THE VIKING DIET

NOT A VIKING “DIET”

When people hear “diet” they think of a couple of things. First: “that sounds horrible.” The second: “that is never going to work.” Instead, what we are looking at is a lifestyle change, because that’s what it is. A diet is often viewed as a change in eating habits for a predetermined period before returning to previous lifestyle choices. A change to how and what you want to eat is how you achieve long term change.

THE VIKING PHILOSOPHY

Living like a Norse is both strenuous and easy. The strenuous part is of course challenging yourself, working out, living by a strict ethos and focusing on the right choices. The easy part? The feasting! The philosophy is not about restrictive calorie intakes – it is to build a foundation of eating wholesome nutritious food to fuel an active body.

Focusing on what not to eat can be demotivating. That is why we really don’t believe in diets in perhaps a traditional sense. Of course, every healthy lifestyle demands sacrifice and discipline, even the Viking Lifestyle, but this “eating mindset” is so chock full of awesome food that you’ll quickly forget the restraints. So let’s just get them out of the way.

WAY OF THE RAIDER
FOOD GROUPS
INGREDIENTS LIST

NOT A VIKING “DIET”

When people hear “diet” they think of a couple of things. First: “that sounds horrible.” The second: “that is never going to work.” Instead, what we are looking at is a lifestyle change, because that’s what it is. A diet is often viewed as a change in eating habits for a predetermined period before returning to previous lifestyle choices. A change to how and what you want to eat is how you achieve long term change.

THE VIKING PHILOSOPHY

Living like a Norse is both strenuous and easy. The strenuous part is of course challenging yourself, working out, living by a strict ethos and focusing on the right choices. The easy part? The feasting! The philosophy is not about restrictive calorie intakes – it is to build a foundation of eating wholesome nutritious food to fuel an active body.

Focusing on what not to eat can be demotivating. That is why we really don’t believe in diets in perhaps a traditional sense. Of course, every healthy lifestyle demands sacrifice and discipline, even the Viking Lifestyle, but this “eating mindset” is so chock full of awesome food that you’ll quickly forget the restraints. So let’s just get them out of the way.

WAY OF THE RAIDER
FOOD GROUPS
INGREDIENTS LIST

THIS IS NOT VIKING

A few things we’ll be avoiding in our food preparation are:

\\ SUGAR

Get it out. There isn’t much use for sugar in the foods we are putting together – with our sweetener of choice being Honey.

\\ WHEAT FLOUR

Another staple of current day baking also kicked to the curb. Whilst not historically accurate we’d recommend Rye, Oat, Coconut and other flour alternatives. 

\\ PROCESSED MEAT

It’s not meat, it’s pink gruel. Chicken that comes in little packets and is covered in a sweat like residue is not the same as say hunted meats. Quality first.

\\ TRANS FAT

These are just dangerous, and likely illegal in your country. If you are a young warrior you may not even have heard of these!

\\ SOY

This is not food. I could write plastic too, but people don’t eat it in the same abundance.

\\ RICE

Here we have issues in arsenic levels due to the fact that rice is particularly good at absorbing this toxic element  – we have plenty of other alternatives to build strong raiding and pillaging physique!

THIS IS NOT VIKING

A few things we’ll be avoiding in our food preparation are:

\\ SUGAR

Get it out. There isn’t much use for sugar in the foods we are putting together – with our sweetener of choice being Honey.

\\ WHEAT FLOUR

Another staple of current day baking also kicked to the curb. Whilst not historically accurate we’d recommend Rye, Oat, Coconut and other flour alternatives. 

\\ PROCESSED MEAT

It’s not meat, it’s pink gruel. Chicken that comes in little packets and is covered in a sweat like residue is not the same as say hunted meats. Quality first.

\\ TRANS FAT

These are just dangerous, and likely illegal in your country. If you are a young warrior you may not even have heard of these!

\\ SOY

This is not food. I could write plastic too, but people don’t eat it in the same abundance.

\\ RICE

Here we have issues in arsenic levels due to the fact that rice is particularly good at absorbing this toxic element  – we have plenty of other alternatives to build strong raiding and pillaging physique!

THE WAY OF THE RAIDER

\\ QUALITY

The quality of your food matters most. We are looking for as little processing as possible, organic and ideally locally grown. Quality trumps quantity always. Look to your local butchers, markets and so forth – and don’t believe the myths around frozen veg being void of nutrients!  

\\ FUEL

This is not a weight loss protocol. We are looking at Viking eating habits with some modernised suggestions to go with them. One did not raid and conquer on lemon juice with cayenne pepper, Fit Tea or slender shakez with a z.  

\\ SIMPLICITY

We focus on using well sourced ingredients and home cooked meals over pre-made meals, sauces and so forth. Back to tradition and away from the never ending trends of body hacks to nitro speed your metabolism or burner supplements to reduce fat on body parts that you draw on in magical pens.

THE WAY OF THE RAIDER

\\ QUALITY

The quality of your food matters most. We are looking for as little processing as possible, organic and ideally locally grown. Quality trumps quantity always. Look to your local butchers, markets and so forth – and don’t believe the myths around frozen veg being void of nutrients!  

\\ FUEL

This is not a weight loss protocol. We are looking at Viking eating habits with some modernised suggestions to go with them. One did not raid and conquer on lemon juice with cayenne pepper, Fit Tea or slender shakez with a z.  

\\ SIMPLICITY

We focus on using well sourced ingredients and home cooked meals over pre-made meals, sauces and so forth. Back to tradition and away from the never ending trends of body hacks to nitro speed your metabolism or burner supplements to reduce fat on body parts that you draw on in magical pens.

VIKING DIET FOOD GROUPS

\\ VEGETABLES

Eat a LOT of vegetables. Stack them up real high on your plate, and focus on green vegetables; broccoli, spinach, peas, red beets, salads, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, green kale etc. These are all good and should be a staple of every meal that you eat. Fry them in good, salted butter, use spices and herbs, and maybe even unsweetened cream, just make sure you eat a lot of these. The main reason for eating green vegetables is their ability to flush out the bad stuff from your body. They are also packed with good minerals like magnesium and zinc, amino acids and vitamins. Because they are so densely packed with good stuff, they function kind of like those viral “superfoods.” Spinach alone flushes out estrogen in the body, and helps stimulate the growth of free testosterone, which again helps stimulate muscle growth and the body’s capacity for restoration (women should also have testosterone in their body, but we will speak of that another time). 

\\ PROTEIN

This is fundamental in the Norse Lifestyle, so eat protein for every meal if you can. The Norse ate fish, chicken, lamb, pork, eggs, wild birds and more fish – with wild boar being debated. One cannot raid on an empty stomach, and nothing fills the stomach more than a giant portion of protein. Obviously – for those of us not actively raiding and pillaging we may opt for slightly smaller portions! There are a few things to consider however: the meat cannot be processed. A lot of bad stuff happens to processed meats, and none of those added chemicals should enter your body. Bacon as an example can be consumed in moderation even though it is salted and smoked. This was the Norse’s way of conserving food – so there was a lot of salting to act as a preservative. If everything else within the diet is good, then this is not a problem in moderation – but we’ll not be recommending such levels of salt intake overall as we are less dependent on this process for preserving our foods! 

The second thing to consider, is game meat. This should be more available in stores, but sadly isn’t. Game meat is very good for you. A deer steak is actually almost as healthy as fish. The fats are healthy, the meat is just brimming with vitamins like B3 and minerals like zinc and more! Besides, nothing beats a tender deer steak with boar bacon, ecological potatoes and a nice, earthy, herby gravy. There are however many places where hunters sell their game. Facebook has a lot of groups and pages where you can buy and sell wild meat. There is also definitely an online store which can deliver quality game meat to your doorstep. Use these channels, your body and mind will thank you.

\\ OATS

Oats are great. They last long in the stomach. They provide energy throughout the day and they are just very healthy. Use them more than you use them now, not just in oatmeal. They are great in savoury food as well. The Norse used to eat a dish which was called “Farmers Dawn.” It consists of oatmeal, bacon, goat cheese and honey, fried in a pan with butter. Oats are also great for breading fish and meat, and are also a  healthy alternative to wheat when making bread.

\\ DAIRY

Not the fat free options as these are generally filled with not so great alternatives and are often less nutrient rich. Try to focus on grass fed butter and cheese, which is where the incentive for eating dairy products lies.

\\ FRUITS & SWEETS

Sweet food can also be a good way to keep the motivation going. Berries are a great option to satiate this need. Any berries will do, blueberries, raspberries you name it! When talking about fruits, there wasn’t an abundance of mangos and bananas during the Viking age, which is actually a good thing. Tropical fruits have a lot of sugar, so stay clear of them, or at least consume them in moderation. Pears, apples, and plums are great alternative fruits to eat, but berries should be the go-to-sweets.

“IF YOU CAN HUNT IT OR PLUCK IT, YOU CAN EAT IT.”

\\ HONEY

Replace sugar with honey in your diet. Honey has a little less carbohydrates, but it is not healthy in and of itself. In contrast to sugar, your metabolism can handle honey with greater ease. Again, the quality of the honey also matters here, just like your veg and meat! 

\\ DRINKS

Drink water. If you’re thirsty, drink water. Just water. Not soda. Stay clear of artificial sweeteners, as they are just very bad for your teeth, bowels and insulin levels whilst also still negatively impacting blood sugar levels. Near all shop bought juices are mixed with a whole bunch of additives you don’t want to ingest. Try to stick to water, coffee, tea, milk and maybe some whisky, mead and wine!

VIKING DIET FOOD GROUPS

\\ VEGETABLES

Eat a LOT of vegetables. Stack them up real high on your plate, and focus on green vegetables; broccoli, spinach, peas, red beets, salads, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, green kale etc. These are all good and should be a staple of every meal that you eat. Fry them in good, salted butter, use spices and herbs, and maybe even unsweetened cream, just make sure you eat a lot of these. The main reason for eating green vegetables is their ability to flush out the bad stuff from your body. They are also packed with good minerals like magnesium and zinc, amino acids and vitamins. Because they are so densely packed with good stuff, they function kind of like those viral “superfoods.” Spinach alone flushes out estrogen in the body, and helps stimulate the growth of free testosterone, which again helps stimulate muscle growth and the body’s capacity for restoration (women should also have testosterone in their body, but we will speak of that another time). 

\\ PROTEIN

This is fundamental in the Norse Lifestyle, so eat protein for every meal if you can. The Norse ate fish, chicken, lamb, pork, eggs, wild birds and more fish – with wild boar being debated. One cannot raid on an empty stomach, and nothing fills the stomach more than a giant portion of protein. Obviously – for those of us not actively raiding and pillaging we may opt for slightly smaller portions! There are a few things to consider however: the meat cannot be processed. A lot of bad stuff happens to processed meats, and none of those added chemicals should enter your body. Bacon as an example can be consumed in moderation even though it is salted and smoked. This was the Norse’s way of conserving food – so there was a lot of salting to act as a preservative. If everything else within the diet is good, then this is not a problem in moderation – but we’ll not be recommending such levels of salt intake overall as we are less dependent on this process for preserving our foods! 

The second thing to consider, is game meat. This should be more available in stores, but sadly isn’t. Game meat is very good for you. A deer steak is actually almost as healthy as fish. The fats are healthy, the meat is just brimming with vitamins like B3 and minerals like zinc and more! Besides, nothing beats a tender deer steak with boar bacon, ecological potatoes and a nice, earthy, herby gravy. There are however many places where hunters sell their game. Facebook has a lot of groups and pages where you can buy and sell wild meat. There is also definitely an online store which can deliver quality game meat to your doorstep. Use these channels, your body and mind will thank you.

\\ OATS

Oats are great. They last long in the stomach. They provide energy throughout the day and they are just very healthy. Use them more than you use them now, not just in oatmeal. They are great in savoury food as well. The Norse used to eat a dish which was called “Farmers Dawn.” It consists of oatmeal, bacon, goat cheese and honey, fried in a pan with butter. Oats are also great for breading fish and meat, and are also a  healthy alternative to wheat when making bread.

\\ DAIRY

Not the fat free options as these are generally filled with not so great alternatives and are often less nutrient rich. Try to focus on grass fed butter and cheese, which is where the incentive for eating dairy products lies.

\\ FRUITS & SWEETS

Sweet food can also be a good way to keep the motivation going. Berries are a great option to satiate this need. Any berries will do, blueberries, raspberries you name it! When talking about fruits, there wasn’t an abundance of mangos and bananas during the Viking age, which is actually a good thing. Tropical fruits have a lot of sugar, so stay clear of them, or at least consume them in moderation. Pears, apples, and plums are great alternative fruits to eat, but berries should be the go-to-sweets.

“IF YOU CAN HUNT IT OR PLUCK IT, YOU CAN EAT IT.”

\\ HONEY

Replace sugar with honey in your diet. Honey has a little less carbohydrates, but it is not healthy in and of itself. In contrast to sugar, your metabolism can handle honey with greater ease. Again, the quality of the honey also matters here, just like your veg and meat! 

\\ DRINKS

Drink water. If you’re thirsty, drink water. Just water. Not soda. Stay clear of artificial sweeteners, as they are just very bad for your teeth, bowels and insulin levels whilst also still negatively impacting blood sugar levels. Near all shop bought juices are mixed with a whole bunch of additives you don’t want to ingest. Try to stick to water, coffee, tea, milk and maybe some whisky, mead and wine!

IN CLOSING

Simple. A lot of great food to put together a well rounded fuelled lifestyle. Try to seek out eco-friendly options, they aren’t just good for the planet, but ensure your body gets what it deserves. You are going to inhabit your body the rest of your life, so keep it clean and tidy. Ecological and grass-fed food is so much better for both your body and your palate. 

If you ever need advice on what to eat, this is the rule in general: If you can hunt it or pluck it, you can eat it.

Lasse Amundsen

INGREDIENT LIST

We’ve put together a little cheat sheet to help you on your shopping trips. We’ve also added a few extra ingredients that although weren’t part of a Viking diet – but compliment it very well (marked with an xx) Remember – this is a modernised version of a diet inspired by the Vikings, so not entirely historically accurate, but also not a defined “you may only eat this,” Build a healthy relationship with your food, it is at it’s purest sense your fuel, but also something to be enjoyed.

\\ PROTEINS

Fish

Oily Fish

Chicken

Deer 

Elk 

Boar 

Eggs 

Lamb 

Pork 

Bacon

\\ DAIRY

Organic Butter 

Organic Cheese 

Milk

Cottage Cheese (xx)

\\ FRUITS & SWEETS

Berries of all types 

Pomegranate 

Apples 

Pears 

Plums

Honey

Lingonberries (xx)

Cloudberries (xx)

\\ CARBS

Oats

Potatoes 

Parsnips

Turnips

Swedes 

Rye (xx)

\\ VEGETABLES

Red Beets 

Carrots

Kale 

Broccoli 

Cauliflower 

Brussel sprouts 

Spinach

Peas 

Salads 

Radish

Nettle (xx)

Asparagus (xx)

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2021-07-05T08:13:34+00:00

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