Does your diet own you?
What does that mean? You may think, “Of course my diet doesn’t own me! I choose what goes in this body. As long as it doesn’t have fat. Or animal products. Or gluten. Or soy. Or……”. Now what seems to be controlling out opinion? Our own experience with how foods affect our body, or an explanation from a guru on YouTube telling you definitively that animal products are the cause for the decline in health of the world?
I think much of the time people’s confusion with health comes from our natural instinct to identify with a tribe. It’s what we have done since Homo Sapiens evolved in Africa 200,00 years ago. This tribal instinct affects every aspect of our life. Our job, our hobbies, the food we eat, all of these things are affected consciously or unconsciously by others opinions. This group-think is especially prevalent with the advent of the internet. Now, no matter what religion, musical interest, or fringe diet we happen to be interested in, we can find a community of people to prove that it is not only valid but the ONLY way to think about something. This is an issue I have found to be especially prevalent in the health community.
You can easily find on YouTube warring factions of tribal vegan, ketogenic, carnivore, paleo, and fruitarian dieters. The list goes on. There is nothing actually wrong with having a community around us to provide support and guidance, this is how we grow into developed humans with opinions and strengths and ideas. A problem arises, however, when the people we follow have beliefs that are based on their own perception of a higher morality. A problem occurs when the gurus we choose to follow have skin in the game and stand to lose something if proven wrong. This is often the case with the information we are given on how to eat. Look at how disastrous the recommendations on nutrition from our own government have been. Even with evidence showing that we are not meant to be eating a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet, there is simply too much money and power at stake to walk back 50+ years of nutrition advice.
What I love about eating and living in a Primal minded way, is the absolute freedom from over thinking it gives. All that needs to be considered is, how would our ancestors have approached this situation? Asking this question solves 99.9% of diet and lifestyle question we may have. Look back 30,000 years ago. If you were lucky enough to avoid being killed, hit with an infection, and survived bad weather, you could expect to live to 94 years of age with virtually none of the chronic disease we see running rampant right now!
What does this have to do with not being owned by our diet? Simple. Just by give your body what its been using for fuel for the last 200,000 years, and get rid of everything past when we stopped evolving. Before the advent of civilization 10,000 years ago (accompanied by agriculture and lower life expectancy), the way we nourished our bodies was simple. There wasn’t a question of what or when to eat. There was no, “I need to go on a run to burn off that bag of Twizzlers”. There was no snacking every 3 hours to make sure our metabolism didn’t slow down (nonsense). All we had were plants and animals. This is not a diet that our Paleolithic ancestors were following, this is what we are designed to eat. It is what promotes optimal gene expression to enable our bodies to age without the typical rapid decline in health associated with longer life span. All we had to worry about was sourcing enough animal and plant food sources, and we would be completely nourished both in body and spirit.
Give it a try. Get rid of the mind clutter and anxiety that results from which low-fat nonsense food product fits into your diet. Ever question why all of a sudden fat and meat became bad for us in the 50’s? A simple look into how much money sugar and grain industries were funneling into the government answers that question. Remove the headache of figuring out which tribe to follow, and just eat some plants and animals.