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magic pills

First, let me be clear: "magic pills" is not negative reference to medicine.

I will be first to champion medicine that does this: provides the highest quality surgical intervention and / or pharmaceutical care that helps and compliments the pillars of ancestral health and doesn't work to undercut them.

"Magic Pills" is not about healthcare. It is about immediate gratification: expecting something to magically happen with little or zero effort, or to happen instantly.

We live in a culture of immediate gratification. Our society could be characterized by two words: ease and abundance. It's the water we swim in, the air we breath.

A great way to illustrate the effect is with nutritional ketosis. Nutritional Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body makes metabolites called ketones in the liver. The body can be trained through diet to naturally make ketones. The tissues of the body are then adapted to take up ketones and use them as fuel in the mitochondria as a primary fuel source. This reduces the need for glucose, which reduces the insulin secretion from the pancreas. All this means that your body will learn to burn off the fat it's previously gained, and type 2 diabetes often quickly goes into remission in many people.

Industry caught on quickly, and adapted. How so? They simply conformed supply to the culture. Quick and effortless. All things can be manufactured, packaged, shipped, and sold for pennies on the dollar. Even our health.

A short cut (it seems to always come down to short cuts) emerged in the form of keto snacks and ketone supplements. Keto snacks are just quick bites that mimic the meals one would make on a ketogenic diet that train the body to make the ketones. Ketone supplements are the actual ketone esters themselves in a semi-palatable formula you can drink in a liquid form. Both examples are attempts to recreate the idea of nutritional ketosis in the image of our present culture.

I have no argument with the physical results. It's hard to show a downside to major loss of body fat or diabetes reversal. Kudos to both of those, however it happens.

My concern is with the methods, and how those methods shape and inform our overall well being. Those methods we use to accomplish things in life shape us. Often it's not good enough to merely achieve a goal. It's what you do to get you there. It's the 10,000 hours you put in.

Consider medical school and surgery. You've been in a terrible auto accident. You arrive at the OR. The surgeon did go to medical school, of course, but he passed most exams by cheating. Somehow he slid through clinicals, graduation, and residency. But in his practice, he is not giving quality care to his patients, because the methods used to secure his practice as a surgeon did not prepare him for the work. He is therefore a lousy surgeon because of short cuts. And you are about to endure the fallout of it under his knife. 

That is an imperfect illustration, but you get the point. Life does not usually smile favorably on efforts to use short cuts. Try and think of one champion athlete who short-cutted the reps. I know of none. 

And there is a long-term psychological fallout. YouTube and other social media are filled with examples of people who are well-intentioned and who faithfully eat those keto bars or take the supplements, or even go full-bore keto and see the benefits, only to relapse and fall back into the same eating traps and disease states. It's not about the effectiveness of the diet. It's about adherence.

I get it. We are all in a hurry and want the benefits but don't know how to get them apart from pre-packaged in form. So industry - all industry, including food and pharma - heed the clarion call and supply what we demand. We demand it fast and packaged because that is the culture we live in.

We want a short cut. Short cuts promise to a quick fix with little work and no real change in lifestyle.

But does that approach lead to well being? The numbers and the photographs tell us no. If this actually worked, obesity would be down. It is not. If this approach worked, diabetes and heart disease would have resolved. It has not.

Ancestral Health is a different model that has nothing to do with treating a disease. It is a way of life.

Short cuts might sound good at first. Until you realize they don't work.


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