Archive for March, 2014

Regarding sprouting

I’ve avoided legumes and grains for far too long. My body almost shut down in the 2.5 years of low-carb Paleo and even ketosis. Towards the end, I spent days and nights salivating about… rice. For someone so long on a high-fat diet, where I was fat-adapted, I should be getting my energy from fat, but instead, my body was instructing me that it needed starch. So I’ve added to my Paleo diet: legumes (lentils, beans — except peanuts), and rice. I felt better almost instantly.

However, this is not an article to shoot down the Paleo beliefs that legumes/grains are bad for you. I believe that when are cooked as-is, they are indeed harmful. They contain high amount of phytates and lectins. But then again, this is also true for nuts & seeds (if not more so!), and yet, the Paleo people are gulping them down like it’s candy.

After a lot of searching, I came to the realization that all these foods require soaking and/or sprouting. You see, the biological categorization of “seeds”, “nuts”, “grains”, “legumes” are all human categories. In reality, these are the same type of food: the babies of plants!

As such, the plant is protecting its babies by incorporating various poisonous ingredients in them, so humans and animals don’t eat them. And this is where soaking and sprouting is coming to complete the picture. These techniques are “fooling” the seeds to germinate. So when you soak or sprout from raw, these poisons are diluted away, or they get transformed to digestive enzymes (so they create no problems in the gut), or transform to even more vitamins (to aid the seed to supposedly germinate — or so it thinks!).

So now, I soak or sprout all my seeds, nuts, legumes and even brown rice. There are various techniques that can be found online. Especially for nuts, it was a revelation. Much better taste when soaked! I will never go back to eating dried “seeds”.

Why Planet Colonization might be a Pipe Dream

Dr Alessio Fassano, a world renowned researcher on celiac disease, said recently that even travelling from one continent to another changes your gut microbiome, and for some people this exacerbates autoimmune disease.

This made me think that if that’s true, then there’s no way in hell that we will ever be able to colonize other Earth-like planets. Not even if we terraform them. Humans require very specific bacteria & yeasts to stay alive, we are actually a shell made out of these colonies. We are not “I”, we are “them”, science has found in the last 3-4 years. Some doctors now wonder if we’re “humans with trillions of bacteria within us, or bacteria having a human experience”. Ponder on this for a second.

So just because a planet might have good levels of oxygen and gravity won’t mean sh*t. We won’t be able to leave our space suits and sealed colonies to just breathe that air. IF we do, and IF we survive that (I don’t believe we can), then in a few generations these people won’t be humans anymore. They’ll be something else.

In that light, I believe there are only two ways to visit “other places” out there. One, is a hybridization program. You make a hybrid between a native species, and humans. It’s possibly the way we’re going to go. Second way is to never leave your planet, learn to live sustainably here, and then visit other worlds with mind alone (e.g. meditation). Now, that second method is a more “out there” than most people feel comfortable with, but it’s the least intrusive method.

I, too, wish that the sci-fi wishiful thinking of simply finding a “habitable” planet was possible, but I just don’t see it happening. And that’s not because there aren’t any Earth-like planets, or that we don’t have the right inter-stellar travelling technology for it. I feel these are easier problems to solve than going around the problem of gut microbiome and actually surviving on a planet that we weren’t evolved with.