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My name is Laura. I’m currently a graduate student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, pursuing a Masters in Public Health Nutrition (MPH-RD). I love learning about all topics regarding health, fitness, and food!
I believe that a person’s health can be drastically improved by changing their diet, but also that the low-fat or meat-free diets that many people follow are generally inadequate for long term wellness. In order to be truly nourished, you need to be sure you’re getting enough of particular nutrients that are found primarily in animal products.
From the many studies I have read, it seems that a diet consisting primarily of high quality animal proteins, non-starchy vegetables, “safe” starches, and a variety of healthy fats (such as monounsaturated and saturated fats) is the ideal diet for optimal health and fitness. I am passionate about educating people about the benefits of animal products in the diet, as well as the benefits of eliminating polyunsaturated vegetable oil and grain intake.
As much as I know the health benefits of cutting out grains and legumes, and living primarily off animal protein, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats, I’d be lying if I said that lifestyle is a piece of cake. Especially for a student!
This is where the “Ancestral” lifestyle comes in. When I speak of the “Ancestral” diet, I mean a Paleo/Primal template with serious attention to the many principles of nutrition as described by the Weston A. Price Foundation and its plethora of research about optimal health. So plenty of healthy animal fats, whole eggs, pastured butter and cream, coconut oil, organ meats, bone broths, and cod liver oil to support nutritional needs, in addition to the standard meat and vegetables that the original “Paleo” plan recommends.
The focus should be on including these ultimate nutrient-dense foods in your diet, and not focusing on the variety of foods that need to be excluded. I believe the best way to maintain a healthy weight is to adopt a lifestyle that can be maintained indefinitely, one that supports your energy levels, moderates your appetite and satiety signals, provides complete nutrition, and tastes delicious. I also believe that the Ancestral standard of eating can provide all of those benefits and more.
In addition to weight loss, I’d like to draw attention to the other benefits that the Ancestral diet can bring to people. One issue that many of my peers struggle with regularly is poor skin health, including breakouts, dryness, blackheads, and generally unattractive skin. While I had never had skin problems growing up, I went through an especially poor diet period of about 6 months that led me to have incredibly uncomfortable and unattractive breakouts all over my face, consisting of both acne and hyperkeratosis pillaris. I would like to draw attention to the before and after pictures of this problem, because I truly believe this is the best evidence I can provide for the benefits of following this type of diet over our standard American diet filled with commodity grains, industrial seed oils, refined sugars and corn syrups, and pasteurized low-fat milk products.
No one wants to be sick, overweight, or have bad skin. I feel that the same health principles that apply to avoiding chronic disease can be applied to supporting beauty and fitness, and the earlier we start applying Ancestral wisdom to our lives, the happier, more vibrant, and overall healthier we can be.
I generally follow an “Ancestral” inspired lifestyle that is both healthy AND enjoyable. Food is not only nourishment, but it is a source of pleasure. There is no reason you can’t eat healthy food and still love what you eat every day!
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