Survivor's Notebook

Survivor’s Notebook – The Kemetic Diet

According to the Kemetic education, the human body is designed to live for at least 150 years. With this in mind, it was not surprising when, during a recent pilgrimage to Merita (Traditional Africa), our tour guide in one village was a 122 year old man. He was riding a bicycle.

In traditional societies, elders are valued for their wisdom and experience. Traditional elders maintain their health and clarity of mind so they can focus on their spiritual growth during their later years.

In addition to knowledge about medicinal plants and spirituality, the longevity of this elder and many others like him can be credited to their diets and their relationship with their food. In traditional cultures, food is considered sacred, as is any part of our lives that we depend upon for our survival. We pray to our ancestors for the abundance of the harvest because without it, we suffer. Our very survival depends on it.

With more information being revealed about the health hazards presented by certain foods, more people are searching for healthy ways of eating. However, the variety of perspectives on what it means to be healthy and what defines a healthy diet is staggering. The amount of information available makes it very difficult to come to any conclusions about what a healthy diet is. The problem is that the modern culture simply has not had enough time to develop a dietary system based on long term results.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. To see an example of a proper diet, we only have to look at most traditional, ethnic cuisines. In traditional diets worldwide, thousands of years of knowledge has been accumulated to produce diets using the best food available to support the long life and good health of those who eat it. Humanity’s original culture, Kemet has had over 100,000 years to develop a diet that is successful in preserving life.

It is a common misunderstanding that Kemet is a dead culture and therefore any information about Kemet is based on translations of Medu (Hieroglyphs) on temple walls and in holy texts. It’s important to keep in mind that, when speaking about Kemet and the Kemetic diet, I’m speaking about the living culture of Kemet and the people who come from an unbroken lineage since the times of the Pharaohs. I’m speaking of the diet of the current keepers of Kemetic Culture. These people are living representatives of the accumulated wisdom of their Kem ancestors.

The Kemetic Diet

According to the Kemetic diet, foods that a person will eat fall into one of two categories: Staple foods and occasional foods. Staple foods are starches and vegetables. Starches can be grains, starchy root vegetables (such as potatoes) or legumes/beans. Starches are the most important part of the diet because they are converted to sugar by the stomach to provide fuel for the body.

Excess starches can be converted to fat to be stored in the body. This fat can be transformed back into sugar to provide energy to the body when it is needed. From this perspective, fat in the body is not something that should be avoided completely, although it should be kept in check.

Every traditional culture has its staple starch, whether it be rice, wheat, corn, millet or yams. This staple is usually eaten with most meals, if not every meal. This illustrates the starch as the most important part of a human diet. Sadly, today many Americans are misled by dietary fads and an infatuation with self-image; they starve their body of necessary fuels by non-carbohydrate and non-starch diets.

Traditional food and diet are set for the good health and survival of those who eat it, with each ingredient being included for its effect on the body, rather than just taste.

Vegetables are needed for helping to digest the starches. Vegetables, together with starches provide nutrients to the body which it can convert into anything it needs. Spices added to food provide additional health benefits. In every traditional cuisine, whether it be Indian curry, Mexican tacos, Ghanaian fufu or Russian borscht, the main meals of the day include a combination of starches, vegetables and spices. These meals are often presented as a starch topped by a sauce, which includes vegetables, spices and sometimes meat and oil.

Staple foods are a part of every traditional meal. To get ideas for planning a healthy diet, we only need to take examples from any traditional ethnic cuisine. We should then apply the concepts of the Kemetic diet system to make sure that each meal is beneficial to our health.

Occasional foods include fruit, nuts, meat and animal products. Fruits and nuts are considered occasional foods because the body does not need large amounts of them to get what it needs. For instance, a piece of a banana can be enough to satisfy the needs of the body for weeks. There are also instances where fruit can be used medicinally. Citrus fruits are often used to treat colds and the flu. Fruit is also the best food to eat late at night because it doesn’t require acid to digest. Whatever part of the fruit is not used is simply eliminated by the body.

Nuts are also eliminated after the body extracts the necessary nutrients. Unlike starches, nuts do not break down into sugars and are therefore not useful for providing the body with energy. The downside to eating nuts is they are hard for the body to eliminate. Eating a lot of nuts really just puts unnecessary strain on the digestive system.

Meat and animal products are known as emergency foods because they are not only difficult to digest but their waste also poisons the organs in the digestive process. When meat is digested by the stomach, it turns into a thick pasty substance. This substance can line the walls of the intestines where it can sit for months, sometimes even years. Eating meat sparingly can be beneficial. Young people, those with active lifestyles and pregnant women are better able to make use of it. While a person is active, the paste will be absorbed through the intestinal walls to provide energy. However, meat can be harmful when eaten in excess. Many of the people we see with “potbellies” really have years of built up undigested meat in their intestines. The older a person gets, the harder meat and eggs become to eliminate. Fish can be eaten more regularly because it is not as hard to digest as other meat, but it still should not be eaten excessively.

Salt, sugar, “junk food” and vitamins and mineral supplements are not part of the Kemetic diet and should be avoided. They provide nothing of value to the body and can lead to health problems. These problems arise because the body has to do extra work to eliminate something that it really had no use for in the first place. There are some things that the body is not designed to eliminate and therefore end up sitting in the body where they can cause health problems as they continue to accumulate.

How much we eat and when we eat are also very important. Balance is the key to maintaining good health. We need to eat, but eating too much or too often puts a lot of strain on the digestive system. We should only eat when we are hungry. Even to allow ourselves to remain hungry for a short time before eating or occasionally fasting until sunset is beneficial for allowing the digestive system to rest. Eating three whole meals per day can put too much strain on the system. It’s more balanced to eat one or two small meals early in the day and then one big meal for dinner. Regardless of what we eat, we need to eat the proper amounts at the proper times in order to maintain good health.

One aspect of the human digestive system that is not commonly understood is the function of the stomach. The stomach is the organ that breaks down food for absorption by the body. This happens by a process of mixing highly volatile digestive acids and bile from the liver with the food in the stomach. The stomach is the only part of the body that’s designed to handle these acids before they are neutralized by the bile.

When we eat before we are hungry, we are interrupting the digestion process. The result is often stomach acid leaking into the throat or being dumped into the intestines. This eventually causes ulcers. Ulcers can also be a result of laying down too soon after eating, which can cause food and acid to spill out into the throat.

It’s important to keep the diet simple. Limiting the variety of foods that the body has to process takes some of the strain off the digestive system. Eating a wide variety of foods is taxing to the body because every food breaks down differently. It’s like having a job where one is responsible for too many different tasks. The person will not be able to focus on any one task enough to do it well. Many traditional cultures eat the same things every day, for the most part. A mudane diet may not seem as appealing, but our survival should be the priority.

Eating a quality diet is very simple. The biggest difficulty is changing our perspective. Eating is something we need to do to survive. Our worst enemy will be our desires, which will lead us to eating for the pleasure of it, even at the expense of our health. For those whose priority is survival, knowing is only the first step. With all the enticing foods that cause our bodies problems and all the contradicting information available, it will take a disciplined mind and a strong will to live to remain healthy these days. Let’s apply the concepts of the Kemetic diet to our lives for the benefit of our collective health and long lives. Stay alive until next time…

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