I have fond memories of my childhood vacations: family meals over a big table full of tapas, sangria flowing freely and those long hot summer nights.
This is because my family?s happy-place was Spain, and with this came a different culture.
So now as an adult reflecting back after most of my life spent in England followed by a long stint in Asia, I have come to realise that one place isn't better than another but instead when we understand our health needs and put that as a priority we can embrace every culture & even more so see that they, in turn, have ancient wisdom that created the culture from their environments.
Have you noticed that a large part of English culture is about ?the pub? and TV. Wouldn't you want to hibernate and find some escapism when the sky is grey? What about the staples of potatoes and hardy fruits like apple, isn't that just what is needed for a climate that's cooler.
Now those long summer nights in Spain and the eating habits that come with that might not exactly seem great when modern nutrition tells us not to eat late. However, if we scratch a bit deeper what we see is taking a very light breakfast, or not at all in many cases, then a main meal (yes all 3 courses) at lunchtime around a siesta and only a light meal or tapas later which is still typically before sunset. Now to me that resembles a late night and early morning fast, and having the biggest meal when our metabolism typically peaks, which looks like wisdom. Not to mention all the good fats available in every meal through olive oil, local almonds and all that brain food in the oily fish.
Hearing in Asia that locals need to avoid rice does have some credit, but when I see the ancestral past of the grain farmers being avoided and replaced by a western breakfast of toast or cereal, I wonder could we embrace the Chinese traditions more in the knowledge that food is medicine?
Yes, we can look at every country?s culture and see its faults, the large amounts of potatoes, bread with every meal and grains as staples or we can look at the culture as a whole and connect the dots with how the locals adapted to the environment before modern nutrition was a problem!
How we choose to create flexibility within our environment is critical for us in creating the long term sustainable health we all want & need.
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