Monday, 15 August 2011

Thiamine and Night Vision.

Is thiamine overlooked in its role in vision? especially night vision. Everyone knows about retinol (vitamin A) and its importance for vision - eat up your carrots kids, and you will be able to see in the dark etc....but what about Thiamine?

Some background of where I coming from. I am very vision conscious. I developed myopia at about age ten and by late teens it was about -5.0R and -4.5L I hated wearing glasses and only wore them only when absolutely necessary; spending a lot of time outside. I was a somewhat slacker student so I didn't study or read much and this was pre-internet. My myopia wasn't from too much reading or screen time, my sister was the same. Neither of my parents had myopic eye trouble. I got contacts in my senior year of high school. In my early twenties I had LASIK and was set free of glasses and contacts lenses.

More than a decade passed and my eyes were better than normal, no problems until in the past year or so I noticed they were declining, not so bad that I needed glasses again, but they weren't great anymore and this was evident on my annual medical (using the Landolt ring eye test) Since cleaning up my act food wise, I noticed my eyes were initially sharper, they improved and were once again better than average. What exactly was the mechanism behind this initial improvement is really unknown. Much less sugar?, no wheat/gluten?, different lipid profile of my blood? ( do lipids affect vision?) HOWEVER, after about six months of Paleo life I noticed my night vision was becoming terrible and I began to question everything, was it the new diet? anyway I googled and came across of all things - an anti low carb website: Aktins exposed.

There was this page, the case of two naval men - an aviator and mechanic who both went low carb and suffered vision issues - especially night vision and it diagnosed as a deficiency of Thiamine - Vitamin B1. So I self experimented and sourced some Vitamin B specific supplements and began taking them and sure enough my night vision improved and my eyes are great once again. I have eased off the supplements and my vision has remained stable. As for having a vitamin B1 deficiency, I found that odd. Yeast extract is very rich in it which I love (vegemite) and pork too. Grains however are rich in thiamine so one hypothesis is that my body was previously used to a ready supply of thiamine via grains for years and when suddenly going cold turkey it wasn't adept at utilizing other sources primarily rather than the grains? Calf muscle cramps which I very occasionally get, are related to thiamine deficiency so perhaps I was having issues, but that is the only usual thiamine deficiency symptom that I displayed.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Pressure cooking vegetables

I love my pressure cooker, it's an awesome multi faceted tool that can be used from cooking soup stocks to meat to steamed vegetables.
I steam my greens and leafy greens in particular in the cooker.
It's very simple and fast:
Place a metal sieve in the bottom of the cooker , mine came with an elevated plate which sits on the very bottom so I use that under the sieve.
With a few cm of water in the bottom, place the veges in the sieve and close the lid and set the pressure cooker in motion.
I find that one minute from the time that the pressure cooker reaches it fully pressurised point works well for all leafy greens and also broccoli.
After one minute, start the process of releasing pressure.

I usually do multi one loads of veges in the same session, while I have the pressure cooker out and ready and subsequent loads are much faster as I reuse the same, already hot water.
The intense quick streaming does a fantastic job of sealing in the flavour and not leeching out all the goodness.
You can store all the prepared veges in the fridge and have several days of ammunition for salads and omelettes etc.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The seventh listener....

I am the seventh listener to the Paleo Solution podcast!

Another Salad

Big bunch of steamed mustard greens.
Bunch of steamed nanohana.
Pan fried in coconut oil nagaimo (Japanese mtn yam)
Green pepper
A dill pickle.
Avocado oil, balsamic, garlic, pesto dressing.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

mega omelette

A omelette - that  is trying to be a quiche (quiche  is oven baked)  A plain egg omelette is just not satisfying so I always try to  make them  loaded with extras.

4 eggs.
1/2 cup coconut milk
Chopped up  ham  (as much as  you want!)
1/2 onion - finely chopped
1-2  bunchs of pre-steamed leafy greens, in this case it was Komatsuna (Japanese mustard greens)
4  Shitake mushrooms -chopped
6-8 cherry tomatoes - chopped
1-2 green peppers - finely chopped.
Herbs and spices - salt  pepper and whatever takes  your fancy! Cumin, Tumeric or go more herby like Oregano, basil. Today was just salt and pepper.

Saute the mushrooms, vegetables and ham in some butter in a large fry-pan.

Add it all to a  bowl with  the whisked eggs and coconut milk already in it.

Add the whole mixture  to the large fry pan again and cook at very low heat. When  the top slowly starts to solidify carefully with two spatulas flip it over. This may take up to 10 mins before it ready to flip.
Covering  the pan,  speeds up the  process.

The second side should finish cooking much faster.

When ready - serve it up
Serves 2 adults easily.

The beginning

Fuel: Wholesome Paleo foods
Rest: 7-8  hours of quality sleep plus a midday nap and stress free downtime
Motion:  A  rolling stone  gathers no moss - a moving  body gathers no disease.

Fuel, rest and motion, the triumvirate  of  a long, healthy life. Master all aspects of these three and you're  on the  path to a disease free, active and enjoyable life right to the end.

Fuel rest motion - sharing ideas about exercise, sleep and dreams, paleo  recipes and general philosophies of a healthy life.......