?Issue #2. January 2014
This section features new content from 180 founder Matt Stone.
First of all, Happy New Year everyone!The primary focus of’this issue?is to take a timely look?into multiple fascinating perspectives on body image. And, for some reason,?both Andrew Kim and I have hypoglycemia on the brain. Anyway, there should be enough conflicts in here to keep you plentifully confused! Hooray for not having all the definitive answers!To discuss this issue, you can comment in the forum thread created for this issue by clicking HERE.
The Hypoglycemia Myth
The word ?hypoglycemia? means: low’sugar?blood. How many people actually suffer from their blood sugar being low? Almost no one. It’s extremely rare. That’s why many doctors snicker when they hear ?hypoglycemia. They think the condition basically doesn’t even exist except in very rare cases or amongst diabetics who’ve accidentally taken too much insulin. And you know what? This is one of the few times that your poorly-educated doctor is absolutely right.
Way to go doc. But I still snicker when I hear the word ?doctor. Please don’t get even cockier than you already are because when it comes to hypoglycemia you’re still a fool?
Despite the factual accuracy of the medical world’s stance on hypoglycemia, they often absurdly do not acknowledge that something is going on. They are more likely to diagnose you with hypochondria than hypoglycemia, sadly. But something is definitely going on. The problem is real, not imagined. The tendency to have occasional episodes of symptoms indistinguishable from’the symptoms of hypoglycemia is extremely common–much more common that people realize.
Once upon a time I referred to ?hypoglycemia? casually just like everybody else. One time that was particularly memorable was in reference to my girlfriend, who has suffered from epilepsy since age seven.
I noticed some interesting things in my girlfriend early on in our relationship. For example, when her behavior changed to suggest that she was becoming ‘seizure-ish,? a spoonful of sugar in her mouth would immediately revive her. Crackers and other snacks worked great if she was still fully coherent but starting to feel ‘shaky.
Also, I noticed that one of the biggest risks in terms of triggering a seizure was eating a big meal. While eating looked like a problem on the surface, the more she didn’t eat, the more likely she was to have a seizure when she did eat. Calling it a precarious situation is an understatement. She was in a rough place when I met her.Don’t worry; she’s in a much better place now.
I bring this up because a good friend of hers is a paramedic. Her paramedic friend knew she was having seizure trouble and started doling out obnoxious and downright dangerous advice?encouraging her to start drinking a lot of water for example, which, as you know if you’ve read Eat for Heat, is a terrible idea.
In one of those new-fashioned aggressive online debates with a perfect stranger, I called her friend on this poor health advice, pointed out some studies showing that water can actually cause seizures, and generally patronized the heck out of her with a very likeable tone that suggested, ?I’m Matt F$#%ing Stone. Who the hell are you??
Always keepin? it classy! ?Computer screen bravado? I think they call that, which is actually a pretty interesting new form of human behavior that I’m a big fan of. That’s why I spend so much time communicating with people online. On the internet, people are actually honest and don’t waste time with small talk and spineless pleasantries!
Anyway, in this communication with the paramedic, I mentioned something about ?hypoglycemia? being the primary trigger of my girlfriend’s seizures and got a good laugh out of her. She was like:
?Hypoglycemia? Are you kidding me? Do you really think when we test the blood sugar of someone who just had a seizure in the back of an ambulance that it’s low? Let me tell you, it’s never low. It’s always high! You’re wrong you dumb @#$&*%@#%(@#%!!!
I quickly explained that this phenomenon cannot be detected in the blood, that I shouldn’t have called it ?hypoglycemia,? and that when blood sugar falls it’s not detectable because the adrenal glands turn on to raise blood sugar. In one of these stressful events (seizure) the outpouring of adrenaline actually makes blood sugar surge. That was all true, but it was clear that I had opened the door for harsh criticism. There was a chink in my armor. I had to stop using the H word, because using the H word, which means low blood sugar, and then explaining how blood sugar becomes elevated from ?hypoglycemia? just makes no sense, and leaves me looking like the absolute last thing I want to look like?a pseudoscientific quack guru moron (PQGM).
So let’s talk about this myth known as ?hypoglycemia.
I laid out a pretty good synopsis already. Something sets off a stress reaction in the body and the adrenal glands switch on. Accompanying this surge in adrenal hormones?let’s just call them ?glucocorticoids??are some fairly reliable physical and mental changes. Pulse rate rises. When severe it feels like heart palpitations. Feelings of anxiety or aggression can kick in, as expected when the ?fight or flight? hormones rise. Shakiness, even trembling can occur if severe. Lightheadedness is common as are headaches and sometimes migraines and seizures if more severe. Icy cold fingers and toes as the blood vessels in the extremities close up are frequently noted. A sudden, strong urge to urinate or frequent urination often occurs?like proverbially ?peeing your pants? when you get really scared (causing those glucocorticoids to surge).
And, these ?gluco? (as in glucose) ?corticoids raise blood sugar to deliver emergency fuel to the body’s cells. They dump free fatty acids into the bloodstream as well, which can further raise blood sugar as free fatty acids interfere with glucose uptake.
So it’s not really hypoglycemia, and shouldn’t be called hypoglycemia. The actual proper term?is “idiopathic postprandial syndrome,” but that term only encompasses this surge of adrenal activity after meals. It doesn’t explain why it happens just as frequently between 2-4am as it does after eating a big bowl of Frosted Flakes in the morning…
This has been a modified excerpt from?a short book?I’m releasing?in January called Hypoglycemia: What?It Is, What it Isn’t, and How to Fix the Root Problem. It will be available in a couple of book bundles and then launched later this winter for free on Amazon. Stay tuned to the emails you receive from 180DegreeHealth for details.
This section features one of the greatest hits from 180D’s seven year blog and its 666 published posts.
Weight Fixation: Waist of Time
?The cruel irony is that although we become totally obsessed with the daily measures of how ?good? or ?bad? we are (refused dessert = good; didn’t have time to go to the gym = bad), there is no finish line. This weight preoccupation will never lead us anywhere. It is a maniacal maze that always spits you out at the same point it sucked you up: wanting. We keep chasing after perfection as if it is an achievable goal, when really it is the most grand and painful of all mirages. ?Spontaneity is crucial to health. Listening to when your body is hungry, and for what, is a mindful act anathema to most young women. In fact, the majority of those I interviewed for this book don’t even know how to identify when they are hungry or when they are full. They have so intellectualized the rights and wrongs of feeding themselves that they can’t feel a damn thing.
-Courtney Martin; Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body
It made a huge impression on me when I first heard Human Behavior expert John Demartini say that you must plant flowers in the garden of your mind or you will be ?forever pulling weeds. Although the guy has a lot of cutesy sayings that fall somewhere in between Cheddar and Provolone, there is no doubt that many of his sayings, like this one, are very well thought out and meaningful.
This saying in particular means that you must fill your life and your mind with what is important to you, and what you are passionate about doing/experiencing/exploring, or distractions and annoyances will end up filling your mind and your life–just like a garden with nothing planted in it will quickly be overrun with the stuff you don’t want in your garden. When I first heard this, and the truth of it sank in, it was only a matter of weeks before I purchased 30 health and nutrition books online and started what later became 180DegreeHealth. I’ve been dedicated to filling up as much of my life and mind with whatever I find to be the most interesting ever since.
What saddens me is thinking about all our culture’s wasted time and head space that gets wrapped up in ?what am I going to eat today? and ?gosh life would be better if I lost 20 pounds. To me, this neurotic and obsessive behavior (that first struck me at around age 14) has become one of the primary diseases of modern humans, no doubt a direct result of being bombarded with a barrage of marketing messages that are totally unrealistic (and of course cloaking serious health problems and eating disorders–because you can’t see those in a picture or commercial) and the yardstsicks of self-worth that are generated based on that.
But after researching stress in greater detail, it’s become apparent to me that this fixation on weight, body image, diet, and so forth is a much greater health liability than any known junk food. I also wouldn’t disagree with Shawn Talbott, author of The Cortisol Connection, who states that stressing out about your diet too much is a leading cause of excessive cortisol production. It’s probably an even more prevalent problem than eating a truly crappy diet, and is a problem that humans have never immersed themselves in to such a degree until now.
But it gives me great joy to bring my research full circle. In fact, I applied for an LLC name in Hawaii in 2005 called ?The Body Trust. It was based in part on an epiphany I had while starving myself out in the Wilderness, which was the climax of my war against myself to achieve superhuman fitness, leanness, toughness, and self-sufficiency. The name was turned down because the word Trust is apparently off-limits, so I went back to the drawing board and came up with Sacred Self instead–the original name of this website.
Cheesy I know, and Woo-Woo up to Wazoo, but the meaning behind it was truly revolutionary. My main sermon was to form a pact with yourself, make a conscious effort to avoid feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse in all things in life but most importantly your exercise and food choices (I can still vividly remember how focused I was on enjoying a piece of chocolate cake for the first time instead of beating myself up over it and quickly promising to run 47 miles on my hands the next day), and to fully trust and obey cues for hunger and desires for physical activity.
That’s where this all began, and I even published a few articles in a New Agey publication about self-judgment and an article entitled, ?How Much Do Your Beliefs Weigh?? which featured my strong belief that negative self-talk and the binge and repent mindset were at the root of excess body fat storage.
All that aside, the big question is how do we overcome our neurotic fixations on body image and our diet, in the name of better health–and more importantly, a better and more empowered and fulfilling life–filled ?ful? of flowers and not weeds?
First, we must break down some of the myths surrounding leanness. We clearly have a totally delusional infatuation with it.
Why is leanness attractive? Leanness is attractive because it is more scarce. Scarcity is what gives all things value. At times in history, and in many countries still today like Mauritania which is the most extreme, it was much harder to be big, strong, and full-bodied than it was to have a 6-pack. Being voluptuous was more attractive, not being lean. In some cultures it’s hot to put a big plate inside your bottom lip or get your face really scarred up. Beauty is mostly a subjective matter and is based almost purely on being rare and difficult to obtain–just like diamonds, gold, silver, art, boutique wines, etc.
Shaved (no pun intended) down to its core, attraction is all about VALUE. What makes a person attractive is based on how valuable they are to the prospective ?buyer. The two most common virtues that are valued in today’s society are wealth (and the status and sphere of influence that accompanies it) and physical beauty (which again, is mostly subjective). For mutual attraction to emerge between two people, there has to be a state of value equality between two people–an equal exchange. When the exchange is equal, the two people have matching self-confidence (self-worth, the prime determinant of your attractiveness), and they feel equally lucky to be in the relationship because each possesses something that the other values.
When there is a power shift however, like one person getting a huge promotion or say, being in the National spotlight for overcoming testicular cancer and going on to win a worldwide athletic competition that inspires a billion people, the balance is totally thrown out of whack. When this happens a whole set of instinctual behaviors emerge that try to achieve balance once more. The lesser person in the relationship will often be quite irrational in trying to bring the other down to his or/her level (via resentment, infidelity, depression, alcoholism, abusive and/or combative behavior) or bring himself or herself up in value (by getting leaner, trying to seduce another, more powerful person, plastic surgery, or whatever desperate measures can be conjured up).
I bring this all up because, in today’s day and age, one thing you don’t want to use to attract another person is physical beauty. Physical beauty, unlike most other qualities that can have value and therefore be attractive to someone else, is a DEPRECIATING ASSET. I semi grew up in Aspen, CO for the love of Pete. What I’m about to say is not a stereotype, but a fundamental law of interpersonal relationships?
The more attractive you are based on society’s definition, the higher your probability of attracting people more fixated on physical appearance and less fixated on personality characteristics. Most people probably have a percentage. Some are 10% physically attracted, 90% attracted to other values–some are 90% -10% in the other direction.
And I’m telling you, the more attractive you are, the more likely you are to attract someone whose attraction is more heavily weighted on physical appearance.
Wealthy young man marries hot young woman. This is a common exchange because these are the two most prized ‘scarce? attributes in modern society. Her accessory is the large diamond she gets out of the exchange and the increasing social status. His accessory is the woman herself and his personal feeling of self-confidence as every man obsessed with physical appearance (there are many) wishes they could be him. Both enter into the top tier in the pecking order for their respective genders (and yes, men and women’s pursuit of stupid leanness is more in competition with people of their own sex for power and thus increased self-worth, not necessarily because it is what the opposite sex finds attractive–but again, self-worth is the overall prime determinant of attractiveness).
Man gets increasingly wealthy. Hot woman becomes increasingly less hot. Woman goes crazy dieting and getting plastic surgery and blowing enormous amounts of money on things that make her feel more attractive and confident (jewelry, botox, designer clothes) trying to maintain equality. Both stop getting along and start becoming unfaithful. It is a mess. Inequality of self-worth cannot exist in a healthy relationship.
Or the man of course just cashes out and seeks out a younger, hotter piece of ass that equalizes his ever-growing self-worth.
You may not see this play out much where you live, but it has taken over places like Aspen and parts of So Cal and South Florida with jaw-dropping consistency. It’s probably no coincidence that Lance moved to Aspen where he can bar tender bartenders.
I bring this all up because being attractive is just as much of a curse as it is a blessing. To be fixated on it as if life will be made better by becoming more attractive is a tragic error. Rather, the more attractive you become the more you attract those who care more about physical appearance than anything else, and as the love you receive from your partner slips away with your beauty over the years, and your partner starts spending lots of time checking out other people and wishing to do a trade-in for a younger model, you will get to experience what it feels like to be on the short end of the relationship stick.
So based on the grounds of relationships, or attracting a wonderful mate, there really is no grounds for thinking you need to improve your appearance. Even if physical attraction is important to you, and you want to ‘tie down? a hottie, you’ll be more likely to achieve it by generating an asset more valuable to a hottie–like material wealth, or being a great musician, entertainer, intellectual, etc. (trust me, Orianthi could gain 50 pounds and still be more desirable than any supermodel on earth).
And let’s not forget that?
1) Dramatic attempts to become super lean and hot usually end up with you becoming more fat and ugly with more health problems and more emotional instability.
2) We are usually pretty limited in our ability to change our physical appearance more than slightly–not enough to make any real difference in the grand scheme of things.
3) The opportunity cost of being perpetually fixated on your outward appearance, your diet, and your exercise regimen is a huge waste of your time here on earth, keeping you from having more fulfilling experiences in your life, and cultivating self-worth via other means that are NOT DEPRECIATING ASSETS.
4) The more obsessive you become about being more attractive, the more insecure, self-conscious, self-critical, narrow-minded, and one-dimensional you are likely to become.
5) The more you value physical appearance, the less you will be able to connect with yourself and others and appreciate people, including yourself, for the many, diverse gifts and talents one can possess.
6) Diet obsessiveness is socially crippling and alienates friends and family members
7) Restrained eating is a serious health liability (Linda Bacon claims there were 75 studies that demonstrate this as of 2008).
8) Being worried about how you look is without question the single biggest turnoff to others in the world. Trying on 36 outfits to see which one makes you look the least fat is not ?cute. In my experience, seeing beauty in someone who cannot see it themselves because of some drive for the elusive perfection, is deeply heartbreaking.
9) The universal quest to obtain and express unconditional love (for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse) gets farther out of reach the more you measure yourself up to an aesthetic ideal (which, again, is mostly subjective, and is an elusive fantasy that no one can ever obtain).
10) If you diet down below your weight set point to attract someone, you will create an artificially high standard for your looks in the other person’s eyes, which will lead to a lot of disappointment in the person you attract when you gain all that back plus some.
11) There are 7 million Americans, and many more millions worldwide with a diagnosed eating disorder (and an estimated 25% chance of dying from suicide or that affliction directly and a more than 20-year reduction in life expectancy once diagnosed), and diet and body image fixation is the ?gateway drug? to get there.
12) Most of the compiled epidemiological health stats gathered worldwide suggest that being slightly overweight is more healthy, and yields much greater longevity, than if you are a of a ?normal? weight or are underweight compared to your fellow countrymen and women.
So I propose something totally different, and that something different is to take a lot of focus off of diet and body image (weeds) and make a conscious and continuing effort to replace those weeds with the things you want to do, experience, have, learn about, and spend your day doing– not just for your own sense of enjoyment, but to actually cultivate self-worth in areas that don’t depreciate.
Sure, health is important. We all want to feel good, be full of life, have the energy and charisma to do the things in life we want to do, and so forth. Health will always be the foundation for living a truly inspiring and fulfilling life. And our diet and lifestyle is a great backbone for all that. However, this desire to nourish oneself, eat the type of food that makes us feel good and perform at our best instead of for other reasons, and establishing a healthy relationship with our diets, our health, and our physical attributes, is something that stems from total dietary freedom, flexibility, open-mindedness, and lack of restraint of any kind.
You should never allow yourself to feel deprived of something so easily under your control as the food you eat or the amount of rest and/or activity you require to function at your best.
But most importantly, no matter who you are you must swear above all else that you will never betray yourself with self-deprecating thoughts. If you get one thing out of this post, it would be to replace those self-deprecating thoughts and that body image fixation with time spent cultivating your greatest skill, fulfilling your greatest pleasure, touching the lives of others with whatever gifts you’ve been given, and begin taking a large dose of the wonder drug Fukitol for additional support with that.
In other words, to quote the movie Little Miss Sunshine, ?Do what you love and f#!% the rest. If you don’t love thinking about and playing around with your diet to see how it can change how you feel and function, then stop doing it. If you don’t love checking yourself out in the mirror 47 times per day and constantly thinking about that little pouch of fat on ?x? part of your body, then stop doing it. If you don’t really love engaging in the endlessly interesting health conversation on this website, then spend your time doing something you love more. I won’t be offended.
In closing, I don’t think there’s anything much more inspirational than this as it pertains to us all trying to overcome the nagging, time-consuming, and disease-causing fixation on body image. Many people allow 100 pounds, 50 pounds, or even as little as 5-10 pounds to get in the way of them doing truly great things with the gifts they’ve been given (or even go on a beach vacation)–or the desire to be more attractive occupies so much time and energy and mental racket that it prevents people from developing valuable knowledge and skills–or even being so much as a good parent, a good friend, or just enjoy a slice of pizza.
Well, you can weigh over 700 pounds, barely be able to breathe, and still be widely loved, adored, respected, appreciated, and honored for the talented and passionate person that you are. IZ (shown above), perhaps the state of Hawaii’s greatest icon, and the only non-government official to have the state flag flown at half mast after death, was recently recognized by NPR as having one of the top 50 voices in the history of recorded music.Nearly 20?years after his death, his most beloved song has had well over 90,000,000 views on Youtube, and is still one of the top downloaded songs worldwide. I highly recommend watching this video?if you have any image insecurities with weight or otherwise.
The question is, would his time have been better spent dieting, feeling ashamed over how he looked, constantly trying to figure out how to lose weight, looking in the mirror, hiding from cameras, counting grams of trans fats or sugar in his food, and shying away from the public eye for fear of being looked upon as a glutton by a bunch of people who don’t understand the first thing about body weight regulation? If he had a 6-pack would he have been more loved or less loved? If you get that last little bit of cellulite off your ass, and you spend most of your idle time thinking about how you look, will you inspire others and leave a mark on society so profound that someone that you’ve never met will see a random video of you on Youtube?20 years after you die and have tears of inspiration rolling down their cheeks? I kinda doubt it.
This next year, make it a resolution to first choose Inspiration, then Health (and doing what makes you feel physically good) in that order, and stop trying to lose weight. If you lose weight doing that, great. If you don’t, great. It doesn’t matter. The weight problem is the fixation on it, not the weight itself. And that can be cured in 5 seconds if you really GET what I’m saying in this post.
Besides, I still fully agree with Schwarzbein’s proclamation, “you must get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to be healthy.” But I think it can be taken even further, in that you must cure a weight issue to lose weight, not lose weight to cure a weight issue. Like a wise man once said, “don’t drink to solve your problems, solve your problems before you drink.”
From Linda Bacon, author of Health at Every Size…
?Only through extraordinary effort and education have I been able to free myself from my obsession with weight.
?As wonderful as food is, it is only one of many pleasures in my life. I am no longer waiting to lose weight before I live my life fully. Having freed up all the energy and time that I spent on dieting or obsessing about my weight or food and having let go of my shame about these, I have greater depth and fulfillment in my life, including deeper intimacy with others. I don’t think about my weight, and it stays fairly consistent. Oddly, after this new eating pattern became firmly rooted, I actually lost about thirty pounds.
?Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates ‘thin? with ?healthy? is the problem.
?There is an easy way to win the war against fat and reclaim your pleasure in eating: Just give up. Yes, give up. Stop fighting.
This section features recipes, cooking tips, and food discussion by Matt Stone.
Boy are you suckaz in for a treat with heat! A couple of weeks ago I reached my takeout pizza threshold. You know what that means. That means I’m back in a much better daily groove on the culinary side of things. Heck, I haven’t eaten anything outside of my home for a whole week now. That means there is a lot of cooking going on in my household. When that happens, I’ve always got lots to talk about. So what I’m sayin’ is that I’m re-enthused, and I’m going the extra mile and being completely seasonally-appropriate as well (for those in the Northern Hemisphere that is). There was a cloud today in Florida. Maybe that’s what did it. I don’t know.
Inexplicable burst of seasonal appropriateness aside, let’s talk chili. I have a special place in my heart for chili, perhaps because chili so often contains beans, and beans are well-known to be good for your heart (the only reference I have for this at the moment is a song). Actually, it’s more likely that chili holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first foods I dared to attempt to make while?living on my own for the first time at age 19. It came out surprisingly good, and I spent a couple of years immersed in chili wizardry trying to make the perfect batch.
Of course, now that my broader culinary skills are unthinkably superior after a lengthy stint at the very highest echelons of the culinary industry, any attempts at chili now blow my early attempts completely out of the water. More importantly, I’ve realized that chili doesn’t have to be so complicated with a thousand ingredients and some?ritualistic tribal preparation technique. It can be made very simply and with some truly slacker cheats.Lengthy and complicated?preparation was like a rite of passage when I was a stuck-up young culinary brat. Now I’m keeping it simple enough to bark simple instructions to my girlfriend in the kitchen (the worst cook of all time, but that’s okay because I’m a firm believer that women belong in the bedroom, not the kitchen! Please don’t take offense to this,’this whole section?in?parentheses?is pretty much for her entertainment), while I piddle around on the trusty ol’ laptop.
We made a batch?on Friday that was definitely the best?I’ve?ever made. It’s been at least five years since?I’ve made chili.With chili like this, it certainly won’t be another five years before?we make it again. As you check out the ingredient list and directions, you’ll see some things that make the preparation extremely easy, perhaps even slacker in nature:
- 2 pounds?fatty ground?beef
- 2 onions, small dice
- 32-ounce (about 1 liter)?container of mild salsa
- 1/2 can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 2 big cans of beans, your preference as to what type
- Chili powder
- Blackstrap molasses
- Balsamic vinegar
- Brown the beef in a wide-bottomed pot.
- When lots of the fat in the beef has been rendered and there is plenty of grease in the pan, add the diced onions.
- Cook the onions until nice and soft.
- Blend the half can of chipotles and salsa together in a blender.
- Add to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot well.
- Drain the beans and add to the pot.
- Add several heaping tablespoons of chili powder.
- Stir as you bring everything up to a boil. When boiling, reduce to a slow simmer, cover, and allow to simmer for at least 2 hours–stirring every half hour or so.
- When it’s done, season with salt and a little balsamic vinegar and blackstrap molasses to taste. It is up to you to balance out the acidity, saltiness, and sweetness.
- Ideally, serve on the 2nd day over some kind of starch, such as rice, pasta, or cornbread. Damn chili’s always better on the 2nd day.
Jon Gabriel Interview
This section features an article by one of the leading minds in health each month.
In?Pursuit of Physical Attractiveness
By Andrew Kim
Having already written an article about physical attractiveness that generated quite a bit of interest, I chose for this month’s newsletter to continue on with that topic because it ties together many of the ideas that are appropriate for the theme of this monthly newsletter.
The pursuit of physical attractiveness has always been important to people; but now, I think it’s safe to say that this pursuit has become a lifestyle in view of the fact that people are now seemingly willing to do anything to their bodies to that end: they will pierce it, tattoo it, and if they don’t like a part of it, they’ll have surgery to get rid of or augment a part of it.
I’m fully aware of the fact that this pursuit is looked down on, and in certain circumstances I fully agree. But for all intents, I believe this pursuit represents noble aspirations; that is to say, the desire to express oneself in the utmost embodiment of his or her physical being.
After reading the literature on the topic in preparation for writing this post, a few points are now clear to me. The first is that physical attractiveness is not merely ‘skin deep.? The second is that physical attractiveness is not entirely genetically endowed. The third is that physical attractiveness is a fairly good indicator of a person’s health, including his physical, reproductive, and genetic health. And the fourth is that physical attractiveness is seated in biology, and therefore amenable to the appropriate diet and lifestyle factors.
Before moving forward, an important point should be brought to your attention. Much of the data on which this post is based are correlational, and in order to move towards establishing proof of causality, different types of experiments are needed ? whatever they might be. Herein lies the difficulty, simply owing to the nature of the subject. I encourage you, the reader, to investigate the matter further on your own, and to regard this article as merely suggestive and not final. Okay, onwards.
As to what I’m proposing, most people miss the mark in a big way. They opt to enhance and manufacture physical attractiveness by way of plastic surgery, makeup, and so forth. In point of fact, the latest statistics show that more people, including guys, are, or at least thinking about, having plastic surgery at younger and younger ages.1
But in so doing, they are manufacturing the traits that the opposite sex inherently finds attractive as to give off the perception of health, rather than enhancing their health to promote physical attractiveness. As to the latter approach, piecing together all the disparate data on the topic like a puzzle, a strong case could be made for its plausibility.
Unfortunately, not only do we lack the tools to definitively clarify the relationships among all the disparate data, but we also lack concrete ideas for how to logistically do so ? especially when considering the layers of complexity introduced when we add developmental factors and early life experiences into the mix, for instance. Despite those added dimensions of complexity, physical attractiveness hinges on many factors that are amenable to the appropriate lifestyle interventions, the most important of which are stress, hormones, and metabolism ? as well as the interplay among them.
II. THE ANTI-STRESS VITAMIN?
I first became aware of environmental factors as modulators of physical appearance, one way or the other, studying the so-called anti-psychotic drugs. This class of drugs mainly block dopamine receptors, but they also, albeit less potently, block adrenaline and acetylcholine receptors. The support for these purported mechanisms are seen no more clearly than in the side effects experienced by their users, which include weight gain, bad breath, dry mouth, facial hair growth in women[*], cataracts, acne, voice changes, tics and spasms, and disturbed symmetry in walking.2
One of dopamine’s main effects is to lower prolactin, so the resultant increase in prolactin by anti-psychotic drugs ? which again blocks dopamine’s effects ? probably mediates many of their side effects. One of the most basic reasons as to why dopamine levels may decrease, save for the use of drugs, is that a cofactor involved in its synthesis is deficient or missing altogether; namely, vitamin B6.
The metabolism of dopamine, like that of the other amino acid derived neurotransmitters[?], is dependent on vitamin B6, and when vitamin B6 is deficient it becomes the limiting factor in the production of the amino acid derived neurotransmitters, as well as in their metabolism. Not surprisingly, vitamin B6 lowers prolactin levels ? most dramatically in people already deficient in the vitamin.
Considering the difficulty in finding foods that contain sufficient quantities of this vitamin, as well as the myriad of factors that deplete it (including stress), supplementation is worth considering if a deficiency is suspected. ?I’ve often found that this approach ? letting the response to a particular treatment make the diagnosis ? is the best approach for determining the cause of a vaguely defined health problem. Two forms of vitamin B6 are currently available: pyridoxine and pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP).
Although PLP is the form in which vitamin B6 is stored in tissues, it’s probably not worth the extra cost since the experiments in which large doses of vitamin B6 were safely given to subjects used the pyridoxine form.
Regardless of the form used, the main concern regarding vitamin B6 supplementation is neuropathy, or damage to nerves in the body that results in a defect in the perception of pain, as well as in weakness and numbness. The experiments I just alluded to, however, used doses on the order of 100 to 300 mg per day quite safely and with only positive effects.4 And when neuropathy did occur, it was quickly reversible upon discontinuing the vitamin. So doses on the order of 50 to 100 mg per day shouldn’t present a significant risk as far as neuropathy is concerned.5
A deficiency of vitamin B6 should be expected to produce varied effects, owing to its involvement in basic reactions that are used redundantly in different processes and in different systems in the body. A certain prostaglandin (of the E series), for instance, reduces stress in the body (discussed later) by blunting the release of noradrenalin from nerve endings; one researcher has repeatedly stressed the role of vitamin B6 as a cofactor in the efficient production of that particular prostaglandin.3
Two additional effects of vitamin B6, appearing to kick in when tissues become saturated with it, concern the stress response. Vitamin B6 not only dampens the outflow of impulses from the sympathetic nervous system (partly by the prostaglandin-dependent mechanism described above), but it also decreases tissue sensitivity to cortisol ? an integral player in the stress response. Therefore, vitamin B6 is an ?anti-stress? vitamin in the most basic sense of the term, and maintaining high levels of it can help to prevent the ravages of stress, which include accelerated skin aging[?] and distortions in facial symmetry.[?]?
III. TAMING STRESS
Stress entails a mismatch; a mismatch between the stressors we encounter and our ability to mount an adaptive response to restore the imbalances caused by those stressors.[**]? In the broadest sense, that’s really all stress is. Although there are others, the main hormone in the interest of reducing the ravages of stress is cortisol.
Without a doubt, cortisol is an important, life-saving hormone. It’s only when cortisol goes off the rails and out of control that problems manifest. Conditions in which elevated cortisol levels are involved include heart disease, hypertension, and depression.
The exposure to cortisol should be kept as low as possible, an endeavor that falls mainly on the hormone’s regulation. In youth and health, upon the exposure to a stressor, cortisol should come in, do its thing, and quickly thereafter be eliminated from the body. But the regulation of cortisol begins to fail (for reasons I won’t go into here) as we age, whereupon the exposure to the same stressors, cortisol is secreted in larger amounts than is needed and persists in the body longer than it should.
Interestingly, cortisol levels have been shown to correlate with the perception of physical attractiveness by the opposite sex, more so than sex hormone levels or secondary sex traits. Cortisol also correlates positively with bad breath,[??]which is also, if you recall, brought about by the antipsychotic drugs. In fact, bad breath and sweat smell, apparently indicators of high cortisol (in relation to testosterone[??]) and therefore health status, are strong deterrents to the opposite sex.[??] Bad breath and sweat smell aside, the main effect of cortisol as to the interest of preserving physical attractiveness is its effect on the skin. Cortisol accelerates the aging of skin mainly by thinning all layers of it, including the muscle and fat layers, causing sagging and a loss of apparent plumpness; cortisol also impairs regeneration and the ability to repair damages therein.
Cortisol was the main focus of research of Han Selye, who pioneered nearly all of what we now know about stressors, the stress response, and the physiological effects thereof. Selye believed that organisms were endowed with a predetermined amount of ?energy? to ?deal? with stressors, after which maladaptation, illness, and death would follow. I, however, have a different take. What Selye deemed a predetermined amount of energy probably translates to the irreversible damages incurred from the chronic and excessive exposure to the stress hormones. The damages sustained from this type of exposure are cumulative, and in an insidious way they also intensify the stress response, increasing our exposure to the stress hormones, thereby further impairing our ability to bounce back from subsequent stressors.
In point of fact, everyone knows that old people recover from illnesses more slowly than younger people; old people are also slower to regulate their body temperatures in response to changes, either up or down, in the ambient temperature.
With all this in mind, keeping stress in check should be a priority for those of us who wish to age as gracefully as possible ? not only for the sake of physical attractiveness, but also for all facets of our health.
Vitamin B6 is involved in our resistance to stress, which animal and ‘test tube? experiments have all but confirmed. In those experiments, the setup entailed varying the concentrations of vitamin B6 while examining the effects on the expression of various genes involved in processing cortisol. What became clear was that maintaining levels of vitamin B6[***] in the high end of the normal range dampened the sensitivity and responsiveness of target tissues to cortisol ? thereby conferring some degree of protection against the damaging effects of stress. 6 In one human study, vitamin B6 supplementation lowered blood pressure by reducing the overall ‘tone? of the sympathetic nervous system, thereby lowering the secretion of the stress hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin.7 The old observation that ulcers can be prevented by massive doses of vitamin B6 further speaks to the vitamin’s role as an ?anti-stress? vitamin.
In addition to saturating with vitamin B6, another means to keep cortisol down is to keep blood sugar up. Avoiding bouts of hypoglycemia ? the range for which is more variable among people than is typically believed ? is not only essential for keeping the stress hormones down, but also (from my own observations and experiences) helps to prevent the complexion from becoming dull, sallow, and drawn.[???]?
IV. OVERCOMING HYPOGLYCEMIA?
Hypoglycemia is often thought to occur only after a person hasn’t eaten for many hours, and only when the characteristic signs and symptoms appear: shakiness, hunger, sweaty palms, dizziness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, and so forth.
However, the symptoms of hypoglycemia can be even subtler, and the blood glucose levels at which signs and symptoms like these begin to appear varies greatly from person to person. In fact, any deviation from the blood glucose level normal for a particular person can be a significant event.
One person, for instance, may begin to have tremors when her blood glucose levels drop by merely 2 or 3 points from baseline levels, whereas another person may be completely unaffected by the same degree of change.[???] Further, one person may experience severe neurological impairments, such as memory and speech problems, at blood glucose levels that are considered ?normal? by the ?establishment.?? Notwithstanding all of the widely known signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia, probably the most insidious is the sudden loss of drive, motivation, and interest and pleasure in the things that previously elicited these sentiments.
There are a myriad of reasons as to why hypoglycemia can occur; but for all intents, the brain and liver are mainly involved in most cases, being the organs most dominant in regulating blood glucose levels. Unless we intervene, the repeated bouts of hypoglycemia can become a vicious circle, whereby the brain loses its ability to keep blood glucose levels up as a result of its insufficient and erratic supply of glucose, for instance.
In the liver, glucose converts the inactive thyroid hormone to the active form, T3. T3, in turn, facilitates the conversion of glycogen to glucose in the liver. In the body, T3 enhances the uptake and use of glucose, while stimulating the activity of all the enzyme complexes involved in the oxidative metabolism of glucose. In short, the thyroid hormone fosters a state in which the body receives a steady and continuous supply of glucose that is, in turn, efficiently burnt for energy.
So, a fundamental effect of thyroid hormone is to quickly raise blood glucose levels ? like the stress hormones. But unlike the stress hormones, we now know that the thyroid hormone also promotes the uptake and use of glucose, in effect synergizing with insulin in this regard. Suffice it to say here, keeping the stress hormones and body fat percentage in relation to lean tissue down supports a state in which the thyroid gland and the hormones produced therefrom function optimally. Sugar, compared to fat (which generally has the opposite effect), supports the conversion of thyroid hormone to its active form.
Since the thyroid hormone opposes the effects of the stress hormones, it also facilitates wound healing and tissue repair ? including the processes that culminate in skin aging and wrinkling ? by stimulating the use of glucose and indirectly by improving the delivery of nutrients and removal of waste from tissues. [???] The effectiveness of topically applied thyroid hormone, which is quite efficiently delivered to and from the skin by way of skin surface oils, [****] is further evidence of this effect.8
Keeping the metabolic rate up is also important in that the ATP molecule, being negatively charged, binds and prevents the release of the stress hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin, both of which bear positive charges under physiological conditions.[????]? In other words, the synthesis of ATP should keep pace with its degradation so as to dampen the overall ‘tone? of the sympathetic nervous system. Therefore, like vitamin B6, ATP can be conceived of as ?anti-stress.? Worth mentioning here is the fact that the thyroid hormone increases the requirement for all of the B vitamins, which function as cofactors of reactions involved in the oxidative metabolism of glucose.[????]
Because the liver plays a dominant role in regulating blood glucose levels (the evidence for which I won’t go into here),[????] probably the most basic means to rectify blood glucose issues presumably due to liver problems is to support and nourish the organ itself. Support for the liver entails eating adequate amounts of protein, all the B vitamins, antioxidants, and small amounts of caffeine.[*****]
But probably the most effective and dependable means to keep blood glucose levels in the functional range is to eat at least every 3 to 4 hours (if not more frequently) throughout the day. Not only will this ensure that blood glucose levels remain in the functional, and out of the hypoglycemic range for as much of the day as possible, but it will also keep the stress hormones ? including cortisol ? down by the same extent. Studies in animals and humans have shown that frequent nibbling versus 2 or 3 large meals results in greater weight loss, despite eating the same amount of food.[?????]?
I learned a long time ago that one should always be aware of all the tools that are available to dissect a biological problem like the one presented in this article. With that said, I can say that as increasingly sophisticated approaches required to turn the correlational data into proof of cause and effect are developed to test the ideas presented herein more directly, we should begin to understand more deeply as to how the factors discussed above ? stress, hormones, and metabolism ? impact our perceived physical attractiveness, from facial symmetry to body odor.
One means to quickly test preliminary ideas (within reason) is through self-experimentation. I’ve always been an advocate for this approach, especially given vaguely defined health problems that entail great individual variation; that is to say, allowing the response to an intervention make the diagnosis, rather than a single flaky lab test that may leave your physician no other choice but to give you a clean bill of health when you feel anything but.
In conclusion, I’ll leave you with what I said in the introduction, which is that I encourage you, the reader, to merely regard this article a suggestive and not final by any means ? a starting point for as much continuing investigation as you have time to pursue.?
1.?????? 2012 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. Am. Soc. Plast. Surg. 7, 10, 12, 14 (2012). at <http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Documents/news-resources/statistics/2012-Plastic-Surgery-Statistics/full-plastic-surgery-statistics-report.pdf>
2.?????? Rang, H. P., Dale, M. M., Ritter, J. M., Flower, R. J. & Henderson, G. Rang & Dale’s Pharmacology. 792 (2011).
3.?????? Horrobin, D. F. Loss of delta-6-desaturase activity as a key factor in aging. Med. Hypotheses 7, 1211?20 (1981).
4.?????? Ellis, J. M. & Pamplin, J. Vitamin B6 Therapy: Nature’s Versatile Healer. (Avery, 1998).
5.?????? Bendich, A. & Cohen, M. Vitamin B6 safety issues. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 585, 321?30 (1990).
6.?????? Maksymowych, A. B., Daniel, V. & Litwack, G. Pyridoxal phosphate as a regulator of the glucocorticoid receptor. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 585, 438?51 (1990).
7.?????? Aybak, M., Sermet, A., Ayyildiz, M. O. & Karakil?ik, A. Z. Effect of oral pyridoxine hydrochloride supplementation on arterial blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. Arzneimittelforschung. 45, 1271?3 (1995).
8.?????? Safer, J. D., Crawford, T. M. & Holick, M. F. Topical thyroid hormone accelerates wound healing in mice. Endocrinology 146, 4425?30 (2005).
9.?????? Lovallo, W. R. et al. Caffeine stimulation of cortisol secretion across the waking hours in relation to caffeine intake levels. Psychosom. Med. 67, 734?9
[*] Technically hirsutism
[?] Suffice it to say, I am using the term ?neurotransmitter? loosely, as the stringent criteria by which a substances becomes eligible to be labeled as such is not definitively met in all studies, mainly owing to the lack of the sophistication in the techniques required to do so.
[?] In a myriad of ways
[?] Facial symmetry correlates with the perception of physical attractiveness.
[**] Technically, homeostasis
[??] Technically, halitosis
[??] Testosterone is actually a poor indicator of perceived physical attractiveness on its own, suggesting that cortisol is the dominant factor in the relationship between perceived physical attractiveness and hormones, as cortisol and testosterone share an inverse relationship.
[??] In women, this relationship is modulating by the time of their cycle in which these tests are performed.
[***] Vitamin B6 exists as PLP in tissues.
[???] The author has tested this idea on himself with a glucometer he bought on EBay.
[???] Michael Somogyi, known for elucidating the ?Somogyi Effect?, was one of the earliest and loudest advocates of this idea.
[****] Technically sebum
[????] Presumably, based on the idea that if all the amines were free in solution, neurons would burst because of the osmotic pressure.
[????] Mainly decarboxylation and hydrogenation reactions
[????] The evidence for which I won’t go into here
[*****] Although distinctly liver protective, overindulgence in caffeine brings about surges in cortisol,9 and can aggravate hypoglycemia; therefore, the operative word here is small.
[?????] Excessive body fat is, according to the definition that was previously made, can be perceived as a stressor.
This section features some thoughts and experiences shared by a 180 reader. If you would like to contribute, send an email to rob@180degreehealth and you can be the next featured reader.
180 Reader Scott Schlegel
Food for Mood:?My Life as a Vegetarian to Vegan to Low Carb to Paleo Lower Carb to Carb Loving
Let’s go back to 2006. I graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree, was the life of the party, and had ample sex drive. I played Division III football and had lifted heavily since I was 16. During every summer, I’d eat as much food, regardless of what it was, as my digestive system could handle to quickly gain weight for the season. Weight gainers, bread, eggs, etc. I’m sure most people would say this about these ages anyways, but I felt outstanding. I took Accutane in High School to clear up my face ? now I know how crucial Retinol (pre-formed Vitamin A) is to metabolism.
(left) Summer 2006:? Happy and big.
I joined the Air Force and had high blood pressure ? potentially only because of stress from life changes. Either way, this sent me down a never-ending search for the Holy Grail of health. If you’re reading this, you’ve maybe been there:? micro-managing micronutrients, researching Chinese herbs and exotic fruits, and sucking down foods that are arguably not food simply because they have some mystical substance found in nothing else.
I became interested in stock trading. I consumed material on human nature and philosophy to help. This knowledge and my engineering education ended up greatly influencing my drastic diet changes the past year. However, most of the credit goes to Danny Roddy and Matt Stone.
Philosophy on Human Nature
?The obvious is obviously wrong.
?Where everyone thinks the same, no one thinks very much.
?The majority is wrong about anything that is complex enough that it requires a specialist to understand because there is no way the majority is comprised of specialists.
Thinking like this has left me very open-minded? Maybe too open-minded as you’ll read.
I have met so many unhealthy looking ?healthy? people that have aged prematurely that will quickly say they don’t eat something that ?has too much sugar.? I once believed that too. I’ll get into the story shortly, but I now work offshore of New Orleans. It’s a fantastic city, but unfortunately is one of America’s obesity capitals. Being offshore gave me a great environment to study diet and lifestyle habits of individuals. One common denominator: everything’s cooked in vegetable oil.
Occam’s Razor:? You will eat sugar or your brain will eat your body.
In the book Red Queen, the author mentions how genes will kill other genes, cells will kill other cells all in the name of ?Survival and Replication.? The two main functions of every living thing. I didn’t understand most of his book, but I came away suspecting that individual cells/genes are battling for survival all still trying to support the organism’s survival and replication. The brain sacrificing muscle tissue for glucose may be an example.
Vegetarian and Whole Foods (2006 ? 2008)
I gave up sugar, meat and anything out of a box. I ate whole grain bread, fruit, nuts, oranges, rice, potatoes, eggs, and milk. I immediately thought this whole foods and lots of fiber thing was the answer because I felt better. I also tried to eat a little of everything ? especially essential fatty acids and essential amino acids (protein powders). At one point I was using safflower oil as basically a supplement for LA (linoleic acid). I really believed ?everything in moderation? and that I needed all these substances my body couldn’t create. I started running distance for the first time in my life. I felt amazing and looked good at first. Slowly, my acne began getting bad again, I lost some hair, and my toenails became nasty for the first time in my life.
I discovered colon cleanses: herbal, bulking, and yes, even urine enemas. Shockingly, the urine enema protocol completely cleared my cystic acne. At the moment, I discovered how important regularity, digestion and detoxification are to the body. I custom-built herbal detoxes and became even bigger on fiber (both soluble and insoluble).
Since I was on the herbal kick, I stepped it up a notch and discovered herbs that support almost every single part of the body. I made tinctures and teas. My social life and personal life continued to erode. I never felt like going out or talking. I did yoga, was spiritual and working on my pineal gland. I meditated. I listened to Binaural Audio Beats and Gregorian chanting to heal my DNA (528Hz supposedly). I began the insanity workout regimen.
Vegan and lower carb (2008 ? 2011)
As my hair continued to fall out and the skin on my feet became chronically itchy, I learned about glycemic index and reduced potatoes, rice and most sugar carbs to help. Oh, and I decided that I probably need to stop dairy and eggs too because some Youtube health mystic says the animal spirits don’t like us eating their products. I ended up on rice and pea protein powder, small amount of brown rice and beans almost every day, sweet potatoes, avocadoes, and every seed and nut known to man. All sprouted, of course, to limit enzyme inhibition.? I played volleyball with guys who ate McDonalds before practice. I chronically had gas (basically like my intestines were dying) and they didn’t. They even seemed to be aging better than me. I ended up with bile reflux which manifests itself with nasty sulfur burps and very intense stomach pain which is pretty much untreatable by acid reflux medicine that was prescribed to me. I discovered a book called Fiber Menace which advocated eating almost no fiber due to the stress it causes on the digestive system (another ?diet? is the Gerson method that doesn’t endorse fiber). It advocated eating animal products?
I continued to exercise chronically when I wasn’t in intense pain. I continued to lose muscle and fat. My girlfriend told me I was becoming emaciated and wasting away. I disagreed. We ended up breaking up. She told me I changed. I had. I was no longer fun. I was obsessed.
Paleo Lower Carb (2011-2012)
I decided my problems were clearly not eating enough meat, and eating too many carbs still. I started eating bison steaks, salmon and entire chickens (boiled down everything into a stew). I only ate about 25 ? 50 grams of carbs a day ? preferably in the morning. The rest of whatever weight I had left fell off. I felt good at first, but kept noticing after I ate my chicken and chicken fat, I’d get acne. My mucous membranes were going nuts and overall I didn’t feel that great. Especially coming from my ?Vegetarian? whole foods days. Fortunately, this didn’t last long. I was on a date and a girl said to me I just want to shake you to get you to smile and loosen up.? My hands were freezing that night, and although she was very attractive, I had no interest in expelling effort to be sexual with her. I questioned my sexuality. I had labs taken. Free Testosterone: 10.2 with normal range of 9.3 ? 26.5. Blood sugar:? 85 (high for a very low carb diet, right?). I found Matt Stone’s High Everything Diet and the ?Perfect Health Diet.?
(left) Summer 2012:? Super Emaciated, Gaunt Face?
High Everything Diet (2012-2013)
I started eating tons (about 3-5lbs a day) of root foods with minimal plant toxins: taro, potatoes, white rice, yucca. I started eating red meat, cheese, and milk again. Shockingly, no acne. My hair loss stabilized. I no longer had bile reflux. My mood stabilized. Despite all those carbs, my blood sugar had dropped to 75 in four months. The root foods were still giving me a little gas even though I processed the hell out of them with a pressure cooker.
Danny Roddy / Andrew Kim / Matt Stone Diet (2013)
I’ve been doing this since last February. I honestly feel like I owe my life to these guys. The fruit juice is easily digested by me and lets me consume tons of calories without bloating or gas. The coffee with honey or white sugar and sugar cane sodas are all easily digested. I feel better. Some days aren’t as good as others, but I did about seven years of damage with caloric restriction so I don’t expect rapid healing. My hair has become thicker and I remain extremely regular with almost zero fiber. It sounds insane, but I recommend people try an 80C:10F:10P diet at least once in their lives.
(right) Summer 2013?
The Case for Sugar
White cane sugar is processed through a charcoal filter removing all toxins. This provides a source of calories that are easy to digest, does not leave blood sugar elevated and does not interfere with thyroid hormone.??Blaming sugar for the inability to turn sugar into energy (diabetes) is like blaming fuel for your car’s transmission problems. It doesn’t contain co-factors, but neither does the sugar your body generates from fat or protein. It may cause AGEs, but so will glucose generated from fat (low-carbers, what about ALEs?) or protein.
(below) Sample Day ? I’m less hungry now than when I first started. I ate more then as dictated by appetite.
Hierarchy of Needs
As I started to eat much more, I found the body has tons of ways to use excess calories when it does not receive “store fat” signals. ?Think of all the functions the body performs as a hierarchy of needs – energy for heart, energy for brain, energy for detoxification, energy for repairing tissue, energy for peripheral circulation and body heat, energy for personality. ?In Red Queen, the author points out that men sometimes sacrifice immunity in order to make testosterone.
The exact order is going to depend on the signals you give your body based on your nervous system. If you exercise a ton, your body may forego some things in order to repair those muscles if it senses that developing those muscles somehow enables survival like eating after exercising.
Hollywood ruined what is naturally sexy to us – why would being skinny be attractive in any kind of survival situation prior to modern civilization? ?It signifies no wealth and no strength.
It seems the lowest natural priorities are peripheral body heat and personality. ?Neither enable survival. Personality is only crucial for replication. ?This is important for the species, but not the organism. ?I’m sure you’ve noticed how people with higher body fat content are generally more jovial while it’s near impossible to coax a smile out of an anorexic female.They also seem to procreate more.
Is personality a mechanism to use up excess energy? ?I’ve noticed I joke around a lot more while eating more and dance a lot more around my apartment.
Eating incredible amounts (6,000-10,000 calories a day) boosted my creativity, body temperature, and personality. ?If you’ve reached a high resting pulse rate and have warm hands, it signifies that all more important bodily functions are satisfied. ?If you have high peripheral temperature, your skin is being healed ? vanity -instead of forgotten as a luxury.
I’ve spent a few days purposefully eating white sugar the entire day for experimental purposes. I went on a date to a pizza place one night. I love pizza and couldn’t eat a thing. I know this seems stupid, but it shows how steady glucose flow prevents overeating all at once. ?The body hates rapid changes. ?In Electrical Engineering, control systems do not handle large impulse shocks well which makes it difficult to reach homeostasis.
I speculate that the body’s endogenous natural healing mechanisms are more powerful than any exogenous nutrients or super foods. ?These mechanisms are enabled by calories turned to energy which dictates body temp and pH. Endogenous enzymes and hormone production are very sensitive to pH and temperature. Choosing supplements based on whether or not they support endogenous systems seems wise.
“Knowledge” versus Instinct
You have cravings. ?Bonobos have cravings. ?They follow theirs. We ignore ours due to our “knowledge” of what is good or bad for us. People have powerful cravings for salt and sweets. The only enzyme in our mouth for digesting food is amylase – for digesting carbs. With powerful signs like this, why do we ignore them?? Glucose can be converted into amino acids and fatty acids. I suspect the body can allocate as required.
What if foods that make us feel full are foods that the body doesn’t want?? Most plant fibers are loaded with anti-nutrients like oxalates and phytates.
What if those that increase our hunger are foods that the body wants more of? My brain almost always tells me I want more sugar.
People get terrified of sugar because it increases appetite and they assume they’ll get fat – I’m saying that’s not necessarily the case.
Entropy of Food and Body Composition
The foods recommended by Roddy and Peat are composed of low molecular weight particles. Gelatin is a low molecular weight protein, milk fat is loaded with short chain fatty acids (more than any other food ? I’ve made a spreadsheet), and fruit sugars are monosaccharides. I suspect small molecules are more easily handled by the body, and that they are more stable. ?It’s strange that people recommend eating seeds and nuts while their oils degrade very quickly in the sun. ?If our body is mostly composed of fat that degrades easily in the sun, I suspect we will have tissue that degrades easily in the sun.
I’m not sure if this is actually does anything, but I shake my skim milk to separate the most unstable fatty acids. They break out on top, and the contents below can be consumed. Either way, I prefer shorter chain, stable fatty acids, and do not recommend large amounts of fat in general. All fatty acids are deficient in oxygen ? see table below. The only thing worse is alcohol.
Muscle, Body Fat, Exercise, Starvation
I suspect grueling cardio exercise is too stressful for the body. However, there is a case to having more muscle in order to relieve stress. ?As I wrote, glycogen and glucose are the body’s premier sources of energy. When those are exhausted, protein and fat get used under stressful, likely anaerobic conditions. ?By developing muscle tissue with calm repetition, the body increases its glycogen storing capacity which allows it to go longer without needing food, and provides storage that is not as unsightly as body fat.
Because the body must sacrifice tissue (protein), bone (minerals), and fat in order to generate glucose for the brain in a starvation scenario, and this mechanism serves to depress metabolism, I suspect a high fat, high protein diet is somewhat analogous to starvation. Insulin resistance (caused by free fatty acids and amino acids in my opinion) may be a mechanism to suppress catabolism, and enable survival. I’m amazed CrossFitters celebrate Rhabdo which is muscle catabolism in extremis.
This section is included only to create interest in a few things for further analysis. The use of pyramids for controlling and/or focusing the earth’s electromagnetic and gravitational fields. This was something clearly used by ancient cultures for something. Some claim this shape preserves fruit. Honey was used extensively by Egyptians ? it also is a very stable preserved food. Astragalus root (hey, roots are mostly safe) is interesting to me because it activates Telomerase, only when pH and temperature conditions are right, which supposedly lengthens DNA telomeres. And last, but not least, gold. Gold is a very stable substance. Some believe the ancients made a powdered gold called mfkzt (bread of the covenant) as a more stable blood oxygen carrier than iron. Maybe we should learn more about how advanced prehistoric civilizations (that may know our creator) ate and less how the Paleolithic man ate. Paleolithic men lived in caves. Modern civilization was built with carbs.