After going to extremes to cure my gynecomastia (benign male breast enlargement–often begins in puberty), I was exhausted. It was hard for me to come to terms with the fact that trying to do everything “naturally” wouldn’t fix the cosmetic issue that had nagged me since I was 12. I tried the raw vegan diet, for 13 months, after which I fixated upon carbohydrate restriction, all the while abstaining completely from added sugars and salt in my diet. This was a terrible idea for someone who trained like an athlete; I was deadlifting, squatting, dipping, and pull-upping, with heavy-ass weights.
After three years of non-stop dieting, my adrenals were exhausted, and I had subclinical hypothyroidism. I fell asleep in my college classes and didn’t have the same spark I used to. I realized finally that I needed to turn this around, and curb my excessive exercise habits in the gym, and start eating more calories. Unlike bodybuilders, who value eating copious quantities of food to increase their muscle mass and strength, I wanted to stay lean while getting stronger, but undereating while trying to achieve this was a mistake.
As a result, I was in a state of sympathetic dominance, and now, after almost 5 years, I am still not even 100% recovered, but my health feels much better than it was before.
I realized I was confused about health. I ate “clean.” I avoided sugar. I avoided added salt. I did a lot of things right, but I was too yang in my approach. I learned to find balance, and I learned to let my taste buds guide my food choices rather than my logical mind. These experiences led me to create this website in 2014.
Connecting to Nature
Growing up in the suburbs my whole life and essentially not knowing how to live outside of the walls of an academic institution dictating what I think, I had no idea how to fish, hunt, gather food, farm, or cook. I was confused due to my separation from nature, and it’s been my goal to connect to it.
I thought that by obtaining a doctorate in naturopathic medicine, I would achieve that, but I felt more disconnected than ever. I joined this program right after starting this website, and parted ways with it mid-way through 2017, along with the masters of science I was pursuing at the same time.
Now, my goal is to understand food, medicine, health, fitness, and anything related to my wellbeing through the lens of nature. I ask myself how shamans think. I ask myself how people figured out that grains and legumes should be prepared before consumption, to lower their concentration of phytates and other anti-nutrients. How come despite being in arguably one of the most “developed” Western nations (USA), we are sicker than others and more confused about what to eat?
It’s a long story, and I don’t have all the answers, but I strongly believe that to become less confused about health, we need to connect to nature.
Mission of Stop Being Confused About Health?
Stop Being Confused About Health (sbcahealth) is about discovering the deepest truths about health, beyond the superficial fads, beyond the advertising, and beyond buzzwords that have lost their meaning like organic, and holistic. Every piece of content posted here, on Youtube, and Instagram, aims to promote thinking about food, ourselves, and our environment, in a way that goes beyond just individual chemicals or other isolated components, and away from the idea that the body is a machine, and instead, with the understanding that we are part of one interconnected whole. Part of this involves bridging the gap between our intuition and the latest research findings. My goal is to share with you the research, while emphasizing the importance of using your common sense and following the wisdom of your body, and the wisdom of our ancestors.
Who am I?
I’m Avishek Saha and I created this site back in 2014 after my health deteriorated from following very sound dietary advice. I tried intermittent fasting, carbohydrate restriction, raw vegan, raw milk, keto, and other fads and none of them produced anything close to the health I enjoy now eating whatever I want, whenever I want and trusting my body to tell me what it needs.
What’s missing from most dietary philosophies is the bigger picture. We often try to construct this with scientific theories, but end up missing a piece here and there. That’s why I believe using common sense and intuition goes a lot further than many people think. It just takes more effort than we realize to actually use our intuition and arrive at knowledge through introspection rather than careful logical analysis.
I like energy medicine, chakras, ayurveda, classical and traditional Chinese medicine, and basically anything woo-woo, including astrology and homeopathy. That means I’m a fan of Deepak Chopra and think Sam Harris is wrong. At the same time, I have always enjoyed studying cell biology, neuroscience, and understanding pharmacology. I just think there is more to how the body works than what we have been taught in schools.
I have a Bachelor’s of science degree in Kinesiology with a minor in neuroscience from the University of Maryland, but this means almost nothing. Although I am privileged to have attended this school, I spent much of my spare time studying nutrition and reading science journals outside the classroom. As I said before, all I knew was school, as this is what my parents emphasized. After obtaining my degree, I decided to pursue a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. Here, the motto included treating the root cause of the disease, preventing it, and “doctor as teacher.” Although these mottos sounded beautiful, it was hard to implement them in practice I saw.
I’m not a fan of flu shots, so when a naturopathic doctor asked a patient in the clinic “were you interested in getting a flu shot?” I realized that things had changed there. I voiced my concerns, was failed for doing so, and then suspended for further explaining my point of view. Sadly, the art of discourse and dialectic did not exist whatsoever in this institution, and my departure from this place was a blessing in disguise.
Sitting in a classroom, memorizing information that wasn’t goint to ever translate into better healthcare, all the while fatiguing our brains, reducing our empathy towards our patients, and leading to burn out, wasn’t the way for me. Modern healthcare is completely confused about health, and my goal is to not be confused about health anymore, and so now, I spend my days studying, writing, and connecting with other like-minded individuals. I want to think like a shaman, and maybe even become one in the future.
I parted ways with this institution in 2017, and three months later, I quit my masters degree too, which I was pursuing concurrently. I had an exciting research project, but one that wouldn’t have had too much of an impact on the world unfortunately–it was a small study involving white blood cells and an herbal extract. I was going to study the effects of this plant on the production of inflammatory cytokine production in macrophages (a type of white blood cell). Funding to the laboratory shut down, and although I had the option of trying to find another lab to conduct this project in, I decided that it was too slow for me. I needed to start discovering what I really wanted to now, not waste time fixing irrelevant details in my research proposal. I finally left the world of academia, and although I have respect for it, I believe in a few things:
I believe we can discover the truths about health on our own, from our own will and desire. I know that the body has an extraordinary ability to heal itself. I believe that the power of introspection is as valid and as powerful as the power of modern science to discover truths about the workings of the body and nature. I believe that with good health, comes a good life, and we all deserve it.
The Problem & Solution
The problem is that it’s difficult to find out what true health is. There are people with agendas online, trying to sell you one point of view. The United States government gives us one point of view. How do we know what’s right? The dietary guidelines have misled us for a very long time, that’s for sure.
What I aim to promote on this website is an unbiased look at anything related to health. I wish to promote a healthy discussion and accept all forms of views here. This is the only way we can arrive at the ultimate truth. As I continue connecting to nature myself, I will share with you my journey and what I’m learning along the way, so we can all benefit. In essence, I want to be a conduit of nature’s wisdom, here on the internet. I hope I can achieve that!
The Problem With “Science-Based”
I am not a fan of the adjective “science-based.” The type of science people refer to here is a cultural form of science, involving published research, that ignores ancestral and traditional wisdom. The latter was science-based, but is not published in journals. There are pharmacopoeias of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine, which we could argue are very evidence-based. There are volumes of books summarizing the clinical trials of homeopathic remedies (called repertories), but modern medicine doesn’t consider these works science-based.
Unfortunately, science has come to represent that which can be understood by academic research only. But this is a fallacy. Your anecdotal day-to-day experiences are just as scientific as the science being published in major peer-reviewed journals. Science isn’t about what journal something was published in. Science is the process of observing something, asking a question, forming a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis with a sound experiment, repeating that experiment, and then having others repeat it.
To stop being confused about health, we can’t just rely on the cultural form of science, which includes all indexed published articles on PubMed. We must rely on our own observations, and those of our ancestors, and those that may be published in ancient texts by ancient civilizations.
In my posts, I aim to promote a balanced look at science. In the past, I would rely just on scientific research which I could access from my computer to come up with varoius health theories; but now, I am more interested in what has been tried and tested by others who have carefully observed their surroundings and connected to nature.
In sum, my mission is to connect to nature and discover that which has been suppressed, and unearth the mysteries of health and this universe that aren’t mainstream.
More about me
Favorite food: basically anything with sauce (curries, really good pasta too) or flavored soups with organ meats.
Favorite books: Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food; Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (free pdf); The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down; Science and Practice of Strength Training; The Complete Vietnamese Cookbook; Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine; The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge; The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life; The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality.
Favorite movies: The Fighter, Insidious III, The Notebook.
Favorite shows: Anthony Bourdain’s shows on Netflix, Bizarre Foods, Black Mirror, Pablo Escobar: El Patrón del mal
Where I’d like to travel: Varanasi, India; floating markets of Southeast Asia, southern Mexico to meet some curanderos, and Rhodope mountains in Bulgaria, and many more places.
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None of the information on this site constitutes medical advice. Always consult with a licensed healthcare practitioner for concerns regarding the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Information on this site is for educational purposes only.
Further, sbcahealth is a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program; thus, links to recommended books and products may appear throughout the site. When you purchase something from that link, I receive a commission. This helps support me and my mission. I will never ever recommend something that hasn’t deeply influenced me or benefited me in some way and will remain transparent about recommending any product here.