ESSENTIAL ELEMENT: Getting the Right Protein
Critical Concept: Essential Amino Acids
An over-riding narrative in Bonfire is the promotion of a genetically congruent diet-style in the context of an overall lifestyle. It is not accurate to have a stand-alone discussion of diet as a singular entity. The essence of a holistic approach to health is in the understanding of the interdependence of all three of our lifestyle domains: how we eat, how we move, and how we think.
Your genes dictate your needs. If these needs are met, you have the greatest chance of experiencing optimal health. If these needs are not met, you will express sickness. Your ancestors enjoyed an incredibly active lifestyle that included a diet rich in fresh plant foods and wild game and fish. Anthropologists are now able to decipher remains found in ancient villages like a modern CSI crime scene unit. Geneticists decode our genome and read it like an owner’s manual. Science can now tell us exactly what our cells require to express health. If you want to improve your future, know your past.
There is no evidence of our ancestors ever experiencing chronic disease.
If you want to live like the healthiest humans to ever walk the earth, look to your hunter and gatherer ancestors. You have inherited a gene that specifically requires and expects a diet rich in wild plants, game and fish. There was no industrialized farming, no feed lots and no anti-biotic and hormone-laden, corn-fed beef available. The game was wild, grass-fed, and all natural. A diet-style that includes high quality protein and nutritionally dense calories not only supports an active life, but also provides great satiety as well as a thermostatic effect for those interested in “becoming lighter.” Protein also plays a critical role in the hormonal balance of your metabolism – a major lynchpin in our current obesity and chronic disease epidemic.
Beyond the obvious dangers associated with chemically-raised beef, poultry and farmed fish is the distortion in fat content and Omega 3: Omega 6 fatty acid balance. Grain-fed cattle are extraordinarily higher in fat than the range-fed animals that our ancestors ate. Compounding this threat is the unnaturally high concentration on Omega 6 fatty acids. This creates imbalance in the body and leads to the silent inflammation that is at the root of atherosclerosis (heart disease).
A best practice in the Bonfire Ideal Dietstyle is to secure a reliable source of high quality, lean cuts of grass-fed or wild meat and fish. Talk to your local grocer or butcher, join a local CSA (Community-Sponsored Agriculture) or maybe just start hunting! All of the Bonfire Ideal Dietstyle recommendations are made within the context of an Ideal Lifestyle. All factors interact. This is the true essence of Holistic Living. We do not live in a vacuum. We must look at the totality of the lifestyles of our ancestors for guidance, and not reduce their behaviors into separate categories for our reference. If you want to eat like a hunter and gatherer, you must live like one too. Eat like one – lots of wild plants and animals, nuts, seeds and berries. Move like one – move, sweat and pant – every day. Think like one – reduce your chronic stress burden, build a bonfire and dance just to celebrate surviving another fantastic day.