Every now and then, someone thinks up a bunch of new ideas and makes a new fad diet. One minute fat is bad, and the next carbs are the enemy. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of watching things go round in circles. That’s why I decided to turn to tradition for answers. You could consider this a more accurate version of the Paleo diet. We often assume that the foods we eat today were available in ancient times, but this simply isn’t true.
A painting of Watermelons from the 1600’s. Isn’t it so alien? In fact, some things we simply stopped growing altogether. In fact, People even used to eat flowers in salads. weird, right? In any case, I’m not going to suggest you restrict calories or carbs, or ban sugar. By the way, whenever I mention Antinutrients I’m referring to a plants natural defences against predators. I’ve made a list of plants that are either unnatural or simply unhealthy for humans in general. So without further ado, Let’s get to it!
Root αλεω- Greek, meaning aleo, to avoid. onions, garlic, leek, scallions, shallots.
It’s strange to think, but garlic was invented to embalm mummies in Egypt. It’s true that these bulbs are amazingly tasty and have cancer fighting properties, but they also kill healthy cells as well. Not only that, but Auyrveda and traditional Chinese medicine warn against their consumption, calling them the 5 pungent plants or herbs.
Cruciferious: (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, etc.)
Cruciferious vegetables have become quite a staple. But in nature, you won’t find them anywhere. They are entirely man-made, and our meddling had unforeseen consequences. The biggest problem with them is the thyroid disrupting compounds called goitrigens. We did our best to make them hardy and pest resistant, but that also means that they can easily make us sick.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too. And speaking of cakes…
Poacae: Wheat, oats, barley, Corn, rye, millet, sorgium, etc. Grains are The seeds of grasses. For whatever reason, humans are not very well-equipped to handle them.
This is especially true of gluten, which gets a bad reputation. But Gluten isn’t the issue- It’s the way we’ve altered it beyond recognition. Our immune system can’t recognize it anymore. It’s unnatural. In fact, Heirloom wheat, Barley and rye won’t cause the same reaction that modern flour does. Generally speaking though, grains tend to be rather acidic, have a high glycemic index and lack nutritional value. While I personally avoid them, it’s ultimately up to you.
Solanaceae: Eggplant, Capsicum, Bell peppers, Chili peppers, paprika, tobacco, tomato, Goji berries, Potatoes, etc.) Nightshades are a recent addition to our diets, coming from the New world (America). Upon their introduction to europe, they were considered toxic by most and it took almost 200 years for people to start cooking with them. Before that, nobody grew them except as decoration. It would seem they were correct, as their consumption leads to joint pain and Arthritis.
Fruit is a wonderful gift from nature, but many of them have been bred to be overly large and full of sugar. An easy way to tell a which ones these are is to check for seeds, as seedless plants cannot reproduce naturally.
Dairy is a wonderful addition to anyone’s diet, but many of our modern practices have made it problematic.
We often automatically assume that dairy is cow’s milk, but that wasn’t always the case. There is an old Spanish proverb that says:
Butter from the cow, milk from the goat, and cheese from the Ewe (sheep).
Mind you, there is nothing wrong with cows milk, provided it comes from the right breed of cow. The main reason most of us react to dairy is because it comes from breeds that produce milk with Alpha Caesins in it (A1 Proteins).
In fact, this is one of the reasons that sheep and goat’s milk is such a great choice! Other than that, one of the biggest issues with modern milk is homogenization, but milk isn’t well tolerated by most of us regardless. Cheese tends to be far better for us.
Speaking of cheese, it isn’t bad per se, but it’s ultimately a way of preserving milk. Go for the younger, softer cheeses- preferably traditional. The less additives the better. Another thing I’d suggest is not to melt or cook cheese, as this changes the structure. Despite being tasty, the body can’t digest it.
These last few are pretty standard, and the same as Paleo.
- Alcohol- it’s full of fermented sugars (eryhritol)- a kind of sugar that’s practically poison. So if something claims to be “sugar free” but has eryhritol listed as an ingredient? Don’t buy it.
- Coconut Oil/milk- Coconuts are really popular at the minute, but the fat is very unhealthy.
- Cold food and drink. Cold makes things heavy, difficult to process. It’s always a good idea to warm food warm and drink first.
- Empty calories/ Ultra refined substances. Eg: , Powdered greens, white flour, protein powder. While there is nothing wrong with saturated fat, sugar or protein in and of themselves, when isolated they gain the potential to throw our whole system into dissaray.
- Vegetable oils– Despite what some sources may tell you, these industrial hydrogenated oils are something to steer clear of.
- Smoothies– While these raw beverages are all the rage at the minute, they send our body into shock blending destroys nutrients while retaining the same antinutrients.
- Grain fed Animal products-It’s no secret that most products lining our shelves are from sick, grain fed animals. That sickness is passed on when we eat them. Pork is particually troublesome, as is beef.
Artechokes, Beetroot, Carrots, celeriac, cucumber, zikini, squash, spaghetti squash, Pumpkins, Parsnip, swedes, Turnips, Yams, Rutabunga, Sweet potatoes, Mushrooms (brown, shukake, portabella, etc.)
- Apples (prefarably granny smith.)
- Seeded Grapes
- Berries (raspberries, black, blue, etc.)
- Dried fruit (in moderation)
- Mung Beans
- Split peas
- French/green beans.
- Snake beans.
- Bean shoots.
- Grass Fed Butter/Ghee
- Pastured Eggs
- Sheep and goats cheese- or soft cow cheese if tolerated. (eg: Ricotta, Mozzerella, Cream cheese, fetta, quark.)
- Homemade yogurt
- Mostly fish and seafood
- Red meat- pork, goat, Venison. (no beef or lamb.)
Nuts and seeds:
- Peptas (pumpkin seeds)
- Hemp Seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Chia Seeds
- Pine nuts
- Rapadura Sugar/Panella (evaporated cane juice)
- Date syrup
- Maple syrup
- Coconut Sugar
- Honey (not raw)
Gut friendly/grain free Flours:
- Cassanva flour
- Plantain flour
- Coconut Flour
- Lentil flour
- Chickpea flour
- Mung bean flour
- Buckwheat flour
- Quinoa Flour
Please keep in mind that this list is merely a guide. If something isn’t listed but feels right, go on ahead!
- Onion Family
- Bred Cruciferious vegetables
- Grain fed animal products
- Refined sugar
- Limit Acidic/ Yang foods
I’d also like to highlight the importance of spices. Its easy to think of spices as mere flavorings but nothing could be further from the truth. Provided they are fresh, most have medicinal properties or Counteract the negative properties of certain ingredients. Before I go, here is some more information for those interested.
- Anscestry and our diet
- The Raw story on milk, yogurt and more.
- A1 or A2 Milk?
- Are Legumes paleo?
- The dark side of coconut oil
- (5 pungent spices)Five forbidden pungent roots
- Nightshades- Traditional Perspective
- Acid Alkaline food- an introduction.
- Hybrid Foods
I hope you found this informative. Be well.