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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Touching base again with a perspective you might find interesting

As I've been putting together my little farm/homestead, my time for writing has been limited.  Although I keep up on the research and opinion of the nutritional-aging-wellness world, there is not often time to report it as I would wish.  I'll try to do better over the winter!

I ran across this article today from Kirk Douglas on his 97th birthday.  It is one man's wishes for his almost a century birthday and may spark a chord in you as it did in me.


Today is my 97th birthday. I am a lucky man. I've been married to my wife, Anne, for 60 years and she continues to captivate me.

When you get to be 97, you can reflect on the lessons you've learned in almost a century of life. Mark Twain said, "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

I won't pretend that getting older is easy. But I find that it's given me a perspective that I lacked when I was younger. I was always running everywhere -- from meetings to movie sets, from shooting films all around the world to serving as a goodwill ambassador for the State Department in over forty countries. Staying still was something I did not do well.

 Now, I treasure the quiet times: reading books that make me think about new ideas; watching my roses bloom; gazing at the palm trees shimmering against the afternoon sky; seeing the simple path of a cloud across the sky; and especially sitting with Anne in front of the fire at sunset -- the Golden Hour.

So I asked myself, what do I want for my birthday? There's nothing I need, other than good health for my wife and my family.

Suddenly it occurred to me that I knew exactly what I wanted -- a better world for my grandchildren.
But have you ever tried to put 97 candles on a cake? You can't. So I put 10 candles to represent the 10 decades of my life. Here are my birthday wishes:
  • A world where weapons, big and small, are symbols of weakness, not strength
  • A world where religion informs values, not governments
  • A world where the air is breathable, the water drinkable and the food is healthy and plentiful
  • A world where poor people are the smallest percentage of the population
  • A world where education and health care are available to everyone
  • A world where prejudice based on race, religion and nationality is non-existent
  • A world where smoking tobacco is considered a ridiculous practice from a bygone era
  • A world where all diseases are curable and physical pain is no longer a part of life
  • A world where we control technology, not the other way around
  • A world where greed is never considered good
Excuse me -- I have a lot of candles to blow out.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Two Audio Presentation I highly Recommend

That I'd highly recommend you listen to.  Each is 50-60 minutes and worth your time and attention.
If you have any symptoms off less-than-vibrant good health, if you have any diagnosis, if you have any pain--that is your body telling you it's inflamed.  The medical industrial complex can help mask symptoms (medications for pain or to lower blood pressure, or to ease your breathing or depression or brittle bones or insulin problems).  But alleviating symptoms doesn't address the underlying cause that starts the disease processes.  The symptoms are a message.  We ignore it or suppress it at our peril.  It's like turning off the smoke detector because the noise is annoying.  
 While still not quite totally mainstream, I am delighted to see more experts emphasizing the importance of chronic, low level, silent inflammation in all disease development.  These two presentations are well done, I thought they were pretty interesting (see what you think) and explain much!  The first is by Dr. Tom O'Bryan on Oct 6 , and the second is by Dr.  Lori Shemek on Oct 7 at this link:

I believe these will only be available for a few more days at this sight. 


Monday, July 8, 2013

She says, "No One Really Understands Blood Sugar and Insulin"

She is Dr. Marlene Merritt and she has several YouTube videos that are definitely worth a look.  I'll give you some links below.

How it all works is actually very understandable they way she explains and in short videos too, not the long ones.  But for me, it was nice to hear someone else talk about the role of blood sugar and insulin in chronic inflammation.  Diabetics die of heart disease far more than of anything else, and far more often than non diabetics.    Heart Disease in an inflammatory disease.  But then so are most (or all) of the diseases of civilization.  Want to have an active functional life after 50 or 60 or 70?  Keep blood sugar low.  Repair insulin resistance.  Get your chronic inflammation gone.  Want to know more about how?  Watch these three videos, it's a good start.  Read my booklet, "Inflammation Run Amok" at but start now to repair the damage you've already done and insure good years ahead.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Post Menopausal Weight Loss

This is a subject I'm critically interested in, more so recently.  For several reasons.

1.  Aging and weight are correlated--not cause and effect--but mixed in together
2.  Disease states of civilization (and age) are tied in with metabolic syndrome usually characterized by the middle aged middle
3.  Since moving to my homestead almost a year ago, I've been losing weight but not necessarily by the theoretical means that is biologically relevant (sugar/insulin/fat storage).
4.  It's become obvious I need to revise some of my booklet on weight loss and I've been working on that document.
5.  Some aspects of this subject left me baffled and looking for better or more complete answers.
6.  I want to be thin again, and being down half-way there is better, but not good enough.

This morning I read a (long) article in Mother Jones, about some of this/these subjects.  I will give you a link shortly, but first let me tell you why this is important.

This article is one of the best I've ever seen in regular media (well, Mother Jones may not be totally regular) that talks about chronic inflammation and how it's tied into obesity and disease.  It's explained well and doesn't pussy foot around much about diseases that "might have an inflammatory component."  It flat out tells the truth that inflammation that never shuts down CAUSES disease.

And not that it's new information to me, but it pretty much also says that inflammation causes obesity, too.  Sometimes I have to hear things a lot of times for it to sink in.  Like a few years ago when I must have read dozens of times how a lot of people are sensitive to wheat.  Then one time I read that and said, "Ok. ok, I'll just try the wheat elimination diet to prove it doesn't apply to me!"  I was wrong.  It applies to me big time.  Getting off wheat was the biggest player in putting my severe arthritis into remission.

But this article covers another factor in all this aging/wellness/obesity stuff which is the health of the gut--most specifically the gut bacteria that actually control much more of aging/wellness/obesity stuff.

That said, this article is still stuck on "whole grains are good" mantra without recognizing they are mostly empty calories with very low nutrient and high toxicity.  Also where there is talk about fat, no one is distinguishing what kind of fat.  So keep those two things in mind as caveats.

I now have a glimmering of why I'm losing weight--finally--having been low carb for a lot longer than losing the extra weight.  In fact it may have much to do with all the probiotics I eat, drink and take as supplements, getting my gut flora into better shape after all the damage done to it by antibiotics.

I commend the article for some excellent information and not pulling punches.

Monday, June 10, 2013

How to Skip Getting Heart Disease

In light of what the last year has taught me about weight loss after menopause, I have been making a few additions and editorial adjustments to my e-book, “Minding the Middle Aged Middle.”  Much of that booklet describes the hormonal realities of fat and sugar metabolism and storage/retrieval systems.  That is totally valid info still, though I am adding to other parts.  

So the upshot of that is a big part of getting fat (the middle, especially) has to do with the things we eat that digest to sugar—carbohydrates.  Eating fat doesn’t make you fat.  Eating bread, does.  So my recommendation to any who want to lose weight is, of course, to limit the high density carbohydrates (grains, legumes, potatoes, alcohol, sweets of all kinds and most certainly sodas.)  Want the e-book?  See 

The crucial tool for assessing the carbohydrate's ability to raise blood sugar (and trigger fat storage) is the glycemic load.  It is a number telling how fast a carbohydrate food turns to glucose and how much glucose there is.  It is additive--the glycemic loads of things you eat are added together.  Low is less than 10.  Medium is up to 20, and over 20 is high.  Keeping it low will certainly help with losing the middle aged middle.
A paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

 (Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jun;71(6):1455-61. A prospective study of dietary glycemic load, carbohydrate intake, and risk of coronary heart disease in US women.  Liu S, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB, Franz M, Sampson L, Hennekens CH, Manson JE.) 

Tells us this surprising VERY important finding! 

Your risk of heart attack and stroke doubles (DOUBLES, like twice as risky) if your average daily glycemic load is 206 compared to those with an average of 117.

Diabetics, with their blood sugar problems, are prone to heart disease, in fact this is from the American Diabetes website:

People with diabetes have a higher-than-average risk of having a heart attack or Stroke. These strike people with diabetes more than twice as often as people without diabetes. There’s a big link between diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In fact, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke… 

Blood sugar (as measured by the glycemic load) is deadly.  I can’t for the life of me figure how there could possibly be any controversy about these findings.  If you want a smaller middle, avoid high glycemic foods (listed above).  Look them up at or  Not only will it help in minding the middle aged middle but it will save you from heart disease.  Make your carbs be vegetables and fruit with their relatively low glycemic index and high levels of nutrients, rather than those with low nutrients and high glycemic load. 

For another blog post I will report on what they find regarding cancer risk and blood sugar levels.  No surprise.  Higher blood sugar equals higher rates of cancer.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why Your Health Insurance Costs So Much

CEO Stephen J Hemsley of Unitedhealth Groups is paid 1,737 times the average earnings of the company workers.  Aetna paid the exiting CEO about 1.4 percent of the company's net, or $18,058,162.  Cigna CEO David Cordani made the most, at $19.1 million. Humana’s Mike McCallister had the smallest compensation package, with $7.3 million. Health Net CEO Jay Gellert saw the largest pay increase, with a 35% rise in compensation compared with 2010.  Health Net CEO, Gellert’s compensation went up 35% in 2011 from 2010.  Thermo Fisher Scientific, CEO Marc Casper received total compensation of $33 million. Thermo Fisher makes lab equipment and other health-care products and services. 

Health care in the United States isn’t particularly good, either.  It’s rated 38th among health care systems of the world.  Thirty-eighth????  There are 37 countries where you can get better health care.  WOW! 

But here’s the piece that ties into the first paragraph.  The US spends the most per capita of any country in the world.  To get 38th in quality! 

Why do I write about this today?  You owe it to yourself to know your own health, your own nutrition and lifestyle (which creates your health or lack of it) and to research everything your doctor tells you before you accept it as gospel.  Follow the money.  Understand that the ‘prevailing wisdom’ and acceptable medical practices might not be in your best interests.  They might be just plain wrong or may be in the interests of the CEOs of health care companies and the vested interests of those medical businesses. 

How do you do that?  The internet has made information more available with less effort than ever in the history of humans.  Yes, some of it is “main stream” and needs to be evaluated with skepticism.  Yes, some of it is sponsored by people making a buck on your health.  But there’s an amazing amount of info that’s based on excellent science and not sponsored by moneyed interests.  There’s a lot of old information getting re-evaluated.  For nearly every study that gets big headlines, there are a lot of smart people with no particular axe to grind who look at the set up and math of the study to see if the conclusions the scientists (or the media) draw are warranted.  One smart way to research is to google minority views along with traditional information.   

So taking care of your health and researching everything isn’t going to lower the cost of your health insurance—I know.  Unless you get so healthy you don’t need any.  If that’s even possible in this day and age.  But at least you would not be contributing to those horrible statistics. 

Does it take your time?  Does it stretch your brain?  You bet!  It’s your life and how you feel and what you will be subjected to that’s at stake.  I think it’s worth the time and brain power.  Tell me what you think!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wellness and Sustainability Topics Hodgepodge

I’ve been saving up some articles and videos that are more or less related to issues of wellness that I care about (and I include us and the earth too, in that wellness); perhaps you do, too.  These subjects are all over the place but boil down to the same basic subject—sustainable health and wellness for humans and the environment. 

First up is information from a new study that reminds us that alcohol is a carcinogen and (duh) causes cancer.  Wine, beer, hard liquor—even in small amounts raises the risk of cancer.  Let me also remind you that it adds empty calories of no nutritional benefit.

Second, is a blog post by someone I respect greatly, poking (more) holes in the saturated fat BS hypothesis and the “eat more antioxidants” recommendation.  It is a lengthy post, but worth a read.

Number three today is a 4 minute video by the doctor who developed The South Beach Diet.  Some of it is more interesting than all of it, but pay attention to his comments about gluten, asthma, ear infections, and allergies. Practically main stream, lol…

Dan Barber is an executive chef who talks about a different kind of food production.  He is also very entertaining.  Barber’s farm-based restaurant also teaches eaters what they’re eating.  Watch either or both of the following Ted talks about sustainability and TASTE!

And another Ted talk.  This one might turn your ideas on their heads!  It is more about sustainability for the whole planet (desertification and climate change) and one of the strongest arguments I’ve seen against being a vegetarian. 

And last today if you have time to watch an entire movie about wellness and such, Here’s the link to STATIN NATION: The Great Cholesterol Cover-Up.  Should you be unaware of the real cholesterol story this will set you straight…


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

About Longevity With Function

Since I don’t write these posts very often these days (life is busy with my little farm), today’s article will combine multiple ideas about aging and health.  I talk a lot about nutrition.  It’s important— even critical for functional life span.   And today, I’ll throw in some at the end. But it’s not everything. 

Elsie Calvert Thompson died peacefully in her sleep in March.  She was two weeks away from her 114th birthday.  There's no doubt her birthday bash would have been a swinging one. 

“She was a very positive person. She loved people. She was always happy, she loved music, she loved to dance,” George, her son said. “It was just wonderful to have her as long as we did.” 

Thompson's caregiver of 13 years, said she never saw the elderly woman in a bad mood. she had worked with Thompson for the past 13 years as she continued to live in her own condominium in Florida as opposed to an assisted living facility.

Then there is 100 year old Fauja Singh who ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon recently.  He finished last, but he finished.  In fact it’s Singh’s eighth marathon. Though he was born in 1911, he didn’t start running until age 89.   

And from a study on longevity:  “We regard these individuals as wonderful models of aging well. Some of our subjects, ~15% have no clinically demonstrable disease at age 100 years and we call them “escapers.” About 43% are “delayers,”or subjects who did not exhibit an age related disease until age 80 years or later. Finally, there are about 42% of our subjects who are “survivors”, or those with clinically demonstrable disease(s) prior to the age of 80 years.  We have observed amongst supercentenarians (age 110+ years), that health span equals lifespan. Thus we believe that instead of the aging myth “the older you get the sicker you get,” it is much more the case of “the older you get, the healthier you’ve been.” 

My own feeling is that living to 100 or more is no fun if you’re not fully functional.  I am interested in the strategies that promote wellness and function.  I think they ultimately lead to longevity, too, but that’s not the point.  The point is to have good years at the tail end of life, wherever that is chronologically.  Again, from the longevity study: 

Once it truly became apparent that living to 100 was a terrific advantage, not just in years of survival but importantly in many more years of quality life, we set out to understand what factors the centenarians had in common that might explain such an advantage. Not all centenarians are alike. They vary widely in years of education (no years to post-graduate), socioeconomic status (very poor to very rich), religion, ethnicity and patterns of diet (strictly vegetarian to extremely rich in saturated fats). However, the centenarians we have studied do have a number of characteristics in common: 

  1. Few centenarians are obese. In the case of men, they are nearly always lean.
  2. Substantial smoking history is rare.
  3. A preliminary study suggests that centenarians are better able to handle stress than the majority of people.
  4. Our finding that some centenarians (~15%) had no significant changes in their thinking abilities disproved the expectation by many that all centenarians would be demented.4 We also discovered that Alzheimer’s Disease was not inevitable. Some centenarians had very healthy appearing brains with neuropathological study (we call these gold standards of disease-free aging).5
  5. Many centenarian women have a history of bearing children after the age of 35 years and even 40 years. From our studies, a woman who naturally has a child after the age of 40 has a 4 times greater chance of living to 100 compared to women who do not.6 It is probably not the act of bearing a child in one’s forties that promotes long life, but rather, doing so may be an indicator that the woman’s reproductive system is aging slowly and that the rest of her body is as well. Such slow aging and the avoidance or delay of diseases that adversely impact reproduction would bode well for the woman’s subsequent ability to achieve very old age.
  6. Some families demonstrate incredible clustering for exceptional longevity that cannot be due to chance and must be due to familial factors that members of these families have in common.9
  7. Based upon standardized personality testing, the offspring of centenarians, compared to population norms, score low in neuroticism and high in extraversion.
I think numbers 1, 2, 3 and 7 are very interesting findings. Below is another study/experiment that indicates there are mental considerations to how we age. 

In 1979, psychologist Ellen Langer conducted a piece of research designed to test this idea. She invited a group of 75-year-old men to spend a week on a retreat. It was a retreat with a difference, though. The men were instructed to dress, speak and act as though the year was 1959. Their environment was decked out like it would have been in 1959, and no magazines or books dated later than 1959 were allowed at the retreat. 

Before the retreat, men underwent assessment of physical and mental function including their strength, posture, eyesight, intelligence, perception and memory.  

At the end of the week, the men were tested again, and most of the men had improved in all of the assessments. Even characteristics that are generally regarded as fixed – such as eyesight and intelligence – were found to have improved across the group. This research was subsequently detailed in Ellen Langer’s 2009 book entitled: Counter-Clockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. 

How old you are biologically is not just about biology!  But a lot of it is.  I submit the following information as well.

Ötzi is probably the most-studied Neolithic man in history. More than 5,000 years ago, the ancient iceman was hit by an arrow and bled to death on a glacier in the Alps between modern-day Austria and Italy. The glacier preserved his body until it was discovered by hikers in 1991. 

Since his discovery in the Ötzal Alps by the hikers, scientists have reconstructed Ötzi's face, analyzed his clothing, scrutinized his body and sequenced his genome.  

What studies on Ötzi tell us are interesting from a nutritional standpoint.  He was a middle aged, well-off farmer/agriculturist, and he had heart disease and joint pain (arthritis).  His teeth tell the story of a carbohydrate rich diet, with several cavities, tooth wear and gum disease.  It’s the same kind of wear and tear and disease that’s also found on Egyptian mummies who ate grains. 

Then more mummies from many walks of history were examined and something like 34% showed signs of heart disease.  Some of these were pre-agricultural, so they were not eating grain.  Most of the Egyptian mummies were upper classes and most assuredly WERE eating grain heavy diets.  But blaming heart disease on grain is too broad.   

With the advent of research and investigation of inflammation as the cause of heart disease we find more enlightenment.  Do grains contribute to inflammation?  Absolutely.  They are packets of sugar which causes a rise in blood sugar, a rise of insulin—both inflammatory (not controversial, btw).  They also are heavy on Omega 6 oils, a surplus of which is highly inflammatory.  But many other things cause untoward inflammatory response which starts the disease process.  Not enough sleep, stress, bad attitudes, loneliness, injury, malnutrition.  For a complete treatise see my booklet on inflammation or do your own research. 

What can you and I take away from the above?  An up-attitude and seeing yourself as young and vital as opposed to old and frail is a wellness and longevity strategy.  Nutrition that is very light on high glycemic load foods that raise blood sugar and insulin.  (I recently read an article that recommended whole grains as low glycemic foods.  THEY ARE NOT!!  Glycemic load of 2 slices of white bread is 18, almost in the high range (20 is high, 1-10 is low).  The glycemic load of two slices of whole wheat bread is 12.  Not low.  All grains jack up blood sugar and insulin.  Wheat has many additional toxins, of which I have talked at length (see old blog articles). 

There’s a lot of opinion on what are inflammatory foods.  I might have to change some of my ideas some day when they get around to more research, but carbs are some of the most inflammatory, veggies not so much, fruit carbs less than most.  Roots less than grains, but not by much--sweet potato glycemic load on 1/2 cup is 9, same amount of white rice, 11).

Be sure you are not short on any nutrients.  Avoid stress, get enough sleep.  Get weight down or never let it get up.  Skip vegetable oils.  Cholesterol is your friend, not your enemy.  Socialize enough, love wisely but thoroughly!  What does that get you?  Maybe a long life, but for sure a better life for however long it is.



Monday, April 1, 2013

The Diseases of Civilization

When we look at human history and the ancestors from whom we got our genetic makeup, we have to remember they developed in response to all the selective pressure of any developing species.  A million or a hundred thousand years ago, the ancestors who did well biologically reproduced better, leaving their genetics behind.  Otherwise a species does not survive or progress.  So we come from humans who survived well on the diets of hunter/gatherer groups.  That diet had some variety depending on geography.  And humans are omnivores, clearly utilizing both plant and animal food sources.  These are the genetics from which we come. 

The advent of agriculture changed the diet but not the genetics.  Anthropologists, who study this stuff,  tell us that the advent of agriculture--growing grass seeds (grain)--made humans shorter and less robust.  Here's the first paragraph of an article by some of those scientists in the Journal of Nutrition, June 1, 1996 (not new!!!) titled "An Evolutionary Perspective Enhances Understanding of Human Nutritional Requirements"  I have taken out the reference info to make it easier to read.

"Human nutritional requirements reflect evolutionary experience extending millions of years into the past, and for nearly all this period genetic and cultural changes occurred in parallel. However, agriculture and, especially, industrialization produced technical and behavioral change at rates exceeding the capacity of genetic adaptation to keep pace.  Geneticists believe that the increased human number and mobility associated with civilization have produced more, not less, inertia in the gene pool and that when the humans of 3000-10,000 years ago depending on locality) began to take up agriculture, they were, in essence, the same biological organisms as humans are today. Accordingly, our ancestral dietary pattern has continuing relevance: an understanding of pre-agricultural nutrition may provide useful insight into the requirements of contemporary humans."

In plain English what that says is that human genetics haven't changed although our culture did and the two are no longer in sync nutritionally.

Yesterday I attended an Easter Brunch with a group of bright, educated, very forward thinking people. These were people who generally do not think the government is the best source of information to count on.  Food was discussed a lot because we were eating lots of it.  Not once or even twice, but three times I heard someone state the conventional "wisdom" about how bad cholesterol is for humans. 

The cholesterol hypothesis--although wrong in every way--remains front and center as the "cause" of heart disease (a disease of  civilization).  It gets the funding.  It gets the press.  Everybody believes it because we've heard it a million times--all one word--"ARTERY-CLOGGING-SATURATED-FAT".

The story of how the cholesterol hypothesis got to this sorry state of prevalent belief can be found in the book, "Good Calories Bad Calories"  and "The Great Cholesterol Con" and in many youtube videos including "Big Fat Fiasco" found here,

The Congressional committee who decided the "validity" of the cholesterol hypothesis, and the resulting food pyramid had some dissenters who were overridden.  As a result, we've had a 50 year nutritional experiment conducted on Americans.  How's that working for us?

I leave you today with a comment--in the congressional record--from one of those dissenters.

"Heart disease, cancer and diabetes are what we call diseases of civilization.  It's ludicrous to blame the diseases of civilization on ancient foods.  Saturated fat (cholesterol) is an ancient food."

And my final comment.  You and I are designed to eat animal products including lots of animal fat.  We were not designed for grass seeds, vegetable oils and sugar.  Avoid the diseases of civilization by eating ancient foods.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What's Your CRP Number?

CRP stands for C-Reactive Protein.  It is a simple blood test that measures the level of inflammation in your body.  If you've read many of my blog articles you know I harp on chronic inflammation being the cause of all disease.  It is the beginning.  Of ALL disease.  Every one.  Ok, you might get an argument for a few about some disease or another.  But even conventional wisdom says the chronic preventable things all have an inflammatory component.  When your immune system is cranked up and stays in high gear 24/7 from the things that you eat and the lifestyle choices you make, inflammation starts to damage organs and systems.  Period.

So the following snippets are from a marketing research group Saurange, at this website:

  • The United States is the only industrialized country in the world without a universal health insurance system. (
  • 75% of all health care dollars are spent on patients with one or more chronic conditions, many of which can be prevented, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. (
  • There are four times as many health care lobbyists in Washington as there are members of Congress. (
  • An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s disease. In the United States, as many as one million individuals live with PD, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig's disease. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year, and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected. Incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before the age of 50. Statistics have shown that men are slightly more likely to have Parkinson’s disease than women. (Parkinson's FAQ)
  • The flu kills about 36,000 people each year in the US—90% of those who die of the flu are 65 or older. (
All those diseases are avaoidable.  Nothing jumps out and gets you.  You ask for it.  Literally.  Read more about inflammation in my ebook, all over the web, several popular books, tho some have missed the boat in a few places....
Take the CRP test.  Go to your doc and ask for it.  If your number is higher than 1, you are at risk and you are causing damage somewhere in your body even if you do not currently have symptoms.  And get your Vitamin D level checked while you're at it. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What does "No Wheat" do for you?

Yesterday Novak Djokovic won the Austrailian Grand Slam for the third time.  He went gluten free two years ago and his career in tennis took off like a shot. Not that he was a bad player before going gluten free.  But he is now number 1 in the world.

Tennis is very physical, of course.  It also is very much a mental game.  Gluten can affect mental stamina and clarity as well as physical.  Clearly, Djokovic's mental and physical games have improved.

I just mention the above for it's nice to find some media mention about devil wheat, rather than always touting the healthiness of whole grains.  They are not.  Humans have several million years of living with no grain in their diet.  They were strong and robust.  With the advent of agriculture, humans get smaller, less robust and less healthy.  But lots more of them.  With the advent of agriculture, the soil that animals, nature and weather had created over millenia, started eroding away.  With the advent of agriculture, humans went to war to get more land to denude since all they had was no longer productive.  Strong case I think.  It is outlined comprehensively in "The Vegetarian Myth." 

So what can getting off gluten (and grains) do for you?  Probably you do not want to win any grand slam tennic matches.  But do you want to be mentally sharper?  Would you like to have less painful joints?  Would you like to lose weight?  Lower Blood pressure?  Get off medications?  Getting off wheat (and other grains) might do some of those for you.  I found arthritis abated dramatically.  And I was so sure wheat was not a problem for me.

There's invisible stuff too.  Wheat ties up minerals so your body cannot use them.  So while all the conventional wisdom touts the minerals in wheat as one of the healthy things about it, they do not do YOU any good.  Wheat and baked good and other cereals are just very condensed packets of sugar.  They raise your blood sugar, trigger insulin release, make you hungrier, and thereby contribute to a host of the diseases of civilization.

What do you have to lose?  A 2 week elimination diet of no wheat or grains costs you nothing, absolutely cannot hurt you, and might make you feel a whole lot better and be a whole lot healthier.  Not particularly easy, I admit, for wheat is in everything it seems.  And I hear this so often--"Well what do you eat then???"  Wow, if wheat is the staple of your life, I guarantee you're not doing as well as you should--both mentally and physically.  Eat more protein, vegetables, animal products, some fruit and nuts.  There is a lot of great food that is not grain!!!  Try it, you'll like it!