What To Do If Attacked by a Swarm of Bees

Looks harmless enough, right?

Looks harmless enough, right?

I did lot of hiking this last winter in preparation for my Boy Scout troop’s 20-mile hike that we completed about three weeks ago. Some of the risks while hiking in Arizona, and magnified if you’re alone, include:

  • bear attacks
  • rabid animal attacks
  • mountain lion attacks
  • rattlesnake bites
  • gila monster bites
  • scorpion stings
  • dehydration
  • injuries from a fall
  • hypothermia
  • hyperthermia
  • getting hopelessly lost

Taking into account where I hike and the type of hiking I do, my biggest concern this time of year is attack by a swarm of Africanized honey bees. Even if you”re not allergic to bee stings, they can kill you if you get enough stings.

We had one of these swarms in our front yard last year for several weeks

We had one of these swarms in our front yard last year for several weeks

A favorite hike of mine is Pinnacle Peak trail, which is only a 15-minute walk from my front door. A hiker got stung 50 times there a few days ago. It takes many hundreds of stings to kill an adult, probably in the range of 100 stings per 10 lb of body weight.

If I’m attacked by a swarm, my plan is to run as fast as I can for at least a quarter mile before stopping. I’m dropping anything that could slow me down. If I can duck a car or building before my quarter-mile is up, I’ll do it.

If you kill bees by swatting them, it releases chemicals that further inflame the swarm. I doubt I’d have the self-control to not slap bees stinging me.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: I’ve lived in Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida, but don’t recall them having this problem.

 

Brian Burgers With Brussels Sprouts, Tomato, and Pistachios

diabetic diet, low-carb diet, paleobetic diet

Brian burger and bacon Brussels sprouts

Here’s another meal recipe from my stepson. We put it together originally for a low-carb diet, such as the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet. But since I provide the nutritional analysis below, it also works with the Advanced Mediterranean Diet.

This makes three servings. You’ll want to make the Bacon Brussels Sprouts to serve with other meals, so I’ve provided an additional nutritional analysis for those alone. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

13 oz (370 g) ground beef, 85% lean

1/2 tbsp (7.5 ml) Tessemae’s All Natural Dressing-Marinade-Dip “Southwest Ranch,” or A1 Steak Sauce or balsamic vinaigrette or AMD vinaigrette (Brian recommends the Tessemae’s Dressing)

1.7 oz (50 g) onion, diced coarse or fine

1 garlic clove, diced

1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) paprika

1–2 pinches of salt (pinch = 1/16 tsp)

pepper to taste (a pinch or 2?)

1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) dried rosemary, crumbled or crushed

1/2 large egg, whisked to blend white and yolk

3 oz (85 g) lettuce

1 lb (450 g) Brussels sprouts (cut and discard bases if desired, probably doesn’t matter),   shredded

8 oz (225 g) bacon (6.5 regular (not thick) 8-inch strips), diced

3 tbsp (45 ml) water

1.5 large tomatoes, sliced

4.5 oz pistachio nuts

diabetic diet, paleobetic diet, low-carb diet

Prepping the bacon; use a sharp knife

Instructions:

First cook the bacon in a pan over medium–high heat until done. Don’t discard the grease.

Next do your Brussels sprouts prep (shredding). It will take a few minutes to shred it with a knife. Set those aside.

diabetic diet, paleobetic diet, low-carb diet

Brian slaving away. Thanks, dude!

Start on the burgers now. Place the ground beef in a bowl then add your chosen sauce or vinaigrette, onion, egg, garlic, paprika, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly by hand. Divide the mess into three patties of equal size. Fry or grill over medium heat until done, about 10 minutes.

diabetic diet, paleobetic diet, low-carb diet

Steaming in progress

As soon as the burgers are plopped on the heat, start steaming the shredded sprouts thusly. Take a pan with a lid, add 3 tbsp (45 ml) of the bacon grease and the 3 tbsp of water, then heat that up for a minute or two over medium to high heat. Then throw in the shredded sprouts, salt and pepper to taste (probably unnecessary), and cover with a lid. Immediately reduce heat to medium and cook for 4–6 minutes. The sprouts will soften up as they cook. Gently shake the pot every minute while steaming to prevent contents from sticking to the pan. If necessary, remove the lid and stir while cooking, but this may increase your cooking time since you release hot steam whenever you remove the lid. When the sprouts are done, remove from heat and add the remaining bacon and bacon grease, then blend.

Bacon has been added and blended after the sprouts are cooked

Bacon has been added and blended in after the sprouts are cooked

Serve the burger on a bed of lettuce (1 0z). Enjoy tomato and pistachios on the side. Serving sizes are below.

Number of Servings: 3 (one burger patty, 1 oz (30 g) lettuce, 1 cup (240 ml) of sprouts, 1/2 tomato or a third of all the slices, 1.5 oz (40 g) pistachio nuts)

Advanced Mediterranean Diet boxes: 2 veggies, 1 protein, 4 fats

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:

58% fat

17% carbohydrate

25% protein

740 calories

32 g carbohydrate

12 g fiber

20 g digestible carbohydrate

827 mg sodium

1,802 mg potassium

Prominent features: Rich in fiber, protein, vitamin B6, B12, C, copper, iron, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, riboflavin, selenium, thiamine, and zinc.

Nutritional Analysis for Bacon Brussels Sprouts: (1 cup, no added salt):

Advanced Mediterranean Diet boxes: 1 veggie, 1 fat, 1/4 protein

47% fat

28% carbohydrate

26% protein

180 calories

14 g carbohydrate

6 g fiber

8 g digestible carbohydrate

530 mg sodium

709 mg potassium

Prominent features: mucho vitamin C.

diabetic diet, paleobetic diet, low-carb diet

Brian likes his burger wrapped in 2 oz of lettuce

QOTD: Claire Wolfe on Revolution

“America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.”

Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution, mid-1990s

Your Wine May Kill You In Ways You Never Imagined

Is the arsenic in the irrigation water, pesticides, or introduced during processsing?

Is the arsenic in the irrigation water, pesticides, or introduced during processsing?

In case you haven’t heard yet, a class-action lawsuit in California alleges that certain wines have dangerously high levels of arsenic that could cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes. USA Today has one of the ubiquitous stories outlining the few details we know at this point.

Furthermore, chronic low-dose arsenic exposure can cause skin changes (e.g., scaly thick skin, darkening, lightening), peripheral neuropathy (numbness, pain, weakness, typically starting in the feet, then hands), peripheral vascular disease, and liver disease. The cancers linked to arsenic are mostly skin, bladder, lung, and liver. The increased cancer risk persists even after the end of exposure.

How Do You Know If You’ve Been Poisoned With Arsenic?

Comments here refer to chronic low-dose exposure; acute high dose poisoning is a ‘nother can o’ worms.

First, see your doctor for a history and physical exam and let her know you’re worried about arsenic. If arsenic poisoning remains a possibility, lab testing is usually a 24-hour urine collection for arsenic, or spot urine for arsenic and creatinine. “Spot” in this context means a random single specimen, not a 24-hour collection. For the 48 to 72 hours before either of those tests, don’t eat fish, seaweed, or shellfish.

What about testing hair for arsenic? In general, it’s not accurate.

Bottom Line

At this point, if you or someone you love drinks wine, I suggest simply keeping an eye on this story as it develops. We need more facts. The whole thing could blow over, with nothing coming of it. Look for discount prices on the involved wines over the next couple weeks. One of the brands mentioned is Sutter Home, one of my favorites.

Was it just a year ago we had the vapors over arsenic in rice?

Steve Parker, M.D.

A Natural Constipation Remedy: Cabbage Soup

There’s something about cabbage…

I spent 30 minutes surfing the ‘Net to find out why cabbage soup can help fight constipation and even cause diarrhea. The answer is raffinose.

Raffinose is sometimes called a fiber but more often is characterized as a trisaccharide, oligosaccharide, or complex carbohydrate. It’s all four.

A typical bowl of cabbage soup has three grams of fiber. If you eat two bowls, that’s six grams, still not all that much, but can predictably cause loose stools or diarrhea in  many folks because of a particular type of fiber: raffinose.

The thing about raffinose is that it passes through the small intestine undigested because we lack the enzyme alpha-galactosidase. When raffinose hits the colon, bacteria start digesting it (aka fermentation), potentially leading to gas, bloating, and/or diarrhea. If your “dose” of raffinose is small enough, you won’t have any symptoms. To use cabbage soup as a constipation preventative or remedy, you have to experiment to see what dose works for you.

Raffinose is also found in beans and cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts and cauliflower

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Ever heard of Beano? The active ingredient is the enzyme alpha-galactosidase. It breaks down raffinose in the small intestine, to simple sugars we can absorb.

PPS: Raffinose is one of the oligosaccharides to avoid if you’re on a low FODMAPs diet.

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

paleobetic diet, diabetic diet, low-carb diet, spaghetti squash, spaghetti

Meaty spaghetti sauce over spaghetti squash

Recently we’ve looked at low-carb spaghetti sauce and cooking spaghetti squash. It’s not too much of a stretch to put them together and call it spaghetti. Substituting spaghetti squash for spaghetti pasta means lower calories and more fiber per serving. And everybody needs to eat more vegetables, right?

Use the nutritional analysis below to fit this easily into the Advanced Mediterranean Diet or Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet.

paleobetic diet, spaghetti, squash, low-carb diet, diabetic diet, paleo diet

Cooked spaghetti squash partially teased apart with a fork

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (240 ml) low-carb spaghetti sauce

2 cups (480 ml) cooked spaghetti squash

Instructions:

Prepare the ingredients after clicking on links above. Assemble as in the photo. Enjoy.

Number of Servings: 1

Advanced Mediterranean Diet boxes: 2 veggies, 2 fats, 1/2 protein

Nutritional Analysis: 

52% fat

33% carbohydrate

15% protein

408 calories

36 g carbohydrate

7 g fiber

29 g digestible carbohydrate

1,398 mg sodium

1,201 mg potassium

Prominent features: Rich in B12, copper, iron, niacin, thiamin, B6

Countering Constipation on a Ketogenic Diet

I’ll admit that constipation can be an occasional problem with my Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet. I usually recommend fighting it with higher fiber consumption, Metamucil, or cabbage soup.

Georgia Ede, M.D., has a good article on constipation that is sometimes seen with ketogenic diets. Some think it’s related to low fiber content of the diet. But Dr. Ede found a study that indicates cutting down on fiber consumption helps alleviate constipation! A quote from the good doctor:

If you experience constipation on a ketogenic diet, it is not because you are eating less fiber; it is most likely because you have started eating something that you were not eating before (or a larger amount of something you didn’t eat much of before) that is hard for you to digest. In order to eat a ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, limited protein, ultra-low-carb diet, most people find themselves turning to high amounts of foods that are notoriously difficult to digest, including nuts, low-starch vegetables such as crucifers, and full-fat dairy products.These foods just so happen to be 3 of the top 5 causes of chronic constipation, regardless of what kind of diet you choose to eat.

Read the whole enchilada for her tips on countering constipation.

Steve Parker, M.D.