Like education for our children, we abdicate too many decisions affecting our health to the professionals. On the surface, this makes sense. The specialized knowledge, training, and tools are the realm of the expert. Western medicine has its place. With acute or mechanical medical conditions, Western medicine should be the default. I don’t want a Thai massage therapist treating my mother for a stroke. The surgeon who put my knee back together after I tore my quadriceps tendon, was great – the first doctor who diagnosed it as a tear of my patellar tendon, not so much. I do know that my Reiki wasn’t going to get ‘er done.
An article in The Atlantic Monthly titled, Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science profiled Dr. John Ioannidis – He and his team have shown in many different forums that “much of what biomedical researchers conclude in published studies … is misleading, exaggerated, and often flat-out wrong.” He charges that “as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed.”
ProPublica has documented the “play for pay” that thousands of doctors engage in as they take money from Big Pharma as they push unneeded pills on their patients.
What Everybody Knows
I have many flaws but one of them is not a lack of epistemocratic humility. I have been aware of the limits of my knowledge for as long as I can remember and that has made me a seeker. My intuition and common sense dictate much of how I live my life. These things have informed my recent decisions about my diet and my family’s diet. As I mentioned in earlier posts, we are now eating Paleo. We do this in an effort to improve our health, fitness, body composition, and quality of life. We hope, but have no proof, that this will also improve our longevity.
Yesterday, during leadership training I was conducting for the Baltimore Police Department, we “somehow” digressed and had a brief discussion on nutrition. In my work with football players and police officers, I take some chances and bring up seemingly taboo topics like “love.” I had an easier time talking with these officers about the mythic quality of love as it applies to warriors for peace than I did when I tried to convince them to give up their bagels and “healthy” cereal.
They wanted to talk about the lack of significant human incisors for chewing meat and I talked about something more dangerous than incisors and claws – the human mind that developed with a diet dominated by animal protein that allowed it to create things like wheels, fire, and sharp pointy sticks. At least I did not have to worry about pointing out the health fallacies contained in most vegan arguments. Law enforcement vegans would definitely have been a shock!
In summation, let me share with you what I shared with them (courtesy of people like Robb Wolf).
- Eliminate gluten(wheat), rice and grain products from your diet
- Have plenty of spices in your pantry
- Limit or eliminate dairy (with the exception of a little aged cheese and goat’s milk)
- Eat animal protein, vegetables, and fruit (limit the fruit if weight loss is your goal)
- Eat good fats in the form of olive oil, avocado oil, almonds, macadamia nuts, etc.
- Limit cortisol by meditating, praying, sleeping in a completely dark room, and learning proper breathing techniques
- Limit “chronic cardio” and engage in brief, intermittent, and intense exercise that includes resistance
- Walk 30-45 minutes every day
Please share your goals and questions!