Truthbutter

Category Archives: Rants & Musings

A rant about science (alternately: All Hail Nuance and Skepticism)

Warning: this post falls squarely into the category of “cantankerous rant about thing I should probably stop getting so worked up over.” You’ve been warned.

I’ve noticed a troubling tendency in some scientific communities (maybe I should put “scientific” in quotes…I’m lookin’ at you, Facebook) to treat science as some kind of Truth, where certain issues can no longer be questioned or examined because “science” has already had the final word. And this all while maintaining a smug, condescending, high-horse attitude towards anyone who doesn’t act the same way and believe the same things. And it’s pervasive, and often by people I love and respect, which has made me question whether it’s just me being sensitive, and it’s not actually a problem. But it’s infuriating, and I DO think it’s a problem. Read more →

What is a “whole food” diet, really?

Inigo Montoya

I started thinking about this question yesterday (in response to something I’ll share below) and had a bit of a “woah – paradigm shift!” moment, so I thought I’d share with you all! (Also, I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to have a picture of Inigo Montoya on my blog.)

In the realm of nutrition, the “whole food” diet reigns supreme. From the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans to your neighborhood Paleo blogger, almost everyone agrees that a healthy diet is a diet based on “whole foods.”

It’s quite interesting, then, that some of these “whole food” diets have very little in common with each other. It’s even more interesting that some of these “whole food” diets include recommendations to eat things that are definitely not “whole foods.”  Read more →

The gut bugs are controlling my brain

Sometimes, I just want to just rip the bacteria out of my gut, enlarge them so I can actually see them, and then yell at them for screwing with my head (and smack them around a little for good measure).

One of these days I’ll write a proper post about how your little gut monsters can make you stressed and anxious and pessimistic and just downright depressed, but for now, suffice it to say that they can. Oh, they can indeed.

You see, I’m typically a pretty happy, driven, focused individual. I’m optimistic about life, I know how to handle stress, and I know how to get sh*t done when it needs to get done.

But if I eat something I’m not supposed to, or don’t take probiotics for too long, or (god forbid) do anything to try and get rid of the little buggers who keep causing me digestive problems, BAM! All of a sudden I’m a mess. My brain just completely stops functioning properly. I suddenly feel like everything in my life sucks, even though nothing has changed. Read more →

What if you can’t love your body?

Body image and self-love are hot topics in the blogosphere these days, and I don’t know how I feel about it.

Before I come off as the worst kind of person, let me just say that I’m thrilled people are learning to not be so hard on themselves for not being “perfect,” and for recognizing the beautiful things about themselves. I know I have my fair share of insecurities, and often I could do with a healthy dose of self-love.

But with almost every article I read in the continuously evolving collection of body image media, I’m left feeling not quite satisfied. Like the author has almost spoken to me, but was really speaking to a spot on the wall about a foot to the left. Read more →

Why I hate doctors who hate integrative medicine

I just came across this post that I wrote a couple years ago (back when I was still planning to go to medical school- heh), but never published. Reading it got me feelin’ all rant-y again, so I figured I may as well publish it now!

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I was looking into alternative medicine-friendly medical schools and stumbled upon this post by a guy who seems pretty peeved that the University of Toronto is adding a “Centre for Complementary and Integrative Medicine” to their medical school. Sometimes I get so immersed in the land of nutritional therapy and functional medicine that I completely forget how hostile some people can be towards alternative therapies, but you can bet that when I’m reminded of that hostility, I go into full-on rant mode. Read more →

A word on raw meat, carnivory, and compassion towards animals

Animal Compassion

I’m sure you’ve all seen the recent story about this man who has eaten nothing but raw meat for the past 5 years. Chances are, you reacted in disgust, recoiling at the mere thought of eating the raw flesh of an animal (despite the fact that you have, in fact, eaten sushi on numerous occasions). I have to admit, some of the pictures definitely made my stomach turn a little bit.

I wasn’t surprised by the comments on the various news articles, calling him vile, disgusting, and mentally ill, and calling his diet a ‘weird food addiction.’ But I was surprised that even in Paleo circles, his story elicited a similarly negative reaction. I would’ve expected ancestrally-minded people to be a little more open-minded, and I don’t want to call out anyone specifically, but some of the comments were unbelievably ignorant.

I just want to bring a little perspective to the situation. Read more →

My nutrition studies: awesomeness and facepalms (plus cat pics)

skeptic cat

This is me every day in nutrition class. My face looks exactly like that. Just ask my nutrition TA.

This marks one month of my official nutrition studies at UNC, and it’s been surprisingly enjoyable! I absolutely feel like I’m in the right major, and I never had that feeling with Public Policy. (I do still have to be admitted to the School of Public Health though, so fingers crossed I get in!) There have been plenty of ‘facepalm’ moments, but I’ve also been impressed by some of the readings we’ve been assigned, and the overall scientific focus of the class. Read more →

Veg*n is Not a Curse Word

Food Love

Yesterday, Alex Jamieson told the world that she is no longer a vegan. If you don’t know who she is and really don’t care, just bear with me for a minute. Alex is best known from the documentary Super Size Me, where her then-boyfriend Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. Alex used a vegan approach to get Morgan’s health back on track after his 30 day McDiet, and she has since been a leading voice for health and nutrition in the vegan community. I would encourage you to read her post, but here’s the gist: Alex discovered that at this point in her life, her body needs some animal products to be healthy. Her post yesterday was the first time she’d publicly announced her decision to incorporate some animal products into her diet. Read more →