Friday, January 13, 2012

Modern Paleo: The Blog

I've been ill the past ten days with a cold that led to sinus infection. Although the sinus infection is probably due to bacteria, I dislike using antibiotics except as a last resort, especially since the newest ones can have pretty debilitating side effects. So in an attempt to heal myself, I've been hanging around the house, getting lots of sleep, drinking lots of water and herbal tea, steaming my head, and irrigating my sinuses. I've also had a wonderful time reading books and seeing what new things I could learn following web links. No more headache now, and I'm feeling almost back to normal.

One of the most delightful results of my web searching has been my discovery of Diana Hsieh. I've enjoyed her Noodlefood blog tremendously and highly recommend it, but Moedern Paleo is more relevant to my recent line of inquiry into weight maintenance and health

Dr. Hsieh does not advocate going back to the stone age, or even to the agricultural age. Instead, she "uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation." (Modern Paleo)  From the time I began raising chickens when I was young and noticed how much healthier they (and their eggs) are when they have access to basic needs, such as dust baths and insects, I've thought it made sense to consider what humans need to eat and how they need to act to be healthy. For the diet, I don't rule out grains entirely, as some Paleo dieters do. People need some carbs in their diet, and archeaological evidence indicates that ancient humans gathered seeds of grasses. Certainly modern gatherer-hunters do, even Intuits whose diet consists largely of meat and fish. One of my mentors when I was a young person, Wild Horse Havard (about whom I must write more someday) told me about a malady he called "rabbit fever" that people suffered from when they were away from civilization for a long time and had mostly lean meat to eat. I suspect "rabbit fever" -- that is to say, lack of fats and carbs in the diet -- is what killed Chris McCandless, the young man who died in the old Fairbanks city bus on Stampede Trail in Alaska.

Anyhow, in addition to a diet that suits the human metabolic system, there are other things people need in order to be healthy. The human requirement that's been the most important to me from as far back as I can remember, is the flexibility to base one's actions on decisions made according to one's own reasoning. (I use the word "flexibility" because "freedom" has been used in so many different ways it no longer has much useful meaning.) Therefore, I was excited to see that Dr. Hsieh's Paleo Principles includes this (at the very end):

You are 100% responsible for your own life, health, and happiness. Refuse to submit to the standard dogmas just because everyone believes them. Read, think, inquire, and judge for yourself. Don't depend on the government and its lackeys to keep you healthy. Insist on the inalienable rights of all persons to produce, trade, and consume voluntarily -- free from the unjust burdens of government regulations, subsidies, and taxation.

Thank you, Dr. Hsieh! 

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