But seriously … I’m confused!
About what you ask?
Well, this! What exactly is the ideal human diet .. the diet that optimizes health? And more importantly for me (and a couple of billion others), what is the ideal diet to return a sick body to good health?
Let’s see, over here you got your standard North American meat & potatoes (and vegetables) diet … the one I was raised on! Then you’ve got your paleo (hunter-gatherer) diet, your vegetarian diet, your vegan diet (still confused about the difference between the two) and your fruitarian diet. Have I missed any?
If I have, please keep it to yourself! This is complicated enough as it is!
Well, admittedly, there is your McDonald’s (aka, fast food) diet, but we won’t go there! This is a serious conversation!
Herein lies the problem (or should I say, challenge), I have Parkinson’s and I believe that a healthy diet is one of the things that is necessary to heal it. But what is the ideal diet?
Some people believe the paleo diet is best, because this was the diet of the original humans. But what exactly did they eat? Roots? Nuts & seeds? Fruits & berries? Meat? How can we be certain? And is it really the best diet for today’s ‘evolved’ human?
Others believe man wasn’t meant to eat meat. (But the Dalai Lama eats meat and Jesus ate fish?) The more knowledgeable among them also say that we don’t need to eat protein. Our bodies don’t metabolize protein. They metabolize amino acids. Therefore, we need to eat foods rich in amino acids, especially, essential amino acids.
Still others say that man is most closely related to primates, like monkeys and apes, and therefore, we should just eat fruit. Non-fruititarians counter this argument by saying that an all fruit diet overloads the system with sugar, acidifying the body and putting the pancreas at risk. (Ashton Kucher would likely support this position.)
Some say humans are starch eaters (potatoes, rice, corn), while others recommend a low-carb diet (this would include your meatatarians).
Some say, at the very least, we shouldn’t cook our foods (these are raw foodists). They argue that animals don’t cook their foods (hard to argue with that), nor should humans! Non-raw foodists counter this by saying that people who live in cold climates need to heat their foods (hard to argue with that too!).
The McDonaldatarians were going to weigh in on the discussion, but we politely told them to sit down!
What to do, what to do?
I think we can all agree on one thing, an ideal diet keeps the body slightly alkaline, promotes gut health, keeps the lymph system in good shape and provides all the essential nutrients. (Looking for dissenters … none … excellent!)
Now, I’m going to tell you emphatically, that dairy, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods (anything in a can, box or package), junk food, fast foods, genetically modified foods, farmed fish and factory farmed meats are out! On this, for me, there is no debate! These foods are unhealthy and should only be eaten in moderation, and if you’re sick in any way, avoided completely. They are toxic, devoid of nutrients, acidify the body, destroy gut health and clog up the lymph system. Believe me, it hurts me to say this, because I love cheese, chocolate and pizza!
I would also avoid or minimize rice, especially white rice. It acidifies the body and tests have shown that rice originating in Asia is laced with lead from acid rain. Also, some rice is genetically modified to be resistant to pesticides. The same goes for soy. I avoid it because most of it is genetically modified. (Mick Jagger swore off soy when he found out rain forests were being stripped to grow it.)
I also avoid grains. They acidify the body, and I really don’t think they were meant for human consumption (my opinion). My digestive system doesn’t handle wheat and I have a gluten intolerance, so it’s easy for me to avoid them.
So that leaves fresh fruits and vegetables (organic, non-gmo), nuts and seeds (non-pasteurized … and good luck finding these), and meat and fish (maybe) … organic, non-factory farmed, of course!
But in what ratio should we eat these foods … and is it okay to cook them, even lightly?
Who really knows? Ask 100 different experts and you’ll get 100 different answers. (that’s why my dad says to be careful about talking to experts … ex is an unknown quantity and spurt is a drip under pressure!) Dr Robert Morse, a naturopathic doctor from Florida, who claims to have healed many diseases, prescribes an all fruit diet with herbs to detoxify the body and get the lymph system moving. He claims that fruits, berries and melons are the best foods to regenerate nerve cells. The Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, know for its success healing cancer, recommends green juices and a vegetable diet.
It’s definitely confusing. You have to do your homework and do what feels right for you!
Recently, I changed my diet to all fruit in the morning and lunch, raw or lightly steamed veggies, plus quinoa or buckwheat at dinner and one or the other when I come home after teaching martial arts.
Know this though, if you have been diagnosed with any disease, a healthy diet is essential to restore your health.
Have a dietarily awesome day!