Category Archives: Wellbeing Philosophy

The Benefits Of Skipping Breakfast

I am currently writing a talk to give about minimal efforts for optimum wellbeing. One of the key strategies I recommend is to skip breakfast. I would say that after getting good sleep, this is the biggest benefit approach with the lowest time/money/stress cost that one can take (other contenders for this, to me, currently, would be replacing missing minerals and balancing macros…).

Going from teatime to lunchtime without eating is a very natural, evolved state. It is a state in which the body changes how it does things. It is the very minimal start of the fasting state that brings such benefits, especially in our over-consuming world.

To personify the human body, it says to itself:

“OK, potential promlemmo, there might be low nutrient and low energy times ahead. I have evolved for this over hundreds of millions of years (some of these kind of “fasting systems” seem to exist in all vertebrate life, other, higher-order, ones are very mammalian). I need to perform better mentally and physically to solve this problem, and I need to start using my stored energy (fat) and nutrients (stored in fat and old cells) to facilitate this.”.

It is generally accepted that sixteen hours without energy is the minimal fast. If you last eat at seven PM and have nothing until lunch at one, that’s an eighteen hour fast, right there. Thus it begins…

It is easy to think that surely just the start of a fast cannot bring anything like the benefits of a more “complete” fast. This kind of thinking overlooks the fact that nature seems to optimise at the start (eg Pareto principle, square laws and evolutionary jumps) and so we should expect the benefit to be disproportionately significant at the start of the fasting process. Which I think it is: I belive you will get more fasting benefit from the first 16 hours than the last sixteen hours of any fast.

There is dispute and disclarity about the gradient of benefit from fasting. Is it best to have one five day fast once a year or one day fast once a month or a minimum fast every day? There is much to be debated there, for sure. Where there is little dispute is about the benefits of fasting in itself. All who know agree, they are many, and many are very potent.

I believe that these are the key benefits, the reasons why, by far, most adults should fast. Before I list and briefly discuss them let me say that these are what I consider to be root, systemic benefits. Together these will lead on to the many observed benefits, such as better cardiovascular efficiency, insulin sensitivity or concentration.

Fasting changes things at a systemic level:

Metabolism shifts down.

Hormones balance and readjust. Insulin drops. Grehlin and Leptin (Hunger hormones) responses begin to reset.

The immune system ramps up; because it no longer needs to be involved in digestion, via the lymphatic system. Especially true with movement.

The liver and kidneys and other organs have a chance for respite, to heal the damage of the oxidative stress, and the waste, of metabolism.

The microbiome tends towards a more stable balance.

Fasting changes things at a cellular level:

Autophagy ramps up dramatically (and more than by any other influence). Every cell checks itself and, if it is damaged, it eats itself, recycling its parts as new nutrients for new cells.

Stem-cell production, even in the elderly, increases naturally (especially when combined with exercise).

Mictochondrial efficiency is directly improved by fasting. The tiny, tiny engines of our lives become more efficient at energy production. They also become more efficient at fat utilisation.

Fasting increases neurogenesis, the process by which new brain cells and connections are created, boosting neuroplasticity and reducing cognitive decline. Until fairly recently it was not known that this occurred. Now it is known, and it is accelerated by fasting, more than by any other cofactor.

Fasting changes things at a personal level

I expect we all know this common behavioral pattern in the Western world:

“I am hungry, therefore, I must eat something”  #justcheckingthefridge

Even the shortest fast forces us to make a choice about this, and I believe, this is of tremendous benefit to mental Fortitude. You also quickly learn that often what you thought was hunger was craving, especially for carbs. You learn that hunger never stays around that long on a fast. It comes in waves and the peak is not lasting.

One thing about the mental aspect of fasting is that you have to be prepared for defeat and not let defeat stop you fasting. This is the practicing Resolve. Just last week I started the day thinking I would do a 24 hour fast. It was soon dropped down to no morning eating (NoAm/16 hour). By eleven I had eaten a glutinous amount of crisps. Salt And Vinegar. Human Fail. You get back on the horse, innit.

In this day and age of runaway consumption, we are bombarded with consumption cues (tanha) that we either chose to resist or we give in to. Practicing that resistance and resilience is a key aspect of stoic training, dharma practice and virtuous living, in general. Good skills backed by good smarts. That is what we want, I think.

Why would you not skip breakfast?

Skipping Breakfast, a sixteen hour fast, is demonstrably of immense benefit to you. If you believe that you need breakfast because you have been told so, that is a belief worth testing for yourself. Fast has huge benefits and sixteen hours is going to be the very begging of these processes. Processes that are increasing en mass, and system-wide. After a day or two they will be functioning at capacity for healing and system optimisation and this will continue for at least a few more days (3 days is my max). Of course,  there a clear benefit in taking the fast past sixteen hours, but this does not mean there won’t be huge benefits to regular breakfast skipping.

In my opinion, and this is not something I can back up as it is my own conclusion, but given that biological systems optimise in parreto/square-law/step-evolutionary ways, we should expect for the first sixteen hours of any fast to be more beneficial than the last sixteen hours. That seems reasonable and plausible.

Why would you not?

There are, in fact, only three reasons why skipping breakfast might be unwise. One is personal weakness due to conditioned (from self and others/media/etc) expectations, the next is a critical human weakness to mouth-pleasure and the third is a medical reason, though I cannot think of any that could really prevent skipping breakfast.

Wound-Healer Omnibalm

The Wound-healer Triple-C Omnibalm Oil that I make is, I attest, exceptional in quality and origination. If there were olympics for healing oils and balms…

Here is how I make it:

Firstly make the Triple-C Omni Balm:

Soak a mixture of Camomile, Comfrey and Calendula in variant tree oils, in the dark, for as long as you can. Stirring very occasionally. Then extract this mash in three quite different ways: cold pressed, steamed and boiled.  

The resultant green oil is Triple-C oil.

I use this with beeswax in my 3-C-Omnibalm Oil.  I still make it to the same formula six years later.

I also use it as the basis for the Wound Healer Omnibalm which we now use on all manner of cuts, grazes, burns and punctures. Even committed woo skeptics have attested to its remarkableness. (Please note, I am not trying to sell you this stuff. #DIY)

In order to make the Woundhealer I take the above made 3C Oil and, into this,  I grind up, as fine as possible, various amounts of:  bacopa, cinnamon, gotukola, turmeric, chillie, saffron and other top-shelf spices. It  makes this bright red oil that, in my opinion, is better than placebo at healing and helping wounds. #woo

 

What stuff!

 

EMF

EMF is the radio waves that zoom from your phone to the phone mast. The waves of energy that fill your house from your router or your TV Box. The weak waves of Bluetooth and the strong waves of 4g. They are  the microwaves that defrost your fajita.

They exist naturally, in oceans and the Earth’s electro magnetic fields. We know they bust forth from the stars and rain at us from every direction.

But recently and for obvious reasons,  they have become much, much more abundant in our lives. And much more acute in their energy.

Should I be worried?

Many people and organisations say they are totally safe. -“The energy just isn’t high enough”.

Many clever people think that RF radiation is one of the biggest health threats we face as a civilization.

What should I think?

What should I do?

What is my rational response to this?

Let’s Enumerate!

The Science

  1. We live in a world with a more complex Electro Magnetic Frequency pattern than 200 years ago.
    • You can see this by taking an EMF detector into a cave.
      • That is how it would have been, 200 years ago.
  2. We live in a world with a higher amount of EMF energy compared to 200 years ago.
    1. All of our phones and TV stations and Routers are all releasing more EMF energy into the world.
  3. We live in a world with a higher amount of EMF energy  and complexity than thirty years ago.
  4. We know that EMF Energy can cook meat.
    1. We know it is used in Microwaves.
      1. We know how this works:
        1. Water Molecules in the meat are vibrated super fast and the resulting friction creates the heat that cooks the meat.
      2. We know that the energy in a Microwave oven, in that small space, is much higher than the energy coming out of my laptop wifi.
  5. We know that the energy pulsed into a body, by a Wireless device, is inversely proportional to the distance from the source multiplied by itself.
    1. This is a fundamental principle of physics.
    2. It means that holding it to your skin is very energetically different than if you had your phone in your bag.
  6. It is not yet possible to be certain about the possible health risks.
    1. This is not true about, say Cigarettes.
      1. It might come that one day we will see EMF like Cigarettes.
      2. It will never come again that we will see Cigarettes as harmless.

 

My Opinion

  1. I think that there is a significant amount of science, from all over the world, suggesting a multitude of harms caused by extra  EMF in our lives.
  2. However: The demonstrable and accepted fact that EMF radiation can effect cells is the only that scientific conclusion that I need.
    1. Knowing this makes everything else redundant, it is a grounding of potential negative effect.
  3. I do not want my cells affected by EMF. (Unless its super-powers.)
    1. I don’t care if EMF only changes:
      1. How my cells tick their circadian tocks.
      2. How my cells metabolise energy.
      3. The risk factor for extra tiredness.
    2. Given The Choice:  I do not want my cells affected by EMF radiation.
      1. Do you want your cells to be changed by your cellphone?
  4. I do not want my cells exposed to EMF.
    1. Once I see the risk vectors then a cheap, safe and seemingly effective strategy is to reduce exposure to EMF.
  5. If one wishes to minimise their cellular exposure to EMF then there are a number of tactics:
    1. Scientifically Unquestionable tactics:
      1. Sleeping in a lead lined chamber within a  faraday cage.
      2. Using a some kind of Distance From Source multiplier; such as a cushion or rolled up denim jacket.
      3. Turning the wifi router off at night.
    2. Questionable Tactics:
      1. Surrounding your router with Amethyst crystals.
      2. Painting your house in special paint.
      3. Sleeping on a bed made of shungite.
      4. Wearing WooShoesTM
  6. Airplane mode reduces the amount of EMF radiation going into your body.
    1. It will also bestow these benefits upon you and your phone:
      1. It will save your battery.
      2. It reduces the chance of disturbance.
        1. Sometimes this is good!
    2. Airplane mode has a very low time cost.
  7. I think the jury is very out on the EMF==Cancer connection.
    1. Some clever people, including experts,  are utterly convinced about it.
  8. I belive that EMF exposure causes sleeplessness.
  9. I belive that EMF exposure causes heating but this is not significant, in most cases.
  10. I belive there is good evidence that EMF exposure effects reproduction on a cellular level.
  11. I belive that distance is your friend when it comes to EMF exposure from any source.
    1. In your Iphone settings it alludes to this inverse square in the RF Exposure section.

 

 

The Lymphatic System

One thing that I have taught myself about recently is a basic understanding of the lymphatic system.

(Thanks to the internet and The Pareto Principle it is not difficult or  high time/money cost to get a basic understanding of most things. Phew! #CHE)

So here is my basic understanding of the Lymphatic System:

The Science

  1. Its role across a vast number of wellbeing vectors is incontrovertible.
  2. It is the main engine of our immune system for both toxins and pathogens.
  3. It is the sorting sub-system of our digestive system.
  4. It is analogous to the drainage of the immune system.
    1. The Law of Analogy : Sometimes a thing may best be understood in terms of its similarity to other things you already understand.
  5. It is analogous to the barracks of the immune system.
  6. Our brain has a lymphatic sub-system.
    1. This directly removes the physical waste and toxins from the brain.
  7. We have three times more lymph in us than blood.
  8. The lymphatic system has no pump.
    1. This is unlike the veinal  and arterial systems.
  9. There are only two ways to move lymph about:
    1. By moving the body.
    2. By constricting the blood vessels.
      1. This is done when we are cold.
  10. The Lymphatic system connects to the digestive system.
    1. It is like the filter layer of our digestive system.

So assuming the truth of the statements above, I think it is reasonable to conclude that:

My Opinions

If you wish to optimise your wellbeing then learning and optimising your own Lymphatic system should be a high priority. I currently think that the following is good advice, though of course, it is is ripe for questioning and doubting:

  1. Consume Pro-lymphatic foods.
  2. Be as active as possible.
    1. This is in order to keep the Lymph draining and flowing.
      1. This is in order to keep the immune system active, replenished, efficient and robust.
  3. If you feel poorly then try to be as active as possible.
  4. Drink lots of water.
    1. The return of the eternal no-brainer.

 

If you find fault above please let me know.