This month, our topic is Eat Well.
Every day we see and hear new information about what diets we should follow on a daily basis. But, what is the diet we should all be following? Is there one diet that is the same for every human? Where do I even start?
While there are many factors that play a role in our daily lives, we know one thing for sure. The human genetic make-up has not changed in 40,000 years. That’s a long time! When you think back to what our ancestors were eating 40,000 years ago, diet seems pretty simple. They did not have the foods we have in our grocery stores and drive thru windows today.
The Standard American Diet has proven time and time again that it is not working. Today we see that the leading diseases in America include obesity, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. These are among a long list of lifestyle diseases, which truth be told aren’t diseases at all! These issues develop the vast majority, if not all of the time, because of how your body is adapting to your lifestyle. It would better to call them as Dr. James Chestnut refers to them as simply an adaptive physiological state not a disease. This simply means that your body has a stress on it (one example would be a poor diet) and your body is doing its best to adapt to this stress. While adapting to the stress, your body goes into fight or flight mode. Hormone levels change, brain pathways change etc and your body eventually starts to exhibits sign and/or symptoms of the ‘disease’. If you allow the stress to continue too long, you can reach a limitation of how you body will be able to turn things around. However, if you remove the stress soon enough your body can HEAL! All of these are issues we hear about all the time, but it is not okay and definitely not normal! There has to be a plan where we can decrease these numbers, feel better and BE better. And there is!
Because our genes haven’t changed in the past 40,000 years, we should really be eating what our ancestors ate to stay healthy and prevent feeling sick because they actually had to go out to gather and hunt their food to live. When we look back at what they ate during a day, it consisted of foods high in fats, moderate in animal proteins and low to moderate carbohydrates. They ate good quality animal proteins that consisted of red meat, poultry, pork, eggs, organ meats, wild caught fish and shell fish, tons of vegetables, fruits and nuts. They did not eat any grains or legumes. They had no vegetable or hydrogenated oils, no added artificial sugars, no dairy, and they only ate when they felt hungry.
Luckily for us, we do not have to gather and hunt our food, but we do have to be careful with the choices we make daily in order to achieve optimal health. When we go to the grocery store or farmer’s market and buy foods that are listed above, we need to make sure we know exactly what we are buying and what we will be putting in our bodies.
When buying produce, make sure to buy local and organic as much as possible. This is important because conventional produce items contain toxins and chemicals from pesticides. If you cannot buy organic for all produce items, make sure conventional food items have a thick peel you will not be eating to minimize chemical exposure.
When buying protein, make sure to purchase items that are pasture raised and 100% grass fed. Grass fed means the animals were able to graze for their own fresh food and pasture raised means the animals get a large portion of their nutrients from organically managed pastures.
Eating well is very important and just one step to follow when trying to become the healthiest version of yourself. Please join us next month to learn how to Move Well.