As you’ve heard in the success stories, the benefits of adopting the Migraine Miracle Plan usually go well beyond migraine.
In part 1, I discussed the first 7 of the 15 benefits beyond migraine, and in this one I review the final 8!
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Welcome to the migraine miracle moment. I’m your host, Dr. Josh Turknett. I’m a neurologist, migraines specialist, migraines suffer and author of the book The Migraines Miracle. In this podcast, you’ll learn all about how to find your path to migraines, freedom without pills. Let’s get started.
How do you fellow Beast Slayers? So on today’s episode is going to be part two of the 15 benefits of the migraine miracle plan beyond migraine protection. So that means there was a Part 1 and if you didn’t hear Part 1, you might want to go back and listen to that one.
You don’t have to listen to it first. So if you want to hear this one and then go back to that one, that’s fine. Or, if you’d like to be chronological, go back to that one and then tune in for this one. But either way, hopefully you’ll listen to both of them. So, the basic gist of this two part series is that the migraine miracle plan, which primarily involves adopting an ancestral approach to how we eat and live, or to put it another way to use our evolutionary history to understand how a human should eat and live in order to thrive is not only the surest path that I’ve ever found to migraine freedom, but it also tends to transform people’s lives, myself included, in ways that extend far beyond migraine.
And so in this two part episode, I’m covering 15 different benefits beyond migraine protection. And in the first part I focused mainly on health benefits beyond migraine production. And here I’ll be covering some benefits that go beyond the realm of health, even though pretty much everything that I mentioned here still improves health, at least indirectly.
So first, as a brief bit of housekeeping, we will be having our first ever mindset and meditation challenge starting August 30 first. So shortly after our current challenge, which is the jumpstart concludes and I’m very excited about the first ever mindset and meditation challenge. And there’s lots of things that I want to explore on that subject.
And these 30 day challenges in general are one of the many benefits of being a member of Migrai-Neverland. And you can learn more about that and all the other resources that we can provide if you go to the Web site and click on the resources tab at the top.
And I think I mentioned on the last podcast we’ve also added another benefit to being a migraineverland member, which is a members only podcast called naturally the migraineverCast. And the idea there is to dig deeper into topics and issues that are of interest to our migraineverland members and that are relevant to those who are kind of our more advanced users.
So people who’ve been through the Beast Slayer Training Academy and who are attending our clinic chats and so on. So that’s one of the new features that we have and that will include episodes that supplement what we’re doing in each of our 30 day challenges. So another perk to look forward to.
And if you’re listening and you’re a migraineverland member and you haven’t started listening to the migraineevercast, you can find information on how to subscribe to it inside the member Facebook group.
OK, so now let’s get to part two of the 15 benefits of the migraine miracle plan besides migraine freedom. So, in the first one I covered seven benefits. So if my math is correct, I have eight left. And these aren’t in any particular order or order of importance.
So number eight is that the plan has really reconnected me with food and the natural world in general. So we’re all extremely fortunate to live in these times in the developed world. Most of us take for granted that we have really easy access to food. I don’t really have to worry about where we’re going to find our next meal and have an incredible variety of options. So all of the challenges of growing, cultivating, harvesting, harvesting and transporting food are essentially taken care of for us. And we just show up to the grocery store or a restaurant. And there is the food like magic. So we can go throughout our lives being entirely ignorant of how it gets to that point. And this is the world that most of us have been born into. So we’ve never experienced it any other way. And I think it’s easy in light of this to kind of see all food and kind of on equal footing.
If you ask a child where food comes from, they’re likely to say the grocery store or the market. And, you know, everything in the grocery store is just food. And yet, if we take an evolutionary perspective about health and what that says about the kinds of foods we need to thrive, then understanding where our food comes from becomes a major concern.
And suddenly we care about the backstory of what we put into our mouth and body. And one way we can categorize the food that we eat, we eat is in terms of how close it is to its natural state. So, for example, a carrot that’s picked from the ground or an oyster that is plucked from the ocean and eaten raw is completely unaltered from its natural state, whereas a Ritz cracker or Velveeta cheese has had to go undergo all manner of transport formations to end up in its current form.
And this is why we might sometimes refer to things like that as a “food product” or Frankenfood to underscore the fact that this is manmade food and one that the human species has essentially zero evolutionary experience with and so should be approached with extreme caution. Furthermore, when you take on this perspective, it forces you to wonder how we ever really thought eating such things was all right. And I think the answer there is because for us modern humans who were living after the industrial revolution, as I said, it’s all we’ve ever really known.
And even if it would have been inherently obvious to almost every generation of our past ancestors, the ones who did know the complete story of food, that such things don’t constitute human food. And I think it’s no coincidence that if we’re looking to improve health overall, the easiest win from a diet standpoint is to remove those foods from our diet first.
And I also know that personally, I’m now much more grateful for the abundance that we have in these times when it comes to food. I’m much more aware of where the food I eat comes from, and I’m extraordinarily grateful for the work that’s involved in getting it to me. And I care a lot more about supporting people who are providing food that’s nutritious and that’s being produced in ways that are sustainable and humane.
And these are all things that may have never crossed my mind or certainly not thought as deeply about without first seeking help through an ancestral lens, without considering what a human really needs to thrive.
Also, caring about the backstory of the food I eat has allowed me to get to know some of the farmers in my area, which has also given me the opportunity to see just how much they care about and care for the animals they raise, and to see firsthand what a humane and sustainable approach to raising livestock looks like, which is extremely important to me.
And that even included getting to become friends with the farmer that we were getting our meat and pork from. And I even had the chance to play the fiddle as he and his bride walk down the aisle for their wedding. And that’s a memory I won’t ever forget. And the wedding aisle was actually the pasture where the cows grazed. And so that’s a friendship and an experience that I would have never had without having gone down this road.
And overall, because I understand now the incredibly tight connection between food and health, I appreciate food so much more than I used to. And I’m even more concerned with animal welfare than I was before and of the importance of protecting the natural world since that’s where the food. Foods that nourish and protect us come from, not from a factory or a laboratory.
The 9th benefit is that it fundamentally altered my career path for the better, such that now I’m doing work that I couldn’t imagine being more rewarding. So first and foremost, it fundamentally changed how I approach patient care as I’ve talked about. It didn’t take long to come to the realization that the system I was in not only prevented me from providing my patients the help that they really needed, as I’ve discussed before.
But it forced me to do things that undermined my ability to help relieve suffering and to do things that I knew would make my patients worse. So that was really an uncomfortable position to be put in. And I realize that so much of what we were doing for most of the diseases that we were seeing in the medical clinic and in the urology clinic was the absolute wrong thing to do. And that by continuing on that path, you know, I was part of the problem, not the solution, inadvertently.
And there was no way that things would get better without doing things totally differently. It’s worth pointing out that in the almost two decades that I’ve been in the medical field, I’ve seen zero progress in the realm of pharmaceutical treatments. And there’s almost been zero progress in the last half century precisely because, as I’ve talked about before, pharmaceuticals are the absolute wrong tool for virtually all the conditions that we retain routinely see nowadays.
So I couldn’t help people in the system I was in and I didn’t have the tools that I needed. And the unfortunate thing about all this is that I could have just stayed doing what I was doing and making a good living doing it because we don’t get paid according to the help we provide. But I really no longer wanted to get paid regardless of whether I was able to help the patient in front of me, but instead only if I could.
And also, when I realized just how much this new approach could help people, I felt in some ways morally obligated to get the message out there and to restructure things to make that happen. And that became kind of my primary mission in the realm of the work I do in health. And, um, so that resulted in writing the book and then building an online community and then seeing these ideas spread across the globe and most importantly, help so many people write a new and much better story of migration, one they never thought possible has been incredibly rewarding.
And this is work that I plan to continue for as long as I am able. And again, none of that would have happened without first taking a different perspective and evolutionary perspective on human health. The let’s see where we. The benefit is it’s reframed my understanding of aging. So much of what we’ve considered to be an inevitable consequence of getting old is actually not an inherent part of the aging process. So, for example, I think most people still think that weight gain is an inevitable part of getting older because your metabolism slows down as the usually the explanation given and that’s entirely wrong on multiple accounts. So yes, it’s true that these days people do tend to accumulate body fat as they age, but that’s entirely a byproduct of environment and nothing intrinsic to the aging process.
So if you want to put on weight or add body fat, the high carbohydrate standard Western diet is the best way to do it. And so the longer you’re on that diet, the more weight you’ll accumulate. So naturally, body fat will accumulate with age in that context, but it has nothing to do with the aging process itself. Aging itself doesn’t by necessity, lead to increased body fat.
Another ageing myth is that our joints in our body deteriorate with age because of wear and tear. Yet if we look at indigenous populations or we look to areas of the world where people remain physically active throughout their lives and aren’t eating the high carb western diet, they don’t develop the joint issues like we do in the West and hip and knee replacements aren’t considered rites of passage.
So what does produce chronic joint problems is instead chronic sustained inflammation, coupled with loading those inflamed joints with more weight than they were designed to bear, which further worsens the inflammation, which then leads to less activity because it hurts, which leads to weakening of the muscles and support structures, which then leads to more joint instability and more inflammation. And so this vicious cycle that just continues until the joint wears out and of course, where does that inflammation and excess weight come from? Not from the aging process and not from wear and tear, but from the standard Western diet and lifestyle.
And once again, these are conditions that will be associated with age because they get worse over time, but not, , not at all inherent to the aging process itself. So this is just. Two examples of prevailing myths about things caused by the aging process, and there are many more examples, but overall it’s liberating to know that getting older does not at all mean an inevitable march into decay and decrepitude with progressive loss of function.
And the best way to avoid continued visits from the beast is an ancestral diet and lifestyle tailored for the migraine or. All right. So number eleven is that I enjoy food more than ever before. And this, I think, is the most ironic one of all. And that’s because when many people hear about adopting the migraine miracle diet for the first time, it seems like it’s a sacrifice because it’s natural and human nature for the first thing that we think about to be the things that we’re going to lose or what we have to give up. So no more bread or sandwiches or doughnuts.
And yet it’s hard for me to overstate just how much more I enjoy food than I used to. And this isn’t just me. Virtually everyone I know who’s gone down this road says the same thing, including the ones you’ve heard on the podcast before. Back before I changed my diet, most of my meals had become an afterthought.
I was kind of tired of food and eating. Eating was many times just an inconvenience. Nowadays, I look forward to each and every meal and enjoy and savor each and every one of them. And there probably several reasons why this is, but I’ll give a couple that come to mind. One is that sugar radically changes how things taste, especially chronic sugar consumption and changes in how things taste for the worst. So a diet, the tie in sugar is like slamming our taste buds with a sledgehammer and it seems to just obliterate all of the subtle flavors in food.
Another one of the universal experiences people have is that they say they’re able to taste sweetness in foods where they never knew it existed before, when where they never tasted it before. Before I started eating this way, I would have never said that a carrot was sweet. And now, of course, I realize that they are, in fact, in Dan Lieberman’s book, The Story of the Human Body, he states there that the sweetest fruits that would have been available to our ancestors had the same level of sweetness as a modern day carrot. And the reason that our current fruits are so much sweeter is because we’ve been breeding them for sweetness. So many of the fruits available today, things like bananas, apples and grapes are many times sweeter than their wild predecessors.
And many times sweeter than anything our ancestors would have eaten unless they were fortunate enough to come about some honey. And it’s not just sweetness that you can taste in foods that you couldn’t before, but all sorts of other flavors. So the same foods that would have tasted bland and one dimensional when I was eating a standard high carb diet now taste complex and wonderful.
And eating overall is just a much richer, rewarding and satisfying experience than it used to be.
All right. Number 12 is that I really don’t care about stuff anymore. So looking at our evolutionary history is also a great way to understand what truly matters, what we humans really need to achieve sustained happiness and fulfillment and well-being. And in this day and age, what we want, So the things that we think will leave us happy and fulfilled, and what we need to actually be happy and fulfilled are often very different things.
And it’s really easy to lose sight of this. So despite countless studies that verify the adage that money can’t buy happiness or that status doesn’t lead to happiness, in spite of all that, it can still be hard to escape the illusion and stay on the whodunit treadmill. It does seem that more people are appreciating this nowadays, and I think the minimalist movement may be a reaction to that as the most social animal on the planet where our greatest survival advantage comes from our ability to cooperate with each other.
We are wired to derive great satisfaction and fulfillment from making other people’s lives better. So it should come as no surprise that the single most important predictor of human health and happiness are the quality of our relationships with other people, not the size of our bank balance or our position in the company ladder, or how many cars we own.
But without that evolutionary perspective, it’s really easy to lose sight of this and to pursue societies or other people’s metrics of success under the false hope that it will lead to happiness and fulfillment. An evolutionary perspective even helps to understand that phenomenon as well. So we are also wired so that the gratification that we feel from these sorts of material things wears off very quickly so that we’ll continue to pursue the next shiny object or our next meal rather than rest on our laurels and risk running out of resources. But because we now live in a world full of shiny objects, it’s easier than ever to get stuck on the. hedonic treadmill of continuing to pursue them.
Ultimately, we’re all here to make a better world for each other period and everything else is a distraction.
Number 13, is that I’m now intentional about just about everything or about just about every decision.
So as I’ve talked about some in the first part one of this series, adopting the migraine miracle plan specifically and ancestral diet and lifestyle style more generally, at least in this point in time, hopefully not in the in the near future, still means going against the mainstream or the status quo. And the mainstream approach to migraines is, of course, you know, taking a handful of pharmaceuticals and the mainstream approach to diet is the standard high carb Western diet that doesn’t really consider what foods are appropriate for the human species, and it isn’t informed by an evolutionary perspective.
It’s so easy to be swept along in the mainstream. Again, we’re wired to do what other people are doing, to be biased towards thinking that the status quo is the way things are, to be biased towards thinking that the status quo is the way things are supposed to be done, because that’s the best way.
And it’s a strategy that worked well when we were living in small tribes, but not one that works well these days. And another truth about human nature that an evolutionary perspective reveals. But when you go against the status quo and you get results that are far greater than what you were getting, it’s natural to start thinking of where else that approach might apply and to ask yourself in what out other areas of life could the status quo not be the optimal way of doing things, especially for you? And to re-examine all of your received wisdom about how to do things.
I know that the best decisions I’ve made in my life have almost all been the unconventional ones where I ignored what everyone else was doing. And in many case ignored the advice well-intentioned given by others, which oftentimes was informed by the status quo bias, and instead try to figure out what would be best for me.
And that, of course, included rejecting the conventional approach to migraines. One of my favorite quotes that relates to this particular topic is from Mark Twain, which is “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”. And that is exceptional advice.
All right. Number 14 is that I know I will never get trapped in the medical merry go round, as I call it. I personally know all too well the limitations of our medical system. I know what it’s good at and what it’s terrible at, or the things that it can help for and the things that it can make worse.
And most of our problems in modern medicine don’t come from the fact that it’s inherently bad. It’s led to some really great things.
But rather that it’s being applied to the wrong kinds of problems. So problems that it wasn’t designed to solve and can’t solve, and when we try to do so using the tools that are available, end up making things worse.
So to me, the answer to our problems is for us to better understand what it’s good at helping and also to understand the sorts of things that we have to take ownership over and then keep those things separate.
As someone who’s been in that system for nearly two decades, I only want to go into a hospital when it’s absolutely necessary and I want to leave as soon as it’s possible. As I said, the medical system can only solve a subset of the problems in human health or the subset of things that we might face in the course of our lives. And it’s important to understand what those are and what they aren’t. Or else you get trapped on the merry go round.
Those who think or are led to believe that all problems can be solved within the medical system end up stuck in the medical merry go round so often. They go to a doctor, get some unnecessary testing or medication. That test may turn up something that’s not an issue, but the doctor feels they need to do something maybe to protect themselves legally or feel the need to prescribe something. And you know that it sets off the vicious cycle and people get stuck in the medical merry go round. It’s incredibly common and so many people I’ve seen over the years are stuck in this merry go round.
And the best way to not get stuck is to not get on it in the first place. And again, it’s really not the result of bad people doing bad things, but rather of a system that’s trying to address problems that it’s just not equipped to solve.
OK. The 15th benefit of the migraine miracle plan beyond migraines, and the last but not least is that it affords me the best chance of a long life well lived.
As some of you may know, I first went down this road almost a decade ago, not to end my migraines, but rather because I realized that it was the best approach for leading a life well lived. I didn’t expect it to end my migraines, and I certainly didn’t expect it would transform my life in so many other ways.
And I still fully believe it to be the best approach for optimizing the chances of leading a long life well lived, and an approach that will not only maximize lifespan but health span as well. And by health span, I mean the number of years that are lived in good health. After all, we don’t want to live a long time if a good portion of that time is spent suffering. So our health span is probably a more important consideration for most of us than how long we live, or our lifespan.
And one thing we have gotten better at in modern medicine is keeping people alive longer. And yet, because we haven’t made any progress in treating chronic illness, that means that for many people we’ve added years of suffering. And that’s kind of characterized the last at least two decades or so in medicine. Again, because our current tools and methods are poorly suited towards the primary chronic diseases of our day.
And the only way we’re going to change this is if we’re able to spread these ideas to the broader population so they become mainstream.
And ultimately, I want every person on the planet to be able to reap all the benefits that I’ve talked about and for everyone to have the best chance of a long, long life well lived. I know that there are many in our migraine miracle community who’ve been doing all they can to spread the word. And I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that.
And hopefully these two episodes will help to illustrate that this way of eating and living has benefits that go far beyond migraine. And so if you’re wanting to spread the word and help allow friends and family to experience the same transformation you have, these two episodes might be a good place to direct them to.
OK, well, that concludes the 15 benefits of the migraine miracle plan beyond migraine relief. Don’t forget that you can find the show notes and transcripts for these episodes at the Web site, mymigrainemiracle.com, and click on the podcasts tab.
Also, another great way to help spread the word is to leave a rating and review for the podcast on iTunes. It really does help and I really do appreciate it.
Okay. Thank you so much for listening and for being a part of the migraine miracle community. Now it’s time to go out and slay the beast!
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MIGRAI-NEVERLAND, our premier resource for those who want to find their pill free path to migraine freedom (including the Beast Slayer Training Academy): mymigrainemiracle.com/endofmigraine
The 9 Primary Migraine Miracle RESOURCES: mymigrainemiracle.com/how-we-can-help/
The Jump Start Challenge: mymigrainemiracle.com/jumpstart
The 2019 Schedule of Migrai-Neverland Challenges: https://mymigrainemiracle.com/schedule
Migraine Miracle Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/899131986822364
The book that started it all – The Migraine Miracle: https://www.amazon.com/Migraine-Miracle-Sugar-Free-Gluten-Free-Inflammation/dp/1608828751