Thursday, November 26, 2015


Here's the 2015 Thanksgiving photo from Dr. McDougall's Facebook page of him, Mary, and the grandkids:

So. Dr. Greger shaves his facial hair off and Dr. McDougall starts to grow his? The whole world is topsy turvy!

Congrats to the Nelson Sisters

Nina and Randa Nelson, daughters of the VegSource founders, have the story of how they cured their cystic acne with the McDougall diet in the British newspaper Daily Mail.

I'm glad Dr. McDougall's name is getting spread across the globe!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dr. McDougall's Webinars on Diabetes

He does say in the beginning that he's talking about Type 2 or Type 1 1/2 diabetes most of the time, not Type 1 - Juvenile Diabetes.

November 12, 2015 - Part 1

November 19, 2015 - Part 2

Friday, November 20, 2015

Summaries of the September McDougall ASW Speakers' Talks

The owner of Renegade Health blog has made a nice summary of all the speakers' talks from this past September's McDougall's Advanced Study Weekend.

The first blog post covers Dr. Kim Williams, Dr. Garth Davis, Dr. Joel Kahn, Dr. Michael Greger, and Dr. Luigi Fontana. 

The second post he comments on the talks of Dan Beuttner, Dr. Michael Klaper, Dr. Michael Wilkes, and our very own Dr. John McDougall. For some reason he didn't review Dr. Doug Lisle's talk. I always consider his the highlights of each ASW.

If you still wish to see these talks for yourself, they'll be available streaming until the next ASW in March at the McDougall Media web site. The cost is $150 for the videos.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

March 2015 ASW - Dr. McDougall's Introduction

At the beginning of every Advanced Study Weekend Dr. McDougall gives his welcome speech. In it he discusses the major article of every newsletter since the last ASW, as well as a brief biography of the speakers that will be appearing.

Here's his talk from March 2015, where he discusses flu shots, arsenic in rice, and his magazine article about the study he did of 1615 patients who attended his live-in program and lost weight:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Another Day of Simple McDougall Program Eating

This time it's Jeff Nelson, of VegSource.Com. He mentioned in another video recently that he lost some more weight his past summer. I'm going to assume that eating as simply as this that helped him get there. Well his strenuous bike rides had a big part too, I guess.

If you watch this on YouTube itself you'll see the burger recipe posted in the comments section.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Farmer Fred Does Fresh Broccoli in the Instant Pot

I'm one of those people who constantly over-cooks vegetables. Just this morning I put one of those giant bags of Bird's Eye California Mix into the IP at 3 minutes and it still came out like mush. The first time I tried I did it for 10 minutes - not a pretty sight!

Farmer Fred mentions how he also had problems getting the timing right for his produce. In this video, he lops off a head of broccoli right from his garden and shows how to make perfect steamed broccoli. Maybe I'll try this next time instead of liquefying yet another bag of frozen.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Little Shocker, or You Can't Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

This past Monday, my husband and I had to see our primary care doc for labwork that his cardiologist wanted done and some med renewals.

Our first shock came when I found out the doc we'd been seeing for about 25 years has left the family practice, preferring to concentrate on his faculty duties and overseeing an intern program at a hospital local to him. He had been threatening to leave for a few years now and was only at the office about 3 hours a week as it was. At least he can now walk to work, a fact that comes in very handy if we have another winter like the last 2.

Shock number 2 came when the doc we switched to, formerly all gruff and down-to-business, was all mellow yellow, seeming genuinely interested in what we've been up to both personally and medically, since he last treated any of us. This was the doc we first had when we switched to that practice when our old doc died in a car crash, and he was the doc at my bedside examining our son when he was just a few minutes old almost 32 years ago. When he decided to concentrate on sports medicine we switched over to his brother, who preferred the more general family medicine. He was heavily into a few sports himself, winning medals for his running and biking, and while he didn't run any major marathons, he was present at every NYC Marathon since its inception and at least 15 years at the Boston Marathon. He was there for the bombing and even got an award for his work treating victims at the scene. The walls of his room at the office are decorated with medals, certificates, and photos from all the races he's participated in, as well as autographed photos from different pro athletes he's treated.

Anyway, he was glad to hear about our diet, and said because of it, he'll most likely take my husband off all his gout meds after seeing the labwork. He would prefer to take him off the statin, too, but knows that his cardiologist insists all his patients take one, and since it's about the lowest dose possible already, said it won't do him any harm. As for me, he renewed my asthma meds, discussed reducing the omega 3/DHA/EPA med I was put on for my triglycerides, and said with the cholesterol levels I had, that as long as I keep on this food plan probably don't need the red yeast rice, but again, realized the cardiologist would probably put me on a statin if I wasn't on it and said to just cut it down to half the amount I was taking. No new labwork for me because it was so good in January insurance won't pay for it again until after a year has passed. He also told me to cut my Vitamin D was down from the dose his brother had me on. He said with winter coming it's best not to stop it completely, especially with my history (first lab test showed below 4, normal is over 20). We got our "atta boy" and "atta girl" and sent on our merry way.

Next shock concerns the lab work & med renewals. In the past, this practice insisted on coming in to be examined and then they'll renew meds or order labs, or order labs and renew meds after getting the results. We always had to then make another appointment to get those lab results. They didn't believe in giving them out over the phone and would insist on seeing you face to face to explain the results. But not now. The doc said to just call the office to get the results. Wow! This is going to be a big time and money saver!

Shock #4 involves coming into the 21st century. The company that now runs the practice had been dragging its feet in giving them the necessary hardware, but by federal law says it has to be up and running before the end of the year. That also means they'll finally be able to put things in the already established on-line patient portals, like lab and test results, prescription renewal and appointment and referral requests, so all that can be done without an office visit in the future.

But the biggest shock of all came the next day while my husband was gabbing with the office manager while waiting to get his labs drawn. She apologized for the confusion around the office, how harried and rushed she is, because things haven't been the same since (our old doc) left in June and (our new doc) came back after his heart surgery in September, that they're having a hard time catching up and getting caught up with everything.


It seems our doc, Doctor Tall, Thin and Athletic, had a triple bypass back in July. One artery 99% blocked, the other 2 not far behind. After discussing my husband's CABG and follow up stress tests with him the day before we're very surprised he didn't mention anything about his own. No wonder he had a completely different attitude this time! Nothing like a near-death experience to make a person slow down and enjoy life a little. And no wonder he had heard of and approved of the Esselstyn diet.

So, the point of this rambling post? You can't out exercise a bad diet! This man has been very active and lean for the 35 or so years I know him. OK, his whole family, including brother, sister, parents, grandparents, cousins, are all tall and lean, so genetics. But he's also always been active. I did mention his running and biking above, right? This was such a shock! As Doctor McDougall always says:


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Parody Video - Dr. McDougall Skypes Dr. Fuhrman

I really have no words to describe this video.

But I could probably use some of that "potato water" he's drinking! LOL


Monday, November 9, 2015

Dr. McDougall Explains His Color Picture Book to VSH

Dr. and Mary McDougall were recently back in Hawaii setting up their next McDougall Adventure trip there this coming winter. While there, he did a speech to the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii explaining "food poisoning" and his Color Picture Book.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Webinar - The Challenges of Eating Out

This week's webinar is with both Dr. and Mary McDougall. There is some talk of eating out in restaurants, but mostly they say they no longer do it, and when they can't avoid it, like when invited to eat at someone's house, they eat at home first. As for eating at a restaurant? Well, the main message there is not to believe anything a server or cook tells you, because rarely will you be told the whole truth about the food you get. Yes, you can get brown rice, but it may be cooked in chicken broth. Yes, many Mexican restaurants serve whole beans, even let you have it without cheese, but it may have been cooked with pork. Tidbits like these are mentioned.

This was also the advertised talk with Mary about holiday meals. If you've seen the annual newsletter holiday recipe article, you already know what they eat on the major holidays. Dr. McDougall again mentions how he eats a small serving of turkey every other year, just so he can say he's not vegan, but he also says he's not telling which year he does it, and mentions how there's no way to prove whether he did or didn't eat it, either.

Gustavo mentioned there will be another webinar next week, but so far no mention of it nor registration info on the webinar page on the McDougall web site.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Brain Fog Strikes Again!

It's been 32 years since I felt well. Many tests, and a handful of doctors, over the decades finally came up with diagnoses of not only hypothyroid (untreated at least 10 years after the first abnormal TSH) and Degenerative Disc Disease, but a fairly rare auto-immune disorder called Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. That alone explained all my overwhelming fatigue, the polymyalgia, the debilitating joint and bone pains, maybe even my stress cardiomyopathy/Takotsubo Syndrome from 2009. Heck, even my lack of weight loss during those years I was on near starvation level calorie diets!

But most important to this particular blog post, it explained the brain fog. It all started 32 when I was pregnant, and was self-diagnosed as CFS a few years later, "self" because my primary care doctors "didn't believe in it" as a real disease. They were of the generation that referred to it as "Yuppie Flu" and dismissed my symptoms because 1) I had a baby at home and 2) I was fat. I was glad to get the diagnosis of MCTD because it took over 30 years, but I showed them I really *was* sick!

Anyway, brain fog, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of experiencing it, makes you lose time, makes it hard to string a coherent sentence together, can cause you to space out during conversations, and at times, makes you look like a dog who suddenly sees a squirrel. I can be driving around with my husband carrying on a real conversation and in the middle of a sentence, sometimes in the middle of a word, break away with another thought on a completely different subject. I'm sure some of you noticed that in my writings, too.

Anyway (See what I mean?), the other day I decided to go off-menu and instead of making what I had planned, I wanted to treat my husband to one of his favorite meals, Chef AJ's Red Lentil Chili, because he was having a rough day at the home office. I always have the ingredients for it on hand so it would be a snap to make up. I was extremely tired that day, so figured getting all this in the Instant Pot and setting the timer would give me time to take a little nap before dinner.

Potatoes got washed, poked, and popped into the microwave, timer set to start cooking them a half hour before dinner time so they would have a chance to cool a little before we sat down to eat them.

Gathered the chili ingredients and started blending all the wet ones. Got the lentils rinsed and into the pot. Turned off the blender. Added all the spices. Put the lid on, set the IP.

Headed into the bedroom to grab a book. Hubby joined me after he finished up his work and we watched another episode of our favorite Brit-Com, Waiting for God. My husband tells me so often I'm just like Diana, one of the main characters. It's not a compliment! LOL

Dinner time. I open the IP and immediately notice something is "off." The chili takes up only half the amount of room it normally does, and it's brownish, not the usual pinkish-red. It also smells different than usual. Not bad, just different.

We decide to try it, so serve and break up the baked potatoes and ladle the chili over it. Tastes great. Hubby has seconds. 

Dinner is over. I start putting leftovers away - potatoes into a zipbag for waffle potatoes in the future and the chili into a glass Pyrex. I walk over to the refrigerator to put them in and then I see it.

I spy the Ninja blender with the blended tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic.

Darn!! OK, not the exact word I used, but this is a PG rated blog.

I told my husband I'll just put it away and make a new batch of chili for the weekend. I turn to get a container to put it in and when I turned back, saw him pouring about 2 cups of it into his bowl and then grab some bread to dunk!

Now the expletives really start flying, because now I don't have enough of the sauce for another batch of chili! All I get out of him was "Oops." 

"I JUST SAID I was going to use the sauce, WHY the **** did you DO that?!?!!"

His reply was: "Well, it just tastes so good I didn't want it to go to waste."

I repeated the above line, adding a few more WHY's and possibly a few more ****'s, too.

At least I can salvage what's left and use it over the weekend on our weekly pasta meal.

At least my fatigue and brain fog went away for a while. Now I was WIDE awake and mentally alert.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Next Webinar with Mary McDougall

Found this info this morning on the McDougall Webinar page. I guess the holiday webinar won't be until next week. No mention of it yet, although the latest newsletter had the annual holiday recipes post, it's 10 year anniversary.

Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM Pacific Time
Title: Mary McDougall: The Challenges of Eating Out.
Description: Join Mary McDougall in a Live Webinar this week! She will discuss how to navigate the world of eating out and going to eat at other people’s homes. She will share the SECRETS of a lifetime!
Questions: Send questions ahead of time to Please keep questions related to the topic of the webinar and please keep questions as concise as possible!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dr. McDougall Interview | Problems With Oils, Protein Powders, Eating Disorders + More!

I had recently mentioned on the McDougall forums that I've been trying to get an updated response form Dr. McDougall about his bean recommendation. For decades he had said to restrict beans and legumes to no more than an average of a cup a day, then suddenly he never talked about restricting them. His latest book, the Starch Solution, he doesn't mention restricting them, and in the Color Picture Book they're on the slide with other starchy foods that can be eaten freely.

I was directed to this video interview he did back in April of this year and was told he does mention beans near the beginning of the talk. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet.