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The best part of the retreat is that I’ve learned so much, and it will make changing my food lifestyle a whole lot easier.
Lydia G. – London ~ March’13
Fascinating ! I learnt a huge amount about food and diet, and all the right things to be eating. With all the information I was given. I now know what to eat to stop my tummy complaints, and to keep myself looking trim and lean.
Jo H. – London ~ Nov’12
I've studied nutrition personally for over twelve years... so when I heard we were going to have a two hour nutritional talk, I thought my level of knowledge might be greater than the speakers.
However Dao's level of knowledge was amazing, and the way he presented it was fantastic.
Laura W. - Plymouth ~ Jan'12
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..
Much greater detail for each of these subjects can be found on Dao's own website, including many published articles.
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.
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.
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
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 usSee article on the importance of digestive bacteria
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
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?
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
Colonics and Cleansing Techniques
- The role and function of colonics
- The difference between types of colonic irrigation
- The context of cleansing methods
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
Emotional obsession or rational compulsion ?
- All cells are built from protein
- Messy and expensive to digest
- Massive impact on pH balance
- Relationship to congestive conditions such a gout
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 humansSee article on the roles of calcium
Human milk comparison
- Sugar/fat/protein ratios with cow's milk
- Soya milk Vs. human milk
- Hormone mimics on beans
- Phyto-estrogens - pros and cons
- Goat & sheep = similar digestive tracts
- Comparing Nut milks
- Treetop nutrition
- Fast, cheap, dense food
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
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
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
Healing many major killers in society
Simply by eating as evolution dictates and nature intends, leaving medicines for the more complex maladies
- Coffee addiction
- Adrenal burnout
- Mood swings
- Behavioural problems
- Arterial Plaque
- Heart disease
- Mis-inflammation (!)
- Arterial Plaque
- Heart disease