April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I'm moving

Follow me to my new address: http://www.mprize.org/blogs
See you there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

We In the House Now For Sure -- P Diddy

Well, well, well.

One of my Mprize brothers recently got the idea that we should put my blog on the Mprize website! After all, if my blog helps people to do CR, and that helps them live better in the here and now, plus increases their chances of making it to the day when all our Mprize efforts pay off in radical rejuvenative medicine for humans, then why not?

So I'm moving on over to http://www.mprize.org/blogs/. One of our wonderful computer skilled volunteers set it up in no time flat, and in a matter of moments there will be a big button on the front page of the http://www.mprize.org that will point people to April's CR Diary!

Yep, people who click on the Mprize website will be directed to a blog that attempts to convert them to CR. How cool is that?

I hope you guys will follow me over there... blog is not worth blogging without my faithful bloggiefriends!

I'm looking forward to the next phase of our CR journey. You coming along for the ride?

Well, I Put Garlic Powder in the Cottage Cheese

It's day three of my week-before-my-CR-birthday perfect CR week, and I'm starting to worry about how I'm going to entertain you when I'm eating the same thing every day. Clearly, it's time for a big round of philosophy, but I haven't had time to write anything brilliant yet, so you'll have to be content with minute details of what I am eating.

I moved breakfast back to six thirty am, an hour after taking my morning supplements. I put some fresh lime juice in my water. I added some garlic powder to the cottage cheese. I continue to adore my lunchtime kale salad, complete with olive and flax oil and red wine vinegar. I may go out with some friends for coffee tonight, in which case I'll have my cafe au lait with skim as an evening snack (I'll make it a decaf) instead of an afternoon snack. Then I'll put my 10 g of hazelnuts in a plastic baggie to eat with the latte.

Wow, even I am getting bored. I promise my diet will get exciting again soon. It's just so easy to keep calories low and nutrition high when I stick to the familliar basics.

Okay, okay, I'm giving CR a bad name by being so boring. I'll write some philosophy soon.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I Can Tell You All I Know, The Where to Go, The What To Do

Line from a Steely Dan song that I'm listening to now on continuous repeat. What did we do before continuous repeat? I have no earthly idea.

The whole line goes:

"I can tell you all I know
The where to go, the what to do
You can try to run but
You can't hide from what's inside of you."

I used to listen to this song (it's called "Any Major Dude Will Tell You," an inspiring title if I ever heard one) during my last period of behavior that was inexplicable to my friends, back in 1994. Let's say what started as a three week fling ended in me taking a ton of computer science courses and teaching Yale kids neat-o unix commands like "grep" and "cat." Needless to say, "cat" was a favorite of mine, but I've noted since that there's no word in the English language that communicates so efficiently the concept of "grep."

Well, anyway.

Flashing back to this time last year. If I had been able to forsee the events that followed, I might have had the following conversation with my two best friends (let's call them the Hello Kitty clique):

"So I'm going to do this crazy diet that will make me lose 32 pounds and blabber on at length about macronutrient ratios. Also, I'll stop being a vegetarian. And I'll develop a huge crush on a really skinny Canadian guy who is 34 but looks 22 and makes supplements for a living. Also, I'll start to read all this stuff by this British guy who has a very long beard and thinks we can cure aging. Eventually, I'll leave my extremely successful career to raise money full time for this thing that's a lot like the X Prize but involves mice."

Back before CR, my friends and I used to put away fairly impressive quantities of red wine. So they would have just figured it was the cabernet talking.

It all turned out well. I mean here I am, happy, healthy, feeling great about my life, doing work that is extremely important to me, and watching my mother feed catfood to a pair of geese who have taken up residence on her patio.

I don't know what CR will change about your life. If you're a woman, and if you've always been at war with your body, and you find that CR helps you lose weight and give your body the nutrients it needs, you will discover a way of living that you never thought possible. I don't know what you'll decide to do with all the energy you no longer expend in that ubiquitous American woman fat guilt, but I know you'll find a great way to spend your time that makes you happy. I'm so proud of my bloggiefriends who have lost weight and gotten healthy and are enjoying their new CR lives. One of the happiest moments of my blogger journey so far was when one of my bloggiefriends said she had lost 20 pounds and was wearing cute jeans again! Yea! Living a long time is great, but the brothers don't always understand what an amazing thing it is to love the body you're living in now!

People who don't do CR always talk about what a sacrifice it would be. I don't find it so. Doing CR has made such a positive change in my life that I can't imagine how a Dunkin Donuts bagel with cream cheese could possibly compete. Of course it's easier for women, where society reinforces skinniness as the ideal of beauty. But I'm not all that skinny... I would contend that even at 105, you wouldn't see me and think "She's skinny." You'd just think I was younger than I am and slim.

Eating more protein has been the key for me. I look at my detox week diet, and I see protein and unsaturated fats. My eggwhite breakfast with flax oil, my yummy, easy lunch with kale salad and cottage cheese. I just ate my brewers yeast and veggies dinner. One thing I find I do is compress my meals into a rather short period during the day. For instance, today I ate breakfast at ten. Lunch at 12. Dinner at 5. But I'll be full for the rest of the night. I'll go out with my mom tonight and have a nice cup of herbal tea with my calcium chewy supplement and be very satisfied. One thing that's weird for me when I'm at MR's house (I mean aside from the fact that after years of whining that I would never meet a guy who holds my interest for more than two dates I've met a guy who could fascinate me for 1000 years!) is that we eat breakfast an hour and twenty minutes after waking, and I'm not really hungry yet. I usually sit on the floor drinking coffee while he chops veggies for our breakfast salad, and we talk CR. By the time we sit down to breakfast, I'm awake, but I'm not hungry. Still, I enjoy my eggwhites. And I enjoy asking my CR guru all my CR questions while he eats a giant salad that would take me an entire day to consume.

I'm so happy for all of my bloggiefriends who are taking control of their health. It's great fun, isn't it?

The Week of My First CR Birthday

Well, this Saturday, March 26, it will be the one year anniversary of the day I started CR.

A lot has changed since then!

In preparation for this occasion, I'm having a special CR detox week. I've distilled my basic CR diet down to my favorite elements, creating a daily diet that is almost perfect in nutrition, easy to make, and delicious to eat. I started yesterday, and I'm planning to stick with it until Friday when I fly off to Calgary.

Here it is. It will look familliar:

1.5 oz cranberry grape juice with strontium and creatine

1 cup eggwhites scrambled 125
1 teaspoon flax oil 40

100 g raw kale 50
1/2 tablespoon flax oil 60
1/2 tablespoon olive oil 60
1 cup cottage cheese 160

afternoon snack:
cafe au lait with skim milk 80
10 g hazelnuts

1/2 bag of frozen cauliflower, carrots and broccoli 75
2 cups free range organic chicken broth 30
2 tablespoons brewers yeast 160
1 teaspoon olive oil 40
calcium chewy 20

total: 1001
Over 100% of RDAs of everything except: 50% iron, 40% zinc, 49% panto acid.
P:F:C = 49:32:19

Now some of you are asking: this is not Zoned, this is Atkins induction. It's under 20% carb.

True, but also not true. It's not Atkins induction per meal: breakfast has almost no carbs, lunch is not Atkins. This is not a ketogenic diet, at least I don't think it is.

What's up with me abandoning the Zone idea?

For now, I am more concerned with total mental focus than with Zoning, and the more protein I get and fewer carbs, the better my focus. Note that I am doing well on fat, as well as on Omega 3/6 balance.

It's on the low end of calories for me, but I'm washing out stress and anxiety, and going a little low for awhile always helps that. I want to be in perfect health on my CR birthday. Yea!

Next week when I'm in Calgary, I'm going up to 1100 so that I don't get too hungry. 1100 is a good average for me, and if I'm not going out as much, I may as well go up on normal days. MR and I figured out that we have to add lots of brewers yeast to what I eat when I'm with him because I don't get enough nutrients by just eating half what he eats. And I want to eat his delicious food! But he doesn't want to kill me by depriving me of nutrients, so we'll throw in some brewers yeast.

So far so good... I'm in day two and feeling fantastic!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Buy Guns Here! Through Faith Alone Will You Be Saved

On my way home from Reading, PA, where I did a meeting on the second to last day of work for my old union, I saw this sign on the side of a building. The sign went on to read, "Not through works."

At the edge of Pennsylvania Dutch country, I suppose it's not that shocking to find a Protestant gun merchant. Still, the juxtaposition struck me as funny.

Earlier in the week I had gone out for dinner with a friend of my parents whom I hadn't seen in awhile. When I described my new job and it's focus on reversing aging, he said, "Well, I have good genes, and I eat healthy."

It was clear that I had not communicated the point.

Good genes and eating healthy may prevent an early heart attack, but they certainly won't hold off aging much beyond what you get from having your shots and living in a country with basic sanitation and medical care. CR itself, a dramatic, difficult, unusual intervention, will only get us another few decades at best.

No, to reverse the aging process, you have to repair the damage of living. That's the whole point of the engineering approach.

Yet, when I talk to people about what I'm doing, their immediate reaction is to start talking about their own lifestyle. Part of that might be because they know I practice CR, so they want to talk about why they don't. But I think there's more to it than that. The idea of health and lifestyle is so guilt-ridden in our society that the moment you talk about the ultimate symptom of ill-health, death, people start to rattle off all the multivitamins they're taking and the broccoli they ate last week.

The other day I said to Aubrey de Grey, "I think it's important that you don't do CR, because we have to communicate to people that it's not about 'being healthy,' it's about interventions that will actually repair the damage."

I also threatened to refer to him as a modern day Martin Luther. He didn't bat an eye... well, I don't know if he did, the conversation took place entirely over email. However, Aubrey is one of those people who is not surprised by much of anything.

Now this may seem contradictory to you: for some time now, you've been following a blog about Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition for the purposes of healthy lifespan extension. Yep, that's what this is about. It's about what you can do in the here and now: in your kitchen, at the grocery store, on the road at the Subway, at dinner with your college roommate, on a date with some guy who makes fun of you for eating salad (thank God I don't have to deal with that... and if you find that frustrating, I have some very nice single CR brothers I can set you up with. Ladies?) I spend a lot of time and energy figuring out how to do CR so that it doesn't take up much time and energy... and I'm very proud of my quick and easy, elegantly simple CR diet. Obviously, I'm a believer in the one intervention proven to slow down the aging process: CR. So why am I babbling on about Aubrey de Grey and repairing the damage? And what's Martin Luther got to do with it?

The thing that always bothered me about CR is that in many ways, it is only for the elect. I would argue that CR is not limited to the rich, those who have time, people without children, or people with red hair. The ease and cheapness of my own CR practice defeats all those arguments. But it is limited to those with unusual self-discipline and focus, who want to use some of that self-discipline and focus on what they eat, and who believe that CR will work. The urge to eat crap is pretty darned hardwired, and to fight it, especially in a society where you're constantly confronted with delicous food and social pressure to eat it, requires an unusual personality.

When you talk about CR with the non-CR'd, their immediate reaction is always defensive. They talk about why they don't think that's "healthy," why it won't make you live longer, it will just seem longer, how they wouldn't want to be that skinny (people who are overweight say this a lot, I've noticed) and how they wouldn't want to lose their libido (a side-effect which is far from universal.) People don't want to change, even when changing would save their lives.

SENS isn't about being good, living a healthy lifestyle, or getting brownie points by eating your apple a day. Those of us who do CR to make it to "escape velocity" (if you don't know what I'm talking about go read Aubrey's website at http://www.gen.cam.ac.uk/sens) hope that CR will be a bridge to the day when biomedicine will be available that will make CR unnecessary. No matter how well we practice CR, how low our calories and high our nutrition, it's still only buying a small amount of time if we don't come up with something better. We can't prevent all damage from occuring, so we have to figure out how to repair the damage that is inevitable.

You can never do enough good works to save yourself. Even if you ate 30:30:40 with 100% of everything every day.

This hasn't convinced me to give up brewers yeast and pinot noir in favor of Krispy Kreme and beer (though I do have a beer occasionally, following the "only at a brewpub or with Aubrey de Grey" rule.) If anything, my involvement with SENS, the M Prize, Aubrey, et al has convinced me to become even more serious about my CR. As one of the brothers at the NYC gathering last night pointed out, my diet has evolved a lot since October! I have re-applied myself to the task of minimizing my calories and maximizing my nutrition. To quote Aerosmith in that song from the movie _Armageddon_, "I don't wanna miss a thing."

And yet, I don't want people who don't want to do CR, for whatever reason, to be left out. If anything, we have to work harder, faster, so that they make it to escape velocity with us. There are some really fun people out there who don't want to do CR. I don't blame them: I don't want to do push-ups.

So this blog isn't *just* about CR. It's about how we can stay healthier, longer, using all the tools that are available to us now and building new tools that will work much better.

In the meantime, eat your eggwhites.

All That Zinc

Last night after the New York CR Society meeting, I met my college roommate for dinner. We went to an amazing seafood place called the Aqua Grill. It was worth the wait to get a table. I had never had oysters, except for in a seafood stew, but my old roomie loves them, so we ordered fourteen, seven different kinds, and had one of each. Wow! They were amazing! I loved them! I knew that MR had said oysters were good for zinc, so I couldn't wait to get back to my DWIDP to find out exactly how much those oysters would rock out my nutrition for the day. 761% of the RDA for zinc!!! In only 67 calories! Wow. I love oysters. I just asked MR if I should skip my zinc supplement for a day or so... or if I should eat an oyster every day. The entire meal was delicious. After the oysters, I had a heavenly Manhattan Clam Chowder. My roomie, who knows how to order wine, picked us out a pinot noir. I was very impressed with her wine ordering skills until she told me that she had just picked it because it was called Ramsey and her old friend Ramsey had called her earlier in the day. So much for fancy wine skills. Thanks for a great dinner, college roomie!!! All that zinc!

The New York CR Society meeting was tons of fun. I rode the New Jersey Transit train up with the Brother from Haddonfield, whom I hadn't seen in awhile. It was great to catch up. I got to see Paul and Meredith, who now have some competition for the title of cutest CR couple. Everyone wanted to know what Aubrey de Grey is really like in person (answer: he's so much fun!!!) and what MR thinks about this and that. We were also joined by some new CR practitioners who were lots of fun to chat with. It's wonderful to see our numbers increasing. We met at an excellent health foods store called Lifethyme. It was quite a struggle to resist the raw food vegan concotions in the deli case, including giant pizza pie like objects with all kinds of greens and nuts. But knowing that I had fancy dinner plans, I resisted and had two cups of green tea instead.

Back home now and searching for biotech companies that want to be corporate sponsors of the M Prize, but don't yet know it.

Friday, March 18, 2005

From the God of Simple Things

Yes, I am still getting blog headlines from "Everything Is Different Now." I will be bringing my CD to Calgary next week.

Today was fine... breakfast was eggwhites and flax oil. Lunch out with a former co-worker: arugula salad with sushi grade tuna, capers, green beans, and olives. Dinner: made shrimp in tomato broth and red wine with red peppers for mom, asparagus steamed with lime juice on the side.

Feels like a low calorie day, though I know by now that when I go out I can not be sure.

Tomorrow, NY CR Society meeting!

And My Winter Giving Way To Warm

It's night time and I'm listening to Fiona Apple. First album. "Pale September." I am of the opinion that there are very few things that can't be communicated in either an Alana Davis song or a Fiona Apple song.

I have this irrational belief that spring will somehow clear up some of the misunderstandings that have plagued the CR community as of late. It will be 50 degrees here tomorrow and I take that as a hopeful sign. In the meanwhile, I continue to write letters to luminaries in the biotech world, search for grant applications for corporate philanthropy, and rack my brains for new ideas on how to raise money for the M Prize. Like my work before, it's good to know that I am at least heading in the right direction.

Was thinking tonight about what good company the blog has been. I know you're out there because I watch my counter statistics, and there you are, reading about cottage cheese and kale. I wonder how you're doing on your CR journeys. I love it when you write me -- Willie, great to hear from you! MR runs everyday, does some kind of resistance training, and I don't know about the rest. Laura -- be sure to get low carb torillas that have 50 calories for the pizza! Fruitgirl -- eat some protein!!! Dani -- how's the CR going? Jerry in Colorado -- how have you been? What do you think of the engineering approach to curing aging? Paul -- how are things in Hong Kong?

It's almost my CR birthday... March is here, and of course I am remembering last March, a very different March, in which this March would have been difficult to imagine. The first time I ever saw MR in my email inbox... not long after I read Walford... the first lame attempts at CR... it seems like a very long time ago. This has been an unusually long year. I feel like I am growing by leaps and bounds, learning things, spending a lot of time in free fall. Last year Aubrey de Grey was an author of fascinating scientific articles, and I was too scared to email him and ask "What can I do?" Last year, I could still complain about my weight! Last year, I ate bagels with cream cheese, I had never heard the term "life-extensionist," I thought I was getting enough protein!

Now I'm planning a trip to visit MR at the end of the month, during which I will attend what will prove to be a historic debate between Aubrey de Grey and Jay Olshansky at BIOMEDEX in Montreal. I've sent letters to all the biotech companies that will attend asking them to support us... keep your fingers crossed!

One of my M Prize brothers, Kevin, has started his own blog. It's much prettier than mine. You can find it here: http://www.healthextension.net/ Kevin is one of the wonderful people I've met since I became involved with the M Prize.

Another of these wonderful people, Aaron, is writing his own CR blog!!! www.spaz.ca/blog. Aaron is one of the rapidly growing tribe of CR'd Three Hundred members. Yea!!!!!! It's about time a CR boy wrote a blog. The girls have the market cornered right now.

It's warm in my apartment because I keep the heat way up high. My cat is sleeping under my desk in his basket. I am getting sleepy. Fiona Apple's "Pale September" is on continuous repeat on the CD player.

"And my winter giving way to warm..."

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cottage Cheese Angst and the Distinct Possibility That I Have Fallen In Love With Raw Kale

A few weeks ago I went with my mother to BJ's, one of those giant wholesale stores like Costco. To thank me for carrying things for her, she got me a whole bunch of groceries. One of the things I got was a giant vat of cottage cheese in a different brand from my usual Light and Lively Lowfat. This brand was only 110 calories per cup (as opposed to 160 in my usual) but had less protein and calcium. And it tasted so much better! I loved it! But I can't find it in my own market. So I've been experimenting with other kinds of cottage cheese. Most are similar in calories to my Light and Lively, but have 16% of the RDA of calcium per cup instead of 40%. A serious difference, worthy of eating cottage cheese that I like only slightly less. However, MR pointed out that the Light and Lively is fortified with calcium, and therefore, no better really than supplements. So I must ask him: should I continue to eat the Light and Lively, or is it just as good to eat the other stuff and perhaps supplement more? I still do pretty well on calcium. I will let you know what he says.

Meanwhile, I love raw kale. Kale is the serious woman's green. Is it no pathetic, wilty, lame lettuce served on salads to dieters in the late 1970's. It is so far from iceberg lettuce that one hesitates to call iceberg a "green." Raw kale is tough, chewy, calcium filled and delicious. I adore it with a bit of flax and olive oil, finished off with red wine vinegar and fresh ground pepper. Yummy!!! Of course, nothing can compare with MR's breakfast salad, in which raw kale is only one of many exquisite greens. But here in the real world, where we must occasionally return between trips to the all inclusive CR spa and resort, a plate of 100 g of raw kale really hits the spot. I was wondering about the bioavailability of its calcium. So of course I did an archive search. MR says it's the most calcium filled of greens, but I didn't get far enough to determine whether or not it is as bioavailable as all that. It totally rocks out my calcium when I enter it on my software. But is that all being absorbed? Is it a good source? Should I just ask him? Or will he tell me to pretend I'm still just admiring him from afar and spend the night searching the CR Society archives?

Last night was delicous... a baked feta appetizer, sweet potato soup, scallop entree, and a heavenly red wine. We skipped dessert but went out to a really fun bar I love in center city Philly for cosmos after dinner. I stayed over at VLC's and we woke up in the middle of the night and spent our insomnia attack chatting and giggling like schoolgirls. She absolutely loved her present! The important people in my life may find themselves receiving AOR supplements, Brian Delaney's book, and my friend Emma's fiance's pottery on all holidays for the foreseeable future.

Foreseeable. Another word Aubrey de Grey taught me how to spell. I am fairly sure there is a deep meaning to be learned from the words Aubrey teaches me to spell, but I'm not sure what the lesson is. Yet.

You're probably wondering what I ate today. Sure enough, it was a low hunger day.

983 calories.
Over 100% on everything except:
Calcium 94%
Iron 51%
Panto Acid 42%
Zinc 36%

cup eggwhites scrambled, 1 teaspoon flax oil

cup of cottage cheese

100 g raw kale topped with a half teaspoon of flax oil and filled the rest of a tablespoon up with olive oil, plus red wine vinegar
brewers yeast and broth soup with carrots, cauliflower, broccoli
glass of red wine

P:F:C = 43:26:31

Not too bad.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

It's VLC's Birthday!

Now I know there are a lot of VLC fans out there! She's kept me company through my entire CR journey, been extremely supportive of my new venture as fundraiser, even though it meant abandoning her at my old job, and she's listened to me quote the CR Society archives for hours without even once threatening my life.

Tomorrow is her birthday! She'll be 24! So tonight some friends and I are taking her out.

Now this is a good example of how averaging makes my life easier. I'm going out tonight to a really good Philly restaurant, and I'll be eating a lot and drinking more than one glass of wine. I saved up yesterday by skipping my night time glass of red. Tonight, I'm going to concentrate on eating high quality food that I really love, high protein, low carb, and enjoying myself. Chances are, I'lll split a salad with VLC, eat some kind of seafood entree, and share maybe a bite of a dessert with the others. Tomorrow, if the snake-like pattern of my eating holds true, I will not be very hungry and will have a low day. That's an okay compromise for now. A far cry from the old days when I'd eat the bread, pasta, a high-sugar foofy drink, and dessert.

I'm very excited about her birthday present. For her birthday, I asked MR to do her supplement plan, based on my crunching of her diet on my software. He did, and I'm picking up the stuff for her next time I'm in Canada. She's into supplements, as well as CR, and she'll just love it. How's that for a personalized gift that keeps on giving? So many gifts aren't good for us, or just aren't that special. This one is really, really special, and is also representative of how much I care about her (I want her to be healthy) and an interest we have in common.

Won't that be fun???

I got her a card that seems most appropriate to a "Live long - live young!" themed gift. It reads:

"Only the good die young. We bitches live forever."

Ides of March

Not a bad day, calorie-wise, though I didn't have my brewers yeast, which always means that I'll be lacking in nutrients. Brewers yeast really is my magic superfood. Glad I'm not allergic!

Total cals: 1118
Over 100% on everything except:
66% copper
63% iron
81% magnesium
57% manganese
65% B6
74% thiamine
67% niacin
63% panto acid
69% phospherous
33% zinc

To put this in perspective, if I had eaten two tablespoons of brewers yeast, I would have cleared the RDA's on everything, except for:

48% zinc
77% iron
75% manganese

That's a huge difference.

MR -- is there any problem with me eating brewers yeast every day, as long as I take my zinc supplement? I already searched the archives, thank you very much! ;)

Here's what I ate:

1.5 oz crangrape juice with my creatine and strontium

eggwhites and flax oil

salad with cottage cheese, romaine, tomatoes, olives, tiny bit of parmesean cheese, honeydew melon, strawberries, vinegar and olive oil
cup of tomato bisque soup (not a great choice but really yummy and not a disaster)

eggplant sauteed in stewed tomatoes with asparagus chopped in, cottage cheese blended in after serving. tastes vaguely like my lasagna dish. I rather undercooked the eggplant though, leading to a bizarre rubberiness.
diet tonic water with lime: it's a ginless gin and tonic! Skipped the wine as will have more than one glass when out tonight at very special party!

Check out my P:F:C ratios for yesterday: 29:32:39.

Zone that, baby!

I had quite a bit of oil and olives, plus the milk based soup, hence a higher fat day than usual. This is a good thing, I think, though it would have been better if all the fat were unsaturated instead of some of it coming from a milk based soup.

So brewers yeast seems to be the order of the day. What did I do before I met it?

Testing One Two Three...

Blog spot is being freaky. This is a test.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Love Angel Music Baby

It was recently brought to my attention that this blog is seriously lacking in love letters to MR.

Okay, so that's the most absurd thing I've read all day.

Actually, I was just writing on another topic that this blog has been a love letter to MR since the beginning. Sure, there are eggwhites, there is brewers yeast (three cheers for the people who thought I was talking about brewers yeast in the "This Time I Really Think I'm In Love" issue) there are calorie counts and descriptions of Aubrey de Grey and all sorts of things, but basically, it's all about MR.

Here's what I wrote:

One of my CR brothers pointed out to me that my blog is all about MR. That's probably true. From the beginning, the blog has been a testament to my respect for the man who started out as my CR guru, rapidly became my inspiration for saving my own life from the downwardspiral of ill-health that we've seen too many of ourfriends and family fall into, and has now become my lover, my partner in the fight against the unnecessary suffering of aging, and my daily reminder that life is worth fighting for.

So I thought it was time to write my commentary on the new Gwen Stefani CD. It's called "Love Angel Music Baby," which is a line from the song "Rich Girl." I love four noun album titles. One of my favorites of all time, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Blood Sugar Sex Magic" could be a great CR blog entry, if only you made it "Bloodsugar Sex Magic." Get it? It's a low carb thing, you wouldn't understand.

So of course when I heard the song and bought the album, I thought of my CR angel... and there really aren't enough public written records of how much I adore him, are there?

[a brief note: if you think it's irritating to read about, you ought to see us when we're together. luckily, the people who've actually been forced to be around us: Aubrey de Grey, Keven Perrott, MR's parents and brother, are all happy people who are downright ecstatic that two weird people like us have found each other. So they're okay with it. I don't know what the random people who are forced to watch the two skinny redheads kissing on the bus think, but until they actually throw us off public transportation, I'm not planning to change anything.]

It may seem odd that I found so much inspiration for a serious life change from the nacho and margarita diet to the super healthy brewers yeast and eggwhites and pinot noir diet that we now see me enjoying from the writings of a rather un-approachable stranger. I had a big crush on MR long before I ever saw his picture -- watching a TV interview with him only sealed it. His writings, stored up in the magestic archives of the CR Society (I will always be grateful to one of my CR brothers for restoring the archives after a catastrophic crash last spring) were like a lifeline to me. I knew I wanted to change... had to change... but I didn't know how. I saw his name flash across my inbox over and over again, and I started reading his posts. At first, I'd just skim them for the funny lines. Gradually it began to sink in. And then when I started to change my diet, and saw visible, dramatic results, I came to trust him. All the while he had no idea that I existed.

MR's writings can be harsh, fire and brimstone, sinners in the hands of an angry P:F:C ratio. That's what I needed to shake me out of high carb hell. No ordinary nutrition book would have done it.

He continues to be my inspiration to improve my diet, life and health even more. All the more so because I want to spend as much time with him as possible, and that means being young and healthy, not old and sick.

What's so weird about that? So what if love is the thing that makes you change for the better?

You're probably wondering what I ate today. Well, I'll tell you. But in the next entry. I haven't eaten dinner yet.

I Have A Confession To Make

This will shock, and perhaps horrify you.

Are you ready?

I like imitation crab meat.

I ate some today. It's on the salad bar at my grocery store. I got some. I took it home and weighed it on my fancy scale. 130 grams. 133 calories. Almost all protein. Heaven only knows what it's made of. But I find it very yummy.

I ate eggwhites and flax oil for breakfast, followed by cottage cheese and a grocery store salad for lunch. For dinner, VLC stopped by for some cruciferous brewers yeast soup. Glass of cabernet (yes, sometimes I drink non-pinots. deal with it.)

Now I am tired... got a good grant application sent off and some other stuff done today that was important. The cats are getting used to having me around, though Kieffer still thinks that I should be feeding him at all times. He sleeps in his basket under my desk most of the time.

Got an interesting email from one of my life extension heroes today that mentioned metformin... asked MR about it and he said, "Go search the archives. ;)"

He winked at me, but I think you'll see that he makes no exceptions to the "find out for yourself" rule, even in my case. I searched the archives and read his posts on the topic. Very informative. It was nice to get a little dose of my favorite old drug, the CRS archives.

Nutritional analysis for today says:
Total Calories: 1023
P:F:C = 52:18:30 (I know I am in trouble -- low fat!!!)
66% iron, 44% Panto Acid, 39% Zinc, 89% calcium.
The rest all way over 100%.

MR says that if four times a week I am eating brewers yeast and getting in the 400% of my copper RDA, I should take zinc every day.

I am tired... to bed soon.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Are You Ready For Another Life?

Everything is different now.

Volume three.

Today's food:

eggwhites and flax oil: 165

1 cup cottage cheese: 160
100g kale: 50
1 teaspoon flax oil + 1 tablespoon olive oil: 80

2 tablespoons brewers yeast in two cups of free range organic chicken broth
with half a bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots: 265

glass of red wine: 100
hazelnuts: 100 (yes, I still have nuts in my freezer. I'm not anti-nut, I just prefer flax oil for omega 3 balance. as they say, everything is different now.)

Software says: 920
P:F:C 51-29-20
90% calcium, 48% iron, 35% zinc, 39% panto acid. Way over 100% on everything else -- way, way over on some.

403% copper? Huh? Where's that coming from? MR -- what's up with my zinc and copper balance? You may need to write a guest issue on that topic.

I am finding it comforting to be back with my happy foods. The eggwhites were so delicious this morning! And my brewers yeast soup... yum!

CR is a different kind of life, but I can't imagine going back to how I was before.

I am still listening to "Everything Is Different Now."

And Will You Stand Here In This Fire With Me?

I knew that wedding song would be good for at least three blog headlines.

I was thinking today about some of my CR brothers and sisters with whom I've become very close in the last year. I've often said that I would never have been able to do CR without the CR Society. There are two reasons why: 1) The things I read on the list taught me how to change my diet so that I could be vibrantly healthy in a way I had never been before on very few calories 2) The support of my CR brothers and sisters has made it possible for me to not just change my diet but to change my life.

Listening to "Everything Is Different Now" on continuous repeat most of the day (my neighbors deserve this... they invite elephants and screaming toddlers to their house at 2 am) I reflected on the truly remarkable nature of that support. Remembering how Mary took so much time to help me figure out my diet... how two of my CR brothers have spent a great deal of their own time working with me on the connection between my diet and my anxiety levels... how when I think of my closest friends, CR folk whom I'd never even heard of a year ago are in the top five.

What is it about us that makes us stick together, be there for each other, and take time out of our busy days to support each other?

I think a lot of it can be explained in the fact that we're just weird. We know we're weird, and everytime we read a popular press account of our diet and lifestyle, we're reminded. To be both convinced that adopting a lifestyle where you put health above immediate gratification is pretty darned weird. We watch the people around us killing themselves slowly with our society's favorite poisons, and we make a different choice.

I also think that the kind of person who is attracted to CR loves life, and wants to share it. The same kind of person is attracted to the M Prize... it's one reason why I consider the non-CR'd M Prize brothers to be "one of us" too.

It's been less than a year, and so much has changed. Sometimes when I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror I barely know it's me. All my life, I hated my body. Silly, really, because I was always one of those girls that boys thought was perfect, even though I always thought I was a touch too fat for fashion. Now I'm at peace with my body... and those struggles feel like they happened to someone else. Remember back in "Women's Magazines" when I wrote that the feeling of breaking lose from the body image obsession that consumes most American women felt like shattering a glass? In the video for "Everything Is Different Now," Don Henley shatters a martini glass. You can watch the video here: http://music.yahoo.com/track/1821025

I could do it because I found people who were willing to stand here in this fire with me. People who gave up their time, their mental energy, and were there for me through all the struggles -- not about food but about life, about who we will be and what's worth spending our life energy on.

She said I don't care what you do for a living
I don't care what kind of car you drive
And will you stand here in this fire with me?
Are you ready for another life?
I bit that bullet, I took that vow
And everything is different now.

Everything Is Different Now

Last night I was the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding. She married a man who is also a good friend of mine, and who shares with me a deep attachment to pop music. He and I used to listen to each others' mix tapes and understand exactly what was going on in each others' lives. In fact, I once made him promise that he would never translate my tapes for anyone without my permission. (Lately, however, I've made some mix tapes that even the most pop music challenged can readily comprehend.) So of course I was quite curious as to what he would choose as their wedding song. He choose "Everything Is Different Now" by Don Henley, which you really should listen to. I didn't realize until I wrote down the lyrics that it actually has a vague allusion to a wedding, but even taken out of the context of marriage, it's a beautiful and moving song. If you can possibly manage it, listen to the song.

So how does this tie into CR? You're waiting to see if I'm going to pull off another one of those "The John Cougar Mellancamp quote is actually about brewers yeast!" moves, aren't you?

No, not quite. But as I get closer to my first CR birthday, I am reflecting a lot on how much I've changed. CR has had some unexpected side effects, to be sure. Results not typical!

I have Steve to thank for many many important songs in my life, so I'll thank him for this one too:

I hate to tell you this
But I'm very, very happy
I know that's not
What you'd expect from me at all
I'm not the kind
To smile and bow out gracefully
I always wanted to take it to the wall

But I've found somebody
With a heart as big as Texas
I've found an angel
With the golden wings
She saw me down here in the dark somehow
And everything is different now

Yeah I miss the old crowd
The wild nights of running
You know a starving soul
Can't live like that for long
You go around in circles
Just keep getting smaller
Wake up one morning
And half your life is gone

I got so tired of that
I got so lonely
I dropped down and called out to heaven
Send me someone to love
Heaven shot back
You get the love that you allow
And everything is different now

She said I don't care what you do for a living
I don't care what kind of car you drive
All I want to know right now
Is what you believe in
What it means to you to be alive

And will you stand here in this fire with me?
Are you ready for another life?
I bit that bullet
I took that vow
And everything is different now.

Everything is different now.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

How Not To Eat

This weekend, I am the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding. It's a very fancy occasion in Philly, with the ceremony at a beatiful hall in Rittenhouse Square. Last night was the rehearsal dinner, at a really nice Italian restaurant in South Philly. I spent lots of time in advance discussing with MR how I would handle the food challenge. Unlike tonight, when it will be a buffet, this was a sit down dinner where they just bring you the food. Needless to say, I didn't want to call attention to what I was eating. But I figured by eating small amounts I'd do fine.

Well, I was totally wrong. And when I look back at my blog records, I can see why. In a classic example of the theory of averaging that I'm trying to stop doing, I ate enough last night to make up for the very low calorie week I had when I barely went above 1000 all week.

For one thing, I had barely eaten all day. We got some exciting news over in M Prize world, and so I was working on that, finishing a grant application I wanted to send off, and then I had an appointment with my accountant that gave me lots of opportunity to reflect on the US tax code. Yikes. So all I had eaten was my breakfast eggwhites and flax oil (total 180 with the grape juice creatine chaser) and then a cup of cottage cheese (160). The dinner was supposed to start at 7 pm, and I was there right on time. I had a glass of wine while waiting for everyone to show up (I was the first one there) and there was a long, long cocktail hour during which everyone gathered and talked and drank. By the time we sat down to dinner, it was well after eight, and I was starving! I usually eat dinner at around 6, and I was starving then because I hadn't eaten enough during the day, and had eaten lightly the previous several day. Then there were not really choices as to what to eat. There was a salad, then there was choice of pork chop stuffed with something or other, a chicken dish, or black cod. I went with the chicken, which was delicious. So I ate all the salad, all of that, two little pieces of bruchetta that was served as an appetizer, and yes, I even ate the small sliver of chocloate cake they passed around for dessert. By the time I left (and I was the first one to leave) it was 10:30 and I so tired!

The moral of the story: if you're already under calories for the week, eat *before* you're confronted with a bunch of high calorie delicious food!

Still "averaging." Blergh.

The bride gave me a great looking cookbook called "High Calcium, Low Calorie." Isn't that sweet!!!!

Off to the wedding... well, to get my hair done, then to pictures, then to the wedding, then to the reception.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Another Good CR Day

I'm glad you guys don't come here for entertainment, because my diet is awfully boring when I'm at home. But I love it! The eggwhites, the brewers yeast, the cottage cheese... all my favorites!


Pre-breakfast (creatine chaser, 1/2 teaspoon of creatine)
Crangrape juice 20

1 cup eggwhites scrambled 125
Teaspoon flax oil 40

100 g kale 50
1 teaspoon olive oil 40
1 teaspoon flax oil 40
1 cup cottage cheese 160

Afternoon snack:
Blueberry Atkins "Morning Start" bar: 160

1/2 bag of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli 75
cup of chicken broth 15
two tablespoons brewers yeast (new brand, higher cal) 160
Calcium chewy: 20

Tonight I will cuddle up with two of my favorite things on earth: a glass of pinot noir, and an article by MR. MR sent me two articles he's been working on, and all day I've been fighting the urge to print and read them. I am only allowed to read them before bed, during my "reading hour" from 9 pm to 10 pm. Last night I fell asleep reading a document about writing good funding proposals that another M Prize brother sent me. Woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my cat shredding the paper. She will no doubt take a bit out of MR's article, but that only makes it more authentic.

If anyone wants to send me your diet off blog, feel free to write me at aprilsmith12 at yahoo dot com.

Here is my nutritional analysis for today:
Over 100% of everything except Iron 42%, Panto Acid 33%???, and Zinc, 32%

Calories: 990

P:F:C = 55:22:23

Now that's weird. That's Atkinsish. I am way high protein, low fat, low carb. No wonder I feel good. I am a high protein girl. We'll see what MR says about this. He may tell me to eat another teaspoon of olive oil before bed, and if he does, I will.

Another Good CR Day

I'm glad you guys don't come here for entertainment, because my diet is awfully boring when I'm at home. But I love it! The eggwhites, the brewers yeast, the cottage cheese... all my favorites!


Pre-breakfast (creatine chaser, 1/2 teaspoon of creatine)
Crangrape juice 20

1 cup eggwhites scrambled 125
Teaspoon flax oil 40

100 g kale 50
1 teaspoon olive oil 40
1 teaspoon flax oil 40
1 cup cottage cheese 160

Afternoon snack:
Blueberry Atkins "Morning Start" bar: 160

1/2 bag of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli 75
cup of chicken broth 15
two tablespoons brewers yeast (new brand, higher cal) 160
Calcium chewy: 20

Tonight I will cuddle up with two of my favorite things on earth: a glass of pinot noir, and an article by MR. MR sent me two articles he's been working on, and all day I've been fighting the urge to print and read them. I am only allowed to read them before bed, during my "reading hour" from 9 pm to 10 pm. Last night I fell asleep reading a document about writing good funding proposals that another M Prize brother sent me. Woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my cat shredding the paper. She will no doubt take a bit out of MR's article, but that only makes it more authentic.

If anyone wants to send me your diet off blog, feel free to write me at aprilsmith12 at yahoo dot com.

Here is my nutritional analysis for today:
Over 100% of everything except Iron 42%, Panto Acid 33%???, and Zinc, 32%

Calories: 990

P:F:C = 55:22:23

Now that's weird. That's Atkinsish. I am way high protein, low fat, low carb. No wonder I feel good. I am a high protein girl. We'll see what MR says about this. He may tell me to eat another teaspoon of olive oil before bed, and if he does, I will.

Another Good CR Day

I'm glad you guys don't come here for entertainment, because my diet is awfully boring when I'm at home. But I love it! The eggwhites, the brewers yeast, the cottage cheese... all my favorites!


Pre-breakfast (creatine chaser, 1/2 teaspoon of creatine)
Crangrape juice 20

1 cup eggwhites scrambled 125
Teaspoon flax oil 40

100 g kale 50
1 teaspoon olive oil 40
1 teaspoon flax oil 40
1 cup cottage cheese 160

Afternoon snack:
Blueberry Atkins "Morning Start" bar: 160

1/2 bag of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli 75
cup of chicken broth 15
two tablespoons brewers yeast (new brand, higher cal) 160
Calcium chewy: 20

Tonight I will cuddle up with two of my favorite things on earth: a glass of pinot noir, and an article by MR. MR sent me two articles he's been working on, and all day I've been fighting the urge to print and read them. I am only allowed to read them before bed, during my "reading hour" from 9 pm to 10 pm. Last night I fell asleep reading a document about writing good funding proposals that another M Prize brother sent me. Woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my cat shredding the paper. She will no doubt take a bit out of MR's article, but that only makes it more authentic.

If anyone wants to send me your diet off blog, feel free to write me at aprilsmith12 at yahoo dot com.

Here is my nutritional analysis for today:
Over 100% of everything except Iron 42%, Panto Acid 33%???, and Zinc, 32%

Calories: 990

P:F:C = 55:22:23

Now that's weird. That's Atkinsish. I am way high protein, low fat, low carb. No wonder I feel good. I am a high protein girl. We'll see what MR says about this. He may tell me to eat another teaspoon of olive oil before bed, and if he does, I will.

Hi Michelle and Laura!

Hi Michelle and Laura, and all other bloggiefriends!

Just a quick note before I get back to writing grant applications.

Welcome! So glad you like the blog! And that you're not groaning at the constant chatter of a geeky fangirl in love. Personally, I think the love story is the most fun part, but I do love my eggwhites too!

Michelle wrote:

Hello April, I have been reading your post for a while now and have decided to give CR a try. You are very inspirational !!The problem is that I just don't know where to start. I am female, 32yrs old and currently weigh 107. I don't know how low I should take my calories since I don't want to drop too much too quickly. Do you have any ideas as to a good calorie goal to hit without losing too much too quick??ThanksMichelle

How tall are you Michelle? I'm guessing you're about my height, which is just under 5'2". Sounds like you're already quite thin, so your rate of weight loss should be slower than mine was. When I started, I was five pounds overweight at 137. I lost about five pounds a month in the beginning, which for you would mean you would waste away to nothing and that would defeat the purpose! What we really need to do is determine how many calories you're eating now, figure out where you're lacking essential nutrients, adjust your protein, fat, carb ratio to get you maximum strength, energy, and general happiness out of your calories, and then figure out how to gradually cut down the total number of cals. If you send me a couple of representative days of your current diet, I'll crunch them on my software and help you figure it out. You probably don't want to lose more than two pounds a month, maybe even less. I'll ask MR what he thinks. When he started CR, he was already thin. So you're probably more like him. You should also read, if you haven't yet, Dr. Roy Walford's _The Beyond 120 Year Diet_. It has some great basics. Two words of warning though: I found Walford's high carb, lowfat diet unsustainable at a low calorie level. That's why I went to more Zone-like ratios. Besides the fact that Little MR told me to and Tall MR was just so darned convincing in all his rantings on the subject. Also, I think Walford has a limited understanding of the different experiences women have on CR from men. His chapter on weight loss is an example: he outlines a linear pattern of weight loss, and women just don't work that way. We have tremendous shifts in our weight based on time of the month, exercise, how much we eat the night before. I have been known to weigh four pounds more at 7 pm than I did at 5 am. This is obviously none other than water weight. I'll blog more about women's issues soon, I promise. In the meantime, Walford gives great basics. Soon, a book by Brian Delaney, the president of the CR Society, and Lisa Walford, Roy's daughter and a long term CR practitioner and yoga teacher, should be coming out that promises to be very accessible and easy to use. I'll post the link to where you can order it as soon as it's published.

Laura wrote:

Hi April,I've been doing CR about a year and recently discovered your blog. I love your upbeat tone, practical tips on what to eat, and especially the great story of you and MR. Thanks so much for the recipes today.I am 5'2", 38 years old, and 108 lbs. I eat between 1100 and 1500 calories a day, following the zone approach. I love what CR has done for my appearance, and I like how much more alert I am with the Zone meals. I do sometimes find myself with low energy and hungry. Maybe in the future you could post how you deal with these issues (if they arise at all for you). Thanks again for sharing your experiences.Laura

Hi Laura! We are twins! My CR birthday is coming up on March 26! And yes, MR is going to make me a birthday dinner and no doubt put a birthday candle in a megamuffin or something like that. I've been giving a lot of thought to the low energy and hunger issues, as that is a danger as I take my calories a bit lower. What I always find helps me (disclaimer: as we all know, I am in love with a man who advocates a fairly high protein diet) is to eat more protein. When I'm hungry, a shot of eggwhites fixes me right up. Sometimes I substitute another meal of eggwhites for my usual cottage cheese just to up my protein if I'm feeling hungry, edgy, anxious or somehow under the weather. These days I also take a teaspoon of flax oil with my eggwhites, and you could throw in some chopped tomato or green pepper and salsa to get the carbs and Zone it. Are you feeling irritable when you feel low energy and hungry? Have you been losing weight lately? One of my CR brothers has told me that when he is losing weight, he feels weak and hungry. He is already very thin, as are you, so you might be experiencing the same thing. Send me a day or so of your basic diet and I'll see if I can come up with any ideas.

I love you guys!!! Writing this blog really is the most fun thing on earth. Thanks for coming back.

Okay, now back to raising the money to mobilize the scientists to put an end to the suffering of degenerative diseases associated with aging.

Ring of Fire -- and Meals You Can Serve to Your Non-CR'd Significant Other

Good morning bloggiefriends.

Hello Phoebe! The only Johnny Cash song with which I am really familiar is "Ring of Fire." The reason I know that song is that my high school best friend was in an a capella singing group in college, and one of her friends sang and a capella version of "Ring of Fire." It was truly bizarre. As my friend Emma, who is known for her ability to capture the essence of the moment, once said: "You haven't lived until you've heard the a capella group sing a Johnny Cash song.

Speaking of Emma, she suggested to me that I put together a week's worth of dinner menus from the blog. There's also been a demand lately for my CR meals that you can easily modify and serve to non-CR'd people, without messing up your own blissful CR'd ness at meals. I recognize that not everyone is lucky enough to have a partner who also does CR, and that for most of my readers, this is an issue that comes up quite frequently. What to feed self, while also feeding the husband/boyfriend/fiance and kids/pets?

I can't help you with the pets. My own cats won't eat my cooking... I was so upset the time I lovingly baked free range organic chicken livers in free range organic chicken broth and they turned up their little kitty noses at it. First time a living creature has refused to eat my food. But I can help you with the humans. So how's this? Quick and easy meals you can throw together when you walk in the door from work. Feel free to have one of Mary's lime juice, mineral water and vodka drinks while you cook.

Shrimp and tomatoes in chardonnay sauce, served over rice for the significant other/kids, just plain for you. Asparagus on the side, with lemon juice, olive oil and pepper drizzled on top.

Buy shrimp that have already been peeled and de-veined. For every 200 grams of shrimp (200 calories) pour in three ounces/89 grams of chardonnay. Put this all in a pot and turn up the heat. Start stirring. Add chopped tomatoes, however many you want (tomatoes are generally 18 calories per 100 grams) and a little bit of either fresh garlic, minced, or some garlic powder. Stir until the shrimp are nice and pink and cooked. At the last minute or so, add a bit of cilantro... decide how much based on how much you like cilantro. Then drizzle in one teaspoon per person of olive oil. You can also add lime or lemon juice if you want... feel free to just throw it in from a bottle. Serve to yourself in a cup or bowl, serve to your significant other over rice or pasta.

While the shrimp are cooking, throw the asparagus either in a steamer pot, in a saucepan with just a covering of water, or in the microwave to steam. When they're pretty bright green but not overcooked, take them out, and add a teaspoon of olive oil per person and squeeze some lemon juice on top, add a dash of pepper and you can add a dash of half-salt if you wish.

That should take you no more than half an hour, start to finish. Depending on how carefully you want to measure it. 100 g of shrimp = approximately 100 calories (it varies just slightly based on kind of shrimp) and 18 g ish of protein. I tend to eat 100 g shrimp, MR eats 200 g shrimp at dinner. You may want to eat more than we do, that's fine. Or you may want to eat about what I do but feed your significant other more.


Pasta free lasagna

You will need:

A baking dish
2 large cans of tomato sauce
Some red wine you don't mind cooking with
Garlic powder
1 can Artichoke hearts per two people
Red or green peppers
Cottage cheese, lowfat or fat free
Fresh or dried basil
Part-skim mozarella cheese
Greens of some kind: arugula if you can spend the money, spinach is fine, any dark leafy thing
I think kale would rock in this recipe, thanks to the CR brother who suggested it

Chop up the veggies, zucchini into little disks.
Mix the cottage cheese (1 cup per person) with garlic powder, half-salt, and basil.
Mix 3 oz per person cooking wine with the tomato sauce.
Line the pan with a layer of greens. Put on top of that a layer of zucchini disks. Cover with a thin layer of cottage cheese. Cover with a layer of other veggies (artichokes, peppers -- you can use whatever veggies you want). Cover with a layer of tomato sauce. Repeat.
When you run out of ingredients, cover with a final layer of tomato sauce, and then top with a thin layer of mozarella cheese.
Bake for about half an hour on maybe 350, or until the cheese looks all melty. Cook longer if you like your veggies mushier. Serve it like it's lasagna. It's a meal for you, for your significant other, serve with Italian bread or garlic bread.

More soon...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Supplements I Love, Supplements I Love But Not As Much

[DISCLOSURE: I am madly in love with a man who used to make supplements for AOR. He tells me what supplements to take. Some of them are things he made.]

It occurred to me this morning that now that I've gotten used to my supplement routine, I've started to develop attachments to some of them, and to like others distinctly less. This seems silly, so I spent a moment with my supplements this morning deconstructing my feelings towards each of them.

First: Strontium Support, AOR, MR made it. I love this one. Even though the capsule is fairly big, I am attached to this one because I read MR's article about it while we were in the airport waiting for Aubrey de Grey to arrive in Calgary. It's a bone building pill, and that seems good, but mostly I like it because I really liked MR's article and I have this warm fuzzy memory of reading it while MR sat next to me reading one of Aubrey's articles.

Creatine: a not particularly good tasting powder that I have to take because I'm a vegetarian mostly. MR says we have to take it with a grape juice (or in my case cranberry grape) chaser so that it absorbs into the muscles with a little sugar. I like this one a lot when I'm at MR's cause he measures it out for me and kinda hovers over me while I take it, no doubt because it's amusing to watch me make a face when I taste the icky stuff. But I don't really like it when I'm at my own house because it takes yucky and it makes me miss MR.

After those dissolve for an hour, I eat breakfast, and here's what I take with breakfast:

I-3-C: This is a pill that fights the early stages of cervical cancer. MR made it for AOR after he read this amazing study where it actually reveresed cervical dysplasia. You can read about it here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=10926790

or just check this out:

"Thirty patients with biopsy proven CIN II-III [cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades II to II, on a III-point scale] were randomized to receive placebo or 200, or 400 mg/day I-3-C administered orally for 12 weeks. ... RESULTS: None (0 of 10) of the patients in the placebo group had complete regression of CIN. In contrast 4 of 8 patients in the 200 mg/day arm and 4 of 9 patients in the 400 mg/day arm had complete regression based on their 12-week biopsy."

Now that's big news out there for women who've had a bad pap smear and totally freaked out thinking we're going to get cervical cancer. Which is like everyone. So of course I love this supplement and of course I am extremely proud that I know the person who made it.

Essential Mix: 1 teaspoon. I love Essential Mix, my mom hates it, VLC loves it. I gave VLC an autographed carton (yes, I make MR autograph some, though not all, of the supplements he made. After all the willpower it took to *not* ask him to autograph RANT: Moderate CR, at the conference, even though I was carrying it around the entire time, I decided that from now on I'm just going to be a geeky fangirl and he doesn't seem to mind) as a present when I got back from Calgary, and she mixes hers into a yogurt and fruit smoothie.

Taurine: I take this on every other day, and it's in the category of "Vegetarian supplements"
My memory of taurine before I met MR was that it's what cats have to have, and why they can't be vegans. Not that I ever tried to make my cats be vegans -- they aren't even CR'd (obviously as Kieffer weighs 20 pounds and is a giant housecat, not a CR'd bobcat.) I can't get all that attached to taurine. I mean, it's fine, but I don't *love* it the way I love I3C, strontium and Essential Mix.

Between breakfast and lunch:
1 Carnosine
1 Aceyl-L-Carnitine

I don't know what these guys do. My main association with them is that it's hard to remember to take them, as I have to have them at least one hour after breakfast and one half hour before lunch. Even in Calgary MR kept forgetting to give them to me.

1 zinc. Yeah, zinc and me, we go way back. If you missed the "it's not Advil, it's zinc" issue, I suggest you go back and read it. No further comment, except that I keep taking zinc, even though it is obviously personally out to get me, because MR has a terrible story about zinc deficiency.

1 Menatetrenome/Peak K2
This is another bone thing, and I love it because it's a tiny little yellow pill and very cute. It also sounds like metronome, that thing I had when I took piano lessons, and I think that's funny. I also like anything with Vitamin K in it.

1 Choline + Inositol
I have no idea what this does, but I do feel a sense of accomplishment when I take it.

I3C Love it
1 teaspoon Essential Mix Love it
1 Calcium Chewy
I take those chewy chocolatey calcium things, and they're so good. It's like having dessert. They also take along time to eat.
1000 IU vitamin D on alternate days (I am looking at MR's note that says "arrange your pillboxes" and thinking that I haven't told him that I'm still taking everything straight from the bottle unless I'm on a trip, in which case I've just been putting what I need into zip lock bags. He really thinks I should get pillboxes. Maybe I will, but the system of taking them from the bottles seems to eliminate a step, and since I take so few, it's not a hassle. And I get to revisit all the pretty labels.)

That's my day. I'm getting pretty good at taking all of them, and I have no trouble whatsoever remembering if it's an alternate day.

Now don't go taking exactly what I'm taking, because you're not me! MR figured out what I should be taking based on an analysis of my diet, my lifestyle, and my personal risk factors.