It’s our nature to be healthy as we age

My question is – How will I live out my last decades? Will I be getting progressively more frail or will I be healthy, active and a contributor until my end? What about you?

The Missing Human Manual – Our Purpose

I have learned something new that I did not know before. We can prevent the modern illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, strokes, type 2 diabetes and dementia. I used to think that these were Normal. That it was my and your destiny to get them as we aged. I now know that this …

You are designed to stay fit

Our biology has been shaped by evolution to enable us to stay fit and active all our lives. Raising human children to full adulthood is such a lengthy process that we have to be like this.

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 …

Recent Articles:

The myth of healthy vegetable oils is being busted

A corner stone of the establishment is that saturated animal fat is bad for us and that vegetable oils are good. It is part of the larger fallacy about what is healthy eating and not.

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Here are the summary conclusions of a recent study looking at  men in Australia who ate either saturated fats or vegetable oils.

“Conclusions Advice to substitute polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats is a key component of worldwide dietary guidelines for coronary heart disease risk reduction. However, clinical benefits of the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega 6 linoleic acid, have not been established.

In this cohort, substituting dietary linoleic acid in place of saturated fats increased the rates of death from all causes, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. An updated meta-analysis of linoleic acid intervention trials showed no evidence of cardiovascular benefit.

These findings could have important implications for worldwide dietary advice to substitute omega 6 linoleic acid, or polyunsaturated fats in general, for saturated fats.”

 

Vitamin D – A Great Resource Roundup

The role of Vitamin D in our health is rapidly becoming better known. It is clear now that low levels of D can have a wide range of negative effects. While you might know your cholesterol levels, do you know your D levels?

I am going to join the Vitamin D Council

Here is a link to a very complete round up of how D affects us.

 

There are worse things than death

February 6, 2013 Context, Personal Health No Comments

Today is my father’s birthday. He died age 55. Not a good age to die. But my mum has been an invalid since her late 40′s. Without his pension I don’t know what we would have done. But who has such a pension today?

Much of the discussion about health is about living longer. But what about our life? What is our life like as we live into our 60′s and 70′s?

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Here are the stats for men on Prince Edward Island. The average man is disabled by chronic illness by the age of 65. He cannot work. He cannot contribute. He has to be looked after. And for women, add 5 years and the results are the same.

On average we live for another 10 years like this. THIS is where the costs are found. PEI is not unique. This long period of disability is what all of us can expect in this epidemic of chronic illness that is our new normal.

And when we are disabled, who is going to look after us? Will we burden our kids? And by the way, what Kids? With low birth rates, there are not many of them. And where do our kids live? Near us? So maybe then the state? But when we look at their costs, we know that they cannot help us either.

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There will simply not be the tax payers or the  tax dollars to pay to look after us.

This is why I am millions of people are starting to take charge of our own health. Suffering from chronic illness is not inevitable if we make the changes that are discussed in detail in this blog.

More on this later.

 

Healthcare – How the numbers work – A Horror Story

February 5, 2013 Context, Personal Health No Comments

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This chart shows the monthly health care premiums for a friend of mine in the US. They are now $1,700 a month with a $7,000 deductible. There are 2 adults in their 40′s and a 4 year old child. All have excellent health records.

As you can see this chart is exponential. It is likely that the increases in the next 5 years will accelerate even further. How will this family cope? How will you cope?

peihealthcosts

 

Now let’s look at how the healthcare costs of Canada’s smallest province are growing (The current data is taken form government sources). It’s the same curve. The red bars are PEI’s tax revenues. Health costs are 78% of current tax revenues. Only the $600 million subsidy from the Feds keep PEI going. In 2015 it is likely that health costs will equal PEI’s tax revenues. By 2020, it will be double.

PEI is the canary in the mine. Canada’s larger provinces will take a bit longer but the trends are the same. Individuals and even states cannot live with the rate of increase of health costs. Nor can they live with the results. For the epidemic of chronic illness is getting worse and lies on the same trajectory.

At the moment, all the hopes are set in somehow reducing waste and ion increasing efficiency. I don’t think we have tome for this. The crunch is here now. And even if we did and could find 30% in savings, it does not challenge the curve. The model is wrong. Fix when we are ill is the wrong model.

Personal Health will replace this quickly, just as personal news and music replaced mass market news and music.

Mass Market Health vs Personal Health – The Future is Near

Personal Health is going to replace Mass Market Medicine.

One of the great trends of our time is how personalization is trumping the mass market. Albums go to songs. CD’s to downloads. Downloads to streaming. 32 kids in a class. How many are in tune with the teacher? Maybe 2 or 3. The rest either lag or get bored. Now more and more kids go online to sites like Khan Academy where they can learn at their own pace and learn what they don’t know. Health Care is going the same way. Think of what this means.

All medication is like an album or a class at school. But all people are different. What does your doctor know about you as well? Maybe she sees you for 10 minutes at a time. She uses paper files. She cannot look at your data at all except from her paper file. What tests you take are yearly at best. She knows nothing about your ancestry. You know nothing about it either but your ancestry is what drives so many of the differences that we have in our health. She knows nothing about your social life. She knows only what you tell her about your daily life. She cannot track you week by week, so she will only see when you are really sick when you are so sick that it is obvious. She cannot keep you well because she cannot know enough to care for you as a person.

In truth your doctor is guessing most of the time. She can do no better for she hasn’t the data. She cannot see a gradient of small changes that will indicate early that there is the start of a problem. So you go to her when you are ill. Then the treatments are the same. Medicine is a broad spectrum and mass market deal today. What is YOUR real dose? Antibiotics kill ALL your bacteria. Not a good thing at all. (See Gut Health). Breast Cancer Chemo kills all your fast growing cells. Not a good thing for your immune system or your joints.

All this is changing. Personal health will be a massive change for the better. Here is an article on Larry Smarr who is an early adopter of this approach. He tracks all his vitals all the time. At the moment this is a costly and challenging process. But Larry is at the front end of the trend.

What will make this happen is of course the web and neat tools. Already there are measurement tools that use wireless to hook up to your iPhone and measure some of your stats. Here is a link to Fitbit that shows us the way. Here is how your doctor will see your data soon.

What this will mean soon is that each of us will be able to have the kind of data that will enable us to see small indicative changes EARLY. So as we move towards say Type 2 Diabetes, we can make the right corrections. This approach will also show what works and what doesn’t. WE will know soon what diet works and what doesn’t for the data will support it. Here is how this is working now.

Science will change as a result. At the moment all health science is done in the context of finding a treatment that can be patented and sold. Anything that does not fit this, is not funded. Anything that does not show the new pill in a good light is suppressed.  Science has been hi jacked. But As we move more to Personal health, and so more and more real data is generated, we will truly see what works and what doesn’t. In particular we will see what works that does not cost much.

I look to the music model for guidance. Not only will we get what we want when and how we want it, but communities will spring up that focus on helping each other get healthy and cope with this or that.

 

Why dentists are such a risk

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It is increasingly clear that the health of our gut flora my be the single most important driver of our health. If this stands up, then this may be why oral health is so important too.

But a problem with oral health is how dentistry is performed today. Massive fillings with mercury and invasive root canal work set us up for more infection and contamination.

But there is good news. Just as massively invasive surgery is going away, so there is a rise in minimal dentistry. An approach that is aligned to real oral health and so to gut health and so to total health. And we too can do our own part. If we eat right, then the preconditions of dental decay and disease do not arise. We can take charge of our teeth!

“Contrary to conventional dentistry, minimally invasive dentistry, like biological dentistry, is not about “drilling and filling;” creating an endless loop of revisits and retreating the same tooth again and again.

Instead, by using dietary prevention to create a healthy cavity-fighting bioflora in your mouth; dental prophylaxis such as brushing and irrigating with baking soda, and oil pulling; combined with minimally invasive restorations starting as early as possible, you can prevent about 80 percent of future dental problems.”

The full story + video is here on Dr Joseph Mercola’s site

Which Meat to Choose

Now you have decided to eat a more Paleo diet, you are confronted with the question of how to judge the meat you eat. Sebastien Noel has come up with an excellent guide here.

This article will explore several different types of meat: red meat (beef, lamb, goat, bison, etc.), poultry (chicken and turkey), pork, and seafood. These types of meat differ significantly in their nutrient quality, and especially in the quality of the fats they contain. Since fats are the foundation of Paleo nutrition, it’s important to know what fats are in your meat, so you can make educated decisions about what to eat and when to supplement with other fats, such as coconut oil. In general, grass-fed ruminant meats (beef, bison, and lamb) are nutritionally superior to poultry and pork, but this doesn’t mean you should never eat chicken again. Focusing mainly on seafood and ruminant meat as a staple source of calories, and eating moderate amounts of poultry and pork alongside plenty of healthy fats like butter of coconut oil will let you maximize both the variety and the healthfulness of your diet.

The entire article is here.

Taking Charge of your Health – Good Books – On Wheat and on Sugar

Getting back control of your health is more complex than simply changing your diet. But changing your diet is the best way to start. The new/old diet is also like a church with a spectrum of focus. Here then are two very helpful books that lie along this spectrum.

Wheat Belly by William Davis  - that looks at wheat

Fat Chance  by Robert Lustig –  that looks at sugar

It is important to take both out of your diet.

 

Raw or Cooked Food? #Wrangham

Many advocate eating raw food. Is this a good thing or not?

Dr Richard Wrangham thinks not. His work suggests that humans have been cooking for a very long time. For well over a million years. There is no fossil record of fires but there is a physiological record. Homo Erectus lost that big veggie processing gut and those big veggie grinding teeth and jaws. And HE’s brain increased by 20%. I find this pretty convincing. (A good intro to his ideas is here)

Australopithecus-Erectus

(picture source here)

It would take a massive change in environment to create this change to the body plan.

Here is a short video where Wrangham speaks to his findings

He also looked at a large modern study to see how well people do on a veggie diet. (source)

There are only three studies conducted on the body weight of raw foodists, according to Wrangham’s book. The most comprehensive of them was the Geissen study, which questioned and examined 513 raw foodists. This isn’t quite as legit as confining people to a zoo for 30 years, but what was shown was that the higher the percentage of raw food in the diet, irrespective of whether or not they consumed meat, the lower their BMI. One third of those who ate purely raw had body weights that categorized them as being in a state of chronic energy deficiency. The Geissen study also found that 82% of long term raw foodists included some cooked food in their diets. The study also showed that the more raw food women ate, the less likely they were to have regular periods, many of whom had completely ceased to menstruate. This equates to being infertile and losing bone mass. Some raw foodists (and I did hear this one at a raw food guru talk I attended once upon a time in Boulder) claim that menstruation and ejaculation are just a body’s way of eliminating toxins and once you become truly clean, ejaculating and menstruating is no longer necessary. Facepalm! Seriously, I remember the promises of menstrual cycles practically becoming “unnecessary”, provided you really stuck to it. While this does sound like an upshot, it’s kind of like promoting the loss of your legs by saying you’ll never have to run 400m repeats. Locomotion: just for the overachievers!

The last sort-of nail in the coffin for the theory that raw foods are our evolved diet, is that they would never work in the wild. Wrangham found no reports of long term survival in the wild on a raw diet. Most commonly, rapid starvation is the biggest threat to survival in the wild on raw foods, even with intimate knowledge of edible forage, just ask Robb and the I Cavemen cast. What makes a modern raw foods diet livable is that we now have unlimited access to food processing, making nutrients a little more available. Blenders, dehydrators, grinders, sprouting, and grocery stores that can provide year-round access to produce and nut butter that clearly would be hard to scrounge up in the wild. Also keep in mind that these domesticates are a wee bit more energy dense than they were in the wild. The German team also found that 30% of the raw foodists’ calories came from lipids that would have been inaccessible to any hunter gatherer.

So without these modern conveniences, how well do you think they would do? Anybody really wanna try? And judging by the fact that many of them cease to be reproductively functional, how well do you think we’d do if this was our evolutionary strategy?

 It looks to me that a diet that makes nearly half the sample infertile is unlikely to be a sound one and to have any basis in our own past. And imagine eating only raw food in a northern winter without the modern food system.

The best introduction to why Gut Flora is the key to your health

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Sebastien Noel is one of my favourite resources. He makes the science easy to understand and he deals with the practical aspects very well. 

It is becoming clear that the central issue for health is the health of our gut flora. Here is Sebastien’e excellent review of all that you need to know.

The goal of this article is to tackle gut and gut flora problems and what to do about it. Granted, following a Paleo diet will often provide great relief and maybe even cure whatever ailment you’re dealing with. Also, other than being very strict with the diet, complete elimination of dairy, egg whites, nightshade vegetables, nuts and seeds and limiting fruit intake should be a priority, as discussed in my articles about dealing with autoimmune diseases and about the benefits of egg yolks.

With all these tactics implemented though, some diseases or conditions related to the gut still persist and can prove to be a real challenge to deal with. This article will dig deeper into the subject and I will recommend a general strategy to cope with most gut and gut flora ailments. Note that each condition usually also requires a special approach, but the general ideas discussed here usually applies to all of them.

Here is a summary of the subjects discussed here:

Note that in case of a hard to treat condition, I would tackle the problem with a shotgun approach. This basically means that I would eliminate any possible offending foods at the same time as I would try and maximize my immune system strength, gut healing and good flora rebuilding. Forgetting a step or doing things only partially often leads to poor results unfortunately. I’ve been dealing with tough problems myself and it sometimes seems that even the stars have to be aligned to start seeing progress, so hang in there and make anything possible to regain health as soon as possible so you can laugh about it afterwards.

Here is the link to the full piece

 

Constipation – The Truth

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Apparently 63 million people in the US suffer from constipation. That’s about 1 in 4 people. At one time or another I bet we all suffer from this. We are told to add more fibre, but in the long term we do this and this does not help. In extremes, we take laxatives. But over time, we become dependent on these too and we lose the ability to have a natural poo.

So what to do? For the medical system has no answers other than the ones we have learned do not work.

Kris Cleary is a pioneer in the non medicine approach to constipation. Here is our online interview. You will see why fibre and laxatives don’t work and you will see the pathway to being well – Having Healthy Gut Flora

The intro goes to the fold and the full interview follows. Read and get well!

So what did you learn from these people who had cured their own constipation?

There were dozens of key lessons I learnt.
However, some of the most important things I’ve learnt in curing constipation are:

  • The essential importance of overall gut health, especially gut flora
  • Reducing stress (especially the stress one is not even aware they have)
  • Eliminating toxins and eating real food for proper nutrition
  • Eating normal amounts of fiber rather than the ‘high fiber’ diet that is widely preached in our modern world
  • Including plenty of natural fats which is a core part of true health

All that I learnt from these people started me on the path of self-discovery in relation to my bowel health and my health overall.

I started to experiment with the various ideas and approaches I received from them and I was able to finally start joining the dots. The more I experimented, the better I was able to figure out what was actually triggering my symptoms and, on the flip side, what was allowing my bowels to work how they should naturally. It was a really exciting time to be honest. I was making so much progress quickly that I started to feel I was cracking the constipation code, so to speak.

I started to look into health and nutrition from an evolutionary view-point which was another game-changer for me. The more I researched and experimented, the more crucial information I was able to obtain. ‘Seek and you shall find’, I guess. I started to get in touch with research by guys like Loren Cordain and Staffan Lindeberg that really opened my eyes and had me jumping down the rabbit hole so-to-speak.

… Continue Reading

Are we helping our kids by over controlling them?

When I was a boy in the 1950′s, I was pushed out the door to play all day with the other kids in the neighbourhood. There was no TV either. We played as kids have done for millions of years. But that is not what happens now is it?

Here is Peter Gray talking about what our Hunter Gatherer ancestors did instead of programming their kids. This ties into the work of the late Jean Liedloff.

Peter Gray, PhD-The Role of Play in the Development of Social and Emotional Competence: Hunter-Gatherers, 1950s America and Now from Ancestral Health Society on Vimeo.

Humans are carnivores – get over it – and get well

Wise Traditions London 2010 – Barry Groves from Wise Traditions London on Vimeo.

An outstanding review. Everything you need to know about what we are meant to eat and why in half an hour.

Barry Groves shows how we adapted to a mainly meat diet – millions of years of ice age when there were few plants that we could have eaten – and the result. A large brain and a small gut.

Since the dawn of agriculture we have been shifting away from the food that we are best suited. Since 1980, and the advent of industrial food. we have made a dramatic shift away from fat and meat. And so have set up the epidemic that confronts us.

Meditation – Looking after our mental health

Jon Kabat Zinn is master in meditation – here is a wonderful video recorded at Google where he offers the basics for all of us

Strength versus Fitness – A Critical Distinction

From Chris Highcock’s wonderful short PDF book which you can buy here.

Chris’s book opens with the best context for Fitness and its link to health and how we grow old that I have yet seen.

This site has talked a lot about the false claims for diet – “Eating Healthy Grains” etc. The real diet is to give up the modern foods!

Chris shows how our modern obsession with “Exercise” has taken us down an unhelpful alley too. The real issue is “Strength”.

Our  ancestors did not “Take Exercise”. They led active lives and they carried a lot of stuff and they moved around a lot. They did not need a gym not expensive kit.  Chris shows us how we can do this again. And he shows a focus on strength this will help our health in a way that “Exercise” does not. This approach also then deals with the issue of time. For to get strength the requirement is intensity and not time. In fact as we get stronger we need to use less time and increase the intensity. We don’t have to spend hours a day.

Oh and don’t forget that we are designed to walk – a lot!

Parenting – Fitting the Child into the World vs Fitting the World to the Child

What is the historic way of parenting? The late Jean Liedloff made the study of Traditional Child rearing (The Continuum Concept) her life’s work.

Here is the central difference between what we do – make the child the centre but also disconnect physically – and the traditional – attach physically but fit the child into the larger adult world. Snip here:

How do they do it? What do the Yequana know about human nature that we do not? What can we do to attain non-adversarial relationships with our children in toddlerhood, or later if they have got off to a bad start?

The “Civilized” Experience

In my private practice, people consult me to overcome the deleterious effects of beliefs about themselves formed in childhood.1  Many of these people are parents keen not to subject their offspring to the kind of alienation they suffered at the hands of their own usually well-meaning parents. They would like to know how they can rear their children happily and painlessly.

Most of these parents have taken my advice and, following the Yequana example, kept their babies in physical contact all day and night until they began to crawl.2  Some, however, are surprised and dismayed to find their tots becoming “demanding” or angry — often toward their most caretaking parent. No amount of dedication or self-sacrifice improves the babies’ disposition. Increased efforts to placate them do nothing but augment frustration in both parent and child. Why, then, do the Yequana not have the same experience?

The crucial difference is that the Yequana are not child-centered. They may occasionally nuzzle their babies affectionately, play peek-a-boo, or sing to them, yet the great majority of the caretaker’s time is spent paying attention to something else…not the baby! Children taking care of babies also regard baby care as a non-activity and, although they carry them everywhere, rarely give them direct attention. Thus, Yequana babies find themselves in the midst of activities they will later join as they proceed through the stages of creeping, crawling, walking, and talking. The panoramic view of their future life’s experiences, behavior, pace, and language provides a rich basis for their developing participation.

Being played with, talked to, or admired all day deprives the babe of this in-arms spectator phase that would feel right to him. Unable to say what he needs, he will act out his discontentment. He is trying to get his caretaker’s attention, yet — and here is the cause of the understandable confusion — his purpose is to get the caretaker to change his unsatisfactory experience, to go about her own business with confidence and without seeming to ask his permission. Once the situation is corrected, the attention-getting behavior we mistake for a permanent impulse can subside. The same principle applies in the stages following the in-arms phase.

One devoted mother on the East Coast, when beginning sessions with me on the telephone, was near the end of her tether. She was at war with her beloved three-year-old son, who was often barging into her, sometimes hitting her, and shouting, “Shut up!” among other distressing expressions of anger and disrespect. She had tried reasoning with him, asking him what he wanted her to do, bribing him, and speaking sweetly as long as she could before losing her patience and shouting at him. Afterward, she would be consumed with guilt and try to “make it up to him” with apologies, explanations, hugs, or special treats to prove her love — whereupon her precious little boy would respond by issuing new ill-tempered demands.

Sometimes she would stop trying to please him and go tight-lipped about her own activities, despite his howls and protestations. If she finally managed to hold out long enough for him to give up trying to control her and calm down, he might gaze up at her out of his meltingly beautiful eyes and say, “I love you, Mommy!” and she, almost abject in her gratitude for this momentary reprieve from the leaden guilt in her bosom, would soon be eating out of his dimpled, jam-stained little hand again. He would become bossy, then angry and rude, and the whole heartbreaking scenario would be replayed, whereupon my client’s despair would deepen.

I hear many similar stories from clients in the United States, Canada, Germany, and England, so I believe it is fair to say that this trouble is prevalent among the most well-educated, well-meaning parents in Western societies. They are struggling with children who seem to want to keep their adults under their control and obedient to their every whim. To make matters worse, many people believe that this phenomenon bears witness to the widely held notion that our species, alone among all creatures, is by nature antisocial and requires years of opposition (“discipline,” “socializing”) to become viable, or “good.” As the Yequana, the Balinese, and numerous other peoples outside our cultural orbit reveal, however, such a notion is utterly erroneous. Members of one society respond to the conditioning of their culture like the members of any other.

The Way to Harmony

What, then, is causing this unhappiness? What have we misunderstood about our human nature? And what can we do to approach the harmony the Yequana enjoy with their children?

It appears that many parents of toddlers, in their anxiety to be neither negligent nor disrespectful, have gone overboard in what may seem to be the other direction. Like the thankless martyrs of the in-arms stage, they have become centered upon their children instead of being occupied by adult activities that the children can watch, follow, imitate, and assist in as is their natural tendency. In other words, because a toddler wants to learn what his people do, he expects to be able to center his attention on an adult who is centered on her own business. An adult who stops whatever she is doing and tries to ascertain what her child wants her to do is short-circuiting this expectation. Just as significantly, she appears to the tot not to know how to behave, to be lacking in confidence and, even more alarmingly, looking for guidance from him, a two or three year old who is relying on her to be calm, competent, and sure of herself.

A toddler’s fairly predictable reaction to parental uncertainty is to push his parents even further off-balance, testing for a place where they will stand firm and thus allay his anxiety about who is in charge. He may continue to draw pictures on the wall after his mother has pleaded with him to desist, in an apologetic voice that lets him know she does not believe he will obey. When she then takes away his markers, all the while showing fear of his wrath, he — as surely as he is a social creature — meets her expectations and flies into a screaming rage.

If misreading his anger, she tries even harder to ascertain what he wants, pleads, explains, and appears ever more desperate to placate him, the child will be impelled to make more outrageous, more unacceptable demands. This he must continue to do until at last she does take over leadership and he can feel that order is restored. He may still not have a calm, confident, reliable authority figure to learn from, as his mother is now moving from the point of losing her temper to the point at which guilt and doubts about her competence are again rearing their wobbly heads. Nevertheless, he will have the meager reassurance of seeing that when the chips were down, she did relieve him of command and of his panicky feeling that he should somehow know what she should do.

Put simply, when a child is impelled to try to control the behavior of an adult, it is not because the child wants to succeed, but because the child needs to be certain that the adult knows what he or she is doing. Furthermore, the child cannot resist such testing until the adult stands firm and the child can have that certainty. No child would dream of trying to take over the initiative from an adult unless that child receives a clear message that such action is expected — not wanted, but expected! Moreover, once the child feels he has attained control, he becomes confused and frightened and must go to any extreme to compel the adult to take the leadership back where it belongs.

When this is understood, the parents’ fear of imposing upon their child is allayed, and they see that there is no call for adversariality. By maintaining control, they are fulfilling their beloved child’s needs, rather than acting in opposition to them.

It took my East Coast client a week or two to see the first results of this new understanding. After that, generations of misunderstanding and the force of old habits rendered the family’s transition to non-adversarial ways somewhat uneven. Today, she and her husband, as well as many of my other clients similarly afflicted, are happily convinced by their own experience that children, far from being contrary, are by nature profoundly social.

Expecting them to be so is what allows them to be so. As the parents’ expectation of sociality in the child is perceived by the child, she or he meets that expectation; likewise, the parents’ experience of sociality in the child reinforces their expectation of it. That is how it works. In a gracious letter to me, the husband of my East Coast client wrote, of his wife, their son, and himself: “[We] have grown and learned and loved together in a miraculous way. Our relationships continue to evolve in a totally positive and loving direction.”

Get your kid back outside! – Vitamin D

We are designed to spend a lot of time outside. I am 61. When I was a kid, I was inside only for class or sleeping. Today few kids spend almost any time outside. Why most don’t have enough Vitamin D.

Here is the low down:

The Do’s and Don’ts for Gut Health

If you are to have good Gut health – then you have to eat a diet that fits what your gut is evolved to eat. Another reason why diet is so important.

Here is an excellent manual for how to avoid what is bad and eat what is good. Snip here:

1.  What is the “gut” anyway?

The gut is the intestinal tract.

2.  Why is gut health so important?

(Quotes below are from the Weston A. Price review of the book, GAPS/Gut and Psychology Syndrome)

Poor bacterial flora and digestion are at the heart of serious health problems. When children are born with intestinal bacterial imbalances or gut dysbiosis, they tend to have a compromised immune system and are prone to illness. Campbell- McBride brings to light the profound statements of Hippocrates that “All diseases begin in the gut.

“Although genetics is often provided as an explanation for brain disorders like autism and ADD/ADHD, as well as for psychiatric illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, genetics cannot explain the exponential increase in these health and developmental problems, says Dr. Campbell-McBride,because genetic changes work much more slowly.

Through studying the health of hundreds of patients with autism, learning disabilities, psychiatric illness and other problems, Campbell- McBride discovered that in virtually all cases these children and adults suffer from digestive problems, often of a severe nature. Through her research, she has determined a distinct correlation between unhealthy intestinal flora, poor digestion and toxicity from chemicals created by undigested foods, which can severely affect brain chemistry. She coins this relationship the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, or GAPS.”

3.  What wreaks havoc on gut health?

  • Sugar, grains – especially empty carbs (white grains/pasta/rice, sugar – even the more natural sugars)   “A child or adult who eats a diet high in difficult-to-digest carbohydrates such as grains and processed foods will continue to encourage the underlying condition of gut dysbiosis. Dr. Campbell-McBride states that people with damaged flora will crave the very foods that support the survival of the unhealthy bacteria, often to the exclusion and refusal of others.”  (Have you seen the post about the proper preparation of grains for optimal nutrition?)
  • Antibiotics: “anti” = against; “biotics” = bacteria – yes they clear out the bad bacteria causing an infection, which is sometimes needed, but they also take the good bacteria with it – only take if absolutely necessary.
  • A diet that is off balance between omega 6’s and omega 3’s. Most of us are too high in the omega 6’s, which are found in unhealthy vegetable oils and processed foods.  Some omega 6’s are needed, but they should be balanced with omega 3’s.  “Recent research has revealed that too much omega-6 in the diet creates an imbalance that can interfere with production of important prostaglandins. This disruption can result in increased tendency to form blood clots, inflammation, high blood pressure, irritation of the digestive tract,depressed immune function, sterility, cell proliferation, cancer and weight gain.” From The Skinny on Fats.
  • Trans fats:  “Altered partially hydrogenated fats made from vegetable oils actually block utilization of essential fatty acids, causing many deleterious effects including sexual dysfunction, increased blood cholesterol and paralysis of the immune system.”  From The Skinny on Fats.
  • Stress. If you feel like you can’t eliminate it, then change how you react to it.
  • Toxins all around us, including those in our food, such as pesticides, preservatives, hormones, fake colorings, etc.  (Read your food labels!  Even better, eat food without labels!)
  • What else did I forget?

4.  What supports gut health? More here at the link

Dirt is mainly good for you – especially for children

Dirt is mainly good for us. Here is a helpful post that explains this. First a Snip:

Bacteria has a bad reputation, as though any and all of it will hurt you. Parents keep immaculate houses in attempt to eliminate the “threat” of bacteria, removing shoes indoors, washing hands with anti-bacterial soap, moping with disinfectants, cleaning the counters with bleach. All of this is not only unnecessary for health but harmful to the immune system. It’s surprising just how many benefits there are to getting (and staying) dirty.

1. Mycobacterium vaccae improves mood
There are all sorts of beneficial bacteria living in the dirt but one that has been well researched is called Mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae). This bacteria has been shown toallay depression.

It is not entirely clear why but researchers have found that contact with the bacteria releases cytokines which activate the nerves in our bodies to relay signals to the brain and release serotonin into the prefontal cortex – the part of the brain involved in mood regulation (exercise has been shown to have similar effects).

2. Mycobacterium vaccae is linked to higher IQ
This same release of serotonin that occurs when playing in M. vaccae laced dirt, has also been shown to improve cognitive function. The serotonin that is released whilst playing in the dirt temporarily boosts the IQ so that learning is facilitated.

3. Staphylococci heals wounds
Staphylococci often gets a bad rap but it has it’s benefits as well. Staphylococci can prevent inflammation. After an injury if staphylococci is present on the skin, the redness and swelling which often accompanies cuts and scrapes can be prevented. Forget the ointment, just use a good smearing of dirt before you bandage up!

4. Soil microbes boost the immune system
Playing in the dirt introduces the immune system to bacteria which it can then store in memory. The memory of the immune system is profound and protects a growing body from getting sick later in life. A strong immune system also provides resistance to allergies.

5. Clay improves digestion
Dr. Weston A. Price noted in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (one of my favorite books on earth by the way) that clay was “the treatment used by several primitive races forpreventing and correcting serious disturbances in the digestive tract. This consisted in the use of clay or aluminum silicate which modern science has learned has the important quality of being able to adsorb and thus collect toxic substance and other products…” He also noted a common thread running through all of the primitive cultures he studied was that they carried clay in their backpacks. 

Clay isn’t found in every dirt mound but it always seems that kids are magnets to it. It lays deeper in the soil and is fun to play with.

More here on Primal Parent – an excellent site

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  • Caroline Cooper: Hi Rob, Nice to see you're writing again. I have been thi...
  • Patrick Meadows: People, can and have lived solely on meat. Eskimos go months...
  • ike: Maybe you veggies need to eat meat so your brains can develo...
  • robpatrob: Of course - but we are talking much more recently here about...
  • Rob: "I come from Northern European stock. My genes are the most ...
  • Gemma: Don't forget regular exercise! Prevention is better than cur...
  • Daniel: Nothing can live on just meat. Carnivores such as cats and s...
  • robert: Your retarded, so why is it most vegans need pills as vitami...
  • Dario McNut: It is true that erectile dysfunction can be associated with ...
  • robpatrob: Google Richard Wrangham - His book is on Amazon - much more ...
  • A Question: Thanks for this video! Half of the urban women who had a raw...
  • robpatrob: Great questions - thanks. Just as 300 years ago a few misfi...
  • Garfield: I really like the parallels too...I live like this also. Twe...
  • nj: Rob, check out the chart here for a broader perspective on a...
  • robpatrob: Not what was said...

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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