When I was young I was overweight and prone to becoming over-heated. I remember getting light headed, profusely sweating, and feeling weak often. When I became over-heated it was hard to think clearly. I wasn't able to do the things other kids could do, so the weight gain continued.
I grew up in a home where iceberg lettuce drenched in dressing was considered a vegetable, fake butter was considered real butter, and salt was considered the devil. Our house was full of canned, processed foods, and a freezer full of microwave pizza. Healthy fats and red meat was always avoided. I ignorantly stopped eating red meat as a teen which wisely picked back up a few years ago. I had so many health issues growing up but on my quest towards better health they have all become quite clear. It's apparent to me now that I burn through many nutrients faster than most people and this may be a result of being taken from my biological mother at birth. I'm sure I was not given the best nutrition in the womb along with massive stress of being passed around.
I now eat meat, healthy fats, and avoid refined sugar, breads and processed foods. I haven't used a microwave in years. My current diet is basically the polar opposite of what I grew up on. Until recently I was using sea salt on a lot of my foods but sparingly as I thought it could compromise my health.
I have never done well with heat. I had a sauna for a while and despite the benefits most people experience, I always felt worse. I never liked the heat and struggled with workouts that left me feeling weak and dizzy. This time last year I was cutting weight while consuming a lot of caffeine and intermittent fasting. I was happy with my weight loss but am now off caffeine for good, which has changed my life. I thought it was just the reduction in anxiety from being caffeine-free but it turns out caffeine actually reduces the ability to absorb many nutrients and causes mineral depletion.
What is the point of all this? Salt
b;As I continue putting the pieces together I have had major breakthroughs not just with diet but in understanding the vital role of mitochondria and beyond. I am currently working on putting on muscle so I've been searching for new ideas and methods. I stumbled upon a power lifter and body builder named Stan Efferding. My interest was peaked as this was a very strong person who was saying things that were off the beaten path. He does not promote the standard mix of caffeine, chicken and broccoli for lifters. I'm no body builder but I was interested in the fact that he promotes red meat, no caffeine and a massive amount of salt. I was already a fan of red meat and off the caffeine, but large quantities of salt as a pre-workout? I have used sea salt in place of table salt for a long time and have tried to keep the amount down.
Stan claims sodium is so important that most people should take far more than what's recommended. He points out that intermittent fasting, caffeine, heavy exercise, heat, and even clean eating can all cause depleted sodium levels. I know about the sodium/potassium pump on cell walls as I have explained how toxins accumulate when this pump shuts off due to low charge many times in multiple previous blogs. I immediately started looking into salt and found a great book: The Salt Fix by Dr. James DiNicolantonio.
I won't go into too much detail about this powerful information but I will recommend you read it for yourself. I have been listening to audio books on my drive to work and I went through this one so fast, I couldn't stop listening. He proves that sugar, not salt is the substance to be avoided. It helped me connect so many dots about the health issues of my youth. I was most likely extremely sodium deficient and craved salty junk food to make up for it. In my efforts to be healthy I knew salt was necessary to some degree but was not using it as an actual health supplement. I now look see salt as the essential life giving substance that it is. I started throwing back some salt before my workouts and can say it feels truly amazing. My strength and endurance have gone way up.
I see how caffeine (which was causing spells of dizziness) may have been making me even more sodium deficient. Humans evolved consuming very high quantities of salt to cure meats as a preservative until refrigeration became available. The more we restrict salt, the worse our health will be. This doesn't mean to eat salty junk food, just use sea salt on unprocessed REAL food guilt-free. Try adding a 1/2 teaspoon to a warm glass of lemon water before a workout or during a fast as well.
The book does a great job of explaining how salt can even help you loose weight and how easily the body can excrete excess sodium. I look at this new piece of the puzzle as important one. I don't agree with everything Stan Efferding promotes but I am so grateful for his stance on salt and introducing me to this valuable topic. Check him out and check out the book. You will be glad you did and I bet your health will improve and your food will taste better once you start meeting your legitimate sodium needs. It is more dangerous to have low sodium levels than to have too much. As you age your ability to retain sodium drops, so it is even more important that you don't go on a low salt diet in your later years.
As always I wish I had learned this sooner but am glad I know this now as it has shown to be an important piece of my health puzzle.
Avoid wireless tech in your immediate environment, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods. Get frequent small doses of sunlight, a magnetico sleep pad, healthy fat, clean meats, vitamin C and far more salt than what the mainstream consensus is telling you.
Rob Alexander is on a journey to learn not just about health but everything else.
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