Renowned TV host, best-selling author and ob-gyn Dr. Christiane Northrup was part of the panel of speakers at this year’s online Food Revolution Summit, held April 27-May 5 and facilitated by John Robbins. Robbins is also a best-selling author (“Diet for a New America,” 1987) and known for having turned his back on the Baskin Robbins fortune for a simpler, healthier vegan life.
Northrup fielded few questions on women’s roles, and why they aren’t stuck with certain destinies.
“When it comes to women’s health, particularly as they grow older, what are some of the beliefs that you see as the most dangerous or destructive?” asked Robbins.
“‘After the age of 50 or menopause, it’s all over,’ and ‘My mother had it; therefore, I’m going to get it.’ These are just fed to us by the mainstream culture,” said Northrup.
She said that the only reason we need to know about our mother’s history of heart disease or medical problems is so we can employ a strategy to make sure that our epigenetics—the environment that affects your genes—don’t affect us the way it did our mother.
“This genetic determinism is dead wrong. We know that 90 percent of what happens to us is from the environment, not the genes.”
Asked Robbins, “The average 60-year-old woman today weighs about 35 lbs more than years ago. In these times, is it really possible for women to age with vibrant health and increasing joy?”
“Yes, but you need to step out of ‘the matrix,’” said Northrup. “You are not powerless. If you understand your power, the power that we are talked out of all the time by the mainstream narrative, by medicine, media, once you understand that power, you step out of that paradigm.”
Dr. Northrup referenced Dr. Mario Martinez, a clinical neuropsychologist who developed his theory of biocognitive science, demonstrating how thoughts and their biological expression both emerge within a cultural history.
“At age 35, if you haven’t had a baby, the cultural narrative is that your fertility drops and you have to freeze your eggs. Not true… We have to upgrade what we believe is true because 65 today doesn’t mean anything because there are 65-year-olds who have the bodies of 30-year-olds (and increasingly, vice versa)!”
“Another mainstream narrative or cultural belief that we need to free ourselves from is for women to expect to put themselves last,” said Robbins. “But when a woman changes her life for the better, her entire family generally benefits. Does that mean that the wellbeing of our families and society depends on women being and remaining healthy?”
“‘Happy wife, happy life.’ ‘When momma ain’t happy, nobody happy.’ We have to learn how to joyfully get our needs met, and not feel guilty about it!” said Northrup.
Women are supposed to be creatures of obligation and duty. For a woman to challenge that belief can be exhilarating or daunting.
Northrup said, “Back in the day when I was still on full-on self-sacrifice mode, even as a doctor, as a female, whenever I would book a massage, I wouldn’t dare tell my husband because he would complain about the money. Even if we were both surgeons, I felt the need to ask him permission to book a massage, when it would never occur to him to check with me before spending on a car or a camera. I realized that that was internalized in me and I was pouring it out in my relationship. I have met the enemy and it is us! We have to change our reality by changing our unconscious beliefs.”
Easier said than done, but now that we are “woke’” (current slang for being socially aware) to this idea, and knowing that “the wellbeing of our families and society depends on women being and remaining healthy,” we should shed the guilt trip, as focusing on our wellness translates to society’s overall wellness, too. —CONTRIBUTED