1. As your healthcoach, I am here to help you become the healthiest and happiest person you can be. Since I am not an M.D.
I cannot write prescriptions, diagnose, nor treat any disease. What I can "treat" clients for instead, is health and wellness
based on our evolutionary biology. Our very early ancestors knew instinctively that well-being flows naturally when the human body
receives the right ingredients and is given the proper environment in which to achieve it.
If you're willing to make some changes to your lifestyle and some of your food habits, along with fixing the environment that you live and work in, then I may just be the best healthcoach for you. However, I won't be a good fit for clients that insist on following a plant-based diet. Not that I dislike those folks, but ethically, I cannot sanction a plant-based lifestyle as being perfectly safe for anyone's long term health.
The clients that see me will be looking to optimize their overall health, or to solve their weight-loss issues, low energy, brain fog, or poor sleep. My specialty is helping those suffering with chronic GI complaints, but for many clients there can be a digestive component behind other seemingly unrelated symptoms, so healing the gut is often a good place to get started for just about everyone...
2. My premise is that Lady Evolution has built us to enjoy vibrant health, but our modern world has changed significantly in the last hundred years. Consider that for
millions of years we ran around barefoot constantly connected to planet earth gathering free electrons; now many people spend time living or working in steel and
concrete towers, high above the earth's surface. The consequences of spending too much time disconnected from terra firma can be quite dramatic.
Consider Valeri Polyakov, the Russian cosmonaut who developed severe osteoporosis after spending over 14 months on Mir - he was only 53 when he returned from orbit in 1995, yet his bone density was approximately that of an 80-year-old man. Folks that fly very often for business or pleasure may want to reconsider how frequently they leave the earth's surface, riding in a long tube which is basically a human-sized microwave oven and far more permeable to cosmic radiation...
For millions of years we were intimately cocooned within planet earth's magnetic field, but most everyone now in the civilized world is bathed in a constant sea of microwave radiation.
For millions of years we also relied on sunlight to dictate what to eat, when to eat, and when to sleep.
Unfortunately, our current health authorities tell us to avoid sun exposure as much as possible and if we must go outside, 'Cover up, and wear sunblock & sunglasses to avoid those damaging UV rays.' From my perspective, I say "hogwash!"
If avoiding sunshine weren't bad enough, we now live and work indoors for much of our lives, illuminated by artificial lights, and we allow ourselves to view these unnatural frequencies pretty much 24/7. New research is proving that our constantly blue-lit world is altering our cortisol and melatonin levels, two hormones closely tied to how well we sleep; perhaps more importantly, lowered melatonin is linked with various cancers, since this hormone is one of our most powerful tumor suppressors.
The elevated blue spectrum from these lights also destroys our stores of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid everyone talks about as essential for good brain and heart health. Chronic blue light exposure also destroys our circadian rhythm which is very disconcerting, since nearly every gene in the human genome is preceded by the PER1 and PER2 clock genes.
This means that when we've lost our circadian clock signaling gene transcription will be affected. This alters how gene translation, aka protein synthesis, is turned on or off. In other words, the wrong kind of light at the wrong time, can adversely affect our body's biochemistry!
I hope you're not depressed yet, because in man's infinite wisdom, we have now contaminated our water, air, and food supplies with halogens, toxic metals, pesticides, and a plethora of other chemicals that slowly erode our vitality, masculinity, femininity, and longevity.
In light of all this, perhaps you can understand why I am all about getting clients to align their lifestyle and environment with Lady Evolution's design. That is exactly where my coaching starts from, but of course, we can discuss the benefits of eating an ancestral diet, drinking plenty of pure spring water, and gradual seasonal sun exposure, if you're not a sun-worshiper already...
3. Our initial consult will focus on information gathering: I want to learn about your health history, what you eat & drink, what you don't eat or drink, where you work,
your hobbies, recreation and travel, how often you get sick, your energy levels throughout the day, your mental clarity, do you feel hot or cold most often, are you hungry
for breakfast, how often you reach for sugary, starchy snacks, and how much alcohol, coffee or caffeinated soda pop do you drink?
We will also look over labwork if you've had any in the last 5 years. This first meeting will give us important data to make a comprehensive plan for your health "makeover" if you will.
Each client will have their own specific context; that is to say, their health history, food intake, environment, lifestyle, stressors and positive influencers, and these will account for how we customize the health makeover for each individual.
For example, person A that works outdoors, presents with mild GI distress and who wishes to lose fifteen pounds is a much different case than person B who works the nightshift, is 60 lbs. overweight with gout, diabetic neuropathy, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
These two people will require much different levels of intervention, much different levels of compliance and much different time tables. Typically, the sicker you are when you come to see me, the longer the process can take, but of course everyone's a little bit different in terms of their motivation, their constitution, and their readiness to change.
The follow-up consults will introduce my suggested interventions and here is generally how I envision the process taking place: one - gather information, two - make a plan together for improvement, then the client works the plan, and lastly they periodically report their progress as needed.
Perhaps we make some adjustments or order new labwork via their PCP, and then meet or chat to review their results, but my ultimate goal is to teach the client how to release their own 'inner physician' based on these ancestral principles governing our biology...
4. As much as we want to customize each client's makeover, food is the one area in which I believe all homo sapiens should be treated equally. Don't we all possess the
same three-pound quantum computer in our head? To me this suggests that our need for massive amounts of DHA is just as important now as it was in the East African
Rift Zone millions of years ago.
I believe that eating large amounts of raw shellfish in that isolated wet, cold climate is what allowed us to develop our big brain, and the research of Stephen Cunnane and Michael Crawford bears this out.
The notion that hunting wild game from the African savanna provided sufficient DHA to develop our huge brain falls short of the real science. As a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids grass-fed game meats or offal just can't compare to raw oysters, clams and shellfish.
So the base of my food pyramid is shellfish, particularly raw oysters, and this is exactly what I teach my clients if they want to maintain their large brain and keep it running smoothly. Given the increasing rates of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and dementia, I think brain health should be on everyone's mind; and the best prescription for maintaining good memory, coordination, and cognition is NOT a capsule, but quite simply, just eating more oysters on the half-shell with chipotle lime salsa!
Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying; of course, every person's diet cannot be absolutely identical, but we all have the same basic requirements for essential fatty acids, cholesterol, saturated fats, and protein. Everyone's diet therefore, must provide those same basic building blocks in optimal amounts irrespective of anyone's personal likes and dislikes, ethnic traditions, food intolerances, or food allergies.
We are not all biochemically unique as some would have you believe; your biochemistry and mine use the exact same pathways - the same feedback loops, redox reactions, and enzymatic reactions. In other words, if someone's pathways are really that different from the norm, most likely something external is driving it, because our genetic blueprints are nearly identical within about one percentage point.
Yes, I am aware of single nucleotide polymorphisms, but what is it in most cases that truly makes each individual unique? Even Darwin knew that one's "conditions of existence are far more important than natural selection [genetics]." Sadly, he didn't possess the technology to prove his theory of Pangenesis, and spent the rest of his life after The Origin Of The Species trying to unravel this mystery.
I believe he was on the right track since we now know that it is epigenetics aka gene expression and how it responds to our environment that determines each person's unique health context. Allow me to reiterate, because this is one of the most astounding scientific concepts of our time: your genetics are not written in stone as everyone has believed since Gregor Mendel first experimented with pea plants.
Your genetics are only a first draft, but the final version of your genetic story is being edited by your environment everyday, since it is epigenetics that determines which genes get turned on and which get turned off. In other words, even if you possess some genetic timebomb, that timer can't countdown to zero if those genes are never expressed!
We all live with our very own blend of stressors and positive influencers; some folks work the dayshift and get adequate daylight, but others work the nightshift and get excessive artificial blue light and very little sunshine, some people are exposed to toxins, some eat junk food, some consume bromides or bromates in their food, softdrinks, or medicines, and some get fluorides in their water, dental products, and antibiotics.
Fluoridated water is very dehydrating to your cells and remember, you are exposed to this toxin from take-out coffee or bottled beverages like flavored iced teas made with "filtered" water, and from canned, bottled or boxed foods made or processed with municipal water!
Some folks live in close proximity to high voltage power lines or cell towers while others live in remote areas less "polluted" by EMF - these factors all exert their influence, positive or negative on our genetic switches and this is why we are all so different in terms of our predilection or resistance to diseases, how we partition calories, or even how well we sleep.
The changing spectrum of sunlight through the course of the day drives our circadian rhythm as the visible, UV and IR spectra are modulated via the angle of incidence, which has profound effects on our cortisol and melatonin levels. Cortisol should peak in the morning and decay throughout the day reaching its lowest levels around midnight, and melatonin just the opposite, peaking in the absence of light and decaying as the sun comes up again.
Did you know that besides the brain, the human tissue that stores the next highest concentration of DHA is our retina? DHA transduces the high energy photons in morning sunlight to an electrical current that signals the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus of the brain to start our circadian clock every day of our life, and this is why I say seafood needs to be the most important and absolutely essential food in our diet...
5. Well, here's my take on things - you focus on smaller species like shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, sardines, anchovies, and fatty fish like
mackerel, herring, and salmon. Buy them from the safest waters you can find by searching on Google, and always look for wild-caught
if at all possible.
Here's the other thing, since most seafood is a very rich source of selenium and because selenium will bind to methylmercury blocking its absorption in us, we will effectively be protected from mercury poisoning unless that fish is heavily contaminated, like the king mackerel and tilefish. Long story short - given these guidelines and caveats, and with a little judicious shopping on your part, I say "bon appetit!"
Folks that don't like fish think they can fool mother nature and take a fish oil capsule instead. However, these are highly refined and processed supplements that are missing the iodine, selenium, iron, copper, zinc and other trace minerals in real seafood.
The real problem is that omega-3 pills don't function like the real thing because we require DHA to be carried on the middle arm of its triglyceride backbone which is virtually never preserved in the fish capsule after the extraction process.
This is what makes the DHA bioavailable to humans because when DHA is on the "sn-2" position it becomes paramagnetic (it can be attracted to, or pulled towards a magnetic field). Do we and other eukaryotic animals really have an organelle that creates a magnetic field?
Yes, that would be our mitochondria and the relationship between electrical current and magnetism was first discovered by Oersted; furthermore, basic physics tells us that electro-magnetic field strength (B) is directly proportional to the flow of electrons, or current (I).
On the inner mitochondrial membrane, the greater the flow in the electron transport chain, the greater the flux density or lines of magnetic force that emanate from those mitochondria. Where do we have the most mitochondria? Our brains and our hearts, and is DHA vital to brain and heart health?
You bet it is, and the algae that fish eat contains DHA mixed in all three "sn" positions; however, when fish eat the algae they convert that DHA mix to predominantly all sn-2 position.
So, if you want your omega 3's to be transported to your brain and heart muscle where it will do the most good, then, if at all possible, whenever and as often as you can, get your DHA from real seafood...
6. The answer here is yes and no because technically there is no MDR for carbs since our body can make enough glucose to survive from non-carbohydrate sources in a
process called gluconeogenesis. I am a big fan of a lower carb template, one that avoids gluten grains and most grains in general, certainly much lower than the
typical standard American diet (SAD) or what the AMA and the USDA advocate.
I think by now everyone (except those with a vested interest) kinda gets that lots of sugar and starch leads to insulin dysregulation, elevated cortisol, then type 2 diabetes, and eventually type 3 diabetes, aka Alzheimer's disease!
So yeah, shouldn't we all know that eating sugar and drinking HFCS drinks are really bad ideas for humans? It's as if some people, even our so-called experts think we are butterflies and can thrive on nectar all day long. Do we really need more research and flawed RCT experiments to verify the possibility that too many carbs are, or are not, associated with diabesity (diabetes + obesity)?
Seriously, according to some big university medical schools and other agencies, all we have to do is get our kids to stop drinking soda, energy drinks, Sunny D, or Gatorade and stop eating sugary foods and snacks to fix this problem? I think the question of excess starches and sugars should be a done deal at this point, but newer research is questionning how our fascination with artificial lights and e-screens are exacerbating the rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
This is where the evolutionary perspective comes to the rescue; how do I know that the constant barrage of sugar and starch consumed daily by most Americans is not our natural diet coded for by Lady Evolution?
Simply because the archaelogical evidence clearly illustrates that when we gave up our hunter-gatherer life to become farmers, we lost a half a foot in stature and our rates of tooth decay increased from 0 to 7 cavities on average per adult.
This is based on data from a classic example of the transition from the late Paleolithic to the agricultural revolution taken from two adjacent digs in the Ohio river valley here in the US. You may also read a little more about this famous dig on my 'Blogs' link.
This exemplifies the biological mismatch that occurs when we don't eat a species-appropriate diet: increased consumption of fermentable carbohydrates feed the commensal flora in the oral cavity (s.mutans) and dental caries are simply the result.
Modern man has invented the profession of dentistry along with the tools, technology, and chemicals to wage war against this mistake, but clearly, here is a perfect case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So this begs the question, if too many starches and sugars are bad, how much carbohydrate is healthy or do we need any at all? Again the bigger question to me is whether humans should strictly adhere to the seasonality of carbohydrate consumption.
So anywhere from about 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, humans began cultivating crops, and anthropologists can certainly point out the skeletal and dental defects found in the archaeological evidence, but I believe that switching to an agricultural diet does not account for our most recent widespread incidences of obesity and T2DM. What has changed is that people, especially young people, are addicted to their technology and instead of consuming carbs when sunlight and UV are plentiful, these folks eat carbs and sugar while surrounded by artificial blue lights and microwave energy literally 24/7, all year long.
A billboard for my local New York Sports Club proclaims, "carbs... carbs... aerobics... carbs... carbs... aerobics" but in my view this is a recipe for chronic disease, but let's get back to the age old question of 'how many carbs should I be eating for maximum performance?'
Now we get to a hotly debated subject and the opinions depend on that person's agenda; athletes will tell you, yes, you need carbs to re-feed from your workouts and some will say you need to do carb-loading before your workouts, or both. None of these fitness gurus will typically talk about modulating carb consumption to match the yearly light cycles however, which I believe is a huge mistake.
Of course vegan and vegetarian health gurus might say you need 80-90% of your calories from carbs because we don't really need that much protein, and fat causes heart disease, and of course everyone knows meat, animal products, and cholesterol all cause cancer! But again, these folks never mention the effects of light cycles on how our mitochondria actually process carbohydrates!
Here's what I think - while some of the diabesity epidemic is related to inappropriate foods, most research is completely ignoring the environmental aspect: they fail to control their experiments for non-native EMF, artificial light, and temperature, so yes without those parts of the picture the problem appears to be driven solely by those foods.
Certainly diabetes can also be instigated or aggravated by chronic sub-clinical infections that keep our immune system on high alert constantly, and since those immune cells are unable to make energy via fat-burning, the body keeps serum glucose elevated and diabetes ensues or gets worse.
However from an evolutionary perspective, I believe we have an ancient pathway that can be invoked for hibernation since long ago we evolved from mammals that were den animals. When we eat a high carb and sugar diet 24/7 all year around, this is precisely the signal that means we are preparing to hibernate.
The body expects that we are about to sleep in a cold cave for many months, so it puts on weight by increasing our visceral adipose tissue, increases serum glucose which keeps our blood from freezing, and it upregulates omega-6 fats, storing them in plasma membranes to keep our peripheral tissues from freezing. Sound familiar? If you have T2DM, it should...
So in light of this, is diabetes really a "disease" or is it simply a mismatch to this ancient pathway embedded into our evolutionary biology? Another disconnect is that not every athlete on the planet uses carbs for fuel, some are using fat in the form of glycerol, ketones, and fatty acids. Some of our tissues and organs run more efficiently on ketones, and a fat-based metabolism can be protein sparing when done properly.
Some will criticize dietary ketosis as dangerous due to the risk of ketoacidosis. However, diabetic ketoacidosis, which occurs predominantly in Type 1 patients, is due to the failure of these patients to utilize any blood sugar at all, and without insulin to control the amount of ketones produced when the body switches to fat-burning, the blood can become highly acidic, which is indeed life threatening. In my view however, no big issues with ketosis for most folks, even Type 2 diabetics because they make enough insulin to prevent the runaway ketones; but for some, low carb can down regulate thyroid function, and again here is a controversial and confusing subject. You might want to do a web search for Ben Greenfield or Barry Murray or Cristi Vlad to get their take on keto diets for athletes.
When the liver converts T4 to active T3, it requires glucose to do this, but if one is keto-adapted (which can take up to many months or more), then the body should be able to spare enough glucose to fuel the deiodinase enzymes to make T3. Troubleshooting this becomes quite convoluted and difficult to unravel, as some may thrive like this and others, not so much.
However, I do not believe that hypothyroidism is the ipso facto result of dietary ketosis, because what matters most is the individual's context. Like I mentioned before, to me, it is unacceptable to blame this outcome on bad family genetics or other similar fuzzy logic; if a pathway is not working like it should, then we need to investigate what is driving that pathway to be sub-optimal!
For example, is the person leptin resistant and do they have elevated reverse T3 as a result (which blocks their T3 receptors!), or do they have dysbiosis since we need good gut bacteria also to convert T4 to T3? Is their liver simply overwhelmed with toxins so it cannot down-convert thyroid hormone, or are they also blue light toxic with too much EMF exposure? These can all be mitigating factors that most don't pay attention to.
Also very important for ketosis to function properly is the incorporation of cold thermogenesis, which mimics the winter environments we historically experienced when a diet high in fat and protein, and naturally low in carbohydrates, would have been selected for by evolution!!
Long story short the right way to do ketosis for weight loss is to make sure you get plenty of non-starchy veggies for some carbohydrate, the actual gram amount will depend on the individual's stage of keto-adaptation and their fat and protein ratios compared to carbs, that will promote maintenace of ketosis.
I am good with this method for weight loss any time of the year, but it also needs to be coupled with a high seafood diet, maybe with some sea veggies as well to provide sufficient iodine to keep the thyroid happy until keto-adaptation is optimal. Of course, seafood is just plain helpful for brain, heart, and eye health (remember your circadian rhythm!) all year long.
The other important caveat is that once the target weight is achieved, ketosis is unnecessary and possibly contraindicated: it should be cycled with the seasons! Eat more carbs and sweet fruits in summer because those are actually coded for in our biology by the prescence of higher amounts of UV light.
Once the person's weight is well controlled then drop the carbs again in the height of winter when UV light is scarce because that is another big biological mismatch; add some cold thermogenesis while consuming a boat load of fish during those months - that's the only proper protocol for safe and effective ketosis IMO...
7. The evolutionary perspective says all inhabitants of this planet required water, magnetism, and light to become living beings, whether animal, plant or any other
kingdom; so how can our learned doctors, scientists, and other health care providers think that something as beneficial and necessary as sunlight should now
suddenly be villified and feared?
I think it is quite similar to how cholesterol and saturated fats have been villified, and this confusion comes about because we persist in our biochemical and genetic view of life, or states of health, or states of disease.
Of course the conventional wisdom now is to eat a low-fat high-carb diet that avoids red meat and other healthy proteins like grass-fed lamb. Fatty fish, shellfish, shrimp and so on are shunned due to the mercury scare or cholesterol, but why are highly refined and processed fish oil capsules considered okay or good?
Nothing in modern science makes sense anymore because we would rather consume vitamin pills, meal replacement shakes, protein bars, and smoothies with highly processed protein powders rather than eat real foods from nature as Lady Evolution has designed us to do.
Skinless chicken or turkey breast are the modern holy grail of animal protein but the reality is those meats are low in good sat fats and high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats; and we absolutely must have saturated fat to build healthy bone so it is no wonder vegans, vegetarians, and even low-fat, poultry-eating-semi-vegetarians that believe they are eating-so-heart-healthy, are all at much higher risks for osteoporosis.
So the context that is missing about sun is that UVB is needed to make vitamin D in the skin but we need the right substrates in those tissues so that UVB is non-damaging and is able to produce sufficient quantities of D3 from sulfated cholesterol - but if you avoid animal foods to limit your cholesterol or if you take statins everyday and avoid eggs or other proteins with the sulfur-containing amino acids, you won't have any cholesterol and sulfur substrates and then, yes, too much sun exposure can be detrimental.
Blaming the sunshine is just bass-ackwards because without the sun all life would vanish from our planet; blame the current, albeit popular, but misguided notions that animal protein, eggs, and cholesterol are the enemy. BTW, you do realize your brain, myelin sheaths, cell membranes, and steroid hormones are all made from cholesterol, right? I'm just sayin'...
Sadly, modern medicine and even alternative medicine does not view their patients as electrical beings controlled by light, magnetism and temperature and therefore, they will never understand that food is not just carbs, fats, and proteins; it is really electrons and protons because that is what it comes down to in our mitochondria.
That's why I want my clients to eat an electron-dense diet which means plenty of healthy fats like Kerrygold butter, natural lard, coconut oil, palm oil, avocado and EV olive oil with tons of DHA from real seafood, maybe some grass-fed lamb, beef, and pastured eggs and bacon. Those are the base ingredients for a healthy diet (along with vegetables and fruits in season of course) but the most important, overriding factor ignored by nearly everyone, is our environment.
We really need to realign our light exposure and our altered magnetic fields with our evolutionary history; and to stay grounded to mother earth as much as possible, since it is actually physics and quantum physics that control our biology, not biochemistry and genetics as we have been led to believe...