I frequently am asked – “what diet do you recommend?” I think about all of the diets so popular right now – South Beach, Paleo, Atkins, Mediterranean, Eat Right For Your Blood Type, Zone diet, etc. It’s dizzying! My answer is always simple – whole foods. Real food, like naturally raised meats, vegetables grown in quality soil, without chemical pesticides and herbicides, fresh fruit. You know the kind that actually nourishes your body, not just fills your belly. Food has become a social event on one hand, and something to get done quickly and get out of your way so you can attend to “more important things” on the other hand.
We’ve lost what is important about food. We’ve lost the connection to earth and the opportunity to learn things and have fun as a family. We’ve lost the elements of a family unit that bound them together in past centuries – food.
There is a movement abound that entails preparing foods like in the past. Foods ranging from making yogurt like they did over 2000 years BC, to grandmother’s chicken soup.
Called by ancient cultures “the food of the gods”, homemade yogurt from fresh goat or cow milk is enjoying a comeback in homes everywhere. Scientific studies have shown that real chicken soup (not from a can) supports healthy immune function and bone health – just like our ancestors claimed. It is easy to make, and more homes are enjoying it. With bread machines making homemade breads easier, we are seeing a comeback in that as well.
Unfortunately, quality food preparation, done right, takes time. With the help of the internet, and some modernization, we can actually prepare whole, nutrient-dense foods in a fraction of the time our ancestors did. It is a matter of finding a simple routine, being taught (or reminded) of the basics of food preparation, and some ingenuity to simplify kitchen processes to fit today’s busy schedules.
I have been especially excited over the past couple of years about what I have learned (or re-learned) from our ancestors who valued good foods. Their lives were dependent upon them. They didn’t need science to define what was needed, they knew instinctually. It was wisdom that was in their genes. It was passed down from generation to generation. It wasn’t geared towards just getting it out of the way. Food was life itself. It was necessary for survival. It was sacred. Nourishing their children was one of the most important endeavors to the primitive man. It meant survival of the species.
As we nourish our families with real food, quality food, there is a deeply satisfying feeling that we experience that no diet trend could ever do.
©2011 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.