View Full Version : New Book "Go Wild" by John Ratey


Mantaray14
10-30-14, 10:15 PM
I came across this book in the local library a few weeks ago. It was a timely coincidence since I was there to pick up "Grain Brain" By David Pearlmutter, who also wrote the foreword to "Go Wild" Free Your Body and Mind From The Afflictions of Civilization".

For those who don't recognize John Ratey, I he was a co-author of "Driven to Distraction". Anyway I thought the book was pretty cool, don't think I would purchase it (I might rent it again), but I especially liked how it synthesized many of the ideas I've learned about on this very forum, namely eating a somewhat ketogenic diet, getting plently of sun and exercise (by running barefoot preferably), and spending time with your "tribe".
I know, I know...not too groundbreaking (especially if you read SB's post's...but cool in that the ideas are going mainstream I guess). Here's a copy of useful review I snagged from Amazon:

A New Track Towards Health and Self-help
By BumbleB Media on June 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
With a title like "Go Wild" you may have the impression that the concept is to move to the woods, eat leaves and start running barefoot. It's nothing like that... although... The main theme from this book written by a Harvard medical doctor (psychiatrist) and an award-winning journalist is how do we get back to health and fulfillment before modern society took over. Actually, the authors go way back to pre-Neanderthal man through hunting/gathering societies and then to agricultural societies to see how these changes of civilization as a whole has created a negative impact on our lives today.

The hunter/gatherer (or "wild" part of the premise) vs agricultural society is interesting as a hook, but I would have liked a comparison in how more recent societies (say pre-WWII), even here in the US, used the principles in this book for better body and mind:

fresh air
regular, outdoor exercise
unprocessed,seasonal food
full night's sleep
tight communities

Some of what Dr. Ratey and Mr. Manning said makes sense, but outdoor running isn't for everyone--nor how millions of people used to get their exercise--and dropping all carbs really depends on more than being someone who lives in the US.

BIG PRO: Dr. Ratey/ Mr. Manning had many examples of studies and important topics, ex. getting Vitamin D (sitting in front of a window indoors isn't the same as outdoors) and belonging to a "Tribe" or community (which we've almost completely lost in the US. Facebook ain't it, right? But Christmas with the relatives, nightmare). I was particularly interested in the topic of how abuse in childhood has a long term affect on the health and well-being of the person years later. This is a serious topic that I think needs to be addressed more. The book does have a detailed index at the back that is helpful to refer to for those topics you want to look at again.

My personal POV: My family, who immigrated to the USA in the 50's and 60's, came from a small chain of islands with tropical weather and severe drought. My mom talks a lot about her childhood there, 50+ years ago. They had a tight community (it was hard to get off the island even to the next island, the tight community also continued for decades here in the US), they ate seasonally and only what they grew (no stores even now in some places), they had to walk (not run) everywhere and everything was manual labor. They ate very little meat or fish (once a month, the waters there can be treacherous), mostly fruit, vegetables and a lot of corn, rice and root vegetables (high carb).

This was and still is to a large extent an agricultural society, not a hunter/gatherer, mostly because of the droughts and so little rain, there's no grass or feed for animals. Yet everyone was very healthy overall and very fit. However, not everyone is long-lived because of NO medical care or doctors.

So, I liked this book, but there has to be some balance beyond be a runner, eat paleo and eat fresh/organic, wild caught fish and game, etc. I don't know anyone who doesn't aspire to this, but it's really become a lifestyle for well-to-do people who can afford it and who can leverage a way to get more time (they have choices re: time/money). Still some changes in the direction that Dr. Ratey and Mr. Manning recommend are better than none for everyone.

All in all, a new way to look at body/mind and self-help well beyond the latest diet and exercise fad.

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

SB_UK
10-31-14, 03:53 PM
fresh air
regular, outdoor exercise
unprocessed,seasonal food
full night's sleep
tight communities
"The medical world has recently found, through a series of in-depth, comprehensive studies including a 10-year study, that one of the healthiest groups of people on earth eats fresh food, mostly vegetables, fruits, pulses and grains, in moderation, in a stress-free environment, within a close supportive community."
... .... noting appropriate sun exposure there

and you gonna' live 'forever' boi/gal.

http://globalphilosophy.blogspot.co.uk/2008/03/half-vegan-monks-who-are-worlds.html