My View on Paleo

This seems to be a controversial dietary subject, since it touches on more topics than just weight loss.  It involves understanding history, what the human race is designed to eat, and the effects of a grain based diet in the long run.

Of course, Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor advocated a grain-free diet to those seeking immortality.  And since land was so scarce in China from ancient times to present, dairy was never a big part of their diet.

The Paleo diet means eating protein, vegetables, fruit and nuts, and rejecting dairy and grain and artificial sugar.  Seems simple on its face.

This diet is by nature lower carbohydrate but is not necessarily slimming since there is no mention or restriction on calories.  Just like rice and milk or bread and cheese can be bad, so can overeating on the Paleo Diet.  And it’s not a clear license to eat as much Beef, Bacon, and Seafood your heart desires.

Eating the milk or milk products is not a natural thing after one is weened off mother’s milk.  The one best dairy product that everyone should incorporate into their lifestyle is Kefir, which is also called acidopholus milk or simple cultured milk.  If you can handle dairy and need more probiotics in your regimen, that is the one type I suggest is good for you.

Grains were invented by agriculturists by hybridizing older crops into what we see today.  Corn is number one around the world but most of it is for fattening up livestock.  Rice is number two around the world because it is so easy to digest and harvests are big.

The Paleo diet is not only good for getting to normal bodyweight, it also reverses disease processes in the body and fuels better athletic performance.  Unlike Atkins or Ketogenic, this diet talks about food groups, the desirable and the undesirable, and not counting anything.  Atkins is about counting carbs and calories and keeping protein intake high.  Ketogenic diet is about lowering protein intake on an already low carb lifestyle and eating more fat from good sources.  Fat feeds the brain.

But I find that Paleo is the easiest to do, since you don’t have to think too much.  Cavemen didn’t have wonder bread and coca cola and a lot of pizza to eat, and had they eaten that stuff they wouldn’t have lived long enough to sire humanity in its current form.

The main thing is calories in and calories out for weight loss, so in theory, all food is clean and should be eaten as sparingly as possible.  But for overall health and longevity and for reversing diseases Paleo is quite good.

 

 

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Tai Chi and Chinese Medicine

When I was in TCM school, they often said, ‘If you don’t practice Tai Chi, you won’t be able to practice TCM’.  What does that mean?  Well, if you only have a didactic, theoretical knowledge of Chinese Medicine, you won’t be able to help anyone.  And if you practice acupuncture, herbs, or massage without exercising in the right way yourself, your treatments won’t be that effective, and you won’t last long in this career.

That is one reason why Tai Chi was taught side by side with the other aspects of Chinese Medicine.  Back then I was like others not seeing the value of slow motion solitary martial art.  But now that I am older, I see how Tai Chi is more important than giving a treatment itself.  If you don’t know how to stand, walk, move, breath, and control your balance, you won’t last very long as a wholistic health practitioner.

Not only the practitioner should be a practitioner of the physical arts, but so should everyone else if they knew what was good for them.  Physical Arts like Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qi Gong will keep you fit and able bodied your entire life.  Most of these crippling diseases in the west are the end product of a disease process that started in the person’s youth.

So whether you want to be a wholistic medicine practitioner, or simply want a long, disability free lifespan, do more than dieting and learn a Physical Art.

How Important Exercise Is

When it comes to the whole fitness debacle, one must realize that a perfect diet is not everything and not even feasible or practical.  If you lead an active lifestyle, eat mostly vegetables, and don’t spend too much money on food, you will be fine most of your life.

When you exercise rigorously, you will find several changes in your life.  First of all, you wont have so much time to prepare food yourself unless you cook in batches on the weekend for the week ahead.  Also, if you exercise regularly, your appetite will increase, especially for starch.  Higher levels of activity and fitness require higher complex carbohydrates in the diet.

When you exercise a lot, your body warms up and a lot of toxins are purged through the sweat, heat, and breath.  What I am trying to say is, even if you are health conscious, exercising more and worrying less about diet will help you.

Usually, when people are busy, exercise is the first thing to be neglected. Exercise, especially strength training, increases your metabolism by building the size and density of your muscles.

So if you really want to get and stay healthy, don’t over obsess about diet and do some regular exercise.  Maybe find a sport you both enjoy and is age appropriate for you.

At the end of the day, the old saying, ‘less is more’ is the answer.  Intense, regular exercise can burn away excess sugars and other toxins so you wont have to be perfectionist in diet.

 

Do Not Fear Fruit

Despite having lots of sugar in it, whatever type depending on what fruit you are talking about, eating fruit is a good thing.  The tree or plant actually wants you to eat it’s fruit, because that is how the seed travels to other locations and takes root elsewhere.

When doing a sugar-restrictive diet, try to differentiate between good carb foods and bad carb foods.  Most types of fruit, especially lower Glycemic Index kinds, have sugar and fiber in them, so the fiber mitigates the rise in blood sugar and insulin.  That makes fruit a good thing.

Fruit is a good carb, a good food, and what God intended man to eat in the Garden of Eden.  Grain and Meat came later.

The only two really heinous food groups/types are Dairy and Grain, and even these have exceptions.  No animal needs dairy after weening of it’s mother’s milk, and Grain was hybridized by agriculturalists thousands of years ago as a cheap way to fill empty stomachs.

Some grains, like white rice, have a side benefit of curing diarrhea.  Oatmeal also has a similar effect.  And there are decent dairy products like butter or ghee, which makes an excellent cooking fat.

The point is, when looking for the Dietary Monster that is making the western world, fat, miserable, and dying, look somewhere other than fruit.  There are a lot of worse things out there.

 

 

Other Realizations

Within the subject of Taoist Nutrition and Lifestyle, there are a lot more things to talk about than diet and how to be normal bodyweight.  While Taoist Medicine, also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, is largely acupuncture, herbs, and massage, there are other things to consider.

The first text of TCM was ‘The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine’.  In it, Huang Di aka The Yellow Emperor suggests ways to facilitate the flow of chi in the meridians of the human body, spot and treat the disease process, and so on.

But ultimately, Huang Di was a Taoist, and he sought immortality.  In the beginning part of the book, he writes something to the effect, ‘If one wishes to be immortal, one must eat a diet free of grain.’

This sounds weird to us and weird to Ancient China where rice and millet are/were staple crops.  A diet free of grain promotes longevity.  Dog food manufacturers have created grain free dog food and yet people are still confused about what is proper diet for a human being.  That is a little bit strange.

Huang Di wanted to attain immortality just like the legends of Taoist masters said they did.  Ultimately, he failed because nobody ever achieved immortality, with the exceptions of Enoch and Elijah in the Hebrew Bible.

But beyond a grain free diet there is more to the Taoist lifestyle than a diet that promotes longevity.  Taoism as it applies to TCM included the desire to live as long as possible with as little pain, illness, and deterioration as possible.

This goal is attainable.  In fact, treating diseases with acupuncture, herbs, and massage is almost useless just like western pharmaceuticals and surgery do more harm than good.  The real way to end sickness on earth is to educate people about the complete Taoist lifestyle and how to live in perfect health.

Taoism is not a religion, although a folk religion has sprung up in China with some of the facets of Buddhism.  Taoism is a complete philosophical lifestyle that emphasizes concepts like being spontaneous, non-conformity,  passivity, humility, simplicity of food and clothing, and compassion for man and animal alike.

So if you like my blog and the ideas I talk about, maybe you should read up on the subject of Taoism and Taoist practices like tai chi, kung fu, feng shui, plant based diet, and meditation.  Truly, there is a lot to the lifestyle of a Taoist other than where he gets his protein or if he can predict the future (like the book the I-Ching).  The essence of Taoism is to be simple and natural, and live and age in harmony with heaven and earth.

There is a quote from one Taoist book I read that goes, ‘when it comes down to the Tao, being at peace and at ease, not many people are really interested in it.’  That phrase indicates that if people want excitement and pleasure as their main source of fun, they should look elsewhere than Tao.  If one wants to be a Taoist, the ultimate goal is tranquility and peace in a world of chaos, pain, and violence.

Another View on Diet

In the end, your bodyweight is largely determined by the amount of calories you consume.  Ask any bodybuilder, and they will say ‘calories in, calories out’.

However, there are multiple methods of eating less calories.  One way is the low carb high protein approach which is effective in the short run.  Another is being vegan, which by nature is low calorie since plant foods are lower in calories.  But I find that the real solution to curing obesity and maintaining a normal weight is to control how much you eat and how often.

You could theoretically eat a diet of fish and chips and be slim just as long as you keep your calorie intake below your calorie expenditure.  This is the best way.  ‘To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.

The problem with atkins is that you have to eventually add the carbs back to your diet and then you regain all the lost weight.  Low Carb, High Fat has some merit in identifying which foods are good, quality food and which are just empty calories.

But the easy way is to eat smaller meals with nothing in between meals.  Some people say, skip breakfast, dont eat in between meals, and dont eat after dinner.  In this way, you don’t even have to eat ‘health food’ because all food is good.  You can eat food you really really like and still not be fat if you understand the concept of ‘calories in, calories out.’

 

One More Year

I decided to renew my subscription to WordPress for another year.  This blog is too good for it to go to waste.

I also have concluded that a high carb low fat dietary regimen is not the best or the most natural.  Regardless of who takes credit for it, the sugar restricted diet is the only real way to lose weight and stay normal bodyweight.

I’ve read a lot of books by or about Hindu people in my study of yoga, and what is good for the goose is sometimes not good for the gander.  Veganism is simply not my style.

Also, diet isn’t everything.  The more you exercise and are fit, the less you need to worry about fancy, expensive food.  Shopping at Whole Foods is not necessary, since eating well is essentially about quantity not quality.  If you reduce calories below what you are currently consuming, you will be in good shape.

I write this blog with the same advice you would get from a wholistic medicine practitioner, because I feel health education should be free of charge to everyone.  That to me seems like basic human civility.  Doctors work on basically the same principles as mechanics.  If the patient knows nothing and the Doctor knows everything,  you’ll be taken for everything you got.  Mechanics rip people off because of their client’s ignorance and so do Doctors.

So my solution is to educate people about health and let them make their own decisions.

 

Every End is a New Beginning

While it might be sad news for some, the fact that this blog domain name is expiring soon should not be bad for everyone.  Since I don’t really monetize this blog, I can’t afford to keep it going.

But as this blog name fades away within days, I plan on changing my approach to helping people and helping myself.  First of all, I will stop working for free.  The knowledge contained in this blog is enough to write a good book, and it’s all quality information.

Also, I’d like to get out more and teach students in a face to face type encounter.  Being sedentary and sitting infront of a computer (even for a short time) is not healthy or fun.

I hope those we enjoy my work should keep following my career in writing, art, and music.  Taoism encourages the creative arts, diet and exercise, and the practice of Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Kung fu.  Taoist medicine is about empirical observation and the stored knowledge of hundreds of generations of Chinese people.

I’m sure anyone can benefit from my teachings, in whatever form it takes.  I am simply trying to make some good out of my education and experience.  Thanks.

Fancy Feast

Not everybody around the world lives in such abundance like here in America.  In poor countries, your lucky to eat anything.  You don’t get to be picky.  The point is, we should be grateful for what we have and not overthink nutrition.

Don’t be too picky when selecting food and don’t spend too much.  No matter how advanced the human race gets, vegetables will always be man’s main food stuff.

There is an observable trend in the West that people are trying to be healthier.  But remember, at the end of the day, its all about calories in and calories out.

Also, people in the USA tend to overdo animal foods like meat and milk.  Previous generations didn’t gorge themselves day in and day out.  They also did natural farming and gardening before the invention of the term, ‘organic’.

There is no reason to eat ‘health food’ because it’s just too complicated.  Eat less often and less in between meals, and your body will recuperate.  That’s the reality of the situation.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

After a long time of oscillating between low carb dieting and some form of veganism, I have decided that the vegan diet makes more sense than gaining and losing weight on Atkins, Paleo, or Ketogenic.

Don’t get me wrong, there are good animal foods to eat, but there is an inverse relationship between animal foods in the diet and overall health.  The more plant based you are, the better off you are.

The problem with my journey to veganism is that I wasn’t doing it right.  Most vegans don’t eat a lot of vegetables.  They eat mostly grain.  Fructarians eat mostly fruit and seed like they did in the Garden of Eden.

Beans and vegetables don’t taste that good and to make them more palatable, you have to add salt, fat, and condiments.  Fruit is fine the way it is, and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa give you strength.

I am still not completely vegan, I eat eggs everyday and sometimes even a bit of chicken, but most of my diet is essentially fruit and brown rice.  Remember, it is more healthy to be underfed than overfed.  When you are eating very few calories, your body can make up for the deficiencies with air and water.  When you eat too much, you become sluggish and the extra food in the intestines putrifies and makes your body toxic.

There are a lot of advantages to being plant-based.  Number one, the food is cheaper, because high protein foods are expensive.  Secondly, its more hygenic and convenient because meat has to be cooked before it goes bad.  This is a big hassle.

It’s best to be an opportunist with food.  This is the way man was in previous civilizations.  Most of their diet was plant food and on rare times and holidays they slaughtered animals and ate meat.  Still, even with the convenience of animal food everywhere, one’s diet should be mostly whole grains and produce.  Human biology hasn’t changed that much since ancient times, only industrial methods of agriculture and the corrupt media have.

So as you make your way through this world, just remember, both science and religion agree that the original man was an eater of fruit and seed and not just protein and starch.