Since I tend to be a "black or white" "all or nothing" type person, in some areas, nutrition at times can be very hard. It is so hard to find a balance and really figure out which lifestyle diet is best to consume. There is such a huge range of diets - paleo, primal, vegan, raw, vegetarian - you name it! How are we supposed to know which one is best?
The thing I've come to realize is that there is not a "one size fits all" diet. Each of our bodies is so different and needs different things. While one person may thrive on a low carb, high protein diet, others may thrive on a lower protein, higher carb diet. I think it takes a lot of trial and error to eat simply how YOU feel is best. NOT how everyone else thinks is best.
There are some standards, however, that I DO think apply to everyone.
a) Eat a diet of whole foods - meaning, foods in their natural state or as close to it as possible
b) Avoid chemicals, preservatives, trans fats, refined grains/sugar
c) Consume FAT - it is vital to your body. Use things like coconut oil, butter, olive oil, nuts/seeds, and avocados liberally.
d) Consume more PLANTS! Everyone can benefit from consuming more vegetables and fruit in their diet.
So whether you choose to eat no meat or a lot of meat (as long as it's humanely raised and hormone/antibiotic free, of course), lots of grains or no grains...I think we can all agree that as long as we're eating whole foods we're in it together, right?
This is obviously a very simplified view of nutrition but I really do feel that each of us is an individual and we all have different needs. Play around with your diet and don't eat any one thing just because someone else tells you to. Eat it and notice how you feel. If you feel tired and sluggish after eating gluten, maybe try not eating it! And so it goes with other foods. The best thing I can say is - PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY! Constipated? Achy joints? Relentless acne? Headaches? Your body is giving you warning signs. Listen to it, get help from a doctor trained in holistic medicine if needed, and feed your body right so it can function at it's best. This is all a journey but your body will thank you with every nourishing meal you give it.
There is one caveat - if you are having a lot of symptoms of inflammation, like the ones I mentioned above - I do highly recommend doing a healing elimination diet for a time. Whole30 is an excellent elimination diet that gives you a chance to see what is going on with your body and what foods may be affecting it. There are of course other healing diets, but Whole30 is one that has worked especially well for me, so naturally, I recommend it. Sometimes you may need to stay on a healing diet for months or even years. That is okay. It took a long time for problems to build up, and they won't be erased over night. In time, as your body heals and inflammation lessens, you may be able to move to a less restrictive and more inclusive diet. Don't know where to start? I can help.
One last thought - if we understand and accept that, say, taking a pill or eating some rat poison, will affect our body, why is it so hard for us to understand and accept that ingesting food (good or bad) would do the same? Food affects us! It is the basis, the core, of our body. It is our fuel. Let's put good fuel into our bodies.
What is one way you're going to treat your body better this week?
My goal is to have a freshly pressed veggie juice several times a week. So far I am doing great and feeling much more energy!