Movement Comparison Between Early Humans And Modern Humans

Movement Comparison Between Early Humans And Modern Humans

In mid September 2015, scientist Lee Berger discovered what could be the potential missing link in the current evolutionary trail of modern humans, Homo Sapiens. While exploring deep in the caves of South Africa, he uncovered an absolute gold mine for Science. He and his team uncovered a new human species that is being called, Homo Naledi. This new species has both characteristics of the Australopithecus genus of hominids and the Homo genus of hominids. Homo Naledi looks very similar to our current species of Homo Sapiens in the arms and legs, but the spine and torso are more in line with Australopithecus, more chimpanzee like. This means Naledi was simply shorter and wider through the pelvis and rib cage than are modern humans. It also means Naledi had arms of a similar length to modern humans and legs slightly shorter, but similar in bipedal movement patterns. Naledi walked like modern humans and had the ability to manipulate tools similarly to modern humans, but were closer in size to the Chimpanzee skeleton.

The shape and size of the skeleton and the position and origins of the musculature are necessary to understand the evolutionary design when analyzing movement differences throughout hominid evolution. So with that in mind, let’s quickly explore movement patterns of current Homo Sapiens.

Current movement patterns for us humans today are extremely efficient and elegant, which is how dance came about. For the Homo Naledi and Australopithecus, movement was probably closer to a waddle, such as that of a penguin, but more elegant and not as severe as that of a penguin waddle. This probably came from a reduced separation between the rib cage and the pelvis, slightly shorter legs and a slightly wider pelvis. Being an upright animal and having a reduced ability to climb trees in comparison to the earlier evolutionary primates, humans basically lost a survival mechanism of hiding in the trees. Instead, we were more on the ground and now had to adapt to a different form of protection.

The new form of protection came in the way of speed. If humans could out run predators, they would be able to stay alive longer. When it comes to out running a wild animal, you just have to out run your buddy! OK, all jokes aside, the next question is how did we get faster?

Sapiens are taller than Naledi because of the mechanical stresses placed on the body. Over the years and generations, Nature found that longer leg bones and a slightly narrower pelvis could produce greater speed in humans. More speed placed the body under a great deal of mechanical stress, which sent a rippling effect throughout the entire body forcing it to adapt to the repeated stress of movement and increased energy demands. As with all adaptations in this world, the musculoskeletal system got compressed and pulled in different ways and eventually rearranged itself in a new orientation that would better manage the consistent mechanical stresses to ultimately produce a new equilibrium and an energy efficient system. The body’s goal is to always find a state of equilibrium when exposed to repeated stress so it can repair itself from previous damage. Once the bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons adapt and get stronger, bigger, more flexible and more coordinated, they are better able to manage the stresses from movements, gravity and the sun to name a few.

Something that is truly fascinating is how the physical parts of the body adapt to external pressures, forces, and stresses. Muscles react to bones sliding off the joint surface by lengthening to “catch” the joint slipping, as joints are basically frictionless. The stress forces the brain and nervous system to innervate all other muscles around the slipping joints thus creating a coordinated firing pattern of the electrical signals in the nervous system to bring forth elegant and effortless movement. For example, as the knee joint “slips” off its surface between the tibia and femur, the knee will bend or flex. Upon flexion, this will lengthen the quadriceps muscle group and force the quadriceps to shorten itself to bring the knee joint back to a place of stability. Sure enough, this is precisely the role of the quadriceps – knee extension, or knee straightening. By taking this principle of muscle lengthening to “catch” the sliding action in a joint and applying it to every joint in the body, you can begin to imagine or picture the beauty of human movement. Over thousands of years of evolution and subtle tweaking of the motor neurons in our body, we have adapted and evolved into one of the most pristine animals to ever exist on the surface of the Earth.

Before wrapping up this post, it is important to realize that the human body can easily get injured when pushed beyond its mechanical limits. However, when it is kept within its mechanical limits and is fueled with the right raw materials (high quality foods from the Earth), the human mind and physical body can be an absolutely magnificent thing to watch and observe. And that, in my opinion, is why so many humans of the world are drawn to sports and other events that test the brilliance and limits of the human body. Because I have a passion for how the human body operates, I enjoy studying and hypothesizing about it to make progress in our understanding of what makes us human and then relaying that information to the rest of the world to help them regain their health and movement efficiency.

In summary, most modern humans (Homo Sapiens) have postural imbalances and poor mechanics, which become very obvious when you consider the number of people each year that get injured while performing even the most basic of movements. That said, those are just my thoughts on the evolution of mechanical behaviors of Homo Sapiens. What are your thoughts on why humans move the way they do?

Can Dad’s Food Choices Influence His Child’s Genetic Expression?

Can Dad’s Food Choices Influence His Child’s Genetic Expression?

We know Mom has a big influence on the child since she is the one carrying around the unborn child for 9 months. The question becomes, can Dad influence his future child’s genetic expression? Notice I said genetic expression, instead of genes. One thing is for sure. The child’s genetic sequence came a little from Mom and Dad, but mostly from the many generations of humans dating back to the first Homo sapiens. What is unsure is how those genes get expressed in the child. This is where the parents truly come into the equation in determining the outcome of junior.

The parents both lived their lives and accumulated toxins and naturally had to rid the toxins. However, I can guarantee you they were not thinking about life as toxin in versus toxin out. Odds are the toxins were more accumulated than eliminated and therefore in a state of imbalance. When both parents are imbalanced, the female egg may not have a sufficient amount of certain minerals or amino acids. Likewise is the male sperm. If the Dad ate poorly and had poor lifestyle habits, then his sperm could easily be deficient in certain amino acids and minerals as well.

If the egg and sperm are both deficient in certain nutrients, the fetus will not develop as well as it should. This increases the likelihood of the born child being deficient in these same nutrients, therefore causing any number of disorders or dis-eases.

One important thing to note – Zinc is critical for every cell to pass on DNA to the future cells. Zinc should be at sufficient levels in the male sperm if the fetus is to develop as a healthy born child without any issues. If Zinc is deficient, many issues will surface in the years to come. These issues are what we call altered gene expression.

Altered, or mutated, genes are a part of life’s natural selection process and could be placed all throughout each human’s genetic code. The key is to only allow the beneficial proteins and enzymes to be produced. If the person’s biochemical needs are met, then every gene will either get expressed or not expressed depending on which consequence is more beneficial to the human.

In an optimally healthy human, his/her genome will act beautifully by regulating the expression of every gene without much interference. When the regulation of genetic expression gets interfered with however, the expressions could result in abnormalities of body functioning.

So, when Dad can provide sufficient amounts of minerals and amino acids to his part of the equation, it helps the new born child have a more easily balanced biochemical composition throughout life. If the biochemical composition is more balanced, the body will function more smoothly and with fewer complications.

On the other hand, if the biochemical composition is more prone to deficiencies, the symptoms of these deficiencies will present themselves in times of stress. There is no telling which genes will malfunction, so there is only one way I can think of to possibly solve this problem – trial and error.

Trial and error is probably the best way to learn something inside and out. Some times it can be fatal, but usually when done in a relatively controlled setting, the results will be tolerable. Trial and error for your own biochemical composition requires you to fully commit to the process. You must drink filtered water or mineral water and must eat a variety of wild fish and wild or grass fed land animal meats plus eggs. This will provide certain bio-chemicals necessary for human survival. You must then eat a variety of plant foods to get sufficient amounts of other bio-chemicals and fiber to help eliminate the used, or wasted, minerals. The fiber and water are what will flush out all the used and unwanted materials. If this did not occur the unwanted toxic material would cause a backup and therefore inflammation and bio-chemical imbalances.

In addition to cleaning up your eating habits, you need to make a major lifestyle change and commit to the change. Change is not an easy thing to do, because obstacles will be in the way and you must find a way to overcome them in order to succeed. This could be to quit drinking alcohol, coffee, soda, or pretty much anything except water and herbal teas. Another example is to quit using addictive chemical compounds, as they will deplete the body of many minerals. Once you have overcome the obstacles and begin understanding your transformation, your health comes back in waves. It is during this part of the process that the body has found its necessary level of bio-chemicals in order to reach optimal health.

The hard part becomes maintaining these unknown predetermined levels of the bio-chemicals throughout your lifetime. If trial and error is successful, you will have a better understanding for what foods yield the correct proportions to match your biochemical analysis. Simply eating the foods that provide the right amounts of every nutrient (for you as an individual) will put you far ahead of most humans. This can only happen should you decide to fully commit to regaining your health, which takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline. Should you accomplish this feat, I can promise you will feel like a far more superior human being than your old self. I have always said, “You will never know what is out there unless you make the jump with confidence.”

To wrap up this post, let’s briefly summarize. A child’s genes are his/her genes. Nothing can be done about that. The child’s ability to regulate the expression of his/her genes has been linked to the biochemical imbalances of the father AND how healthy the child keeps his/her environments (i.e. food and lifestyle choices) throughout his/her lifetime. The best and safest way to figure out your biochemical needs for optimal health is through trial and error. Clean up your eating and lifestyle habits, reduce your stress, get more sleep, and start listening to your body communicate signals to you on what it needs to fully regain its overall health.

Ladies, if you’re looking to get pregnant soon, you better make sure your man is healthy. As for the rest of you, maybe this helped explain some things that you had always thought were similar with you and your parents but you couldn’t quite figure out how things were connected. What are your thoughts?

A Conversation Between Nerves

A Conversation Between Nerves: How your nervous system plays a role in your health

A Conversation Between Nerves

In a space that is so microscopically small there still lies a vast sea of unknown territory for the life of a neurochemical. The journey from one nerve cell to the next can many times be a slippery slope and significant things can go wrong.

What is it that Murphy’s Law states again? If something can go wrong, it will go wrong. The conversation between two nerve cells as you will begin to understand can be difficult, yet extremely fascinating to people like me.

When the transfer of neurochemicals becomes disrupted, humans manifest symptoms in the form of inflammatory responses such as skin issues, digestive issues, sleep disorders, and elevated stress hormones. So how does this process get disrupted? Let’s take a deeper look at the conversation and the process should get clearer.

A nerve cell is made from proteins, and some minerals like potassium and sodium. This nerve cell has a nucleus with DNA in it to tell it which type of information to deliver to the next nerve cell during their “conversation.” Nerve cells don’t actually touch, but instead they have a small gap between them called synapses. The synaptic space between the nerve cells is the unknown territory for the neurochemicals.

When one nerve cell has a message to deliver to the next, the conversation must be initiated. The initiation begins by an electrical voltage being sent to the end of the first cell, which was caused by a change in the amount of Potassium and Sodium. The voltage forces the release of Calcium ions in order to open up the containers that hold the message. These containers are called vesicles and the chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters.

Naturally when you try to start a conversation with another person, your mouth must open to put together a string of sounds that humans call words and speech. The first nerve cell opens its mouth so to speak by moving the vesicles to the membrane and pushing out the chemical messenger in the synaptic space between the cells. These chemical messengers are many times Acetylcholine, Glutamate, or GABA. They can be other messengers too, such as Dopamine, Serotonin, or Norepinephrine.

Just because your mouth opened and you made some sounds doesn’t mean the message was communicated clearly and received well by the other person. The same thing can happen between nerve cells. Nerve cell 2 may not receive the message very clearly. The amount of chemical in the synaptic space must always be accurate and it usually is, however the conversation may have a tendency to get interrupted at the reception doors of nerve cell number 2. A certain amount of the neurochemical needs to be received in the cell receptors in order to activate the next nerve cell and prompt it to carry on the message so it can reach its final destination.

However, the process doesn’t end right there. Now that nerve cell number 1 has opened its mouth and released its message and cell number 2 has received this message, it appears that the conversation is over. That is not the case. There is almost always more information released than the second nerve cell actually needs and this is another opportunity for the conversation to be disrupted. Once the delivery has been received by the second nerve cell, the extra information still in the synaptic space must be readmitted into the first nerve cell for storage and possibly for later use. You very well may need to deliver that same message again at some point soon.

The conversation must come to a close, so the extra information needs to return to the first nerve cell. This usually happens via suction like proteins that act as transporters and vacuums the extra chemical messengers back inside the first cell. If the transporters are not produced on the cell though, the extra information cannot make it back inside the first cell and stays in the synaptic space between the two cells. This extra information is going to keep talking to nerve cell number 2 well after nerve cell 2 has received the message. Because nerve number 2 is friends with nerve number 1, nerve cell 2 will continue to let nerve cell 1 deliver the extra information. This will undoubtedly cause extra stress on nerve cell 2 and therefore cause inflammation.

If nerves get overworked as in the case of the above conversation between nerves, they begin to get burned out. When the human nervous system burns out, it will cause tremendous pain to the host organism.

The next logical point is to discuss how to get the right fuel so the nerve cells are able to communicate effectively and efficiently with each other to prevent burn out. In order to know how to prevent burn out, it would be ideal to know which food sources provide the materials to prevent burn out. This surely will help produce an efficient process of communication.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter used to help the brain shut down and sleep deep enough to repair any damaged tissues throughout the rest of the body. Acetylcholine is produced with the precursor Choline, which is found in eggs. Eat those fresh pasture raised hen eggs, because they the most significant source of this protein compared to any other food sources.

Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that is used to excite every nerve cell in the assembly line to maintain the strong electrical signal the whole time allowing for proper delivery of the message to the end organ cell. Glutamate is an amino acid and can be found in most proteins, but is abundant in animal sources of protein.

Opposite of Glutamate is the neurotransmitter, GABA. GABA inhibits or prevents a message from being communicated to the next cell. Many times it is important to apply the breaks to a message we don’t like. During these times it is necessary to have the materials to prevent any furthering of a signal that is unwanted past a certain destination point. The GABA neurotransmitter can be made from a string of amino acids that all come in proper ratios in animal foods, but can be produced through the addition of a variety of plant sources.

A quick note of importance is that animal foods provide all 9 essential amino acids in a good ratio for the human body. Plant foods on the other hand provide these 9 essential amino acids plus many others in varying combinations. Due to the variance in combinations of amino acids received, the body could more easily find itself in an imbalanced state. This is why it is wise to eat meats and eggs in addition to lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Another important neurotransmitter, Dopamine, delivers a “feel good” message to the next nerve cell it encounters. This “feel good” hormone keeps you coming back for more. It is heavily involved with addiction issues that many humans face on a daily basis. Dopamine is made directly from the non-essential amino acid Tyrosine. Humans don’t need to obtain Tyrosine from the diet because the body can produce it from the essential amino acid, Phenylalanine, which must come from the diet. Therefore Phenylalanine can indirectly make Dopamine.

Dopamine is unique in that it has its own roles as a neurotransmitter, but it is also used to produce Norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a chemical compound that transmits messages regarding a sense of danger or fear surrounding the host organism. It fires the alarms throughout the body to be on high alert.

Lastly, Serotonin is another transmitter that is important to the human sleep-wake cycle. Serotonin is produced by the amino acid Tryptophan, which comes in animal foods, especially turkey. This is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Serotonin keeps the body in a continuously wake state until the sunlight goes away for the night. Serotonin is then transferred and used to produce Melatonin, which helps the brain sleep so the other chemical transmitters can perform their duties and help your body repair all of its damaged goods.

A conversation between nerves can be quite complex regarding the information that must be delivered and received from cell to cell. All parts of the process are important in order for the nervous system to perform its job optimally. This entire process doesn’t have to be complex. When humans get addicted to certain detrimental habits is when the information process gets complex. Keep it simple by eating the right whole foods that provide the raw materials for the chemical messages to be delivered effectively. If you treat your connections like you did your favorite toy as a child, then your connections will treat you with respect manifesting in beautiful health.

Eventually you’ll need to have “the talk” with yourself. What kinds of conversations are your nerves having every day?

The Connection Of Movement And Food: Part II

The Connection of Movement and Food: Part II

Previously, I wrote about the connection between Exercise and Health from the movement side of things. As with many things life, it is a two way street here and one must also view the same connection from the other side. The connection gets much deeper when viewing it from the perspective of food.

One thing I purposely skipped in the first post on the connection between Exercise and Health was hormones. They seem best suited on the side of food rather than movement, because hormones are necessary regardless of the movement side of the equation.

There are many hormones involved with bodily functioning every day. For example, the hormone Insulin is necessary only in small amounts so the body can utilize the sugars (glucose) from broken down foods. Insulin allows our muscle cells to get a constant source of energy to perform tasks of daily living. This makes it seem far too simple, but it is the basic way of viewing Insulin.

Another example is that of the hormone, Leptin. Leptin is released from fatty acids floating in the blood stream, which triggers the region of the brain governing the sensation of hunger. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that signals to the rest of the body, “I’m good, I have plenty of energy. I’ll let you know later when I need more.” Fatty Acids floating freely in the blood are known as Free Fatty Acids. They get paired with a protein to deliver them to the liver to process for energy.

A third example of hormones that signal bodily functions to occur is Norepinephrine. This is a hormone that gets released when the body experiences an increase in heat production (increased Oxygen intake) from increased movement patterns (exercise). This leads to increased blood pressure due to the body realizing it now has more physical strain. Norepinephrine triggers the release of Epinephrine (Adrenaline) to signal that there is a potential state of fear and danger, which in this case would be the increased strain on the muscles and bones from exercise. This simply means you disturbed the subtly balanced state of equilibrium, which is extremely easy to disturb anyway.

When Adrenaline gets released, it signals that there is going to be a heightened state of energy use. Once the brain and body realize more energy is necessary, the hormone Glucagon is released causing the body to free up the fatty acids from storage. As the body frees up these fatty acids for use, the liver converts them to usable energy. The body and brain will continue to move and think to escape the potential fear and danger that started the entire chain reaction.

Generally speaking, the type of daily movements and exercising our ancestors performed mostly required energy from fats for light intensity activities. This meant, humans needed fats and proteins and little sugars since the body had an efficient process for getting enough sugars to the muscles during times of need.

Here comes the problem in today’s world. We over exercise and sprint and lift too many heavy objects way too frequently. This type of working out is the exact opposite to what our ancestors did. This modern way of exercising requires far more energy than the body can generate on its basic fatty acid conversion rate. This meant the body had to find energy faster. This can happen fortunately. Enter sugars. The body can convert sugars to glucose extremely fast. This requires the pancreas to release massive amounts of Insulin in order to keep up with the constantly incoming sugars.

When our body truly recognizes a state of fear and danger, we need to rush the sugars in our cells immediately. There is no time to wait for the fats to get converted to energy during emergency situations. Our Genes and DNA however didn’t need to rush sugars into cells very often, so they didn’t need many sugars as a fuel source. They were happy with fats. In times of true danger and desperation though, the body is beautifully equipped with a way to handle the high demand of sugar for us to escape and survive. This is when the body happily produces Insulin.

Insulin is only needed in small amounts and the above is the reason why. It wasn’t necessary all that much, therefore the body produces small amounts. When you exercise too much (frequency or intensity) this produces a “fake” sign of true danger forcing the production of Insulin to the point of where you eventually burn out the Pancreas. You literally burn out the motor for production. This overproduction makes the muscles mad because Insulin won’t stop knocking on the door saying, “I’ve got your sugar!”, causing the body to resist and ignore Insulin even though it is simply trying to do its job. This burn out can lead to pancreatic cancer or a resistance to Insulin, which is the same thing as Type II diabetes. It also produces products that cause you to age at a faster rate.

There is a reason why we have multiple hormones that are connected to fats and the metabolism of these fats for energy use. Contrary to the multiple hormones connected to fats, there is only 1 (Insulin) that the body produces for sugars as a source of energy. Seems like common sense and that the brain and body are communicating to you saying, “I don’t need sugar! I need animal protein and fats!”

When the body consumes too much sugar, the sugar feeds the bad bacteria and promotes inflammation of the digestive tract. When the colonies of bacteria become out of balance like this, the production of certain neurotransmitters gets tampered with and generally leads to a deficiency. One such imbalance is the significant decrease in Serotonin production. This ultimately halts the brain’s ability to fall asleep opening the door for all sorts of physical and mental health issues.

Another issue is the ability to inhibit the nervous system so it can take a break. If you hold down the trigger on something, you will either break the object quickly or it will run out of ammunition. Either way it can’t perform it’s job! This same principle is associated with the nervous system. When the body receives sufficient amino acids from animal foods, the pool is great enough that the body can produce the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). This is the key to giving your nervous system a break. If GABA cannot be produced, the nervous system will continue to fire due to the opposing neurotransmitter of Glutamate, which keeps the nervous system firing, just like holding down the trigger. The body has a better ability to produce Glutamate rather than GABA since Glutamate is the “Go” system. However, just like a car, it will crash and burn if you cannot provide a “Stop” system.

With the right foods and enough water, the body has regulatory systems in place serving to keep the body in balance. When something becomes deficient, one or more of these regulatory systems will get out of balance and the body or brain suffers from the consequences.

Based on the connection between human movement and human nutrition, you can hopefully gain a deeper insight for knowing what, when, where, why and how to get the types of foods that we were supposed to consume for energy. Proteins and fats come from animal foods (meat, eggs, seafood) with fiber, starches, and oils coming from plant foods (vegetables, tubers, roots, fruits, nuts, and seeds). In combination with water, this will be the most simple and efficient way of taking care of your health for a lifetime.

Does this change your opinion of sugar? Does this give you an idea of how sugar isn’t necessary to our genetic predisposition for slow constant movement and the occasional heavy lifting of objects? Does this help you understand that neurotransmitters and hormones play a critical role in your overall health?

What are your thoughts?

The Connection Of Movement And Food

Exercise and Health… The Connection of Movement and Food

When you hear that exercising and health are connected, what are those people really saying? Sure, they are connected, but why does it matter? It matters because of the regulatory and mechanistic responses that come with exercise and movement.

There is a bell-shaped curve that exists when drawing the correlation between Exercise and Health. What I mean is that on one end Sedentary (No Exercise) correlates with Poor Health. As movement becomes more intense and more frequent, your vibrant health returns. This exists up to a certain point (the peak of the bell shape) on the graph. If you continue to increase either the frequency or the intensity at this point, your health begins to decline towards a condition of Poor Health again.

By imagining the bell-shaped graph above, you can see that the correlation and connection between Exercise and Health are a bit clearer. However, this doesn’t explain anything; it simply states that there is a connection between exercise and health held within a couple of boundaries (low, high, low graph points to create a bell-shape or rounded triangle shape).

There is one limitation to the simplicity of the previously imagined “graph.” One must understand the subtleties of the graph to have a true understanding of the detailed connection. To keep it simple and generally speaking though, health gets better the more you move. With that, you can either stop reading, or you can follow along for some of those subtleties that exist within the bell-shaped “graph.”

As a species known for its intellect, humans became excellent in hunting and gathering strategies. We learned to hunt in packs favoring social behaviors because it was easier to kill food for the community in a team setting. We learned how to make baskets to carry back vegetation for the community and herbs for medical therapy. We learned how to use heat to cook foods and make them easier to digest. Humans used stone tools to make life easier. This paved the way for different cultures to do different things with similar tools, hence why it is wise to work in teams in today’s business world. As we became a higher intellect of species, we were able to gather information and analyze the trends throughout the information to better prepare for future events.

With a higher intelligence, the brain required more energy to perform daily tasks. This meant humans needed more food to provide for the increased energy demands of the brain. In addition to the brain’s higher demand, the body also had a higher demand for energy. One goal humans had was to learn how to finely tune the control of movements by making them fluid, which required significant amounts of energy on both the brain and muscular system of the body. For example, carrying bigger and heavier baskets intensifies the strength needed for the muscles to control the weight to gather foods. When using weapons to hunt animals, humans couldn’t afford to be clunky, clumsy, and sloppy. Finely tuned control over the entire muscular system to keep the body’s movement patterns quiet and stealthy was already difficult and highly energy consuming. When you add the masterful control needed over the heart rate during the hunt, it makes the whole thing a metabolic kingpin for energy usage on those particular days.

You may ask then that this energy they used must have come from some source, but where? It came from the foods they hunted and gathered. This is a simple, never-ending circle that can be viewed in either direction. Hunt/Gather = Food. Food = Energy. Energy = Hunt/Gather. Today’s humans have apparently forgotten how to hunt and gather, don’t know where and when to hunt and gather, or don’t know what to hunt/gather. It’s pretty sad, the more you think about it. There are quite a few people that could not survive very long if they moved “off the grid” and disconnected from just about all of today’s technology.

Daily activities, or light intensity exercise (metabolically speaking), consisted of making tools and maintaining the camp throughout the day as well as walking to gather foods or even taking care of the infant rolling around on the floor.

The more moderate intensity movement came from those that climbed trees to bring down fruits and nuts or had to sprint after an animal to capture it.

Even more resisted exercise came after the kill and they had to drag the animal and heavy baskets back to the tribe for consumption and preservation. Since we needed energy every day to perform activities and to repair damaged tissue during sleep, you can see how the daily movements, or “exercise”, are heavily connected to health and immunity.

In order to exercise most effectively and efficiently in today’s world, one must attempt to replicate game-like scenarios. Obviously, you cannot go back and review the game tape of how our ancestors lived, but eating more whole foods, creating healthy movement patterns, and finding a sense of Nature will be enough to replicate the types of movement patterns and the ways of eating from thousands of years ago. This is what our Genes and DNA is used to, so it would be best if you got back to old world living, so to speak. Otherwise, you are going to favor inflammation, dis-ease, and pain.

So, how do we replicate game-day situations? Well, we need extended periods of light intensity movement and daily bursts of moderate to high intense energy. The moderate to high intense energy use is right around 30-60 minutes of lifting and moving heavy objects to different locations possibly in combination with a burst of running.

Basically, it’ll take 10-15 minutes to get to a good consistent sweat going and one needs to maintain the consistent sweat for 20-30 minutes. The rest of the day should be filled with plenty of endurance or light intensity work, consisting of household activities, playing with kids, singing, dancing, or walking. The combination of all of these intensities over a period of a week, a month, a year will continue to add to better health.

If your goal is to be a beautiful human being, eating foods in their untouched and natural state in addition to all of the movements patterns and their respective intensity levels will aid in your journey to better health. Stay tuned for more on this connection, as I will return with a Part 2. Part 2 will be more in depth regarding the connection between Exercise and Health and discussed from the second side of the equation: nutrition. Since I spoke about how humans hunted and gathered their food, meaning they used energy to get energy, Part 2 will go into detail on which foods were probably hunted and gathered and why.

As for now, what are your thoughts on the connection between exercise and health?

The Gut-Brain Connection: Part II

The Gut-Brain Connection Part II

I concluded the first part of this Gut-Brain post about there being a definite connection between the intestinal tract and the brain, but I pretty much left it at that. In part 2 I’d like to go a little deeper in the connection between the Gut and the Brain. There’s not just a connection however, but rather there is a complex web of connections.

How connected is it then? Well for starters, you could imagine it as a graph depicting all of the flights of the different airlines flying throughout the United States. Certain cities are going to be more heavily traveled through as they are major hubs, and other smaller cities are important, but just not as heavily traveled through. This is generally better thought of as the entire nervous system, but a part of the huge complexity of the nervous system web deals with the Enteric nervous system that is tied to the gut.

Many of these nerve cells slide their long transport axis between tightly packed cells that line the intestines. These cells are not always “tightly” packed, which leads to what is referred to as “Leaky Gut Syndrome.” When they are tightly packed together, it prevents smaller bacteria, parasites, and viral pathogens from slipping straight into the blood stream and making you ill. By sliding a nerve terminal between these packed cells, the nerve endings can sense what kind of activity is going on in the lumen (intestines) and can determine which nervous signals are necessary to regulate the whole GI tract. Again, this could be good or bad depending on the internal activity of the different bacterial colonies.

As I mentioned previously, you are only 10% human, and that’s crazy to think about. This means the other 90% of you is bacterial colonies, most of which live in the gut because it’s a perfect environment for them. It’s warm, moist, and they get free access to food. Why wouldn’t you want to live there? The bacteria break down foods direct and with the certain nutrients, the bacteria can assemble proteins and neurotransmitters for the brain to use as instructions. Since you are mostly bacteria, it is best if you think about your health as the health of your gut bacteria. Don’t forget, they are in charge of your immunity, so you better treat them nicely!

The 2 major types of bacterial colonies that live in the human gut are called Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. There are other types of bacterial colonies that of course live in the human gut, but these are the 2 major groups. It has been found almost across the board that the humans with the higher percentage of Bacteroidetes have a better quality of health. And vice versa, those with a higher Firmicutes percentage is heavily linked with inflammation and dis-ease.

One would think if that were the case then you would want more Bacteroidetes than Firmicutes. That seems obvious. The issue is that the research is so new that science can only draw conclusions based on what has been studied. Having an understanding of metrics analysis, I can all but promise the difference in your health if you were to change your gut bacteria for the better. Since every human is slightly different, you can only attempt to change your colony species, rather than aim for a certain percentage of the different types of bacterial colonies. A small shift in the percentage can cause drastic results for better or worse.

Something of huge importance I want to point out is that people who eat more whole grains, lentils/legumes, and tend towards the vegan or vegetarian side have a much higher percent of Firmicutes. Those that eat more meat generally have a much higher percent of Bacteroidetes. This is a good indication that humans were meant to eat meat! This does not mean you can start eating just any meat. You must still be concerned with the meat being wild or grass fed.

Firmicutes are types of bacteria that enjoy sugars and appreciate less Oxygen. If this sounds like your kind of life, then sign yourself up for inflammation and dis-ease. Eating excess carbohydrates and too much sugar in addition to being dehydrated and sedentary is a recipe for these Firmicutes to thrive.

Contrary to the Firmicutes, you have the Bacteroidetes. These bacteria can handle much less sugar and be just fine to thrive. These types of colonies are found with more meat intake and are probably involved with the break down of the meats and are better able to assemble the necessary proteins that humans can only obtain from animal foods (i.e. meat, eggs, seafood). It is these proteins that allow the Bacteroidetes colonies to help create certain enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters for the brain.

One such neurotransmitter is known as Serotonin. Serotonin is sent from the gut’s nerve endings through the system and up to the brain for use as the sleep-wake cycle regulator. Serotonin is the critical brain chemical that allows humans to sleep and repair damaged tissue from every day wear and tear. If Serotonin is not made in large enough amounts, the brain doesn’t know when to sleep and therefore will be extremely inconsistent and not very effective in repairing damaged tissue. This leads to sleep disorders, poor performance at work and at home, and ultimately promotes inflammation and dis-ease of other body systems.

As sunlight hits the eyes, the light triggers an area in the brain (Pineal gland) to signal the hypothalamus to utilize Serotonin. This process is necessary as the body must be awake and focused to accomplish the tasks of daily living. However, if we are depleted of Serotonin production due to a lack of materials and bacterial colonies, then the body and brain get thrown for a huge loop. As the sunlight disappears in the night and no longer strikes the eyes, a transfer enzyme changes Serotonin into Melatonin. Melatonin then signals to the brain that everything is safe (no danger is near) and it can fall asleep allowing for the repair of tissue damage. This is where the issue lies. If you can’t produce the necessary Serotonin, the gut can’t connect to the brain through this pathway, therefore no Melatonin gets produced, and this ultimately screws up your sleep schedule, which will have tremendously harmful consequences to your overall health and immunity.

The Serotonin neurotransmitter is only one of many different connections the gut has to the brain. Since this particular example is crucial to human health, you can realize the importance of all the connections the gut has with the brain. They are all going to have an impact on your life experiences, including the behaviors you exhibit during social situations.

Earlier in this post I mentioned “Leaky Gut Syndrome” and I wanted to briefly discuss that before wrapping up Part 2 of the Gut-Brain connection. When our cells that line the intestinal tract our healthy, they will be tightly packed next to each other to prevent any pathogens from leaking into the blood portal. This tight packing is a natural defense mechanism for the human body, but it can easily be disturbed. Eating poorly and making lifestyle choices that are harmful to the body will undoubtedly create a loose fitting between the cells in the lining of the gut. Being dehydrated will also loosen up the tight packing of the cells. The unhealthier these cells become, the easier it is for anything (food or pathogen) to slide through into the blood portal untouched. This is exactly how a human gets an autoimmune dis-ease. The body no longer has the ability to tell which proteins are necessary for health and which ones are detrimental to health and therefore causes the immune system to attack itself, hence the name autoimmune disease.

When you think about it and even if you don’t know what “Leaky Gut Syndrome” is, it doesn’t sound like it’s a good thing does it? Rather, it sounds disturbing. Why would you want a “leaky” gut? I definitely don’t want a leaky gut. If I had one piece of advice here, it would be to clean up your eating habits and feed your bacteria the foods THEY want. When you feed your bacteria, they can perform their jobs and keep you a healthy human. Now that sounds like a great relationship! And the best part about that relationship is that you get to have total control over the input. The output is entirely dependent on your input. Remember, the bacteria can only eat what you feed them. Feed them sugar and don’t provide them water will produce disastrous results that will manifest as inflammation symptoms. BUT… feed them healthy fiber and starch and provide plenty of water and these little bacteria will produce a fabulously vibrant immune system with a healthy mind and body!

That sounds like a winning combination and great relationship to me. What are your thoughts?

Is There A Connection Between The Gut And The Brain?

Is There A Connection Between The Gut and The Brain?

Many people would answer no, but are they correct? What if there is a connection between the human gut and the human brain?

Well let’s think about it. Foods are supposed to give us the necessary material, or energy, for daily living. Although many humans eat food products that don’t contain any energy, such as those that have been heated. “Heated” in this case can be replaced with cooked, denatured, broken down, deactivated, mutated, processed, etc.

On the other hand, you can keep foods in their natural or most natural state. The act of heating something disturbs the subtle chemical composition in the food source. When there is a disturbance, it reverses the evolution of vitamins and minerals in foods making the state of the food useless to a human or any other animal. These vitamins and minerals are the energy necessary for survival of our species.

This means humans need to eat a good majority of fruits and vegetables in the fresh/raw state and steam them if you must cook them. Nuts and seeds should be eaten raw as well and maybe lightly heated. When it comes to eggs, meats, and seafood, humans have been cooking these complete protein sources of food over the fire since man first started using fire hundreds of thousands of years ago. Cooking meats breaks down enough of the proteins so they become much easier to digest.

Since foods must be eaten for energy, humans must find a way to extract the minerals and vitamins to use as energy. Enter bacteria. Ever thought about what happens when living plants and animals die? They decompose, change to an ugly gray or brown, or they get crunchy and hard from being dehydrated. Humans eventually figured out we could use the decomposed plants/animals in a ground up form as a fertilizer for the next generation of plants and animals. It is the bacteria that perform these duties for the cyclical nature of life and death.

Tiny bacteria were on this Earth LONG before any animal and plant species. These single celled creatures have the power to break down material as well as build up material. These bacteria are pretty cool! They handle all of the hard work for you as a human. Bacteria will break down dead plants and animals and turn them into a composted fertilizer and replenish the soil in the ground so that new plants can thrive. New plants/trees are grown and take the sunlight and the carbon in the soil to make sugars and therefore higher life forms, such as animals.

Now that its understood food gives us energy and bacteria break down food, this naturally takes you to the connection between bacteria and energy. Believe it or not, a human is only 10% human. Yes I said it you are only 10% human! The other 90% of our bodies are made from different colonies of bacteria, most of which reside in the GI tract (Gastrointestinal tract). These guys have their own DNA, just as humans do, that gives the bacteria its instructions for life.

Bacterial DNA means some of these guys are used to break down foods that humans eat, others are used to produce enzymes or vitamins, and even still others are involved with supporting the immune system. Supporting the immune system is quite possibly one of the most brilliant pieces of art in the entire world. How is it that these little bacteria can dictate human immunity so that we don’t just get ill at the snap of a finger?

Think about it. Most of the bacteria in our guts are “good” bacteria that battle all of the pathogenic “bad” bacteria to protect the host organism, in this case, a human. If you have more “bad” bacteria then they will pave the way for other harmful bacteria to enter your body and set up shop to be toxic. They are truly the best recruiters for illness.

The “good” bacteria, however, do more than just battle the pathogenic ones. They are the real heroes that actually break down human foods, make the minerals and vitamins accessible to the rest of the body. They can also direct certain chemicals to be used as neurotransmitters for the brain to send its orders to the rest of the body. This could be to break down and eliminate toxic material, repair the inflamed tissues, or rebuild the tissues so they are healthy and strong.

So you can just go get an anti-biotic medicine and heal your gut when your “bad” colonies outnumber your “good” colonies though, right? Hell no! There is a reason why they call it “anti-biotic” meaning no (anti) bacteria (biota). You’ve literally lost your biota or microbiome because you took a round of antibiotics. The good news is that with a shift in your lifestyle choices, especially eating foods in their untouched state and coming from the Earth, you can realign your bacterial colonies in your gut. When you change your bacteria colonies back to the “good” outnumbering the “bad” then your health will start to come back in roaring fashion and you will find that losing weight is pretty easy. In fact, you don’t have to work very hard to lose weight. It’ll just happen, assuming you are exercising and moving at least a little bit every day!

So to conclude this post, there is definitely a connection between the gut and the brain! As you can tell, we have a tremendous amount of bacteria in our gut that breaks down the foods we eat. Once food gets broken down and the minerals and vitamins are extracted and ready for use, the bacteria can then create neurotransmitters (neuro = nerve, transmitter = signal) to send to the brain to control bodily functions on a daily basis. This must happen constantly if humans are going to survive a long and healthy life.

In addition to receiving neurotransmitters from the gut bacteria, the brain also uses the broken down foods (starches and fats) as a source of energy to send more neurotransmitters such as hormones throughout the body as part of a more highly evolved communication system. This helps the body know how to react to different stimuli. With the help of bacteria, the body can do some truly amazing feats.

It also opens the doors for the brain to reach high levels of intellect. Once this begins to happen, there is no telling where the complexities of the human brain can take you. Science is only beginning to understand the human brain and its complex connections and network.

What are your thoughts on the gut brain connection? Stay tuned for the next post, as it will be Part 2 of the Gut-Brain connection.

Nerve Transmission… Your Thoughts?

Nerve Transmission… Your Thoughts?

Ever thought about how your nervous system actually works? Or are you like most people and have too many other things going on in your life that it goes completely unnoticed? Probably the latter, but as for me, it is a different story. I have thought about it and learned about it so that I could have a better understanding of how to reach the highest levels of health. To give myself the best chance possible to live a long, exciting, successful, and prosperous life.

So how does it work? Well, I’m no expert in the field of Bioelectricity or Electrophysiology, but I know enough to write about it in its simplicity. First, as humans, we have a Central Nervous System that is housed in the spine. Next, these nerve fibers have to branch out to reach the extremities, or peripheries, of the body (the torso and limbs) to make us completely human. This is what we call the Peripheral Nervous System. You can see how it got its name. How original right? Then again, that’s the point. Let’s keep it simple. The Peripheral Nervous System is what is attached to different types of cells that have receptors allowing for different stimuli to vibrate them. Say, if light hits the eye, or some object touches your skin, or you hear a sound, then these cell receptors have been stimulated by some outside object (source or frequency). Upon stimulation, or vibration, something pretty cool happens.

Each of these cells have the elements of Sodium and Potassium, regardless of which type of sensory system they are attached to (humans have 5 senses of sensory perception). Potassium is on the inside of the cell mostly, and Sodium is on the outside of the cell mostly. Once these cells have been stimulated, the Na-K Pump (Sodium = Na, Potassium = K) acts like a windmill almost and allows these 2 ions to travel through a channel in the cell’s membrane (protective fat layer). When these 2 atoms are in a water solution, they get dissolved and become ions. This is why the human body must always be supplied with enough water. If dehydration occurs, the nervous system does not operate efficiently and things go wrong, quickly.

Ions are considered electrically charged particles because their atomic structure has been altered due to the presence of water. This is the basis for how signal transmission of the nervous system works.

As this pump moves these ions from high concentration to low concentration, there is also an electric field that resists this movement from happening. As Potassium goes from inside the cell to the outside, and as Sodium goes from outside the cell to the inside, there will become an imbalance in charge, which will create a voltage that sends an electrical current (signal) from a tiny patch in the membrane to the next neighboring patch. This ultimately creates a voltage for the next cell to “fire” the signal and on down the line it goes.

This process can be interrupted in multiple ways. 2 of them I will discuss briefly as they are related to human nutrition. One of them I mentioned earlier is water. If the body is constantly being supplied with water, it will be able to maintain a sufficient level so that chemical reactions can occur easily. Also, as I previously mentioned, the water helps to dissolve the Potassium and Sodium to make them electrically charged ions. With these charged particles and a sufficient level of water, the nervous system can operate somewhat well, but there is still a large part of it that can cause failure of transmission.

Something to take note of is that pure water is not a very good conductor of electricity, but ions in water create a solution that is a very good conductor of electricity.

With that in mind, let’s get to the second cause of failure that is related to human nutrition – Fatty acids. The important Fatty acids I am talking about are the Omega-3 Fatty acid, Lecithin, and Sphingomyelin. There is plenty of other “fats” or “lipids” in the mix that are important, such as cholesterol, other phospholipids, and other sphingolipids. I realize these seem like big words to pronounce, but that’s not what’s important.

The 3 important fatty acids I mentioned (Omega-3, Lecithin, Sphingomyelin) are the ones that make up the insulation for the Nervous system, be it in the brain or the rest of the body. Some nerve fibers have insulation that is called a myelin sheath, but not all of them have a myelin sheath. There is no coincidence in why is it called the myelin sheath, since these are made from Sphingomyelin.

In getting back to nerve signal transmission, electricity is only going to transmit efficiently if there is a conductor (ionic solution) and something to insulate it so it doesn’t leak. Remember, electricity will always find the path of least resistance. So if you provide insulation to the nerves, this is the resistance necessary for the nervous system to direct where the signals need to go.

To paint you a picture, imagine a constant “lightning” or electrical storm going on inside your body from all sorts of stimuli causing the nervous system to fire all the time (thoughts, food, touch, sight, etc.). If there is a constant “lightning” storm going on, then it would be in your best interest to provide a constant supply of water and fatty acids so that you can purposefully direct where you want the signals to go. If one or both of these (water and fatty acids) are missing or deficient, then the electricity is going to follow the path of least resistance and therefore cause the body to malfunction due to the signal coming up short of its intended destination. You are only as strong as your weakest link!

This naturally leads me to the last section of this post – where do I get the elements involved with creating an efficient AND effective nervous system? This answer – you need to drink filtered water and keep your hydration level high enough at all times. Second, you need to eat foods that will provide you with enough Potassium and Sodium at all times. Just about all vegetables and fruits contain these elements in good amounts and some nuts, seeds, and meats will provide them as well. Lastly, you need to get the fatty acids to complete the equation. These fatty acids will come from eggs, especially the egg yolk, all grass-fed and wild meats and seafood, and your vegetable, nut and seed oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, etc.

If you read that last paragraph again, it pretty much sums up what Nourish Wild is all about and how our human ancestors thousands of years ago ate – wild and grass fed meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, some nuts and seeds, and plenty of water. Throw in the occasional grains of oats, rice, or corn and you’ve got a super healthy way of eating. However, there is one other missing link here. You must learn to eat many of these foods in their raw or fresh state (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds). You will want to cook your meats, seafood and eggs, but when possible try to cook them in stainless steel pots and pans and on low heat.

Cooking fast and/or with high heat is a recipe for inflammation and dis-ease.

This can and should be completed in your own home where you can enjoy these foods in their natural and untouched (unprocessed) state knowing they will provide you with the energy to get through your day, week, month, year, and life.

Eating is not a chore or hindrance to your life. It is how you live a healthy life so that you can do the other finer things that make life exciting and worth living. The psychology is to enjoy every bit of your food and water, knowing you are getting critical nutrients and biochemical elements to sustain you for a long, exciting, successful, and prosperous life!

Be kind to your body, especially to the brain and nervous system. If not, it will not be kind to you and will not come full circle.

And on that note, what are your thoughts?

Intuitive Eating… Your Thoughts?

Intuitive Eating… Your Thoughts?

So what does “Intuitive Eating” mean to you?…

Well, the word intuitive is a “gut feeling” so to speak. No pun intended there by using the word “gut” since we are talking about intuitive eating. We all know what the word eating means, to consume food as a means of obtaining energy. If we combine these two words in one phrase, we get “a gut feeling about which foods to consume for energy.” Remember now that the goal is to consume the foods with the most energy so you stay full longer and give your body time to communicate with your brain so it can send out signals saying you are full and when the next time is you need to get more energy through food.

The other goal here is to eliminate cravings. Cravings are the exact opposite of intuitive eating. Cravings literally make you come back for more because certain foods will trick the brain into thinking it is still hungry and therefore you eat more of the probably not so good foods. This causes more cravings after about an hour and you have just fallen into a vicious cycle of over eating without any communication whatsoever between your gut and your brain. Anything with added sugars is generally the cause of this vicious cycle, but many carbohydrates will do the same thing if not eaten in moderation. Meats, Seafood, eggs are high quality protein sources and in addition to healthy fats, will prevent these cravings and allow proper communication so that we can “intuitively eat.”

Tens of thousands of years ago our ancestors rarely ate foods that were high in sugars because they had to hunt and gather their foods. And foods that are in the wild are always low in sugars. Intuitive eating for our ancestors during these times was easy. It was all they had! As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Except it was never in sight for them, because sugars to them was eating a piece of fruit or digging up a root of some sort such as beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.

In today’s society though, we have access to all kinds of foods and it is clear that sugar is extremely addictive so it keeps you coming back for more. Sugar is clearly winning the game in today’s society. When I say, “out of sight, out of mind” in current times, people look at me like I’m a joke. This is no joke, folks. Ever watched a cat play with a toy and lose it under the couch? Once they can’t see it anymore, they move on. This is what intuitive eating means. This is how it should be for you! If you get sugars out of your sight, then they will be out of your mind, literally. If you stop eating them, they won’t be able to clog up your brain. You will actually be able to focus on eating healthier foods!

The hard part is about having the self-discipline to follow through. The more honest you are with yourself, the better you will be at following through and reducing your sugars to an absolute minimum throughout the day. Intuitive eating allows for only the natural sugars that come from fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers and that is all the body needs. None of this crap from candy, junk foods, fruit juices, cakes, cookies, or boxed foods that mask added sugars. All of these have 0 energy that is useful to the human body. They are literally “dead” foods. Keep eating them and you’ll be “dead” too.

It is time you get real with yourself, and actually do something about your health. Grab this whole intuitive eating thing by the reins and win the battle. You’ll be glad you did every day from here on out. Clear up your digestive system so you can have better bathroom breaks, so your brain can actually think clearly, and so you can perform at your best. Once your system is cleared and you are eating foods in their natural untouched state, your body will begin to communicate with the brain. When this communication is not interfered with anymore, you can truly listen to your body and brain and continue down the path to success. The path to intuitive eating that yields vibrant health. The successful path is the one that has the “gut feeling” to know when to “consume foods with the highest amount of good quality energy” so that you can perform at your best day in and day out. Intuitive eating is your way to a level of health that is not easily reached. In fact, most people never get there. It’s what they call, Self-Awareness. Let me know how it feels, when you have reached this level.

What are your thoughts about Intuitive Eating?

How Are Decisions Made?… Your Thoughts?

How Are Decisions Made?… Your Thoughts?

Have you ever taken a few minutes to think about how you actually make decisions or do you just “make” the decision and move on with your life? Not that you need to take time to think about this, but if you did, then you may end up perceiving the world in an entirely different perspective. No one really knows how decisions are made, but there are numerous studies on the nervous system and the brain and how they are key players in the decision making process. With that in mind, I’ll offer up my thoughts on how decisions are made. Before you agree or disagree with me, you should consider everything I’m about to discuss, and then make your decision. Or would that be me making the decision for you? Now, I really messed you up didn’t I? And got you more intrigued… Or maybe I lost you for good and you don’t really care.

Because no one really knows how decisions are truly made, that doesn’t exactly leave me a good starting place. Throughout my years of research, studying, and observations I think it is best to start with our Nervous System, including both the Central and Peripheral Nervous System. A quick filler to catch you up is necessary before diving into the depths of the discussion. The human framework consists of a musculoskeletal system that includes bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles and a vascular system of blood vessels so blood can travel to all areas of the body and of course the nervous system. Within the spinal cord is the Central Nervous System (CNS for short) and as it travels up into the head it becomes the brain stem and opens up into the limbic system and then the cerebral cortex. The spine has many small openings for the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS for short) that branch out like roots of a tree to all parts of the body. The PNS is otherwise known as the Sensory Nervous System, which is composed of our senses. This is the entirety of what I’m about to discuss on how decisions are made.

Humans have 5 major sensory systems for how we perceive the world – Vision (Sight), Auditory (Sound), Somatosensory (Touch), Olfactory (Smell), and Gustatory (Taste). These can be broken down into different categories. I am going to break them down into what I would deem the dominant senses and non-dominant. This does not mean one has more importance over the others; I am simply using the words dominant and non-dominant to discriminate between their frequencies of use in every day life. The first 3 I mentioned of Sight, Sound, and Touch will fall under the dominant category, and the other 2 of Smell and Taste will fall under the non-dominant category. You use your eyes, ears and sense of touch to learn and protect yourself from danger nearly every moment of each day. The chemical senses under the non-dominant category are clearly not used as frequently. Although, one could argue that you constantly smell different molecules in the air that help protect us from danger. However, I am going to leave it how it is, because as I said it is my way of categorizing them and I also have other reasons such as them being “chemical” in nature for why I categorized them the way I did. The 2 chemical senses have more input regarding what goes on inside the digestive and immune system, whereas the 3 non-chemical ones help us learn. Regardless of how you want to view them, they are all important and all have a role in memory, recalling of information, and learning capabilities.

With that in mind, let’s move to the actual point of this discussion – how are decisions made? Decisions aren’t actually “made” if you will. Decisions are “made” as a result of information received from a combination of our senses. So, decisions are more unconscious rather than conscious. Sorry to disappoint you about making that “big decision” to buy a house or to get married. Your body was primed for that decision through a series of sensory events.

Humans receive information from our surroundings and we must process it, which forces the body to “make” the decision of what happens next. It truly is a result of how you perceive your surrounding environment. Whenever I thought I was right as a kid my Dad used to hand me an imaginary world in his hands and would say, “Here’s your world, you can rule it however you want.” That used to make me so mad as a kid, but now that I’ve grown up, the reality is that he was kind of right. We all control our own world, we just happen to all share the same giant rock of minerals that we call Earth. You control your own destiny, not anyone else. However, enough of the tangent, let’s get back to the reception of information from our senses.

Whenever we see something for example, that information (light reflected from that object) gets processed by photoreceptor cells in our eyes, which then sends an electrical signal through the optic nerve and into the CNS of the brainstem to further process it. Once it is processed, the CNS sends the processed information back out to the PNS and ultimately “makes” the decision of whether we need to stay and witness the object (or event) or if it could cause danger (or fear) and force our muscles to contract, creating movement for us to escape the danger and increase our chances of survival. What if that decision-making system was flawed? What if the information you received was processed and told you to stay and witness a wild animal attacking you (no fear) rather than creating a sense of fear and telling you to run away? So, did you really “make” that decision, or was it simply a cascade of information processing that “made” the decision for you?

The same principle goes for the other senses as well. Without going into detail to reiterate what I just stated, I’ll provide similar examples where the only difference is the sensory system. Rather than vision, let’s go to the sense of sound. Why is it you like certain sounds or noises and dislike others? Why do some sounds create joy and happiness when others create fear and panic or even disgust or sadness? The same thing happens where we hear a sound at a certain frequency. The information hits cell receptors in the inner ear, it gets processed, sent to the brain and CNS, and then gets sent back out to the rest of the body resulting in an emotional and/or behavioral response. The decision was “made” for us, we are simply responding to the information that our brain and nervous system automatically processed. Again, when we “respond” to an object (whether it touched us or we touched it), the information from our cell receptors in our skin must be processed so a decision can be made on how to proceed with the current situation. Of course, the same information processing has to occur for different tastes and different aromas. All 5 of the senses humans have processed information and spit it out so the body can respond accordingly. The reality is that you don’t have much control when it comes to decision-making. However, the one part you do have control over is the type of environment that surrounds you, which leads me into how memory, information recall, and learning work.

So how do memory, information recall, and learning come into play here? Great question! I am sure you have heard the phrase, “There’s always a first for everything.” There is a lot of truth in this statement. The first time we are exposed to something our senses have no idea how to process the information. This will lead to a response that could be harmful, causing pain, or a response that could be beneficial, causing happiness. Having pain receptors is a critical component to survival. If one could not sense pain, he/she would not survive very long. Pain is part of learning as is failure. One could even put pain and failure in the same category, however this does not mean they are same thing by any means. Not all pain signifies failure, and not all failure signifies pain. Nevertheless, both are a part of the learning process for humans.

After the first exposure, our brains and the cells of our body have memory. The brain stores the information received from the exposure for later use. Every time we see an object/event, hear a sound, touch an object, taste food, or smell an aroma, our brain stores this information once it has been processed and categorized into good, neutral, or bad. The next time we need to process similar information regardless of which sense or senses we used, the memory is in store and we must recall that information so that we “make” a better decision. This could be worded as having a “better response” rather than “make a better decision.” Our systems become more efficient at processing similar information and therefore more efficient at responding so that we can survive another day. Remember, the ultimate goal is survival. This naturally leads to how humans learn.

We learn by storing processed information from our senses and then being able to recall that information to respond to the current situation. For example, if a past experience caused pain (say, you touched something hot), then next time you were in a similar situation and around something hot, you probably wouldn’t touch the object, thereby protecting you from that danger. Likewise, if a past experience created the emotion of happiness, you are very likely to repeat that particular experience. This is the part that we can ultimately control when it comes to decision-making. The more positive experiences we have throughout our life, the more likely we are to repeat those experiences and to ultimately stay away from negative ones. However, one must learn from negative experiences to know not to put him/herself in that type of environment in the future. The bottom line here is that we CAN control our surrounding environments, but CANNOT control the information processing of those environments. This is why they say wisdom comes with age! My piece of advice: listen to your elders, because they have “been there, done that.” However, I am a believer in that humans should learn the hard way. By taking advice from those who have “been there, done that” doesn’t always award your own brain the memory of the particular experience to draw on later in life. This is also why the phrase, “one man’s treasure is another man’s trash” exists. By taking someone’s word for something, you are forced into making assumptions that may not lead to something beneficial for you as a human. If you didn’t experience the event or object yourself, then how could your brain and CNS possibly know how to respond to that event? It can’t! That person may have had a bad experience with the event whereas you may experience something great and profound. However, this is not to say that you cannot learn from your elders who have “been there, done that.” For example, if you have been in a similar situation and you have a current situation at your hand and your brain doesn’t know how to handle it completely, you could learn from the elder who has been in your current situation. They could spare you pain and failure. Or you may choose not to listen to them and try the event anyway because you may feel and think that you can accomplish what they couldn’t. Maybe you are stronger, bigger, faster, or taller and those characteristics would help you accomplish the feat they couldn’t. Again, everything depends on your own perception of this Earth and your willingness to succeed and survive. I’ll leave you with this, “Great success ONLY comes with great risk.” Meaning, if you want to truly be successful in life, you must take big risks, otherwise you will be another person in the pack. And if you ask me, I’m not trying to follow the pack, I’m trying to lead and be great and make a difference in this world. I want to pass away knowing I had no regrets in life and knowing that I tried and learned everything I possibly could. You only have one life and it’s pretty damn short in the grand scheme of things, so why hold anything back? The Isley Brothers once said, “It’s yo’ thing, do what you wanna do.” So as long as you think twice before doing anything, I say, “F*** that. Do your thing, go for it!”

That’s just my perception of the world and how I think decisions are made. What are your thoughts?