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 …

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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.
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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.
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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

The Big Picture – don’t Eat Industrial Food

 

From Hunter Gatherer

We have been shaped by Evolution to fit an environment – the more we shape our diet, our view of where we fit socially and our fit with nature and our nature – the healthier we will be – by Design!

A key point though is that theses environmental forces take a long time. We cannot adapt well to total novelty as we find in modern food.

ADHD – Look at Diet!

April 18, 2011 Diet/Insulin 2 Comments

Over 5 million children ages four to 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States, and close to 3 million of those children take medication for their symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But a new study reported in The Lancet last month found that with a restricted diet alone, many children experienced a significant reduction in symptoms. The study’s lead author, Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Center in the Netherlands, said in an interviewwith NPR, “The teachers thought it was so strange that the diet would change the behavior of the child as thoroughly as they saw it. It was a miracle, the teachers said.”

Dr. Pessler’s study is the first to conclusively say that diet is implicated in ADHD. In the NPR interview, Dr. Pessler did not mince words, “Food is the main cause of ADHD,” she said adding, “After the diet, they were just normal children with normal behavior. They were no longer more easily distracted, they were no more forgetful, there were no more temper-tantrums.” The study found that in 64 percent of children with ADHD, the symptoms were caused by food. “It’s a hypersensitivity reaction to food,” Pessler said.

This is good news for parents and children who would like to avoid many of the adverse side effects associated with common stimulant drugs, like Ritalin, used to treat ADHD — and bad news for the pharmaceutical industry. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that common side effects from the drugs are sleeplessness (for which a doctor might also prescribe sleeping pills), headaches, stomachaches, decreased appetite, and a long list of much more frightening (yet rarer) side effects, including feeling helpless, hopeless, or worthless, and new or worsening depression. But Pessler’s study indicates that up to two-thirds — or 2 of the 3 million children currently medicated for ADHD — may not need medication at all. “With all children, we should start with diet research,” Pessler said.

Walking is the best exercise

Walking and Cardiovascular Health

A study reported in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports (2008; 18: 736-741)investigated the independent effect of walking on two markers of cardiovascular health. The researchers are M. Hamer and A. Steptoe, both from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK.

It has been suggested that walking may have unique positive effects on inflammation and hemostasis, both markers of cardiovascular health. Inflammation is a central factor in atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries; see http://www.cbass.com/Inflammation.htm . Hemostasis refers to blood thickness (flow/sluggishness) and is also an important factor in atherosclerosis. With both markers, less is better.

The aim of the Hamer-Steptoe study was to examine the impact of walking on inflammation and hemostasis, separate and apart from vigorous physical activity.

The researchers recruited 185 healthy volunteers, 107 men and 78 women, age 45 to 59. The participants were asked how many minutes they walk each week and how often they engage in vigorous activities, such as running, that makes them feel out of breath.  The researchers also took blood samples and analyzed them for markers of inflammation and hemostasis.

Walking 30 minutes or more a day was found to be significantly associated with lower inflammation and hemostatic markers. Vigorous activity was associated with lower levels of hemostatic markers, but not lower inflammatory markers.

Walking appeared to lowered both markers, with the positive effect on inflammation being unique. Walking lowered inflammation, but vigorous exercise did not. Both walking and vigorous exercise improve blood flow.

Assuming that the association is causal, the researcher estimated that “meaningful reductions in levels of hemostatic and inflammatory markers could be achieved by walking 30 min/day.”

They concluded that “regular walking is associated with lower levels of hemostatic and inflammatory markers, independent of vigorous physical activity.” In other words, walking does the job with or without vigorous exercise. We know, of course, that intervals and other forms of vigorous exercise have many other benefits; see Short, Hard Intervals Improve Insulin Action.

(Vigorous exercise increases inflammation, at least temporarily. As explained in my book Challenge Yourself, inflammation is part of the normal healing process. Walking, it would seem, helps to moderate the inflammation caused by vigorous exercise. The two forms of exercise apparently complement one another. They might even be termed a dynamic duo.)

Bottom line: Those who engage in vigorous exercise–especially those who train only once a week–would be well advised to walk or engage in some other form of moderate physical activities on most intervening days. I’m going to keep walking or staying active in other ways between workouts. I’m also going to make it a point to get up and move around periodically when working at my desk or the computer.

No wonder having a dog helps us – not only emotionally but all the walking!

So much of the conventional wisdom is now looking wrong.

Activity is the key not exercise as we know it. All the food advice is wrong too. Fat does not make you fat – Grains do.

I was in Toronto last week and broke my diet. I had 2 Pizzas – I just could not resist. I also had a beef pie at a dinner – I don’t want to be the guest who fusses.

The result – I felt like I was going to die and I put back 6 pounds in 5 days!

Back on track now – lost 2 pounds in 2 days – it’s the grains folks. If you have not been off them – you don’t know the difference and canot feel the change.

But of course all the money is in selling you grains

Sitting a lot is very very bad for us

 

Scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed the lifestyles of more than 17,000 men and women over about 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.

That’s right—I said 54 percent!

Masters immediately called the lead researcher at Pennington, a professor named Peter Katzmarzyk. Turns out, this wasn’t the first study to link sitting and heart disease. Similar research actually dates back to 1953, when British researchers found that (sitting) bus drivers were twice as likely to die of heart attacks as (standing) trolley operators.

Here’s the most surprising part: “We see it in people who smoke and people who don’t,” Katzmarzyk told Masters. “We see it in people who are regular exercisers and those who aren’t. Sitting is an independent risk factor.”

In other words, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise or how well you eat. If you sit most of the day, your risk of leaving this world clutching your chest—whether you’re a man or women—as much as doubles.

This raised a rather obvious question: Why? Truth is, the researchers aren’t sure. But Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., one of Katzmarkzyk’s colleagues, suspects it has to do with an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which breaks down fat in the bloodstream and turns it into energy. Hamilton found that standing rats have ten times more of the stuff coursing through their bodies than laying rats. It doesn’t matter how fit the rats are; when they leave their feet, their LPL levels plummet. Hamilton believes the same happens in humans.

Run all you want but if you sit for the rest of the day….. Here is what can happen to you

Please read the rest of this article – it may save your life!

I am off to set up my standing desk. “Australian researchers found that workers who log more than 6 hours of seat time a day are up to 68 percent more likely to be overweight. A standup desk may be the answer. Make sure the screen is at arm’s length, and the top at eye level. Position the keyboard so your elbows are bent 90 degrees.”

Yes more exercise is good but this is more important.

But we have always sat you say. Think about this for a minute. 500 years ago only Kings sat in a chair. Even today billions still squat or sit on a bench. stool or log. Comfy chairs are a 20th century item.

 

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.

 
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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 assumption is incorrect.

Normal means “Inevitable” or “Destiny”. For these diseases to be that kind of Normal, they would have to be part of our evolved biology. If they are not that, then they can be prevented. For if they are not part of our evolutionary design, then they can only be a product of how we live. We can do something about how we live. Let me show you what I mean.

It was “Normal” to die of cholera in London in 1850 or of Yellow Fever in Panama in 1900. It was “Normal” for many women to die of infection after giving birth in hospital until 1900. Your family would not think it was Normal for you to catch Cholera in London today. If your wife died of infection after giving birth, you would sue! To die of an infection in not Normal now. But we do think it is Normal to suffer and die from heart disease, cancer, strokes and dementia.

So the question of our time is can we repeat the same kind of breakthrough in science that we did in the 1880’s?

This is what this site is all about.  I am inviting you to become part of the great revolution in health. Where you will be able to take control of your own health. Where you can chose to have a long and vital old age.

Please come with me and find out why I am this excited.

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Cooking Made Us Human

Many people imagine early man eating raw food. Have you tried eating raw steak? It’s hard. Have you tried eating raw tubers? Professor Richard Wrangham makes a strong evolutionary case for Cooking as a key shaping factor in our evolution.

Stress – You are not a Zebra but a Primate

January 26, 2011 Stress/Cortisol, Videos 4 Comments

Worry about our social place in the world, what has happened to us in the past and what might happen in the future is a major factor in our health. Understanding this factor is going to be a major element in your health.
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You are designed to stay fit


Georgina easter

This is Georgina Easter – she is 100 years old and here she is at her fitness class. She is unusual! But actually she is more “normal” than I had thought. We are designed to be like her and not like my mum.
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How did we get here – A Food Crisis

Why did we stop hunting and gathering and what has our choice of a new food system mean to us – James Burke sums it all up in this brilliant segment from his series Connections.

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  • robpatrob: Many things that are bad for are are not illegal and are eve...
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  • Thibault: Very interesting blog, especially the link between disabilit...
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  • 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.

Featured Posts

Are humans carnivores?

For decades we have been told that grains and oils from seeds are the healthiest food we can eat. This has proved to be wrong. For decades we have been told to drink fruit juice as a healthy alternative. Now we know that it is as bad for us as …

Dr Jason Fung – On the Science of how we use food and so why fasting works

This is the clearest explanation I have yet found

Terminal Illness – Should we fight to the bitter end? If not what to do?

100 years ago, most deaths were quick. A person was well and then sick and then dead. Medicine could do very little. But today, most of us die long protracted deaths. Treatment is piled upon treatment. The dying person and their families endure increasing pain and humiliation and disappointment. Often …

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