Happy Birthday Chuck!!

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Happy Birthday Chuck!!

Feb 12, 2009 is the 200th birthday of one of the most influential people in history, Charles Darwin. There have been some phenomenal accounts of his life including a BBC series that is as thorough as it is enjoyable…do check it out.

So, I want to celebrate this great man’s birth by relating some of my thoughts on evolutionary medicine and it’s role in my life. This whole story really starts in late 1998 when I was terribly sick with colitis, high blood pressure, depression…altered blood lipids…I was a mess. I was also vegetarian, dutifully eating a high carb, low fat diet. it’s not overstating things to say that I was on a fast track to an early grave. About this time my mother went into the hospital with complications arising from both heart and lung failure. The doctors had no idea what was wrong with her other than she had some kind of auto immune reaction and wicked systemic inflammation. During the course of her testing her doctors discovered she has celiac…an autoimmune reaction to the protein glidan, a subfraction of gluten which is the major protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, oats barly and millet. Apparently her autoimmune problems stemmed from this gluten intolerance…and it very nearly killed her. For me it was a stunning eyeopener. If the grain based, morally superior diet I had been eating was the cause of my problems…what the hell should I eat?  I literally sat outside in a park wondering what the hell I should do. If my grain based diet was killing me (and it most assuredly was) what should I do? i think sitting in a small slice of greenery got me thinking about nature. I thought “What should anything eat? What if we go back to the very beginning…evolution…Hunter Gatherers…what about a paleolithic diet?” That was literally the sequence of thoughts I had and a quick internet search lead me to Art Devany, Loren Cordain, Crossfit, a life free of illness (besides tequila induced hangovers). My life was changed and the effects of that one thought about our past as hunter gatherers, this notion that WE are a product of our environment…this changed everything in my life. I think it’s safe to say this change not only saved my life but set me on a path which has allowed me help a remarkable number of other people with problems ranging from infertility to cancer to autoimmunity.

Charles Darwin’s insight, of evolution via natural selection, is generally regarded as the most powerful insight in ALL of science. It provides a framework for analyzing highly complex systems. Life itself in fact! Prior to this insight biology appeared to be a disjointed jumble of facts and measures with no coherent theory tying the whole thing together.  A tragic feature of modern medicine and nutrition is  the violent opposition to this thought, that evolution is an insight into our life and health. The California State University Chico “Nutritional Science” department is violently opposed to even the discussion of evolution via natural selection. The guiding tenant of biology is ignored and lambasted by these folks. Science indeed.

I’d like to thank Craig Zielinski for his awesome site Re-design…you absolutely ROCK brother!

I’d also like to share a photo from the Complete Works of Charles Darwin. The diagram is of a 3 dimensional phylo0genic tree…implying not only relatedness but the 4th dimension of time. All this preceded with the amazingly understated comment “I think”.

darwinarchive_1837_notebookb_cul-dar121-_038

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  1. hans
    February 12, 2009 at 5:11 am

    love the new layout! good to chat at the affiliate gathering, hope to be out to see you in the near future.

  2. Molly Leith
    February 12, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Hi Robb,
    YES! Thank you! I’ve was recently diagnosed with celiac about a year ago. I’ve only been at CrossFitSF training for just under 2 years. THe shift in my energy, strength, mental clarity, appetite and self awareness is astounding. 3 years ago I wouldn’t have been able to run 10 miles without feeling Entirely exhausted and depleted afterwards. Last year I was able to run in the SF one day, finishing at 79 miles. I was tired, but revived within 24 hours. The CF strengthening combined with a 90% elimination of grains from my diet has revolutionized my way of living and thriving. For the first time I feel totally…awake. My favorite quote from JUST today was…”you can’t eat any grains? then what do you fill up on?” ..exactly.

    FOOD…REAL food. not fillers. so my body is filled with nutrients, not binders and glue.

    Thank you for sharing this! I will pass this on and continue the r-evolution of enlightenment. -Molly

  3. luca z.
    February 12, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    The blog looks cool Rob, say hello to Nikki for me.

  4. RP
    February 12, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Rob, Happy Birthday indeed to Mr. Darwin !! New look is great !! Always an educational journey to visit your blog. Take Care, RP

  5. Bob Guere
    February 12, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Robb, as you celebrate “Chuck’s” B-day, I want to just say “thank you” to you. You have crossed the line into my “acceptable evolutionist” column, something that I never would have imagined. Your dedication to your craft, honesty, and willingness to share has impressed me since the first day I read you blog. You see, I’m a creationist, but really don’t let that affect my opinion of you, nor my opinion of your knowledge of the science of nutrition. This is a growth moment for me! Keep it up, your work is greatly appreciated from all of us in the CF community, regardless of our beliefs.

    Bob! Thanks for the kind words! The creationist/evolutionist divide is an interesting one. I think creationists avoid some information that might threaten a sense of belonging, evolutionists find an overly smug sense of understanding and claim to know whether or not the supernatural exists…which is simply beyond the charter of science to prove or disprove. Physicists have this funny tendancy to ignor that the universe came from…somewhere/thing. Interesting, no?

  6. MRizzo
    February 12, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    i like the new look, it caught me by surprise when i opened it up today. thanks for all the good work and info.

  7. Margie
    February 12, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Site is kickin’ Mr. Wolf! Hope you and Nikki are doing well!

  8. Margie
    February 12, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Nicki. Whoopsie.

    She will let you off this one time!

  9. Preston
    February 12, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    HI Robb,
    I couldn’t agree more about Darwin’s importance and the role of evolution in medicine and nutrition. It is ridiculous that most ‘nutritionists’ have little to no training in evolutionary biology and how it relates to metabolic biochemistry, organ physiology, and cognitive function. To look at diet and health in a vacuum that does not relate to our evolutionary heritage completely misses the point.

  10. andy
    February 12, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    The site looks great man! well done

  11. Rob McBee
    February 13, 2009 at 1:05 am

    Hi Robb,

    Really love the new look of your site. Fresh and unexpected.

    I was just listening to an interview with the cat who compiled all the Darwin works. Interesting stuff, thanks for the handy link. A fitting day to reflect on the origins of your own ideas. It caused me to dig out the “Damn Dirty Grains” article for a re-read.

    Take ‘er easy dude,

    Rob

  12. Zane
    February 13, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Hey Robb,

    New site looks great.

    Happy Birthday Mr. Darwin.

  13. Greg Everett
    February 13, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Nice site Mr. Fancy Pants

  14. Aimee
    February 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    ROBB!
    I love your new blog. And I am totally in love with your wife ;)
    You run with that love any way you want!

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