frontier diet

The Frontier Diet

Aka The Mark Neese Diet.

I didn’t coin this phase and it’s really not a diet. Rather, it’s a mindset. I seriously doubt that people on the Frontier ate all that well. I’m guessing that they had periods of starvation during times of famine. They ate whatever they grew or killed, depending on its availability. So life was probably very hard, living on the frontier.

It helps to contrast that with the way most modern Americans eat and probably many modern humans. We have plentiful amounts of food today. Rarely, is there a seasonal shortage.

Why would I use the notion of “The Frontier Diet” to describe a diet that I would never promote? I guess it’s because despite the lack of availability, people on the Frontier probably ate better than modern humans. They ate food from their gardens and took game from the fields, not from grocery stores and fast food restaurants. The Frontier Diet is a way of eating that chooses simple and whole foods rather than processed food.  When I speak of The Frontier Diet, I really mean trying to eat the way people ate on the frontier prior to industrial and processed foods, boxed foods, TV dinners, all the food that’s in the center aisles of the grocery store, and probably in the frozen section as well.

The Frontier Diet means eating “simple” foods. Food that is less milled, less processed, with less ingredients, with no salt added, no sugar added, no preservatives added, no colors added, and no growth hormones and antibiotics.

I’ve gotten into the habit of looking at what other people are putting in their grocery carts. I notice lots of processed food. Lots! I understand that people are tired and want to come home and quickly prepare a meal for their families. The price for that convenience is that 66% of Americans are overweight or obese. Nearly 20% of children and adolescents between 2-19 are obese. We have got to do things differently.

I started The Whole30 Diet this month.

My wife started it too. I’m half-way through the 30 days. Basically, I avoid anything with added sugar. I did not realize I was getting as much sugar as I was. It’s been added to everything. I avoid grains, especially refined flour. I do miss bread. Eating white bread is almost like eating sugar. I avoid legumes and dairy. I can give up beans and I had given up cheese 3 months ago. Plus, I never drink milk, so no biggie!

We have a vegetable steamer and we use it almost every day. We use ghee to sauté our meats and vegetables and we have fruit with every meal, including breakfast. When we shop at the grocery store, we look closely at the food labels. They must read: “includes 0g added sugar” and NOT have ‘sugar’ in the list of ingredients.

How has the Whole30 diet been going? Well, it’s still early but my average Systolic BP has dropped 10 points as has my Diastolic BP. I’ve lost weight. I’m getting blood work done soon and I’ll share the results when I get them. That said, you are what you eat. Maybe the Frontier Diet isn’t for you but getting away from all of the processed food can’t hurt.

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