Hello all, I was looking forward to having some airag (FERMENTED MARE'S MILK, also known as koumiss in other Central Asian countries) this weekend and writing all about it. Unfortunately, my department didn't go on our company picnic so no airag for me. I did start into some interesting medical literature I have about it though so hopefully soon.
I'm getting ready today to go to Ulaanbaatar for three days before returning to the US, so nothing on other topics today either, though I also did some interesting reading about SALT over the weekend and hope to get to that soon. (The Kazak tea I mentioned in the last post is salty! This seems to not be a bad thing about dietary practice in Mongolia though .) I've also been reading some about OBESITY IN MONGOLIA, though need to get through more. Unfortunately this is one of the first results you get if you type "Mongolia" and "obesity" into Google:
"Although in Mongolia the diet has traditionally been extremely fatty, the extreme cold climates and the hard physical activity of the Mongolian people has meant that obesity has not been a major problem in the country, although it has had a high rate of prevalence among foreign workers in the country, such as European Russians, many of whome were involved in a more sedentary lifestyle." (51)
(Kathleen Keeler, ed. Encyclopedia of Obesity, Sage Pulblications Inc., 2008.)
>> "Although in Mongolia the diet has traditionally been extremely fatty, the extreme cold climates and the hard physical activity of the Mongolian people has meant that obesity has not been a major problem in the country, although it has had a high rate of prevalence among foreign workers in the country, such as European Russians, many of whome were involved in a more sedentary lifestyle."
I think they're probably referring to the fact there is some evidence that exposure to cold promotes "brown adipose tissue", a metabolically-active type of fat. Mark actually has a blog post on this: Is Brown Fat Good For You? | Mark's Daily Apple
But of course, as you point out the problem is probably not their traditional fatty diet but rather the large amount of processed junk that's coming from abroad.
Last edited by coldsteel; 09-24-2012 at 12:56 PM.
Thanks for calling my attention back to that coldsteel, I was wanting to look more into it. I also have a great review article by anthropologists about metabolism among Siberians and Mongolians that I think covers "brown fat" somewhat, hope to reread and discuss here soon! (But yeah, I was mostly appalled by the "calories in/out" argument implied by the quote here.) But yep, processed junk: candy, bread, cookies, soda and BEER (as well as the traditional vodka) are really messing people up.
BACK IN ULAANBAATAR
Alright all, so I'm still not caught up here yet but hopefully this afternoon. The night before last I had some good party time with my friends and colleagues, which did include some drinking as well as fried sheep liver and vertebrae. They also gave me a beautiful copper bowl filled with aaruul, dried curds from yak milk. Great sustenance on the bus yesterday! I'm just breaking my fast with some bacon and eggs, unfortunately last night I tried out some Japanese fast food down the street and had to eat the udon. Ah well. Now I'm off to hang with a vegetarian friend and consume alot of airag like I had hoped!!!
also, I had to do a medical visit last night... friend's dog bit me kinda bad and needed some rabies boosters. Anyways, happy to report that my BP has stayed at 105/70 since the beginning of the year, about when I started ditching grains.
According to this: Blood Pressure Chart - Normal Blood Pressure Range
105/70 falls in the "Excellent", borderline athlete, category
Thanks for that coldsteel! Full disclosure though, I'm 5'8" and I weigh 117 pounds (just weighed myself for the first time in months and was totally taken aback!).
Alright guys, getting situated back in the US, more soon. I had some run ins with Turkish beer and dessert last night, but about to dig in to a Qdoba Naked Burrito. (Kitchen was a bit of a mess and have a meeting here in an hour or so).
GERMAN WATER, GREEK BEANS, GREAT WEDDING
Alright, so it's been about a week since I posted. Doing pretty well, I'm feeling like the tempting novelness of things in gas stations and coffee shop bakeries is wearing off.
However, today I ate some chili. I figured a few beans would be ok... but that was way off. A few hours later I had some serious bloating and some pain even. I tried to wait it out but finally just went for a walk (partly because I was now able to move that much) to get some peppermint tea or mineral water or something that would help out... Which was a huge success. Only thing I got besides my mineral water at the super fancy Italian store was a Gerolsteiner and some dark chocolate, and the movement helped alot too of course.
This weekend we went to my cousin's wedding which was amazing. Rochester, NY = wineries and old factories turned artist commune. Drank ALOT of beer and had two pieces of cake, which my aunt (who seems to watch the gluten, except when it comes to beer ) described as great but "Krisco-y." At least the immediate bloat from that kept me from drinking too much beer. The dinner itself though was amazingly easy to make PB (sauteed mixed vegetables, vegetable lasagna without pasta, salad, and some other meat dish I enjoyed but forgot...). Tanking up on that before dessert was a great idea! Also we did a PEM workout in the morning.
Sounds like we somewhat followed Mark's advice the other day for "cheating." (I don't like calling it "cheating" either... enjoying something that is potentially dangerous applies to all kinds of things but food after all right? Trick is assessing the situation realistically... learning from your mistakes and not going for the second piece of cake that isn't your favorite flavor anyways.)
Tonight: Melting Pot!!!
It's so interesting to read about your adventures! It's actually MUCH harder for me to eat Paleo and make any progress stateside...overseas I was eating organic local meat and eggs all day, felt great, and was losing weight. Here I'm bloated, feeling stinky, and have gained around 15 pounds (mostly water I guess, but it SUCKS to see on the scale and in my clothes that barely fit). So I'm trying to really buckle down.
Good luck! yeah it's hard with family around... I'm doing okay, but especially I feel like I get all preachy when I stick to things because I have to defend it (and my low weight), and just can't shut up when people's health problems come up, SAD is still making me sick because everyone around me is sick. But at least my grandma is getting interested in trying some things out!
For me getting a routine down is helping alot I think, just kind of having a game plan for going into a gas station for example... I haven't been tempted hardly by junk food but wandering around not finding anything can be really frustrating. Checking the nuts and yogurt sections for example. And at home knowing where in town when I need a snack away from home I can get full-fat yogurt, pistachios, carbonated water etc. off the bat is really helpful! Also I've been at restaurants alot lately, and not really sweating eating potatoes helps alot...
hey Gina, can you fix the link? I can't see it...
But yeah, I like American stuff too of course. But so annoyed by the fear of fat, for example. Had some awesome steaks last night, with my family in Central Montana. But they threw it on a stupid George Foreman grill!!!