My presentation in Seattle last week (at the University of Washington) was an unqualified success. The participants of AHS17 (The 6th Ancestral Health Symposium) were very receptive and many were thrilled with having had a decent introduction to the dietary oxalate problem. Although several people found it startling, there was NO “blow-back” (not yet, anyway).
That’s because the audience is well-informed but not in a know-it-all state of mind. This is an event for the intellectually curious. Here academics, health practitioners, bloggers, authors, fitness trainers, and health enthusiasts gather to explore the ways our ancestral traditions and evolutionary history might clarify modern day health problems and confusion. The formal talks were rich, spinning off enthusiastic conversations and informal mini talks in the halls.
You too can watch/listen to all the talks, including mine. https://ancestralhealth.org.
Making New Friends
My favorite part of this unique and valuable conference was meeting many wonderful people. Several audience members were personally touched by my presentation. At least five of them were women who told me that this was a life-changing experience that explained why they still feel bad despite careful eating etc., etc.
I connected with several of the exhibitors and their products, especially the couple from Montana that raises and sells Roam Free Bison Jerky, the Amethyst Biomat that gives off Far Infra-Red Heat, and Teri of Vital Proteins—she already avoids oxalates thanks to grandmother who has had great success on with the low oxalate diet. Thank you, Sue, for the relaxing naps on the Biomat! That is a great way to restore a speaker.
Another wonderful find in the audience was a Post Doctoral Fellow at University of California, Santa Barbara. Jacob studies the role of oxalate in kidney disease using rats. We talked and talked and talked. I missed several presentations, preferring instead, talking with him and several others about oxalates and other healing topics. (I’m also looking forward to the AHS session recordings so I can catch up on the ones I missed.)
New Therapy for Auto-Immune Disease
Our new friend, the oxalate researcher, Jacob turned me on to Valter Longo’s Five Day Fasting Program. It is called a Fasting Mimicking Diet because it appears to have the same benefits of water-only fasting but involves some foods (about 700 calories of mostly fat in 2 meals per day, and glycerol added to water). This makes the idea of fasting more appealing and reasonable. When repeated once a month for three months it can reset the immune system by regenerating stem cells in the bone marrow. This clears out the errant immune memories and thus may erase auto-immune disease. Boy that would be amazing! Cheap and sensible too. Here is another link to another one of Dr. Longo’s papers: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24440038.
I am so interested in trying this approach, I could not help myself from starting the fast on my first day back in Richmond. (Not eating has really lowered my productivity this week. This seems an easy investment in my future vitality, though.)
You may not be aware that my years of overloading the oxalates on my plate has left me with autoimmune vasculitis and rampant allergies causing inflammation. But eating too much of the wrong foods can be cured by not eating! Poetic justice, for sure! Nature has her logic. I’m going with her.
Stay tuned to hear the results of this fasting experiment. Today is day four of round one. So far: my skin likes it; I have no dental plaque; and no body odor. My energy is so low that I have flashes of what it might feel like to be a refugee. Poor dears!
More to Come
The co-founder of the Ancestral Health Society and Editor of the Journal of Evolution and Health invited me to write a review paper that covers the material I presented at AHS17. I think that is a great idea too. I’ll keep you all posted on my progress.
The trip itself was a gentle adventure, complete with damaged luggage, fun with the local light rail system, and a fantastic hotel room with a huge kitchen where I made real, tasty food.