Eating like a gorilla is simple. Don’t worry—you don’t have to spend hours a day searching for food or eating slugs, and you don’t have to beat your chest. Your diet is similar to a wild gorilla’s when 70 percent of your food comes from whole plant foods—freshly prepared vegetables, vegetable juice, a little fruit, nuts, and seeds—and 30 percent of calories comes from high-quality lean protein. Gorillas don’t eat legumes or grains! While grains and legumes have become the cornerstone of the American diet, eliminating some of them and using others as a “condiment” is essential for overall health and longevity.
In other words, you follow the Brain Warrior’s Way or the Omni Diet.
Whenever I tell people to eat this way, many overstate the obvious, telling me that:
1.) People have very evident differences from gorillas, and
2.) Gorillas are known to be vegetarians.
Stick with me for a minute. Most of the differences are obvious. For one thing, you are reading this article. Less obvious, is that humans have much shorter digestive tracts, which means we aren’t as efficient at extracting nutrients from massive amounts of plant foods, and therefore need more animal protein. Also, people are unable to synthesize essential amino acids, which means that they must be obtained through their diet (mostly animal sources), while gorillas can synthesize all of the amino acids. But in general we have many similarities and we can take a great lesson from our furry friends.
When you eat this way, you get everything your body needs for optimum health: high-quality protein, low-glycemic (low-sugar) carbohydrates, brain-boosting nutrients, disease-fighting greens, and crucial enzymes, phytochemicals, and antioxidants.
While eating this way will effectively and unnoticeably decrease your caloric intake, it is surprisingly satisfying. By increasing the volume of food you eat (veggies are nutrient-dense and calorie-sparse, so you can and should eat a lot of them), eating more frequently, and balancing your metabolic hormones (this happens when you minimize sugar intake and eat the right amount of high-quality protein and plant-based foods), your cravings will vanish faster than you imagined possible. You will eat fewer calories without even missing them.
To be crystal clear, the quality of your diet really, really matters. When you eat the Brain Warrior’s Way or Omni way, you will notice improved focus, elevated motivation, and loads of energy! The opposite happens when you consume low-quality calories—you damage your health. Eating junk is not innocuous! Even if you cut calories, if you eat an anti-nutritious, sugar-filled diet, you will probably not lose weight—or if you do, you’ll quickly plateau. Many people actually gain weight when consuming processed “pseudo food” filled with sugar. And you will most likely begin to see signs of chronic disease eventually from a lack of nutrients and increasing inflammation. In other words, there is no such thing as “empty calories.” The term junk food is an oxymoron. It’s either junk that is driving you toward illness or food that is propelling you toward wellness. Just look around. It doesn’t take a brain doctor to see that something is wrong with the way we have been eating!
As a side note, some experts have presented an argument that gorillas differ significantly from people because they are built for strength, while people are built for endurance. These experts point to the fact that one of the differences between the DNA of gorillas and humans, is that humans have more copies of the gene for digesting starch. The question then becomes, “Should we eat more starch than gorillas?”
To answer that question, I want to remind you of the correlation between food production methods and the rise of disease over the course of human history. It wasn’t until the advent of farming that grains came on to the scene in a big way. But farming was really hard work up until a few decades ago (give or take a few)! Farmers and peasants burned off what they ate- when they had enough to eat. Yet, along with farming of grains and corn we have our first records of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. And this was when grains were wholesome, unrefined, and not mass produced! We also know, for the most part, that the people who were overweight and dying of these diseases were the aristocracy and the wealthy. Diseases of poverty tended to be acute diseases and related to starvation. With the advent of farming, the people who didn’t have to work for their dinner paid for it in a whole new way… with chronic illness!
So if you perform intense manual labor or you are an extreme athlete, it’s probably fine to increase your starchy carbs a bit. Sweet potatoes, quinoa and a little extra fruit are a great way to boost your energy during extreme energy output. The rest of you would do best to cut way back on grains and most starchy carbs, especially the “white poisons”.
So, eat like a gorilla: 70% plants and 30% protein!
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