High carb, low fat? Low carb, high fat? Vegetarian or Paleo? So many choices, so many different recommendations. It can make your head spin. If you are like me, you have tried every food plan in the world.
Check this out, I am not calling it a diet. In the animal kingdom, the diet is the food plan that supports the sustenance of the animal. It is what the beaver, fish, bird, snake or bear eat. In the human world,diet has come to mean something completely different– “What I eat to lose weight this week!”
The older you get the more you realize this type of thinking is created by a lot of hype and a big industry that promises and often disappoints. So what works? What has worked for me is educating myself, understanding my body and mind and paying attention to how I feel each day with what fuel I put in my body that day.
As Yoga Journal Writer Elizabeth Marglin put it, here is the question you should be asking yourself daily “How do my choices augment or interfere with my well-being?” Check out my Facebook Live Video below to hear how I navigate my nutritional journey.
So the bottom line is–
1) If you can afford it or have good health insurance, get detailed testing from a Functional Medicine Doctor on your health. Not just the standard blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
2) Once you get the results, research or work with a health coach such as myself to help you figure out what the results mean. Click here to sign up for a 30-minute free consultation
3) If your health is seriously compromised with an autoimmune disease, such as Type 2 diabetes, thyroid disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, leaky gut work with a Doctor that will let you participate in your health decisions.
4) But before you are convinced that medicine is the only route, consider an elimination diet which means getting rid of all the big triggers for at least a month — sugar, gluten (wheat, etc), dairy, soy, corn, nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers). If you feel better, then try adding in one food at a time for two weeks. Notice how you feel? If it does not affect you, then add that food back in, and another food. If it makes you feel worse, get rid of it. Does this make sense?
5) Other advice which I am sure you have heard before
- Water should be your main liquid
- Reduce your stress
- Add in exercise
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to nutrition and there are no quick fixes. Consider this an eating plan, not a diet. Once you develop habits that support your well-being, you will feel better. When you feel better, everything in your life goes better and you develop the resilience you need to be able to withstand all of the ups and downs of living in a stressful world.