Thursday, October 31, 2013

Get Your Sleep On

New post over at Psychology Today about the possible benefits of sleep flushing the brain like a cranberry bog harvest. And some gluten and psychosis and toxoplasma mash-up here in the next couple of days, once I clean the house and get all the candy and mouldering pumpkins put away.

Even Michael Stipe thinks sleep is important in this odd homage to the 7th interval…

Happy Halloween! Don't let the goblins bite.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Heart Rate Variability, Pig Roasts, and Other Randomness

Brand new post is up at Psychology Today:

Depression and a Broken Heart

It is an introduction to the concept of healthy heart rate variability, about which Grayson Wheatley had a featured talk on the first day of AHS13, and he graciously helped me with research for the article. I'm hoping to do a little series on it with some more technical articles here if I have the time.

I just noticed the Psychology Today Evolutionary Psychiatry Blog has been viewed over a million times, which is heartening. Both Your Brain on Ketones and Magnesium: The Original Chill Pill have over 100,000 views. In fact all the older posts have several thousands of views, except A Case of Scratchy Mice, so click on that and give that post some love too.

Sleigh Bells: Bitter Rivals

What has been keeping me busy besides kids, teaching, and paying the bills? Well, I'm working on an academic chapter for an ancestral health textbook, running 5Ks in the dark (fun but very strange, like a fitness rave), and attending pig roasts (another special thanks to Diana Rogers for inviting my family to the amazing Clark Farm, and I can't wait for her next book to come out!). All usually live-tweeted for the psychoanalysts out there.

Electric Run, Gillette Stadium, Boston

The mobile chicken coop at Clark Farm.

The pig. Now in my belly.

Other stuff: The Paleo Manifesto is out, at last. I was able to read a pre-release copy in July and loved it. John Durant makes his journey personal, likable, and pertinent to any modern Western human. He shines new light on the long historical path that we took to get to the here and now, and how we can use those lessons to be healthier, saner, and live a little more naturally wild. It isn't another diet book and is definitely worth a spot on the bookshelf.

Also reading Grain Brain, which is aptly named and seems like it would be just my sort of thing, but so far, I'm not all that happy with it. I will post more if it turns around and by no means is this little blurb to be considered a full review. Dr. Pearlmutter is a neurologist with extensive training and clinical experience in nutrition, but he is militantly anti-carb and suggests everyone keep to less than 60 grams of carbohydrate a day. He states this amount is "one serving of fruit" daily though my nutrition trackers will put a banana at 30 grams and an apple at 34 grams. I'm all for the therapeutic benefit of ketogenic diets and very low carb diets for those who thrive on them, but not everyone will, particularly those who participate in certain types of athletics (like myself) that require a lot of glycolytic work (CrossFit, ahem). I don't think 100 grams of carbs a day, for example, will actively rot your brain in most circumstances. I'm crossing my fingers the book will get better and there has got to be some useful information in there.

The other books I'm looking forward to: Well Fed 2 and Chris Kresser's Personal Paleo Code.

Here come the sheep at a real farm to table experience: