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Reply to HIPPICHICK1 that got too long, and so wound up as a blog.

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'.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The problem is that the 'big foodies' have us in a vice. They have learned in their little hidden test tube factories how to appeal to our taste buds in ways that are notoriously unfair to our brain wiring.

    The sugar, fat, and salt that they slide into our diets should be illegal in much the same way that drugs are outlawed. Sometimes I really think that the big foodies, the AMA, and the FDA all sit in big fat swanky boardrooms plotting their money making scams to get us sick(FAKE food glop), then charge us out the kazoo for being sick and pump us full of drugs (sicker still), but great money making profits...shove us in long term care (prolong the sickness as long as humanly possible) big money there too from the family's pocket now that they have drained the patient's pockets..and then there is the funeral industry for their final payout. The things they tried to push on us for a swanky funeral for my little mother who died at 93. WHO the heck did she have left to even INVITE to her funeral at that point in time.

    It's shameless capitalism all dressed up in it's best 'emperors new clothing'...I don't fall for it...I just WON'T fall for it.

    I try to eat close to the land. And I even worry about that now with all the GM seeds out there. The only way to really be healthy is to grow your own.

    Do I sound betcha! emoticon

    1896 days ago
    I read the book also about the ancestral eating patterns. I do think the gene pool is diluted for most Americans. For me it came down to thinking that I am an individual science experiment; that I have biochemical individuality; that I need to listen to my body and decide for myself what works best with that. Then I realized that I had adjust for life circumstances, in my case, the ageing process!
    1914 days ago
    Very interesting blog. I'm not sure if I have a Fit For Life Cookbook. I have so many. I tend to also think we should eat more whole foods and less processed. The longer the ingredients the more I worry.
    1929 days ago
    What an awesome blog! I so agree with you that if only we would listen to our own bodies, we would know what we need!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1931 days ago
    This is a thought provoking blog with many ideas and statements that resonate with me. I think getting too focused on food intake is not a good idea, either. What you say makes a lot of sense but I, too, wonder if my gene pool isn't extremely "watered" down which makes it difficult to follow that as a rule. I'm starting to lean more to a moderation diet (I still HAVE to track as portion control is my downfall!!). Trying to eat more natural and less processed foods. It's an ongoing learning process of what works and what doesn't. By the time I get it figured out I'll be dead anyway!!! LOL!!!!!
    1931 days ago
  • _UMAMI_
    Wow, lots of food for thought.
    And, for the most part, I agree.

    I think everyone has to find what works for their bodies. Dang---you and Lisa Marie are doing well enough---why are we, the UNCLEAN, still struggling?!

    , my Irish/German hodgepodge had a smoked salmon w/ pasta (oops, Italian) meal w/ salad (homemade cider vinaigrette) w/ a Rose (French) and took a walk (channeling Kafka).

    I do like the idea of "what worked for my ancestors". Most of whom were NOT FAT.
    1932 days ago
    T think of it this way. If we have teeth for tearing flesh, we are hunters.
    Hunters hunt animals not vegetables so my fish chicken and steak my body knows how to process.
    I was born and raised in England an island that had the cool wet climate for root vegetables.
    We had potatoes carrots parsnips and cabbages. So that went with the Meat and made us our feasts. I have never bothered to look up sugar history I just know it was rationed in my youth and my mother traded any sugar rations for fabric so she could make me clothes.

    DH and I still eat pretty much that way. We rarely used any spice or herb, we always grew and used ONIONS. Rather large amounts of onions.
    Salt was my hang up living close to the sea-The North Sea. We had lots of fog so there was always salt in the air. I CRAVE SALT never sugar.

    It all goes back to my roots and my roots never saw a TV commercial. I am so glad . happy we rarely watch it.
    When someone on TV says try this it is good for you or easy to make or even made for you most people will buy it.
    Children watch all the ads all the time and pester overworked Moms to buy Junk food. It is so much easier to say yes than no-----so the beat goes on.

    With the small but healthy selections from my past I am certain I could eat well but alas self discipline disappears. I am having a really hard time with portion control right now in fact just writing about my food history has made me feel hungry and we just finished DINNER.
    Got to go to make a CUPPA TEA!!! HUGS Pat emoticon emoticon

    1932 days ago
    Great thoughts here! I've just been trying to get the majority of my food from local natural sources. Yes, I have occasional treats -- I'm not a fan of all-or-nothing thinking -- but I stay away from manufactured food most of the time. I've redeveloped a taste for simply-prepared food. I watch portion size, but I don't have a lot of complicated rules. It's working for me.
    1932 days ago
    You are wise. But as JaneDoe said, I do believe that many of us have "perverted" or have had perverted our natural sense of need and nutrition. I don't know if I can trust my body to know what it wants. My body is perfectly capable of convincing me that the hunter/gatherer within is crying out for Count Chocula or for Smurfberry Crunch.

    So I tend to follow the dictates of reason, which I know can also be misleading.
    1932 days ago
  • JANEDOE12345
    It would be easier if our natural sense of what is right to eat were not perverted by our merchandising-minded culture. Especially with those who have weight issues -- how much of our natural taste is even left after being advertised at from childhood? Think of the studies (sorry, am not citing them) that show kids + TV = obesity. Then those obese kids turn into obese you and me, we who are of the TV generation.
    1932 days ago
    "...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."
    Yes! Absolutely. I agree.
    The diet may actually "work" for some creating weight loss, but how sustainable is it?
    I have been of the mind lately that hunter gatherer eating is the way to go, so I find it interesting that you talk about ancestry and eating in season. I agree with you there too. Are we too diluted now? I'm part English, Irish, Austrian, Ukrainian, Polish and French.
    There are a billion schools of thought on eating, our evolution of how we eat, how we ate, what we should eat, why we shouldn't eat it...
    I read a lot about food, take what I need or what works for me; what resonates with me and leave the rest.
    Experimenting with food has helped me lose a big whack of fat. Let the experiments continue!
    1932 days ago
    And I agree.
    1932 days ago
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