Traditional Foods

"Traditional" in the context of these projects means pre-contact foods. No beef, mutton, goat, chicken, pork, milk, butter, cream, wheat flour (no fry bread), rye, barley, okra, black-eyed peas, or any other "Old World" food that many of us have lovingly incorporated into our diets and tribal cultures. No processed foods (Doritoes, Lays Chips, etc), even if the base is corn or potatoes. No chocolate unless it is unsweetened cacao or sweetened with honey from the Melipona bee, fruit, stevia, camas or agave. Be adventurous and try unfamiliar foods! There are many foods to choose from. My American Indian Health and Diet Project site lists and defines many of them.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


There have been many discussions about how eating our traditional foods and abandoning processed, greasy, salty and fatty foods can bring about dramatic health changes. But we also must exercise. Historcally, tribespeople did not simply sit around eating unprocessed foods. They gathered, planted, harvested, rode horses (after breaking them), dragged belongings and heavy game they killed, set up tipis and other homes, chased after children, butchered game, moved rocks, ran, walked, and swam. Some netted fish and hauled in their heavy catches. Others canoed or kayaked rough waters. Hunting sometimes took hours or even days. Gatherers often had to forage for miles to find edible plants. Fighting was stressful and energy depleting.

Day-to-day living was consistently active and tribesmen and women burned thousands of calories. Today it is easy to sit and watch t.v., surf the web, or feel too tired to even walk around the block.

Try to do something.
For the past eight weeks I've been on a "Walk Kansas" team. I've been a runner since age 11 and have never kept a diary of my exercise. Nor do I wear a watch, but am fairly aware of how long I stay out. I also have been a competative musher, skijorer, tennis player. Archery kept me occupied throughout my early life, as did exploring creeks around my family home. Lately I've kept track and see that I've put in an average of 47 miles of running and walking per week, plus swimming, gardening and weights.

For info: Maybe you can organize such a program in your area?

Speaking (or, writing) of fitness: Congratulations to son Tosh for being named Athlete of the Week of the Jim Thorpe Native American Games. The Games will be held June 10-17 in Oklahoma City.
Tosh running steeplechase
One does not have to compete to be fit!

There are many things one can do and walking is one of the easiest. Here is a link to exercise tips on my American Indian Health and Diet page:

Get moving, everyone.

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