“Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death after marrying for love. ‘Honour killing’ in broad daylight outside Lahore high court involved father and brothers,” says The Guardian.
A terrible thing, of course. But the also disturbing thing is that the commentators at the Guardian continue to get it wrong. They place “religion” and “non-education” as the reasons why these honor killings happen. I’m sorry, but these people, these supposedly progressive and smart readers of The Guardian, think only skin-deep.
YES, religion is often the vehicle where this terrible action materializes. But it’s not the reason why it happens. As someone who was beaten rather regularly by my traditional Greek father for having my engagement break apart in the early ’90s, I can tell you, there was no religion behind it. And education has often little to do with all this too.
It was primarily social pressure.
You see, when you live in tribal-like communities (like most non-Westerners do), where everybody kind of knows everybody else in the vicinity at large, there’s extreme social pressure to maintain status and control within both the group, and within the family. My father constantly used to tell me that “we live with others”, hence, in his mind, he was supposed to maintain an IMAGE. The image of a strong family man. A man who had everything under control. A man where you could TRUST to give him a job (my father was a house builder, a profession that requires trust).
As such, having a daughter breaking up her engagement to a man from the same village, it was a social disaster for him (in his own mind at least). The gossip that ensued was unbearable for my family. So he acted out any way he knew how to maintain his illusion of control.
I have forgiven my dad, I hold no grudges whatsoever. In fact, there is nothing to forgive, because I know where he’s coming from. Exactly because I can understand his limited point of view, and even if I don’t agree with it, it’s enough for me to not hold grudges.
Besides, the people who carry out these acts are victims themselves. Victims of their own inability to escape cultural programming, and victims of the closed society they’re in. Close societies like that do have their advantages (they never let one of their own go hungry, for example), but you gotta play with their unwritten, irrational rules to gain their support. Societies are exactly as twisted as humans can be, because they’re made out of humans.
So, Primary reasons of honor killings/beatings:
– Re-assuring of one’s social status by doing what others expects you to do according to the local societal rules.
– Power and control within the immediate and extended family (ego and super-ego at play).
– Illusion that this way they save the rest of the family (by taking out the bad apples, the family is again pure enough for the society’s expectations).
Secondary reasons that act as permission, rather than as the main reasons:
– Cultural traditions masquerading as religious laws
– Low educational status
– Dowry and other such financial assets getting lost
After many years of research on the subject, I found that these are the six most important points for one’s health. In no particular order, but sunlight is probably the most important of them all.
– Exposure to Sunlight
Two hours of early AM sunlight, as minimum. Without sunlight, our mitochondria don’t work.
– Exposure to Clean Air
Extra oxygenation via walking, breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi and meditation. Vigorous exercise is not needed, and especially if you’re already sick, it must not be pursued. Sitting too much or not knowing how to breath deeply, creates lactate acidosis in the body, which is the beginning of the end for health. This is what Chinese also call “Qi liver stagnation”.
– Exposure to Clean Water
Spring water, non-fluoridated, alkaline if possible. And LOTS of it! The water, along with some salt and DHA, will act as the electricity in your body, to carry out the needed functions of what some people call “detoxification” (although that’s not the right word for what’s going on).
– Exposure to the Right Diet
Plant-based Paleo, also known as Pegan (some offal, some wild fish and eggs, but mostly plants/fruits). Removing grains and sugars from the diet, we assure that the liver will have enough B vitamins to do its job: releasing away or converting the lactic acid. Otherwise, you end up with a non-alcoholic fatty liver, and everything starts breaking down in the body. More explanation of the Pegan diet here.
– Exposure to the Right Sleep
No sleep, no bueno. Circadian rhythms is our clock, and without that clock, things fall apart. Sleep when the sun goes down, or at the very least use blue-blocker glasses at night.
– Exposure to the Right Frequencies
This might be seen as quackery, but it’s not. Non-native EMF signals, are detrimental to our health. Avoid wifi, cellphones as much as you can, and anything of the like. Walk barefoot on the bare Earth to get the right frequency to heal your body.
This is my own theory, and it only works IF we accept that the Great Pyramid of Khufu was not built by humans, but by aliens. Yes, that’s a big stretch, because the pyramid was (most likely) built by humans, but in the case that all these crazy conspiracy theorists are correct, then I could think of a different theory of why it was built.
I base my theory on the simplest answer of what the pyramid is. The simplest answer is usually the correct one. So, if you ask a child “what’s the Great Pyramid”, their answer would be: “it’s a big, big building”.
The only reason why an alien race would build a humongous building on Earth at a time when only huts existed, in my opinion, is that so it can be seen from space. There are not many spacious rooms inside the pyramid (so it wasn’t grain storage), it wasn’t a temple, and we already know that they weren’t tombs. What it is though is just that: a huge building, visible from space, with basic equipment.
Picture this: humans transition from hunter-gatherers to organized societies around the same time. When you have a young race evolving to become something more than animals, that could raise some alien eyebrows. And so they erect… a sign to all other alien races: “KEEP OFF”. Passerbys are much more likely to enter a wild field and claim it their own or just mess with it, than entering one that has a sign to keep off.
Building a large building visible from space is a much smarter way to accomplish this than simply putting a satellite on orbit. The satellite would need servicing, it can go bad at any time, and it would transmit at a frequency or digital format that another alien race might not understand. These problems don’t exist if you just erect a big-a$$ building though, one that it shows high mathematics in its various elements/ratios/location etc. Math is a universal language, and one that would be respected by another alien race that has already mastered interstellar travel.
On top of that, the pyramid shape and construction is earthquake-proof, so it can stay erected for thousands of years, as it has. I don’t know if the Bauval/Hancock theory that the pyramids are older is correct, but it’s of a little consequence if my theory is correct.
Now, as to the pyramids placement point to Sirius or not, I don’t know. But it is possible to fathom that the builder alien race did leave a clue about “please inquire at the XYZ starsystem for access”, just like one would potentially put a telephone number on a Keep Off sign. But I don’t think that’s necessary.
As to why any alien race would care to “protect” this new human race by leaving them alone to develop in peace and erecting big “keep off” signs, I think that protective (or even possibly ownership) tendencies exist in all biological creatures. I don’t think that these aliens would be much different than us in basic behaviors if they have a biological base in this universe like we do. As above, so below.
Of course, as I mentioned in the beginning, this theory makes sense only if aliens built the pyramids. Which probably they didn’t. But it’s nice to spend the afternoon theorizing, if they did.
In the dream, I was married to a man I don’t know in real life, and he owned a pickup truck, but its engine was on fire. He was trying to fix the problem, but he couldn’t.
Suddenly, a bow, an arrow, and a plastic deer fell right out of the sky. The consensus among everyone in the scene was that God sent these items, for us to somehow to fix the truck. But no one knew how to use these items to actually fix it. It was a bit of puzzle.
Finally, my “husband” felt that he needed to do a sacrifice to God to fix the truck. Instead of using the supplied plastic deer, he caught an alive fox, and he placed it on top of the engine, and then he aimed at her with the bow and arrow. The fox was being tortured, was in pain and was it screaming.
As he was ready to shoot at her, finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I shouted at him that this is the wrong way to go about it, and that we must not kill the poor animal. I remember clearly telling him that it makes more sense to throw away that truck and buy a new one, instead of killing the fox.
He listened, and the fox was freed and cared for.
Immediately after, I saw my father cutting down a cherry tree. I started shouting at him too, telling him that I need the trees so I can eat their fruit.
Pretty much right after that, I woke up.
I immediately realized what this dream was showing me. This was an intervention, a call, or simply further proof that I need to stop eating animals. My “engine” (my body) is still hurting, years after I went Paleo that freed me from my main problems. But the problems didn’t go away completely, neither I was able to lose weight as other Paleo people have managed to do. Also, only recently I found that given my genetic makeup, I’m more suited for a low-fat/medium-carb diet, rather than a low-carb/high-fat diet.
In the last few months I have tried to minimize animal meat consumption with mixed results (e.g. eat it once or twice a week only), but it’s now time to double down on my efforts. I will not eat muscle meat (or offal) ever again, and after my current batch of wild buffalo bones are done, that would be it for me.
I will still be eating pastured-only eggs, fermented dairy (mostly from goat/sheep which are always pastured), and some seafood (2-3 times a week, mostly shellfish, just to get enough B12 and DHA). But veggies and fruits now become my staple, and the majority of them will have to be raw too. I still call my new diet itself “Pegan” (since it also removes all the things Paleo removes, e.g. grains, sugar, seed oils etc), but I guess, a longer descriptive name would be “High-Raw Paleo-Pesco-Vegetarian diet”. It’s time for me to live the way my direct ancestors did: very little meat (seafood in my case), and lots of veggies & fruits. Minus the grains and sugar.
I’m Greek. I’ve lived both in rural, mountainous places of mainland Greece (I grew up near the supposed entrance to Hades Underworld no less!), and near-sea towns.
Now that I live in the US, what kind of grinds my gears is when I read about how great the Mediterranean Diet (MD) is. Don’t get me wrong. The Mediterranean Diet is better than most other regular Western diets out there. But the health benefits researchers had seen prior to 1970 in these regions is only partial to the diet. The rest, is lifestyle. It’s a logical fallacy to separate the lifestyle of these people from their diet. Western researchers like to pick and choose elements, so they can easily make their case, but in this case, either they have to represent the whole lifestyle of Mediterranean people, or they need to shut their holes about the MD diet.
And what was that lifestyle? Well, take a peek:
Prior to 1970s, before the Westernized diet also took hold even in rural Greek places, here is a typical day for my grandparents, and my parents (my mother lived 15 years in that lifestyle, right until electricity finally came to these villages in 1971, and my father for 22 years):
Wake up in the crack of dawn. Open the chicken’s coop door. Eat some sour milk (similar to kefir) or yogurt (not strained yogurt like FAGE, that’s not truly traditional Greek), or boiled eggs, or cheese & olives and home-made (well-fermented, with OLD variety of wheat) bread for breakfast, along Turkish-style (unfiltered) coffee. In the winter, they’d eat “trahanas”, which looks similar to porridge, but it’s made out of lacto-fermented wheat.
Kids get ready to go to school, father (or older son) will go up to the mountains with the goats/sheep (usually 150-250 animals) and the dogs (usually 2-5), while the mother (& older children) will go down to the valley to work in the fields, or the trees, or in the house’s vegetable garden (each house had one). Going up the mountain is steep, and it takes about an hour to reach the top (they could climb up real fast! — my grandfather was impossibly fast up to the age of 80). The village itself is usually situated in the middle of the mountain, so it takes the same time to either go down to the valley and back up again, or up to the top and down again.
Father would go from pasture to pasture with the animals, and at around midday, the goats/sheep will find some shade and sit around at the hottest time of the day. He would eat largely the same thing he ate for breakfast: eggs, feta cheese, olives, bread. After he ate, he’ll sleep for 1 sleep cycle (1.5 hours) under a tree. The dogs would take care of any potential wolf problems.
The mother in the fields will do the same. Eat and sleep, and then restart work. Here’s a picture from National Geographic from the 1940s Thessaloniki wheat fields, eating lunch:
The younger kids would finish school by 1:30 PM and come back home. They’d eat some lite lunch at school (it used to be free up until the early ’80s) and then they come back home and eat some more and then start working around the house: do the laundry by hand, prepare dinner, make some yogurt from scratch, bake bread if required (usually they’d bake bread twice a week), do some homework if they have time etc.
– Afternoon, after 6 PM in the summer, 3 PM in the winter
Father and mother would start to come back home. If it’s the season, and there are young goats/sheep, one of the kids will have to take these out of the stable (usually up to 50 younglings), and go with them to a nearby pasture so they can eat. Young animals can’t make the trip yet with their parents all the way to the top of the mountain, so they get limited pasture-time, nearby only. While at the pasture, the kids will also gather wild vegetables, including dandelion greens, purslane, mustard greens, chicory in the winter, asparagus in April, and amaranth greens in August (in Greece, we never eat the quinoa-like amaranth seeds, we only eat the greens, and ONLY before the plant has flowered/seeded!). In the even older days, there would also search for wild parsnips and other types of veggies from the wild (e.g. centaurea, goosefoot *greens* which is nothing but a European version of quinoa, nettles etc), but since the 1950s and later, when cans/pasta/flour became more available, these were stopped getting picked.
Upon coming home, some food are given to the chickens, and then they will be locked in their little house.
The animals are now in the stable. It’s time for milking (in the near-dark, no less). Mother & father will go through the female goats/sheep one by one, while leaving some milk for their babies too. The kids will help by allowing the animals to pass through one by one, so they can be milked.
Then, it’s dinner time. The biggest meal of the day.
It’s usually greens year-round with bread. There are garden veggies & potatoes in the hot months, and (pre-soaked) beans in the winter. Fruits when in season only. Honey a few times a year. In general, all grains & dairy products that consumed are well-fermented. Some would drink raw milk directly from the animals, but this stopped after the 1960s, because that’s when their animals would get mysteriously sick (even if antibiotic shots didn’t start by law before ~1975 — maybe pollution was catching up from the rest of the world in the ’60s in these rural places?).
There will be fish, crawfish or eels twice a week, either by the nearby river, or from salesmen from the nearby sea towns who come with their donkeys once a week (salted fish and shellfish in that case). Sea town people would eat fresh fish from the sea 3-4 times a week instead.
There might be chicken (from their own chickens) once or twice a month or so only. BTW, look below how a TRUE pastured chicken from my grandmother looks like — it looks like duck meat!
When you cook it, the bones are so incredibly white because they have so much calcium! And the meat looks, and tastes like red meat!
There will be red meat, but only once a month. That would be goat mostly, sheep a bit less, pork less often than sheep, and beef very rarely. Because they didn’t have fridges, when someone in the village would slaughter an animal, they would share with other families, so they don’t go bad. When the other families would slaughter one of their own animals, they would share back. In village/religious festivities there would be a bit more meat going around too (usually boiled goat, or lamb on a spit for Easter day). The whole animal was eaten, head to toe. Most of you are aware of liver, heart, kidneys, brains and tongue, but that’s nothing compared to how we eat these animals: we’d also eat the stomach & intestines (in an incredibly good soup, called patsas), the spleen (which tastes something between liver and boiled oysters), thyroid glands, eyes, testicles, and lungs (I’d say, “mushy” lungs are the least yummy part of the offal, with spleen being the yummiest for me). Occasionally, in the winter when they had time away from the fields, they might catch a hare, or a small bird too, with traps. Greece used to have deers, wild boar, pheasants, and many more hares, but these now are mostly gone (over-hunted).
Nuts & seeds were eaten periodically, but not religiously.
Everything was cooked with olive oil, or butter (which was white btw, not yellow).
After dinner, they’d throw scraps to the dogs (and some to outdoor cats), and then everyone would go to sleep. Dogs are sleeping in the stable with the animals (goats/sheep, often donkeys too), chickens in the coop, and cats, only god knows where. And the day starts again anew the next day, even on Sundays (only people who had older children to take care of business they’d have time to go to church). The animals need to eat every day, you see. There was no such thing as “day off”. If you had to leave for a few days (e.g. to visit a doctor in a town), you’d have to ask others in the village to take care of your animals, water the vegetable garden, feed the kids etc.
But fear not, they did have fun, daily. It’s called gossip.
Now, here’s the twist!
Greeks are/were religious. The Greek Orthodox fasting was observed by all. Fasting in Greek Orthodoxy (and in old Catholic church) does not mean “intermittent fasting” (IF). It means: no animal products (except shellfish that were allowed because they contain no blood — although most people would not eat them anyway). Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the most religious would be vegan (mostly women, men would remain vegetarian).
However, the whole family would fast without exception, in the three biggest religious celebrations of the year: Christmas, Easter, and Assumption of Mary (August 15th). This means that people would go vegan for 40 days before Christmas, 40 days before Easter, and 15 days before the Assumption of Mary. This means that for 26% of the year, everyone was vegan. For the women who were also fasting weekly, or periodically, that goes to over 40% of the time. And let’s not forget that when they were NOT fasting, they were mostly vegetarian anyway. This means that these people were vegan ~30% of the time (as an average), 55% of the time vegetarian, 10% vegetarian/pescetarian, and only about 5% of the time land meat eaters.
The only Greek people eating a bit more meat (mostly in the form of fish instead of land meat) were the more affluent people in cities.
Most interestingly, in the final week before Easter, olive oil & butter were not consumed either (which means no bread either, since it requires some oil in the recipe). They’d basically just eat veggies (often raw, with raw garlic), fruits, and soaked beans cooked in plain water & sea salt. I guess that part of the fasting is the closest they ever got to raw veganism (minus the cooked beans).
Q: But why was this lifestyle healthier in the Mediterranean than other parts of the world?
A: The lifestyle mentioned above was NOT unique for Mediterranean people. But it proved to be healthier there because of various reasons. Lots and lots of D3 due to being a sunny place, with both seafood and land food in good balance. Civilization thrived from ancient times there because simply, the geography, food, climate all helped out. Not to mention that because of the closed sea and proximity to both Asia and Africa, merchants could bring over fruits or foods not available directly to their region (something not as easily done, as let’s say, in Northern Europe – the fruits would spoil before they could reach these countries). The only other place where people lived a similar lifestyle with plenty of field work, D3 and circadian rhythms, and ate similarly-balanced foods, was Okinawa. And we already know how well these people did before the Western Diet caught up with them too.
If you want to get the Mediterranean Diet effect, then you need to change everything about your life. It requires huge changes to how you sleep, work, being out in nature all day long away working on your own garden and animals, and be away from pollution/cellphones etc. It’s not just the diet.
I’d go on a limb here and say that if you can’t do everything as well as they did, but you want to come close to their results, you might get some extra push if you ditch grains (except some rice), particularly modern wheat. Their (low gluten, old variety and very fermented) wheat had nothing to do with modern wheat and flours.
For the kind of illustration I’m interested in, the style requires some very smooth, matte, single-color backgrounds. Traditionally with watercolor people would do large washes of 2 to 3 colors (e.g. for a sky), but for the kind of illustration I do, which has a lot of details, traditional washes are not a way to go. I could not find a single article or youtube video that shows how to do large, non-square areas of matte, smooth painting, so after a lot of tries, I found this technique:
– Get some paint on a plastic palette. About the size of a raisin for a small area.
– On a separate palette hole, add thrice as much water as the raisin size of paint above.
– Use a size 8 “pointed-round” soft brush (Kolinsky sounds good).
– Mix the paint with some Titanium White.
– With the tip of the brush, get some paint (just a little bit, maybe about 1/6th of it), and mix it well with the water. It will create a very pale color, but it will still have a color.
– Strain away as much water as possible from the brush. It should not be full of water when you lay it on paper.
– Start laying the pale color on your paper. Use as large brush strokes as possible, and move the pools of paint towards a single direction.
– Let it dry for a minute or so.
– Add 2/6ths of the paint (basically, double as much as before), on a bit more water than before (maybe about 1.5 times as much as before).
– Mix well, strain the brush, and paint over, the same way as before.
– Let it dry for 3 minutes or so.
– Add the rest of the paint to about 2x more water as in the beginning, strain the brush, paint over again. The consistency should be that of a melted ice cream.
– Let it dry for 5 minutes before you decide if you need yet another hand on top, or add details on it.
That’s it. Basically, you need multiple layers to get a smooth, matte finish.
My illustration “Divorce Papers”
Another way to do it with gouache, is to lay gesso+medium in the paper before painting, just as if you were using acrylics. The 2-3 gesso hands would then serve the same way as the multiple hands of paint. Personally, I prefer the first method.
No1 point for health is sunshine, not food. You can eat all the shit in the world, but if you get a lot of UV, you can still be healthy as a horse, up to a certain age. For those of us who don’t, we need to be more selective. Here’s a rundown of my Pegan diet: a diet resembling a lot of both raw vegan but also a Paleo version with emphasis on some wild fish, rather than land meat.
– Regarding fats: it’s a medium to low fat diet. You can’t have it both ways (both high fat and high carb) without compromising health. I chose moderate-to-high carbs over moderate-to-low fat.
– If you live near the equator, get more vegan. If you live close to the Arctic, eat more fats, fish and less carbs. For us in the middle geographically, ratios are somewhere in the middle too.
– Beans and nuts/seeds are soaked before consumed. Brown rice is sprouted, otherwise white rice is used (once a week). Dairy must be fermented and preferably raw. Beans are eaten twice a week.
– Every breakfast is a smoothie of fruits, greens, kefir, and super-food powders.
– Every lunch (except Sunday’s) is a raw salad with a raw dressing. Monday’s salad also includes a boiled, pastured egg.
– Dinners are mentioned below. Dinners also include some salad, cheese, fruit, and additional veggies (depending on the recipe).
– There’s wild, low-mercury seafood 3 times a week, and pastured bone broth in soups, occasionally. Offal once a month, if labs show inadequacy in B12.
– Vitamins (unfortunately, our soils are depleted, so some supplementation is required). To be taken with a fatty meal: K2-Mk4 once a week, CoQ10 Ubiquinol twice a week, Magnesium thrice a week before sleep, Methyl-based B-complex once a week, D3 5000 IU twice a week in winter time only. DHA too, if not enough fatty fish is consumed.
– 75% of the whole diet is raw. Over 90% of it is vegan.
beans (mostly lentils)
wild fish (mostly sardines) + veggies
These are the principles that I have built my diet around. Only changes I’ve made is that I do eat beans (as per my Mediterranean ancestry), and I don’t go too low on carbs (due to thyroid issues). Lots of veggies instead, and seafood. Working on getting closer on the lifestyle points too.
Something very interesting is happening right now in the Paleo turf. The Paleo poster boy, Robb Wolf, got into an online shout match with Dr Jack Kruse, the “quantum epigenetics” poster boy. Robb calls Jack a quasi-mystical fraud, while Jack simply asks Robb to look at the evidence and research before he opens his mouth.
Robb is the big guy here, followed by many thousands, and having written the Paleo “bible”. Often, the 4-5 well known Paleo gurus would go in an all-out attack against the medical establishment, arguing how closed minded that establishment is for not agreeing with their points of view (e.g. that grains & pseudograins are all very bad for you, vegetable seed oils are bad, legumes are bad, dairy is bad etc). They basically call them out for not looking too hard at the evidence, that long-term health “starts with food”.
However, as with any system, after a while, it gets cemented. Same with the Paleo system. While it has somewhat evolved in the last 3 years, to not be as hard-core against fermented dairy, or against white rice, it still holds its basic truths cemented, and no one seem to want to research further. The various gurus have a reputation to protect, and products to sell now, so they need to stay true to what they originally preached.
So, when someone like Dr Jack Kruse comes along to shake their castle, by claiming that “it starts with light”, they themselves become the same as the closed minded medical establishment they hate. They react extremely violently against Kruse, without bothering to read his evidence or even just trying to understand his logic. They try to prevent the carpet pulling (that is probably inevitable as science moves on).
It’s funny, really. They fell under the same trap as the medical establishment has.
As for Dr Kruse, he has some blame for the situation too: the guy can’t write properly. The reason why Paleo gurus are “gurus”, is because they know how to communicate. They can write in a very understandable, friendly way, so the people fall behind them easily. Jack on the other hand, feels like he has a super-computer brain that is connected to the outside world only via a 56k modem instead. It also doesn’t help that he’s arrogant, and just not very likable as a person.
But that doesn’t mean that what he argues is wrong. It is my feeling that he’s the one who’s on the right path towards a deeper truth, but he has this extreme difficulty getting the information out properly.
Basically, what Dr Kruse is claiming is that we’re quantum machines. For that machine to work, we need a lot of natural UVB light (in the AM) and no blue light at night. Basically, he’s arguing that proper circadian rhythms, and being a lot outdoors, can have a bigger effect to long term health than “simply cutting down grains”. In terms of food, he argues that the biggest change one should make, is to add more seafood in their diet, because the iodine/DHA help with transporting energy in the mitochondria.
This could explain why Okinawans used to live to be over 120 years old, even if they ate a few grains, and lots of soy (both an anathema to the Paleo doctrine). It’s because they would also eat ungodly amounts of seafood (especially seaweed), and they would work outdoors in their gardens all the time.
Another thing he argues is that depending on location, and time of the year, your diet should vary. For example, most people in the Western world, should eat enough carbs in the summer, but be near-ketogenic in the winter. That’s how we evolved anyway. Also, people who live in the equator, can eat as many carbs as they like and not get fat (e.g. exotic fruits), because they expose themselves into a lot of UVB, and that balances things out in the “machine”. People in the North (or very South) though, need to practice cold thermogenesis, and they need to cut down on the carbs, and eat more seafood in order to be healthy in these harsh environments (which are locations we migrated to out of Africa, we are not fully evolved to live there, therefore, some food and lifestyle changes are required to be healthy in the North)
I can see what he says can sound like mumbo-jumbo, however, I think that what he’s arguing makes sense to me, and he does have basis on facts. Just not Western facts. A lot of the research he cites on his blog, are from Russian research papers. Some of that research has been done by UK and US scientists, but not everything. He has gone into great lengths to get access to these papers, and to have them translated.
I’m full on in my mostly-vegetarian (“Pegan”) diet now. I believe that all popular diets have something to teach, otherwise, their followers wouldn’t swear for their efficacy. It’s just that not a single diet has all its facts right. So, after years of researching the matter, I have finally found what works for me the best. This is how I have dissected each diet and what I get from each:
– Paleo agreement: no grains (except a bit of white rice), no sugar, no seed oils, no processed foods.
– Where Paleo falters: Not allowing beans, dairy, and having too much emphasis on meat. I now allow beans (except soy), fermented dairy, and mostly fish rather than meat (I eat wild seafood 3 times a week, and land meat only every Sunday — just as my own Greek ancestors did).
– Veg*n agreement: Veggies are good for you. Out of my 21 meals in the week, 17 are vegetarian and/or vegan.
– Where Veg*n falters: The right fish/meat can also be good for you, as long as you don’t over-indulge in it.
– Raw vegan agreement: Raw foods are really good for you.
– Where raw vegan falters: Raw foods ALL the time is not that good for you. We owe our big brains to cooked food, in part. I’d say 50% raw is a good balance.
Please note that my choices have nothing to do with animal ethics. For me, the choice of diet is only about MY health. I don’t see this as selfish, because I’ve been too sick over the years to have to give priority to others (humans, or animals). Having said that, I do choose pastured/wild animals only, while I mostly try to consume parts of the animal that are highly nutritious and are the parts that the animals were NOT killed for (e.g. bones, liver, heart — the parts that Americans throw away).
There are two types of dieting for weight loss: the one is plain calorie restriction, and the other one is cutting down specific parts of the normal human diet (e.g. carbs for low carb diets, or fats for low-fat vegan diets). Research has shown that the second way is a better way to lose weight and keep it off too. Many have gone either keto or vegan and have lost weight and seen health changes (at least for a while, because after a few months, it backfires due to lack of specific nutrients — these diets shouldn’t be followed for more than 3 months IMHO).
Speaking for me, while I’m Paleo for life (since it has fixed most of my health ailments), one thing hasn’t worked: weight loss. Men do lose weight faster on Paleo, without effort. They can eat what they want, as long as it’s on the approved list. For women, who are genetically designed to keep on their fat for evolutionary/birth reasons, it’s a hit or miss thing. For some women it works, for others, especially those with metabolic disorder, it fixes the rest of their health in general, but it doesn’t make them lose weight (in other words, it doesn’t clear the metabolic disorder completely). Even worse, 2/3 of women who go keto, end up with thyroid problems (like I have).
The only diet that works for weight loss for these women, is again, calorie restriction. Which of course, in the long run, also doesn’t work. Research now and again has shown that people on a calorie restricted diet end up getting all their weight back within a few months, plus an additional 10%.
So after a quick test with a low calorie Paleo diet (1200 calories per day, I’m very short), it soon became clear that it was unsustainable, since it made you think of food 24/7. Keto fucked up my thyroid, and plain Paleo simply doesn’t make me lose weight.
However, the real problem of low calorie diets exists elsewhere. The real danger is in malnutrition. When you go down to 1200 calories from 1800-2000 calories per day, it’s not just calories you minimize. It’s nutrients. IF the kind of food we had today was as nutrient-dense as it was in the ancient times, then going down to low calorie would not be a problem. In fact, many praise the traditional Japanese diets for being small-portioned. But the point these people are missing is that even if they were eating small quantities, they were getting A LOT of nutrients. They didn’t NEED to eat more!
Today, with modern, selected varieties, this is simply not possible. And the sad part is, that if you don’t OVER-EAT, you will NOT get enough nutrients. 2000 calories a day are bare minimum to acquire the right nutrients! And that’s an amount that doesn’t help with weight loss at all. In fact, in some research paper recently, they found that tribal diets are up to 15 times more nutrient-dense than western diets, and up to 10 times more nutrient dense than the Paleo diet. So basically, going Paleo helps your health, but since we don’t have access to ancient varieties anymore, even Paleo won’t ultimately save you.
This situation has given me quite some depression to be honest: Eat little, get malnutritioned. Eat more, get fat, and still remain malnutritioned. There’s no winning in the West.
These aren’t good times for food and health. The only thing that could work is to buy a farm (somewhere where the water is still clean), find ancient heirloom varieties for your garden, and non-selected breeds of animals, and take the matter 100% on to your own hands. Simply buying organic broccoli or kale at the farmer’s market will only get you so far. Father than the standard western diet, but not as far as some people must go to battle their medical issues.
I do a lot of t-shirt design lately, which I enjoy immensely (possibly even more than making the collages that comprise the said t-shirts). On my store, I’ve separated my t-shirts as “pop art“, and “trippy“. The trippy ones are the t-shirt designs and collages that I call meta-psychedelic. They’re under the surreal category for sure, but they go a step further than traditional surrealism and towards psychedelia. But at the same time, they’re not these kaleidoscopic traditional psychedelic designs either. A more proper term would probably be “post-psychedelic”, but if the hippies of the world hear that, they’d be pissed off, so I think “meta-psychedelic” is a more universally acceptable term. So what exactly is it? Here’s the difference: traditional psychedelic looks is what you see after you get some low dosage LSD or shrooms (or some infused pot). Meta-psychedelia is what you could (potentially) be seeing when you breakthrough, with higher doses of shrooms, LSD, or DMT. The former just scratches the surface, while the latter goes deeper into hyperspace.
A year ago on Youtube, a Philosophy professor asked if it’s ethical to eat meat. Here’s the video, and below, find my reply.
I’ll answer with some questions:
1. Is it ethical for an alien species to come and eat us? If yes, why is it not moral for us to eat an animal? If no, why do you apply your human morals to an alien species that you know nothing about?
2. Is it ethical for an animal to eat another animal? If yes, why can’t we? If no, who appointed you the evolution’s strategist?
3. Is it ethical for a species to eat its own species? If yes, why can’t we eat humans? If no, who are you to paint Komodo dragons unethical?
The usual answer to these questions is that “if you’re an intelligent species, you’re expected to adhere to higher ideals”. And my answer to the ethical and philosophical question posed by the video, is molded that way too: “if you’re evolved-enough, you could go veg*n”. But here’s where I part from all these vegans out there who are trying to push the vegan lifestyle to all humanity: not all humans are evolved-enough.
Our human condition is a mixed bag, there are trials and tribulations in each and every life. Some people need the vitamins, others don’t need them as much, others are in a spiritual path where they’re supposed to leave behind materialistic needs (such as good food), and others are just starting in this level of existence, living a rather animalistic life, and as such, we can’t ask them to just “go vegan” (it’s like asking a toddler to go work for a living).
In other words, the answer to “should we eat meat”, is “it depends“. Nothing is black and white, everything is grey, and it depends on the INTENT (possibly the most important factor), point of view of the beholder, evolutionary path, life goals, and many other factors.
So the right question should be, “are YOU ready to stop eating meat?”. And that’s a question that only YOU can answer. Deep inside you, you know if you should do it now, or wait a lifetime or two.
Up to a few years ago, no one in the scientific world would even suggest that aliens exist somewhere out there. It would have been a career suicide. Today, it’s generally accepted that, mathematically-speaking, the probability of intelligent life out there is extremely high.
So where these aliens are then?
I’d like to believe they’re here. Simply because the opposite is too scary of a thought. If they’re not here, it’d mean that WE would NEVER be able to leave our solar system either. This means eventual death, since our species only thrives via expansion.
If on the other hand, there is a way to trick the natural laws and travel in vast distances (e.g. via wormholes), then that would mean that aliens ARE already here. Or have been here.
And honestly, I believe that the second hypothesis is true. The first one somehow makes no sense to me. Having no way to connect with others elsewhere, it would mean that this universe has a… bug in its design. That’s how I see it.
So, if these aliens are or were here, where the heck are they? Why are they hiding from us?
I think Star Trek has given a great explanation about this. According to the show’s Prime Directive, it’s best for each civilization to only be contacted once they have achieved “warp speed”. A similar Prime Directive possibly exists in this galaxy too, but I think that their rules aren’t about warp speed: it’s about proving that the civilization is not self-destructing. A self-destructing civilization means it’d be violent against other civilizations.
It seems logical to me that every single society that achieves technology, goes through what we’re now going through: massive man-made climate changes, exhausting and destroying the environment, life quality degeneration etc. We’re currently on the fast track to extinction, and THIS century is the MOST CRITICAL century in the history of the human kind. It’s a make or break century.
If we use common sense, we change our ways and we survive, then these alien civilizations will reveal themselves. If we do get self-destruct, then there was no point for them to make an effort to reveal themselves anyway. It’s not their job to save us, it’s ours. Their only job is to safeguard themselves and their allies. So it’s up to us to become galactic citizens, or return back to the caves.
Let’s address something here: obesity. I wanted to write about it for a while now, but this post on Reddit today convinced me to do so.
Please understand that this is NOT a hate post, because I’m obese myself. They’re my honest thoughts on the subject.
So, in the last few years, there have been a lot of social shift for obese people with messages leaning towards “be happy with who you are”, and “you are beautiful the way you are” etc.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but you are not beautiful the way you are, if you’re obese. You just have pounds and kilos of fat that’s killing you little by little (and I do too). You’re in danger. Not in a rainbow paradise.
There is nothing logical about glorifying obesity just so we can feel good about ourselves, and to fit in, and we feel accepted and all the rest that go with it. It’s in fact the pathetic way of going about it.
The reality is that we’re unhealthy, and we need change. I need that change too, but at least I’m not lying to myself that “I’m beautiful”. I refuse to accept *disease* as a normal way of life.
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