The Truth About Sugar


PictureSweet Poison:  Why Sugar Makes Us Fat by David Gillespie, Penguin Books, 2008. Link is to the book’s page on the author’s website. Some parts of this website are subscription only.

You’ll find quite a few books about food and nutrition as this book blog continues.  (I’m reading a book titled The Big Fat Surprise:  Why Butter,  Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet; it should show up soon.)  David Gillespie is the most accessible writer I’ve found on the subject of the evils of sugar.  Robert Lustig’s Fat Chance and Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat: and What to Do About It are both good resources but very dense.  You have to be pretty interested in the subject already in order to be motivated to plow through them.  Gillespie, on the other hand, is funny, smart, and brief, and he plentifully illustrates his ideas from his own experience.  I have to admit that I did a little skipping in the chapter “Biochemistry 101,” but he does an admirable job of explaining the actual processes by which our bodies transform food into energy.

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The First Week Home

I’ve had several people ask me when the next blogpost is coming, so here’s an update written after Gideon’s first checkup since coming home. We made a tremendous effort to get the wheelchair-accessible van service booked for this doctor’s visit, but all in all I think we shouldn’t have bothered. Gideon said it was very bumpy, which makes sense because it’s a big hollow vehicle, not a nicely-suspended car, and he’s not sitting in a regular seat but in a tied-down wheelchair. He thinks that he’s figured out how to get into the back seat of a car without twisting his neck, so we’ll give that a try.

Be that as it may, the checkup this morning was tremendously encouraging. Dr. Rifkin was pleased with Gideon’s mobility, vitals and general appearance. I mentioned that we were hoping that no spinal surgery would be necessary, and he said he thought the possibilities were excellent that it wouldn’t. It will be interesting to see what the blood draw shows, as various components will be at their lowest levels 10-14 days after chemo. (This is day 10.) We were able to schedule future chemos on Fridays, which is going to be just great (or as great as possible anyway) since that will not interfere with Gideon’s college classes this fall and will also give him the weekend to recover before Mondays. So we’re very pleased, all in all.

If you’re wondering how the first week home has been, I’d have to say it’s been much easier than I had feared. I had pictured Gideon getting upstairs with great difficulty and then basically being marooned there. He wanted to be in his own room and have his own bathroom, and I could certainly understand why he would feel that way after all that time in the hospital. However, he’s been up and down the stairs multiple times with no problem, so no marooning has taken place. When he gets too tired he just goes back upstairs to bed. We had lots of company this past weekend and he was able to participate fully. So that’s a great blessing. I was sort of afraid that being home would be lonelier for him than the hospital, but he doesn’t seem to feel that way. Of course, how could you not miss having people pop into your room at all hours? The nurses were wonderful, the routines sometimes not.

Well, must dash. I probably won’t do another post until I can report on the second chemo. Thanks for reading and praying.

Two for the Price of One

PicturePlato at the Googleplex:  Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein.  New York:  Pantheon Books, 2014. Link is to the author’s website.

So . . .a 400+-page book on philosophy.  Real promising, isn’t it?  I hope I can persuade you to read it, even though parts of it are quite challenging and dense.  Sometimes you finish a book with a feeling of satisfaction:  “I made it through.”  Sometimes with almost a sigh of relief:  “So that’s what happened!”  But once in a great while, at least for me, there’s a feeling of regret:  “Now I won’t get to be in the company of these characters any more.”  And that’s how I felt about the character of Plato in this book.  Suddenly I realized, “Oh no!  I’m almost finished, and I don’t want to be.  I want to go along with Plato into more of our modern world, hearing his take on all sorts of other situations.”  I hope I can get across in this post what a charming, gracious, focused person Plato is in this book.  He is never defensive.

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