Weird Diet and Life Style Advise from Guru Peterson By Brian Simpson
No doubt, many people who have had weak fathers, or no fathers at all, have latched onto the Jordan Peterson steam train. And, it is not all bad, because it is better to have a 6 out of 10 role model than none at all. But, as always, there are complexities. I think it was Mrs Vera West who writes here on health and life style issues, who mentioned Peterson’s strange diet based entirely on meat:
I actually tried this for a few days, and got chronic constipation, so bad I felt like I was full of gravel! My doctor got me on fibre supplements, and litres of pure water, to clear the plumbing. So, after this I thought that I would read the target article a bit closer. There were some amazing things there:
“Physiologically, it would just be an immensely bad idea,” Jack Gilbert, the faculty director at the University of Chicago’s Microbiome Center and a professor of surgery, told me during a recent visit to his lab. “A terribly, terribly bad idea.” Gilbert has done extensive research on how the trillions of microbes in our guts digest food, and the look on his face when I told him about the all-beef diet was unamused. He began rattling off the expected ramifications: “Your body would start to have severe dysregulation, within six months, of the majority of the processes that deal with metabolism; you would have no short-chain fatty acids in your cells; most of the by-products of gastrointestinal polysaccharide fermentation would shut down, so you wouldn’t be able to regulate your hormone levels; you’d enter into cardiac issues due to alterations in cell receptors; your microbiota would just be devastated.” While much of the internet has been following this story in a somewhat snide way, Gilbert appeared genuinely concerned and saddened: “If she does not die of colon cancer or some other severe cardiometabolic disease, the life—I can’t imagine.”
That medical advice relates to Peterson’s daughter, who is following dad’s diet (or is it dad who is following hers; I did not work it out, things were having a bit of quantum mechanical entanglement at that point), and who has health problems that take an entire article to describe, and it made me wonder how she could even be alive. But it gets weirder. When Peterson and his daughter went off the all meat diet, even to take something which many would regard as healthy, such as apple cider vinegar, there were allegedly disastrous effects:
“Well, I have a negative story,” said Peterson. “Both Mikhaila and I noticed that when we restricted our diet and then ate something we weren’t supposed to, the reaction was absolutely catastrophic.” He gives the example of having had some apple cider and subsequently being incapacitated for a month by what he believes was an inflammatory response.
“You were done for a month?”
“Oh yeah, it took me out for a month. It was awful ...”
“Apple cider? What was it doing to you?”
“It produced an overwhelming sense of impending doom. I seriously mean overwhelming. There’s no way I could’ve lived like that. But see, Mikhaila knew by then that it would probably only last a month.”
“A month? From f***ing cider?”
“I didn’t sleep that month for 25 days. I didn’t sleep at all for 25 days.”
“What? How is that possible?”
“I’ll tell you how it’s possible: You lay in bed frozen in something approximating terror for eight hours. And then you get up.”
The longest recorded stretch of sleeplessness in a human is 11 days, witnessed by a Stanford research team.'
I did some research using our new web researcher DuckDuckGo, or is it Go Ducky Ducky Go? and found that Peterson’s clam of sleep deprivation could not be literally true. Maybe he did get some sleep but forgot from the sheer exhaustion of laying down in terror of impending doom. I understand, for most of the nights of journalists at this site go like that; virtual sleeplessness produced from long hours at the computer absorbing masses of radiation, eyes virtually falling out, flashes of terror, and PTSD episodes to make Rambo feel healthy:
I am suspicious of people who basically don’t cash out in real life.