Live Like A Human Rule #1: Eat Both - Animal And Plant Foods
Today you’ll learn about Live Like A Human Rule #1: Eat Both – Animal And Plant Foods. I’m going to show you how easy and simple it is to eat healthy natural foods, enjoy a human appropriate diet consisting of a wide variety of foods, without restrictions and deprivations.
In fact, these are the same foods I used for myself and many of my clients to regain well-being, better overall health, effortless fat burning, and long-term weight-loss. These unprocessed foods align with how we have been eating throughout our human evolution.
The first concept I’m about to show you is closely connected with how our ancestors ate. Everyone can use and adjust this way of eating to their current lifestyle, and I promise – everyone can benefit from it.
Here we go.
Where Did We Go Wrong?
It’s not a mystery – through our human evolution, we ate a wide variety of foods from both kingdoms, whatever was available at the moment. We enjoyed natural foods that allowed us to nourish our bodies. Everything from complete protein, fats, carbs, antioxidants, phenols, vitamins, and minerals.
We’ve drifted away from unprocessed nutrient-rich foods in the modern world and replaced them with ultra-processed and synthetic foods like sugars, grains, industrial seed oils, and pasteurized and homogenized milk. Our diets consist of empty calories and zero nutrients – and we wonder why we are so sick and fat.
We adapted to thrive on a wide variety of nutrient-rich unprocessed animal and plant foods. We also adapted to live in times when food is scarce. This means we can go days without eating without causing any harm; it’s the other way; all the good things (renewing, repairing, cleaning) happen when we don’t eat or, in other words, when we fast.
Inconsistent eating patterns made us good at burning stored body fat for energy because we had to survive without food for days. With that said, I’m sure our body prefers burning fat for energy most of the time.
The problem is, our modern dietary habits are in sharp contrast with how our ancestors ate. The typical diet of the modern human is not what our genes are adapted to thrive on. We put something in our mouths almost every 2 hours in the form of beverages, snacks, and meals. These foods are usually processed carbs, sugars, and industrial seed oil; I call them convenient foods.
I’m not recommending you to go out in nature, hunt down a deer and gather a few berries and nuts to make yourself a meal (even though we probably should from time to time), I’m suggesting you to buy (or produce, and even hunt if you can) the nutrient-rich unprocessed foods that will nurture your body and allow you to live as healthy as possible.
What Is An Optimal Human Diet?
Honestly, I don’t know. I wish I could say: Hey, go full carnivore or vegan for life, and you’re all good. Maybe this would work for some, but most people can’t stick to diets like this long-term for many reasons. Yes, they can be a powerful tool to use in different contexts, no doubts, but overall, we should find the way of eating we can start with today and sustain it till the end of our days. That means managing our weight and energy levels, not feeling deprived, and being flexible with utilizing different fuel sources for our energy needs. Now we burn glucose, then we burn fat, and even run on ketones. We need to be able to go through a day without a meal, or we can have a piece of cake for our birthday and not feel bad about it.
All I can say from my point of view is we need to strive towards meeting our nutritional and energy needs with the lowest intake of calories and getting all the essential nutrients as well as other beneficial enzymes, co-factors, vitamins, and minerals that support our body’s functions. That means eating nutrient-rich, unprocessed foods. We benefit from both animal and plant food sources.
Animal foods tend to contain nutrients that are easily absorbed and digested due to their bioavailability and absence of anti-nutrients, but plant foods are also a great source of many micronutrients, especially if properly prepared – soaked, sprouted, and even better fermented. Our ancestors and even modern primitive societies use these techniques not just to preserve foods but to increase their nutrient load, better absorption of nutrients and easier digestion. Fermentation is the best way to get rid of anti-nutrients and increasing the intake of natural probiotic and prebiotic foods.
Eliminating nutrient-rich, unprocessed foods, such as animal or plant foods, is a privilege of the modern world, but remember, not every person has that option. It’s a huge difference between not wanting to and not having. I understand if you’re dealing with some auto-immune issues or allergies; otherwise, I can only see people having too much to choose from.
Just eat like a human, and don’t be dogmatic and religious about your diet.
What I do is I try to eat according to the season – that goes for the plant foods. It’s winter at the moment in Central Europe, so I don’t eat strawberries and tomatoes. Even though I could get them daily – since the foods in supermarkets come from all around the world – it’s just not the right time. I just got myself a few raspberries the other day, but that happens maybe twice in the winter months; otherwise, I always strive to buy my fruits and veggies at the local marketplace or directly from the farmer. The same goes for meat, eggs, and dairy – and I recommend you to try to do the same. Not just for the sake of quality, but for supporting local farmers and producers, as well as participating in changing the current unsustainable food system and production.
My "Not Approved" and "Approved" List Of Foods
"Not Approved" Foods
Foods on this list have no room in a healthy and proper human diet. If you’re honest with yourself, and if you think logically you will find it hard to disagree with me – this might be hard for some of you because we’re so emotionally attached to these foods. They give us something that true, unprocessed foods don’t, and many still don’t know what that is. If you don’t believe me – think about how many people are having problems with stuffing their face with too much meat, veggies, and eggs while they’re feeling sad, lonely, depressed, or just finding it hard to stop eating them?
Once you eliminate these foods from your diet, you can start with reframing your relationship with foods. It’s not a »piece of cake. « (however, this sounds ironic), but if you want to change the way you live, feel, and function, it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get dirty. Once you’ll come to the »APPROVED« list, you will see you have so much to choose from, and even though you’re probably left without many foods from your current diet, you have much better and healthier choices there.
And don’t say it’s restrictive in any way because I don’t approve of the foods that have no place in the human diet.
"Not Approved" Food List
- All Processed Sugars: all sweets (cookies, doughnuts, ice-cream, chocolates, candies, and so on), sweetened drinks, fruit juices, all types of sweetened plant » milk « (rice, almond, soy), energy drinks, anything that’s not natural, unprocessed, and comes in a packaged form.
- Flours: all flours, especially those obtained from grains, and »gluten-free« flours
- Processed Grains: bread and bread products (cracker, pastry, muffins, rolls, pretzels,…) pasta, rice, cereals, and corn.
- Industrial Seed/Vegetable Oils: sunflower, canola, corn, soybean, safflower, cottonseed, margarine, and all types of foods containing these fats/oils.
- Processed And Pre-packaged Meats: salami, hotdogs, sausages, ham, all cured and smoked meats (with sausages, and cured and smoked meat you can make an exception if the meat is nitrate and nitrite-free, and without any added chemicals)
- Pasteurized Milk And Dairy: this means you can forget about all the fat-free milk and dairy, low-fat yogurt, skimmed milk, and all the products from pasteurized milk.
- All Types Of Fast Foods: french fries, hamburgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, fried foods, tortillas, and so on.
Now you got the »NOT APPROVED« list, but before we move on to the »APPROVED« list, I want you to know that I don’t want you to think I’m dogmatic about this in any way. Face it, all the foods (if we can call them foods) on the »NOT APPROVED« list have no place in the proper and healthy human diet. However, if we make an exception here and there, we won’t fall under the consequences of these unhealthy food choices. It’s the majority of your diet that should consist of whole, unprocessed and nutrient-rich foods.
Now we move on to the »APPROVED« list. These are the foods that are high in nutrients and should be the basis of every meal and general human diet. When you come to the end of the list, you will see that a proper human diet is everything but restricting or even overcomplicated. Let’s go through the list to see how many options you have to replace the bread, pasta, rice, and other unnecessary and empty calorie foods with.
"Approved" Food List
- MEAT: beef, veal, pork, game, horse, rabbit, chicken, turkey, duck, lamb, goat, and many different meat types. Whatever you can get at where you live.
Aim for the highest quality possible; nowadays, it’s effortless to get quality meat and not buying the cheapest cuts in the local supermarket.
- EGGS: chicken, duck, goose, quail, pheasant,… Strive for free-range pastured eggs for higher nutrient density.
- FISH AND SEAFOOD: sardines, anchovies, mackerel, herring, wild-caught salmon, oysters, scallops, mussels, shrimps, crabs, lobster, octopus, cuttlefish, squid… Strive for wild seafood for minimal toxin levels. Also, avoid bigger fish like tuna, shark, spearfish, etc. because of high levels of mercury and heavy metals.
- VEGETABLES: I’m not going to list all the vegetables because there are too many of them, but I will say not to overeat more starchy types of vegetables like white potatoes, and take it easy with legumes – these should be properly prepared. Otherwise, try to get the highest quality possible, preferably organic, for higher nutrient content.
- FRUITS: all types of fruits, preferably low glycemic and low sugar fruits, winner in this group is for sure avocado, also different berries, kiwi, grapefruit, peaches, and so on. Still, eat the fruit in moderation and as a replacement for dessert, especially if you battle with a sweet tooth (pssst, off the record, but that’s like me).
- FATS AND OILS: animal fats (lard, tallow, goose and duck fat, etc., these are best for cooking), butter, and ghee, as well as some plant (fruit) oils like extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, and avocado oil. For higher nutrient intake eat them in their natural form (raw) and try to use as little fats and oils for cooking as possible to avoid destroying the nutrients and prevent oxidation.
- RAW MILK AND DAIRY: raw milk from pastured, grass-fed animals (cows, goats, sheep,…) and all the products from raw milk – like heavy cream, sour cream, cheese, cottage cheese, fermented milk, and dairies like kefir and yogurt.
- FERMENTED FOODS: yogurt, kefir, cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread, kombucha, wine, beer,… Some of these foods are best if you prepare them yourself. It’s simple and easy; all you need is time. They are rich in probiotics, prebiotics and bioactive peptides.
- NUTS AND SEEDS: desirable types of nuts: macadamia nuts, almonds, chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and brazil nuts.
Desirable types of seeds: pumpkin, squash, sunflower, chia, flax, hemp, and sesame seeds. Note*: I recommend at least soaking, or even better sprouting nuts and seeds since they can cause digestible issues in many people because of higher anti-nutrient content. Also, don’t overeat them, and I don’t think it’s good to eat them every day. Nuts and seeds are nutrient and energy-rich food and are easy to overeat for many people, so that’s another reason to eat them sparingly (especially in the context of weight-loss or addressing digestive issues).
- HERBS AND SPICES: rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, dill, sage, mint, parsley, black/white/cayenne pepper, salt, coriander seeds/leaves, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric,… Fresh or dried, you name it. Herbs and spices have very high nutritional value and give awesome flavors to the foods.
- INDULGENT FOODS: red wine, dark chocolate (75% cacao and above), raw honey, homemade nut butter, and homemade ice cream from fruits and/or raw cream.
Now, if you take a good look at the »APPROVED« list, can you say this way of eating is in any way, shape, or form restrictive? I’m pretty sure you can satisfy many of your needs, if not all, by eating the foods from the »APPROVED« list.
So start today, or even better – start now. You feel the difference in a matter of days. You’ll feel so much better, and your body will thank you. Changing the way you eat and eliminating ultra-processed foods is probably the hardest of all, so this blog post is meant to make it easier for you. At least with food choices. And please, don’t call it a diet; it’s a way of eating, or even better – a lifestyle.
Now I want to know your opinion about this type of eating approach.
Do you think this way of eating is doable and satisfying?
Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below and share the post with your friends on your social media.