notyourrawmama

THE TANZANIAN MAASAI DIET: EATING FOR ENDURANCE

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THE POWER OF PORRIDGE

On a 6/14/2012 NPR broadcast Marcus Weirman of “The World” / Public Radio International interviewed Andrew Zimmerman host of “Bizarre Foods” in The Travel Channel.  The gist of the interview is that eating heavy fats, refined carbs, sugar and caffeine are proven to not be a healthy way to start the day. The time tested ingestion of whole grain hot cereal, also known as porridge, is a staple for many indigenous people all over the world. It is a time tested way to start the day.

I guess this is still a revelation to many people. I want to believe it would  not be to the NPR demographic.  The need for repetition of this this kind of common sense information, in the USA, through all forms of media, is astounding.  That this simple kind of eating is such an anomaly says one thing: food is a socially acceptable addictive substance throughout the industrialized  world.

Ironically the advertising for empty calorie foods is often sandwiched between [no pun intended] a show such as The Biggest Looser. Their sponsors are in the category of  KFC and McDonald’s. I hope someone else besides me and stand-up comics see the blatantly obvious crazy in all of this. It seems clear that the network knows their audience well. The bottom line is that very few or its viewing population notice, or have enough energy consuming The Standard American Diet [SAD]  to care.

THE DIET OF THE MAASAI OF TANZANIA

The Power in Porridge segment that most drew my attention was the description of the Maasai Tribe diet. It is composed of fermented milk as a probiotic, minute amounts of cows blood for protein and the, more alkaline,  grain millet as a slow burning, complex carbohydrate.  The tribe eats for endurance to maintain their energy for the many long hours herding animals. The  porridge part of the meal is composed of small easily transportable balls of cooked millet. The Maasai carry it with them to eat for sustenance as they go about their day.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO OUR WORLD?

Well, within the brief interview, Zimmerman gives one example of a situation in London. A simple bowl of oatmeal porridge  parlayed into better health, weight loss and more efficiency among some ironworkers. Below are some ways and reasons for harnessing the Masai approach to eating for endurance in our industrialized world.

First off, in many traditional cultures the daily breakfast begins with a fermented food that is either dairy based, such as yogurt and kefir or cultured vegetables, sauerkraut. Cultured milk products such as yogurt and kefir are important for creating a healthy gut and immune system. Non-dairy fermented choices  are coconut water and kombucha. According  to one  holistic autism information site, Russian children are provided kefir upon arriving at school each day.

WHY FERMENTED FOODS?

Refined foods, fast foods, refined sugar, refined oils, environmental toxins, antibiotics and other  prescriptive medicines help to chip away at the microflora in our guts. Bacteria rich foods such as kefir, yogurt and probiotic supplements help to replenish this necessary microflora. I recommend people read The Body Ecology Diet. A really good reference for information and ideas concerning rebuilding a healthy immune system.

Secondly, it is important to eat a protein source that is easy to assimilate. The blood of a cow is not happening in our society. We need to eat foods that are rich in minerals and other nutrients in easily digestable portions. In other words; do not overeat.  Raw goat or cow’s milk cheese,  small portions of animal protein, raw [yolks] or lightly cooked eggs  are ways to obtain needed protein. For vegans E3 Live,  spirulina, chlorella, hemp and other seeds are the way to go. There are many Raw Food nutrition books covering this subject. Chew well.

Thirdly, replacing hybridized wheat with whole grain millet, quinoa, amaranth and oatmeal is primary. Greens and vegetables are not mentioned as part of the Maasai tribe breakfast probably because they are not available and do not travel well. The Maasai of Tanzania discussed here are a nomadic tribe of herders.

In Asian countries vegetables are part of their traditional breakfast. So are sea vegetables rich in minerals such as wakame, arame, hiziki, dulse and nori. Pickles and miso are the fermented foods of the Japanese diet.

Transcript for “Power of Porridge” click here.

Magical Powers of Fermented Foods by Terri L. Saunders  click here.

Kefir in Russian Schools click here. Bedrock Community Autism Website.

Body Ecology Diet click here.

As a postscript 8/2013: I stand behind everything I wrote here. However, I have since discovered The Unique Healing Program Donna Pessin. If you have health / digestive imbalances check out her website. I am presently doing her program and am grateful to have found it. It is not a magic bullet, but it does work. Link here.

notyourrawmama

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Author: notyourrawmama

At the age of ten I distinctly remember questioning the premise that illness just happens to us. The idea that every action has a reaction became a clear reason to doubt that I could not personally impact my own health. In my very early twenties I was introduced to the Macrobiotic Philosophy of Life and assisted a Macrobiotic Counselor in NYC over a period of ten years or more. My life took many twists and turns and I evolved from a trained dancer and performer to a Shiatsu Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Colon Therapist and student of different Spiritually oriented Mind Body Therapies at the Esalen Institute and other healing centers. My associations are as follows: Member of the AOBTA for over 20 Years Member of the NCCAOM for approximately 12 years Member of the Yoga Teachers Alliance 500 hours for approximately 12 years Colon Therapist [ Wood's Institute ] Since 1998 Along with studying REIKI [ 2nd degree ] I was part of a School based on the work of Railey Macey, Dr. Robert Jaffe and Hands of Light. Railey Macey was my teacher. Thank you for your interest in my blog. notyourrawmoma "Wherever you are be the soul of that place". Rumi

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