Back yesteryear when a Doctor could not find the cause of an ailment, they were sometimes likely to come up with “It’s all in your mind”. Well, maybe they were closer to the truth than we really want to know.
For decades, medical scientists, doctors, pharmacists and other professionals have struggled to understand disease. Whilst trauma medicine has gone ahead in leaps and bounds, still disease seems to be staying one step ahead of the “cure brigade”.
What is coming to light now is a new paradigm. On some levels it is not new because many have believed this new paradigm for years, even decades. But for some, it is revealing itself as a stunning new reality.
Whilst the current paradigm sees the body as an inter-related set of systems, all functioning independently and together to create a marvelous human machine capable of all manner of things, but prone to malfunction and disease, the new paradigm sees the human form as something quite perfect.
In the new paradigm, there are basically 3 levels of existence.
The primary level is the Genome. This is the part of us that comprises all of our genetic material that makes up what we identify as muscles, bones, blood, organs, skin, etc. If you look at a person, you will see the conglomeration of about 100 trillion cells. The Genome comprises about 10 trillion of these cells.
In November 2015, I attended the Global Wellness Summit and on the last day, Deepak Chopra M.D. delivered a fascinating and powerful presentation on this topic. He posed the question. “Is the human body a noun or is it a verb?” Wow, what a question. He proposed in his answer that it is a verb because it is dynamic and ever changing, completely replacing itself in less than a year in a constant and ongoing cycle.
The next level is the Microbiome which is basically all bacteria. The Microbiome makes up the other 90 trillion cells. Until recently, the Microbiome rarely rated a mention. It was seen as a necessary thing because the bacteria break down food in the gut. But it is so much more than that.
The work being done by amazing scientists like Rudolph E. Tanzi Ph.D. has changed the way we are looking at human life.
The Microbiome is in constant and detailed communication with the Genome. In fact, every cell in the Genome is in some way connected to every cell in the Microbiome.
The Microbiome, in a way, create a cocoon that shrouds the Genome in order to create a balanced and harmonious environment in which the Genome can live, function and thrive. The bacteria that makes up the Microbiome is predominantly aerobic (beneficial) and covers all of the external surfaces of the body, especially the gastrointestinal tract.
Most people do not realise that the gastrointestinal tract, GI tract, is part of the external surface of the body.
When the Microbiome is thriving and healthy, the Genome will thrive. When the Microbiome is degraded and falters, the Genome is prone to mutation. It has been shown that mutations can be corrected simply by restoring the balance in the Microbiome. It can be that simple.
In the past, we used antibiotics indiscriminately and did terrible damage to the integrity of our Microbiome. A short term fix had devastating long term results. I am even questioning the efficacy of antibacterial hand gels and similar products.
In recent years, we have discovered the incredible benefits of fermented foods and beverages and are seeing how they help restore and maintain a healthy Microbiome.
Then there is the third “level”, the Epigenome. The Epigenome describes the non-physical aspect of us that seems to permeate our entire being and extends out into the space around us. Some call it a bioenergetic field. Dr Chopra was sharing in his lecture that it can be detected and measured out to about 3 metres from the surface of the body.
In some cultures, this is called a person’s aura. Others refer to it as a sensory envelope and others a field of awareness. Whatever it may be labelled, it is an aspect of human life that has been recognised for centuries.
Coming back to this new paradigm the work of Dr Tanzi and his colleagues has demonstrated that it is through this Epigenome that we experience life. If we experience life as negative, stressful, frightening and difficult, the resultant impact on the Microbiome can be quite devastating.
If, however we experience life with appreciation, compassion, curiosity, joy and goodwill, the impact on the Microbiome is harmonising and restorative.
Recent work by Bruce Lipton and Dr Bernie Siegal and others has shown that a person who is supported to find their life purpose can experience a remarkable turn-around in disease causing gene mutation and actually cure themselves of disease.
So it seems that under this new paradigm, the responsibility lands squarely in our own laps. How we experience life determines our well-being. We can no longer claim that we are stressed because of this or that factor. We are stressed because we are not taking responsibility for our responses to certain stimuli.
For example: You can get really angry because some guy cut you off in the traffic, and work yourself into such a frenzy that by the time you get home you cannot even be civil to your family. Or you could look at the guy who cut you off and hope that everything is ok for him. Who knows, one of his children might have just had a terrible accident and is being rushed to some hospital.
Learning how to become a master of your own universe, to be in complete control of all of your own responses, and to begin to flow good stuff out to others, is the gold key of life. By learning how to tame your own mind and live more from the joy of your own heart, you can not only minimise your risk of disease and degeneration, you can also improve life for others around you.
Now, trying to learn to control your mind with your mind is like putting Count Dracula in charge of the Blood Bank. If you would really like to learn more about how to successfully achieve true harmony and balance, drop me a line and I will send you some resources.
So, if you are not feeling genuinely happy, deeply compassionate, joyful, naturally kind and upbeat, then you have some work to do. How cool to realize it can all be much, much better without anything needing to change around you?
Going right back to where I started this article, as you can perhaps now see, it could very well be your mind that is making you sick.
So, are you up for a bit of a stretch into the unknown, to create the life and the well-being you really want? You could start with some meditation or mindfulness practice, or you could go all the way. Of course, like starting to exercise or to eat better, it is all up to you and whether or not you are prepared to take the next step.
You have probably seen the commercials on TV for products like Yakult and Inner Health Plus. Each promotes the benefits of healthy bacteria in the gut. So what does this all mean and how does it relate to fatigue.
Over the last few years, some extraordinary research has been done on this topic and it has revealed long sought answers to many baffling human ailments.
So what are gut flora. Predominantly, they are bacteria. Most of these bacteria are aerobic and beneficial to your health. They serve many functions. There is now an incredible and clear link between the health of the gut and mood. Studies done on people who ruminated obsessively over repetitive thoughts showed a relief of their condition when fed a continued diet high in healthy micro flora.
One of the challenges, particularly in modern society, is that the consumption of processed foods, food additive chemicals and antibiotics all cause significant depletion of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Many people have very low gut flora profiles and experience many associated health challenges.
A major function of gut flora is to support healthy gene expression. When the gut flora profile is below par, gene expression can be hindered. This can affect your energy level when the genes responsible for vitamin functions in your body do not function as designed. The result is that the vitamins you consume in your food don’t get used in the way they should and you experience a side effect. I may be a minor side effect or it may be significant.
This explains why some people, even though they feel they are eating ok, either experience very low energy or ongoing hunger cravings.
One of the best things any of us can do is to continually support the development and maintenance of our gut micro flora. This can be done by making your own fermented vegetables at home, or brewing your own Kombucha Tea or Water Kefir. All of these are easy to create and the benefits can be quite gob smacking.
To learn how, click on the following links:
You will notice a big difference in how you feel. Please get in touch if you need a hand.
Perhaps you are not aware of the studies conducted by Dr Francis Pottenger back in the 1930’s. Taking over his father’s Tuberculosis Research facility, Pottenger was distracted from his usual research by an unlikely discovery. This discovery lead him into a 10 year research program that revealed startling results.
Pottenger was conducting studies on cats, researching his father’s theory that Tuberculosis was caused by adrenal deficiencies. As part of the research it was important that the cats, as test subjects, consumed a consistent and balanced diet, according to relevant theories at the time regarding feline nutrition.
The cats were fed a diet of cooked meat scraps, organ meats, bone, raw mild and cod liver oil.
At a point where the cat population in his holding pen began to outgrow the food supply, additional food was brought in from a new source. These cats were fed raw meats instead of cooked meats. Over time, Pottenger noticed a marked difference in many health markers in these cats. This intrigued him so he decided to develop a completely separate study.
He separated the cats into groups and fed them differing diets from fresh raw meat and milk in one group, right through to a diet of cooked meat and sweetened condensed milk at the other end of the spectrum.
What prevailed was stunning. The cats consuming the raw diet, remained strong, were energetic and active, were interested in things and explored, gave birth to healthy off spring and showed general signs of strength and robust health.
The other cats in the study began to deteriorate. They were weaker, smaller and less active and energetic. Some even failed to land well on their feet when thrown a short distance. As the cats bred, the new generations began showing significant signs of weakness and deformity. Reproductive habits reduced, still births became common, changes in bone structure abounded, tooth and gum disease were almost normal and the cats were often anxious and reactive.
Pottenger’s study revealed was that as the species moved away from a natural diet toward a more processed diet, the health of the animal deteriorated and that deterioration was passed down to following generations.
I got interested in this yesterday as I was talking to an AFL Senior Coach. He is an interesting guy who likes to explore all facets of the preparation of his athletes. He said to me that he felt this generation of young footballers was not as robust as those in the past. He said that whilst they arrive at his club with talent, there is so much they lack and the work that goes into turning them into footballers is costly and time consuming.
He lamented that when he first started in the system, young blokes would arrive, already strong and tough, with incredible natural agility. They could kick with either leg, stood up easily to the intense physical contact of the game, and pretty much arrived at the club ready to go for it and play at the top level. And he said that it was a great deal more physical back then, in fact it was violent. And I agree with him.
He said he felt that it was because kids are so wrapped in cotton wool these days and don’t get outside and “ go for it” after school and on weekends. He said they sit at home because parents feel it is too dangerous to go outside without supervision. Schools have reduced physical education in place of maths and science and in general, the kids grow up without the battle hardening of an adventurous childhood and youth.
I am inclined to agree with him and his viewpoints warrant some investigation. But then I also remembered Pottenger and thought to myself that maybe we are already seeing the genetic developmental drop off resulting from a highly processed diet.
When I was a kid in the 60’s, we got to drink soft drink about once every fortnight, and it was one glass. Kids now, and for several decades, have been consuming it daily, in large quantities. As kids we lived on a farm and drank raw milk. For decades now kids have been drinking pasteurised milk, often with added flavours and sweeteners.
So much food is processed and now so much of the meat that people eat is far from the natural grass fed, free range flesh eaten years ago.
But I suppose we can never really know for sure. It will all just be observation. Cats have a shorter life cycle and over 10 years we can observe and simply assess many generations. With humans, it is a little more challenging.
The closest we can come to a real life human observation is the work done by Weston A. Price who observed the health decline of indigenous populations when they moved away from their traditional diets and lifestyles and began following a modern western way of living. His studies revealed significant and wholesale degradation of health and general wellbeing.
So perhaps our kids are not as robust as prior generations? But what do we do about it now?
I guess the belief that we are an aging population living longer than ever before takes our attention off such things. But, I am afraid that is not a fact, just a sales pitch designed to sell a whole lot of political and commercial agendas.
Perhaps the best way to describe Australians today is “Too rich, too comfortable, too fat, too lazy, over fed and under nourished and living in still trying to convince ourselves we are as tough as the Anzacs”.
And only one part of this causes me irritation. There are passionate, interested, courageous and dedicated parents out there striving to change things for their kids and the get attacked for their efforts. Maybe f we took time to get interested in what they are saying, many more could become inspired, could learn and could lend a hand in changing the status quo.
After all, who is going to fund the healthcare in the future?
Watch the Pottenger Cats Video….
Nothing has Changed Except the Camouflage
I have to admit I have been studying Nutrition with great interest for well over 30 years. Having a background in Exercise Physiology and having worked in the Fitness Industry since the boom began, nutrition has been a hot topic. What is it that gives you the edge?
When it comes to human performance, there are so many variables that it is easy to promote a belief without much proof. There have been many great debates about the role of Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fatty Acids, a plethora of micro nutrients and along with all of that, thousands of new and exciting supplements that promised miracles beyond belief.
I’ve seen it all; well, most of it anyway.
And all around me, as time passed by, I have watched the health of this proud nation crumble into a sea of blubber. Obesity, disease and lethargy have overtaken the once proud home of the Bronzed Anzacs.
All the while, I wrote articles, gave lectures, recorded seminars, wrote and developed courses, striving to turn the tide, battling to find the inspirational message that would change the thinking of at least a few. But the harder I worked, the more I was drowned out by the advertising and brilliant marketing of the burgeoning food and drug industries.
Along the way I ran head first into new theories. Often I could not tell if it was something genuinely new, or a clever new campaign of a food industry hidden agenda.
So many of the theories have never made physiological or biochemical sense to me. Often they did not make sense in relation to how human consciousness tends to operate.
Of particular interest in this area is the theories around Palaeolithic dietary habits. The theories abound about how humans in the Palaeolithic periods ate. Some say that it is the most natural of all dietary regimes. In the same writings, some researchers claim that Paleo man had a much shorter life expectancy than modern man.
In recent years, the “Paleo Diet” has really gained a footing. People who follow it tend to lose weight. That is a good thing. But I wonder about its authenticity.
But here is where some of my bias and reservations pop in. First, I am a pure vegetarian. I don’t believe I need meat or any other animal based foods to live. I have been that way for 30 plus years. Second, I was not there (not that I can remember) to witness Paleo man, so I don’t really know. And of course, I am guessing nobody else does either. And sometimes, I feel things like Paleo can be rolled out to justify the consumption of large amounts of meat.
The commonly held belief is that Paleo nutrition consisted largely of meats, fish, vegetables and fruits. The Paleo prescription says that consumption of grains and legumes started following the inception of agriculture and that they human digestive system has not evolved to deal with them. The prescription also warns against processed and refined foods. But then again, I don’t need to be a Paleo advocate to see the sense in this final recommendation.
But if you really go and search, there is not a whole lot of evidence from the Paleolithic era, in large part because hunter-gatherers move around so much. But the archaeological record that exists has been studied very, very closely and with increasingly sophisticated methods. Daphne Derven, an archaeologist and educator who has studied Palaeolithic man for many years states, “Now we can look at teeth, bones, even seeds in the same context as tools,” she explained. “For instance, it turns out that the East African hominid species nicknamed ‘Nutcracker Man’ developed a powerful jaw and enormous molars not for cracking nuts, as was previously thought, but for chewing grasses, like a grazing animal. That was the main part of his diet.”
Human’s eating grass. Who would have thought? Perhaps if the muscle gyms knew that part, the wheat grass shots would be flying out the door.
Two things really capture my attention about all the Paleo hype. First, the research that I do find interesting reveals that Paleo Poo that has been discovered and analysed, shows an enormous amount of fibre in the Paleo diet. In fact, the average defecation was up to one kilogram in weight, way more than the average today. This indicated a largely plant based diet.
Second, I don’t know about you, but if I had the choice of chasing very fast and evasive animals for food all day with a sharp stick, or simply finding some tasty treats on a tree somewhere, I reckon my lazy side would take over and I’d go the tree every time. Catching animals without modern weaponry….hard work.
In recent years we are learning an enormous amount about pre-biotics and the role of highly fibrous foods. High fibre eating is more about creating thriving gut flora than anything else and so a diet high in rich fibre, like that from grasses, legumes and grains, seems to be of major benefit.
See this is where a study of human consciousness comes in. As all the women out there know, men can be pretty lazy and not big on self-starting. Getting out to go hunt with rudimentary weapons would go against the grain of this laziness.
Second, from the research it appears that insects were a big part of the Paleo diet. Nobody seems to want to talk about that. Eating insects doesn’t really seem to fit through many people’s window.
Further, people want to find a reason why they can indulge in their desires. We see all the time people promoting the benefits of chocolate, which gives them the reason they need to eat plenty without guit. How often have you heard someone say they smoke because it helps to keep their weight down and that it’s better than being overweight?
The same exists for meat eaters. The evidence that meat consumption promotes disease is overwhelming. So those who really love to eat it will likely jump at any reason they can find to eat more of it and feel justified. The Paleo diet does just that. The evidence is there right. Let’s order a steak!
If we are really honest with ourselves, we do love to justify things. I had a friend who was dead against all forms of anabolic steroids. When he was in his 40’s a few things started to slow down. He found a doctor who blamed it on low testosterone, so guess what? He started on testosterone therapy without question, but with incredible justification.
So I have to say that reaching back to Palaolithic man for evidence that eating lots of meat is good, is like reaching back to Noah’s Ark to explain the disappearance of certain species of animal. Nobody knows.
So, I have been contemplating this a lot. Then, as I ran the other morning I had an epiphany. I started to laugh. Here is how it goes.
Back in Palaeolithic times, or even in the bushlands and jungles of Africa and South America where some tribes still live off the offerings of mother earth, everything they need is right there. Animal life, herbs, fruits and vegetables. But all of it has to be sought out and found, then captured or harvested. There are many things that might look like food, but are not.
Even the fruits on the trees are often camouflaged and cannot be seen till one is up close. There are poisonous fruits and herbs that must be avoided. At some intuitive level, animals and humans living in these environments know which is which. But still sometimes they may make mistakes.
In these environments, humans will not likely eat an animal that they find already dead as they are unsure if it is safe to eat. Some religious laws grew out of the directive to people to not eat anything that they did not see bleed and die with their own eye.
In these environments, the humans had to keep going, keep searching, keep persisting, until they found the nutritious food they needed. If they did not, they grew weak and slowly perished.
In modern life it is the same. There is plenty of really good food available. Food that is natural, highly nutritious, and rich in flavour and goodness. But, you have to find it. And it is camouflaged among a variety of offerings that at some level offer no nutrition or are perhaps even poisonous or harmful. To find the good stuff, you have to persist and put in the work, and not get way laid by the easy options.
We are still hunter gatherers, but the terrain and the camouflage have changed. Those who do not go the extra distance and seek out the food they really need, will slowly perish.
My mind relaxed. I now realise that it does not matter what false or synthetic foods are offered. Those who wish to be responsible will keep seeking till they find what they need and will not get caught out eating things that will not allow them to thrive.
But, the amazing thing about market forces is that the more people who seek out the good stuff and find it, the more others will follow the well beaten path and find it too. The tide is turning. It must.
Survival of the fittest is still running, perhaps more than ever.
As for Paleo Man, I wonder if he would eat the animal flesh he finds lying dead on a tray in a supermarket meat department? I have a sense he might take a semi interested sniff and head for the bananas.