I was a vegetarian for about 12 years. I've been Paleo off and on for a couple of years. I just try to do the best that I can and eat what makes me feel good - and it's never difficult. With everything I've learned over the past few years, I know that different people have different nutritional needs at different times in their lives. We are all different bodies with different compositions and different genetics. If you get in tune with your body, you'll learn what those needs are and be able to eat and supplement in a way that optimizes your health. It might sound complicated at first, but it's actually quite simple.
Generally speaking, I think that you should be cautious of any diet that is monopolizing from a name. Do your own research and become your own advocate. I believe the most important principle that WE ALL need to follow is to JUST EAT REAL FOOD. Allow me to simplify some of the basics...
- Moderation is always key.
- Fast food has an extra 's' in it ;)
- Processed 'foods' are not food.
- Organic is best - check the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen for the best produce buying guides.
- GMO's are bad - watch GMO OMG - educate yourself and do what you can.
- Hormones, additives, preservatives & artificial sweeteners are poisons that should be avoided as much as possible.
- Refined sugars and carbs should be minimized.
- Some fats are good for you! "Fat free" is usually not.
- Certain foods and deficiencies can lead to inflammation and disease. If you're having health issues, learn what those are for you by talking to your doctor, running blood tests and determining food allergies.
- Educate yourself on the ethical treatment of animals and conscious meat-eating. This is a touchy area, but I believe that we can all live and eat in a conscious and healthy way here.
- Eating fresh vegetables at every meal can greatly improve your health! This is a simple step everyone can take in the right direction!
I could go on and on with this list, but this covers a wide spectrum. The biggest question then arises around going gluten free (or Paleo, which is also grain free). Is this another trend? Certainly the name is, but the principle takes us back to basic eating. And I'm certainly convinced that in our food supply there are very little grains or gluten that are straight from a healthy, nutrient dense source of soil and/or not genetically modified. While you might think these foods have been around for centuries, what we're getting on our plates is not what the cavemen were gathering. Most of the foods on our grocery store shelves are being passed through too many hands, machines and chemicals to be called food anymore. Our bodies are unable to process them naturally and they don't provide the nutritional value that our bodies need.
I will always adhere to the simple fact that we ALL should be educating ourselves about what is going into our bodies. We can't count on the medical system to fix us once we've put our health on the back burner for too long. Here are some ways you can begin the process. These are some of my favorite resources, but I know there are a plethora of them out there. Do the work! :)
- Become your own health advocate! Learn about natural eating and living and take on the practices and principals that work for you.
- Find a doctor that supports natural and holistic health. These doctors adhere to getting to the root of the issues you're be dealing with rather than just treating the symptoms. These are the doctors that are willing to sit with you for longer than 5 minutes to determine all of the factors of your health with you.
- Get in tune with your body by doing an elimination diet.
- Get tested for food sensitivities (ask your doctor).
- Get tested for >Gluten sensitivity< (or ask your doctor).
If you have any questions, send me a message! I'm passionate about supporting and empowering a naturally healthy lifestyle. And, if you're in the San Diego area, let's see how we can work together! I'd love to help you! :)
Yours in health,