Good or bad? RIGHT or WRONG? What SHOULD I be eating? We all have an idea of what we THINK is right to eat…to meat or not to meat? Raw vegan or Paleo? These are the questions we ponder when we have decided to adopt a “healthy” lifestyle. Once we get fixated on a diet we think suits us, we fight to make it right for everyone.
NEWS FLASH: EVERYONE IS UNIQUE! Biochemical individuality…heard of it?
Biochemical Individuality: n: the concept that the nutritional and chemical make-up of each person is unique and that dietary needs therefore vary from person to person.
Now I’m absolutely not being an advocate for eating junk food (albeit some people can handle junk better than others). What I mean to say is that we have lost touch with our bodies and spirits. We listen to others, read articles and get so far down the rabbit hole that we forgot WHY we went there in the first place. There are many debates of what is right and wrong when it comes to diet, but the truth is: only YOU know what is right for YOUR BODY.
Personally, I tried being a vegetarian and then a vegan, only to find that my health suffered dramatically…my hair and nails started to thin, I was exhausted, my digestive issues exacerbated, I couldn’t concentrate and I lost all of my muscle mass. Not only that, but my skin broke out, my hormones were wacky, and I was a depressed and emotional mess! I thrive on a Paleo-Mediterranean-Organic- Whole-Food style diet high in protein and healthy fats to balance my blood sugar, mood, hormones and energy. This is what works for ME! I tend to gravitate towards this style because it works for more people than not. I emphasize a whole-food diet, supporting locals, connection, community and organic whenever possible. That being said, some folks do OK with some gluten-free grains. Some do OK with a cup of organic black coffee with their breakfast and others CRASH and burn (me included) from even the most pure organic coffee (yes I have even added cinnamon, ghee and/or coconut oil)…nope…I don’t do caffeine…period. Some people can have some natural sugars, such as local honey and VT maple syrup and others have to avoid sugar all-together.
So what is the best way to figure out what is best for YOU? A diet journal or what I like to call a food, mood and poop journal! Track what/how much you eat, when you ate it, how you feel (emotionally and physically) throughout the day and your poop stats (Yes, pooping daily is a must!). After about 5-7 days, you can identify some pretty obvious patterns.
Expensive testing (food allergies, sensitivites, etc.) often presents false positives and negatives. Rather than spend money on tests outside of your control, take this opportunity to tune in to your body. TRUST yourself. Create a union with nutrition beyond following rules. We have, as a culture, completely lost touch with our inner pilot light, our compass, our guide, our intuition. I believe deeply that a person can be their own guru and doctor. Give yourself permission to heal, offer yourself a wide variety of whole foods, and your body will tell you what it needs.
Sometimes I eat eggs everyday for weeks. Sometimes I can’t stand the thought of a green smoothie and other times I can’t get enough fresh, green goodness into my face fast enough. Somtimes I just want good quality grass-fed beef for days and other times I get turned off by meat completely and just want hearty root veggies.
Apply curiosity to every rule and every condition. Only then will you free yourself and step into who you really are, surendering, embracing your body and nourishing your spirit. It’s deeper than the simplicity of the word “diet.” It is truly a gift. A dance. A journey. Trust that you are where you’re meant to be. If you feel ready, grab the bull by the horns and make some lifestyle changes that are right for you. If you’re not, then the seed has been planted; and when you’re ready to lift the veil, you will.
Get quiet. Listen. Receive. Believe. Achieve.