5th Grade Doodles

Clare’s doodles from her history test (she got a good grade!). Her civil war comment is perfect! I’m not sure what the sweet perm on the dictator is all about…

Sunday Hike in The Fells

Last Sunday was a family fun day, and this is the first chance I’ve had to write about it. After Mass and lunch at Dad’s (previously named Dad’s Scoops and Dogs), which had just opened up for the season, we went over to The Fells at the John Hay Estate. Interesting story behind this, and it’s on the list to do the tour at some point. John Milton Hay was the private secretary of President Lincoln, and ended up buying 1000 acres around the area on Lake Sunapee. He built a huge house and a bit of a complex in the area, and the family used it as a retreat for generations. The family gave much of the land over to become a nature preserve and public area for hiking.

It’s a fairly flat geography, so a good starter hike for the season for the family. We sprayed ourselves down with tick repellent and went exploring down the various trails for a couple hours. We followed a nice, little stream that emptied out into Lake Sunapee, almost directly across from the Town of Sunapee, where the girls go to school. Pretty much a perfect day for a hike, too — mid-60’s, mostly sunny, and not windy. Great day!

Hats on as a tick barrier
This looks a bit sketchy!
Almost to the lake!
Sunapee on the right, Mt. Sunapee on the left, Lake Sunapee at the bottom
The big house

Minor, Persistent Annoyance

Did you notice that whenever you buy something from an online store, even if they explicitly ask you if you want to receive communications from them and say no, they always send you marketing emails anyway? I can’t think of one instance where they haven’t. Bad customer experience. Don’t ask if you have no intention of honoring something.

Fasting for Health

I’m a big believer in fasting, not only as a way of losing body fat, but just as a therapeutic measure. There’s a whole body of research showing that just having a period of time where you body isn’t processing food is a great thing for your body. For quite a while I’ve just been doing a 16 hour fast, which isn’t difficult — just limit your period of eating from about 10AM to 6PM. I’ve also experimented with an 18 daily fast, which wasn’t hard, but I just didn’t see any beneficial results, so I backed off of that.

It’s the long fasts that are in a whole different spectrum. They are definitely beneficial, especially in moderation. There’s a lot of people that do it quarterly, or even yearly. Ranges vary from a 3 day fast to even a 5 to 7 day fast. The point is to reset your body and give it a chance to clean up some of the negative byproducts that build up over time: autophagy for the win. I was in India for work about 4 years ago and did my first long one, going about 5 days. It was easier than you’d think it would be, with the second day being a bit difficult, but then not being hungry at all. My energy levels were high, I got a lot of good exercise in, was sharp in the mind, etc. No issues.

This year, not so much. At the end of Holy Week this year, I tried to fast from after Holy Thursday Mass all the way to Easter Sunday — 3 days. Should have been fairly easy, but by Saturday morning I was feeling dizzy, clouded in the head, and just not feeling super great, so I cut it short. This last week I had to do about a 2 day fast due to a required medical procedure, and had the same issue. Not sure what’s going on, but I’m definitely going hold off for a bit.

I still encourage anyone out there to try it out. For more resources, check out the Zero app, which is a fast tracker, but also has lots of learning available, driven by Peter Attia, M.D., about as trusted name in Ancestral Health as you’re going to get. Dr. Jason Fung also has some fantastic books about fasting that go into the history and more of a deep dive into the science. Both are highly recommended!

The Potato Trick Works

I discovered a broken lightbulb in Clare’s room, and to get it out without ripping my hand up, I needed some help. I learned an apple isn’t dense enough (we didn’t have a potato on hand). Confirmed that the humble potato is indeed the ideal broken lightbulb extraction tool.

Ah Yes, The Fluffernutter

I promised this post a while ago when I was talking about B&M canned brown bread. The fuffernutter right up there with other iconic New England foods as the aforementioned brown bread, boiled dinner, and lobster. It was reminded to do this post by two things. First, I saw this great article on Yankee Magazine’s site. Good read! Secondly, I have the Healthy Rebellion Spring 2022 Reset coming up (starting today!), so if I was going to indulge – you know, as an experiment in nostalgia – I had to do it now. 

When I was growing up, my Mom would make me the occasional fluffernutter. It’s certainly not good for you, but dang it’s amazing. Almost the perfect comfort food, in my opinion. White bread, marshmallow fluff, and peanut butter. I do take issue with the statement in the magazine article, though. The ultimate expression of the fluffernutter has to be toasted. Instead of toasting the bread beforehand, slather on the ingredients on the bread and toast in a horizontal toaster. You have to really watch it, though, as you don’t want the peanut butter getting so runny as to go over the side of the bread, and you don’t want to burn the marshmallow. Put together and consume. If you succeed in this high culinary achievement, you’ll be rewarded with something akin to a peanut buttery s’more. Kind of. Amazing.

Toasted perfection
Now eat!

Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church at Night

I love this photo. Full moon over our church. Great history behind it: built due to a huge Irish immigrant in flux in the late 1800’s.

One More Snowstorm

Woke up this morning to a couple inches of wet concrete snow. Very western PNW storm, though. Almost all gone by Noon.

Not sure how much outside time I’ll get today!

Bread in a Can

That’s right, bread in a can. This is certainly available in Oregon, but it’s safe to say most people raised on the West Coast don’t have one of these beauties in their pantry. Yankee Magazine had a good write up on some of its history here. I wonder how popular this is with the newer generations of New Englanders. It is very sweet bread, made with a lot of molasses, and certainly falls under the “sometimes-comfort-food” category and not the “this-will-make-me-stronger” category. We popped out some of this stuff for the girls a couple weeks ago, and unsurprisingly, they found it delicious. We’ll keep a few cans in our pantry for just in case reasons, certainly. I’ve never had this with beans and hot dogs over it — that doesn’t sound… good. But to each their own.

The next New England food topic I’ll cover is fluffer nutters, which is definitely down the scale a bit on the healthy spectrum!

Apple Watch Blood Glucose Monitoring Likely Delayed

To my disappointment, I read this MacRumors post this morning.

Apple is also working on non-invasive blood glucose monitoring, but the feature is still believed to be several years away and the company is not yet targeting a release year. In the meanwhile, Apple has discussed improving support for third-party glucose meters on the Apple Watch and on the ‌iPhone‌’s Health app to help users with diabetes.

This could be a game changer for people to be empowered to be their own health coach. Danica and I both own Oura Rings, and I’ve posted before how much of a eye-opener it was to see the effects of any alcohol had on my system through it’s tracking of heart rate and HRV (heart rate variability, a measurement of how much stress your body is under). It’s the single greatest reason I’ve cut down my drinking to almost nothing this year. It’s just such a self-own.

Imagine what simple, fairly cheap, and accurate non-invasive (read: not having to stick yourself with a needle) monitoring of your glucose levels would do? You’d see immediately what that tasty dish, that guilty pleasure, that sugary, carby treat does to your system. You could reflect, using that new data, how you feel when your sugar spikes. What’s the cause and effect in this retrospective? I think you’re much more able to draw conclusions and connections when you connect some hard data with something as squishy as feeling. Empowering.

This wouldn’t mean you’d never have that treat again, just like it means that I might have a whiskey every now and again. But you’d know going into it, OK, this is what it does to my body and this is how it’s probably going to make me feel. Informed decisions are the way to go here.

From a technology standpoint, tangentially related, I find it fascinating that Apple, the world’s most successful tech company and storied in its ability to execute, has had such an amazing dearth of ground breaking things for years now. So many incredibly talented engineers and designers, making so much money, and the company has gotten just really good at iterating. Now, that iteration is relentless, a master craft of refining good ideas to something nearing perfection (yeah, I’m a huge fan of Apple), but I can’t help but think they could be placing some bigger bets on breakthroughs with all the resources at their disposal. And backing this up:

“…some employees have been unhappy with Apple’s progress, arguing that enhancements are taking too long, not enough risks are being taken, and that the Health team has not grown in at least two years.”