Paleo, vegan, raw, south beach, atkins, ketogenic, blood type, zone diet.
You name it–there are an unlimited amount of dietary theories to choose from and many of us have ventured down the road (and got lost) exploring, which is the “right” one? One review sings a theory’s praises while another bashes it and claims its negative effects. Or better yet, you find yourself right smack in the middle of utter confusion because you can see how two completely opposite theories seem to make total sense in how they work in the body?
On top of that, there are varying moral views on omnivore vs vegetarian consumption, and planetary impact further creating barriers between the masses of this collective human race. And truth be told people have been able to nourish and survive off both animal and plant foods for centuries. Cultures all over the world survive on different ways of eating because the food is compatible with the climate, the land, values, financial accessibility and lifestyle. There are cultures that survive off seeds and insects and others solely on raw meats from a day’s hunt.
So the truth is there is no one way.
I’ve spent the last decade reading and eating my way through numerous diet options trying to sort out what worked best . . . for me. Through various stages of my own healing, I’ve done GAPS, paleo, juice fasting, vegan, gluten-free, raw, auto-immune paleo, low-histamine, vegetarian, low sulfur, no sugar, no fruit . . .and the list continues. Through this process I learned a ton and did some significant gut healing, but most importantly it taught me to nourish myself more intuitively–by listening to my body– without the rigidity and guilt of being tied to someone else’s idea of the “right” diet for me. Now, the way I eat changes depending on what’s going on with my body, my life, my mood, location and the season.
One “diet” may work better for your body it’s true, but that doesn’t mean that all the rules always apply. We have to learn to listen to our bodies and trust ourselves in determining what is best for us in the moment. What might be ideal for your friend, could wreak havoc for you. The human body is far smarter than we acknowledge or give it credit for. Symptoms are simply its vehicle for communicating that things aren't functioning properly or there's an imbalance.
Are you listening?
Every body is unique. If you start to pay closer attention to your body, you’ll find out what you need to nourish yourself. Sometimes a diet that once worked well can shift to negative consequences or cause deficiencies or excess. I see this happen all the time.
As a functional and holistic nutrition practitioner, my hope is that we break down the division and rigidity of dietary food cults and start taking responsibility for ourselves by educating and listening to what the body needs, and sourcing those goods in a mindful manner –and of course always keeping our planet's evolution in consideration. Creating that connection with your body is paramount to healthy living. Here are some ways to strengthen that alliance with your body:
Practical ways to Deepen the connection with your body
I hope you find this supportive and liberating. If you need help navigating nutritional theories or uncovering digestive issues, find out how we can work together here.