5

votes

Hack my ancestral reenactment diet.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 16, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Ok, so I spent some time researching what the Irish Ancestral Diet looked like, particularly before the potato, and after reading many sources it came out looking like Paleo + oats and dairy, with the caveat that they were both primary sources of calories. I've done a blog post on it here, and it outlines the diet: http://paleosophical.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/eating-like-your-ancestors/

I've decided to run a 30 day self experiment of eating this way to see if it changes how I look, feel and perform. What do you think will be the outcome, and what would you do different? I know people will automatically say to get rid of the oats, but every single resource I found cited oats and dairy as primary calories in the ancient Irish diet, even in prehistoric Ireland it appears.

Always do a search on here if I've a burning question as I really value the opinions of the Paleohacks members, any constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated!

Bd1021ca91d7238d05c115f54a1db288

on July 18, 2013
at 07:42 AM

Where did you get the info on sheep? Every single resource I found stated that the Irish ate little meat, with the majority of that being pork or bacon, and archaeological evidence returns many bones of cattle whom it is known were kept primarily for their milk. I see very little in the records about sheeps milk consumption.

Bd1021ca91d7238d05c115f54a1db288

on July 17, 2013
at 09:40 AM

I have to say, that was a great little tale! Probably went something like that! I'm actually born of the Emerald Isle and still living here, so I'll actually be doing this with all Irish produce too!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 16, 2013
at 11:57 PM

Fascinating article. After reading about Celtic "last meals", and the variety of foods n the stomachs, you realize that survival took precedence over optimality. Getting 1000 calories a day in pre-agricultural time wasn't easy.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 16, 2013
at 11:26 PM

Just saw the post. Looks good.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 16, 2013
at 09:38 PM

Dea-amháin!!!!!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 16, 2013
at 08:14 PM

I was about to say "I see potato heads walking" but you covered that.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on July 16, 2013
at 05:11 PM

This seems like a really great and interesting experiment! I am looking forward to hearing how it goes. I find that when I eat closely to my ancestral diet, I feel really good. Best of luck and please update us!

606f2967e2ada25eb0bc2ed677ec2845

(364)

on July 16, 2013
at 04:47 PM

Avenin for me is worse then gluten, I really miss oats :(

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 16, 2013
at 04:31 PM

Whiskey-making was a standard method to concentrate and conserve grains for long periods. Just like drying fish or berries.

Bd1021ca91d7238d05c115f54a1db288

on July 16, 2013
at 04:28 PM

I am not in a position where I can espouse the health effects, be they positive or negative, of this diet, but once I do a 30 day experiment I will have some idea of how well I do on it. I would be very much of the opinion that it's excess fructose and PUFA that are detrimental in the modern diet, and although they haven't been a part of my diet for quite a while, I do feel that properly prepared grains can definitely be a part of a nutritious diet. Oats are primarily starch and fiber, so I would see them somewhat akin to rice when properly soaked and prepared.

Bd1021ca91d7238d05c115f54a1db288

on July 16, 2013
at 04:24 PM

I will definitely be soaking the oats and using some buckwheat groats to add some phytase to break down the phytic acid content. In relation to the stout, there is an awful lot in the literature about the ancient Irish drinking different forms of alcohol, but I don't plan on reenacting that aspect.

Bd1021ca91d7238d05c115f54a1db288

on July 16, 2013
at 04:22 PM

The only thing I could find relating to health was in WAPFs Nutrition and Physical Degeneration where he talks about ancient and modernised Gaelics on two islands off of Scotland who ate a diet almost identical to this and were in excellent health.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 16, 2013
at 04:19 PM

It appears that the ancient Irish lived in blissful ignorance of modern bowel afflictions. Maybe the oats were better? Maybe growing/gathering/handling/preparing them manually was better? Or maybe all that stout.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 16, 2013
at 04:12 PM

And neolithics can sccessfully revert to paleo (Inuit/Salish/Siouxans)so there's hope for us moderns.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 16, 2013
at 03:56 PM

prehistoric can still be neolithic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistory

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8 Answers

9
235e74b9adb57eff80592f064e1d298b

on July 16, 2013
at 07:51 PM

You will become extremely short tempered, drink large quantities of alcohol while telling long, exagerrated stories which will eventually lead to your fighting anyone who does not believe said story. Ultimately you become very lazy and your crops will fail, so you will find a root vegetable that requires little to no labor to grow and when you cant even make that work you will migrate to another country and become a cop... Just kidding, my grandparents are from Kerry and Cork, I am Irish through and through.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 16, 2013
at 08:14 PM

I was about to say "I see potato heads walking" but you covered that.

Bd1021ca91d7238d05c115f54a1db288

on July 17, 2013
at 09:40 AM

I have to say, that was a great little tale! Probably went something like that! I'm actually born of the Emerald Isle and still living here, so I'll actually be doing this with all Irish produce too!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 16, 2013
at 09:38 PM

Dea-amháin!!!!!

3
3086e13b3740686a0abaa18f8c153f5b

(85)

on July 17, 2013
at 07:12 PM

It's important to note that Weston Price considered the manner in which the oats were grown was critical to their nutritive value. Only the oats grown in soil that had been composted with the recycled thatch from the houses that had been long exposed to peat smoke produced the health benefit. Also pay close attention to the preparation methods involving soaking and cooking. I'd be willing to bet that long term consumption of commercial grown oats wouldn't deliver the health benefits of those grown in the old manner.

2
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on July 17, 2013
at 07:49 PM

Old time Irish also consumed large amounts of nettles and kale, and the dairy and meat was primarily from sheep. kelp was also consumed.

Bd1021ca91d7238d05c115f54a1db288

on July 18, 2013
at 07:42 AM

Where did you get the info on sheep? Every single resource I found stated that the Irish ate little meat, with the majority of that being pork or bacon, and archaeological evidence returns many bones of cattle whom it is known were kept primarily for their milk. I see very little in the records about sheeps milk consumption.

2
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 16, 2013
at 09:31 PM

Love it! I'm chasing my son around right now, so didn't have time to read your blog post yet, but just in case you hadn't seen it this a pretty interesting paper. http://www.academia.edu/1488019/Celtic_and_Romano_British_Foods_from_the_Isles-_a_General_Approach

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 16, 2013
at 11:26 PM

Just saw the post. Looks good.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 16, 2013
at 11:57 PM

Fascinating article. After reading about Celtic "last meals", and the variety of foods n the stomachs, you realize that survival took precedence over optimality. Getting 1000 calories a day in pre-agricultural time wasn't easy.

2
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 16, 2013
at 04:28 PM

I think it sounds like a great experiment! My Nordic ancestors relied on meat, berries, roots, seafood and dairy. No fresh greens or exotic oils and very little sugar or grains. Is this optimal? Who knows, but there's 5000 or so years of adaptation that prepares me for it. Same as your ancestral Irish diet.

Then there's the other side of the family...

2
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on July 16, 2013
at 02:49 PM

I don't know that anyone has a crystal ball on this matter. But did your research indicate the health of those on an ancestral Irish diet? If not, then your ancestors may have eaten like this out of necessity instead of health reasons.

Bd1021ca91d7238d05c115f54a1db288

on July 16, 2013
at 04:22 PM

The only thing I could find relating to health was in WAPFs Nutrition and Physical Degeneration where he talks about ancient and modernised Gaelics on two islands off of Scotland who ate a diet almost identical to this and were in excellent health.

1
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on July 16, 2013
at 03:04 PM

Read your blog post and I will say sounds pretty good.

I personally eat oats once or twice a month. I did last night after my workout, made with two cups of whole milk, about 50g of butter and a tablespoon of strawberry jam.

One cup of dry oats is about 50g of carbohydrate, 10g protein. I believe soaking oats helps remove the phytic acid, and they do contain a protein called avenin to which some coeliacs are also allergic.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 16, 2013
at 04:19 PM

It appears that the ancient Irish lived in blissful ignorance of modern bowel afflictions. Maybe the oats were better? Maybe growing/gathering/handling/preparing them manually was better? Or maybe all that stout.

606f2967e2ada25eb0bc2ed677ec2845

(364)

on July 16, 2013
at 04:47 PM

Avenin for me is worse then gluten, I really miss oats :(

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 16, 2013
at 04:31 PM

Whiskey-making was a standard method to concentrate and conserve grains for long periods. Just like drying fish or berries.

Bd1021ca91d7238d05c115f54a1db288

on July 16, 2013
at 04:24 PM

I will definitely be soaking the oats and using some buckwheat groats to add some phytase to break down the phytic acid content. In relation to the stout, there is an awful lot in the literature about the ancient Irish drinking different forms of alcohol, but I don't plan on reenacting that aspect.

-2
24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on July 17, 2013
at 12:33 PM

Prison experiments in Ireland on ethnic Irish, please.

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