As someone who has dealt with obesity since kindergarten, when they pulled me indoors from climbing trees all day, I have dealt with fat, diets and fat fallout all of my life. I was on Metrecal shakes in the third grade, and at 16 my Italian doctor was shocked at the diet pills my US MD had prescribed since age 14. Every kind of diet- low fat, low carb, low calorie, Weight Watchers, fad diets, macrobiotics, non diets,- lots of exercise, hypnosis, EFT, and positive imagery was tried. I know all the supplements, the portion sizes, the caloric values, the allergens and the energetics of foods. And like most fat people I have had the will power to lose weight many times over. Continue reading Ten Things About Being Fat
Only 10% of the cells in our bodies are human. Ponder that. We have easily a hundred trillion bacterial cells, not just in our gut but all over our body. They make us work: breaking down food into something we can assimilate, fighting infection, signaling our cellular processes, converting sunlight to Vitamin D, forming biofilms to protect us. We have fungi that break down wastes, yeasts that ferment and transform extra sugars, worms that can prevent autoimmune disease. Some of our bacteria themselves have viruses. We are walking colonies of organisms in a human superstructure. Continue reading Our Symbionts, Ourselves
I was listening to Jeffrey Yuen speak about how heat turns into fire toxins unless the body damps it down, and it suddenly hit me why people with long term heating emotions might eat the way they do.
In Chinese medicine, the seven emotions are considered causes of disease. If you are feeling chronically stressed or anxious, it can cause a condition of internal heat in the body. Heat can turn into fire, which can harass the heart, causing anger or mental illness, depending upon the situation. Fire, if unaddressed, can turn to fire toxin, a truly toxic situation that can lead to abscesses, ulcerations and even cancers.
What does the body do to prevent this? Fire can be cooled, but the human body lacks internal refrigeration. So the more likely response is to dampen the fire with fluids. Fluids in the body are generated primarily by food and drink.
And what kinds of foods do we look for when we eat emotionally? Sweets, breads, chocolate, ice cream, perhaps with a glass of milk- all the foods that tend to generate dampness when consumed. We rarely have cravings for bell peppers or mustard greens or shitake mushrooms when we are emotionally spent.
Most people with blood sugar problems have noticed that carbohydrates raise blood sugar, often followed by a crash. The various low carbohydrate diets- Atkins, South Beach, Anti-Inflammation Diet, and even the Zone- do somewhat better at weight loss compared to a low calorie diet, but really excel at keeping blood sugar levels stable, lowering triglycerides, lowering blood insulin, and even cholesterol.
But not all carbs are created equal: a baked Idaho potato with a sprinkle of salt will send your blood sugar spiraling more than an equal weight of even ice cream or table sugar. Continue reading What is the Glycemic Index?
Fatty liver is now recognized as the most common cause of abnormal liver function tests in the western world. Around one in five persons in the USA has a fatty liver and it is poised to be as big a disease as diabetes. Fatty liver is usually associated with abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Fatty liver may be associated with or may lead to inflammation of the liver. This can cause scarring and hardening of the liver. When scarring becomes extensive, it is called cirrhosis, and this is a very serious condition which can lead to liver failure. Continue reading What is Fatty Liver and How Can Chinese Medicine Help?