Credo to regain the strength and health of my hunter-gatherer ancestors

February 19, 2017

Technology changes rapidly but our biology, our bodies change slowly. Our bodies are essentially the same as 10,000 years ago. 10,000 years ago humans were stronger and healthier. I wish to regain the strength and health of my hunter-gatherer ancestors. To do so, I will emulate their conditions:

  1. I will take a cold shower each day to emulate the environmental extremes that my hunter-gatherer ancestors dealt with.
  2. I will fast on water every Sunday to emulate the periods without food that my hunter-gatherer ancestors endured.
  3. I will go barefoot as much as possible and run my feet over lacrosse balls to emulate the lack of footwear of my hunter-gatherer ancestors.
  4. I will walk outdoors for an hour each day to emulate the long distances that my hunter-gatherer ancestors traveled each day.
  5. I will lift heavy weights to emulate the hard work that my hunter-gatherer ancestors performed each day.
  6. I will eat fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and meat to emulate the diet of my hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Fasting puts a good stress on the body

February 18, 2017

Tomorrow I will fast. I plan to do a one-day fast every Sunday. How about joining me?

For most of human history there were occasions when there was no food. So the human body evolved to survive in times of famine. That’s why we have fat – it is there to carry us over during times of famine.

It’s only in the last 100 years that technology has advanced to the point where food is plentiful and we never have to endure famine. But while technology has changed, our bodies are essentially the same. Our bodies still expect periods without food. There is lots of evidence that when we don’t periodically fast, illnesses ensue. So, periodic fasting is a really good thing. It puts a good stress on the body.

Unlocking our lost potential

February 12, 2017

From the (fantastic) book What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Carney:

Every human alive today lives in a cocoon of consistency: an eternal summer. We’re overlit, overfed, and overstimulated, and in terms of how long we’ve been on Earth, that’s all new.

Humans have evolved with an innate ability to resist the elements. Our remote ancestors marched across endless expanses of frosty mountains and navigated parched deserts long before they invented the most basic footwear or animal-skin coats. While technology has made us more comfortable, the underlying biology is still there. The key to unlocking our lost potential lies in re-creating the sorts of harsh experiences our ancestors would have faced.

If you’ve been wrapped in a thermogenic cocoon for your whole life, then your nervous system is aching for input.

Exposure to cold helps reconfigure the cardiovascular system and combat autoimmune malfunctions.

3 steps to absolute control of your life

February 10, 2017
  1. Live in the present: be aware of your body, your mind, and your surroundings.
  2. Master breathing: consciously control your breathing.
  3. Control your autonomic nervous system: take a cold shower every day.

Your spirit (soul) is intimately connected to your breath

February 6, 2017

Your spirit (soul) is intimately connected to your breath. The spirit enters the body when a baby takes its first breath. The spirit leaves the body when the last breath is taken. –Laird Hamilton

4-minutes to release stress and reset the nervous system

January 29, 2017

Feeling stressed? Here’s how to release the stress. It’s a 4-minute nervous system reset. It restores the acid/alkaline balance in the blood.

Stand up. Shake your arms. Relax. Feel your feet.
Feel your hands and shoulders. Then do 30 deep
breaths. On the last breath, breathe out, hold it,
and then immediately drop down and do
pushups (no breathing).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7MseR-eDkg

I just did it. I feel great. Amazingly, I did more pushups than I’ve done in years. And they were done without any air in my lungs! Apparently the 30 deep breaths super-oxygenated my cells and it was that which powered me through the pushups. Awesome.

Reality beyond words

January 21, 2017

That is a tree.

When teaching a child, don’t say “That is.” Instead say “That is called.”

That is called a tree.

When you say “that is” you confuse the word with the reality, which is infinitely deeper.

Don’t let the child slip away at an early age into the conceptual realm, believing exclusively in words.

There comes a time when a child demands to be fed words and concepts: What’s that? At that stage they want concepts, words.

What’s that? asks the child.

That’s a tree responds the adult.

That’s a flower. That’s a car. That’s a table. That’s a …

Don’t say “that is.” Instead, say “that is called.”

If you say “that is” the child will confuse the word with the reality, which is infinitely deeper.

By saying “that is” the child loses touch with the actual, direct experience of reality. And as the child accumulates words, the child begins to believe that when he/she says “this is a tree” that’s all there is to know about the tree. Later, the child might take a biology class and get a few more names to attach to the tree, or the names of different trees. Immediately, the depth of the tree recedes and is replaced by a relatively dead thought form, “tree.” That’s how language deadens aliveness. When you teach a child language, the child should stay in touch with the actual thing. So you should say “It is called” not “It is” and encourage the child to continue to look, to touch, to listen. Look there, touch, listen. Then everything isn’t obscured with words. Stay with the reality. Some of the direct experience remains with the child.

For most of us adults, we have been deadened by words. It is only later in life, after much shaking up that we break out of this and we start living again.

Whenever you teach the child, help him/her to realize there is more beyond the words. There is reality beyond the words.

You are not John. John is the name we have given you. You are not your name. It’s just a name.

Eckhart Tolle

Super-oxygenate your cells and get stronger with more endurance

January 15, 2017

Before free-divers do a dive they spend time doing deep breathing and quick breathing. The purpose of this breathing is to maximize the amount of oxygen in the cells. The extra oxygen in their system enables them to dive deeper and longer.

In Scott Carney’s new book, he says that ordinarily he can do 20 pushups. While researching his book he attended a workshop where he and the other workshop participants did deep and quick breathing for an hour. At the end of the hour the participants were instructed to do pushups. Carney did 40 pushups – while holding his breath!

Today I figured that I would give this a try. I went for a one hour walk. During the walk I did a lot of deep breathing. After the walk I worked out. My personal best went from 2 reps to 5 reps!

Interesting note in Carney’s book: Controlled hyperventilation will increase oxygen saturation in the blood to 100%, but more significantly, it also expels CO2 which your body uses to gauge when to gasp.

The three pillars of health – diet, exercise, and environmental training

January 14, 2017

A few extracts from the (excellent) book: What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength by Scott Carney

For at least half a century the conventional wisdom about maintaining good physical health has rested on the twin pillars of diet and exercise. While those are no doubt vital, there’s an equally important, but completely ignored, third pillar – environmental training.

Once you arrive at high altitude, your body automatically produces more red blood cells to compensate for lower oxygen saturation. Move to an oppressively hot environment and your body will sweat out fewer salts over time and produce lower volumes of urine. Heat will also stimulate your cardiovascular system to become more efficient and increase evaporation and cooling. Yet no environmental extreme induces as many changes in human physiology as the cold does.

A plunge into ice-cold water not only triggers a number of processes to warm the body, but also tweaks insulin production, tightens the circulatory system, and heightens mental awareness. A person actually has to get uncomfortable and experience that frigid cold if they want to initiate those systems.

Despite all of our technology, our bodies are just not ready for a world so completely tamed by our desire for comfort. Without stimulation, the responses that were designed to fight environmental challenges don’t always lie dormant. Sometimes they turn inward and wreak havoc on our insides. An entire field of medical research on autoimmune diseases suggests they originate from fundamental disconnect between the outside world and an under stimulated biology.

The ego is the unobserved mind

January 11, 2017

The ego is the unobserved mind. [Eckhart Tolle]

Thoughts are just things. They should be looked at and examined.

You are not your thoughts. Thoughts are merely things generated by the mind.