Part 2 – Create a Better Brain Through Neuroplasticity – Chapter 9 Gutless Fat Shaming, Illness Shaming and Mental Health Shaming

Part 2 – Create a Better Brain Through Neuroplasticity – Chapter 9 Gutless Fat Shaming, Illness Shaming and Mental Health Shaming January 22, 2020

We are back looking at part two of this terrible chapter in Debi Pearl’s book “Create a Better Brain Through Neuroplasticity”

Chronic Illness Shaming

We meet George’s long suffering bride Sue. Sue eats the right things, but suffers from an autoimmune illness. Sue thinks George is a lazy slab of bacon, yet does not tell him that (I am guessing) she’s cheesed off at him. She worries a great deal about normal things like paying bills and if George will lose his job due to missing work for so many junk food related illnesses.

Sadly, Sue Ann’s attitude is slowly but surely destroying her important little microbial helpers. Her constant bitterness s producing chemicals in her stomach and her brain that are responsible for the destruction….her immune system is breaking down.”

Again not at all how autoimmune illnesses happen or what worrying does in your body, but just a handy dandy way for Debi to blame Sue for all of her problems. While we all know that stress can show up in your body in weird ways, elevated blood pressure, or aches and pains saying that is literally kills off gut microbes is a huge stretch with zero scientific evidence. Debi just wants to sling crap at everyone.

Bitterness is more damaging to microbes than bad food….Bitterness is like a microbe pesticide.”

I cannot emphasis enough what complete utter poisonous empty headed ninnymuggins harmful thinking this is! Bitterness is the Evangelical boogieman under the bed that frightens everyone. His bloated corpse gets drug out every single time an Evangelical runs up against something they do not understand. It’s ‘bitterness’ that magical blaming word! There is no endocrine hormone that targets gut cells specifically to kill off if you think the wrong thing, or are not happy enough. Sure, you can produce cortisol when stressed out, but like we said in an earlier chapter that’s not always necessarily bad. Cortisol is whole other boogieman that is poorly understood in weight loss.

Even though science is just now discovering how the body and brain are best served by righteousness and that stinking thinking is destructive, God made that announcement long ago.”

We’ve already covered here many times how harmful to your soul and mind emotional repression is. The toxic happiness pretense takes victims, sometimes in tragic ways when you take on the idea that you are to blame for things like this that are not your fault. Like Nancy Reagan used to say to drugs, just say no to Debi’s ideas of fake happiness.

More Fat Shaming Plus Antibiotic Shaming and Mental Health Shaming

Did you think we were done with the fat shaming? Surprise! Now we have 13 year old Jerry, video game enthusiast extraordinaire!

This son of Sue and George loves his sweet stuff and gets depressed. See what Debi did there? Linked sweets to depression without any scientific proof. It’s never good to live on a pile of cookies higher than Mount Everest, but let’s be real here, no one ever developed raging depression from eating a Little Debbie snack cake or two. A sugar high perhaps, but that’s not depression.

Then Debi mentions he’s had two rounds of antibiotics IN ONE YEAR!!!! and just like that we’re back to illness shaming.

Jerry’s health is being compromised with every dose.”

You know what compromises your health even worse? An out of control bacterial infection. She claims Sue got him the antibiotics for simple colds from the doctor. Newsflash Debi, doctors in the past may have done that, but this is very forbidden now because of the over use of antibiotics in the past causing more antibiotic resistant bacteria. They are very particular about handing out antibiotics now.

There are also medical conditions where a long course of antibiotics are truly the best course of action. MRSA anyone?

How long has it been since Debi went to a real licensed legitimate doctor?

Then Debi links poor Jerry’s depression to his ill health. Nope, still not the answer. Ill health can be a part of bringing on depression, , it can be one component of depression, but it’s not a sure thing.

It is a well-established fact that the root of many mental and physical maladies ranging from ADHD to skin rashes is a poorly functioning gut.”

Of course Debi cannot cite one study or medical peer review that supports her assumptions that healthy guts prevent or cause all of this. She follows this with some ramblings about gardens and how your guts are like a garden. Well, they are in that they are usually full of excreta. Nowhere does she state the most obvious good thing you can do for your gut – a good supplement with probiotics. She does talk about worms and poop. She cannot use any of the other good words for excreta, only the toddler word poop.

More Mental Illness Shaming

Poor nutrition is a significant contributor to mental illness. The rates of mental illness are on the rise as the quality of food we eat declines.”

AGAIN! Literally not the main causation of mental illness. Sure, bad nutrition can play a role in making many things worse, but it’s not the only factor driving it. This is like blaming a faulty windshield wiper blade when the whole darn bus plunges off the cliff.

Here’s what I find the most amusing about Debi’s nutrition drivel. Debi is a lady of a certain age raised in the Deep South, a place known for Paula Deen’s ‘Butter, butter, butter, mayonnaise!’ There is absolutely no way that Debi Pearl, raised in the Deep South in the 50s and 60s ate like she is claiming. Nutrition was not even taught in public schools there either at the time.

Debi would have likely been raised on a steady diet of fried foods and all sorts of bad stuff. Even the healthy foods would have been suspect, like collard greens or fresh green beans swimming in a lardy base of fats. Fried chicken, my lands, mountains of it. Bologna sandwiches. Biscuits, pies, cakes, cookies. Salads come drenched in mayonnaise, or jello, festooned with maraschino cherries. There are parts of Mississippi and Louisiana where an RC cola and a moon pie would have been considered a normal breakfast.

Why do you think Cracker Barrel Restaurants are so popular along with places like Red, Hot and Blue BBQ? The old South of your imagination, the way folks used to eat way back when you spent your days farming and doing hard physical labor. They needed the fat and the carbs to keep working, we do not need those same nutrients these days sitting in an office.

Let us not kid ourselves. This how Debi was raised, this is how I was raised and so many others in the South. Eventually the information on nutrition came down to the South, and thankfully some of this changed.

Debi was not raised eating a boiled egg and an avocado for breakfast for health. Heck, Debi has mentioned more than once the lack of foods much less healthy foods in the Pearl household. Even once telling the tale of the time they only had dried feed corn, only suitable for animals, to feed their children and dented cat food cans. Wasn’t raised doing it, didn’t even raise her own kids following this, so wouldn’t that stand to reason if Debi even followed her own advice she, Michael and the kids would be screwed up beyond all help by now. Their years of bad nutrition would have already doomed them all.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jenn H

    Debi has probably realised that beating children is socially unacceptable. But healthy eating is a good thing, so she is all about that now.

  • SAO

    Well, as a data geek, I hate the ‘one anecdote=fact’ thing, but frankly, if there’s a link between bad eating and brain withering, Debi would be the poster child.

  • Nea

    Not to mention the kids fed cat food during their formative years.

  • Nea

    I’m just going to mention here that the various Pearls and Pearl children suffer from dyslexia, bipolar disease, depression, and stroke2, so what was it about their diet that led to the poorly functioning gut that cause all that, hmmm?

  • Nea

    I was right – she is going to claim that a proper diet would have rescued Mikey from all the problems he ostensibly displays, from bipolar to stroke2!

  • AFo

    Debi has a speck of a good thought here- healthy eating is good- but of course has to ruin it by making hyperbolic claims about ADHD and autoimmune disorders. My understanding of these types of illnesses is that there may be multiple causes and possibly genetic factors, not something that can be hand waved away by blaming a bad diet.

  • Mimc

    It’s pretty easy to restore the microbiome after a course of antibiotics with probiotic suppliments. Whenever my son is on antibiotics (three eat infections last year) I give him probiotics during and for several days after.

  • Saraquill

    If bitterness destroys the gu7 biome, Debi should have 0 bacteria in her system.

  • paganheart

    My internal medicine doc now recommends that his patients take a daily probiotic supplement anytime he has to prescribe antibiotics. He also recommends taking probiotics for at least two weeks after a round of antibiotics, to help restore intestinal microbes. When I had walking pneumonia a couple of years ago, He prescribed an antibiotic to be taken a breakfast and dinnertime; at lunch, I took a probiotic capsule. (The trick is to be sure that you don’t take your probiotic within two hours of your antibiotic, otherwise you’re just killing the good bacteria with the bad.) I also took a daily probiotic for a couple of weeks after that. First time ever I think that I didn’t have intestinal problems while I was on antibiotics; also the first time I didn’t develop a 2vaginal yeast infection after antibiotics.

    Hubby and I are big believers in probiotics, actually. Hubby has IBS and taking probiotic supplements when he’s symptomatic, and just eating more probiotic foods in general, seems to have improved his symptoms a lot. We drink kefir and eat a lot of Greek yogurt and sauerkraut…the real, fermented stuff, not the pickled cabbage that gets passed off as sauerkraut in the grocery store. (I like a brand called Wildbrine that Costco sells, and one of my goals this year is learning to ferment my own sauerkraut.) I’ve noticed that my insides are better-behaved in general when I eat probiotic foods.

    Having said all that…yeah, Debi is absolutely full of it here. There is no question that having intestinal problems, especially chronic ones, can make you a miserable human being. It is also true that emotional issues can cause physical symptoms. (Hubby’s IBS always takes a turn for the worse when he’s dealing with a work or family crisis.) Eating a lousy2 diet can make you feel lousy, too. But the idea that ADHD, autism, depression, anxiety, obesity, etc. can be fixed just by fixing your intestinal microbiome…sorry, I’m not buying it.

  • katiehippie

    When I finally told my ex that I was clinically depressed, the first thing he said was “you eat too much candy”
    One of a million reasons he is my ex.

  • Ann Nienow Bowen

    Creeping in to say there ain’t nothing better on a bad bad day than a bologna sandwich with miracle whip and mustard and pickles on the side.
    As far as Debi goes, she’s fallen hip deep in the woo and there is no one to drag her out.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    There is nothing better on a bad bad day. Shhhh, don’t tell Debi I slipped and bought a box of corndogs at the Liberia Wal Mart this afternoon. Haven’t had them in literal years

  • Ann Nienow Bowen

    We buy the mini ones and nuke em, then throw them in the toaster oven. Now that we’ve got an air fryer we’ll do them in that… nice and crispy and waiting on the horseradish mustard.
    And the bologna sandwich has to be on WHITE bread. Nothing else.

  • Mimc

    Out pediatrician recommended the same thing. It really seems to help.

  • Jennifer

    You guys are threatening my Jenny Craig schedule!

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    The problem with her falling into the woo is the chances she’ll take some one (or many some ones) with her! I suffer from severe chronic depression. I started having depression issues when I was in my teens — I would just, out of the blue, cry. Of course my parents would come into my room, and try to help me, but when they asked why I was crying, my answer would always be: I don’t know, I just am. True, that was in a time where to admit you needed psychiatric help was catastrophic, and people tried to just suck2 it2 up and tell people to just be happy. Some of the common refrains I heard included: Don’t look so sad all the time — Smile. Or walk with your head up, don’t slouch, or Quit hiding in your bedroom with a book all day. All of these things would now be seen as possible indicators that this person may need a little help. .

    Sorry — Got off track — I’ve only read this and the other post on this chapter, and I am seeing red that people like this are allowed to dispense their “medical” advice without benefit of having the schooling and experience and the science to back up their claims. The damage they can do through their followers is mind blowing.