Thursday, January 19, 2017

Family life goes on

Last night my four-year-old used child-safe art scissors to hack off almost all the hair on the front of her head after we thought we'd gotten her safely to bed. She even cut off part of an eyebrow. It looks quite terrible. But I gave her a short bob haircut, and in a few months her hair should look cute again.

Part of me cried, and part of me worries what other foolish things she will do when I'm not looking. And part of me is resigned to this as inevitable. After all, when I was close to her age, I cut off some of a playmate's hair just before the little girl was scheduled for a professional photo session.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Putting dessert in the middle

As I was looking into adipocytes, ghrelin, acylation of ghrelin by GOAT, stomach pH in the fundus, etc., I started realizing that stretching out the stomach (i.e., eating past filling "full") is simply a bad idea no matter what one eats. Because my husband, one daughter, and I are displeased with our current weights, I came up with a sustainable way to avoid overfilling our stomachs quite so much.

I observed that we always ate dinner until satiated, and then we had dessert. Which meant we were overeating every night. Trying to go without dessert won't work, for my husband bikes to and from work and would feel cheated without any dessert. (Being an adult, he would have just eaten goodies independently afterward anyway.) Everyone else would feel cheated, too, to be honest.

People frequently debate whether to eat dessert first or last. I've never heard anyone say they eat it in the middle, though.

We're now eating our evening dessert right in the middle of dinner. First we eat vegetables. Then we bring out dessert and serve small portions of it to everyone who ate vegetables (I have to motivate the toddlers to eat squash somehow...). Last we eat the main dish and other side dishes. Everyone eats some of the main dish and sides, but they eat noticeably less because main dishes don't stimulate the appetite as much as a cookie does.

It feels a little odd to be offering ice cream before the entree, but it seems to be working at decreasing overeating. I'll give an update in a month about whether we're still doing it and what results we have seen.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Two Elbert Hubbard quotes

“The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” 

― Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard was an interesting man. While I don't agree with all his anarchist ideas, he said some very encouraging things in support of those who work to do good in their position in society, whatever it may be. Unfortunately, his life was cut short in the sinking of the Lusitania during WWI.

Here's another good quote from Hubbard:
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.

Doesn't that just restore some hope after hearing gloomy predictions about people losing their jobs to robots and software? Everyone can be extraordinary at something.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New slide show on acetylcholine excess and depression

Last summer, I saw an article reporting that botox treatment for wrinkles sometimes results in a lessening of clinical depression symptoms. So I looked into depression and found that research in recent years points to the possibility that an excess of acetylcholine--which, incidentally, botox blocks--could be a root cause of depression. And then last month I was looking into depression again because of the mental health problems facing a friend's daughter and realized that an acidic mouth environment might get in the way of proper breakdown of acetylcholine in nearby regions of the head.

So, I made a PowerPoint presentation giving three basic, safe actions one could try in order to prevent a chronic excess of acetylcholine:

1) Keep the mouth from being too acidic.
2) Garden sometimes.
3) Try a low-choline diet for a few days.

Numbers one and two are good things to do for other reasons, too.

Here is the presentation: