Things that followers of the Seignalet (pronounce it “Saynyalay”) diet to reverse 91 chronic diseases can learn from other diet systems: Food combining, Weston-Price Foundation, Paleo, Macrobiotic etc.
Warning. it’s a bit nerdy! If you are new to this website you may want to start learning about the Seignalet diet by reading the home page.
Here are some sample links to websites, blogs and books on other theories and systems of dietary modification for health and combating disease I myself find interesting and use for my own information as a health nut.
As I suggested in a previous blog, the “Ancestral Health Movement” is a broad church and some (many?) of the recommendations found in these sources and references are not “Seignalet legal”. Acting from my firm conviction that Dr. Seignalet was right about most things – as you would expect, I bang the drum for Seignalet. I urge you not to stray from his tenets if you are using his diet to reverse a chronic disease. His results speak for themselves after all. As the Germans say: “Wer heilt hat Recht” (loosely translates as “You can’t argue with results”).
Some recommendations found in these references can enrich and improve the Seignalet diet however. For instance Dr. Seignalet prescribes a daily probiotic supplement or (non-dairy) fermented food without stipulating what the fermented food should be or how to make it. You will find details of how to make sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) in Fallon and Enig’s book: “Nourishing Traditions”. Is sauerkraut pre neolithic? Almost certainly not but Dr. Seignalet says fermented foods are recognised by our organism and I personally, fully subscribe to its health promoting effects as described by Fallon and Ewig. See my video “Did sauerkraut save Poland from the black death”
Bone stocks vs kombu dashi
Dr. Seignalet says that bone stocks and broth should be avoided and you will find his rationale for this in my translation of the excerpt from his book “cooking and its problems” here . You can get all the benefits touted by Fallon and Enig for bone broth simply by making kombu dashi. (Japanese stock made from kelp used in miso soup) instead. By the way, I found out about kombu dashi from reading Sally’s book although Sally’s method for making it is definitely not whatever the Japanese version of Kosher is. See my video on the (at least) 28 health benefits of miso and how to make it.
In the UK and EU you can get kombu here:
Kombu dashi is Seignalet legal because made on low heat and for a short period and is almost impossible to screw up, (don’t let the water simmer) whereas before going full-on Seignalet, I made some very nasty tasting stocks that I had to throw away. (Tell us your “ bone broth confessions” stories in the comments underneath ). Kombu dashi contains agar, agar, a colloid, just like gelatin and the full panoply of minerals and trace minerals that you find in a perfectly balanced combination in seaweeds, together with iodine (only found – in minute quantities – in fish stocks made with the head) and the miraculous carotenoids: fucoxanthins, also not found in bone stocks.
Fucoxanthins on pubmed:
and dozens more. You will find my recipe and sources for kombu and shiitake in the video.
Soaking and sprouting nuts, seeds, beans and pulses
The Cordain/Wolf version of Paleo does not allow beans and pulses (legumes). In his original book whose title I translate as “Nutrition – the third medicine” Seignalet does not mention legumes. In their guide to his book though his daughters mention them as convenient to keep in your cupboard. Fallon and Ewing are a must read on how to soak legumes, as well as seeds and nuts in order to remove anti-nutrients. However these foods are now routinely pastereurised with toxic solvents if non organic and high heat if organic and soaking these dead foods will just make them go mouldy. I discuss this in the chapter I wrote for Anne and Dominique Seignalet’s book. So don’t waste your time soaking dead, sterilised legumes or nuts and seeds and avoid buying them. Instead, make sure you buy “truly raw”, live nuts and seeds and legumes to soak. In the UK buy seeds and legumes for sprouting from Aconbury Sprouts.
Having said that, “truly raw” is not a legally defined term and I was conned by an English online supplier out of 230 of GB pounds for a large supply of supposedly “truly raw” nuts and seeds, only to find that none of them would sprout. And no – it wasn’t my sprouting technique – I have successfully sprouted these items from another supplier. So in the immortal words of the station sergeant in Hill Street Blues (showing my age here!) “Let’s be careful out there”. As far as I am concerned, if you find a supplier of “truly raw” nuts, seeds, pulses, rice, quinoa etc. that haven’t been sterilised and really are “truly raw” it’s big news! If you find some that sprout, please post up the name of the supplier in the comments section.
So here is the link for the Fallon and Enig book: Nourishing Traditions. Remember however that while there are many similarities with Seignalet, there are differences. Remember also that only the Seignalet diest is PROVEN to reverse most degenerative diseases. So do not be tempted to stray from the true path if you wish to reverse your condition! 🙂
Here is the Weston Price Foundation’s website.
Who was Weston Price? I’ll leave it to the experts on the subject to answer that question.
Here is Weston Price’s famous book (Amazon tells me that I purchased it in January 2003):
Differences between Cordain/Wolfe paleo and Weston Price Foundation
Here is a very interesting comparison by Fallon and Ewig of the differences between the Weston Price recommended diet and the Cordain/Wolfe version of Paleo. I hope that Sally and Mary will soon add a third column: the Seignalet Ancestral diet. Neither the WPF diet nor the Paleo diet emphasise enough, in Seignalet terms, the dangers of cooking at high temperatures and/or for prolonged periods. Indeed Wolfe has written an entire book on grilled meats – one of the greatest disease factors according to Seignalet! By the way, this page is not in any way an attack on what myself and the Seignalet family in a spirit of ecumenism would like to regard as colleagues and allies and we hope they will accept us equally as such. I love Rob Wolfe’s blog and share his anti-authoritarian and anti-corporatist politics.
Chris Masterjohn P.hd
Chris (like Denise Minger) is a reformed vegetarian. Here, he describes his journey:
When it comes to nutrition and biology, if Chris Masterjohn doesn’t know the answer to a question, then no-one does ! Chris was the one who realised in 2007 that Weston Price’s famous heart healthy and bone and teeth rebuilding “factor x” in spring butter from grass fed cows was in fact vitamin K2. By the way, Seignalet bans all dairy including butter so both grass fed butter and brie cheese, both good sources of K2, are out. Another good source is the Japanese food natto but as the soy beans to make natto are boiled for about an hour, natto is also not really Seignalet legal. Personally, I simply buy K2 in supplement form.
Here is a good interview with Chris on mountaindogdiet.com. In the interview he says that we probably know no more than 10% of what there is to know about human biology and it may well be only 1% !
It’s hard to believe but I can’t find any books by Chris, although a search on Amazon for his name brings up dozens of books that contain references to him.
Food Combining and “high raw”
Before I adopted the full Seignalet diet I followed a “high raw” food combining diet for 11 years. I started eating this way after reading Lesley Kenton’s book “Ten Steps to Energy”, her answer to the Diamonds’ best seller “Fit for life” . By following Lesley’s recommendations I transformed my health and energy levels virtually overnight. I think it’s a great pity that her book never became a best seller.
Food combining originated as the Hay diet which the New York physician developed to reverse his Bright’s disease in the 1920’s. The doctor of naturopathy and chiropractic and famous fasting practitioner Dr. Herbert Shelton added to the theory and popularised it as part of what he called “Natural Hygiene”. Shelton was a vegan although veganism is not part of his food combining theory. There are literally hundreds of books on food combining and hundreds of thousands of adepts.
It was developed when we knew far less about the digestive system than we do nowadays and some of its precepts are a little outdated. Nevertheless, the basic theory still holds water in the opinion of the great Dr. Thomas Levy who has written a book about it. Optimal Nutrition for Optimal Health.
Here in a nutshell are the basic ideas of food combining:
- The stomach is an acid environment. Protein is digested in the stomach.
- The small intestine is an alkali environment. Carbohydrates are digested in the intestines.
- Protein and carbohydrates should not be eaten together at the same meal because neither will be digested properly.
- Fruit should always be eaten separately from a meal. (This is a Shelton add on to Hayes). Fruit eaten alone is digested very quickly and easily. Protein takes a lot longer to digest and if it’s eaten with the fruit will hold up transit of the fruit which will ferment in the stomach’s acid environment and lead to putrefaction.
- Types of protein should not be mixed because timings and amounts of gastric juice vary according to the type of protein. So you should not mix fish with meat at the same meal for example but it’s ok to eat 2 different types of fish or 2 different types of meat at the same meal.
Note that 2. is a little simplistic in the light of modern knowledge because some protein digestion continues in the intestine. 5. is a little hard to substantiate because we don’t really know what goes on in the stomach in real time. But the precepts seem to work well in practice. Personally, I think Shelton is wrong to lump all carbohydrates together because starchy foods like bread and rice are digested differently to the sugars in honey for example.
I incorporate food combining into my version of the Seignalet diet. Seignalet gave a list of the reasons that the diet might not work to reverse a condition. One of those things is a deficiency of digestive enzymes. This is common in older people and I’m 70. I think that food combining is at least part of the solution to this problem. You can see this discussed on my “Supercharged version of the Seignalet diet”
Veganism and vegetariansism
Can we learn from vegetarians? Vegetarians often eat milk products and eggs so the full term should be lacto/uovo vegetarian. Well at least they are getting some animal protein and B12. Seignalet bans all milk products of course. I think vegetarians are likely to be big consumers of milk products which in Seignalet terms is a bad idea. Fallon and Ewig say that the problem is with pasteurised milk and we should drink raw milk instead. I personally think that both Shelton and Seignalet are correct: It’s unnatural to drink milk after being weaned and even more so to drink milk from another animal. The other thing that raw milk enthusiasts seem to miss is that milk can often be infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondi. If you are going to drink raw milk you would want to get milk from a single animal and then freeze it in a home freezer for at least 10 days to kill any potential Toxoplasma.
Vegans eat no animal protein at all. Can we learn something from them? Vegetarians and vegan are supposed to have a slightly reduced risk of total forms of cancer but this is hard to assess accurately because a vegetarian or vegan might still eat a lot of processed foods.
Meat is believed to be carcinogenic, especially red meat but the studies which supposedly prove this fail to make a distinction between raw meat and cooked meat. According to Seignalet it’s the fact of cooking it, especially at high heat which makes it dangerous. We avoid the danger by eating meat and fish raw in tartare or carpaccio or sashimi or very lightly cooked, as in steamed. Make sure you freeze any meat or fish to be eaten raw for at least 10 days in a home freezer. This will kill any potential parasites.
When I was researching for my video on gut healing aminos for my supercharged version of the Seignalet diet I realised that vegans and vegetarians are highly likely to have a deficiency of the essential amino taurine. Essential means that our body cannot make it. There is a small amount in milk but there is none in vegetables, fruits or cereals, only small amounts in some nuts and seeds. Among many other things taurine deficiency is a factor in depression.
The book which is supposed to prove once and for all that veganism is the way to go is Colin Campbell’s “the China Study”. But Campell provides no real evidence for this.
Denise Minger, a reformed vegetarian, did an extensive critique of the book which got a lot of attention on the internet and made her an overnight star for the Paleo crowd and the W.P ers.
You can see my own full critique of Campbell’s book and discussion of Denise Minger’s critique of the book and her critique of Campbell’s critique of her critique.here:
Some vegan recipes can be interesting for a food combining, Seignalet legal carbohydrate meal.
Macrobiotics is the Japanese version of healthy eating based on Chinese medicine ying and yang concepts. Brown rice is supposed to be the perfect food because of its blend of ying and yang and is central to the diet.
Seignalet believed that rice is an excellent food and in this he departs from Cordain/Wolfe Paleo of course who do not allow any food that they consider to be not something our Paleolithic ancestors would have eaten.
I have macrobiotic brown rice for lunch every day. This is my “Perfect Healthy Lunch”. See my recipe with embedded video and discussion of the macrobiotic diet. here.SUPPORT CHRIS