If you’ve been around me awhile, you know how much I refer to our ancestors to decide what a natural way of living looks like.
Long ago our ancestors lived off the land. They only ate what they could hunt, grow, or forage. Therefore, the foods they ate were whole foods either grown or caught in the wild.
What would it look like for you to align your diet with what theirs may have been? Is there a way we could follow some of those principles in modern day life to get more nutrition?
Let’s explore this issue and see if we can use their diets as a guide for ours!
Living off the Land
Long ago our ancestors lived off the land. The foods they ate were whole foods - grown or caught in the wild. Everything was natural with no sprays or pesticides.
At the same time, food could be scarce and difficult to get. They had to work the land - growing, harvesting, or hunting each serving of food.
These ancestors didn’t need a ton of self control not to eat junk food, it simply wasn’t available!
In contrast the Standard American Diet (SAD) is highly processed and composed of foods made in a factory. Some of the ingredients are even genetically modified. This type of diet is far from natural.
Much of the produce in the grocery stores were sprayed with pesticides and picked before they were ripe. And many of the animal products we consume were made from animals grown in an unhealthy environment.
And today our food supply - especially the unhealthy choices - tends to be abundant and easy to get.
A Modern Day Solution
Are there some ways to get back to a natural way of eating in our modern world? Most definitely there are. We just have to be a lot more intentional than our ancestors had to be.
Begin by thinking about your great, great, great... grandparents. What did they eat? Would they recognize what we are eating as food, or has it been processed so much that they wouldn’t recognize it?
Next ask yourself about the way that food was produced. Is it as purely grown as your grandparents' food? Here you can consider buying from a local farmer that uses organic practices. This way you are getting produce picked at the right time without the use of pesticides.
Finally, ask yourself if the meats you are eating come from animals that were healthy themselves. Did they live in tight quarters where they could not get proper movement? Were they fed their natural diet?
The answers to these questions will be a huge help when trying to make healthy choices!
The Community Factor
Another important aspect of how our ancestors ate is in the way it was tied to community.
Hunting and gathering were community endeavors. When it was time to harvest or prepare the meals it was likely done in community. This may not seem like an important part of nutrition, but there are many benefits to working and eating together.
Even if we don’t have a community to share our meals, we can slow down and enjoy the preparation of our food. Slowing down and smelling our food actually prepares our body for properly digesting the food.
Take some time today to think about how you can learn from our ancestors' relationship to food. Then take a moment to decide if there are some things you would like to incorporate into your own lifestyle.
If you have questions on your diet and need extra support, we would be glad to assist you. Reach out to me through email or give me a call. We can talk about options such as a nutritional consult or my “7 Weeks of Real Food!”