There once was a man who 'had everything.' He owned a huge California estate - 45,000 square feet, to be exact. He had rewarding business interests, to put it mildly - including oil related ventures that made him worth billions. AND, of course, he had the means to consume as much food as he deemed necessary for his satisfaction; lobster, 'prime cut' steak, and caviar being a few of his favorites. Yes, he was 'rich,' alright.
Yet was he as rich in body and spirit, as in financial terms? Discover the answer below. Hint: There are more than a few 'primitive' cultures around the world which - in terms of health, happiness, and what I'd call 'true wealth' - have the 'man who had everything' beat, I say, by a long shot. Discover a handful of their highly-useful secrets now.
And be reborn!
...Author John Robbins in Healthy At 100, tells the rather horrific story of 'The Man Who Had Everything.' His name was Marvin Davis. And he was among the richest men in the world, having amassed a considerable fortune via the oil business - and by buying and selling companies such as Twentieth Century Fox, Pebble Beach Golf, and the Beverly Hills Hotel. He lived in what Robbins terms a 'palatial estate.' Davis, claims Robbins (who visited the wealthy man's estate at a dinner party), was among the richest men he'd ever met. Yet in terms of personal health?
He was perhaps, among the poorest.
The doors in his house were all, 'double width' - so as to accommodate his large frame. He could not go to the bathroom by himself, without the help of attendants. At the dinner party in question, Robbins noticed he seemed distracted, ill-tempered, and FAR from content. Plus, the 'rich' man seemed to be limitless in his desire for all things food. He ate loads of lobster, steak, caviar and the like. He consumed food as if his stomach were a, 'bottomless pit.' Oh, and his weight? Well, that tipped the scale at somewhere around 400 pounds. Yes, when it came to the notion of 'over-consumption,' claims Robbins (paraphrased) of his host:
He seemed to be the epitome of all that has 'gone wrong,' in western society.
On the contrary, the people Robbins writes of in the bulk of his book, are what you might call, 'the exact opposite' - of Mr. Davis. Robbins writes of the Abkhasians of the Caucasus Mountains. He tells of the Vilcabambas of Ecuador's Andes Mountains. And he reveals more than a few living habits of the Hunzas of North Pakistan. These are all indigenous folk who live (and eat) in such a healthy, minimalist way, that one could easily call it 'the antithesis' of that embraced by Robbins' dinner host; he of the palatial estate, the man 'who had everything.'
These people - who some in 'advanced' western society might call 'primitive' - do not live in huge mansions with double doors. They don't gorge themselves at each meal with an inordinate amount of animal food. In fact they generally stick to a low calorie, low protein, low fat, high carbohydrate (unrefined) diet; one rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. They know nothing of refined sugar, and processed foods. And all of what they consume is planted, grown, picked and eaten, by their own hand.
And what are their results?
Well, they suffer virtually none of the ailments so prevalent in 'advanced,' western culture. They rarely, if ever, suffer heart disease. Their eyesight often remains 20/20 from birth to death. They've got energy to spare - even late into life. They make exercise an integral part of each day. They've little choice. As agricultural work takes up a good deal of their time. A positive thing, I'd say, all considered.
Further, as Harvard University's Dr. Alexander Leaf, M.D. (a physician who visited these cultures at the request of National Geographic, in the 1970's) noted in his book Youth In Old Age, not only were these people extraordinarily vigorous into their later years, generally speaking - they seemed to be of 'remarkable good cheer,' be they 'old' or young. Yes, overall? A 'stark contrast' when compared to the ways of modern, western Man; or to those of the financially wealthy Mr. Davis, for example.
What can we learn from the case of Mr. Davis? Speaking of who, by the way, died in 2004 according to the L.A. Times, with a net worth approaching $6 billion. Perhaps we can learn a lesson about the ill consequences of consuming more and more - of 'hoarding food' (and other resources) to put it one way - to such an extent that life no longer seems the joy, that it should be. More: If it were up to me, we might view such a case as a 'warning sign' of sorts, of what might become of us health-wise. That is, should we choose to ignore the physical cries of our bodies, when they're in obvious peril.
On the other hand, what can we learn from the 'primitive' peoples written of by John Robbins and Dr. Leaf - like the Abkhasians, Vilcabambas, and the Hunzas? I contend, the following: That it does not take a 'rich estate,' to yield a rich life. That a life of simple restraint may 'pay one back' in later years, in ways unknown to he who would consume, to his own detriment. And that there are distinct advantages to being a minimalist, both with regard to one's diet, and maybe even to his, 'abode.' After all, what would one actually do with a 45,000 square foot house? Which was, by the way, the size of Mr. Davis' former Beverly Hills home at the time of his passing.
I'll tell you this: Were such a home mine - and were I in a situation, physically speaking, like that of Mr. Davis in his later years? Well, I'd probably be cleaning a good portion of that palatial estate myself - in an effort to bring my overall weight back to a healthy level, via 'creative exercise.' I'd also likely be cutting back on a few of those lobster, steak, and caviar dinners. Instead? I'd go with more of an unprocessed fruit and vegetable approach, such as that enjoyed by the Abkhasian, Vilcabamban, and other long-lived peoples.
Oh yes, I should probably mention: I've lived this way for WELL over 20 years now. I've eaten nothing, save plant foods. I've steered clear of the standard American diet. Speaking of which, I'd contend, is largely responsible for the fact that many an official organization (i.e. The American Cancer Society) now predicts 1 in 2 will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. I've exercised vigorously, each day. More, I've attempted to demonstrate restraint with regard to owning anything I don't deem truly necessary for a full, healthy life. In short, I've tried to live like those cultures written of, by Robbins.
And from experience, I can guarantee you this:
No matter the type of financial offer 'on the table,' I'd never 'in a million years' give up a smidgeon of my good health, for a single penny. As my definition for a man who 'has everything?' Well, it's likely a bit different than that held by many in what I'd call 'our over-consumptive' western culture. I tend to personally define 'having everything,' as being rich in health, relationships, even personal freedom. And that being the case, I'd go so far as to call the Abkhasians of the Caucasus far richer in true wealth - any day! - than the physically ill (perhaps even spiritually) owner of any massive estate with 'double door bathrooms.'
Try living my way, yourself. Eliminate meat and dairy products from your diet. As these 'rich foods,' tend only to clog up the digestive tract, and make a good breeding ground for parasites, cancerous cells, and other unwelcome invaders. Exercise each morning with calisthenics, before anything can get in your way. This simple habit, you'll find, will help you drop excess weight and build lean muscle, simultaneously. Make unprocessed plant foods - fruits, vegetables, and whole grains - your primary source of calories. Yes, do all this? And you're going to like your results.
In fact, I'd bet my life on that.
Another note: Try tossing your TV out, if you would - into that trash bin out on your back porch. As, if you're anything like me, that stress-inducing contraption can be WELL replaced (to put it mildly) with just a simple good book or two. Further: Begin to question the very notion of what 'having everything,' truly means. Is it a 'palatial estate' or financial means, to the exclusion of all else? Given the evidence of our Mr. Davis, versus the results of the 'more primitive' cultures outlined above, I say:
'I think not!'
No, I like to ask, in honesty: Is it something far simpler? Could 'having everything' mean having a truly rich lifestyle that has stood the test of thousands of years, as demonstrated by indigenous folk, around the world? It's a lifestyle also, by the way, which has demonstrated its extraordinary health benefits under the scrutiny of modern, research science. See Dr. Campbell PhD.'s The China Study for more on that.
Yes, I'm going to say the latter, in answer to the 'palatial estate versus simpler lifestyle' question. I'll choose the raw plant, over 'blood of beast' any day. I'll choose daily exercise over being sedentary, as well. I'll choose good book, rather than TV program. And I'll choose - always! - the unprocessed, versus the Man-altered.
You can do the same.
And should you do so? Well, based upon my experience, I'm going to 'go out on a limb here,' and suspect this: When it comes to 'the man who had everything' - financial means, massive estate, and sizable girth notwithstanding - make no mistake about it, my friend.
You've got him beat, by a long shot.
P.S. Visit Jeff on Amazon. And discover how he transformed himself from a middle-aged, out-of-shape, fast food addict - into a healthy-eating fitness 'machine!' All it took was the simplest (and healthiest) diet known to Man. That's number one. And number two? The simplest WORKOUT plan known to Man! Yes, these two disciplines are so simple a child could learn them. Yet, when done in combination? It's like flipping a 'magic switch.' And one that's PROVEN to build a 'ripped,' athletic, super-fit body - at any age! Jeff has mastered these two disciplines. And he's in the shape of his life (at 49). What's more: He knows how to simplify things. So you can do the same! Visit him now. Heed his advice. Be reborn! See: http://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Sekerak/e/B015W954XG/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1444040713&sr=8-1
P.P. S. Consult your doctor - not to mention your good old fashioned common sense! Before you engage in ANY diet or fitness protocol. Use your intuition as well, btw. As in my opinion: It rarely goes wrong.
*Copyright 2015, J. Sekerak. All rights reserved.