The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain by Dr. Steven R Gundry M.D

Saturday, April 20, 2019
Atacama, Chile.- 
Human beings are, and always have been, omnivorous. They thrive on natural products – meats and plants.

Some meats – from animals that have been kept in pens and shot up with hormones and other chemicals – are not good for you. Most people know that. But some plants are also bad for human health.

That’s what The Plant Paradox is about. Gundry explains that there are highly toxic plant-based proteins called lectins that are found “not only in grains like wheat but also in the ‘gluten-free’ foods most of us commonly regard as healthy, including many fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and conventional dairy products.

“These proteins, which are found in the seeds, grains, skins, rinds, and leaves of plants, are designed by nature to protect them from predators (including humans).

“Once ingested, they incite a kind of chemical warfare in our bodies, causing inflammatory reactions that can lead to weight gain and serious health conditions.”

Worth a read.

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The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

Twenty-five years after the biggest art heist in history, Claire Roth, an artist who makes a living painting reproductions, is given a chance to make a lot of money by reproducing a painting by Degas that was stolen in the heist. This is a John Grisham-like novel written by a woman. Like Grisham, the plot is good but the character development and prose style are lacking.

The New York Times Magazine

The New York Times Magazine – I mentioned recently that I am having difficulty reading The New York Times LINK. IMHO, this once-great newspaper has become a garbage dump of bad ideology and dumb ideas. Case in point: A Q&A in “The Ethicist” (a regular column). The reader asks, “Is it okay for a Chinese restaurant to favor Chinese patrons?” The answer won’t surprise you: Yes, of course, it is. But it would not be okay for a restaurant owned by white people to favor their white customers.

The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith

An impressively researched and cogent  argument against vegetarianism by a former vegan. The book is broken into four parts, each representing four lines of argument: the healthfulness of a vegetarian diet, the financial cost of it compared to eating meat, the environmental impact of grain production, and the ethical issues.

The research is deep. The arguments are strong. And the anecdotes are persuasive.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book was a section at the end where the author bizarrely goes off topic and – without providing a shred of evidence – blames all the evils of the world on white men.

Killing Sacred Cows by Garrett B. Gunderson

Gunderson explodes 9 myths that keep people from achieving wealth. Since I agree and have written on most of these topics, I found the book generally useful and smart.

The writing, though, is second rate. And there are some problems. For example, his arguments in support of cashing in 401 (k)s, taking the 10% penalty and tax hit, and then putting the remaining money into a business or real estate are based on unrealistic expectations of return.

He does make a good point when he says that cash flow is more important than net worth. I’ve said as much many times. And I like what he says about velocity of money. With countries, it is the GDP divided by the money supply. With individuals, it is the output divided by the input. In other words, don’t let your money sit for long periods of time in a 401(k), earning – if you are lucky – 8% and deferring pleasure till you are 65. Use it now to create value (and cash flow) for yourself and the rest of the world.

“The Future of Higher Education: Apprenticeships vs. Business School” by Peter Diamandis

The university system in the USA is a huge business. It thrives on higher-than-inflation tuition increases and big donations from successful alumni.

Some of the smartest people I know believe that college education is outdated. They argue that a motivated person would do better learning on his own, for free.

I’ve argued with them over the years. My view, in a nutshell, is that the value of an intellectual environment and mentorship on the core skills of success – thinking, writing, and speaking – cannot be overestimated.

But it’s becoming more difficult to make that case today. First, because liberal arts programs are increasingly devoted to leftist ideological positions. (The “diversity” provost at the University of Michigan earns $400,00 a year.) But also because technical education, in today’s interconnected world, moves way too fast for academics to keep up.

In this recent essay, Peter Diamandis compares the value of getting an MBA from Harvard or Yale to joining an apprenticeship program where future entrepreneurs get to work on current business challenges in real time. LINK

The 5 AM Club: OwnYour Morning/ Elevate Your Life by Robin Sharma.-Deserted gas station. Three in the morning. I said something about virtue to the clerk in the little glass box. She said, “You know what the greatest virtue is?” “Tell me,” I replied. “Getting up early,” she said. And then she shut off her microphone and turned away from me.

A year later, I started Early to Rise, a blog about – among other things – personal productivity. I wrote many essays about the importance of getting up early and getting to work before the rest of the world. Some of my readers weren’t happy with my stance. “Everyone has their own time clock, they argued. Mind your own business.”

I’m still an advocate for getting up early, even for people who, like me, consider themselves to be “night people.” So I was happy to come across The 5 AM Clubby Robin Sharma. I was hoping it would validate my personal experience with lots of science and terrific stories about all the people who attribute their success to early rising.

Alas, it is one of those parabolic books – in this case, a parable in which the guru is a billionaire. Ugh! Why did he have to be a billionaire?

I skimmed the book, looking for something new and/or insightful. Didn’t find it.