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Diet – What you need to know based on your heritage


Thesis 50 reminds us that if you are a person with a heritage that is adapted to the agricultural diet – say from Western Europe – then you can do quite well on the Agricultural diet for a while. 30 appears to be the time when you start to lose this adaptation.

But if you are a Celt or a First Nations Person – better you avoid it all times. For those that are new to to work – Celts are the Hunter Gatherers of Europe who got pushed to the harsh boundaries such as the Highlands and Wales by the early farmers. We, I am a Scot, are the least well adapted Europeans. This may also be why so many Islanders (I live on Prince Edward Island) have such poor health as most come form the Highlands or Ireland.

The good news though is that if you are a Celt or a First Nations person – if you go back to a more traditional diet and way of life + use all the modern medicine etc – you might arrest your aging earlier than any other group. You could be the vanguard of what the health revolution is all about!

All of us should avoid Industrial food though.

Diet – Where your ancestral heritage is important

Surely we must have adapted to agriculture by now? The answer is no and sort of yes to that question. It depends on what your ancestral heritage is or how long you have been exposed to agriculture.

Let’s take dairy. (Click to go to full size)

 

This map shows the distribution of lactose intolerance. Note that the exceptions in the US are Native Americans and African Americans – whose heritage introduced them to dairy very late. If you are Asian, milk is not part of your heritage either.

This map shows the spread of agriculture in the west. It’s not that long ago.

Evolution takes time to make an impact – if at all. It must have taken a very long time for humans to evolve to eat mainly meat For instance, Chimps love meat but cannot eat much of it. If they do, they get ill. Chimps, like early hominids, have a very large digestive system that is designed to process raw veggies and powerful jaws and teeth designed to chew for hours. About 8 hours a day. It took maybe a million years for our ancestors to adapt to cooked food and meat. As a result they also changed their physiology. We lost 1/3 of our gut and all those big teeth and jaw muscles.

In the next series of posts we will explore how your ancestral heritage fits into the modern diet. In summary:

  • If you are from the Middle East you will have the best adaptation to wheat – But remember that the wheat we have today is a 50 year old modern strain with an exceptionally high gluten content. It is not the old wheat. You will also lose your adaptation in middle age
  • If you are from Northern Europe, you will have the best tolerance for dairy. But again, if you live in the US where growth hormone in cows is permitted, you are not drinking even your parents milk. You also will lose this tolerance in middle age.
  • If you are from Northern China, you will have a good tolerance to wheat with all the provisos – if you are from Southern China and Asia you will have a strong tolerance for rice. Again as you age and if you select very processed rice, you will lose this.
  • If you are from Asia and Southern Africa and America you will have a low tolerance for all dairy.
  • If you are from a recent Hunter Gatherer heritage, Inuit – First Nations – you will have no tolerance for Agriculture.
  • None of us have any tolerance for highly processed industrial food.

More here is Thesis 47

Beer today – Gone tomorrow – Are you at risk?

My son who is 31 likes what he sees in how I have changed but is having trouble with giving up modern foods for himself. Especially beer!

I told him that, as a Scot – he is a Celt and so is more at risk over time. More on why this is so for Celts later (basically Celts are the First Nations of Western Europe – Non Farmers pushed to the edge in the Agricultural Revolution).

James raises the issue of who is at most risk and why. Who is at most risk of aging poorly – developing the debilitating diseases of modern civilization – and what is it about their heritage that is so important.

So today a general rule and in the next few days I will focus on a number of key heritages and we can see where you fit. The general rule then is that even for those of us with a heritage that is most adapted to agriculture – if we persist in eating it in our 40’s and later, we will suffer. (Thesis 51)

Aging – What is it?

June 14, 2011 Aging, Videos No Comments

What is aging? Is the deterioration we see inevitable? Are the diseases that come with age all part of the process? Is it inevitable that we get sick and decrepit as we get older?

On the surface it looks as if aging is a process that is inevitable. Most people that we know do get more and more sick and disabled as they get older.

But what Michael Rose has discovered is that this is an illusion. Before you laugh too hard think about another illusion.

The sun comes up every morning in the east – arcs across the sky all day – and sets in the west. The earth seems flat and stationary to us. But all of this is an illusion. It is real to us but none of it is true and as long as we believed that this was a true reality, we remained stuck.

The Galileo “saw” the truth – that the Earth was part of a much larger system that revolved around the sun. Then Newton was able to discover the rules that made this predictable. And then Einstein was able to understand that gravity was not a simple force like a magnet but a distortion in space time that was affected by mass. The larger the mass the greater the distortion – the greater the force of attraction.

So in Thesis 12 Michael shows us that “Aging” is a similar illusion.


That as we age, the forces of natural selection weaken and we are less protected. This is why you can party away at 20 but not when you are 50. This is why you can get away with eating crap aged 25 but not aged 50.

Illness and disability are growing risks as we age because the forces of natural selection are weaker as we age. That is why we do best to align how we live and our choices to give us the best chance of being well.

That is why it helps to know also that if we do align our life to our evolved state that we can plateau and keep fit and well until we die

Your Carb Chart – You Choose – Be Well or Not

How many carbs are enough? Depends on what you are trying to do. Lose weight and get well. Maintain your weight and health or set your self up to get ill. Here from Marks’ Daily Apple – the best resource in this area I have seen.

Your Bathroom – A Toxic Zone that you did not know existed

So much choice in shampoo and other soaps and personal care products. We use masses of them every day to look better and small sweeter. But what’s in them?

Here’s the story – now I can see what the risks are I have changed my bathroom completely. Here is what to watch for:

So what am I doing now? I am going to buy my soap from real soap makers – you can too and here is where I am going to start – she is on PE  and also does mail order on the web.

 

 

How much Vitamin D should we have? A lot!


Vitamin D is a hormone and like Insulin and Cortisol has a major effect on our system

More here
” Vitamin D is by far the greatest deficiency in the civilized world. Surveys show that at least 70% of all Americans are vitamin D deficient, and up to 85% of African-American women of child-bearing age are deficient. 48% of young girls aged 9 to 11 are deficient. 76% of pregnant mothers are severely vitamin D deficient causing widespread deficiencies in their unborn children. 90% of all hospital patients are deficient, and 99% of nursing home residents are deficient. 65% of Chicago residents are deficient and even doctors living in southern Florida are 42% deficient. It is estimated that at least 1 billion people worldwide are deficient.” Saunders Vitamin D Deficiency (Link pdf)

How a Paleo Diet could connect to a more sustainable food systrem

I gave this short talk in a meeting at home on PEI about local food. The format is unusual. Each speaker has 20 slides and 6 minutes – which is why I go so fast – but I think as a format it works. It forces the speaker to be concise.

The future will depend not only on what we eat but how we get our food. It was our overshooting as hunters that forced us into agriculture. Our overshooting as farmers using oil is also threatening all life now on the planet. Is there another way? I think so – I think we now know enough to work with nature and I will expand on this over the next months. But in this short video you will see where I will be going.

A Local M.E.A.L. – Robert Paterson from nick battist on Vimeo.

If you see one lecture on diet – please let it be this one – Dr Mary Vernon

No one I have found so far explains how our metabolism works better than Dr Vernon – a GP who could not help any of her diabetic patients get well by following the “rules”. Who then became an expert in the metabolism and a leader in the bariatric field. Who now as a matter of routine and WITHOUT drugs – helps her patients (the most at risk) get well. The issue is “fuel” and how each food type is used by our metabolism.

She is disarming, self deprecating, funny and expert all in one. She has worked all of this out in the trenches of looking after people like you and me. She is not selling anything either. She wants you to be well. Here is a link to her key lecture – by starting the first video – the player loads the next 5 seamlessly. If you look below – all the slides are there too.

Here is part 1

Presentation by Dr. Mary Vernon at KU Medical Center

Your Social Status and your Health – Why our industrial culture is killing us

America spends far more than any other nation in the world on healthcare and yet has the health outcomes of a nation like Cuba. What is going on?

Why might this be?

If you live in Louisiana you are much more likely to be ill and die young than if you live in one of the poorest states in the union Vermont. Why is this?

The quick answer is that Some nations and some states have a better social environment than others and it is this factor that has such an influence on our health.

What is “better”? Better is a better fit with the social environment that we evolved to thrive in for millions of years before agriculture.

In Vermont there is much more Social Capital than say in Louisiana. There is much stronger community. There is a smaller gap between rich and poor. (Robert Putnam is the key researcher into this field of how Social Capital affects many outcomes – crime – learning are also affected by the relative amount of social capital. And this by the overall culture. LA has a very traditional authoritarian culture of the Big Man and the dependents – Vermont is much more Yankee with strong feelings of community of mutual help and self sufficiency. So even though Vermont is poor, there is a much greater feeling of being in control and valued. Vermont could make it without the Union, Louisiana could not.

The social culture is the key. We do less well in social cultures that are top down and authoritarian than we do in cultures that fit more closely our tribal heritage of a community model. We need to have a voice and we need to be known and valued. We need to have a real role. When we have none of these factors we live in a culture that does not fit and we get ill.

Social Status is a factor in states as well. Look at the death rates in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. What happened? What happened was that the fall in National Status affected men who also felt their own status in the world fall. We see the opposite in countries like Poland whose felt that their control and status improved when they became free.

See where we are going? So let’s look at the mechanism.

This slide shows this issue of status and control more clearly. (From the Whitehall Study here is a link that will take you deep into the issues and the work ) still going on under the supervision of DR Michael Marmot. It shows deaths in the UK civil service from Heart Disease ranked by rank in the organization. The folks on the left labeled “Administrative” are the seniors executives – the A Personality Types. Those on the far right are the folks at the bottom of the pile. (More here)

Those at the bottom have a 4 times greater chance of dying early than the hard driving folks on the left. But their conventional risk factors are not 4 times worse. What is going on that makes them so much less healthy?

The answer is that this group have the least amount of control and the least amount of status. This drives a constant stress load. This is in turn releases the hormone Cortisol into the body – the hormone that enables you to shut down all your systems not needed to out run the lion. You want cortisol in a real crisis. But not as a constant. As a contant, Cortisol attacks your body and your immune system.

Here is Dr Robert Saplosky explaining this in summary and here he is explaining this in depth.

So just as the modern world has pulled us away from our ideal diet, so it pulls us away from our ideal social setting. Just as the industrial diet now is everywhere, so the industrial culture is too.

As a result, the gap between the haves and the have nots is more extreme than ever. Even well off functionaries in the system serve at the pleasure of the big man. Nearly all of us have lost control and status. This widening gap will have a huge impact on health in America.

We depend on the system for everything and most of us have no idea of what it may be like to be self sufficient. For true esteem comes not from freely given praise but from earned respect.

So I think that the way home to a culture that fits us best and that will give us our best health is not to be found in overthrowing the system. It comes from remembering the successful strategies of those that over threw the great powers such as Gandhi in India and Havel in the Czech Republic. They won by creating a better alternative to the super power.

Freedom, real status and real control is something that we earn for ourselves. It is in our own power to find. That is why in later posts we will look at how we can do this in our own work.

But next, we have to look at the central social organization that we all rely on and that shapes us all. We will look at the Family and find out that it too has exactly the same dynamics and forces as the state and the nation.

Here is a short introductory video … Continue Reading

The Correct Perspective for Health – David Brooks on Clouds & Clocks

May 25, 2011 Aging, Context, Videos No Comments

I think that one of the barriers for us to see the power that resides in Michael Roses Evolutionary Context for health is that our prevailing culture predisposes us to see problems like a clock – made up of the sum of many different parts. Look at how medicine itself is organized into specialties that all seek distinct and non related pathways and simple cause and effect. But the reality is that our bodies and how we fit into the world are complex. They are like clouds. I find this very short video by David Brooks on this issue very helpful.

If you are seeing what he means then it may be good to now have a look at how Michael Rose sets the context in this context!

 

 

 

A wonderful historic context for the sugar hypthesis

There are 2 more in the series.

Worried about Cancer – This is the best resource I have seen to help you take charge


Dr Li’s research shows us a key aspect of cancer and the then fat – blood supply. That there are drugs now that work to reduce specific parts of the blood supply that feed cancer. No Blood Supply, Cancer cannot grow.

But then – much more interesting and in line with our philosophy here shows us that we can do better than treat better – we can Eat to Starve Cancer and by the wayt Obesity – for Fat too demands a blood supply. What foods work best?

The bottom line is that with the right diet you can reduce your chances enormously of ever getting cancer. And of course of getting and staying fat – that opens us up to Type 2 Diabetes and all the other Diseases of Modern Life.

Dr Li shows us what to eat that works best – Here Michael reminds us on the ONE thing you must not eat – Sugars in all their forms – for they feed the cancers and create the fat. … Continue Reading

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

A week of editing 63 videos for Michael and splitting wood for me left me unable to use my right hand. The pain was excruciating – especially at night.
So what to do?

The medical profession of course leads off with anti inflammatories and then defaults to surgery. Others have splints and prosthetics to see you.

But I looked to see for advice that would enable me to undo the strain and here it is. It could not be more simple and in 4 days I was completely better.

Bad Science – Vs Good Science – Why we are so confused

Every day a new headline – This is bad for you – then it is good for you. This diet – that diet.

So how can we make sense of the “science”? This video by Tom Naughton has helped me a lot. It is also very funny and worth the 45 minutes. But you will also get the gist of it in the first 10 if you are short of time. Naughton’s video channel is packed with well made films that get the heart of the confusion today.

The Science behind Activity


Sitting, it would seem, is an independent pathology. Being sedentary for nine hours a day at the office is bad for your health whether you go home and watch television afterward or hit the gym. It is bad whether you are morbidly obese or marathon-runner thin. “Excessive sitting,” Dr. Levine says, “is a lethal activity.”

The good news is that inactivity’s peril can be countered. Working late one night at 3 a.m., Dr. Levine coined a name for the concept of reaping major benefits through thousands of minor movements each day: NEAT, which stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. In the world of NEAT, even the littlest stuff matters. McCrady-Spitzer showed me a chart that tracked my calorie-burning rate with zigzagging lines, like those of a seismograph. “What’s that?” I asked, pointing to one of the spikes, which indicated that the rate had shot up. “That’s when you bent over to tie your shoes,” she said. “It took your body more energy than just sitting still.”

In a motion-tracking study, Dr. Levine found that obese subjects averaged only 1,500 daily movements and nearly 600 minutes sitting. In my trial with the magic underwear, I came out looking somewhat better — 2,234 individual movements and 367 minutes sitting. But I was still nowhere near the farm workers Dr. Levine has studied in Jamaica, who average 5,000 daily movements and only 300 minutes sitting.

Dr. Levine knows that we can’t all be farmers, so instead he is exploring ways for people to redesign their environments so that they encourage more movement. We visited a chairless first-grade classroom where the students spent part of each day crawling along mats labeled with vocabulary words and jumping between platforms while reciting math problems. We stopped by a human-resources staffing agency where many of the employees worked on the move at treadmill desks — a creation of Dr. Levine’s, later sold by a company called Steelcase.

Dr. Levine was in a philosophical mood as we left the temp agency. For all of the hard science against sitting, he admits that his campaign against what he calls “the chair-based lifestyle” is not limited to simply a quest for better physical health. His is a war against inertia itself, which he believes sickens more than just our body. “Go into cubeland in a tightly controlled corporate environment and you immediately sense that there is a malaise about being tied behind a computer screen seated all day,” he said. “The soul of the nation is sapped, and now it’s time for the soul of the nation to rise.”

Quite the best explanation of why we are so fat today

Please see the other videos in this series here

Tom Naughton is a genius communicator

Depression – Your Character or a Biological Problem

As we learn more about the brain, we can start to understand the very nature of depression. Dr Sapolsky is the leading researcher into the stress pathways. In this important lecture, he gives a master class on why some people get depressed. (15% of people and will soon be the #2 cause of disability) He shows the pathway from events to reaction and then how this repeated connection can get hold of a person. I found that his explanation opened up an entirely new understanding for me of this terrible affliction that affects so many of us. He is a master lecturer as well.
Here is the intro video and after the fold the main one.

… Continue Reading

Sugar – The hardest/best thing to give up

Sugar and its relative High Fructose Corn Syrup is everywhere today. 100 years ago, it was so expensive that only the rich  could afford it. Now it is the essential ingredient in nearly all processed foods. I have found that Robert Lustig is the best resource when it comes to explaining its effect on us. Here above the fold is a quick 10 minute summary of his thoughts – intercut are spokes people from the Corn Association who obviously have a point of view to defend.  After the fold I add Lustig’s key post Sugar the Bitter Truth – a 1 1/2 hour lecture that, for me went by in a flash. A compelling case and a compelling structure for how to tell a complex story well.

If you do nothing but take Lustig’s message to heart – you will have made great progress.

… Continue Reading

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  • Emma Johnson: Needed this to lighten the mood at the end of the day. Give...
  • RJ Jamieson: The mammary tissue was consumed repleat with raw milk drippi...
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  • cody f: let me set this straight.... Different humans are programmed...
  • cpu: An eclectivore diet seems best, meaning, eating a varieti-vo...
  • Omnivore: (Reply to monster221) Not all of us lived on costal beaches....
  • Omnivore: let me sum it up. Search "man eats meat for five years. Look...
  • marisa: Larch tree arabinogalactan is a natural fiber that does not ...

What is the Missing Human Manual All About?

Do you want to age well? Most of us do. If you are my age, 60, this is more important a question that if you are 30. But most of us would not wish to have heart disease, cancer, dementia when we get old.

Most of us think it is normal that we will get ill like this.

But science today tells us that this is not "Normal". Our evolutionary past designed us to be active and fit until we drop dead. Why? Because raising human children takes so long. Mature adults had to do most of the hard work enable us to invest up to 25 years in our kids.

We are designed by our evolution to reach a plateau of fitness in mid life. So why do most of us not live like this?

We don't because, we have strayed away from the best way of living that fits our evolution best. Our culture has got too far ahead of our biology. We eat foods that make us ill. We have lost our social identity and power and that makes us ill. And we have lost touch with the circadian rhythms of the Natural World, and that has made us ill too.

We have lost our fit with our true nature.

This site will be a Manual. It will show you what the best fit is. It will show you the science behind this. It will share with you some methods for getting your fit back with your true human nature.

So welcome to the "Missing Human Manual" . I hope that we can help you and I hope that you can help others as a result.

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