Keeping it Simple and Down to Earth… Ketogenic Diets
I woke up extra early this morning because I couldn’t stop thinking about what I would write as my next blog post. I was consumed with ideas but nothing was emerging into something that would satisfy my constant urge to write.
I was sitting in my PJ’s in my Keto Cure Me home office thinking so hard about all of the potential topics to write about, how to be the most helpful and informative to my readers, jumping from one idea to the next. Then I remembered that when you try too hard at something it usually becomes more complicated than it needs to be.
The more convoluted and complex you make something the more stressful and difficult it then becomes. We human beings have always made life more difficult than it needs to be. Take the agricultural revolution for example.
As Sapiens we used to be hunter-gatherers, foraging and hunting for food to feed our massive brains. We were transient. As omnivorous apes we were exposed to a wide variety of food, available as the seasons changed and we moved with the food. We faced periods of starvation at times and were by and large eating a ketogenic diet as our bodies are naturally designed to do.
This changed around 10,000 years ago with the arrival of the agricultural revolution, the domestication of plants and animals.
According to Yuval Noah Harari’s super interesting book Sapiens, wheat and goats were being domesticated at about 8500 – 9000 BC, olive trees at 5000 BC and horses by 4000 BC.
So we thought we were pretty smart, we had knocked of all of our competitors (the Neanderthals and others), and settled down. We left behind (what we assume today) would have been a hard life of hunter gathering and became farmers & land holders.
Intellectuals and scholars have said the move to food and animal production was the smartest thing we ever did. Maybe not.
Hunter Gatherers Had The Knowledge.
Hunter-gatherers understood the animals and plants around them. Not in the technical sense, they simply worked with nature, watched and learnt.
The agricultural revolution was pretty uncool. It bought with it starvation and disease. Grains were only a tiny part of the human diet. When wheat was grown and eaten in larger amounts, it provided less vitamins and minerals and was hard to digest and stuffed up our teeth. We ate less variety and suffered more illness that came of less biodiversity.
Being a hunter-gatherer was much less difficult than being full time farmers.
The life of a farmer was consumed with maintaining his food source; back breaking work growing plants for themselves and all of the animals. Life became a lot harder, less satisfying and a lot less nutritious. Life is still hard for farmers, there’s climate change, pests to kill, markets to meet and now you need a degree in agriculture as well.
The agricultural revolution made life much harder than it needed to be. We’ve continued to do this ever since.
Populations exploded with the onset of agriculture , farming and the readily available food.
Now we needed to grow more food than ever to feed the masses. We also needed land and equipment. We learnt to take that as well by nicking other famers gear to better our own prospects. We have always taken from one another.
There is always a temptation to know more, do more and have more.
The hunter- gathers had time to chill out, hang in their social groups and just be early humans. They weren’t exposed to the pestilence and diseases associated with modern life because they kept it simple. Yes they might have been eaten by the occasional Saber Toothed Tiger or bonked on the head by a member from another tribe; they were instinctive animals and just did what they had to do to survive.
Jump forward to today.
We modern human beings are obsessed with owning or acquiring things, be it knowledge or possessions. We want to know and have everything. Why? Because we are competitive in our very natures. If he has it, I want it. We are also social creatures and like to be part of the crowd. We like to learn.
In the most basic sense the strongest man rules the tribe; the best-looking chick gets her man and produces quality offspring. We protect ourselves and our own as best we can. Its all about instinct.
Our endless & constant quest for human perfection drives us to find the best possible ways to remain higher in the group. No one wants to be on the bottom of the rung, either socially or physically or financially. Its what drives most of us to hang in there and keep working, like it or not.
Unfortuntely as a large group we seem to have lost our insticts that tell us that certain foods are better than others and we keep putting non foods into our bodies.
The Food and Diet Industry.
We are still hunter gathers in the sense that now instead of walking around, picking berries and tracking wild sheep, we spend our days slogging it out in jobs we don’t enjoy that much, so we can earn the coin to go and buy what we need and want from the giant food providers. (The sheep pictured says “try the chicken!)
We are told by the food manufacturers what to eat, by the fashionistas what to wear and by governments what to think. We read magazines that tell us we need to be better all the time. We leave very little to chance and in doing so have less choice and autonomy than we ever had.
Thinking about the diet industry as the behemoth influencer that it is, I am getting back to my point about keeping things simple.
Eating a ketogenic diet needn’t be difficult. Going low carb frightens that pants off many of us because we think we are going to miss out on all of the sweet and tasty foods that have been made available to us by big agricultural and food manufacturers. We worked so hard that we just want something yummy to make us feel better so we can go back and do it all again the next day.
If you think of low carb diets as being hard think again. After all that’s what were good at aren’t we? Thinking with our giant brains.
I keep my food as simple as possible and I don’t spend hours trying to find the best recipe book to cook with to come up with or culinary delights to please my family. I used to before Keto, but not anymore.
My food doesn’t always look like it has been PLATED UP in Jamie Oliver’s or Nigellas Kitchen because it doesn’t need to be, ( I like Jamie and Nigella, there good people!).
I serve prettier food when visitors come over but the rest of the time I keep it really easy. Most of my meals take little time to prepare and don’t require a pantry full of ingredients. Why make life more stressful that it need be.
The food I eat on a Ketogenic Diet is simple healthy nutritious real food. Not made in a factory or put in a colourful box to encourage the kids to eat it.
Here’s what I eat on most days for any meal.
Eggs for breakfast, or a plate with a little bit of leafy greens, a moderate palm sized piece of protein cooked in animal fat and some grass fed cheese sprinkled on the top. Dessert when we have it is usually had a cream and egg base eggs.
We don’t have dessert after every single meal
Keep desserts for special times during the week or on festive occasions and even then don’t go berserk! Giving yourself permission to over indulge at festive times usually ends up with you feeling unwell and guilty the next day. Be moderate, you will have a much better time of it.
Studies show people who exercise a wee bit of self discipline people are actually happier. Give it a try. Your health is worth it.
Ketogenic eating, it’s simple and easy.
The next meal might be a piece of fish cooked in coconut oil with some broccoli and cauliflower with mushrooms in cream. You can be creative but try not to make life harder by being a master chef every night. I save my weekends to explore new recipes, keeping it simple through the week.
I watched Pete Evans, a very well-known Australian Paleo Chef on the box last night.
Pete was cooking a simple Paleo meal, all in the one pan with some speck bacon, eggs, a couple of tomatoes and onion. There was some other simple and healthy ingredients thrown in as well and it looked amazing, fresh and healthy.
Pete’s dish took no time to cook and at the end of the program the crew were all hovering over the pan eating it up. It was simple food that looked like it was amazing to taste and everyone was having a good time-sharing that simple dish. I would loved to have been there to join in the fun. Come on Pete, invite me over. We’ll do a hybrid Keto / Paleo meal!
When you eat foods that make up a Ketogenic or Paleo diet, you don’t have that hungry feeling all of the time. You can still enjoy food as a comfort source that is actually good for you.
When you eat good healthy fats and proteins you feel better and won’t feel like your missing out. You also cope better mentally from eating a low carb, low sugar diet, so you make better more considered decisions about food.
I often refer back to a book about keeping life simple, its Rhonda Hetzels terrific book, Down to Earth, a guide to simple living.
I refer to Rhonda’s book often, as a reminder to myself of the life I want to live.
Here are a few tips from her book about simple living.
- Think about the life you want to live. We have a choice and we don’t have to live as we are now.
- Eat locally sources, healthy organic food as often as you can.
- Look after what you own so you don’t have to continually replace things.
- Grow some of your own food.
Make your home your centre and connect with your family and community.
Sigh, I feel better now I got all that out. I even manged to get a picture of a cute sheep, the lovely Pete Evans and me in the Keto Cure me office at the crack of dawn.
So that’s my post for this lovely Queensland morning down under, I hope you enjoyed it.
Take it easy and take care of yourself and your family.
Sleepless Michelle, Keto Cure Me. xxx