Ancestral Diet

I wouldn’t be a Californian born and bred if I wasn’t prone to trying new health things.  It’s a disease, folks… y’all just learn to live with it.  I ate sunflower sprouts on sprouted whole grain bread in kindergarten.  (Nom).

So, I’m going to try something new…. this time, it’s on my own.

Things that I have noticed:

  1. When people get proper nutrition, their appetite for junk food drops radically.  (This is why that friend of yours who used to eat the SAD and switched to primal/paleo/vegan dropped five million pounds in half an hour – they finally got some vitamins).
  2. Different people require slightly different nutrition, and have different food sensitivities.   My husband turns out to have a mild nightshade aversion, for instance.  There’s no right and wrong here, it’s an individual body thing.   It is valuable to spend time finding out your aversions – and the foods that cause your body to scream “hallelujah!”.  (Okay – there is a right and wrong.  I know exactly one person who needs to eat processed food, and that’s because she has an illness that leaves her perennially short of salt.  Eat real food, whatever you eat).
  3. Different activities require slightly different nutrition.   When I lift, my body asks me for protein.  When I do more cardio, my body asks me for carbs.  There’s even a different set of cravings for the day I work out and the day after and the day after that.

Things that apply to me particularly:

  1. I never ate a full-out SAD diet.  Even when I worked 40 hours a week and ate a good bit of pasta, I was cooking and eating at home with a minimum of processed convenience food.   What can I say?  My mom thought Kool-aid was of the devil.  See preface – I grew up here.  My mom is “makes her own granola” crunchy.  I learned to cook when I was a kid.  Likewise, I was never a big soda drinker.  My starting point for finding my best diet wasn’t off in sugarland.  *This leads me to a rant.  It drives me NUTS when people assume because I’m overweight that if I “just” did something or other, my weight would magically drop.  No.  It doesn’t work like that.  It DOES work like that if you’re eating junk – I’ve seen it.  But not everyone who is fat eats trashfood.
  2. I did primal for three years, which agreed with me fairly well – best when I was strictest, but hello – I have a family, and homie don’t play that.  They wanted their pancakes, even if they were sad fake nutflour pancakes.  (Yes.  Going off primal I made a real pancake.  Oh, I paid for it… but once in a blue moon, I’ll pay.  I’ll leave the substitutes for people with celiac.  I would rather eat the real thing seldom than a substitute regularly.)
  3. When my husband told me that we were no longer going to be primal, I added certain foods back into my diet.  Wheat came… and I found that as much as I had missed biscuits, they hadn’t missed me.  I can do two servings/wk of wheat without feeling it.  More isn’t good.  I brought corn back into my diet, and found out that zero servings of corn is correct for my body.  Even corn on the cob.  I *love* corn 😦  But I added oats back, and my body sang hallelujah.  Hm.
  4. Among the things that don’t work for me are uncooked vegetables in quantity.  Cooked veggies on the other hand, you may add those to the hallelujah chorus.
  5. I lift weights 3-5 hours/wk.  My protein needs are very high, as are my calorie needs.  I am *not* a desk-jockey.   When I’m working, I’m walking and standing and moving.  When I’m doing SAHM stuff, I’m walking and standing and moving.  So, basically I only sit when I’m tired and goofing off or writing.   If you want to see someone eat a 1200 calorie diet, look elsewhere.  I eat – and I eat a lot.

So, what am I trying, and what are my goals?

  1. I looked up the ancestral diets of Ireland and Sweden, since most of my people come from the British Isles or Scandinavia, with a few from Germany.  The diets were very similar.  Loads of dairy, quite a lot of meat (particularly in winter), fish (yuck), cooked and/or fermented veggies – especially root veggies, ryebread, oats, and a very little wheat.   Apples, berries, honey, kale.
  2. I am going to focus on eating more foods from that list, and fewer foods from other places.  No, I’m not going to go all nazi-esque on myself.  Adding, and with the adding other things get scootched off to the side and eliminated, simply because I have something better.   I picked up a good multivitamin, because I’ve been taking a handful of vits at night, and that’s not sustainable.
  3. My goal is to feel better and more energetic.  In my perfect world I could lift 4-5 days/wk, take long walks at the mall (aka work) a couple of times/wk, keep a spotlessly clean house, and not need to nap most days.   Oh, and I could do that without crashing and burning, which is what happens now when I push myself.  (Much to my disgust).
  4. Yes, I’d like to lose weight, but I am completely and utterly burned out on weight loss diets.  I want to support my body in the things I ask of it, and I can hope that it might return my investment by dropping some pounds.  My serious bouts of overeating tend to be tied to exhaustion, so if I can stave off exhaustion, it just *has* to help.  I want energy, good deep energy, not the fragile crap energy that comes from eating sugar and drinking caffeine.

To that end, I have a countertop full of root veggies that are going to get chopped up and thrown in the oven.  I ****love**** roasted vegetables.  And I bought some rolled oats so I can grind them up and make oatcakes.  I had a lovely breakfast of rye-krisp with goat cheese and an apple this morning, which I found quite satisfying.

Anyway.  That’s where I’m going, and this is an experiment.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  🙂



6 thoughts on “Ancestral Diet

  1. Maea

    How does one incorporate an ancestral diet for one person when their spouse seems to have the OPPOSITE needs? It’s like my husband and I cancel each other out, ugh…


  2. Maeve

    So, hearth, would you like my no-wheat-whatsoever TO DIE FOR oatmeal cookie recipe (sometimes a girl needs a cookie)?

    Also, I think your food list sounds wonderful!


  3. Pingback: Find out what works for you. | Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner

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