Some New (Old) Health Concepts

I will be picking up pace on producing content for this blog. Currently I am interested in some schisms in different online communities, especially the MGTOW and MRAs, and will be writing about this (as it teeters on becoming mainstream) as well as my usual interest in health, fitness and sex. As I progress as a writer I will be attempting to tackle bigger projects as more of a scientific journalist and perhaps write scripts and produce content for a youtube channel.

Right now, I mostly just follow where my interests lay and get my information second-hand, from books, blogs, and articles based on scientific literature. There are many intelligent people out there that give excellent interpretations and a holistic view of scientific studies.

In this post, I’d like to go over some gems in other blogs.

You may have heard the saying, “you are what you eat”, but what about…

1)      You are your microbiome

2)      You are how often and intensely you induce hormesis

3)      You are the casts you “wear”

Let’s check it out. Continue reading

Grass-Fed Butter in Alberta

Those following ancestral health inspired diets in Alberta may be excited to hear grass-fed butter and yogurt is coming to Calgary and will probably become more available across the country.

I originally started looking for grass-fed dairy about two years ago and found those determined to get it were ordering Kerrygold online from outside of Canada. Last summer I got my hands on some Organic Meadow pastured butter and realized this little addition to the label made a big difference to consumers.

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However, not all dairies are indicating their butter is seasonally grass-fed. For example, Gay Hahn, CEO of Avalon Dairy in British Columbia, told me in an email their butter is seasonally grass-fed, but this currently not being indicated on the label.

I picked up Rolling Meadow grass-fed butter from Community Natural Foods a couple of weeks ago. I suspect this brand will become more available as time goes by and that dairies will indicate pastured or grass-fed indicator seasonally due to increased interest.

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I am an advocate of both ancestral health diets and restorative agricultural. Labeling grass-fed or pastured dairy and meat products gives consumers the opportunity to choose to support natural ecosystems, as our grasslands thrive with grazers, or healthier-eats, as dairy and meat produced this way tends to have more CLA, omega-3s and vitamins.

I am not much of a recipe blogger, but I often do a bulletproof style coffee or tea. Lately I’ve been having matcha green tea with a couple tablespoons of grass-fed butter, a table spoon of MCT oil (can be replaced with coconut oil), stevia and teaspoon or two of matcha. Delish.

Here is a more in-depth recipe I haven’t tried…but it looks good:

Make the Perfect Cup of Matcha

EDIT: PS, freezing butter works well; it doesn’t change the taste or texture. So when you see seasonal grass-fed butter on the shelves, buy in bulk. 😉

Arguement for a Local, Whole Foods Diet

Dr. Jay Wortman is a local low-carbohydrate diet advocate. Last night I watched his documentary My Big Fat Diet. Below is Part 1. Part 2 and 3 can be found here.

These ideas are extremely convincing and when put into practice the results unlike any fad diet can produce in health and fat-loss. Logically, if our ancestors lived in similar environments or more probable, environments with even less available plant starch and sugars, we can run well if not optimally on similar diets. I can imagine woody and fibrous plant parts with resistant starch would be something to munch on when there was not a lot of wild foods available.

There are not a lot of starches and sugars to be found in the ecosystems of the north. The sugar peak would probably be in the late summer and early fall, just in time for winter, and consist of fruit and starches loaded with fibre.

The sugar of our day and age is like rocket fuel, unbridled by the same amounts of fibre, nutrients or water as the natural state of sugar. This processed sugar doesn’t run clean in our bodies and creates all sorts of inflammation. Even fruit smoothies and juice creates an unnatural dose of sugar.

However, I do not think the conclusion should be starches and sugars are bad so cut them out completely, that is, unless particular health considerations dictate otherwise. Here are some arguments in favour of starch. Continue reading

The Human Ecosystem

“They are not on the earth, but within the earth. They are part of stone, of the animals and of the wind.” – Jean Malaurie speaking of the Inuit

A crucial factor in sustaining health seems to have been lost; the maintenance of external and internal ecosystems. There is a disconnection in what is naturally a closed system, a cycle, creating linear paths that lead to nowhere.

As Hippocrates stated 2000 years ago, “all disease begins in the gut”. With ten bacteria cells to every one human cell we are more microbe than human. These bacteria communities vary depending on our environments, eating habits and hygiene behaviours. The people that live the closest to the earth do live within it- they share the bacteria of the animals they hunt or herd with the soil and with the other people in their community.

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Ponijao from the Babies movie growing up “within the earth” of Namibia.

These people are much healthier than urban dwellers and less likely to develop autoimmune conditions.

Recent studies are finding more symbiotic relationships and connections in studying microbes and fungi- but it has been part of a more primitive wisdom for thousands of years. The human food project is gathering data from American faecal samples and exploring the bacteria on and within Hadza hunters. I am excited to see what they find. Continue reading

Of Food, Land and Dreams

Accepting Cycles

Big, fluffy snowflakes fell from the sky and quickly covered the sidewalks, gravel alleyways and brown grass along the route back to my apartment. Though not wearing appropriate clothing for winter weather, I was warm from jogging and euphoria.

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My apartment in a snow storm

I still remember that euphoria a year later. I had walked to the gym, completed a high intensity work-out and during the jog back home, started to feel my metabolism easily shift into ketogenesis. It was a body-mind connection that felt so interconnected to my environment. There were no more plants to eat, only animals– and I was a well-equipped, warm-blooded winter-beast.

After weeks of jogging through the snow to work-out I felt I had established a brand new level of fitness and lifestyle. The money I received as a Christmas present was used to buy sashimi-grade fish that I would wolf-down raw with a brown banana post-workout. My recovery time was untouchable and I made more gains than I had before or since then. I was never sore, my arthritis symptoms completely disappeared and I glowed with health. Continue reading

Biases and Finding Solace in Science

Bias in a scientist is analogous to disease. Yet, it is the underlying beliefs that make us humans not computers; it is the most vulnerable feelings that lead to our hypotheses and willingness to experiment and explore. Ultimately scientific pursuits should provide us with a better understanding of our bodies, our planet and our place in the universe. We are, at very least, biased in anthropocentric interests.

When faced with a new theory that goes against current beliefs, the facts can bruise ego. When scientific theories are used to create right or wrong or “should” and “should not”-s ideas elevate to a potentially damaging state. Although we are motivated to find more security, to treat discoveries as laws is a road to ignorance.

In this entry I’d like to confess some biases…

Continue reading