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Saturday, April 30, 2011

This Health Stuff isn't Easy Stuff!

This health stuff isn't easy stuff. The way your body works is really complex. If you were a Paleolitic hunter/gatherer, that wouldn't matter to you much, because your body and health (wellness) was suitable for your environment--designed and supported--totally so you'd survive and reproduce. You would have been intimately connected with the natural world, aware of your place in it. Primitive societies didn't need to understand how their bodies worked because their framework was within mother nature--and how they were designed (or evolved.)

Today it's not. Our culture tells is we are well above nature and animals and the workings of the planet. We have big brains and can modify our environments. We can manipulate things. We can grow plants that didn't exist through the million of years we were hunting and gathering. We can fracture rock to extract ancient organic deposits. We can throw trillions of pounds of plastic into the ocean. We can bubble hydrogen gas through cheap vegetable oils so it becomes solid and won't go rancid. We can refine very sweet granulated stuff from beets or corn and put it in everything. Humans can make fortunes by selling cheap (subsidized) wheat and rice in third world countries, driving native farmers out of business, making those cultures dependent on American grain (which humans are not designed to eat anyway.) We can manufacture drugs to make a few multinational companies rich beyond imagination while killing millions with the (acceptable) side effects.

All the above and many other things humans can do because they figured out how. But that's not how your body was designed and now you live in a world that's very different from the one you were designed for. This culture overwhelms you with things that are not in your best interests. These things are in the interests of corporationa and whole industries who want to make a buck (or those trillions) and they don't care about your wellness.

As a friend of mine said recently, "I don't care about all those details like you do, Ellie." OK, I don't know why I care about those details of complexity like I do, but I do know that given what's being sold to you, those details of how your body works are the difference between radiant health and feeling good or the typical disease-riddled society we have.

When I say disease, I mean anything that makes you less vigorous, whether that's a headache, fatigue, arthritis or cancer. From the little aches and pains and not feeling good stuff to the biggies that kill most Americans today...those are not survival stuff. If you depended on hunting and gathering like your ancestors, you'd have been weeded out pretty quickly if you weren't raring to go--and ABLE to go!

So the complexity of all this human physiology matters now because I'm trying to make an argument for living a lifestyle that is in harmony with your body but radically out of whack with your society and culture. When we knew we were animals within the framework of the natural world (not thinking we were above all that) it didn't concern us. If feeling good matters to you now, you need to understand how you've been led down a greed-based, cultural path of least resistance but with devastating implications.

There are few if any primitive, hunter gatherer societies left in the world. When there were, however, the anthropologists who studied them found no "diseases of civilization" as they've come to be called. No cancer, no heart disease, no diabetes (the big three) no depression, no alzheimers, no allergies, no bipolar. Our cultural belief in these 'jumping out and getting you' or it just 'being the luck of the draw', or a result of 'poor genetics' is all wrong. You invite them in by putting things into your body it doesn't like, doesn't handle well and that don't promote health. They are slow poisons. There's the rub! If the poisons killed right away, no problem--we'd figure it out pretty quickly!

But slow poisons that our culture foists upon us are not instant death. The body is remarkably adept at adjusting, fighting and minimizing the slow poisons. It sometimes takes 30 years for a cancer tumor to get big enough to be detectable. Heart disease developes slowly in response to arterial damage that the body heals and heals and heals until it is overwhelmed.

So, though my concern with this blog and the books I've written about it all at ( is to feel good to avoid the niggling little (and major) health problems along the aging pathway, my real concern is for the long term killers that are not part of our birthright but that are prevalent in this "civilization." Yes, I want to look better, too.

If you've raised any livestock in your lifetime, you probably got a pretty clear indication of the realities of nutrition. Feed animals what is right for them and they are productive and live long healthy lives. Feed them crap (like they do in feedlots) and you have to intervene with all kinds of measures and medicines. Why should humans be any different? Unfortunately, the answer to that is that they shouldn't but they like to kid themselves they are above basic biology. Feed us crap and the medical industry is all too ready with measures and medicines.

Ok, some get dealt a better hand from the git-go. Genetics are not the final answer (gene expression is changed by environment) but they matter. Your mother's prenatal nutrition might even be affecting you today. But the amazing thing about the human body is that it's designed to be self-regulating, self-healing. No matter where you and I are now, we can make a huge difference in the long term prognosis! How long it takes and how effective depends on your effort and history. Will you see these ideas as being deprivation or as opportunity?

What does it take? It takes nutrition you were designed for. If you're in the hole (so-to-speak) you might need remedial nutrients. Probably everyone can benefit from supplements. (Talk to me if you need help navigating that morass.) It takes moving your body how it was designed to move. It takes some believing in yourself, too.

When I started doing the research for all this, I thought I was pretty knowledgeable. NOT! It took me the better part of 18 months to discover what a line of bull we've been led to believe about all this. You could do all that research for yourself if you have 12-18 months to spend on it. But that's also why I wrote "Inflammation Run Amok" and the other e-books at the above mentioned website. Or let me suggest two important (though not easy) books to read. "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes and "The Omega Rx" by Barry Sears. There are also growing communities of people who espouse a primal-Paleolitic diet that gets back to what our ancient ancestors ate. See Primal Blueprint, for one. And his book by the same name is excellent. You can live like a hunter/gatherer in today's world. I won't tell you it's easy--especially in the beginning. Shedding the slow poisons is life-altering and life-affirming!

It's your body. It's your LIFE! Your body gets you around. Regardless about what you believe in terms of religion, this is what you have here and now to make your life. If your body fails you, life gets pretty unpleasant and often ends too soon. That surely cannot be the point of life!? What limits are you dealing with and are you willing to live without them? What are you willing to do to have the life of your dreams?

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