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Weight Loss, Banking and the Illusion of Simplicity

Have we all heard the theory, that weight loss is a simple formula? Eat less, exercise more, and weight loss happens? Those of us who have tested this simple theory know from long personal experience, that this theory does not fit the facts! Yet, it keeps being repeated as if it is “proved by science”, rather than a theory that doesn’t fit reality. We like to think that we are ruled by science, but the truth of that statement depends on what one’s definition of “science” is (and whether one has tried to diet!) Does Science mean that which:

  • a) can be modelled by computer models,
  • b) supports corporate profits, or
  • c) is supported by direct observation of the real world?

Those readers with experience in the sciences will know already that the three goals, above, are incompatible. Could a world where a) and c), computer models and direct observation, are compatible exist? Whereas for b) corporate profits, to be compatible with science, would require a great deal of disappointment and restraint on the part of corporations. Please, do email me, if anyone knows of a modern corporation putting science ahead of profits?

Computer models, and corporate profits, are mathematically-based, which usually implies a constant relationship between two variables. In real world observations, the third choice, direct observation, would suggest that most phenomenon have a balancing point — a bit like a black hole from the point of view of one who wants change — into which the efforts of many, many variables are sucked to oblivion — until suddenly, effortlessly, reality moves to a new balancing point. Shall we call this the“Stasis-tipping-point framework” philosophy of science, which is a tremendously inelegant phrase, and Raw Tibicos apologizes for using it, when Aesop explained it much better:

A Lion lay asleep in the forest, his great head resting on his paws. A timid little Mouse came across him unexpectedly, and in her fright and haste to get away, ran across the Lion’s nose. Roused from his nap, the Lion laid his huge paw angrily on the tiny creature to kill her.

“Spare me!” begged the poor Mouse. “Please let me go and someday I will surely repay you.”

The Lion was much amused to think that a Mouse could ever help him. But he was generous and finally let the Mouse go.

Some days later, while stalking his prey in the forest, the Lion was caught in the toils of a hunter’s net. Unable to free himself, he filled the forest with is angry roaring. The Mouse knew the voice and quickly found the Lion struggling in the net. Running to one of the great ropes that bound him, she gnawed it until it parted, and soon the Lion was free.

“You laughed when I said I would repay you,” said the Mouse. “Now you can see that even a Mouse can help a Lion.”

From the Library of Congress, The Aesop for Children:
The Lion and the Mouse

As with all fables this one has levels of meaning. The Library of Congress’ conclusion trivializes: “a kindness is never wasted”. If only that were true! Let’s re-phrase this into three layers, corresponding to the three layers of human meaning: spirit, soul, and body. The spirit-level meaning of this fable is that generosity has children. The soul-level meaning is of the essential brotherhood of all creatures; while the physical level teaches that at the right time, only the smallest breath is needed to make massive change. This last meaning is the one for today’s post . . . “the smallest molecule might make all the difference”!

Speaking of lions, some have noticed that men are bigger than women, with more muscle mass, thicker bones, and the advantage that testosterone aids in faster wound healing. Nature seems to have compensated women with the ability to add armour, in the form of added flesh. In a woman, portable flesh armour can happen when she feels unsafe in a verbally or physically abusive situation, and also in response to modern threats, when her body is threatened with chemical additives, with electrosmog, non-ionizing radiation, or other bodily “insults”. Men may build fleshy armour — however, to a lesser extent — weight loss for men tends to be closer to the exercise-food model. The modern level of hormone disruption in the environment may be putting men on an equal footing with women, in this regard. Our modern comforts are not as benign as those who profit from them suggest!

Weight-gain, especially for women, is complex, and may come from a mouse-sized bodily insult, or a combination of them. Our relationship with food is one such source of possible insult — not in the simplistic sense of counting calories, but in the molecular structure of the food we eat. For centuries, a little extra weight has been a sign of wealth and status, so it is not too surprising that the plants which cause extra padding have never been subjected to rigorous interrogation. Botanists divide plants in many ways; one of the more basic divisions is between monocotyledons and dicotyledons, or, for everyday, “monocots” and “dicots”. There is a tremendous amount of excellent information available on the visual differences between these members of Plant World. Less discussed are the interactions between humans, monocots and dicots. One might think our relationship with these plants would be the first item of discussion, ahead of what they look like? Such has not been the case, but we can remedy that.

Monocots have the rep of being less genetically stable, and therefore respond in a more gratifying way to mankind’s efforts to breed them. The seeds are generally richer in starch than those of dicots. The prevalent starch in most monocots is fructans — like its counterpart galactins — is indigestible to all people without the aid of our intestinal biome. Common monocot foods are a set of plants which in addition to breeding, has ease of storage, transportation and taxability, which pleases proponents of one world government, too. Additionally, it is also a list of foods that many modern people have found to be problematic as food: wheat, rye, barley, corn, garlic, onions, rice, asparagus, sugarcane, palm, oats, teff, millet, sorghum. One notices that these plants have been charged with a variety of misdeeds, the underlying cause of which may actually be starchy fructans.

  • Digestibility of fructans depends entirely on one’s own personal microbial helpers. Addition of glyphosate, a known killer of micro-beings, may have tipped the scale on these foods.
  • Modern breeding, focused on commercial characteristics, may have tipped the starchy properties from food to non.
  • History, (as they say), is written by governments and corporations, not the diners, perhaps these foods were never as good for us as others?

As mentioned before, the alternative to monocots, are dicots. Dicots tend to have less starch, more lipids — which transport the fat soluble vitamins A, D,E and K, and are the building blocks of the structure and function of cells — and protein. For some dicot plants that are commonly eaten, think: lentils, chickpeas, beans, broccoli, soy, cabbage, brussels sprouts, buckwheat, rhubarb, quinoa, Amaranth and cassava. The starch in dicots tends to be galactans. Galactans, like fructans, cannot be digested by humans, but must be digested by the biome in our intestines. This makes sense, as the body doesn’t directly use carbohydrates of any kind; we use lipids, glucose, and proteins.

Superficially the fructan and galactan carbohydrates are the same — however, like money being divided into debt and equity — there are real differences:

FructansGalactans
* Several fructose units bonded* Several galactose units bonded
* Absorbed by passive transport across a membrane requiring the aid of a protein* absorbed by active transport across a cell membrane, requires expenditure of energy
* Converted by the liver to glucose* Galactose is used by the brain as food
comparison of fructans and galactans

The last fact is quite important — fructose is only converted by the liver — too much fructose burdens the liver and can cause a cascade of problems for the body. Could we finally have an explanation for why a diet high in grains — but not root vegetables and other carbohydrates — causes malaise and often weight gain? What other bodily problems are caused by overburdening the liver? Is it the difference in the starches, or the difference in the bacteria that digest them for us? We do not, at present, know. We even do not know if men and women digest these differently.

In digestion — as we tend to avoid the foods that cause distress — the result is low-level mis-function. We tend to see the growth of water-based flesh on the outer person, along with a collection of minor body complaints. The reason many feel better, initially, on a keto diet (or any other of the high-protein and fat diets) is that keto avoids many of the starchy monocots. As the digestion’s memory of fructans fades, the initial keto glow also fades. Our bodies need glucose for the brain and every-day cell work. Too much protein in the diet is disruptive, leading to dehydration, nausea, irritability, headaches, unusual tiredness, and perhaps increased propensity to aggression!

Glucose is the food of the brain, the molecule that powers our bodies, and yet, fructose makes up the majority of our diets. Fructose burdens our livers, but tastes much sweeter on our tongues. Nature often packages both glucose and fructose in her fruits; the fructose to keep us coming back, and the glucose to keep us healthy enough to spread the fruits’ seeds. The dilute doses of fructose in fruit, or other natural sources, is easy for the liver to cope with!

Chemists for large corporations have learned to harness the seductiveness of fructose for their food products, isolating and concentrating fructose. Do fructans — which are, after all, fructose hooked together — act in the same way, sweeter to the tongue than other starches, but havoc on the liver and other down-stream processes? Why are not the foods rich in galactans; beans, squashes, chickpeas, potatoes, lentils and buckwheat (all used in Raw Tibicos products), also major world commodities, traded in the same way that wheat and corn are? This last question creates another, more interesting question: given that the patterns of behaviour in eating high fructose/ fructan foods are the same as our most common financial structure, is there a connection? Which came first? Debt and monocots have been twinned in the history of cities for as long as we have records, back to settlements over five thousand years ago.

The idea that “calories are calories” might be called a measurement error, in that when a scientist burns food to find its energy component — perhaps assuming equal dryness of the foods — the energy released looks much the same. To the human body, a calorie from butternut squash soup functions differently than a calorie from a frosted doughnut. The same error of measurement has crept into our economy! GDP/ GNP measures (traditionally male) work, based on activity. Two fundamental errors are thus created, and the best example of both, is some road work that Raw Tibicos used to drive by, on a major US highway. In the dozen years of passing this, Raw Tibicos would frequently see teams of twenty or thirty people, of whom only one was working.

  • First measurement error: the nineteen or more people standing around are contributing to GNP more than the one working — meaning that actively shirking work counts toward GNP as much as actual work — and
  • Second measurement error: doing the same task over and over again — tearing up the side of the highway, reshaping it, then tearing it up again, shaping it, and tearing it up again, and building it again — counts in GNP as three or more highways — even though the end result is one. In other words, there is no category for “destruction of value”

Most of us have seen these principals in action in our own lives — perhaps without realizing that what seems a waste — to a trained economist counts as progress? The reason for this, is that the definition of “free market” has evolved in a way that only trained professionals can explain. For political science professionals, policy-makers and such, the definition of “free market” is an economy dominated by debt. This may be different than most people’s definition, so let’s look at some examples.

For much of the twentieth century, the world was dominated by two different financing systems — the debt-based system, in the free world — and the equity-based system, in communist countries — perhaps, “Alex” and “Sasha”. Both are chefs, and wish to open restaurants. Alex must go to a bank, and borrow money, which he repays with interest. Sasha has no need to borrow, he must get government permissions. In the first, restaurant ownership is rationed by Alex’s financial standing, or the finances of his family; in the second, restaurant ownership is rationed by government connections of Sasha or his family. So far, both seem equal?

Sasha’s monetary system = Equity — money given by investors
Alex’s monetary system = Debt — money given by lenders
two types of money for business formation

In the debt versus equity debate, Raw Tibicos is not a participant. Raw Tibicos feels that following one’s own path of spiritual growth should be prioritized. For Raw Tibicos, either system might hinder personal growth, or both might allow it, depending on the priorities of those in charge. In today’s world, this refusal to take sides is controversial; please do stay with this, and read on, there might be something later on that readers agree with!

Mankind is always thinking that the grass on the other side of the fence is greener. We are living through a global do-si-do, where Cold War enemies are swapping dance roles; communists issue debt, and the free world demands government support. If we watch and see where our global dance partner has already been, hopefully when we reach the same place, we can caper better than he.

Equity (Sasha, soon to be Alex) = If Sasha gets sick — say pneumonia, a broken leg, pregnancy, some temporary illness — then the investors who contributed money to the restaurant might allow the chef recover, if he has the connections or track record. Regardless, he does not lose his home.
Debt (Alex, soon to be Sasha) = If Alex, in a debt system, gets the same affliction, the debt payments are still due. Frequently the lender benefits by throwing Alex out of a job, and therefore does so, before he has recovered
comparison of life’s setbacks in equity and debt systems

Therefore:

Debt (Free Market)Equity (Communism)
* Interest payments make the actual price 50-200% higher* The actual price is the visible price – no ongoing finance costs
* Risk of the unexpected is only on the borrower (worker)* Risk of unexpected events is shared among many
selected summary of debt versus equity from chef’s point of view

Warning — anyone who may become pregnant or have any other temporary indispositions or life set-backs should approach DEBT with caution!

Does this mean that Raw Tibicos supports the recent WEF plan, “You will own nothing and be happy”? Absolutely not. Communism, and the Free World, have both been fatally flawed by the kind of measurement error described above. In fact, if an artist painted a picture of a monoculture field of wheat, rice or corn — with a home on one side, destroyed, the family scattered and unhappy — on the other side, layers of physically unhealthy policy-makers unable to help — this picture could be applied to both systems. The tragedy in all cases is the idea that The Only Possible Change is to Stand where Our Dance Partner Previously Stood.

The real world can be complex and confusing. We have all had that eureka moment where something that previously seemed incomprehensible suddenly made sense. For Raw Tibicos, reading about monocots and dicots was that moment when the mouse released us from the net, explaining why the mixture of squashes, root vegetables, plants, and fermented honey, brown sugar and juice that we have developed, works so well to support health and happiness.

As a species, we have the tendency to under-react: until we over-react! The fructans in grains cause us to bloat and ache, so we eschew all carbohydrates. Debt — that “bad boy” of the financial world, which – like fructose – a little bit wakes us up and makes us happy — when tasted to excess causes the type of communist revolution which eschews all innovation. We are all adults! Can we self-master to touch our tongues to the sweetness, without wallowing in excess? Often, naming a problem is the biggest step toward solving it. Monocots and dicots, debt and equity, gluttony and moderation, we have now named it, thought about the measurement mistakes, and recognized the one unconscious pattern that led to a place we would rather not be. We can draw courage from the ancient story of the Mouse who saved a Lion, knowing that we — none of us — need to be perfect. Could it be that we only need to be generous and use self-mastery toward some of our momentary temptations, in order to move towards a healthier, wealthier, and more spiritually satisfying world?

As always, please do email with your personal results and observations. Do say whether your comments can be posted, and if so, how you would like to be identified!

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Mothers and Soldiers

Mothers and Soldiers both have a day of remembrance in the national calendar, and most people think the similarities stop there. An anthropologist could write several books on the interesting cultural phenomenon that while mothers definitely face pain, and combat injury, hostility, violence, ridicule and even today, sometimes death, in pregnancy and childbirth, it simply isn’t done to talk about it, as one can for the military. A woman killed by the father of her child makes the news a couple times a month, but the pain, danger, labour and sometimes permanent injury that mothers face during pregnancy and birth is never discussed; as if the location where pain happens makes a difference!

Part of the perceived difference may be in the culture’s perception of soldiering as active, and having a baby is perceived by the culture as passive – when everything goes well. If some problem arises, everyone is quick to blame the mother – which shows a schizophrenic kind of view of pregnancy and labour!

Soldiers have a mirrored result – good outcomes result in medals and honour, and bad outcomes result in generals or politicians taking blame. Raw Tibicos suspects this is the result of confusion about gender roles in intimacy. Soldiers have historically been mostly men, and mothers are by definition, are women. Traditionally, male soldiers showed great vigour with long rod-like weapons . . . perhaps no more need be said about that side of perceived gender roles . . . on the gentler side, there is scandalous confusion over the difference between “passive”, as in “passive like an inanimate object”, and “receptive”, as in, “let me guide your energy”.

The ancient world understood this: understanding of the immense importance of receptive-guiding-energy is why Sophia (wisdom), Liberty, Truth, Fate, Justice are all female. All of these are essential for human life – all must be sought – but never conquered – just like the essential nature of receiving. Would any of us want Wisdom, Liberty, Truth, Justice, or even Fate, that was inert, lifeless; passive?

Yet, as soon as one becomes expectant, the modern world wants the mother to be like a doll, allowing medical interventions for her body and her baby, without opinions or participation in the birth process. The process of birth is a sacred dance between mother and child, giving and taking on both sides – a breath here, a position adjustment there – small, constant adjustments that make the difference between life and injury – or worse. Where in today’s culture do we give expecting mothers the Sophia needed to be the heroines of their own dangerous passage from innocence to motherhood? Those readers who have experienced labour; how many of you were empowered by those around you to be the star of your own body’s birth? How many of you were pushed into second or third place, behind the medical establishment’s interventions, opinions, and needs? Where are the medals and honours for exceptional bravery and self-sacrifice? Raw Tibicos suspects that the answers to these questions would sadden all of us who care about happiness.

Those of you who are not mothers; when have you seen a movie or other portrayal of labour where the mother is the Sophia – the guiding wisdom – of the birth? Have you even once seen the labouring mother’s needs or requests validated, honoured?

If readers have the idea that mothers should be honoured as soldiers are, that is only a part of what this is about! Let’s return to the notion of vigorous, obvious action, as contrasted with receptive, grounded, channeled agency. Today’s concept of “staying healthy”, falls into the archetype that we just rejected. On the one side, a war-like state with our bodies – jogging, starving ourselves, eating unpleasant foods, taking mountains of powdered supplements. If that fails, culture decrees an utterly passive, inert reliance on the medical world to fix us.

Shall we be the heros and heroines of our own health, in a channeled, wise, receptive way? Raw Tibicos has a collection of suggestions to live more healthy, joyful lives, with interventions that should be so soft and natural that when sought (but not conquered) these practices become invisible supports, as invisible, yet valuable as Wisdom, Liberty, Truth, and Justice. These were originally sent in the newsletter, but repetition and context doesn’t make them less valuable:

  • How about any activity that gets one’s hands in the soil? Starting about twenty years ago, scientists began finding that some of the bacteria that make our guts healthy can be replenished from soil bacteria —  as a seller of a pro-biotic beverage — Raw Tibicos probably shouldn’t have mentioned that soil bacteria are also beneficial!   Additionally, a recent study showed that the components of healthy soil help wounds clot quickly.  It is comforting to know that if one is injured, far from help, and handful of dirt might save the day and stop the bleeding.  Proof that gardens are indeed, blessed!
  • Use Nature’s original disinfectant —  Sunlight!   With so much being closed, it’s a great time to discover some off-the-beaten path walks, and less-travelled times.  Scientists are discovering more and more how linked human life is to actual sunlight.  The staff at Raw Tibicos are universal in this, we all feel that time outside is essential for health! If you do not already know what your Minimum Daily Nature Time is, this might be the chance to experiment!
  • On the topic of ourselves being linked to the natural world, it is easy to forget that we evolved without artificial light. If one has trouble sleeping, adjusting your indoor lighting to reflect the sun’s natural rhythms may be all the remedy that is needed for a good night’s sleep.  When the sun is high, turn on all the lights inside, and when the sun is down, dim inside lighting to the minimum possible, as close to the light of candles as possible.   Twenty years of experimenting with this, have shown Raw Tibicos that physical energy and “sunny good nature” are quickly affected by bright electric lights at night!   Give it a try, and see if there is any reaction in your household —  at the worst — lower electric bills!
  • On the subject of artificial light, perhaps we have all noticed that it differs from sunlight? We have all experienced red, tired eyes with blurry vision, from spending too much time looking at computer screens?  This is because our eyes are adapted to the ultimate in full-spectrum light —  the sun.  The imbalances in artificial lighting cause a wide range of human imbalances, ranging from blurry sight and splotchy skin, to documented behavioural and health problems with school children.  This is another quick and easy experiment to try:  1). try to limit regular fluorescent lighting, and if not, try to put physical distance between you and it 2). use computer glasses to balance the blue light, and 3). consider spending some time in front of some of the red/ infra-red lights that are sold, to counter-balance all the too-blue!
  • It seems as if science is daily making new discoveries about the previously-unsuspected benefits of new and old plants.  This one is good for inflammation —  that one has antioxidants — it can get overwhelming!  We often forget about the healing power of the plants that are so familiar, they get called ‘spices’, many of which were originally included for their healing powers.   Has it been a while since you tasted rosemary?  It makes a great tea!  How about some tarragon on your eggs?  Chopped basil on your salad?  Turmeric and ginger in your hot milk?  Sumac on fresh fruit?   Give your spices a daily work out and I think you will find that they will work for you —  A word about plants:  plants often carry the nickname “master chemists”, as unlike human chemists, plants have access to more chemical compounds, and can vary their growth according to need.   Science has found that plants quickly become more bitter in response to an animal or insect eating their leaves —  not only in the plant being browsed on, but also its neighbours change leaf chemistry!  This rapid adaptability of plants has led many herbalists and foodies to speculate that we can rely on our plant friends to carry some of the burden of keeping us healthy, of responding to the shifting nature of disease, by working with these master chemists.
  • On the subject of chemistry, please remember that our skin absorbs many items right through it, into the blood!  Any unhelpful substances absorbed by the skin, must be filtered through the liver and kidneys, which is fine much of the time, but perhaps a burden when one is fighting an infection.   Ayurvedic tradition asks that one only put edible items on the skin; that seems an attractive way to think of it? How often do we think of our skin as delicious?
  • It is true that not every micro-organism is beneficial to humans; being so small, often they cannot tolerate the wide range of conditions that larger beings can. For this reason, fever is one of our body’s most effective defences against infection, which is why doctors often let a fever burn itself out —  and perhaps why if we get a chill, we are more prone to getting sick.  Generating heat like that does place a strain on our bodies  —  however, we can get all the benefits and none of the downside, by having a hot bath —  or sauna for those lucky enough to have access to one — and there is the additional benefit of stress reduction!  This might be a good time to treat yourself to a daily hot bath — as a preventative measure  —  stop a just-caught virus before it gets a foothold!   If you are bored, or curious, you can always check to see the impact by taking your temperature before and after the bath  — I know one couple who did this, and the change in body temperature was surprising.

Seven tips for a healthier life; playing outside, a nice hot bath afterwards, be careful who your (skin) associates with, limit night-time bright lights, eat well cooked and nicely spiced food; have herbal tea rather than soda — all of them the kinds of things our mothers tell us to do! It also sounds like the list of things soldiers miss most – that and the healing from laughter with loved ones. Picking one at random – the sun actively shines on us – but does that make us passive? Aren’t we all – plants, humans, animals – receptive to the sunlight – channeling the gift of sunlight into work and play?

It has been said that our everyday habits become character: our character becomes our Fate! In this way, Fate becomes the best symbol of the receptiveness that is the ultimate gift for every mammal, from our mothers. Let’s hold close to our hearts the vision of mothers and babies in an intimate dance of birth; let the feminine energies of Wisdom, Liberty, Truth, Justice, channel our life-force like a baby toward health. Do we require active, warlike, interventions to mechanically stretch our children to make them grow? No! Our children receive nourishing food, healthy environments and joy in learning, and they grow without effort creating their own Fate. Can we do less?

If you like this series of articles, please do support the work by purchasing @RawTIbicos products, here: soupkefir.ca — even you don’t like this writing, please consider purchasing, anyway, as twenty-five years is a long time for testing; many of the products are extremely good! Information provided is for entertainment only, no medical or other advice is offered.