As I touched upon in the introduction, my diet is basically a hunter-gatherer diet. I take that back, I don’t like the word diet. Rephrasing, what I eat is based on a hunter- gatherer life style with modifications.
Here is a list of what I eat, and relative amounts:
The hunter in the family is my son-in-law Brett, seen in the picture below with a Bigmouthed Bass he caught and my beautiful grandchildren, Hannah and Henry.
We really get the greatest seafood possible when we visit my family in Charleston. All caught by Brett, including Sea Trout, Flounder, Mullet, Shrimp and Blue Crabs.
I’ll get into why the detailed list below should be consumed by all striving for a healthy life-style, but for now, lets take a look at the contents of the categories listed above.
Turmeric, ground cloves, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Homemade yogurt from raw milk (75 % buffalo, 25 % cow’s milk), homemade kombucha, homemade water kefir, fermented vegetables (cabbage, cucumbers, green peppers), and organic apple cider vinegar with the mother.
NUTS, SEEDS AND GOOD OILS AND FATS
Pistachios, almonds, hazel nuts (filberts), walnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, virgin olive oil, coconut oil, butter, tahini and black cumin seed oil (Nigella Sativa).
Lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, pomello, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, black mulberries, pomegranate, pineapple, apples, kiwis, black grapes WITH SEEDS, goji berries, black currants, peaches, apricots and ORGANIC watermelon. Organic honey.
These are all relatively low GI (glycemic index) fruits and I consume fruits ONLY in the morning.
MEAT AND SEAFOOD
Grass-fed beef (if one can find it), organ meats, free-range (village) chickens, quail, non-farmed (wild) fish, domestic shrimp, and lamb. I guess, eggs from free-range chickens and quail eggs should be put in this category.
VEGETABLES AND THEIR JUICES
Purslane, Broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, celery, celeriac, mixed salad greens, cucumbers, avocado, local-in season tomatoes, quinoa (no, it is not a grain), beets, radishes, avocados, leeks, onions, garlic, squash, bell peppers, parsley, dill, shitake mushrooms, okra, peas (they are not legumes but fruits, botanically), artichokes, and Jerusalem artichokes.
Don’t drink water from plastic bottles. Even if the plastic has not been manufactured from the most unhealthy and dangerous compounds, when exposed to sunlight and heat all plastic bottles release very toxic chemicals into the water. The safest ones are said to be the ones that have the number “5” in the triangle under the bottles.
I drink water from glass containers; 700 mL glass bottles at the office and 15 L glass container at home.
You can also use a filtering device, like Brita, to purify your tap water for drinking.
WHAT I DON’T EAT
Now lets look at the foods that I don’t eat. If there are transgressions once in a while, I’ll admit to them. But, by-and-large I don’t eat:
Grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice, corn, etc.),
Foods made from grains (breads, buns, spaghetti, macaroni, rice pilaf, cakes, cookies, pizza, breakfast cereals, etc.)
Milk and milk products like supermarket yogurt, cheese, etc.,
Legumes (beans, soya, lentils, peanuts, etc.),
Processed foods (non-foods) like chips, doughnuts, snack cakes, ice cream, baked goods, etc.,
Soft drinks (Coke, Pepsi, ice-tea, other carbonated drinks, bottled fruit juices, etc.
Lets look at GRAINS, to start with. GRAİNS contain TOXINS, ANTI-NUTRİENTS and a certain group of plant protein called LECTINS. Our genetic programming goes back to the time of our ancestors the Cro-Magnon and is not capable of processing these.
Why, you ask. Well, our genetic programming goes back about 40,000 years. AGRICULTURE, HOWEVER, WAS INVENTED ABOUT 11,000 YEARS AGO.
So, our ancestors didn’t consume grains because THEY DIDN’T EXIST.
Were our ancestors healthy? YES. Healthier than us, as a matter of fact. There is a branch of science called Paleopathology, which looks for clues of disease by examining ancient bones. These scientists conclude that our ancestors were taller, more muscular, leaner and stronger than us, and no trace of “modern” diseases such as arthritis, cardio-vascular disease was found either. Their life span was shorter because of high infant mortality, infections, predators and accidents.
So what damage could eating grains today do? Have we not adapted to eating grains in 11,000 years? The answer is NO.
The damage done is as follows:
HIGH INSULIN LEVELS (eating a slice of bread is exactly the same as eating a spoonful of sugar),
GLUTEN INTOLERANCE LEADING TO CELIAC DISEASE
OBESITY (which could result in type-2 diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, and even cancer).
There is an easy way that you can determine if your health is in danger from eating grains.
Have your blood work done and look at your FASTED INSULIN AND YOUR FASTED LEPTIN levels.
FASTED INSULIN SHOULD BE BELOW 3 mIU/mL, AND
FASTED LEPTIN SHOULD BE BELOW 5-6 ng/mL
If you don’t pass this test you are, or on the way to becoming, insulin and/or leptin resistant. The two usually go together, i.e., if you are insulin resistant you are probably also leptin resistant.
Resistance to insulin or leptin is the situation that occurs when the receptors in our cells do not take into the cell the insulin produced by our pancreas or the leptin produced by our fat cells. When this happens the body’s solution is to produce more insulin and leptin.
So what, you might say. Well, insulin’s role is to carry the excess sugar in your blood stream to your cells. Too much sugar and too much insulin lead to major damage to the arteries and your body in general.
Leptin has many functions but the function that we are focusing on with respect to what we eat is that which tells the hypothalamus in the brain to tell the organism to “stop eating and drinking, you are full”. Since the message is not received the person keeps eating and drinking. Why do you think carbonated beverage bottles, and food portions in restaurants have gotten bigger and bigger over the years.
A simple caricaturisation as to why this resistance happens goes like this. Say, you go into a small room and there is a terrible foot odor. At first it’s unbearable but as time passes you start getting used to it and finally you stop smelling the foot odor altogether. “Foot odor smelling resistance”.
The repeated production of insulin and leptin has the same effect; after a while the body starts ignoring them.
This has very important implications as to how often we eat during the day. If you eat 5-8 times as some dietitians and doctors suggest, your body produces insulin and leptin 5-8 times a day. THE PATH TO INSULIN AND LEPTIN RESISTANCE HAS BEEN SET.
I SUGGEST 2, AT MOST 3 MEALS A DAY. AND A DAY OF FASTING. WE WILL GET İNTO INTERMİTTENT FASTİNG LATER ON.
POTATOS AND OTHER TUBERS
The creator gave humans and animals legs to escape prom predators. What about plants and seeds? Their primal instinct is also to pass on their genes to the next generation.
Well, the toxins, antinutrients, lectins, etc. make the consumption of these plants dangerous, thus their predators (herbivorous creatures, bacteria and fungi) stay away from them and these plants don’t become extinct.
The same reasoning applies to grains also. They are, after all, seeds of grass.
Every year tens of children die from eating raw potatoes. The potato is also a very starchy vegetable, so I don’t eat it, even though high heat, cooking, destroys some of the harmful toxins.
Going back to grains for a moment, wheat, rye, barley, soya all need to be cooked/processed before they become edible.
I have read that a long, long time ago, even before the discovery of agriculture, wild grains were used to make alcoholic beverages. Beer, as a matter of fact.
We would be a healthier population if they had stuck to this plan and not ventured into other areas.
Given that what grows under the ground (potatos, carrots, beets, radishes, etc.) are more likely to be attacked by predators, they all should, and probably do, have “a protective mechanism”. So why are we not harmed by these? Some, Paleo Diet aficionados, abstain but it has never become a major issue. Could it be that our ancestors dug them up and ate them and our genetic programming has therefore adapted to their consumption? This makes sense to me.
So, I eat (juice some of them) beets, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, turnips, and radishes and have noticed no side effects.
How about vegetables? Spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus, etc., etc. Should they not have the same defensive mechanism to prevent their extinction? I would say YES THEY DO. So how come we don’t seem to be harmed by this? Let alone being warned on the dangers of consuming them, as in the case of grains, we are encouraged to eat them.
The simple answer is that they existed before the discovery of agriculture, 11,000 years ago, and our genetics have adapted.
MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS
Continuing with what I don’t eat or drink, lets talk about milk and milk products.
First of all, no animal, except humans, drinks the milk of another animal after they grow up, become adults. There must be a reason!
It has been established that the consumption of milk and milk products like cheese result in the body producing too much phlegm/mucus. It has also been determined that cancer thrives in such an environment. Is this 100 % certain? No, but why take the chance?
As with grains and gluten intolerance, some people are lactose intolerant (lactose is milk sugar). They seem to have an inborn alarm system that prevents them from consuming grains or milk and milk products. Why isn’t everybody blessed with such a warning system? I have no idea.
Think about a person who gets drunk and stops drinking after one beer, and one that can knock off a whole bottle of whiskey without flinching. Which one is better off? Which one is more likely to end up with liver damage? I THINK YOU GET MY POINT.
Milk, obviously, contains many nutrients: That’s what baby’s live on and grow because of, for the first 6 months of their lives. I’m talking about mother’s milk of course. Commercial, pasteurized, homogenized milk looses many of its nutritious properties in this process.
So, beside the pitfalls I mentioned above, the milk and milk products made from pasteurizes/homogenized milk lacks many nutrients that we attribute to milk.
A very popular milk product widely consumed throughout the word is YOGURT.
Yogurt is a probiotic which, along with the 100 trillion beneficial bacteria in our gut, constituting 90 % of our immune system, gives our immunity a boost.
A BRIEF NOTE: the human body is composed, on the average, of 50 trillion cells. There are a ten times this number of, 500 trillion, bacteria that we live together with. This is called our MICROBIOME. They need to be nurtured, particularly the ones in our gut. And this is best accomplished by eating PREBIOTICS, like jerusalem artichokes.
Yogurt gives an excellent boost to our immune system, that’s why I make an exception and eat it frequently. BUT NOT COMMERCIAL YOGURT.
Commercial yogurt is made from milk that has lost most of its nutritious properties because of pasteurization/homogenization. You must have noticed that supermarket yogurt doesn’t go sour for ages in the fridge. Why? Because it is full of anti-biotics and other chemicals to prevent this. I STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST EATING IT.
We make our own yogurt at home, from raw buffalo and cow’s milk.
This group of food, which I usually don’t eat, includes all kinds of beans, lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) soybeans, and peanuts. Yes, peanuts ARE legumes, NOT nuts. Some include peas in this category but peas are botanically from the fruit family.
Anyway, why do I prefer not to eat them regularly? Yes, I’m saying that I eat them occasionally, but not too often. The main reason is, I feel that our bodies are trying to tell us something like “please don’t eat this stuff the gas (flatulence) is killing me”. So, is it worth this discomfort? Proponents will say, “think of all the vitamins you’ll be foregoing.” There is an abundance of these vitamins in vegetables.
The reason I never eat peanuts is partly because they are legumes, but mainly because they can cause severe allergic reactions, even leading to death. Some say that this is because they may contain one of the most carcinogenic toxins known: aflatoxin. This, however, is caused by bad storage, mold and nothing inherent in the peanut itself. The same danger exists for hazel nuts (filberts) also, but I have heard of no warnings about consuming them.
The aflatoxin danger also exists for soybeans. I never eat soya products however, for the following reasons:
A huge proportion of soybeans in the world contain GMO
Soybeans contain substances that mimic estrogen (the female hormone)
If as a man, you don’t want to end up with man boobs, a shriveling penis and no sex drive, then stay away from soybeans and all soya products. Including edamame.
FOODS I NEVER EAT
I don’t even consider them food and the list is extensive. They are, basically, all processed foods you buy in the supermarket:
Almost anything in a box, bag or a can
Fruit Juices is a bottle
Anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup in it
Anything with artificial sweeteners in it
Anything with MSG (monosodium glutamate) in it
Anything with artificial coloring in it
Anything with GMO in it
Well, you get the idea.
To extend shelf life, food manufacturers remove most of the pulp and roughage from foods. To compensate for the loss in taste they put in High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).
I asked Çiğdem, my daughter, to check all the packaged breads in a Charleston super market. If I recall correctly, with the exception of 1 or 2 brands, all contained HFCS. This should give you an idea of how pervasive HFCS usage is.
Why? HFCS is 50 % cheaper and 20 % sweeter than regular white/table sugar.
You are probably thinking “so what”. Well, remember about the hormone Leptin I discussed above, HFCS also blocks the “you’re full, stop eating” message that leptin is supposed to deliver to your brain.
If you recall, I wrote that I consumed fruits only in the morning. Most of you are probably wondering why. The sugar contained in fruits is, obviously, FRUCTOSE and is metabolized in a different way compared to glucose and sucrose (table sugar) and leaves much to be desired.
If fruits didn’t have the healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, I probably would not consume them at all.
Thus, only in the morning.
So how does the body metabolize fructose? Exactly like alcohol. Given the very wide scope of usage of this substance, you lay yourself open to the following:
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Elevated blood triglycerides
Elevated uric acid levels; yes that means gout
Remember, in our discussion on grains I suggested that you include fasted insulin and fasted leptin levels in your blood work, to determine what damage the consumption of grains was doing.
To determine what damage HFCS is causing in your body, also include triglycerides (usually automatically included in blood work) AND URIC ACID, which should be between 3,5 – 7,2 mg/dL.
A WORD ON ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
I won’t get into how bad all the chemicals in artificial sweeteners are, but for this small note.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not permit the sale of ASPERTAME, probably one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners, for 17 years. You won’t believe the reason: THE US ARMED FORCES HAD CLASSIFIED IT AS A NERVE TOXIN. So why does the FDA allow it now? I don’t want to get into Washington, D.C, lobbyists, influence peddling, and all that stuff, but it paints an ugly picture.
Here’s the crucial point: since artificial sweeteners have ZERO calories, do they help one loose weight. THE ANSWER UNFORTUNATELY IS NO.
You need 74-106 mg/dL of glucose in your blood. When you use an artificial sweetener, even though it has zero calories, the body perceives it as something sweet and immediately has your pancreas produce insulin. The insulin carries some of the sugar to your cells and thus the “normal” level of sugar that should be circulating in you blood is reduced. THE BRAIN’S MAIN NOURISHMENT IS GLOCOSE, when it sees less than the minimum amount, the brain panics and starts craving sweets and cakes and you basically have a little hypoglycemic attack. To get out of the attack you consume “sweet stuff”, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CALORIES YOU DIDN’T TAKE???
Simply put, artificial sweeteners deceive your brain and you more than make up for the calories saved by using them, due to the sweets you eat in order to get out of your hypoglycemic attack.
I was going to get into my transgressions, my “confession” about breaking some of the above rules, but thought that it would be a better idea for my readers to read thoroughly and let the “rules” sink in before I do that.