I actually had no intention of writing a post about making mushroom risotto in the Instant Pot. But, you see, my wife, Beatrice, and I have been having a good time using the LoseIt app with our Fitbits integrated (big, detailed post about all of that in draft) and part of doing that is logging evetrything right after eating, which gives you high resolution into how you might want to craft each next step in the eating day.
So, whereas, I might othertwise have said, “let’s grill some burgers tonight,” by virtue of logging breakfast and a lite lunch, I could see we were light on protein and a bit heavy on fat. What to do?
Well, we could have had salmon, but it’s kinda fatty at 4+ grams of fat per ounce. By contrast, lingcod has about a half of a gram.
So, broiled lingcod it was. Super easy to do. Season one side with S&P, melt a TBS of butter in a skillet and sauté for about 3 minutes on medium, then 3-4″ under the broiler (‘hi’ setting) for about 10 minutes.
14.5 ounces for me, which was 100g protein and 6g fat. What a ratio!
On the side was a mushroom risotto and a green leaf and scallion salad with my unbiquitous French Dijon Vinaigrettea la maison.
Ok, I’ve made risotto the hard way a number of times and thought I might see how it goes in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, for laughs, kinda. I didn’t really expect much. I went Googling and sure enough, there were recipes and procedures, but frankly? They were harder, more complex, and took more steps than just doing it “the hard way.” Hey dudes, did you forget the Instant in Pot?
So I just did my own deal with emphasis on simple, easy, and quick. We’re talking about 15 minutes with most of that being hands off.
1 cup white rice (I used Jasmine that I has on hand)
4 crimini mushrooms rough chopped, not sliced (use whatever shrrom you like, a combo, and more if you like)
3 medium cloves of garlic, crushed (I’ve found the spiked end of a meat tenderizer perfect for this, bang it on both sides)
1/2 shallot, diced finely (about 3 TBS worth)
1/4 cup scallions
2 ounces finely grated fresh parmesan
2 TBS butter
Turn on the Sauté Function, melt the butter, add the shroom and stir until nicely aromatic. About 3 minutes. Remove them into a bowl, leaving as much butter as you can. Sauté the shallot and garlic. A minute or so. Add the rice and stir until coated, being sure not to let it stick. About a minute or so more. Add the shrooms back in and stir to combine. Add a bit of the stock to deglaze the pot, then the rest. Stir, set the lid, and cook on manual: high pressure, 5 minutes. It will seal in no time at all. When time is up, do the quick release. If there’s any unabsorbed liquid (I had none), then turn off, put back on sauté, and let it reduce a bit.
Finish it by adding in the scalions and parmesan. Mix it all up, season as desired. Serve.
It’s enough for about 3-4 servings, depending on how you divide it. I had a cup, Bea had half a cup, and this was the full leftovers which I had this afternoon, reheated in the nuker, so slightly dryer than original.
Next round, I tend to do maybe a couple more mushroom, just an ounce of the parmesan, and another 1/4 cup od stock so as to have ir a bit creamyer. But a good first round and it was surprisingly delicious. I prefer musroom resotto to be just enough shrooms, not too much.
Feel free to drop comments if you try this and make any improvements to it. Remember, quick and easy is the key, otherwise just make it the traditional hard way.
The Underway Officer of the DeckFucked UP so bad it’s difficult to imagine. I’ve been OOD in and out of Yokosuka—USS REEVES (CG-24); about the same displacement—a hundred times; during all times of day, night, adverse weather, and wee hours. In fact, coming into Yokosuka, 4 am in that part of the entry lanes is quite common, so we’d be tied up by the morning’s work day and shipyard workers could get busy.
The Captain fucked up by having someone so incompetent as OOD. They both need to go down hard, full force; because there is no excuse. None. That’s the Navy tradition that has always served the surface fleet well. Ultimate accountability, no passes ever. Your career is over. …And all this bullshit in the NYP article about ship-to-ship comms is utter nonsense. Almost never happens and even if you try, you almost never get a response. With commercial vessels, you instead always assume it’s on auto-pilot, there’s one dude—if anyone at all—on the bridge, he’s drunk, and probably asleep.
This shit is easy to avoid, even in very heavy choke-point shipping traffic in and out. Surface radar easily has a 30k ton container ship painted 20-30 miles out, and you can see them with your own eyeballs 10-12 miles out. Once you do a minute of scope head plotting with the grease pencil, you can see how close you’ll come to each other if both vessels maintain course and speed. If inside of 10,000 yards (5 nautical miles), all it takes is a 2-5 degree course change, early, to port or starboard, to keep him outside of that envelope.
And, every set of Standing Orders on US Navy ships typically demands that if for some reason it’s unavoidable to keep another vessel outside of 10k yards, you are to notify the Captain immediately.
It’s a complete fuck up, and now eight people are dead.
…Someone also asked for my take on the sailors being sealed in a flooding compartment:
The NYP article I read says they still haven’t determined much about that, whether it was an order from whoever was commanding the conflagration or an on-scene call by whomever. If on-scene, it could have been a case of either not knowing it would seal people in, or knowing that and making a tough call because of the hatch location. Depending on which deck, where it was located, and how much would / could flood if the opportunity to seal it was missed, there are certainly legitimate scenarios where you just gotta do what you gotta do.
Everyone on board should understand and accept this, even if hindsight sheds light on possible alternative actions. Time for deep analysis is not a luxury. If this is not understood and accepted, don’t sign up for the Navy.
There are but three scenarios I can imagine where the Captain and OOD may not be culpable for being collided upon by another vessel:
Tied up to a pier
Moored at anchor
Adrift at sea
Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore are three of the busiest ports in the world and I’ve been OOD coming in and going out numerous times in all of them, in all weather and night time conditions. It can get very complex, sometimes tracking several dozen other vessels at a time. You have to be fully vigilant, fully aware, and you have to think way ahead. You never let yourself get into a situation where solving one problem creates two others.
Do small course and/or speed adjustments early in order to open up the closest point of approach (CPA) to as many vessels as possible, lightening your management load. Or, just turn a 360-donut or two and let the Great Convergence happen an additional mile or two in front of you than it would have been before (too close for comfort). “Helmsman, right fifteen degrees rudder.”
An order to the helm in five simple words.
There’s almost an unlimited number of alternative options for ameliorating a complex scenario and a fuck-load of them are going to be good options. It’s essentially so damn easy, provided you know and understand what you’re doing and have a very keen sense of relative motion in two-dimensional space, amongst many targets, all at variable vectors.
In the situation at hand, with Fitzgerald being hit broadside to starboard, the Rules of the Road are simple and clear as all fuck, so much so that it would be inexcusable for even a Junior OOD in training on his first watch to fuck it up.
CROSSING SITUATION (From Rules 15 and 17)
When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve the risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.
ACTION BY THE GIVE-WAY VESSEL (From Rule 16)
Every vessel in sight of another and required to give way to another vessel shall, so far as posssible, take early and substantial action to give way.[Note: SUBSTANTIAL ACTION. Unlike small course changes very early in the scenario I mentioned above, this calls for a big move, like a 90-degree course change, so as to signal to the give-way that you are taking action.]
ACTION BY THE STAND-ON VESSEL (From Rule 17)
When one of two vessels is required to give way, the other vessel (the stand-on vessel) shall maintain its course and speed.
How simple and basic is that?
No excuses. No passes. No quarter. Court martial. Leavenworth time. Maintain the integrity and professionalism of the US Navy at sea.
A favorite of many is a piccata dish, both the chicken and veal versions. The problem is, they are loaded with calories and many of those calories are hidden fat calories.
Generally, one dredges the chicken in flour, sauteés it in plenty of olive oil, then it’s transferred to the piccata sauce, which consists of a number of tablespoons of butter and a number of tablespoons of olive oil plus the chicken stock, such that all the cooking fat and then added fat in the sauce creates a serious calorie bomb that can double the net calories of a serving.
There’s a better way, without compromising that wonderful sour and salty flavor. And, for the grain- or gluten-free folks, it’s your ticket too, because there’s no dredging in flour (which really, principally serves to thicken the piccata sauce).
First, you’ll need chicken, and I’ve filleted mine and did a little pounding with the mallet so they’re about even thickness.
About 2 lbs here
Then, I grilled them. This, you can do ahead of time and just keep them warm while you finish off the sauce. And, perhaps make a side dish. I chose roasted asparagus.
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly drizzle a bit of olive oil, season with S&P, toss it, spread on a cookie sheet, and once the oven is a go, roast for 20 minutes (longer for the thick asparagus, but i never get those).
To make the sauce for a couple of pounds of grilled chicken breast, crush 2-3 cloves of garlic, and I like about the same amount of finely chopped onion. Sauteeé that in a tsp of olive oil for a couple of minutes. Then, add a quart of Kitchen Basics UnSalted Chicken Stock and reduce by about half. Save about a half cup of the stock and stir in a heaping teaspoon of Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch. Make sure it’s stirred into a nice colloidal-suspension slurry and dump it into your simmering, reduced stock quickly, and stir, to avoid any gelatinous lumps. It should thicken right up (works the same way as cornstarch). Per serving the carbs are negligible, about 2 grams.
Add your grilled chicken and the juice from resting, then add the juice from half of a large lemon, or a whole small one. Next, your capers, with brine. About two heaping tablespoons should do it.
Bring it back to a simmer, put it on your smallest burner on low and cover while you finish the rest of your preparations in terms of the side dish and plating.
Because I’m in a rather intensive calorically controlled, logging and tracking thing right now, I weighed mine, without the sauce, and plated 13.5 ounces for me.
Bea’s plate, at a modest 9 ounces—that she finished off save for a few bits to the doggies—is perhaps a more elegant and attractive serving.
I only log the principle stuff, so the per-serving bit of garlic, onion, lemon juice and capers are negligible. The teaspoon of olive oil is an estimate, counting my portion of the tsp used to sauteé the garlic, plus the drizzle on the asparagus, even though the logged item already incorporates it. I’d rather overestimate than underestimate, so it may actually have a few grams less fat.
If you haven’t yet heard of the so-called Ketogenic Chicken Pizza Crust, you’ve been asleep. It’s all the rage.
Is it good? Yes, and far better than any of the other alternatives I’ve tried. I’ll get to that.
But let’s digress for a minute. Is it “Ketogenic?” Fuck that. You know, this shit used to be a lot more rational. The alternatives—like cauliflower crust or meatza—were always touted as what they actually were: low-carb, grain-free versions of a popular comfort food. Now, that’s not good enough. Now, stuff has to be “ketogenic,” as though that means something. It doesn’t.
This does mean something, though: ketotardedness. Why? Because, very simply, for ‘tards: any food is ketogenic if you eat only that food, and little enough of it, and any food is fattening if you eat only that food and overeat enough of it.
While all successful fat-loss diets are necessarily highish-fat diets because you add your body fat consumption to your dietary fat consumption for total fat consumption, so too are all successful fat-loss diets ketogenic, since ketones are a byproduct of fat metabolism, both dietary and body fat. Macros are fucking irrelevant, except to the extent that you prefer one over another and that you are more likely to maintain a 600+ kcal deficit for the duration. It’s all that fucking matters and the rest is ketoshyster bullshit for their ketotarded marks.
There is no magic that makes any food ketogenic or fattening. How about I give you a recipe for a ketogenic cheesecake? Easy. It’s one whole cake and it comes out to 1,500 calories, You eat one whole cheesecake per day, but that’s all you eat, and all you need to do is be active enough to burn 2,100 calories or more each day.
Bingo! Ketogenic Cheesecake. …Martin Berkhan would be so pleased.
2-10oz cans water packed chicken, two eggs, 2oz grated parmesan, 1-28oz can whole peeled tomatoes, 4 cloves garlic, 8 fresh basil leaves, 6oz fresh mozzarella
For the sauce, it’s enough for two, perhaps three, pizzas, so make it all up, sauce your pie, save the rest for the next time, which probably won’t be far off.
Take the big can of whole, peeled tomatoes and pulse in the blender a few times. Just pulse. Crush 4 large cloves of garlic and sauteé with about a tsp olive oil for a couple of minutes, until you feel the aroma.
See? Little oil.
Then, add your pulsed sauce, the chopped basil leaves, and also: 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Simmer it, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes in order to reduce it to between 1 1/2 and 2 cups. The best way to tell it’s done is when the bubbles look like mud bubbles instead of water bubbles. Transfer it to a holding dish to cool.
The crust is the tricky part and what you like is up to you. There are a number of chicken crust recipes, so Google and check them out. Most involve pre-cooking the crust quite a bit. Others call for first desiccating the chicken itself for a few minutes in the oven, then mixing it, then cooking it for about 20, then topping and cooking the pizza. For the first time out, I tried something I hadn’t seen in the other versions: a pizza stone.
First, drain the chicken well. Then mix in the two eggs and 2 ounces of grated fresh parmesan.
At about the time you start cooking the sauce, put your oven to max (500-550) with the stone in the bottom third of the oven.
By the time your sauce is done and set in a holding dish and your “dough” is well mixed and mashed, your pizza stone will be hot as shit. You want to work rather quickly. Take out the stone, close the oven door, lower the oven to 500, and spread the “dough” on the stone, about 1/4″ thick.
Place it in the oven for about 6 minutes to pre-cook a bit. My hypothesis here is that because of the high and extreme heat and heat retention of the stone, it will serve to dry out the “dough” a lot faster than the methods with a lengthy pre-cook. You’ll get to decide for yourself.
Take it back out, close the door, sauce the pie, and arrange mozzarella. I think I was a bit heavy on the cheese.
Cook about 13-15 minutes, until the cheese bubbles and the tops of the bubbles brown. Remove it from the oven and try to get it off the stone soon. I found the crust slightly fragile, so I cut it into four pieces and plated it immediately.
And now we come to my favorite part. Dismissing all the rot about keto and carbs, the point of the pizza is PROTEIN! Yea! Fuckin’ PROTEIN, baby. And because it’s lean chicken, the fat is pretty reasonable. Over 50% of the calories are from protein.
Dudes and dudesses: now here is a ketogenic pizza if you eat just one whole one per day and nothing else. And you know what? If you eat it half at a time, six hours apart, with its 152 grams of highly satiating protein, you just might have an easy time of it.
OK, here we go and here we roll. You know, I got wise to the utter bullshit the very minute I saw the video of Jimmy Moore giving a speech down in Australia years ago, 2011 or 12, I think, where he likened protein to “chocolate cake.” I said so but then paid not too much attention because I couldn’t fathom that he’d promote “Nutritional Ketosis” aka the child and adolescent ketogenic diet for epileptics (an extreme clinical intervention) to such an extent that people would fall for it worldwide.
But that is precisely what has happened and because of that, more and more self-and-market promoters are jumping on the bandwagon to cash in.
I am a contravening voice and I have a particular, finely honed style in which I engage in that, explicitly designed to piss off and rub in the wrong way, as many people as possible. I aim to be as disruptive as all fuck. I will create a clusterfuck of a ruckus.
…This new Facebook group—Richard Nikoley’s Ketotard Chronicles—exists primarily to make critical distinctions between valid and helpful low-carb and ketogenic dietary regimes and those fucktarded variants promoted by shysters for money that harm people’s health in various ways, including making them fatter than ever.
This is a group effort where everybody gets to participate.
This will be science-based, of course, but the delivery will be one of disdain, mocking, and ridicule. If that sort of style is not for you, then it’s not, but the delivery style won’t change.
The medicine is needed, so please help spread the word.
The group is public, anyone can join, anyone can post to the group are are encouraged to do so. I can’t see everything but with crowdsourcing, I can see a lot more. The most laf-worthy Ketotarded shit gets promoted even more, by my, including here, on Free The Animal.
So, join the group, go forth and find Ketotarded shit, and participate.
My flight log goes all the way back to 1984, when I took a few hours of initial instruction in a Cessna 150 east of San Diego while at SWOS on the Amphib Base, Coronado. Other than during a few flights with pilot friends in the interim, I didn’t get back at the controls in a training context for 21 years, in 2005. I wrote about that here and then here when I soloed at 16 hours of instruction.
But I hate all the loops, regulations, and procedures so once I had soloed a few times, then did a check ride with the chief instructor and got signed off to go fly around outside the pattern rather than be restricted to takeoff and landing practice, I soon kinda lost interest because I could already do what I wanted to do—go fly around for an hour or two. A few years later, 2010, I did have designs for a while in just getting a Sport Pilot license, which I already had the hours for. All I would need is the written exam and FAA check ride. It allows you to fly with one passenger, daylight only, and max aircraft weight of 1,300 lbs. Didn’t finish that, either.
But now that life is changing in so many ways, with postings to come over the course of time on all of it, I suddenly became motivated all over again. Most of my training and all solo fight has been in the Bellanca Citabria, a “tail dragger” which requires a bit more skill to fly, especially takeoff. The other day, I donned a parachute pack and jumped into the controls of the Bellanca Decathlon, a fully aerobatic version of the Citabria with a fuel and oil system for sustained inverted flight, and stressed to +6g — -5g. You can pretty much do any typical aerobatic maneuvers in it.
And so, Jim Grant and I headed out. I was at the control from takeoff to landing, except for when he demonstrated an aileron roll and a loop. I’d done dozens of spins and recovery in the Citabria, so no need for that.
So, in the short video, you’ve got the takeoff, then a loop, then the aileron roll which was a bit sloppy from the inverted to level flight. I should have had the stick forward a bit more. The second one was better, but Jim didn’t have the video going. Finally, two spins. The first one is at regular speed and the second, I edited it to slow motion.
I’d have liked to have my landing videoed but in good sense, Jim says, “Nope, been too long, too close to the ground and I have to have my hands free.” Good call, Jim.
Can’t say enough about Jim Grant. He’s been my certified flight instructor since day one in 2005. Over 6,000 hours of instruction, no mishaps. Total pro. If you’re in the Bay Area and are looking for fun, I’d have no other instructor to recommend to you.
I know many are bugging me here and there to blog about the specifics I’ve gleaned over the last six weeks or so using the LoseIt! app, combined with my FitBit. Thing is, I learned so much in practice that I’ve been doing a lot of study and reading so I can explain it with the theory. The fact is that everyone focusses so much on Carbs vs. Fats, it drowns out—what I consider the most important factor—protein. But I’ve found lots of stuff. I trust it to be worthwhile. Patience.
Yesterday was an insanely high protein day at 251 grams and a scant seven grams of carbohydrate. However, notice the bar graphs. The day prior was 177 grams of carbohydrate. And this morning, after a 15-hour overnight and morning fast (from the last calorie to the first calorie—a fast is fucking ZERO CALORIES or it’s not a fast) my breakfast meal alone was 118 grams of carbohydrate. My average daily protein intake is around 200 grams.
In the meantime, I have been cooking my ass off. This meal last night was so good that I’m shoving it to the head of the line.
If you haven’t watched my short instructional video on how to make a sauce reduction that I put up yesterday, it’s rather prerequisite. In this case, rather than reduce to a thick, syrupy sauce, we’re reducing by 3/4. The other thing we’re doing is not straining out the medium-fine chopped onion because this is a Texas-style chili sauce.
Think about a bowl of Texas chili, beans or no beans, and just the soupy part of it with only the chunks of onion. So, we reduce it by only 3/4. In this case, for a single portion big steak burger, it’s 2 cups of Kitchen Basics Unsalted Beef Stock reduced to 1/2 cup, then add the chili powder—about 1 TBS in this case—which thickens the reduction somewhat. For a spicier hot variation, you can sprinkle cayenne pepper to taste. Feel free to finish this even before you cook the steak burger. My favorite way to keep it is to cover the sauce pan and set it next to, not over, a burner set to low—then you fire it on high for a minute before pouring over your grilled masterpiece.
Now we need a big-ass fucking steak burger, no skimping.
That’s 85/15 grass fed ground chuck, and a whole friggin’ pound of it. No sniveling; but if it eases your mind, cooking it medium rare rendered it down to a meager 11 1/2 ounces of hot-grilled and charred deliciousness.
After a few minutes of rest coming off the grill, we’re ready to plate.
You’re absolutely going to want to garnish with some shredded cheddar and chopped green onions. OK, I suppose fresh yellow onion will do in a pinch and afford some of that nice crunchiness. Or do both.
The sauce is the crazy good part of it. Yes, it does have the chili flavor there from a bowl of the stuff. But, in no bowl of chili are you going to find the depth of flavor that comes from 3/4 reduced beef stock as the base.
Don’t fuck up cooking your steak burger. Medium rare, please.
Those who’ve been around for forevers, especially when I food blogged a lot, know I like to make stock reductions. I principally do beef or chicken stock but have done a few others, and various sauces.
Over those years, I often wrote out the process in many posts but decided to make a short instructional video for my massive Memorial Day grilled T-Bone (1.3 pounds wet).
This will greatly up your cooking game and once you have the fundamentals and process down, you can make all sorts of variations from the classic shallot/mushroom/red wine deal. This one uses leftover red onion, green bell pepper, and a jalapeño. Tonight, I’m probably going to make a red chili sauce reduction to go over a huge grilled burger patty. So here you go.
This is really a very simple and easy process to derive a great benefit from your cooking efforts. Turn a mundane piece of meat or poultry into something worthy of a fine restaurant. Dazzle friends and family.
And, even if you don’t cook or don’t do complex, you can share this with the folks in your life who do put food in front of you…gentle suggestion, of course.
And for you backyard grill masters out there, who wants to be the recognized King of the Neighborhood? All the guys source good meat. All the guys have various decent grilling and smoking techniques. Some even make their own BBQ sauce. But do they reduce a couple gallons of beef stock into a pint, plus your secret spice mix?
27 years ago, some dude taught me the proper distinction between truths, lies, honesty, and dishonesty.
It has been at the foundation of everything I’ve ever done since.
Our social system is based on gotcha lies and praised truths. Nobody is truly honest, the greatest aspiration for a human. The contextless truths and lies stack up until it’s just profound dishonesty.
Truths and lies are static pictures, usually with a cherry-picked context. Honesty and dishonesty mean you have to integrate everything known or reasonably knowable and craft the metaphor or narrative from there, editing as you go along. Intransigent people in the face of new facts are dishonest people. Whether they tell various truths and lies, disproportionately ether way, or not.
Moreover and quite perniciously, all of the society has been dishonestly manipulated for several thousands of years by those who are fully integrated liars—the dishonest on purpose. In other words, same integrated process as honesty, but in reverse. So they are cheaters, in a sense, using the exact same process one uses, to be honest, but to spin complex narrative and clever context to exact unearned livings by being more meticulous in dishonesty than us failing humans are in our struggles, to be honest.
This is fundamentally why I had short interludes with all—without a single exception—Randian Objectivists, libertarians, and even anarchists (the most honest). Everyone wants to bat truths and lies back and forth. Nobody wants to identify who’s honest and who’s dishonest.
A good way to wrap your mind around the distinction so that you can go on from here is to consider a murder trial.
That it’s a killing is a matter of truth or lie. It’s either a killing or it’s not; that’s just a static fact.
But, if it’s the truth is that it’s a killing, is it murder? This is where fully integrated honesty comes in.
Don’t be fucking stupid. Always see through and to the root of every fucking thing, without an exception ever.
(My eternal gratitude to Wallace Ward aka Frank R. Wallace, and to my longtime forever friend, Kelvin Parker).
One 1982 September evening on the 4th floor of the co-ed Finley Hall Dormitory at Oregon State University, Leticia (“Ling”) Tizon stopped by our room because we were collecting money for some group outing.
Others were coming and going, but Ling stuck around, propped against the door frame for a good long while, engaging me in conversation. It was the beginning of a friendship that, while in hiatus for 25 years, was renewed via Facebook about 8 years ago.
She calls me “my old friend.”
It wasn’t long before I made a visit to her family’s home on the grounds of the Fairview Hospital in Salem, OR where Ling’s mom worked as a physician and had done so for nearly two decades. This was 1982, my first contact with the Tizon family. Her mother was surprisingly cordial to me from the beginning; talkative, smiling, engaging, nice. That never changed—she was simply always very kind and nice to me, smiling. Did I mention smiling? In the cover photo at the top, that’s Ling in the red dress, smiling.
She get’s it from mom.
While I didn’t keep in touch, per se, I did call Ling’s mom from France one evening in 1991. She was overjoyed to hear from me and caught me up on the family. It was the last time I spoke with her.
This was my first familial experience with a completely different culture. My dad’s side of the family are direct immigrants too—from Germany, 1952 when he was 14—but this was literally the other side of the world and even in 1982, this young man from Reno, NV, hadn’t had much exposure to “foreign” cultures. I was fascinated and charmed.
The view Ling saw inside my dorm room. I’d designed and constructed a raised living room at window sill height that covered 2/3 of the room. We slept on mattresses on the floor, under the deck.
Several months earlier, I had done my Midshipman Cruise. It’s where in the summer of your junior-senior year in Navy ROTC, it’s off somewhere, half way across the world to experience a Navy ship for a month. My experience was in the Western Pacific and included port stops in Japan and Korea. I became intrigued with all things Asian and derivative, like Micronesian and Polynesian, etc.
At my first visit chez Tizon, Alex and Ling’s mom, Leticia, engaged me toward overviewing my background, what I was aiming for…all the normal things. For some strange reason, one explicit memory I have along with the visual—as she sat across the dining room table and to my right—was whether I’d ever had coconut ice cream.
I suppose I remember it because I’d never heard of such a thing. But the memory has been reinforced over more recent years since coconut is something us bloggers of things close to a Paleo diet consider somewhat magical and special. So, mention of coconut in any context often calls up that memory and I like that.
Over the next two years, I visited many times; usually with Ling, but at least a couple of times on my own. I liked the family, there’s no other explanation.
I never saw anything even remotely close to the abuse of Lola described in Alex’s posthumous cover story in The Atlantic, June: My Family’s Slave — She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.
A quick candid shot in the dorm room at Finley Hall, fall of 1982, where I caught Ling not smiling.
But, when you read that truly epic story closely, it really begins in about 1943 in Tarlac province, Philippines, when Lola is 18, and it sets the entire stage for all of what is to become—with Alex’s and Ling’s grandfather, an army officer, enticing Lola to be the guardian of his 12-year-old daughter. The grandmother had died in childbirth. Lieutenant Tom was a single dad in 1943 in the Philippines. How tough could that be?
…Earlier today, I interviewed my old friend Ling by phone and my last question to her was: is there really a villain? She paused and named her grandfather, who killed himself in 1951, 12 years before she was born. Go to the source. But, if you go to the source, it’s the source of everything that comes later, good and bad. Perhaps he didn’t foresee that in about seven year’s time, he’d put an end to his own life.
By the time he exercised his own final option, the parents had been together for a year, and they began making kids. Ling was the 4th of five, and her birth in 1963 corresponds with the family’s immigration to America within months. In one perspective of context, Lola had already been integral to the family and everything for 21 years before they had set foot in America at LAX.
What I saw was that Lola was integral, the center of everything. The first time I went, there was home cooked Filipino food. And the second. And the third. And forth, fifth, sixth, and… There was always good food, none of the kids were fat. #winning. And Lola died perfectly lean, not being overweight a day in her life of 86 years. She cooked for herself and others. I never saw her eat anything but what she’d cooked herself.
“Slave” and “Master.” My last visit chez Tizon, October 1984, shortly before leaving to live and work in Japan for five years, and where I would visit the Philippines over 30 times in that span. My Ray-Bans were the party prop.
What I observed from the perspectives of Alex, Ling, and Ling’s younger sister Inday, is respect for all. For Lola, for mom, and even for the dad that had deserted them—visitation both ways was not uncommon. It was all pretty damn chill in 1982, 83, and 84. Ling expressed pride to me early on that her dad had a law degree and that her mom was a practicing physician. It was obvious in the household that her mother was the provider and had been for some long time, by then.
I was impressed and had an interest in her as a doctor and used to chat her up about it, and she’d explain various ways and means she would use to diagnose some condition.
Lola had a daily source of pride in cooking food for others. It was obvious to this insider-outsider that Lola loved doing it and the proof was in the clean dishes and plates unless she’d gone overboard and there were leftovers.
I doubt there was very much food waste in the household.
Lumpia, chicken adobo, pancit, and various other things. At the time, my own palate was just getting used to this “strange” fare, so those first three were my typical favorites of the offerings. One day, Lola was going to make a batch of pancit and I asked if I could watch and she lit up. She took me meticulously through every step of the process as I stood beside her at the stovetop. Of course, I didn’t write it down but I believe I remember that chicken stock was absolutely essential to the dish. (A few years back, Ling told me that MSG was her magic sauce.)
Yes, I make pancit sometimes. Thanks, Lola.
Alex’s cover story in The Atlantic describes how his mom could be jealous of Lola and her closeness to the kids. This was perhaps the chief thing Ling wanted to get across to me in my interview. Ling told me they often defended Lola against their parents. She witnessed the verbal abuse at times. “Why are you yelling at Lola?” she demanded to know, and understand.
I could see that, a bit, even at this much later time where all was chill, the kids were almost all successfully crafting their own lives, but Lola was the ever-present center of everything. But she was not the center in Leticia’s eyes.
“Lola was the caregiver, mom was the provider.” — Ling Tizon Quillen
There’s what some call a viscous circle but I’m partial to calling it a positive feedback loop, where each input adds energy to the cycle and so minimally, it’s self-sustaining but can also go off the rails and blowup.
Emotional blowups tend to reset the cycle, so they can be healthy. But the cycle restarts.
I never knew the dad, only briefly met him once or twice. I think once was when he came down to Salem when I was there. The memory is blurry, but I think he did look me square in the eye and asked if I liked his daughter.
The author with mom, the “Slave” holder. Fall, 1984.
I knew Ivan—Leticia’s 2nd husband—more. While he wasn’t around a lot, it was obvious to me that he was the quintessential fish out of water in the household. Nobody understood the connection their mom had to him. I saw no effort on his part to learn anything or get along with a culture where he might have learned a lot.
What was mom thinking?
The only somewhat cool memory I have of him is the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics, where I was there for a day and he was watching it as though a kid in a candy store, boisterously and vicariously emoting about everything regional.
That can be forgiven and even encouraged for a day or so. I get no sense whatsoever that he was anything but a parasite on the family, generally. At the same time, Leticia had been tossed aside with five children to raise with only Lola’s help and with only one of them prepared to do it on his own. Art, the senior sibling, had already set off by the time she hooked up with Ivan. It’s certainly a curiosity.
You can’t get there from here. I have long used this expression to critique various forms of 20/20 hindsight that seek to apply current standards of morality, law, and cultural practice to the past. In this case, we’re talking about applying 2017 standards in America to a Filipino single dad in 1943 Philippines and to his only child, Alex and Ling’s mom.
It’s undeniable that Lola suffered abuses. Slavery is a gross stretch.
Alex and Richard mess with his sisters, Ling and Inday. Fall, 1983.
Lola entered into this bargain at the age of 18. She could have opted for a convent, and instead of serving strangers and the house of God, she got to be the prime caregiver in her own family, The House of Tizon, for the rest of her life.
Being a nun instead would have been a gross underachievement, wouldn’t you say?
I asked Ling what her and the family’s general take on Alex’s article was—the final version after four drafts with The Atlantic editor. It was clear to me that the kids had zero standing or understanding in the early days. As they grew up, they knew Lola had choices and options because they presented them to her, encouraged her, but she always refused.
After the kids had gone, but before Leticia passed away in 1999, Lola got a job. She worked for twelve years in the Norpac Cannery in Salem, OR. It entitled her to social security and medicare. When Ling revealed that to me, I sighed. Too much of an omission, Alex, dude.
Ling tells me that she took great pride in a rather meager job. For once, she got to feel like she wasn’t only a servant, but a bargainer. Rather than exchange her toils for the love and adoration of the children she’d raised— but who’d had to go on to take up their own lives—she got to trade for dollars, dollars she could do with as she wished.
I understood why Alex chose the word slave, even though he clearly understood it was not technically the case. Even most people understand this when they say they’ve been “slaving away,” and various other forms. It’s slavery as a metaphor.
The problem with skirting the distinctive line between the literal and metaphorical is that when not a clear tongue-in-cheek, it serves to dilute the actual horror of real slavery. We see the same thing in other areas, where virtually all sex without forms of consent in triplicate, is rape. I don’t wish to push political buttons, but you get the idea.
Ling and her dad who had left the family when she was 11. In his last days.
Don’t diminish what people who were bought and sold as capital machinery with the intention of turning a profit on their production were subject to.
Chattel slavery was an economic system for thousands of years around the world until it was superseded by machinery and skilled labor. But the business principles are the same. You buy a machine (human slave), account for the capital outlay or debt service, repair, maintenance, upkeep (food, shelter, medical bills), the cost of a skilled operator (middle massa management), and then calculate what it can produce, what you can sell the product for, and does it turn a financial profit?
This was simply not Lola’s experience. It was not about business. It was about scratching and eeeking out and survival and taking a risk few ever dare—leaving it all for a better opportunity, just like my grandparents did boarding the SS General Hershey with six children, Bremerhaven –> New York, 1952.
Like I’ve said already, I never saw anything like that characterization. What I only saw from 1982 – 1984 when Lola was 40 years in, was a highly honored cornerstone.
Alex used “slave,” I think, for journalistic effect, precisely because people draw zero distinction. There is no nuance or context whatsoever, and what he showed is, there is.
Had he wrote something like “perpetual dependent” it would not have had the punch, even though it’s more accurate. Lola was a dependent her whole life, just a notch above the kids she raised. The wrong against her was that the dependency was encouraged rather than discouraged by the parents struggling to balance what would have been unbalanceable without her.
Everyone gets to judge however they wish, of course, but at least this is an offering by Alex that I believe is journalism of the highest form. It’s an epic story and thereby, people might get some insight into how complex life can be.
Imagine if children of actual slaveholders in America’s south—the early 1800s—wrote of how they were torn between the parents who bore and provided for them and the slaves who raised and cared for them.
Find The Lola
That picture above is the result of three choices.
Mr. Tizon deciding to toss caution to the wind in 1964 and come to America with nothing but a wife, four children (soon to be five) and a committed family helper.
Mrs. Tizon determined to be a physician in America and it would take more than 10 years more to do so.
Lola Pulido, who while reluctant and scared as possible, decided to step on the flight, Manila –> Los Angeles.
Take one single element out, you don’t get a picture of Ling and Rodney’s wedding in 2008. surrounded by a Tizon hive.
You don’t get to that without a million choices along your chosen path, most of them for the better in the understanding at the time.
It details how he baited and switched Paul Jaminet, the world’s most perfect gentleman.
Plainly said, Jimmy Moore is a smiling, ah shucks, butt fucker.
But since all the sycophants don’t care—celebrity being celebrity—I’m going after the enablers and for all you credentialed out there who suck up to him, Google search treats me way better than it treats you.
“This is not a weight loss journey, it’s a health gain journey.” — Jimmy Moore, chief goal post mover
Too bad if you don’t like it. People keep sending me stuff, and it’s jaw dropping. As I’ve said before, if Jimmy was just Joe Citizen I wouldn’t give a hoot, would feel sympathy for him, and wish him well. But I can’t, now, and if it sounds crass not to wish the guy well, consider that his well being comes via dispensing nonsense to others that clearly is not effective.
Again, allow me to draw a distinction. There are proper, sane, reasonable ways to do ketogenic diets. What Jimmy promotes is nonsense and in my opinion, profoundly unhealthful. I think there ought to be someone speaking out and assembling some posts on it. No, this is not going to be like you-know-who, and her 500 posts or however many it is on Gary Taubes.
So I did a barrage of Facebook posts. the links to my posts are below, and the links to Jimmy’s are in each of my posts.
I’m traveling right now and staying in hotels where they have a good mix of a hot bar and the crappy carbage-filled continental breakfast options. This morning I filled my plate with eggs, cheese, and sausage with a glass of water. On the way to my seat, I saw another hotel guest was eating a bowl of oatmeal with a glass of orange juice. I couldn’t help but start laughing at the thought we both think our own plate is the “healthy” option and the other plate will eventually lead to a disease like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or worse.
This is the nutritional divide we currently face with a lot of gray area in between depending on insulin sensitivity vs. insulin resistance, some genetics, and the impact foods have on key blood markers like inflammation, insulin, and more. That guy believes how he is eating will keep his health in line. As do I with my meals. It’s the perfect picture of where we are in this discussion about what a healthy diet is and just how far apart people’s perception of that really is.
Me: The mind just boggles. Oatmeal and OJ, for Chist’s sake. It’s not a plate of Little Debbie Snack Cakes.
So I asked my publisher Victory Belt to create a caricature of me to distinguish my contributions to THE KETO CURE book I’m writing with Dr. Adam Nally coming September 26, 2017 and THIS is what they came up with. It’s a great likeness, but turned out looking more like a portrait than a fun character with personality. They’re gonna spruce mini-Jimmy up a bit, but not a shabby first stab at it. What do you think? Great dartboard material right? 😝 🤣
Me: What’s wrong, Jimmy, don’t want a current full body shot on the “Keto ‘Cure'”–or an after the original before, alongside a current after, which would be after the last after the original before?
Suggested subtitle for the “Cure” book:
–“The secret to becoming obese and restoring your #health“
With the Mother Of All Giveaways contest underway at KetoTalkFB.com, we’re gonna feature each one individually for you to learn more about the prizes you can win. Remember to help us get to 7500 members by Monday morning (share these prize posts to help us spread the word!) and leave a comment below if this is a prize you’d like to win! We’ll have a LOT more for you coming up, but here’s the second FEATURED prize we have for you from the fine folks at Nush Foods:
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Me: The perfect thing to constantly feed and nourish your dysfunctional food and face stuffing gluttony.
I recommend at least a 1/4 inch of soft butter spread on it, too (call it frosting), or, in the words of that super lean guru Sally Fallon, “think ‘enough to make teeth marks.'”
And hey, you could also dip them in heavy cream for an even bigger #fatbomb.
Go get your copy of the latest cookbook from the #keto Energizer Bunny herself Maria Maria Wojcik Emmerich called KETO COMFORT FOODS available wherever books are sold TODAY! I love Maria’s recipe style (makes me wanna eat the front cover off!) and now she’s got a whole book full of delicious and nutritious meals that bring love and comfort into your #lowcarb #highfat #ketogenic lifestyle! THANK YOU Maria for being a master at what you do. Proud of you!
Me: “Stuff Your Fat Face 24/7 On Foods You Love, Without Guilt” would be a more honest title.
“Comfort” indeed. Cause that’s what’s important when you’re fat from eating too much, too often. You need to feel comfortable, and the way to do that is eat more magic foods more often.
I’m constantly having discussions with people about what #healthy #nutrition is all about. One lady told me her #diet was really good and I asked her what that means. She said she eats at Subway instead of McDonald’s and so I asked her what she eats there. She asked me if what she shared about her Subway meal is bad and I explained how the grains, sugar, and lack of fat is why it’s less than optimal. She picked up a Kindle ebook copy of my book #KetoClarity and it’s opening her eyes to a whole new paradigm. Changing lives one person at a time. #lowcarb #highfat #ketogenic #keto
Me: “lack of fat”
Oh LOL. Yea, god forbid that she doesn’t turn her 400 calorie sandwich into a 1,200 calorie fat bomb.
Jimmy Moore is literally a menace to society in every conceivable way.
#keto #fatbomb #huckster #fail #dietfail
Well, that should about do it for slamming the ever more popular misapplied, misunderstood, wrong way to employ ketosis, and its opportunistic hucksters, for one day.
You don’t need an obsessive, stupid low-carb, high-fat or ketogenic diet to control and mitigate glycemic response from whole food carbohydrates. What you need is to start using your brain.
I came across this post someone had emailed me the link to some months back as I was doing some email housekeeping yesterday. Thought I’d share it as I finish the draft of my next post about high protein intake in a calorie restricted, meticulously tracked way over the last month (7 solid pounds dropped).
There’s six cool charts in the post you can check out, but I’ll share my favorite one.
Here’s the description.
Chart 5: Kidney Beans with Added Grains; Vinegar; and Vinegar and Oil. Because kidney beans trace a gentle, sustained blood sugar curve, I chose to use them to test the addition of an acid (apple cider vinegar); an acid and oil (vinegar and extra virgin olive oil); and a carbohydrate (whole oats that were pre-soaked before cooking). Adding vinegar to beans and even more so, vinegar and oil, significantly moderates the blood sugar effect of kidney beans. Vinegar and oil accomplishes this same function for other foods if you keep them handy at a central place in the kitchen and on your dinner table.
Combining beans with grains (in our bean-whole oats example) would normally call for a 1:2 ratio of beans-to-grains in order to assemble complementary amino acids in the right proportion for a complete vegetarian protein. Yet, eating beans and grains in this standard vegetarian way spikes blood sugar. The idea that “wholesome” vegetarian meals push blood glucose to an uncomfortable zone is also borne out by other examples of vegetarian meals explored in my own day-to-day personal testing. It appears that vegetarian meals, without the anchor of animal proteins and fats, easily spike blood sugar. [Vegans and vegetarians may be particularly interested in using a simple blood glucose monitor to sharpen food combining skills.] What I believe this specific beans/oats case tells us is that beans and grains alone can deliver too much carbohydrate for the body to handle, if not offset with adequate protein/fat buffers.
So, see, it’s not really about “the carbs” at all. It’s about how you eat them and sensible food pairings. And note as well that even though the best response is with both the vinegar and oil, the oil is a very modest amount. Always be wary of adding a lot of fat to a heavy carb meal. See: Why you may reconsider buttering your potato.
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My previous talks were about choosing good food and then proper thinking in a philosophical sense. Others you may know from our general community have presented there as well. Mark Sisson, Dr. Doug McGuff, Dave Asprey, and Jolly.
Find out all about it at this link. Currently, there is nearly a half price early bird discount for tickets, good until tomorrow night, Thursday, May 4, so if you’re at all considering going, you’ll want to make that decision quick.
Two items to cover today. But first, let me make a distinction. When I use the derogatory term “Ketotards,” I’m talking about the version of chronic ketosis where one or more of the following applies within the framework:
Calories don’t count if you eat enough fat
Protein intake has a glucose and insulin response and must be severely limited
Ingesting exogenous ketones (as dietary intake rather than endogenous production via fat metabolism) burns fat
Fat bombs (bolus doses of isolated fat) burn body fat
The more ketones, the better
If it’s good enough for an epileptic child, it’s good enough for anyone
I am not talking about mild-chronic or acute ketosis that includes adequate protein (which I’d say minimally is 25% of calories, 30% is better), a sense of caloric limitation, the recognition that excess fat can cause fat storage, various fasting protocols, etc. Let’s call that “Ketosanity.”
First up is this rather silly video, in my view, that has some ungodly number of like 30,000 views.
No doubt a huge relief for all the Ketotards out there guzzling fat bombs, giving them an excuse as to why the scale either doesn’t move or moves in an adverse direction.
IT’S THE WATERZZZ TRAPPED IN YOUR FAT CELLS!!!
Well, it turns out there is some physiology behind the notion that as fat is mobilized and metabolized, water can be drawn into the cell, resulting in no difference in mass or size. Then, some glorious day, its all goes WHOOSH, and presto, you’re back on target.
For nearly 20 years I looked for research to support this, I was never sure if it was based on something from the 50’s or he just pulled it out of thin air as an explanation. Recently, one paper did suggest that visceral fat can fill up with water after massive weight loss but that’s about it.
I’d also note that this isn’t universal, lean dieters often see visual improvements on a day to day basis; a lot seems to depend on whether or not they tend to retain water in general. Folks who do have problems with water retention tend to have stalls and whooshes, those who don’t show nice consistent visual changes.
Go read the whole thing to get his complete take. I think Lyle’s overarching point is that it happens, but only to some, and it’s different per individual when it does. It’s not something you take to the bank as a physiological absolute. What I see is lots of people using it as an excuse, when the real reason is that they’re eating too much fat, too many calories.
Ketone bodies have effects on insulin and glucagon secretions that potentially contribute to the control of the rate of their own formation because of antilipolytic and lipolytic hormones, respectively. Ketones also have a direct inhibitory effect on lipolysis in adipose tissue.
It seems that exogenous ketones are insulinogenic to some degree.
Get that? Not only do ketones inhibit fat burning (they are actually an effect, a byproduct of it, not a cause of it), but they also stimulate the release of insulin.
It appears that exogenous ketones provide about half the insulinogenic impact of carbohydrates (i.e. about the same as protein).
So, if you’re avoiding protein because of its impact on insulin, should you also consider exogenous ketones for the same reason? Mike Julian added:
Exogenous ketones stimulate insulin, but BHB also inhibits lipolysis directly via the nicotinic acid receptor PUMA-G in adipose.
While exogenous ketones may be equally as insulinogenic as protein, they’ll also be a counterproductive use of insulin.
Whereas the insulin response to protein is a positive use of insulin to build and repair muscle, with exogenous ketones, insulin simply reduces oxidation of other fuels to allow ketones to be burned.
Exogenous ketones displace the burning of other substrates. You know what else displaces the burning of other substrates? Glucose. Carbs reduce the amount of fat you burn. Similarly, exogenous ketones displace both fat and carbs/glucose.
That’s a double whammy in the wrong direction! Substrate competition is key.
So all those people out there saying ‘cut protein, limit protein’ who’re then taking ketone supplements are getting the same insulin load they’re trying to avoid, without the benefit of those mild spikes.
But do these exogenous ketones help with fasting?
Mike Julian again:
If exogenous ketones raise insulin and reduce blood glucose, then where does the glucose go? It gets stuffed back into the liver.
Think about all of these people who fast with the intent of depleting liver glycogen but drinking Keto/OS. They’re literally preserving glycogen stores! No wonder we were seeing whacky glucose and ketone response to fasting with exogenous ketones.
Instead of the normal trajectory of a fast that would result in depleted liver glycogen we see exogenous ketones keeps this from happening, so you would get purges of glucose out of the liver throughout the fast when people were fasting using exogenous ketones.”
So, let me TL;DR it for you, with a slightly different take. It’s similar idiocy to what goes on in the “hockey stick” version of Climatetard land.
The idea is that CO2 breeds more CO2 and higher temperatures, repeat…a positive feedback, or “chain reaction.” But nature is dominated by negative feedback. For instance, more CO2, more plant growth, which sequesters carbon. A positive feedback is a nuclear fission. There are other factors both ways, of course, this is just a simple basic swipe.
So, the same dumb is on display here. Ketones, as a product of fat metabolism, have a negative feedback, so that they don’t run out of control (as in ketoacidosis). That negative feedback is to inhibit lipolysis (fat burning), thereby slowing the production of new ketones, shunting glucose to the liver, thereby allowing the existing ones to be burned preferentially to glucose.
The bottom line? Those taking exogenous ketones in order to boost fat metabolism and weight loss are actually inhibiting it. Moreover, the exogenous ketones have an insulin response roughly equal to that of protein, but that glucose and insulin response to protein has an important role. It allows the protein to be used for tissue repair and building. Exogenous ketones do no such thing.
So the Ketotards need to go back to eating replete protein. 30% of kcal is an excellent minimum place to start.
Elixa Probiotic is a British biotech manufacturer in Oxford, UK. U.S. Demand is now so high they’ve established distribution centers in Illinois, Nevada, and New Jersey.
Still, sell-outs happen regularly, so order nowto avoid a waiting list.