Saturday, November 17, 2018

New Direction for this Blog

Hi everyone. As you may be aware, it has been some time since I've posted anything to this blog. A lot has happened in the past months. Aside from our move to Denver, CO we're also no longer focusing on either Melaluca or Norwex products, though we are still in both companies. It isn't that we no longer believe in them, but more an issue of we have other priorities that have sucked away our time.

So, in deciding what to do with this blog, I've decided to move it in a direction that we've been going on for over nine months now, a plant-based diet. And I'm becoming more and more convinced that specific plants need to make up the bulk of our diet, that is, starch. But before we get to that, allow me to give you a little of our journey over the past year.

As some may know, prior to September of 2017, we were on the Keto diet from about Feb 2017 through August 2017. How did that work? Well, okay for the seven months I was on it. Okay in that I was able to keep my weight up (somewhat, some may contest that I dropped too low) and maintained my energy levels on it, and appeared to stay in ketososis for a decent period of time. By all outward appearances, I was healthy.

Then I went in for my physical. The doctor didn't find anything bad on the blood test, though he didn't do a cholesterol test, strangely enough. I had a clean bill of health from him. The only problem he had with me was my Keto diet. He pointed me to a website and recommended that I do a search on "Parkinson's" and watch whatever videos it pulled up. For him, saturated fats were the deathnell of existence, especially the amount I was getting eating four eggs cooked in coconut oil for lunch every day. Due to my weight and activity level, I had to have around 3000 calories a day, and on the keto diet, it had to mostly be fat.

Due to being in a clinical trial, I had an online list of my blood pressure that I could review. From December of 2016, through August of 2017, my blood pressure level dropped from borderline too high, to what the site the doctor referred me to as very good shape, around 117/58. That was in the previous month. So I figured the good doctor and the site he had pointed me to just didn't take into account that I was burning all that oil right out of my system, so it wasn't there to do all the bad things they said it could. And in my case, I could have been right. If I had eaten less, my weight would have dropped more.

However, I wasn't on the Keto diet to reduce weight, obviously. I wasn't on it necessarily because I thought it might be the healthiest diet in the world, though I had convinced myself that it was healthy enough. No, I was doing it for one primary reason: because there was some clinical evidence that it could help one who has Parkinson's mitigate their symptoms. In my seven months doing that diet, I had noticed no changes in my symptoms, one way or the other. At least, due to my diet. I did notice an increase in my symptoms when I came off the Amantadine that the clinical trial was for. So it would be hard to attribute that to the diet, or that it would have been worse or better if I wasn't on the ketogenic diet.

So at that point, I wasn't married to it aside from it had become a habit during that time and I believed it to overall be healthy at least for me. So I was open to new input. As I started to watch those videos, while I wasn't immediately hooked, I could see the logic of his arguments, which were all based on the scientific evidence over the last 50+ years. The more I researched it, the more I became convinced that a plant-based diet was key to good health. The more I looked at the evidence, the more I began to believe that the cause of our major diseases were meat and their byproducts.

By now I can hear you yelling, "What is that website!" Okay, here it is already!

The thing I like about his site is he backs up his conclusions almost exclusively from scientific studies. Now, I know what many of you are thinking. It was "science" that has said a balanced diet included meat and milk and eggs. Is this just some cherry-picked studies he's using? How can we trust his science anymore than we can trust the past science that has come to different conclusions?

I know, because that was my first thought. I'd grown distrustful of any science because so much of it appeared to be biased toward telling me I couldn't eat what I wanted to eat. Or shouldn't eat. Only to be shown in a few years that it was wrong and the opposite was true. Was this just another scientific fad?

As I looked into it, what he showed is that these were the conclusions that science had come to over 50 years ago, and that every major study showed to be true down till today. No, this wasn't something that would change, because this was how we were designed to eat. It is shown all through history that starch-based, plant diets were what civilization was founded and sustained upon.

When you look at the nutritional value of any meat, it makes logical sense that one could not live on meat alone. Aside from some protein (which your body doesn't run on except in the severest of starvation situations) and some other vitamins, there is no nutritional value to meat. The one thing it is high in is saturated fat, and lots of it. But you cannot live on a meat only diet. You'd get scurvy and other diseases if you did, because there is little vitamins in meat.

However, you can live on potatoes alone. It is one of the most complete packages of food, including protein and vitamin C. You can live on rice or beans, supplemented with some broccoli. There are a lot of vegetables that contain protein and all the vitamins you'd need to survive. There is no meat which could do that.

"But," I can hear someone suggest, "no one has claimed meat could do that (for a good reason, I might add) but that it should be part of a balanced diet. After all, it is a well known fact that there is no plant-based source of vitamin b12."

True. Just as there is no animal source of b12 either. "What?" That's because b12 doesn't come from cows, but from bacteria in the soil. It is only that cows and other animals eat unclean food that they have b12 in their muscle. Same was for us before sanitation came along in the last 100-150 years or so. We derived our B12 from eating not fully cleaned vegetables and drinking water from streams and rivers.

Since no one is recommending that we go back to eating our vegetables with dirt on them or drinking from dirty streams and rivers, since that was also a source of other diseases which tended to cut life short, that leaves either eating food that contains b12 naturally or artificially, or eating a b12 supplement. While generally I would recommend the more whole food route, I'm not in favor of eating things like meat products that are shown to have much worse conditions than b12 deficiency, to get my b12 from. I mean, when is the last time you heard that b12 deficiency was one of our top 15 killers? Like, never. Why would I smoke (eat) a cigarette for the benefit of tobacco's helping me with Parkinson's symptoms? Or worse yet, to eat something that has been shown throughout history to result in our nation's number one killer, heart attacks, and the basis of many other diseases, just to avoid being vitamin B12 deficient? That's just stupid. No, I'll take the safer supplement, thank you.

So, that's what I've been doing for the past year, starting in January. And I can report, it has appeared to have helped my Parkinson's symptoms. It's been minor at this point. But neither have I noticed any progression in my symptoms either. Note: I know some of the progress I've had this year has been healing from my DBS surgery last September. However, I have noticed more steadiness in the last few months in my right hand. The only time it has gone "wild" has been after the few time's I've eaten meat. We'll see how it goes this Thanksgiving next week. But that is progress.

That said, even if I hadn't noticed any betterment of my symptoms, I plan on staying on this diet. For two reasons. One, because the last thing I need to add to my life now is another chronic disease. While there is evidence that a plant-based diet could help prevent Parkinson's, there is nothing showing it can reverse it. There is evidence, however, very strong, that it can prevent several other number of diseases, like coronary disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and several others like MS and reverse them. I don't want to add those diseases to my list because I wasn't willing to change my source of caloric intake.

Two, because whether it slows down the progression of my symptoms, or stops them, or even if it miraculously reverses my symptoms (I'd get a lot of medical attention for sure if that happened!), or does nothing, my best bet is to eat food that is healthy. That is, to gain the best chance for a healthy life otherwise than what I already have to deal with. The best chance I have to survive this disease is to eat and live as healthy as possible.

To sum up this section by saying there are two types of conclusions people will likely come to, other than the one I have. One, you could disagree with the science, or that it doesn't accurately reflect the science, and refuse to stop eating so much meat and dairy, believing that is the safer route. That is certainly where the meat and dairy lobby wants you to be.

Or, you might agree with the science I've presented, but due to your addiction to meat and dairy, don't want to give it up, much like the smoker in times past who knew it would likely give them lung cancer but enjoyed it too much to stop, and so you won't stop eating it. Perhaps you'd say to yourself, "Hey, everyone is going to die, why shouldn't I eat what I enjoy eating while I am alive?"

Fine, as long as you remember this when you have a heart attack and happen to survive it at age 30, when you threaten to leave your wife or husband to raise your kids themselves (hey, I know someone this actually happened to), you'll recall this information and come back to it once faced with your own mortality. Unlike Parkinson's, this diet has been shown to actually reverse heart disease. And cancer. And diabetes. And several others. So you'll still have a chance, if you survive the first round.

As far as the first group, I only ask that you remain open to the evidence. When you have a doctor who has seen everyone he's worked on, without exception, get better under this diet (Dr. McDougall), that he has cured hundreds of people on his diet from the above conditions, who go on to live full lives, and other doctors who can attest to the same thing, you know this isn't some passing science fad we're talking about here. Once you come to that conclusion, I hope you'll be ready to also join me on this journey into health.

So, that's where this blog is now headed. It still fits the direction of this club, to be a wellness club. I plan on promoting wellness through my journey into a starch-based, plant-based diet. More articles will be forthcoming. Arms and legs should be kept in the cart at all times. Hang on, here we go!

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