Health

Modern resilience requires good health

We live in a world of competing interests all pushing their own agendas that creates a smokescreen of misinformation that  makes it very difficult for the average person to really understand what they should eat.

I have been working through this maze and over the last 10 years have tried a number of different approaches to diet and believe I have reached a conclusion about the best approach for me. It is an approach that takes the view on what our bodies are designed to do and then approximates that. There are a number of areas where we live what I would term as unnatural lives and I have found that generally the further away you are from the natural state the less happy your body is. To understand what the “natural” state is you must take a trip through human history.

Human History

The evolution of the Homo genus into Homo Sapiens and then modern man has spanned 2 million years.

Human beings have been

  • Around for around 200,000 years.
  • Using fire for Agriculture has been around for the last 125,000 years
  • Using tools for 2.6 million years
  • and modern society has really been around for about 100 years or 4 generations. Modern lighting has been around for only 100 years, PC’s just 20 years.  The human body is designed to support the lifestyle of a pre industrial and probably a pre agricultural age. The amount of change in the average persons diet and lifestyle even in the last 50 years is incredible. So my guiding principle on how to live a long and healthy life is the following

The least ingredients consumed at once the better

Once a  caveman killed a wilde best do you suppose he then went to go find a cranberry bush to mash into a compote and then find vegetables and then some fruit to finish things off? I would claim that he didn’t do that and for 190,000 years he didn’t do that so do you suppose the human digestive system would work better with his diet or ours where a can of sauce contains over 10 ingredients combined with another 3 items and then washed down with a soda etc etc.

Eat food in the approximate quantities found in Nature

Sugar fats and starchy grains are not a problem in themselves the problem is with the quantity of them that we can consume now due to the industrial age. For example 1 can of coke contains 4 times the sugar of 1 apple. There are some less obvious conclusions that this brings for instance grains and milk would not form a large part of a caveman’s diet but it does form a large part of ours.

Packaged food – “Adding Value” to food means more processing

The complex foods that come from the supermarket with 10 or 20 ingredients each if you then use them in a meal you could easily be eating 20-30 different items in one meal than may have gone through a huge number of processes. I think the average caveman would struggle to prepare in his cave. The more you process an ingredient (cook or manipulate it)  the more you loose the nutrient content.

Exercise

The lifestyle of the average office worker is not quite the same as that of the caveman. A lot of us sit around at work and some get RSI and then sit around at home. We are designed to be active this is why massage, yoga , weight training, running etc can have a good effect on your health.

Spirit

Cavemen lived a simple life sleep, forage, eat, sit, cave paint, look at the stars, shit and fornicate. The only times when they would be stressed would be imminent danger like a lion etc and then they were in put into a state of “stress” or otherwise known as fight or flight mode. “Fight or flight” mode gives a boost to the senses and strength and speed. After that the caveman was either killed by the lion or escaped or killed it. Assuming the caveman wasn’t eaten he would then retire to his cave and participate again in some star gazing , fornicating or whatever and then sleep.

Modern living though involves deadlines and a range of confrontations every day. What this does is put our body into a state of stress” or otherwise known as fight or flight mode. The state of stress is supposed to be temporary a state unfortunately modern living can cause this state on a semi permanent basis. Exercise such as yoga or  to a lesser extent having a bath, weight training or swimming can bring your body out of the fight or flight mode. There is much more to this it is explained really well in a book that I read that I will find someday.

I believe that it is important for most people to use testosterone in stressful activities from time. It is good for my soul. The best activities I find for this that I practice are rock climbing and mixed martial arts training and sparing. I also believe that there is an innate calming enriching effect from being with nature be it near the sea or in the country this in part explains my current passion with gardening and the outdoors in general.

What Do I do?

  • I Practice Iyengar Yoga twice a week
  • I weight train once or twice a week
  • I run once or twice a week
  • I go mountain biking (from time to time)
  • Mixed Martial Arts sparring (struggling to find the time for this)
  • I like rock climbing but its hard to get out in Melbourne
  • I have been using  MBT shoes at work for the last 3 years to improve posture and strengthen my back and I find they are very effective

My Health

I am in good health am pretty strong and healthy

My One outstanding Medical problem
Currently I am getting migraines and I keep a record of all occurrences on a blog. I have tried a number of things to fix them including massage and chiropractic assistance. I have just seen a doctor that specializes in chinese methods he is convinced my liver is under performing and that is the cause of my headaches. I should know if it works in a month or two

Bad Back – fixed
About 4 years ago I was having trouble with injuries and back troubles since then I have taken up Iyenga yoga and bought MBT shoes this has sorted out my bad back. I have a very strong back and am very supple now.

RSI – Carpal tunnel Syndrome – fixed
This was very concerning for me when my doctor told me I had to give up my day job otherwise I wouldn’t be able to lift up a cup with my right arm. After that I then followed a painful scour of the internet and ended up trying a few things one of them was Cure Carpel Tunnel Syndrome without Surgery . I followed the step by step approach and my arm was fully fixed after a few months. I also took the opportunity to learn to touch type properly (which helps to prevent the pain from building up)

Recommended Books
The Toaist book of health - Daniel Reid
The Four Hour Body - Timothy Ferris
End Your Carpal Tunnel Pain Without Surgery
Recommended Media
Food Inc Movie
Watch Supersize me free!
Dr Benkim blog
Guide to Using Medicinal Herbs