Just because your next meal doesn’t mean you must pick, gather, milk, hunt or fish for your food shouldn’t mean that you walk into a supermarket in some food illiterate stupor and load up your trolley without thinking!
Think of yourself instead as a modern-day hunter-gatherer and be as vigilant as if you were out on the savanna searching for the next meal (which of course would most likely include running it down to catch it so your daily Mint fitness regime will cover that base?…please ask one of the PT’s to help out if your programme effort is closer to sitting on the sofa rather than hunting in the savanna!!).
Just like the hunter-gatherer who learned which poisonous mushrooms, plants, and other seemingly edible foods to avoid, if you want to live a long, healthy life, it helps to gather some education on what food products to avoid and what foods to pounce on.
The ultimate goal of the hunt is to bring back real foods that contain all the nutrients incl; biochemicals required for the functioning of your cells, tissues, hormones & neurotransmitters which affect your metabolic health.
In other words, theoretically real foods can be picked, gathered, milked, hunted or fished. Processed foods don’t contain the biochemicals the human body needs to rebuild, but they do contain toxins so best to be avoided just like the poisonous mushroom.
You used to be able to hunt the perimeter of the supermarket, but not anymore. Now, no matter where you look, you’re going to see tantalizing food products conveniently placed within reach — even in the produce section.
Hunter-gatherers didn’t leave a secure camp to procure food without making sure that they were well fed for the taxing hunt ahead of them. Before you go food shopping at the very least have a real food snack so you can think with your head and not with your grumbling stomach.
Hunter-gatherers had their strategies and knew how much food they needed to survive between hunting/gathering expeditions. Getting your kitchen together requires two steps: Staples and perishables.
Stocking your pantry with staples can take a few shopping excursions. Your list may look like this:
A variety of vinegars (rice, red wine, balsamic, apple cider)
Spices (course black pepper, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, ground ginger, dried basil, dried oregano, onion powder, cumin, parsley)
Shoyu (real, naturally fermented soy sauce)
Stevia, unpasteurized honey
Grains (brown rice, amaranth, steel cut oats)
Beans and legumes (black beans, lentils, peas)
Tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes
A variety of nuts to store in the freezer
Green tea and herbal teas
Once you have your staples, weekly shopping can focus on fresh, perishables. Buy whole foods. Food products with fat removed are highly processed and generally contain sugar and chemicals to replace the “mouth feel” and satisfaction of natural fat.
Think about your week, how much food you need to survive between the meals you plan on eating out. Zero in on proteins, fats, non-starch vegetables, complex carbs and hydration.
Your list may look like this:
Rib eye steak
Bone-in chicken breasts with skin
Salmon or other fish/shellfish
Canned tuna fish (not every week)
Small fish like anchovies, herring, and sardines
Free range or organic eggs
Peanut and/or almond butter
Raw or organic whole milk and cream
Whole milk yogurt
Raw or organic butter
Raw cheese (generally these are imported cheeses)
Leafy greens and other veggies that mostly grow above the ground for summer & winter salads/slaws
Any green veggie to eat raw, cook, or juice
Fruit (anything in season)
Spelt bread, freshly baked whole grain bread, or paleo bread
Starchy veggies (potatoes, kumara, yams, carrots, beets, corn)
If you’re looking for prepared foods, finds the ones that best serve you. Eg; you may want to take hummus with carrot and cut up bell peppers to work for a snack. Ratatouille or salsa can make a simple roasted chicken a lot more interesting. Having prepared soup in the freezer to defrost on the stove on simmer can be pampering after a long stressful day at work.
When you get home from your hunt, freeze any meats and fish that you aren’t going to eat in the next day or two. Animal and fish proteins immediately begin to oxidize in the refrigerator. The goal is to eat fresh food. So only freeze foods for a week, two on the outside.
Today for the first time in the history of human kind we have at our disposal an array of foods that humans have never had.
Historically, even monarchies and the ultra-wealthy could not eat the vast variety of foods we commoners now have available to us. Strive to only eat real food, but have fun with it too.
Zealotry has no place in a well-balanced life. Dark chocolate (high cacao/no sugar) has many health benefits, it’s perfectly OK in your shopping trolley. Whole Foods offers small bags of baked gourmet potato chips. Don’t buy them every week, but they are fun once in a while.