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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

The importance of your social world to your health #1 The Context

Michael Rose is clear – the closer we are to our evolved environment, the healthier we will be. We have explored our diet and our activity. Now it is time to investigate our social environment.

We are primates and intensely social. Our place in our social world has a major impact on our health. People who have little control and status have 4 x more chance of dying early of Heart Disease than those with high control and high status. Why is this? And what can we do to improve our chances? Source: The Whitehall Study

This post is the first of a series that will explore this part of working to find the best fit possible to our evolved social design.

We will look at first at the work of Sir Michael Marmot who is the world’s leading expert in the field of social status and health. We will see that there are steep gradients of health based on status both between nations and inside nations and even inside organizations. These gradients are all a function of our reaction to how we see ourselves – do we have power and control and status or not.

We will then look at the work of Dr Robert Sapolsky who is the world’s leading expert on stress in primates. Here we can see the mechanism that converts poor feelings of self worth and roles and status directly into damage to our immune system. Just as Insulin is the key to diet, Cortisol is the key here. In prey animals such as a Zebra, they only stress and produce Cortisol, when the Lion is hunting. But social animals like baboons worry all the time about their place in the troop. For humans this worry can be worse. For we can use our conscious mind to worry abut things that happened in the past and that might happen in the future. We can have large amounts of cortisol in our system all the time.

We will then look at the work of Dr Doug Willms who has been looking at the impact of family culture on infants. For many kids today are raised in a social environment that is not warm and supportive. By 2, their world view of who they are and what the world is like is set. They are in effect wired. Resilient kids can cope with anything. Kids who are not cannot. Cortisol is again the marker. In summary very authoritarian and instrumental parents tend to shut their kids down. Very permissive parents tend to make their kids feel unsafe.  Kids do best when they are heard and when the boundaries are clear.

This then leads to how this is expressed in the workplace. Here Dr’s  David Brown and Andrew Clark have done breakthrough work on the Managerial Hierarchy. What Willms found in the family culture applies to the workplace too.

With this explained more completely as context, I will explore with you how best to take this matter into your own hands. We cannot change how the world works today on our own, but as with diet, we can chose to act differently in it and we may be forced to do that anyway. Here are some hints about where we might go with this:

  • Millions of us now are Freelancers – some by choice many not. Is this a bad thing? Or is it really the future and is this a return to being who are are designed to be a Hunter Gatherer? What is it about this life and its social aspect that is close to our evolved past – Tribal patterns etc
  • Millions of us are Boomers with maybe 20 – 40 years of life ahead and no financial security. Can we continue to live as separate beings or will we have to find a new social world to help us through? If we cannot live with our blood family what tribes can we form?
  • Can we repair the damage done to us in our earlier lives? Can find find more resilience by changing some key habits and responses? We will look at Neuro Plasticity and how this insight can help us rewire our minds and get power over our traditional responses.
  • We will look at the powerful and positive forces found in social networks – where we can find our place, a role, love and reputation. Where we can give as well as receive.
  • We can look at the food system itself. For I think that it is our relationship to food that is what controls our culture. Can we make a shift from a view of us dominating nature to one where we work with nature?

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

Vitamin D – The struggle

There remains a battle going on about what is the best dose – though now little debate about how important having enough D is.

Here in full is the Statement of the Vitamin D Council

Caucasian skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D in response to 20–30 minutes summer sun exposure. This is over 16 times higher than the US government’s recommendation of 600 IU per day!

This high rate of natural production of vitamin D3 cholecalciferol(pronounced koh·luh·kal·sif·uh·rawl) in the skin is the single most important fact every person should know about vitamin D—a fact that has profound implications for the natural human condition.

Technically not a “vitamin,” vitamin D is in a class by itself. Its metabolic product, calcitriol, is actually a secosteroid hormone that is the key that unlocks binding sites on the human genome. The human genome contains more than 2,700 binding sites for calcitriol; those binding sites are near genes involved in virtually every known major disease of humans.

Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.

Vitamin D’s influence on key biological functions vital to one’s health and well-being mandates that vitamin D no longer be ignored by the health care industry nor by individuals striving to achieve and maintain a greater state of health.

If well adults and adolescents regularly avoid sunlight exposure, researchindicates a necessity to supplement with at least 5,000 units (IU) of vitamin D daily. To obtain this amount from milk one would need to consume 50 glasses. With a multivitamin more than 10 tablets would be necessary. Neither is advisable.
… Continue Reading

The Vegetarian Myth – Lierre Keith –

The Human Template – we are hunting omnivores – not gorillas – Here Keith, an ex vegan, offers up a tour de force interview where she offers us the deep context for aligning what we eat to who we are.

Taking back control of our health

Martin-luther-nails-thesis-1

500 years ago, Martin Luther pinned 95 theses to a church door. His message to the world was this. You don’t need a vast and powerful institution between you and God to save your soul.

Today, Michael Rose pins 55 Theses to the door of the web. His message to you is that you don’t need a vast and powerful institution, the health care system, between you and your health.

Luther’s message of hope was that you can work directly with God for your salvation after death. Michael’s message of hope is that you can work directly with nature for your health in life.

You don’t have to pay the Pope – You don’t have to pay all those medical bills.

 

Screen shot 2011-05-05 at 8.28.28 AM

This is I think is the begining of a shift where we align humanity with nature and work with her in all parts of our lives.

We align our health to our nature and then hopefuly we align the rest of what we do to her rules. In that way we change ourselves and the world. We change our relationship and our culture.

We do it the easy way. Each of us can start with ourselves.
… Continue Reading

Loren Cordain tells the story of what made us human

This is the first of a very helpful series by Loren Cordain that shows the link between diet and humanity

How much sleep do you need?

Americans sleep

Most Americans as you can see sleep less than 8 hours a night – many a lot less. How about you?

Are you OK if you do sleep less than 8 hours a night? The quick answer is no you are not. Here is the research:-

Every two hours during the day, the researchers tested the subjects’ ability to sustain attention with what’s known as the psychomotor vigilance task, or P.V.T., considered a gold standard of sleepiness measures. During the P.V.T., the men and women sat in front of computer screens for 10-minute periods, pressing the space bar as soon as they saw a flash of numbers at random intervals. Even a half-second response delay suggests a lapse into sleepiness, known as a microsleep.

The P.V.T. is tedious but simple if you’ve been sleeping well. It measures the sustained attention that is vital for pilots, truck drivers, astronauts. Attention is also key for focusing during long meetings; for reading a paragraph just once, instead of five times; for driving a car. It takes the equivalent of only a two-second lapse for a driver to veer into oncoming traffic.

Not surprisingly, those who had eight hours of sleep hardly had any attention lapses and no cognitive declines over the 14 days of the study. What was interesting was that those in the four- and six-hour groups had P.V.T. results that declined steadily with almost each passing day. Though the four-hour subjects performed far worse, the six-hour group also consistently fell off-task. By the sixth day, 25 percent of the six-hour group was falling asleep at the computer. And at the end of the study, they were lapsing fives times as much as they did the first day.

The six-hour subjects fared no better — steadily declining over the two weeks — on a test of working memory in which they had to remember numbers and symbols and substitute one for the other. The same was true for an addition-subtraction task that measures speed and accuracy. All told, by the end of two weeks, the six-hour sleepers were as impaired as those who, in another Dinges study, had been sleep-deprived for 24 hours straight — the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk.

So what can you do? Well first of all – know that you have a problem. Secondly here are some tips for a better night’s sleep.

In May I will be launching my project on how we can all take back control of our health. Sleep is of course a major part of this. For sleep is more than rest. It heals us and also is an active part of our cognitive and learning process. How often have you had a problem that you could not solve and yet woke up one morning with it solved?

Sleep is part of the 3 part continuum of of ideal settings for a healthy life.

  1. Diet – eat what we are evolved to eat
  2. Social – live in social settings and have the kinds of relationships that we are evolved to do best in
  3. Natural Environment – live as we are designed to be – this includes align with our circadian nature (this is where the right kind of sleep is key) and also be Active (exercise is not enoughy – we have to design our lives to moce around a lot – why I have a standing desk now)

The Science Behind the Diet – Staffan Lindeberg – Food & Western Disease

Every week there is a new announcement from the science world about whether this or that is good or bad for us.  No wonder we are confused. Dr Lindeberg is different in that he:

  1. Operates from the highest context possible – that we are shaped by evolution
  2. Has done critical research in the field himself
  3. Has read EVERYTHING and on diet that there is
  4. Has put all of this together in one book that while being a science book, and expensive, is very accessible to the interested reader

I think that there are 2 key books in the Diet Evolutionary arena – this is the foundation and Gary Taubes’s Good Calories Bad Calories is the floor. Both deal head on with the Conventional Wisdom that fat makes us fat and that grains are good for us.

 
… 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

Our Modern Diseases – Inevitable or Caused by Diet?

Gary Taubes is one of the best resources for exploring the science behind the ideas that are implicit in this site. He is a science writer who has reviewed the lexicon and has offered much clarity on the pathways to obesity and modern illness. His key book is Good Calories Bad Calories. Here is a review that will give you a sense of the case he makes.

“This is, hands down, one of the best and most important books ever written about nutrition. Gary Taubes is skeptical and inquiring. He does not settle for mainstream answers, and he has a knack for detecting crap ‘science’ and debunking it in a no holds barred way. The amount of research and investigation he has done for this book is staggering, so only pick up this book if you are interested in learning the truth about the history and motivations of modern American nutritionism. If you want to remain naïve and have your traditional nutrition beliefs confirmed, skip this book and go read Understanding Nutrition, 12th Edition by Eleanor Noss Whitney and Sharon Rady Rolfes.

The book is organized into three parts. Part one chronicles the beginnings and development of the fat-cholesterol hypothesis, which says that dietary fat (mainly saturated fat) is responsible for today’s nutritional diseases (e.g. obesity, diabetes, heart disease), that fat increases cholesterol, and that consistently elevated cholesterol levels lead to heart disease. The traditional argument is that a high-fat diet needs to be replaced with a high-carboyhydrate diet, based on whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, a diet that will ensure health, vitality, and long life. Taubes demonstrates the unquestionably political motivations of this new paradigm and how politics ended up trumping science in order to establish this new dogma.

Part two outlines a second approach to the question of modern nutritional diseases: the carbohydrate hypothesis. Taubes details how, prior to the 20th century, most people ate diets higher in fat and protein and lower in carbohydrates, and how they understood that one should consume more carbohydrates if he or she wanted to gain weight. This knowledge was simply common sense to people. He reveals the rare occurrence of modern nutritional diseases among populations that consume a low-carbohydrate diet. Morever, Taubes explains, scientifically, the effect carbohydrates have on insulin, triglycerides, cholesterol, and diabetes. He even proposes that the high-carb diet may be implicated in the etiology of dementia (and other brain diseases) and cancer.

Part three addresses obesity and weight regulation. Taubes argues that, contrary to prevailing opinion, it is not excess calories and a sedentary lifestyle that lead to overweightness and obesity. Instead, it is the quality of the calories – their macronutrient origin – that is crucial. He says that the typical recommendation to lose weight – eat less and exercise more – is basically intellectual nonsense: the less we eat, the lower our metabolic rate, and the less fat we metabolize; the more we exercise, the hungrier we get, and the more we eat. The diet advocated by the FDA, USDA, NAS, and myriads of other ‘professional’ organizations actually leads to a semi-starvation lifestyle, where people are constantly hungry. He illustrates how carbohydrates affect fat metabolism, insulin production, and hunger/satiety.

As one Amazon reviewer noted, the nutritional establishment has not offered any serious or substantial rebuttal to this book. Instead, the establishment does what it always does: it tells people to avoid ‘pseudo-science’ and to trust the ‘experts’ – i.e. the FDA, USDA, NAS, et. al. The people who will probably find this book the most annoying are the sports nutritionists and exercise physiologists, because it flies in the face of their multi-billion dollar industry. In fact, just last night at work I was talking with a colleague who is an exercise science major in college, and he was complaining about gaining weight, so I told him to go the low-carb route. He said that I was wrong, that we need a significant amount of carbohydrates to stay healthy – especially athletes – and that I was uninformed about this subject. I just chuckled and walked away.

Nevertheless, the people who will probably find this book the most troubling are average Americans who struggle with food, weight, and all the pressures surrounding this subject. On the one hand, they know that the traditional approach to losing weight – counting calories, cutting fat, bulking up the carbs, daily exercise, facing hunger – is cumbersome, bland, and, if they were to tell the truth, ineffective. The modern method of eating has taken the joy, simplicity, and naturalness out of eating. The result is that people are obsessed with food, weight, and image, they do not know where to turn, and many people (at one time, even myself) become depressed and helpless over the current food situation. On the other hand, Americans are wary of books such as Taubes’ because they hear the denunciations of the FDA, they know there are charlatans out there peddling fad diets that are unsafe yet beckon our trust, and they are not sure who or what to believe. Because most Americans do not have the knowledge to sift through these kinds of issues and receive no help from their primary care physicians (who have also bought into American nutritionism), this book could actually do them harm. Taubes’ vision of healthy eating can only become a reality when those in-the-know take time, skill, and compassion to help others know what the real deal is, why it is so, and how to put these principles into daily practice for life.”

In this short video he makes the case for how it is the modern diet that has caused the modern diseases – that include heart disease, cancer and even Alzheimers. For they are unknown in any society that does not share our diet.

Then after the fold I have posted the first part of a 7 part video where Taubes uses a lecture – with excellent slides – to take us through his main thesis.
… Continue Reading

Your Ideal Diet – A great resource

Here is the best site I have found so far that talks in depth about the ideal diet and the science behind it all.

It opens like this –

This article is geared towards people who want to try out the Paleo diet and who just want to quickly know what they should and shouldn’t do.

No background science here or lengthy explanations, only 15 easy rules to follow to kick start your Paleo journey. It’s up to you to decide to what extend you want to follow those rules, but if you follow them 100% you can be assured that you are eating the best food for your body and greatly investing in your long term health and well-being.

 

 

Sleep badly? Light is the key

We are wired to follow the natural circadian rhythms of day and night. Here is an excellent review of sleep and what you can know that will help you sleep better. Do you have trouble sleeping? Then this video shows you the effect of light. Adjust your end of day to what your Circadian Radar tells you. Change your light environment.

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  • robpatrob: Many things that are bad for are are not illegal and are eve...
  • August: This article brings up some health concerns i would like to ...
  • Susan: I wish I had known this information years ago. I am a second...
  • robpatrob: The link in in the post http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work...
  • Thibault: Very interesting blog, especially the link between disabilit...
  • 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...
  • Anonymous: Your claim about wild fruit isn't 100% true. Read this artic...
  • Art: Staffan has recently passed away. We shall all miss him. Jan...
  • Jackie: This sounds great. But I was hoping that this article might ...
  • Phantom The God: Don't forget Coke damages your teeth and make your bones bri...
  • moon: Wow so many veganazis here... there was a study on 2 men who...
  • Christian DiMaria: This article seems to be exclusively focusing on sugar and c...
  • john: nital your a nitwit plain and simple how you have deluded...
  • Dane: But doesn't fructose take longer to process, thus allowing m...

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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