I have been researching my ancestry and the way other countries eat today. Those groups of people who have stuck with the diet of their ancestors have better health. Of course, any diet consisting of natural foods constitutes a better way of life. I have been following a mostly Paleo diet for about two years, but I feel as though I am missing out on my heritage.
A lot of my heritage comes from Northern Europe, with some in the western and southern areas as well. Before processed foods, people would soak and/or ferment grains, seeds and nuts before consuming them. This old world process made digesting them easier and more nutrients were obtained. I have also noticed that “New World” foods tend to bother me more, which is probably why I have issues with nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, etc.).
This whole time I thought I had issues with gluten and dairy, but now I am questioning if it is just the way our country processes everything we consume. Our milk is pasteurized and homogenized, and all of our grains are not soaked and often have other added ingredients. The nuts at most grocery stores are not raw, and the roasted varieties are roasted at high temperatures with unhealthy oils, killing most of their nutritional value.
I have decided to start trying the old ways of my ancestors when it comes to food. We eat food out of habit, as a distraction, for control, and to comfort. Other countries eat to converse, enjoy, and take their time. In America, we eat so quickly as we run from one thing to the next that our brain never has the chance to tell us that we are full. We may not even be chewing our food well enough to digest any of its nutrients. No matter how healthy your diet is, if you are not properly chewing and digesting your food, none of it matters. Eating in a rush and stressed manner will decline your health. I have found a lot of this information to be true from my own experience. I am interested to see how I feel as I journey back through time to my own nourishing traditions.