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Journal - Mick

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  • Journal - Mick

    Here's Sunday 26 July.


    10 ml cod liver oil & 10 ml butter,

    1 raw egg yolk,

    1 soft-boiled egg,

    1 slice (20 g) Finnish-style sourdough rye bread spread with 2 teaspoons goose fat,

    125 g natural wholemilk yoghurt,

    100 g blueberries,

    1 cup rosehip tea


    cup of homemade chicken broth,

    roast pork with crackling (about 6 oz./170 g),

    parsnips roasted in olive oil,

    steamed leeks,

    two (4 or 5 ounce) glasses of red wine,

    bowl of raspberries,

    2 squares 85% dark chocolate,

    demitasse of black coffee


    large bowl of watercress dressed with olive oil & wine vinegar,

    handful of small tomatoes,

    unpasteurized Gruyere cheese (45 g)

    1 cup camomile tea


    two half-hour walks, one in the early morning and one in the evening,

    three quarters of an hour gardening

    Main meal lunchtime as it's Sunday. I've cut down on the drink, which I do enjoy. I'm also going easy on tea and coffee right now - plain water and herbal teas go down OK. Would like to include some lactic-fermented drinks, since those are supposed to help digestion. I plan to get in some climbing and scrambling, some sprinting, and some swimming this week. Got in 20 minutes "meditation" - more lying down listening to a relaxing soundtrack and trying to tune out of too much mental chatter, but good to do, anyway.

    I felt good. Plenty of energy.

  • #2

    I must get round to obtaining a kombucha culture or making kvass. In the meantime ... I bought a jar of umeboshi puree.

    I understand this to be lactic-fermented plums (strictly ume fruit). You can make a drink by dissolving a pea-sized piece in a glass of water. I used a little more - it was very salty.

    Breakfast: 10 ml cod liver oil, 10 ml butter, an orange, porridge (40 g of oats) with two teaspoons butter & one teaspoon heather honey, poached smoked haddock (80 g), unpasteurized milk (200 ml), water with umeboshi puree in

    Lunch: dressed watercress, a handful of small tomatoes, Gruyere cheese (70 g), peppermint tea

    Dinner: a few small sticks of celery, three Sicilian-style pork sausages, sauerkraut, natural Greek-style yoghurt (100 g), banana, rosehip tea

    I could have eaten more sausages - delicious.

    Exercise: an hour or more walking and also climbing and scrambling.

    Feeling very fit - could do more now.


    • #3

      Mmmmm... Kombucha.

      If made right, it's a great alternative to fizzy sodas!

      I like to soak fresh ginger into the hot water while the tea bags are in there! (I miss my scoby!)


      • #4

        So I did something about the kombucha. I've ordered a culture:

        I used to make this years ago and then gave up. When I found it in Nourishing Traditions it jogged my memory. It seems to be great stuff. I looked out my old Kombucha book -

        - and that said that the Russians had found that people who traditionally drank it had stayed relatively healthy even in some of the polluted areas that the USSR was notorious for.

        Exercise: about 3/4 hour walking, including some running.

        Breakfast: 10 ml cod liver oil, 10 ml butter, ˝ a grapefruit, porridge (40 g of oats), 2 teaspoons butter, 1 teaspoon heather honey, poached smoked haddock (75 g), unpasteurized milk (200 ml), water with umeboshi puree in

        Lunch: a few small sticks of celery, dressed watercress, a handful of small tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of butter, Manchego cheese (70 g), peppermint tea

        Dinner: pea & ham soup, 2 lamb chops (110 g), 2 new potatoes (70 g) with butter, carrots, mushrooms fried in olive oil & butter, natural Greek-style yoghurt (100 g), rosehip tea, 500 ml bottle of organic unpasteurized beer - Ridgeway Rob, bought at a local health food store. The brewery hasn't got a site, but this is the beer:

        Good, nice citrus character from the hops - could even smell it before drinking. You can keep the pasteurized, filtered stuff. Why drink dead beer?

        I also had a snack in the afternoon: 3 dried figs, cup of green tea

        I was surprised how much two small new potatoes weigh. Weighing them was an eye-opener. My own weight isn't a problem for me and, heck, I'm not going to get frightened of root vegetables, but I can see how people could eat 4, 5, or 6 medium-sized ones and be getting quite a lot more carbohydrate than would be good for them.

        Again I felt pretty good. I had the odd dry place now and then, but skin is very good since upping fat intake and cutting down on carbohydrates.


        • #5

          I NEVER thought about drinking 'unpasteurized' beer! Heck, I didn't even know the stuff existed! Man I love this forum! ;-)

          You had oats huh? I can't have many carbs anymore, since my stomach starts to bloat and I get a headache or my glands get sore.

          Your food looks tasty though!

          I'm gonna have to check out that brewery or the beer!


          • #6

            If you're in the States there's Sierra Nevada. Their pale ale is unpasteurized and very good. It's even sold quite widely in the UK where there's a quite a bit of natural beer already available. Great stuff:


            There are almost certainly others. Same for Canada and Australia, I think.

            The one I'd like to try is Finnish Sahti beer, which is flavoured with juniper berries. Very natural product - I think it's still made in hollowed out logs.



            • #7

              Yum. Juniper Berries Beer.

              Thanks Mick! I'll take a look at Sierra Nevada. I'm pretty close to Canada, wonder if I can find any of it around...


              • #8

                Sauna today - steam-bathing, a very primal type of bathing. :-)

                Here's an interesting thing: I found I could stand the cold shower really well today. I wonder if this is nutritional. There's a lot in the ethnographic literature indicating tribal peoples thought nothing of bathing in icy streams and so on. Of course, they were used to it, but was it also because their diet was better?

                Exercise: quite a lot of walking, some of it carrying stuff. Note to self: more variation. Oh, and an attempt to wind down - listened to a "meditation" tape. I think I feel asleep - is that bad or good?

                Breakfast: 10 ml cod liver oil, 10 ml butter, ˝ a grapefruit, two soft-boiled eggs, piece of Russian sourdough rye bread with butter, unpasteurized milk (200 ml), water with umeboshi puree in

                Lunch: chilled gazpacho soup, smoked mackerel (80 g), Gruyere cheese (40 g), piece of butter

                Snack: a fresh fig, cup of green tea

                Dinner: dressed rocket leaves, handful of small tomatoes, lamb broth, 2 pork sausages, lamb’s liver (155 g), slices of cold potato fried in goose fat, natural yoghurt (100 g) with sliced kiwi fruit, 1 teaspoon heather honey, rosehip tea. (Pretty full after that lot, but I want to be sure I'm eating enough after cutting out so much bread, pasta, rice, etc.)

                A little tired in the afternoon at around 2 - had that a little on some previous days. I know this is a low point for everyone, but I'm a little surprised that I seem a little tireder at this time than before (when my lunch would have been sandwiches). Maybe I need to adjust. Maybe I need more lactic foods to boost my digestion or something.


                • #9

                  What do I have to say new? Don't want to just give lists of things and bore anyone who might read this.

                  I'm reading one of Vilhjalmur Stefansson's books. This one is called North West to Fortune. Interestingly, he quotes from a 17th-century source about what he calls the Eskimoized Scandinavians on Greenland:

                  as for the people who inhabit this country, our travellers saw two sorts, who live together in good accord and perfect amity. One kind are tall of stature, well built physically, rather fair of complexion, and very fleet of foot. the others are very much smaller, olive-complexioned, fairly well-proportioned save that their legs are short and thick. The first delight in hunting, to which they are inclined by their agility and their great natural aptness; the others pursue fishing. Both kinds have very white and close-set teeth, black hair, bright eyes, and such regular features that no striking deformity could be seen</blockquote>

                  So there you go. If you want perfect teeth - and "regular features" - you need a natural diet. (You also need your parents to have had one.) The 17th-century source is naively telling us, without realizing it, just what Weston Price found in the 1930s. Stefansson seems to have been onto some of this even before Price. He specifically comments in one book that archaeological finds show that Icelanders had perfect teeth for a thousand years ... until modern times.

                  What a shame these books have lain under dust these past 70 years. Whole generations of children with bad teeth just because their parents didn&#39;t know what to eat and what to feed them.


                  Exercise: some walking and some DIY.

                  Food - let&#39;s just list dinner:

                  sirloin steak 195 g (about 7 oz.), steamed asparagus (locally grown), one small new potato, butter with all those, of course. Also some red onion fried in olive oil. Then a large serving of organic Greek yoghurt and a handful of cherries (local again).

                  To drink - a 500 ml bottle of unpasteurized beer, Hammerpot Brewery&#39;s White Wing:


                  I did have a cup of tea in the afternoon, although I&#39;m mostly avoiding caffeine. Apparently, one study found calcium in people&#39;s urine shortly after drinking coffee. But you can&#39;t give up everything - just being moderate. This is also why I allow myself beer, cider, or wine on some days.

                  A low point again mid-afternoon. Maybe it&#39;s a transitional thing.


                  • #10

                    I now have kombucha fermenting in the airing cupboard and beetroot kvass on the side in the kitchen. I also sent off for some piima culture.

                    I&#39;ve been toying with the idea of sourdough bread, too. (I avoid quick-rise yeast bread now.) I&#39;ve been buying craft-made sourdough rye loaves. They&#39;re a bit expensive, but since I don&#39;t use a lot of bread ...

                    There&#39;s a method for making your own sourdough starter in Nourishing Traditions, but maybe a known good starter would be better. There&#39;s a British source here:


                    Perhaps I&#39;ll hold off on that for now. I&#39;ll have so many things fermenting here.

                    I made stock, too. Stock and "bone broth" seems to have been very important in traditional societies. They make a big thing of it Nourishing Traditions. These days even restaurants use bought-in "stock" - which is mostly hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

                    What do you pay for when you got "out" to eat? It seems to me that, unless you really pay a lot and go somewhere where they actually do do everything from scratch, you can mostly eat better at home.

                    The point of stock seems to be not just "saltiness" or "meatiness" but complex flavours and, of course, recovering minerals from the bones in it. (This is why Nourishing Traditions says to add a spoonful or two of cider vinegar.) Using bones isn&#39;t something primitive people neglected. Cabeza de Vaca writes of Florida Indians saving fish bones, grinding them up, and sprinkling the powder in their food.

                    Stock should be gelatinized, so it sets a little in the fridge. If you couldn&#39;t get enough bones/carcasses to make it strong enough, you could add a little good-quality gelatine to some of the stock when you heat it for soup.


                    • #11

                      So it&#39;s time to re-assess again, I think.

                      I think I may just stop drinking completely for awhile. I think a little with food is OK, but I&#39;m always inclined to have too much. Bump into a friend and the suggestion is always to go to the pub.

                      Yesterday there were two things that made me re-asses. The first was the film Spencer posted about sugar, which incidentally showed how alcohol is metabolized by the liver. The second was that I drank a bottle of cider. It was only a 500 ml bottle, but it was strong cider, and I drank it in-between meals. Well, it left me feeling tired and drained. What was I doing in the past accustoming myself to having three, or four, or five pints, on occasion, if even one can wipe you out? Do I want more energy or less?

                      I&#39;m going to make some yoghurt this weekend. Kombucha tea is coming along nicely. I&#39;m not so sure about the beet kvass.


                      • #12

                        I&#39;d be interested to hear about how the beet kvass is--I saw a recipe in Sally Fallon&#39;s Nourishing Traditions cookbook, but haven&#39;t had the guts to try it. Are you adding any cream to the milk when you make your yogurt? I&#39;ve fallen in love with Greek yogurt, but haven&#39;t found a full-fat organic brand, and I&#39;d love to replicate it at home.

                        Best of luck on your food/beverage journey!


                        • #13


                          I&#39;d be interested to hear about how the beet kvass is</blockquote>

                          Not working for me. I think that could be because I skimmed some yoghurt-like globules off the surface, thinking my whey wasn&#39;t clear enough and they weren&#39;t needed. I wonder if they were. BTW, you can apparently, miss the whey out and double the salt instead. The kvass is in the fridge now. After another day or two I may just strain out the beetroot, put the liquid in a glass jar, and leave it in the fridge for awhile.

                          The Kombucha is working just fine.

                          Are you adding any cream to the milk when you make your yogurt?</blockquote>

                          I just used some good organic full-cream milk that was pasteurized but not homogenized. After I&#39;d made the yoghurt I did strain it, though. I just left it for an hour in a colander lined with a double-layer of butter muslin. It&#39;s still fairly thin. Maybe I should add cream and/or strain more.

                          I just used a small carton of full-fat organic natural yoghurt as a starter. The carton made a point of saying how their cows fed on clover-rich grass. It is very nice yoghurt, too, and reasonably thick - thicker than I could replicate.

                          I have found a few places selling cultures online - e.g.:


                          It&#39;s interesting how many different cultures there are. Greek yoghurt, listed there, seems to have a distinctive culture of its own.


                          • #14

                            Got some gardening in over the weekend and, for a change, took a short walk with a heavy rucksack. Meant to get in swimming, but didn&#39;t in the end.

                            Breakfast this morning:

                            2 tsp. (10 ml) cod liver oil, 2 boiled eggs, soured oatmeal porridge (1 oz./28 g dry oats lactic fermented in water), butter (3/4 oz./20 g), unpasteurized milk (7 fl. oz./200 ml), blueberries (1 cup), water with umeboshi puree in

                            I&#39;m cutting back on the carbohydrate-rich foods, but porridge made with an ounce of oatmeal really doesn&#39;t make even a small bowlful. An ounce and a half would be more of a mouthful but still leave the porridge in a supporting role compared with the more fat-rich foods.

                            Found some organic black pudding online. That&#39;s tempting:


                            ... and a Gordon Ramsay suggestion to serve it with salad leaves and poached eggs, which sounds good:



                            • #15

                              Large organic rib steak yesterday evening. It was knocked down in price as today was the sell-by date, but it was still expensive. This is one reason people don&#39;t eat so much meat. The dire (but false) warnings of the prophets of doom about "unhealthy" food tends to fall on fertile soil, if the food they choose to denounce is not cheap, because no one likes opening his wallet. (Booze if, of course, an exception: people will pay to get that. You can get a nice large piece of meat for the price of a pint or two.)

                              Someone commented on my Terra Plana Vivo "Barefoot" shoes. This was someone who knows quite a lot about the body and movement, but who clearly hadn&#39;t heard of the shoes and didn&#39;t recognize them.

                              He pointed out how much toespring (upward curve at the toes) they have. He said, "Those shoes you&#39;re wearing hold your toes up: they don&#39;t allow your toes to make contact with the ground."

                              He&#39;s quite right. Rossi - the podiatrist who long pointed out that barefoot societies have healthier feet - has an article in which he pinpoints something like 8 or 9 common faults in shoes. One fault is toespring. The Vivos don&#39;t have many of these common faults, but they do have that one. The toespring on them is more extreme than on many standard shoes. That&#39;s bad. It undermines the structure of the foot. I don&#39;t think I&#39;d buy Vivos again.

                              Breakfast: 2 tsp. (10 ml) cod liver oil, 2 sausages, soured oatmeal porridge (1˝ oz./42 g dry oats lactic fermented in water), butter (3/4 oz./20 g), teaspoon of honey, unpasteurized milk (7 fl. oz./200 ml), apple, water with umeboshi puree in