At least it’s still April…

OK, almost every post I have made I have made the (not lame) excuse that things have been crazy-busy around here.  Allow me to give a little more detail, if you will.  I am married to a man who makes his living in the military – he has so for the last 18.5 years.  I knew it when I married him (he was already a first lieutenant) and have gone along for the ride ever since.  A year ago, we had to pull up stakes and move across the country to an area we’d already lived in once, and we weren’t thrilled with returning.  Not when our teenagers were thriving in school and activities, not when I was adjusting to life with CaveBaby, not with the knowledge that the military would likely deploy him at some point before retirement at 20 years.  And so the time is coming – we are far from home and this fall my husband will be sent overseas.  We are electing to move ourselves back home (his deployment will only be for 6 months so the military won’t pay to move us) so we have about 12,000 lbs of household goods to sort through, decide what will be needed immediately and what can sit in storage for 9 months.  On top of that, we are driving 45+ miles/day 4+ days a week to keep the teenagers busy in their activities (and my husband already commutes 80+ miles/day roundtrip to work and back!) so we have been pretty much in survival mode as far as meal preparation and execution!

I usually make a large quantity of protein (3-4 lbs at a time, something with grassfed ground beef or a kalua-style pork roast) and let the side flow naturally from that using the weekly veggie basket.  About once every other week I cry “uncle!” and my husband takes me to a nice little Japanese restaurant with AMAZING sushi/sashimi and we gorge on some good stuff.  And I eat a little rice.  My weight has been pretty much stable, I have made some good strength gains at the gym, and am approaching my goal of an unassisted chin up – slowly, though.

The area of growth I am experiencing is in my education and philosophy development.  Earlier this month I read Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, MD.  It is an easy-to-read book with a lot of practical advice as to how to increase the use of traditional foods in your diet.  I have started making my own homemade bone broth from grassfed beef bones as a result of what I learned in this book.  I highly recommend it for women who are of childbearing age – her recommendations on maternal nutrition and pregnancy spacing to optimize the health and well-being of your children are insightful.  I wish I had read this book prior to having children!  It’s not too late to incorporate her dietary philosophies into the family’s practice though – it is helpful to keep our teenagers at peak health and performance, should they chose to take our advice.

I am currently reading Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It by Gary Taubes.  It’s definitely more interesting reading than the dry and scientific Good Calories, Bad Calories and it’s meant to be that way.  Gary Taubes is blowing my mind with facts and scientific studies and well-documented information.  He handily fisks the calories in/out paradigm that the dietary and medical establishment, backed by the government and large corporations, have promoted for the last 60 years.  Even the title of the book is loaded with an opportunity to share this – “What are you reading?”  “Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes.”  “So what’s the answer?”  “Carbohydrates.”  Insert a long discussion in which the inquisitive party begins to defend every carbohydrate they have consumed in their day.  You know what?  I don’t give a crap.  Oh, now I am starting to sound like Richard in Free the Animal.  Two important takeaway items from this book:

  • Science has never been able to prove that a reduction in caloric intake or an increase in caloric expenditure results in fat loss
  • Gluttony and sloth do not CAUSE obesity; rather, they are EFFECTS of obesity

Those two points have enormous implications for the treatment of obesity, which is epidemic in our country.  For the last 60 years the dietary establishment has tried to make correcting obesity a character issue – that of obesity being a result of poor nutritional choices – rather than being a physiological issue.  I think the character issue comes into play when an individual KNOWS what causes obesity and chooses to consume carbohydrates anyway.  The problem is that the establishment is telling people the wrong things to eat and do to cure their obesity (and with it, diabetes and heart disease and AI disease and…) so they will never improve their health.

Speaking of health improvement, I read Jack Kruse’s Cold Thermogenesis 11 the other night and it blew my mind as well.  Read it for yourself and start thinking of the implications of our current medical/agricultural/governmental establishment if we are inching toward a unified theory of diseases of civilization.  I was heading down the path of thinking “The root cause of modern disease is inflammation!” and, somewhere in the first 25 comments or so, that is exactly what Dr. Kruse says.  Our current medical system is focused on finding out WHAT is wrong with us.  Then their solutions are to either a) wait and see if the problem needs drugs, or b) prescribe drugs to counteract WHAT is wrong with us.  Our system never asks WHY something is wrong with us.  There is no root cause analysis as to why we are sick or hurting or have an imbalance in one or more internal systems!  I believe that is what is fundamentally wrong with our system as it currently stands.  How do we change this?  How do we go against the medical system, our government, and large corporations that all have an active interest in keeping us unhealthy and dependent?

Doesn’t this revelation change the “health care” debate entirely?

I am doing what I can to ensure my family can “opt out” of the current system of what passes for health (sick) care in our country.  I think that is what a lot of paleo-minded people are trying to do as well.

What are you doing?

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