When you are walking down the street or standing in a big crowd what do you notice about others around you? One thing you see is that they don't look like you right? Different hair colors, eye colors, shapes, skin tones, we are all perfectly individual and unique. How our genes, experiences and makeup are different, can be called our bio-individuality.
So I am wondering why we get caught up in thinking that there is ONE way to eat, ONE way to exercise or relax, and that there is ONE drug or pill that is the answer for anyone.
That sounds pretty ridiculous right???
We can all build from the same foundation; we all need air to breath, water to drink, friends and family to love, and food to eat. To be healthy you need to move, be strong, eat natural, whole foods, avoid chemicals/toxins, lower your stress-load and relax more. But we are forgetting the key to optimal health is that it is YOUR optimal health... not what is perfect for your friend or neighbor, not what some celebrity tells you, but what you can do that will empower and support your body,heal from stress, prevent disease and set yourself up for a happy, healthy, long life.
Start from the basics and EAT REAL FOOD! This means whole, natural foods closest to their natural states as possible. A variety of vegetables: leafy greens, root veggies, all colors of the rainbow, grass-fed meats and fish, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, and fruits.
When you are starting out, focus here. Look around your kitchen and realize how many ingredients are in those boxes of food and trade that in for real food and single ingredients.
From here is where many get confused, they believe following the same diet as their friend will do the exact same thing for them. But as mentioned, we are all different. For a diet to have real lasting changes it needs to fit your lifestyle, your preferences, steer you to your end goal, as well as be free from any food sensitivities and intolerance's, and is the right balance of nutrients to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable throughout the day.
There can be some differences in this makeup between men and women and the optimal balance of hormones, as well as your cortisol levels, blood sugar patterns, activity level, and lifestyle choices. Having excess fat is a symptom to a larger problem, identifying these imbalances and malfunctions will allow your body to work its way back to optimal state and healthy physique.
You can work with intermittent fasting, carb cycling, low carb, nutrient timing, many different methods that can help you reach your goals, but without having the basics down it's like filling the bathtub with the drain open:/
Here are 3 top tips to get you started on a healthy diet that will work for virtually EVERYONE:
1) Keep it Plant-Based: Whether you eat Paleo, if your favorite food is bacon, you only eat fish, or no animal products at all.... Remember that the foundation of your diet should be veggies. Add your protein and healthy fats but fill your plate up with a variety of fresh vegetables. Get creative and go pick up that weird looking vegetable you don't know (have you tried kholrabi?) and make something fun and new. Aim to have at least 30-40% raw, and if you have problems with your digestion than lightly steamed is a great option.
2) Don't be afraid of Fat: I'm not talking about all those baked goods and fried foods, I'm speaking towards those healthy fats like olive, coconut, and avocado oils. The low-fat fad is a thing of the past and research today shows that including those healthy oils in your diet is not only amazing for your brain, skin, and digestion, it will still help get you those abs your wanting to show off! So please stop using that processed, GMO, canola oil (yuck!) and eating those fat-free cookies and yogurts and get yourself a nice quality delicious tasting oil, eat some more avocados, and snack on those olives!
3) Cut out the Sugar: Your intake of sugar may be much higher than you think, it can sneak into your diet from baked goods, cereals, granolas, condiments, sauces, even from too much fruit and fruit juices. If you have already made the swap to eating more natural sources of sugar, like honey, maple syrup, or dates, than good for you! BUT, I will warn you that those "paleo" treats can add up quickly and too much fructose from fruit and even in honey can wreck havoc on your digestion, blood sugar and energy patterns. So try to lower your consumption, have the occasional treat, and stick to eating whole fruit and not gallons of juices (remember you gotta have room for those veggies 😉
So start making some changes to eat a healthy, real food diet. Stop obsessing about what diet may have worked for a celebrity and start working towards what is best for YOUR body. Through a little evaluation and an open mind you can make real lasting changes.
If you would like some more guidance on how to find the best diet for you please contact me and we can work together so that you can reach your nutrition and health goals.