Saturday, 28 August 2010

Angelina Jolie, veganism and odd diets

I just read this interview snippet on with Angelina Jolie.  Apparently she dabbled with veganism but the lack of nutrition nearly did for her.  Now she has a 'guilty pleasure' for red meat.

You might say this has nothing to do with being Paleo, and you're probably right.  I just find it refreshing to read that at least one Hollywood star isn't shy about professing a love for the good stuff when stories about others' liquified food diets and macrobiotic shit like that keep cropping up.  Humans have survived and thrived for millions of years without having to arse around blending food and checking biotic ratios or whatever.


MIPWID (which stands for Meat Is Prized, Wheat Is Despised) is my very own paleo blog.  I use it for recording my progress at living a paleo-influenced lifestyle, and the benefits to my weight and health.  I also post here my thoughts on nutrition and healthcare - both conventional and alternative.

I was originally going to call the blog Against The Grain, but that's already been taken by another paleo blog.  Meat Is Prized, Wheat Is Despised was going to be the sub-title anyway, so I shortened it to the catchier MIPWID. 

Since I came across the paleolithic community earlier this year, I've been fascinated at the reasoning and science behind it, as well as the results people have been getting.  I've always appreciated different ways of looking at things, and paleo advocates definitely look at the world of nutrition in a way that's different from official advice, but is backed by common sense and good science.

I hope that MIPWID can add to the community in the way that PāNu, Feed The Animal, Girl Gone Primal and all the others do - by offering a strong insight into paleo matters, thoughts to mull over, and entertaining reading.  I get a lot of pleasure from reading these blogs, because they encourage me to explore new ways of living and things to think about.  I'm hoping to give the same pleasure back.

Incidentally, I should warn you - there may be swearing ahead.

Let the good times roll.

Should gastric band surgery be offered on the NHS?

Granada Tonight, which is a daily regional news programme in the UK, ran a story recently about gastric band surgery being offered to obese patients on the NHS.  In effect, they don't pay directly - the cost is covered by the National Health Service, the funding for which comes out of our taxes.  The woman featured in the story lost a huge amount of weight after having the band fitted, on the NHS.  She had received hate mail from a number of people, who I assume have never had a weight problem and think that weight loss is a matter of eating less and exercising more.  

As usual, viewers were invited to chip in with their thoughts, some of which were read out at the end of the program.  The issue is still sporadically brought up on the programme's Facebook page. 

My view?  As a last resort it may be a viable option, although I think that with proper nutrition (not the same as the official line), the procedure wouldn't be necessary.  The problem, as I see it, is not how much a person eats, but what they eat.  The function of a gastric band is to reduce how much the patient eats - so if they fill their reduced stomach capacity with processed, carb-heavy fare, the benefit isn't likely to be substantial.  With animal fat, you not only get more nutrition per inch of real estate, you also tend to eat less because your body will let you know very clearly when it's had enough.  Not so with sugar. 

But in all honesty, of the money I earn, all I ever care about is what I have to spend after deductions.  The rest isn't my concern - I'd quite like my taxes to be spent on useful things, such as care for the elderly, public transport and so forth, but when I open my payslip every month, what I'm looking for is what I have to play with for the next four weeks.

However, assuming I had a say in how my taxes were spent, I'd much rather the money went towards an operation that had the potential to improve someone's quality of life than weaponry such as land mines or nukes.  Or MPs' expenses.  Or, for example, government campaigns telling us to load up on fructose and starch for health.  You get the idea.