Restriction Begets Restriction: Understanding Diet Restriction:
The Shadow Side Of The Variation Principle, Part 2 of 2.
Understanding Diet Restriction: In our prior blogs, we discussed the importance of variety in our foundational dietary tradition. Despite Hippocrates’ advice to avoid restrictions, we discussed how we must restrict unnatural foods that are not appropriate for human nutrition.
Instead, we must hunt-and-gather a wide variety of wholesome natural foods to nourish our cells. Here we continue with the modern-day obsession with blaming and restricting foods. Our Natural Health credo is “Correct The Cause.” Occasionally foods do wreak havoc in some people. Most often, unwanted reactions to foods point to a deeper cause. This deeper cause is what we address.
Understanding Diet Restriction: What is food? Is it an organic pecan that you crack open and eat? Or a canola-fried, salted, preserved, rancid piece out of a bag?
Is food a fresh, ripe tomato straight from your garden? Or is it tomato catsup with high fructose corn syrup?
Is it fresh, wild, line-caught salmon? Or a genetically-altered farmed salmon, depleted of omega-3 fatty acids, fed on industrial toxins (Baltic sea fish pellets), and antibiotics?
It is fresh, raw milk straight from the nanny-goat or moo-cow? Or an udder secretion, damaged by heat (pasteurization), altered fat molecules (homogenization), replete with antibiotics, grown hormones, glyphosate herbicide, pesticides, and synthetic vitamins?
Is it a fresh, organic ear of corn on the cob? Or a genetically-modified, slurry of glyphosate corn mush, modified food starch and sugar, additives, preservatives, super-heated (overcooked), and artificially colored? “Blessed be the froot loops.”
Is it modern, overly-hybridized, “pesticided,” artificially fertilized, glyphosate-cured, refined, complex-gluten wheat bread? Or is bread an organic, ancient grain such as einkorn that’s soaked, fermented, dried, milled, proofed, and baked into a loaf?
Different Nutrient Content. Today, commercial food grows with three minerals—nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium—instead of some 64 minerals that support cellular health. Modern agriculture errantly put “show” above nutrient content. People forgot, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”
Different Soil Microbiome. Glyphosate herbicide, RoundUp™ subtracts from the nutritional value of a food. It harms the soil-based organisms necessary for proper plant nutrition, and it harms the human gut microbiome—a vital part of our digestive, nutrition-delivery system.
The soil microorganisms help render minerals into biological compounds for plant health. Plant health is the basis for both animal and human nutritional health. The human intestinal microbiome is necessary to process our food into nascent nutrients and nourishing, healing molecules for our cells.
Glyphosate attacks the very heart of the nourishment cycles of life. Some call this, “Science gone astray in an attempt to enslave humanity based on food supply.”
Both the soil and intestinal microbes perform a shikimatemetabolic pathway that glyphosate destroys. This metabolic pathway creates the B-vitamin, folate, and amino acids such as phenylalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine. They serve the brain’s neurotransmitter processes, thyroid hormone production, and immune system antibodies.
Contaminants In Food. Chemicals, plastics, pesticides, and prescription medications that were not available in Hippocrates’ time contaminate today’s groundwater. Rain brings air pollution to the crops including radioactive particles.
Genetically-modified foods present unusual DNA to our bodies (and herbicides).
Meat is replete with antibiotics and growth hormones that disturb the human gut microbiome. Preservatives, artificial colors, and added sugar presents challenges to the brain and cells.
Diet Restriction: Empty Harvest. Processed foods are nutritional pablum. Processing removes valuable minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and fibers necessary for health. While we were snoozing, we were losing our nutrient basis of cellular health. We traded nutrient density for the convenience of filling the belly. After all, hunger creates social unrest, but full bellies pacify.
Food isn’t food—sustenance—anymore. Today, people are overfed and undernourished. Like our ancestors, we must hunt and gather real foods to earn real health.
The New Hunter-Gatherer. Here’s the push-pull dilemma. Some foods cause damage. Some foods fail to deliver a full array of nutrients. We must restrict to lower the toxic burden on our cellular life processes.
Seeking variety and nutrient-rich, nutrient-dense, non-damaging foods becomes a modern hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
Seems humanity has struggled for food since time immemorial. With warehouses chockablock full of processed food, bellies expand while brains shrink.
Today’s hunting ground is farmer’s markets, grocery stores, backyard gardens, and internet shopping. For the bold and intrepid person, wildcrafting adds a new dimension—mustang grapes, wild figs, edible greens (better know your mushrooms!)
Hunting-and-gathering today is not neurotic Orthorexia Nervosa. It’s as necessary for health, longevity, and a smart brain as it was a hundred thousand years ago. Post Eden, it’s not easy, but the rewards are great.
Diet Restriction: Then & Now. In Hippocrates’ day, food was a wholesome necessity. Like any good gardener or farmer, Hippocrates observed that well-nourished people, like well-nourished crops, were healthier, happier, and more immunologically adaptable (better able to resist/repel predators (pathogens, insects, etc.). Food is a direct necessity for good health. Something not to restrict, but to embrace.
Times have changed. Often what is called “food” is a starch-chip fried in rancid oil that challenges health with dangerous glycation-end-products, free radical damage, lipotoxicity, insulin resistance, mitochondrial distress, and damaged endoplasmic reticulum protein-folding processes. Refined, sugar-laden cereals promote inflammation and disturbed gut microbiomes.
While judiciously diet restricting, hunter-gatherers must also avoid the tricksters who spin the meaningless “All-Natural!” banner or tout “Gluten-Free” in GMO corn products.
Today, the National Grocers Association and Big Agriculture team up to trick, cheat, and mislead the average shopper who feels entitled to cheap food and convenience. They work to undermine the high standards of the “organic” label, which starts with a seed growing in the soil.
The price we pay for their profits is our society’s poor health and escalating medical expense. We’ve confused disease-knowledge with health-knowledge as a basis of health expertise. “O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” – Walter Scott
Nature’s Rule IsA full & Varied Diet. The gut microbiome agrees.
Food. Everyone Loves To Hate? A hallmark of the 21st Century is: Let’s find another food to hate. Gluten, lectins, nightshades, grains, oxalates, cruciferous, salicylates, dairy, nuts, eggs, legumes, FODMAP carbs. It didn’t use to be this way! So, what happened?
Diet Restriction: this instinct is founded on a wise tradition of avoiding things that aggravate or cause malnutrition. It is an inner quest for true food that’s served humanity for thousands of years.
So what’s all this focus on diet restriction? It’s NOT Nature’s plan. It risks “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” Let’s see.
Painted Into A Corner. What happens with diet restriction? When people restrict, and restrict, and restrict some more? Think of the phrase, painted into a corner.
Of course, a person should remove an allergenic or offending food that’s driving inflammation and gastrointestinal symptoms. And avoid foods laden with pesticides and unnatural molecules. But some people remove food-after-food, seeking to alleviate discomfort, and never seem to find an end to the eliminative process.
Instinctively people know the power of real food for health.
The 21st Century is the era of food topsy-turvy-ism. Humanity is tricked every which way but toward eating their organic vegetables and pastured animal products. Genetically-altered foods, fake meat from GMO soy, forced-feeding-feed-lots, inhumane confinement, and assembly line confined feeding operations increase stress hormones lowers nutritional value.
This is one way to attempt to solve important issues such as how to feed a hungry planet’s burgeoning population. Hopefully, just a transitional step. There are better ways – home organic gardens, bartering with neighbors, ancient traditions. The old practices need to meet modern technology with respect for Nature’s principles. Other models serve all humanity better.
In The Beginning. Respect for Nature is a start. This is not suggesting de-evolution. It’s knowing that Nature knows best. It means that the goal is to work with, not try to trick, Natural Law. The human spirit inevitably attempts to push the limits for progress. This drive is best tempered by being in accord with Natural Law because “that’s how things are intended to work” here on Earth.
Today’s science has led us to air pollution, water pollution, dead zones in the ocean, and runaway diseases. All great things are possible within the parameters of Natural Law. Science has gained knowledge without the guidance of wisdom.
What is Natural Law? It’s amazingly basic. The most robust seedlings grow in the soil. The soil microbes supply minerals into the root system. The sun provides energy for photosynthesis. Water is a solvent. The plant is challenged by the elements—sun/shade, flood/drought, heat/cold, wind/calm. Predators (insects, foragers, fungus, other plants) stress the plant and elicit molecules in the plant to repel them. The plant grows strong and healthy. The plant feeds animals and people.
Then farm-to-table. The plant’s energy and nutrients and other molecules are humanized by the intestinal microbiome and liver and then go to work to serve the body’s life processes.
Historically, cultures would find a competitive advantage in certain practices. Cattle-based cultures grew strong from milk and meat. They became dominant in size and strength. Not to omit vegetarians, the Roman and East Indian empires produced big, strong warriors on fermented gruel, (ancient grains—not today’s hybridized, allergenic grains), and vegetable combinations.
Falling Like Dominoes—Food Sensitivities. A continuum of food sensitivities (first one food causes sensitivities, then another) is a sign that restricting yet another food is not addressing the cause. What unleashes the immune system’s concern and allergenic response?
- If a modern, hybridized, GMO, food, we should not seek to adapt ourselves to a perversion. We should restrict and let our buying power drive the industry toward health.
- If a wholesome, organic food that we used to handle, we should seek the cause. What got the immune system riled up? Most people can return to using wholesome foods after solving the cause and repairing the damage of modern foods.
- Once we stop challenging the immune system, it resets itself. The gut microbiome improves. Healthy, wholesome foods are allies in health.
Problem is this: removing a food that is not the “direct cause,” of a symptom, can mean that the body will become sensitive to what you continue to eat. Thus, one by one, foods become restricted. The problem is deeper than a food. The immune system is hyperactively seeking to attack. Why?
Leaky Gut (Intestinal Hyperpermeability) puts the immune system into hyperdrive. It attacks beneficial food molecules—in the gut and body when they enter the blood or lymph without proper digestion by the gut microbiome and the body’s digestive faculties.
In Nature, thus a Natural Law, adaptation to a wide variety of sustenance is one of the reasons the human species has done well at survival over the millennia. Not quite as well as several other species (frill shark, cyanobacteria, ants, horseshoe shrimp and horseshoe crabs, who’ve been around longer. The jury’s not out yet. There’s a new challenge. Toxic chemicals are poisoning frill sharks and horseshoe shrimp/crabs with plastics and health-destroying compounds. Who will win the new, man-devised contest?
Restriction goes against Nature. Today, people find that they must restrict certain foods or suffer symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pains, inflamed joints, and foggy brain. Science has mislead us to being birds in golden cages without the newspaper being changed.
Consider a general dietary position: it’s important to correct the cause of why the restriction is necessary. If it didn’t cause a problem a few years ago, why is it suddenly ‘the culprit’ driving inflammation, pain, and misery?
Set The Way Back Machine, Mr. Peabody. Let’s go back in time. Back when human epigenetics engaged the external world for survival by adapting to a wide variety of foods. People shoved as much variety into their pie-holes as they could find.
This leaf, that bark. This bunny, that grasshopper. This root, that wooly mammoth. This fruit, that bird. This snake, that grub. This flower, that fish.
This on-going adaptation—rendering the external environment for energy and cellular functions—sets the genetic and cellular precedent for variety and variation.
Big Question. What’s happened?
- Could it be that antibiotics in commercial food (and their overuse in medicine and dentistry), are altering the gut microbiome, inadvertently creating food sensitivities and allergies? It’s not “you are what you eat;” it’s what your gut microbiome eats and feeds to you.
- Could processed foods, replete with unnatural shellacs, varnishes, preservatives, synthetic vitamins, and flavor enhancers be presenting unusual molecules to the gut microbiome and human immune system? Be a good mom.This juice box contains 10% real fruit juice!
- Could removing Nature’s balanced molecular array from a food derange its molecular structure, and deprive the body of important nutrients? Fat-free, cholesterol-free, low saturated fat, salt-free, 2% milk, nutrient-free. But hey, it’s “All-Natural!”
- Could eating the same-ole, same-ole few foods be boring to the gut microbiome, thus limiting their biodiversity and retarding their metabolic messages to the brain? Awe, Mom. Glyphosate Cheerio-Sugar-Snacks with heat-damaged, rGBH, antibiotic milk … AGAIN? Oh, okay, thanks for the popper tart.
- Could eating a boat-load of pesticides be a factor? Three hundred million pounds of toxic glyphosate is poured on USA farmland every year. Anxiously awaiting DuPont’s (DOW) revamped Agent Orange that the US-EPA/FDA is allowing in a grocery store produce bin near you.
- Could environmental toxins in the air and water be hyper-sensitizing the human immune system? I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
- Could non-ionizing electromagnetic frequency pollution (cell phones, 5G, WIFI) be disturbing the vibratory rates of human DNA causing altered RNA transcriptions? Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt proposes that EMFs are making molds more virulent. Gotta love his first name: Diet Rich; and Cling Heart – some people get all the luck. (People only ask me if they should double down on a pair of aces.)
- Could vzzzzzzs be harmful despite the good intentions of protecting a population? Or is it about profits? [Note, it’s a politically-incorrect “no-no” to even speak the V word now.] Psssst: Voldemort!
- Could modern, multi-task lifestyles keep the body engaged in ever-present stress responses? “What? Me worry?” – Alfred E. Neuman
Wake Up Call. If you find that you must keep removing wholesome foods from your diet, then it’s a wakeup call. The cause is not with wholesome, organic foods. Something else is causing hyper-immune responses, inflammation, and pain.
Tomayto or Tomahto? Christy grew up eating tomatoes from her family farm. No problem. She’d pick a beauty right off the bush and bite into it like an apple. Then, she moved to the city and bought tomatoes at the corner grocery store. She noted that they did not have the same robust, satisfying flavor, but made do by adding more seasoning to her spaghetti sauce.
Her doctor told her to stop eating tomatoes and all other nightshades. He claimed that aspartic acid in tomatoes was damaging her heart lining with inflammation. Her Alcat Test (blood test) revealed moderate sensitivity to tomatoes and mild sensitivity to eggplant.
Christy struggled with diet restriction.
No potatoes eggplant, goji berries, salsa, chili, bell peppers, curry/garam masala, barbecue, olives with pimiento, tomatillo (green enchiladas). She even found ashwagandha in her adrenal supplement. This took a huge bite out of her dietary joy and nutrient intake.
Christy took matters into her own hands and focused on a gut health improvement program. This helped eliminate pathogenic bacteria identified on her comprehensive stool assessment lab report. Through this protocol, she optimized her Vitamin D3 by sunning and supplementation. Christy focused on healing her intestines with glycine, bone broth, lion’s mane, aloe, prebiotics, and probiotics.
She started a garden and grew heirloom tomatoes in pots on her apartment balcony. She gradually started eating organic red potatoes, chili, bell peppers, and other spices. Now she regained her ability to stop diet restriction and eat a wide variety of foods. Today, she keeps an eye on nightshades and rotates her use. Her Alcat test now shows “green light” on nightshade foods including tomatoes.
She has no problem with intestinal, heart, or joint health.
What’s the big difference? Vine or bush ripened—not picked green and gas-ripened. Real heirloom tomatoes—not hybridized for packing in crates and shipping to stores. No pesticides. Clean, pure water—not tap water.) Organic fertilizer. But the really big differences are taste and texture.
Liver & Dangerous Molecules. All vegetable foods have some dangerous molecule in them, no matter how much you restrict your diet. That’s how the plant survives in Nature. Blessedly, the human liver learned over time how to handle that predation-deterrent, and easily turns that food into sustenance for health. These plants became staple foods.
To correct food sensitivities, we should support our liver health in addition to our gut microbiomes. What adversely impacts the liver? Alcohol; pesticides/herbicides; anger; sugar; and drugs—prescription, over-the-counter, and recreational.
So, we have some simple considerations:
Restore a healthy gut microbiome, support liver health, obtain Nature’s true foods, and avoid or reduce damaging anti-nutrients (foods, chemicals, etc.) as best one can. These tenets are the age-old message of natural health. Just makes sense.
When common-sense dictates removing a certain, wholesome food from your diet, see if there are organic substitutes AFTER correcting/improving the gut microbiome and supporting liver health.
Variety of foods provides cells with a wide array of nutrients that initiate epigenetic stability, even improvements. This means to seek all the different organic foods, including vegetables that you don’t particularly like. Just a bite to remind your gut microbiome and brain that those molecules, structured by Nature, are available.
If you don’t like mushy yellow squash, then have one slice of organic, raw yellow squash with your salad occasionally. Keep your system engaged in experiencing many different wholesome foods.
Understanding Diet Restriction: Add Variety. See if you can add three new organic foods on your plate this week. Maybe in your yard, there’s a hibiscus flower, yucca flower, or nasturtium flower to add to your salad? Add bok choy, a basil leaf, a snow pea, a nut, some chia seeds. (You get the idea!)
Or right there in the grocery store, o mighty hunter, check out the organic produce and bag yourself a star fruit, cucumber, kohlrabi, or an organic red banana. A piece of ginger to make a ginger pickle.
Hippocrates knew that diet was essential for healing and health—something overlooked in modern medicine today with its focus on disease. This is why nutrition is “complementary” medicine. It’s a necessary and equally important component of human health and longevity.
Rather than diet restriction, your new commitment to sampling something new expands your hunting grounds, adds variety, and supports your health in countless ways.
Now, what do you have to share with others? Your comment below matters. Can’t wait!