How Did People Survive For Thousands of Years Without Instruction?

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Introduction to Real Foods

As you step back and consider the foods we perceive as healthy today, you have to wonder how we’ve survived for hundreds of thousands of years on foods considered unhealthy. We need to focus on eating the foods our bodies were designed to eat; food that gives something back to us.

For thousands of years until recent times, people didn’t only eat the white meat of the chicken or the leanest parts of red meat and discard the rest; they used all parts including bones to make nutritious broth. The milk was not pasteurized, homogenized and skimmed. The cows which produced the milk were not confined in pins, fed GMO corn, soy, ground cow carcass and full of disease surrounded by waste. They lived on clean green pastures, under the sun, free to roam eating as nature intended.

People didn’t limit the amount of nuts, seeds and naturally pressed oils (olive, coconut, etc..) or avoid consuming too much fat out of concern of high cholesterol. They were wise and intuitively knew what to eat and how to eat in moderation, locally and seasonally. Unfortunately in today’s busy society, we have lost it. If only we can find it again, we won’t have to follow instructions or look elsewhere for guidelines and advice, we already know it.

The next time you visit your favorite supermarket, look at how many “foods” are available today (all boxed and packaged) that would not have been available 100 years ago. It’s strange to think that a highly processed, low-fat/low -calorie cookie could somehow be considered a healthy food while naturally raised (grass fed on pasture) beef would be associated with heart disease.

Looking at a supermarket with open eyes, you’ll soon realize that the source of nutrients we place in our body every day has dramatically changed, and you will be able to connect the dots that poor health and new foods go hand in hand.  New foods can lead to a change in hormonal functions, disruption in sleep patterns, the ability to handle stress and other serious health problems.

A Look at Traditional Diets

The closer we get to reproducing those lifestyle patterns of what our ancestors did, the closer we’re going to be able to optimize our genes and our biochemistry to push us toward health which we’re designed to be and to stay away from disease. It’s just where our body wants to be.

~Dr. Mercola~ 

Fortunately there are many influential individuals that focus their work to change people’s perception on food and actively educate on nutrition of the past in order to cultivate a healthy future. Michael Pollan, for instance is just one of many of these advocates, the author of a best seller The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and many other books, named TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010. In addition Pollan was named by Newsweek as one of the top 10 “New Thought Leaders” in 2009.  A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine since 1987, his writing has received numerous awards.

Pollan advocates a traditional diet – eating traditional foods. That means to look back at the diet of various cultures around the world, before the introduction of new foods, and how they thrived on a diet of natural-real foods for thousands of years. Depending on which geological location, season, and ethnic background; minus the new foods, will decide the findings of which foods are traditional for that area.

{The following are examples of various traditional diets around the world, not to offend you or suggest that you should eat that way. Michael Pollan was giving examples of surviving, thriving cultures who do not suffer modern disease or eat a “well rounded diet”.}

Pollan claims;

 “In various parts of the world, necessity has forced human beings to adapt to all kinds of diets. The Masai, an East African tribe, manage to survive on cattle blood, meat and milk and little else. Native Americans survived on primarily beans and maize (corn). And the Inuit in Greenland survived on primarily whale blubber and a little bit of lichen (a kind of moss-like substance),” he said.

Traditional Foods

A traditional food, real foods, or natural food is in its natural state and un-altered. It has been around for thousands of years that humans thrived on, before “new foods” were introduced early 1900’s. Traditionally, foods were sold by weight-in bulk, or grown at home.

In our modern world, we obviously can’t live completely as our ancestor did, but using modern technology and tradition principles, we can thrive as we should; it’s our right to be healthy.

Raw Foods

Raw Foods are “live foods”.  Some foods are best eaten raw and some should be cooked, such as wheat and certain vegetables. Traditionally, raw foods are eaten quite often, but so are cooked foods. Raw doesn’t mean only vegetables and fruits. Raw includes homemade pickles and condiments, healthy oils and fats, sprouted grains, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, dairy; milk cheese, butter, ghee, yogurt, even egg yolks and meat; in fact all cultures worldwide have a raw meat dish, including steak tartare (French), liverwurst, caviar, sushi, raw beef Carpaccio (Italian), kibbei naye (middle easten).

When you begin to understand throughout this course that raw foods come from more than just fruits and vegetables, you will be able to incorporate more in your meal plan; the goal is 75% raw, aim for 50% at first, then work your way up.

New Foods

These days food comes in convenient-attractive packaging and stacked on shelves for consumers to purchase.  Unfortunately, a large portion of the population has lost the art of cooking real foods and relies on “new foods” to survive. A new food, pre-packaged or processed food, is on that has been created in a lab and has been modified and scientifically altered to mimic the real thing (GMO’s Genetically Modified Organisms). Our bodies are not designed to process these foods. In this course you will learn which foods and ingredients to avoid; new foods create new diseases.

Live to eat or eat to live?                                                                                                                                                In this course, the concept of eating in moderation and with traditional foods principles is highlighted. People should eat for survival and to maintain good health, not live to eat, or make food the single focus of your existence.

Moderation in dietary habits can assist you to lead a healthy and balanced life. Modern research has proven that excessive eating and improper diet can increase the chance of diseases such as obesity, high cholesterol, heart diseases and diabetes.

Rules for Eating

Michael Pollan says everything he’s learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

“Eat food” means to eat real food; vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and meat -in moderation, and to avoid “edible food-like substances”; such as tofu and soy based alternatives.

Michael Pollan’s Tips for Eating

  1. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
  2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce. “When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can’t pronounce, ask yourself, “What are those things doing there?” Pollan says.
  3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
  4. Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food,” Pollan says.
  5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. “Always leave the table a little hungry,” Pollan says. “Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, ‘Tie off the sack before it’s full.'”
  6. Don’t eat alone or scattered. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It’s a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. “Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?” Pollan asks.
  7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline.
  8. Spend more, eat less. Americans are as addicted to cheap food as we are to cheap oil. We spend only 9.7% of our income on food, a smaller share than any other nation. Is it a coincidence we spend a larger percentage than any other on health care (16%)? All this “cheap food” is making us fat and sick. It’s also bad for the health of the environment. The higher the quality of the food you eat, the more nutritious it is and the less of it you’ll need to feel satisfied.

 A few more tips to add:

  • If it says it’s healthy, it’s probably not
  • The longer the shelf life, the shorter yours
  • If it’s advertized, don’t consume it
  • Aim for 50 -75% raw foods; including dairy, meat (discussed in proteins), extra virgin oils (olive and coconut), vegetables, fruits, super foods, cultured and fermented foods, health drinks/smoothies, and sprouted uncooked; grains, nuts and seeds.
  • Eat more nutrient dense foods, such as super foods, and eat less portions

 

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