How was your 2020? This may be the weirdest year on record, at least in the new millennium.
One positive: my wife Kathy and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.
Do you think that the worst is behind us, now that society is being treated to "newly" developed designer injectables? That depends on how you define "worst." Despite my relentlessly upbeat attitude and sunny disposition (faint sarcasm here) I am betting we ain't seen nothing yet.
I truly appreciate everyone's attention and willingness, this year, to absorb an increasing ratio of opinion along with diet-and-lifestyle research. As always, the more you learn...the more you think about what it all means.
So, here is a sprinkling of 2020 virus-tinged tidbits to close out this first chapter in our new existence--to be lived henceforth in the shadow (under the thumb?) of omnipotent, unilateral, don't-you-dare-question-it medical expertise.
Man without a doctor
But first, imagine a life without doctor visits or treatment...ever. Here is an example, a charming plainspoken British gentleman who credits this accomplishment to "plain English food" (chicken or beef!), one hot meal a day, regular exercise, and no tobacco or alcohol. In 70 years he visited a physician once, at age 18, for an physical exam. That was in 1950.
This stalwart Brit is not being fair to the medical community. Remember, if you are fully cured or need no care, no one wins ...except insignificant you. What about all those poor doctors? How will they pay their bills?
Sweetening the deal at your expense
An inconvenient truth (mostly outside the notice of mainstream and social media) is the pervasive influence of the fast/processed food and Big Soda industries on "public health" and the medical community. This has become so egregious that studies like this one can get published, demonstrating that innocent sounding foundations and public service think tanks aren't always what they seem. This is only a recent example of how special interests camouflage their real agenda.
How funny is this, really?
I don't have much use for comedy or comedians, but Bill Maher's screed on obesity, diet and the coronavirus issue is actually quite educational and, well, funny. My wife Kathleen showed this to me when it came out, and if you haven't viewed it, please do. This is eminently share-able, as long as your (relatives/friends/co-workers) can stomach Mr. Maher. He eloquently highlights how most doctors just don't (or won't) address how the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) worsens virus outcomes.
In an era where "we know everything" about diet and health, how can this be? Answer: It's all about money. At least...to start with.
THIS doctor is definitely in
(warning: profanity below, single instance)
I have been thrilled this year to discover the work of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, a practicing UK physician who is engagingly and irrepressibly outspoken on health, diet--and, most recently, on the virus. His work on the cholesterol/saturated fat myths is very important, as well as easily accessible and honestly amusing. His book, "The Great Cholesterol CON: what really causes heart disease and how to avoid it" should be required reading for everyone over 40. The very short version: everything you've been told your whole life about saturated fat is complete, unmitigated bullshit.
See also Dr. Kendrick's recent post on Dr. David Unwin's work showing that S.A.D./Western-style high carbohydrate diets set us up for all kinds of failure, including the worst coronavirus outcomes. Don't just take it from me
Is there such a thing as "bad" cholesterol?
Hats off (I still occasionally wear one) to Dr. Maryanne Demasi for introducing me to the work of Dr. Kendrick, and also Drs. Paul Rosch and Uffe Ravnskov. These physicians compiled an extremely important collection of studies and articles on how truly little is understood about the causes of heart disease. The title says it all: "Fat and cholesterol don't cause heart attacks, and Statins are not the solution."
A nod as well to Mark Sisson, whose weekly link compendium took me to the old version of the Crossfit website, where I learned about Dr. Demasi and her battle with the Australian broadcasting community--over heart disease and statin truths.
(You can still find info like this at www.Crossfit.com but you have to dig for it now that the new ownership has taken the site in a very corporate direction. I searched "demasi" just now and brought up Dr. Demasi's presentations.)
For the record, I now eat an extremely high saturated fat diet, increasingly so in the last couple of years as I pushed Paleo into Keto territory, and I haven't had a heart attack yet. I am at my lowest bodyweight in 20 years, and have way more energy than most people my age (or half my age.) Blood pressure is normal. "My doctor" thinks my cholesterol is too high but he is at a loss to reconcile this with my overall health and youthful vigor (compared to my decrepit attained age.)
At least, he was "my doctor."
The Keto is still out there
Dr. Kendrick has recently posted a review of researcher Gary Taubes' book "The Case For Keto," and I find Dr. Kendrick's remarks spot on. They are even more interesting because Dr. Kendrick is not really a "diet doctor," and has stated in the past that combatting stress is more central to health than any dietary changes. He may be changing his stance on this, especially in light of remarks in his post on Dr. Unwin's work (see above), and that is all for the good. Low-carb / Keto dieting could use an educated and passionate advocate like Dr. Kendrick.
Low-carb eating is a mastodon in the room re: diet-related "underlying health conditions" that worsen virus outcomes. In 2021 I hope we see more awareness of this primary line of defense against infection. A plain-vanilla Paleo, or "Paleolithic Ketogenic" or even "Mediterranean Ketogenic" diet (or the new kid on the block, the "Carnivore" diet) takes the pressure off your immune system by reducing intestinal permeability, inflammation and insulin insensitivity.
An optimized immune system may be worth at least as much as 2021's menu of designer injectables--in my humble opinion--and the only side effects will be reduced bodyweight, clearer skin, more productive hours in the day, burnished libido, less medication use (or none, like me) etc.--little things you learn to put up with over time.
A shot in the arm...NOT
While today's new crop of injectables feature potentially DNA-altering tech, making them totally uncharted territory, it helps (me, anyway) to reflect on the historical overall effect of "accepted" scheduled/recommended "shots" on general health. This study measures the health of both regularly immunized and non-immunized groups, and shows that the non-immunized cohort has markedly less chronic illness and fewer doctor visits.
(I avoid the the "V-----------n word" here so as to fly under today's rampant censorship radar and stay marginally more share-able.)
The study contains some truly shocking graphs (incidence of various illnesses or treatments between the cohorts) and the piercing observation that NO "un-V'd" child in the study showed any symptoms of ADHD. This "Defender" article does a great job of further unpacking the study.
Nero's Paleo fiddle
Has anyone else become confused or even numbed (doubtless the intended effect) by the weird balance in media between virus hysteria and "normal" news (sports, politics --are we regurgitating yet?-- celebrities, cooking, business?) Are we in a crisis...or not? Are we being tempted by the normal to do anything we can (including line up for shots) so we don't have to be afraid anymore? Or does this deliberate (my opinion again) cognitive dissonance just keep us from thinking too hard about what might really be going on?
A too-high Creepy Normalcy quotient now pervades the Ancestral blogosphere. One site I visit frequently posts maybe ONE virus-related piece vs. 5-10 articles about recipes or fitness or what we used to call "human potential" or "inspirational" subjects. I get the whole "let's stay positive" thing (remember my sunny disposition) but it's pretty clear that most heavyweight Ancestral writers are tiptoeing around virus issues.
This could be because addressing the virus through the Ancestral lens goes right to a major public health issue, and it's no longer fashionable (or even allowed, on social media) to chime in on things like bad diet = bad health = more likely to die from the virus. Yes, that bad S.A.D. diet has been carefully crafted, fine tuned and promoted by both the food industry and public policy for over 50 years...but why risk your livelihood by being de-platformed, deleted, banned or drowned in algorithmically generated "woke" tweety outrage, just to bring this up?
But...this will probably happen to many of us anyway over the next few years, no matter how studiously we ignore the central issue: diet & lifestyle may not be a CURE for a specific disease, but they can damn sure position you to fight off (or simply avoid) a whole army of diseases. Sure you can get sick, but mostly not "that" sick. Since 1/1/16 I have taken maybe 5 sick days from my day job. Maybe.
Anyone familiar with how media has handled non-mainstream virus treatments should be able to read the writing on the wall. Contradict the mainstream public health authorities and you are automatically a danger to public health.
Today the virus, tomorrow your diet
Remember, you would be advocating AGAINST grains, most legumes, sugars, "low-fat" foods, canola and other industrial seed oils, fast food, processed foods, even twinkies, for gosh sakes. Instead you'd be urging your benighted fellow citizens to hold the line and eat (gasp!) red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, organic vegetables, nuts and seeds, and low-glycemic fruit; and there are the fats: coconut, olive or avocado oil, ghee, even whole butter.
This relatively low-carb, high-saturated fat (and exceedingly healthy) diet will eventually be deemed a danger to public health, or at least treated like one. It contradicts the mantra (and bottom line) of too many vested interests, from "big food" to corporate medicine.
We may look back on 2020's "dry run," when social media completely removed or suppressed alternative virus views--and the media war dogs were loosed on their adherents--as the calm before the real storm.
Cell phone reception in Plato's cave
Plato...really? The great Greek philosopher Plato's allegory of perception has come back to bite (if not haunt) us. Plato held that what people see, and believed they knew, were at best imperfect versions of the truly real. He likened us to persons chained in a cave, forced to look straight ahead at the cave wall. Behind us a fire blazed, the "real" items passing in front of it, casting shadows on the wall as we watched. These shadows, all that we could see, are what we accept as "real."
An increasingly media-dependent society could be said to have a serious shadow problem. Our "wall" has become the device screen, and the "shadows" cast there are generally created without concern for our best interests. This electronic cave also facilitates a "shadow of a shadow of a shadow" cascade, as images and information we receive migrate further from what "is" toward what it is "useful for us to believe."
As extended lockdowns and quarantines increasingly restrict face-to-face communication, as faces themselves disappear behind masks, and as we are divided by fear into decreasing family or social bubbles...reliance on media and electronic communication explodes.
The majority of our communication--emails, chats, texts, phone conversations-- are easily surveilled or stored away for leisurely analysis. Events in the larger world can be reported, depicted or outright spun as needed to manipulate public behavior. Anyone who doubts this is happening can find out for themselves by searching "outside the box" on the Web for just a few minutes. This takes increasing effort, but is still possible. Mainstream news sites and social media platforms, with their aggressively homogeneous "public health" stance, are not your prime resource.
This seeming-of-things shadow play, reinforced from so many coordinated points of attack, can sweep the unwary along, and has done so, for years or even lifetimes. Entire populations may believe, or behave according to, partially or fully "manufactured" information.
Your 2021 Prescription: Critical thinking
We used to drive our parents crazy with one word: "WHY?"
We might now add: "Are you sure?" or even "What if the opposite were true?"
I am a great fan of detective extraordinaire Hercule Poirot's "Cui bono?" (Who benefits? Used above.)
And how about, "Why can't I make up my own mind about that?" Listen hard for the words "public health" in the response.
While we still have the internet, research contrary or opposing or just different views.
(For example, I've been fascinated by South Dakota governor Kristi Noem's "dashboard" approach to whether or not lockdowns / masks actually work. You don't hear much about this on mainstream sites.
If you aren't tired yet, please also read Dr. Kendrick's most recent post on the virus, which beautifully sums up the outright confusion and manipulation of info that surrounds this issue.)
Good luck in the new year! If you read this far, you have what it takes!
And don't forget...
DAVID WHITESIDE IS NOT A DOCTOR and does not give medical advice or treatment. He offers research, information and personal experience only. Nothing you read on this website or blog should be construed as medical advice or as intended to supersede information you get from your medical professional. Following the advice given here or on any recommended resource site does not create a doctor-patient relationship or create liability for David or anyone else. David is not liable for any loss or complication you experience from following any diet or taking any action. You should check with your properly accredited medical professional if you think you are injured or ill.