’s really easy to get caught up in thinking you have some kind of special problem when maybe you don’t. As a woman, it’s easy to think I might have a thyroid problem and leptin resistence because women (and their doctors) often think if you have trouble losing weight it might be your thyroid. And since we women pretty much spend our lives at war against our satiety signals, we really have no idea what satiety even is after a while, making it so easy to believe we have leptin resistance.

    I’m not saying that thyroid problems and leptin resistance are not real issues for some people. Just that it’s better to honestly assess whether it truly is an issue for you. The honest truth is that I have absolutely none of the symptoms of low thyroid, I do know what satiety feels like (thanks to eating this way), and weight loss simply takes time.

    Diane wrote on December 19th, 2011
  7. I think paying attention to our bodies and experimenting are the best ways to figure out if we need to eat breakfast or not. I tried to force myself to eat in the mornings for years of CW because it was supposed to help weigh loss-nope it didn’t! Now I only eat if I am hungry in the morning, otherwise I eat an early lunch.

    EZ wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • +1

      Marg wrote on December 19th, 2011
  8. The topic of fasting vs eating is extremely interesting. I think a good general rule of thumb is eating what you feel like when you are genuinely are hungry – provided you are able to identify that and you’re not craving Snickers bars. If you’re not craving good food you’re probably doing something wrong.

    That being said, if you are trying to gain muscle, and having a hard time, then regular eating might be just what you need. There are scientific reasons for doing both. Experimentation is the key in my opinion.

    Arcanum wrote on December 19th, 2011
  9. The link between obesity and skipping breakfast is a myth, in my opinion. It’s good to eat a healthy breakfast and fuel with energy, but skipping it won’t produce the weight problems that are quoted in a lot of studies. However, for a person with a busy schedule and not a lot of time for lunch, it is wise to grab the morning bite , so you can use your body at an optimum rate.

    Paul Alexander wrote on December 19th, 2011
  10. Skipping breakfast doesn’t work for me in the least, unless I’ve really over-indulged the night before. Yesterday, I did fast until dinner, although it was a struggle, and this morning I worked out in a fasted state. What a mistake! My husband made sausage and eggs for breakfast, and as soon as I smelled it I was jealous. Then I was ravenous and just wanted to eat everything in sight. Tomorrow, I will have my eggs and sausage first thing in the morning!

    I have a question about the response to the vitamin D e-mail. You say if your “distant ancestors” didn’t sport tans year-round, then it’s probably okay to go pale in the winter. But the link sent me to the “Meet Grok” page, which profiled a theoretical human from California. So, does that mean “distant ancestor” means your heritage, like Eastern European versus Mediterranean, or is it more general than that?

    Deanna wrote on December 19th, 2011
  11. Another great round of questions. Thanks Mark!

    B. Knight wrote on December 19th, 2011
  12. I literally go to bed fantasizing about breakfast and fresh coffee. I can’t wait. Have to fire up the furnace. Can’t imagine missing breakfast.

    Graham wrote on December 19th, 2011
  13. Jamie,

    Dr. Holick addressed the tanning bed question in The Vitamin D Solution. He thought they were an acceptable slternative is natural sunlight wasn’t an option. But you do have to be careful. You want lamps that produce a mix of UVA and UVB. “High Pressure” lamps are UVA only, and will make you tan, but not produce any vitamin D. UVA is also thought to be more damaging to the skin. UVB stimulates vitamin D, but it also burns the skin (that’s why the UVA only lamps exist). UVA ages, UVB burns. You may want to look up Dr. Holick for more info, but you are looking for low or medium pressure lamps, and lamps that produce UVB. I think these types of beds tend to be cheaper than UVA only as well.

    John wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • Sorry, that should have read “acceptable alternative when natural sunlight isn’t an option.”

      John wrote on December 19th, 2011
      • Lizard lamps do a fine job of generating UVB. Just buy the best.

        knifegill wrote on December 19th, 2011
  14. “There is no one way.’ This is true with EVERYTHING. I do believe Primal is the way to go in general. BUT, we must all study ourselves for life to figure out what is best inside the Primal framework.

    Primal Toad wrote on December 19th, 2011
  15. gotta put in my 2 cents about the breakfast thang – been that way for me all my life – never been overweight (currently 6’1″, 168 at 56 years of age) – was probably somewhat leptin resistant during my years of sugar-addiction (cookies, cookies and …) but 3 years ago dropped that monkey and seem to be quite happy breaking fast at 11 am or so with protein and good fats – sustains energy all day – and then a well rounded dinner-

    works for me – always used to suffer as a kid when mama forced breakfast into me till i realized what was going on (on the toilet every day bu 10 am in school) and said no more to early morning eating–

    ravi wrote on December 19th, 2011
  16. Regarding Essential Oils: I´ve added MINT essential oil to Mark´s walnut brownie recipe from the Primal BluePrint CookBook, and the result was DE-LI-CIOUS. Chocolate + mint heaven.

    Alex wrote on December 19th, 2011
  17. Re: Breakfast. Whatever works! Most days I don´t wake up too hungry, so all I have is a cup of coffee with coconut milk mid-morning, and am fine with that until a late lunch. On other days I might wake up hungry, so breakfast it is! As long as you´re eating primal, you should be able to listen to your body´s signals.

    Alex wrote on December 19th, 2011
  18. It is worth noting that essential oil of oregano contains thujone, which is a neurotoxic GABA receptor antagonist.

    I generally consider essential oils too potent for internal consumption.

    raney wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • wow. thanks; didn’t know that. i wonder if oregano oil can have a hormetic effect tho.

      PHK wrote on December 20th, 2011
  19. In 2006 I underwent surgery for malignant melanoma – in a place on my body that never saw the sun but sure saw a lot of tanning beds in my early 20s. The surgery to remove the melanoma, and the area lymph nodes, had me unable to walk even 1/4 city block after surgery (pre-surgery I was running 2-3 miles several times a week). It was six months before I could even do ab work, or exercise normally again. Studies on the melanoma-tanning bed relationship might be correlative but I can say for a fact: YOU DON’T WANT TO GO THERE. Stay out of tanning beds. Take your vitamin D. ‘Nough said. (I do agree, though, with Mark’s take on a “lower intensity” tanning experience – maybe that would be ok. I was a heavy tanning bed user and MAYBE that’s what caused the melanoma. However, I still say take no chances!).

    Dawn wrote on December 19th, 2011
  20. I used to wonder why humans needed to eat so often each day – 3 meals or more, according to CW. How inefficient. How time-consuming. I thought humans must be messed up to have to eat that often.

    Now I listen to my body. I’ve never been a breakfast eater and I still don’t eat until after noon. If I didn’t work, my personal ideal would be to eat one larger meal, leisurely, at about 2-3 PM, and have a snack/small meal before bedtime.

    Maybe there’s something to this senior citizen early-bird supper idea!

    Hillside Gina wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • Even Primal, I still do the 3 meals and 1 snack thing. Mostly because I’m a creature of habit. I always eat breakfast, but hardly even within the supposedly magical 1/2 hour window.

      As someone else said, some days are just hungry days. The only difference now is that I’m not ravenous if I wait 4-5 hours between meals.

      Lisa wrote on December 19th, 2011
  21. I’ve been using the Mercola standing tanning bed for a couple years. I got the standing unit so that I stand a particular distance away from it so that I’m not getting a blast of UV rays stronger than the sun. I also bought UVA and UVB meters so that I could measure the bed’s output.

    What I found with the UV meters is that the tanning bed is 4x stronger than the sun (at solar noon in the summer in DC) if you stand right up against it. I stand 2-3 feet away where it gives me a sun-like quantity of UV rays.

    I highly advise against using standard horizontal tanning beds, as it’s unlikely that we’re properly adapted to UV output higher than what the sun provides.

    kilton wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • I was thinking of ordering this stand-up unit with UVA.UVB, red light and blue light. Have you found any of the following claims to be true:

      produces vitamin D
      tans skin
      produces collagen
      heals skin

      Thanks for the tip to stand 2-3 feet away.

      Dawn wrote on December 20th, 2011
      • Hello,

        I don’t have the red/blue lights on mine, but primary (UV) bulbs are the same. I can confirm that they do produce Vitamin D and they do tan (which I knew would be the case once I measured the UVA/UVB output). Tanning is moderate when you stand at this distance though — not like you’d get laying out in the sun.

        I can’t speak for collagen or skin healing. :-)

        kilton wrote on December 20th, 2011
      • I’ve been using a Mercola Vitality Refresh bed, for about 3 weeks, twice a week, at a local health-oriented business. I am 53, and live in a northern climate, thus the interest in Vitamin D from the tanning bed, to work in conjunction with my D supplement. My doctor, who is of similar mind as Mercola, suggests tanning beds for his patients who have a hard time getting their serum D levels in a healthy range. I don’t have a problem with my D blood serum levels but wanted to try the bed to see how it affects my D blood levels. I go to my doctor in January so I’ll find out then how much the bed is affecting my D levels.

        The tanning/color has been mild, but that’s okay with me, giving just a shade or so deeper skin color (judging by makeup shades). 15 minutes is all that’s needed in this Mercola bed according to his website. Where I go they limit each session to a max of 20 minutes.

        Of course I was also curious & interested in the collagen/nicer skin aspect of the Mercola bed. Surprisingly, the claim for nicer looking skin (“healthier” too according to Mercola) appears true. My skin looks noticeably more youthful–plumper, not as dry. I’m very happy with this tanning bed “side effect.”

        Ellen wrote on December 21st, 2011
  22. I almost always have breakfast… not right after I get out of bed, but usually after a couple of hours. If I don’t eat breakfast I get massive cravings for bad foods. If I fast it will typically be between breakfast and dinner, or after lunch… it depends on the size of my breakfast and/or lunch. I am more likely to go without dinner and just have a small snack than I am to go without breakfast.

    I rarely fast because I burn alot of energy without much effort (high metabolism?), so if I fast I feel like I am going to starve to death. That being said sometimes I am just not hungry, and I love that I don’t have to force feed myself anymore.

    Mary wrote on December 19th, 2011
  23. I was a 3 meals a day guy plus crisps & sweets before & sometimes actually in bed, if I didn’t eat before 9am i would get tired & moody as hell, I honestly couldn’t function & would stop what I was doing no matter how important I was & go & get food. ive never really suffered with weight & i thought this was normal until last year when i discovered primal eating…..these days i sometimes eat at 9am, some days i don’t eat till 11am, some days i don’t eat till 2pm, some days i start eating at 5pm…i simply just eat when hungry, the big thing for me apart from feeling good, looking younger than i did 5 years ago ,having never ending energy levels & feeling generally EPIC! is the relaxed attitude i now have towards eating…its truly magical & a can’t thank mark & the rest of you guys enough.

    chris wrote on December 19th, 2011
  24. I a firm believer of eat when you hungry, stop when you are not. If that means skipping breakfast then that’s what I do.

    Anthony wrote on December 19th, 2011
  25. I learned a long, long time ago (even before I went Primal) to just eat when I was hungry and not worry about the time of day or when I got up or when the sun went down or whatever. Even tho I was always told that I’m doing myself “harm” and “it’s not good for me” to not eat when I get up I just ignored the naysayers and always went with how I felt. That would probably work for just about all of us: if you’re hungry then eat; if you’re not hungry, then don’t eat — DUH—-

    PrimalGrandma wrote on December 19th, 2011
  26. I have a follow-up question re: stevia and I’m hoping I didn’t miss this in the comments…it’s my understanding that even artificial sweeteners can spike insulin – is this the same for stevia? I’m intrigued by the liquid form mentioned since the powders can be inconsistent and bitter. I’ve walked away from these but would love to add a little sweetness to my tea w/o creating an insulin spike.

    Brenda wrote on December 19th, 2011
  27. I like your thoughts on stevia. I’ve been using the more natural green leaf stevia lately and have been liking it much more than the concentrated white powdered version.

    Thanks for the info!

    Justin wrote on December 19th, 2011
  28. Deciding to skip breakfast comes down to. Who are you, What are you trying to accomplish and what is your current health status? It’s not for everyone.

    erik wrote on December 19th, 2011
  29. On the whole stevia question, might not the jolt from three (presumably well-caffeinated) cups of coffee be something to worry about, before the glycerol? I mean, let’s get the log out, before we go looking for specks.

    That said, I get that some folks need the java. And if you’re an air traffic controller, I say to you what Natalie Portman said to me (in my mind):

    That’s good, don’t stop. Wanna go for fourths?

    Bennett wrote on December 19th, 2011
  30. Kruse is full of shit.

    Just wait till I have time.

    Martin Berkhan wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • Funny thing–I thought of you and IF just as I was reading about this whole breakfast-nomming issue.

      Bennett wrote on December 19th, 2011
  31. Eucalyptus is actually delicious in things. It’s in my toothpaste and there are heaps of eucalyptus lollies around (primarily things like hobby eucalypt cough drops) that taste great. I’m sure it is added in very small and controlled amounts.

    I’d be very careful about adding essential oils to my food. You’d have to be very scientific about it. I once put a drop of cinnamon essential oil and spread it on my arms to smell nice and within minutes I was itching and burning and my arms were covered in hives because it’s such a severe irritant if not diluted appropriately- I was unaware of this. Something like that… Well I’d be scared to trust myself to dilute it perfectly in my food, going into my stomach.

    SophieE wrote on December 20th, 2011
  32. *honey eucalypt cough drops

    Not hobby.

    Damn you autocorrect.

    SophieE wrote on December 20th, 2011
  33. As a pale-skinned gal of Danish descent, a sun bed is an absolute necessity to safely enjoy the sun during the summer. I just researched all of this for an article, and the link between sun exposure and melanoma is shaky at best. The one thing that is obviously linked is a history of severe sunburn. So how do we properly prevent a sunburn? With a safe tan. I know it sounds contradictory, but melanin blocks both UVA and UVB rays whereas sunscreen can only block UVB, effectively preventing vitamin D production and bathing you in who-knows-what toxins. So even though it’s not a perfect solution, I choose to tan gradually and briefly to build a base tan in order to prevent sunburns and their damage.

    Karen P. wrote on December 20th, 2011
  34. most days i wake up pretty hungry. but i drink a liter of water and that seems to tide me over, so it might not be hunger but dehydration. sometimes if i am really, really hungry i will eat food though. the problem w/ that is it tends to make me hungry again. i tried eating 6x/day once and i felt so chained to my food/eating schedule (not to mention almost constantly ravenous) it was crazy. i’m not at my goal weight, but really enjoy the freedom to not need to eat every couple of hours. i can focus on one major meal at the end of the day.

    kathy wrote on December 20th, 2011
  35. i am rarely hungry when i just get up, well, for as long as i can remember since i was a kid; it usually takes about at least 2 hour before i feel a little hungry.

    since CW says that “breakfast is the most important meal in the day”, in the old days, sometimes i forced myself to eat a full breakfast just because i thought i should be. then sometimes i felt sick for half a day (bloated & nauseous).

    now my breakfast is usually just black tea + 15 ml heavy cream. then lunch & dinner as usual.

    cheers,

    PHK wrote on December 20th, 2011
  36. In Japan, they eat cartilage. Now, I don’t mean they’ll eat a chicken breast, and not cut off the cartilage, and eat the cartilage along with the rest of the meat. What I mean is that a bunch of people will go to a bar, and they’ll order drinks and cartilage. And then the waiter will come out with pieces of cartilage skewered on sticks. And everybody will say, “Yum! Cartilage!” and eat the cartilage.

    It was at this point that I realized that I was indeed a stranger in a strange land.

    It doesn’t taste bad, really, it’s just crunchier than food made from animals has any business being.

    Brandon Berg wrote on December 21st, 2011
    • Whoops. Meant that for the post on odd bits. I don’t know how it ended up here.

      Brandon Berg wrote on December 21st, 2011
      • But a charming non sequiter, just the same.

        T Hut wrote on December 21st, 2011
  37. many plants are primarily useful because of constituents that cannot be extracted and concentrated into an essential oil — e.g. marshmallow root, useful primarily as a demulcent or moisture-carrying agent, has that effect in large part because of its high polysaccharide content.

    essential oils are better thought of as the volatile oil content of the plants, rather than as their “true essence”. volatile oils are useful for many things, but they are not the only–or the “active”–constituents of plants, even those (like thyme and clove) that have high concentrations of them.

    ryn wrote on December 21st, 2011
  38. regarding tanning beds:

    If your looking to use tanning beds for the winter time, look for a salon that has certification (Smart Tan or Joint Canadian Tanning Association). They provide training on skin typing (ie, English/Irish decent like me are more likely to burn than Italians, so I should start off at a lower time to NOT burn) and their focus is teaching sun safety so not burning and building a tan gradually. I love the place I go to, they know I’m not trying to tan and I go in for half the amount, and know I can only tan lightly (skin type is on file) Many of their customers go for the same reason in the winter- Vitamin D.

    Ashley wrote on December 22nd, 2011
  39. Regarding eating breakfast in the morning, from personal experience I wasn’t a breakfast eater, at first it was hard to eat 50g of protein in the morning, but after 3 weeks of making myself eat it, something clicked, and I became a completely different and new person. It was a cascade of changes in my energy, hunger, cravings, performance, and weightloss. A new and better me. I advocate for trying new things If you wanna change things up… You never know what might hapPen, the body can be quirky, stubborn, demanding, and not quite telling you the right path… (if its disordered, it might not be signaling optimally…)

    ILovePrimal wrote on December 22nd, 2011
  40. Ever since I started eating primal I hardly get hungry. which is great! before I was hungry every 3 hours sometimes. But now I eat whenb I am hungry. Today I woke at 9:30 went to work at 11 got off at 2ish and ate my first meal (half a rotisserie chicken) around 3. Worked great I could have waited longer to eat even! I just wanted the chicken while it was hot. This is totally abnormal to me but I love not being constantly distracted by hunger. It’s like suddenly I’m living a normal life after years of food obsession.

    Liz wrote on July 20th, 2012

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