Monthly Archives: February 2007

Medstory, high quality medical serch engine.


I ran across Medstory in some news stories as they have recently been purchased by Microsoft.  I really like this search engine.  Last year I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and ended up losing 45 pounds in two months then putting it all back on plus more while on prednisone.  During this time I did a lot of searching on the web for information about the disease, treatment, and current research.  I wish I had known about Medstory then.

When I search for ulcerative colitis on Medstory. The initial results page was interesting and very useful.  The first thing I noticed was tabs in the top right:

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For health and research, the intial page is the health page, the research page leads to high quality cutting edge research results.  On each tab there are ways to refine your search topically:

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These allow you to click on them and search just on the related term, or to do a refined AND search on your original topic plus the new search term. The length of the bars show the relative frequency of the search terms listed. The initial results listed at the bottom of the page are from the web, however there is a button bar that allows you to refine your target by clicking:

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Focusing your search on News Media, Clinical Trials or Research Articles instead.



Sunday Weigh In: 281.8

Great week!  285.6-281.8 = 3.8 pounds!  At this rate I’ll weigh less than nothing in a little less than 2 years.  I only worked out twice this week both wieghts, no cardio.  I didn’t skip breakfast at all, which is a first.  Given my starting weight of 302.2 I have lost 20.4 pounds to date, which is a hair over 1/4 of the way to my 80 pound weight loss goal.

I am heading over to the gym in about 15 minutes for a workout this morning.  I still really need to get better at working out even when my workout partner cancels for some reason.  That happened twice this week, but that is no excuse.


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Insulin Sensitivity and Cinnamon

 The more I look into low-carb, slow carb, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, heart diseased, etc.  the more I am becoming convinced that insulin, and insulin management are absolutely key to health for most modern Americans.  I think Atkins was on the right road with his diet, and I think more and more research has and will come out backing up this point of view.  While searching around for further information today, I found and older but still very interesting news regarding the effect of cinammon on insulin levels.  I am going to start adding a little cinnamon to my morning Kashi GOLEAN Hot:

The researchers saw an improvement of roughly 20 percent in blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in volunteers eating as little as one gram (less than 1/2 teaspoon) of cinnamon per day for 40 days. No advantage was seen in taking more than that amount. Significantly, the volunteers’ blood sugar levels started climbing when the cinnamon was stopped.

Source: Spicing Up Insulin Sensitivity / November 21, 2003 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service


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Do microbes and viruses contribute to making us fat?

 Now I’m a little skeptical here, this sounds like just another way for us of the grand largesse to fob off responsibility for our obesity to something other than our own pieholes, nevertheless, this is interesting.  CBC Radio Quirks & Quarks for February 17, 2007 reports on research that suggests precisely that

Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is also looking for factors that contribute to obesity. He’s been studying microbes that live in the gut, and has found that the types of bacteria found in the stomach vary between obese and lean mice. Not only that, but by transferring these bacteria into other mice, he can influence whether they’ll turn out skinny or fat.
In a similar vein, Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar is also looking at microbes. But he’s studying viruses. He’s found a virus that infects chickens, and makes them gain weight. He’s tested humans and found that some obese people carry the same virus, suggesting it may be infecting us, too.

Article: CBC Radio | Quirks & Quarks | February 17, 2007

Listen: CBC Radio | Quirks & Quarks | February 17, 2007


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Sunday Weigh In: 285.6

2.4 pounds this week.  I’ll take it.  That brings my total weight loss since January 1 to 16.4 pounds.  I can definitely feel it.  My fat jeans now require a belt, and even if it is only psychological ( I get a rush from accomplishing anything) I feel better during the week too. One of the effects of slow carbing that I can definitely vouch for is the avoidance of the afternoon “crash”.  I clearly don’t get the down feeling I am used to about 2:00 in the afternoon. 

This week I’ll be focusing on eating breakfast everyday, I skipped some last week (usually due to getting up late) and then tends to put my discipline off kilter for the rest of the day.


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Chimichurri, food of the gods.

On a high protein diet, I find that grilling chicken or steaks is one of my favorite Friday evening meals. Not only is grilling out a great way to unwind and enjoy life, but by making enough I can enjoy quick and delicious leftovers for a few days.

Traditionally a beef marinade and sauce, Chimichurri is a parsley based sauce from Argentina. I am not an Emerille Lagasse fan, but on the recommendation of a trusted friend tried his recipe for Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce. I really enjoyed it, I used half the mixture to prepare a couple of thinly sliced skirt steaks and half the mixture I used with chicken breasts on kebabs the following day. I have made that same recipe a couple of times since. I think it is best with the steaks, I prefer a strongly beefy flavored cut like a skirt steak or a flank steak cut very thin and grilled very close to hot coals. I have heard you can grill directly on the coals but have not tried that yet.

Miracle fruit, a new sweetener alternative?

I recently read about the Miracle fruit, scientifically known as Sideroxylon dulcificum. Miracle fruit is a small red berry that has an unusual property, for about a half an hour after eating the fruit, the person who ate the fruit senses sour tastes as sweet. This is due to a glycoprotein in the fruit called Miraculin. While yet to be developed into a commercial product, this raises all sorts of possibilities for low-carbers and diabetics. Imagine a small supplement that would allow to enjoy a sweet indulgence of say, a honeyed grapefruit without actually putting honey on it. Sounds great to me.