5 Books that Led Me to an Ancestral Diet
Updated: Jun 1
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The amount of health and wellness information available to us is frankly overwhelming. There is a ridiculous amount of marketing for food, supplements, and pharmaceuticals. We’re constantly bombarded with information. If you want to take a deeper dive, the resources available only become even more overwhelming and confusing. There is so much information, and much of it is even contradicting! Plant-based, keto, interment fast, whole-30, paleo, low-carb, high-carb, low-fat, carnivore, and the list goes on and on.
My personal health journey includes a 3-year attempt at veganism (read here why I ditched veganism), two years on hormonal birth control (read here why I stopped birth control), and many many years of imbalance in blood sugar, and eating too few calories of processed foods. (Read here about speeding up your metabolism).
Today, I focus on eating an ancestral whole-food diet. There is a LOT of good research and material out there showing the benefits of an ancestral diet. These 5 books were a huge determining factor!
9/10 times, I opt to listen to books instead of reading a physical copy. I can download audiobooks for free from the library, and then listen to them while I drive, work outside, exercise, or do chores. THIS book was one I listened to and then had to purchase the hard copy! It’s one I refer back to frequently, as it’s PACKED with great information on metabolic health!
Kate really breaks down the science of how our bodies work and specifically how our metabolisms work. What does it take to keep a healthy, high-functioning metabolism? So many people trash their metabolisms with fab diets and low-quality food. Kate shows you how to get back to the basics of eating to keep a fast, functioning metabolism.
This was the first book I read that opened my eyes to the impact our gut health has on our overall health! Dr. Axe points out that we live in an overly sanitized and sterile environment. We eat low-quality foods and take pharmaceuticals that distrust our gut health. He writes about how to get back to the basics of eating to restore a healthy gut microbiome.
This book actually is sitting right beside me as I write this. Nourishing Traditions is a MUST-READ, and actually a cookbook! It's jam-packed with nutrition information and delicious recipes! It's based on the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who studied indigenous people groups' dental health. Price found that people groups who continued to eat ancestral diets to their region had beautiful, straight teeth, no tooth decay, and overall excellent physical health. This book reviews the common factors in the ancestral diets Dr. Price studied and provides delicious recipes.
This book changed the way I think about iron and iron deficiency. If you live in America (or Canada), start reading the back of ingredient labels for baked goods. Crackers, cookies, cereals, various breads, etc. are "enriched with iron". You can actually crush up breakfast cereal, and then use a magnet to extract the iron flakes! It's also added to multivitamins and birth control pills. This is because there is a false assumption that most people (especially women) are iron deficient. Robbins breaks down the science through scientific studies to show that it's simply not true. Iron is the most abundant and available mineral on Earth, and supplementing with Iron is detrimental to our health. Robbins looks at a diet that restores our body's natural mineral balance.
This book made me see the food system in a whole new way! The author dives deep into food production, and it’s equally fascinating and terrifying! From government subsidies to factory farming, Pollan covers it all, including its impact on our health!
2 books that have been on my list for a long time, but I just haven't got around to reading them yet are: Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride and Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price.
Confession: Usually I listen to Audiobooks, and neither of these are available in audio form yet...so, I haven't had the discipline to sit and read either of these yet. But, they come very highly recommended, and they are top of my list!
While I have yet to read this book, I have listened to many podcasts with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, and WOW! She's a powerful speaker with powerful research! Dr. McBride looks at gut health and its impact on total body health! Her research is astounding, and actually a bit frightening, as gut health is overlooked in the modern healthcare system and usually trashed and neglected with the modern American diet.
Dr. Weston A. Price has an incredible story, and the cookbook mentioned earlier in this article, Nourishing Traditions is based on his work. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is the result of Dr. Price's years of research studying the health of ancestral people groups. Dr. Price was a dentist, and so initially he was only looking at diet's effect on oral health and jaw bone structure. However, he of course found that diet affects so much more than just oral health.
These books have really made a HUGE impact on the way I eat and think about food! Check out my other posts on this topic!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Are there any books I should add to my reading list? Let me know in the comments!