?When we saw someone with really bright skin and shiny hair we used to assume that they were eating a lot of butter.
-Layla Sheikh’s remark watching me snarf up ridiculous amounts of butter
Recently I crossed paths with a Somalian refugee living in political exile here in Maui. Her name is Layla Sheikh. But don’t think that she’s some poor peasant girl fresh outta the Somalian desert sand, begging for food. She sports a stylin? fro and highly fashionable clothes. She cruises in an SUV, and has her own two-bedroom apartment 200 yards from the Pacific ocean. She works as a professional model, getting gigs like holding the round cards at the UFC fights over in Lahaina, as well as doing plenty of photo shoots and fashion shows. Basically, she’s pimpin? y?all. The African Queen. Speaks five languages, including Swahili and Arabic. She still runs (not jogs) over 20 miles a day and can climb a tree like a 100-pound squirrel though (why this isn’t on youtube yet baffles me. What I’d give?).
She needed some help spreading the word about her mission to get back in contact with her family, who she hasn’t communicated with in eight agonizing years ? that and find a publisher for support with her autobiographical book project ? World of Pain (working title). Since I was only starting a business, writing a book, pursuing a Master’s degree, doing independent research, and managing a retail store, I said ‘sure, why not, I’ve got plenty of time. Guess I’m just a ?yes? man ? or perhaps when face to face with someone who spent an entire year living completely alone, eating only berries, tree sap, and nuts, walking through hundreds of miles of lion-filled savannah between Somalia and Kenya, hand-digging holes to sleep in every night and covering it with brush to hide from prowling lions and hyenas, waking up with cobras surrounding her, getting chased up trees by charging lions, and often going days without water ? at age 12, it feels utterly ridiculous to pretend that life is too strenuous to add a little typing to your day.
By the way, a year before this amazing event she ran, holding a younger sibling in her arms, for six months, rarely sleeping more than 20 minutes at a time, with little more than powdered milk for food. All the while bombs exploded and gunshots echoed all around her and her family, and the landscape was scattered with dead and dying bodies being slashed in the throat for food (blood) and devoured by lions and hyenas. What am I going to say, I can’t help you with that letter to Oprah because I only got seven hours of sleep last night?? Yeah.
But that’s not the point of this post (although for those interested I’d be happy to e-mail you her story that we crafted over the course of a couple weeks ? send an email to email@example.com/ subject: ?Layla?). This entry, as always, is about health and the pursuit of some wisdom on that subject.
In exchange for the work I helped her with, I interrogated her about her diet, the health of her family and those she grew up with, and picked up on some very ?infotaining? details pertaining to food, health, and nutrition. Being the gentleman that I am, the first night we worked together I said, ?open up and lemme see them choppers. She was shy about it, although I don’t know why. If my teeth looked like that I’d walk around with my mouth open all day (pause to capture visual image of that). She opened up, and I peered in like a pirate glimpsing into a giant trunk full of gold. Layla, age 28, is the first person that I’ve met my age or younger with a perfect dental arch, including wisdom teeth in perfect alignment. I was even wondering if something of the sort still existed, like Bigfoot or la chupacabra! Of course, modern medicine attributes this lack of space in the dental arch for all 32 teeth to humans evolving to no longer need all those pesky teeth ? a Dr. Oz answer if I’ve ever heard one.
In addition to that, her teeth are white, white. Like, white, white, white. Like Michael Jackson white. I had those sun spot things in my eyes after looking at them.
What’s her secret? Well, she grew up in Somalia where the dental care and access to the latest and greatest in oral hygiene products abound of course.
?Every now and then, I’d scrape my teeth with some tree bark,? she says.
When food was scarce she gnawed on charcoal from the fire pit. I don’t think she brushed her teeth with some All-American, don’t-do-jack to prevent cavities Crest/Colgate until after her 18th birthday. That’s how you get really nice teeth? Turns out that running the water over my toothbrush for 2 minutes and 14 seconds every night during my youth could’ve been the secret all along. Oh wait, my mouth has more metal in it than a Slayer concert. Nevermind.
Let’s get deeper into the details. First off, after Layla lived off of tree sap and berries for an entire year, powdered milk for months, was often hungry enough to eat charcoal just to have something to chew on, and grew up consuming whatever food her family could cultivate or find, she came to the God Blessed U.S. and A., took a bite of some American food, and was like (in Somali), ?WTF is this S%@#??? As a former chef, this, her first impression of Americana, is priceless (had to change my underwear actually). Like most kids these days, the only thing Layla found to taste decent at all was the candy. ?The milk tasted horrible, the fruit and vegetables were like dirt, and when I was given dried breakfast cereal I was insulted. I saw a dog getting fed something exactly like it. Correction: Breakfast cereal and dog food are not identical, dog food has a much higher nutritional value. They add things to it like:
Organ meats, one of the staples of Layla’s diet as she grew up.
Layla also had broth with most of her meals made from whatever bones and scraps were left of the creature that was most recently cooked up. ?Oh yeah, we used everything. Nothing was wasted. We cooked the head, the hooves, all the bones.
She also had fresh raw milk from goats, sheep, and cows and plenty of yellow butter with her meals, which otherwise consisted mostly of corn, rice (depending on availability), vegetables, root vegetables, and small portions of meat/organ meats when available. She also hit the orchards for mangoes, papayas, and bananas, none of which caused her or her family so much as a toothache. This detail is included for those who insist that cavities are somehow magically caused by sugar residues remaining on the teeth (‘those? happen to be over 99% of dentists on the face of the planet, who are evidently inhaling way too much nitrous).
Layla did have access to refined sugar from a nearby military base, but that access was intermittent. She also mentioned that the slight dental decay that she did suffer from was a result of her love for this white goodness, and that her mom’s teeth were even whiter and straighter than hers. ?Oh yeah, my mom’s were just perfect. She grew up in an area where they had no access to sugar at all. They ate mostly grain, milk, meat, organ meats, and bone broths. The area was drier so there was little fruit or vegetables.
To give you an idea of her mother’s health, Layla’s mom bore six children, and when war broke out causing the family to run for their lives for six months with scarcely any food or sleep and days without water, she had a child at her breast which she was able to nurse and keep perfectly healthy. In fact, the family walked to the point of delirium and exhaustion, with nothing but grass in their stomachs ? having run out of food completely. They were found, barely conscious, lying in the grass and had to be revived (so they were told, they have no recollection of it). The newborn; however, was fat and happy, sound as a pound attached to mom’s breast. Now that’s some nutritional reserves ? the result of a lifetime of real food with hardly any sugar backed by generations of sugar-free nutrition.
And this nutritional history has obviously served Layla well, allowing her to accomplish some of the most astounding physical feats imaginable. Her life has been infinitely more stressful than even the busiest American business executive, but a healthy body and mind is an impenetrable wall to such threats. Before concluding that it’s all just genetic, consider that her two children, raised in the United States, suffer from allergies, have dental decay, crooked dental arches, and more. Her son Mohammed has asthma, has been diagnosed with ADD, has protruding bicuspids due to lack of space in the dental arch, is on several medications, and has a perpetually runny nose while breathing the world’s cleanest air. Her daughter Hana, age four, has a front tooth that is completely discolored. They brush twice daily. They are typical American kids. Genes mean very little when it comes to health. Think about it this way, when a meth addict’s teeth rot out (?meth mouth?), is it due to genetics or the meth?
None of Layla’s siblings had such health problems. Only one brother suffered from nasal discharge briefly in his younger years. Otherwise no asthma or allergies. No crooked teeth. No tooth decay. All of these ailments are rarities in a world with little access to modern foods, namely refined sugar. And amazingly, even in such primitive conditions, Layla could not recall a time when any of them were noticeably ill with high fevers, diarrhea, etc.
When modern foods arise, things head downhill fast, a phenomenon noted time and time again by Weston A. Price, Robert McCarrison, Denis Burkitt, Ales Hrdlicka, and many more. All of these men noticed propensity to infectious illness, the onset of dental decay, allergies, asthma, and other signs of degeneration. Weston A. Price’s dietary recommendations for perfect dental health and passing along flawless genes to future generations is a diet composed of exactly the same elements as Layla’s childhood fare: organ meats, raw milk and butter, bone broths, and plant foods grown in fertile soils. Her diet is exactly aligned with the recommendations of Ramiel Nagel, author of the recently-released book, Cure Tooth Decay based on the work of Weston A. Price and Melvin Page (who understood better than Price, that it’s not so much what’s in your diet, but that it not contain refined sugar and pasteurized milk, and that tooth decay and other health problems are primarily a result of altered body chemistry and not vitamin and mineral deficiency).
As a side note, Layla’s upbringing and lack of common illness is also enough to single-handedly overthrow the germ theory. The only time her and her family got sick is when food became scarce, and they became ill with diarrhea and malaria. Proper nourishment is a far better protector against infectious disease than soap, antibacterial goo, refrigeration, medication, and hygiene. In fact, lack of all those things is more likely to build a healthy immune system than destroy it.
Now please view this short video of Layla. Pay attention to the message of the video first and foremost, but notice a few things?
Her facial structure: Her jaw is very broad and well-defined with high cheek bones, both telltale expressions of proper facial development to accompany the broad dentition. These are symbols of attractiveness because it is a symbol of health, and the whole point of what we consider attractive is a natural urge to produce physically robust ankle-biters (of course there are many other reproductive health indicators that we go after too, most a result of hormone levels such as muscle development and definition in men ? high testosterone, and large breasts and cuvry hips/butts in women).
Her teeth: Warning, do not look directly at her teeth without eye protection. It’s like a solar eclipse.
Her nostrils: Weston A. Price mentions, photographs, and discusses how the nostrils are always well-developed when the dentition and facial structure forms correctly. He also offers up many ?deformed? people’s photos in which the nostrils are noticeably narrow and pinched, causing young kids with ?intercepted heredity? to be ?mouth-breathers. This is very easy to see in his exemplary photos, but in person, with Layla, I can really see the uniqueness of her nostril development in comparison to your average Joe. In the video you can see the striking difference in her nostrils, despite the fact that her nose is rather petite.
Layla’s official donation-handling entity: