Monthly Archives: September 2013

Why I don’t believe in one proper diet

The first thing anyone looking to become healthier notices is that there is a complete mess of information in this world in terms of nutrition and diet. There is the Paleo diet, Alkaline diet, Biggest Loser Diet, Detox Diet, Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Diet, Eat right for your type, Gluten Free diet, Glycemic Index Diet, Hormone diet and many many more. They will all give you those six pack abs instantly too.  The problem with all of these diets is that they tell you what to eat.  Diets typically attempt to limit food items.  i.e.…no more gluten, no more sugar, no more fat and so on and so on.  Other diets will discuss foods by the protein, carbohydrate or fat content and percentages.  Most of these ideas fail because they do not instruct on the basics of food.  When you say that red meat is bad then you are assuming that grain fed and grass fed steaks of the same cut are similar products.  They are not.  There is however a simple way to deduce what it is that you should be eating. That is to simply eat food that your long lost ancestors ate. Real food is items that was planted in the soil and now resides in your tummy with little to no modification. This is how one finds a healthy eating pattern.

This simply makes sense. From working as a Paramedic and seeing lives destroyed by low income highly processed diets, to attending a health based culinary school with an emphasis in health and wellness, I have researched extensively about health, wellness and diet.  I believe my thought process to be the most intuitive path to pursue. I am intent on finding the root causes of disease.  No matter how you feel this world was created and persists you must admit that it is quite brilliant. The species of this world are incredibly diverse and all live with extremely good health in cooperation of each other…except for the humans. Especially the humans that subsist on the Western diet and our furry friends that eat a fast food diet through their dog food.  This trend of chronic disease has become increasingly worrisome, striking even our young children. I know 1 year olds with fake teeth due to a diet of cheetos and sugary drinks. I know ten year olds that weigh more than I did when I got out of the United States Marine Corps where I served my country as an infantryman.

This is not an opinion.  Years ago Dr. Weston Price searched for the causes of dental decay and physical degeneration.  Throughout his search it became clear that a diet altered from the traditional was the cause of disease.  Furthermore he discovered that humans subsisted quite well on greatly varied diets throughout the world.  Therefore of all of the diets above I agree most with the Paleo or Caveman diet themes.  While they too have their detractors I applaud them because these diets mostly offer advice on what real food is.  There is plenty of evidence that the human body is geared to work optimally on the diets of our ancestors.  We may disagree as to whether the world began 10,000 years ago or millions of years ago but we can all agree that it was either a brilliant beginning from an all powerful and all knowing God or it began with a fantastic accident that led to our brilliant presence.  Through this we can all agree that human kind has lived well off of the land for a very long time with only minor modifications.  As we know many cultures were hunter gathers, fishermen or agriculturalist.  All of these cultures lived well on the foods of their choice.  All of these peoples lived within the energy usage of the Sun as well.  These trends have changed dramatically in the last several hundred of years.

Today we subsist on a diet of refined foods and sugary substances far beyond the wildest dreams of our ancestors.  We live in a world of waste.  We live in a world that is using the energies of worlds past.  We live upon the backs of those that lived before us.  The suns energy was trapped many many years ago into other previously living things and this is what we currently use to subsidize our current energy demands.  Our energy demands increased dramatically with the beginnings of the industrial revolution.  WIth the developments of the time we began to develop our current conventional agricultural system.  This system has proven to be harmful and dangerous to the human experience.  It is harmful because of the increased use of chemical pesticides that poison our bodies.  We have also increased the ability to harvest a great deal of items far quicker now.  Imagine harvesting a field worth of grains in order to make bread before mechanization.  This is a task that would have taken a significant amount of time and effort.  Today we are able to do this much faster.  Therefore it makes common sense that the human diet was not primarily carbohydrates as it is today.  It would have been a monumental task in order to harvest that amount of grains on a regular basis without mechanization.  The ideas and progress that was made in the past was for the benefit of all however, with no intention of ill will, we are now able to see that this experiment has proven harmful.  

 Therefore when I teach about healthy eating habits I use this one simple sentence.  “In order to eat well you must; eat real food that is properly cooked and only eat when you are hungry until you are full.”  That is it.  Really, it’s that simple.  

Real food should be cooked properly.  Do not overcook your food items.  Choose organic whenever possible over conventional produce.  The reasons for this is because of the pesticide content and freshness of the organic product over the conventional product.  This also pertains to your meats.  Real meat is grown properly from the grass up.  Conventional meat is often sent to a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) and the products are dramatically different.

The best thing to do would be to raise your own food so that you know exactly where your food has come from.

A day of cooking for a weeks worth of food

If we are what we eat and we are pressed for time then we must determine a way consolidate as much cook time into a shortened period of time. By cooking at home we are able to increase the nutrient density and control of our foods as much as possible. I recently watched a documentary where a family was able to produce a tremendous amount of food on a small plot of land. I believe this is extremely important and much of the reason that I am beginning my studies of agriculture at Texas State University. Today I am more interested in the idea of the production of beans that this couple has. Reaching back to my previous life as a Natural Chef (Health and Welness Emphasis) student I remember discussing and subsequently creating many stocks in school and afterwards. This led to me producing many many soups on sundays for use throughout the week.

It seems as though it’s time to revisit how to produce food quickly with most of the work being done in one day. If you are able to set aside one day then you can produce a lot. This couple uses the time it takes to cook beans (soak overnight before cooking) to also produce stock at the same time. This is a great time saving maneuver. This alone will help you save time. However I was thinking about another way to continue this trend on the same day. I would cook my beans while producing a meat stock (usually chicken). I usually use an entire chicken in my stock, allowing me to cook the chicken meat at the same time, but this is how to break a chicken down. At the completion of both of these endeavors I will then combine both of the stocks and cook them down to an appropriate amount of liquid. Then I cook a beautiful soup in the very nutritious stock. While you are awaiting your delicious soup to finish you could put the now completed beans into the fridge for safe keeping and eating throughout the week. I’d also cut/shred the chicken for use throughout the week. You can also create a salad for the week by cutting and prepping some fresh vegetables and fruits and make salad dressing. You could even go as far as packing the salad individually for each day like this. You can also start/finish your no knead bread for the week.

At the end of the day relaxing at home you would have then completed cooking

1. beans for the week

2. chicken for several days

3. extremely nutritios soup for the week

4. bread

5 salad for the week.

As long as you make it through most of the week eating well then you are doing good. I believe in eating mostly well and enjoying yourself. This is an easy way to create good food quickly for the week. Enjoy.