HEALTH NEWSLETTER #21
EVOLUTIONARY THINKING, EATING AND EXERCISING
1st February 2017
January = done!
I love it when the days start getting longer again. Winter can be pretty grim at times in the UK, but if you are willing to get into the countryside there's so much to gain. Don't forget your gloves though! This February I hope catch some incredible sunrises in the Peak District. So make sure you are following EVO•TEE on Instagram and Facebook.
If you’ve been on a health kick this month, I hope that it's been successful. If not, don't worry, every day is a new opportunity to be healthy. Our brains often get confused when it comes to being healthy. Thinking that we have to be perfect and when we mess up we throw the towel in. When in fact, every moment of mindfulness is a fresh opportunity to start again. A chance to MAKE A BETTER DECISION.
This is how to master health and happiness. Be conscious and make better decisions. Progress is inevitable with the right intention. Stay patient and you are bound to succeed.
Now, onto this month’s newsletter…
Reading time: 4 mins
Six common Dietary Mistakes
Here are six dietary mistakes that we all make from time to time:
1. Believing in conventional wisdom
The conventional wisdom is a generally accepted theory or belief. Such as believing that the earth is flat or the solar system rotates around the earth! Sorry, we got these two wrong. How about eating fat makes you fat? Oh no, we got that one wrong too!
Conventional wisdom is easy for our tribal minds to accept. Trusting authority figures worked when we lived in small tribes. But since the internet liberated information, there's no need to believe authority figures. Unless they are right of course!
This just shows how foolish and compromised humans can be. Give someone enough money and they'll say whatever you want them to say. We now know how the sugar industry shaped the last sixty years of nutritional doctrine. But what about the disease and suffering that followed it? Do we know the true extent of its impact?
It turns out one can pay scientists and they will publish whatever you want! So although science is our best method of establishing truth, it's still corruptible. Especially where science informs policy and there's a profit to be made! But don't trust me read for yourself:
2. Calories in versus calories out
Yet again some misguided advice that came out of immature science. Calories get calculated in a lab, you are not a lab. If we are overweight or obese then we have a hormonal problem, not a calorie problem. We are complex biological organisms, home to gut microbes that control our brain!
What counts is nutrition. Are you providing your body with the macro and micro nutrients that YOU need? Our needs are different and vary from day to day, week to week and year to year. There is no way we should be prescribing a 'one size fits all' approach to nutrition.
If we eat plants from healthy soil we will be healthy. If we eat healthy animals raised on healthy plants then we will be healthy. Homo sapiens ate food provided by nature for millions of years without the disease we experience today.
3. Falling for buzzwords and fads
It is remarkable how good companies are at advertising their products to us. Low fat, gluten free, antioxidants, natural, organic and on and on. Place a product in the hands of an Olympian or sporting hero and we are sold. If it's good enough for them it's got to be good for me!
Successful marketing makes us FEEL that we are being healthy. But they also make us feel like we are special and luxurious. They advertise to our unconscious drives and we fall for it!
Food can seem healthy but after a little investigation, the truth is far from it. Check the list of ingredients and be aware that they are listed in order of quantity. If it has more than four or five ingredients, leave it on the shelf!
3. genes are not our destiny
Believing that we are destined to be [fill in the gap] is an easy trap to fall into!
Our DNA plays a bit part in our health. Studying epigenetics and developmental biology shows us that health is much more complicated than that. Our DNA is not the blueprint that we once thought!
Genes are fluid and are always adapting to our environment. Genes get switched on or off and amped up or down by our environment. The thoughts we have, the food we eat and our physical activity all determine the expression of our DNA.
We must also appreciate that health crosses generations. The health of our grandmother and mother plays a huge role in our own health. If I knew that my health would influence not only me, my children but also my grandchildren, I would definitely treat my body with more respect!
4. Everything in moderation
I hear this all the time and it frustrates me so much. The word moderation is a dangerous and nebulous term that means nothing. Everyone's sense of moderation is different and vulnerable to our hedonistic desires. There's also an accumulative effect of our daily habits. A moderate daily dose of unhealthy or toxic food will catch up with us in the end!
Forget moderation, let's consider the accumulative contamination of our food, air and water.
5. Judging health by numbers on a scale
Weight is such a poor predictor of health. People can be overfat, underfat and skinny fat and still be a healthy weight! Of course, weight can provide you with a simple way of tracking something...
...but for me, vitality is the best judge of health. What could be a better sign of health than:
- A strong and flexible body free of excess body fat
- A lust for life
- A resilient, creative and passionate mind
- A healthy desire for sex
- Healthy eyes, hair, skin and nails
- Energy that lasts throughout the day
For me, feeling is believing. We need a healthy dose of scientific understanding and what gets measured will always get managed. But for me, nothing beats the feeling and being full of life!
6. Being healthy = being miserable
We don't have to give up flavoursome food to be healthy. Learning how to cook is an excellent way to make healthy food come to life.
Of course it's easier to have a bowl of cereal in the morning, but there's a price to pay for such convenience.
A generous dose of healthy fats goes a long way, as does a pinch of mineral salt. Combining herbs and spices gives us infinite options in the kitchen.And how could I forget? By eliminating junk food our tastes buds adjust to more subtle flavours. After a while, the taste of some artificial foods will be repulsive.
This month I explored evolutionary mismatches and their impact on our health. They explain why we get fat and sick, they explain why physical activity is so good for us and they can even explain why Donald Trump is President of America. If we want to understand why we get into a mess then we must understand our evolutionary history.
Evolutionary mismatches are square pegs and round holes. We are the peg and our current environent is the hole! Click on the link below to start reading:
This month I also sunk my teeth into a blog about hunger. I wanted to know where my insatiable appetite came from so I started researching it. I aimed to keep it simple but the more I delved into it, the more I discovered the complexity of hunger. In the end I managed to wrestle it down and wrap it up into one digestible chunk. I really think you're going to love this one, click on our distant cousin below to start reading now.
Are you subscribed to the EVO•TEE YouTube channel? If not, you're missing out. My goal going forward is to up my video game, bringing you ever more interesting videos. Here's one of my latest attempts:
Here are a few of my latest social snaps documenting my explorations into the Peak District National Park. I also try to provide you with an insight into some of the books I read and food I eat.
As ever, thanks for taking the time to read my work and I hope it provides you with the insight you need to become healthier and happier.
Your feedback is always welcome, so don't be shy and don't forget to forward this email onto friends and loved ones. The healthier we all are, the better the world will be, for everyone.
All the best