I'm looking for a particular answer here but I won't spell it out quite yet because I want you to form your own response. Hint: It isn't the answer you'll ponder and develop, but the instantaneous one that probably popped into your head when you first saw the title. Did you "hear" one?
I put a lot of thought into what I have eaten/will eat. Hopefully not TOO much, so much that you'd consider me obsessed, but enough that I can say I eat mindfully most of the time. That said, I think the answer to how you know if you are/aren't eating the right mix/proportion of foods is your gut will tell you. Now, you might not put it that way--you might say by instinct, or some other phrase, but what I'm talking about is a clear, not-verbal so let's say visceral--message.
Speaking for myself, even when things are going great I sometimes wonder if I could do even better or perhaps get away with more. Is there a different ratio of ancestral foods that would speed weight loss, or cause me to feel even better? Can I have more of my very favorites rather than a some-of-all approach? Etc., etc. That feeling may come after reading blogs with firm opinions that high-fruit is very healthy or very-low-carb is absolutely the best.
Well, that's been the story of my life for the past 2 weeks. I varied the proportions of fruit, vegetables and meat and I tried alternating days of high-meat and high-fruit/veg. And yesterday I got that clear, visceral message that I was off track rather than better and I needed to revert to the routine I'd previously followed. Imagine my gut flora rapping on the door to my conscious mind, "Hello! Hello! Is anybody there?"
I believe the experimentation came from my mind (let's say the impulsive side as "rational" probably doesn't apply) and the answer came from my gut flora. So here I am today, back exactly where I started. My overall eating pattern is based on fatty meat, supplemented by vegetables both cooked and raw, and my appetizers are fruit in moderate quantities.
I don't want you to think I became truly ill or had cramps or other signs of severe GI/mental distress. It was more that I stopped feeling on top of the world--a noticeable shift in my overall well-being--and there was a clear non-verbal sense that I was an idiot. It's possible that if I continued the higher volumes of fruit and greens that I might have acclimated, but when I saw blood glucose readings above 140 after fruit-only meals I decided not to wait.
So here's the main point of this post--I think we should assume our guts have always sent such non-verbal messages and clues but we either hadn't learned to listen or we mis-interpreted them. In my case, I'm pretty sure I used to interpret such messages as "hungry for more junk."
For ancestral eating to provide the most profound and sustained benefits, it's important to "listen" for gut messages and take them seriously. I believe it's worth the trouble--no, I KNOW it is.