The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, March 07, 2008

#2: Intermittent Fasting

Still playing with "Google Documents." Not ready for prime time, but very interesting. If anyone knows of a real on-line multi-collaborator ready "Word" clone, lemme know. I've looked at Zomo and Microsoft Office Online and another whose name I don't remember. I think they're heading in the right direction, though...

Listening to the radio these days is fascinating. Apparently, thousands of Republicans "crossed over" to vote for Hillary in Texas, at the instigation of Rush Limbaugh. MSNBC got 800 calls in one hour of people who said they'd done it, on the basis that Hillary will be easier to beat than McCain. Wow. Sneaky. Smart. What a game, eh?

The second of "Seven Secrets": Intermittent Fasting. Like the reader said, this is no stranger to those who have been reading this blog.
Intermittent fasting is based on about sixty years of research into caloric restriction, the only known means of extending maximum life span in warm blooded animals. In the most basic form, it is "eating every other day," although there are plans that involve "waving" the number of calories from day to day, say, limiting yourself to 600 calories one day, and gorging the next. There are also patterns involving eating from six PM one day to 6 PM the next, etc. Intense, but probably the simplest diet ever devised. So long as you exercise at almost any level at all, weight loss is ridiculously easy. But the other benefits include positive effects in the areas of: testosterone release, cancer, regrowth of nerve tissue, Alzheimer's, arthritis, general mental functioning, and more. A truly incredible "secret." The question I have is: what sorts of information do you think readers will most desire in connection with Intermittent Fasting? Please post thoughts here and on the discussion group.


Steve Perry said...

I'm guessing that folks will want to see citations showing the benefits. If there are any downsides -- obviously people with diabetes aren't going to be able to do this -- those ought to be listed. Medications that have to be taken with food, stuff like that.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

FWIW, lots more Republicans have voted for Obama than for Hillary.

Check out the list of links to the right.

Pretty sure Obama's received a lot more Republican votes than Hillary. That's not a bad thing -- if that persists into the general election (and assuming Obama's the nominee, which I think is likely) -- but I don't really see how you can hang Republicans around Clinton's neck, under the circumstances.

I am having buyer's remorse over Hillary. She said the other day that only she and John McCain were fit to be CIC ... while politics is a rough game, there are limits; you don't hand the opposing party ready made ads praising their nominee and slamming the man who's (better than even money) yours. If Obama really wants to get old school Dems lined up behind him, hammering away at Clinton's astonishing statement might do it.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

BTW -- anyone out there who knows Terry Pratchett, you might want to drop him a line regarding IF. IF has actually regenerated neural tissue in animals suffering from analogs of Parkinson's and Alzheimers -- Prachett's apparently been diagnosed with a varient of Alzheimers. If anything can help him, IF might. I can dig up links to the research if that'll help.

Anonymous said...

Some recent anti-IF posts by Dr. Michael Eades:

To quote his conclusions:
"It's looking like the intermittent fast is another of those ideas in science that looks good in animal studies then not so good in human studies, proving once again that rats and mice aren't simply furry little humans. And it appears - for humans, at least - that the intermittent fast is indeed beginning to look like the reality of a late-night gimmicky infomercial: long on promises, short on delivery. I suspect that it is also a cautionary tale about the applicability of caloric restriction studies to humans. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that's the way science sometimes works. Lab results and reality are often two different animals."

There's some interesting back-and-forth in the comments.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion
Hillary has a valid issue and has the right to push the issue anyway she wants. I'm for anybody but Obama based upon my sense of where he is in the foreign policy arena. I feel more strongly about this since the Samantha Powers incident. After the "monster" furor alerted me she was his foreign policy adviser I googled her and read some reviews of her books. This tended to confirm my impression of Obama's world view and my conviction that he is not the commander in-chief we need at this time.

Marty S

Steven Barnes said...


The Repubs who responded to the calls of Rush Limbaugh were, (according to rumor--I haven't looked it up in print) specifically doing it to hurt Obama, and do NOT plan to vote for Hillary in the General. That's very different from legitimately supporting Obama. I'm not blaming Hillary for this--I'm blaming the Right-Wing radio in Texas who are said to have pushed this tactic. Again I don't have the written verification.

David Roel said...

That's easy. People will instantly question the idea of working out and not eating. That definitely breaks conventional thinking. "I train hard six days a week, and I'm supposed to not eat on three of those, before or after?" You better have some solid answers, studys, etc. on that to back it up. I've always been wondering about that, too. Seems anti-logical. -Dave in Anaheim.

mjholt said...

Many of the Repubs voting for either Hil or Obama with the encouragement of O'Reilly and Limbaugh, etc., are exercising sexism &/or racism at its most basic level.

I think O'Reilly's "lynching" statements are only to remind his listeners what he thinks of black people, and that he wipes his feet on Hil's face is anything but pure hatred "Underneath his desk was a green doormat with Hillary Clinton’s face on it."

O'Reilly is a poisonous snake in the grass and Limbaugh is a tarantula in the boot of democracy. They lie, cheat, and steal. Michael Powell has made it safe for these people because the FCC, which is selling the bandwidth off so we have to use cable, says that cable does not have to abide by the rules set up for broadcast because it is private, even though it runs over public lands and costs public dollars. This is why these propagandists are on cable which is not regulated, so anything goes.

Josh Jasper said...

There's also th fact that Limbaugh probably would rather see Clinton in power than Obama because he's a old school racist.

"Obama is holding his own against both of them [Bill and Hillary Clinton], doing more than his share of the 'spadework,' maybe even gaining ground at the moment, using not only the spade, ladies and gentlemen. But when he finishes with the spade in the garden of corruption planted by the Clintons, he turns to the hoe. And so the spadework and his expertise, using a hoe. He's faring well." [transcript form his radio show. link here]

I listened to the recording. He emphasized the word "spade" and "hoe". This is the sort of speech he likes to use when talking about black people. I have no doubt in my mind about his racism.

Steven Barnes said...


I heard that "spade" and "hoe" thing first hand. He's either a racist or something worse: someone who plays racist games while not believing the underlying assumptions. It's like George Wallace supposedly not being a racist, just not wanting to be "out-niggered." Fine, then. He's not a racist. He's a monster.

mjholt said...

Gentlemen, he is a racist and a sexist. "Spade" and "Hoe."

Hil has been called a whore a lot in the past few months, so we know who the hoe is.

not wanting to be "out-niggered."

Oh, God. Steve it makes me physically sick.

Limbaugh was once quoted as saying that he only talked to women who were reporters or whores. There wasn't a lot of difference, except whores went all the way. I read this perhaps 10 or more years ago in the Wall St. Journal. The woman who wrote the article feigned amusement in the most transparent manner.

Anonymous said...

I've never managed to listen to an entire broadcast by Limbaugh. It always sends my blood pressure soaring -- and I'm a Republican. If you've correctly transcribed his "spade" "hoe" comments (and I do not doubt your accuracy), his comments are repugnant.

mjholt said...

Some good news:
Democrat scientist wins Hasterts seat, and Obama won in Wyoming.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you might want to check out the guy over at

He probably has more actual hands-on experience and data about IF (used on clients with different body-types) than anyone else at the moment.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

Gary Hart wrote an Op-Ed saying almost exactly what I said above -- I hadn't read it when I posted.

Amusing sort of coincidence -- 20+ years ago I wrote a speech for Hart that he used one piece of -- a bit about American soldiers dying in the mideast because America lacked a sane energy policy.

It's interesting to watch Steve throw his heart and soul into Obama. That was me and Hart, back long ago. I've always seen some of myself in Hart (or vice versa, if you like) ... he was the obvious candidate for 1988, before he self-destructed by daring the press to find dirt on him. Do something that stupid, you'd better be simon pure, and Hart wasn't -- back then you could still torpedo a career by being caught having a penis, and Hart managed it. I've always blamed Hart for that -- not for the adultery; I could care less -- but for running in a society like America and making that dare to the press. There's a guy who liked walking the tight rope more than he liked getting all the way across ....

Hope the current infatuation with Obama (not just with Barnes, but overall) works out better than mine with Hart.

Anonymous said...

I can't comment on Rush Limbaugh, because I have never listened to his show, but I think those who beat up on O'Reilly are showing their own biases. O'Reilly at least tries to be fair and balanced. He frequently has Al Sharpton, and others with views different from his own on his show. For that matter I could tear Sharpton apart for things he has done and said as easily as you can O'Reilly , but I actually have some respect for Sharpton, because while I disagree with many of his viewpoints and some of his methods I believe they come honestly from his heart.

Marty S

Anonymous said...

My question about IF is can you have coffee and/or tea on the fasting days?

The wife and I are coffee and tea addicts, with the cream and sugar or honey that go along with the habit. We were curious about IF but aren't sure if we can give up the "strong" drink.


Pagan Topologist said...

Coffee and tea?

Mr. Moore, since no one else is picking up on your question here, I will offer my own opinion.

There is no one right way to do IF. I myself have coffee with a bit of organic heavy cream twice a day on my fasting days. I cannot imagine putting sugar into coffee or tea, and except for those two times, I drink my coffee black, or as I like to say, with no adulterants or impurities. Some people will no doubt disagree with me, so find out what works for you. My suspicion is that if one consumes under about 200 calories on fasting days it is likely OK, as far as the health benefits go, although I think fat calories are likely more benign than carbohydrates here. Again, just my opinion based on what works for me.

Steve Perry said...

My experience with fasting -- which isn't enough to be called IF, since it's only one day a week -- is that part of the benefit is in shutting down the digestive system entirely.

I have found it easier to take in no calories than a few. I also drink coffee, but black; a lot of water, and save for the occasional glass of wine, and now and then, a breath mint, that's pretty much the caloric intake.

I have found that I am less hungry with zero calories. Even a bit or two of food kicks the system back into gear, and my body clamors for more.

I don't believe that getting dehydrated is in any way beneficial, so those who say NPO (nothing per os -- by mouth) don't get my vote. You can go much longer without food than you can water, and if you work out, you don't want to dry out -- it does bad things to enzymes and salts.

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