A distressed customer brings his 2019 Toyota Prius to the mechanic. His semi-new car is already having a multitude of issues. The mechanic has seen this before. The car looks like shit, at least ten years older than its actual age. It sputters, stalls, and only runs for a few miles before overheating. The mechanic starts asking questions. Here is the interaction.
Customer: I don’t know what is wrong with her. She’s only a few years old. The Prius is supposed to be a reliable car. I’m so frustrated that I’m becoming depressed.
Mechanic: Well, the car looks a little beat up. What have you been doing with it?
Customer: Not much, she idles 24/7. Once a month I take her muddin’.
Mechanic: You don’t allow for regular rest? Also, I’m not even going to ask about “muddin’.
Customer: I run her on idle all day because I need the radio, lights, and AC. Muddin’ is off-roading after a rainy spell. No paved roads ’round here for her neither.
Mechanic: WTF? Tell me you’ve been changing the oil and using a high-octane gasoline.
Customer: Umm, I haven’t changed the oil since I bought her, but I generally use unleaded gasoline, diesel, or whatever I can find around the farm. Yesterday she got into a lot of moonshine. Also, I’d ask that you refer to my Prius by her given name of “Charlene.” You should know that Charlene smokes like crazy too.
Mechanic: No rest? Moonshine? Smoking? Charlene?
Customer: But you will appreciate that I made a few key upgrades. I tripled the size of the front airbags, and then I packed on 50 pounds of extra padding in the rear seats, and I painted the side panels with barbed wire and Asian lettering. That there (pointing to the Thai word for “baby-penis”) means “Macho-Man Randy Savage” in China.
Mechanic (pouring himself a scotch and staring out the window in quiet contemplation): FML. You should go now.
This interaction is very similar to many encounters I’ve had in my clinic or emergency department, except I am not allowed to openly drink at work. The Prius is a thinly veiled metaphor for the human body. Both were expertly designed by God and the Japanese to be operated in a specific way, and both perform amazingly well, when properly maintained, but not surprisingly, they will breakdown if not treated correctly.
Our society is doing the equivalent of putting diesel and moonshine in a Prius and then going to the mechanic twice a week with car problems. The solution isn’t a better mechanic or a fancy prescription fuel additive but instead using the correct gas and doing the proper maintenance for your stupid fucking Prius. But what is the “correct gas” and “maintenance”? Well, that is up for debate and is basically the whole point of drjimmy.com. Here’s an idea…
Recent medical studies are forming an interesting pattern. Successful health strategies mimic how our ancestors lived. Huge benefits are demonstrated by avoiding processed foods, fasting, improving sleep, getting more sunlight, and moving around all day (sitting avoidance). Even more faddish things like sauna, fermented foods, and cold exposure are showing promising data. Our ancestors have walked on two legs for 7 million years. It’s programmed into our bodies to eat, move, and live in a certain way. This is the maintenance our bodies need. Our ancestors didn’t sit for 12 hours under UV lights, eat a wholegrain bagel bar (filled w/pesticides and chemicals) within 10 minutes of waking up, while avoiding sunlight, and then jazzercising 2-3 times a week. We are often wrongly told by “experts” to do these things, but they run counter to millions of years of human evolution, and this is a losing proposition. Our DNA hasn’t changed in the last 500 years, however the way we live has changed dramatically. That’s the rub.
In the 20th century, we thought being modern would bring better health. We were told that baby formula was better than breast milk. Scientists reported that animal fats were toxic and processed vegetable oils were healthful. We were told to eat more whole grains, avoid the sun, never be hungry, eat six to eight small meals per day, avoid salt, eat fat free Fig Newtons, to avoid dirt and bacteria, and to only urinate in toilets. This advice is modern society trying to swim against the tide of our own human evolution and it’s obviously failing. In the last 100 years, it seems that the more modern our society gets, the worse our collective health becomes (despite fantastic medical breakthroughs).
So how do we do live like our ancestors in 2022 and keep our jobs? All the ways…Jump in a cold pool, spend time in a sauna, embrace being occasionally hungry and skip a couple meals or take a couple days off from eating, don’t sit too much, eat vegetables from a garden and also try some fermented foods like kimchi, don’t eat much sugar, don’t be a germaphobe, take an hour long walk outside maybe with a couple sprints mixed in, sleep when it’s dark outside and keep your lights low in your house at night, go outside in the morning, gather in “tribes” for social activities, eat meat that doesn’t come from a factory farm, eat omega-3’s fats, get a DrJimmy.com neck or lower back tattoo, wrestle a bear or preferably someone in a bear costume, don’t eat anything from a box, sit around a fire with friends, try a stand-up desk, be outside more, turn off your alarm, turn off your phone, take part in growing, catching, and making your own food. If we start doing these things, everything gets better. We sleep better, we feel better, we’re happier, we poop better, we’re more present in the moment, we live longer (unless the bear eats us) and we enjoy doing it.
In conclusion, I’ve succinctly presented an argument for embracing our ancestor’s way of life (wrapped in a Toyota Prius maintenance metaphor) and I’ve included some pictures of shirtless super fit hunter-gatherers, mostly to justify my internet search history from the past few years, but if you ignore all that, I hope you can walk away with the best kept secret in wellness…
We can achieve optimal health by ignoring most of the advice of the health advice of the 20th century and instead mimicking the lifestyle of our ancestors, that is backed by the science of today. Follow my blog for more insights on how to go about unlocking this secret.