Tuesday, February 05, 2013
I have a Fit for Life cookbook that I liked - that was pretty much my whole reason for knowing about the Diamonds. They ate the kind of food that I like (pretty basic, and not in down-to-the-gram measured amounts) and, other than breathing techniques, didn't invoke huge amounts of radical exercise.
That being said, my feeling was (and is) that a way of eating can hardly be deemed "best" if humans haven't evolved in a way that takes advantage of that method. Early humans were lucky to have enough to eat at all - at any point on the globe - year round, let alone evolve a digestive system that works optimally when certain food groups are eaten only under certain circumstances. Humans - like all other creatures - ate what and when they could and it seems contradictory to common sense to assert that only some combinations of food are optimal. It's only in the last 40 or 50 years, surrounded by plenty, that we've had the luxury of choosing what and when to eat, and see where that's got us - a US obesity rate of what, 30+%?
If I had to pick a New York Times best selling diet book, it would probably be one based on ancestral eating patterns, on the theory that indigenous peoples evolved an optimal eating and digestive style that reflected their surroundings; e.g., Norwegians would thrive on fish, but people from central Africa probably wouldn't digest it well at all (as the Norwegians wouldn't digest a diet heavy in fruit terribly well.) Still, we move around so much today that "indigenous" barely applies to anyone anymore.
If I look to my own ancestors (who are, as nearly as I can tell, on one side purely Highland Scots and on the other French or German, depending upon who had the Alsace at the time) and see what they were likely to eat, then eat that way, I feel better - and my weight normalizes more readily - then when I eat, say, watermelon or avocados in January.
I dunno, I think we overanalyze these things. I think we all have an innate sense of what is right for us to eat - or do - at a given point in the year, but we let our desires drown that small voice out. My body wants me to eat meat in the autumn and winter, but for years I wouldn't do it - I was a vegetarian, dammit. In early spring, I'd drive home from the grocery snatching handfuls of salad directly from the bag but never put that together with my distinct non-desire for a salad in December.
Our bodies know what we need, and when we need it - all we have to do is be willing to listen and not override with fickle desire. The Siren song of "food" made in laboratories can't possibly be good for us, or it would already exist in nature. (Yes, I know that there are things in nature that are toxic, and you know well enough not to eat them. Stop playing that game.) There are lots of things that might appeal to us, from Velveeta to crack, but if you listen closely, your own body will tell you what to go to and what to avoid (like Velveeta and crack - both are probably to be avoided.) Just because it doesn't kill us, doesn't mean it makes us healthier or stronger - most grown-ups can survive a rattle-snake bite, but they're no stronger for it.
I guess my long-winded point is simply that if a given Diet insists that you can only eat one item from column A with one item from column C at the same time, and column B can only be eaten before 11:00 a.m. EST, then it's probably a construct for commercial reasons rather than health reasons.
I'm just sayin'.