Ancestral Health means living like your great grandparents did or how people lived before life got messed up – before food ingredients with names you cannot pronounce and high fructose corn syrup in everything, before fear of eating healthy fats and red meat, and being out in the sun, before exercising like rats on a wheel in “health” clubs, before everyone was taking medicines that do more harm than good. My site includes primal recipes and other lifestyle information. The ancestral health movement includes: the Weston A. Price movement, Paleo, the Primal Blueprint, Archevore and other approaches like them.
Weston A. Price (1870-1948) was a dentist who studied fourteen groups isolated from modern society including Australian aborigines, Masai in Africa, Native Americans, islanders off of Scotland and isolated Swiss. See, for example, this great article on traditional African diet. His work is carried on by the Weston Price Foundation and others. Weston Price Foundation co-founders Sally Fallon and Mary Enig wrote Nourishing Traditions applying Price’s ideas. Chris Masterjohn crosses over between Weston Price and Paleo. See his Daily Lipid blog.
Other Studies of Traditional Societies Research into Okinawans, Kitavans and other people relatively untouched by western food and lifestyles.
Paleo aka Caveman Diet. The premise of Paleo is that our ancestors evolved over millions of years to eat a certain diet. Agriculture has existed around 10,000 years, and much less in most of the world. That is not nearly long enough for us to have evolved to eat grains, legumes and seed oils. Therefore these foods are not healthy for us to eat. Most followers of Paleo no longer have a rigid “if cavemen didn’t eat it neither should we” attitude. “Primitive” isn’t always best. See Masterjohn on primitive wisdom.
While Price and others have made valuable contributions to ancestral health, I believe you cannot reach excellent health nor maintain a healthy weight without eliminating most grains. Just soaking, a la Price Foundation is not enough.
Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson takes the general premise of Paleo and expands it to a complete lifestyle. His approach is to ask how paleolithic hunters and gatherers did something then explore what implications it has for modern life. Primal is my main orientation and the posts in this blog reflect that fact. I somewhat hesitate to send people to Mark’s blog because the day’s subject could be anything from meditation to a cage fighter’s success with the blueprint. Read more than one post before you judge. In the Mark’s Daily Apple forum, my handle is Hedonist2.
Recent Developments: Theorists in the Paleo tradition, Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet and Kurt Harris, have taken a more moderate attitude toward carbs such as potatoes and white rice. Billions of people depend on rice, beans, corn and other foods excluded by strict Primal and Paleo. These strict versions may be great for financially well off people in wealthy countries but they are useless for much of the world.