Every time Kayla Montgomery crosses the finish line, she collapses into her coach’s arms. Her legs are completely numb, so much so, that she pleads with her team to “find” her legs as they place ice packs on her to cool her down. At 18, Kayla is one of the top distance runners in the U.S, but she also suffers from a debilitating disease called “MS” or Multiple Sclerosis.
Perhaps one day, modern medicine will accept that food is truly medicine. Imagine a future where your doctor gives you foods rich in healthy microbes, such as yogurt, sauerkraut and natto, to heal not only your body, but also your mind.
It was a quiet night, and Dorrie Nuttall was fast asleep. Her seven-year-old son was sleeping next to her hooked up to a machine, which was supposed to alert her if his glucose levels were too low. The alert never came. Not from the machine, anyway. Jedi, Luke’s adorable diabetes-sniffing dog, started jumping on and off the bed. Nuttall didn’t wake up, so Jedi took it up a notch.
Phil Libin hasn’t eaten in days, but he says he feels euphoric and full of energy. Libin is one of many Silicon Valley executives who swear that regular fasting is changing their lives. He even claims that forgoing food has made him a better CEO.
Like many people in Uganda, Charles Watmon has difficulty living with the things he saw and did as a soldier. An unexpected friend now helps him shoulder the burden. That friend’s name is Ogen Rwot and she is a cute, friendly, caramel-colored dog. For a decade, Watmon fought on both sides of Uganda’s civil wars, first for the Lord’s Resistance Army, then for the Ugandan government. The experience was traumatic. To make matters worse, he learned that he was HIV positive toward the end of his time in the military, and soon lost his wife and his two children to AIDS. After the war ended, he suffered flashbacks and panic attacks. He even thought about suicide.
Einstein once said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Philosophers and scientists from Aristotle to Einstein have known throughout history that walking in nature can boost creativity. When we walk, our heart rate increases, pumping blood and oxygen into our brains. The rhythm of our feet stimulates our minds. And because walking requires little mental energy, our thoughts are free to wander in new and creative ways.
Sleep is not optional. After a long enough period of being awake, our brain starts to produce signals that we are tired. As these signals increase in strength, our brain becomes impaired. We all know what it’s like to feel tired to the point of exhaustion. We are less aware, unfocused, and more likely to have accidents. If we become too exhausted, we may even fall asleep on the spot.
What if a hidden tribe in Mexico holds the secret to health, happiness, and long-distance running? A tribe of super-athletes lives hidden in caves along the cliffs of northern Mexico. Men, women, and even young children often run the cliff ledges for sport. Sometimes they run for days, covering hundreds of miles without more than a snack break.