We see & perceive things differently; Neither is superior to the other

SUMMARY:  The ‘blue/black white/gold dress‘ incident is a really good way of acknowledging that people see and perceive things differently and one way is not necessarily superior to the other.  I see and appreciate this in every diet conversation I have.  I focus a lot on diet; but lifestyle tweaks help many achieve wellness when clean diet isn’t enough.  Initial microbiome studies show that stress can result in changes to the gut microbial community, specifically bacteria in the genus Lactobacillus are consistently reduced.  If clean diet isn’t enough, move onto stress busters that data shows literally reduce inflammatory markers — affirmations and meditation do such.

I use data, and you understand physiologic birth and breast feeding, OTC and prescription drugs like Proton Pump Inhibitors and oral contraceptives, antibiotics, NSAIDs, and about food and their choices: gluten, GMOs, sugar...   I use data and you understand the bi-directional relationship between the gut and brain and body organs… that cytokines are messengers that travel and communicate through the vagus nerve & microglia [a type of glial cell that are the resident macrophages of the brain and spinal cord, and thus act as the first and main form of active immune defense in the central nervous system (CNS)] that they interfere with feedback loops, hormones, immunity, and trafficking of neurotransmitters. I decimate and show false, the boundaries between immunology, autoimmunity, neurochemistry, and endocrinology.  

You understand there is no one magic diet for all as you arrive at your most anti-inflammatory diet based on your own unique genetics, epigenetic alterations, and goals.  But in so doing, how do you deal with that fishbowl feeling, be it with your health care provider, family, friends, or peers?  Affirmation and meditation are incredibly powerful stress busters as they literally reduce inflammatory markers; use them in addition to other strategies  such as exercise, reading, music, fishing, hiking, socializing…. How powerful are affirmations and meditation???

embellishment7Affirmations, meditation, and yoga reduced inflammation-related proteins:   10% lower level of TNF-a,  11% lower IL-6, 15% lower IL-1B,  up to 20% reduction of inflammation, improved sleep, and a 57% decrease in fatigue.  Researchers believe the meditation and breathing aspect was the main contributor to reduced inflammatory markers.embellishment7

The study:  In 200 breast cancer patients who had undergone surgery or radiation treatment, significant inflammatory marker reductions were realized:

Findings for 12 weeks of yoga  (researchers felt breathing and meditation aspects were main drivers of results):  Participants were first injected with a compound that provoked an immune response before giving blood samples.  Average lower levels of the inflammation-related proteins than the controls were: 10% lower level of TNF-a, 11% lower IL-6, 15% lower IL-1B, improved sleep, up to 20% reduction of inflammation, and a 57% decrease in fatigue. The study also showed the more yoga the women practiced, the bigger the improvements in fatigue, vitality, depressive symptoms, accompanied by increased reductions in two of the inflammation-related proteins, IL-6 and IL-1B.

There are many aspects to yoga, including meditation, breathing, stretching and strengthening. But the researchers think for this study, the parts that produced the most benefits were the breathing and meditation practice.

We think improved sleep could be part of the mechanism of what we were seeing. When women were sleeping better, inflammation could have been lowered by that. Reducing fatigue enables women to engage in other activities over time. So yoga may have offered a variety of benefits in addition to the yoga exercises themselves.

Health problems are linked to chronic inflammation, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have also tied it to age-related frailty and functional decline.  Yoga’s Impact on Inflammation, Mood, and Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Controlled Trial and MNT, Breast cancer survivors benefit from yoga.

Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Integrative Therapies as Supportive Care in Patients Treated for Breast Cancer (full text) reported on randomized controlled clinical trials in patients receiving treatment for breast cancer. The use of behavioral therapies (eg, meditation/mindfulness, relaxation) and yoga for mood improvement in the context of depression and anxiety during cancer treatment received a strong recommendation rating (Grade A).  A lower grade of recommendations (Grade B) [still considered worthy of patient consideration] was made for massage and stress management for mood improvement and energy conservation in the context of treatment-associated fatigue.

Why should you suck up the fishbowl feeling and try diet management for chronic disease?  In short, bold [food] policies have been based on fragile science, and the long term results may be terrible.

This is such a powerful statement on food policy by Dr. Richard Smith, the former editor of the British Medical Journal, after combing through five of the most popular nutrition science books of the last several years.  In this sentence, he perfectly encapsulates why we have been led astray on food. -One sentence that explains why nearly everything we think about food is wrong

Trail blaze your own anti-inflammatory diet/lifestyle prescription using stress management strategies including affirmations and meditation to deal with the naysayers.  Persevere until you achieve reset;  it really works.

Trailblazer Dr. Peter Attia is one such example as he realized metabolic insulin resistance reset for Type 2 Diabetes after 4 years of following his prescription diet/lifestyle.  That is a long time to follow a specific protocol under the magnifying glass of carrying the MD title none the less while also shaking up the nutrition circuit.  I can relate to that fishbowl feeling as my autoimmune prescription is now going on six years and I have found, as Dr. Attia, that diet rules can bend after that long of a biologic, metabolic, and microbiome reset.  It is after all, long term diet (and lifestyle) that changes the resilient stable microbiome…  Of course we’ve talked about this before… Dr. Rob Knight’s findings,  OPTIMAL MICROBIOME DIET FROM AMERICAN GUT DATA.

I first found Dr. Attia’s work relevant for diet and lifestyle answers for management of Type 2 Diabetes which in summary is:

The more sugar you eat, the more insulin resistant you become.  The more resistant you are to the effects of insulin, the more insulin your pancreas needs to secrete in response to all carbohydrates, including the not-so-bad “non-sugar” ones. The more insulin your pancreas needs to secrete to manage your glycemic load, the higher your average insulin levels, which is manifested by higher levels of circulating insulin at all times – fed and not fed. Higher levels of insulin lead to less fat oxidation and more fat storage (from both ingested fats AND ingested carbohydratesde novo lipogenesis).  This, not surprisingly, leads to greater insulin resistance, and so the cycle continues… Western diets, where we don’t consume much omega-3 PUFA, and it is very difficult to avoid omega-6 PUFA (they show up in virtually every processed and packaged food we touch, not to mention all sauces and dressing, and even our grain-fed meat), may predispose us to greater insulin resistance and inflammation…  There is a reason “vicious cycles” are called “vicious.”

 When I began my nutritional journey, for over 18 months I still consumed a modest amount of carbohydrate, probably on the order of what a typical person in Japan would consume.  The biggest elimination in my diet was sucrose, HFCS, and “junk” carbohydrates. The results were impressive.  I went from being about 200 pounds at 25% body fat to being 177 pounds at 10% body fat while still consuming some carbohydrates (by that point I was down to maybe 100-150 gm per day).   However, I was able to get leaner (170 pounds, 7.5% body fat) and further improve my risk profile for disease by going below 50 gm per day (i.e., entering nutritional ketosis).  Was this last step of nutritional ketosis necessary? Of course not, but it was a nice way to experience the full spectrum of carbohydrate restriction.  Will I ever go back to eating 100-150 gm per day of the “right” carbohydrates at some point? Probably, provided I don’t go back to eating sugar and stuffing my face with carbohydrates.  It will depend on what I’m optimizing for.

My point is this: Just modifying your diet by the 3 factors I mention in this post — elimination of sugar, less total glucose load, and improved omega-3/omega-6 profile — even if you are not genetically programmed to be lean, will probably deliver 80% of the value in terms of disease risk and body composition. -How do some cultures stay lean while still consuming high amounts of carbohydrates?

I stop here as my post is not about diet management for Type 2 Diabetes; for that I refer you to Dr. Attia’s site… for now.  I do however share his Type 2 Diabetes prescription and other musings at the bottom of this post should you be interested.  Getting back to Dr. Attia’s questioning the allopathic mainstream guidelines for diabetes and obesity:

Just 40 years ago the prevalence of obesity in this country was about one-third of what it is today, and that of diabetes about one-fifth. Is this all because Americans have become too gluttonous and slothful and the food industry figured out how to make food cheap and addictive enough? That they simply are too lazy and stubborn to do what we’ve been telling them to do—eat a little less, exercise a little more—for fifty years. Maybe. And I trust many good minds are already working on solutions to address that hypothesis.

However, what if the problem isn’t about non-compliance but about the nature of the advice we’re passing along. Maybe it’s our failure in that we have a simple idea about what causes these diseases, and like many simple ideas—paraphrasing Mencken here—it just happens to be wrong. It’s hard to fathom that two out of three Americans are simply too lazy to be active and too stubborn to eat healthy, despite losing their lives and their loved ones to the negative sequelae of these diseases.  I find that hard to believe.

So, what if the problem is that our dietary advice is wrong in the first place? And incorrect dietary advice has resulted in an eating environment where the default for most people is a diet that causes obesity and diabetes? -Success versus Failure: A stark juxtaposition

Returning to that dress and extending it’s lessons learned

Going one step further, the oversight of recognizing that people see and perceive things differently, and one way is not necessarily superior to the other, has weighty consequences in adhering to your day to day life diet/lifestyle prescription, not to mention in clinic ramifications with your health care providers, family, friends, and peers.  In short, when you feel like you’re in a fishbowl, don’t stress; continue to follow your unique diet and lifestyle path to wellness using affirmations, meditation, and other stress busters.  Incredibly powerful diet and healing affirmations are:  The dress

embellishment7I see and perceive things differently and one way is not necessarily superior to the other.

This affirmation allows you to deeply support your needs while embracing compassion for others’ sensitivity deficiencies.

I eat healthy and I stay healthy.
I choose food and do so in total peace.
My immune system is very strong and can deal with any kind of bacteria, germs and viruses.
Every organ in my body is healthy and functions at its optimal.
I breathe deeply and every breath energizes me.  

This actually has a double bang; few of us breathe deeply and yet this increases metabolism as well as enabling a key detox function.embellishment7

A word about Affirmations;  Say them daily:

This is all about mind over matter which studies show actually reduces inflammatory markers.  The Power of Affirmations:

“Affirmations will help you to create your new reality, lead to an awakening and create the belief that you have something unique and meaningful to contribute, as we all do, because we are all part of the interconnected whole.”

“Whatever you withhold, the universe withholds from you, as well. Perhaps you are withholding because in your heart of hearts you do not feel you are good enough or smart enough… But when you do believe you are good enough (and you are!), your body will respond with more vitality and focused energy to create the changes you want. Affirmations are an aid to get you there.”

What Affirmation should you say?

Affirm the positive, as if it has already been achieved. Always use the present tense. Start with something along the lines of, “I am fit and healthy,” or come up with whatever positive body description, specific organ, or disease condition… that you like. Write down all the areas in your life that you’d like to focus on, body-related and otherwise, and create positive affirmations around them. Remember to affirm what you want as if you have it now, and make sure that your affirmations generate authentic enthusiasm.

At first it may feel unnatural to say these things out loud, but affirmations are the best way to begin creating energetic (and biological) change. Resistance is greatest when you are operating on the surface of your mind, which is bound up with ego. By declaring your affirmations, you can push past this surface level and delve into deeper levels, where change is possibility. Affirmations are a way of saying yes to your true nature and essence. Remember, you are powerful, and your thoughts are powerful.  -The Power of Affirmations

Affirmation achieves mind over matter, literally.

A fun place to visit is the Visual Meditation Room

Organic Spa Visual Meditation Room takes you to reasonable length (5 to 10 minute music and scene immersion) where you can choose mountains, waterfalls, oceans, forests, skies… for meditation or affirmation; give it a try – what do you have to lose?

Need more meditative type direction?

Learn from Dr. Alejandro Junger (Clean and Clean Gut author) at Detox Your Mind in 5-Minutes: The Power of Quantum Cleansing and test drive a 5 minute guided meditation with him.

Finally, Autism recognizes sensory issues (i,e, we see and perceive things differently) as part of diagnostic criteria.

The need for clinic recognition that we see and perceive things differently, and one way is not necessarily superior to the other, is greatly exemplified in what we learn about autism: 

“For example, many people with autism feel pain at different levels than people without autism, and have trouble communicating this difference to their doctor. “So the doctor may not diagnose you with certain conditions” — such as a bone fracture, say — “that for a member of the general population would mean much more or much less pain than you happen to be experiencing.”

“The range of autism-related sensory issues is incredibly large. It wasn’t until 2013 that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the “bible” of psychiatric diagnoses, included sensory issues as part of the diagnostic criteria for the disorder. The well-known autistic advocate Temple Grandin, for example, has often spoken out about her extraordinary vision and sensitivity to touch, while others cower at high-pitched noises,or lights that emit low-level hums that most people don’t notice.” #TheDress Reveals Something Pretty Profound About Autism

Affirmations and meditation… try it; what do you have to lose except inflammatory bio-markers!?!

As promised, Dr. Attia’s Type 2 Diabetes prescription, but not yours:

Despite his personal feelings (dread and loath writing the what-do-I-eat post), Dr. Attia did just that at What I actually eat, part III (circa Q1 2014).  His post is an interesting read to learn what, after 4 years of diet and lifestyle change, diet now looks like for Dr. Attia.  Do not interpret this to be what you should eat in overcoming Type 2 Diabetes.  Your personal situation is different; different genetics, epigenetic alterations, and goals.  

“Keep in mind that for a period of 4 years, my consumption of sugar (sucrose, HFCS, liquid fructose in the form of any beverage, etc.) has been less than about 5 grams per day.  The average American, depending on which stats you believe (I think they are all pretty weak), consumes somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 to 120 grams per day of sugar, NOT including the liquid fructose in juice..  I have developed [a tolerance] to consume massive amounts of carbohydrates, and specifically sugar…  “tolerate” a binge like that every few weeks with little measurable or discernable adverse effect.  I won’t even attempt to argue whether it’s every 7 days, every 14 days, or every 30 days.  But, it’s probably somewhere in that vicinity.”

“So, I have to at least entertain the hypothesis that 4 years of avoiding sugar has been a sufficient enough period of time to offer me some sort of “metabolic reset.” Now, I have no intention of testing this. If I was once susceptible to insulin resistance, I’m pretty sure I will always be. But, an interesting Gedanken experiment would have me going back to one of several different dietary patterns – vegan, but with no sugar; standard American diet with lots of sugar; modestly higher carb, but still sugar-restricted – all could offer insights into the physiology of adiposity and fuel partitioning in my metabolically reset condition.  What I actually eat, part III (circa Q1 2014)

Sidebar plug:  Actually, Dr. Attia has much to share…  His latest topic is NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). See NuSI-The Nutritional Science Initiative and NuSI Overview pdf.  Those having this concern may want to check into his thoughts.  It is incredible that 7 million children in the United States are afflicted with NAFLD.  In the next few years NAFLD will become the number one indication for liver transplantation (not a typo).  Is it all the sports drinks?  There’s never one scapegoat as you well know…  Another must read is Dr. Attia’s Cholesterol Ten Part Series to understand the lipid world, or catch a 38 minute summary of such by listening to the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 YouTube, Dr Peter Attia – The Straight Dope on Cholesterol:

In health through awareness,


One thought on “We see & perceive things differently; Neither is superior to the other”

  1. Bringing Awareness to Your Breath Robb Wolf

    Quote by Patrick Mckeown from his book Anxiety Free “A still mind enables us to relate far better to life and to live life instead of paying attention to useless thinking”

    Now that I’ve brought attention to something you may have never thought of before, it’s time to work on it!

    Work on slowing down your breath by:

    -Placing your tongue on the roof of the mouth

    – Silently and slowly breathe in for 3-4 seconds and out for 5-6, in and out through the nose.

    -The goal is to feel slightly hungry for air

    We live in a society where our minds are going 100 mph, running through thousands of thoughts each day; most of which are completely useless and repetitive. We never have the chance to slow down and chill out. Although, stress is not necessarily a bad thing, you do need to be able to adapt to it and manage it.

    Manage stress with the concept of the Imaginary Stress Cup. All of life’s daily stresses go into the imaginary cup. If you want to look good and feel good, the way you manage your stress can have a big impact on your results.

Now I'd like to hear your thoughts... comments are always welcome!