Move To the Past for your Health

I work day after day with the chronically ill. I help coordinate their medications, labs and general care plan to help them live their best lives possible under the circumstances. I sense so much frustration in their voices when I speak to them about their health that I almost start feeling as hopeless as they do. There is so much conflicting information out there that even the most savy of independent health investigators (such as you and I) can feel lost.

The more I learn about modern medicine and our healthcare system in general, the more it becomes evident that there truly is nothing new under the sun. So much of health and wellness depends on where we have come from as a species. For this reason I am happy to bring to my readers the ultimate in Ancestral Health.

My good friend & popular health blogger, Sean Croxton, has just put
the finishing touches on the first ever online PALEO extravaganza.

Whether you’re hardcore into paleo, just getting started, don’t
really know anything about it, or hate it and think it’s all hype —
this event has something for you.

Sean recorded presentations from the top experts in the
health & nutrition wellnessphere about the Paleo diet – putting their
knowledge to the test – and created The Paleo Summit.

Mark your calendars, because this event (all 8 days of it!) starts
Sunday, February 26th.

Oh, and it’s FREE to attend.

In this first-of-it’s-kind online event, you guys are going to see:

* Primal living expert Mark Sisson discuss EXACTLY what ancestral
living means – as well as what to eat, what not to eat, and why.

* For parents – Sarah Fragoso will show you how to transition your
family into the primal lifestyle – while keeping it fun for the kids
AND the adults

* Dr. Thomas O’Bryan give you the scoop on gluten – why it can lead
to autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, and muscle pain!

* Get the scientific perspective on Paleo from Ivy League research
biochemist Mat Lalonde – so you can differentiate between the
rampant paleo extremism and what’s truly backed by science

* Get the scoop from independent health researcher & blogger Matt
Stone on why he thinks the Paleo diet is bunk!

* Paul Chek give you the six foundational principles for abundant
health – and how you can break your social conditioning to truly
become the healthiest version of yourself.

And that’s just a SMALL taste of what’s happening starting on
February 26th.

As an added bonus, when you register today, you’ll also get an
awesome video interview with Mark Sisson regarding why we should eat
like our ancestors, as well as a 40-minute interview with Gary
Taubes on why we get fat – I know you’re going to love them!

Pre-registration begins TODAY – so make sure you head over to
the sign-up page right now.

Here’s to your Ancestral Health!!!

Real Food is ALIVE!

Think about it…

If you are a living and breathing person, you are nothing but a colony of specified cells that themselves, are living and breathing. Sure, there’s that little old thing called a soul but that’s another topic for another blog.

I have spent the better part of the last decade with one foot in mainstream medicine and the other in the study of traditional health systems. Still, with as much study and practice as I have committed to the pursuit of health, I find myself at a loss when people ask me about diet; not for lack of knowledge on the part of either party but simply because we are seldom even speaking the same language.

When it comes to making food choices, it seems American public is fixated on just a handful of parameters; Calories, fat, carbohydrates, taste and cost. It’s no wonder we talk about food in such myopic terms. Watch enough daytime television and you will see doctor after dietician after celebrity trainer giving a nutrition sermon using this language of dietary dogma. They’ve got us focused on the minutia so we never stop to think about what real food is and why we eat what we do.

Dr. Catherine Shanahan deems this language, foodspeak (a play on Orwellian newspeak). She describes how and why we willingly abandoned our cultural relationship with food in her book Deep Nutrition. Dr. Cate makes the case for reverting to a more traditional language about food for the benefit of our health as well as that of future generations.

Like everything else, foodspeak has to meet the requirements of a sound bite culture and is limited to grunting imperatives such as “eat your veggies,” “watch your carbs,” and “avoid saturated fat.” Having lost the old ways of talking about food, we’ve also lost the physiologic prosperity that once endowed us with the gift of perfectly proportionate growth.

Catherine Shanahan M.D.

Food, as our ancestors understood it, was a most sacred gift. Be it from a deity or the plant/animal itself, that which was consumed as food was seen as pure life to be incorporated in to the person. This type of “new age” (ironic) language that our ancestors used does not lend itself to our overly cerebral health authorities today. In fact, scratch the word, “today”. This concept of food didn’t lend itself to the health authorities of last century. Why not? Well because it is only in the last half century or so that food production has become so consolidated in to a few corporate interests. As Dr. Cate says, foodspeak had to be invented so that they could fit the message in to an ad. Since industry drives research, it was only a matter of time before the medical schools were chock full of studies and statistics that cast these new “processed foodstuffs” in a good light. Ever since then, they have been coming out with new research that seemingly contradicts itself as time goes by. This constant supply of novel dietary advice is no failure of science. It is intentional. As the saying goes, “keep them rowing so they don’t have time to rock the boat.”

What we need now is the mind of a child.

This little girl is smarter than most people at the USDA. In fact, I’d go so far as to say she is more wise  than even the top health and medical authorities in the nation in reaching the conclusions she did from her experiment. How can this be you ask? Because she possess the mind of a child that is immune to analysis paralysis and is able to use common sense.

Gary Zukav calls this “a beginners mind“. In his 1984 classic, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Zukav reveals how “the new physics” (Quantum Mechanics) was discovered by forgetting what we think we know of the world, and accepting what we observe as the truth. He notes that Einsteins genius had minimally to do with his brain power and more to do with his ability to see possible alternative explanations that his contemporaries didn’t. When we discuss diet and nutrition with our respected health authorities it is almost as if they are intentionally diverting our attention to calories and fat content while we yearn to cry out, “the farmer is naked.”

A scientist should accept reality as he sees it, even if that lands him in contradiction and nonsense; a scientist must have a beginner’s mind…. a childlike ability to see the world as it is, and not as it appears according to what we know about it.

Gary Zukav

 

Organic? But studies show “no health benefits” to organic food

We intuitively know that organic food (formerly known as food) is what we should be eating. There are many forces that keep us from bringing organic food to our family dinner table. For some it is cost. Others don’t like the shorter shelf life of organic food. Perhaps the largest reason these unadulterated genetic information packets don’t make it to our homes is because we haven’t been convinced it is worth it.

We are a society that is rarely convinced of anything unless we can either see it with our own eyes, or we see enough studies to prove it. The problem with the issue of organic food is that no study is possible to show the benefits. The only tests the FDA runs on our food is to see if it will cause you to keel over and die after consuming (see GRAS laws). To add to the problem, headlines like this make for a great story because it goes against common sense.

The reason the debate about organic still exists is twofold. The harm of industrialized food is only seen in the chronic degradation of health throughout the course of ones life as well as throughout the generations. Also, the benefits of organic are not measured in the short-term outcomes our current food regulatory system is monitoring. It all comes down to how you define health and sickness. If you are merely looking for acute infections and quick-onset disabilities, you could pretty much eat anything non-toxic and it would pass the GRAS standards of the FDA.

It is impossible to expect to create a healthy, vibrant individual from dead food. There must be life in your food. Every bit of processing and every additive is for the expressed intent of rendering the food undesirable to microorganisms that may want to eat it before you do. If they won’t eat it, why would you?

Bugs won't eat it, why would you?

Moving towards Winter

As we move in to the winter months, it is easy to neglect our hydration. We often replace our bottled waters (glass or stainless steel preferred) with warm coffee or tea. Coffee, and to a lesser extent tea, do not count as H2O intake because they cause the water on the outside of your cells to be excreted from the body. If you find yourself in need of a pick-me-up in the morning or the afternoon, I would recommend hot or warm water with a pinch (not enough to taste) of Celtic Sea Salt®
. If you don’t have the salt, don’t worry; it just helps your body retain the fluids you take in. It also supercharges your water with essential minerals it may be lacking otherwise. If you need something stronger, contact me and I can develop an herbal tea suited to your needs.

Just as water can be important during the winter months, food also helps keep your cells hydrated and organs lubricated. When at the grocery store, of course, try and stick to the perimeter and purchase the most fresh, highest quality food you can afford. In addition to that, try and find out what is locally grown. Local eating is not only good for the local economy but also good for your body because if ensures that the food is fresh but also that your food is in season. You can go to the store right now and buy some Mangos and strawberries but good luck trying to grow your own at this time in this hemisphere. They have to be shipped half a world away from the summer plantations of South America. The food that is grown in your local environment is best suited to deal with the current seasonal climate. Winter is an airy, cold and hyper-mobile (hectic) time of the year. Winter vegetables are mainly things that grow in or close to the ground. Choosing these to put on your dinner table will help ground your body, mind and soul at this particular time of stress and harsh weather.

One simple rule for eating

Hydrochloric acid (in beaker) reacting with am...

Image via Wikipedia

If it wasn’t here 10,000 years ago, try not to eat it. What you eat should not depend only on how many calories it contains. We have established social norms and rituals for this biological necessity. The fact of the matter is that anything we put on our mouths will result in a chemical reaction somewhere inside our bodies. I don’t know if any of you were as mischievous in chemistry class as I was but I have first-hand knowledge of what happens when you throw a bunch of chemicals all willy-nilly in to a closed system.  If I were a betting man, I’d wager that if your great-great grandmother looked in your bread box, she wouldn’t recognize that loaf of chemicals you spread your margarine (another story entirely) on every morning. You will notice some familiar vitamins in the ingredient list of modern day “bread” because they have added them to try and replace all that is lost in the refining process. The trouble is study after study shows that it is nowhere near good enough. Eat the food that has been left alone for the most part and not invented by man but provided by God.

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