Last night Ritu and I attended the "A Healthier 2010" wellness festival in Palo Alto. It started with an introduction of various wellness groups in the Bay Area, and followed with a lecture by Prof Adiel Tel-Oren (Dr. T). Dr. T is a holistic scientist, and discussed the health challenges people face, and ways to "free" yourself from medicines, chronic disease, and aging. I was hoping for more specifics; however he did make a few points that I found interesting:
- Genetic Lineage and Epi-Genetics – He explained that while there are 25,000 genes in the human genome, there are thousands, if not millions of epigenes which act like switches, turning specific genes on and off. The eating behaviors of your grandparents can "switch on" bad genes that cause a susceptibility to specific diseases, like obesity, heart disease etc. These "configurations" then get passed down the generations. He mentioned that we can "switch off" those bad genes through proper eating. For example, if your Grandfather gorged on food for a year to prepare for starving in the next, if he did that during a specific phase in his development, the obesity gene might be "switched on" thus making you and your future generations more susceptible to obesity as well.
- "Gathervores" – In his studies of people in remote tribal environments, he discovered that for tens of thousands of years, people did not hunt. They were what he calls "gathervores". People gathered whatever they could and this doesn't just include leaves, flowers and plants. This includes bugs, mollusks, frog legs, insects, etc. He mentioned that (in the tribes he studied), hunting and gathering developed much later evolutionarily, when people were forced to do so.
- Marketing Poison – He didn't really say it that way, however he did say that most "superfoods" today are not really super foods. He said they are marketed that way, however many do more harm than good. An example he gave is red wine. Red wine is known to have small amounts of reservatrol which is great for your heart. However, any benefit is countered by the alcohol which causes damage. He also mentioned Omega3's, stating that because omega3 fatty acid turn rancid so quickly, the rancidity counters a majority of the health benefit. (Note: this was the first time I've heard this.) Later he did a soft sell on a plant-based Omega3 supplement hitting the stores in a couple of weeks.
Overall, I left the lecture a bit confused and somewhat incomplete. I felt that I just got hit with another "expert" touting his own point of view, preaching what is "right." I thought about it for a while, and realized (like always) the only thing that truly matters is what works for YOU. Try something, measure how you look, feel and perform. If it works for you keep doing it, if it doesn't try something else.
With that, I'm going raw vegan for 30 days after our Paleo Challenge is complete to see what happens. J
Here's what I ate yesterday:
- Breakfast – Mom's Omelete (yum), 1 cup cooked broccoli, 1 chicken sausage, 1 cup strawberries & blackberries
- Lunch – Unknown number of almonds drizzled with honey. (I love that, ate a LOT).
- Lunch #2 – 1 can of tuna with olive oil mayo, small amount of sweet potato strips, few strawberries & blackberries
- Snack – the rest of the strawberries & blackberries (not much)
- Dinner – Chipotle salad bowl with chicken, extra fresh tomatoes, and sour cream, with a few chips/guacamole.