My Elimination Diet

 Posted by on 31 December 2011 at 10:00 am  Food, Health
Dec 312011

On Monday, I began a serious elimination diet. Why? Some unknown foods don’t seem to agree with my gut: I feel bloated and pained for a day or so after eating them, and while I’m in that state, my hunger sensors seem to be broken, and so I overeat. Also, some tests that I’ve done with our own Christian Wernstedt of Vital Objectives show gut inflammation, plus high sensitivity to certain foods. If I have problems with leaky gut, that could be a contributing factor in my autoimmune hypothyroidism, as well as my adrenal insufficiency. If so, I want that fixed!

My basic strategy for this elimination diet is slightly complicated because I want to make sure that I’m not just wasting my time by introducing confounding factors.

First, the results of my “MRT” food sensitivity test labeled foods as “green” (little reaction), “yellow” (moderate reaction), and “red” (severe reaction). I’ve started with just a few “green” foods — like pork, zucchini, and bananas. Over the first two months, I’ll gradually add more “green” foods. After two months, I’ll try eating some of the “yellow” foods. After three months, I’ll try eating some of the “red” foods. Hopefully, my gut will have healed enough by the time that I reintroduce these foods to be able to tolerate them, but if not, then I’ll have to cut them permanently from my diet.

Second, I’m eliminating common autoimmune triggers — particularly nuts, dairy, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant), and eggs — for at least a month, even if they’re “green” by the MRT test. I’ll also not drink any alcohol for that first month, nor consume any added sugar. I’ve been eating strictly gluten-free for ages, so that’s a given. I’ll also avoid all forms of soy. (I eat wheat-free soy sauce on rare occasion.)

So what does that mean for my diet? What’s on the menu… or not?

Red Foods: Eliminate for Three Months

  • Beef
  • Mushroom
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Avocado
  • Watermelon

With a half freezer full of delicious grass-fed beef, I’m not too enthused to give that up for three months. Plus, not being able to eat beef means that I won’t be able to eat out, since a plain steak or hamburger is off the menu. I’m also mighty unhappy that onion and garlic are on the list — as they’re two of my favorites. However, last week I made a ground beef dish with lots of onion, garlic, and tomato, and I was miserable for two full days. Since then, I’ve been more reconciled to this three-month deprivation!

Alas, I just saw that my favorite breakfast meat — the Italian Pork Sausage by Boulder Sausage — has garlic powder in it, so that’s not an option for three months. GRRRR! I wonder whether the “spices” listed on my Whole Foods 365 bacon and Applegate Farms Canadian bacon include garlic or onion. I’ll have to inquire.

I do like mushrooms, cabbage, and avocado too, but I can live without them for a while. The watermelon result seems strange to me, since I eat watermelon about once every three years! Corn, however, doesn’t surprise me, as I’ve had some serious belly aches from that.

Yellow Foods: Eliminate for Two Months

  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Lemon
  • Mint
  • Peach
  • Scallop
  • Tuna
  • Yellow Squash
  • Cashew
  • Green Pea
  • Papaya
  • Pear

Happily, there’s nothing too exciting on this list, nothing that I’ll really miss.

Green Foods, But Eliminate for One Month

  • Bell Pepper
  • Tomtato
  • Potato
  • Eggplant
  • Walnut
  • Almond
  • Pistachio
  • Pecan
  • Hazlenut
  • Sunflower
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple

Mostly, I’ll miss my morning cup of tea, which absolutely requires cream. I’ll also miss the eggs, tomatoes, and bell peppers. I’ll definitely miss the cheese too, but I know that I eat too much cheese, so that’s probably for the best.

So, you might be thinking, what’s left? What can I eat?

Green Foods

  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Turkey


  • Salmon
  • Crab
  • Shrimp
  • Tilapia



  • Zucchini
  • Carrot
  • Olive
  • Sweet Potato
  • Spinach
  • Beet
  • Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • String Bean
  • Leek
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Coconut



  • Orange
  • Apple
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberry
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherry
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry
  • Grape
  • Blueberry
  • Honeydew
  • Apricot
  • Cranberry
  • Plum
  • Banana


  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Tumeric
  • VanillaThat’s a pretty good variety of foods, so I won’t be terribly bored with meals for the next few months.

    Also, I’m back to keeping a food diary, and I’m cutting out my bad habit of snacking. Oh, and if I cheat, I plan to confess it here, so as to keep me on the straight and narrow!

Dec 302011

The 12/30/2011 has published my latest OpEd, “Who Will Your Doctor Work For Under ObamaCare?

The theme is that ObamaCare will pressure doctors to sacrifice their individual patients’ welfare for a collectivist concept of “social justice”.

Here is the opening:

Suppose you move to Las Vegas, and you hire a real estate agent to help you buy a house. She returns with several inappropriate choices — all too expensive and too far from your work. She explains, “I know these aren’t what you wanted. But you’d really help the struggling Nevada housing market by purchasing one of these.”

Most people would fire her on the spot. Your real estate agent has a professional obligation to look out for your individual interests, not some nebulous “Nevada housing market.” Yet under ObamaCare, your doctor will be increasingly pressured into sacrificing your individual medical interests for a nebulous “social justice”…

(Read the full text of “Who Will Your Doctor Work For Under ObamaCare?“)

I’d like to thank Diana for her assistance editing an early version of this piece.

I’d also like to thank Dr. Hal Scherz, Dan Rene, and Docs4PatientCare for helping to arrange its publication!

The Impossibility of Re-Creating Religions

 Posted by on 30 December 2011 at 8:00 am  Religion, Science
Dec 302011

I’ve never read Penn Jillette’s book God, No!, but I love this quote from it:

There is no god, and that’s the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.

I’d make a stronger claim, namely that the myths of all major religions are so absurd that any new religions would be wholly different. The reason is simple: they’re fantasies based on the desire to believe. Science, in contrast, is based on observations of empirical facts. That’s the difference that makes all the difference!

Objectivist Roundup

 Posted by on 29 December 2011 at 2:20 pm  Objectivist Roundup
Dec 292011

The Objectivist Roundup is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome.

Parenting Is… hosted this week’s Objectivist Roundup. Go take a look!

You can submit your blog article to the next edition of The Objectivist Roundup using this submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found here. If you’re an Objectivist blogger, you can get weekly reminders to submit to the carnival by subscribing to OBloggers @

Also, here are the ten most recent additions to the question queue for the Philosophy in Action Webcast. Please vote for the questions that you’re most interested in hearing me answer!

Join us for the live webcast at on Sundays at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET… but not this Sunday, since we’re still on break! In the meantime, check out the show’s extensive archives by topic, peruse the upcoming question queue, and submit your own questions.

New Forums for Philosophy in Action

 Posted by on 29 December 2011 at 8:00 am  Announcements
Dec 292011

Yesterday, I created forums for announcements and discussions of the Philosophy in Action Webcast on a new platform called Cove. It has some features that I really like, so if it works well, I’ll likely switch all my various lists (including the OLists) to it.

Join Philosophy in Action on Cove

By signing up to the main group, you’ll receive weekly announcements of upcoming webcasts, plus other exclusive tidbits, from me. (You can receive posts in e-mail, or just use the Cove website.)

If you’d like to join the open discussion of webcast questions, past and upcoming, you just need to sign up for the main list, then go to the “discussion” subgroup and click on the blue “join discussion” button. See the yellow arrows in this image:

If you have any problems or questions about this platform, please e-mail me! As I said, I’m testing the platform, and I’d like to know what problems users have, as well as pass on useful data to the developers.

Now This Is Mountain Biking!

 Posted by on 28 December 2011 at 2:00 pm  Sports
Dec 282011

Holy feat of balance, Batman! As said on Kottke, “Three guys ride on tiny paths next to steep rock faces and over narrow wooden bridges. I could only manage watching a minute of this…I almost threw up in fear.”

Upselling Versus Building Relationships

 Posted by on 28 December 2011 at 8:00 am  Business, Ethics
Dec 282011

Ron Johnson on What I Learned Building the Apple Store:

People come to the Apple Store for the experience — and they’re willing to pay a premium for that. There are lots of components to that experience, but maybe the most important — and this is something that can translate to any retailer — is that the staff isn’t focused on selling stuff, it’s focused on building relationships and trying to make people’s lives better.

That may sound hokey, but it’s true.

The staff is exceptionally well trained, and they’re not on commission, so it makes no difference to them if they sell you an expensive new computer or help you make your old one run better so you’re happy with it. Their job is to figure out what you need and help you get it, even if it’s a product Apple doesn’t carry.

Compare that with other retailers where the emphasis is on cross-selling and upselling and, basically, encouraging customers to buy more, even if they don’t want or need it. That doesn’t enrich their lives, and it doesn’t deepen the retailer’s relationship with them. It just makes their wallets lighter.

That’s awesome… and worth remembering in business. Also, I’d be curious to know whether the Microsoft Stores — which seem like rip-offs of Apple Stores on the surface — are run on the same underlying principles or not.

Toilet Paper and Personality

 Posted by on 27 December 2011 at 3:00 pm  Funny
Dec 272011

What does your toilet paper say about you? Confess now!

I alternate between the top and bottom on the left, but if it weren’t for Paul, I’d probably be bottom right.

Civility in the Election Season

 Posted by on 27 December 2011 at 8:00 am  Election, Ethics, Etiquette, Politics
Dec 272011

Alas, the 2012 election season already looks unpleasant and contentious… and we have ten more months to go. So… here’s my policy, which I hope that others will adopt too.

I’m happy to be friendly with people who support and advocate candidates that I regard as unworthy of my vote. Politics is extremely difficult, even if you’ve got all the proper principles in place. So I expect that I’ll differ in my judgments from many people that I like and respect. That’s okay. I hope that we can discuss our differences in a friendly way, and perhaps learn something as a result.

However, if you accuse me of dishonesty, call me names, or otherwise behave in an uncivilized fashion simply because I disagree with you, then I will be perfectly happy to never have anything to do with you again. I will un-friend you on Facebook, I will un-follow you on Twitter, and I will ban you from these blog comments — without hesitation. That crosses a line for me, and I’m just not going to tolerate it.

Unfortunately, this kind of ridiculous behavior seems to be the particular modus operandi of some (but not all) Ron Paul supporters. Honestly, even if he were an excellent candidate, without the baggage of those disgustingly racist and homophobic newsletters, the uncivilized belligerence of so many of his supporters would make him unelectable. Such people would do him a huge favor if they’d make some attempt at civilized discourse, rather than launching into personal attacks.

So when you feel that rush of burning anger in an online political discussion with friends and allies, please step back from the keyboard for a few minutes to focus on the broader context. I’ll try to do the same — and if I don’t, please remind me (in a friendly way) to remain friendly. Just those few seconds could do all of us a world of good!


The December 15th hearing on campaign finance reform attracted a fair bit of news coverage.

(1) An AP story by Kristen Wyatt was published in the Pueblo Chieftain and the Aspen Times so far. I’m quoted in it:

“They will be helpful for people like me, who are part-time activists, so they don’t lose their shirts in a campaign-finance lawsuit,” said Diana Hsieh, who campaigned last year against an unsuccessful ballot measure that would have banned abortion.

I’d hoped to see the article appear in more venues — not just because I’m quoted — but because the article was a good and fair account of the debate over the proposed rule changes. But alas, that seems unlikely to happen now.

(2) In an article in the Durango Herald, Ari Armstrong was quoted (although wrongly identified), followed by that horrid quote from Senator Morse:

“I think it’s a travesty and a mockery of the First Amendment that Colorado citizens are being dragged into court for daring to engage in the political process,” said Ari Armstrong, a libertarian activist from Grand Junction.

But state Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, said people who want to run campaigns that persuade others how to vote need to follow the rules of transparency. “Turns out that complying with these things is complicated and does take a lawyer, but that’s the price of transparency,” Morse said.

(3) The article in the Denver Post focused on the very confusing debate about the filing deadlines.

(4) Also, since I don’t think that I blogged about it before, but in early December, Vince Carroll penned an excellent op-ed in support of Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler. It’s worth a read.

If you want to keep up with the news on this topic, you can follow the Facebook page that I’ve created:

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