Rapeseed Strikes Again

We are weak beings. At least I am from time-to-time. I had a real craving for a takeaway curry last week and caved. Not only was the curry terrible in the end, I’m sure it was cooked with rapeseed (aka canola oil). Worse still, the next day I was at a golf outing and some chicken wings were served afterwards. They were delicious but likely deep fried in rapeseed.

My stomach was certainly not 100% after these meals and my blood glucose was higher than one might expect. I’m guessing the rapeseed oil caused some inflammation which helped spike my sugar.

I should know better. Despite returning to my healthy habits, my morning readings were still higher than they have been for the last three months. I blame the rapeseed…and me of course.

For those not in the know, rapeseed oil is toxic without heavy processing. Here is a rapeseed crushing plant in Canada:

Lethbridge canola plant's $120M facelift to create 'most ...

Moreover, a lot of rapeseed oil comes from genetically modified rape.

Better health minds than mine have written about the dangers of rapeseed. Dr Mercola notes that

“Canola oil is not healthy fat vital to your brain; it is manufactured from genetically engineered rapeseed plants altered to reduce levels of erucic acid toxic to humans and processed through several chemical baths before being bleached.”

For you trivia buffs, you’ll be keen to know that canola started out as a motor lubricant!

My guru Mark Sisson also discusses the problems associated with rapeseed/canola here.

Finally, there’s a very detailed article explaining the history of canola here along with its many unhealthy properties. Here’s a key quotation

“The [rapeseed] oil is removed by a combination of high temperature mechanical pressing and solvent extraction. Traces of the solvent (usually hexane) remain in the oil, even after considerable refining. Like all modern vegetable oils, canola oil goes through the process of caustic refining, bleaching and degumming–all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals of questionable safety. And because canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which easily become rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures, it must be deodorized.”

Finally, one of the more alarming things I took from the last article was this chart which shows how rapeseed is processed:


I’m on a two-day fast to get myself back on the straight and narrow.

Whisky Review

I’m not a monk when it comes to my keto lifestyle. I do like a drink once in a while, but anything with a lot of carbs is out of the question. I can tolerate an occasional glass of red wine, but over time it will affect my blood glucose negatively. Which brings us nicely on to uisge beatha (Gaelic for whisky; meaning literally ‘the water of life’).

Whisky has zero carbs, so, in a sense, it is keto-friendly. I will not go any farther than that because, let’s face it, alcohol is not good for us. That said, I love a wee dram once or twice a week especially on a nice day where I can sit on the deck and watch my chickens do silly things.

For many, whisky is an intimidating drink especially if taken neat (which purists will tell you is the only way). I’ve got two recommendations if, like me, you want to keep a small amount of alcohol in your life. These are both Scotches. I don’t mind bourbon; however, it’s not something I seek out. The less said about Irish whiskey the better. Apologies to my Donnelly cousins in advance. I just find Irish whiskey too oily.

The wordsmiths out there may have noticed two spellings. Scotch whisky does not abide the “e”.

Glenmorangie 10 Year Old

Glenmorangie Original 10 Year Old Whisky, 70 cl

This is a fantastic entry whisky. It is great value for the money, especially when on offer, and it is as smooth as smooth can be. It is delicate with floral notes. It is very light which makes this my go-to summer whisky. There is no heaviness or peat-smoke to this one, which tends to turn people off whisky if that is their first experience.

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old

main product photo

This is a somewhat newish expression, as whisky people say. The 12 Year Old (which simply means how long the whisky has been in a cask before bottling) disappeared from the shelves for a while and now it’s back. I’m glad it is because this one is even lighter than Glenmorangie. Again, it’s excellent value when on sale.

As an aside, I did a little experiment on a fasting day last week to see what a small glass of whisky would do to my glucose the next morning. If anything, it was a little lower than usual.

So, if you’re a keto/paleo/diabetic and want to give whisky a try, these two are where I would start.


Keto Gin and Soda

Is it just a British thing or has the whole world gone gin crazy? Everyone and his uncle seems to be putting out a new brand of gin.

Once I moved beyond mixers and beer and started drinking like an adult, gin and tonics were a lovely summer staple. Of course, I haven’t touched one of these in years because tonic water is chalk full of sugar.

There are many sugar-free versions out there, but you probably know my view on artificial sweeteners if you’ve been here for a while.

And then my wife helped this sometimes slow-witted diabetic. We drink a lot of bottled, sparkling water in our house and the missus suggested mixing a bit of gin with fizzy water and a squeeze of lime. I still had a little gin in the cabinet so why not? Spirits have pretty much no sugar in them.

Overall, it was a good drink. Not as good as a traditional G&T, but on a hot summer’s day, it did the trick!

Three-Day Fast Results

Well, I’m very close to cracking it. I started this blog fifteen months ago as a hobby, but I thought it would help me make a few more changes to my lifestyle. Why? In order to get my blood glucose down to 5.7 mmol/L.

My last two HbA1c readings, which is a three month blood glucose average, were unspectacular: 7.6 mmol/L. I was doing long-term damage to my body. After the last reading, I was planning to discuss going back on insulin with my doctor. Then someone, out of the blue, recommended Jason Fung’s The Diabetes Code; it’s been gold since then.

I’ve written about this therapeutic approach to fasting already, but last week I decided to have a three-day fast, and then go right back into Dr Fung’s programme. That’s to say, I had a three-day fat fast (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), ate Thursday and fasted again on Friday. My morning readings for the next week or so were between 6.4 and 5.0 mmol/L.

Over the last fortnight, I’ve had only one morning where I woke up with high blood sugar (9.2 mmol/L). Reason? I had too much dark chocolate and too many nuts the day before. As a result, I’ve got rid of the chocolate altogether this week. I just can’t be trusted. If I want a snack, I’ll have a spoon of almond butter with some cacao nibs. This has helped my blood sugar as well.

So having been on Dr Fung’s fasting regime for over two months now what’s my plan? I’ll be doing this indefinitely. The typical week will be three days of fasting (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), but once a month it will be four days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday).

I am really looking forward to my next blood test!

Thanks again Dr Fung.

Fasting Update

Following Dr Fung’s fasting protocol of three, thirty-six-hour fasts per week has really helped with my glucose levels. I eat pretty much what I want keto-wise, and I did some experimenting to see how much very, dark chocolate I can get away with on eating days. Not as much as I hoped, but still more than one square. I’ve been still waking up with my blood somewhere between 6.0 – 7.6 mmol/L. As I wrote a few weeks ago, this is far better than 9.5 mmol/L or worse.

Strangely, one of the things that really spiked me last week was breaded chicken breasts with almond flour. I only ate one breast. It’s curious, and I can’t put my finger on what’s causing the spike. Other than that blip, however, it’s been far better than the old status quo.

That said, I want to break the back of having above normal glucose levels. So I started a three-day fast last night and won’t eat again until Thursday. I’ll only have a bit of cream in my coffee and some coconut oil when, and if, I get really starved.

So the plan is to fast from Sunday evening until Thursday morning, fast again on Friday and eat at the weekend. We’ll see how that goes. I may repeat the process indefinitely or go back to my normal week of skipping meals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Watch this space.

Omelette Odyssey Continues

There were some leftovers in the fridge that I played around with to spice up my yolk only omelette. My better half had made tacos for herself the night before (I was fasting), so I took some taco meat, homemade salsa and manchego and folded it into my omelette.

This was maybe the best omelette I have ever had. It was like having a taco except the shell was egg yolk.

Another variant I’ve been playing with on Tuesdays is stuffing my omelette with leftover roast chicken and cheddar cheese. This is a great way to break my Monday fast and to help my wife get rid of the leftovers from the Sunday roast.

I can’ wait till tomorrow morning.

Eat Like a Nutrivore

Sacred Cow: The Nutritional, Environmental and Ethical ...

We’re at the end of the line folks. The final chapter is essentially how to follow a paleo-diet. This is not a surprise as both authors have advocated paleo elsewhere. The only real difference now is that “Many have used this type of diet [paleo] successfully but have failed to consider the importance of food-based micronutrients and sustainability as part of the picture.” So don’t just follow a whole-food paleo diet, but also find out where your food is coming from and make sure your producers adhere to regenerative/sustainable systems.

Beyond doing your research on sustainability, there isn’t much on offer in this chapter for someone who already lives keto/paleo. Don’t get me wrong, the advice is all good (e.g., thirty-day challenge, 80/20 rule, etc.), but there’s nothing unique here.

For the novice, however, this chapter is as good a place as any to start one’s paleo journey. That said, it’s probably easier reading my five minute explanations on keto and paleo:

What is Paleo? – The Paleo Diabetic

What is Keto? – The Paleo Diabetic

Mark Sisson is also a great place to start. That’s where I began ten years ago:

Mark’s Daily Apple: Start Here | Beginner’s Guide (marksdailyapple.com)

Final Thoughts

Sacred Cow was worth the effort. Rodgers and Wolf were already preaching to the choir, so it wasn’t like I needed to be converted to their cause. Nevertheless, it deepened my understanding about just how important ruminants are to our environment. I also had no idea that monocrop agriculture was so bad. I was wholly ignorant of soil exhaustion for example. Finally, the book has provided me with more ammunition against the enemies of meat. What especially fascinated me is just how much plants feel.

This is a very easy read. If you like this genre of books, then get yourself a copy.

Feeding the World


After another summary of the book’s key arguments, which is really unnecessary, we get to this chapter’s crux: can monocrop agriculture be replaced with regenerative systems and feed the planet’s population (give or take a billion people)? The short answer is yes.

However, our authors admit a problem: it takes more land to “produce well-managed grass-finished beef.” Where would the land come from? One obvious answer is a lot of current monocrop farmland would be converted into regenerative systems. Most of those acres of Midwest corn would become pasture. The authors note that around forty percent of corn goes into animal feed anyways (the rest is for the terribly unhealthy high-fructose corn syrup and economically worthless ethanol). There are also hundreds of millions of acres of privately owned pasture in the US of which only thirty percent is being used for animal husbandry. Finally, there are twenty million acres of land the US government pays farmers to keep in fallow. Couldn’t some of that land be used for regenerative systems?

What is to be done?

So how do we get to this place of regenerative farm practices? The rest of the chapter is devoted to this. This is a mixed bag of recommendations. I’m all for calls to action, but books like this can descend into a list of boilerplate, pie-in-the-sky recommendations that will never happen. There is a little bit of that here, unfortunately. There are some good ideas too.

Rodgers and Wolf suggest governments stop subsidising farmers to produce things like corn and other monocrops. This is never going to happen until the federal government goes bankrupt. Bankruptcy is going to happen, probably sooner rather than later, but subsidies, government programmes, etc. are not going to go away until then. There are too many vested interests who profit massively from the current state-capitalist system.

Education is another recommendation. Again, if it’s changing government dietary guidelines, which our authors suggest, good luck with that. Vested interests and food lobbyists will never let that happen. Nearly all politicians are bought and paid for. Don’t expect government schooling to help either. They’re indoctrination camps now. The only real education will come from books like this one, Youtube videos and the like. Don’t expect the government to come round with good advice. It is not going to happen.

At the individual level, Rodgers and Wolf suggest improving your diet; consider where your food comes from; think about the impact those avocados had on the environment; buy locally from farmers who follow regenerative principles; grow your own food; and show your kids what good farming is. This is all good advice in my opinion. This is where change will come from: at the margin. I’m surprised, however, that the authors do not suggest challenging vegans when they utter their views. The novelist Ayn Rand had this advice in the political realm: never let the other side allow their claims to go unchallenged. Even if it is just stepping up and saying I disagree with you, you are making a difference. I did this two months ago at a little get together when a vegan colleague said his lifestyle was better for the environment. I simply said “I disagree with you and would love to tell you why sometime.” Silence allows the other side to hold the moral high ground; don’t let them hold it when they are so wrong. By the way, he never took me up on the offer.


The passages dealing with converting monocrop agriculture to something sustainable was the best part of this chapter. It is possible, in theory, to change American agriculture. At the margin, a small group of farmers are doing this. When the US government defaults and can no longer micromanage, subsidise and otherwise meddle in the agriculture life of the country, I think Americans will see much more of this kind of farming. Until then, however, I think the authors’ advice about individual action is the only realistic thing in this chapter. There is no chance that the federal government will change its ways until bankruptcy forces it to change.

Inversion Table for Back Pain

Some readers will recall that I was hit with some really bad pseudo sciatica before Christmas. It’s long gone, thank God, but after Christmas I was waking up with some lower back tightness.

Six weeks ago, I got a minor flare up of pain and a hint of sciatica again. I went back to my rehab routine but also looked into an inversion table. I remember Jesse “the Body” Ventura talking about his experiences to Joe Rogan two or three years ago. After a bit of internet research, I found one on Amazon for £128.

It’s been a little over a month using this thing two or three times a day. I tend to hang upside down at nearly 180 degrees for three to five minutes.

OneTwoFit Heavy Duty Folding Inversion Table Therapy Stretching Machine with Adjustable Height for Back Pain Relief OT079
A Bargain

Result? My back feels a lot better. No pain and the tightness I’ve had in the morning is ebbing.

Assembling was a bit of a chore, but I’m not very intuitive with do it yourself assembly. It took three hours and two scotches to put together.

All-in-all a great purchase for me.

Egg Yolk Omelette with Tomato, Basil and Cheddar

Long-time readers will know I have some hens in the back garden. Gerty, Ester, Rosebud and Ginger give us four eggs a day. That means I eat a lot more egg yolks (I’m allergic to the whites) than I ever did in the past. Egg yolks are one of the more nutrient dense foods out there, but I was getting bored with the same old same. I was either having my egg yolk cakes or my “fat bomb” omelettes. Something needed to change because the eggs were piling up, as the idea of eating more eggs was turning my stomach. My poor wife was doing the best she could, but asking her to eat twenty-eight eggs a week was cruel and unusual punishment.

I little look round the inter-web revealed some recipes which I adapted. It’s actually made me look forward to eggs again in the morning. I had this version today with my big coffee with double cream.


  • Six egg yolks
  • Four table spoons of double (heavy) cream
  • 30g of grated cheddar
  • 30g of cherry tomatoes halved
  • Fresh basil leaves roughly torn
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few dashes of Tabasco (optional)


  • Separate the yolks from the whites, add the cream and whisk until you get some bubbles.
  • Melt some butter over low-medium heat and add the tomatoes.
  • After three or four minutes, the tomatoes will start to turn a golden brown. Add the egg yolks and give them a little stir to make sure the butter doesn’t accumulate at the edges of the pan. You also want to spread the tomatoes out a little.
  • Cook for three to five minutes.
  • Add the cheese and basil to one side of the omelette and then fold the omelette using two spoons.
  • Cook for another two minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
  • Serve with some salt and pepper and a few dashes of Tabasco.

Chef’s Tip

You really need to be careful when folding the omelette. Without the whites as a binder, the omelette will break apart if you fold too early. You can take a little peak under the omelette using your two spoons. When it looks golden brown, it’s time to fold. That’s one reason I add double cream to the yolks; it makes the folding possible. The cream also makes the egg yolks a little fluffier. Enjoy.