I took most of the last two weeks off for a little reflection. I feel like we have come to somewhat of a crossroad at 180D, one where many of the old tangents are falling away. The roots of 180 started with a pretty firm boner about natural diets, the diets of our ancestors and of traditional cultures – taking it on faith that if we did as they did, disease would cower and tremble in fear of its nemesis – nutritional excellence. But as the story unfolded, layer upon layer of complexity kidney-punched that naïve fantasy of utopian health until it was more or less pissing blood.
When writing 12 Paleo Myths, I had even more epiphanies. In one chapter I discussed the “supranatural,” or better than natural properties of our modern food environment over that which is capable through nature alone. For example, cooking, an unnatural act compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, gave humans a huge selective advantage and allowed us to evolve in new ways. This unnatural act did us a huge favor. And when you realize that it was superior precisely because it is “unnatural,” you can pretty much drop the romanticized infatuation with “nature” and “traditional diets.” Sure, they are not without merit and should be discussed, studied, and form at least a part of every health researcher’s overall viewpoint. But to pass every scientific discovery or real-world observation through a traditional culture or caveman approval process is pretty stupid.
In short, I’m now a lot more open-minded about things that are not “natural.” If you wanna have a conversation about branched-chain amino acids, I’m up for it. My kneejerk reaction will no longer be, “I don’t trust anything that ain’t natural – just eat a steak!” I used to make jokes about anything that came in a white powder, as if it was obviously poisonous because the Kitavans didn’t need anything in a white powder to survive. But that is a biased and closed-minded way to be. There’s no reason to frown upon modern technological advances outright (although countless are extremely harmful, don’t get me wrong).
And with an open mind, it cracks open a whole new world of possible solutions for people. Many of them a lot more simple and realistic than sentencing people to a life of fermenting, stock-making, allocating outrageous amounts of time and resources to obtain utopian food, and… well you get the picture.
Another aspect of the new 180D will be a big emphasis on simplicity and a high ratio of reward to effort. If 80% of the results can be obtained without discussing or understanding types of fat eaten, types of carbs, traditional cultures, GMO’s, organics, long lists of substances filed into “good” and “bad” categories, etc. – then why Mercola everyone to death over the small details? I’m not really interested in long-winded debates about what constitutes optimal. Anyone who is thinking about what they are eating beyond a few basics has probably had their life eclipsed by their diets. The food we eat was never meant to take life away from us. It is meant to give life to us. I speak from experience. I have no regrets, but it’s certainly time to move on and take further strides towards communicating with those that haven’t spent a half decade in the bowels of the internet’s alternative nutrition scene trying to micromanage every bite of food they consume.
I’m also super bored with long-winded intellectual escapades about diet. I’m sure my restless brain will never be immune to going down a few rabbit holes from time to time, but it’s time to focus in on the simple stuff and learn more and more about what makes us tick. Forgive me if the site starts to lose some of its brain candy-ish appeal, but a lot of the brain candy being served up here gets rapidly converted to dietary anxiety and overthinking on behalf of the readers. I hope future posts are lower on the Anxiety-emic Index, triggering a slow, gradual release of knowledge into the brainstream.
Another change you should prepare yourself for is less of an established audience appeal. This one hurts, because I love writing to you guys and gals out there that have been following along for a while. But every time I find myself wanting to send a person in the “real world” a post about a health problem they might be having, I go and read through the relevant posts and each one has so many references to things that only my ongoing audience would understand (this site is practically written in WAPFese) that they become confusing, entangling, ineffective, and ultimately not very impactful.
As much as I love to entertain an audience, ultimately I would rather reach people that, if they were to find this site and take some of the information to heart, they would achieve inexpensive, do-it-yourself, medication and surgery-free results that surpass what the medical and pharmaceutical industry can provide. And surpass it by such an order of magnitude that they will be shocked with amazement, as my current girlfriend has been. She had no idea that the answer to her chronic conditions was so easily within her grasp, required only a handful of changes so simple, and could be resolved within a matter of just a few short months. No doctor she has ever worked with realized this either. And there are millions of others out there just like her. Having a brainiacal site written in WAPFese, RAYhili, and Mercoliola will forever keep a barrier between them and my information.
Expect some simpler posts. They may be more boring for you 180 diehards, but they will be more shareable and noob-friendly. The current format excludes 95% of the general public from the conversation based on the level at which the material is written combined with countless obscure references to prior conversations and esoteric health theories. This must not go on any longer!
And we shall see what my future involvement in the comments section is gonna look like. I’m not sure. I will probably be a lot less interested in having long-winded theorization fests with a small group of health fanatics than I used to be. I also think it’s a little bit of an injustice to shell out tips for people to try without knowing much about their personal situation. My comment involvement will probably be to answer questions that are asked about the article written directly – to clarify things and to better help readers grasp what I’m saying. But I suppose it will depend a lot on what the post is on, how tethered I am to my computer the week of the post (I hope to be spending more time away from the computer this summer than I have in many years), and what does end up surfacing in the comments.
Anyway, it should be fun. And I hope my writing comes back to life with bizarre and unexpected humor as I write each article for someone finding the site for the first time. Don’t want anyone confusing this joint for Livestrong or Webmd, yuck.
What do you peeps think about this unofficial semi re-launching? Does it sound good or am I sounding like a douche having a midblog crisis? Am I kidding myself thinking that I can connect with anyone that hasn’t completely run through the gauntlet of extreme diets before they find me? Should I just keep writing orthorexic porn and accept my niche as a Metabolism Messiah lurking in a dark corner of the alternative health underworld? Or is this a great move that will finally break 180 out of health nerd purgatory – taking it from a site that entertains a few thousand weird diet veterans to delivering a truly viable alternative for the average Joe who is sick of ineffective medical treatments?