About a month ago I got an email, a newsletter, from a popular podcast host in his weekly "this is what I'm doing, this is what I'm buying" etc. He linked to a mushroom coffee that he had tried and liked... I was immediately curious. I come from a long line of mushroom hunters, in fact my paternal grandfather paid his way through college delivering 50 and 100lb blocks of ice and mushroom hunting. There's even a morel statue that is a family artifact. The company behind this curious creation is Four Sigmatic and they are some interesting Finns. 


The first product I tried was the Mushroom Coffee Mix in the above photo, pardon the less-than-professional photo but hey I wanted you to see that I really do buy and drink the stuff. Sadly my mug is empty as you can tell by the TARDIS being black instead of white (heat reactive!), but I'll probably make another mug here in a little bit. Mannnnnnn I LOVE this stuff. YES it tastes like mushrooms, it has a very very earthy taste so if you aren't a fan of mushrooms you aren't going to be a fan of this coffee.

The first thing I really like about Four Sigmatic's mushroom products is, some of the mushrooms are WILD CRAFTED! The rest are grown in mushroom farms that imitate natural conditions as much as possible. They then take the harvested fruiting bodies, dry them and then add them to tanks of boiling water for several hours to get a liquid. Once they have the liquid they move to using distilled alcohol to make the beneficial compounds more bioavailable and move along to evaporation tanks to get rid of the bulk of the water content before moving to a spray-dryer. Voila, you have a very pure mushroom extract powder which is then added to flavouring and/or other powders or herbs for their final products!

Yeah yeah, this sounds like an advertorial or something. Yeah yeah, I use an affiliate link when I link to their site. But no bull, I like this stuff. As I type this post I'm debating which products to order today that I haven't tried yet... I'm thinking I'll go for some of the evening/sleep/anti-stress blends. 

Go get your own mushroom coffee or other products at Four Sigmatic's web store!

Stop saying sweet potatoes are more nutritious than white potatoes!

I get tired of seeing the Paleo community go

white and sweet potatoes.jpg
Oh sweet potatoes brah like they are way better than white potatoes, like grok man he only ate sweet potatoes and white potatoes are just the devil! Like uh I saw that they have more of them nutrient things and are healthier for you and just better, sweet potato with butter, sweet potato with cinnamon, sweet potato sweet potato sweet potato!

I do not care for the taste of sweet potatoes at all, nor do I care for people making claims that have zero basis in reality. Yes, white potatoes are nightshades and a small portion of the population has negative reactions to nightshades... I suspect somewhere, somewhen an individual that had a legitimate nightshade issue found that when they switched to sweet potatoes from white potatoes they had some of their health issues vanish and then someone else saw it and was like "oh man sweet potatoes!" and then another and another and another... and this white potatoes developed a stigma.

The Paleo community is starting to come around to white potatoes with more and more people being adventurous and returning to them, finding they don't have issue with them as they suspected. Still, at least once a week I see someone on a forum or Reddit or a blog demonize white potatoes with comments like "sweet potatoes are more nutritious!" well... why don't we actually take a look at the numbers, because... you know... SCIENCE.

Sweet Potatoes 200g White Potatoes 200g
kcals 160 281
fat 0g 0g
cholesterol 0mg 0mg
carbohydrates 41g 64g
dietary fiber 7g 6g
sugars 13g 4g
protein 4g 6g
Vitamin A 38433IU 29.9IU
Vitamin C 39.2mg 37.7mg
Vitamin D - -
Vitamin E 1.4mg 0.1mg
Vitamin K 4.6mcg 8.1mcg
Thiamin 0.2mg .01mg
Riboflavin 0.2mg 0.1mg
Niacin 3mg 4.6mg
Vitamin B6 0.6mg 0.6mg
Folate 12mcg 114mcg
Vitamin B12 - -
Pantothenic Acid 1.8mg 1.1mg
Choline 26.2mg 43.1mg
Betaine 69.2mg 0.6mg
Calcium 76mg 29.9mg
Iron 1.4mg 1.9mg
Magnesium 54mg 80.7mg
Phosphorous 108mg 224mg
Potassium 950mg 1626mg
Sodium 72mg 20.39mg
Zinc 0.6mg 1mg
Copper 0.3mg 0.4mg
Manganese 1mg 0.6mg
Selenium 0.4mcg 1.5mcg
Fluoride -

Wait, what? I thought sweet potatoes were so much more nutritious than white potatoes?!?! You're telling me the only thing sweet potatoes has over white potatoes is considerably more vitamin A but white potatoes have more of several other minerals/nutrients/vitamins. Fancy that. Now stop saying sweet potatoes are more nutritious.

Hacking nutritional deficiencies: b-12, folinic acid, magnesium

B-12 and folinic acid

So last year I learned I had a vitamin b-12 deficiency ( Folate deficiency ) during a visit to my DO after my hypokalemic event . Some signs of a b-12 deficiency include:

    weakness, tiredness or light-headedness  
    rapid heartbeat and breathing
    pale skin
    sore tongue
    easy bruising or bleeding, including bleeding gums
    stomach upset and weight loss
    diarrhea or constipation


I tried supplementing with folic acid until I learned that it's not the most bio available and a good number of people poorly absorb/use it. I never got around to picking up a better alternative until a couple of months ago.

Doing some research I learned that methylcobalamin or hydroxycobalamin taken with folate (5-MTHF or folinic acid, NOT folic acid) are your best bet for making up for this deficiency in one's diet. That being said I opted to go with Folinic Acid with B-12 200 Caps by Kirkman . After a couple of months my vitiligo and hyperpigmentation on my upper arms is starting to go away rather noticeably.



Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency is rarely diagnosed because usually a blood test is done as part of an electrolyte panel. Rougly only 1% of the body's magnesium is stored in the blood. Symptons of a magnesium deficiency include:

    Muscle twitches
    Urinary Spasms
    Menstrual cramps
    Panic attacks
    Numbness, tingling and abnormal sensations
    High blood pressure
    Heart arrythmias

There are TONS of types of magnesium available as supplements, some are pretty worthless doing nothing more than giving you diarrhea, upon my research I found two products I take. Mag-Tab SR which contains 84 mg of elemental magnesium L-lactate dihydrate per caplet meaning 4 of these caplets satisfy the daily requirements of most humans... I take 4 of these a day spread mostly throughout the day so my body is getting a steady trickle of magnesium. The second product I use is Designs for Health Magnegel Transdermal Magnesium Gel  delivers approximately 150 mg of elemental magnesium per 1/4 teaspoon to the skin, (about the size of a nickel) I just blob fairly random amounts out on my skin twice a day, first thing in the morning and about an hour before bed.