Ep. 102: How Western Culture & Mainstream Medicine Keep Us Sick

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In this episode we discuss:

  • Why culture matters and how we can effectively navigate it
  • The impact of the diet culture and the “eat less exercise more” paradigm
  • How Western culture blames the individual for their poor health and the toll that this takes
  • The problems with excess work, time indoors, and sedentarism
  • How the modern medical system takes away your capacity to improve your health 
  • Why the alternative health sphere can be just as problematic as mainstream medicine

0:00 – why we’re discussing culture and our concerns with the culture in the US and the relationship between culture and health 

6:05 – frames through which we can view culture and the importance of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs 

13:00 – how western culture degrades health: diet culture and the food industry 

27:43 – how western culture degrades health: excess work, time indoors, and sedentarism 

34:30 – how easily we can become numb to the effects of our culture or environment 

38:07 – the broken modern medical system and the problems with the allopathic, symptom management model 

48:21 – problems with the alternative health sphere 

Links from this episode

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Jay Feldman 0:05
There's a huge factor affecting our health that we often don't consider and we'll be going over exactly what that is today in Episode 102 of the energy balanced podcast, a Podcast where we explore health and nutrition from the bioenergetic view, and teach you how to maximize your cellular energy to maximize your health. Today's episode is part one of a three part series, exploring the harms of Western culture. And in today's episode, we'll be discussing why culture is important and how we can navigate it. The impact of the diet culture, including the idea of eating less and exercising more, how Western culture blames the individual for their poor health. And the toll that this takes the problems with excess work excess time indoors and sedentary ism, how the modern medical system takes away our capacity to improve our health, and why the alternative health sphere can sometimes be just as problematic as mainstream medicine, to check out the show notes, as always head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/podcast rolling to the studies and articles and anything else that we discuss throughout today's episode. And with that, let's get started.

All right. So as many are some of you may know, Mike and I have both been doing some traveling over the last couple of years. For me, most of that has been outside of the United States. For Mike, a lot of it's been inside the United States, but he's also now outside of the states and I've done quite a few questions about why that is, what places like what the differences are and so that has kind of led to an inspiration to discuss part of the reasons why or some of the reasons why we don't want to be living in the United States, some of the issues we see there in terms of the society and culture and ideally, this can also be a bridge to a discussion of these topics, you know, branching out into things that are very related to nutrition and health, but are not just nutrition and physiology focused and so we're going to dig into those things a little bit in these couple of episodes. And we'll try to keep it rather brief and we can leave space to dig into each of these topics in more detail. If you guys the listeners are enjoying it and interested in it, because we'd be happy to do so. And with that in mind, there's a few other things that I want to mention before we dig in. The first is that some of these are going to be particularly sensitive topics. So let's all try to keep an open mind as we discuss them. I'd like to mention as well that of course, there are a lot of good things about the United States.

And we're not trying to promote fear here or anything like that. But we're just trying to bring light to issues that we see within that siding culture, with the goal of ideally helping to bring about some amount of change there or, or help spur people to think more about these issues and create solutions. And so that's kind of the perspective we're coming at this from one other thing, of course, is that we're not, I guess I should say that history and politics and culture are not our primary focuses. It's not something that we spend as much time researching and learning about but it is something that we both enjoy learning and researching about and we'll continue to do so. And so. Yeah, just I think that's helpful to mention here as well and I do think is another piece that's very important to mention here, which I think Ray peat inspired both of us in this way is the recognition that these things are not separate from physiology, that they're not separate from nutrition or biology and they're not separate or outside the scope of the bioenergetic view, but rather, they're directly related there and in many ways, the culture is a product of the environment that we're in, it's a product of our energetic availability, and vice versa, it also affects those things and so there's a lot of overlap, and it's certainly something that affects our health. And we'll be start, you know, that'll be our first major topic here. But I think that that's particularly important to to mention here is that this isn't so separate from anything else that we normally discuss. Mike, do you want to jump in with anything else?

Mike 4:17
I think this the major point, that's a huge focus for me. And it's something that I didn't get very involved with until my health started to improve was the understanding the value of culture, and the the effects that the culture has on the individual and it as I when I first went through the journey, the health journey was a bit of a long journey for me. But when I first went through that I was just prioritizing, getting better. And when I started to get better, I started to see that some of the habits, some of the frameworks, the way I viewed things, some of the way I went about different things, some of the traditions that I was maintaining, were actually a net negative for me and having to shift those things was extremely helpful in me getting better overall and improving my health, and then also beginning to move into another state of actualizing myself and progressing beyond some of like these different thought processes, changing how I viewed things, all of all of this kind of shifted along the way and I had to unlearn some cultural elements that were ingrained to me and I think that if you had if there was a baseline culture or like a conscious can adjustment of the culture towards identifying some of these things, or putting some of these values or practices in place, from a health perspective, from a financial perspective, from a lifestyle, perspective, values, perspective, etc. And in graining, that when we're younger, it would set a very nice foundation moving forward for people. So the, the cultural component is something that I, in this episode I'm interested in focusing on, because I think, for me a lot of the cultural components or elements, or why I want to leave the US and why I want to explore other areas to live. So yeah, that's, that's a huge piece for me to seeing the value of culture and how much it influences the individual,

Jay Feldman 6:07
overall, for sure, and I think something you're also getting to hear is that the awareness of culture, the awareness of the origins of our thought, thought processes of our mental frameworks, the way we view the world, is something that came about over time, especially as you as you improved your health and same on my end, and that's also brought about curiosity, and interest in these in these topics. And that's something that we'll discuss as well as is culture as a societal consciousness as a product of, of this society that we're in. And also the importance of bringing awareness to where our thought processes come from, and how, how much they derive their, their origins and their intentions from the cultures, sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse. And of course, we're gonna be focusing on the, for worse in, in these episodes, because that's what we'd like to shed light on. And maybe at some point, we'll talk about some of the positives as well from from that culture. But anyway, the first part that I'd like to dig into here is the way that culture that our modern culture and Western society, especially the states, that's where we have the most experience degrades our health. Do you have anything you want to mention before we dig into that, Mike?

Mike 7:26
Yeah, so that I just wanted to, I wanted to set the foundation for how we're how we're going to go about in these next points, the different areas that we're looking at culture, or the different cultural components from the United States that are degrading the individual in different ways. So the frame with which we're coming at this from is from an understanding of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and essentially, when we're looking at Maslow's hierarchy, we're looking at a series of, of components that a human needs in somewhat of a linear order that it's built in a pyramid structure, in order to reach higher levels of function with the top level function being self actualization. So the first level that you look at our is like physiologic needs basic physiological needs. The next level that you look at is safety and security, the level that you look at after that would be love and belonging, and community. And then after that, we have esteem and self actualization. So the frame for our conversation today is going to be looking at the different ways in which current Western culture is set up to impact these things in a negative way, so that the individuals to some extent unable to actualize and I don't want to frame it exactly as like Western culture is like intentionally being moved in a way to impair the actualization of the individual. I don't think perhaps I don't want to rule out that there's an intentional component there. But I don't I also don't want to ascribe everything to some intentional component. I think there's a couple of points and the focus is into the like the debate whether that is or that isn't, we just want to look at what those specific factors are. And those we're also putting this through the lens of these are some of the factors that led us to decide to leave the country, specifically, particularly United States. So yeah, so we're going to work through it through Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The other thing I wanted to just drop really quickly in this frame, is the understanding that as he as if during a lifetime, an individual can self actualize themselves by making sure or trying to consciously or subconsciously or not, or just having these things put in place, build out this hierarchy for themselves. So their physiologic needs are met, their health is met, their safety and security is met their basic living situations met, they have a community, they have a family they experienced love and belonging. They are working towards an understanding of their consciousness, their emotional states, they have and esteem about themselves and self responsibility and then they're able to find a fulfillment and a purpose and move forward. So in a lifetime, an individual can do this. And then on the other on the flip side, or in conjunction, this or an extension of this, over the course of generations, in terms of proving society and proving the individuals, if you have the individuals on Lifetime's doing this on a larger scale, then the subsequent generations can improve as well. So the the cultural landscape and the cultural consciousness, and the is, is tied directly to, I guess, the state of the individuals, there's like a, there's an interplay back and forth, and then over subsequent generations of creating this culture. And that allows for these individuals to incorporate these different components or to, to hit these different components of this hierarchy, you're able to see progress development of the society as a whole. And as the individuals and this is, this would be an evolutionary process, from our perspective. And so it's kind of, we'll get into this in future episodes, but talking about and we're even gonna get into some of the concepts here. But talking about like a NEO Darwinian perspective, versus a little marketing perspective, and applying that directly to an understanding of what's going on, in terms of development of the individual and in development of society overall. So there's, yeah, those just an interesting piece that I want to enter that I want to put in here, because I think that improving humanity overall improved, improving the the individuals overall improves the society overall. And then the society can reach to a level where it can construct the culture to provide for the individual to develop and future generations and progress in that fashion. So I think this is a very important context for that. And we're not going to dig too much into that in this episode, but just trying to provide a frame. I don't know what your thoughts are there. J.

Jay Feldman 11:48
Sure. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's why we're using Maslow's hierarchy as as a helpful framework as a helpful conceptual framework that basically elucidates the idea that you need to satisfy certain needs in order to progress as an individual. And we'll talk about some of the products of that progression being much more productive as a society not productive necessarily in terms of, of capital or, or technology or something like that. But maybe I would say, in a sense of progression or advancement, and that can mean a lot of things, it doesn't have to be in the current framework that maybe we would think about it, as society currently exists. But that tends to be something that you know, the the peak there, the self actualization that you're able to reach, by having these needs met, tends to result in a an individual that is able to effectively think and think critically, solve problems. Be creative, be curious. act in an ethically consistent way, innovate. Innovate, yeah, which definitely goes hand in hand with creativity as well. And I think with that, as well, comes the general notion that this is the thing that best helps support society support, not only individuals but communities. And so that's, again, that that framework and kind of orientation, we're taking these pieces, today with or without, we'll be discussing in terms of the issues with Western society. And as you mentioned, as well, there is the notion that this not only affects the individual, but spreads out to affect society as a whole. And then also generationally can help the progression of humanity. And this is something that we see as an aspect of evolution, we also see as something that's directly tied with the amount of energy that interacts with the system that is injected into the system, and that the more energy is injected, the more self actualized the individuals will become, and the better organized the society will become almost as a almost as an inherent byproduct, not as something that needs to be done intentionally, but something that will happen naturally, eventually. But yeah, so that is that is that larger framework, we will discuss some of those ideas in terms of evolution in more depth later on. But for now, I think we'll leave it as that and and dig in with the first aspect here. As far as Maslow's hierarchy goes, which is the physiological needs, and in this case, you know, focusing on health as a whole, and this is something that we discuss all the time about the many aspects of Western culture that seem potentially designed. Again, we I guess we'll leave that part up to up to individual interpretation. But anyway, there's a lot of aspects of Western culture that directly degrade human health. And we've discussed the calories in calories out eat less, exercise more narrative for Weight Loss and health as one of these, and I'll link back to episodes where we've discussed this in more detail and the the dramatic or major problems we see with it. But in short, I would say that that mindset is one of the most damaging things to the health of, of individuals in Western society. Along with it comes the general diet culture, things like Weight Watchers and other diets based on eating less and exercising more. Along with this, something that we've discussed is that part of the effect of that perspective is that it shifts the blame for health conditions and obesity to the individual as as a glutton, sloth, you know, someone who is not moving enough, and just eating too much, as opposed to something that has more to do with the food that's applied, and many other aspects of our culture that we'll dig into that directly to great health and contribute to things like obesity and kind of health conditions. So it serves multiple purposes on one hand to to keep you helpless. And on the other hand, to put you in a state where your entire focus is on eating less and exercising more, which is absolutely disastrous for for us on the bioenergetic level or in the bioenergetic sense, because what it does is it is basically a way to deplete energy, leaving you with less less energy to function in every way less energy to think critically, and on and on, and also leaving you with considerably worse health, causing yo yo dieting where the weight ends up going up. Anyway, over time, it's really never a long term sustainable approach when it comes to weight loss. But also it always comes at a major, major cost. We've talked about this and other in other episodes again, that I'll link to, but I would say that this is one of the most destructive things when it comes to the way that some of the ways that that Western society degrades our health, in contrast with the diet culture and eat less exercise more mentality that results in nothing more than yo yo dieting, and degrading health over time. There's a ton that we can do from the diet and lifestyle perspective, to maximize our cellular energy and resolve various symptoms and chronic health issues. This includes weight gain, low energy or fatigue, chronic cravings, joint pain, digestive symptoms, brain fog, poor sleep, hormonal imbalances, and so much more. So head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/energy, where you can sign up for a free energy balanced mini course, where I'll walk you through exactly what to do from the diet and lifestyle perspective, to resolve these symptoms and conditions and also do it without eating less and exercising more. So again, head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/energy to sign up for that free energy bounce mini course.

Mike 17:39
Yeah, I think that I think the biggest thing that that I see with the with a diet cultures is there's the tribalistic aspect of it or like a tribalism where people get involved in a particular group, and then they get involved with the ideology. So there's that component, which we'll talk about a little bit later. But then there's all this component where the the weight gain is the person's fault. You're just gluttonous. It's just it's just because you're gluttony. It's like look over here at you being a glutton and don't look at the fact that we've degraded the food supply you've outsourced your food to to corporations and organizations that don't care about providing a healthy option and then there's no framework or like a culture around constructing an intelligent dietary paradigm and then there's also no component looking at or trying to understand from the current medical model that Oh x that food has a drastic are a massive impact on the body so like you get lip service to it from from you know the alternative spheres the Dr. Oz  or whatever your diet this and that but you don't really as far as like it fully going to explain it and making adjustments or like Okay, so what do I actually do for my diet? How do I establish this foundation it's not even discussed just Oh, eat less exercise more. Oh, eat eat plants, not too much. Whatever the other I forget the other component is it's it's like our eat food not too much. Mostly plants. Like you get things like that which are just like nothing burger statements are

Jay Feldman 19:11
way worse than nothing burger. I mean, they're really destructive. Yeah, and

Mike 19:16
it's but the thing is, is like it's it's, it's, there's no there's not useful advice, but it's your fault that you're fat as we you know, destroy the food supply, create options that are terrible lace. The other things that we can talk about in terms of destroying the health of people is lacing the entire food supply with polyunsaturated fats that are that are not only are problematic in themselves, but are also heated multiple times over and over again, adding industrial additives to the food processed food culture in the United States. So bringing foods on board that have no nutritive value that have negative impacts and a microbiome that aren't good for the for the hormonal system that are that have like are created to specifically target palatability, these sensors and In the the individual and then turning around, be like, Oh, but you're fat because you're a glutton, it's like that all of that stuff is just it's gaslighting. It's massive gaslighting of the individual, and it's in it's a the culture around that is, I think, extremely problematic, because it also doesn't lead to solutions. Because you have people focusing on I need to go run my calories away, instead of saying, Okay, what if I just, you know, what if I just adjusted my diet appropriately? And, and gave that some time? What if I just, you know, was a little bit more active, instead of spending eight hours at a desk, underneath the fluorescent lights next to a Wi Fi meter? Or whatever the deal is, what if I got up and went for a walk? Because a lot of times, the even even when you are working with clients, right, it's getting the foundational pieces, or go the longest way over this, like, you know, this fat burning supplement, or you just didn't do enough, enough minutes on the treadmill per week things, things along those lines. So yeah, I think the diet culture that we've created in the US is, it's not helpful, it's actually harmful to people. And it's it's a distraction away from what the actual primary focus should be. And when you start to go into other countries, when you come into Europe, when you when you go into South America, the is there like fast food and stuff like that, yes. But the culture in these countries is set up so like, right now in Europe, when you go to the restaurant, what do you want? I want to what do you have? This is the fish that I caught today, I'm going to grill this fish and I'm going to boil you some potatoes. Have you go to the US it's chain city so you can get Do you want subway? Do you want Arby's? Do you want McDonald's? Do you want Wendy's you want Chipotle, like, and it's all this like, perfectly. It's an industrialized, corporatized structure made with like this very specific ingredients, often they're not the best so that the culture around that around food and around weight and around health and United States is, I think, weird aberration that that doesn't actually help the individual it actually degrades them over time, and then makes it think even worse, that it's their own fault.

Jay Feldman 22:16
Yeah, yeah, I totally agree. And I think one of the larger things that we're getting at here is that there's so much more to nutrition than how much we eat, or how much how much you run on the treadmill, you know, the calories in calories out. And we are being distracted from that. So you mentioned some of these things, things like processed food that lacks a lot of nutritional value, among other things, the presence of the polyunsaturated fats, which not only are not pointed out as the problem, but are actually considered to be heart healthy and generally healthy. Which is I mean, we've we've had enough episodes talking about how insane that is. But, you know, it's all linked back to those talking about whole grains and grain based diets as being the way that we are healthy. And along with that now, the kind of anti animal product pro vegan, you know, fake meat type approach as well, you know, lots of soy, among other things in there, which we've discussed the problems with that too. So we are supposed to look at those things to throw all these other lenses, but not at all that they could negatively affect our health. And you were talking, you know, Dr. Oz, and the little bit of lip service that's given in the mainstream to diet, but there's never actually a any lip service given to the connection between diet and legitimate health conditions. When it comes to those, the answer is always medication, the answer is always genetics, you know, there's different filters, the answer that is huge cost, you know, the answer is never that there are some aspects of the food supply that could be contributing even let alone driving those sorts of situations. So, between all that between the amount of pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified products, which can may or may not be problematic, depending on the context, pollutants that are used, that are throughout the water supply, therefore, then also in the food supply, as well, not to mention in the water that most people are drinking. I mean, there's an innumerable, innumerable amount of factors here that are entirely ignored or, or even proposed as beneficial, when in reality, they are directly degrading our health. And so, you know, we've talked about some of those things, you know, there's no way I can go through these couple of episodes without talking about Hermes, this, right? And how industry has even proposed that, you know, the pesticides, the herbicides, the pollutants, they're in such small amounts that not only are they not a problem, but they're actually beneficial for you by causing a little bit of damage that that makes you stronger. That creates a defensive reaction that makes you healthier. So yeah, we could go on and on with those sorts of things. But I think that we're, you know, we just wanted to shine a bit of a light on that, as far as As the food goes, another aspect here when it comes to the food supply as a whole. So one would be the active political agendas against certain foods, you know, taxation of animal products in certain places, and the propensity for that to continue on and various other means of increasing prices on those things. Same thing with taxing saturated fats, taxing sugar, you know, Allah, Robert Lustig, you know, we've talked enough about that whole perspective in the past as well. But those are some of the things that we would also point to as being issues in terms of the food, culture and, you know, food industry, in in the West, if you have anything to add in there feel free, but if not, I was going to tee up talking about other aspects of, of Western culture in terms of health, things like setting tourism and living indoors, if you want to touch on those. Yeah,

Mike 25:53
I just wanted to touch on really quick on the, the food components stuff, the, like the the industry inspired stuff, and like you can see even like destruction of the food supply in the US. And in the Netherlands, you see these reports of what they want to do at the farmers are, what they are, what they're the restrictions that they're putting in place and things from, from this perspective, and you see, like, some of the issues around animal animal production in the United States, regenerative farming, all type of stuff, I think that there's, it's, it's like, these are the things that are actually helpful. So like high quality, animal products, plus high quality, fruits and vegetables and things along those lines, and the mono unsaturated and saturated fats and it's like, the agenda that's being pushed is that all of these things are bad for whatever reason, whether it's climate, or whether it's, whether it's because it causes heart disease, or whatever the deal is, and there's not really a strong support for those types of arguments, especially in the communities that are looking at like actual how are we going to raise like really high quality foods for people, nutrient dense food, or like, the animal products causing this heart disease or the problems in the industry is like pushing for something out even outside of that it's like worse, it's like, the things that we should be eating is like low quality, plant based grain based these lab based foods that are just destructive overall. So it's like, the good things are a problem. And the bad things are good for you. And it's like, if you were to follow the traditional diet that's promoted, it's, it's terrible like you most people feel terrible, most people have all these problems, then you have, then it's like, the research is sorted out all the paradox The West spend so much money on health care, but it has like these worse outcomes. And it's like, because it's not about how much money you're throwing at the problem. It's the culture and the the interventions that people are putting in place on an everyday basis that is harming them and like the other elements that that you're gonna get into, like the indoor lighting and the are working indoors and not getting, not being able to get access to outdoors or moving around or things like that, like there's the entire culture in the US is shift around these like industry ideas, instead of the purpose is not coming from how are we going to make people as healthy as possible, so that they can live the quality lives have, you know, increased productivity for different things, actualize themselves, whatever it's like, how are we going to create like the cheapest product and sell to people as like the next best thing. So like a met like corn oil, or soybean oil or fish oil. Like you have to take your fish oil pills, like that's the that's the other thing too is the supplement piece. Take your fish oil pills, don't go and eat a piece of fish don't. And then let's have arguments about is fish oil, good or not? And then like look at studies showing eating whole fish has benefits. It's like it's just mind blowing. It's you know, and a lot of people Yeah, it's common sense to just have some fish, have some meat, have some chicken, you not eat fruit, eat vegetables, whatever. It's like, yeah, that's but that's not really like there's some lip service about it. But there's no actionable information for people to do that. And there's still problematic things that are perpetuated. So I think that's another underlying problem within the US is you have these industry sponsored ideas without and they're their goal is to not get to the truth of anything. Their goal is to just promote whatever this particular ideology or idea or narrative is that they're marketing at that time. And without really having any substantial evidence or support for or even motive for benefit for the individual.

Jay Feldman 29:30
Absolutely. And we've talked a little bit about this in a couple episodes, talking about issues within the medical industry, but the influence when it comes to new food and nutrition of big agriculture and pharmaceutical companies and things like that is huge as well. And so, you see that in all those areas. In talking about other aspects of, of this culture that that, you know, go ahead and degrade our health. One is or handful of them come along with excess work leading to excess sedentary ism, access time indoors and the lack of time outside. Also leading to a lot of exposure to particular types of lights, you know, blue lights, fluorescent lights, which come with their own problems, which we have talked about, I'll link to some of those episodes, exposure to certain non native EMFs, which also have particular issues, which I don't believe we've dug into in depth at all. But again, a topic for another time. But these are other areas that I would absolutely point to that degrade our health. And while you consider the amount of time that we would, or should be spending outside in the sun and nature, moving as opposed to sitting. I mean, it's, it's what we do now as humans is insane. And we understand why that happens. I mean, we get it, but that is an aspect of the culture. And I will say it is not the case in every culture. So you know, I can speak on South America and Central America, how much more active people are, you know, people walking around towns, always, I would say much less use of, of cars, but also a lot more frequenting local establishments. And also a lot more work creating, you know, gardens, producing your own food. And just spending a lot more time outside, I mean, a lot more jobs are more manual labor a lot more in person, whereas in the States a lot more, a lot more desk, job type things, and very sedentary jobs. And the other thing too, is is, and we'll talk about this more in a little bit. But the lack of putting work first also leads to a lot more time outside lot more time socially, a lot more time moving. There's also much more of an orientation towards spending time of nature, walking, hiking, spending time with animals, in different capacities. And so that's another aspect of the culture that I think is particularly problematic. And yeah, do you have anything to add on that front? Or do you want to talk about some of the issues with healthcare system medical system?

Mike 32:06
Yeah, I want to add one piece, and I'll jump into the medical system, the only thing I want to add is like, there's the value of like different components in the US, there's not a value placed on different components of the lifestyle. So I'll give an example. The major one that I have to mine is like the understanding of the value of eating and then stress around eating. So I'm in Europe currently in like, when people have lunch, or people are eating, they sit down, they have their meal, they eat with other people, it's like it's an actual social thing. And they are also given time to do it. In the US, it's like break time is just because there's some type of mandated rule around breaks. So it's like, you have to get your 30 minutes lunch and, and what winds up happening is people just like order in some like, whatever food, they want to get that day, usually some type of chain restaurant, garbage food, and then they don't have the time to eat. So you just sitting there, you're on your phone, you're not interacting with anybody else and you're just like eating whatever this  kind of garbage food is and it just goes like that and then people when you get home, you order in some type of food and then like, the parents are coming home at different times, so they don't really eat together. So like that entire, like this culture of eating with other people, and then being present with other people and then also not being under stress while you're eating a meal is completely absent. I remember even for me in the hospital, like I would, I had accepted as a norm that when I was working in the ICU, I was not going to have a lunchtime. So like, it was like my lunch was I would be sitting down doing work and I'd be having a shake because I couldn't, I didn't have enough time to physically get a meal. So it's just like sitting there having shake and that was that is completely the norm. And not only that is for all the meals of that day. So it was my three of my four meals that day, were just going to be at a computer or when I could get the food in while I was doing other things. And there was no element of like you you take time to have a break and to go eat with other people or anything like that just it doesn't exist. And I think that causes till you have that component plus you're eating crap food causes health issues in and of itself. Even if we look at it on like a physiologic perspective, if you are under stress, and you're diverting, or even if you're moving around a lot, or whatever the deal is, you're not going to divert the energy and resources to optimize digestion, that'll create problems. And then also the type of food you're eating. So most people in most situations are eating garbage food, fast food, processed food, ready to meet food, ready to eat food, all that type of stuff. And then there's the lack of that social connection and that social aspect, which is I think, extremely valuable for people as well. So the destruction of that I think is a huge problem in the US that culture is dangerous, where it seems like in other parts of the world, there's an understanding that you need to eat you need to use the bathroom you need to sleep and you need to have time with like friends and family. You want to tag something into that right?

Jay Feldman 34:58
Yeah, what a concept No, I that's such a good point. I'm really glad you brought that up. It's something that I noticed here all the time, living in Ecuador and I've noticed that throughout Central and South America, as people eat, people eat all the time, they don't skip meals, as you're saying, there's time given to eat and if you're going to sit, you know, if you're going to sit and have a breakfast at a restaurant or a lunch at a restaurant, there are multiple course meals as the standard meals, you know, there's a soup, there's some sort of appetizer type thing that comes with it, there's the main dish, there's a dessert, there's a juice that comes with it. I mean, it's a, it's a full meal, it's not the greatest little sandwich at Starbucks on, you know, you know, in a coffee on your way, or, you know, whatever it is, there isn't this, you know, and you were talking about the lack of time, I mean, and that leads you to skip meals, a lot of people skip meals, a lot of people don't eat much for breakfast and lunch, and then they eat some massive dinner and that's, I think, a huge problem as well. And we've talked about issues with fasting and I love anything you see here is people will eat when they're walking around, you always see kids eating, they're eating fruit or eating ice cream. You know, they're on the bus, they're eating shows on the bus. And there is this little girl eating chicken potato soup, like which is sold on the street. And she's just like sitting there eating her soup on the bus. I mean,  it's a normal thing here eating is a huge part of the culture and, and it's it's slow most of the time and you're sitting here enjoying it, not only is it breakfast, lunch and dinner, it's you know, stopping for an afternoon coffee, which normally includes some food as well. So yeah, that's a huge, huge point. I'm glad you brought that up. Yeah, and it's, yeah,

Mike 36:37
I think it's just something valuable that is in this as an element that's built into the culture and that's why we're when we're talking about the value of culture as an element that affects the consciousness of the individual. Something I want to make this a little tangential. So you're gonna have to forgive me, Jay. But the, the idea that or the concept that people will get used to whatever they're continuously exposed to. So like, when I'm working in the hospital under conditions, so like, there's times where like, I just don't have time to use the bathroom. So it's like, you just don't use the bathroom, because you're too busy, you can't pee, you're gonna hold it for however long you have to hold it, and then you're not going to eat, or you're going to have to push your meal back like three hours because of whatever's going on. And so like, that just becomes the norm that just becomes people's, their baseline level of operation and the culture celebrates that as well in the US this, this idea that you just have to work, work, work, work work, it's like, you got a badge of honor, because you did however many hours is like, and I've even felt that myself was like, Yeah, I did 80 hours this week, like whatever the deal is, and it's that comes at a cost in the long term. And we'll get into this, I guess in a bit but it's your time is really yours one of the most non renewable resources  that you have available to you. And so the the if you have a culture that is constantly forcing you to sacrifice your time, or society, it's constantly forcing you to sacrifice your time in this way at the expense of all these other things. The question is, is that worth it? And is that even? Is that a good thing? Is that something that you want to be involved in long term? And the other thing is, as far as having a meta awareness of your thought processes, your value systems, all of these types of things? Like if you're existing in this culture, then you're saying, Yeah, this is good. This is that, are you able to step back in your mindset understand that, in some other culture, this is considered a pathology, whereas in this culture, and there's see obvious issues to this that I'm experiencing, but yet this culture is celebrating it. So like, the meta awareness of those things are important. And then also, yeah, just the understanding that the the individual will adapt to the circumstance that it's given in the culture, the influences of the relationships around you can gear you in and you use those kinds of guideposts to determine is this the norm? Is this normal? Is this okay? Is this that whatever? The this the equilibrium, whatever, however, you want to phrase it?

Jay Feldman 39:14
Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's a good point, too. And again, those one of those larger points we are trying to touch on in the beginning is removing that veil, you know, removing the the illusion, the stepping out of the matrix to use it a kind of nauseating, overused analogy. So, yeah, that's a huge part of it is recognizing that these are aspects of our culture, they aren't actually part of us as part of our human nature necessarily, but they're superimposed upon it. So that's helpful to to recognize for sure and I do want to jump in to some of the issues with the healthcare system. One thing I wanted to mention real quick, just coming back to that chicken potato soup It's not some Campbell's Soup, this is like a real chicken stock made from the bones and feed and everything and you know, it's homemade, and then it's sold on, sold on the street by some, you know, a local family. It's it's such a different system here when it comes to all of that something

Mike 40:15
else that I think is problematic within Western society, something that I actually have lived personally and have, I think is extremely detrimental to the individual is not only do you have all of these factors that are ingrained in the society currently that are leading to health problems for people and degrading their actual physiologic function, the system that is set up to take care of people, when they are physiologic functions degraded, the frame with which it works is quite, I'd say, from my perspective, quite bad. Like it's, it's, it's not helpful for people, a lot of times it can be extremely harmful. And so I'm talking specifically about the modern medical system. Now, caveat here, the if you have a traumatic experience, or you need life saving medical care, that that is technologically advanced, modern medicine is awesome. However, if you are dealing with chronic diseases that are a function of this degraded lifestyle, or just not taking care of yourself, long term, or poor diet, or whatever it is, and we're talking diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, psychological disorders, all these types of things, these are not that I got hit by a car I got shot or stabbed, or fell or broke my arm or broke my leg or what, or I had a heart attack, like those very immediate acute situations, I think the current system is a nightmare. And from that perspective for people, because the the frame of the system is not to try to figure out a root cause problem, and adjust that root cause and adjust the foundational aspects of your life. The frame is symptom management, the allopathic model is I'm going to provide you with this substance on a monthly subscription model that you take the rest of your life. In order to maintain it manage the symptom, your blood pressure's high, you take this drug to manage that you you have a skin you have an autoimmune skin disease or disorder fine, we're just going to suppress your immune system. There's no thought process or there's very minor lip service to okay, what's going on with your diet? What's going on with your work schedule? What's going on with your hormonal profile? What's going on with your light exposure? That's not even looked at people aren't considering not just oh, what drugs? What miracle drug can I take to solve this problem, or the other thing that they do is the other perspective of the modern medical system is your everything is treated as if you're at war with your body. So we have to use this antibiotics to kill these pathogens, we have to get the cancer, we have to cut it out. We have to, like undergo this, what was the term the cut, burn poison and radiate type of situations where these are the strategies that we have on hand to manage what's going on with the body, instead of coming from the perspective of increasing the vitality of the body, removing factors that are impairing functions, having the body be able to heal itself. So this frame is non existent. So it's kind of this. And I think that's why you see, the actual health of the American population is atrocious, because you have a bad food supply culture that's built and celebrate stressful situations, then you have these, like all the components we just talked about and then when you get to the when you start to develop actual physiologic dysfunction, we're just going to manage it, we're just going to give you some surgeries, we're going to, we're going to attack the problem as if it's like a military type of invasion. And I think that leaves people in situations where they don't really get better, they just continue to get worse at maybe a slower rate to some extent, or other times they're even worse overall, because of some of the interventions. Um, and yeah, it's not about trying to optimize the individual in any way. It's it's a monitor, a lot of the model I think, is monetary derive. And there's other problematic components. But the general frames I think, are the biggest element. And I think, Jay, will your cover some of the specific pieces, specific examples to talk about?

Jay Feldman 44:19
Yeah, yeah, there's so there's a lot of good points there to touch on one of those inner ones as well. The orientation when you're working with most medical professionals, is extremely authoritarian. It's, I know everything and you don't know anything, and I'm what I'm telling you right now, is the only way. And if you don't listen to me, in most cases, you are going to die. That is the narrative that I hear from so many clients that I hear from family members, where they're told to take drugs or certain medical approaches, not based on the actual risk reward, not based on actual understanding of mechanisms, not based on the actual outcomes and the research on the medication or drug or orientation, but rather based on fear, and that's how I mean, that's when we're talking about degrading health. That's huge. And I think a lot of what we're talking about throughout these episodes is based on creating a state of fear. And that this is definitely one of those areas. And it's really awful to see. And something that we feel strongly about that, you know, to empower people in playing an active role in their health, and actually having the capability to learn and understand these things, as opposed to it being a scientism sort of stenches approach where, you know, you have to understand all the big words and, you know, if you haven't, if you don't have a PhD, and whatever else you can't, or an MD, like, You're not worth anything, and you can't understand these things. I mean, that's, that's a huge aspect, huge problem. And something that I think is extremely degrading to our health, and then leads to the prescription of medications that, and we've talked about this earlier on talking about some issues and mishaps, some of the history with some of the worst things within the medical system, where certain drugs were prescribed for decades for a certain outcome. And then not only do they not benefit that outcome, but they find no, they later find out that they cause tons and tons of problems. They're taken off the market, you know, decades later, after destroying the lives of many people, or at the very least degrading our health. And there's quite a bit of that going on currently, as well, that the quote, science, I'll be catching up to at some point. It's, it's and so some of those come in the form of antidepressants, especially SSRIs. There's, again, been a lot more discussion of this in recent years. But I mean, they're incredibly overprescribed for a medication that they are for a situation that they're shown not to be any more effective than than a placebo. They come with all sorts of side effects. On and on, I'll link to an article where I discussed this in episodes where we discuss this. And again, this is not to say that there might not be very particular use cases, but that the way that they're used in the medical system, I think is a way that actually degrades the health and thought processes and mental capacity and emotional capacity of the population. I think that's a surprise or a huge degrading factor there. Along with that as a handful of other different types of drugs, birth control for women, or hormonal I should say, of hormonal conscious contraceptives, as opposed to other forms of contraceptives, which have their own host of issues. We've discussed those a little bit. In previous episodes, I'll link to those. And those also have quite a quite a noteworthy history in terms of how estrogen has been prescribed over the years as something to support fertility is something to support bone health and cardiovascular health. This has been going on for 80 years. or so. Carla Rothenberg has a great paper going over the history of hormone replacement therapy and the use of these hormones and how every time they were prescribed for something, again for decades to help people with whatever issue, they were found not only to help that issue, but to cause other problems. And then the same compounds or same family of compounds is then prescribed for a different set of issues after that. And it just has gone on and on. So those sorts of things are are just a little bites, little soundbites of of aspects of this medical system that is degrading our health. There's a handful of others things like the opiate prescription epidemic, I think that one's pretty well publicized, things like anti angiogenic drugs that are prescribed for hair loss, or male pattern baldness, which again, have their own host of problems and are not really a good solution. And then also the you know, as you're saying the cut, burn, remove that that whole side of things, surgeries, chemotherapy, you know, those. And one other thing that I think you mentioned is the financial incentive behind these things. And it's an unfortunate conflict of interest that exists with within the medical space that, you know, for some reason, it's we're allowed to discuss that when it comes to any other aspect of society. But when it comes to medicine, there's this assumption that is not impacted by the billions of dollars of profits, you know, as pharmaceutical companies are actually only doing everything for our health despite the fact that they are incredibly profitable companies and industry. So I think over the last several years, we've seen numerous examples

Mike 49:23
of Greenly corrupt,

Jay Feldman 49:26
right, right. Yeah. Do you see it all the heads of the pharmaceutical companies that then end up on FDA and vice versa, all that stuff? I mean, it's, it's that web is is dense, and also, you know, not hard to find either a lot of it is pretty public. And again, it's just another another subset of this larger problem. I don't think I have too much else to mention there. Again, that with the goal here being that we're providing some, some sound bites and talking points. that are just meant to kind of shine some light on the problem. And we can dig into these things in more detail at any point. And we did spend a couple episodes talking about some issues with the medical system. Do you have anything you want to add as far as the allopathic model of medicine in our modern medical system and pharmaceutical companies and whatnot?

Mike 50:20
No, I think I think we've recovered as far as glossing over I think, if we continue to go go down the rabbit hole. So let's, let's jump into the, the alternative health sphere and like, some of the co-opting that goes in to that, because you have, you have the modern medical system. And you the first step, I think people get out, I was like, Oh, I'm not gonna go in the modern medicine, I'm gonna move out of the modern medical system. And then you jump into the alternative health sphere. And it's like, now you're walking through a minefield. And I think a lot of people go through this journey. I know, I went through this journey when I had my problems. I know you've experienced it as well, you worked with some alternative health practitioners that at some points, and had a very interesting experience. So let's jump, let's just move forward into that piece. Yeah,

Jay Feldman 51:04
definitely. I think you nailed it that, again, the alternative is provided as, as a what is supposed to be an alternative, but in many ways is more of the same, just maybe from a slightly different perspective for the people who recognize some of the issues with with the current mainstream system, but are not, not able to, you know, and again, we fallen into this at different points, but who are again, you know, there's, the alternative has also been co opted in many ways. And there's a couple of aspects of aspects of it. One is, there's still a lot of authoritarianism and allopath ism, if that's a word, but still very allopathic approach where instead of a medication for a certain issue, it's, you know, a supplement for certain issue or many supplements, for many issues that may or may not even exist, you it kind of alluded to my working with different practitioners, I had done an internship for one at one point, you know, everybody who came in somehow had dozens of, of infections and needed that many more supplements in order to solve their issues. And again, you still very much have the situation of, in many cases, again, not all, where the practitioner knows everything, and you don't, and there's still a lot of that. Another big part, you know, and there's also still a perspective that you need to outsource your knowledge to the experts. And maybe these aren't the mainstream experts that are the alternative experts. But I think there's much less of an emphasis still on the importance of experience of experimentation of being able to learn for yourself to the extent that you can. So those are all things that I think, are still missing in most of the alternative spheres. And there's also the still the same profit driven supplement, product focus. Orientation, again, because that tends to be the thing that makes money. So that's another aspect that still exists just as much for really the same reason. And you see that a lot, whether it's incredibly overpriced supplements, but also over prescription of those supplements or over suggestion of the supplements, or just really good marketing for for the supplements. Another aspect is just the fact that many of the alternative what's provided as alternative is more of the mainstream, just under disguise. So you still have a lot of calories in calories out, eat less, exercise more, that's a huge aspect, especially within fitness and bodybuilding. I mean, that is still the prevailing idea not to mention just a concept that just the concept of bodybuilding, I don't think is one that particularly constructive or supportive to health. Again, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't like there's details there, of course, but the idea that we should sacrifice our health for a ridiculous artificially created body, I think is is questionable for sure. You also have of course, the different factions of nutritional perspectives, everything from veganism to carnivore ism, which all have their own issues, and all come with their own dogmatism and tribalism, just like within the mainstream. And so I think those are also areas that are that can lead us astray, even when we're straying from the mainstream. And then the last piece I would mention here is, and I think this is one of the larger umbrellas and biggest umbrellas within the alternative health space is that it is still for me sis driven, stress driven and fighting against your body driven. So on the hormesis side, we have this idea that the stress is what leads to benefits and that's why you still need to calorie restrict and fight against your hunger and you need to fast and you need to avoid carbohydrates, a to exercise super hard. You need to jump into a cold gas, on and on and on. And, you know, we've talked about those issues. I think that's super pervasive. And again, while we're talking both alternative and mainstream, I think the biggest issue here is Well, one of the biggest issues here is this idea of fighting against our bodies, this idea that if your cholesterol is elevated, that is the problem, that's not an intelligent response by the body to deal with an issue, you know, maybe an immune response endotoxin, or a response to not having a thyroid activity to produce steroid hormones. Same thing with blood pressure, this isn't a, this isn't a systemically cohesive, intelligent response to increase circulation, or to increase oxygen delivery and nutrient delivery. Instead, this is our body. And it's stupidity, that is just whether due to genetics, or due to misinterpreting some aspect of our environment, it is fighting against us. And we need to suppress it, whether it's with a drug, or a supplement, or some sort of, you know, lifestyle intervention, some sort of injection or, again, cold therapy or cold bath, something like that. And so that is hugely pervasive, I think, throughout all of this is this idea of fighting against our bodies, instead of recognizing its intelligibility. And its adaptability, and its cohesion, and its response and to the environment is in the right context or in the proper context. So yeah, I'll I'll let you jump in.

Mike 56:12
Yeah, I just, I just want to point out here, Jay, I think that if I lost five years off my life, so I could have cannon ball delts that would be a good sacrifice. Exactly. That's the peach, you know, and there's nothing like, there's nothing like a nice peach. So like, 10 years off my life. So I can, you know, really, you know, get the boys then yeah, I'll do all that. Exactly. It's

Jay Feldman 56:37
just replaced, you know, fancy car or nice, you know, house mansion, whatever with with the

Mike 56:43
physique. Yeah, I think the alternative health sphere is I think part of the problem is how things are thought about part of the problem is that the sphere and with the current like online social media landscape is it's been treating, being treated like a market. So people are finding some niche and then marketing to that particular niche. And there's less of a focus on truth. So it's the same problem that you're experiencing inside the allopathic model with a pharmaceutical profit motive. But it's it's just like wrapped with different with different solutions. So in most, it at least in my experience, there's the other thing is it's all about like marketing to the audience, it these like simple ideas that are easy to propagate and easy to easy for people to latch on to to understand things. And it kind of goes hand in hand with the destruction of the individual's health or their ability to critically think adjusting mental framework. So people aren't people are looking for singular solutions to multifactorial problems. And they're driven by tangible, very specifically tangible results like I am like, I just have rapid weight loss. And so that is like a barometer this like, hyper focus on weight as the goal then therefore, this thing must be healthy, without trying to first understand, first of all, what am I defining health as like, what is my healthy outcome? So is it just not being fat? Well, I think that's a very narrow definition of and probably a very incomplete definition of health. So that's one piece. And that's also propagated in the sphere. And so there's there's that component this like simplification, and marketing, and advertising of some health idea. There's how these things are thought about overall. So it's still coming from, I'm going to I'm not treating your you're not treating your high cholesterol with a torva statin? No, I'm taking red yeast rice that's healthier? And it's like, yes, it's a source of low Vista, and you're taking a natural stand. So things from that perspective, it's not it's not there's no frame or change in frame on how things are thought about. And this comes back to that the meta thought process, how are you thinking about a problem, instead of just changing solutions to the problem within that same general line, that same type of thought process? So there, I think the sphere becomes a minefield, because people are like looking. The other thing is to discernment problem, there's so many different marketing angles and this and that, and that's going to solve everything. And if I go low carb or if I just get rid of animal products, these like very simple solutions, all achieve some type of health benefit. And that's the hard part about that. I think for a lot of people and obviously, I've gone through that you've gone through that is that there are elements of truth and all of the marketing pieces, but it's the the you get really good when you go through this fear of discerning where's the truth, and then where's the ideology that follows after that if you go through it enough times, you kind of find well there's this nugget of truth Isn't there that somebody has created a nice wrapping for us, they have this little piece of steak and they put a lot of sizzle behind it to get you into this year. And I think that that is another element. I think this speaks to a larger cultural component, or consciousness component inside the American culture with a focus on providing people or providing a service or product for a profit motive without having some underlying like enlightened component where you're trying to provide something that actually benefits the individual and benefits people, it's like, the profit motive starts to take precedence. So there's multiple pieces here that I think are driving some of the dysfunction you see in this in this alternative here that makes it such a minefield for people. And that's important to keep in mind. The other last piece that I think is that, because you have all these pieces going on, there's a complete, like, people just don't want to talk about the basics. People don't want to talk about you know, you have to avoid all animal foods. It's like, Why don't you eat enough? Why don't you not have 32 ounces of steak a day, but also don't have zero ounces of steak a day, like have four ounces of steak at lunch and have two eggs or three eggs for breakfast, with your juice and your fruit and, you know, a little bit of oatmeal, if that's what that what works for you, or some fried potatoes or something like those things are these basic things still hold truth that people don't sell really, but it's really what comes down. Like even when I'm working with clients. When you're working clients? Well, it's like the foundation takes precedence. And then the supplements and other things come in later on, depending on if they're needed. So fix those foundational elements. First, it just that message doesn't you know, it's not sexy, it doesn't sell like, it doesn't have such shock value, like your steak is giving you cancer or your your egg yolks are giving you heart disease. So the I think the general focus would be to to focus on the foundational components. I think there's a loss of that for the marketing element. That's a product of the culture as well. And so that yeah, that's that's a big piece that I see in the alternative spheres, it's getting engulfed by these other things. And it's the motives behind it are not are not are not ideal and how the sphere is thinking about things are not ideal.

Jay Feldman 1:02:26
Absolutely, yeah. And I want to make a clarification, again, that focusing on the foundations of the basics, does not mean everything in moderation. We're not trying to suggest that narrative either. Just because veganism we don't see as ideal or carnivorous, and we don't see as ideal. We're not saying that everything in moderation is the solution either. I think it's much more nuanced. And there's, there are actually some things that are ideal to have not at all in some that are ideal to have in considerable amounts. So that's what we talked about all the time on the podcast, I just wanted to make sure it wasn't that somebody didn't interpret it that way. All right, we're going to end that episode there and pick back up in part two, where we'll be discussing how lower wages and higher costs have dramatically reduced our quality of life. How we've ended up working more and resting less with worse outcomes. Whether advancements in technology have improved the quality of life of the average person, help marketing and consumerism keep us on the hamster wheel. The hidden costs of convenience culture, concerns surrounding the collusion between government and corporations, and how divide and conquer tactics convince us to blame each other rather than the powers that oppress us. If you did enjoy today's episode, please leave a like or comment if you're watching on YouTube. And if you're listening elsewhere, please leave a review or five star rating on iTunes. All of those things really do a lot to help support the podcast and are very much appreciated. As always to check out the show notes for today's episode, head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/podcast where you can take a look at the studies and articles and anything else that we referenced throughout today's episode. And if you're looking to optimally support your metabolism, and lose weight, improve your digestion, get amazing sleep, rebalance your hormones, boost your energy, and so much more with clear action steps and strategies. Along with personalized guidance for me that head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/solution where you can find all the information for the energy balanced solution program. This program includes customized health coaching a video library with videos on restoring gut health, losing weight without destroying your metabolism, boosting your metabolism, getting amazing restorative sleep, rebalancing your hormones and tons more. It also includes resources like a sample meal plan and supplement guide, as well as a private community. So head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/solution to check out all the details. And with that, I'll see you in the next episode.

1Comment
  • anne m madden
    Posted at 14:36h, 17 December Reply

    Jay & Mike, your podcasts are fantastic!!! Dr Mercola advised us, his readers, to start at the beginning & go through all of them because they’re so good. He’s right!!! Your format, in going from the physiology to real-life actionable suggestions, makes it relatable to all of us who are interested in maximizing our own healthy eco-systems. I’m pushing aside the leafy greens, nuts, seeds & wild-caught salmon and for the first time considering the relationships between, say – ferritin, thyroid, blood pressure & cholesterol.
    Thank you for making a wealth of important info available to us, especially since most of us have lost all trust in the broken US healthcare system and have to doctor ourselves.

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