Genetic evolution or bad education?

I used to believe that people who had food intolerances or allergies were people who had not evolved to eat certain foods; so i was told. I now see things very differently…

Wheat Allergy

This initial thinking wasn’t mine, it was taught to me. I used to suffer from chronic hay fever in my teens & twenties and just thought it was my genetics. Then some years later when i found out i was wheat intolerant, i had people in the health and medical industry say things like “Oh you haven’t evolved to eat grains thats such a pity but don’t worry, you can take antihistamines and this will help you tolerate those things better… “. Another more scary idea that came to light recently from a friend, was an injection you could now get to tolerate gluten or wheat!!?? I don’t know anything about this, but the idea scares me! Needless to say, I thought this treatment concept was ok some years ago because i was naive about food and our bodies. So in my teens & twenties i lived on antihistamines not knowing the real reasons. These dampened the symptoms i would get every summer but at a cost. A blocked nose and major drowsiness issues were common for me. I also remember that in my teens i had been diagnosed with mild asthma and it had gone on for sometime. I struggled with breathing when competing in cycling, albeit the cycling races were very demanding. I was a top ranked rider in my province and i would all of a sudden have a race where i would “blow out the back” for no reason. Other riders would ask me what happened and i didn’t have an answer. I had also been given Ventolin tablets at the time and later in my thirties, a puffer for the occasional times i had asthma from recreational sport; then it was Karate. The last doctor i visited in my thirties said if i didn’t use a Pulmicort puffer i would continue to damage the lining on my bronchial tubes.

It wasn’t till i was 39 that i started getting super intense pustules on my legs at the hair follicle point. Deep purple, very very itchy and with a head. I wondered what on earth was going on! I started eliminating food types and obvious intakes of things that might be the cause. At one point i went off dairy, alcohol, caffeine and gluten all in one hit! I did this on my own accord because i couldn’t get straight answers. I re-introduced things each week looking for reactions and it soon dawned on me that bread made these occur. Fortunately i wasn’t a big bread fan and this only happened when i was out or at peoples places. I was nervous about being a Coeliac and in the end i found out that it was just wheat itself. A DNA test someone suggested i do had also confirmed this, which i was skeptical about. This test also raised the issue of “sugar” and the “nightshade family” as something i was also very sensitive too. I tested this and sure enough, this was also true. Nightshades caused me to itch around my kidney area and sometimes shins. And sugar, if i had too much at once, it made me very euphoric and light headed.

Sugar Free Stamp

The year i stopped eating wheat was relatively easy for me but occasionally hard when eating out. I got very used to it and kind of proud about it because i stopped feeling like a leper and i lost excess weight. I also noticed on occasion when i did ingest wheat without knowledge, i would become bloated and irritable. The next day i would wake up with pustules. The symptoms now became very clear to me and i knew exactly what was going on and how to detect it. After about 9 months, summer approached and one lovely day i was enjoying a drink in the park with friends; it dawned on me after i had sneezed (which went no further), that i had lost my chronic hay-fever issues! So many years of suffering and sitting in exam rooms with hankies stuck up my nose, seeing yellow, being drowsy and feeling faint. Not being able to concentrate during the late spring and summer months no matter what i did was some of the worst memories i have as a child/teenager. All this was now gone. What remained was simply a mild reaction to pollen and some sneezing here and there. I still get itchy eyes occasionally but nothing remotely close to what i had. No wheezing and no Ventolin tablets or Pulmicort puffers anymore.

So onwards and upwards. My diet became pretty much a “Primal” type of diet which i have now improved over the last few years to eliminate regular use of starches and processed foods for improved weight loss and just feeling better. I counteract this of course with the occasional beer (beer is mostly barley, not wheat), some chocolate from time to time and even a GF biscuit. But life in our modern world is a bit like this. We don’t want to avoid ALL the amazing things we as humans have developed because its always bad for us. Having it occasionally is fine i feel, so long as you don’t react to it badly and your on track 80% of the time with your food, your health is likely to stay well in check. Moderation is the hardest thing to achieve today because so many things “pull” at us to be obsessive… namely marketing, fast food places and supermarkets. Obviously we want to avoid these “pulls’ but we can only do this if we are well armed with a ton of good knowledge. If you want motivation with improving your diet or heath, you need to read and educate yourself on the very thing your focusing on. The information needs to be in your head often enough for you to achieve want you desire and so you don’t fall off the wagon.

After having gone through these issues, which are mild compared to some allergy suffers, i am 100% convinced that you are what you eat. It only stands to reason that if our bodies are regenerated in parts, every year, cell by cell; then what you put into it for that to happen must be the foremost contributor to the results you achieve. A muffin and coffee every morning isn’t going to achieve great results lets face it :)

You don’t have to accept what your told or stay where you are. You control your life so take action and take control of it; educate yourself and work out your own path to a better, happier life. If i can do it, you can too.

Good health,

Dean

Posted in Dieting, Gluten Free, Health, Lifestyle, Paleo, Primal, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A life mantra?

YouAre

You control the lot. Who do you want to be?

Posted in Dieting, Fitness, Food, Health, Lifestyle, Paleo, Primal, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hunt your food down!

Are you bored with doing typical gym routines? Here is what my wife and i do for breakfast on our off days that breaks routines and cuts through some fat!

Crab Omelette with Pork Sausages

I speak to alot of people who cycle heavily with exercise and eating. Most of the time its because they stick to black and white plans on what to eat and how to exercise. Their thinking is quite often limiting and their conversation sometimes negative. They are often not able to see their choices and why they can’t change their position. I NEVER subscribe to this thinking.

Some of my friends think i am very driven. But the truth is that i struggle at times just like the next person – the difference is i don’t give in to the boredom of routine and i don’t stop. A break yes, stop no. I listen to my body (head included) and give myself time out. Sometimes it’s 2 days if necessary. Then i am back on the horse looking for inspiration. Most of time i get this inspiration from a simple walk – not any walk, an awesome one!

Ok so walking isn’t new, but here is how i do this to make it physically beneficial and mentally enlightening:

  • Drive to a nice location for walking where people are doing the same thing. A boardwalk, beach or park area with dogs – anywhere you know that makes you feel free from work, home or the things that might bother you.
  • Allow yourself the time and make it important! I know i operate better if i do this. A 2 hour break like this can mean everything to the next few productive days of work for me let alone my general state of mind.
  • The location must be 30 mins walk from your happiest destination. For me this is a Cafe in Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast of Australia about 10km’s (6 miles) from home. The girls serving are always smiling, chatty and very relaxed. They are pleased to be where they are in life – seeing and hearing them this way makes me realize it is ok to stop for a few hours and contemplate life.
  • Park in a sheltered spot and dress up or down accordingly to weather. I head off on a good firm pace of about 5k-6km per hour and up this pace midway to about 8km per hour. On a good day we do 3.6km in 25-27 mins one way.
  • Have a healthy but pleasing meal after the first 30 min. For me this is breakfast. I have a Salmon Omelette with a long black (americano) or two. My wife has poached eggs with roasted tomatoes on a slice of toasted pumpkin bread. We chat about things, people and places. We relax away from work.
  • 20 – 30 minutes later head back to the car at a good pace. Sometimes not as fast, because if we have a doozy in the first half that was fast, we really feel the shins and glute’s after the meal rest. We make it about 30 mins on the return journey.

I call this “hunting my food down” – simulating the action of having to go into the bush (or sea) and hunt down my food and enjoy the reward. By the time i am back at the car in 90 mins, any blues i had or boredom from routine is lost. The coffee always fires me up and i am often very inspirational for next 3-4 hours. I do my best work and write my best posts after one of these walks!

Salmon, Mushrooms, Avocado and Eggs

Jogging for me is over rated and hurts more than it helps. So walking fast is a great option and very low impact. It is also perfect alternate exercise day to circuit weight training or HIT workouts, especially if i am sore.

My wife and i do this on holiday all the time. We plan our destination and tromp the pavements or beaches of whatever local town we are in, have breaky and hike back. We have also seen the best parts of cities around the world that we have visited. We covered more miles than many people and often saw things lots of people would miss. We also kept our shape while indulging a little on holiday. Walking can be enjoyable.

Try it. Give yourself time out occasionally from what your doing. Even more so if your busy. Nothing is so important that it can’t wait a few hours to recapture yourself for a good week ahead :)

Good eating!

Dean

Posted in Exercise, Fitness, Food, Health, Lifestyle, Paleo, Primal, weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments