1. Chapter 24 opens with the idea that there is “no fundamental separate between mind and body.” Discuss.
I don’t think there’s much to discuss! My educational background is in psychology and biology and this is plainly clear.
3. The sections on memory and stress in Chapters 26 and 29 really hit home. What are you doing to manage your stress?
Stress management has become a big issue for me. In the last three years I’ve experienced my rite of passage into the real world (I graduated), the death of both my parents, and two thousand-plus-mile moves across the country for two new job opportunities (my first ever full-time jobs). At the time I took that all like it was just normal and I was doing fine and this is what happens to people when they’re growing up. And then I wondered why I was stressed out and blowing up all the time lately. I haven’t been dealing with stress — I’ve been ignoring it. So the first step has been admitting that I’m stressed at all and admitting that I can’t handle things all by myself.
4. In Chapter 27, I had a very physical reaction to this quote: How about you – do you feel a connection between your mood and body language?
This is the James-Lange theory of emotion: and I like it. I think William James was a visionary. I keep his books on my shelf and I’m always learning from him.
5. Also not a question, but I agree with this: “I personally would almost rather deal with being chased by a saber-toothed tiger or a charger cantankerous woolly mammoth than deal with the corruptive influence of the FDA and multinational corporations or face massively contaminated food, water, and air supplies.” (p. 284)
The corruption of things is really messing with me lately. Every now and then I need to tune out from society for a bit so I don’t go crazy. I do my part at home and on a local level and I support those working on a broader scale to put into effect the changes I want to see in the world. I need to remember to stay calm and not get all caught up in the big picture because really, we’re doomed and we’ve always been doomed. Let’s just go with that and then anything our efforts produce will be amazing and worthwhile. We’re not entitled to anything as a species and we’re going to have to work together for anything we want.
6. You know I’m a strong proponent of the Whole30 and elimination diets, so the detoxification recommended in chapter 30 is great. However, I don’t like the guideline that allows “a little stevia.” How do you feel about that?
I think it depends on your philosophy. Sweeteners aren’t allowed on the Whole30 because it’s not just about detoxification — it’s also about breaking bad food habits. I’m not sure Nora gives much guidance on how to do that sort of emotional endeavor that beyond science basics (take some glutamine, etc.). Similarly, I think the stevia comes from that same philosophy. If you don’t think it’s harmful, why abstain from it? She’d probably modify her recommendation for someone who was having trouble breaking the sweets addiction cycle.
7. I don’t have any questions related to Chapter 31 – I just think it’s a solid recitation of what we know to be true: we need to eat real food and minimize the stress of modern life. Do you have anything, emotional or intellectual, you’d like to share on that topic?
I would love to eat more raw animal products! I love sashimi so much, but it’s expensive. I already only barely cook my beef (and eat well-sourced meat) but I might look into how to eat more raw beef in interesting ways.
8. Appendix A lists 19 steps we can take “toward improved physical and mental health and well-being.” How many of them have you adopted?
I’m not supplementing omega-3. I’m still conflicted about all the evidence. I do eat a fair amount of sardines and other oily fish, and I’ve pretty much eliminated omega-6.
I also don’t supplement with cod liver oil. I take vitamin D but I eat a lot of beef liver so I’m not sure I need supplemental vitamin A. I’ll have to look into it.
I’ve only recently started supplementing with zinc and magnesium.