I have a sheepish confession to make: until recently, I had a tapeworm, and that's why I'm lean.
In 2006, I took a trip to Mexico with a few friends. We often traveled through rural areas, and of course sampled the local cuisine wherever we went. In many parts of Mexico, pork is an important food. Some of it may have been a bit undercooked.
At the time, my interest in food and health was growing, and I was making many changes to my diet. I was glad to see the chubbiness around my neck and waist begin to disappear. The diet was working! Or so I thought...
In 2008, I began writing Whole Health Source to share the information I thought had helped me. Yet despite remaining lean, my energy levels were flagging. I would sometimes feel tired after ordinary activities like a weekend of backpacking in the mountains. A year later, I noticed telltale signs of a tapeworm infection (I won't go into the details).
At first, I was mortified. Parasites are disgusting, and especially tapeworms. They hook into your intestinal lining, feed on the partially digested food that flows past them, and shed large eggs into the stool. I resolved to go to the doctor and have it removed immediately using an antihelmintic drug that kills tapeworms.
I saw the doctor, filled my prescription, but when the time came, I couldn't take the pills. I had grown strangely fond of the little bugger. Just like our gut microbiota are a part of who we are as individuals, I felt that this tapeworm was a part of me. Wherever I went, he went. He was the best friend there could be.
Why am I writing this now? Last month, My Buddy passed away prematurely (tapeworms can live more than 25 years). He was only 9 years old, which is about 28 human years; a young man in his prime. Was it that habanero pepper I ate? I'll never know.
What I do know is that the charade is over. No more potatoes, no more nuts, no more meat. I'm going back to the Eocene diet.