Thanksgiving and the power of gratitude

Most every year for quite a while–fifteen years? the PaleoPathologist has penned a brief page about the value of gratitude. Enjoy! Feel free to share.

Thanksgiving Grace—2019

“Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists agree: gratitude is a critical element to a happy life.” Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. (and, I might add, ancient religious traditions…)

The Duke Patient Safety Institute finds that writing down 3 good things a day just before bed is better than antidepressants for preventing physician burnout. Brian Sexton MD

“These two people are hard to find in the world. Which two? The one who is first to do a kindness, and the one who is grateful and thankful for a kindness done.” Buddha

Gratitude holds a very high place in the Hindu tradition. There are two facets to it. 1) We must be grateful for everything that we get, but 2) we must not expect any gratitude from others.
Uma Mysorekar, MD, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine 2003

The Jewish and Christian Bibles tells us to be thankful:
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4-5, about 1000 BC

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. The Apostle Paul, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 about 50 AD

Islam actually mandates gratitude:
Which of the favors of your Lord will you deny? Quran Ch. 55
Islam does not only teach us to thank Allah, but we are also told to thank our parents, our spouses, our friends, neighbors and all those who do any good to us. The Prophet said: “Those who do not thank people, they do not thank Allah.” (Al-Tirmidhi 1878)

Why does God tell us to be thankful? Is this God’s ego trip? I don’t think so. I think it’s ultimately what’s best for me. Being thankful is the ultimate selfish act. I am happier and healthier when I’m grateful.

Cicero, 100 BC: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Dale Carnegie, in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Rule 4 in Seven Ways to Peace and Happiness: Count your blessings, not your troubles.

“Insufficient appreciation and savoring of the good events in your past and overemphasis of the bad ones are the two culprits that undermine serenity, contentment, and satisfaction…gratitude amplifies the savoring and appreciation of the good events gone by…” Martin Seligman PhD

“Yes, there is a ‘secret to happiness’—and it is gratitude. All happy people are grateful, and ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that it is being unhappy that leads people to complain, but it is truer to say that it is complaining that leads to people becoming unhappy. Become grateful and you will become a much happier person.” Dennis Prager, in Happiness is a Serious Problem:

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G. K. Chesterton

Those who are not grateful soon begin to complain of everything. Thomas Merton

Thank you for our many blessings. Help us to bring awareness for the good in our lives. Help us to notice, celebrate, and be grateful for the many gifts in our lives. Amen.
James M. Small MD PhD

PaleoPathologist becomes ProfessorPaleoPathologist

Yes, good old PaleoPathologist got a wild hair and decided to become a Pathology Professor at Rocky Vista University. PaleoPathologistMate introduced me to the phrase “wild hair” when in the midst of seven years of Evil Duke Medical School. (Don’t call me Mr. Paleopathologist…) PP started in January and gave a series of lectures on Reproductive Pathology to the second year medical students. It felt great to get up in front of a group again and pass on some hard won knowledge.  For a longer account, see here.

Looking forward to getting back into an academic environment and teaching, learning, contributing in a new and different way. I’m ALSO looking forward to getting back into the whole PaleoPathologist scene; been absent for way too long.

Next week, PaleoPathologist will be attending Low Carb Breckenridge with a bunch of other Paleo Low Carb Keto Freaks. Will keep you posted. It might not even be too late to sign up yourself although hotel rooms seem to be getting short…during ski season…just saying!

Keto On.

PaleoPathologist was busy!

What a couple of months! My father was in and out of the hospital, doing much better now. PaleoPathologist and his brother went fishing for salt water fish in Belize with fly rods, and we did not eat any of the bonefish we caught. Paleo? Hm. I can tell you that even a little bonefish is like a torpedo compared to a trout in the Rockies.DSC_0294

Then Incredible Wife and I went out to see two Cave Babies (two of the Grands) and had a great time.

A couple of weeks later PaleoPathologist and his son in law, who was an Army Ranger trainee, took to the hills to try to collect our own grass fed meat. We brought back a Doe Deer and ground the meat on Incredible Wife’s kitchen counter; should have taken some pictures, a Neanderthal would have been proud, shocked, and awed to see that machine spit out deerburger. There was one downside: the liver got damaged and I had to leave it for the coyotes.  (We saw bighorn sheep, deer, bald eagles, pronghorn antelope, and even a cougar stalking a deer. Even if you don’t bring home an elk, PaleoPathologist  has discovered that elk just don’t live in ugly places.)

Happy to get back on the horse here. I’ve got more about exercise, cooking, fat, all kinds of good stuff. Stay tuned!

What does a PaleoPathologist actually DO?

There’s just no doubt that everyone out there is clamoring to know more about what a pathologist does in a cancer hospital!  We are definitely not CSI Forensic pathologists, who can figure out by DNA who the perpetrator was before the next commercial break. So as a public service PaleoPathologist, recipient of a 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award by the College of American Pathologists,  has decided to describe in excruciating detail my day.award resized

How to live longer in 8 “Blue Zone” steps.

When PaleoPathologist was a kid he remembers seeing a skit on a variety show, might have been Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In, where a frumpy woman said, “I hear that scientists think they can help us live to 140.  Big deal.  Who wants to be a little old lady for 70 years?”  Good question!  But what if we can extend middle age 20, 30, 40 more years? Ah, sounds better.  According to The Blue Zones, one of the longest living groups in the world is the 7th Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California.  Since PaleoPathologist is the head of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver and is on the Mission Advisory Committee, he has a copy of the handbook, Creation Health Discovery, and is about to share the 8 steps.

Good site for information on supplements and nutrients

PaleoPathologist spent some time investigating Calcium and Magnesium supplements today for PaleoPathologistMate. He went to Consumer Lab, his go-to site for nutritional information. They have good monographs, extensively referenced. It is NOT free although they have some free content.

Looks like Calcium is probably adequate in most decent diets (like PaleoPathologist’s greens, colors, sulfurs, organ meats, eggs, fish) but it’s OK to supplement, A LITTLE. No more than probably 1000 mg/day, and even that according to Consumer Lab might be a bit much. They cite an article saying that you can’t absorb more than 500 mg at a time, and that if you take it with a multivitamin the calcium might interfere with absorption of other trace elements you need like zinc, chromium, manganese, etc.

Magnesium is also interesting. They don’t find any problem taking calcium and magnesium together but it also may compete with other trace elements for absorption.  Dang, they want PaleoPathologist to have a timer, pill box, etc.  Or maybe old Graw (PaleoGrandSon’s name for PaleoPathologist) will be perfectly OK gathering and eating good food!

PaleoPathologist has found that taking too much Magnesium can lead to, shall we say, unfortunate volcanic gastrointestinal side effects so he thinks if you want to supplement magnesium start real slow OR stay real close to a bathroom.  Mag Citrate is used in PaleoPathologist’s hospital as…a laxative!  Consider yourself warned.

PaleoPathologist is cutting back on his supplements (he is tired of all the stupid pills.) What about you?  (as always this is for education, and should not be considered a prescription or medical treatment since I’ve never met you…)

Previous Posts on old blog

These posts come from the predecessor to and are here for your interest and reference.

Low carb, super low carb, ultra low carb, what does it all MEAN?

What other than weight loss has eating low carb done for people?

Cholesterol, courage, and normal human biases

What? Calcium supplements might do more harm than good?

Another tribe to add to the list of lowcarbers

Forgiveness and reconciliation will be needed.

How you react to stress is more important than how much

Jimmy Moore blog post about “cognitive dissonance” in Low Carb

Judge not, lest ye be judged…

Who is Phat Phobic out there?

A perfect, natural squat

BroScience. What a great term.

Made another great frittata today.

Low Carb for native peoples in Canada

Something to think about. Drug companies, “Big Pharma”, and Big Government

Eat like a predator, not like prey

But what do you eat? My breakfast frittata.

High intensity weight training for beginners

Welcome to the PaleoPathologist Blog