The Metabolic Hike

The Metabolic Hike

It’s been 50 degrees and raining every day in the National Olympic National, a far fly from the heat of Florida.

Going from extreme climates, especially if you’re hypothyroid, can help you to appreciate how the body takes time to adapt. Thyroxin (T4), has a half-life of 7 days, which means that it will likely take a week or so with a normal thyroid for the body to produce more T4 to ensure adequate T3 is available for metabolism. If your body is extra slow at that or doesn’t do it… Well, you’ll be very cold and slow (at least without medication)!

The other curious thing about thyroxin is that this also applies to exercise. The more you increase your overall exercise, the more T3 you need to convert from T4. Which has that long half-life and takes a bit of time to up-regulate. This, from an evolutionary standpoint, is quite sensible and helps prevent overloading organs & muscles while reducing injuries. Instead, ensuring that you build up everything in parallel.

That feeling of tiredness from increasing activity level for most of us has more to do with using up our stores of T3 for metabolism (energy) than the classic adrenal thinking – unless of course, your activities have been too high-intensity. I can say this with some confidence, having done 1000+ measurements of blood temperature (metabolism), blood pressure (adrenals), and blood sugar (pancreas), while at times also experiencing Addisions, hypothyroidism & high blood sugar. This tiredness of course is great news, as it means you can correct your metabolism by increasing your activity!

So goes the theory… So, let’s test it out!

Hypothyroidism or Adrenal Fatigue?

  • Step 1 – Find an isolated hike in an area that is completely overgrown and the trail is hard to see.
  • Step 2 – Make sure it’s steep and long and only has a view at the top, so you have to keep going till you get to the view!
  • Step 3 – Forget your phone that has the trail downloaded on it to make it more of an adventure – like you’re a tracker finding their way through the jungle.

All 3 of these are necessary for a true test of Hypothyroidism or Adrenal Fatigue.

We set out at the start – well, you can’t even see the start of a trial, just undergrowth behind a concrete slab. Then, after pushing undergrowth aside we see other footsteps have broken through. Intrepidly, we follow to where few others have trod before. A few hundred meters in, we hit a couple of rivers – with missing bridges… Wading through with Avi under our arm, we make it across. Although, where to? We see the remains of the bridge at the water’s edge and scramble up the mud bank to make our way through the thickets… until we pick up a faint path… and then it clicks…

The path is on an old foresty road from maybe 100 years back that has since let nature retake it. However, if instead of looking ahead and down toward the ground to find the path, you look up… you can see the gap in the trees marking the old roadway! So that now becomes our guiding star… for 4 hours to the top… upon which you can see this stunning view.

Worth it!

Another 2 1/2 hours down again, and this is where it gets interesting. I do get more uncoordinated on the way down, to the point of slipping after wading back across the two rivers. Fortunately, Avi has an amazing nose and could find the way home without us having to look for the gaps in the trees above – just follow the wagging tail!

So the great question (if you are into health detection mysteries) is… Are we dizzy from low blood pressure and adrenal issues, or… Did we burn all our thyroxin up? Bring out the trusty thermometer, blood sugar and blood pressure monitors. And, you guessed it! Despite hiking all day and feeling quite hot, our blood temperature was only 97.4! With a blood pressure reading of 113 and blood sugar reading of 100, both normal.

So, how do you build up metabolism without over stressing the body? Stay tuned for Blog #4

PS– If you want to know more about how to interpret reading your temperature, blood pressure, and blood sugar, have a read of this blog. Your blood temperature is one of the easiest and most direct ways to know your metabolism – arguably better and more accurate than blood tests, which can only tell you levels of various hormones involved in your metabolism. Temperature, on the other hand, tells you directly how fast or slow your metabolism is.

So, what is the healing motto of the story? Use simple tools to learn what effects you and why. And for me personally, to put more focus on nurturing our metabolism and thyroid.

Additional note: This story isn’t to say that adrenal crashes aren’t legitimate. However, more often than not (as adrenals can’t function properly without enough thyroxin to make various hormones), it’s more a matter of adrenal fatigue being a secondary issue to hypothyroidism for most people. In my case, undiagnosed hypothyroidism for 24 years didn’t allow our adrenals to produce cortisol, eventually causing Addison’s crises that didn’t resolve until we worked on correcting our hypothyroidism from a whole systems perspective.

The Call to Adventure

The Call to Adventure

When I was 20 and at university, I had big plans. I was going to go to London and get paid large city bonuses that would allow me to leave by 30. From there, I would go to the Alps, buy a mountain chalet, and run skiing, climbing, and paragliding adventure holidays. But alas, life had other plans. Flash forward to now, after a decade of being bedridden and another 14 years spent building and running NES Health while managing an auto-immune condition, 2020 arrives. On New Year’s Eve, I stated that this would be the year of becoming a Centered Creator and Collaborator. How that would show up, I did not exactly know. But show up it did! In the form of thou-who-shall-not-be-named, C**ID-19, along with two excellent new additions to our NES Health team – Dean & Tom – who have come into our lives to run the company.

Crisis quickly became Opportunity, as it often does. And does so the more we can shed the parts of us that hold us back, collaborate with others in order to magnify our capabilities, and go deeper into our own unique abilities. Truly refining our unique ability and magnifying it through collaboration is, I suspect, a lifelong journey to be savored and discovered. It is a major key to both fulfillment and success.

The universe loves commitment and it absolutely hates indecision – as will you, with all of the stress and anxiety it brings! So, knowing that, we made the decision to step back and go off on an adventure. My husband David – along with the help of our Morkie, Avi – began looking for the perfect RV. We soon found the perfect one online and purchased it over the phone, sight unseen (well, David went to check it out the next day and pay the rest).

We were able to do this because we’d spoken to friends about what the perfect RV would be and had done our internet research. So commenced a week of packing and having the RV driven to Seattle – the furthest corner away from where we were in Florida. We then jumped on a plane to meet the RV, headed for the worst riots in the country, and started our adventure. That may seem like an ‘interesting’ destination, yet freedom of just a thought away from fear in our minds…

To take a little sojourn into the “thou-who-shall-not-be-named” Crisis and cycles in time. If we look back on history, we will inevitably see patterns emerge – their rhythm typically [ebbing and flowing] over the lifetime of each generation. Each going through Growth, Awakening, Decline, and Crisis. The most obvious correlation being the Great Depression – which the previous generation suffered through before the new growth in the 30s/40s – although there are plenty of other generational cycles in recent history such as the Civil War and further back still.

Most of the world tends to view time as linear, thinking that change goes in one direction, and people seem rather taken aback when crises appear. Their linear perspective then changes course, projecting a continual deterioration rather than recognizing and appreciating the fact that it takes the end of a cycle to bring about a new beginning. A beginning filled with solutions and energetic growth that is built out of the ashes of the old. The new cycle of growth favors those who are able to let go of what no longer serves them, their family, and society, and who are able to find purpose in what society wants going forward.

So, while we are in for some storms ahead, as the norms and institutions that no longer serve us are breaking down, around the corner will come a great rebuilding and period of growth. While it’s beyond any of us to predict the future, we can look to history at how those clinging to power while not in line with the majority of the population, tend to hold on in any way they can. We are currently seeing this with a massive increase in manipulation and deception through media and other sources in an attempt to control people by influencing their thoughts and beliefs.

Yet, as history and the cycles of time show us – at some point, concentrated power dissolves and goes back to the people. We are witnessing the will of the people for nationalism and individualism and away from institutions and globalism, as seen by Brexit and US politics. Of course, this is only a cyclic trend in itself, marked by the ending of one cycle, and will inevitably lead to the creation of new institutions that, over time, lead to the pendulum swinging in the direction of increased global order.

To put it simply – looking at the state of the world as one point in a continuous cycle shows us that it’s healthy, while looking though a linear lens might have us believe that increased global order leads to fascism. Thank goodness for the natural cycles of crisis and growth!

From the global journey back to the journey within – part of the purpose of our trip is to get more in tune with our body and optimize to its environment. Our bodies exist in many different states, and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly it can move from one to another! Living with an autoimmune condition for 24 years has been akin to having a body like a high-performance sportscar – when. Everything is just right, it performs to a level much higher than the average person, but add an allergen, toxin, or too much stress, and it can knock you off your feet. In short, we have an immune system that sees far too much as a threat, so an area if great interest that we continue to explore is that of how to modulate the immune system.

I thought while I was away, I would explore how immune modulating mushrooms like Turkey Tail and Reishi could help normalize our immune system, so that we’d be less sensitive to certain foods and allow our glands to restore themselves. What follows is a lesson in doing your homework on the supplements you’re taking…

In the States, mushrooms are supposedly grown on either oats or rice. Being allergic to oats, I bought ones grown on rice. First brand… Headache! They were purportedly gluten free but didn’t specify what the mushrooms were grown on. On to the next brand, made with mycelated rice… I started consuming them and the headaches only increased over the first week. So I started researching more and was shocked to find out that in order to save money, US mushroom companies will take a sealed bag of rice, inject spores into it and let the mycelium grow, and then in most cases simply grind up the mycelated rice and sell it under major brands in health stores. Most don’t even attempt to grow mushrooms, as it’s too expensive and time consuming to do so! Nearly all brands include the mycelium.

You’ll be able to tell this by looking at the Supplement Facts section on the packaging. It will say whether they contain carbohydrates, polysaccharides or starch, along with listing mycelated rice or oats or whole life cycle. An actual dried mushroom contains less than 5% starch. That isn’t even the worst part… When you inject spores into rice –  as an aside, my mum taught me to never so much as reheat rice, let alone grow it into a mycelated mass of who-knows-what! – other mold spores take hold and create the strongest natural toxin known to man, Alfatoxin, and others. That exaplains the headaches! I can’t believe it’s sold to health seekers as a health supplement. $30 USD per tub of dried up moldy toxic rice!

In the same store, a few days later, we found a dried herb section, where we saw whole dried mushrooms that need to be prepared the traditional way – so we’re boiling up Reishi for 3 hours on the stove and we’ll drink sparingly over the next few days. There are also a few brands that dry out extracts of fruiting bodies and actual mushrooms only, which would be way more… convenient.

Convenience, though, is not always a good thing. Over the years, we’ve become allergic too many “healthy convenience foods” such as coconut fried potatoes – yet have no allergy too coconut oil friend potatoes made at home. Is it the over-using of the oil, turning it rancid to keep costs down like the dried mushroom supplement industry grind up mycelated moldy rice?

It really pays, at least as it pertains to optimal health, to have a deeper understanding of where the foods you put in your body come from. And if in doubt, shun convenience and prepare your food the good, old-fashioned way.

In all of that we haven’t even said where we’ve been or done! Our first stop is National Olympic Park, where we’ve enjoyed the dramatic change in climate from the tropics of Florida to the cold damp rainforests of Washington.

The wildlife is amazing – birds land on your hand if you offer them nuts, a baby elk sat one foot next to us and the chipmunks play with Avi. David is getting into Mountain Biking, both our thighs are burning from hiking halfway up a mountain, and tomorrow we move to the West Coast of the Park to experience the western coastline.

– Harry

Information Nowhere & Everywhere

Information Nowhere & Everywhere

Being “off the grid” with next to no internet or cellphone reception is a refreshing experience. One that makes you see things a little differently. Here we are in 2020 bombarded by mass media, banking, big pharma and big tech’s psychological and economic manipulation of, well, the whole globe! Including politicians and those who are meant to protect the people – sorry for those who believe that true power belongs to presidents, prime ministers, and government officials.

Who needs James Bond films when you can just live in the movie?

If it wasn’t so tragic, we could commend its so-far-brilliant execution. Very obvious giant holes in their plan, but just as in 1984 with Doublespeak – it doesn’t really matter if you control the narrative (or as per 1984, control the past). You can still control the present and, therefore, the future.

Like many inquisitive people, when we first went into Lockdown, we Duckduckgoed geopolitics, virus theory, COVID statistics, money flows, and corporate influence. Frankly, this portrayed a pretty dystopic picture. Enough to get us off our butt and decide to go on this trip across the states. Given the likelihood of other statistically manipulated waves and lockdowns when the next flu season starts, until we reach the “solution” of a global vaccine, we thought we should take the opportunity of being as free as we could. Having a home on wheels does pretty nicely.

Now we’re a little distant from daily news and social media, given we’re staying next to a babbling brook in the middle of a forest. And although cell phone towers do like disguising themselves as trees, forests certainly don’t provide access to the world wide web of information. We can read a bit more broadly around what’s going on and where all this might be going.

So when we’re looking at events, what are the fundamental information influences in various countries that will influence where the world is going? Geography….. Rivers enable farming & trade, Coastlines & Mountain ranges provide secure borders, Aging Demographics increase national debt & resource (oil) rich lands generate wealth & wars. The two largest empires, the UK and the USA, basically dominated in different periods, because of their secure borders & navies being able to provide secure trade across most of the world. And here we are in 2020, which is one way I would say marks the end of World War 2…….In 1945, the US accounted for 50% of the global economy and as part of ending the wars in Germany and the Japenese invasion of China, the US basically ended up providing for free security for global trade and from one viewpoint the last 75 years have been considerably peaceful with far fewer wars than likely there would have been without one dominant “protector of the global order”. Incredibly China, Germany & Japan have all benefited by being able to sell into the largest market, the US, without needing to provide the security. Well, Germany isn’t allowed to and Japan’s Navy is there because the US wants to keep China in check. And yes, you can also point to the over interference in global affairs of Vietnam, North Korea &…..the middle east……With the US after 10 years failing in Iraq and Afganastan have now left, in part realizing they can’t impose a US style democracy & in part now that the US thanks to shale is a net exporter of oil…..doesn’t strategically need foreign oil…..along with realizing that the US now “only” accounts for 25% of the global economy yet has been paying 100% of the “security” of all the trade routes for everyone else and only 10% of the goods sold in the USA are actually imported. In short it looks like the US is coming to the conclusion that it doesn’t need to be so Global and with it beginning to retract it’s global security…….we’ll see some interesting regional re-allocations. Will China implode with it’s demography problems, insane levels of money printing & the US not safeguarding it’s trade ? With the US gone, will Iran become the most powerful country in the middle east? Will the UK benefit from it’s independence from all the demographic & trade problems coming in Europe? Or will it continue it’s imperial role reversal and be even more subservient to the US? Will France or Germany come out on top & will the European Union survive ? Brexit is messy and will be a long ride, but also pre-sentient with where the world is trending. From a broader perspective did Britain really have a choice, with the seeming chaos just part of the natural interaction of the swings of time and geography?

Of course there is also significant influence of global order beyond National Country tendencies – big tech, big banks, big pharma & who work beyond borders of which is why we saw so much co-ordination & similarity in how the events of 2020 have unfolded all across the globe. A few brave countries and states have resisted and un surprisingly are much better off for it.

Real power is getting concentrated in fewer hands, as tech, banks and pharma become increasingly interlaced – the same banks own most of the stock of the big tech and pharma companies along with pharma’s advertising money being the bulk of mass media’s income. Huxley saw this when he wrote Brave New World, that power continues to concentrate in on itself along with ways of keeping that power through increased tracking and control of the population.

One of the fundamental laws of reality is the Law of Polarity, which shows us why Information (Order) so elegantly opposes Entropy (Disorder), of which 2020 is a perfect example of seeing both a large rise in order (tracking, media manipulation & tech replacing retail) along with a large rise in disorder (de-globalization & social disorder). Neither extreme is good, yet they both keep the other in check…..without the chaos to challenge concentrating power, we would end up with a world for the 0.001% and without the order to organize the chaos, we would end up with anarchy.

History of course repeats itself, & therefor we can rest assured that after many decades of

the nation sized cards reshuffling, we will yet again experience a swing back towards greater global order…….although most of us will not get to see that day if we believe in normal lifespans…..

yet in the coming period, we only need to live long & healthy enough for the advances in life extension science to add decades or perhaps infinity to our lifespan. Of course the bankers, pharma & technologists will be able to afford it first and that could bring a whole other host of problems……..obviously only the “chosen few” will have access to it as we can’t have everyone living forever – population growth would eat up the world.

Cascading our Metabolism Northwards

Cascading our Metabolism Northwards

The North Cascades reminds me of the European Alps, where we spent a couple of summers climbing in our early 20’s. I’ve had a couple of really long gaps in my climbing career. One when I became bedridden for a number of years – strangely, when first getting back into climbing after that, we exceeded our previous ability within weeks (while still being considerably fatigued).

It’s like the brain processes all of those technical moves you made years before and gives you a new higher baseline. And here we go again at the age of 45 after a second 8-year gap, having lost a lot of muscle for the second time. Climbing is such a pure sport, it’s you, the move in front of your nose, then the next and then the next… until you either get to the top or you screw up and fall. Contrary to popular belief 99% of the time you’re in total safety as your gear and rope will catch you. So once you’ve conquered the fear of falling, it becomes mental gymnastics against the ticking lactic acid burn in your arms.

Climbing has twice become my downfall, due to its addictive nature with A-type personalities. As much as you can get a long way with technical prowess, to get to top performance, pushing yourself to your physical limit becomes the norm. In my early 20’s, I was convinced I could cure myself through climbing and the great outdoors. That ended badly with years in bed, after a 3-month climbing trip to the Alps ending with being trapped in a tent not being able to move due to an early unknown Addison’s crisis.

In our second climbing period, while all our climbing friends were getting progressively stronger, we were getting progressively weaker. Eventually, our adrenals bonked out entirely to the point we started getting muscle paralysis, vomiting for no known reason, and barely having the strength to walk. So, we gave up climbing for the second time when moving to the states.

It’s not without some trepidation that we brought our climbing equipment with us on the current RV trip, and are taking it up for the third time…

Was it the climbing? Or was it how our personality interacted with climbing? Can climbing become a tool in building up our strength and metabolism? Or will it tear us down us down entirely?

Always good to have your ego stripped away a few times.

What I didn’t appreciate in our first two climbing periods is that the body adapts to everything. So in our case, as is true with many athletes who push their limits, is that when the body is under too much stress, it will want to conserve energy & resources to prevent you from over-damaging yourself by slowing down your metabolism. That’s all good if you take note that you’re tired, rest up, and adjust your training accordingly. Over time your body will likely be able to handle that level of activity.

If you keep overtraining when your body is trying to slow you down, however, it slows you down more and at a certain point, when you are so hypothyroid, digestion suffers. This means your blood isn’t as nutritive as it could be, hormone synthesis such as adrenal hormones suffer along with all the fatigue and brain fog type symptoms that can appear. As climbing gives you a temporary neuro-adrenal boost, you can erroneously associate the activity with improving your health, without realizing the down-regulating impact of climbing too intensely.

What about the reverse of that cycle? Can we use it to enhance metabolism, hormone synthesis, and to gain strength and vitality? Well, of course, the body will adapt in the right direction if more in tune with its natural stress and repair cycles. The crux of the matter is really in your own perception of the addictive nature of the activity and not being attached to it.

Climbing or No Climbing – the joy of life unfolds regardless. And life is considerably more enjoyable when your energy is on the rise or stable rather than on the decline.

So we climbed for a few hours, awakening our body to those moves our subconscious has made better in the 8 years we’ve had off, went hiking the next day, and then climbed again the next. The mind wanted more so we upped the level and man, it was heaven. Slept in the afternoon sun and remembered – let the body adapt to the stress we’re giving it, and then in a couple of days, we can really see what the body can do.

Remember, Harry, remember…