Everybody and their mother has a new diet to try. Atkins. The Zone. Paleodiet. Low Carbs. High Protein. Lemon water. Cabbage soup. The old starvation diet…Small details. Many people say that life is about the small things; unfortunately, many people worry about the small things while ignoring the BIG things.
Animals in the wild eat their natural foods. Birds eat bird food. Fish eat fish food. What do humans eat?
Well, lucky for us, there’s a new diet out there. I just made it’s name up. It’s called “The Human Diet.” It’s based on eating foods that humans are meant to eat when we follow our nature. That’s it. Simple. Effective. True.
To analyze how effective “The Human Diet” is, we need to first determine what the purpose is when an individual “tries out” a new diet. Most people diet in order to lose weight. They diet for a few weeks, lose weight (which is often mostly water), then gain it back when they go back to eating the same foods they were eating before.
What’s the point of that? People end up right where they started. Miserable and defeated because the goal was never truly reached.
If people truly want a change in their life, we need to reassess our methods.
Wikipedia defines “diet” as “the sum of food consumed by a person or organism”. No where does it say, “a brief, miserable period of time where a person drastically alters their food consumption in order to lose weight.” But this is how people use the word “diet.”
What a diet should be is eating habits that are easy to follow that promote health in every aspect of our lives, physically, mentally, and spiritually. “The Human Diet” was named to shed light on the truth that humans should just eat what we’ve always eaten, things found in nature, and to poke fun at how American culture looks at the food that sustains us. Regardless of what we call it, the food that we eat should cause us to be lean, promote high muscle mass, reduce any possiblity of disease, give us mental clarity, connect us with the Earth, and cause us to forget that we ever worried about the food we eat in the first place. Eating properly makes EVERYTHING turn out right.
Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. ~ Michael Pollan from his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
This is possible when we eat “The Human Diet.” It has one guideline. Eat natural foods in its most natural form. That is, Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, and Animal Protein. I would even propose that raw milk and cheeses, fermented and sprouted grains would be acceptable. But again, we aren’t here to nitpick. Stay as natural as possible and health and longevity will result.
If we remember this one guideline, we can be our own critic when it comes to food decisions:
- GMO or Organic Food?
- Fruits and vegetables WITH chemicals and toxins on them or WITHOUT?
- Meat from cows who eat grains and corn or that eat grass in a pasture?
- Steak that is cooked well done or raw?
- Homogenized/pasteurized milk or raw milk?
- Food out of a box or out of the ground?
- Produce shipped from the equator or from the dirt near where we live?
If organic farming is the natural way, shouldn’t organic produce just be called “produce” and make the pesticide-laden stuff take the burden of an adjective? ~ Ymber Delecto
Yes, there are little nuances when it comes to being as perfect as possible, but we can do the most for our health with the least mental strain by sticking to this one guideline. Being aware of how the food we eat makes us feel can shed light on foods we should be consuming or not. For example, I believe in eating natural foods. However, whole grains make my head “foggy,” so I mostly skip them. A big ass salad makes me feel energized, so I eat a lot of leaves. Lean meats keep me satiated better than any other protein without any side effects, so I eat them as well. I, myself, have gone back and forth between which small details constitute the healthiest way to eat, raw vs. paleolithic diet vs. veganism. Once I step away from each of these, I remember that as long as I’m eating naturally most of the time, I’m getting the most bang for my buck as far as saving mental energy in not thinking about these nuances.
- DECIDE if you want any of the following things (to lose weight, to be leaner, to gain more muscle tissue, to not get sick as often, to potentially get rid of your allergies, to not have gastrointestinal issues, to not be bloated all of the time, to not have gas all of the time, to be more focused, to be healthier, to be happier)
- No, seriously….ask yourself if YOU really want it or your culture or family members want it. There is a difference.
- Once you’ve made the DECISION to make a change, it’s easy. START SMALL.
- Set a small goal for one week. It can be as simple as adding some greens to your dinner every night. Or maybe adding some fruit or nuts during the day. (This is key: ADD good foods before SUBTRACTING bad foods. This way, the good foods will simply replace the bad. Then, the snowball of health that is YOU will gain momentum and you will start to enjoy your veggies!)
- At the end of the week, reassess to see if you’ve achieved your goal.
- Start back at #1 the following week.
The human body truly is amazing. We don’t need to be perfect in order to be healthy. It’s about balance. We can still enjoy the occasional dessert or alcoholic drink with loved ones and know that we will be OK. If we stick to the one guideline MOST of the time, we can achieve all we want as far as our physical bodies and health are concerned. When we don’t have to worry about these stresses, we are left to focus our energies on our life passions. This is the point. It’s simple, but because it works, it’s the only diet you’ll ever need.