Avoid DangerS Like Our Ancestors,  Part 2

Written by Stephanie Colestock, Part 2 — What You Put In Your Body

Comments by Brian Johnson (Liver King)

The world around us today is full of danger… but maybe not in the way you would expect. Unless you’re already paying attention, you might not even realize all the dangers that lurk, even in your own home.

If you have been reading the blog, you probably already saw part one of this series on Avoiding Dangers Like Our Ancestors. (If not, be sure to check it out here). In that article, we talked about some of the biggest threats in your environment – especially those that fill your home – many of which you probably never questioned before. Things like furniture, carpeting, EMFs, and even your bedding can slowly poison you and your family, impact your hormones, make you sick, and even cause cancer.

Unfortunately, many of these dangers are difficult, if not possible, to avoid entirely. As you’ll see in part one, things like EMF exposure are simply a part of life, and your priority should be on reducing exposure or minimizing its impact.

Today, however, we are going to delve into some of the dangers that are well-within your control. In fact, all of these are things that you spend your money on and choose to put into your body.

Not only can they have the most immediate and significant impact on your health, but you’re actually paying for them to do so. It’s a crazy thought, once you sit back and consider it.

With that said, let’s get started.

 

What You Put In Your Body

By far, the most impactful toxins are the ones that you put into your body. Whether through ingestion or injection, these dangerous substances (often disguised as safe or even “healthy”) can wreak havoc on your body. They can disrupt your hormones, throw off your mineral balances, overwork your body’s filters (liver, kidney, lymphatic system), and even settle in your organs where they’ll continue to do damage for years.

Now, some of you might be saying,”We never worried about this stuff growing up and we are fine!” or “I know someone who smoked/drank/etc. every day and lived to be 95.” Sure, that might be true, but there are a few important things to remember:

  • Those people were built with more biological resilience than modern day man.
  • Those stories are the exception, not the rule.

  • The world today is exponentially more toxic as a whole. The cumulative effect is much more significant today than it was 60, 30, or even 10 years ago, especially on humans whose bodies are undernourished, lacking vitamins and minerals, and are being bombarded by toxins all around.

Not only are these dangers everywhere we look today, but the impact they have is greater. It doesn’t matter whether you worried about these things when you were a child – you need to worry about them now.

 

Plastics & Chemical Leaching

I was a child of the 80s, but I also spent most of my childhood on my grandma’s farm. This means that I got to enjoy some of the simpler things in life, such as fresh milk in glass bottles, fresh-picked veggies from the garden, and home-cooked meals. Plastic wasn’t seen very often, and we were better off for it.

My experience growing up was another case of exception versus rule, though… and it’s only gotten worse.

Today, plastics run the world. They are everywhere, from our water bottles and frozen meal containers to children’s toys, food storage bags, sippy cups, and even the lining of our canned goods. They are cheaper, lighter, and often more convenient than their safer alternatives (like glass or steel), so they proliferate our lives. And, as you could probably expect, they have a detrimental impact on our health.

Almost all plastics have the ability to leach – or essentially leak – chemicals into the food and drink that they contain. When plastics are heated, they leach these chemicals faster; unfortunately, they even have the ability to leach chemicals even when they aren’t heated. Many of these are estrogenic chemicals, or chemicals that mimic estrogen.

So, just how bad are these endocrine-disrupting chemicals? Well, they have the ability to entirely derail any system in your body that is controlled by hormones… which is almost all of them. Here are a few of the biggest glands in the endocrine system, and what they do:

  • Thymus: Produces T-cells (the fighter cells of your immune system) and supports the function of the adaptive immune system

  • Pineal: Manages and produces melatonin, which impacts your body’s sleep cycles

  • Pancreas: Controls the production of insulin and the management of blood sugar

  • Adrenal: Manages your body’s stress response, as well as controls your cortisol levels

  • Thyroid: Controls the hormones that impact your heart rate, metabolism, and certain neurological pathways

  • Parathyroid: Controls the amount of calcium in the body

  • Hypothalamus: Controls and manages a slew of body functions, including thirst, hunger, body temperature, mood, sex drive, and sleep

What about BPA-free plastics, which claim to be safer than their counterparts? Well, unfortunately, BPA isn’t the only estrogenic chemical around. In fact, a recent study found that plastics without BPA were just as dangerous (and in some cases, more dangerous) than their “normal plastic” competitors when it came to leaching toxic, estrogen-mimicking chemicals.

Ingesting chemicals that disrupt these systems can have serious and life-altering impacts, from causing weight gain and fatigue to immune deficiencies, cognitive issues, and even cancers. Every time you let your child drink from a plastic cup, put your leftovers in plastic food storage containers, or eat vegetables from a standard lined can, you are consuming these estrogenic chemicals. Ridding your home of chemicals is not just preferred… it’s imperative.

Of course, our ancestors didn’t have to worry about plastics and manmade chemicals causing cancer. They carried food in clay pots and later, glass or metal. They ate with their hands and wooden utensils, and carried water in pouches made from animal skin. Today, your choices are more limited.

For plates and cups, look to lead-free natural ceramics or non-reactive stainless steel. For food storage, there are many great choices – in my home, we use a combination of glass, beeswax-coated fabrics, and paper.

Avoid canned goods whenever possible, due to the plastic lining that’s sprayed inside. Instead, opt for fresh foods (they’re more nutritious anyway!) or those preserved in glass jars. Toss out your plastic food storage bags and cling wrap, and switch from plastic water bottles to reusable glass.

You’ll inevitably come in contact with plastics, as they are everywhere. If you want to mitigate the impact that they have on your body, be sure to utilize endocrine supports. 

Comment: Yes, I'm a man... but you'd be surprised what I've learned about estrogen because of how it impacted my own life. Just as Stephanie has stated, estrogen producing compounds are pervasive in our modern world and its far reaching affects create concerns for both men and women. When I have this conversation with people, I always go back to the root cause narrative. 

As it relates to root cause, "supplements" aren't the ultimate solution and neither is monotherapy anything (but you already know this) which is why you're eating and living in alignment with the Primal Blueprint, with Ancestral Living! To get healthy, and to keep it that way, we need a total system approach with diet, lifestyle and behavior.

For instance, tt's common that when someone "supplements" with progesterone, or any other sex steroid hormone for that matter, that the negative feedback loop, and receptor site down regulation, affects all sex steroids. This is why progesterone can offer early benefit for so many, but over time (when the body realizes what's going on), the body senses that down stream metabolites / hormones (estrogen, cortisol, etc) are "above normal" for homeostasis so the body's negative feedback loop starts to slow down the production of all of these hormones in an effort to reduce the offending agent. What's more is that the receptors sites for these hormones down regulate, or become less sensitive over time, as another biological mechanism to reduce the "free" amount of these hormones, in an effort to bring the body back into balance. This may be the explanation for low hormones.

That said, balancing estrogen naturally should be a major focus for both men and women. Bear in mind that almost everyone is bathing in phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens in the modern world... Ten years ago, I was too... I developed a lump in my chest and it grew... my estrogen was way, way higher than it should have been... yes, I had estrogen dominance. I eliminated all phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens from my life (which is why I talk about not eating nor drinking nor wearing from non-native materials) because this is yet another source of estrogen. It turns out that I am also homozygous for the COMT gene which means that I have an 80% decreased capacity to clear estrogen (thanks ma, thanks dad!). That said, I eliminated all sources of phyto and xeno estrogens, I provided my body with all the things it needs for phase I and phase II detox (all on the About Us page here: https://ancestralsupplements.com/about-us.html) and I further supported my methalyation metabolism with lots and lots of liver and egg yolks. My estrodial (e2) went from >80 pg / ml to within 22 - 26 pg / ml, the lump totally went away and my life is way, way, way better now as a result of these learnings.

Once again, think root cause... and yes, this is only one of them! In biological systems, it's rarely one (or) the other that produces results (for good or bad) but rather the combination of diet, lifestyle and behavior. I suggest ancestral living... 

  • Do a google search "list of all phytoestrogens and xenoestrogens" and avoid these as much as you can
  • Continue or implement a primal aligned eating pattern -- this is major!!
  • Consume Liver, Bone Marrow, sunshine and add in plenty of egg yolks to the tune of at least a couple a day (I do six to eight, yes, I'm extreme!)
  • Add kimchi and/or sauerkraut - phase II detox support and vitamin K2
  • Mind your magnesium with oral and /or transdermal magnesium oil 
  • Wear the uvex glasses and eliminate all ambient light
  • As always, move more... 

I've probably said too much... but there, I've said it. Maybe this will help one person... be it man or woman! Thanks for listening.

 

Vaccines

This is a controversial topic for many, but one that I’m personally passionate about. You see, I have a vaccine-injured child, who wound up in the hospital mere hours after a vaccine at 23 months old – something that I, with a strong medical background, never really believed was possible. He’s been fighting the impacts of that injury ever since (he’s almost 8 years-old now).

Whether you believe that vaccines are vital to our society or not (nutrition is more impactful, but that’s another topic), there’s an undeniable fact: modern vaccines are also full of chemicals and preservatives that are toxic to our bodies.

While the concept of inoculation isn’t on its own controversial, today’s shots aren’t the pure compounds they once were. Today, they are filled with things like:

  • Heavy metals, such as thimerosal (mercury) and aluminum (a known neurotoxin)

  • Formaldehyde (a carcinogenic)

  • Ethylene glycol (a primary component in antifreeze)

  • Polysorbate-80 and Oxtoxynol-10 (carcinogenic preservatives linked to infertility)

  • Traces of antibiotics

  • Bovine and human blood serum

  • too many more to list...

If ingested (swallowed by mouth), your organs would do a really great job at filtering most of these substances out. For the most part, they would be excreted thanks to your liver and kidneys and perhaps you wouldn’t see any serious impacts.

However, that’s not what we do. Instead, we bypass our body’s natural safeguards and inject these substances directly into the bloodstream. Think about it: you could drink a gallon of milk without a problem, but would you inject that same milk directly into your bloodstream? Of course not! Injection and ingestion are not the same, no matter what substances we are talking about.

Instead, if you are concerned about certain illnesses and diseases, your focus should be on building the immune system. If your family is healthy and adequately nourished, they will be less susceptible to the germs they encounter; even if you do get sick, a healthy immune system will be able to fight off the illness sooner, building antibodies that will stay with you for life.

Vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E are some of the most impactful for immune system health. You can get them by eating an organic, grassfed, and fresh diet that includes organ meats, as well as getting enough midday sunlight. You should also focus on getting enough folate (not the same as it’s common, synthetic form: folic acid!), iron, zinc, and selenium. You’ll also find these in our Grassfed Beef Organs, in addition to Brazil nuts (selenium) and eating leafy greens (folate).

Comment: I believe in honoring the ways of our ancestors. Most of us have the right to choose... I choose to not vaccinate my flesh and blood... I choose to avoid danger... I choose native wisdom over commercial interests.

 

Pesticides and Hormones in Food

So, we already talked about how detrimental hormones in our food can be. They can disrupt development in children, cause early puberty, and even promote certain cancers, among other issues. They should be avoided at all costs, along with various chemicals used as pesticides today.

Modern day pesticides are one of the worst health offenders we have. These chemicals infiltrate the vast majority of our food supply, introducing things like benzene, ammonia, arsenic, methanol, and chlorine, among others, into the very flesh of the foods we consume. With many of these chemicals, no amount of washing the exterior will remove them – every bite you take will contain these toxins.

Our ancestors didn’t have to worry about these sorts of things, of course. They consumed animals (nose-to-tail) that grazed off the land. They grew fruits and vegetables in their local, nutrient-rich soil and pest-control was done naturally. Today, we are more limited in our options.

Not all of us have the space available to tend our own gardens, though this is ideal. If at all possible, growing your own fruits and vegetables is the best option, allowing you to save money and avoid chemicals in the process. However, you can also look at local co-ops, farmers markets, or, as a last resort, buy only organic and non-GMO produce at your local grocery store.

If you don’t have the land for (or interest in) raising your own animals for food, there are alternatives to be found no matter where you are. Local farms usually offer you the option to purchase a half or whole animal, giving you a variety of fresh cuts including organ meats and bones for stock. There are also cow-shares offered, where you can split the cost of raising the animal with other families and share in the milk/meat produced.

At the very least, if you must resort to commercially-available animal products, ensure that the meat you buy is grassfed and grass finished. As often as possible, incorporate organ meats into your diet.

If you can’t stomach the idea of cooking up liver for supper (if we’re being honest, I’m right there with you), you know where to turn: the Grassfed Beef Organs supplement. It contains equal parts beef liver, heart, pancreas, spleen, and kidney – five organs that I honestly couldn’t bring myself to actually eat (at least, not yet), but are incredibly important to our bodies’ processes.

Comment: We procure our food from 100% pasture-raised, grass fed and grass finished farms... from good, decent, hard working people that we actually know. I suggest for everyone to get to know their local farmers. If that's not happening, email me and I'll point ya in the right direction.

 

How You Cook Your Food

While we are on the topic of food, let’s chat a bit about how our food is prepared. We already went over plates and cups, and how your food is stored, but what about how you cook it? Are you introducing dangerous toxins every time you prepare a meal?

Our ancestors were a resourceful bunch. They would cook on hot stones, put meat on a spit across an open flame, and make stews in cast iron pots. Today, we get takeout in styrofoam containers, heat up a plastic container of frozen casserole, grab a BPA-lined can of green beans, and throw meatloaf in a Teflon-lined pan. Add to it the toxins involved with the non-organic, GMO foods these meals already contain, and it’s chemical you-know-what-storm.

Non-stick cookware is an incredibly dangerous offender. Sure, the non-stick coatings make mealtime a bit easier – after all, who wants to scrape eggs out of a pan? – but that convenience comes at the cost of your health. This non-stick coating is made from perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), yet another carcinogen that’s in almost every American household. Not only does this chemical wind up in your food (especially if the pan is every scratched), but it also emits toxic fumes every single time you heat and cook with the pan. 

Another convenience that is wreaking havoc on your health? The microwave. Ah, yes, one of modern man’s most beloved appliances, allowing us to cook potatoes in mere minutes and reheat last night’s dinner before the end of the commercial break.

Except that it’s dangerous, and the risks well-outweigh the benefits.

Microwaves cook food through radiation. In order to keep that radiation from frying your brain cells as you watch your food spin ‘round-and-’round, a tight seal is utilized around the door. Unfortunately, this seal wears over time, eventually allowing radiation to leak into your kitchen every time you press Start.

That’s not all, though. The radiation and high heat involved with microwaving your food kills many of the nutrients, making your already nutritionally-lacking food (thanks to weak soil and modern farming practices) even less healthy.

So, what’s the alternative? I mean, your family has to eat, and we can’t all roast a pig over an open flame each night. Well, there are a few options.

First off, throw out everything in your home that is non-stick. It’s toxic, pure and simple. For bakeware, opt for lead-free glass dishes (be careful: two of the most popular glass bakeware brands are not lead-free) or cast iron. Cook over an open flame whenever possible, and toss your microwave. The few minutes you’ll save by nuking that broccoli isn’t worth the impact to your health and the loss of nutrition for your family.

Comment: You won't find modern inventions like teflon nor the microwave in our house. We use stainless steel and/or cast iron and tons of tallow, lard and ghee for cooking. Couple this with low heat (i.e. < 300 degrees) and you'll make totally delicious food with easy clean up... without AGEs to boot!

 

Sugar

We all know that cancer and heart disease are epidemics today. In fact, 1 in every 3 people will get cancer of some kind in their lifetime, and 1 in every 4 U.S. deaths is due to heart disease – scary stuff, huh? Even scarier are the studies finally linking these life-altering diseases with one of the biggest components of the modern diet: sugar.

Sugar has the ability to cause serious harm to our bodies, especially in its processed forms. It contributes to inflammation in our organs, setting off a response that keeps our adrenal and immune systems on high-alert. Sugar feeds the yeast cells that we all have in our gut, throwing off our natural flora and causing issues with digestion, nutrient absorption, and even cognitive processes. Oh, and many scientists believe that it plays a big role in feeding cancer cells.

Unfortunately, sugar is everywhere. We add processed sugar to everything from “natural fruit juice” (which is already sweet!) to breads, pastas, nut butters, soups, and yogurts. If it’s sold on store shelves, chances are that sugar has been added.

Our ancestors ate very little sugar. Fruits were only available in certain seasons (and in certain non-ice age periods) and were hard to come by – ancestral diets were savory as a result, consisting mostly of animal meats, seeds, nuts and some vegetables. In the 1700s, for instance, the average human consumed about 4.9 grams of sugar a day. Today? We consume an average of 227 grams of sugar a day. (Some estimates have the average human today consuming almost 2 tons of sugar over the course of their lifetime…)

Instead, focus your diet away from processed foods. If it comes in a box, tub, or package, don’t eat it. Choose to eat fresh, organic fruits and vegetables instead, along with nuts, seeds, and, of course, grassfed meats. If you absolutely must add a touch of sweet to your food, opt for raw local honey.

Comment: You'll find 100% cacao and raw, local honey in our house. Thems the making for some good tastings! 

  

What’s In Your Water

The last danger zone of consumption that we will talk about today is your water. We no longer gather our family’s water from fresh springs or clear streams, like our ancestors. Instead, we get the convenience of on-demand taps in almost every area of our home. But is that water safe?

We’ve already mentioned how drinking out of plastic water bottles will ensure that you also consume a slew of estrogenic chemicals. However, did you realize that even drinking from your tap, well, or a filtered water source in your home can be toxic? Depending on where you live and the source of your water, it’s absolutely the case.

Most city water sources are treated today, pumped full of chemicals long before it ever reaches your home. The most popular are fluoride and chlorine, but you’ll often find arsenic, heavy metals like lead and mercury, nitrates, pesticides from farm run-off, and even hormones and antibiotics that are leaked into the water supply. All of these flow through the pipes and into your home, where you and your children drink, eat, and bathe in them on a daily basis.

Once I learned just how toxic our tap water could be, I set out to do something about it. My ideal solution was a reverse osmosis system throughout our home, which would even treat the water used in our showers, but it was cost-prohibitive. Instead, we went with a Berkey system.

Your typical pitcher-filter will remove some impurities, but not the ones that are particularly nasty. Things like fluorine salts and heavy metals are much more difficult to trap, which is where a system like Berkey (and a few others similar to it) shine.

The system in our home, for instance, filters out arsenic, heavy metals, fluoride (our city treats the water, “for dental health”), bacteria and other impurities, as well as viruses and hormones that may also find their way into our taps. Some hard-core filtration systems can remove beneficial minerals from the water as well as the dangerous substances; while our Berkey does not, it’s important to know if the system you choose does, so that you can add trace minerals back into your water.

Comment: We don't touch tap water... not even in the shower! We source our water from natural springs and store it in non-lead glass vessles. When we're ready to drink our water, we structure it as it exists in nature. For the shower, get a whole house filter like Stephanie suggests or at least get a shower filter and change it every 3 months. 

 

There are many things in today’s world that are toxic. In fact, we are surrounded by dangerous substances everywhere we look, in everything that we wear, eat, touch, and even breathe. While we can’t entirely eliminate risks like radiation and polluted air, we can control the things that we consume.

By being mindful of the foods we eat, the water we drink, how we prepare our meals, and how we store our food, we can further eliminate toxins in our lives. This will help us to not only support our body’s natural defenses, but correct the damage that today’s toxic world can cause.

Comment: Just in case you don't read part 1, here it is again... implement lifestyle, diet, and behavioral changes to avoid danger, reduce exposures, reduce toxic load, and always provide your environment and your body with detox support. The following summary is from our "About Us" page. Just in case this is the only piece you see on our site, I want to provide these bullets for you here too...

  • Avoid Danger To Begin With, Then Support Detox & Methylation Pathways

  • Eat Liver, Bone Marrow & Get More Methylation Support (i.e. pastured, organic egg yolks, creatine, sprouted chickpeas)

  • Support Liver & NRF2 w/ Milk Thistle, Turmeric and Kimchi-Like Foods (e.g. cabbage, broccoli, cruciferous veggies)

  • Drink Adequate Native, Non-Treated Spring Water; Add Lots Of Himalayan Sea Salt

  • Include Chlorella, Especially For Heavy Metal Detox... Especially if you have headaches... Especially if you have or had amalgam / mercury fillings.

  • Do Contrast Showers, Do More Movement, Do Saunas

  • Take Activated Charcoal Between Meals (this is temporary)

  • Get Plenty Of Magnesium & Turn Off Wifi To Mitigate "Some" Of The Harmful Effects Of EMFs

  • Get Lots Of House Plants To Mitigate "Some" Of Those Offgassing VOCs

  • Get Native, Natural Furniture, Flooring, Clothing & Toiletries

  • The Ultimate Is The 5-Day Water Only Fast; more on that later...