Friday, January 27, 2012
After the 13-Day Raw Food Experiment that I conducted on myself, I realized that my current mode of operation was not going to work for me longterm. Eating raw foods until 4pm each day gave my system a gentle cleanse, that was worthwhile and quite a learning experience. Check out my blog entitled "Woman's Perspective/Raw Diet Reflections" to read about the take-aways that I got from this trial.
In the end, what got me was the fact that I should be living on a warm, beautiful tropical island somewhere to continue eating this way! Bananas, mangos, coconut, and all other sorts of fruits that are totally out of season in the cold winter months of North-Eastern USA, made up my daily diet. The kicker was to either phase into eating 100% raw, eventually giving up my cooked evening meal for more raw foods, or shift into another way of eating. After reflecting on where I live, the season I am in, what is available to eat locally, and how can I continue this way of eating longterm (cooking for family & eating raw myself), I decided Raw was not for me...well, not completely...keep reading.
Hence, I was pondering: What is my native diet? I come from a mixed heritage of Irish, Ukranian, Dutch, German, Scottish...What exactly should I be eating based on my hertiage, my current geographical location, and such? This is a question I would not be asking myself if I were from Japan and was raised to eat sushi, rice, miso soup and sea vegetables. If I were from Northern Alaska, I might eat whale blubber, caribou, and salmon. In America, I think many people struggle with knowing what to eat because we really have a plentiful supply of foods from all over the world delivered to our grocery stores. Do you realize, we live like Kings & Queens here? With all the options, really comes confusion for many, like myself, who have to figure it out. What exactly should I eat?
Process of elimination came in handy during this process, which is still ongoing for me by the way. First of all, I have reactions to certain foods like wheat, dairy & corn. Also sometimes tomatoes. So, Jessica's native diet should not include these items. It wasn't too far of a stretch to think that maybe a way of eating like the Paleo Diet or Primal Blueprint would fit me. No dairy. No grains including wheat & corn. No legumes or beans. (did you know peanuts are a legume?)
Here is where raw veggies & fruits remain a large part of my diet: Paleo recommends eating like a cavewoman. 50% Lean cuts of meat, poultry & fish plus around 50% of my diet consisting of veggies, fruits, and using nuts & seeds & dried fruits sparingly(like 2-4 ounces per day).
Wild game is available locally for my family, along with free-range, grass-fed, happy living local animals that could provide my meat supply, as long as money will allow. Sometimes, if I can't get the highest quality I desire, I do at least look for hormone-free at the grocery store, although this is not my preference. But you guys know what it's like when money is tight! You do the best you can, and don't get neurotic about it. There is a disorder called "orthorexia nervosa" for folks who take healthy eating to the nth degree and literally get sick over it. Please don't take it that far. Do the best you can, and keep your head about you.
I live in a place with many farms, and can take advantage of farmers markets when the weather is warmer. At least the veggies I need will be as local as possible, grown in USA. I try to buy USA grown fruits as much as I can too. You never know what the pesticide laws are in other countries. One of my health counselors years back said, "Don't buy grapes from Chile, they are still allowed to use spray that was outlawed in the US many years ago." So, since then I aim for other fruits, or buy them in season.
Here is my point: we all have many opportunities to discover a way of eating that our body responds well to, and that we can live with longterm. Like myself, it may take you some trial & error until we find the right balance.
What is clear from many researchers and publications about achieving health: drink water, get good sleep, eat less packaged and processed foods, eat more whole & living foods, reduce dairy intake, find meat from quality sources with animals that had a good life, love eachother, laugh, and know that God loves you!
Here's to your journey, and to your whole body health,
PS: Tell me below, what is YOUR NATIVE DIET?