I’ve been fiddling around with ways of eating for a long time now, with occasional ventures into the extreme (vegetarian for seven years and nearly two years of raw foods, for example) and sometimes trying to finagle my way back to “normal” eating (that would be the kind that includes bread and cereal, a complete and utter failure, I might mention). The most successful route by far, has been when I do a basic “paleo” type of diet (and for your information, my blood type is A+, which really makes me think very little of the blood type diet), that includes lots of wild (or grassfed, when I can get it) meat, eggs, veggies/greens and happy fats (lard, coconut oil, palm oil, sometimes butter, nuts) as well as moderate amounts of fruit, starchy squashes/yams and nuts/seeds and small amounts of whole food sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. It’s actually really simple, and my body loves it, and Wolf has been suggesting it for a long time. I don’t eat any grains or dairy (ok, sometimes I really need some raw goat cheese or ice cream, but it’s an exception) and I try to avoid all processed foods like the plague (that includes reduced fat milk products, white sugar, granola bars and many kinds of sausage, sadly enough).
I really nice overview of the general life/foodstyle I embrace can be found over here, called the Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson. The basic premise is something like
- Eat lots of animals, insects and plants.
- Move around a lot at a slow pace.
- Lift heavy things.
- Run really fast once in a while.
- Get lots of sleep.
- Get some sunshine every day.
- Avoid trauma.
- Avoid poisonous things.
- Use your mind.
I personally would adjust a few things, like where he says Avoid Trauma, I think he really means Cultivate Awareness, which would have been a better way of putting it, avoid trauma sounds an awful lot like Play It Safe, which isn’t terribly natural or primal. Besides my nitpicking though, he’s got it really right and his blog is a great resource for eating/living in a healthy against-the-grain (pun intended) kind of way, his recent post called Grain Pain, is almost an exact replica of my own experience with IBS and grains, and the healing I found after eliminating them. Another great resource is The Modern Forager: Respect Your Food, Respect Yourself. Kickass nutritional breakdowns, nice evaluations of current scientific studies, good recipes, controversial topics and an opinionated person not afraid to admit he doesn’t know something now and then. Refreshing, to say the least, and you gotta love his post on Humans’ First Protein Source (don’t forget to read the comments). And also the post covering the new study showing that Low Carb = Low Inflammation.
I’m not suggesting that there’s one diet for every person (far from it), but I do think that humans in general would be better off using our evolutionary diet as a healthy jumping off point for customization rather than vegetarianism.