You already know that exercise and avoiding refined carbohydrates is necessary for good health. Well now the American Cancer Society finally says so too! I recommend exercising 30 minutes in some form daily. That’s my goal even if I don’t always do it. Here are some examples from my life that may inspire you. 3 days a week I do vigorous exercise online with Coach Tyler of Warrior Made. The other days I walk with my Nordic Nations Walking Poles, swim, or dance. What’s your favorite form of exercise?
The ACS also recommends not to drink alcohol. They’ve caught up to England’s recommendation released last year that drinking any alcohol is damaging to health. I know, I know there are lots of studies saying drinking alcohol has benefits. But … looking at the balance sheet of good vs bad outcomes; alcohol turns up on the bad side.
You can listen to how drinking alcohol increases risk of developing breast cancer in my 3-part audio program Breast Health.
On a lighter note do you know what at least one cultural anthropologist says about why humans have big brains? He says it all started when one Homo Erectus male got the bright idea that he should stop putting out fires he came across by peeing on them. Instead he figured that maybe he could harness the power of fire to create a better life for him and his tribe.
How does that relate to humans having bigger brains? Well after his tribe started cooking food with that tamed fire they got more nutrients from what they ate. They were then able to spend less time hunting and gathering AND less time digesting the raw food they used to eat. Better digestion and more time to figure stuff out lead to bigger brains.
I learned this from Michael Pollan’s book Cooked. Michael Pollan said they got an extra 4 hours a day because they didn’t have to spend so much time getting food and chewing it. Interestingly that’s how many hours the average American spends watching television these days. I really enjoyed this book. Something else he talked about is secondary eating. That’s when you eat while doing something else besides sitting down for a meal. Americans get most of their calories now from this type of eating. We eat 500 more calories a day than we used to because we eat convenience food between meals. That’s one of the reasons Americans are #36 down the list of countries with the best health even though we spend more money on healthcare than those countries who do better than us. One of the chain store and prepared food company consultants he interviewed says he thinks the only way Americans can regain their health is by eating anything they want as long as they make it themselves. But he thinks we’re too dumb and lazy to make that happen. Want to prove him wrong? After I talked to my osteopath friend who eats packaged food and out at restaurants most of the time he took this challenge to heart. The last time we talked he told me he had started eating food he had prepared and has lost 10 pounds! He’s excited and proud of himself that he now weighs a bit less than when he entered medical school 35 years ago. Quite an accomplishment.