Diets… The greatest waste of time and energy on the planet?
A diet is choosing to eat something and abstain from something else. It is conceived in the intellectual brain and is doomed to fail for so, so many reasons that, when understood, makes it difficult to comprehend why people do it at all and not why it’s a multi billion dollar industry sucking people in and spitting them out often less healthy and without any long term change in their outcome measures. Why does your body crave things? What exactly does food do – no, not a linear, causal, overly simplistic answer… but really what does it do? Given the amount of information out there – often with a monetizable ebook blaring in your face – and the lack of genuine change in the sector (all Neolithic disease processes are on the rise – including obesity), how can you ever know what is right and what is wrong? For who? When? A lot of questions. I bet you can’t answer any of them with a black and white answer. Maybe we’re asking the wrong questions. Don’t worry, we will provide our thoughts on the matter for you to take or leave later – we are not in the business of identifying problems without offering some form of solution without pressuring the matter.
Here are some concepts for you to mull over. Hopefully, out of the stubs that we offer here you will find something that resonates with you, your situation, your needs and something that is relevant for this point in time. No promises – It’s a complex discussion with many moving parts (food, quality of food, season, your specific genome, psychological involvement, biochemistry and physiology and many more) each of which can and do change every moment. Maybe trying to control this beast is where the problem lies? Following a diet implies that whoever set the diet is able to understand all of those things.
1. Food is information.
Where it comes from, what soil, moisture levels, temperature, season, light exposure, stresses, human index (pesticides, GMO vs home grown etc), how and when it is consumed (in light or dark) all impact on the information transfer – and that’s not even taking into account all of your variables (sympathetic vs parasympathetic state), emotional element (happy or strained relationship with food and yourself etc)!! It conveys information and your body reacts accordingly. If you eat something that was stressed while it was growing it will have a different effect than if it was hydroponically grown with fertilisers.. And you thought an apple was an apple?! It’s how adaptagens and medicinal herbs work – it’s why GMO and frozen “fresh food” wreaks havoc. The scientist who tried to break food down to manageable chunks – like nutrient content or worse, glycemic index, should be applauded for their efforts in trying to understand something and contributing to the field but fundamentally mistook, gravely, the beauty and complexity of the situation. Don’t do the same. I’m fully aware that a “big mac” has a protein content… that means jack shit – obviously! You’re across that one – but do you buy your food from big retailers? Maybe it’s less obvious with groceries or animal protein. Maybe you’re turning a blind eye to something for convenience or finances – there’s no judgment here – but you must be aware of what you’re doing. Food is information and must be treated as such. It opens the possibilities for hormesis and the yin/yang discussions – an analogy: do you want to be exposing yourself all the time to overly positive self talk, even if that goes against the reality of a situation? Maybe you DON’T want the best sourced food (in relation to the cost/convenience reality) all the time, and you need to compensate in some other way (rest, light, breathing etc) if you do want it but it’s not available!! Just saying.. Some of the most fragile people we know eat “well” all the time… Some people who eat intuitively but against your “knowledge” live to 90+. It’s information – use that information wisely.
People often overly control their diet/nutritional regimen/habits. Our biology enjoys variety. There was in-built variety in seasons when we ate seasonally and when according to
a) When food was available
b) When we were hungry.
I hear your voice saying “what about leptin and grehlin and sweet poison and sugar addictions” etc – they wouldn’t have been a problem if these basic principles had been met (including other things like cutting emf exposure, cutting blue light exposure, appropriate exposure to sunshine, kinaesthetic control, respiratory mechanics and importantly a lesser “monkey mind” because people actually had stimuli once upon a time (eg O2 debt, lactic acid, proprioception, earthing, etc!)) – but we will deal with them in the “too far gone?” part…
It also meant people fasted. By choice in religions and not by choice in trying times. Fasting is volatile when the opposite of it is saturation. If you’re not experiencing both at times your system will adapt for a short while, habituate, stagnate and finally deteriorate – no doubt to shouts of despair and confusion about the diabetic circumstances you suddenly found yourself in when you’ve eaten corn lakes for breakfast for years without any problems!!? Hmm.
Expose yourself to volatility in nutrition. For example, eat at different times, eat different things. Some days I personally graze on veggies/seeds etc (full saturation and no ketosis), the next day I might eat 3 meals of high fat high protein, the day after 18/6 fasting with considerable amounts of biodynamic animal protein for dinner after an aerobic workout, the following day perhaps high electron rich foods, the day after a full fast… etc… in other words – using food as information to my body. Fasting when sick or injured, loading for days before an anaerobic race… basically whatever feels right, works in with the day, works in with life to get it done and move on. With that amount of volatile information, autophagy inbuilt, AMPK stimulation my mitochondria is happy (measured by a resting breath hold) and my body composition does what it needs to do. I intend to eat heaps, and be stoked doing it, in Europe when I go there this year.
3. Intellect vs organism
Food is but a fraction of the equation – we speak at length about this. I find it odd that a disproportionate amount of energy and time and money is invested in this sector. Your body is obviously able to make incredible compensations for a very long time before it shits itself. Why impose a relatively limited, often guided by industry sponsored information, regime on something so wonderful. It’s your head that feels guilty. Not your cells. If you’re in a situation where dieting was appealing to you then you need to read the next section especially. Basically, if your body wants to do one thing for whatever reason (beyond the scope of this article), your will power will only last so long – and it will be a tussle all the way until you crack leaving you miserable in the process and guilty afterwards. The only reason your body/health was there in the first place was because of a multifaceted breakdown in communication (biorhythms, ANS, master hormones – endocrine function, GIT, cells and neocortex) which will only be resolved by getting them (or the offending one or two) back up to speed. If eating naturally and normally (with volatility) doesn’t provide very rapid return on the investment I believe you may be focusing on the wrong area. Your dietician probably won’t agree with me. That’s often when you know you’re on the right track – when the people who purport to know about this (as mentioned – given the trend in the western world on such matters) - who obviously do not, disagree with your decisions.
4. Too far gone?
Feel like you’re in Sisyphean tussle? You’re not alone. I apologise for the acerbic tone up to this point – we actually really want to help people just like you and spend our lives doing so. Here’s what we suggest. If you’d like to do this under the supervision of an integrative and functional physician then do so.
Re-calibrate your biorhythms. There’s a free pdf coming on the website to save me from writing it again here. Basically there are some amazingly simple things that you can do – for free – that will reset your biological beat to start to get the aforementioned domains (glucose/ketones, O2/CO2, hot/cold, light/dark, emf/earthing) back into communication. The body will ultimately, and gladly, return from a defensive position and will either no longer feel compelled to store energy for the impending (perceived) drought, but will also have the wherewithal to allocate energy appropriately, it will start detoxing naturally and will allow it’s mitochondria to recharge and do it’s job. Now you can return to living.
Then, get moving. Complex movements that involve your full immersion in them. Breathing is essential here and fortunately a lot of disciplines involve breath (yoga, climbing, swimming, martial arts, pilates, etc).
Then get your Gastro-Intestinal Tract back on the field.
Then craft your life to be happy, employed with purpose. Surround yourself with go get ‘em type people and get amongst things that challenge you so your mind doesn’t run rings around you.
5. Industry profits
Remember that people are trying to make money off you. Be wise with what you eat and where you get your information from. Is the state of general health a massive lack of aptitude- or maybe a conspiracy? I don’t have an opinion on this but struggle – apart from following the money all the way to big agri and big pharma – to understand how simple, free, effective means of changing one’s life and health are not only overlooked by your health care provider but are often actively shunned and some rubbish shield is put up in it’s way.
Hope this helps and doesn’t confuse the matter further.
Yours in health,
The Red Hippo.