Only eat food that your grandparents would recognize. If they wouldn’t recognize it, it’s not real food.
There are a million books and websites out there on what (and what not) to eat. I want to tell you about the one that makes the most sense to me. I think everyone should read it, but just in case health books aren’t your thing, I’ll give you an abridged version.
The Perfect Health Diet (PHD) focuses on ancestral eating. This makes sense: no processed foods, no vegetable oils, no grains, no sugar… these things aren’t real food anyhow. Here’s what to eat each day:
– about one pound of “safe starches,” such as white rice, potatoes, winter squash, plantains
– about one pound of sugary plants, such as beets, carrots, fruits, berries
– as many leafy green and other vegetables as you would like
– a half pound to one pound of pastured meats, seafood, and eggs; eat salmon once a week for omega-3 fatty acids
– two to four tablespoons of healthy cooking oils like grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, full-fat organic dairy like whipping cream and sour cream. Your food should taste good but not oily. Use spices including salt, and acids such as vinegar and lemon juice.
Your plate, by percentage, should be about 65% plants and 35% animal proteins and fats.
– eat supplemental foods such as bone broth, egg yolks, seaweed, tomatoes, and fermented vegetables for crucial micronutrients
– take other supplements as needed, especially magnesium, iodine (if you aren’t a seafood fan), and vitamins C, D, and K
– practice intermittent fasting by eating in an eight-hour window
– exercise in the morning, expose your skin to sunshine without sunscreen, avoid bright light and lots of food late at night, and get a good night’s sleep
There are two things here that seem to stump most people I speak with about the PHD. The first is that fats are encouraged. I want to be clear here: not all fats are encouraged. Saturated fats are not the demons they have been made out to be; infact, quite the opposite is true. Saturated fats feed our brains, curb our cravings, and are the most adjustable macronutrient of our diet (you can adjust the quantity up or down to satisfy appetite).
The second thing that seems to surprise people is the inclusion of safe starches… so many people seem to think that low-carb is preferable. Eating low-carb results in cravings, sub-optimal healthy gut bacteria, cold feet, slow energy, depression, weight loss stalls, and so on.
Let’s remember that we should obtain carbohydrates from foods that also provide nutrients without tossing toxins into the mix. That’s the logic behind safe starches such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, white rice, plantains, and yams. Those are low-toxin, ancestral foods that provide nutrients such as potassium, copper, vitamin A, resistant starch and fiber.
What is important to remember is that everyone is different, and everyone has different reasons for reading this right now. Are you interested in losing weight? Optimizing your health? Getting better sleep? Improving your mood, digestion, energy? With the exception of diabetics and those with metabolic syndrome, following the PHD can help with all these goals.
Interested in learning more? Read the book, or check out these links: