In toto

in toto |ˌLatin
as a whole, completely, totally, entirely, uncut, in its entirety

Have you noticed the banner across the top that says “Discover your best self.”

I’ve long said there is not a “personal life” and a “professional life” for each of us. We have one life. Who you are is who you are everywhere you go. Sure, different facets or sides of us show up at different places. A diamond, or even a lump of coal, has different sides and yet it is still one diamond or one lump of coal.

It is common all of us to have an ideal of who we want to be. Doesn’t necessarily mean we are “bad”, it merely means we want to improve, to make progress. This is where those banner words come from. We all want to discover our best selves.

We are tripartite beings of spirit, soul, and body. The soul encompasses our mind, will, and emotions. Most of the content in these weekly notes does address how to corral and reign our mind, will, and emotions to achieve all we want to achieve.

Discovering our best selves also includes taking care of our bodies; our mind-boggling, complex billions of cells we each experience life in. Our bodies highly impact our ability to be our best selves.

I get to celebrate one of those birthdays with a zero at the end of it this year. Yea! I am not ill. I also know I am not at optimum health. I won’t bore you with details. I am watching my mother 89-yr-old mother with increasing dementia. I like the long-life part of that equation. The other? Not so much. This combination is what has set me off researching health. Health does include what we eat and the ratios of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat).

What I’ve learned in the past few weeks about health has been so eye-opening, I am writing about this seemingly-off topic this week.

1. The dietary food recommendations given here in the U.S. and other Western countries is not based on rigorous science.
2. Doctors are not well-trained in nutrition in medical school.
3. What is important to find out in a blood test, and what isn’t.

“Where is this woman going with all this?” you wonder.

We all have one life and we each have one body to cart us around in. What we think and feel impacts our body; our body impacts how we think and feel.

Below are links to where and what I’ve been reading, watching video, totally engrossed in science processes of the body and how what we eat affects those processes. I’m a liberal arts major so the science is often over my head. These folks do an excellent job of helping non-science people understand.

These also address in a straight-forward fashion how the current dietary advice came to be seen as truth, as if based on rigorous science, and how, as the American public has adopted that way of eating, obesity and diabetes have skyrocketed.

Do remember that being 100 percent responsible for the outcomes in your life includes your health. It isn’t your doctor, your friends, your parents, your children, your spouse, your boss, the government. It’s you. And me, too.

Here’s the resources I’ve read of late.
The first thing I watched a few months ago was a 90-minute video on the effects of sugar on the human body. It is a presentation by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, where he explores the damage caused by sugary foods. This video easily convinced me to be more vigilant in keeping sugar out of my way of eating. One must give up almost all processed foods in order to do it well, sadly. I was there anyway. The sad part to me is that sugar, in some form, is in almost all processed foods. Read ingredients lists.
Sugar: The Bitter Truth

In the last month, I ended up at The Eating Academy, a blog by Peter Attia, M.D. It is his personal journey into studying the science of nutrition and encouraging all of us to become thinkers regarding the food we eat, what is good science and what isn’t. I even read his 10-part series on cholesterol. Lots of science discussed on this site and it is worth every moment you give it.
The Eating Academy

Because I have been hanging out on that site, I became familiar with Gary Taubes, an award-winning science writer who has long written about the science of health. Gary has a degree in physics which means he knows what constitutes good science and what doesn’t.
Gary Taubes
I read some of his articles and did read his two books. Reading them word for word? No. Still, they have informed my thinking greatly.
These books are Good Calories Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It. Gary has them listed on his website.

Taubes and Attia this year, in fact only last month, launched the Nutrition Science Initiative. NuSI (pronounced new-see) is a “nonprofit dedicated to reducing the economic and social burden of obesity and obesity-related chronic disease by improving the quality of science in nutrition and obesity research.” When you read the numbers on the costs involved in these diseases and how they impact the national economy, you’ll understand the amplified importance of quality research beyond that of a healthy citizenry. This initiative was started because of the abysmal state of quality science in this area.

Today I watched a video presentation by Andreas Eenfeldt, M.D. from Sweden, at the Ancestral Health Symposium in 2011. Don’t you love the Internet? And YouTube? It’s an hour-long but still fascinating. He shows promising impacts in the health of Swedes as they move away from the current dietary recommendations to low-carb, high fat (LCHF) way of eating.
The Food Revolution
You’ll find the video I am speaking of about half way down that page. Below that, there is a set of four other videos. The one “Low Carb Explained” is particularly good.

As you’ll find on Attia’s website and in other places, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way of eating though eating sugar day in and day out isn’t good for anyone. I hope you’ll banish it as much as you can. In one video I watched, there is a stat that says Americans eat six times more sugar than what we did forty years ago. Six times!