For years now the thin people who don’t have a clue about why they are thin have been telling the more curvy individuals the same stupid weight loss advice. The best thing for you is to eat everything in moderation.
This sentence is also widely present among elderly people. This is a generation that was born between first and the Second World War. Back then there were very little people “rich” enough so they could afford the delicacies and food similar like we have today on a daily basis. There were no new age “anti-foods” on the shelves and they also couldn’t access to unlimited amounts of animal foods.
They mostly slaughtered their one animal once a year and then they ate it through the entire year. The families back then were big and they often shared a small piece of meat from the stew among all 8 to 10 members of the family. Of course they also haven’t had Nutella.
Since big families couldn’t sustain on this one animal alone, their main source of calories came from cheap, sustainable and calorically rich foods they grew at home. These were potatoes, grains, beans, pumpkins, all in all starch foods. When there was a season of fruits and veggies they ate those along with their starch. If they had a chance they included milk into some dishes, and a few times per year they ate an egg. That was about all they ate if they didn’t have a farm.
The world of our grandparents and parents is long gone
It is important for you to understand that most of their calories came from starches, fruits and vegetables, all the rest were used as treats or adding.
They only saw nuts or exotic fruits such as oranges for special holidays such as Christmas. The kids mostly took great effort to consume those goods slowly so they could last for as long as possible.
Even my mom told me how she divided chocolate when she got it into very small pieces. She ate one piece per day in a slow and enjoying way. She was moving the chocolate in her mouth for as long as she could, so the creamy-sweet sensation would last for the longest. Chocolate was an unusual piece of paradise for her.
Egg was a similar story. Every kid from my mom’s family could get one egg per year for his or her birthday. My mom ate that egg for her birthday with great pleasure. The other kids could only watch her with saliva on their lips and wait for their own birthday.
Did I mention that back then none of her family members had excess weight issues and today almost everybody has?
Was that a coincidence?
I don’t think so. They all swithced from their starch based diet to food, where they use bigger amounts of oils and the meats and dairy products are on their plates every single day.
New times – New rules?
I understand how the golden rule of middle road can apply very well in some aspects of life.
However, when it comes to food, playing by that rule can cause a lot of trouble. Unfortunately the ratios of food available in stores are way different than they used to be in nature.
That is why advising somebody to eat everything in moderation is similar as saying that it is okay for a man to hit his wife every day but in moderation.
Before you jump all over me, let me explain this statement.
As I have stated in my previous blogs, the calorically dense food for which human body was not designed for, used to be more of an exception then a rule. In those days the most concentrated source of energy was meat. Today we are facing with more meat than we can chew and also other foods that are even richer than meats.
How does or anti-feeding look on a daily basis? We pour oils basically on every food we cook and also on all of our salads. We drink sweet drinks and therefor consume a bunch of sugars into our bodies without biting or fiber. We also eat Nutella, we bake cakes with white flour, cream, a tone of eggs where we also add extra sugar. We buy our kids chips and ice cream and we, on the other hand enjoy our weekends with a glass (or a bottle) of our favorite alcohol.
If this means everything is okay in moderation, from my point of view this is the same like a man hitting his wife a little, three times per day, plus for dessert. In my humble opinion the best measure for new rich foods is ZERO. If we don’t tolerate any wife hitting, we also shouldn’t tolerate anti-foods.
What moderation even means?
I would kindly ask somebody who is giving around advice on moderation, to tell me, what exactly does that mean for him or her? I am sure I would get 200 different answers from 100 different people.
Does that mean I should regularly eat a little bit of chips, Nutella, fruits, veggies, meats, grains, eggs, cheese, butter, oil, cookies, water, Coca-Cola, bread and also some wine and beer every day or week?
Try going into the store and select one piece of every item there that pretends to be food. I am sure that after a week of feeding yourself with this, you will think about the next time you preach about how everything is okay in moderation.
You must realize that in the store you actually have a very small percentage of what has actually grown from the earth or a tree. There is very little of what Mother Nature created to feed our bodies and our minds with.
On the other hand stores offer a lot of what is not our food. Fridges are full of animal parts – much more than you would be able to hunt down in the wilderness, and you would then also manage to trap, slaughter, peel off the skin, cut out the internal organs and then prepare and eat them.
On the shelves those things are different. You have conveniently packed chicken legs, pig’s bottoms, filter organs from different animals (liver), pig’s chest, calf’s food (milk) and its derivate (cheese, yoghurt etc.), hens periods (eggs) and other products made out of those parts (sausages, salami etc.), pure fat from pigs tissues etc. They are there for us every day of the week.
Of course we can also always get mixtures of extracted and refined plant based foods, mixed with animal products and oils. This way we invented chocolate and also fruit juices. We have invented chips by drowning potato into lakes of oil. I could go on, but I hope you get the main idea of how disproportionate the ratios of our foods are these days.
The biggest violator of the moderation principle
When I got the idea for this blog and went to the store, I realized that my shopping only covered about 10 % of the store and was therefore severely violating the moderation principle.
For starters I immediately pass the section with chips and biscuits and other salty, sweet and greasy treats. A few times per year I tend to buy some nuts if I happen to be baking for some special celebration.
First I pick up the packages with dry starchy foods such as rice, grains and occasionally pasta or flour. Then I walk towards the section with fresh fruits and vegetables. There I mostly take the cheap fruits that grow at that time of the year. I don’t even consider buying the tasteless fruits that cost a fortune at that time of the year. Cucumbers in the middle of winter? You’ve got to be kidding me.
Also, you will almost never see me in the section with fridges, I only visit those once or twice per month and buy a small piece of tofu or soy yoghurt and that’s it. What I also take are some legumes in a can, because I sometimes forget to soak and cook them in advance.
Sometimes being an extremist pays off
If somebody monitored my behavior, he could say I totally violate the moderation rule. On the other hand, I feel I must be doing something right.
When I see the content of those people’s shopping carts that obey the moderation rule and I then check their owners, I would not trade my habits for theirs. Most people, who have in their carts everything in moderation, look quite the opposite of good balance. Most of them have tired faces, fatty bodies and poor muscular structure. They are moving towards cashier slowly without much life energy.
»The extremists« such as me are easy to spot since they are a rare kind. They usually talk intensively, smile and walk with energy and shoulders up. I have never seen a person, who would have foods like mine in the cart but would look directly opposite than me.
Apparently being extreme and buying a lot of good and nothing bad pay off way more than being moderate.
That is why I plan to continue shopping like this and recommend my strategy to all the people who don’t wish to be a sad pile of fat and misery at the cashier.
When conditions change…
I have a hypothetical question for you guys.
What if something terrible happened on this world and we would lose all the stores and electricity (freezers, microwave ovens etc.) and we would instantly become self-dependent when it comes to food? Ask yourself, could your diet plan survive that kind of disaster?
As far as I am concerned, I should do more gardening than I did so far, and I would only have to give up bananas and occasional soy products. The rest would stay about the same for me.
In the spring I would sow different crops in our garden that grow best in our climate and pick up those that grew after winter.
In the summer I would eat potatoes and cooked grains with fresh summer vegetables and fruits. I would cook my food on gas stove or on the open fire.
In the fall I would pick up the rest of the crops and save them in my basement to last me through the winter. Starches would last in there for all year. They would be my main meal ingredient. With them I would eat freshly picked mushrooms from the forest and my own dried herbs. I would store more resistant fruits in the basement (apples and pears) and the rest I would dry out in the sun (plums, figs etc.)
I would spend winter eating mostly beans, potatoes and sour croute and in the spring I would start the whole process back again.
I am quite sure that this change wouldn’t affect my current dietary habits too much with a bit of my mom’s help at gardening since until now I haven’t done much of it.
How about your diet?
… the points of view also change
If you are used to eating meat, eggs and dairy, you should first go find some animals in nature who would be willing to give you their throat to cut through. Then of course you would have to peel of their skin, bones, organs etc.
If milk or cheese is what you like, you should find a cow and a bull to inseminate her. Then you would wait a few months until the calf is born. Next you would have to remove the child from its mother by force, just so you could milk her and steal some of his food. All this time you would have to be making sure that the cow has enough grass to eat. Those of you who don’t have much of your own land should give up this idea.
I believe many of you wouldn’t want to do this whole procedure and in the meantime, you would get pretty hungry.
I assume potato from an open fire or a fresh apple would start smelling to you much nicer than the idea of cutting and preparing dead animal to be ready for consumption.
I certainly hope this type of no stores disaster will not happen.
However, I was trying to show you how much our point of view can change, when situations in life drastically change. The problem is some people still think the world is the same when it comes to food. Unfortunately it is quite different.
Ever since capitalism came to our country, and massive usage of fossil fuels, which enabled a massive animal agriculture, the consumption of those products went sky high. From almost nothing we started consuming eggs and stakes (almost) every day.
Think about what you have on your plate every day. Do you even have one single meal without something that used to be an animal or came from an animal? Plus, does any meal go by without?something a man has made (oil, Nutella, chips, mayonnaise etc.)?
Personal story for your consideration
My mom claimed she eats very little of these so called anti-foods (compared to other people she actually does). However we did a small test and figure out that is not so true. I bolded the anti-foods so you will see, how much of the mentioned foods she actually eats.
She started her day with bread on which she put some marmalade and butter. At the weekend she ate two eggs and some bread.
At school, where she works, she usually gets a cheese and salami sandwich or bread with some sort of dairy or chocolate topping. Sometimes they also eat wheat meal, cooked in milk.
For lunch she cooks vegetable dishes a lot of times, but she stirs the onion on olive oil and makes dairy and eggs pancakes to go along with that stew. After lunch she likes to eat something sweet which is usually store bought cookies (with butter) or a piece of bread with Nutella. In the afternoon she often eats fruit.
She eats different things for dinner, mostly leftovers from lunch or bread with pate or a few pieces of “homemade” sausage (from our uncle). Sometimes she cooks herself some milky rice or milky wheat meal.
What used to be a little is a lot today
As you can see, every one of her meals consisted of quite a few very calorie dense foods. In the past, she didn’t have as many.
The moment I showed her this list, she understood, she was gaining a little bit of fat around her belly precisely because of that. She originally claimed that was because she wasn’t active enough.
I am sure my mom is more active than 90 % of population. For one she is a sports teacher, so she moves a lot at work already, plus she does different activities every afternoon. She does yoga, she runs, plays tennis, goes on a bicycle etc. She rarely goes on the couch before the sunset.
Her activities (even though she doesn’t think so) stayed about the same since the time she was a kid. However, what she did change was her nutrition.
Everything in moderation used to mean 1-2 eggs per year, today that means 2-3 eggs per week. She used to get a really small piece of meat for lunch or none at all if her siblings managed to get it earlier. Today she can have her own steak or a chicken thigh.
My mom really doesn’t have weight issues, because a big portion of her foods are still healthy and fit body promoting foods such as potatoes, beans, fruits vegetables rice etc. Plus she is veeery active. Despite all that, her “tiny” “mistakes” she repeats every day has made her gain a few love handles and her upper arms became a bit more “coated”.
That happened because she followed the rule of everything in moderation (except with exercise). What she didn’t account for, was that what is moderate today, was excessive in her youth. The world has changed around her in a way, she couldn’t yet comprehend.
Moderation is impossible with food – law of satiation works against it
The last argument of the people who say you should eat a little bit of everything is that you should eat in and live in a moderate way.
I don’t really know what moderate means but I think that means stopping when you’ve had enough food, drink, exercise etc. If you are not a moderate person by nature, that is going to be very hard for you to do.
For example I tend to overdo everything. When I read, I read all day, when I exercize I like to do it until I am very, very tired, and when I eat, I eat until I am full. And since I mentioned in one of the previous blogs how it is virtually impossible not to eat until satiated, the concept of moderation is absurd when it comes to food.
If we take a look at nature, we can see that people and their pets are the only creatures that are getting fat. So have the natural laws gone around us and our cats and dogs and other creatures?
What you must understand is that there are several laws working in nature. Two of those important laws are a law of satiation with the least amount of effort and used up energy and the law of procreation.
All the creatures eat until they are full, they all try to get as much calories inside their bodies with the least amount of effort because the whole purpose is to survive and to procreate as much as possible.
When the animals live in circumstances, where there is more than enough natural food for them, they will not get fat. They will just procreate more.
And animals will, just like people, get fat and eventually sick when we give them food they were not supposed to eat. Also, they will cram on this food because it stimulates their brain and tells them to eat as much as possible to get extra amounts of energy.
The same as we do.
Message to take home
In the world that is everything but moderate, the only way to truly be moderate and healthy, is to become quite extreme.
We breed and kill millions of animals each year we consume huge amounts of other species milk and eat tons of “anti-foods”. All of this is at the tips of our fingers, if only we have a few bucks to spend.
It is difficult to resist that food because it tastes good and is telling our brain we need this much energy for mating and survival.
The truth couldn’t be further away. Not only it is that we don’t need it, it can actually harm us severely if we eat it on a regular basis.
Because of today’s rich foods we get fat and sick and we merely survive instead of thrive. Life with a bag of drugs and a whole bunch of health issues can hardly be called a life worth living, huh?
The only way I see we can be moderate in today’s world is to eliminate all anti-foods out of our homes and we limit the consumption of rich foods (if we can’t do without them) to bigger holidays only, as they used to do in the past.
Extremism is a matter of perspective not the actual content
People sometimes call me extreme and like to stress out that they have no interest in becoming vegans.
I don’t expect from anyone to become a vegan.
What I do wish to remind you is that vegan or not vegan you are a human being at the end of the day.
And even though some archeologists have made some false assumptions (because of their own prejudice) that people evolved as mostly carnivores, new proofs show that they might be totally wrong.
Archeologist have, after long years some to the conclusion that human ancestors indeed ate a food that was more calorically dense than leaves and grass and fruits. However meat was not the only source of many calories. Due to the new findings of very well preserved human ancestors, they could analyze their teeth and bones. And what they found on their teeth were granules of different types of cooked starch! However I will talk about those findings at another occasion, so you might want to subscribe to the news.
To finish this whole story, I want to stress once more, that I do not expect from anyone to become vegan. However I do think that all people could and should become a little more people. That means that we should start eating more of what our food actually is instead of eating “a little bit of everything we can stuff in our mouths”.
We must accept the fact that we are much more similar to monkeys than we are to lions, ravens, snakes or wolves. However, when it comes to food, we tend to conveniently forget about all of those similarities and differences. We are way more similar to plant eating monkeys than we are to lions, ravens or snakes.
Why do we dowe act contrary to that?
We might tell you that in another blog.
If you feel like my idea about optimal human nutrition is not too extreme for you any more, you can send me a message to join my free 21 day challenge. You can also join (as a challenger or merely a spectator) my closed Facebook group where likeminded people share amongst each other recipes for healthy living and our successes on this path. And of course, make sure you read the latest news.
See you next week (If I haven’t scare you away yet)