Who I Am: Age, Occupation, Education, And My Fitness/Nutrition Lifestyle.
My name is Tariq Zaman, I’m a 34 year old male. I used to be a medical doctor in the UK, but I quit over 8 years ago. One of the reasons I left medicine is because I was fed up of the medical profession’s obsession with merely relieving symptoms with artificial drugs and surgery.
Nobody was looking at the root cause of a condition, which is often a problem with nutrition, exercise, or other lifestyle factor. Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Yet in Western medicine, “natural” remedies, the likes of food, exercise and lifestyle changes, are often laughed at by my colleagues.
Everyone agrees that prevention is better than cure, yet in Western medicine, prevention is just an afterthought.
As a doctor, I felt handcuffed by the litigious nature of Western medicine. As long as I followed clinical practice “guidelines”, the law would be on my side, even if something went wrong with the patient. If I strayed from the guidelines because I believed a natural remedy would be of more benefit to my patient than a potentially harmful drug, then I’d be in BIG trouble if something went wrong. Heck, even if nothing went wrong, I’d be in big trouble if the patient complained I suggested a “natural” remedy.
Western medicine wasn’t just failing my patients, it failed me. I broke my leg in a road accident when I was 13. My doctors told me there was nothing I could do to help speed up the healing process of my broken bones. When I insisted, they told me to “drink lots of milk”. Thanks to no sound nutritional advice, I ended up with a “non-union”, where my leg never really healed properly, and that same leg later re-fractured while I was playing tennis at the age of 18.
My second fracture left me with a slightly deformed leg, which resulted in arthritis in my left knee. My orthopedic surgeon told me the only way to fix it would be to re-break and re-align my leg through surgery, and even then I might still need to undergo knee-replacement surgery to get rid of the knee arthritis. In the end, I fixed my knee arthritis with cold water therapy.
I had asthma ever since I was a child. My family doctor always insisted I use a steroid inhaler to keep my asthma under control. One of the side effects of this inhaler was that I would frequently suffer from severe throat and chest infections, for which I needed more drugs in the form of antibiotics. My doctors would always tell me there was no cure for asthma, yet, when I got hip to the world of natural remedies, I learned that I could cure my asthma with a simple dietary adjustment. And cure my asthma I did—I haven’t used a steroid inhaler in years, and I don’t remember the last time I had an asthma attack.
The other problem my doctors could never help me with was my weight problem. I’ve always had a love for food, and hence always been on the larger side. The only advice I ever got from my doctors was, “Eat less and exercise more” and “Go on a low-fat diet”. I tried to force myself to eat less and exercise more, all the way into my mid to late twenties, but I’d always end up bingeing and giving up after weeks and months of torture on a low-calorie low-fat diet. In the end, I discovered that I had to eat the right type of food to lose weight, not just eat “less” and eat fewer calories. I also learned that I needed to do the right type of exercise, rather than just to exercise “more”.
In terms of my fitness and nutrition lifestyle, I do high intensity exercise and follow a grain-free high fat diet, which resembles the popular Paleo and Primal diets. My exercise regimen involves doing natural movements that are helpful in my everyday life. I do high intensity sprints, lift free-weights, and do calisthenics. With my diet, I eat food in its natural form, I avoid grains, which I believe promote inflammation and were one of the causes of my asthma, and I eat plenty of healthy fat, which promotes good hormone balance, and, contrary to conventional wisdom, provides protection against heart disease and obesity.