You may have discovered from reading my blog and seeing the various links from my site that I personally integrate an organic, whole foods, traditional/paleo/primal/ diet into my healing regime and ME/CFS management. It has been a hugely gradual transition to this diet (‘way of life’) and lifestyle. The transition has been fairly seamless, especially given my circumstance (I will try anything without a fuss) and the fact eating, living this way gives me joy and tastes so goood! I have never been so satisfied in my whole life.
If you are new to the paleo concept it entails consuming a real, whole foods diet similar to that of our Paleolithic ancestors that lived 2.4 million to about 10,000 years ago prior to the development of agriculture. Our bodies are fundamentally identical to those who lived in the paleolithic era, our genes are still 99% the same as they were 40,000 years ago. Throughout the paleolithic period, over hundreds of thousands or so of generations nature shaped who we are biologically, genetically and physiologically. We evolved to be hunter gatherers. The average modern day diet is a far cry from what we have evolved the eat and this is causing a world wide health crisis. Put simply we are quite literally what we eat and what we absorb. What we feed our body our amazing digestive system turns into molecules that all the cells in our body use for energy, maintenance, growth and repair. Our bodies require an abundance of amino acids, fatty acids, glucose, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and so on to maintain optimal health and function. When in doubt, start with diet and from personal experience looking to our ancestors for answers is a smart place to start.
So what did our paleolithic ancestors eat?
- Naturally organic, wild, grass fed, hormone, chemical, antibiotic free meats, organ meats and offal, seafood and eggs
- Plenty of organic fibrous vegetables and some starchy vegetables such as sweet potato
- Small amount of nuts and seeds and occassional fruits and berries when in season
- Coconut and various coconut products which provide a rich source of medium chain fatty acids and immune boosting lauric acid, avocado, olive oil, ghee, some include dairy which is not technically paleo but for many in its raw, organic form is well tolerated, particularly when fermented into kefir, yogurt and cheese. Other traditional foods may be eaten such as home made, probiotic sauerkraut and bone broth. Additional spices, seasoning, natural salt, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar.
This is a very brief rundown of the basics, but feel welcome to check out some of my links to find more detailed explanations, hard science and technicalities. There are some fabulous practitioners now advocating a healthy, traditional, primal diet and lifestyle in conjunction with other interventions for optimal wellbeing such as optimising vitamin D through sun exposure and supplementation, other more specific supplementation, daily activity, relaxation/meditation, stress free lifestyle and being amongst nature when possible. Check out the blogs of medical practitioners, get educated, see what works for you. Some great places to start: Dr Anastasia Boulais, Dr Cate Shanahan, Dr Mercola, Dr Axe, Dr Kurt Harris, Dr Sarah Myhill (ME/CFS specialist), Dr Jack Kruse, Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, Dr Terry Wahls, Dr Micheal R. Eades and Dr Emily Deans; health practitioners such as Chris Kresser, Dianne Sanfilippo and Nora Gedgaudas; registered dietitions such as Amy Kubal and Aglaee Jacob; Scientists such as Gary Taubes, Loren Codain, Paul Jaminet, Mark Sisson, Ray Peat and Robb Wolf; and advocates such as Sarah Wilson and nutritionist Lola Berry. Not all of these practitioners are strict paleo, thats not what its about, it’s about finding what works for you, for optimal health. If you have some free time check out the free Paleo Summit which is currently running. My final words, this is about real, nourishing, healing food, what our bodies recognise, utilise and have evolved to consume.
And on to my current reads. Just finished the first book I have read (properly!) in 2 and a half years. The book was Primal Body Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in optimal health and healing various chronic health conditions. It is well researched and well written, I thoroughly enjoyed it. She covers alot in this book including the paleo diet, grains, soy, digestion, immune function, cholesterol, vitamins, minerals, omega 3’s, diabetes, leptin, insulin, fat, carbohydrates, brain function, anxiety, depression, food allergies and sensitivities and tips on how to improve your diet and lifestyle and supplementation if necessary. I will probably have to read it again as there is so much to absorb.
Another book, Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski which is an absolute gold mine of information for those suffering, immune, auto-immune, digestive, hormonal disorders plus many other conditions. It includes all the current research into various disorders (such as ME/CFS) and their link with digestive health and on probiotics, healthy fats and anti-inflammatory foods. This book thoroughly covers the steps you can take to recover your health with the most current, sophisticated tests to find out where you stand when it comes to deficiencies, bowel flora, parasites, SIBO, food allergy etc and how to eat a healing diet, detoxification, supplementation, emotional work.
Have you read these books and are their others you would recommend? Have you tried eating a whole foods, organic paleo style diet?