A Foil for Good Eats: Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox Program Ackcherley Works

What follows is a completely unsolicited endorsement. You all know how I hate capitalism.

I am always loathe to add myself to a fifty-plus-post thread, fearing I’ll wind up lost in the crowd like that cockeyed optimist of a penguin in Gary Larson’s immortal cartoon:

However, I do have some news for you all in the wake of Prof’s paen to self-abusive dining. A few weeks ago I accidentally clicked one of those annoying internet ads that say things like “throw away your probiotics now!” or “this vegetable is out to kill you” or “this woman transformed her gut just by doing this!” (no, sleeping with Hair Hitler wasn’t the solution).  I think the Ancient Old Ones must have tired of letting me invoke their names in vain and Yog-Sothoth guided my hand.

The first few seconds of the resultant video hooked me. It was Dr. Steven Gundry, one of the top thoracic surgeons and cardiologists in the world (I checked him out later – he’s the real deal), talking – and making incredible sense – about how toxic chemicals in vegetables, tofu, cereal and some cooking oils begin to poison us slowly from an early age and how we pay the price for it when we’re…uh…my age, or thereabouts, after our systems have been sufficiently degraded by all the shit we eat. It’s worse than you think, and was surely worse than I  thought.

I had been avoiding stuff like white bread, white potatoes and refined pasta for years anyway, but Gundry points out that carbs are the least of their problems. The real problems with grains and especially wheat, for example, are toxins common to many plants called lectins. WgA, or wheat germ agglutinin,  is one of the most ubiquitous plant compounds in our food and it is monstrously toxic. The trade-off for eating “high fiber” whole wheat is ingesting this shit.  And of course, I had switched to whole wheat years ago. I felt like I had voted for Trump in my sleep.

So as I usually do when confronted with a new horizon I started doing some research. Yeah, the evidence for the widespread destructive effects of WgA, and other toxins in grains and many fruits and vegetables,  has been there not just for years but for centuries. Our ancestors were a lot smarter than us. When something they ate made them sick, they stopped eating it. Duh-uhhh.

Example: about as soon as tomatoes (members of the nightshade family of plants) arrived from the New World in the sixteenth century, Italians figured out that something in the skin and seeds of the fruit were poisonous and they always blanched them in boiling water to remove the skins, then split them open and wiped the seeds out, using only the pulp. Ditto for the much-healthier-than-we-are Chinese and Japanese figuring out how to grind the husks off their rice. They would no sooner eat brown rice than take a fecal enema orally.

So okay, I was convinced – a little. I ordered Gundry’s recent book, The Plant Paradox, and though skeptical – I’m skeptical about everything –  I began imposing his dietary restrictions on myself. And you know what? It works. Really well.

So for what it’s worth: among other immediate improvements, for years my diabetic bladder has awakened me two or three times a night. Guess what? Within less than a week I began sleeping through till sunrise, at least. Unless you’ve had your sleep disrupted for years you can’t imagine how great this is, especially considering there’s no CPAP for your weewee. And there have been other physical changes, not just feelgood placebo effects. Because many of them are alimentary issues I won’t ruin your appetites or aesthetic fields by recounting them here but when you live for years with metabolic inconveniences and they very quickly begin to disappear, well…

I’ve lost a couple of pounds too. And – get this – I am not hungry or thirsty all the time any more. I don’t see my endocrinologist for a couple more months but I will bet you anything this is evidence my blood sugar is already coming down.

The main changes in my diet included throwing out all cereals, including my beloved oatmeal; avoiding beans (there are some exceptions to this but you can dig into it on your own time), avoiding tomatoes and other nightshade vegetables like green peppers or eggplant, replacing dairy with only A2 milk products like French butter, switching to goat’s milk, coconut or goat’s milk yogurt, and upping my intake of green leafy vegetables and cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Also, it required switching only to grass feed beef (I’m not a big meat eater anyway so this wasn’t hard), pastured (not “free range” – that’s a scam) chickens and wild caught fish.

The book explains in detail the research behind these reversals of conventional dietary wisdom. As a subscriber to JSTOR going back to my professorial days I was able to follow up many of the footnotes and references therein. It’s for real. Also, Gundy is a movie buff and quotes liberally from some of my favorite films, and he’s not reluctant to say “shit” when that’s what he’s talking about.

Dumping all bread and pasta wasn’t easy at first but there are almond flour and coconut flour faux breads with which I will be replacing them eventually. Things like Jerusalem artichoke noodles and pasta contain much friendlier starches than grain pasta and bread. Not a big deal. The book is full of great recipes, including marinades for that grass fed beef, wild caught feesh and pastured chicken. I will be passing them – experimented with and duly augmented – along to you as the season progresses.

I leave it to you guys to check into this at your own speed. Yes, GundryMD, his supplement manufacturer, is a business and yes, he’s out to make money (pretty funny for a ranking cardiologist and surgeon I admit but then the late Scarsdale Diet doctor Herman Tarnower was in the same situation).

Prof,  look into this. Please.

Best of all, pomegranates are still OK so my ritual of a breaking into my daily pomegranate during the World Series remains more or less intact.

 

 

 

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20 thoughts on “A Foil for Good Eats: Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox Program Ackcherley Works

  1. How do chickpeas fit into this? I have been slowly introducing at least two or three vegan meals into my weekly diet every week since the beginning of the year and I’ve felt a lot better, although I haven’t lost any weight at all.

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    • Chickpeas, like lima beans and a few other beans, are OK if they’re pressure cooked to destroy the lectins they carry. The strategy of this lifestyle change is to eliminate all legumes at first, including chickpeas, soy beans, kidney beans, peas, peanuts (which are not really nuts) and so forth. Beans whose lectins can be neutralized through pressure cooking can be re-introduced into your diet down the road a few weeks, after you’ve cleansed your system.

      This will be great for me, at any rate, since it means I can re-introduced “neutered” hummos and felafel in a few more weeks (sesame seeds are OK and tahini is, by extension, OK too), and those are foods I love – but mashed chickpeas which have not been pressure cooked are ackcherley bad news for your gut bacteria.

      Vegan diets in general still include stuff like grains and soy, which, unfermented (as in soy sauce or miso, or that sublime lumpy paste called natto), turns out to be really harmful. The stuff attacks your thyroid glands and sets orf a whole cascade of bad metabolism. Hemp tofu is much healthier than soy tofu. So, whereas vegan diets are by and large healthier than diets high in animal protein, fish and chicken included, they still overlook some serious toxin-bearing vegetable products. You can remain a vegan on this plan but the grains, legumes and nightshades gotta go.

      You really should get yerself a copy of the book and read it cover to cover before you make any serious changes in your diet except to throw out your peanuts, cashews, tomatoes, green peppers, cereals and “whole wheat” products immediately. The book goes to great lengths to explain the mechanics of weight retention and insulin resistance (which is almost always behind weight retention).

      You’ll be a whole lot clearer on why stuff goes wrong with your best efforts at dietary control after your first read-through.

      You’ll also be absolutely furious at how big agriculture and the chemical industry have gone out of their way to hide information they’ve had for decades about how destructive their animal-fattening or preservative uses are. Of course you’ll also be disgusted at what a bunch of craven swine the legislators they’ve pressured or paid off not to act on their (highly profitable) abuses are. Speaking of which, there’s a list of really damaging chemicals that the EC has totally banned but that our food industries still use with impunity. I nearly cracked my teeth after reading that section. Gundy comes to the rescue with a list of products that don’t use them.

      PS – your brain will curdle when you read about what Teflon does to you. One of the first things I did was dump my Teflon cookware and replace it with non-stick ceramic cookware.

      Please go get this book. It’ll be a real eye opener. I thought I knew what I was doing even though a lot of things were staying wrong. There are cheap used copies on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Plant-Paradox-Dangers-Healthy-Disease/dp/006242713X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520796004&sr=8-1&keywords=plant+paradox

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      • I haven’t used Teflon or Silverstone or whatever you call it in ages. Mostly because I had read that the fumes hurt exotic birds, and figured that if it’s hurting birds it probably isn’t doing me any favors, either.

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  2. I define “organic” as meaning something that either is or used to be alive, e.g. a tree, a cow or a carrot, I define “natural” as something that is, because everything that is is “natural” be it human altered or not because they anin’t no such thing as magic, not even the shit coming from us evolved apes. I do not consider whether or not it is the product of no later than mid 20th century technologies, e.g. Mendolian genetics or selective seed selection as opposed to the same thing but far more precise emerging GMO technologies, and not latter 20th century and 21st century food technologies. Since I don’t eat rock plastic or metal, everything I eat is “organic”. Over the last few decades the wonderments of GMO technologies along with the prudent use of pesticides has reduced the number of human beings world wide who suffer from chronic malnutrition due to an in adequate food supply from about in 1 in four to about 1 in ten. That one in ten still calculates out to over 700 million human beings each of which is worth as much as you or me. Delaying the improvement and sometimes salvation of those 700 hundred million human beings because of junk science food fads is immoral.

    So yeah, don’t eat this and do eat that where you figure, but otherwise join the fight.

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    • Whereas it’s true that GMO technologies and pesticides have made big inroads against starvation, “malnutrition” is a loaded word. More accurately, these wonder technologies have worsened malnutrition, creating a larger population whose organ systems are debilitated and who suffer from an entire host of relatively recent, long term, misery-inflicting and not infrequently fatal autoimmune conditions like diabetes, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple food allergies and other types of allergies with malnutritional etiologies (even, if not especially, among the obese), clinical depression and other affective disorders, nephritis, arthritis, neuralgia, psoriasis, obesity (and all of its other complications), collitis, Crohn’s disease, and a host of cancers that were once so rare they’ve only been classified or named in the last fifty years. Not coincidentally, this is about the same time period since these “wonder technologies” began to be introduced into our diets.

      And there is no such thing as “precise” application of pestcides, nor is it “moral” to alter plants to produce insecticidal or fungicidal toxins – which is what most GMOs are about – which are also toxic to humans and livestock (who then pass the toxins along to people who eat them). What’s really immoral is that chemical companies and industrial agricultural corporations know this and have known it, sometimes for decades – and have interceded politically to keep their toxic products on the market.

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      • “What’s really immoral is that chemical companies and industrial agricultural corporations know this and have known it, sometimes for decades – and have interceded politically to keep their toxic products on the market

        .”

        I am not informed or uniformed enough to know if that is true.

        I do know that those who realize that our public discourse and our ever excitable internet discourse is now no more than trash TV should honestly talk with each other even though we might be labelled “elitists”.

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      • Thank you for making these points. But I am not sure of your first statement about GMOs actually helping reduce anything bad at all, certainly if so it’s not enough to counter the bad effects. Monsanto must die BTW.

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  3. But seriously, haven’t come near teflon since the 60s. My mom left a griddle on the burner, and the fumes were to die for (ha!) so along with being born with a heart murmur, I figure I’ve exceeded the mfr warranty anyway.

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  4. “Yet” is the operative word here. Many of the thousand natural shocks we attribute to “old age” are the result of having lived long enough for the damage this stuff does to really catch up with us.

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      • I don’t know if “aging” is part of it (insofar as unraveling telomeres are either causes or consequences of aging, a problem being debated by gene geeks even now). I’m just trying to sleep through the night without having to get up at 3AM to pee, and get my blood sugar down in time to keep all my toes. Stuff like that. So far, this diet has beaten problem number one in pretty convincing fashion so I’m sticking with it. Since I won’t buy ballpark food from Derek Jeter, I’ve prolly got a leg up on the second one already.

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  5. Last winter – with exquisite timing, i might add, because at the time I was halfway through the process of preparing a Christmas meal of Bouef Bouguinon for my family and had a counter covered with bacon, butter, and cubed beef – my neighbor brought me a Christmas present. It was a copy of “How Not to Die” by Michael Greger, MD; also an accomplished physician and student of nutrition.
    Dr. Greger’s recommendations are fairly close to vegan – which I am not all confident I can do – but did encourage me to up my consumption of fruits and vegetables drastically. Not a big challenge; I enjoy them but just had not eaten enough in the past.
    There are some items here I am going to have to resolve. Greger also quotes at length from a multitude of studies, but his conclusions don’t match up entirely with Gundry’s.

    I would say that he does not encourage grains consumption, but he does insist on whole grains if one must. And he focuses very heavily on fibre and antioxidant content. He also falls on the completely opposite side of the legumes argument, plus suggesting that it is perfectly reasonable to substitute peanuts as a seed. And the nightshade concern is just not there.

    I feel a little like someone on a high carb diet back in the ’90’s, when Atkins came on the scene. What do we know, and how much of what we think we know is crap? I guess I will have to do a bit more research on this stuff.

    But just remember Woody’s advice from “Sleeper.” Be sure you don’t give up the tobacco.

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    • Okay, in about fifteen minutes on the internet I found take-downs of the Gundry diet and the Greger diet. Apparently our guys both have a tendency to cherry pick in their data support.

      I’m going to go have a cheesesteak (grain fed cattle and whole wheat bread). And follow it with a triple order of fries cooked in lard and a chocolate milkshake. I wonder if I could get some fried tomatoes to go with it?

      I’ll think about healthy eating tomorrow.

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      • If you picked up the Khan “debate,” the cherry picking works both ways and in fact Gundry does talk about ways to neutralize lectins in some legumes and some grains, including fermentation, baking with live yeast cultures and pressure cooking. But he also points out that foods made from those substances is not necessary to our diets.

        For me, his book answers a lot of those “takedowns” pre-emptively. Most of them are just recyclings of conventional wisdom, like insistence on whole grains when the most toxic elements of most of them – WgA, for example – are housed in their husks, germ and outermost surfaces. Very few cultures, most of which are far healthier than we are, have lower incidences of autoimmune diseases and progressive neurological diseases, emphasize whole grains – in fact they have actively refined them since about the time they began eating them in the first place. Gundry’s also pretty open about the jury being out on some of his assertions.

        And of course, after yet another good night’s sleep and a slight case of hypoglycemia that has led me to drop my midday insulin pen injection yesterday, I have arrived at a new clarity on the phenomenon of designatedhitterball. It is being caused by lectins, WgA, vitamin D3 and Omega 3 deficiencies making us stupid.

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