Sweet Geek

Thoughts on Health and Nutrition

Recent Posts

Poop for Science!

Everybody Poops

I just found out about a research project that is starting up, American Gut. I believe the way it works is that you donate some money, some poo, and they will analyze it. You can find out what types of bacteria are in your gut, what’s dominant, enzymes, DNA… Interesting stuff!

They are also having participants fill out a questionnaire about their diet so that they can correlate gut bacteria and diet. FOR SCIENCE!

I am struggling with the $99 part but it would be very interesting to see what is going on in there. Plus since I keep pretty detailed food logs, I am full of … good data. Besides, who doesn’t want to know their pooper better? I know I do!

What do you think?



Announcing Bytes for Health

Happy Cat is Happy

After months of coding, my big plans are finally going into effect! Bytes for Health is finally here and ready for beta testing. It is a health tracking website, where you can record any aspect of your health, food logs, weight, blood sugar, ketones, etc and use that information to identify associations and improve your health.

For the first few weeks the beta will be invitation only, while I work on any bugs. If you would like an invitation, register and you will be notified when you can join.

Bytes for Health Sample Food Log
Bytes for Health Sample Food Log

Review: Dr Elsey’s Cat Litter

Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Litter

I am still on a mission to find a cat litter that is safe, convenient and affordable. Blue Naturally Fresh Walnut litter didn’t work out for me. So I decided for a while to switch back to clay but at least something less dusty. I picked Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract or Precious Cat litter as it is recommended by one of my favorite cat ladies.

Just a quick note, I have tried Cat Attract, Precious Cat Classic and Precious Cat Ultra this month. Honestly I cannot tell the difference between them! So my review is for the brand as a whole.


I find the clumping to be mostly acceptable. The clumps usually stay together when I sift them out. The exception being when they pee against the side of the box and don’t cover the mess. That usually ends in pieces which is difficult to completely remove. If you cats don’t pee standing up or are good about covering their mess, then it shouldn’t be an issue.

Odor Control

What I like about Dr. Elsey’s is that they don’t add perfumes or baking soda. I have a reaction to all perfumes and have found that even “unscented” litters usually have a noticeable odor. Not so with this stuff, a new bag of clean fresh litter doesn’t really have an odor. My laundry room smells pretty neutral which I prefer.

I clean the boxes twice a day and can’t smell the box at all in-between cleanings. I was pretty surprised at how well it hides odor without any sneeze inducing additives.


This stuff is heavy! The clay alternative cat litters are all lighter.


I am happy to report that reality matches their advertising when it comes to this being a low-dust litter. I noticed immediately that the litter is mostly clay pebbles and doesn’t have a bottom layer of dust. I can pour an entire 18lb bag of litter into the box without having to cover my face (which I could NOT say for other clay litters like Arm and Hammer or Tidy Cat). Also when a kitty leaps out of the box and runs directly to me to be petted, they don’t have a fine layer of dust trapped in their coat.


This seems to track the same as any other clay clumping litter. Luckily the clumps stick together very well so at least they don’t track any wet litter around the house like they did with the Blue Walnut litter…


Cat Attract is more expansive than Precious Cat and since I can’t tell the difference between the two… I would go with whichever is cheaper. Cat Attract retails at $16 for a 20lb bag and Precious Cat at $9 for an 18 lb bag. However I have run into sales on both that end up making one much cheaper than the other or sometimes cheaper than my old standby Arm and Hammer.

Final Thoughts

If you are going to use clumping clay litter, I would go with Dr. Elsey’s without reservation. Yes, it still has silica in it but of all the clay litters I have tried, it has the lowest amount of dust. I LOVE that it truly is unscented too, not just “neutral” scented like some litters. Plus if you keep an eye out for sales, Precious Cat costs about the same as other brands.

However I have not given up on my goal of a clay alternative. I am working on getting the kitties to use World’s Best Cat Litter (slowly transitioning the test box from clay). Once they start using the test box on a regular basis, I will let you know how it went!

Pure Wraps

When I first learned about Pure Wraps, a thin low-carb* gluten-free wrap made of coconut, I figured it would serve as a good substitute for sandwiches. And I was right. But you can do a lot more fun things with Pure Wraps than just wrap up some deli meat!

  • 8g per wrap. They barely spike my blood sugar. When I tested with a ham and cheddar sandwich I spiked 13 points and came back down to my baseline in 2 hours.


Sopapillas are a delicious Hispanic dessert that I just love. Think cinnamon twists from Taco Bell but … you know … real. :) I made this by heating a nonstick skillet and melting a bit of butter or coconut oil. Then lightly fry the wrap on each side until it starts to brown. Place on a paper towel and sprinkle with cinnamon and sweetener (I used Truvia). It will quickly crisp up as it dries and become crunchy and crumbly.

Fried Pure Wrap
Fried Pure Wrap
Fried Pure Wrap
Fried Pure Wrap with Faux Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Twist

It is killing me that I can’t remember the name of the candy I am trying to imitate (chocolate filled layered twist in the shape of a tube) but we persevere! I am calling it a Chocolate Twist and if you know what candy I am talking about, let me know!

Melt some chocolate (store bought, homemade or coconut oil themed) and paint/spread it over a wrap. Roll up and let it set in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes. Cut into whatever portions you think best. :)

Chocolate Twist
Chocolate Twist

Other Uses

I have used the Pure Wraps in a few other less sexy ways. They have a slightly sweet taste so I don’t like them so much with roast beef but they work great with ham.

I have made a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with less than stellar success. I grilled the ham and let the cheese melt on top then placed it on the wrap. Unfortunately the wrap immediately soaked up all the moisture from the ham and become a soggy mess. That’s the tough thing about these wraps, they are very thin and don’t do well with wet ingredients.

Have you tried Pure Wraps yet? Let me know if you have any novel uses for them!

Going Monk

If you have no clue what “going monk” means, watch Zoolander pull his underwear off without taking off his pants. Then if you don’t get sucked into the abyss of YouTube, come back over here to finish reading my post. :) I have decided to “go monk” and be a bit stricter on the whole paleo aspect of my ketogenic paleo diet.

Monk Kitty
Monk kitty is more enlightened than you

After listening to The Paleo View’s podcast on dairy, I finally decided to listen to that little voice that has been telling me for years that “You are allergic to milk you dummy! Why are you still eating butter and heavy cream!?” See, I was diagnosed with a milk allergy as a kid and instead of taking it seriously, I spent my teens figuring out exactly how much and how often I could get away with dairy before the symptoms became too much. When I went paleo a year ago, I heard that some people allow dairy in their primal diet if they tolerate it… and well… I am a lazy contradiction filled SOB and decided to continue my grand experiment of seeing how much high-fat dairy I could get away with.

Well no more! The last of the heavy cream is out of the house and I have placed the coconut oil prominently on the counter to replace butter. My hope is that my chronic sinus inflammation will subside and I can breath easier at night. Yes, you would think breathing and sleeping are important enough that I would never have played games like this but it is amazing what we tell ourselves when we really want to do something even if we know it is bad for us.

Also, I am going full autoimmune protocol. I have two autoimmune related diseases, diabetes and endometriosis, and maybe this will help sooth the savage immune system. I have never in my life tolerated most of the foods banned on the autoimmune list like onions, peppers or most spices. Funny that I have no problem avoiding those other foods, but can’t stay away from dairy, even though both make me sick. I just learned that dairy activates opiate receptors in the brain, so I am making that my official excuse!

The only food on the autoimmune list that I actually want to eat are eggs. Lately every time I make deviled eggs, I get wicked heartburn, even when I tried making “Angel Eggs” stuffing the whites with avocado. So I figure, go full monk, cut it all out and watch for signs of improvement.

So starting today I am cutting out the following foods: ALL dairy, eggs, nightshades (potato, peppers, paprika, tomatoes, etc) and nuts. I am sure there are more items on the list to avoid, and I will cut them out as well as soon as I read up a bit more on the autoimmune protocol and learn what they are. :)

Wish me luck!