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Our family has been following the Weston A Price diet for almost two years now. Prior to that, we were a vegan family for a little over a year, and before that, I was vegetarian for the majority of my life. If you are interested in our vegan to Weston A Price transition, you can check out this video.
So you may understand that it was a big transition, and most people who knew me were surprised to see me eating meat, let alone organ meats. However, there are several reasons why the Weston A Price "diet" (I will explain why it is not really a diet below) has been sustainable for our family.
To be honest, we don't adhere to the diet one hundred percent. I'd say it is more like eighty to ninety percent of the time that we eat ancestrally. Also, in this post I am not going to get into the nitty gritty details of what the diet is. If you are looking for that, check out the Weston A Price Foundation website, their podcast, or Nourishing Traditions.
Now that I have got that all settled, let's get into why we follow the Weston A Price diet.
It's Not Really A "Diet"
When you think of the word "diet", the words restriction, rules, and weight loss may come to mind. That is not the case here at all, and this is why I say it's not a "diet" in the popular use of the word. What you will see when you check out the Weston A Price foundation or read Nourishing Traditions is that this is a way of eating based on a set of principles.
So what does that mean?
Well, that means that you can still eat some of your favorite foods like pizza, bread, and dairy as long as they are prepared properly. For example, the foundation recommends sourdough bread instead of white bread, raw dairy instead of pasteurized, and local, pastured meat instead of factory farmed meat. A lot of times this means making these options at home rather than eating out or eating the premade stuff at the grocery store.
This is why this diet is sustainable in the long term. You aren't cutting out entire food groups and depriving yourself of your favorite foods.
You Can Tailor It To Your Needs
So as I said above, the dietary principles do not exclude any food group. However, you can also tailor the diet to meet your needs. So for example, I personally have a hard time digesting grains, even sourdough bread. So I have to reduce the amount of grains that I consume. You can do this while still following the Weston A Price diet. Follow your instincts and observe how you react to the properly prepared foods. From there, you may find that you personally need more or less of a type of food. Every person is unique.
You can also follow these principles and combine it with another diet (like keto, for example). I naturally lean towards vegetarianism (I have since I was young) and I crave dairy and vegetables. I still eat meat but I feel the best when I eat meat once or sometimes twice per day.
There is Scientific Backing
This was really important to me. If you ever check out the Weston A Price Foundation, you will see that they have done their research. They have tons of articles backed by studies online and in their journal, and they have podcast interviews with experts. A lot of what we know about ancestral diets is based on the work of Weston A Price himself, a Canadian dentist who traveled the world almost a century ago, studying the traditional diets of tribal people. He found that eating these traditional foods were essential to good health and healthy mouths.
The Weston A Price diet is based on traditional diets and nutrient dense foods.
It Promotes Health Over Looks
This is not to say that you can't look good and lose weight while eating this way. Actually, you will most likely lose some weight if you have been eating a standard American diet (SAD) previously. If you are coming from a very restrictive diet, like a vegan diet, you may healthily gain a few pounds.
When I was eating a SAD/vegetarian diet, I found my weight was always going up and down. It was very difficult to regulate! But since I have been following the Weston A Price diet, my weight has been stable and healthy.
But the focus of the diet is on building a healthy and optimally functioning body. You don't feel hungry and tired eating traditional foods.
You Don't Have to be Perfect
I follow this diet the majority of the time, but once I month I will order a pizza or takeout. I still eat dessert sometimes that is made with natural sweeteners. But I always go back to eating ancestrally most of the time. I actually don't have much of a craving for processed and junk food anymore because the homecooked food tastes so good! However, especially when you are starting out, you don't have to follow this diet one hundred percent.
These are the primary reasons why our family follows the Weston A Price diet. Honestly, we have all been at our healthiest while eating this way and I highly recommend reading Nourishing Traditions if you are interested in learning more.
Do you eat an ancestral diet? Let me know in the comments!