Sunday, December 13, 2009

How Energy Works


My Dad grew up in Ireland in the 1930’s. Actually, my Dad grew up being bounced around Belfast orphanages for the first fifteen or sixteen years of his life. Together, my parents always worked had and made great sacrifices to make sure that my older brother and I never ‘went without.’ But having said that, nothing bothered my Dad more than seeing his two sons take for granted the types things he never had when he was growing up.

“You kids!” my old man would yell when he saw our toys and gadgets not put away, or left out for someone to potentially step on them and break them. “When I was a kid, all I ever got for Christmas was an Orange, and sometimes I didn’t even get that!”

Of course, over thirty years later, I’m still thinking of that little rant old Cecil McKenzie used to yell at me, but not because I need some motivation clean up my apartment. No, I keep thinking about that rant from my Dad, because I keep wondering to myself, “where the hell would you find an orange in 1930’s Belfast in the middle of winter?”

Seriously, oranges don’t grow in Ireland, and even if they did, Oranges don’t get harvested in late December; so seriously, who in the 1930’s was harvesting all of these Belfast-bound oranges?

But pondering the conundrum about who was growing oranges in December in the 1930’s started me thinking about just how messed up our modern day diet has become.

Deal with this piece of logic for a second. For the last million or so years, sugary fruits have always become available for harvest at exactly the same time of the year. And what time of the year is that? Typically, most fruits, berries, and other sugary foods become available to us in the September to October range. You know, the time of year we colloquially refer to as ‘harvest.’ :P

So, for the last million years, the human animal has evolved and adapted to the fact that for about two months of the year, sugary sweets will be aplenty. As humans, we need sugar. Sugar must always be present within our blood – without it, we would die. Sugar provides the energy we need to live, and the human body has adapted in some amazing ways to make sure that whenever sugar enters the body, it is not discarded. When sugar comes into the body, it is either used for energy, or it is very efficiently converted into fat, so that it can be easily converted back into sugar when it’s needed.

And that’s the key. SUGAR is turned into FAT. Your body runs on sugar. Sugar is your bodies fuel. When you run out of sugar in your blood, you die. Your body needs sugar.

Any precursory study of the human body will reveal the fact that your body is driven by the pessimistic assumption that it perilously close to running out of two things: water and sugar. Your body goes to extraordinary lengths to conserve water. Your body filters it, it recycles it, it takes dirty water out of your system, filters it internally, expels any contaminants, and then puts that clean water back into your body. It really is an amazing system of cleansing and conservation that would put any modern water treatment plant to shame.

Of course, your body can only maintain so much water in its system, and when you drink way too much, your body will get rid of it. Anyone that has consumed too many beers too fast knows all too well about the bodies ability to expel too much H20. Humans aren’t dromedary camels, so, while our bodies go to extreme lengths to the preserve and conserve the water that is currently in our system, we don’t have any really creative mechanism to actually store water, which is the one big difference between how the human body manages and conserves water, and how the body craves, hoards and stores sugar.

The human body craves sugar. The human body loves sugar. As far as mammals are concerned, there is no purer form of energy – sugar is the highest octane fuel your body can consume, and when your body gets some sweet sugar, it won’t get rid of it, no matter how much it gets. Seriously, go drink a gallon of water, and assuming you’re not completely dehydrated, you’ll be pissing like a racehorse in no time. Then pour a pound of sugar into a gallon of water and drink that. You’ll again be pissing like a racehorse, but you won’t be pissing out any of that sugar. In fact, if your body does allow any of that fabulous sugar to leave your body, then you have a disease called diabetes. Seriously, that’s how you know if you have diabetes – sugar is released into your urine and your pee tastes sweet. In fact, the word diabetes roughly translates to “sweet pee,” (and to emphasize that’s pee, not pea.)

Now don’t asked me who finally discovered that all of his friends who were suffering various health maladies had sugary, sweet pee. That’s a story I could probably do without knowing. But the point is, your body doesn’t want a single gram of sugar to just leave your body. Sugar


Just think about that point for a moment – if you body doesn’t process all of the sugar that enters your body, then you have a disease. You can’t say that about fats or oils. If you body consumes too much olive oil or butter, it will just dispose of it. There is no disease associated with oily pee. And the same is true with protein. If you eat too much protein, your body just discards it. There’s no disease afflicting modern man that’s named for the latin equivalent of ‘protein pee.’ But if your body isn’t using, consuming, converting and storing every little gram of sugar that enters the bloodstream, then you have a disease called diabetes. Your body loves sugar, and it does everything in its power not to let it go.

Your body needs sugar to function. Every physical process that happens in your body requires energy, and that energy comes from a very small and controlled amount of sugar in your bloodstream. There are various forms of sugar, with many different names. The actual name for the sugar in your blood is glycogen, and without a certain amount of gylcogen in your system, you’d die. Gylcogen is important.

So, where does this blood-sugar come from? Well, that depends; what time of the day is it?

If it’s seven o’clock in the morning, and you’re just getting up from a cozy nine hour sleep, and assuming you didn’t have a monstrously huge, insulin coma inducing buffet dinner before going to bed, well, your body shouldn’t have any food in its system, and the only way your body can maintain a steady blood-sugar level is by turning your fat stores into sugar, and putting that sugar into your bloodstream. When your body converts fat to sugar, it creates a byproduct known as a keytone. Keytones stink. That’s why morning breath can be so bad after a long sleep – your body is converting fat into sugar, and the concentrated ketone byproducts are being exhaled. Morning breath is actually a neat indication that your body is getting rid of its fat stores!


There’s a myth that says your body can burn fat. That’s simply not true. Your body only burns sugar. The good news is though, when there’s no sugar available from other sources, your body convert your fat stores into sugar, and burn that. Really, that’s all your fat stores are – temporary storage devices for sugar, and when you don’t have any other sugar source in your system, your body uses up its fat stores. So, the secret to losing weight is to simply deplete your bloodsugar – your body will have no other choice than to convert fat into sugar in order to make up for the shortfall.




THE HUMAN BODY DOES NOT BURN FAT! The human body burns sugar.




In the 1930’s, an orange really was a treat to get at Christmas, and it’ wasn’t just because my Dad was living in an orphanage. Historically speaking, oranges in December are rare, and it probably was a pretty darned good treat to bite into a juicy, sugary piece of fruit, at Christmas. Of course, today, you can walk into a grocery store at any time of the year and get a pretty decent sized bag of oranges for less than the change you’ve probably got in your pocket right now.





Fat doesn’t make you Fat!

Eat all the protien and oils you want!

Sugar is the Devil



You’ve probably heard that there are three sources of energy that your body can use: proteins, oils and sugars. Smarter people than mean usually use the terms ‘fats’ instead of ‘oils’ and ‘carbohydrates’ instead of ‘sugars, but I going to just keep things simple.

Now here’s the simple little truth. Your body cannot convert proteins and oils into fat. It’s impossible. There is no chemical process in your body that will convert protein and oils into human fat. So, you can eat as much steak, and down as much melted butter as you like, and none of those oils and protein will ever be stored as fat on your body. When you eat oils and protein, the body will either convert those oils and proteins into instantaneous energy, incorporate those oils and proteins into your skeletal or muscular structure, or they will be discarded by your body entirely, but those oils and proteins you eat will never be deposited on your body as fat.

Of course, here’s the rub. While your body won’t convert oils and proteins into fat tissue, your body will do everything in its power to store every gram of sugar that comes into its body as fat.











For the most part, that’s true.

Fats is a bad term, because people make the immediate association between the term ‘fats’ and the actual fat that gets stored on our body. As you will see, there really is no association between the two. I much prefer the term oils, because that’s



What is insulin?

Insulin is the microscopic, biological equivalent of a hypodermic needle.

Almost every interesting and important biological process that happens within your body, happens within a cell.

Your cells have an outer skin, known as the cell wall. The cell wall is a important protective layer, keeping all of the important innards of the cell together in one place, and protecting those innards from any contaminants or viruses or any other unsavory characters that might want to get inside of the cell and mess things up. Unfortunately, these incredible defense system can be a little bit overzealous, and block out some really, really beneficial nutrients as well. And guess which life sustaining nutrient is simply too large and too gamely looking to make it past the cell wall’s defenses? Well, if you guessed ‘sugar’, you’d be right.

So, in order for your body to be able to function, your cells need sugar. But, the defenses of the cell wall make it impossible for sugar to break through. So, when your body sees elevated levels of sugar in your blood, sugar that’s come from a big glass of orange juice, or a handsome slice of watermelon, your body releases insulin. The insulin rushes through your bloodstream and rounds up every last little molecule of sugar, like a bunch of cowboys bringing in a herd of cattle.The insulin then pierces the wall of an unsuspecting bloodcell, and like a needle vaccinating your arm, the insulin pierces the defensive wall, injecting sugar directly into the bloodcell.

Now here’s one of the problems with insulin. Sure, insulin can poke a hole in a blood cell and push in some sweet sugar, but at the same time, the blood cell’s defensive have been breached, and the potential exists for various viruses and toxins to capitalize on this breach and infect the cell.

Here’s an interesting point to ponder. When does flu season start? In the Northern hemisphere, it starts in October and November. In fact, we coloquially refer to the flu, or just a general virus based sickness as ‘a cold’, because they typically hit us when the weather takes a bit of a turn. But if you look at it in a historical perspective, it’s also the time where the crops have been harvested, blood sugar isn’t being burned off as people are working in the fields, and people are consuming, for the first time all year, large quantities of foods that are extremely high in sugars. Be it the North American ritual of Thanksgiving that is celebrated in October in Canada, and November in the USA, or even the pagan celebration of Halloween, the end of the harvest is ritualized all over the globe, by every culture and religion, with celebrations that incorporate the consumption of sugar laden foods.

And of course, after millions of years of evolution, viruses have figured out that right after the harvest, the human blood cells are being constantly punctured and breached. The defenses of the human blood cell are under attack, and they are weakend, as they repair themselves from the violent onslaught of sugar injecting attacks to which insulin has subjected them.

It’s not simply a coincidence that in both the northern and southern hemispheres, the flu season always comes right after harvest, when blood sugar and insulin levels are at their highest.