As we humans learn more about our bodies, their nutritional needs, and the reactions our sometimes-quirky systems can have to certain foods, we are constantly changing our ideas about what constitutes a "healthy diet". What foods should we search out when we attempt to find the optimum diet for our bodies?
To be truly healthy, rather than striving to utilize the most cutting-edge developments in food science and government research, it makes more sense to consider the foods that are the most "old fashioned" or primitive to be the healthiest. After all, WDAE? What Did our Ancestors Eat?
When considering the items the first humans consumed for food, it quickly becomes apparent that there were no "hundred calorie packs" or aspartame-sweetened beverages to aid in creation of low-calorie diets. Rather, our distant relations ate what they were able to find and catch. In general this meant their diets were made up of vegetables, meats (not necessarily lean) as well as fruits, and nuts, with the frequency in that order. This means that (get ready for this!) fats are good, because they are filling, and because they are the richest source of the energy we need to accomplish our daily tasks. In addition, fats are the key to unlocking (through proper chemical combinations) the trace elements and nutrients we need from our other main food sources, like vegetables, fruits and nuts.
You might be asking yourself the following question at this point: why hasn't there been any mention of whole grains? Surely grains should make-up a large part of the healthy human's diet!
To this is answered: grains are omitted from the previous list on purpose, because the earliest humans didn't eat any grains to speak of. Our ancestors subscribed to a gluten free lifestyle. Grains simply weren't around the way they were in some, later human cultures, and they certainly weren't ubiquitous as they are now. Furthermore, it has now become understood that many people don't react well to grains, specifically those which contain gluten, as most of our culture's staple grains (wheat, oats, etc.) do.
The gluten-part of the grain actually acts in our bodies strangely, its molecules behaving nearly as though it is a pathogen, and this can wreak havoc on our intestines, literally causing them to leak (yes, leak!), thus creating food sensitivities as our immune systems react to the leaked substances over and over as if they were foreign-invaders, and not food-stuffs.
Possibly because grains are used in so many of our modern foods, as fillers, additives, and the like, and because grains are treated so aggressively with toxic fumigants, more and more people are becoming "sensitive" to gluten.
Multiple types of reactions are possible as our bodies deal with gluten: migraine headaches, stomachaches, and sinus problems, to malaise, depression and fatigue, as well as more sinister ailments and diseases, have been connected to gluten-sensitivity, or celiac disease- which is an actual allergy to gluten. However, because grains are considered such an integral part of our western diet, most lay-people and professionals alike are reticent to point to grains as the cause for common maladies.
Try living a gluten- ree lifestyle for two weeks and notice how your body feels. Have headaches decreased? Do you have more energy? Are you thinking more clearly? How about those sinus issues? Gone? Chances are answers to these questions are a resounding “yes!” and this means that you, too should start living a more gluten free lifestyle!
There are many delicious gluten free lifestyle recipes, to be found, and I have included one of my own below.
Alisa's Coconut Raspberry Muffins with Lemon Zest
If you would like a sweeter taste, add the optional coconut sap or raw honey and vanilla. This recipe actually makes 12 muffins, so adjust the recipe accordingly if necessary.
1 C. almond butter
1 C. sliced raw almonds
1 C. pure coconut milk
2 C. shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
2 Tbs coconut sap, raw honey or agave nectar
6 oz. of raspberries
the zest of 1/2 a large lemon (about a tablespoon)
Preheat the oven to 400. You may want to grease the pans with coconut oil prior to pouring in the batter. While first omitting the berries, gently blend together all the remaining ingredients. After this mixture is smooth, gently fold in the berries. Pour muffin batter into muffin tins, bake for about 15 minutes, or until firm and slightly golden on top. Recipe should make twelve large, delicious muffins- a tasty way to start your gluten free lifestyle!