Category Archives: Entertainment - Page 2

Happy Mother’s Day! with Hot Chocolate

Our best wishes to all Moms!

We thought we’d post something kids and moms can enjoy together: hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate

We recommend some combination of whole milk or heavy cream, dark chocolate, and coconut milk or coconut oil.

We like ours thick so we used cream and coconut oil. (Shou-Ching suggests mixing some coffee with the cream — for Mom only! (Paul suggests some Irish whiskey.)) We used 72% chocolate, which is sweet but not too sweet.

We mixed about 100 g chocolate with a heaping tablespoon (~2 tbsp) coconut oil and 1 cup cream. Melt the chocolate with the oil in a sauce pan:

Then add the cream or milk and stir until well mixed:

Whipped Cream

It wouldn’t be hot chocolate without whipped cream on top. We use 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 tbsp rice syrup as a sweetener.

We do the preparation in the same plastic container we’ll use to store the extra whipped cream – less cleanup that way:

Whip the cream, then add the rice syrup and whip some more:


Transfer everything to a mug and top with cinnamon or nutmeg:

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Pictures from the Paleolithic

After two weeks of science-heavy posts, I thought I’d do something light: a picture show.

Paleolithic Body Shapes

It’s often said that Paleolithic men were large-boned and very muscular. For instance:

The limb bones of the early Upper Palaeolithic Gravettian people are not only large but also have massive muscle attachments.

This is true of some Paleolithic skeletons, including Neanderthals and Eastern Gravettians, but it is far from generally true. (Gravettian is the name for a European toolkit used between about 28,000 and 22,000 BC.)

In fact, the Paleolithic population that expanded through Europe in the Upper Paleolithic was notably tall and slender. Here is a Gravettian skeleton from Grottes des Enfants 4 in Grimaldi, Italy [1]:

Note the narrow hips, narrow rib cage, and slender bones. The body shape is not dissimilar to some tall, slender East African populations today.

Of course, you can be small-boned and slender and strong. Still, it’s likely this population fought with poison-tipped throwing weapons like the atlatl, not with spears like the Neanderthals, and consequently needed much less strength. Also, they were fishermen and horticulturists, not big game hunters; their nitrogen isotope ratios prove that much of their protein came from fish.

What about obesity? Don Matesz had an interesting post this week, in which he argued that the Venus of Willendorf proves that Paleolithic Europeans were familiar with the shape of obese women:

Source: Wikipedia.

Indeed, it appears that post-menopausal weight gain may have been a problem on Paleolithic diets. As were sagging breasts:

Source: Wikipedia.

Paleolithic Art

The Gravettians were major producers of cave art. A few years ago, Friedrich Blowhard of did a great review of a book by anthropologist J. David Lewis-Williams, The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art, which sought to explain the origins of Paleolithic cave art.

Lewis-William’s idea is that is that the art was the product of shamanistic religious rituals involving hallucinations. The art was placed in the darkest and most inaccessible corners of caves because those were the best places to have a private hallucination.

Here is the Mammoth from Rouffignac:

To be sure, some of the cave art was in more accessible locations. Here is the Hall of the Bulls at Lascaux:

One thing I learned from Friedrich’s review is that animals were often painted as if they were floating in air – either lacking hooves, or with the bottoms of the hooves visible. Here is a bison at Altamira:

If Paleolithic art was created in an hallucinogenic state, it might explain The Sorcerer from Les Trois Freres:

Paintings of humans were rare until the latest stages of the Upper Paleolithic. Via, here are some Paleolithic Frenchmen from La Marche, Vienne, France about 12,000 BC:

Paleolithic artists did sometimes represent the fish that made up so much of their diet. Here is a Paleolithic salmon:

Here is a sculpture of a bird:


I’m happy to appropriate their diet, and I admire their art, but I must say, I’m quite pleased to be living now rather than then.

And now — that duck is making me hungry. It must be time for dinner!


[1] Holt & Formicola (2008) “Hunters of the Ice Age: The Biology of Upper Paleolithic People,” Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 51:70–99.

Around the Web; Eating Disorders and Hypothyroidism

Items that caught my eye this week:

(1) Would You Be My Meatheart?: I wasn’t clever enough to give this to Shou-Ching for Valentine’s Day, but would have known to use genuine hearts from the Asian market. Wait till next year honey!

(2) By the way: Who knew Manolo has a food blog?

(3) Ronaldo Forced Out of Soccer for Lack of Thyroid Hormone. Famed soccer star Ronaldo is retiring because he has hypothyroidism and he says soccer authorities consider treatment to be doping – so he has to retire to fix his health.

Absurd! Mary Shomon agrees.

(4) Ronaldo may play the “beautiful game,” but we Americans play the crazy game. This running back plays football like I used to:

(5) Startling if True: Paleo Pepper abridges a talk by Dr. Flechas at claiming that thyroid hormone replacement may actually increase risk of breast cancer among hypothyroid women – what is needed is high-dose iodine:

A women with hypothyroidism has a 6% chance of developing breast cancer. Once she starts taking thyroid hormone, it doubles her chances. Once she’s been on thyroid hormone replacement for 15 years, it more than triples it – she now has a 19.6% chance of developing breast cancer.

I have not seen such statistics before and would have to check these claims. We recommend iodine and selenium as the first steps in dealing with hypothyroidism, but generally support thyroid hormone replacement.

(6) Burying the Lede: Is “strengthens pelvic floor muscles” really the number one benefit?

(7) Another Perfect Health breakfast idea: Emily suggests cream of rice with cream, butter, and apricot applesauce.

(8) Paleolithic Dairy?: Ravi at Daia Sol Gaia argues that dogs may have been domesticated and goats tamed and used for milk as early as 35,000 years ago – the start of the Upper Paleolithic. Is goat milk a Paleo food?

(9) The authentic way to drink Paleo goat milk: Paleolithic settlers at Gough Cave in England, c. 13,000 to 10,000 BC, ate human bone marrow and brain and used the skulls as drinking chalices:

Via Dienekes. Apparently drinking from human skulls is a widely attested practice, both in Paleolithic and historical times – see e.g. the Krum and Herodotus’s Scythians.

Reference: Bello SM et al. Earliest Directly-Dated Human Skull-Cups. PLoS ONE 6(2): e17026. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017026. Link.

(10) Avoid vegetable oils if you want a baby: Chris Highcock found a paper showing that infertile women eat 23% more polyunsaturated fat, and 17% less saturated fat, than fertile women. Infertile men eat 20% more polyunsaturated fat than fertile men.

Reference: Revonta M et al. Health and life style among infertile men and women. Sex Reprod Healthc. 2010 Aug;1(3):91-8.

(11) Never give up:

“I had the head doctor of surgical I.C.U. say, ‘Miracles happen.’

(Via Craig Newmark)

(12) Which Machine for the Hippo? I thought this was a cool picture:

(From NPR via John Durant)

(13) Finally, our video: We’ve had a bit of discussion of eating disorders this week, in the comments to the “Therapy AND Life” post. That reminded me of this CBS News interview of a “Biggest Loser” contestant who said she developed an eating disorder during the show:

Around the Web; and the Corpus Clock

Every week I collect many more interesting links than I can blog about, so I thought I’d include in Saturday posts links to interesting material on the Web.

Here are some things I found noteworthy this week:

(1) Chris Kresser has concluded that 2 food pyramids are better than one. His fat and carb pyramids could serve as a visual summary of our diet:

(2) US children who regularly buy school lunches are 29% more likely to become obese than those who bring lunch from home.

School lunch programs have to follow official US dietary guidelines, which favor the subsidized crops of wheat, corn, and soybeans. The USDA recently banned the potato from school lunches in an effort to get kids to eat more grains.

Since food toxins cause obesity, this outcome is just what we would have predicted.

(3) Giving nitrate to athletes causes their mitochondria to become more efficient.

Spinach is rich in nitrates. Popeye was right! Spinach does make you stronger.

(4) More China Study data:  Ned Kock shows that fat is the safest macronutrient, animal food is safer than plant food, but that rice and vegetables are OK.

(5) Perfect Health Diet, the book, is “Paleo for engineers”. Accurate?

(6) Engineers, our video of the week is for you. When I first saw this thing, I thought it was a device for giving nightmares to young children.

Good thing Dr. Deans didn’t choose this for her kids’ nightlight! The blue lights are bad for melatonin.