It would be enough to be an Ancestral Diet advocate simply because it has helped me and many others shed excess pounds. And if you look around the Interwebz you don't have to go very far to find many people who have adjusted their eating habits to a more Ancestral way and have healed themselves of Diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides...the list goes on. For myself, I didn't have any diagnosed maladies, other than being obese, when I began low carbing, but that doesn't mean I wasn't headed in that direction. All I need to do to keep myself on the straight and narrow is take a look at my mother; she, a woman in her late 60's who has had several strokes, a heart attack, diagnosed with Atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, Diabetes, and has had a double heart bypass, more than one abdominal and lower limb bypass, and has had a leg amputated below the knee. My mother, off and on throughout her adulthood, followed Atkins. It was, however, more off than on. She was never really very obese, but definitely had the top-heavy apple shape. She would use the low carb approach to shed some extra pounds and then go right back to eating whatever she wanted, until the cycle started all over again, never considering it a lifestyle change. She has paid for that, and dearly. Of course, I am sure that in the scheme of things she had never thought a low carb diet was anything more than a tool to lose some weight when needed, and until now there wasn't the evidence we have that cutting out sugar, grains, and processed carby junk was really good for you.

By the time my mother was the age I am now (47 next month!) she had already been diagnosed with malignant hypertension, and was on a host of medications. At the same time my grandmother, who was also an on again, off again Atkins follower, was also diabetic, had high blood pressure, and was obese. She just couldn't seem to give up her toast and margarine in the mornings. It didn't help that this was at the height of the low fat fad. Grandma's doctor, of course, recommended a low fat diet, and me (being the "cook" of the family) dutifully prepared low fat meals ahead and froze them for her so they would be at the ready for her to eat. I feel pretty guilty for that now, knowing I contributed to her death not long after when she had a massive coronary.

I have counseled with my mother as to what she should be eating, but unfortunately she still seems to think that eating sugar free cookies is okay because they are sugar free and she can always take some insulin to compensate for the way they make her blood glucose rise to dangerous levels. After all, the doctors and dietitians tell her that's what she should be eating. I am making headway with her, and she is allowing me to prepare healthier foods for her, up to and including cookies made from nut flours and coconut flours instead of wheat flour. Her 68th birthday was last week, and today I am baking her a chocolate cake with raspberry glaze, at her request...made from coconut flour, of course. Some would call that a bad thing, "smoking candy cigarettes," but I don't see it that way. At this point, she wants her damned cookies, and if I can provide her with a healthier option, why would anyone say it was a horrible exchange?

It may be too late for her to recover from all the damage that has already been done by eating crap her whole life. But I have to try, and if it prolongs her life even by a little, it's full of WIN. She doesn't want to die yet, she says she has more work to do. I am selfish and want her around for as long as I can have her, and knowing the pain and suffering she has already endured, if it makes the rest of her life a little more tolerable, it will be worth it.

If genetics plays any role in disease (and there is evidence for that in some cases), the deck is stacked against me. I will fight for my health until the end. The only thing I can hope for is that my diet and lifestyle will keep me healthy, and thus far I have seen nothing but positive things health-wise. On a positive genetic note, my great grandparents lived to be almost 100 years old. God love their saturated fat eating hearts!

Having seen all that my mother has been through, it is my motivation for staying the course in this lifestyle. It is also the reason why I continue to champion an Ancestral way of eating, and try to get the word out to other family members, friends, and virtual strangers through this blog. I do care. I would hope we can all live the happiest, healthiest lives possible, and I believe an Ancestral approach to eating is the best and easiest way to do that.

My beautiful mother, in better days.