Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ezekiel Bread

Some people go nuts for Ezekiel Bread, supposedly a perfect food whose recipe is given in the bible.  The recipe is based on Ezekiel 4:9.
"And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer, and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them."
Ohh!  Multi grain!  Ain't it wonderful!  The perfect food ordained by God!

No, not really...

Let's read the whole chapter:
Ezekiel 4:1-3, Ezekiel is instructed to construct a model of a siege against Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 4:4-8, Ezekiel is instructed to lay down in one place for over a year without moving, while facing the siege model.
Ezekiel 4:9-11, Ezekiel is given the recipe for the bread that he is to eat during this ordeal, with the amount of food and water to be strictly rationed as would occur during a time of siege.
Ezekiel 4:12-15, The baking instructions for the bread is given, to be baked over human dung.  Ezekiel begs mercy on this point, and is allowed to use cow dung instead.  (I've never seen any fans of Ezekiel bread include these instructions.)

Just in case you can't follow what's going on here, the chapter sums it up nicely for you:
"Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, behold, I will break the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay. I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and look at one another in dismay, and rot away because of their punishment."
So there you go, Ezekiel bread was not for obtaining optimum health of the prophet during his ministry, it was a visible sign of the terrible famine and war that was coming to Jerusalem.

There are several more modern examples of "War Bread" which is made from whatever starchy scraps you have on hand to stretch the scarce flour.  Traditional ingredients include multigrain, legumes, and potatoes.  They have more crumb than white or wheat bread as they lack the gluten strands that make wheat bread so airy.

Now I don't mean to discourage you from eating multigrain over white bread, or from sprouting your grains, a variety of grains is probably more healthy for you than sticking to white flour.  These traditional war bread recipes exist because our ancestors used to have supplies of those other grains around to stretch the white flour with, so if you're not thickening soups with rye berries and eating bowls of oatmeal, a multigrain bread may be a good way to get these alternative grains into your diet.  (Assuming you tolerate carbs better than I do.)  Just please don't tell me that your multigrain bread is spiritual or a God-ordained perfect food...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Free Feldenkrais Recordings

Feldenkrais can be a very useful tool for relieving body tension and correcting bad movement patterns.  Some of my frequently used physical therapy exercies come from Feldenkrais.  The usual method promoted for Feldenkrais is to read the lesson, then have someone read you the lesson.  If you don't have the luxury of a personal reader, a recording may be beneficial.  I've not tried these out yet, but they should be free recordings you can download.

How to use feldenkrais lessons:

  • If the lesson is part of a series, start at the beginning of the series, don't jump straight to your problem area.
  • Practice each lesson until it clicks before adding the next lesson to your rotation of exercises.
  • Take it slow and easy, this is not a marathon session.  One lesson today, and lesson one again tomorrow, then maybe lesson two if you've got one down pat...
  • Only move as far as you are comfortable.  Do not over stress your body without the consultation of a medical or exercise professional.  These exercises are designed to correct movement patterns, not stretch your tendons, don't overdo it.
  • If the practitioner offering the lesson counters my advice, listen to them, not me.

The lessons:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Patients Like Me

I've noted before that health blogging, and other forms of health logging can be good diagnostic tools and treatment trackers.  Blogging is an overly public way of doing so, a step down from there and with lots of features added is the platform  It's a more encouraging group than other online support groups I've found because it's very well grounded in data.  Yes you can get on and complain about your life and have others commiserate, but you can also make factual logs of how you feel, the treatments you've tried, symptoms, conditions, and get back data on what kinds of treatments other people have found successful.  They also have printable reports for the purpose of sharing this data with your professional health care providers.

PatientsLikeMe Data is accessible to other site members, but you can avoid identifying information in your public profile.  The medical data is what they really want openly shared for the common good.

The downside of the platform is that your data may be sold to medical companies, but in the end it will bring down the cost of developing new therapies for your condition, and encourage companies to bring to market products that will help you, so it's not a horrible trade off.  Think of it as a very detailed version of voting for new chip flavors...
"PatientsLikeMe is a for-profit company (with a not-just-for-profit attitude).  Every partnership we develop must bring us closer to aligning patient and industry interests. Our end goal is improved patient care and quality of life." - How does PatientsLikeMe make money?
If you've not started a health log yet, and are looking for an easy to use online platform, I recomend you check out