You might have realized by now that there is no specific ‘right diet’ for everyone; each person is an individual and has individual needs for balance. That being said, there are many general rules that every ‘Monarch’ can consider to keep their kingdom of elves (micro-organisms) happy and their kingdom of the microbiome, as a whole, running smoothly.
The first dietary suggestion that we would advise almost every Monarch to consider is the Paleolithic diet (Paleo diet). This diet is a default diet for all of us as a species. For some 2 million years of our, and related species evolution, we ate food like this. It is still one of the best default diets for us to rely on. The degree you need to rely on it really depends on the degree of imbalance you have created in your kingdom. You probably don’t need to go 100% Paleo, but it should be above 80% at the start.
There is much debate about what exactly constitutes a “paleo diet.” One of the key ways the Paleo diet differs from the Standard America Diet (SAD) is the low amount of sugars in the form of simple sugars and grains, no dairy and no processed foods or refined cooking oils.
Paleo diet Pyramid
Before anyone engages with the Paleo diet, we usually recommend that they start with a 12-day Herbal D-tox, as this gives them a significant head-start in the microbial balancing game and also usually reduces the time of a stricter diet by 1-3 months. It should be followed as strictly as possible for 12 days.
If, after the D-tox, you are still suffering significantly and your system is still way out of balance, you need to adhere to the rules of the Paleo diet fairly strictly. Eventually you can bend the rules a bit from time to time (1 – 2 times a week). Remember fanaticism is a health issue on to itself. Equally, remember that we can very easily rationalize our pleasure system, so it is important to be as strict as possible at the beginning. The time frame has to do with the significance of the imbalance, but it is usually 1 – 3 months, but in some cases is at least a year.
After this balancing time you can slowly introduce various foods, depending on your situation.
After the strict Paleo regime, we suggest you continue with either a relatively relaxed Paleo diet (60 – 80% Paleo diet)—enjoying some fun foods on occasion, or your ancestral diet from your major ethnic group. If your ancestors come from the UK or Scandinavia you would adopt this ancestral diet, which would contain a fair amount of fish. If they were from China or India, these diets would be the appropriate ones. Remember this would be the basic diet eaten over 500 years ago, which of course does not include sugars, large amounts of grain and processed foods. You should mostly be eating the standard daily foods and only eat your ‘ancestral festival foods’ at festival time.
Most cultures are famous for certain special dishes. These special dishes are often elaborate and can be quite rich. Your ancestors only could afford (both financially and time-wise) to eat these foods at special times. We consider these festival foods. Unfortunately many North Americans want to eat these festival foods on a daily basis. Italians never ate pasta every day; in fact they most likely got it from China in the first place. This would make pasta a festival food. The rules we like to use around this is that you can only have one festival a month and that festivals can only last for 1-7 days, with only two, 7-day festivals a year. Yes, this is an area where we like to rationalize our pleasure systems; so rules are needed.
Most cultures included a fair amount of fermented foods in their diet. We strongly suggest that you incorporate some fermented food in your diet. Yes, we also encourage the use of probiotics, but remember the goldilocks magic of fermented foods—they have just the right amount of friendly bacteria. We will include a few ferment recipes that we have found to be quite successful in future blogs. Maybe you would like to take the 12-week online fermenting course that I have made, to give you more resources and a plethora of ideas.
If we, as Monarchs, decide to engage in the Paleo diet, but ‘fall off the wagon’ a time or two, a helpful way to get back on is to ‘reset’ the system with a 12-day Herbal D-tox (1-4 times a year—depending on how often we fall off our diet).
So a summary of the diet plan in general:
- Start with a 12-day Herbal D-tox
- Adhere to the Paleo diet for 1-3 months—longer if needed.
- Follow either a somewhat relaxed Paleo diet or your own ancestral diet, remembering not to eat festival food more than once a month.
- Eat fermented foods and/or probiotics daily.
- Reset the system by doing the Herbal D-tox 1–4 times per year.