In this post I am going to dive in a little deeper into the food aspect of things and what I have figured out works really well for me by being my own food detective, which can hopefully help you to figure out what works for you. If you haven’t read my post about what paleo taught me, I recommend going back to that one first, as it provides a basis of what I will be writing about in this post. Check it out here.
When it comes to your body and your own health journey, it’s important to be your own food detective and figure out what gives you life and what hinders your health. How does one do that? Well, it starts with prioritising what really is important to you. Is health important to you? Does anything else really matter if we don’t have our health?
Educating oneself to enable you to navigate through the mindfield of information out there is also hugely important. By doing your own research, taking bits and pieces from different trustworthy sources and running with what makes sense to you, you can then try different approaches to figure out what actually works and what doesnt work, to give you the best opportunity to be healthy and vital. This is where listening to your own body is key.
Although I do believe there is an effective template of different foods that are incredibly healthy for most of us to base our eating approaches around, I also believe that, due to many complex physiological and environmental factors, some of us are just not able to tolerate or thrive on certain foods, where some of us are. This is where it becomes really important to investigate not only where our food comes from, but also how close it is to its natural source that will eventually become a part of us.
Just know that food is information and real food is life giving. Isn’t it funny how we now have a term for this in our society? Hundreds and thousands of years ago, food was just food. The fact that we now have a differentiation between something that is real and something that is not, is almost laughable, but actually really unfortunate. We can thank the food industry for this with the creation of fake, Frankenstein food-like products that in some ways may resemble food, but actually is anything but life giving food.
The term real food is widely open for interpretation because whether you take a Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian or Primal approach to eating, or you “just eat it because it tastes so damn delicious”, your definition of what real food actually is will probably be quite different. So for arguments sake, a powerful way to help you be your own food detective is to think about things in terms of principles of what could make something real food or not.
- Is it in its whole food form?
- Is it unprocessed or minimally processed? (cold pressed is an exception to this)
- Is it nutrient dense? (loaded with naturally occurring nutrients, not fortified with synthetics)
- Was it grown without the use of chemicals?
- Was it raised outside, free to roam on pasture in the sunlight and live stress-free and happy?
- Does it eat its natural feed? (example, grass/pasture)
- Is it food that has always been food? (Like 2 billion years ago, would someone vaguely recognise what this is?!)
- Did your grandmother used to eat it and would she recognise what it is?
- Does it work for your own body and make you feel good? (Vitalised, energetic, lively – I don’t mean a sugar rush).
On the flip-side
- Does it come in a box or packet? (There are a few exceptions to this. Eg. nuts, seaweed, etc)
- Does it have a nutrition label on it? (Then run the other way!! Ok, so there a few exceptions to this rule as well).
- Was it grown with the use of chemicals (pesticides, insecticides, etc)?
- Does it contain 45 ingredients with chemical names that you cannot pronounce?
- Was it made in a chemical laboratory and has it been tampered with by food scientists? (How do you know this? The last few points should give you a clue)
Some specific examples of foods that I regularly, moderately or occasionally include in my diet are:
- All kinds of vegetables
- Starchy foods like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, white potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, taro, tapioca/cassava, occasionally white rice
- A little bit of fruit such as banana, apples, berries
- Grass fed and pasture raised animals
- Eggs from pasture raised chickens
- Healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, other coconut products, grass fed dairy – mostly just butter and ghee, pasture raised animal fats
- Seafood, wild-caught where possible
- Organ meats/offal – mostly liver in the form of pate, bone marrow and bone broths (note: these parts of the animal are where more nutrients are contained, than for example a boneless, skinless chicken breast or a steak)
- Fermented foods – sauerkraut, kimchee, coconut yoghurt
- Paleo treats and wholefood smoothies make their way in a few times a week to satisfy my sweet tooth!
At the end of the day, no one can tell us what we should and shouldn’t eat, except for maybe one person: our own bodies. It knows what it can and can’t recognise, what does and doesn’t make it feel good, and what is was and wasn’t designed to consume. If we be our own food detectives and look out for the signs that our bodies are trying to talk to us (through headaches, bloating, nausea, brain fog, etc), then that’s great potential for working out what foods you were designed to eat for high life force and great health!
Thanks for being here!!
If you liked (or didn’t like) what you have just read, then feel free to send me some feedback as I’d love to hear from you! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCLAIMER: All content I share here on my blog is written from my own personal inquiry experiences, thoughts and opinions and is not intended to replace medical or lifestyle advice from a practising professional.