The Perfect American Diet...Part 2, The Search Continues...
As I said before, I am not claiming that what works for me will work for you. Quite honestly it probably wont exactly, my goal is to make you think and take matters into your own hands and not rely just on the advice of others.
After my attempt at veganism, I decided by the way I felt that it wouldn't work for me. Yes I could have, and still could make it work with supplements and finding other foods that aren't made with soy or beans but to me what you eat shouldn't take that much effort. I began to search again and stumbled across "paleo", an eating style like our ancestors and it sounded good in theory. Eating a diet that got us to where we are today made a lot of sense to me. I read the articles and lists of "good" food and "bad" food and the whys and it seemed like something I could try and I got some pretty great results. I lost the extra 10 pounds that I was trying to lose and more than that I felt better. I had energy again and the cravings for salt and raw meat were gone. My cholesterol numbers were "amazing", that was my doctors word. There were still some issues I had with some of the "bad" foods though and that got me researching more. I found another eating style almost like paleo but a little less strict called "the primal" diet and ended up taking a certification course on it and it was a great educational experience if nothing else comes from it. Before I go any further I want to come out and say exactly my opinion on what our ancestors ate from a research/logic stand point. Its hard to imagine but there was a time in history where there wasn't a local grocery store, and going back far enough there wasn't any agriculture. So how did we survive? We were hunter/gatherers and that is exactly how we survived. The opinion that "humans aren't made to eat meat or that humans are supposed to eat mostly meat are both ends of the spectrum and honestly very improbably. `In a pre box store world and in all the survival shows you watch when you need protein and energy what is the source, insects which is meat. Think of a time before farms or weapons, because both of those times did exist what meat other than insects did humans eat? Most animals are fast, go deer hunting without any weapons and see how much meat you eat. The problems is that we think of how we live now, no hunting, no natural selection but that is not how we originally survived. Our ancestors had to hunt and gather their food. A vegan in Alaska during paleo time wouldn't thrive because of the simple fact that there isn't a lot of edible plants in the snow, so logically we can say that fish would be on the menu. These are the things that you need to consider when you think of your diet and what your body needs. Not just what you need to live but what your body needs to flourish. Humans have survived by eating a variety of foods that were available to them in their location, fruits and fish are both good foods for you but for some people at that time those foods weren't available so it stands to reason that where your ancestors are from plays a role in what foods you need to be healthy too. Another topic is dairy, we are the only animal that drinks milk past infancy and its not human milk so it can't be healthy, right? Dairy is a perfect example of evolution in humans. One theory is that the ability to digest milk comes from a scandinavian group of people that drank the milk of sheep in order to survive harsh winters and over time their bodies adapted. Milk from an animal as a food source for an adult human makes no sense logically. Here's the thing, and please do your own research and make your own decisions but....Lactose intolerance is actually a normal response. As you get older you lose the ability to process milk, more specifically Casein. . If you can drink a glass of milk with no bloating, gas, or sick feeling congratulations you are one of the evolved humans and can process casein and get all those benefits that babies get from milk.
Three years later I have come up with the perfect human diet, and here it is. It is my opinion that you need to go back to basics at first. The top of the food list is vegetables. Edible plants have been around since the beginning of time, they aren't hard to catch like animals so it makes sense that that would be your main source of food. If your not used to them, eating a lot of raw vegetables is hard on your digestive system so steamed would be a good start. Farmers market fresh is the top of the list, even before "organic" and i'll do a piece on that later. The idea is to get your body back to basics before introducing new foods, and then only do one food at a time and see how your body reacts. There is a misconception in the paleo/low carb world that bacon is your main source of food and that isn't true at all. If you do eat meat that is all good but stick with meat that is raised without added hormones and are not fed with gmo grains. Grass fed/grass finished is the label I would recommend. I would also recommend trying to make the meat a side dish and not the main course. Listen to your body when you eat, after a meal you should have energy not be tired. If your having symptoms look at the food you eat, there is a good chance that is the cause.
I hope this mini blog series has at least made you think about the food you eat and make better decisions towards an over all healthier life. A lot of the diseases that are affecting humans today are a direct result of diet, don't wait until that news from your doctor to try and make a change, take charge of your health, do your own research, make your body your experiment. If you have trouble starting or need someone to be accountable to I can help guide you in the right direction however ultimately how you eat is your decision and your choice. Until next week, have a happy, healthy, hippie life.