For those of you who don’t have multiple hours set aside to read through the vast collection of over 300 interesting comments that followed the last 180 Bloggie post, I thought I’d bring you up to speed.
For quite some time I have been pondering the multiple expressions of a suboptimal metabolism to the point where I have begun believing that it is the most common root source of the greatest epidemic ? the one that rules over all the others like that ring movie with the fat Goonie in it.
The metabolism, a concerted effort on behalf of the endocrine glands, the liver, and more truly controls the function of every single cell. It controls the speed at which food travels from one hole to the other. It controls what time you wake up in the morning. It controls your energy levels. It controls your sex drive and function. It governs all because you really are a product of your metabolism, which is best described as a biochemical network that transforms food, air, water, and events into the experience we know as life.
For many with health problems ranging from fatigue to allergies to susceptibility to infection to heart disease to diabetes to hypoglycemia to digestive problems of all kinds to mental illness ? enhancing the metabolism has profound repercussions. This was my lesson learned when following the dogma of Endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein several years ago, which is basically to ‘sleep well, don’t exercise too hard, and eat all of the primary food groups: fat, carbohydrates, and protein ? together. More importantly, Schwarzbein emphasizes eating at least 3 meals a day, with minimal simple sugars, eating until fullness, erring on the side of eating too much not too little, and even goes so far as to say ?food is your friend, so gag it down.
She claims, by following this advice, you can undergo ?metabolic healing,? which can eradicate asthma, end IBS and some other bowel issues, clear up allergies, increase energy, overcome addictions, build muscle without spending hours at the gym, burn fat, beat depression, and on and on and on. Personally, I noticed dramatic improvements in every single category of health one can peer into by following her program with religious fervor. I treated skipping a meal or eating anything without all of the primary macronutrient components in substantial amounts as potentially life-threatening.
Well, to make a long story short, there’s a reason why I responded so well. My metabolism improved, started running on all cylinders, and I became a well-oiled piece of human machinery in ways I hadn’t even conceptualized of. Truly.
So the big trick, the big secret if you will, is to get your metabolism to a state of maximal harmony and efficiency. I’ve experienced this to be true. The only questions remaining are does this work for everyone? Are there multiple ways of arriving at this same destination? Are some routes more efficient than others? And the big question of course is why. Why does the body work great when the metabolism is great, and suck wind when it isn’t?
Bruce K., moderator of the highly active ?AV Skeptics? at Yahoo Groups, originally a very solid critic of the idea of eating ?high-everything,? as he calls it, has had a tremendous breakthrough over the past 3 weeks. He’s dropped 10 pounds, his digestion has improved from multiple angles of examination, his spirits are lifted, and he claims that his health has been taken to unimagined new levels.
Sounds good huh? How?d he do it? By following some of the exact 180-degree ideas, such as eating starch at every sitting with lots of saturated fats and protein. He has increased his calorie intake and his carbohydrate intake all in one shot over the past 3 weeks. He has even dropped the ?health food? mindset during this time and has had some major binges on fast food tacos, burritos, burgers, and more. He even busted out some Haagen-Daz ice cream for a weekend metabolism booster that so many professional bodybuilders swear by for maximal muscle growth and simultaneous leanness.
It has been the antithesis of some of the hardcore health escapades that he’s followed in the past ? from raw to fiberless, from high-fat to low-fat. Vegetarian for a while? I bet he was. Not many make it this far down the rabbit hole without making a pita stop there.
Anyway, Bruce has taken the metabolic enhancement idea of Schwarzbein and myself and added some surprising amendments such as intermittent junk food binges and had phenomenal results. All of his health tangents and phobias are rapidly being obliterated as he realized that a person with a perfect metabolism is beyond resilient. His intolerance of fiber and starches is gone. His digestion is the best it has been in years. He can eat carbs all day long and lose weight. He is a free man. More importantly, he feels frickin’ awesome, which is important – better and better as each day passes.
Many will say that he has a healthy metabolism, and that’s why he can get away with it, but they are missing the point. He has fixed himself to be a person with a healthy metabolism. Sure some might be too screwed up to improve their health in such a way. Some might gain excess fat for weeks or even months before having some of these experiences. But the metabolism is highly mutable. That’s why I gave up on the study of Ayurveda rather quickly, which centers around three predominant metabolic types ? I was all three types at some point in my life depending on what my diet and lifestyle was at the time. Now I’m a fusion of all three in a harmonious synergy, and so is Bruce. This is a doable, achievable thing with commitment to feeding yourself really well and going up in calories and sleep and down in exercise, stress, stimulants, and refined sugar (until you heal, then you will be practically home free).
Without going into endless detail on this, I want to throw down famous doctor Henry Bieler’s description of a person with a strong metabolism, which he calls the ?Adrenal type. This is only one type of metabolic type that he lays out, but it just so happens to describe, seamlessly, the members of the 14 groups of isolated primitive peoples that Weston A. Price found to have perfect health.
In addition to wide dental arches with room for all the teeth and low-propensity to develop dental caries, Bieler notes (and those who followed the full barrage of comments from the last post will be laughing at the exactitude of Bruce’s remarks in comparison, down all the way to the metabolically-robust’s ability to better handle toxic additives and residues in fast food):
?The physical energy of the adrenal type is seemingly inexhaustible, as is the nervous response of the sympathetic system, a result of perfect oxidation of phosphorous in the nerve tissue. Oxidation of carbon in the muscular system gives the adrenal type his great warmth. Thus, the temperature of his body is scarcely ever below 98.8, with hands and feet always pleasantly warm. As digestion and detoxication of food poisons depend greatly upon oxidation in the liver and intestines, it follows that the typical adrenal type, with his perfect oxidation, has thorough digestion. In fact, he may and often does boast that he can eat any and all kinds of food without discomfort. The exogenous uric acid products as well as the indoxyl compounds are completely detoxicated in the liver, do not accumulate in the blood, nor are they found in the urine.
?The skeletal muscles are well developed and have splendid tone. Fatigue is practically unknown to the adrenal type. His muscular endurance is spectacular. And the perfect tone of the involuntary muscles is evidenced by complete and rapid peristalsis, resulting in several bowel evacuations daily. He can dine on the most impossible food combinations imaginable with no evil results??
?The quality of the blood is characteristic. A slight to marked polycythemia (more red cells than usual) occurs; leucopenia, or abnormal white cell count on the low side, is never noted. The blood, which is of a rich, red color, clots quickly. Fatal hemorrhage seldom occurs. The immunity against bacterial invasion is spectacular. The typical adrenal type hardly ever becomes infected, even with venereal diseases??
?A member of the adrenal-type group has a phlegmatic disposition ? easygoing, jolly, slow to anger, never bothered with insomnia, fear or ?cold feet. He will often go out of his way to avoid a quarrel. Customarily, he has a wide circle of friends because he is warm-hearted and surrounded by an ?aura? of kindly sympathy.
?He never worries?His digestion is good and he is seldom constipated. It is possible for him to stand more treatments, operations and even more lung hemorrhages than any other type of patient. He is the patient most often discharged as arrested or cured. All the treatment necessary for his recovery is supplied by bed rest and fresh air.
In a nutshell ? enhance your metabolism and life is good. The rest is just details. Food quality (Grass fed lamb and biodynamic homemade bread vs. Quarter Pounder with Cheese for example), is so secondary to the pursuit of getting legitimate, measurable results that such squabbles reside solely in the ?extra credit? section of nutritional minutiae. Even sugar can probably be eaten safely if it is consumed once weekly ? and is no way a habitual daily item. I remain hesitant of course, but Bruce, as well as Tim Ferriss and others that I have a lot of respect for, say it’s better than a zero-sugar-diet-all-the-time diet for metabolic stimulation. It might just be. The jury’s still out on that one.
One thing is for sure. The Hamburglar looks quite trim on his burger diet, which leaves nothing for Grimace to eat but the Coke and fries ? which is why he suffers from such drastic levels of abdominal adiposity and is covered with a purplish, velvety exterior layer (he’s got mad acanthosis nigricans).
One major contention however, is the lyrics of one of my favorite musical geniuses of all-time, Wesley Willis, and Bruce’s contention that fast food might not make you fat. It arouses great suspicion, as Willis was, after all, a 400+pound schizophrenic (meaning also, that he must not have known jack about weight loss). Check the lyrics HERE. (This song was featured in SuperSize Me).