Can you say mid-life crisis?

Paul Cutler's picture

I can feel it pulsating through me - you and I oldnick are one - my conclusion was different - this morning I had the epiphany I'm free - so I started a YouTube channel to realize that :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSFhPLnEhXI
The first song.

pbc

hrant's picture

I've been feeling it hovering above my shoulders for a few years now.
It has yet to take a seat.

hhp

oldnick's picture

Paul,

Quel dommage: being me is not particularly easy these days, especially since my wife's mind got totally blown, two weeks ago today. The doctors have no idea what happened, or if she will ever recover.

However, on a positive note, Jeff Beck—dog-faced boy with cat-like eyes—was, evidently, expecting me that fall day in 1965, so I figure that he's in on it, too…whatever it is. The Great Pretender, Jimmy Page, never got what Jeff passed on to me; this rendition is totally wrong, and isn't it odd that you NEVER see Page's face in this video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLv7viCMGo8

John Hudson's picture

Hrant, if you're going for this, I suggest drums or bass. If all the typographers with mid-life crises play guitar, how will you form a band? Oh, and although he's a little young still, you definitely want Adam Twardoch on vocals.

hrant's picture

If I must play an instrument, it would have to be the canon.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX-6fv3kuJs
Although aurally nothing beats the 'ood.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsrPBNmh5Qk
Plus personal bonus: http://www.oud.eclipse.co.uk/kenkulian.html

hhp

Paul Cutler's picture

oldnick - May the rough waters of your journey subside.

sic transit gloria mundi

The oud is the bomb.

pbc

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Back in my day we couldnt buy a fast car for our mid live crises, we had to buy a fast mule.

dezcom's picture

I passed mid-life crisis and have moved on to late-life crisis. I cant't afford to buy fast acting pain reliever so I'll just hobble along with arthritis, heart disease, asthma, and COPD while I weight for the bus.

oldnick's picture

you definitely want Adam Twardoch on vocals.

Without a doubt—always go with the prettiest boy in the room to front the band.

And, Paul and Hrant: do not forget the didgeridoo. I ALMOST bought one many years ago, and now regret my passing on the opportunity. OTOH, my neighbors are, no doubt, cumulatively grateful…

Chris, I would suggest my “magic formula”—I lost over fifty-five founds in the past six months and no longer need meds to control my cholesterol, solely with amino acids and vitamins costing less than a dollar a day—but, so far, no one has joined me in my Grand Experiment…because, I suppose, there is some minor trepidation that my “formula” may contribute to my being certifiably loony. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth: I went around the bend LOOOONG before then.

hrant's picture

I have a theory that cancer is caused by eating.

hhp

Paul Cutler's picture

You're probably right, but death is caused by not.

pbc

hrant's picture

What I mean is we should eat as little as possible; and exercising to get rid of the side-effects of over-eating doesn't work.

Sort of related: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549

hhp

Paul Cutler's picture

Either way - it's a win-win situation.

pbc

Paul Cutler's picture

May I rephrase that?
Hedonic calculus.

pbc

oldnick's picture

Hrant,

Less is, indeed, more. So far, I have managed several six-day stints of nothing more than bread and water—cleverly disguised as Beck's Non-alcoholic Beer—and found the results edifying. Hell: even my eight-day self-imposed bread-and-water diet while in the custody of the Fairfax County Sheriff's Department's Restricted Issue Unit (read: torture/mind control chamber) wasn't all that bad. Well, relatively speaking, at least. Bonus: working-class hero street creds. The local skateboarders suggested a Mike Tyson-style tattoo; I am thinking maybe a henna version might be more appropriate…and, definitely, AFTER my trials, not before.

But, after I staged my hunger strike and busted up the operation, I found myself thirty-five miles from home, without a penny on me, I came across a fig tree in full bloom along the side of the road! It was…well…transcendental. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

BTW, a remake of this little gem will be my next project...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2f9dFrvBr4

dezcom's picture

I eat very little, less than 1,200 calories per day and eat no meat but I never lose weight.

Té Rowan's picture

Wow. That canon reminds me of the grand kantele:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JRaBoiN0_A

John Hudson's picture

Re. eating:

Intermittent fasting is indeed a good thing. If you consider that for most of our species' history on the planet we were subsisted on hunting and gathering it is clear that we are evolved, like all hunting animals, to irregular periods of eating and fasting. The notion of three meals per day at fixed times is an invention of the agricultural and industrial periods, and have more to do with the regulation of work than with the needs of the human body.

With regard to diet, weight and health, though, what matters is not how much you eat but what you eat. The fallacy that what matters is calories consumed and calories burned presumes that the human body is a simple thermodynamic engine. It isn't: it is a complex biochemical engine that does different things with different input: 500 calories of protein, 500 calories of fat and 500 calories of sugar are processed in completely different ways and have very different effects on weight and health. Chris, you mention that you eat less than 1,200 calories per day, eat no meat and never lose weight, and also that you suffer from arthritis, heart disease, asthma, and COPD. Am I right in thinking that your diet includes hefty amounts of carbohydrates, bowel irritants and inflammation-causing 'foods' such as grains, rice, corn, beans, etc..

People have various theories about the significance of the paintings at Lascaux and Chauvet and other palaeolithic sites. It seems obvious to me: they're instruction manuals on what to eat. Note the absence of potatoes.

dezcom's picture

John,
I quit eating meat within the past year because it was a bowel irritant :-)

John Hudson's picture

Chris, what was your source for that information? To my knowledge, there is nothing in meat that acts as a bowel irritant: if there were, the human species would probably never have survived. This is not to say that meat is easy to digest if your bowels are inflamed or perforated, but that's not the fault of the meat but of what is causing inflammation or perforation. Stopping eating meat may simply mask the damage that is being done by making you less aware of problems in your digestive tract. I recommend reading up on lectins in grains, seeds and beans, and their affect on intestinal metabolism and damage.

dezcom's picture

My source is my Gastro-interoligist (and the consultant nutritionist that he recommended) after doing an endoscopy and colonoscopy.

oldnick's picture

Well, meat made mind: humans beings are so because we became carnivorous as a species about a quarter of a million years ago. Myelin, a.k.a. white matter, is about two-thirds fat and one-third protein. A diet rich in fat and protein is essential to brain growth, which effectively ceases after age thirty, at which time fat and protein get stored…and cause health problems, obviously. Eating like a kid is good for kids, but not for adults.

OTOH, you can retune your body for a twenty-five-year-old's metabolism, if you have a mind to. Fifty-seven pounds in six months—documented by my nurse practitioner—is proof of claim. Unfortunately, the process leaves you terminally loony…or, so I am told.

John Hudson's picture

Chris: My source is my Gastro-interoligist (and the consultant nutritionist that he recommended)

Here's something to make you popular with both: ask them to provide you with peer reviewed journal articles of controlled experiments on which they have based their advice. I've given up accepting the advice of any nutritionist or dietician on authority because the bias in their studies are now so blatant that they barely qualify as science.

Nick: at which time fat and protein get stored…and cause health problems, obviously.

I can reliably say that the weight and health problems of people on a modern diet have far, far more to do with sugar intake than with fat and protein. It is really difficult to get overweight on a diet of fat and protein: I know because I eat plenty but weigh 30lbs less than I did last summer and my body fat percentage has dropped to 14%. This from simply avoiding most sugars and all grain and legumes. I eat plenty of meat and lots of fat, and leafy green vegetables, brassicas and squashes; I don't get hungry, even when I fast most of a day, and my energy level remains comfortably high (rather than running through the peaks and troughs of sugar burning). Oh, and I don't think I've become terminally loony in the process.

hrant's picture

Nick, not just any meat: fish. That's what allowed the African humans to get smart enough and wipe out the European Neanderthals.

John, I lost 25 pounds, have constant decent energy and rarely feel hungry thanks to... sugar. :-)

hhp

dezcom's picture

John,
I will let you argue with the doctors. I just don't have the ability to keep a straight face when I ask my GI to check his facts because a friend of mine who is a typographer, disagrees with the diagnosis and or treatment. :-)

By the way, I don't eat sugar. Mostly, I eat Greek yogurt, vegetables, fresh fruit, fish and seafood. I do eat bread.

When I was your age, I ran marathons, had boundless energy and felt fantastic. Talk to me when you are over 65.

Chris Dean's picture

@hrant: Surely eating this wouldn’t be bad for us…

;)

dezcom's picture

Love it, Mr Dean!!! :-) but you left out the CE glyphs ;-P

hrant's picture

Oh, I love meat. Even raw (when prepared right*). But not more than I love Droste, Lindt, Cote d'Or, Neuhaus...

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chee_kufta
BTW my mom's family was from Urfa.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

Chris: I just don't have the ability to keep a straight face when I ask my GI to check his facts because a friend of mine who is a typographer, disagrees with the diagnosis and or treatment.

That's not the reason. You should ask him to check his facts because you should always ask for sources when taking health advice, and you should look critically at the science behind the advice. I never said that I disagreed with his diagnosis, only questioned what I presume is only one aspect of the treatment (as you presented it, i.e. 'meat is a bowel irritant'). The fact that you've been advised off meat but are allowed to eat bread simply looks very inconsistent with what is known about the role of lectins in intestinal damage and associated conditions. It's odd to me because roughly the opposite approach is recommended by other doctors and dieticians -- cut out the grains, up the animal protein --, and I know about the science on which that advice is based. So I'd like to know on what science the advice you received is based. Wouldn't you like to know too? Or is it enough that the guy has a white coat? Even if you just ask him to explain what is bad about meat, what causes it to be a problem for your digestive tract, he should be able to give a physiological explanation. If he can't, I would be concerned.

dezcom's picture

John,
It is not that simple and you know it. I won't bother asking you for your sources because I am sure that they are impeccable. I will just say that my problems have greatly decreased since I have given up meat. I used to eat a ton of meat and felt lousy then. So that I am no-longer the middleman in this debate, I will forward your name to my GI and tell him you are a great source for understanding Indic scripts. I hope he does not ask me for your sources? ;-)

John Hudson's picture

Fair put, Chris, and I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better.

oldnick's picture

John,

You may believe what you wish: if it works for you, then so be it. OTOH, "if it works for you" IS the operative term. What works for me, works for me…which means, occasionally, meat AND sugar, both of which I remediate and/or burn off quickly. In fact, with my regimen, I can pretty much eat anything I want and maintain my svelte 138-lb. figure.

I can also pretty much totally manage my ATP production consciously, which is quite useful when fight-or-flight situations occur: no holdover ACTH problems to deal with later on.

Té Rowan's picture

@dezcom – What kinda meat did you eat? The store-bought kind that's 90% unlisted additives?

dezcom's picture

Té,
A combination of whatever restaurants served and store-bought. Often we would shop at an organic butcher shop but who knows what was in it :-/

Té Rowan's picture

If your butcher's can avoid the mass-produced mystery meat, that shouldn't be too troublesome. I'm sure you have heard the horror stories of corpses not decomposing because of accumulated food preservatives. Heh, sounds like material for a really scary sombie movie.

JamesM's picture

You got a medical exam from a specialist, and following his advice has made you feel better. Sounds like you're doing the right thing.

My only suggestion — and your nutritionist has probably already suggested this — is that since you've given up meat you need to make sure you're getting enough protein. All of us lose muscle mass as we get older, which can lead to muscle weakness, falls, etc., and lack of protein can make this worse as it is needed to maintain muscles. But if you're still eating fish this probably isn't a problem.

Chris Dean's picture

My father was a physician, and a very good one. One of the few things he said “never take medical advice from someone who’s not a doctor.” And probably his biggest complant was patients self diagnosing, especially “Well my Aunt took this drug, and it worked for her…”

Kind of reminds me of a client telling me how to do my job, right down to the colour of the logo because “I like blue. My wife just bought blue drapes.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AxwaszFbDw

John Hudson's picture

Nick: You may believe what you wish: if it works for you, then so be it. OTOH, "if it works for you" IS the operative term.

Er, no, when it comes to physical reality I can't believe what I wish, and I recognise that 'working for me' is merely anecdotal evidence, as is Chris' 'feeling better'. There are people who feel better after taking homeopathic remedies, despite the fact that most of these remedies do not even contain any active ingredient and none have passed a single controlled trial since testing of them began well over a hundred years ago. When it comes to physical reality, I rely on the physical sciences, which means reading the science and evaluating it, and in the case of health and nutrition critically interrogating the use of science by healthcare professionals. If someone tells me that 'meat is a bowel irritant' I really do want to know on what basis that claim is made. I'm not choosing to believe or disbelieve something about physical reality, I am asking for information about the claim so that I can form a reasoned judgement of it. In order to be a bowel irritant, something that you eat must contain something that interacts with the digestive tract in a way that causes stress or damage to it. Okay, so what in meat meets that criterion? That seems to me a very reasonable question to ask when someone claims that meat is a bowel irritant. How is it a bowel irritant? What is the physiological process involved?

As it happens, I can think of one really easy way in which meat might be a bowel irritant, and that is if the meat is from grain-fed cattle, because then the meat will contain lectins from the grain, and lectins definitely are bowel irritants (and worse: through damage to the intestines they enter the bloodstream and are a factor in autoimmune diseases; the damage they cause also allows other molecules that shouldn't enter the bloodstream to do so). But obviously the culprit here is not meat per se, but the grain that the animal was fed, contrary to its natural diet. Which takes me back to my surprise that Chris received advice to give up meat but not, apparently, to give up grain, despite the fact that grain is frequently one of the first things that people with bowel problems are told to avoid.

As I suggested in my first comment on this subject, 'feeling better' is not an objective measure of bowel health, because some of the most damaging results of irritation and perforation of the intestines are not experienced as intestinal discomfort. Hence, removing meat from the diet might relieve some symptoms while masking ongoing problems caused by other substances.

Last summer I began eating in a particular way because I came to the conclusion that the scientific basis for doing so was sound, and that the scientific basis for much of the advice proffered in public policy and by professional nutritionists was without merit. How did I come to that conclusion? By looking at the science and evaluating it, and examining the way the science was being used in forming public policy and nutritionist eating plans. I don't think this constitutes 'believing what I wish'. Nor is this conclusion founded on 'what works for me', which came later. I will note, however, that in addition to feeling good, I am healthier than I was a year ago by objective measures: blood pressure, weight and body fat percentage, active pulse rate, etc..

John Hudson's picture

Chris: never take medical advice from someone who’s not a doctor

Which is good advice so far as it goes. I would only add 'Ask the doctor what is the basis for his advice'. Seriously, otherwise you're just trusting the fact that this guy has a white coat. Yes, he has a medical degree, but you've no idea how up to date he is with current research, what biases he subscribes to, or how critically he engages with the research the underpins his treatment plans. Given that standard of care by doctors, specialists and dieticians is demonstrably failing to curb massive increase in diabetes, obesity and metabollic syndrome, it doesn't seem to me unreasonable to ask on what basis nutrition advice, in particular, is based.

John Hudson's picture

Chris: Kind of reminds me of a client telling me how to do my job, right down to the colour of the logo because “I like blue. My wife just bought blue drapes.”

Were you able to furnish the client with reasons why the logo should be something other than blue? Or even why it might be blue, but independent of his like or dislike of the colour?

What bothered you about this encounter: the fact that someone who is not a designer was suggesting to you, the design professional, a design solution? or the fact that the solution suggested was wrong? In the case of people following medical advice from non-doctors, what matters is surely that if wrong the advice may result in worsening of disease or even death. That doesn't seem to me to preclude patients asking doctors to explain the reason for diagnosis and treatment, rather than accepting on authority what someone in a white coat tells them.

This is in part a generational thing, I think. My parents and grandparents accepted what they were told by doctors without question, just as they largely accepted what they were told by teachers and politicians (clergy to a far lesser extent: we were never a very religious family). And my critical stance also has a personal aspect: my father spent the last decade of his life eating a low fat diet as insisted on by his doctors, and then died of kidney disease, a factor of which turned out to be not enough fat in his diet.

hrant's picture

“never take medical advice from someone who’s not a doctor.”

But also put medical advice from doctors in the context that most of them just want your money, and they can't make money from healthy people.

hhp

JamesM's picture

> I can think of one really easy way in which
> meat might be a bowel irritant... grain-fed cattle

Red meat — especially fatty meat — is a common trigger food for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

I too must avoid certain foods because medical tests showed they caused problems for me. It's very common for folks to have allergies or intolerances for certain foods (milk, gluten, eggs, or whatever), even though most folks can consume those foods without problems.

John Hudson's picture

Okay, we have a second claim, and still the form of my question is 'How is meat a trigger food for IBS?'

Note that I've not asked what your sources are, although I should, but simply for an explanation of the physiological phenomenon asserted in the claim.

Chris Dean's picture

Best. Off-topic-conversation. Ever.

John Hudson's picture

I suspect that taking an interest in diet and nutrition is as much an expression of a mid-life crisis as (re)taking up the electric guitar, buying a motorcycle or having an affair. But at least it is one that my wife actively encourages; indeed, she started it.

eliason's picture

If those were her options, sounds like she chose wisely.

hrant's picture

Are you kidding? Bikes rule.

hhp

William Berkson's picture

Just a comment on the Gary Taubes work that John H. has referenced. I read quite a bit of Good Calories Bad Calories, and as a one time (and recently again!) historian of science, I found it first rate history of science, and the conclusions very impressive. However, he can be right and still reduction or elimination of meat can be beneficial to some people. The two aren't in any logical conflict, and I'm sure there's still a lot to be learned about nutrition and individual constitutions.

Nick Shinn's picture

We’re not discussing mid-life crisis.

That occurs when one has achieved some security (materially and socially) in life, and has some breathing room to reflect that all the hard work becoming respectably bourgeois has made Jack a dull boy. The term crisis is ironic, because the sports car is quite affordable now. It is a term of mildly satirical censure: get back in the ranks you ridiculous person, pretending to be the youth you’re no longer—wait till your retirement to indulge yourself (in a mature and restrained manner), like everybody else.

Realizing one’s mortality, with resultant lifestyle changes, can happen at any point of a “normal” life span.

JamesM's picture

> 'How is meat a trigger food for IBS?'

Don't know, but my guess is that it affects people who are deficient in certain stomach enzymes needed to break down protein, which leads to undigested meat being passed into the intestines.

Perhaps this is somewhat similar to people who have lactose (milk) intolerance. They lack the stomach enzymes to break down milk, so it passes undigested into the intestines and causes problems.

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