Diet is something I’ve experimented with a lot over the years…and it’s certainly going to form a key element of my journey this year to feel like I’m 10 years younger.
Over the last 20 years I’ve tried Keto, Vegan, Carnivore, Paleo, Bulletproof…
Please before anyone comments I’m not following any moral code with what I eat, I just want to find what makes me the most healthy and then as an extension a template which works for the majority of people out there.
Now before I go any further I don’t believe there is one perfect human diet, I believe our needs change based on our lifestyle, our genetics, our epigenetics, our age, our sex and a thousand other factors.
This is why one person can absolutely thrive being vegan while it nearly kills the next. And the same could be said of Keto, Carnivore Paleo etc…
I’ve discovered this for myself first hand, I was Keto for nearly 2 years and it nearly (literally) killed me, but have seen others thrive doing the same. In short I don’t really advocate 1 diet over another. And am not going to be denouncing anyones way of eating.
That said I do think there are several factors which are probably true across most of our species and I’ve spent the last 20 years experimenting to track them down.
As a result of these experiments I’ve realised 1 thing, in most cases balance is key…with 1 caveat.
That balance has to be maintained between the foods which humans are actually designed to eat.
And it’s here where things start to get interesting.
What do I mean by foods which humans are designed to eat?
For me it’s actually quite simple.
Draw a line from the sun to my plate, the less steps that line passes through the more likely I am to eat it.
What do I mean?
Take broccoli, grown in my garden. This draws about as direct a line as is possible in that the sun nourishes it, I pick it and eat it.
If this broccoli was grown and picked in Brazil, stored for a few weeks wrapped in plastic before being packed onto a boat, unloaded 2 weeks later and put on a lorry to be taken to sit on a supermarket shelf for a few days. Where I then pick it up, store it in my fridge and eventually eat it…each one of these is an additional step between the sun and my plate.
I’m not even going to start taking about the 1000’s of steps involved when it comes to something like a burger from McDonald’s or a pizza from Pizza Hut, I’m sure you can imagine.
Will there be variations within this simple template which differ from person to person?
For example I struggle with chick peas, potentially because of the lectins but I simply find they do not like me…it’s not the end of the world and I’m not going to lose sleep trying to figure out why, I’ll just avoid chickpeas or at least understand the consequences for me if I indulge in a bit of hummus.
But Sam, what about macros, what about calories, what about getting enough protein?
I don’t care, I literally don’t.
If I’m eating like this and eating a varied diet I really don’t need to worry myself with all that. Sure if I was after a specific result I would tweak things (and I will be over the coming year as I focus on youthfulness above all else), but for day for day, robust health this is the only rule I need.
Going back to the idea of balance the reason it’s so important is because foods combine together within us to produce specific results. This is also why food science is in such a crazy place at the moment. It’s how we’ve reached the ridiculous situation where humans are the only animals on the planet which don’t know what they should eat. Most studies are done focussing on one food in isolation without taking into account the combination of foods that person is eating,
For this reason we get headlines like “Bacon more carcinogenic than smoking…”
What type of bacon, how much was eaten, what was it eaten with, how was the pig raised, what else was the person who ate the bacon doing in life in general?
It’s easy to say bacon is bad,…when said bacon comes from feed a lot pigs and is tested in isolation (as any good experiment has to). Most people however, don’t eat meat in isolation, they mix it with veg, with carbs, with starch, with fibre. The way these interact with the nutrients and toxins in the meat change massively the effect it has on your body.
So I won’t be sticking rigorously to any one creed of eating, I guess the closest model to how I eat will be the Mediterranean diet. Which is handy given where I live!
So my diet will be based on a few key ingredients:
- Vegetables (notice not fruit, fruit are very different to veg) organic whenever possible
- Grass fed, grass finished meat. (Or meat raised in its natural environment)
- Loads of organ meats
- Healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil/cream, grass fed butter, avocado etc)
- Wild fish
- Plenty of herbs and spices
- Nuts and seeds
- Cacao (because I’m addicted to the stuff and thankfully it’s bursting with nutrients!)
- Minimal grains, and minimal dairy. (I’ll go over this in another post but it’s not just a knee jerk reaction against gluten and lactose)
Yes I’ll be doing a lot a of fancy things with diet which I’ll talk about as I do it but this will form the basis of my eating, nothing complicated, nothing fancy.
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