Evolutionary Nutritional talks on a Sura detox Retreat

Unexpectedly, these talks are often the highlight of the week.

Each day you have a two-hour opportunity to stretch your intellectual capacity, be astounded by the order and complexity of your body, and understand just why so many of the foods we currently consume are working against us is in a very obvious biological way..

detox retreat talk - intro

The Journey of Unlearning

To look at nutrition, first we must look at ourselves, our culture, the pressures, the current reasons we eat.

And to strip all of that away, to see the biology behind food, we must first look at the human animal, rather than the human being.

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detox retreat talk - sugar

Evolutionary Predispositions

Much of our understanding of human health is drawn from what we know of human illnesses. Tissues and nutrients come to our attention because they are left wanting in our current population.

To truly understand human nutrition, it is most useful to start right at the beginning to see what we can learn from the pre-human condition.

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detox retreat talk - digestion

Evolutionary Biology

When looking at human diet, it is useful to consider the latest 100,000 years, (the prairie ape concept) but that is best held within the context of the 120m year period before it (the great apes).

Understanding our gut in this context shows us everything we need to know about food, diet, and modern culinary traditions.

See article on the digestive system

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detox retreat talk - bacteria

We are Bacterial Beings

One microbe’s wastes are another’s food, and we are a result of an evolved set of synergised loops. A community of microbial teams working together for the good of us all. We feed them, they feed us

See article on the importance of digestive bacteria

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Effects of Cooking Foods

We cook food for many reasons, but no one can really remember them nowadays. So today the question remains; does it still benefit us?

Heat destroys compounds, making a few are made more available, but most are made less accessible. The additional enzymes are required to digest generate heat, allowing us to understand possible connections to Ayurveda & TCM.

Culturally there have been advantages - from empire-building to emotion-squashing, through the use of grains and their fermentative bi-products.

But if they are so important, why does no other animal eat them. And why does no other problem with the fibre in its diet, that we use grains for.

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Coffee & Grains

A completely different way of seeing what are natural foods for us, and why we have adopted other methods of eating to ae life in inhospitable lands.

However, these relatively new food routines are about survival, and have little to do with our inherant nutrition, and they cause havoc on the biological level. This medicines were invented to deal with ailments, as well as other problems, like energy levels.

Coffee is the best example of both of these principles in action.

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Essential Sugars

If sugars are so bad for us, why do they taste so damned attractive ?
And why aren't all fruit-eating apes suffering from diabetes and obesity ?

The truth is that the whole biological kingdon depends upon them. None more so than us.

We are the kings and queens of sweet - co-evolved with the canopy to develop the perfect food.

That's why its called a 'sweet tooth'.

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Effects of Combining Foods

Of all the animals, we are the only ones that do not mono-eat meals, and the greater the difference between combined foods, the greater the digestive distress.

  • Sugars - how they compete with starch & protein
  • Starches- how they combine after ptyalin
  • Proteins - how they combine after peptides

So why does the whole world do it?

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The Role of Fasting and Detox

The pre-historical roots of fasting, and the currently biological case for fasting are now saying the same things.

Fasting works through the pancreas, blood and liver to cleanse congested organs and alleviate the effects of congestive conditions.

See article on the role of fasting

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Colonics & Cleansing Techniques

Colonics are such a common phenomena these days we forget that they were invented for a specific purpose - to use while fasting, and much of the controversy around themis answered by this context.

  • The role and function of colonics
  • The difference between types of colonic irrigation
  • The context of cleansing methods

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Tastes as indicators

What can we learn from our taste buds, and the culinary tricks we know and love so much?

The vital nature of these compounds and their deadly side

  • Sugars – energy exchange across all biology
  • Salts – the mortar between the bricks
  • Fats – keeping a cell as a cell
  • Starches - not in human taste evolution

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detox retreat talks - proteins


Emotional obsession or rational compulsion ?

  • All cells are built from protein (biggest land mammals are veggie)
  • Messy and expensive to digest (carnivores are small)
  • Massive impact on pH balance (big liver and stomach)
  • Relationship to congestive conditions such a gout
See article on the global protein obsession

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detox retreat talk - teeth


Evolutionary precedence of calcium

Bone building and alkalising the body, but where to get it ethically? The role of cow’s milk in calf-building and problems for humans

See article on the roles of calcium

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detox retreat talks - nut milk

Comparing milks

Human milk comparison

  • Sugar/fat/protein ratios with cow's milk
  • Soya milk Vs. human milk = Phyto-estrogens, etc.
  • Goat & sheep = similar digestive tracts
  • Nut milks = Treetop nutrition

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detox retreat talk - brain oils

The Miracle of Omega Oils

Is it a miracle or just another evolutionary throwback?

  • Omegas only found in the plant kingdom
  • Fish oils sold as Omegas, but they're not plants
  • DHA / EPA as animal derivatives of Omegas
  • Omegas are essential – not build-able
  • Prostaglandins and inflammation regulation
  • Nerves - myelin sheaths and signal conduction
  • Brain – grey matter and behavioural consistency
See article on the the importance of dietary Oils

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detox retreat talk - cholesterol

The Cholesterol connection

  • Seen as a national killer
  • Biologically it is a healing compound
  • So why are we shooting the messenger?
  • Arterial wall oxidation and plaque

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detox retreat talk - fruits

Antioxidants in diet

We are the only lineage of animal that cannot produce its own Vitamin C

  • Oxidative damage without sufficient regulators
  • Vitamin C in diet rather than blood
  • Pointing to bias towards fruit & leaves
  • No Vitamin C in diet erodes blood & brain
  • Points back to Omega oils in nature
  • Points back to elevated cholesterol in population
See article on the wonders of fruit

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Healing many major killers in society

Simply by eating as evolution dictates and nature intends, leaving medicines for the more complex maladies


  • Pancreatitis
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
See article on the myth of sugars


  • Coffee addiction
  • Adrenal burnout
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
See article on what happens to all that starch


  • Diabetes, Obesity
  • Behavioural problems
  • Arterial Plaque, Heart disease
  • Mis-inflammation (!)
See article on what body fat is actually for


  • Arterial Plaque
  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Aging
See article on the wonders of fruit

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