Hey there, lovely radicals… podcast time!
In today’s episode of the “Life. Unrestricted.” podcast, I talk to Alan Levinovitz from Charlottesville, Virginia.
Alan is an assistant professor of religion at James Madison University, and his academic work focuses on classical Chinese thought, the philosophy of play, and the intersection of religion and medicine. He studied philosophy and religion at Stanford, and received his Ph.D. in religion and literature from the University of Chicago Divinity School. His writing has appeared in numerous media outlets as well as academic journals.
Listen to Alan talk about:
– What made him see and investigate the connection between religion and our culture’s obsession with “wildly attaching morality/miracle powers” to different foods
– Why he would personally have chosen a different title for the book
– Where the inclination to attribute (somewhat random) superpowers to certain foods comes from
– Why we are so susceptible to fall for miracle promises and fall for all the nutritional lies we are presented with
– Where the science really stands on gluten-sensitivity
– Why a lot of people with disordered eating hide their disorder by making up sensitivities they don’t really have
– How living in fear of certain foods can severely limit our life, relationships and joy
– What we are forgetting when we are obsessed with “healthy eating”
– Why a fearful attitude about food/food groups/ingredients alone can cause the undesirable symptoms we were trying to avoid
– How to not get caught up in the myth of “optimization” and “body hacking” when it comes to food and exercise
– How we should really be thinking about the concept (and consequences!) of “dieting”
– Why fear-mongering myths about food can have a powerful, long-lasting effect on people
– Why, when “the honeymoon phase” of a certain diet is over, we tend to think it’s us that sucks at dieting
– What the “Sunk Cost Bias” is and how you can recognize it if it happens in your own mind
– Why books by medical doctors (like “Wheat Belly” or “Grain Brain”) are misrepresenting actual scientific evidence, and are causing nothing but unnecessary hysteria and fear
– Why in science, any “exaggeration” is, in fact, a lie; yet science is often misquoted or taken out of context to create a new sensationalist, fear-mongering narrative
– Why we hold on to false beliefs even in light of disproving evidence
– What the “Wind Turbine Syndrome” is
– Why the powerful “Nocebo Effect” is way too often forgotten
– What our beliefs about food have to do with our own mortality
– Why irrational fears can cause major obsessions, and why thinking critically and staying objective is so important
– Why, when we feel stressed out, we tend to repeat actions that don’t actually work for us, and we tend to do those even harder (“diet’s not working! – let’s diet harder, then…”)
– Why diet-gurus summon up demons that don’t exist (and how often they get rich doing just that)
– Why 30% of the American population is interested in “going gluten-free”, even though only 1% actually are affected by Celiac Disease
– How to stay sane in a world that constantly throws contradictory nutritional advice at us…
… And so much more!
Here’s the link to Alan’s workplace:
You can also check out his Twitter account:
And here’s the link to his book “The Gluten Lie” on Amazon:
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