Thursday, January 12, 2017

No Webinar This Week

Once again, Dr. Lisle couldn't log in, and this time Gustavo couldn't get Dr. McDougall on the phone to pitch hit. There's a 10-Day program going on right now, so perhaps they're all off on a field trip.

Hopefully next week somebody can log in. There's no registration info up yet so no idea if it'll be Dr McDougall, Dr Lisle, or someone else chatting with Gustavo.

And hopefully I'll be here next week. My computer died and not even replacing the hard drive helped - my son said it's something with the motherboard, so kiss it goodbye. I'm using a borrowed laptop right now, but do have to get out to Best Buy one of these days to pick up a new one. I still have that lousy cold and my head still isn't working right, so want to wait to get a new machine until I can think straight. Last thing I need is to buy the wrong machine for my needs, or mess up setting it up, registering Windows, setting up the virus scanner, making the recovery discs, etc. It's hard enough to do when bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Jill McKeever and AJ Cook-Along - Slow Cooked Pasta Free Lasagna (aka

Gee, it only took AJ 2 months to post this video. She told us about doing it way back in November and we've been waiting for it ever since.

The recipe is in Jill's book, O M Gee! Good, which is based on the McDougall Pizza Potatoes recipe from various newsletters, the McDougall mobile cookbook app, and more recently in the Starch Solution book. She had previously done a video using the original recipe.

So, here AJ is calling this side-by-side video by the name of her former Foody TV web show, Healthy Living with Chef AJ, but it's nothing but a self-recorded YouTube video and the self-produced show series seems to be dead now.

On with the show:

Friday, January 6, 2017

Webinar with Mary and Dr. McDougall

Calling this webinar "Dr. McDougall's Wishes for 2017 and Q&A" is a total misnomer.

It starts off with the couple talking about their early years of marriage - how they met, the cruddy apartment they lived in, their years in Hawaii during his internship and years as a plantation doc. Eventually he gets around to the hippie vegan couple who introduced them to the veg way of life and how they slowly turned to plant based eating.

25 minutes into this thing and they're still reminiscing.

Finally, he mentions that they changed their diet in 1977 about 28 minutes in, the same story about doing research then telling Mary what to remove from their diet - first meat, then dairy, etc. An old story oft repeated.

35 minutes and still rambling. Again mentions how Mary was forced to develop recipes to give their patients in 1977.

Finally made to to St. Helena hospital and their move to Santa Rosa at the 40 minute mark, and how he left to go on his own around 46 minutes.

51 minutes in and they're talking how great the Flamingo cooks make their food for program participants. Not as great as home made, but close. Um, okay. 

What happened to the Q&A? Before Gustavo closed the chat there were at least a dozen questions already, and I'm sure he had a bunch that were written in to the address.

56 minutes - they mention how Heather is now in charge of the programs at the Flamingo and how he brought in Dr. Lim to help examining the patients.

Elvis Presley's birthday?? Same day as their anniversary. Of course, blame his diet for his death, not the tons of drugs he did.

Finally, after the 1 hour mark:
2017 - Hawaii trip in 3 weeks - not news
2018 - Alaska with NatGeo, another Hawaii trip in January 2018 - If interested in either, write to to get on the pre-waiting list, because they expect them to sell out within 48 hours once they open it up for reservations.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Takotsubo Syndrome in BHF Magazine

Back in 2009 I suffered a heart condition known as Takotsubo Syndrome. I was my cardiologist's first patient with it, and as of 3 years ago when my husband became a patient of his thanks to his CVD and subsequent CABG surgery, I was still the only one he treated. Very few doctors and no nurse, including cardiac care unit nurses, I've ever spoken with had heard of this rare disease, either.

I know Takotsubo Syndrome has been in a lot of new reports recently with the death of Debbie Reynolds so soon after her daughter. I'm glad the word is getting out, and I hope this recent tragedy has prompted doctors here in the USA to do more reading and research on it, for their patients' sake.

It was so good when I recently found a Takotsubo Facebook community and had contact with others who have also suffered this cardiac problem. For so many of us, we're the only only people who ever heard of it, much less had it and have been treated. It seems doctors in Great Britain are more up to date on this than docs here in the USA, and they treat it more seriously than my cardiologist did. They actually keep people in the hospital for more than a day and encourage rest for the first few weeks, not push you out the door and force you into an exercise program ASAP.

And they also make the public aware of the disorder outside of tabloid news. The British Heart Foundation appears to be the UK's version of the American Heart Association, and has a monthly magazine. In this current issue they have some articles on Takotsubo Syndrome, explaining what it is, how it's treated, one woman's story, and what the future may bring. For instance, this was the first time I ever saw the warning that TSS recurrence rate is as high as 15%, and that some people never fully recover, continuing to suffer from extreme fatigue for years afterwards, even if all tests show the heart structure has returned to normal. That, along with my diagnosis of MCTD, can explain a lot of my on-going problems. 

There's just one big medical surprise after another lately.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Dr. Goldhamer Talk

Since she got a Smartphone last summer, Chef AJ loves broadcasting live videos, and lucky for us, she did a few of Dr. Goldhamer from the 10 days she recently spent at True North.

In this video, he talks at one point of the importance of sleep for weight loss. It's as important as proper diet and exercise. I have found out first-hand how essential it is. For decades I've had insomnia, waking during the night, not able to get back to sleep. It got worse after menopause. I've always had trouble losing weight, and it got worse after menopause.

Then last year, for some reason I started sleeping better. It only lasted about 4 months, but with no other lifestyle changes - that is, the same foods, the same exercise - I lost some weight. OK, maybe only 6 pounds total of the 100 or so I still need to lose, but it was something and I was deliriously happy with it. 

Then my son got a job, a job that required him to leave the house by 5am, meaning he had to wake up at least an hour before that to get ready. We live in a 5-room apartment and noise made in one room is heard in ever corner, so as soon as I heard him get up, I was awake. It got worse 2 weeks later when he caught this cold that we're still passing around and I would hear him coughing in his sleep all night long (then my husband coughing, then me coughing, then the kid again, then - - - you get the picture). So I wasn't getting decent sleep again. On a good night I would get 5 interrupted hours. Not only did I regain the few pounds I lost last year but added a few more on. I started this year 2 pounds higher than I started last year. So depressing! Last night again I was awake every hour, reaching for tissues or coughing. Since my husband has to get up for work this morning, I gave up and got out of bed around 3am so he could get some uninterrupted sleep. 

Hopefully we'll get this cold/flu/Martian flu out of the house by Spring, and hopefully I can sleep for longer stretches again. And hopefully I can finally start shedding pounds - Heck, I'll take OUNCES at this point! - again.

AJ recorded another talk yesterday before she left True North, but I haven't had the opportunity to watch it yet. But whatever the subject, I'm sure Dr. Goldhamer makes it interesting.