Personal crisis of nihilism and lost faith in humankind: over.
In my moment of weakness I neglected to mention something that's of great interest to me at the moment, and that is the effect of diet on the human liver.
There is so much talk now among the dietary world that takes the general form, "such and such food is generally toxic to the body and should not be eaten." The commentariat has thousands of theories on exactly what food is nonspecifically harmful to your body and to be avoided, but I've gone and used both my rational brain and science to come to what I feel to be a more conclusive answer, not just by correlation but by mechanism.
Regardless of what you eat or how much or at what time, your body will utilize your liver to generate bile and digestive enzymes to break it down into raw nutrients. When those nutrients hit the blood stream, for better or for worse, it will be your liver's job to detoxify everything that might be harmful to your body. Drugs, alcohol, fatty acids, sugar, if you go look at some physiology/biochemistry textbook diagrams you'll quickly realize that your liver is largely responsible for digesting and detoxifying everything.
I had a theory once that only now am I finding medical science to support. Medicine refers to something called a "slow liver" or a "sluggish liver."
Here's a link that will provide cliff notes on this: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sluggish ... ptoms.html
In summary, a slow liver is one with reduced processing capacity. Its ability to detoxify ingested substances is more easily overwhelmed.
The symptoms boil down to metabolic syndrome, diabeetus and becoming prematurely oldfat.
Many years ago I reasoned that perhaps these were not symptoms specific to "sluggish liver syndrome" so much as syndromes of having a liver's detoxification capacity overwhelmed. I concluded that it was absolutely crucial
for health minded people to take care not to overwhelm their liver.
With that in mind, I reasoned further that perhaps no matter what you eat, if you eat too much of it you can "clog" your liver, leaving it "backed up" to detoxify a certain workload of potentially toxic nutrients while a measure of the same nutrients have free reign on your bloodstream. I also reasoned that it is perhaps possible to survive in a state of total bodily purity on a diet of absolute garbage so long as little enough of it was eaten,
both in daily total and at any given time, so that you could practically live on fingernail clippings and crude oil so long as you gave your liver an easy enough time that it could process it all before it hit your blood.
Therefore, based on reviewing some liver cleansing protocols, I have rediscovered a critical element of the Ultimate Health Practice which I knew so long ago, and it is the only element of nutrition nobody seems to focus on anymore: when and how to eat
By the simple rationale listed above, I am strongly convinced that if you're to eat anything, eat it slowly or in the form of a bunch of snacks throughout the day.
I am also convinced that fasting is good for you.
Furthermore, go to bed at least moderately hungry every night of your life.
Reason: your organs are supposed to repair themselves during sleep. Do you want your liver to be busy fixing itself or busy spitting out bile and digestive enzymes to process your midnight snack?
Can it do both at once? I don't personally think it can, at least with any efficiency at all. Being able to magically fix itself with 100% efficiency forever without problems while still operating at full capacity certainly isn't consistent of the limitations of other organs. If your heart, kidneys and pancreas are all commonly known to just wear out one day
and never work again, at all, ever, why should the liver be any exception to the rule that all organs need their rest?
I don't want to chance it, not with those odds. We're in luck though - the liver is probably the most forgiving organ in the body when it comes to repairing damage done to it, and the more I read about it the more I begin to suspect that most of the chronic health problems people encounter start in the liver and only start to overwhelm other organs after the liver is so clogged that it's causing subtle jaundice, easily detectable by looking at the whites of the eyes.
I've seen things for and against the consumption of both green tea and grapefruit by many people, so I'll partake of small to moderate amounts of both, but I am confident that there is nothing any one week liver flush can do that a regular habit of not overburdening your liver can't do 100 times better.
Is pecking away at food over the course of the day some magic secret to "kick start the metabolism?" Is going to bed hungry going to magically take pounds off of your body? Probably not, although I have reason to expect: the liver is also responsible for governing lipid levels in the body and carrying out gluconeogenesis, among other things, so this probably could have some implications for weight loss - however, that's not my goal so much as having a body that works. If I magically get shredded because of doing what every other forum on the internet would immediately label as "broscience," sweet, but either way I'll be healthier and longer lived for it, and so long as it doesn't interfere with my strength or energy levels I don't see any reason why not to utilize that practice.