What is the best diet OR What should I be eating? These are the questions that I am asked at least twenty times a day. How I approach and respond to these inquiries will save you a lot of time, energy and money.
Let’s zoom out for a moment and look at this from an overarching perspective. There is no way one can honestly and accurately provide a response in passing without knowing dozens of other things including but not limited to, genetics, epigenetics, microbiome population, micronutrient levels, hormones, lifestyle and toxin loads. If someone is offering you specific dietary advise without digging into the complexity of the individual, plug your ears, sing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ at the top of your lungs and run!
If you have not had the luxury of getting all the above tests done and work with someone who can interpret and apply the resulting data, all hope is NOT lost! There is still plenty to get started with. To simplify, (this is the saving time, energy and money part) a major contributing factor to all the confusion is that the initial question is, well, it’s wrong. No answer can be right if the question itself has failed. Here is the question to ask:
Why am I eating?
I know, I know. It doesn’t make sense, yet. I realize this is not the standard approach BUT it will result in the most individual dietary plan you have ever applied to your life and that is what people need so hang in there with me….
If you are reading this article I would bet you have already been through Internet Hell and back with loads of information on all diets and trends. I will presume you already know real food is best. We know Sugars, Wheat/Gluten, Corn, Soy, Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Artificial Colors, Preservatives, GMO’s, Pesticides (and for some people dairy and grains) are major contributors to health and cognitive decline so we can do our best to minimize / avoid those and agree that what we do NOT need is more restrictive diets. What we DO need is better application of all the information that is at our fingertips. Here are the few steps to take and add to what you already know so that your diet serves YOU.
Intention - What is your goal? Longevity? Weight Loss? Optimized Cognition? Muscle Mass? Athletic Performance? Sleep? That is all good to know but here is the simplified question you can pose before each meal. Will what I chose to eat right now build an improved version of myself? Trust me when I tell you, you will know the answer to this without any research.
Intuition - Does this feed my real hunger? Am I bored? Stressed? Sad? Lonely? Rebellious? The more you tap into the emotional intelligence biomarkers, the easier this whole topic becomes to navigate. When you become aware of ways food is a bandaid, you get an opportunity to get free in those areas (Bonus!) When you are simply eating to thrive and optimize, the choices become easy.
Motivation - Why am I choosing this? Did this work for your friend or the girl on instagram? Do you chose it because you heard it was best via a pop-up? Was it picked because it is easy? Did Facebook tell you or Dr. Google? Keep your eyes on your own paper. You know you best. Internal incongruency is more toxic than GMO’s.
Results - Will this accomplish or ruin my desired results? Make sure your choices are in line with your goals. If they are not, whatever the food, it’s bad for you. Simple.
Responsibility - Does this do any harm to myself? Here is the ethical area. If you have a religious, moral or cultural obligation that is in alignment with your core beliefs, that is the choice you should make regardless if it is “trendy” or not. If you are optimal having some meat (and biochemically some people do need it) and you believe it accomplishes your goals, listen to your body and be sure to source your ingredients well so as to encourage ethical farming, animal care and environmental considerations. Side tangent: Diets are not clubs they are simply nutritional preferences. Can we please stop making food choices another source of human division?
Purpose - Have I made enough to share? Eat with people. This is HUGE! Prepare meals as a community or family and if you don’t have one, make enough for 2 or eat half of what you want then, box it up and hand deliver the meal to someone. The power of this is immeasurable!
Gratitude - Can I celebrate this? The fact that we have this problem of over consumption (both information and food) is unheard of in all our years on this planet. Two of the most toxic things for the human body are guilt and shame. The only reason these emotions should escort your food is if one of the above answers has fallen out of line. If you find yourself having to eat something you would not have otherwise chosen (business, guests.. etc) bless the food and thank your body for handling it properly. EASY!
I have been using this method of diet for a long time with my clients and it has never failed. This is the basic outline. Reach out to my team using the contact page to request more info on the full program. Food is not our enemy but when the relationship is allowed to become toxic it steals from us in many ways. This approach does require some initial thought but when applied and honored not only does food become our friend again but we get back in touch with who we are at the core and we evolve in a multitude of ways that benefit us a whole.
With all my heart and all sincerity,